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Democratic National Convention: Joseph Lieberman to Give Keynote AddressAired August 16, 2000 - 7:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: With speculation and controversies swirling around his selection as vice presidential candidate, tonight, for the first time, Senator Joe Lieberman goes before delegates, his party and the nation.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: But at this gathering of Democrats, genuine concern at the news that former Republican candidate John McCain is battling skin cancer.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight from Los Angeles, the 43rd Democratic National Convention. The party of Jackson and Roosevelt is back in the city that launched the 1960 campaign of John F. Kennedy. For 5,000 conventioneers, the task is tradition, nominating candidates for president and vice president of the United States. But their goal is transition: a transfer of the White House keys won by Johnson, Carter and Clinton to yet another Democratic son of the South.
Now, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, here are CNN's Bernard Shaw, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield.
SHAW: Welcome again to our coverage. Although we are up high here at the Staples Center, you can feel in this anchor booth the anticipation in this hall.
WOODRUFF: That's right. Joe Lieberman addressing these delegates, addressing, the nation, first nationwide address for him certainly in anything like this forum. And this is also the night that Democrats want to tell you, the American people, who Al Gore is, the person. What kind of father is he, the Vietnam veteran, a grandfather, and so on.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: And not only are they trying to tell us who Al Gore is and introduce us to Joe Lieberman, they are trying to say something about the Vietnam veterans. There's going to be a tribute tonight to Vietnam veterans, specifically two Democratic senators, both of whom who were wounded in Vietnam, Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, Senator Max Cleland of Georgia.
And as you know, thousands of people at this convention are in a kind of bubble, but every once in a while at a convention there is news from outside that penetrates. The news about John McCain's illness is just such news. It hit here a few hours ago and it clearly is distracting some attention from what is going on tonight. WOODRUFF: That's right. It's one of those times when partisanship takes a distant back seat to concern about someone's health and humanity.
SHAW: And now for the very latest on Senator McCain, let's go to CNN's Jonathan Karl in Phoenix, Arizona -- Jonathan.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Bernie. Senator McCain is here in Arizona. Some of his top aides are coming to the state to be with him during this difficult time. The next step here, now that he has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma on his arm and temple, is to go through a series of diagnostic tests at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. That will happen today and tomorrow.
The McCain camp -- the McCain Senate office released a statement a short while ago, earlier today, saying -- quote -- "During a routine examination two unrelated spots were discovered on Senator John McCain. One is on his left temple; the other is on his left arm. The spots were confirmed to be melanomas after an August 4th biopsy performed by the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland. This week, Senator McCain will meet with a team of physicians to undergo further diagnostic testing."
Now what McCain's Senate office is telling us is that after that testing they will release further information about his condition and about the course of treatment.
What we know is that those melanomas were indeed malignant. That's the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma. But we don't know, though, is at what stage of malignancy. We don't know its seriousness and the course of treatment.
McCain has also been getting well wishes from people all over the political spectrum, from friends, and political allies and foes alike.
Governor George W. Bush a short while ago released a statement through his campaign office saying -- quote -- "I know all Americans join Laura and me in wishing John McCain a quick and speedy recovery. We just came back from a visit to John and Cindy's home, and our fondest thoughts are with him and his family."
McCain got similar well wishes and expressions of prayers from Vice President Gore, who was asked about this while he was campaigning, while he was ready for, of course, his big night tomorrow.
But we're also told that McCain does not want to raise the alarm about this. He is -- you know, he's been called resilient, a fighter. He doesn't want people to get -- to get too excited about it. He believes he can go into this battle and win this battle. One person close to him was saying he was going to pull off a Michigan, referring to, you know, of course, in the primaries after his terrible loss in South Carolina, going in and unexpectedly winning the Michigan primary -- a little political analogy there.
But he's described as -- as being optimistic about this and willing, you know, and ready to fight this, ready to take this on.
WOODRUFF: All right, CNN's Jonathan Karl reporting from Phoenix, Arizona.
And now, let's go down to the floor here at this convention hall in Los Angeles and talk to some of our correspondents about John McCain.
Candy Crowley, you know the senator from having covered him in the Senate for so many years.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, and I tell you this is a problem, overexposure to the sun, that John McCain has both been talking about and dealing with for many years. Five years ago this month, John McCain appeared on the Senate floor and shocked all of us with his appearance. We were later to find out that this was a rather extensive dermatological procedure that McCain underwent again in his battle against the ravages of what the sun has done to his skin.
Just three days ago, McCain came out to California, where he greeted George Bush and campaigned with him, starting last Thursday. It was very noticeable then that he had a bandage on his left temple. Reporters again asked him what had happened and why he had the bandage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Senator, what happened to your face?
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a personal question.
MCCAIN: Every few months I have to go and get these basal cell things cut out from having a lot of exposure to the sun when I was very young. I have a fair skin. And I advise everyone to wear sunscreen, wear sunscreen.
I'm dead serious.
QUESTION: Today's message?
MCCAIN: I mean, yes. Today's message: Wear sunscreen or you'll be going under the knife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: This is a man, I can tell you, who practices with a vengeance what he was preaching right there. A couple of years ago, probably almost three years now, when McCain's name was beginning to be mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, we went to Arizona and spent some time with him on his ranch in Sedona. And every time he went out of a house, whether to go to the pond or look at the ducks, he would slather both his children and himself in suntan lotion, something he's been dealing with for a long time.
Now to my colleague, John King.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Candy. I spoke to a senior McCain adviser a short time ago, who said the senator is in good spirits despite all this. This adviser said he'll hang in there, he's been through a hell of a lot more than this -- that obviously a reference to Senator McCain's history as a POW during the Vietnam War.
Here tonight, as Jeff mentioned at the top, a tribute to Vietnam veterans. McCain is one of a half dozen members of the Senate Vietnam Veterans Caucus. I believe we have a class photo we can show you of that. Two members of that group to speak tonight, Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska. We are told to look for them to make some reference to their fellow veteran here at the Democratic convention.
Vice President Gore has issued a statement calling Senator McCain -- quote -- "a great fighter" and saying that he is in his prayers on this day.
The biggest political impact will be on Republicans running for Congress. Senator McCain is very actively helping Republicans in congressional races. We're told he plans to keep one appearance this weekend in Ohio. His schedule for next week has been canceled because of his treatment, and beyond that, how he campaigns after that depends on what he hear from his doctors in these next few days.
Back to you in the booth.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King and Candy, thanks to you both. We will have much more on John McCain and on his condition. We'll be talking about it, bringing you any updates that become available to us throughout this evening.
Now, to get us back to this convention and the man who they're all gathered here to nominate for president, Al Gore, he's been making his way across the country. Today, he told reporters he was very -- he was more nervous, had more butterflies in his stomach about his daughter's speech tonight. His oldest daughter, Karenna, will be speaking tonight about him. But he has finally now made it to the convention city. He came in this afternoon.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The future starts in California. The victory starts in California. With your help, we'll win. I need your help to fight for you. God bless you.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): Al Gore arrived in California with the Democrats' party here already in progress. But he quickly got into the convention spirit as he was greeted by his running mate, Joe Lieberman, and more than a thousand supporters. GORE: I'm looking forward to addressing the nation at the convention podium tomorrow night with some specific hard choices that I believe we have to make in order to ensure that we have a bright future. I believe that you deserve to know exactly what the candidates are proposing to do so you can make an informed judgment. I'm going to tell you.
WOODRUFF: When Gore accepts his party's presidential nomination tomorrow, aides say he will talk a good deal about the economy, and his Social Security and tax cut plans. They also say Gore's speech will be entertaining. During his flight from Michigan, Gore told reporters he's been working on his remarks between campaign stops.
GORE: This is a speech that I have written, and I will deserve the credit or the blame.
WOODRUFF: Gore says he feels relaxed about his big convention moment, but the stakes are high, given Gore's deficit in the polls and the many kudos George W. Bush received for his convention speech. Before Gore's turn at the podium, Joe Lieberman addresses delegates and a national television audience tonight. He's expected to praise the man at the top of the ticket and show off his sense of humor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been waiting for a week to say this line and I can't control myself anymore. In this election, will you help me win this one for the Tipper?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: It's always a little unnerving when someone you went to school with is nominated for vice president of the United States. But apart from that personal note, Senator Lieberman's selection has caused a great deal of excitement and some controversy because of positions he has taken that have been at odds with some of the key Democratic constituencies. We are going go down to floor and hear about Joe Lieberman and about some of those constituencies -- first, to Candy Crowley.
CROWLEY: Let me talk about, first, the general overview for the next few days, Jeff. And that is that these are the first two days and the best chance that Al Gore has had to try to turn around one of the perceptions that is out there, and that is hurting him apparently in the polls. And that is that many people do not believe that Al Gore is a strong leader.
When asked the question: Who does this apply to more, Bush or Gore, he is a strong decisive leader, 60 percent say that applies to Bush. Only 28 percent say it applies to Gore. He needs to turn that around. And so tonight, they will begin what they say is 25 years of fighting by Al Gore. They are going through biographical films, and testimony, as well as talks about what he has done in policy to try to portray Al Gore as a leader, so he can come out of this convention having dealt with one of the sore spots in his campaign thus far.
Now to Frank Sesno.
FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, it is all about audiences. And one of the very big audiences here and beyond are the so-called swing voters, those independents and swing voters in key states that will make the difference. They are being served up important issues tonight the convention organizers believe they care most about -- health care among them, as well as guns and violence, that sort of thing -- a couple of panels focusing on those with the so-called real people to include liver-transplant patients and a parent of one of the Columbine victims.
According to convention organizers, these are sorts of issues that the swing voters will be making their decisions largely based upon.
Now over to my colleague, John King.
KING: Thank you, Frank.
