|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Clinton Passes the Torch to Gore; Kennedys, Bill Bradley to Speak to Democratic National ConventionAired August 15, 2000 - 4:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From the Staples Center in Los Angeles, site of the Democratic National Convention, this is an expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS, with Wolf Blitzer.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to the second day of the Democratic National Convention here at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Today's early session begins momentarily, but before we get a preview, let's first head to Atlanta for a news update with Natalie Allen -- Natalie.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Failure today, Wolf, in Moscow's first effort to rescue 116 Russian submarines sailors trapped at the bottom of the Barents Sea. With time running out, another rescue attempt is under way. Meantime, CNN has learned the Russians have made inquiries about possible help from NATO, but at this point we're told there's been no actual request for assistance.
To Moscow now and CNN's Mike Hanna with the very latest -- Mike.
MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, more than 20 vessels are now in station above the submarine Kursk and the 116 crew members aboard. Attempts at rescue are continuing in the seas that are remaining rather heavy even though the weather conditions have abated somewhat in the course of the day.
The attempts being made to attach a submersible capsule to the hull of the submarine to slide it across the hull and attach it to the escape hatch, allowing the crew to pass through into the escape capsule and to float to the surface. However, the reports are that the strong currents down below as well as the angle at which the submarine is reportedly inclined are making this all but impossible to do.
The next technique to be tried says the chief of the Russian Navy would be to attach flotation devices to the bottom of the submarine in an attempt to float the entire vessel to the surface.
So the rescue operation's continuing: no sign yet of any success, and time clearly running out for the 116 crew members onboard -- Natalie.
ALLEN: Mike Hanna in Moscow. There are new troubles today for the Concorde supersonic jetliner. British Airways has grounded its fleet of Concordes. The move comes one day before British and French safety authorities are expected to recommend that the plane's certificate to fly be suspended.
Air France's Concordes have been grounded since last month's crash of a Concorde near Paris. Investigators have not issued a final report on the crash, but they believe the explosion of a tire on the plane set off a chain of events that caused the aircraft to crash.
I'm Natalie Allen in Atlanta. Let's go back to CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you, Natalie.
Here in Los Angeles, they're getting ready to gavel. In fact, here are three children, the children of Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of this Democratic National Convention: Dorie (ph), Jack and Mary McAuliffe. They have officially begun this second day of business here in Los Angeles.
The theme today: "You ain't seen nothing yet." In the next hour, we'll have tips of what to look for during the second day of the convention. We'll take a closer look on Al Gore's stands on two big campaign issues, education and Social Security. Plus, Jim Moret and Laurin Sydney of "SHOWBIZ TODAY" will join me. They'll talk about where some celebrities stand on key political issues.
But first, my colleague Bernard Shaw goes over the day's convention schedule.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Here's a look ahead to the second day of the Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, August 15th. One of the first famous faces for the primetime television audience outside the West Coast will be the Reverend Jesse Jackson. The nightly segment of "American Dialogues" in their 9 o'clock hour Eastern, 6:00 local. It will again feature everyday folks with stories embodying convention themes.
Then, the final hour of the evening: 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg will deliver remarks to the conventions will her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy.
Bill Bradley, who had challenged Gore for the Democrats' nomination, will then speak. He'll be followed by a relative unknown on the national stage, a congressman from Tennessee, Harold Ford Jr., the first African-American to succeed his father in Congress. Ford will deliver the keynote address of this night, Tuesday, August 15th.
BLITZER: President Clinton and presidential candidate Al Gore campaigning together this afternoon in Michigan. But the fork in the trail sends them in very different directions. While Mr. Clinton is publicly showing support for his second in command, he's also symbolically passing the torch to the party's new leader. CNN White House correspondent Kelly Wallace is in Monroe, Michigan with the latest -- Kelly.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, there was no torch and no mantle, but the symbolism that signaled that Al Gore would be the new leader of the Democratic Party happened just a few moments ago. Chelsea Clinton came up onto the stage and grabbed the president and the first lady's hands, and escorted them off the stage ad away from this rally while Al and Tipper Gore looked on.
This is a very significant day for both Mr. Gore and Mr. Clinton. It's a day when Mr. Gore can start breaking out from the president's shadow and have voters see him as someone other than Mr. Clinton's No. 2, and it is a day for the president when he cedes the spotlight to his vice president, something that could be a challenge for a man who is used to being in the political limelight.
The Clintons and the Gores arrived here at this rally this afternoon. There was confetti and streamers. It was a scene very reminiscent of the bus tour they took during the 1992 presidential race.
The location chosen was definitely a political one, Monroe County, Michigan: a swing county in a swing state, filled with blue- collar Reagan Democrats and independents who could decide how this state goes in the fall.
Mr. Clinton saluted the vice president and said he is the right one to lead the Democratic Party in the future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The nominee of the Democratic Party, my partner and friend for the last eight years, understands where we are, where we're going and how it will affect ordinary citizens more than any other public figure in this country over the last 20 years. He is the right person to be the first president of the 21st century, Al Gore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERT GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The question in this election is whether we are going to erode that foundation or instead build upon it, whether we are going to turn back toward the old ways of the old guard or move forward with purpose and pride.
America has done well, but I tell you, you ain't seen nothing yet.
We're going forward! (END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: A glimpse of what we are likely to hear from the vice president in Los Angeles. He will give his speech Thursday night -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Kelly, we know the vice president is heading toward Los Angeles, but what about the president? What's on his immediate schedule in the days ahead?
WALLACE: Absolutely nothing, which is very unusual for the president. He's heading back to Washington, keeping a low profile, trying to keep the spotlight on Al Gore. He and the first lady are expected to head to Lake Placid this weekend for some rest and relaxation.
BLITZER: Kelly Wallace in Michigan, thanks for joining us.
Let's go down to the floor now: Three of our floor reporters are standing by to tell us what we can expect later today. John King is there, Frank Sesno and Candy Crowley.
Let's begin with John. Some traditional Democratic business on the agenda today, right?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Traditional business on the agenda, Wolf, but the Gore-Lieberman campaign moving quickly today to try to snuff out one threat to unity at this convention. Some African-Americans have questioned Senator Lieberman's commitment to affirmative action because of statements he has made supporting proposition 209. That was a California anti-affirmative action measure.
Senator Lieberman went, added to his schedule an address to the Democratic National Committee's black caucus today, strongly defended his record on racial equality. The Gore campaign rolling out other top African-American Democrats to make that case as well. They say they are satisfied now that this criticism is isolated and that this ticket will go ahead in the fall with the full support of the African- American community. Obviously, that is a critical Democratic constituency, especially in most of the big battleground states.
Now, for more on the day two dynamics, over to my colleague Frank Sesno.
FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, thanks a lot. Later this evening, we'll be hearing from Bill Bradley. He says it is up to the voters to determine that he was going to be speaking tonight, Tuesday night, instead of Thursday night, accepting the nomination. That, of course, sealed some time during the primary campaign.
Bradley himself came to the floor earlier today to check out the terrain, to see what will be waiting for him when he comes to speak.
Close aides to Bradley who are familiar with his speech say he's planning to send two principle messages. One is that it's time for everybody, including the 300-odd delegates and all those who voted for him earlier in the primary season -- he released his delegates yesterday -- to fall in behind Gore. So Bradley will lay hands on in that regard.
Also, he'll be sending a message that the idealism and especially the appeal for young people that politics can hold should be kept alive through this campaign and beyond. We'll hear from Bradley this evening.
And now to Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Frank.
For all the talk of both the new guard and the old guard -- the Democrats frame themselves as the new guard -- there will be some Democratic old guard here tonight. An emotional moment in a convention the Democrats say will be about issues -- we will see on the stage tonight Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, who of course is the soul remaining survivor of the JFK family. We will also see Teddy Kennedy, the soul surviving brother of the generation just over that.
Both Caroline Kennedy and Ted Kennedy will speak about the need to elect Al Gore, but it is mostly an emotional moment that will recall that, 40 years ago JFK, was nominated here in Los Angeles. There will be some personal stories about that time. There is no greater applause giver in terms of nostalgia in this convention as the JFK era, which Democrats continue to refer to as "Camelot." So a very emotional high peak for a convention that many believe centers on issues.
Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: Thank you, Candy.
Let's go to John King.
John, I know you've been speaking to some of Al Gore's advisers, supporters. How are they reacting to the message that the president -- the way he delivered his message last night before this audience.
KING: Gore campaign very enthusiastic about the president's message. They saw two important things: One, the president making the case about the economic record of the past eight years, directly rebutting Governor Bush's theme that this administration had coasted, had squandered the last eight years. They thought Mr. Clinton very effective in doing that.
