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Larry King Live Weekend

Democrats Count Down to National Convention in L.A.

Aired August 12, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Al Gore on the campaign trail to Los Angeles and his nomination at the Staples Center. They're almost set for the second national political convention in L.A. history. The first: JFK in 1960.

It's all next in this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, at the 43rd Democratic National Convention.

Welcome to Los Angeles, California, and the site of the Democratic National Convention. This is a live edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Normally, on Saturday nights, we're on tape. All next week, Monday through Thursday, we will be with you twice nightly, live at 6:00 and 9:00 Pacific Time, 9:00 and midnight Eastern Time. That's two shows live nightly Monday through Thursday and Hillary Clinton will be one of the guests on Monday night.

We again with Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Convention Committee. He was national co-chair for Clinton- Gore in 96. He's put this whole thing together. You played golf with the president this morning?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION CHAIRMAN: I went out for a couple of holes. I got three holes in, and then I got called off.

KING: With the Republican mayor of Los Angeles.

MCAULIFFE: Dick Riordan, who's been, you know, a big supporter of ours out here, couldn't have done it without Dick Riordan's efforts, and I'm hoping he's going to head up Republicans for Al Gore.

KING: Have you got a shot at that?

MCAULIFFE: I'm working him hard, Larry.

KING: You are? You're not kidding?

MCAULIFFE: Every day I work him.

KING: The Democrats stayed strong -- even though you had a Democratic mayor in Philadelphia, he did not desert.

MCAULIFFE: No, but he has said great things about Vice President Gore. I think there's a shot we get him. He's a very progressive mayor, and I think, you know, we've got a shot at it. KING: OK, we knew the Republicans aim was to get everything done in time. They got they are message across, and they were done at 11 every time Eastern Time. What's the role here?

MCAULIFFE: Same thing. We plan on finishing up here at 8:00 every evening.

KING: Pacific Time.

MCAULIFFE: Pacific Time. And 8:00 on Wednesday night after we do the roll call. So on Wednesday night, we'll go a little bit longer to the roll call in the states, but we're going to have everybody in on prime time, and put on a great show, and talk about Al Gore and Joe Lieberman.

KING: Any worry about disruptions?

MCAULIFFE: No. Listen...

KING: None at all?

MCAULIFFE: We are going to have probably 20,000-30,000 demonstrators going to be here. Larry, they have every right to be here as anyone else. Under the First Amendment, bring them on, they have a right to have their voices heard. We're going to have demonstrators 30 feet outside the entrance to the Staples Arena. They're going to be able to talk to every person that comes in, every delegate, every press person. We welcome them. We're going to coexist peacefully out here.

But at the end of the day, the action is in here, the action is in the Staples arena -- Al Gore, Joe Lieberman.

KING: What's the mood of the president?

MCAULIFFE: He's pumped up, he's excited. As you say, I was with him today...

KING: Big speech Monday. Have you seen the speech?

MCAULIFFE: I may have glanced at a few lines and talked to him about a few lines. He's very excited. I mean, this is the last political convention he will be at as president, very nostalgic time for him, but listen, all he wants to do is to make sure Al Gore gets elected president and continues the policies we've had in this country over the course of the last eight years.

KING: The Republicans dispensed with a keynoter. You are going to have one.


KING: Tell us about the congressman.

MCAULIFFE: Well, we've got Harold Ford from Tennessee, a young, dynamic, African-American Congressman. And the great about our convention, Larry, is going to be -- and I talked about what happened at the Republican convention. I sort of call it an illusion of conclusion. They had a lot of people paraded across their podium, but they didn't have those people in the audience, that were true delegates, that were members of the Republican Party, that were minorities. Eighty-eight percent of their delegates were Caucasian.

Here, in Los Angeles, the Democratic Party, 37 percent of our delegates minorities, 50 percent are women. We are going to have people on our podium as the people who sit out in the audience, real people talking about real issues. How did the last eight years affect your life? But more importantly, what's going to happen over the next eight years with the great $1.8 trillion budget surplus? How is Al Gore going to deal with that? Those are the things we are going to talk about.

KING: John McCain got his spot in the limelight. Will Bill Bradley?

MCAULIFFE: He is. Bill Bradley is speaking Tuesday night, along with Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, as well as Reverend Jackson and Senator Kennedy, they're all speaking on Tuesday evening.

KING: And Tommy Lee Jones, his old roommate, right, is the going to be one of the introducers, right?

MCAULIFFE: Right. We're going to spend a lot of time -- what we want to do out here is talk to the American public about Al Gore and who is Al Gore. What has he done over the course of the last 25 years of his life? We want to talk with his friends who served with him in Vietnam. We want to talk with friends who grew up with him, who served with him in the Congress, in the Senate, and has known himself as vice president. He has had a great career, a fantastic career of helping America's working families, and that's what we're going to highlight.

KING: The Republicans have asked the networks to give the exact time to this convention as was given to the Republicans. What's the reaction of the chairman?

MCAULIFFE: Well, I feel bad for the poor Republicans. They're worried that we may get more time. The problem, Larry, at the end of the day is, we are going to talk about real issues here. This is not going to be a show like they put on in Philadelphia.

KING: Do you support that move, though? Should the networks cut away at 11:00?

MCAULIFFE: Of course not. I hope we get double the time that we got in Philadelphia. Listen, we have more things to talk about. We talk about issues. Governor Bush's address on Thursday evening, everyone is talking about the economy. Well, you know what, we are going to spend a lot of time talking about the economy, because we have a great economy, 22 million new jobs, but that's what affects Americans working families every day, let's talk about it. And if the networks say, you know, maybe we ought to talk about the economy and listen to it, then let's do it.

KING: Couple of other things. This costs a lot of money. Is it really worth it? Do you need a convention? We know who the nominees are. We have a primary system. Why?

