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George W. Bush Proposes Plan to Fight Illiteracy; Bush Calls McCain; `Issue Ads' Flooding the Airwaves, With Gore and Bush Both BenefitingAired March 28, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America must confront a national emergency: too many of our children cannot read.
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BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush adds a new page to his education plan. Does his record support his rhetoric?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SHAPE THE DEBATE AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to "Hypocrisy." Contestants, are your ready?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Political hypocrites for 200.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he's for campaign finance reform but held an illegal fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is Al Gore?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: A new attack on Gore's campaign finance credibility spotlights a target of his reform plan: issue ads.
Plus: Another Clinton in the Oval Office? We'll discuss claims the first lady is campaigning for more than a Senate seat.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.
SHAW: Thanks for joining us. Judy is off today.
Twelve years after his father vowed to be "the education president," George W. Bush keeps stepping up his bid to claim that title for himself. CNN's Jonathan Karl reports from Virginia on Bush's latest proposal and how he hopes to use it against Al Gore.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Out to prove education is his top priority, Governor George Bush proposed another new federal program, this one to fight illiteracy.
BUSH: A $5 billion program that says we will not tolerate illiteracy amongst the disadvantaged students in the great country called America.
KARL: The five-year plan would provide federal money for testing of reading skills in kindergarten and first grade, teacher training, and tutoring, after-school and summer school programs.
Bush has been a champion of local control over education, a point he made again even as he announced plans for a new federal program.
BUSH: The theory is simple: Those who know your name are more likely to understand your needs.
KARL: But Bush said the problem of illiteracy requires a federal response.
BUSH: This is a national -- this has national impact. Illiteracy of our children impacts the whole nation, and therefore, it requires a national response in its reach.
KARL: Since clinching his party's nomination, Bush has dedicated virtually every campaign event to education, a bid to beat Vice President Gore on an issue that has traditionally favored Democrats. Bush's aides say the governor is -- quote -- "a different kind of Republican" on the issue.
BUSH: I won't close down the Department of Education, but I will transform it. You see, the goal here is not to spend the most or cut the most, but the goal is to improve the most.
KARL: Bush's education push will continue all week as he visits schools in New Jersey and in Wisconsin, and later in the week, announces yet another new program, one to help schools recruit and retain teachers.
(on camera): On a day dedicated to education, Bush is picking up the endorsement of a fellow Republican who had attacked his education proposals: Bush's one-time nemesis Steve Forbes.
Jonathan Karl, CNN, Reston, Virginia.
SHAW: The Gore campaign is responding to Bush's new reading initiative by accusing him of copying a proposal made by the White House in 1996. Spokesman Doug Hattaway says -- quote -- "George W. Bush must have learned his ABCs from the Clinton/Gore administration." He says, "Bush's idea of leadership is to follow up on good ideas that have already been enacted."
The Gore camp also contends Bush's tax cut plan would leave no money to invest in a new reading program without dipping into the Social Security surplus or returning to deficit spending.
Bush says he modeled his new "reading first" proposal after a program he promoted in Texas. The governor often cites his record in his home state as evidence he is committed to improving America's schools.
CNN's Pat Neal has been reviewing Bush's education record and whether he is taking credit where credit is due.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: G.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic!
PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Exciting things are happening in Sandy Carroll's class in Dallas.
SANDY CARROLL, DALLAS TEACHER: They come in in the morning. They grab their books. They run up -- I can read it! I can read it!
Take your reading finger. Ready? Put it on the "G."
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Good morning!
NEAL: Carol credits the enthusiasm to new things she learned in a new reading program promoted by Governor George W. Bush.
CARROLL: We have learned specific strategies I didn't know before.
NEAL: Part of Bush's program is sending teachers in grades K-3 to special classes to learn the latest in how to teach reading.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "It is easy for me" -- period -- "because I am smart."
NEAL: Education is a cornerstone of Bush's presidential campaign, and it's a top priority with voters. Bush points to his record in Texas as to what can happen in the rest of the country.
BUSH: In Texas, we are proud of our results.
NEAL: William Lutz writes for the conservative "Lone Star Report."
WILLIAM LUTZ, "LONE STAR REPORT": He's done some decent things, but he's describing this as a giant miracle, when in reality, a lot of the reforms that are causing some of the gains that have occurred in Texas really started long before he got there.
NEAL: In fact, education reform here goes back to 1984 and another Texan who would eventually run for president, Ross Perot. He headed a commission whose recommendations led to many key reforms.
MOLLY BETH MALCOLM, TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY: What Governor Bush tends to do is jump in front of the parade and try to claim credit for things that were already happening.
ROD PAIGE, HOUSTON SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: The Texas system is a result of the efforts of many governors, but I think the leadership of our current governor, Governor Bush, is spectacular.
BUSH: Thank you so much.
