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Inside Politics

Gore Gets Down with Kids in Iowa and Bumps Up in New Hampshire Poll; Bradley's Health Questioned; McCain Delivers Counterattack by Air

Aired January 21, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore gets down with kids in Iowa and bumps up in our New Hampshire poll. Is it more for Bill Bradley to ponder, along with questions about his heart?

Also ahead:


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now my opponent has started the political attacks, after promising he wouldn't. Mr. Bush's attacks are wrong.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: What does George W. Bush have to say about John McCain's new counterattack on the airwaves?



BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're running. Who is winning? What counts as a win anyway? Harder to tell in politics than on the track.


WOODRUFF: Bruce Morton explains how expectations are driving the presidential race in Iowa.

ANNOUNCER: From Des Moines, capital of the state where the first presidential votes of the year will be cast, this is "Election 2000: The Iowa Caucuses."

A special edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Now to CNN Caucus headquarters and anchors Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.

SHAW: Thanks for joining us. We begin with the state of the Democratic presidential race as the candidates head into the final weekend of campaigning before Monday's Iowa Caucuses. Not only does Al Gore hold a solid lead in polls here, but his bid for a rebound in New Hampshire appears to be paying off. This as Bill Bradley deals with a campaign distraction: recent episodes of his irregular heartbeat.

First, to the Gore campaign, and CNN's John King in Perry, Iowa -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, the vice president speaking to reporters just a few moments ago, as he took a walk around a family farm here in Perry, Iowa. The vice president trying to lower expectations saying he would be satisfied even if he beat Senator Bradley Monday night by just one vote. But the Gore campaign quite confident here in Iowa, the vice president campaigning like a man who expects to win.


(voice-over): Three days to the Iowa Caucuses and things are looking up for the vice president. Gore is comfortably ahead here and there are fresh signs former senator Bill Bradley's momentum in New Hampshire has stalled. Gore now leads Bradley 50 to 43 percent in a new CNN/"Time" poll of 505 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters. And the poll shows Gore with an edge on three issues dominating the campaign debate: the economy, education, and health care.

But the vice president knows Iowa's results can reshape the New Hampshire's landscape and he is campaigning into the night to energize his supporters here.

ALBERT GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I need your help to go to the caucuses. I need your help to be president. I want you to fight for me, so I can fight for you. Monday night, 7:00 p.m., I want to be your president.

KING: Friday's stop at the Menz family farm gave Gore a chance to draw a contrast he hopes makes a big difference come Monday.

GORE: My worthy opponent Senator Bradley said that Iowa rewards entrenched power. Well, let me tell you, what I see in this room and what I bet you I am going to see in a lot of caucuses on Monday night is not entrenched power, it's people. Fighting for the family farm isn't about entrenched power, it's about fighting for people.

KING: Earlier, it was Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, to take issue with Bradley's health care plan.

GORE: I sincerely believe that we would be making a terrible mistake if we eliminated the Medicaid program and replaced it with the use of subsidies or vouchers.

KING: The vice president's health-care pitch was tailored to a critical caucus constituency.

GORE: The number-one improvement that is needed is to give our senior citizens some financial help in purchasing prescription drugs. The bills are killing them.

KING: The day began with a focus on the environment and kind words from a Kennedy.

ROBERT KENNEDY JR.: My priority this year is getting one man elected president because he is out last, best chance to save the planet.


KING: The vice president also telling reporters here that he is being out-spent by Senator Bradley on television ads, but organization is what matters most when it comes to turning out the vote for the caucuses, that the area where the Gore campaign believes it will win big on Monday night -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King reporting with the Bradley -- with the Gore campaign.

Now to Mr. Bradley. He tried today to move beyond his acknowledgment that he had four episodes of an irregular heartbeat since late December.

As CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports, Bradley told reporters in Iowa that his condition may have flared because of caffeine.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry there are no questions. There are no questions.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stop talking and keep walking was Bill Bradley's first strategy for dealing with press questions about his health, but when an Iowa voter asked him about the implications of his irregular heartbeat episodes, he had answer.

BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It has absolutely no effect on my ability to dispose of the responsibilities of the job if I were successful. So you should feel reassured on that front. And I hope if we have a little perspective on this that we will see that this is really something that's a nuisance for me and shouldn't be a concern for you.