MCAULIFFE: But I think what it does is gives you four days to highlight your party, four days to highlight your nominee, hopefully the focus the American public on who is going to be the next president of the United States and what issues they are going to deal with. So it's a good opportunity for, at one point, for the nominee to come on and have center stage and talk about those issues that that person wants to lead this country and be president. I would argue, maybe you had don't need four days. Maybe you could do it in two or three days, and I think we probably ought to look at that, I think on both sides.

But conventions are good. It brings delegates together. It brings all your party people together. There is such enthusiasm. We have 35,000 people, Larry, coming into town starting today. There is enthusiasm all over this city for the Gore-Lieberman ticket. So it's great to get everybody here, get them pumped up and energized for the election.

KING: And is the public watching?

MCAULIFFE: I think they will. We have gone to great extent to get the public watching. Besides the network, we have really done an awful lot of work to try and get on the Internet this time. We are going to have cameras all over this Staples arena. They are going to be in the makeup room. We're going to have a chatroom. When a speakers finished, they're going to go downstairs and get on the Internet and talk to the different speakers. We want to make this the most open, accessible convention ever in the history of American politics, and we're working hard to that.

KING: Thanks, Terry.

MCAULIFFE: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of this Democratic National Convention for the year 2000. When

we come back, we'll talk with William Daley. He's campaign chairman, former secretary of commerce. His brother is the mayor of Chicago, his father the late mayor of Chicago; and Alexis Herman, the secretary of labor. They're both next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


KING: Getting ready here in Los Angeles at the brand new Staples Center. We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Alexis Herman. She's the 23rd secretary of labor in this country's history, a major adviser to Gore and was chief executive officer at the 1992 Democratic convention, which nominated successfully the Clinton-Gore ticket; and William Daley, campaign chairman for Gore-Lieberman 2000, former secretary of commerce, son of the late Chicago mayor, brother of the current Chicago mayor. We'll start with Bill Daley.

Why did you give up secretary of commerce?

WILLIAM DALEY, GORE 2000 CHAIRMAN: Because I think my friend Al Gore is in a race that's important to America. I believe in him. I know him, and I think he will be a great president, and we all have a vested interest in making sure that America remains strong and that the sort of policies that have occurred the last eight years continue.

KING: Was it a no-question decision?

DALEY: It was not easy to leave the cabinet. It's a wonderful job, as my former colleague here, Alexis, knows, but having the opportunity to play a part of history, and help a friend and help America at the same time is a great opportunity.

KING: Madame Secretary, is that correct? Madam secretary, labor -- I mean, you're toasting all the jobs that have been created, but what about the protests that are occurring here, union protests? We've got a strike had a hotel, at the Loews in Santa Monica. We've got workers in local unions protesting. How do you deal with that? Because you represent them.

ALEXIS HERMAN, LABOR SECRETARY: Well, we deal with it the way we've always dealt with it in the Democratic Party. We believe in the collective-bargaining process, Larry. we stand with workers and their right to organize.

And quite frankly, many of the demonstrations and protests that are taking place, we're very much aware of them. We support the right of workers to organize, and the issues at the Loews, they're not striking. It's "drive to organize" day, and so they went to get the message out.

KING: So they use the party that supports them to get it out.

HERMAN: Well, they're using the convention certainly to get the message out, that they believe in the right of workers to organize, and they know that these are issues that we support.

KING: You were born into politics. You chaired a convention. What did you make of the Republicans in Philadelphia?

DALEY: I think they put out a nice show. I think there was a disconnect between the sort of policies that they talked about and what they've done in Congress over the last number of years, and there was a disconnect between what was showcase as representing the Republican Party and the policies of the Republican Party, and what we've seen in the past. But as far as the show was concerned, it looked like a fairly decent show that not a lot of people watched.

KING: Why isn't Gore getting credit for the accomplishments of this administration, do you think? Or apparently not getting credit?

HERMAN: Well, I believe after this convention that the American people are going to see the real Al Gore. I think that we're going hear more about his record and what he has done to help give us an economy that's generated over 22 million jobs. I know how hard he fought for a balanced budget and for all of the investments that we made in education and training. And this convention is going to highlight Al Gore and his fight for working families.

KING: But shouldn't we know him? He's been vice president for eight years.

HERMAN: You know, it's interesting, Larry, I think we know who he is, but I don't believe we fully appreciate all that he has done. And this convention is going to do a very good job of highlighting his accomplishments.

KING: Why don't we, Bill?

DALEY: I think there's a lot to be said for the fact that the vice presidency really does make one play second fiddle, and the election of a president is about leadership. If you go back to when President Bush was vice president running for president in this time in 1988, he was 17 points behind his opponent. A lot of the that was the fact that people really didn't know George Bush. When he went to his convention in '88, he had to tell people what he was about, even though he had been vice president for eight years. And he had to tell people he was in the Second World War, had to tell people about his career, tell them about his family, do all of those things that we have the challenge of doing at this convention, and I think a lot of that is just by virtue of the vice presidency.

KING: So we're saying, Madame Secretary, Thursday is a very big night for Al Gore.

HERMAN: Thursday is a very big night, but every night of this convention is a big night for Al Gore, because each night, we will have the opportunity to tell the story of the fight that we have fought for working families in this country.

KING: Do you have any problem with the fact that the first night and all of this lead-up seems to be Clinton territory?

HERMAN: No. We think that the president is entitled to certainly to be here, to talk about the record of president and the vice president, and to thank the party, to thank them for their support, for standing with us in this administration. So it's very appropriate that the president of the United States be here on the opening night of this convention.

KING: And not taking anything away from the vice president in doing it?

HERMAN: No. It's very much a part of telling the story. And Monday night, we are going to talk about accomplishments of the first eight years.

KING: Are you surprised at being behind in the polls?