We are told a major subject of Senator Lieberman's speech tonight accepting the Democratic vice presidential nomination will be -- quote -- "renewing the moral center." Now, he will stress values in that, his fight against sex and violence in television. It is a pitch aimed, we are told, at suburban mothers and others who right now give the edge on values to Republican George W. Bush, but also a sense and reflection, that even though President Clinton has left this convention and back in Washington, that the shadow of scandal, as one leading Democrat put it, remains over this ticket.
Al Gore and Joe Lieberman trying to separate themselves from the president on a personal level and try to appeal on morals and values issues to the key middle of the American electorate.
Now for more on the day three dynamics, Wolf Blitzer at the podium.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, John.
Al Gore and Joe Lieberman have had a longstanding, very close personal relationship. Their families have been close as well. They have spent many times -- many hours together over these many years. We are also told that the two wives, Tipper Gore and Hadassah Lieberman, have been friendly over the years. That was one of the reasons, we are told, why Al Gore felt so comfortable asking Joe Lieberman to be his running mate.
Now, as far as political issues are concerned, they're pretty much political soulmates, both founding members of the Democratic Leadership Council, the moderate, centrist, so-called new Republicans -- Bill Clinton also one of those founding members as well. So on many of these substantive, political issues, they agree very much. One additional point: Joe Lieberman, when he went public in condemning President Clinton's behavior during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, we are told, that he said publicly what Al Gore felt privately, but could not say, of course, because he was the vice president.
For more now, let's go to Jeanne Meserve on the floor for some of this development of the Gore-Lieberman relationship.
GREENFIELD: You will be hearing from Jeanne Meserve later. And I want to thank the floor correspondents for talking about the setting of the scene tonight. They were wiser than I was in telling people what was coming -- speaking of which, our Bill Schneider, an extremely wise man.
What were the Democrats doing these first two nights in terms of setting the scene for the major performers that will be coming tonight and tomorrow?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the first thing they had to do was deal with Bill Clinton. And that was night one. How did they do it: the Tennessee two-step: Embrace the record, distance the behavior. Last night, the return of the living liberals -- it sounded kind of retro, but the party had to do it, because, you know, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are not exactly liberal heroes. Tonight, sell Gore. How hard is that? Let's see. Where are the voters?
Big problem: strong and decisive leader: not Gore. But now he is leader of his party -- new job, new image -- the fighting populist taking on the special interests, the drug companies, and those Texas oil men. Any other problems? Yes. Where else are the voters? Well, they do not admire Al Gore. Time to talk biography: service in Vietnam, man of conviction, strong family man. We will hear about all of that tonight. The message? This is not the Al Gore you thought you knew.
WOODRUFF: All right, we have been talking about what the highlights are this evening. So now let's look at a tick-tock of exactly what is in store at this Democratic Convention.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): Here is a look ahead at this evening of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, August 16th. Singer Stevie Wonder will headline a national anthem medley in the lead-up to the session. That will be followed by Senators Max Cleland and Bob Kerrey, who will lead a tribute to fellow Vietnam veterans. In the 9:00 hour in the East, 6:00 in the West, everyday people once again take the stage as part of "American Dialogues."
Actor Jimmy Smits will introduce tonight's panels, which will discuss health care, crime, and victims rights. In the 10:00 hour Eastern, vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman will speak -- then the state-by-state roll call. That will continue through the 11:00 hour on the East coast. When it ends, just after midnight in the East, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman will be the party's official nominees. And that will close this third night of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, August 16th.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SHAW: We are here covering the convention of course. But when we come back, we will bring you up to date on two stories occurring outside this hall: Senator John McCain of Arizona and his recurring skin cancer, and the Russian submarine crew members tracked on the floor of the Barents Sea.
SHAW: As we receive them, we are reporting to you the expressions of concern for Arizona Republican Senator John McCain and his disclosed recurring skin cancer. Moments ago, from the floor, our man John King reported that Vice President Al Gore has made an expression.
Here now, the vice president's statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My thoughts are with him and his family. He is a brave fighter. I know that all Americans are going to be praying for this to turn out for the best. And one thing about it, he is so courageous that he is -- he will -- you know, he'll just face it, and I'm hoping and praying that it's going to be all right. And our thoughts are with Cindy and his entire family, and with John.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Also thinking about this, Dr. Perry Robins, the president of the Skin Cancer Foundation in New York. Dr. Robins, what are you following right now as you notice these developments?
DR. PERRY ROBINS, PRESIDENT, THE SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION: Well, we have a report that two areas where biopsy, and the tissue after being examined revealed malignant melanoma. We don't have too much information to the depth of the malignancy, so we can't predict the prognosis.
However, my gut feeling is that Senator McCain had a melanoma before, and that was about five years ago, and he's a five-year survivor, and it is judicious, usually, to check the patient two, three times a year to detect new ones. And I'm sure he has been conscientious and has gone for his examinations, and so, therefore, I hope these were picked up very early.
And it's interesting, even though malignant melanoma can be a killer, nobody really need die from malignant melanoma, because if detected early, it is almost always curable, and that's what I hope is happening here.
GREENFIELD: Doctor, it's Jeff Greenfield. You mentioned that early -- frequent monitoring, early detection is a very hopeful sign. Is there any cause for concern because the melanoma was found in two different places on senator's body?
ROBINS: Not really. If they were close to each other, I would be more concerned. But there are a considerable distance from each other, and it could be that he just has a disposition to develop melanomas, and, hopefully, they're superficial.
SHAW: Dr. Robins, because of your expertise and viewers watching not only in United States, but around the world, we had reported by way of our correspondent Candy Crowley, the senators expressed concern for reporters covering him, telling them to please protect themselves. How important is it to protect yourself from the rays of the sun?
ROBINS: There is no question about it. As president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, for the last 20 years, we've had a crusade that the sun can be very, very detrimental. And we recommend that you limit your exposure, going out in the sun, to early morning, late afternoon. Don't forget to wear a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, because the damages from the sun is cumulative, which means what you have burned today and you have another one tomorrow, all adds together. So it is very important that you use your sunscreen, use discretion.
And I'd like to say one other thing, because a lot of readers or viewers believe that by using a sunscreen, they can stay out in the sun longer, but that's not true. All it does, it prevents from you getting burned. And we don't want you to stay out any longer than is absolutely necessary.
WOODRUFF: Dr. Perry Robins, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, we thank you very much for joining us. Thank you very much.
And now back to this Democratic convention here in the City of Angels, in California, Los Angeles. And joining us at anchor desk in the skybox overlooking the delegates Bob Rubin, formerly secretary of the Treasury, in the Clinton administration.
ROBERT RUBIN, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: Good to be with you.
WOODRUFF: Great to have you with us. Thank for you being here. You know, the words I think are ringing in our ears and the ears of many, George W. Bush, standing up there at podium in Philadelphia two weeks ago, talking about President Clinton and Al Gore squandering the last seven or eight years of prosperity, in one example after another. What you were thinking when you were hearing that?
RUBIN: What I was thinking of, Judy, when I saw that -- I did see it -- was the time in 1992 when President Clinton was elected, and we looked at the economy. You had unemployment that was over 7 percent. You had a fiscal deficit that was almost $300 billion. I was running an investment banking firm in those days, and I can remember our clients, both here and abroad, thought that there was a very real chance our country was in a path of long-term economic mediocrity, and the other thing I remember was in 1993, when President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore put in place a powerful deficit- reduction program, the enormous opposition there was to what was in fact a dramatic change in economic policy, from vast deficits to fiscal discipline, the tremendous impact that had in generating our recovery.
The claims -- that the comments that you referred to genuinely absurd.
WOODRUFF: But equally concerning, one would think, to Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, at this week, and between now and November, is not only what George W. Bush is saying, but the fact that one public opinion poll after another shows very few of the American people give any credit to this administration for what you described. They're saying, well, it just happened, it was Wall Street, it was hardworking Americans.
RUBIN: Well, I haven't watched polls lately, Judy, but for a long time, the president was given extremely high marks in polls for his economic policy, and I think that one of the central issues, maybe the central issue of this campaign, is going to be the two very different visions with respect to the future -- future of economic policy -- economic policy paths, that the vice president, and Governor Bush are presenting, and I think the American people are going to be focused once again on what path they think this country should be on. Fiscal responsibility, which is what Al Gore is proposing in terms paying down federal debt. or a vast tax cut in spending proposals. And if you take those two together, the proposals that Governor Bush has made, they exceed the projected surplus in non-Social Security budget, and that would put us right back in the kinds of deficits that generated the morass of late '80s, early '90s.
SHAW: Mr. Secretary, you just used some very strong language. You said that Governor Bush's claims aimed at Democrats were -- quote -- "ridiculously absurd."
RUBIN: No, I said "genuinely absurd."
SHAW: Genuinely, OK, I misheard you.
RUBIN: That may have been stronger.
GREENFIELD: He's not going negative, Bernie.
RUBIN: No, that's a comment.
SHAW: Can we get something straight here? The Republicans say they have a hand in this rebounding economy. President Bush has said that the economy was coming around, and he kicks himself for not being able to articulate the fact that things were starting to improve. The Democrats say that their responsible solely for this grand recovery. You are an economist. Can you just, frankly, say, where did the march toward these great times begin? Did it start on Bush's watch and splash over into the Clinton-Gore watch?
RUBIN: I think, Bernie, that the economy that President Clinton inherited was an economy that was in a morass. You had very little private job creation. You had unemployment over 7 percent. In 1992, you had something of uptick from what had been recession, but I don't think anybody at that time, or very few people at that time, thought that was more an uptick, and the reason was this enormous deficit, the adverse impact that was having in creating higher interest rates and the undermining of confidence. And then President Clinton and Vice President Gore came along. And while many factors contributed to the recovery, including increased productivity and various other factors, I don't think there's any question but that the fiscal discipline that we established with that powerful deficit-reduction program in 1993 was indispensable to what happened going forward.