MESERVE: The questioner said, Bradley still had her vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know he's a politician, but you know, he's convinced me he's honest.

MESERVE (on camera): And he's healthy?

(voice-over): Bradley then we met with the press to offer his own layman's theory on why he had four episodes in less than a month.

BRADLEY: And the answer is cream soda. I changed what I drink on the road. I had Gatorade, orange soda, and I went to cream soda, and literally, two days ago when, I got to the hotel room in Des Moines there was a 48-ounce bottle of cream soda, and I looked on the ingredients because the ingredients were bigger there, and it said "caffeine." Caffeine is one of the things that could set this off. MESERVE: Bradley has now switched to diet orange soda, no caffeine. The candidate defended his decision not to reveal his heart irregularities until his campaign was asked.

GORE: If I am sick in my stomach, I have to tell you I am sick in my stomach? If I don't sleep well at night, I have to tell you I don't sleep well at night? I mean, I think that there is a reasonable way to proceed here.

MESERVE: His opponent, Vice President Al Gore, reacted to the news generously.

GORE: It's my understanding it's nothing serious. He's out here campaigning. That's the good news.

MESERVE: A big question, how will Iowa voters react? At Bradley appearances, they seemed unconcerned, but Bradley knows he has an uphill fight.

GORE: We're behind in Iowa, they say, but then the mystery of the Iowa Caucus is a little bit like the mystery of the college of cardinals, right, you don't quite know how that decision is made. But I hope that, come Monday, if you feel that you want to help, that you'll make a few more calls and, who knows, maybe we'll surprise a few people on Monday night.

MESERVE: But it would be a surprise if Bradley gave Al Gore serious competition here, health concerns or not.


MESERVE: I heard John King say a minute ago that the Gore campaign was saying that they had been outspent by Bradley, the Bradley campaign contests that. They say they had been in Iowa the same number of days this month, 12. They say that they have spent $1.5 million this month on advertising, where the Gore campaign has spent $1.3. They say things are even Steven, more or less -- Bernie.

WOODRUFF: Actually it's Judy. Jeanne, anymore talk from Bradley today about the Iowa Caucuses rewarding entrenched power and therefore the vice president?

MESERVE: Judy, that phrase was dropped from the senator's speeches today. He did talk a little bit about the establishment, and so did his press secretary. But no, you did not hear those words. Apparently, they're choosing to stay away from that because it did cause such a conflagration today -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeanne Meserve with Mr. Bradley in Muscatine -- Bernie.

SHAW: Let's talk more about Bradley and his campaign with CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield.

WOODRUFF: Jeff, you have been talking with people in the different campaigns today. What are the people around Bradley saying, number one, about his polls stalling, numbers two, some of the bad press he has been getting lately?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: I am wondering when they get New York is we are going to hear a plug for Dr. Brown's celray topic, which has no caffeine.

They actually acknowledged the fact, as one top aide put it, that a piece of Bill Bradley has been missing the past couple of weeks. They had a real good 1999, where they really established Bradley in terms of finance, organization and substance as an alternative to the odds-on favorite.

And I think they -- I think the argument that I am hearing from them is that when bill Bradley decided to run a very different kind of campaign it posed a real dilemma, which is you either stay mute in the face of criticism, and people say, well, you're Michael Dukakis not answering the attacks, but when you start answering the attacks people say, ah-hah, you have abandoned your campaign.

There is no question that they are prepared to go on whatever happens in Iowa and New Hampshire through the March 7 primaries in New York and California, even to March 14. But they concede the fact that what they need now is the message. They have the money and the organization, but if you're going to challenge the sitting vice president of your own party, you better have a very clear argument. And I think they think it has been muddled in the last couple of weeks.

WOODRUFF: And Jeff, you have also been talking to the Gore people. What are they saying about all of this, and particularly the Bradley folks' explanation?

GREENFIELD: Well, interestingly enough, the Gore and Bradley campaigns have a kind of agreement that the Gore campaign has succeeded in kind of blurring the distinctions that Gore has actually kind of appropriated some of Bradley's language, so that the Gore campaign is saying: Yeah, you know, if we can convince people that we want to get to the same place, there's less of a reason to go to the insurgent.