DALEY: No. I -- first of all, there are polls out there showing all sorts of movement. I think we ought to wait until the end of the convention, look at all the polls. I'm privy to some private polling that's been done that shows a very close race, one that's tightening over the last number of weeks. But I think there's a lot of the fluidity for a couple of reasons. One, I think the American people aren't really focused yet. I think they don't know a lot about they're candidate yet, that's why the campaign opportunities to specifically talk about issues. And then the debates will play a major role in letting the people know what these people stand for.

They're both good people. They're both people who have ideas. And the American people, I believe, want to hear the specifics. They don't want to just know whether a guy is a nice guy, or somebody's serious or somebody is a funny guy. They want to know whether or they can help solve working families' problems.

KING: We're going to get three debates, do you know?

HERMAN: I hope we'll get three debates. I think with Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney debating, that's one, and then combine the three debates for Al Gore and George Bush and I...


KING: Will they be decisive, do you think?

HERMAN: I think the debates will play a very important role, because the American people will get to focus on the issues and who will be the best leader, and they'll say see Al Gore as the next president of the United States.

KING: We're going to ask both of our guests about Joseph Lieberman in a minute, and then we're going to show you how we cover the convention. And still more to come on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, live on this Saturday night in Los Angeles. Two shows nightly all next week, Monday through Thursday, kicking it off Monday night with Hillary Clinton, and Cher is going to drop by.

Don't go away.


KING: We're in the CNN booth. Actually, we're right on the, I think.

OK, what did you make, Alexis -- madam secretary, forgive me, of Joseph Lieberman's selection? And I know you're not going to say you were disappointed. But what did you make of it, really?

HERMAN: I think the selection of Joe Lieberman for the ticket was one of the greatest choices that the vice president could have made. Not only is it historic, but it certainly fits, I think, everything that the vice president said that he wanted in his partner, someone who could be president should that unfortunate incident occur, someone who shared his vision and his values, and at the end of the day, recognizing that this is a partnership, someone you have to work closely with, and this is clearly someone the vice president is comfortable with, and all of that matters.

KING: Were you, frankly, surprised?

DALEY: No, I wasn't. The truth of the matter is one of the first conversations I had with Al Gore after I was asked to be chairman and we started to talk about vice presidential candidates, that was the first name he mentioned to me.

KING: Really?

DALEY: Absolutely, first name. I said, let's run through the list. And he didn't start alphabetically; he started with Joe Lieberman. And he said, you know, this is somebody I've known a long time, somebody I have tremendous confidence in, I like him, I think we would make a good team, not about the campaign right off the bat, talking about governing. And it stuck in my mind as we went through a whole number of iterations, and then the final evening, and then I went back thinking that was the first thing he mentioned; there was a reason to that.

KING: Maybe no two people would know ethnic politics as well as the two of you. How is the Jewish thing going affect this race, do you think? You have no way of knowing.

HERMAN: Well, I really believe that the American people are going look at Joe Lieberman's leadership, what he offers this country, his record of public service, and I think that while it's historic that we have the first Jewish-American at the top of the ticket, at the end of the day, I believe that we are going say it's not just about making history, it's about making a difference, and they're going to see a Joe Lieberman as the man who can do battle.

KING: What do you think?

DALEY: I agree with Alexis. I think it is unclear right now. But the fact of the matter is, Joe Lieberman's history, the issues he's fought for in Connecticut on behalf of working families of Connecticut, when that story is told about the things he's done, the way he's approached government politics, obviously, we all look to people's character and integrity as important in whatever profession there in today, and Joe Lieberman has that, and it's been noted for years about this man. It isn't something that just happened in the last year or two. His integrity, his character, his faith, which is an important part of his life is not something that he was born on, but he doesn't run from it either, because it's real.

KING: The fact that he has such faith, will that overwhelm the fact that the faith is not the predominant faith in this country?

DALEY: No, I don't think faith and his beliefs -- religious beliefs -- are going ton to be an issue in this campaign.

KING: You don't?

DALEY: No. I think at the beginning as people come to know Joe Lieberman, as the media have looked at him the last five days, that's been an important part, obviously, of your focus as the press has looked at him, But when we get out of convention, Joe Lieberman's speech on Wednesday about the issues that matter to working families and the things that he and Al Gore can do the in the future, that's really what it's going to deal with.

HERMAN: And I think it's like what John Kennedy said. He said, you know, I'm not a Catholic who's running for president. I'm running for president, who happens to be a Catholic.

KING: The Teamsters worked hard in Philadelphia -- the Republicans worked hard in Philadelphia courting the Teamsters. How are Democrats going to deal with Mr. Hoffa and his crew?

HERMAN: We're going to work hard to win the votes of organized labor with every labor union, including the Teamsters, and I believe at the end of the day, that the Teamsters and that the rank and file of organized labor will stand with the party that has stood for working families in this country.

KING: Thank you both so much.

HERMAN: Thank you.

DALEY: Take care of yourself.

KING: William Daley and Alexis Herman, the chairman of this campaign and the secretary of labor.

When we come back, we're going to talk with Candy Crowley and Wolf Blitzer from down on their floor. From where they're positioned, they're going to tell you how they do what they do.

And lots more to come. Don't go away.


KING: As we did in Philadelphia when the Republicans convened, we are going to take you behind the scenes with two of our top folks. Let's go down to Wolf Blitzer. He's on the podium. He's the CNN convention podium reporter. He's the host of "LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER." Tomorrow's guest is aforementioned Senator Lieberman.

OK, Wolf, where are you, and what will you be doing?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, I'm going to be here on the podium. The network reporters, the podium reporters, are going to be standing here. We're going to be trying to grab guests as they come and go from their speeches. Normally, we won't be able to do this. I'm going to show you what's going to happen, though. This is the door that's going to block us from leaving this podium area when we're here Monday night through Thursday night.