NEAL: Bush campaigned on and won an end to social promotion to take effect in 2003. That means when these kindergartners are in the third grade, if they don't pass the state reading test, chances are they won't move on to grade four.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got a good answer there.
NEAL: Texas has also increased spending for advanced placement classes, streamlined curriculum, toughened tests, dropped regulations and tightened accountability since Bush came into office in 1995, but critics say many of those reforms have been in place for years.
MALCOLM: Most of the accountability issues had already gone into effect before Governor Bush was even running for governor.
NEAL: Bush has made the backbone of accountability the state's own unique test, the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Students in grades three through eight and grade 10 are tested in reading and math each year. In some grades, writing, science and social studies are added. Schools, teachers and principals are then evaluated and report cards released based on the scores, attendance and dropout rates.
BUSH: Since 1994, the number of minority children passing our state skills race jumped from 38 percent to 69 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt it was pretty easy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does reflect what the teacher teaches you, but what also ends up happening is that a teacher will base their entire curriculum just on a certain test.
DONNA HASCHKE, TEXAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: There's so much overemphasis on testing. Teachers are just so tired of teaching the TOSS, because we do teach to the TOSS, obviously.
BUSH: That's an excuse to dismantle some accountability measures, but I can't tell you how strongly I feel that we need to measure whether or not our children are learning.
NEAL: Critics say there is tremendous political incentive for schools to report high test scores. In fact, the Austin school district was indicted and worked out a plea agreement last year to charges of changing students' records to make schools look good.
In 1998, critics say some schools tried to sidestep a new law, requiring the scores of virtually all students to count toward the school's overall rating. Only special education students could be exempted. That year, Texas saw a 34 percent increase in the number of kids designated as special ed.
But despite these problems, Bush points to Texans' high scores on national test, randomly given in certain grades across the United States, as a marker that students in his state are doing very well.
BUSH: African-American fourth-graders have better math skills in Texas than in any state in the Union.
NEAL: White fourth graders in Texas were also tops in math the last time the test was given in 1996.
But do Texans credit Bush, who has been their governor since 1995, with these and other improvements?
(on camera): Voters in Texas' Republican primary were asked, "Had there been significant reforms in Texas public schools in the last six years? Forty percent said "no."
(voice-over): Texas is praised nationally for its educational gains, and Bush applauded for maintaining the momentum of previous reforms.
PAIGE: Just his leadership, using the bully pulpit of the governor, has been great.
NEAL: But critics say many of the reforms on Bush's watch won't be fully realized for years, when George Bush hopes he's moved up from the governor's office.
Pat Neal, CNN, Houston.
SHAW: In a moment, we're going to take a look at independent expenditures in this campaign 2000, when INSIDE POLITICS continues.
SHAW: Here now information on a breaking news story.
OPEC oil ministers have been meeting in Vienna. A key question on the table: whether to pump more oil. For the very latest we switch live to Vienna and correspondent Brent Sadler -- Brent.
BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Bernie.
The OPEC ministerial meeting finished about half an hour ago. We're waiting for a joint communique here from the ministers. We understand from OPEC officials and the Iranian delegation that there is now a split in the OPEC decision, that the Iranians refuse to go along with an output in increased oil production of some 1.7 million barrels a day as prescribed by the Saudis, the Saudis trying to accommodate U.S. pressure, political pressure to make gas prices cheaper in the United States.
And many members of OPEC here felt a bit the second quarter in the oil year was simply the wrong time to be doing this, and many of them, not only the Iranians, but the Iraqis, the Indonesians and the Libyans were arguing against it.
But it does now seem that there will be an increase in production, we expect around about 1.7 million barrels of oil a day, somewhat less than the U.S. was asking for, but the Iranians are not going along with this.
Brent Sadler, CNN, reporting live from OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
SHAW: OK, thank you, Brent Sadler.
And INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
SHAW: An update now on Texas Governor George W. Bush's relationship with Arizona Senator John McCain. Bush telephoned McCain this morning. It was the first time they had spoken since the day McCain suspended his presidential campaign nearly three weeks ago. Separately, both McCain and Bush told reporters they had a good conversation. McCain says Bush did not ask for his endorsement. He says the two did talk about reform. McCain also disclosed that Al Gore called him yesterday to discuss the vice president's new campaign finance reform plan. Senator McCain says he told the vice president he did not support the trust fund component of his plan, but he appreciated his commitment to reform.
McCain's criticism of Gore's fund-raising reform plan is downright tame compared to a new television ad that accuses Gore of being a hypocrite on the issue.
CNN's Patty Davis has more on the ad and how it fits into the bigger campaign finance picture.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And don't doubt for a minute we can do it.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Vice President Al Gore staked his claim to the campaign finance reform mantle with a new plan, this issue ad hit the airwaves challenging Gore's credibility on the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SHAPE THE DEBATE" AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he's for campaign finance reform, but held an illegal fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is Al Gore?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Political hypocrites for $400.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: The ad -- paid for by a new Republican-backed fund- raising group called "Shape The Debate," an ad the Bush campaign says it had nothing to do with -- signifies the first in what's expected to be a barrage of general election issue ads.