I think, based on one conversation I had with a Gore official, they think that -- what the Bradley campaign thinks about the difficulty of staying above the battle. The campaign is a battle, they say, and our attack on Bill Bradley was on substance, on the merits, and he didn't seem to know how to answer it, in their view.

But they have no illusions about that they're still in a fight.

WOODRUFF: How confident are the Gore people at this point?

GREENFIELD: You know, much as you talk off the record, I am never sure that when you get a sense from any campaign of how they measure where they are you're getting something that is the unvarnished reality, and so I think they think they have had a really good couple of weeks is what I think.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, and we'll come back to you a little bit later -- Bernie.

SHAW: Now, medical perspective on Bill Bradley's heart condition and his belief that caffeine may be a factor.

Our CNN medical correspondent Steve Salvatore talked to fellow doctors and others who know what Bradley has been going through.


DR. STEVE SALVATORE, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Bradley has never heard of William Hearn, but they actually have a lot in common. They each have a full time job, a full time life, and atrial fibrillation.

WILLIAM HEARN: It's helped get it out to the general public that it's in no way a life threatening condition. It really doesn't hamper you at all.

SALVATORE: Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm, a speeding up, skip, or fluttering of the heart rhythm. The upper chamber of the heart, called the atrium, doesn't contract normally and blood flow can be reduced.

DR. BARRY MANGEL, CARDIOLOGIST: It typically presents with symptoms of palpitations, rapid heart beating, sometimes you're fainting, but generally speaking, it's a patient's symptoms that bring the diagnosis to attention, and that is most commonly irregular or fast heart beating.

SALVATORE: Treatment is required to prevent damage to heart and options include: drug therapy, a procedure called cardioversion, which is a shock to the heart while the patient is under anesthesia, or a pacemaker can be used to get the heart to beat normally.

According to a letter from Bradley's physician released in December, Bill Bradley has had three cardioversions, and takes medication to regulate his heart rhythm.

Stress and caffeine may increase the frequency atrial fibrillation, but it's not necessarily the cause. With proper treatment, patients can live a normal life. Without treatment, it may worsen, causing faintness, shortness of breath, increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.

Nearly 2 million Americans live with atrial fibrillation, and research shows almost 10 percent of the population will experienced this type of irregular heartbeat by age 70.

William Hearn doesn't let his condition slow him down. In fact, he has a challenge for the presidential hopeful:

HEARN: I would like to go one on one with him on a basketball court. I know he could really kick me, but it would still be a lot of fun.

SALVATORE: Dr. Steve Salvatore, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: And still ahead here on INSIDE POLITICS: John McCain campaigns in South Carolina, as he launches a New Hampshire attack on George W. Bush.

Plus, will Iowa voters give the Texas governor their blessing? A look at his swing through Iowa and his quest for a higher office.


WOODRUFF: In New Hampshire, Senator John McCain's lead over Governor George Bush has practically disappeared, according to our poll of likely Republican primary voters. McCain has 39 percent, Bush 37 percent. McCain led by four points in the same poll a month ago. However, those same New Hampshire voters say they believe Bush is more electable. Seventy-eight say they believe he can win in November, while 57 percent say McCain can beat the Democratic nominee.

McCain is attempting to undercut Bush's support by releasing a new ad in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, the Arizona senator has moved a step ahead on the campaign trail, stumping in what he sees as the next critical primary state.

Charles Zewe reports from South Carolina.


CHARLES ZEWE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Arizona senator, who considers winning South Carolina critical to his insurgent campaign, pressed into the Palmetto State with an appeal to conservatives and the state's large veterans community.

MCCAIN: We must take care of these brave warriors.

ZEWE: He also repeatedly pledged not to attack fellow Republicans.

MCCAIN: I will not say anything negative about the other candidates.

ZEWE: On New Hampshire TV, however, the candidate addressed his chief rival with his toughest ad yet.


MCCAIN: I guess it was bound to happen. Now my opponent has started the political attacks after promising he wouldn't.


ZEWE: McCain struck out at Texas Governor George W. Bush, accusing him of breaking his promise to steer clear of negative campaigning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN AD) MCCAIN: Mr. Bush's attacks are wrong. My plan cuts taxes, secures Social Security and pays down the debt.