Most of the speakers will walk out of this door, they'll walk these couple steps here, and as they are walking by, we will try to grab them, if we can. Sometimes we'll have to get them afterwards, but as they're walking out to the floor to give their speeches, this is basically where they're going to be. They're putting the finishing touches right now -- somebody is practicing right now, looking at over. Mary Landrieu, Senator from Arkansas -- Louisiana, excuse me.

We're on LARRY KING. You're just rehearsing right now?

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Yes, they're giving me my marching orders for Monday. If I could just get my voice back, I'll be ready to go.

BLITZER: Pretty impressive podium.

LANDRIEU: It's beautiful, it's a beautiful center, and it's look like everyone is going to fit, and it's not too large, not too small, perfect.

Thank you.

BLITZER: Senator Landrieu from Louisiana, lovely state.

You know, one thing, Larry, that I should point, this podium -- and our viewers will recognize this as well -- is a lot different from the podium than was at Philadelphia at the Republican convention. They had those stairs, it was much lower to the ground. This is a traditional Democratic podium at a convention.

KING: And also more elevated seats we noticed behind you than were in Philadelphia, where the seats were mostly flat, until we went up to where we went upstairs. There were a lot of elevator seats.

BLITZER: A considerable difference.

KING: This is also a bigger floor, is it not?

BLITZER: Yes, the floor is bigger. It's a bigger -- Staples Center is bigger than the First Union Center was in Philadelphia. It just holds more people. It's a bigger floor. It was more compact at the United Center in Chicago four years ago.

KING: Now were you trying get a word with every speaker that comes off? Or how do you deal with that?

LANDRIEU: We won't try to get everybody. We'll try to get the big names, obviously, as they speak, but there are so many speakers and so many of them that we just can't talk to them. But the big guests, of course, we'll try to get a quick hit with, a few questions as they come or as they go.

KING: Including the president, we trust?

BLITZER: We'll try, see if he comes over. I doubt it, but we'll try.

KING: With you, Wolf, I wouldn't bet against it.

BLITZER: We'll try to be charming. I can tell you one thing, Larry, it used to be a lot more competitive in the old days when the three main networks -- the broadcast networks, were all over this story. Now they're not as competitive.

KING: Wolf Blitzer -- he's at the podium.

Now we go down the floor and Candy Crowley, CNN convention floor reporter and CNN senior political correspondent.

Tell us how you do what you do.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the thing about the conventions, Larry, is that you get a history with them. Many of us that were here have been here before, and each has its own special kind of flavor to it.

I wanted to tell you, you know, I started out the Republican convention chat with you, talking about the seating arrangement, and since we are going to give fair coverage to the Democrats just as we did to the Republicans, I thought I'd start out with seating arrangements.

KING: OK -- equal time.

CROWLEY: This is Texas, OK? I don't know if you remember where Texas was in the Republican convention.

KING: Very-well positioned.

CROWLEY: Yes, up front and center. Texas Democrats -- not a great year to be a Texas Democrat -- they get the nosebleed seats.

But we're going to wander sort of over toward in front, and you can even guess as to which delegation gets the up front and center seats here for this Al Gore convention.

KING: So it's Tennessee. Where is Connecticut?

CROWLEY: Well, right next door. We're sort of headed that way. I'm not sure -- I know the directors are following this, but again, on this convention floor, we have cameras all the way around, so they can shoot in and around, as well as what we call our "V-cameras," which are the guys on the floor. We're doing this because we can, because I can tell you when this convention starts, there's no way you can move like this. There's four of us making this trek over here. By the way going by California, which always gets front-row seats, 54 electoral seats, also the host.

So now I'm sort of right down from where Wolf was just talking to you, and we stopped at Tennessee. So they get the front-row seats.

There's Wolf.

KING: Are you on the floor through the whole thing?

CROWLEY: Yes, yes. And here's if good news -- the floor at this convention has a lot more give to it. By the way, you're looking at convention gear here. We all walked out of Philadelphia with heel problems, you know, arch problems, so they've got a softer floor here, which ought to be helpful, but we all have new tennis shoes as well, and very cool computers, by the way. I didn't see a lot of computers at the Republican convention, but they have in keeping with the color tones here sort of the gray.

KING: And what's that used for, those computers?

CROWLEY: Well, you know, they use it to keep in touch with one another. They use it to talk to other delegations in case something comes up, you know, that kind of thing.

KING: And as a television personality, do you get a lot of delegates coming over, saying, sign this, Candy?

CROWLEY: Yes, you get a lot of that. You also get a lot of people, especially at conventions, who have something they want to say, put me on TV, and I say, you know, it's really not as simple as all that. But you know, every once in a while you get somebody to say, that is great story. You work your delegations prior to Monday. I mean, we've been in touch with the delegations we're in charge of.

KING: Nobody does it better than you.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Larry.

KING: Candy Crowley, and earlier, Wolf Blitzer, giving you a little behind-the-scenes look at how we do things here at CNN.

When we come back, we'll talk with one of two men nominated from different wings of the Reform Party, and then Tucker Carlson and William Schneider.

We'll be right back.


KING: We are back.

Down the road a piece, in Long Beach, California, the Reform Party held its convention, leading us to say it say was chaotic, split into two divisions, with Pat Buchanan getting the nomination of one and John Hagelin getting the nomination of the other. And the Federal Election Commission is going to have to decide who is the candidate of the Reform Party.

John, you're the candidate of -- John Hagelin joins us now from Long Beach.

You're the candidate of the Natural Law Party. Why do you need two nominations?

JOHN HAGELIN (REF), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because my whole goal in this important campaign is to forge a powerful coalition of America's leading third parties, the Reform Party and the Natural Law Party to credibly challenge the two-party's stranglehold on our political process. KING: What, John, is your argument against them? What are you staying that Pat Buchanan did that made him not be candidate of your party?