GREENFIELD: Let me ask you about future.
RUBIN: And you may remember, just as evidenced of what I said, how strongly opposed many on the other side were to the program that President Clinton and Vice President Proposed in 1993 to bring down deficit.
SHAW: Tie-breaking vote.
RUBIN: In a tie-breaking vote of the vice president, exactly. That was a dramatic change in economic policy.
GREENFIELD: Mr. Secretary, one last question, we were at a Democratic convention. This is the party of G.I. Bills of Rights, it's the party of Medicare, it's party of Social Security. How did it get to be the Democratic Party's number-one priority, in the words of Vice President Al Gore, to retire the national debt?
RUBIN: You know what I think happened, Jeff, in January 7 of 1993, which was during the transition, before the first Clinton term, a number of us went down to Little Rock, we met with the president and the vice president, and after about half hour, it was a six and a half hour meeting, the president-elect looked at us, and he said, look, there are a lot things we need to do, including the kinds of things that you're referring to, but until we get economy back on track, we're not going to be able to do any things we need to do, and the threshold issue with respect to he getting economy back on track is getting this terrible deficit down, which is quadrupled federal debt over the last 12 years. And so from the president's point of view, the answer to your question is deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility is the key to doing all of the other kinds of things that he and the vice president wanted to do and have done.
GREENFIELD: Secretary, thank you for joining us. Appreciate it.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes events outside a convention hall attract us. We have talked about Senator McCain. Another big story, that crippled Russian submarine at the bottom of ocean. For the latest, we go to Moscow and CNN's Mike Hanna.
MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the last few hours, there have been U.S. intelligence reports casting doubts as to the crew aboard the stricken submarine. Intelligence reports were saying that there were two explosions over the weekend and raised the possibility that the crew died in the initial explosions. This casts doubts on Russian claims that they have been in communication with the crew in recent days. The Russians have mentioned things such as hydro-acoustic communication. There have been several reports that the crewmembers were tapping SOS messages on the hull of the boat.
A naval spokesman said earlier Wednesday that these reports are unable to confirm. He said that the rescue attempts had been hampered by the fact that there was a lack of knowledge about what was happening inside the boat. He said that there was no awareness of the condition, the physical condition of the crew. He said it was not certain exactly what the conditions were like within the submarine. This would imply that if there was communication, it was of a very limited kind.
But as to the rescue attempts, they are continuing, and they are being joined now by a British team. They have flown in from Scotland to the Norwegian port of Trondheim. They have brought with them a British submersible vessel. An LR5 it is called. They are coming to assistance after the Russians waited for days before calling on outside help.
However, this British team still has to get aboard a boat and sail across to the rescue area. This is something that could take a couple of days, and it could be Saturday or even Sunday before the rescue team is in place. Meanwhile the oxygen continues to deplete aboard the submarine, and the crew, if indeed they are still alive, are still facing a very dire situation indeed.
I'm Mike Hanna in Moscow. Back to you in Los Angeles.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Mike, and when we come back, we will redeem the promise I foolishly made prematurely to talk about Joe Lieberman, the excitement and the controversy, in a moment.
NARRATOR: On day three of the 1868 Democratic Convention in New York City, delegates nominated a presidential candidate who didn't want the job. In New York's New Tammany Hall, already a symbol of machine politics and corruption, delegates tried to narrow a field of 11 nominees. After 21 ballots, Ohio proposed convention chairman and New York Governor Horatio Seymour as a compromise.
"May God bless you for your kindness to me," he said, "but your candidate I cannot be." That didn't stop the bandwagon, but Republican Civil War hero General Ulysees Grant would stop Seymour's reluctant bid for the White House.
SHAW: With controversy and speculation surrounding his being selected as the vice presidential nominee for the Democrats, for the first time tonight, Senator Joseph Lieberman will address the delegates here in this hall behind us, the party and the nation, and for that matter, the world.
But what about this man, Joe Lieberman? What about his life and his remarkable career? This report.
LIEBERMAN: Dear Lord, maker of all miracles, I thank You for bringing me to this extraordinary moment in my life.
SHAW (voice-over): Joseph Isadore Lieberman has never been shy about expressing his deep religious faith or strong moral convictions.
LIEBERMAN: (SPEAKING IN HEBREW)
This is the day which the Lord has made: Let us rejoice, be glad and be grateful thereon.
SHAW: Born February 24th, 1942, raised in this modest Stamford, Connecticut home, the son of Marcia and Henry Lieberman. Joe's father owned a liquor store. His formal education ended with high school, but Henry Lieberman had a passion for reading.
MARCIA LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH LIEBERMAN'S MOTHER: Everyday he would pick something up that was important to him, and after or during dinner, it would go on after dinner, we all had these great discussions.
M. LIEBERMAN: Joseph, I didn't recognize you! You do that to me! How are you (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
SHAW: Faith and family were hallmarks of the Lieberman household.
M. LIEBERMAN: I think that's the most important thing that we got across to the children, that nobody was any different from the next one and each one was entitled to achieving what they could achieve or wanted to achieve.
SHAW: Young Joe's sport? Baseball. His team? The Brooklyn Dodgers.
Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkrantz remembers the day when 12-year-old Joe came home in a panic.
RABBI JOSEPH EHRENKRANTZ, LIEBERMAN FAMILY RABBI: And he said: "The kids are waiting outside, mom. Where's my mitt?" She dropped everything and ran upstairs, and she found his mitt and brought it to him.
When he left, I said: "You did Joe an injustice. You're spoiling him, and he's going to amount to nothing."
M. LIEBERMAN: Where did I draw the line? I drew the line as far as him going to services on Saturday morning. There was no excuse for that, to stay home. They went. They had to go.
SHAW: Joe and his two sisters attended the local public schools, but as a young Jewish boy, he also attended classes of a different sort, studying the Torah, the tenets of Orthodox Judaism, at his local synagogue.
EHRENKRANTZ: The Torah teaches us how to behave. He absorbed the whole thing, and all of it has meant something to him, and he lives it. SHAW: In high school, Joe Lieberman proved quite popular, twice elected class president. His sophomore queen remembers her king.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe was the type of person that your mother would hope you brought home.
SHAW: After high school, it was on to Yale, graduating in 1964, then legal training at Yale Law School. He joined a New Haven law firm in 1967, but his sights were set on politics and public service.
BARBARA KENNELLY, FORMER CONNECTICUT SECRETARY OF STATE: The first afternoon I spent with Joe was when he was writing a book about my father, John Bailey.
SHAW: Lieberman spent hours interviewing Connecticut's powerful Democratic boss, John Bailey.
KENNELLY: Joe knew he wanted to go into public service. I mean, that's why he wrote the dissertation on my father. He wanted to make sure he knew how it worked.
SHAW: The student learned well. In 1970, Lieberman won a seat in the Connecticut Senate with the help of a Yale law student by the name of Bill Clinton. Four years later, he would become majority leader and remain in the state Senate for almost a decade. But public life also came with a heavy price.
In 1981, one year after an unsuccessful bid for Congress, Lieberman's 16-year marriage ended in divorce.
EHRENKRANTZ: It's accepted in the Jewish religion, and in his case it was a very amiable divorce.
LIEBERMAN: I love you and thank you, my dear Hadassah Freilich Lieberman.
SHAW: Two years later, Joseph Lieberman married Hadassah Freilich, born in Czechoslovakia, the daughter of Holocaust survivors. The Liebermans had a daughter along with three children from their prior marriages.
As his private life settled down, so to his public life. In 1982, Lieberman was elected Connecticut's attorney general, gaining a reputation as a consumer advocate and winning re-election four years later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMAN: And the record shows that my opponent has missed more than 300 votes since 1981.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: In 1988, he challenged three-term Connecticut Senator Lowell Weicker, a Republican maverick who supported abortion rights and opposed school prayer. In many ways, the Democrat was more conservative than the Republican, supporting the death penalty and a moment of silence in schools. The race went down to the wire, with Lieberman upsetting the incumbent by a mere 10,000 votes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMAN: The American dream is alive and well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: From the start, Senator Lieberman stood to the right of his party on key issues, supporting welfare reform, pilot programs for school vouchers and development of a missile defense system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARENCE THOMAS, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I welcome the opportunity to clear my name today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: In 1991, he first supported the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, but changed his mind after Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment. And he joined with Tennessee Senator Al Gore and only eight other Democrats to support President Bush's use of force in the Gulf War.
In 1994, as Republicans were defeating Democrats all over the country, Lieberman held his seat by an extraordinary 36 percentage points, nearly 400,000 votes.
His second Senate term promised more of the same. But this time, Lieberman took on the entertainment industry, angering some liberals in Hollywood when he joined with Republican conservative William Bennett in a crusade against excessive violence and gratuitous sex in movies, music and video games. The Connecticut Democrat would save some of his toughest words for a longtime friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMAN: Such behavior is not just inappropriate, it is immoral.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: In a moment of high drama, he took to the Senate floor to publicly rebuke President Clinton for his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMAN: It is harmful, for it sends a message of what is acceptable behavior to the larger American family, particularly to our children.
I was heartbroken, I was disappointed, I was angry, and I personally felt that it was never going to get better unless somebody who was a friend and supporter of the president's spoke out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Lieberman has also been a party loyalist, scoring high marks from liberal groups for his voting record: supporting President Clinton's 1993 tax increase, voting consistently for abortion rights, and against a ban on partial-birth abortions, and supporting both environmental protections and gun control.
As an Orthodox Jew, he has often had to juggle the strict rules of the Sabbath with the Senate's unpredictable schedule. He will not drive to the Capitol, but has walked, sometimes from his home, and voted more than 75 times on Friday night or Saturday.
SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D), NEW JERSEY: What he does is he walks four miles with a police car riding alongside him to make sure that he starts and arrives safely.
BARBARA KENNELLY, FMR. CONN. SECY. OF STATE: He'd been, of course, our state senator, and our attorney general and our United States senator, and it's not even thought about anymore.
SHAW: When you have a responsibility to people that can protect or advance their well-being or their lives, then you've got to do it.
SHAW: Three questions: What does Joseph Lieberman bring to his party's ticket? What assets? What liabilities? Let's get some answers, checking in first with Wolf Blitzer.
BLITZER: Bernie, as far as the issue of his being the first American-Jewish person to be on a national ticket, that does bring some assets. It also brings, potentially, some liability. One never knows what the hidden perhaps anti-Semitic vote out there might be. It's hard to gauge.
But as far as Joe Lieberman's concerned, over this past week, since he got the nod to become Al Gore's running mate, he has decided he's going to start playing down his own religious beliefs, his own Jewishness, not that he's ashamed of it, not that it's seen as a source of any concern, only in the sense the over the past week, some critics have suggested he is wearing his religion on his sleeve too much, and he should lower that, and as a result, in his speech tonight, we do expect some reference to it, but by no means a big deal.
For more now, let's go to John King on the floor.
KING: Thank you, Wolf. The campaign believes it has done a good job putting to rest what had become a troublesome controversy here. Many African-American Democrats questioning the senator's commitment to affirmative action. He spoke to the Black Caucus yesterday. Most members said they accept his explanation now, and most importantly, they accept that the vice president would call the shots if he were elected president, and he is a strong supporter of affirmative action. Some rumblings on the floor, though. The whips have been put on alert that there could be some form of protest by a few liberal black activists, sitting on their hands during the speech by Senator Lieberman tonight. They have checked into those reports, we're told by the whips. They don't believe them to be true. One senior official down here saying, we believe we've contained this, but we're still watching closely.
Now over to Jeanne Meserve.
MESERVE: One influential and generous group not altogether thrilled with the selection of Joe Lieberman is the trial lawyers. They're concerned as senator, Joe Lieberman backed tort reform that would cap damage awards, eliminate punitive damages and also limit attorneys' fees. This makes sense, considering the fact that Joe Lieberman is from Connecticut, a state where insurance companies are powerful and important. They gave a lot of money to Joe Lieberman's campaign. The Gore campaign has been working overtime to try and calm the trial lawyers' concerns, apparently having some success, I must have talked to a half-dozen trial lawyers on the floor today who say they will be supporting this ticket, both financially and with their hard work.
Now onto Frank Sesno.
SESNO: Well, Jeanne, take a position, take a risk, and certainly Joe Lieberman has done that on a number of occasions, in particular of major interest here, some of his positions on Social Security and Medicare. Back in 1997, he voted to raise Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. He says he wouldn't take off the table entirely raising the age some more, including for Social Security. He dabbled in considering a 2 percent payroll tax slide into privatizing Social Security. Now he says he rejects that.
Some of the seniors I've talked to here say they're not altogether comfortable with those positions, but as long as he puts them in his hip pocket for now and supports Al Gore, who's firmly opposed to those sorts of things, to protect those programs, why Joe Lieberman is OK by them.
Now onto Candy Crowley for more.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Frank.
Let me give you one fact, and that is in the past, Joe Lieberman has at least said that pilot programs for vouchers, that is vouchers given to public school parents to put their kids in private school, that has been something that Joe Lieberman has supported. Let me give you a figure. There are 534 teachers at this convention as delegates, more than 10 percent of the delegation. Needless to say, they are anti-voucher. Not only are they very active politically, they do give a lot of money as unions, mostly to the Democratic campaigns.
And from what we can tell talking to people down here on the floor, while they know that Joe Lieberman has looked favorably upon vouchers, they have been reassured both by him and by the head of the ticket, that the head of the ticket's position will prevail, and of course Al Gore is anti-voucher.
Back to the booth.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley and all of our correspondents on the floor, thank you very much.
Joining us here on the set, our political analyst Stu Rothenberg.
Stu, you've got some thoughts on Joe Lieberman.
STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, Judy. We've heard a number of things about the senator. We've heard how the senator helps Al Gore in a general election, or might help him. We've heard about Democratic constituency groups, how they've not been thrilled with
him. I want to take a slightly different look for a moment. I want to talk about the impact of Joe Lieberman's candidacy on Joe Lieberman. You know, you have to wonder, here's a guy who had a great reservoir of respect, a reputation for independence, liked across partisan lines, but when you fill this role of vice president, suddenly you become a much more partisan figure, and suddenly seen him backing off on some of his issue positions. He says he's clarifying them, but a number of people I talked to think it goes far beyond clarification. And you have to wonder, at some point, if he becomes a yes-man, whether or not that doesn't undercut his whole ability to help the ticket.
WOODRUFF: Can you keep your self-respect and be a vice president at the same time?
ROTHENBERG: Well, I think it's a difficult thing to do. I think automatically, you make yourself an assistant to the guy with the top billing, and you can see why people like Bob Kerrey, and Bill Bradley and John McCain were widely regarded as not really fitting the role.
And I think it's really interesting, this was something I didn't appreciate fully, and maybe a political analyst shouldn't admit to never having appreciated something fully. But when you look at Dick Cheney and how Dick Cheney fits into the whole Republican message, by picking Cheney, a conservative, whatever his weaknesses, whatever vulnerabilities, he solidified the base and allowed George W. Bush to go through the center throughout the convention. And here we don't see this, we have the vice president and the vice presidential nominee having to worry about the left and the right, and the constituency groups and the general electorate. I think it's a difficult position.
GREENFIELD: Bill Bennett, who's a sometime ally with Joe Lieberman on the media violence, sex issue, then as a conservative Republican, suggests today, I believe, that one of the consequences of Joe Lieberman's pick is that it might reflect unfavorably on Al Gore, that his contrasting Lieberman's willingness to go up against Democratic constituency groups with Al Gore who is sometimes seen as a guy who won't take risks. That's a little different from what you're suggesting, so play with that one for a minute. ROTHENBERG: Well, there are any number of these interpretations, Jeff. And one thing that I was thinking about, a twist on that one, is if Joe Lieberman ends up being the yes-man, what does that say about Al Gore, who also, also is criticized for doing whatever he has to do, to say whatever he has to do, to changing the color of shirts and suits that he has to do in order to meet with the public's approval? It sends -- I think it sends an overall message that Joe Lieberman is just another politician, and maybe that means Al Gore is, too.
SHAW: Talking to sources, you said that Lieberman is about the business of clarifying his positions -- translation: Does that mean he's about the business of softening his positions?
ROTHENBERG: Well, funny you should bring up, because just an hour ago, I ran into somebody from one of these constituency groups out here in the hall, and I went up to him and I said, "What do you think of the convention so far?" And he said, "Ask me after tonight. " I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Ask me after the Lieberman speech, then I'll know. "
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Stu. We're talking about the excitement, the interest, the speculation building inside the hall, as Joe Lieberman gets ready to speak in a couple of hours.
Outside the hall there is some tension, and we'll be talking about that when we get back.
GREENFIELD: For more than a year, the specter of protests has been haunting Los Angeles authorities. Monday night, a protests turned into scattered violence. There were many arrests. There were some confrontations. For what's going on tonight outside the hall, we go to Martin Savidge -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jeff, we are very carefully at this hour watching a situation that appears to be developing just outside of Staples Center, and actually just outside the official demonstration area. You can see the large phalanx of LAPD dressed in riot gear. They are mixed in with a loud crowd of protesters that are protesting against police brutality. That is a very sensitive subject in this community, has been for some time. This protests actually began about five hour ago and started from a central location in the city, moving up toward Parker Center. That's the headquarters for the L. A. Police Department. The whole while the procession made its way through the streets, they were carefully monitored and phalanxed the whole way by riot police. When they got to Parker Center, a very, very large contingent of police.
Most of the protests has gone very peacefully. But then on the march down to Staples Center here, there were altercations with the police, mainly pushing and shoving, the police using batons to try to get the crowd off of the sidewalk and back onto the streets.
But right now, it is a standoff that is taking place out at the intersection of Olympic and Figueroa, and we are watching, like those in the street, to see what develops -- Jeff.
GREENFIELD: Martin Savidge, thank you. We'll be following that story throughout the evening.
As you know, we've also been following the story of Senator John McCain and his medical situation, diagnosed with malignant melanoma. There's a kind of irony about John McCain in the news, because we're preparing to hear from the Democrats tonight of the convention a tribute to Vietnam veteran, John McCain one of the most notable of Vietnam veterans, having served six years in prison. And I think all of us were struck when we heard the news by something that Senator McCain said at the Republican convention just a couple of weeks ago. Here's what he said toward the end of that speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It is an inescapable and bittersweet irony of life that the older we are, the more distant the horizon becomes. I will not see what's over America's horizon. The years that remain are not too few, I trust. But the immortality that was the aspiration of my youth, as like all the treasures of youth, quietly slipped away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: Those words have an odd meaning tonight.
WOODRUFF: They do.
SHAW: One word comes to my mind -- eerie.
WOODRUFF: Well, and we have no way of knowing how much he knew. We can presume that he had some sort of biopsy by then, but whether he had any test results, we were told those didn't come along until after the Republican convention had ended.
What we are getting ready to watch and go down to the podium for here in Los Angeles is a tribute to Vietnam veterans, and two distinguished Democrats, one of them Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, who is a triple amputee because of severe injuries, wounds he suffered in 1968 in Vietnam, and also Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, who lost part of a leg because of injury he experienced in 1969.