ZEWE: It's a response claims that Bush has made in an ad that ran this week in New Hampshire. That ad says McCain's tax plan would close several tax loopholes, resulting in a $40 billion tax increase on workers. McCain said he had to defend himself against Bush's charges, but he bristled at the notion that he may be doing exactly what he's criticizes his opponent of doing.

MCCAIN: It was a direct response to an ad that he's been running that alleges that I'm trying to raise taxes by some $40 billion. That is not true. And everybody knows that's not true. So I have to tell people when he's running an ad saying that I'm raises taxes by $40 billion, that I'm not.

ZEWE (on camera): Since entering the race, McCain's support among South Carolina Republicans has grown slightly, but he still trails Bush substantially, and the primary is less than a month away now.

The Palmetto poll, taken by Clemson University of likely Republican voters shows Bush with a 51 to 29 percent lead over McCain.

Analysts say that despite McCain's efforts here, figures indicate voters have made up their minds to support Bush.

Charles Zewe, CNN, Greenville, South Carolina.


SHAW: Bush did not let McCain's New Hampshire ad go unanswered.

Our Candy Crowley has the candidate's reaction from the stump here in Iowa.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a street corner in Grinnell, Iowa, George Bush stood in the frigid cold, discussing the heat rising in New Hampshire.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But this is politics. You know, that's -- I find it to be amusing and -- that when there's an honest disagreement about what the definition of employer benefits mean, that there's kind of resort to name calling.

CROWLEY: This is really just another chapter in a week-long saga, which began when Bush said John McCain's tax cut plan actually raises some taxes. It is a kind of "so's your mother" argument. McCain says Bush has gone negative. Denied, and back at you.

BUSH: He can say anything he wants. Evidently, he is running an ad that says, you know, that I spend all the surplus, and I don't have any money left for Social Security. That's completely inaccurate.

CROWLEY: Mostly, though, Bush's attention is not on ads in New Hampshire, but votes in Iowa. It is town-to-town, nonstop retail campaigning, using shoe leather and his standard campaign speech. Veering a bit off the beaten path, Bush spent the morning sitting in the basement of a faith-based residential center for troubled and addicted lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was a victim, not a victim, but I was in prison -- I was a prisoner of drugs and alcohol. They had me. I didn't control them; they controlled me. And until I got here and God was able to open up my mind and show me that, hey, you've been believing things that just are not right, you need to change the way you think and then the way you act will be a natural process of that.

CROWLEY: Teen Challenge takes no government money. It's rehab services are free. Its success rate is high.

BUSH: If there was a voucher attached to a person that was seeking help, would you accept the voucher? He said yes. Under one condition: no strings. And I agree with that concept as well.

CROWLEY (on camera): There is no interest here in breaking any new ground. The sense you get is that of a holding pattern. What the Bush camp most wants is an uneventful though active couple of days, so that Monday, the candidate can bring home that double-digit lead indicated in Iowa polls.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Marshalltown, Iowa.


SHAW: During Bush's walking tour of downtown Brunell, Iowa, he made a stop at a coffee shop. Waiting inside were several Bill Bradley supporters, who were there to write letters in favor of their candidate. The Republican hopeful spent a few minutes talking with the college students, long enough to make a good impression on at least one of the Democrats.


CELIA SEARS, STUDENT: I thought Bush was much more personable one on one. After meeting with them, I'd say go Bush. But after reading all of their policies, I'm for Bradley. So I think that it's definitely confusing when you meet them. It's two different things. It's like their person approach and then their policies don't often match.


SHAW: Not all of the Bradley supporters were as impressed. Another student talked with Bush about civil disobedience, and said he was not satisfied with the governor's answers.

WOODRUFF: When we return: Has retail politics fallen by the wayside in New Hampshire? Our Bill Bradley on how the hopefuls are reaching Granite State voters.


WOODRUFF: Many of the presidential hopefuls are making the rounds here Iowa, but they are also looking ahead to the New Hampshire primary, which falls just eight days after Monday's caucuses.

Our Bill Delaney has been taking a look at campaigning New Hampshire style.