And they thought, as well, his testimonial about the vice president, about how closely he had worked with him and about the vice president -- the president called him a strong leader, somebody a champion of ordinary Americans. Those two areas where the vice president, the polling shows, needs to be built up. So they thought the president did a very good job not only addressing the administration's strengths, but also the vice president's potential weaknesses -- Wolf. BLITZER: And, Frank, while we have you, are we going to hear more of the so-called "new Democratic message" this evening or more of the old Democratic message? Of course, Al Gore and Bill Clinton, Joe Lieberman associated with the new Democratic message.
SESNO: Well, Wolf, in a word, both. There's going to be enough of the old Democratic message to rekindle some of the spirit for the Kennedy era, as you pointed out, and to make sure that the base of this party, with which Al Gore is still having some trouble, is reignited. It's why we're hearing so much about the "fight" that Al Gore and others on his behalf are talking about.
But there's also this attempt to reach out and establish the new generation and establish that this is a New Democrat party that wants to come together under Gore-Lieberman. So it's really going to be a little of both. And, you know, it's going to be a little, too, like the Republicans: You could see whatever you wanted to see through the prism you were looking. And we'll, I think, very much see that here tonight. Everybody will find something.
BLITZER: All right, like the Republicans, Frank, everybody here at the Democratic convention trying to make all of the bases of this party very, very happy. Thanks to all of our floor reporters.
The health and human services secretary, Donna Shalala, will join me here in the booth when we come back. And we'll also get you up-to- date on what happened today on Wall Street.
But in the meantime, let's take a commercial break. And we leave you with the music of Los Lobos now playing on the podium.
BLITZER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of this Democratic National Convention.
We are joined now by an original member of President Clinton's cabinet, the health and human services secretary, Donna Shalala.
Madam Secretary, thank you so much for joining us.
DONNA SHALALA, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: You're welcome.
BLITZER: I know you've just come from a meeting that the vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman had with the Black Caucus here at this convention. There were some concerns, apparently, that some black members had about his record on affirmative action, some other issues. What can you tell us? What happened at this meeting?
SHALALA: Well, I think that the Black Caucus was satisfied with his explanations. What Joe Lieberman needed to do was go explain himself. What is your position on affirmative action? What is your position on vouchers? And the Black Caucus members were very enthusiastic. As he was leaving, the members of the congressional delegation lined up. Maxine Waters came to the microphone and said, hey, listen, it's OK for us to ask these candidates hard questions, expect them to provide explanations for their positions. And I think Joe Lieberman did very well.
BLITZER: So he reassured...
SHALALA: There was a good feeling in the room.
BLITZER: He reassured them that he's with them when it comes to affirmative action?
SHALALA: He has a long history in civil rights and in human rights and he explained that, and I think everybody was fully satisfied.
But you know what's good about our party? We hold or candidates' feet to the fire. And the Black Caucus is a perfect example. Maxine Waters, the congresswoman from California, has been all over the administration on AIDS and issues involving minority health. She holds our feet to the fire; that entire caucus does. It's good for our party, it strengthens our party.
BLITZER: OK, so everybody is, right now, presumably very happy as a result of this meeting.
Let's talk about the president's speech last night. It's going to be hard for Al Gore to top that kind of speech before this kind of audience.
SHALALA: Well, first of all, Bill Clinton is the most extraordinary politician of our generation. He communicates in a way that John Kennedy did and obviously Ronald Reagan did. That was, I think, one of the great political speeches; certainly the greatest one I've ever heard, and I was in the hall.
What Al Gore has to do is be himself. Bill Clinton was himself in his way of communicating. We have elected people for president as long as we know who they are, and Al Gore has to say who he is and what he stands for. That's the most important thing. It has to be genuine. He can do that. This is not a shy politician.
BLITZER: But why is he seemingly having such a tough time telling the American people who he is, at least according to these polls that we see?
SHALALA: Well, part of this is they are going from issue to issue as part of the campaign. What you need to stop -- which is what you do in a convention -- face the American people and say, this is who I am, this is what I care about. We ought to elect a president not on the basis of individual issues, because we can't predict what he's going to have to handle. Look at all the previous presidents. We want to know his character and his judgment, the fact that he's made tough decision before, and I believe that Al Gore and Joe Lieberman can transmit that kind of message. That's the challenge for him on Thursday night, and I'm sure that he'll be up to it. BLITZER: The president and the vice president had this symbolic hand-off in Michigan within the past hour or so. President Clinton is going to try, at least a little bit, to fade away, let the spotlight shine on Al Gore. You've been with Bill Clinton from the very beginning. Is this possible? Is this within his nature to let someone else really take over?
SHALALA: He'll be over there. When the election is over, he certainly will let Al Gore and Joe Lieberman take over. But Bill Clinton still has agenda to finish. He hasn't given up on the Patients' Bill of Right or on pharmaceutical drugs or on many of the other things that Congress has to deal with when it comes about, certainly our appropriations, and commitment we have to science, for example. So he's got a lot of work to do, and he's going to be out there.
But look, if you want to run for president, you take it the way the environment is laid out for you, and Al Gore is up to it.
BLITZER: Donna Shalala, the secretary of health and human services, thank you so much for joining us.
SHALALA: You are welcome.
BLITZER: Thank you.
And we'll take a closer look at a couple of the key issues in campaign 2000, Social Security and education, as our coverage of this 43rd Democratic National Convention continues.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By day two of the 1980 Democratic convention in New York City, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts had given up his nomination challenge to incumbent Jimmy Carter, but he still argued eloquently to get his liberal planks in the party platform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: That speech got him a 40-minute demonstration, and after 17 hours of debate, Kennedy got some of what he wanted in the platform, including a call for a $12 billion anti- recession job's program. But the Republicans would get the White House for the next 12 years.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BLITZER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the Democratic National Convention. The convention must also approve platform here in Los Angeles.
John King is standing by to floor to tell us what we can expect to see in that platform -- John.
KING: Well, Wolf, it's a platform that reflects many of the changes in the Democratic Party during the eight years of the Clinton- Gore administration, but also reflects the delicate balance the vice president faces as he also tries to continue to receive support of traditional liberal groups. For example, it has support of abortion rights, support of gay rights, those longstanding Democratic planks. One of the big changes over the past eight years reaffirmed in Al Gore's platform, support for free trade. That doesn't sit very well with many of the industrial union delegates on the floor here. They believe free trade has cost them manufacturing jobs, but it is one of the differences with this vice president. They say they are willing to look past because they believe he is much better alternative than the Republican ticket.
Now for more on the platform discussions, my colleague, Candy Crowley, standing by in Iowa.
CROWLEY: Thanks, John.
Standing by with Nancy Porter, who is a teacher. I want to talk to you about the education plank in the Democratic platform, which in fact says that teachers should be tested before they go into the classroom, but that teachers should be tested along the way, that a teaching certificate is not a lifelong career without testing along the way, and says that licenses could be revoked. How does that sit with teachers?
NANCY PORTER, IOWA DELEGATION: Well, one of the things that are important to all teachers is continued training. And part of the testing that you could be talking about is the performance along the way that can be done through evaluations. They can be done all sorts of ways, other than that original test that a teacher took to become a teacher. And that's the kind of testing that would be acceptable, performance in the classroom, portfolio performance.
CROWLEY: What about the idea of test somehow testing knowledge? That's not what you're talking about? There was no specified test in this, but there are some tests that teachers would oppose.
PORTER: Oh, absolutely. I mean, we have proven throughout this nation, there are areas in this country that have done teacher testing, and it's a sham, it's an absolute sham. Teachers who are in the classroom need support, they need continued educational development. The kind of testing that needs to be done there is the kind of support that goes along with performance, such as takes place in the National Board Certification testing, that we could call that, creating a portfolio, of what we do that we're already doing very successfully.
CROWLEY: All right, thanks so much, Nancy Porter, first-grade teacher, reading teacher. Thanks very much.
Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: Thank you, Candy. Tell Nancy we like the buttons.
Meanwhile, education, of course, is one of the hot button issues during this election year. While George W. Bush has made inroads on this traditionally Democratic run, Al Gore is still considered to have strong footing among those who rank education as a high priority.
CNN's Kate Snow explains.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Al Gore says the U.S. needs another revolution...
GORE: We ranked 18th out of 18 nations surveyed in 12th grade math.
SNOW: ... to put the nation's students on par with the rest of the world.