GREENFIELD: He is, Bob Kerrey, who is a Navy Seal. He is the only member of Congress right now to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. It's also worth noting, Senator Cleland, who gets around in a motorized wheelchair, you know how many votes he missed this past year in the United States Senate? He missed one vote.
WOODRUFF: He's pretty remarkable. I knew him, in fact, for a number of years when I covered the Georgia state capitol, the statehouse, and Max Cleland was an ever-present figure. He was the state's secretary of state. And put in more hours in the building than anybody else, and all the time with a disability. In his case, it was an ability. SHAW: Yes, and I would bet a year's pay that one of these men, if not several of them, will mention the name of the man from Arizona, John McCain.
WOODRUFF: I think you can almost count on it.
We are told that they have a special electronic device that lowers the podium so that Max Cleland, who -- can come up on the stage, and also that Bob Kerrey will be seated in a chair, so they'll be both at the same level.
GREENFIELD: One other thing worth mentioning, something that Senator McCain and Bob Kerrey have in common, which is a fierce independent streak. Both of them have been eager to take on their own party, and maybe Vietnam had something to do with it.
We want to go down now to the floor and look at the videotape, a tribute to the Vietnam veterans.
WOODRUFF: These are some pictures that may have been shot by Max Cleland in Vietnam.
SEN. MAX CLELAND (D), GEORGIA: They go back and back and back, and it's like a videotape runs in your mind. You'd love to change the ending. You'd try to change the ending, but the ending is always the same.
I was with the First Air Cavalry Division. We going into the outskirts of Kaesong, air assaulting an entire division there. Unbeknownst to me. there was a young soldier, one or two days in country, behind me. He had pulled the pins on all his grenades, so they were very loose. So when he jumped off the chopper when those grenades fell, it was live, and I didn't know it. I turned around and I reached down to get it, and it went off.
I should be dead, but and there was some young men that came and helped us save my life. It was a hell of a day, and I was lucky to survive it.
SEN. BOB KERREY (D), NEBRASKA: In the Navy, with the anticipation that maybe I wouldn't have to go to Vietnam. That if my uncle had served in the Army Corps and my uncle had been killed in the Second World War, so there was certainly some connection to their service. It's over 30 years ago. It was dark, it was a mission that we went onto try to abduct some North Vietnamese and Vietcong, and we were going in and trying to take them out. We got a bit surprised ourselves, and caught fire early on, and I was able to keep my wits about me, and we survived the incident, and suppressed the enemy, and got very good intelligence and stopped the killing that had been going on in that part of the country.
I received the Medal of Honor in 1970 from President Nixon. I thought I was very undeserving, that there were many other people who could have got it besides me. I was persuaded to accept it on behalf of others who received nothing.
CLELAND: The real heroes in any war are those who don't come back. The rest of us are lucky.
KERREY: Like people to know that even though there may not be a war, the roughly two and half million men and women who wear the uniform, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Reserve, Guard units, they are risking their lives, they're giving up freedom, and that they're giving up freedom for ours oftentimes isn't quite as obvious as it ought to be.
CLELAND: In time of war, and not before, God and the soldier, men adore. In a time of peace, with all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted. I'm glad to know that this nation, particularly this Democratic Party, forgets neither God nor the soldier.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome two real American heroes, Democratic Senators Max Cleland of Georgia and Bob Kerrey of Nebraska.
CLELAND: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
Before we continue these proceedings this evening, we would be remiss if we were not to acknowledge the tremendous health challenge that our dear friend and Senate colleague and fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain faces tonight.
John is a great American, and he is our dear friend. He's a friend of every American.
And John, if you're watching tonight, just know that you and your family our in thoughts and prayers. God bless you.
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we celebrate the nomination of two other great Americans, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman.
But Bob and I are also here to recognize the courage, the heroism and sacrifice of some people who are not here -- America's veterans. We don't praise them or thank them nearly enough. We know that.
Now, tonight, some are at home with their families right this minute, with their medals and uniforms packed away in the attic or down in the basement. Others rest under headstones, America's sons and daughters, brothers, sisters, who were killed fighting for freedom. Still others remain missing in action, their ultimate fate known but to God. As you watch -- watched this video that you were shown, I hope you have thought, not just about Bob and me, but about all of America's veterans. We were actually the lucky ones. We came home. Others never did. For that, we are forever humbly in their debt.
KERREY: My fellow delegates and my fellow Americans, someone once wrote that: Poor is a nation who has no heroes. And poorer still is the nation that has them, but forgets.
Max is right. This country and this party must remember. Tonight, we celebrate those who have come from every corner of America to fight our battles on every continent in this world. And we thank the families they have left behind to make the most priceless sacrifice of all -- precious time with the people most precious to them.
From the heroes who fire weapons to those who fire wielding torches, from those who wear camouflage to those teach in the classrooms, their countless acts of quiet courage are the heart of America itself.
You know, there's a paradox about the military. It's a life of rules and restraint. We accept limitations in what we eat, what we do and what we wear. But there's no force more liberating than the knowledge that you're fighting for others.
I believe I speak for Max and for every person who's ever served when I say I never felt more free than when I wore the uniform of our country.
I am a Democrat because our party has believed for two centuries that to fight for the freedom of others, whether chained by dictators abroad or despair at home, is to free ourselves. So at a moment when we enact this ritual of selecting our leaders, let's pay tribute to those who have made that freedom possible.
Most of them won't have their name on any placard, but we will, we must, remember their deeds. And let us vow to keep America strong in honor of those who fought, who bled, who died and who are strong for America.
And I want to also offer a word to Terry McAuliffe, a great veteran who has been to many conventions. Terry, we wish you were here, and we wish you a speedy recovery.
GREENFIELD: Senator Max Cleland, Senator Bob Kerrey in a tribute to Vietnam veterans. The Vietnam War divided this party. It divided this party as very few issues have in recent decades. For more on that, let's go down to the floor -- Jeanne Meserve, to you.
MESERVE: Jeff, Al Gore's Vietnam service is one thing that makes voters sit up and say: Wow. Here was a guy a student who was a student at Harvard. He was the son of a U.S. senator. He probably could have engineered the way to avoid going to Vietnam. And he did not. In 1959, when the war was very unpopular, he enlisted. And in 1970, he shipped out for Vietnam, though he never saw combat there.
The backdrop to this: His father was running for reelection to the Senate. He opposed the Vietnam War and he lost his race. Focus groups with Democratic voters have shown that this part of his resume gets a great response. People think this shows a strength independence of character that they really like. And so you can expect them not just to point out his Vietnam service. They will be playing it up.
And now to Wolf Blitzer.
BLITZER: Jeanne, a little history now: The Vietnam War, of course, ripped apart the Democratic Party in the 1960s. The fighting in Vietnam was the source of so much concern, so much turmoil within the party, within the country, President Lyndon Baines Johnson of course decided not to seek reelection in 1968. The 1968 convention in Chicago, there were demonstrations, there were outspoken cries at that convention. Hubert Humphrey got the nomination, but Senator Eugene McCarthy led a fierceful fight against him, the Vietnam War being very much atop his agenda.
All of this has to be recalled tonight at this moving ceremony involving Vietnam and these two veterans.
Now for more, let's go to my colleague Frank Sesno on the floor.
SESNO: Wolf, we heard Jeanne Meserve tick through exactly what Al Gore has done, his connection with Vietnam. He was there as a journalist. He was only there in Vietnam itself for five months. But Vietnam and politics intersected for Al Gore and for Al Gore Sr., who was at the time involved in a bitter reelection campaign. In point of fact, he ended up using some of Al Gore Jr.'s military service in a campaign ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, GORE SR. CAMPAIGN AD, 1970)
NARRATOR: A sense of duty and responsibility begins at home. The values that one generation preserves and passes on to the next are the best legacy we can leave to future, says the senator from Smith County.
SEN. AL GORE SR. (D), TENNESSEE: You can love your country...
NARRATOR: He says: I have the same obligation as my son, to serve my country and the people of Tennessee. Those are the values that Albert Gore grew up with in the hills of Tennessee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESNO: It was a delicate balance Al Gore Sr. tried to walk. In the end, that ad was not effective. He ended up losing that race. Al Gore Sr. had opposed -- it was one of the lonely Southern voices -- opposing the Vietnam War. We will hear more of that.
Now to Candy Crowley.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Frank. No discussion of Vietnam service or military service can be complete without looking at the political implications. A quick look at recent history: In 1992, when Bill Clinton, the governor from Arkansas first ran, his avoidance of the draft became a major story and something which troubled his staff deeply. They didn't know exactly how it would play. You will remember that, at the time, Bill Clinton was challenging President George Bush, a man who had been decorated during World War II, who had to leave his falling plane and was rescued at sea. Bill Clinton won that race.
1996: Bob Dole, grievously wounded on a hillside in Italy, again during World War II -- Bill Clinton, the man who avoided the draft, again won that race.
And let's look at a little recent history, the primary season. John McCain, as we all know, a well-decorated man with quite a story to tell from Vietnam, versus George Bush, who served in the Air National Guard in Texas, his unit never called up. In South Carolina, where the veterans vote was very heavy, it was also very competitive during -- between the two men, and we all know who won the primaries.
Now to my colleague John King.
KING: Thank you, Candy. A lot of focus in this year's presidential campaign on John McCain's service in Vietnam. When Al Gore first ran for president back in 1988, he was the first Vietnam veteran to make a serious run for the presidency. In that campaign, some critics charged, one campaign brochure was a bit misleading: It showed Gore carrying an M-16. It left the impression, his critics said, that he was an infantryman. But Gore said there was nothing wrong about it. He said at the time -- quote -- "I carried a loaded M-16 and a pencil," referring to his role as an Army journalist.
It came up again, as Candy mentioned, when he was picked as Bill Clinton's running mate in 1992. And he mentions his service now often on the campaign trail.