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What the New Hampshire primary is all about, right? Up close and personal politicking, flesh pressing, eyes locking, a kind of political mating dance. In fact, though, there may be less there than what meets the eye on TV. All over New Hampshire, political ads, in a Manchester bar, in a Hanover diner, an unscientific sampler of likely primary voters, how they say they get to know the candidates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Read newspapers, read magazines. I do see television advertisements.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get most of my information from TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, TV just brings a little bit more home, as far as how they look when they're saying it.

DELANEY: Hands-on politics in New Hampshire, the way things ought to be, perhaps. But since early November, in this little state of little more than a million souls, candidates have shelled out more than $7.5 million on television ads.

(on camera): And in New Hampshire, candidates can even spend more than the law technically allows, exceeding the state's spending cap of $661,000 per candidate by putting ads on TV here in Boston, on stations that transmit deep and are widely watched in New Hampshire.

(voice-over): Republican John McCain is probably this year's best example of the "How you doing?" approach. But some say, compared to ads, McCain's more than 90 town hall meetings may have just wound up preaching to the converted.

DEAN SPILIOTIS, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: Voters tend to go out to meet candidates for whom they already have an affinity, so they're not really going out to meet lots of different candidates in order to gather information to make a decision.

DELANEY: George W. Bush, by contrast, hasn't spent nearly as much time in New Hampshire, while outspending McCain three-to-one on advertising, and partly with TV running a much more national campaign than McCain. Even a new, rather negative Bush ad criticizing McCain's tax stand may work. Voters say they don't like that sort of thing. SPILIOTIS: Yet, at the same time, they're much better at recalling negative things about candidates they don't like than they are in saying positive things about candidates that they do like.

DELANEY: A point maybe not entirely lost on the John McCain campaign, which has now gone a bit negative itself, in a brand new TV ad, blasting Bush's negative ad.

As New Hampshire gets down to the wire, with tight races in both parties, indications, more than ever, it's not the handshake so much that matters, as the hard sell.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.


SHAW: Next Monday night, while all eyes are on Iowa, the future of presidential campaigns may be taking shape 1,600 miles away, in Alaska. It's a sign of things to come when voters may be using their computers on Election Day a lot more than voting booths.


SHAW (voice-over): For the first time in a presidential primary contest, voters in some isolated communities will be able to cast their ballots by Internet in Alaska's Republican straw poll. It's a baby step with some major implications.

A prediction from John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, a leading Internet infrastructure firm.

JOHN CHAMBERS, CEO, CISCO SYSTEMS: In 2004, the majority of the states will allow Internet voting, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it be the vast majority of states. Secondly, the Internet, by the year 2004, will, in my opinion, have as much impact on the outcome of elections and educating the populace as TV did in the Kennedy-Nixon era and since then.

SHAW: At a symposium yesterday evening, at the Brooking Institution in Washington, leading authorities on Internet politics met to talk about the coming revolution. Not everyone was willing to predict an e-election in 2004.

PROF. ANTHONY CORRADO, COLBY COLLEGE: It's not just a question of getting the technology to be able to cast safe and secure ballots over the Internet, but it's also the problem of behavior and getting people interested in participating politically over the Internet, and that's a much more difficult problem to deal with.


SHAW: There are still some major issues of course to be resolved: bridging the so-called digital divide between rich and poor and, of course, Internet security. But one thing all of the experts agree on, Internet voting is coming and it has the potential to transform politics. Judy and I will be right back with more of INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: There's much more ahead on this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

SHAW: Still to come: From our caucus headquarters here in Des Moines: Are the campaigns driving expectations, or are they just spinning their wheels? A report from our Bruce Morton.



WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know how politicians love to use sports metaphor -- the hail Mary pass, running out the clock. This week, we saw sports as a political metaphor.


WOODRUFF: Our Bill Schneider on the language of politics and the political "Play of the Week."

And later:

SHAW: Voices from the past -- the Watergate tapes go public.


WOODRUFF: That's what the Monday weather forecasts. But you know, if there were bad weather, it could limit voter turnout for the Iowa caucuses Monday night, and perhaps lead to an unexpected outcome. That has not stopped politicians and pundits from playing the Iowa expectations game anyway.

CNN's Bruce Morton has an inside view of the spin and whether it matters in the end.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're running. Who's winning? What counts as a win anyway? Harder to tell in politics than on the track.

STEVE HILDEBRAND, GORE CAMPAIGN: We're here to win. Senator Bradley is here to win. It's all about winning elections, not losing elections. If we have 50 percent, we've won the election.