GORE: It's the very first proposal that I made as a candidate for president, and that is to bring not small changes, not gradual improvements, not minor advances, but truly revolutionary advances in our public schools.
SNOW: The revolution won't be cheap. Gore would pump $115 billion over 10 years into an education reform trust fund. That's much more than his opponent George W. Bush would spend.
BUSH: There's no way that I can possibly outspend Al Gore on any program, anyplace, anytime in government. His motto is, vote for me, I'll spend more money.
SNOW: Gore says the investment will pay off, with more money to wire classrooms to the Internet, preschool for every child, and smaller class sizes.
GORE: We've got to recruit more than two million new teachers over the next 10 years. Gore proposes tuition breaks for college students willing to teach at needy schools, and pay raises for teachers already on the job.
SNOW: But the vice president is also staking out positions that don't go over so well with teachers unions. In a Gore administration, teachers would be tested and states without certified professionals would lose funding.
Gore would encourage states to test their students. But unlike his opponent, he would measure progress based on a national test. States and school districts would be required to identify failing schools. If those schools didn't turn around within two years they would be shut down and reopened with a new principal. That leads to the major difference between Gore and Bush. Gore would allow parents to move their kids from failing schools to better public schools, but he strongly opposes Bush's idea of giving parents money for private- school tuition.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can't reform public schools by draining money away from public schools into private school vouchers. That is a mistake.
SNOW: Critics question why Gore hasn't pushed harder for reform over the past seven and a half years.
NINA REES, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: This has administration talked a good talk about closing down schools that are not performing well. To this day, not a single one of these schools -- and there are over 6,000 of them right now around the country -- not a single one of them has shut down.
GORE: I'm with table two.
SNOW: But Gore defends the Clinton administration record. He takes credit for wiring classrooms to the Internet, providing tax credits for college students, helping schools hire new teachers and expanding funding for Head Start.
(on camera): They are some of the same changes Gore is proposing for the future. Republicans say that's a sign Gore doesn't have any new ideas. But the Gore campaign counters: When it comes to education, the vice president is building on success.
Kate Snow, CNN, Washington.
BLITZER: Let's take a little bit closer look now where education ranks among voter priorities.
For that, we turn to CNN's senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.
Where does education rank?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, a bit of a surprise: We asked voters what are their top concerns in this campaign. Where are the voters? Well, the answer is education right at the top. That's unusual, because education has not been a top- ranked national concern since the launching of the Sputnik satellite by the Russians in the 1950s; 90 percent of education funding comes from state and local governments. It is not usually a federal issue.
Why has education suddenly been vaulted into the top ranks of national issues? I think the answer is the new economy. Low-income workers are concerned that their kids won't make it into the new economy. And it's an bigger concern for high-income professionals, because they know how hard it is to keep up with this fast-changing technology, and they are worried that their kids won't be able to compete in a global economy. Bush was a governor, which gives him a qualification if you're talking about education. He has made that the centerpiece of his governorship.
He's proposing a lot of innovative ideas. Gore says it will take a lot of money. That's an interesting debate. But you know what the research shows: What really makes the difference in education is family background. And that's something that's hard for the government to control.
BLITZER: OK, Bill Schneider, stand by. We'll have you back in a little while, talk being talk about Social Security. And when we come back, we are also going to go perhaps down to the podium here in North Carolina, Governor Jim Hunt talk a little bit more about education. But in the meantime, we have a lot more going on here in Los Angeles. Plus, I will be joined by Ed Rendell. He's the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Let's go down to the podium, where North Carolina's Democratic governor, Jim Hunt, is speaking about education.
GOV. JIM HUNT (D), NORTH CAROLINA: ... absolutely determined to provide for every child the excellent schools that they deserve, and to make America's public schools the very best schools in the world. We should do that!
Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are absolutely committed to doing that in America. Now, what will it take, what will it take to give every child, regardless of race, religion or income level, an excellent education? It will take five things folks: first of all, high standards and real accountability for every school.
When a student graduates from our schools, their diploma must lead to a good job or to higher education -- second, a smart start. Every child in the first five years needs quality child care, good health care and help for their parents. Third, it takes good teachers. I want you to hear me say this. Our teachers do the hardest work and have the most important job in our society.
They must meet high standards and they must be paid much higher salaries in every state in America. Fourth, it takes safe schools. Every school must be safe and orderly. Teachers can't teach and students can't learn if there is violence and fear -- and fifth, family business and community involvement. These, folks, are our schools. And all of us must help them succeed. They need millions of schools helping our schools do that. Now, folks, Al Gore understands this like no one I have ever known. And his plan to revolutionize our schools is the best that I have ever seen.
By the end of the next presidential term, by the end of the next presidential term, Al Gore will fight to make sure: that every classroom has a qualified, well-trained teacher; that we reduce class size with the 100,000 new teachers we've promised America; that every failing school in America should be turned around or shut down and reopened under new leadership; that no student graduates without mastering the basics of reading; and that parents can choose the best public school for their children; that every child will be in a safe, modern classroom with state-of-the-art technology; that every eighth grader in America will become computer literate; that high-quality, affordable preschool will be available for every family in America; that the achievement gap -- and I want you especially to here this -- Al Gore will see that the achievement gap between students of color and the rest of America's students will be eliminated.
BLITZER: North Carolina's governor, Jim Hunt, who himself was trained as a teacher addressing this national convention on the issue of education. He's serving his fourth term.
Now, let's get a view of this convention through the eyes of someone who brought the vision to life. Ed Rendell is the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and he's due to address the delegates in just about an hour.
Mr. Rendell, Mr. Mayor, thank you so much...
ED RENDELL, GENERAL CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Good to see you, Wolf.
BLITZER: How do you compare this convention in Los Angeles with the Republican Convention in your home city of Philadelphia?
RENDELL: Well, since it is Philadelphia versus Los Angeles, let's starting by saying Los Angeles clearly has better weather.
BLITZER: Other than that, you are going to be very, very diplomatic. I know you are. What is going to be your message when you address these delegates in a little while?
RENDELL: Well, what I must say, It's interesting, I heard Jim Hunt talk about education. Al Gore's idea for universal preschool hasn't gotten much attention, but it's a great idea, Wolf. My son, Jesse, we were able to send him to a Montessori school. He was speaking a little bit of Spanish by the time he was four. That mind stretching is so important. We're going to talk about things like that.
But basically, one of the things I'm going to talk about is I think that the Republicans have done a marvelous job. I give Karl Rove a tremendous amount of credit for getting everybody to accept this compassionate conservatism as a given. Well, they talk about being compassionate, and they go over it and mention it time and time again. But I don't believe that either the record or the proposal reflects true compassion. Let's take one example -- Texas minimum wage at $3.35. That's unlivable. That's not compassionate. And I'm going to point out where we have do compassion, we are the party of compassion, and their compassion is, like many things that went on in Philadelphia, an illusion.
BLITZER: Is education the number one issue in this campaign right now?
RENDELL: I think right now, there's no question. But I think as we get -- and it should be high on the list. I think as we get closer to November, the economy is going to emerge as a coequal issue with education. I think President Clinton last night started reminding people of where we were eight years ago -- we were in the pits -- and where we are now, and that is was no accident.
BLITZER: Is President Clinton an asset or a liability to Al Gore as he goes through the final weeks of this campaign?
RENDELL: I think he's going to be an asset. Look, anybody who's going to vote against Al Gore because of Bill Clinton's sins -- and that's unfair. As the president said, if you're fair-minded, you won't do that. But anyone who's going to do that has already made that judgment. The president can be enormously helpful in talking to our base in American cities, and exciting them, getting them out. You know there is no one in American politics that can excite people like Bill Clinton.
BLITZER: You know the state of Pennsylvania, which is a key battleground state right now. It seems to be fairly close. Bush is slightly ahead, though.
RENDELL: Yes, fairly close. I think by the end of this convention, we'll be slightly ahead, but that's neither here nor there. The turnout is going to be the key. I want Bill Clinton in Philadelphia bigtime in October.
BLITZER: Ed Rendell, good work over here. Thanks for joining us.
Let's go to Natalie Allen in Atlanta. She has a news update on some other breaking stories around the world -- Natalie.
ALLEN: Wolf, and we begin with efforts by the Russian Navy to rescue the 116 crew members aboard the submarine stuck on the bottom of the Barents Sea. CNN has learned the Russian Navy has approached NATO to find out what kind of help it could get in the rescue, although no official request for help has been made. The Russians today are making a second attempt to save the crew. Bad weather hammered the first effort.