Let's take a look at what Gore has said about this issue then and now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: I served in Vietnam. I know the importance of protecting our national security. And I know there must be better ways to resolve our differences than through war.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: I do not claim that my military experience matches what others here have been through. I know some of your stories. They are genuinely and deeply heroic stories: a lot of sacrifice, a lot of selflessness, a lot of patriotism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now the vice president served five months in Vietnam. The average tour then was 12 months. Some have suggested perhaps he received preferential treatment. The senator has said that he knows nothing about that if he did. He was the son of a senator at the time, some officers saying that they were told to keep a special eye on him. The vice president, though, has said that if there was any special treatment being given to him, he was never made aware of it.
Again, the Gore campaign believes his service one of the more powerful issues as they spend the next two days trying to give his biography to the American people.
Back to the booth.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King and your colleagues, thanks very much.
When we come back, gentlemen, Mary Matalin, Mike McCurry, we can't wait.
NARRATOR: On day three of the 1896 Democratic Convention in Chicago, gold was the issue and William Jennings Bryan was the speaker. In the middle of an economic depression, Americans were divided over keeping the U.S. dollar backed by its full value in gold or partial value in silver.
Most big business interests wanted to keep the so-called "gold standard." Bryan argued for coining silver in a classic speech he would recreate a quarter century later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: That speech helped get the young Nebraskan the presidential nomination on the fifth ballot, the first of this three unsuccessful tries for the White House.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: Well, here we are 104 years later, and we are into the third night of this Democratic National Convention. And there is no one we would rather hear from right now as to how things are going than Mike McCurry and Mary Matalin.
Have at it!
MIKE MCCURRY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It seems like we've been here 104 years, doesn't it? It's been a long (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
You know, I was reminded of that piece about Vietnam of some of the differences. I think, you know, we're going to talk about some of the differences that, you know, have surfaced between Senator Lieberman and some elements of the party here. But you know, Mary, if you don't fight about your differences, you can't make up either. And I think part of what's going on here is trying to bring people together, closure around the ticket so we can go out of this convention united.
MARY MATALIN, CO-HOST, CNN "CROSSFIRE": Not just this -- this convention, but this entire year, the candidacy of John McCain has allowed us as a nation to thank and bring closure to that era. We never properly thanked the Vietnam veterans.
MCCURRY: And we could do it here at our convention; you couldn't do it at yours.
MATALIN: Geez, start right in. OK. Well, then let's talk about your convention.
MCCURRY: All right.
MATALIN: Let's remember why we were here, what the purpose of a vice presidential selection is: It's to unite, it's to energize the base. This Lieberman selection, he's a good man, it was good selection, but everything that was good about him is dissipating as you're making him backpedal on all of those centrist positions. He was asked by Maxine Waters to come and bend. He bowed and scraped.
So everything that was good about the selection is poofing away, and he's managed to tick off and divide both your voting base, minorities and teachers, and your money base, the Hollywood people and the trial lawyers.
Nice -- nice-going, Mike.
MCCURRY: Look, I've talked to some of the people that Senator Lieberman has visited with, and they genuinely appreciate the outreach that he's made to them. There's a real dialogue going on and they needed that. They needed to look him in the eye, hear him talk about his passion and his commitment, and he's winning them over. You can feel that.
And going around, talking to some of the delegations that he's talked to, some of the groups that he has met with. But you know, at the same --- at the same time, all of this discussion that we're having is only serving to remind America of positions where Senator Lieberman's position and what he thinks on these issues is closer to what most Americans believe.
I'd rather be in this situation, explaining why Joe Lieberman believes what he believes on these issues, like affirmative action, school voice, some of those things that I think really matter to voters, than to be in the position of Dick Cheney, trying to explain a voting record that is considerably to the right of where America is.
MATALIN: Nice try. Nice try.
MCCURRY: Well, that's a good...
MATALIN: Senator Lieberman is voting today, and he's being asked to change all of his positions. That's why Maxine Waters and the other -- your other groups are coming along. You can't continue trashing a 20-year-old distorted voting record of Dick Cheney. It's just not going to work.
MCCURRY: Well, he's not changing those positions, but what he has to do, like they all do -- look, when I worked for Senator Bentsen in 1988, we had the same kind of discussion: Senator Bentsen's record versus Governor Dukakis' record. You have to bring into alignment and calibrate those positions.
This is a big party, lots of diverse interests in this party, lots of constituencies that have to come together, and this convention is the glue that holds those pieces together.
MATALIN: Let me ask you this: When you went to the Black Caucus, did he say that group preferences were un-American? I don't think so. When he went to the women's groups, did he say that the right to choice is not unlimited, as he has said? When he speaks tonight, is he going to say that Social Security and Medicare reform, as championed by Bush and the bipartisan commission, thwarted by Gore and Clinton, are the right things?
No, he's backpedaling.
MCCURRY: He's -- he's -- we'll see -- we'll see in the speech obviously how much he really addresses exactly those questions. But I think under -- underscoring all of that, philosophically he has to say what is in his heart, what he believes, and then demonstrate that that's really where the mainstream of America is, and more importantly, that it falls very closely in line with what the candidate, the person that matters most, Al Gore, will be saying tonight.
MATALIN: OK, let me try...
GREENFIELD: All right.
MATALIN: Oh, no, Jeff. We want to fight some more.
MCCURRY: Here it comes.
GREENFIELD: ... you can fight all you want. First it's time for the ritual of humiliation. They pay good money for this in New York City, to be ritually humiliated. Here it's for free -- this political IQ quiz that we've been giving all week.
MCCURRY: Greenfield, I'm beginning to think that our purpose here every night is for you to put us on the spot like this, but go ahead.
MATALIN: You're personal -- for your personal entertainment we will humiliate ourselves again.
GREENFIELD: Fine. Here's the IQ quiz, but the anchors can play along. These, I think, are pretty interesting.
This vice president declared "What this country needs is a good 5-cent cigar?" Was it John Nance Garner, Thomas Marshall, Alben Barkley or Adlai Stevenson? And the answer...
MCCURRY: Barkley. It has to be either Garner or Marshall, but...
GREENFIELD: Well, excuse me, it was John Nance Garner who said the vice presidency wasn't worth a pitcher of warm spit, but Thomas Marshall talked about the cigar.
Anybody know who's president he was? Woodrow Wilson. Let's move on.
MATALIN: What a showoff! OK...
Set yourself up.
GREENFIELD: Question two, Franklin Roosevelt's campaign manager in 1932 and '39 served as both chair of the Democratic National Committee and postmaster-general before he broke with the president in 1940 over the third-term issue. Was it (a) Larry O'Brien, (b) Ed Flynn, (c) John Bailey, (d) Jim Farley.
MATALIN: Oh, that's too easy.
GREENFIELD: It may be too easy. It's the right answer.
Farley, a man, if he met you once, remembered your name for the rest of his life. That's what made him a great pol.
And lastly, this president wanted -- quote -- a word made safe for democracy. Was it Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, or Harry Truman?
MCCURRY: A great president of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson.
GREENFIELD: It was Woodrow Wilson, although the real answer is they all wanted the world made for democracy, but he said it.
Now, have you got a vengeance question?
MCCURRY: You know we do. You know we do. But ours aren't going to be easy, because we want the top student in the class to get this one.
MCCURRY: Only one delegate voted for someone other than Spiro Agnew during the vice presidential balloting at the 1972 Republican Convention. The delegate voted for...
SHAW: David Brinkley.
MCCURRY: ... Pete McCloskey, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, or David Brinkley. You just got a very good help from your seat-mate over there...
MATALIN: Oh, no fair, Bernie. Let the valedictorian answer it.
GREENFIELD: That's very good.
SHAW: Well, I remember that. I was watching the convention.
GREENFIELD: Actually, Bernie was hoping to be drafted. They got the wrong anchor.
MCCURRY: Bernie, maybe you'll get a vote when they go around and do the...
GREENFIELD: Thank you very much -- Judy. WOODRUFF: All right. All right. We've got to put an end to all this wisdom and silliness. We are going to take a break. When we come back, much more ahead at this Democratic convention.
NARRATOR: On day three of the 1948 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey demanded the party commit the federal government to protect civil rights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR HUBERT HUMPHREY (D), MINNEAPOLIS: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadows of states rights and to walk forthrightly into the great sunshine of human rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Passage of a civil rights plank led many Southern delegates to walk out...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we bid you goodbye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: ... to form a pro-segregation states rights party, better-known as Dixiecrats, hold their own convention, and make South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond their presidential nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. STROM THURMOND, SOUTH CAROLINA: The American people from one (UNINTELLIGIBLE) or the other had better wake up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Thurmond would get 2 percent of the vote and lose to Harry Truman. Humphrey would win a Senate seat.
SHAW: You know, many of the delegates behind me down there on the floor of this hall of the Staples Center came to this city from all corners of this great country. They've come with many agendas, but the No. 1 goal of this party is to sell voters on the ticket: Al Gore and Joe Lieberman.
CNN's John King reports on that effort and some of the people involved.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KING (voice-over): The selling of Al Gore is a production with many stars: Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson...
JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Keep hope alive!
KING: ... and Susan Fadley.
SUSAN FADLEY, SCHOOL TEACHER: And what he said to us was, tell me what you need, you are on the front lines.
KING: Yes, Susan Fadley. She's a kindergarten teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Her remarks might not have made it on primetime TV, but they did win Gore a little extra press in a critical battleground state.
Dawn Anna is another one of the Democratic National Convention's real people, the mother of a Columbine High shooting victim, an advocate for Al Gore.
DAWN ANNA, GUN CONTROL ADVOCATE: It's just time to stop, stop the violence, stop the madness.