LARRY MAKINSON, EXEC. DIR., CTR. FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: I think they're going to be bigger than they've ever been before. They might be bigger than all the advertising by the candidates in this election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, REPUBLICANS FOR CLEAN AIR AD)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York Republicans care about clean air, so does Governor Bush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: Issue ad spending has set a record so far in this election season, $114 million according to a new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. That's because the stakes are so high with both the White House and the House of Representatives up for grabs. And expect to see more issue ads like this one, but don't expect groups like "Shape The Debate" to reveal the deep pockets funding them.
MAKINSON: The question that we're all going to have with this stuff is after we watch them, whether we've been outraged or whether we've been entertained, is, you know, who paid for this ad? Who are these guys? Who are the people in the small print at the bottom of the television screen, whatever name they may use? And that's a question we won't have an answer for.
DAVIS: And because "Shape The Debate" operates legally outside current campaign finance laws, on its Web site, the group encourages unlimited donations.
(on camera): Gore is calling for more disclosure on these types of issue ads, but for now, the vice president is benefiting as well, from ads produced by abortion rights and handgun control groups.
Patty Davis, CNN, Washington.
SHAW: Joining us now from San Diego, George Gorton, a consultant to the group "Shape The Debate" that sponsored the anti-Gore ad we saw in Patty's report, and with us here in Washington, Democratic Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
Mr. Gorton, who put up the money for the ad we just saw?
GEORGE GORTON, CONSULTANT, "SHAPE THE DEBATE": Well, you know, we're allowing our contributors to remain anonymous. We're raising money, by the way, on the Internet like John McCain. Www.shapethedebate.com is a source of our income.
But we are keeping our donors anonymous. They like it that way. You have things like Filegate, where the Clinton administration gets 900 secret FBI files on Republican candidates -- on Republican members, and you understand why people don't want to be known as contributing to a effort which criticizes Al Gore.
SHAW: Congressman Markey, what do you think about this?
REP. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, I think that the name of their organization should be changed from Shape the Debate to Swissbankaccount.com, because that's what this amounts to. It's just a way of hiding who is putting up this huge amount of money to run a national advertising campaign against Vice President Gore.
You know, again, the public knows that the scandal in American politics is not what is illegal; it is what is legal. And what they're doing is legal, and Al Gore wants to reform the system so that all of these groups have to disclose where they get their money from, what their real agenda is, and then with this transparency, decide whether or not they should give any weight at all to the accusations which are being made.
SHAW: Mr. Gorton?
GORTON: Well, Al Gore led the cows out of the born on this one, and now he's trying to get elected as the cow-barn doorkeeper. My gosh, he's the most scandal-tainted vice president we have had since Spiro Agnew was run out of office 30 years ago, so he's hardly the guy that we ought to be trusting on campaign finance reform, and that's what our ad points out. It's hypocritical when a person's record is so dramatically, dramatically different from his rhetoric.
SHAW: Mr. Gorton, let me ask you a question: Are independent expenditures the way to get around the letter and spirit of campaign finance laws?
GORTON: Well, it's the way that campaign elections are going in America today. They're more and more participation by independent groups, whether you're talking about the Sierra Club, or abortion groups or a business group like mine, or frankly, labor unions who pioneered this. Where was Al Gore in criticizing labor unions for doing this four years ago?
SHAW: But the trust of my question was, is this the way to get around the letter and the spirit of the law?
GORTON: Certainly not the spirit. The spirit of American law is that Americans should participate in any way they can and want to in the American political process. Certainly, the First Amendment right, the heart of the First Amendment is the protection of the right of a person to criticize government officials and do so without fear of retribution, and that might require anonymity in an atmosphere like created by the Clinton-Gore administration.
SHAW: Congressman, how about the point he just made?
MARKEY: Listen, anonymity means that every polluter, the NRA -- you go right down the whole list -- are able to pony up hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in secret. And the public thinks they have got some kind of public interest group out front. Al Gore says, tell you what, George, let's ban all corporate money, let's ban all individual money, let's ban all labor money, let's have full disclosure of the independent expenditures, and let's just debate a major issue every single week in public, before the American people, but George kind of -- you know, he invokes Saint Augustine, who said, "Oh Lord, make me chaste, but not just yet." You know, the Bush campaign says, Oh Lord, let me do without soft money, but not before this campaign is over. And so they are so committed to this soft dollar money that they're just going to keep pouring these millions in from special interests, even though Al Gore has converted, as did John McCain, over to the side which says get all of this money out of campaigns.
SHAW: Mr. Gorton, your response?