Federal Safety Officials have announced a higher death toll from car crashed involving Firestone tires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the number of deaths now stands at 62, up from 46 in a previous report. The agency says the new number is based on a preliminary investigation into complaints involving Firestone tires through August 8. Last week, Bridgestone-Firestone recalled about 6 1/2 million ATX, ATX II and Wilderness tires because of safety concerns.
Wolf Blitzer continues our coverage from the Democratic National Convention right after this.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 1844 Democratic convention in Baltimore brought a brand new news media. Samuel Morse had just extended his experimental telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore a few days earlier. Former President Martin Van Buren was the early favorite, but James Polk finally got the nomination on the ninth ballot. Within 20 minutes, Democratic congressman in Washington telegraphed their congratulations. The next day, Senator Cylus Wright (ph) of New York got a telegram informing him he was the vice presidential nominee, and immediately, sent one back to say no.
After delegates distrustful of the new device went to Washington to verify that in person, George Dallas got the number-two nomination, and with Polk, got the job.
BLITZER: During this Democratic National Convention, we can't bring you "SHOWBIZ TODAY," but we can bring you Jim Moret and Laurin Sydney. They're here to tell us what's going on in the world of Showbiz.
LAURIN SYDNEY, CO-HOST, CNN "SHOWBIZ TODAY": Thank you, Wolf. There's a lot going on.
Once again, I'm Laurin, along with Jim Moret of SHOWBIZ.
Day two of the Democratic National Convention is under way, and the sound of the Staples Center, erupting with the cheers of delegates. is music to many ears.
JIM MORET, CO-HOST, CNN "SHOWBIZ TODAY": Monday night at an outdoor free concert by the group Rage Against the Machine, protesters marched to the beat of a different drum. They were cleared away by police who used pepper spray and rubber bullets.
SYDNEY: Meanwhile, across town, Montell Jordan, the Goo Goo Dolls and Melissa Etheridge rocked on at a musical event sponsored by the folks who put on the Grammy competition. Etheridge, who sang at the convention as well, talked about her nerves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA ETHERIDGE, MUSICIAN: When they start telling me, OK, you're going to walk up, you're going to be in front of the Color Guard, and right next to the Declaration of Independence. What? You know, it's going to be next to me? I'm going to be singing, and I go, here I am, and I go, "Oh, my God," and I got very emotional about it. It was a very political, kind of American thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYDNEY: Melissa Etheridge is not the only entertainer getting political. Stars from Dylan McDermott to Jimmy Smits are here at the convention, many because of their political activism.
MORET: Like your typical voters, these stars have the political issues of this election on their minds, and some gave us a hint as to who they're voting for.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS: I want a guy that is going to do the job. I don't care what else.-- he could be janitor, as long as he is going to do the job, I don't care. I am supporting Mr. Gore.
LAUREN HOLLY, ACTRESS: I think the most important thing to me in this election year is that people vote. You know, it's just unbelievable to me how few people take advantage.
KIM BASINGER: I think the foster care system in this country needs an overhaul.
TIM ALLEN, ACTOR: Education and how we are going to deal with Social Security, those would be my two big issues. And what are we going to do with submarines we don't use?
SHERYL CROW, MUSICIAN: Making sure that the Otto Treaty gets signed, the land mine treaty, that bans land mines, as well as education. That, for me, is a big thing.
JEFF GOLDBLUM, ACTOR: I am concerned that George W. Bush would be elected. I would prefer, frankly, Mr. Gore. That's my strong and rather passionate feeling.
JESSICA LANGE, ACTRESS: The education, has to be gun control, has to be women's rights.
GEENA DAVIS, ACTRESS: I have always also put my focus in issues that affect women.
HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: Campaign reform, health and welfare reform.
FAITH FORD: I don't think we're going to be able to keep putting money into the arms and the weapons and stuff. I think what's Clinton's doing right now is good.
JOHN LEGUIZAMO, ACTOR: Well, I am voting Democratic. And I am saying if you're a Latin person, you better vote Democratic.
PETER HORTON: I am not big fan of the death penalty. I don't think it is a deterrent.
TOMMY LEE JONES, ACTOR: I am going to vote for Al Gore, the vice president of the United States, and I think everybody else should, too.
SYDNEY: And once again, the worlds of entertainment and politics have collided today.
MORET: According to "Daily Variety," Senator Ted Kennedy's office appealed to NBC to change the air date of its miniseries, "The Women of Camelot." It was originally scheduled to air the weekend before the senator's election. NBC agreed to move the air date to next February.
SYDNEY: And now that we have that schedule set, we're going to get our schedule set. We're going to take a break now, but we will be back with Wolf Blitzer right after this.
BLITZER: Social Security is perhaps the most politically popular and, for many years, the most politically untouchable federal government program. But this election year, both George Bush and Al Gore are suggesting changes.
CNN's Brooks Jackson reports the party that invented Social Security is treading lightly when it comes to reform.
GORE: The American people did that.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At first, Al Gore ridiculed the idea of private Social Security accounts.
GORE: You shouldn't be asked to play stock market roulette with your retirement savings in the Social Security program.
JACKSON: But just a few weeks later, Gore proposed his own plan.
GORE: I propose today here in Lexington that we create new "Retirement Savings Plus" accounts -- tax-free, voluntary accounts that let you save, invest and build on top of the guaranteed foundation of Social Security.
JACKSON: So what gives? The truth is, Gore's plan is very different from the George Bush approach, which would divert some Social Security taxes into private accounts. Like Bush's, Gore's private accounts would allow savers to invest in the stock market through mutual funds and investments could grow tax-free. But unlike Bush's, Gore's accounts would be added on -- a supplement to Social Security, fueled by $35 billion a year in federal subsidies to savers, a huge entitlement, up to $3 in subsidies, tax credits for every $1 saved, but limited only to persons making less than $100,000 a year, a Robinhood plan.
And not just for retirement. The accounts also could be tapped to pay for college, a first home or major medical expenses. Gore's accounts would be voluntary. And despite the generous subsidies, some critics doubt they would actually help those who need help the most.
MICHAEL TANNER, CATO INSTITUTE: Most low-income workers, after they pay their bills, the food, the rent, their health care, and pay 12 1/2 percent of their money into Social Security, they don't have much discretionary income with which to invest.
JACKSON: Another problem: Social Security is headed for a financial crash. EUGENE STUERLE, URBAN INSTITUTE: Social Security now has over three workers per retiree. It's going to drop to less than two workers per retiree. You cut in a third the number of taxpayers contributing to a system and you're either going to cut in third the number of benefits paid or you're going to bump up taxes quite a bit.
JACKSON: Under current official projections, the trust fund runs dry in 2037. To delay that, Gore would use general revenues from the Treasury, a controversial idea, up to $250 billion a year, the amount he says will be saved by paying down the national debt and reducing interest payments on it. But that massive bailout just pushes back the date of insolvency from 2037 until 2054. And in 2054, it probably won't be Al Gore's problem anymore. He'd be turning 106 years old.
Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.
BLITZER: And joining us once again is our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.
How is Bush's plan playing out there?
SCHNEIDER: Well, you know, they always say Social Security is the third rail of American politics: touch it and you die. Well, Bush has dared to touch it. Did he die? Where are the voters? Well, he's alive. Not only that, Bush is thriving. He's way ahead of Gore on this issue.
There's a big age difference here. Younger workers don't have a lot of confidence in Social Security, but they have a lot of confidence in the stock market and in their ability to manage their own money. They like the Bush proposal and think Bush will do a better job.
It's the retirees who do not support the Bush reform proposal. They have confidence in Social Security because they had better. Gore is going to make this a central point in his acceptance speech on Thursday night. He's going to say that Bush's proposal sounds good, but look at the details, it's very expensive, it will require a cut in benefits. Social Security is the mother of all Democratic issues and Al Gore is not going to let Bush have it without a fight.
BLITZER: All right, Bill Schneider.
Bill Schneider's going to stand by. CNN's coverage of the Democratic convention will continue right after a quick break. He'll be joined -- Bill will be -- by Bernard Shaw, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield. I'll be back in one hour with a special edition of "THE WORLD TODAY." Stay with us.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen, CNN Center in Atlanta with a check of the day's news. And it's a race against time in the icy Barents Sea. After failing in a first attempt, the Russians are making a second effort to rescue more than 100 sailors trapped aboard that crippled nuclear submarine on the sea bottom. CNN is told Moscow has asked NATO what kind of help it might be able to provide, but no formal request for NATO assistance as yet.