KING: This is ground zero in the Democratic Party's effort to sell its candidate to those who can't make it to Los Angeles. The Democratic News Service and its army of 300 make sure the speeches make it to the Internet.
ROBIN SCHEPPER, DIRECTOR, DEMOCRATIC NEWS SERVICE: We have still photos. We have audio, we have video on demand. We put the speeches -- so any of the content that you would get here you can get anywhere else.
KING: It's a high-tech endeavor now, but there are still a few old standbys, like interviews with local radio shows, and this conference call allowing Congressman Ron Klink to speak to reporters back home in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania.
REP. RON KLINK (D), PENNSYLVANIA: There are a lot of issues that Al Gore and I may not agree 100 percent, but I found him to be intelligent and honorable and a real leader and selfless.
KING: It's a million-dollar operation, every successful booking...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect. We've got -- 4 o'clock sounds good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: ... outnumbered by rejections.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Thank you. Bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now all this a reflection of how our business, the news business, is changing. As people have more options of where to get their information, the campaigns are adapting to that environment.
Standing with me now, a key architect of the Gore campaign's communications effort, communications director Mark Fabiani.
Mark, the broadcast networks used to cover the conventions gavel- to-gavel. They no longer do that. How does that force you to change what you do to reach the voters you need reach?
MARK FABIANI, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, GORE CAMPAIGN: Well, people, especially swing voters and working families, get their information from all kinds of places these days, from the Internet, from the newspaper, the radio. And so it's great to be on network TV, but we also want to be in the local markets all across the country and especially in battleground states.
KING: One of the things we have heard from the campaign staff is look for a lot of biographical information about Al Gore the next few days: his family life, his service in Vietnam. He's been in national politics for 20 years, vice president for eight years. Why do you feel this is so necessary?
FABIANI: People are now going to take a fresh look at Al Gore. He has stepped to the center stage. He's firmly taken the reins of leadership of the Democratic Party yesterday from President Clinton. He's now the leading man, and people want to find out more about him. And the more they know about Al Gore, the more they like him: his service in Vietnam, his work as a reporter, his leadership on the environment and arms control. They like him the more they know about him.
KING: Your vice presidential candidate, Senator Joe Lieberman, speaks tonight. At Republican convention, Dick Cheney was quite partisan: "time for them to go," borrowing a line from the Democrats in 1992, making a pretty sharp partisan argument against this ticket. Will we hear the same from Senator Lieberman tonight?
FABIANI: Not at all. We're committed to running a positive campaign. What Dick Cheney did at the Republican convention was an outrage. It was unoriginal. He borrowed a line that we used years ago. It was in very low taste what he did, and we have no intention of following in those footsteps.
This is going to be a positive campaign about the future.
KING: All right, Mark Fabiani, communications director for the Gore campaign. We thank you for your time, and back to Bernie in the booth.
SHAW: Thank you, John, and before we hear from the man from Connecticut, Wolf Blitzer has a guest we want to listen to -- Wolf. BLITZER: Thank you, Bernie. Joining me here on the podium is Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, who just was honored together with Senator Max Cleland.
Senator Kerrey, what do you think the proper role of President Clinton should be now? There's been some suggestion he should just step aside, fade away. What is your sense?
SEN. BOB KERREY (D), NEBRASKA: I think he has to make a concerted effort to stay on the sidelines. I mean, it's going to be very hard for him. He is still president. He is very much engaged in the debate. But he has got to let the spotlight fall on the vice president. He just has to. And it is hard to do. It's very hard to do. But I believe he must do it.
BLITZER: But he still has a base out there in the Democratic Party. Can't he can't help Al Gore by going out there and campaigning for him?
KERREY: The answer is yes. He can unquestionably help the vice president. But it has got to be vice president running his own campaign, and the vice president has to be allowed to be as independent as he wants to be. In other words, for eight years, the vice president, when he reached a conclusion, if it was different than the president, he had to trim. He sad to say: I'm going with president's decision. And now we've got to see Al Gore saying: These are my views. These are my beliefs. They may be different, but this is where I want to take the United States of America.
BLITZER: And I know your thoughts are with your friend and your fellow Vietnam War veteran, Senator John McCain. What's going through your mind right now?
KERREY: Well, it is on my mind. It's my heart. I mean, it's just so sad. This guy has been through so much in his life. And to -- and I just hope that my prayers will be heard like lots of others and that he recovers from this and gets over it.
BLITZER: We of course echo those thoughts. Thank you so much, Senator.
Back to the booth.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Senator Kerrey. Thank you, Wolf.
One of the facts about Bob Kerrey is that he is going to be leaving the United States Senate at the end of the year, which is going to make it that much harder for the Democrats to take back the Senate that they lost in 1994.
Stu Rothenberg, getting back the Congress for some of the people may be as important, if not more important than retaking or keeping the White House. Your thoughts on how the convention is playing on that.
ROTHENBERG: No, you're absolutely right. The Democrats are here to nominate a ticket, but already the fight for the House and the Senate has gotten some attention, Jeff. For example, the president mentioned the fight in his speech Monday night. We have had Hillary Clinton as U.S. Senate candidate from New York. We have had talk about how Joe Lieberman might affect the House and the Senate races. The bottom line for the House and the Senate, they're both up for grabs.
The Democrats need six seats to take over the House. They might need seven to elect a speaker, because Ohio Democratic congressman Jim Traficant will vote for Dennis Hastert for speaker. In the Senate, the Democrats need five seats. It's doable, but it's quite a long shot. The House is where most of the action is right now.
GREENFIELD: We used to talk about coattails. In my memory, not since Ronald Reagan in 1980, has any president brought coattails. Is that just a myth that we just should stop talking about?
ROTHENBERG: No, because we can have partisan elections where there is a wave for one party or the other, where there is a fundamental partisan or ideological advantage. We don't see this now. We see individual races in the House -- about three dozen. There are maybe 30, 35, 40 House races that are really in play. In terms of coattails, I think you could say that Joe Lieberman's nomination probably makes it harder for a couple of Republicans in Connecticut.
It makes it easier for Democratic congressman Jim Maloney in the 5th District to hold on to his seat against Mark Nielsen. But I don't expect great coattails. This is going to be race by race, state by state. So, if you are in California and you're looking at Steve Kuykendall's district, he's got to defeat Jane Harman on his own in that district. He can't count on the presidential race.
WOODRUFF: All right, Stu Rothenberg, thank you very much.
When we come back, the man who keeps an eye on money for us: Brooks Jackson on a jaunt around Los Angeles with a well-known Southern senator.
WOODRUFF: A beautiful skyline of the City of Angels, Los Angeles. You know, there is something about this city that is turning normally serious political operatives into social butterflies, running from one party to another.
Brooks Jackson checks out a circuit that has been fueled by food, drink, and fun, and, of course, money.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Believe it or not, this is a U.S. senator, John Breaux of Louisiana. Back in Washington, he's a high-ranking member of both the Finance and Commerce Committees. Here in Los Angeles, he's a party animal, thanks to lobbyists and their money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy Mardi Gras!
JACKSON: Breaux's party is at Paramount's movie lot -- the cost: hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by drug companies, tobacco companies, telecom companies, military contractors -- a long list.
SEN. JOHN BREAUX (D), LOUISIANA: We have about 26 sponsors; 13 different industries have participated and put this together. Sponsors range from anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. And of course, that's a lot of money, but it's probably cheaper than they would pay if they were renting a restaurant.
JACKSON: Breaux is right, but he's hardly alone. The convention is a regular bacchanal of corporate-sponsored partying.
LEE HEFTER, EXECUTIVE CHEF, SPAGO: Morning, noon, and night, I run crews through the kitchen, 24 hours a day. In the restaurant itself, we're doing probably five full events where they have exclusively rented the whole restaurant. And then outside, off- premise events, maybe 16 our catering department is going to handle. And this is, for us, as busy as the Academy Awards. The millennium new years didn't bring as much work to us as this.
JACKSON: And at this restaurant, the food alone for these events runs between $100 and $150 per person. Liquor is extra.
NANCY WILSON, MUSICIAN (singing): Mr. Saturday Night.
JACKSON: It's going on all over. General Motors paid for this bash: food, drink, music by jazz legend Nancy Wilson. GM's party was for the congressional Black Caucus. And the Hispanic Caucus was wined, literally, by Bank of America.
JACKIE HEROLD TILDEN, SR. V.P., BANK OF AMERICA: There's a wine tasting. And there's a luncheon occurring. And then we're having wine tours afterwards.
JACKSON: And though Democrats are traditionally the party of labor, there's no less business-sponsored partying here than there was for Republicans. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad used these vintage cars to entertain in Philadelphia two weeks ago, then hauled them across the country to entertain Democrats here.
(on camera): How many events will you have here this week?
JEFFREY R. MORELAND, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BNSF: I believe we have 13 events. So we're going to keep busy.
JACKSON (voice-over): And the Union Pacific Railroad did the same thing.
THOMAS J. DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: In the House and in the Senate, the votes are very, very close. Nobody knows who's going to win. And the corporate sponsorship is about equal. It takes the votes of both parties to pass anything of significance in the Congress. And this is a celebration.
JACKSON: It's not strictly business. The cruise ship industry helped actress Tippi Hedren push a pet project.
TIPPI HEDREN, ACTRESS: There are no laws in most states that prohibit lions and tigers from being bred and sold as pets, which is an absurd situation.
JACKSON: Hey, this is L.A. But seriously, this is business, too.
DONOHUE: This is all about having relationships so that when votes come up in Congress on trade, on health care, on taxes, on economic development, on sanctions, that there are people on both sides of the aisle that know that business care about them, care about the American process, care about how rules and laws are made in the United States, and wants to be a part of it.