HAGELIN: Pat Buchanan was disqualified by the leadership of the party about three weeks ago, when it was discovered he submitted a secret list of 500,000 ineligible voters in the Reform Party's primary, corrupting irreversibly the primary process. Since he could, therefore, receive no verifiable votes, the party leadership simply had to disqualify him, leaving me as the party's sole presidential nominee.

KING: And where are you, can you tell us, right now? Where is this? Are there -- is some -- is that commission going to decide fairly soon who is the nominee?

HAGELIN: Well, in effect, Larry, there are two parties. There's the Buchanan Reform that has split away, and there is the Reform Party that gave me their presidential nomination last night.

The Buchanan Reform took with them some of the Reform Party's state ballot access, but the majority of that ballot access, the majority of the party leaders, the grassroots supporters, the rank and file, are still here with the Reform Party. I have their nomination, but the FEC will have to decide which path gets the federal matching funds. That is almost inevitably ours.

KING: And when do you expected that decision?

HAGELIN: That could occur within a week or two weeks, but frankly, even with or without those money, money won't make or break the Reform Party. We have an incredibly vibrant, exploding campaign. Remember, this is the first powerful coalition of America's leading third parties.

KING: All right, but what happens -- what happens, John, let's say just for happenstance they get the money, and I'm a voter in Illinois. What will be on my ballot?

HAGELIN: Whoever gets the money doesn't matter as far as ballot access. He has done...

KING: You'll both be on the ballot?

HAGELIN: He will be on the ballot in 15 or 20 states. I will be on the ballot in 50 states, because I have the Reform Party's ballot access in about 25 or 30 and the Natural Law Party's ballot access in the rest. So no matter where you live, a person will be able to cast a vote for Hagelin-style Reform, which is an inclusive message and a broad-based platform.

KING: Are you saying there is no way Buchanan will be on in all 50 states -- no way?

HAGELIN: No way, no, because he left the party with only a fraction of his ballot access. It's too late to go back and get ballot access in the majority of states.

KING: And what, John, do you hope to prove when you run as a minority candidate? What's your goal?

HAGELIN: Third parties, minority parties, are responsible for the vast majority of everything we cherish in our democracy, the right of women to vote the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, worker's comp. These ideas and most others came from third-party movements, win or lose seats. Even if we get 5 or 10 million votes, we'll send the Republican and Democratic parties scrambling to co-opt our platform.

But we can do better than that in this campaign. We are poised on the verge of a grassroots brush fire of the same time that swept Jesse Ventura into office less than two years ago.

KING: John, we'll be seeing lots of you. Thanks so much for joining us.

John Hagelin one of two men nominated by different wings of the Reform Party. They'll make a decision on who gets the money. And he says they'll be on in every state and Pat Buchanan will be on on less. And I'm sure that will be disputed as well as we head into campaign 2000, where CNN is every minute.

Two of the best, Tucker Carlson and William Schneider will join us to wrap up. They'll be with us the remainder of the distance on LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't forget, Monday through Thursday next week, two live shows each night. And Monday night, among the guests will be Hillary Clinton and Cher and lots more coming all week.

We'll be right back with our buddies Tucker and Bill right after this.


KING: We're back, and we now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE two of the best, I guess pundits is the word, in the business. Tucker Carl;son of the staff of "The Weekly Standard," contributor to "Talk" magazine and CNN political analyst. And, of course, our own William Schneider, the CNN senior political analyst and also nationally syndicated columnist, as well -- he never gets credit for that, but he does turn out a heck of a -- what, twice a week you right that?

All right, Tucker, so far, how has -- has Lieberman helped Gore? Where are we in your opinion now?

TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": He definitely has helped Gore. I mean, he hasn't helped him, it turns out, as much in the polls as it seemed like he did at first, but I think he's -- the coverage of Gore -- I'm saying this as someone who's always thought there was, you know, a liberal leaning in the press -- has been very negative, I mean, it must be said. It has been. Reporters don't like Gore, by and large, and I'm not quite sure why. And I think it was vital that he break this kind of cycle of every story was about, you know, Gore campaign meltdown. He had to get out of that, and I think Lieberman did that for him.

KING: Because they like Lieberman?

CARLSON: Yes, everyone likes Lieberman. I mean, and the coverage of Lieberman is a bit over the top, I have to say.

KING: Republicans like Lieberman.

CARLSON: Everyone likes Lieberman. He's a charming guy. And the Gore people spent a lot of time saying, well, it's not about personality, it's not about likability. It actually is. Of course it is.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Where's the story? The only story in this election, really so far, the big story, was McCain. Now there's another story, which is Lieberman, the first Jewish candidate, Orthodox Jewish candidate on a national ticket. The press loves a story.lovers the story.

KING: But they're 3 percent of the population, Jewish people, correct?

SCHNEIDER: That's right.

KING: So to 97 percent of the people, why is this a story?

SCHNEIDER: Because it's never happened before. You know, it's something new. It's a person of a different faith, it makes a statement. It's something bold, risky -- and un-Gore like. He's not supposed to be bold and risky, he's supposed to be cautious and conventional.

KING: So I know you go out and talk to people pretty quickly about this.


KING: What are you hearing?

SCHNEIDER: Well, people are saying it's a good idea. They like it. I mean, it's not exactly overturning the race. I mean, look, Bush is still ahead by double digits. But it's caused people to take another look at Al Gore. Maybe we ought to think about this, because it's not the Al Gore they thought they knew.

KING: Do we know what -- I mean, can we tell -- Kennedy won in 1960, but we don't know how many people, do we, voted for him because he was Catholic or against him because he was Catholic? We never do know those things, do we?

CARLSON: No, we don't. We were actually just laughing about that...

