Lance Armstrong, fresh from steering state cancer research bonds to passage, is now ready to press the presidential candidates on how they'll help in fighting the disease.
Political professionals, however, are more intrigued by what may lie beyond 2008 for the seven-time Tour de France champion.
Several said the 36-year-old cyclist and cancer survivor has impressive political talent. And, they say, he took noticeable steps this year to make his public appearance more professional and to grow more steeped in public policy. Few find it hard to imagine an Armstrong candidacy. ...
This week, spokeswoman Katherine McLane explained, "For the coming year, his focus is on making cancer a national priority and a front-burner topic in the presidential election. What happens after that, who can say?"
Jeff Danzinger, who recently resigned as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's speechwriter, penned Mr. Armstrong's election night remarks, a polished 10-minute speech.
"Let us send a message to the federal government," he said to rousing cheers in Austin. "It's time to elevate the priority of cancer in our funding and our national debate on curing life-threatening diseases.
"Let it also send a message to the federal and state governments ... that the reach of our health-care system will determine the worth of our society."
Shortly before the bus tour, the Lance Armstrong Foundation hired as its communications director Ms. McLane, who also worked for Mr. Schwarzenegger.
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