MORTON: Right, the guy who finishes first wins. Hard to argue with that. Senator Bradley?

ANITA DUNN, BRADLEY CAMPAIGN: Well, 31 percent is the ceiling that any insurgent has ever been able to get in Iowa, and clearly, it's a goal. MORTON: Wait a minute, wait a minute, 31 percent is what Edward Kennedy got running against President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Kennedy lost -- lost here, lost the nomination. Your goal is a loser's figure? Come on. Republicans?

ERIC WOOLSON, BUSH CAMPAIGN: Bob Dole set the record at 37 percent in a Republican caucus. The Bush campaign feels like a win is a win, frankly, and Governor Bush has said he would like to achieve 37 percent, perhaps a little better than that, but that's a realistic expectation for the Bush campaign.

MORTON: Mr. Forbes?

BOB HAUS, FORBES CAMPAIGN: I think a strong second-place showing is what everyone is expecting from us, and I think that's what they'll see on Monday.

MORTON: Question is, what's strong? Let's say Governor Bush is this red car, Mr. Forbes is this gold one. Bush gets 45, Forbes 25; they're way apart. Big win for Bush. Steve who? But let's say Forbes guns the engine, big rush, 45-38. Close, we all write, goes into New Hampshire on a roll.

Gary Bauer?

MARLYS POPMA, BAUER CAMPAIGN: To do well, our guy has to do better than people expect. I certainly think that if we finish in the top tier, in the top three, I think we are doing well.

MORTON: Sure, but if Bauer, the yellow car, is on Forbes' heels, that's one thing. If he's third but way back, that's something else.

Mr. Keyes?

CHRIS JONES, KEYES CAMPAIGN: Four years ago, he ran at about 6 percent in Iowa. I think if he doubles that, he can be seen as having done extremely well here.

MORTON: But Keyes is the Ferrari here. He could get 12 percent and finish last. So you can lose and do extremely well. Or if he beats Orrin Hatch, the Beetle, is that a win?

John McCain never campaigned here. If his car even starts, that might mean something.

So enjoy the game, watch the spin, but remember, the guy who finished first really did win. A lot of the rest is noise.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Des Moines.


WOODRUFF: How do they get those cars to move? Do you think Bruce's hand was under there with a magnet? What was going on?

SHAW: I saw them shooting it. They worked at it mightily all afternoon.

WOODRUFF: It paid off.

All right, now, let's bring back our own Jeff Greenfield for some more political analysis.

SHAW: From the pit -- Steve Forbes, John McCain, two very different candidates. What do they have in common?

GREENFIELD: They have a confluence of interests, Bernie. It reminds me of Reagan and Rockefeller in 1968, from opposite ends of the spectrum, each hoping the other did well enough to hurt Richard Nixon. The McCain campaign in New Hampshire will cheer a strong Forbes showing here, because the possibility is that that will encourage Forbes in New Hampshire, maybe peel some conservative away from Bush in New Hampshire helping McCain to win.

The Forbes campaign, for its part, will cheer a McCain victory in New Hampshire because they want to shake the sense that George Bush is the inevitable nominee.

The Forbes people talking about winning in Delaware. I don't know what the significance of that will be if nobody else is competing. But the Forbes people want McCain to do very well in South Carolina, because both of those campaigns need to argue to the Republicans: Look, this guy is not inevitable; it's a paper tiger. And if he loses a bunch of primaries, each of them thinks, we can move in and win.

SHAW: Got to ask you this next question, wanted to ask you this question all afternoon. Steve Forbes zeroing in on Texas Governor George Bush: What's this about Forbes planning to challenge some of Bush's New York delegate petitions?

GREENFIELD: This is really -- any political junkie will love this story. New York State has -- the Republicans particularly -- have ballot access rules slightly harder than the pre-Glasnost Soviet Union. And the Bush campaign is challenging half of McCain's signatures, saying that you didn't follow the rules. And the rules are unbelievably arcane: If you don't have your full name, if you don't dot the "I" and cross the "T," they can throw the entire page off.