CNN Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty joins us with the latest -- Jill.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Natalie, the two biggest enemies of those rescuers right now are time and the weather. They have very little time and the weather is not good. What they're trying to do is free 116 -- we believe 116 -- men from that submarine before the oxygen supply ends. But technically, what they are doing, they are trying to attach a submersible vehicle to the escape hatch of that submarine, and then try to get the men into that vehicle and bring them to the surface.
It's a very complicated maneuver. They have been trying to do it without any success. There are very strong currents. And the submarine is lying at a 60-degree angle, making it very, very hard to couple those two vehicles up -- so far, again, no success. They do have one fall-back plan, a potential plan, which would be even more complicated. And that would be attaching flotation devices to the entire gigantic submarine and trying to lift it to the surface. But Natalie, this is a huge thing.
You know, it is practically at one-and-a-half football fields long. So, it's a very, very difficult project. And right now, as we said, the most important thing is time to get them up as quickly as possible -- Natalie.
ALLEN: Jill Dougherty, covering the story for us from Moscow. Thanks, Jill.
The U.S. Navy has deep-sea rescue units taking preliminary steps to head to the Barents Sea. They could offer help in the effort to recover the submarine. U.S. officials say the Russians are aware of the offer but have not yet made official requests for U.S. aid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REAR ADM. CRAIG QUIGLEY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: They are fully aware of our willingness to provide help. But they feel that they've got the assets on hand now that they need to do the job, as they see it. And we stand ready to do what we can, if that request comes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Those U.S. Navy rescue units are based in San Diego, California.
INSIDE POLITICS begins right now from Los Angeles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)] CLINTON: He is the right person to be the first president of the 21st century: Al Gore!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: The torch is symbolically passed as Al Gore tries not to get burned by his connection to President Clinton. Joe Lieberman arrives in the Democratic National Convention city and walks into a flap over his stand on affirmative action. Plus:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maybe then there was, however briefly, a place called Camelot. A child who lived there speaks to the Democrats tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Bruce Morton on JFK's daughter, Caroline, and her convention role, and her family legacy.
ANNOUNCER: From the Staples Center in Los Angeles, site of the Democratic National Convention, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. As Democrats gathered in this hall for a second day, their party was undergoing a transition hundreds of miles from here.
SHAW: In Michigan, Al Gore stood side by side with President Clinton and embraced his economic legacy, even as he tried to step out of his shadow.
CNN's Jonathan Karl has more on this political passage.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than just a hand-off, this joint appearance before an overflowed crowd in Michigan was an effort to give Al Gore credit for what people like about Bill Clinton without tying him to what they don't like. First, the president himself made the pitch.
CLINTON: The things that have happened in the last eight years, the good things, are nothing compared to the good things that can happen in the next eight years.
KARL: Playing to the local crowd, the president said the unemployment rate here in Monroe County, which was at nearly nine percent in 1992, has fallen to just over two percent this year. Gore picked up on the theme, talking about the economic foundation built by the Clinton-Gore administration.
GORE: The question in this election is whether we are going to erode that foundation, or instead build upon it, whether we are going to turn back toward the old ways of the old guard or move forward with purpose and pride? America's done well. But I tell you, you ain't seen nothing yet.
KARL: Gore rarely mentions President Clinton on the campaign trail these days, but here with the president at his side, he presented his campaign, in part, as an effort to preserve Bill Clinton's economic legacy.
GORE: You know, Bill Clinton worked hard to get this economy right. And I'm pledging to you here today, I am not going to let the other side wreck it and take it away from us.
KARL: At the end of the event, the Clintons walked off , leaving the stage solely to Al and Tipper gore, illustrating a central goal of today's event, getting the vice president out of the shadow of the president he has served loyally for eight years.
KARL: And when the president left the stage and got in his motorcade, his first stop was at a McDonald's. He waited and ordered a crispy chicken sandwich, large order of fries and a diet coke, and told reporters traveling with him -- quote -- "This used to be a regular thing of mine. I used to do this all the time as a private citizen."
Now, in stark contrast, Vice President Gore stayed here, worked the crowd for quite some time, promising to shake every hand, and then went to his hotel room, where he huddled with his top advisers -- including Carter Eskew and Bob Shrum -- to work on the speech. The speech is being worked on as we speak. They are practicing it and his aides say still ironing out, doing some last-minute changes -- Judy, back to you.
WOODRUFF: But Jonathan, the vice president didn't have crispy chicken for lunch. Seriously, my question is: What are the people around Al Gore saying about the president's speech last night? Did it do what they needed the president to do?
KARL: They are insisting that it was a very successful speech, because the biggest thing they have to do right now -- step one of this whole process of removing Al Gore from Bill Clinton is first taking credit for the economic legacy of the Clinton-Gore administration. And they think that it was a very powerful message in the president's speech. And his top aides saying that it did exactly that.
Now, the most important thing, though, is stepping out of that shadow, still taking credit for the economic legacy, but establishing Al Gore as his own man in own right. And that is the goal for Thursday's night speech by Gore himself.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl, thanks very much -- Bernie.
SHAW: The Gore camp's overtures to African-Americans and other traditionally Democratic groups will be evident in this convention hall tonight.
Our Bill Schneider has more on the program and the politics behind it.
SCHNEIDER: Bernie, tonight is liberal night at the Democratic National Convention. Ted Kennedy will speak. Jesse Jackson will speak. But what exactly do liberals have to celebrate? The Democrats are nominating the party's most conservative ticket in at least 50 years.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The liberal revival speech has become something of a ritual at Democratic Conventions. It preaches Democratic fundamentalism: The old-time religion is good enough for me. The delegates cheer and cry and their souls are saved. Then they nominate somebody else because they know they can't sell that religion anymore. Ted Kennedy was the revival speaker at the 1980 convention, which renominated Jimmy Carter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1980)
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dreams shall never die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: In 1984, Mario Cuomo preached the true party faith, while the party nominated Walter Mondale.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1984)
GOV. MARIO CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We believe in a single fundamental idea that describes better than most textbooks in any speech that I could write what a proper government should be: the idea of family, mutuality, the sharing of benefits and burdens for the good of all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: In 1988, the Democrats nominated Michael Dukakis, but Jesse Jackson spoke to the party's heart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1988)
JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America will get better and better! Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive for tomorrow night and beyond! Keep hope alive! I love you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: Who gave the Democrats' revival speech in 1992 and 1996: Bill Clinton, of course. He's great at rallying the party faithful, as we saw here at the convention last night. The only problem is, he doesn't preach the Democrats' old-time religion. He's a new Democrat. But he speaks with so much fervor that the delegates fail to notice that they are cheering for things like welfare reform and deficit reduction and free trade.
CLINTON: We propose a new economic strategy. Get rid of the deficit to reduce interest rates. Invest more in our people. Sell more American products abroad.
SCHNEIDER: Tonight's session will be an all-star revival, featuring Kennedy and Jackson, and Bill Bradley, who challenged Gore from the left in this year's primaries. Why do the Democrats have to set aside a whole night to rally their base? Because Gore's a new Democrat, and Joe Lieberman is even more conservative than Gore; because neither one of them is much of a revival speaker; and because liberal enthusiasm for the ticket may be flagging, particularly with Ralph Nader posing a potential threat from the left.
Last night, Clinton made the liberal case for Gore and Lieberman.
CLINTON: We had a ticket that embodies the Democratic commitment to one America. They believe in civil rights and equal opportunity for everybody. They believe in a woman's right to choose.
SCHNEIDER: It will be interesting to hear what kind of case Kennedy and Jackson and Bradley make tonight.
SCHNEIDER: If Gore loses, Democrats are going to wake up the morning after the election and ask themselves, have we lost our religion? Did we sellout to the false god of Clintonism? For what hath it profited us to sell our souls to the old triangulator? And the time for repentance may be at hand.
SHAW: Bill Schneider.
WOODRUFF: All right. Well, now that we've heard the Schneider take on all this, let's go to Candy Crowley down on the convention floor to get a sense of what the delegates are saying about today's roster of speakers -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Well, nothing quite so Biblical as what we just heard from Bill. I can tell you that in general the -- quote -- "liberal wing" of this party is in fact happy to go along with the ticket, as centrist as it is. By and large, you don't find many people here that are even toying with the idea of Ralph Nader. I even talked to some Bradley supporters who say they're onboard.
What they're looking forward to tonight, though, is a little blast from the past, a nostalgic one: Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg along with her uncle Ted Kennedy. That, of course, harking back to some of the best days of the Democratic Party, Camelot and JFK. I talked to one delegate here and said, "But isn't this about the past and aren't you supposed to be about the future?" And she said, no, because while in that JFK part of the family there is some sadness there, she said, we have Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. And indeed, there are a lot of Kennedy children that have grown up in the political world or in the world doing good for others. So they believe that the next generation is out there, so that while this is a look at the past, it really is about looking to the future.