MARKEY: That is ludicrous. It's Al Gore who raised money illegally from the White House, illegally at a Buddhist temple, has refused to allow his attorney general to appoint a special investigator to look into these things, and now that he's at a publicly financed section of the law where he doesn't need to do all of this funny fund-raising anymore, he's suddenly the born again campaign finance reform guy. That is ludicrous. That's what we're pointing out: It's hypocrisy, it's hyperhypocrisy. and that's what we're pointing out.
SHAW: Gentlemen, let me get something on the record right now.
Congressman Markey, does not Vice President Gore benefit from these same kind of issue ads run on his behalf?
MARKEY: He does. Again, this system is one that is so rotten that both John McCain and Al Gore both say, let's end it.
MARKEY: But they're not going to -- but no one is going to end it until the other side agrees, and George Bush, thus far, refuses to end the system.
SHAW: Let me quickly thank George Gorton for joining us from the West Coast -- we're about to lose your satellite, and that would be unseemly to happen on the air -- and Congressman Markey.
Gentlemen, thanks very much.
GORTON: Thank you.
SHAW: Quite welcome.
And there is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. The aspirations of first lady-turned-Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Does she have her eye on her husband's job? We'll hear two different views. Plus, potential running mates for Bush and gore, and the early odds for our against them. And later, does Steve Forbes' endorsement of George W. Bush matter? We'll hear from Mark Shields and Kate O'Beirne of the "CAPITAL GANG."
SHAW: New heat this day on New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his handling of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African American man named Patrick Dorismond. City public advocate Mark Green today asked the city to investigate Mayor Giuliani's release of Dorismond's juvenile records. Critics accuse the mayor of trying to undermine the victim's character. Green wants the court to determine if Giuliani's actions were legal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GREEN, NEW YORK PUBLIC ADVOCATE: In my view, it was illegal. In the mayor's view, it was proper. What better decision who is right than a person in robe serving for a give number of years who rules on the merits, not on the politics.
MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK: It was done in an openly, it wasn't done in a sneaky way, and I am more than willing to defend it anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: There is growing speculation that Giuliani's handling of the Dorismond case may be hurting his unannounced U.S. Senate campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Amid Giuliani's latest troubles, the New York state GOP has tried to help rally Republicans behind him by raising questions about Hillary Clinton's aspirations. On its Web site, the state party uses a mock newspaper headline to accuse Mrs. Clinton of blind ambition. It goes on to contend that her true goal is to become president. Author Peggy Noonan makes the same case in her book, "The Case Against Hillary Clinton."
The former speechwriter for Presidents Reagan and Bush joins us from New York City.
PEGGY NOONAN, AUTHOR, "THE CASE AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON": Hello, Bernie. Thank you for having me on.
SHAW: Hello there. It's good to have you on.
NOONAN: Thank you. SHAW: I checked Webster's Ninth and it said that polemic is "an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another."
What do you fear most about Mrs. Clinton?
NOONAN: Well, I don't fear her, but I disagree with her on so much. And I must tell you, when I finally realized she was going to run in new York, that it was not a joke and not merely a rumor, I strongly felt that this was the beginning of something very big in our national life, and that is the continuance of Clintonism in American history.
You know, Bernie, usually in American history presidents and first ladies have served there four or eight years and gone off to some sort of retirement, sort of an "up on the mountaintop" sort of life is what they have lived, and they have talked somewhat dispassionately and with a high sense of justice of what is happening in America and what ought to be happening.
When it finally occurred to me that the Clintons were not leaving, that in fact they would never leave, that in fact now the carrier of Clintonism will be Hillary Clinton in New York, and it does not seem to me at all to be doubted that in the year 20204, if Mr. Gore does not win the presidency or 2008 if he does, that Mrs. Clinton as the senator from New York will be able -- will really be perfectly positioned to move on the presidency, which people around her have said in the past was certainly part of her plan -- they don't say it anymore. They've kind of dummied up. But in the past in less discreet moments, they have talked about it.
SHAW: If this scenario were to unfold, as you just ticked it off, would that be a crime?
NOONAN: Would it be a crime? Well, I think there are a lot of crimes we ought to be talking about here actually.
I think that the continuance of Clintonism in American national life is not a good thing at all. Let me define "Clintonism" for you.
SHAW: I was just about to ask you.
NOONAN: I had a feeling, Bernie! I think it is definable by speaking of two central areas. The first is an area of missed opportunities, missed opportunities because of a lack of seriousness and an almost compulsive cynicism on the part of the Clintons about what can be attained in terms of public policy.
SHAW: And the second part?
NOONAN: The second part is scandal, corruption, the disheartening sense that anybody who has $50,000 can walk into the White House, give it to the Clintons, and get waivers on their technology to sell to China to be used in the China military, which might be used ultimately against our children only a few years from now. So I think this is all very serious.
SHAW: I quote to you these words that you wrote: "I think Mrs. Clinton should not be given any more power, because somehow she never helps anybody with it but herself."
SHAW: Did you write that sentence...
NOONAN: I do think that.
SHAW: ... with the idea of fairness in mind?