Well, CNN has obtained this Bush petition that was filed in one of the districts, and I want to share it with you. You might notice that all of these signatures have a remarkably similar handwriting. I'm not sure if you can read it, but three of these signatures, Bernie, are Sandra Bullock, Kristin Scott and Warren Beatty, none of whom, as far as I know, are registered Republicans in New York. And if you look at the addresses, 2570 West 104 Street, that would be about three-quarters of the way across the Hudson River toward New Jersey.

SHAW: And that one at 1515 West 140 Street.

GREENFIELD: It's the same thing. In other words -- I don't mean to be judgmental. But it would seem that this particular petition page is subject to some challenge. And you know, I suppose it's the old Hamlet line of hoist by your own petard.

But here's a campaign -- and this has been traditional of any candidate that has the backing of the New York State Republican Party -- they want to knock the other guys off the ballot. And this time other people are going to have some fun with the Bush petitions.

SHAW: I'm dying to but I won't ask you, where did you get this document? I won't ask.


SHAW: Jeff Greenfield.

WOODRUFF: Maybe Sandra Bullock has an apartment under the river. I don't know.


GREENFIELD: Could be. We'll check it out.

WOODRUFF: All right. Up next, reliving Nixon's downfall, tape by tape. Charles Bierbauer on the Watergate release.


WOODRUFF: A picture of the sun beginning to set over the city of Des Moines, Iowa. Well, today in Washington, the National Archives released 12 1/2 hours of the Watergate tapes, made at the order of President Richard Nixon. Now, the scandal that changed the face of American politics plays out on tapes available for public purchase.

And as Charles Bierbauer reports, looking back at the Watergate transcripts is one thing, hearing Nixon's conversations is another.


CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Watergate break-in at Democratic headquarters was June 17th, 1972. Six days later, in the Oval Office, Richard Nixon and chief of staff Bob Haldeman plotted to use one government agency, the CIA, to stop another, the FBI, in its investigation.


RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... they should call the FBI and say that we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case -- period!


BIERBAUER: It's called the "smoking gun" tape.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, JUNE 23, 1972) NIXON: Don' lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it.


BIERBAUER: That wasn't the end of the Watergate investigation, barely the beginning, as the tapes show.

White House counsel John Dean, nine months later.


JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: We have a cancer -- within, close to the presidency that's growing. It's growing daily. It's compounding. It grows geometrically now because it compounds itself.


DEAN: I used that phrase to really make sure I had his attention. At that point, I didn't know how much he did know or didn't know.

BIERBAUER: Nixon the next day.


NIXON: I don't give a shit what happens. I want you all to stonewall it. Let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover-up or anything else if it'll save it -- save the plan. That's the whole point.


BIERBAUER: The 12 1/2 hours of tapes in the National Archives first released to the public were also played at the Watergate trials of Attorney General John Mitchell and former Texas Governor John Connally.

The Nixon library Web site, anticipating this tape release, says, "With honest transcripts and impartial analysis, Nixon will get a fair trial in the court of history."

But the tapes clearly show Nixon buying into the cover-up and hush money for the Watergate burglars.


NIXON: You, on the money, if you need the money, I mean, uh, you could get the money. Let's say...

DEAN: Well, I think that we're going...

NIXON: What I mean is, you could -- you could get a million dollars. And you could get it in cash. I -- I know where it could be gotten.

DEAN: Uh-huh.


DEAN: I'm trying to convince him that the criminal behavior that's going on at the White House has to end. And I give him one horrible after the next. I just keep raising them. He sort of swats them away. He's got an answer for everything.

BIERBAUER: The tapes lift the words long seen in black and white off the printed page and give them life.

ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: What makes it so fascinating is that it was something the public wasn't supposed to hear. At least -- maybe for 100 or 200 years, it was going to be locked up. But here it is falling open.

BIERBAUER: Richard Nixon, in his own words and voice.


NIXON: ... don't ever lie with these bastards.

DEAN: The truth always emerges. It always does.


BIERBAUER (on camera): John Dean says hearing the tapes is like reliving his conversations or being a fly on the wall of the Oval Office. Now, for $702 plus tax, everyone can be a fly on the wall.

Charles Bierbauer, CNN, Washington.


SHAW: When we return, the marriage of sports and politics. Bill Bradley is not the only former sports figure making his mark.


WOODRUFF: Another look at the Iowa state capitol.