And one delegate said to me, "I think what's really significant is that even though Caroline Kennedy is one of the private Kennedys, she indeed is going to come here and show just how important it is to elect Al Gore."
So they're looking forward to liberal night here. Back to you.
WOODRUFF: And Candy, are they saying very much about Bill Bradley, about the fact that he's got 10 or 15 minutes up there to speak?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, the Bradley delegates will be glad to hear from him. But the sense that I get from those I talked to is they've pretty much moved on. You know, Bill Bradley was criticized as being sort of passionless and a little remote, and I think that there was not that kind of real connection that so many say McCain delegates had on the Republican side.
So many of them say, look, yes, I thought he would be good, but they're quite happy to move onto Al Gore. The transition has not been as emotional as the McCain ones seemed to be in the Republican Party.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, on the convention flow, thanks.
And still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, Bill Bradley himself on his thoughts as he looks forward to tonight's appearance before the party faithful.
SHAW: Al Gore's running mate, Joe Lieberman, already is here in Los Angeles, where some African-American members of his party felt he had some explaining to do today. That story from CNN's Frank Buckley.
AUDIENCE: We want Joe!
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You've got him!
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joe Lieberman was warmly welcomed by the Democratic Black Caucus amid questions from some of its members regarding Lieberman's positions on affirmative action and education. Among those raising the questions, Congressman Maxine Waters. Lieberman confronting the issues head on. LIEBERMAN: I have supported affirmative action. I do support affirmative action, and I will support affirmative action.
BUCKLEY: Lieberman said his record on affirmative action and civil rights was clear, going back to the 1960s, when he led students from Yale University to Mississippi to register blacks to vote.
LIEBERMAN: I marched with Martin Luther King in Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963.
BUCKLEY: Lieberman said he was proud of his record, pointing specifically to his opposition to Republican bills in 1995 and 1998, which he said would have rolled back affirmative action programs. The vice presidential said his position was the same as President Clinton's, mend it, don't end it.
But in 1995. Lieberman was questioned about his position on California's proposition 209, which called for an end to affirmative action in state programs and was opposed by many minorities. Lieberman's response then to the reporter, leading some to believe Lieberman supported the measure.
LIEBERMAN: A reporter asked me, "How do you feel about proposition 209?" And you know, life teaches us lessons. I said, "I've read about it; I honestly don't know what it says." He said, "I'm going to read it to you." He read it to me. Here's where I should have stopped again. I said, "Well, you know, that sounds to me like a basic statement of human rights policy." That was about it.
I added that like so many others I support affirmative action. I've not supported quotas. I know there are some questions about whether some forms of affirmative action have become quotas.
BUCKLEY: Lieberman adding he later refused to endorse the proposition. Lieberman also addressed questions raised about his support of an experimental voucher program for schools, Lieberman saying it was always with the focus of his attention remaining on public schools.
LIEBERMAN: That's what I want to see made real, a first-rate public school education for every child, no matter where they live in America, or how rich or poor their families are.
BUCKLEY: Support from the African-American community absolutely crucial to the Democratic ticket in November, and one positive note for Joe Lieberman and Al Gore at the end of the day: After his presentation, Congresswoman Maxine Waters embraced Lieberman before the gathered delegation and said that she would be happy to campaign for him anywhere -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Frank Buckley, thanks very much. Well, six months ago, a man named Bill Bradley had hopes of accepting a nomination at this convention, but tonight, he will stand before the delegates not as a nominee, but as a fellow Democrat and a supporter of Vice President Al Gore.
A little while ago, I talked with Bill Bradley and I asked him whether there would be a lump in his throat when he takes that stage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BRADLEY (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, to be honest, yes. I mean, I'd rather be speaking on Thursday night, but the American people had a different idea and the DNC concurred, and so I'm speaking on Tuesday night.
WOODRUFF: You talked in your campaign a great deal about the entrenched power in both parties, but including the Democratic Party. And here we are: corporate sponsors, skyboxes, a lot of soft money. Is this party still very much in the grips of entrenched power?
BRADLEY: Well, I believe that money is at the core of the problems of our democracy today, and that is why campaign finance reform has to happen. If it doesn't happen, you're going to continue to have the excesses that we've seen not only in conventions but also in elections, grow and grow and grow, and that gives very little room for the voice of the people.
WOODRUFF: You also talked during the primaries, senator. You accused Al Gore of distorting your record. You said to him at one point he knew, what he was saying, he knew to be untrue. And you went onto say, "If we can't trust you to say what's true when you're a candidate, how can we trust you to say what's true as president?"
Will he say what's true as president?
BRADLEY: You know, Judy, I'm not going to rehash the primary, but I think there's no question that I think Al Gore will be a superior president than George W. Bush for all the things that I care about, whether it's the Supreme Court, composition of the Supreme Court, or whether it's what we do with our budget surpluses, I think that he'll be there for the issues that I fought for in the campaign, such as health care and education, child care, and racial healing.
I think that he'll be there for those issues, and that's why I can support him with an open heart.
WOODRUFF: Can we trust him to tell the truth as president?
BRADLEY: I think that he wants to be a great president. I think he will be a great president, and great presidents always tell the truth.
WOODRUFF: All right. Fair enough.
The writer and historian Cornel West is saying -- a strong supporter of yours, close friend of yours -- is saying there is still some wariness among some of your supporters about supporting Al Gore. They're just not there yet; they're not sure. What do you say to them?
BRADLEY: Well, I met with all my delegates yesterday, and I told them that the things we fought for in the campaign Al Gore will also support and that we should get behind him.
I think this is a very clear choice. This is not -- in politics, you end up with the nominees of two separate parties, and the differences are distinct and real on this election, and I think that my supporters will join to support Al Gore because he agrees with me on most of the issues that were the core of my campaign.
WOODRUFF: So you disagree with the sentiment he is expressing? In fact, he went onto say we don't have two clear choices in this race.
BRADLEY: Well, whether it's the choice that everybody wants or not, certainly it's not the one I wanted. But if it's a choice that everybody wants, whether it's the choice everybody wants or not, it is the choice. And you have to decide, and if you have to decide whether you want to be a factor or whether you simply want to sit out as a protest. And I think that in a country where less than 50 percent of the people voted in the last presidential election, we need greater participation, not less, because if you drop out, the special interests have control of the process even more.
WOODRUFF: Let me also ask you about Joe Lieberman. Again, your good friend, Cornel West, said this, selecting Joe Lieberman, is a slap in the face and an act of disrespect to the black community for his lack of support for affirmative action.
BRADLEY: Well, of course, I strongly support affirmative action, always have. I think that it's something that's important for our country. You don't advance somebody at somebody else's disadvantage in affirmative action at all. You're just helping people have the same chance as everybody else has.
I think Joe Lieberman is a very sound selection. I don't think, for example, the fear of anti-Semitism should be a reason that you fail to select a man of quality of, and he's a man of quality. I think he'll do a good job as the vice president. And as we've seen in the course of the days since his selection, he will take the positions of the president. He won't have his previous positions.
WOODRUFF: Is he where he should be, though, on affirmative action from where you stand?
BRADLEY: Well, I don't know where he is today on affirmative action. He has said he had changed his positions to be that of the president, and that's what being vice president is all about.
I think affirmative action is something that's important for our country. I've always felt that. I think it brings in the widest number of people, and I think to argue that it doesn't really, I think, ignores the historical circumstances that we live in today. WOODRUFF: But in other words, you're staying he still has some distance to come from previous statements?
BRADLEY: I don't know what he said about that. Clearly, I support it, and in the past he hasn't.
WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Bradley, thank you very much. We'll be watching.
BRADLEY: Thank you very much, Judy. Thank you.
WOODRUFF: And just ahead, the protesters outside the convention center and the morning-after questions.
SHAW: On this second day of the Democratic Convention, the Los Angeles Police are defending their actions outside the Staples Center. Last night, police put a stop to demonstrations when some protesters and some concert-goers began throwing rocks, bottles and other objects, but critics now say the LAPD went too far.
Charles Feldman has the story.
CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The police response to the provocation by about 50-100 self-proclaimed anarchists was pepper spray and rubber bullets.
Police on horseback were used to break up the crowd. About six or seven arrests were made, no serious injuries reported.
Some of the protesters carrying their own cameras recorded the incident from their point of view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: F*ck*ng b*st*rds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't run. Somebody will get trampled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FELDMAN: In an interview with CNN, LAPD Chief Bernard Parks strongly defended his department's response.