NOONAN: Well, I must tell you I wrote a polemic, as you know. You well-defined the term. This is my point of view. The news in this book is that in a way I wanted to write something that people who are opposed to Hillary could hold in their hands and say, this is why I feel as I do. And that those who are at least, if I don't get to change any minds, at least those who are very much in support of Mrs. Clinton might be able to look at this book and see why those of us who support her support her.
SHAW: Well, I have spent...
NOONAN: You say it's unfair, it is opinion, Bernie. It is strong, rather sharply stated opinion. It is very much my viewpoint.
SHAW: Is it accurate?
NOONAN: But I base it on the facts.
SHAW: Is it accurate?
NOONAN: Oh, I believe it is. Oh, I believe, Bernie, that it is.
SHAW: This quote. Quote: "She is too corrupt for New York. She is too cynical for the place that gave birth to Tammany Hall."
Now, really, Peggy!
NOONAN: Oh, Bernie, don't you think that's true after eight years of watching these folks? If you go all the way back to Travelgate, which was really an astonishing and painful event in which seven guys who worked in the White House who you probably know well for decades were unceremoniously removed from their offices, had the IRS and the FBI sicced on them, were smeared in the press, were abused -- and the answer, as always, was, we had nothing to do with it.
SHAW: I've got to ask you about this.
NOONAN: Then it comes out that they had plenty to do with it. That's only the first of many scandals. I'm sorry to be going on here, Bernie.
SHAW: No, no. I've got to ask you about this, because it really riles me. Quote: "Few in the elite media, the networks and big stations and national magazines and big newspapers will press Mrs. Clinton on the allegations of scandal that have is marked her time in the White House" -- unquote.
NOONAN: Oh, I think that is so true.
SHAW: Are you saying the journalists covering her are patsies? They're not professional?
NOONAN: I didn't say...
SHAW: Is that what you're really saying?
NOONAN: No, I'll tell you, Bernie, I didn't say patsy. I don't call names. There are reasons for that. But let me tell you...
SHAW: Well, but you imply...
NOONAN: Let me tell you...
SHAW: But you imply that everybody covering this woman, who is a candidate for the United States Senate from New York, is a lackey.
NOONAN: You know what I am saying...
SHAW: I should think some men and women in the press corps would take umbrage to that.
NOONAN: I am saying -- well, you know, they haven't yet. Perhaps they will.
Let me tell you what I'm saying: Mrs. Clinton comes into my great state and my great city surrounded with a Secret Service cordon that is 12-feet wide. Reporters cannot get to her. They cannot interview her, as you well know. She will not do a live interview probably on your show unless she knows the stuff in advance and she knows that you're very friendly. This is a very controlled environment, a very unusual one. If you want to ask any other politician a question, you can more or less get it to them. But with Mrs. Clinton you know that that is not so.
SHAW: Let me say...
NOONAN: That is only the first structural problem. After that I think there are problems of sympathy.
SHAW: OK. OK. At this point, our time has run out. Just a few seconds...
NOONAN: Oh, I'm sorry.
SHAW: Well, that's OK. This has been very interesting. Just a few seconds to tell our viewers, the book is "The Case Against Hillary Clinton," author Peggy Noonan. Thank you for joining us on INSIDE POLITICS.
NOONAN: Bernie, thank you for having me on.
SHAW: You're quite welcome.
Now for another perspective on Mrs. Clinton, we're joined now by Jodi Allen of "U.S. News & World Report." You sat there. You heard. You saw. I couldn't see your facial expressions, but what do you think?
JODI ALLEN, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": Well, Bernie, I think that the author is a brilliant writer, is well-advised to acknowledge upfront that this is a polemic. This is a screed. It's an impassioned pitch to people who already share her viewpoint. And she acknowledges that, that she's not likely to change many minds with this book that really isn't a book. It's 181 pages of emotional outpouring, and only as clever a writer as Peggy Noonan could have gotten away with it at all.
SHAW: Well, the reaction to Mrs. Clinton seems to be electric very early in this campaign.
ALLEN: There's no question, Bernie, that Hillary Clinton, as I think Ellen Goodman put it very well the other day, Hillary Clinton is running against Hillary Clinton, and people have very strong views either pro or con. But not everybody's mind is made up, and we've seen that in the polls in the last few days where she's pulled ahead of Giuliani for the first time. Now partly, that's because of Mr. Giuliani's own problems, which you were talking about before. She's very lucky in her opponent.
But I think that she is, actually, changing minds on her own. As she's gone through upstate New York talking to people, they've seen what a very good speaker she is, what a very heartfelt speaker she is, and they are beginning to listen to what she has to say.
SHAW: Can this woman rally her Democratic base in that race?
ALLEN: Well, the numbers now would suggest she can rally enough of it. She doesn't do as well among, for example, women as you would expect a Democratic woman to do. So there's no question she's got an uphill battle here among some parts of the constituency that you would think would just tumble her way. She is controversial. And obviously, many of the things that Peggy Noonan points to in the book offend a certain number of people.