When it comes to linking athletics to politics, Bill Bradley has proven to be a champion. But our Bill Schneider is giving him some competition, with a little help from a sports figure in the news.

Bill joins us now from Washington.

Hi, Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, you know how politicians love to use sports metaphors: the Hail Mary pass, running out the clock, the play of the week.

Well, this week, we saw sports as a political metaphor, a perfect political "Play of the Week."


(voice-over): Basketball great Michael Jordan, the man Americans call the "greatest athlete of the 20th century," came to save the nation's capital.

TED LEONSIS, CO-OWNER, WASHINGTON WIZARDS: I wanted to be the first to say, it's official: Michael Jordan is coming to Washington, D.C.

SCHNEIDER: Jordan is one of the few people who can steal the spotlight from the president of the United States. Remember a year ago when Jordan announced he was retiring from basketball? It was right on the eve of President Clinton's impeachment trial, but could the president get any attention?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jordan retiring is a much darker day than the president being impeached.

SCHNEIDER: This week, Jordan became president of basketball operations and part owner of the Washington Wizards, the capital's forlorn NBA franchise. Talk about cleaning up the mess in Washington. The Wizards are 12 and 28 and in last place in their division.

Washington is thrilled. Listen to the mayor.

MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS, WASHINGTON D.C.: It really is simply going to electrify our city.

SCHNEIDER: Listen to the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jordan is coming to the Wizards!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My mother called me and told me that he's going to be here tonight and I rushed down here.

SCHNEIDER: After all, there's a statue of Michael Jordan in Chicago. Ever seen a statue of Bill Clinton? But can Jordan turn this team around? He's a ferocious competitor.

MICHAEL JORDAN, WASHINGTON WIZARDS: I have an attitude about the way I play. I have an attitude about the way I win.

SCHNEIDER: He has real power to hire and fire players and choose coaches. He says what a lot of voters would like to say to public officials.

JORDAN: We've got to find a way to make sure they understand their responsibility for the checks they're being paid.

SCHNEIDER: Jordan's arrival signifies the coming to power of a new elite in Washington: high-tech entrepreneurs who are turning Washington into a venture capital capital. They're displacing the capital's old movers and shakers, the politicians and journalists.

And the old elite doesn't like it one bit.

SALLY QUINN, WASHINGTON JOURNALIST: They would want to sort of have their arms draped around Michael Jordan because he's a big star, and they want to take advantage of that star power, but it's still not the ultimate power, which is the political power of Washington.

SCHNEIDER: Oh yeah? Look who came to pay homage to Jordan.

Jordan's spectacular conquest of Washington this week makes a point: America is not politics-centered. It's centered on entrepreneurship, and innovation, and problem-solving: "The Jordan Rules." It's a metaphor for the new America and it's the political "Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: Entrepreneurship, innovation, problem-solving, you know, those are not qualities people associate with politics. Which is why, for many young people today, politics is for losers. If Jordan can turn the Wizards into winners, maybe they'll become a metaphor for a new spirit of public service. We'll see -- Judy, Bernie.

SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider.

Well, we're all here in Iowa. Our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield, joins us once again with some perspective.

GREENFIELD: Just a cautionary note, Bernie, since this town is about to be overrun with about every political journalist and operative in America, let's just remember one thing: Iowa and New Hampshire begin the process, they do not necessarily end it.

In 1976, Ronald Reagan didn't win a primary until North Carolina in mid-March then almost took the nomination away from President Ford. Four years later, Ted Kennedy lost every early primary, was almost out of the race until he won in New York in late March, and came very close to battling Jimmy Carter for the next nomination.

Let's wait and see what happens.

SHAW: Jeff Greenfield.

WOODRUFF: Healthy reminder.


SHAW: Well, that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. But always you can go on-line all the time at CNN

WOODRUFF: Stay with CNN throughout this weekend for live reports on the candidates leading up to Monday's Iowa Caucuses.

SHAW: And we'll have a special one-hour edition of INSIDE POLITICS form here in Des Moines on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

I'm Bernard Shaw.

WOODRUFF: And we'll all be back for it. And I'm Judy Woodruff. "WORLDVIEW" is next. And we want to leave you with this picture of the building CNN is working out of here in Iowa. The Capitol Square Building in downtown Des Moines.


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