SCHNEIDER: Because they're not going to tell you. CARLSON: Right, how do you do a poll of secret anti-Semitism.

KING: Yes, I'm anti-Semitic, and I voted against him.

CARLSON: Exactly. No, I mean, I just don't believe the idea that the religion of the vice presidential nominee is going to effect the race.

KING: At all?

CARLSON: I don't think so. I mean, I do think it's interesting, though, that if a -- if this was an evangelical Republican got out, was chosen by George W., and had given a speech where he thanked God, I mean, he'd be arrested. I mean, you know, people just wouldn't put up with it. I think they should put up with it. I thought it was great.

SCHNEIDER: And they're doing it very different from Kennedy in 1960. In 1960, the Democrats made a very serious effort here in L.A. to say his religion is irrelevant. He's not a person of deep faith.

KING: He went and spoke to all the ministers.

SCHNEIDER: Ministers, he said the church would not influence his views, let's -- it's irrelevant. But Joe Lieberman is really wearing religion on his sleeve. And Al Gore is promoting him as a Jewish candidate.

In a sense, it accomplishes some things. It says to the conservatives, if you are too harsh and personal, you will be accused of being intolerant. It says to the left, who may not like Lieberman's views, you have to celebrate this man as a symbol of inclusion, so don't get too critical of him. And it appeals to voters of faith. Religious voters, including fundamentalists Protestants, Orthodox Jews, observant Catholics have been drifting Republican in large numbers. The Democrats want to get them back.

KING: Can they?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Lieberman is one step. It's a first step by saying the Democratic Party is not the enemy of religion. Religious Americans like Joe Lieberman are welcome in our party.

KING: Tucker, it would be hard to remember a candidate selected so praised by the other party. Are they in betwixt in between here, the Republicans, of how do you deal with this?

CARLSON: Sure. I mean, you know, it's hard to see how you get any traction anyway out of criticizing the vice presidential nominee. I thought it was kind of a weird decision for the Democrats to spend a lot of the Republican convention beating up Cheney.

KING: Because they had Cheney votes. They had to say, he voted for this

CARLSON: Sure, absolutely, and I'm not saying the criticisms weren't fair. Strictly speaking, they were criticizing his record, and that is fair. But I'm just not certain people care ultimately. I mean, when it comes down to it, they are going to be voting for Bush or for Gore. And I just don't think...

KING: Do you think the vice president is -- except for maybe like Johnson running with Kennedy which got him Texas...


KING: ... immaterial?

CARLSON: Well, Unless he's a pedophile or something. Sure, I mean, I just don't think people care.

KING: A unique way of putting things, Tucker. I would say a pedophile, a pedophile would hurt. It would hurt.

CARLSON: I think it would, even in the new millennium.

SCHNEIDER: Let's take -- let me give you the extreme case: Dan Quayle. He proved that people don't vote for vice president, because people never thought he was qualified to be president, and they elected George Bush anyway.

KING: So even people voting for Bush weren't sure he was qualified to be president.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. They never thought he was qualified. And in 1996, they were even less -- in 1992, they were less convinced.

KING: All right, so why do we spend so much time talking about it?

SCHNEIDER: It's a story, and, you know, it is -- it shows something about the vice president's decision making. And in this case, it was clearly part of a strategy. Gore is doing what I call the "Tennessee Two-Step." He's got to embrace the Clinton record while distancing himself from Clinton's values.

Look what happened this week, the three stories. Lieberman, who has been the harshest critic of Clinton, gets on the ticket. And then Clinton gives this interview with ministers in which he says don't let my cooties get on Al Gore. And then this whole thing with Loretta Sanchez, the party goes and gets all in a twist over this because they're trying to de-Clintonize the Democratic Party just like the Republicans had to de-Gingrich their party.

KING: They want to de-Clintonize the bad part but not the good part.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, the bad part.

KING: They don't want to de-Clintonize the economy.

SCHNEIDER: No, no, no. They want to say, we want to run on, quote, this administration's record, but they don't want Clinton's values.

KING: Since Gore didn't sleep with an intern -- right?

CARLSON: Apparently not. We don't know yet.

KING: OK, OK -- why is he behind? Why isn't he getting credit for all the good? And you can't blame him for -- what did he have to do with all this?

CARLSON: That's a great point. I mean, I think part of it has to do with Al Gore's conception of himself. Do voters, I think, look at Gore and say, does this guy really know who he is? I mean, you see even in the apparent strategy Terry McAuliffe was saying, we want to present Gore as the man outside politics. We want to talk about his record before politics. Hey, he's been in office since 1976. He's spent his entire adult life on the public payroll.

KING: But he's very smart.

CARLSON: There's nothing wrong with that is my point, and yet they seem, the Gore people, seem uncomfortable with it. We want to talk about his time as a journalist or in Vietnam -- please.

SCHNEIDER: He didn't have a career.

CARLSON: Right, they're embarrassed of Al Gore, it sounds like.

KING: Why is he not liked?

SCHNEIDER: Because he's seen as too much of a politician. And that's where Clinton is a big problem for him, because what people don't like about Bill Clinton is he's totally driven by politics. Everything is politically calculated.

KING: He's got a 62 rating.

SCHNEIDER: He does. He's doing his job, and people give him credit for that, absolutely. But the one thing they don't like about Clinton is everything is too political. Clinton fatigue is politics fatigue, and Gore is suffering because everything he does, every calculation, every new invention of himself, seems to be politically driven. And that's why the most damaging thing that's happened to him all year was when he made that rather mild statement, let Elian Gonzalez stay in the U.S. There was a huge groan all over the country. It was totally driven by politics.

KING: But it was the same opinion as Governor Bush's. Why wasn't his opinion driven by politics?