They see her as a self-promoter and so on. And yet, that kind of criticism -- that she runs a controlled campaign, that she is messianic (ph), that she's driven -- gee, show me the politician who isn't. It seems to me there's a little sexism going on here.
SHAW: Well, Jodi Allen, as we leave you, what do you think is going to happen in this race?
ALLEN: At the moment, I think that Hillary Clinton is going to win or at least that Giuliani is going to defeat himself.
SHAW: OK, Jodi Allen at "U.S. News & World Report," thanks very much.
ALLEN: Glad to be here, Bernie.
SHAW: These have been some very interesting past eight or nine minutes. When INSIDE POLITICS returns, Pat Choate's court victory: Will it be enough to end the bitter factional fighting in the Reform Party? And they're off and running for the White House, but who will they tap as running mates? We're going to check out the ods on some possible candidates.
SHAW: One day after a federal judge upheld his chairmanship, Pat Choate pledged today to stabilize the fractured Reform Party.
But as CNN's Beth Fouhy reports, he is facing a major challenge before the November election.
BETH FOUHY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like so many other dysfunctional families, the Reform Party was forced to settle its squabbles in court.
But with a federal judge ruling that the ouster of one-time party chairman Jack Gargan was legal, former Ross Perot running mate Pat Choate has won full jurisdiction over the party. Along with some $12.6 million in federal money the party is eligible to receive, Choate inherits a wealth of problems that may take much more than a federal judge to solve.
PAT CHOATE, CHAIRMAN, REFORM PARTY: We're many months away from the election. We have ample time to pull this party together and to repair any damages.
FOUHY (on camera): For Pat Choate, that means restoring the reputation of a party that has become something of a national laughingstock.
(voice-over): He plans to move the party headquarters to Washington. And like one-time Reform Party leader Jesse Ventura, Choate says he'll use the Internet to raise as much as $1 million in short order.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is the victory of a messenger who is a reformer with results.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will fight for political reform.
FOUHY: But Choate faces other battles.
One, staying relevant in a world where both major party candidates claim to embody Reform Party goals.
CHOATE: The challenge that I put today to Al Gore and to George W. Bush is finance your campaigns with the public monies, do not take soft monies into your campaign.
FOUHY: And for a party thus far defined by personalities, voters may find the image of its likely next standard-bearer might take some getting used to.
PAT BUCHANAN (REF), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think it's very good news to the party. Pat Choate is a tremendously respected figure in the party.
FOUHY: Pat Buchanan may well be the biggest beneficiary of Pat Choate's new role. Choate supports Buchanan and defends his views on social issues, which in part caused Governor Ventura to abandon the party altogether.
CHOATE: His positions on trade, his positions on immigration, on foreign policy are identical with those of the Reform Party.
FOUHY: Even better for Buchanan, the man who started it all is most likely to sit it out this time.
RUSS VERNEY, FORMER CHAIRMAN, REFORM PARTY: I think it would take nothing short of a miracle for Ross Perot to run for president again.
FOUHY: Finally, there's the vanquished Jack Gargan, who says he'll find new ways to stay active in the cause of reform. But even his Web site seems to say that for now the Reform Party has other battles to fight.
Beth Fouhy, CNN, Washington.
SHAW: Thanks to the recent primaries, we know who the presidential candidates will be for the Republican and Democratic parties. But who are the possible running mates and what are their odds of getting on the ticket?
Well, earlier this afternoon, I talked about that with Ron Faucheux of "Campaigns and Elections" magazine.
SHAW (on camera): Let's go to the Republican side for your "veep" list -- Elizabeth Dole?
RON FAUCHEUX, "CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS" MAGAZINE: Well, Elizabeth Dole would be the top choice at this point, because she is a woman, she would give the ticket an opportunity to make history. And at the same time she has the highest positive ratings of any possible candidate and the lowest positive -- and the lowest negative ratings of any possible candidate. So, that combination seems to be very strong for the Republicans this year.
SHAW: Republican governor from Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge. FAUCHEUX: Well, Ridge would be a very strong candidate if Bush is looking to pick up a state. Pennsylvania has a lot of electoral votes. It's considered to be something of a "swing state." Ridge is a Catholic pro-choice governor. It would give him a chance to show that he is not within the clutches of the Christian right, and at the same time he could pick up a big state and a governor.
So there's a lot of strong things about Ridge that would recommend him.
SHAW: Retired General Colin Powell, and Ron, why do you say he would constitute a dramatic play by Governor Bush?
FAUCHEUX: Well, it would be a dramatic play, because Colin Powell has said he wouldn't accept the vice presidency. He has said for the last five years now that he doesn't want to run for public office. So if he was offered it and he accepted, it would be considered a dramatic move and it would be a big surprise.