(on camera): How would you characterize the response last night?
CHIEF BERNARD PARKS, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: I thought it was outstanding. I thought it was clearly disciplined, and that we gave the right command, The field commanders were right on top of it. What we forget about is that before the officers entered to clear that area, we observed over an hour of a considerable amount of misbehavior.
FELDMAN: But some civil rights groups say the police went too far in their response.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As citizens and residents lawfully engaged in an act of protest were following the order to disperse, they were trampled by horses, they were shot in the back by rubber bullets.
CAROL SOBEL, ACLU: There was no way for people who wanted to leave to get out of that event last night. And they did not give people enough time.
FELDMAN: The LAPD knows it is walking a tightrope, its reputation tarnished by a corruption scandal. The LAPD did not want protests or concerts so close to the Staples Center, but was overruled by the courts. Chief Parks says the incident Monday night proves the police were correct.
PARKS: We thought the demonstration should be further away from the Staples Center. We moved it close enough to where it costs significant amount of resources for the department. We moved it close enough to where the building became an object of attack, because we have evidence of rocks actually hitting the building, the damage done there. That is where the delegates could very easily in leaving and coming to the building could have been injured.
FELDMAN: On Wednesday, protests aimed specifically at police are scheduled, but the LAPD says it is not overly concerned.
Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles.
WOODRUFF: Much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
SHAW: Still to come:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: If we look and remember, we here again the word for that place and time, the romantic label that wasn't through and yet still lives. We remember Camelot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Our Bruce Morton on the nostalgia surrounding tonight's featured speakers. Plus:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD KURTZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The glittering network skyboxes, both here and in Philadelphia, are a familiar part of the landscape: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN -- America Online? Pseudo.com?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Howard Kurtz on the newcomers in the media world of convention coverage. And later:
SHAW: A different perspective on the purpose of this four-day affair.
SHAW: Forty years after John Fitzgerald Kennedy won his party's presidential nomination here in Los Angeles, his daughter Caroline is in this city to address a Democratic National Convention for the first time. Her uncle, Senator Edward Kennedy, and two other family members will appear at the podium during the course of this day. But Caroline is the one most likely to remind delegates and the nation of her father and his legacy.
Here is CNN's Bruce Morton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1961)
JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, do solemnly swear...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON (voice-over): It was a long time ago. He would be 83 now if he had lived. And we know better, know about his affairs, remember a South still segregated, a Vietnam War that had just begun to spread. And yet, if Americans are old enough, if we get out the old photo album -- yes, they were the most photographed kids in America -- if we look and remember, we hear again the word for that place and time, the romantic label that wasn't true and yet still lives. We remember Camelot.
And we remember dying, remember John and Caroline at their father's funeral, remember Robert, also murdered five years, remember Edward Kennedy, the kid brother whose 1980 presidential campaign failed, un-Kennedy like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. KENNEDY: The work goes on. The cause endures. The hope still lives. And the dreams shall never die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: The dream lives. The Kennedys are fewer now: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who raised her children in as close to normal privacy as he could manage; John, whose life ended beneath dark waters just last year.
And now, the legacy, in a sense, is Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, her father's last surviving child, herself 42 now, mother of three, a private person who knows that she must sometimes speak.
REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: Now, my cousin Caroline is so honored to carry her parents' legacy. And you know what, really, the same battles that her father fought and my father has fought for the last 35 years in the Senate are the battles that remain today.
MORTON: The old struggle, Robert Kennedy used to say, quoting Aeschylus, "to tame the savagery of man and make gentle the life of the world." But we remember not just battles, but the glamour, the style, the charm of them all. Caroline was the one who liked horses, probably more than her father did. America doesn't have royal families, but the Kennedys back then came close. And maybe then there was, however briefly, a place called Camelot.
A child who lived there speak to the Democrats tonight.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Los Angeles.
WOODRUFF: And now let's bring in our own Jeff Greenfield, who, as many of you may know, worked as a speechwriter for Senator Robert Kennedy when he was running for president right up 1968 when he was assassinated. There is a real place in the Democratic heart for the Kennedys, isn't there?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: There is. And part of it is the sheer length of how long they have been a part of the scene. Counting tonight, a Kennedy will have spoken to every Democratic Convention since 1956, when John Kennedy nominated Adlai Stevenson. That is a run that is more than a quarter of the length of the Democratic Party. And that's one of the reasons.
The other, second thing I would mention is there are so many of them. I mean, the Tafts have a dynasty. We're in their fourth generation. But the Kennedys now have -- just this generation -- they have Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who may be the next governor of Maryland; Patrick Kennedy, congressman from Rhode Island, possibly a next senator; Robert Kennedy Jr. has been talked about as a possible candidate in New York; Andrew Cuomo, a Kennedy in-law will probably run for governor; Joe Kennedy, ex...
WOODRUFF: He was a congressman.
GREENFIELD: Well, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) So that's a large part of it. But I think there's more to that. For me, there are two reasons why the Kennedys are so entrenched. One is the circumstances of John's assassination in 1963, when television had finally captured most American homes. And fro the first time, the country mourned in front of a TV set. And those iconic images, particularly young John saluting, anyone who was alive and conscious then, it is one of the most powerful memories there is.
And I would add one more thing. The family has light and dark sides; that is, they have had triumphs. They've had tragedies. They have had self-inflicted wounds: affairs of John Kennedy, divorces, controversy. And so all of that makes for much more than a political family.
SHAW: Jeff, looking at the Kennedy's party, do you think the so- called new Democratic Party, the centrist party, would have come sooner had Robert Kennedy lived?
GREENFIELD: I think it would have -- that is a really interesting question -- I think it would have been a different kind of new Democratic Party. Robert Kennedy was struggling in the last couple of years of his life to break from traditional liberalism. He wouldn't have called it compassionate conservatism, but he was very much more skeptical about big-government solutions. He believed much more in community control. And yet he was also more radical than orthodox liberals in empowering people.
And I think Bill Clinton picked up that part of Robert Kennedy's legacy when he ran in 1992. How he would have felt about what Judy mentioned to Bill Bradley -- the corporatization of both parties -- that's an interesting question, to which we will never know the answer.
WOODRUFF: Is there a Kennedy family legacy? Are we still observing -- are we still in the middle of it?
GREENFIELD: You know, I really think that you can't define in specific policy terms what a Kennedy legacy would be. And certainly, it has to be said that for people on the other side, the Kennedys represent something else. They represent an arrogant family that believes it's entitled to rule.
But when you look, as I say, at the next generation, if you have a problem, if you have a Kennedy-phobia, the next generation is not going to be good for you, because they are just coming like a Chinese army.
You know, they may be running five states by the time we come here in 2004, and one of them, you know, people are already talking about Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as a lieutenant governor as a possible vice presidential candidate.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield.
SHAW: And up next, we'll talk to former Education Secretary Bill Bennett.
WOODRUFF: INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
SHAW: Well, guess who is here now: a Republican at this Democratic convention, the co-director of Empower American, Bill Bennett.
BILL BENNETT, EMPOWER AMERICA: ... said it was liberal night, so I got here as quickly as I could.
(LAUGHTER) SHAW: What did you think of the president's speech from this podium last night?
BENNETT: There's hardly anything he can do that can please me, given what he's done to the nation and the example he has been to the nation.
I think he marshalled the facts pretty well for the argument we'll hear a lot about in the fall, but I was struck by how much he talked about himself. I mean, this is a remarkably self-absorbed man, but everything seemed to be because of his work. Everything was because of him. Every upturned smiling face, every blade of grass, everything that grows is Bill Clinton.
Even Al Gore was "the best decision of my life." Well, maybe his parents had something to do with it.
You can, I guess, get some joy out of that. Many of the people here who love Bill Clinton still get a lot of joy out of it. But if you're going to talk that much about yourself, I think he should have said something else about himself, genuinely, I think he should have said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being such a bad example. I'm sorry for bringing down the country. I'm sorry for what I did to this party and the country and the example I have made to the children."
I think it would have helped Al Gore. I think it would have put the issue out on the table in a way that would have been honest. Everybody's talking about it here, but no one will talk about it up there.
SHAW: Aside from those personal problems, what about the substance of the economic accomplishments of this administration?
BENNETT: Well, that's what he laid out. Again, 22 percent of the American people, according to the last survey I saw, believe that the president had a lot to do with this. This was an economic recovery from '82 to '90. When he was elected, the economy was moving at a 5.5 percent rate in the last quarter of George Bush's presidency.