CARLSON: Because it was consistent with the opinions of a lot of people within the Republican Party. Though I don't know. I mean, I hate to be put in the position of defending Al Gore, but truly, I mean, I don't think there was any evidence that that statement on Elian Gonzalez was any more political or any less than anything else Gore ever said.

SCHNEIDER: It was...

CARLSON: In fact, I think you could make the case..,

SCHNEIDER: That's the point.

CARLSON: You know, well that may be the point, but I though he gave a fairly cogent rationale.

KING: In other words, you're saying nobody believed him.

SCHNEIDER: Well, everyone thought it was a politically calculated move.

KING: You think they didn't believe him.

SCHNEIDER: They didn't believe him. Look, Clinton is famous...

CARLSON: They didn't agree with him. Fashionable people thought Gore's position on that was uncool, you know, that you shouldn't get worked up over Elian.

SCHNEIDER: No, no, no, no, no. It wasn't that it was uncool, it was that it was politically calculated. It was politically motivated. It was a break with the White House, like no controlling legal authority.

KING: We'll be right back with Tucker Carlson and Bill Schneider on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


KING: We were mentioning it off the air, let's mention it on. What does this do to Hillary...

CARLSON: Well...

KING: ... Lieberman coming on the ticket?

CARLSON: I have a little trouble buying the idea that because, you know, there's a Jewish vice presidential nominee that, you know, every Jewish voter in New York is going to vote in ways that they weren't going to vote previously. But apparently Mrs. Clinton...

KING: Turnout will be large, though.

CARLSON: Yes, but I think...

KING: You tend to take pride and you turn out.

CARLSON: Well, sure, but, I mean, my understanding is the turnout among Jewish voters is high already. I mean, you know...

KING: But I think the Catholic turnout in 1960 in New York was, like, 90 percent... SCHNEIDER: That's right.

KING: ... with John Kennedy on the ticket. So it will be a huge turnout. Wouldn't that benefit her?

SCHNEIDER: Of course it will. I mean, it will benefit her. I think it will benefit her...

KING: Benefit any Democrat.

SCHNEIDER: It will benefit her in New York a lot more than Al Gore. Jewish voters are -- what are they, 10, 15 percent of the voters in New York? They're going to turn out in large numbers. Even those Jews who are very liberal and disagree with Lieberman and some who are very conservative, there's just pride because he's an Orthodox Jewish candidate. It's going to be a big turnout. It'll be a big help for her, more than for Gore.

KING: What will, Tucker, in your opinion, a Lieberman-Cheney debate be like?

CARLSON: Oh, I think it will be great. I do. I mean, this...


CARLSON: I think it will be. I mean, I love debates. It's interesting when you listen to the Bush people talk about the debates, there's very much a "don't throw me in the briar patch" quality to it. I mean, Bush is saying, you know, I'm very concerned about the debates. Gore is a great debater. This is the way the Bush campaign always acts, always trying to lower expectations, always telling you that they're not going to get a bounce or anything. I think they think Bush is going to do well and that Cheney is going to do well.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, Bush doesn't have to win the debate, he just has to show that he's capable of standing up to Al Gore.

KING: He can't lose.

SCHNEIDER: He can't lose it. He can't say anything foolish or stupid. He can't make himself look like he's not up to the job. He's just got to come out looking credible, the same way Reagan had to with Jimmy Carter.

KING: Now Lieberman is the better political figure than Cheney, is he not? He's more adept with the camera? I mean, he's...

SCHNEIDER: Well, he's -- well, they've both been members of Congress.

KING: I know, but basically, isn't...

SCHNEIDER: I don't thing any of them is a great performer, if that's what you're asking.

KING: None of the four? SCHNEIDER: No, no, no, none of those two. Certainly Gore has problems. Bush -- Bush is more likable than Gore, hands down. The problem is that, you know, every academic, economic model says that Gore has to win because the economy's so great. That's the big mystery of this election.

KING: But everyone is saying Cheney is dry.

SCHNEIDER: He's dry, and he's a policy person. He's not a political person.

KING: Lieberman isn't dry, is he?

SCHNEIDER: Well, he was considered...


SCHNEIDER: ... very funny. I think he got an award, a comedy award.

CARLSON: He did. I was there. He was great. No, he was really funny.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, he can be very funny, but I don't think of him as a vigorous, dynamic speaker.

KING: You mentioned likability. Tucker, isn't that really important? If you like someone better than you like another person, that's hard to overcome.

CARLSON: Of course...

KING: I like him.

CARLSON: ... and people hate to admit it because it makes everyone concerned it sounds so shallow -- I'm sort of pro-shallow, so it doesn't bother me. But when you hear always the campaigns are supposed to be fought over the interests of the American people, and what, you know, what can this campaign do to help working Americans? Bah. People feel like -- you know, I just don't believe that people are voting for president on the basis of Social Security. I mean, perhaps they are, but I think the key criterion is likability.

KING: You don't think so?

SCHNEIDER: No, I don't think the key criterion is likability. Likability matters when nothing else matters, and this year there's no crisis.

This is a country that elected Richard Nixon twice, and they never liked him either time. They never liked Richard Nixon, but they thought he could do the job. '68, they thought he could bring order to the country and in '72 they thought he could bring peace. They didn't like him -- ever.

CARLSON: But there was a war going on. SCHNEIDER: Well yes, but I'm saying, lots of things override likability. The reason why it's important this year...


SCHNEIDER: ... is there isn't any crisis.

CARLSON: Right, that's exactly my point. Right, I mean, if...

KING: Like counts.

SCHNEIDER: Like counts now...

CARLSON: Sure it does.

SCHNEIDER: ... because there is no crisis.

KING: Some more moments with Carlson and Schneider. Could be a legal firm.

Don't go away.

SCHNEIDER: Schneider, Carlson.


KING: Temperature hit 92 today in Los Angeles -- hot.

SCHNEIDER: But it's a dry heat, they say.