I think the odds are still against Colin Powell accepting it, but I think given the crises atmosphere of the moment, as you can have going into a convention, I'm not so sure that we should count him out yet.
SHAW: Now, on your list of outsiders, you've got a governor, George Pataki of New York. You have two senators, Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar.
FAUCHEUX: Well, George Pataki, of course, is from a big state. One of the advantages for the Republicans if Pataki is taken is that it has nothing to do with presidential politics, it has a lot to do with Senate politics. It would make it more difficult for Hillary Clinton to win the Senate race, which a lot of Republicans would like to accomplish. And Pataki also accomplishes for Bush many of the same things that Ridge would accomplish in terms of being a pro-choice governor from a large Northeastern state.
Dick Lugar, the senator from Indiana, would be a solid, safe choice, good foreign policy experience, a former mayor of a city, of a large city, Indianapolis. He's not a particularly exciting campaigner. But somebody once said that you don't win votes with a vice presidential candidate if you pick the right one. You lose if you pick the wrong one. And Lugar would be the kind of safe choice that somebody like Bush would look at.
SHAW: Looking at your list of possible choices for Vice President Al Gore on the Democratic side, topping the list, California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
FAUCHEUX: Well, the threshold question for both the Republicans and the Democrats is whether or not they'd want to put a woman on the ticket. About 40 percent of the male governors in this country now have female lieutenant governors. So it seems to be a trend to have a male and a female as ticket mates.
I think it's very possible that both sides will ultimately pick women, and with that Dianne Feinstein would top the list at this point.
There are some complications to that. For instance, she has to run for re-election to the Senate this year, and as a result of that, many Democrats don't think she would be the candidate. But at this stage of the game, I would still put her high on the list, because she does represent the largest state in the country, she is an experienced campaigner, and she would probably be considered at the top of any list of possible women candidates for the Democrats.
SHAW: California with pivotal electoral votes too.
FAUCHEUX: Sure, absolutely.
FAUCHEUX: And then the next candidate we have would be Evan Bayh on the Democratic side. If Gore doesn't feel like he needs to put a woman on the ticket, then he would be free to pick somebody like Senator Bayh, who for him exactly what he was with Bill Clinton, a reinforcing choice.
SHAW: And then you move from the Midwest to the East Coast, Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
FAUCHEUX: Well, Lieberman would be an interesting choice, because it would sort of get Gore out of this campaign finance tangle that he's in now. Lieberman has a reputation of being independent, a man of integrity. The big question is whether Gore wants to pick somebody who helps him in the whole country or whether he wants to cherry pick electoral votes in specific states.
SHAW: Now, looking at your Democrats, who are outsiders on your list, you've got a Cabinet officer, Bill Richardson, a governor, Howard Dean, and a Florida senator, Bob Graham.
FAUCHEUX: Again, it depends on whether or not Gore wants to go for a reinforcing choice or pick electoral votes. If they want to go after Florida's electoral votes, then obviously Bob Graham, the senator, would be the ideal choice. Howard Dean, I think, would be an attractive national candidate, as would Bill Richardson. Of course, Richardson is now sort of on the throes of this gasoline price issue. If it's revolved in his favor, it could make him a hot contender.
SHAW: Ron Faucheux, it'll be interesting to see the outcome in how your lists stack up with the selections of the vice president and the governor. Thank you.
FAUCHEUX: Thank you.
SHAW: Coming up next on INSIDE POLITICS, Kate O'Beirne and Mark Shields will join us for a discussion.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SHAW: Joining us now with their takes on this day's political news, from CNN's "CAPITAL GANG" syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Kate O'Beirne of "The National Review."
New York Democratic Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
MARK SHIELDS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Fascinating. I mean, let me just begin by saying she is to the Republicans what Newt Gingrich was to the Democrats: I mean, their best hope for fund raising. You have one candidate in this race who is pro-choice, pro-legalization of partial birth abortion, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights, and he's backed by every conservative in the country, and that's Rudy Giuliani. That's how much -- that's how much of a galvanizing force, Bernie, she is for conservatives and Republicans.
They don't care that Rudy Giuliani is to the left of the entire Senate caucus. They -- he's running against Hillary Clinton; therefore, he's all virtuous. It's an amazing, amazing political transformation.
SHAW: What do you think of that, Kate?
KATE O'BEIRNE, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, if the only issues were guns and abortions, there's a lot of similarity on those issues between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Conservatives, though, do recognize, given their enthusiastic support of Rudy, there are differences on taxes and crime, and even funding blasphemous art, there are some differences, Mark.
But there is no doubt about it. It is a very big race: not just for conservatives, for liberals too. The election of Hillary Clinton in New York is a, to an extent, vindication of the Clinton years. Liberals desperate to vindicate the Clinton years are going to be pouring a lot of resources into that race, and conservatives, loathe to see the Clinton years vindicated, are going to hope she's defeated in a Democratic state.