Nevertheless, I know the rules of the game -- we all know the rules of the game. He who's in office tends to take credit for it, whether it makes sense or not. So they will continue to take credit for it.
What I think our party will say is we can have prosperity without perjury; we can have national well-being without national disgrace. And Bill Clinton is a national disgrace.
SHAW: Why the determination by Republicans to tar Al Gore with Bill Clinton? The Democrats say, it's not about the past, it's the future.
BENNETT: Well, Al Gore has a record, and it's a record of being an accomplice to Bill Clinton in things that they would say are both good and the many things which I think are bad. And Al Gore has a record of his own lack of fidelity to the truth when it comes to things like fund-raising and coffees and Buddhist temples, and stories about himself and whether he believes there should be a litmus test for the Joint Chiefs of Staff on gays in the military.
BENNETT: He's got his own difficult relationship with the truth. And he has been there eight years, and he's responsible for the things he has done and things he has said in the last eight years.
Ironically, for this crowd, their attachment to Clinton is more evident to me than their attachment to Gore. In some ways, for this crowd, Gore may want to be closer to Clinton than further away. So, it may be they'd like the cameras -- you know, local cameras to show them close together, but out in Nebraska, they'd like them looking a little further apart. This is Hollywood you know.
SHAW: Jeff Greenfield?
GREENFIELD: Sounds like a case for digital television.
GREENFIELD: But since you talk about examples, let me ask you something about your candidate. When you were drug czar -- a terrible phrase, but in charge of that -- you made much of the idea that the last thing in the world we want to tell our kids is, "It really doesn't matter what you do when you're young, because, you know, that's a dangerous argument."
Now, George W. Bush, in contrast to his talking about drinking, and his profession of marital fidelity, when asked about his youth, he doesn't say, "I didn't," and he doesn't say, "I didn't, it was wrong." He says, "I was young then. It doesn't matter." Is that a good message to send?
BENNETT: No it isn't. And he has, in fact, not talked about the issue he was asked about, which was drug use when he was young. I wrote an editorial in which I criticized the Bush campaign for this, and Governor Bush. He should speak about it, and he should speak about it candidly.
Nevertheless, on this issue, I don't think there's much comparison. The record in Texas is pretty good. The record of this White House, on the drug issue, is abominable, starting with the lowering of standards for drug tests for White House employees. The most famous thing this administration has said on drugs, is Bill Clinton's statement, "I did not inhale." And George W. Bush can do a lot better than that.
GREENFIELD: One last thing.
BENNETT: Yes, sir.
GREENFIELD: You know that in the '80s, liberals were driven nuts by Ronald Reagan. They couldn't understand how the country could support this actor, who didn't read too much. I sometimes, listening to conservatives, feel that you guys have been driven nuts for eight years, by Bill Clinton. You're like Wile E. Coyote, and he's the Road Runner. As a purely political matter, hasn't he basically bested you for most of the eight years?
BENNETT: He's been tremendously successful. And that's not only bad news for Republicans, in some ways it's bad news for the country. I think he's lowered us down, frankly. I think he's lowered our standards. And if you look at his legacy, in five or 10 years, I think you'll probably hear it talked about by teenagers in intimate situations, more than by economists.
He's a towering disgrace. And he's a towering disgrace who has been successful. And I will acknowledge that. And that's not something that I think is great for the country.
SHAW: Bill Bennett, thanks for joining us, co-director of Empower America. How long are you going to stay in town?
BENNETT: Until it's over, Bernie.
BENNETT: Until I give the nomination speech for Joe Lieberman.
BENNETT: Not really
GREENFIELD: I thought we had a scoop.
BENNETT: Not really.
SHAW: Just ahead here on INSIDE POLITICS, the conventions go online, but are Americans logging on?
SHAW: This year, American voters have a new option for convention coverage. Not only can they tune in, they can logon and watch these gatherings in a whole new way. But are viewers taking advantage of this new technology?
Howard Kurtz of CNN's "Reliable Sources" reports.
KURTZ (voice-over): The 1948 Republican convention in Philadelphia was the first to be covered by that newfangled technology called "television." The Democratic convention in Los Angeles more than half a century later, and the glittering network skyboxes, both here and in Philadelphia, are a familiar part of the landscape: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN. America Online? Pseudo.com? That's right: Internet companies are planting their virtual flags here, just as they did at the GOP convention two weeks ago. And with the broadcast networks devoting less and less time to these conventions, some media mavens believe the best way to attract new eyeballs, especially younger eyeballs, is online.
For some veterans, that takes a little getting used to.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: You must remember, I was actually there when it went from black-and-white to color television. And so I am -- this -- this dwarfs that.
KURTZ: What the Web sites are offering is 24-hour coverage, fancy camera angles, lots of irreverent voices, and the chance to talk back in chat rooms. Some Internet outfits are being marketed by celebrities, like Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein at Voter.com.
But the big news organizations aren't surrendering their cyberturf. Newyorktimes.com, Washingtonpost.com, Usatoday.com, CNN.com and Foxnews.com are among those pouring money into online coverage.
Sam Donaldson, a floor reporter at past conventions, is hosting Web casts for Abcnews.com.
SAM DONALDSON, ABC NEWS: Well, on the Internet, you have a lot more freedom. First of all, you can go as long as you want to. There's no program after you. There's no football game before. Secondly, you can say a lot more than you can say on commercial television.
KURTZ: Tom Brokaw is touting MSNBC's Web site and has moved some of his own coverage from NBC to the smaller cable channel.
BROKAW: It's very hard for me to go to the NBC people and say, look, I can promise you we're going to have a really exciting, worthwhile night that the American audience is going to want to tune into if you'll give us the airtime.
KURTZ: Perhaps the television era has peaked when the old war horses are touting the Internet. But people aren't exactly flocking to the world of cyberpolitics if the Philadelphia convention is any indication.
In fact, according to one Harvard study, two of the most popular news Web sites actually experienced more than a 14 percent drop in visits during the Republican gathering. And another Harvard study found that only a third of Americans who went online during the GOP convention looked for convention news, and those who found such news accidentally spend mere seconds looking at it.
(on camera): For all the technological bells and whistles, the Internet still reaches a fraction of the audience of the broadcast networks. The big three have clearly decided to make their money elsewhere. This may be the future of politics, narrowcasting to folks who care enough to click on convention news. This is Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES."
WOODRUFF: And joining us once again, our colleague -- and he's not a dot.com -- Jeff Greenfield.
GREENFIELD: That's right.
WOODRUFF: Not yet.
GREENFIELD: With those stock options, I wouldn't be here.
WOODRUFF: Not yet.
GREENFIELD: Finally, a tip of the hat to Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold for providing us with a very candid answer to the question: Why do we need a four-day convention when the real business could be wrapped up in a day or two? Now, I'd always assumed that convention cities wanted longer conventions to keep the hotels and restaurants and taxicabs and late-night "gentlemen's clubs" busy. But in speaking before the shadow convention, Senator Feingold pointed to what may be the real reason: fund raising.
When you gather thousands and thousands of loyal, well-heeled party members in the same city, it's an incredible opportunity to organize breakfasts, lunches, dinners, brunches, boat rides, golf outings, and for all I know, skeet-shooting contests where the price of admission is a few thousand dollars or so. Sound cynical? Senator Feingold also noted that here, as in Philadelphia, corporate logos are everywhere.
We were in the First Union Arena. We're not in Staples Center. You sometimes get the sense that if the price was right, the nominees might walk out on stage with the Nike swoop or a bottle of Coke painted on their foreheads.
In other words, the four-day convention is here to stay, not because there's that much to do, but because there is so much dough.
As Bob Dylan put it, "Money doesn't talk; it swears."
WOODRUFF: So in that respect, Philadelphia and Los Angeles have a lot in common?
GREENFIELD: Absolutely. I mean, they may have different rhetoric and different platforms, but green is everybody's color when it comes to politics.
WOODRUFF: All right. Jeff Greenfield.
SHAW: And we're spending a lot of green to cover this story.
GREENFIELD: This is true.
SHAW: All year long. WOODRUFF: And a lot of people.
Well, that is all for this edition -- convention edition of INSIDE POLITICS. But of course, you can go online for convention news all the time at CNN.com/election2000.
SHAW: And Judy and I and the rest of the CNN convention team will be right back in one hour for live coverage of the evening session.
I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff. A special edition of "WORLD TODAY" is next. Among the guests: former Vice President Walter Mondale.
We leave you with a picture of the podium here at the Democratic Convention, where Robert Kennedy, son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, is speaking.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.