KING: Dry heat. It was hotter than Philadelphia today. Today was hot here.

Bill, what effect does Nader have?

SCHNEIDER: Nader's a real danger to Al Gore because there are a lot of unreconstructed liberals and hippies and yippie-dippies from the '60s and '70s who are going to vote for Ralph Nader. Now the theory is maybe they wouldn't vote for anybody if he weren't on the ballot. But he shows that Gore has a problem with the liberal base, and Lieberman isn't going to help him there.

KING: What's Buchanan, if any, effect on Bush? It was supposed to be big at one time.

CARLSON: Yes, he blew himself off.

KING: What happened?

CARLSON: I think -- I wrote a piece saying that it was some sort of mental problem, and that's my position. I think -- well, I mean...

KING: He had a mental problem?

CARLSON: ... in the broader sense, I think running for president is really bad for you after a while. You know, I think he tasted something in New Hampshire, you know, two cycles ago and decided, gee, I really could be president and never got over it. It's sad to watch.

SCHNEIDER: He joined the third party because he wasn't getting any attention. He was walking around Iowa with one or two reporters from a weekly newspaper, and it wasn't 1992 or '96. And he wanted the attention.

KING: So what happened to him with the Reformers? Why did -- how did he let himself get into this?

CARLSON: Oh, he just got -- it was total Venus fly trap moment.


CARLSON: You know, he sees the money, he sees the bate, the 12.6 million bucks, he tries to get the play and they just grabbed him. You know, just the lunacy of the Reform Party just sucked him in.

KING: So why doesn't he go -- why doesn't he go visit Perot? Why doesn't he go see Ventura? What is...

SCHNEIDER: Well Perot doesn't want to see him.

CARLSON: Well it's too late now, yes.

SCHNEIDER: Perot's not going to give him...

KING: I'm talking about at the beginning of this.


KING: Why didn't he work with the crowd?

SCHNEIDER: Because it's not his crowd. What he did was hijack the party. He took it over with his own people. But his problem this year is a simple problem: There aren't enough angry white men out there. Things are going great in the country. He depends on the angry white male vote. They aren't there.

KING: Now, to the question in hand. If people aren't angry, why isn't Gore ahead?

CARLSON: If people aren't angry, why isn't Gore ahead? Because I -- well, my theory is -- and again, I'm, you know, reverting to the shallow thesis -- that people in this election, that there just isn't a crisis and that people will say, gosh, there's just something about Gore I don't like, and there's something about Bush that I like more or don't like.

KING: Do you hear anybody saying, we're mad as hell?


SCHNEIDER: No, no, nobody's saying that, which is the Buchanan vote.

KING: Well the wacko right might be. SCHNEIDER: Yes, well there are a few people...

KING: And the wacko left, too.


CARLSON: And I think the wacko left is an absolute point. I do. I mean, I do. They have been sold down the river.

SCHNEIDER: They have been sold down the river (OFF-MIKE)

KING: There's no left in this, right?

SCHNEIDER: There is the most conservative Democratic ticket in 50 years, since Truman and Barkley. I mean, the left is gone.

CARLSON: Nobody attacking greed or saying...


CARLSON: ... you know, what about poor people? I mean, seriously, I think those are real issues.

CARLSON: Yes, there's no liberals left. But I tell you, you know, people don't give Gore credit because they don't know what Clinton and Gore did to mike this economy great. Well, can every Republican...

KING: Except they were there.

SCHNEIDER: They were there.

KING: In other words, their budget.

SCHNEIDER: The '40s was driven...

KING: You know that many of the wackos said, you pass this budget...


KING: ... and this economy is dead.

SCHNEIDER: But, you know, if you tell people what they did was pass the budget and raise taxes, the voters punished them in 1994 for doing that. Are the voters supposed to say, excuse me, we were wrong?

KING: What happened to Gingrich? Where is Newt Gingrich?

SCHNEIDER: Newt Gingrich is a non-person.

KING: The revolution leader.

CARLSON: Doing commentary on Fox for vacation money. No, really, yes, no, I think...

KING: But that was his revolution. What happened to it?

CARLSON: It's very weird...

KING: Clinton took it, didn't he?

CARLSON: Maybe. I just think that it peaked at a time when voters were just becoming much less ideological.

SCHNEIDER: The problem was they drove it to the extreme with impeachment. And when Republicans saw what happened to them two years ago after impeachment, which was the ultimate expression of the Gingrich divisiveness and they got destroyed by it, they said, we don't want anything to do with this anymore.

CARLSON: No, no, no.

SCHNEIDER: Gingrich was the one who was driven out of office, not Clinton.

CARLSON: Many years from now, I think impeachment will be seen in a very different way.

SCHNEIDER: Well, it's already being seen. Americans -- Clinton's negatives have been rising since he was acquitted because people are unhappy that he had no public shaming.

KING: What kind of bump happens this week, Tucker?

CARLSON: Probably pretty decent, I would imagine.

KING: Might it get close, or still in...

CARLSON: Well I mean, I think, actually, some of the coverage will depend on the protests.


CARLSON: I mean, the protests could be bad here. And if that defines the story here. I mean, if Los Angeles goes down as "Los Angeles," you know, this amazing street scene, that's not good.

SCHNEIDER: That happened in '68, yes. I mean, the bumps haven't been big in the Republican convention because, look, a lot of people aren't watching. There's not a lot of news here, but the protests could do that. And it won't be good for the Democrats.

KING: Thank you both very much.


KING: Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard," "Talk" magazine and CNN, and William Schneider, the syndicated columnist CNN senior political analyst.

Don't forget, we'll do two shows nightly all next week, Monday through Thursday at 9 and midnight Eastern time. Hillary Clinton and Cher will be with us on Monday. Thanks for joining us. I'm Larry King.

Good night.



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