SHAW: Well, what about the picture that Peggy Noonan, the author of the new book, pained here on INSIDE POLITICS just a few moments ago and also on the pages of her book that if Mrs. Clinton is elected to the Senate, it's not a one-stop deal, that she has the idea of becoming president of the United States. Does that also electrify, energize conservatives?
O'BEIRNE: I think it does. I think an awful lot subscribe to that theory given Hillary's history. She is a very politically ambitious individual. Many people think that she's applied the ambition to Bill Clinton's talents when they originally married some 25 years ago. So I guess that is a part of it.
I have had conservatives tell me, though, that they think the whole race is a win-win: Either she is defeated...
SHAW: The what?
O'BEIRNE: The Clinton race, the Hillary Clinton race in New York is a win-win. Either she's defeated and humiliated in a Democratic state, which they think is justly deserved, or she winds up in the Senate. And given that Ted Kennedy is getting a little long in the tooth, to be the kind of person that conservatives raise money by talking about, they figure they'll raise a fortune helping Trent Lott, or whoever the majority leader is, fight against Hillary Clinton.
SHIELDS: Bernie, they've demonized Hillary Clinton beyond recognition. The Republican state chairman of New York, Bill Powers, says this is our best chance to stop another Clinton from taking the White House, not from winning the White House, not from running for the White House, from taking the White House. What do they think the American people are, so many sheep?
I mean, she's the only candidate of the two who has said she's going to serve out her six-year term. Rudy Giuliani is running for the United States Senate for one simple reason: He wants to be governor and he's term-limited as mayor. So he's got to do something in between. He's got to have the hold (ph) button somewhere, and that's the whole story.
But I mean, they have got this thing about Hillary. They've got Hillary into her second term already. She's running for the United States Senate, and I think the American voters are capable of making judgments and they have some discretion. They decide who they want to be president or not to be president. But this has -- this has become a fund-raising -- Kate's put her finger on it. It's a fund-raising device for the right.
O'BEIRNE: Although a lot of people see blond ambition there too. They do.
SHAW: Did you say blond?
O'BEIRNE: Blond ambition.
SHAW: Interesting phrase.
Come election night, November 7th, are we in the news media going to be fixated on two races, the presidential race and the one in the New York Senate?
SHIELDS: Yes, I think there's a good chance. I mean, I think this Senate race is a terrific race. Obviously, it's in the media capital in New York, and you've got two candidates, both of whom have negative ratings, Bernie, somewhere around 45 percent. So you basically the undecided vote in New York is down to about 11 people. It would actually be cheaper to take each of them to dinner rather than to have campaign ads running from now until November. But it will be -- it will be the premier Senate race in the country.
SHAW: A very interesting development today on the Republican side. I don't know how much notices it's going to get. But former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes endorsing his party leader, his ticket leader, Governor George Bush.
O'BEIRNE: I think two things to note about it. Steve Forbes is a serious conservative and he recognizes what the stakes are in November, and the stakes are awfully high given the choice between Al Gore and George Bush. And secondly, because George Bush has been looking over his shoulder at Steve Forbes -- some of George Bush's policies already reflect Steve Forbes' kinds of thinking on education and some health care policy, on taxes.
And so I think he has the benefit of looking at some of George Bush's policies, and anticipating hopefully when he flushes out more that there will be a Forbes flavor to some of George Bush's policies.
SHIELDS: Steve Forbes proves the rule of American politics: A souffle you can't -- can't rise twice. I mean, he was a serious candidate in '96, never emerged in 2000 as a serious candidate, and large part, Bernie, he was intimidated by the Bush folks. The Bush folks kept saying, watch for those negative ads, watch for those negative ads. He was on the defensive. There was never -- he was the dog that didn't bark in this campaign.
And I think once -- the other thing that the Forbes campaign proved, and that is the silver bullet of American politics for conservatives, the tax cut -- didn't work for Pete DuPont in '88, didn't work for Jack Kemp in '88. Didn't work for Bob Dole in '96 or Steve Forbes in '96. Isn't working for George Bush in 2000.
At some point, they've got to come to the conclusion, say maybe this dog isn't hunting anymore.
O'BEIRNE: I think he also showed that it's not also just money, because he did have fabulous resources and it takes more than that. He never convinced voters that he was viable, not having held elective office. But he is the idea guy in the Republican Party, and I think some of his ideas are being reflected by George Bush.
SHAW: Guess what? Time is giving us the hook.
SHIELDS: Son of a...
SHAW: Kate O'Beirne...
SHIELDS: America's crying.
SHAW: ... Mark Shields, thanks very much.
SHIELDS: Thank you, Bernie.
O'BEIRNE: Thanks, Bernie.
SHAW: Quite welcome.
Well, that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you again tomorrow when our Jennifer Auther will report on how the presidential race is shaping up in California. And of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.
I'm Bernard Shaw. Be back in a few seconds with "WORLDVIEW," which is next.
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