Hanging Up the 800 Number

Ross Perot’s and Bill Clinton’s economic plans may be only a toll-free phone call away, but President Bush’s line is off the hook.

After dismissing toll-free campaigning in a June interview as “beneath the dignity of the White House,” Bush asked viewers in a nationally televised ad on Sept. 10 to call an 800 number for a copy of his “Agenda for American Renewal.”

More than 200,000 viewers did before Bush’s reelection committee disconnected the line five days later. Since then, a spokesman said, the campaign has used local campaign and party offices to …