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In Ending GOP Bid, Alexander Remains Mum on Future Plans

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Former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander last week ended his bid for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination and endorsed Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas.

In his withdrawal speech, Mr. Alexander declined to outline his future plans.

"I haven't contemplated my future," Mr. Alexander said, according to The Washington Post. "I'm ready to take a nap rather than think about our future."

But an aide said late last week that Mr. Alexander might make such an announcement over the weekend or this week.

The former secretary was quoted as saying he "wouldn't be a very good second fiddle" when asked if he would be interested in the vice presidential nomination.

Mr. Alexander, a former governor of Tennessee, served as President Bush's education secretary from March 1991 until January 1993, when the Clinton administration took office.

Almost immediately after leaving the post, Mr. Alexander embarked on his presidential bid. He set up a satellite-television network similar to one he had used to discuss education topics, traveled around the country talking to citizens, and wrote books containing the ideas that served as the foundation for his campaign.

Despite having built his political reputation largely as an education reformer, the former secretary did not make education a central theme in the primary season. (See Education Week, March 6, 1996.)

Mr. Alexander is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank based in Indianapolis. He chaired that group's "New Promise of American Life" project.

Mr. Alexander also has been aligned with Empower America, a conservative think tank in Washington co-chaired by William J. Bennett, another former secretary of education and the chairman of Mr. Alexander's campaign. It is unclear whether Mr. Alexander will take on another role within the organization.

--Mark Pitsch

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