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It appears that Dan Quayle may not play the role that the Republican campaign committee had worked out for him. President Bush is insisting that Quayle must go to summer school and brush up on his spelling.

Quayle protested that he was being punished unfairly because he couldn't spell potato in a school classroom."We always spelled it with an `e' in the National Guard," he told Bush.

"It's still embarrassing," said the president. "People don't expect much of their vice president, but they do want someone who can spell. If I don't send you to summer school, I will look weak as a leader. It'll only be for six weeks, and they'll give you graham crackers and milk at the end of the day."

"Why can't I go on `Wheel of Fortune' and show everyone that I can spell any word Pat Sajak asks me to?"

"It's too risky," the president said. "Suppose he asked you to spell `elite'?"

"That's easy. It's e-l-e-e-t."

"You're close - but you still need summer school. Remember, Dan, the vice president is only a heartbeat away from the presidency, and you have to be able to spell `budget deficit' if you are going to lead the country."

"I can do it. The only word I'm never sure how to spell is Mississippi, so I'll just ignore the state when I'm in the Oval Office. Please don't make me attend summer school, Mr. President. I was planning to go to golf camp."

"Dan, you caused a firestorm with the `potato' blooper. Every cartoonist and writer is having a ball with it, and the administration is being ridiculed by stand-up comics on cable television. The only way we can put out the flames is to confront your problem head on. We plan to announce that you're going to summer school to find out what is really wrong with the U.S. educational system. You will be my eyes and ears in PS 35 while you quietly learn how to spell."

"It's not fair," Quayle said. "I have a law degree, but no one ever asked us to spell `potato' to pass the bar exam. I'll bet Ross Perot and Bill Clinton can't spell it."

"Dan, maybe I'll ask them that in our first debate. In the meantime I think it's politically wise for you to enroll." Quayle was crestfallen. "It all started with Murphy Brown. If I hadn't attacked her, the press would never have jumped on me for misspelling one lousy word."

"The problem is not just one word. The public now has a perception that this administration is illiterate. Every school kid in America knows how to spell potato. As a role model you should be able to do the same."

"But, Mr. President, don't you see that it's all political? The liberals would love nothing more than for me to go to school now so I can't attack them."

"I am the Education President, and I have to take action on this situation."

"You could put out a presidential order announcing that from now on Americans will spell `potato' with an `e.' "