BREAUX: The same people that we deal with back in Washington. I mean, they come to our office, they talk about legislation. We deal with them fairly. If we agree with them, we do, and if we don't, we don't. So having them participate in a party out here is no big deal. I've got four bands, and a Mardi Gras parade. If anybody wants to talk about amendments, this is the wrong place to do it.
JACKSON (on camera): Though, as Senator Breaux said in his invitation: Laissez les bons temps rouler -- let the good times roll.
Brooks Jackson, CNN, following the money in Los Angeles.
SHAW: Extravagance outside the hall, extravagance inside the hall?
Jeanne Meserve to tell us more.
MESERVE: Bernie, we talked a lot at the Republican Convention about how choreographed it was. Well, this one has its choreography, too. And about this time every night, you see the troops emerge from the subterranean tunnels here, carrying garbage bags. They take those bags up through the audience, fanning out, they open them up, and they take out the signs that will be the props throughout the evening. They tell me that every night they distribute about 9,000 signs, five different versions. Tonight, one has come out, "Working Families for Gore," "Safe Sound Schools for our Children." This is one of five that will come out tonight, and this is very tightly controlled. I had a delegate telling me earlier that came out with a sign from last night, a sanctioned sign, that said "African-Americans for Gore- Lieberman," and it was taken away from her. Wrong night, wrong sign. That is staying on message.
Now Back to Jeff.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Jeanne.
A few moments ago, you heard Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska suggest that the best thing President Clinton could do for Al Gore was, essentially, be quiet for the next couple of months. Let's go down to the floor to Frank Sesno now, who's with someone who may have some thoughts about that suggestion -- Frank.
SESNO: Thanks, Jeff. I'm with Joe Lockhart, President Clinton's press secretary.
First and foremost, the president is gone, said to be receding from the stage. Why are you here? What are you doing?
JOE LOCKHART, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, like a good Democrat, I want to see what Joe Lieberman has got to say, I'm excited about it. I think the whole party is excited to hear him tonight, to have him introduce himself to the country.
SESNO: So the question at hand and the one that Jeff Greenfield raised, you couldn't hear him earlier -- Senator Kerrey said to Wolf Blitzer in an interview, the best thing Bill Clinton to do, the necessary thing that Bill Clinton can do, to step to the side, truly recede, because otherwise, Al Gore may lose this election?
LOCKHART: Well, I think that may be the wrong way to approach it. I think, politically, the president has stepped aside, and Al Gore will lead the party in November. But we still have some things that have to get done, as far as the appropriations fight, the budget fight, and that's good for all Democrats. We're going to be pushing prescription drugs for Medicare, Patients' Bill of Rights, minimum wage, gun safety legislation -- those are important things we can get done this year. The president will be part of that fight, with Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, Al Gore at the top of the ticket. It's going to be an exciting September.
SESNO: And on the campaign trail, too?
LOCKHART: You know, I think the campaign trail, Al Gore will have to take the lead and Joe Lieberman. I'm not sure you'll see the president out there that much out there.
SESNO: Joe Lockhart, appreciate your time -- Jeff.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Frank.
Speaking of Senator Kerrey, at the podium a while ago, he expressed his concern for the health of Terry McAuliffe, who's the Democratic convention chair. Senator Kerrey told us he misspoke. What he meant to talk about, of course, was Senator John McCain of Arizona, who diagnosed today with malignant melanoma.
When we come back in a moment, we're going to meet one of those delegates who actually decides what happens here.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the end of a very long day three of the 1972 Democratic convention in Miami Beach, the party settled on Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, as Senator George McGovern's presidential running mate. He wasn't the nominee's first choice, but Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts didn't want the job. Eagleton wouldn't keep the job. After the convention, a story about Eagleton's medical past led to the candidate confirming he'd twice had electric shock therapy for nervous exhaustion. Although McGovern insisted he was 1,000 percent behind his running mate, Eagleton would be the first Democratic vice presidential candidate to quit in more than 100 years. McGovern would replace him with Ambassador Sergeant Shriver. They would lose. McGovern returns to the Senate, where Eagleton would outlast him.
GREENFIELD: Throughout this convention and the other convention in Philadelphia, we've been introducing to you men and women who are here not as celebrities, or speakers or commentators, God help us, but as delegates. At a time when most Americans can barely be persuaded to think about politics once every two or four years, these people think about politics just about every day of their lives. A case in point, the gentlelady from Illinois.
JULIA KENNEDY BECKMAN, ILLINOIS DELEGATE: I wanted to give you a button on a bumper sticker.
I'm from here in Downer's Grove. I'm representing our congressional district.
GREENFIELD (voice-over): Lunchtime at the Omega Restaurant in Downer's Grove, Illinois.
BECKMAN: If I get lucky and get to talk to Al Gore at the convention.
GREENFIELD: And Julia Kennedy Beckman is working the room.
BECKMAN: What message would you like to send him?
GREENFIELD: Not for votes. She was picked as a Gore delegate months ago, but for ideas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Social Security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids bringing guns in school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The elderly.
GREENFIELD: At the DuPage County Fair, Julia Beckman's asking folks the same question.
BECKMAN: What do you want me to tell Mr. Gore if I get a chance to see him?
GREENFIELD: If it sounds like an improbable possibility, then you haven't met Miss Beckman. At 59, she's got a full-time job as a human resources person at a local hospital, but she's more like a human dynamo -- director of her church choir, DuPage County Democratic precinct committeewoman, one-woman voter registration drive, and wife, mother, grandmother.
BECKMAN: I personally do it, I think, because I came from a tradition, from my family's tradition of public service. It's just like breathing. My parents were extremely interested in politics from the time I was very young. I can remember one of my earliest memories was sitting around the radio listening to every minute of the Democratic convention.
GREENFIELD: Her appetite was whetted by a chance encounter with Senator John F. Kennedy while she was a student in Iowa in 1959.
BECKMAN: He was the first one I had seen light up a room when they enter it. I did get to meet him and I got to shake his hand, and I got tell him that my name was Kennedy, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKMAN: It was really public service, and young people responded to that, including me, and it just helped me along the way, I guess, toward political action.
GREENFIELD: So now, 40 years later, Julia Kennedy Beckman is still at it, beckoning people to the polls, determined to know what to say to Al Gore, should she get the chance, and passionate about reconnecting the next generation to politics.
BECKMAN: But we really need to educate young people as to how important the political system is. And if they feel that it's, you know, been -- politics has been a dirty word or it's not useful for them because they're not going to be able to make a difference, we need to change that perception.
GREENFIELD: Now down to the Illinois delegation to John King and to Julia Beckman -- John.
KING: Lo and behold, here is Julia Kennedy Beckman. You're telling us this is your second convention. What have you been most struck by here in Los Angeles?
BECKMAN: What I've been struck by is the enormous enthusiasm for not only Vice President Gore and Joe Lieberman, but also for President Clinton. There's a lot of love what the Clintons have done for us in the last eight years, and then I think one of the most emotional moments was Caroline Kennedy's speech. There was hardly a dry eye in the house. KING: And the president, should he be active in this campaign in support of the vice president?
BECKMAN: I believe he should, I really do, because I think people can separate the -- some of the behavior from the very successful policies that we've had over the last eight years. And we've heard time and time again the success stories of ordinary working people.
KING: Julia, we thank you for your time.
And back to Jeff Greenfield in the booth.
GREENFIELD: And right back down to the podium, where Richard Gephardt, the House minority leader and would-be speaker is addressing the delegates.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: It requires a majority in Congress that will also make the right decisions for America's families, a Congress that will put families first.
The present leadership in Congress has been totally unwilling to consider, much less decide, issues that are very important for millions of people. They've been unwilling to do a patients' bill of rights, a Medicare prescription benefit, reducing class size, campaign reform and gun safety. Every day in every way, the Republican leadership has been one-sided, intolerant of other views, unbending to compromise and consensus.
When I was majority leader, we met with the Republican leadership almost daily to communicate, to find consensus, to overcome our disagreements so we could actually do something. In the last six years with them in the majority, we've met maybe once a year to discuss important issues. They don't communicate, they dictate. Democracy deserves better.
SHAW: The Democrats' leader in the House, the man who would be speaker, Mr. Gephardt of Missouri.
Bill Schneider, our senior political analyst, is here. Gephardt would like to be speaker of the House. They need to win six seats to take control of the House. But Joseph Lieberman's ideology, is it to the center enough? Or is it too far into the center to enable the Democrats to pull this off?
SCHNEIDER: Well, let's talk about ideology. You know, Bill Clinton pulled Democrats to the center. Whoever expected to hear Democrats talking about balancing the budget, or my goodness, welfare reform? Clinton had the charisma and the credentials on race and on abortion to take his party with him. Now there's Joe Lieberman. Is he out of line with the Democratic party? Let's see. Where are the voters? Lieberman supports a missile-defense system. Fewer than half of Democrats agree. Lieberman supports school vouchers. Only a quarter of Democrats agree. Lieberman has criticized affirmative action. Only a quarter of Democrats agree with that. Lieberman's a man of conservative instincts in a party that is still pretty liberal.
How can he sell to Democrats? Answer: the inclusion message. The first Jewish candidate on a national ticket, breaking barriers, Democrats just love that. Lieberman heads the Democratic Leadership Council, whose express purpose is to convert the Democratic Party to a more conservative view. Does Lieberman's nomination mean that the DLC has taken over the Democratic Party? Well, you know, not necessarily. Because remember, he is in the number-two position. If the views of the vice presidential candidate differ with those of the presidential candidate, it is always the vice president who has to change.
Remember when George Bush got on the ticket with Ronald Reagan? Suddenly his views on abortion became antiabortion and he stopped talking about voodoo economics.
WOODRUFF: But why isn't if smart, Bill, just quickly, for Al Gore to play to the center, those swing voters and others in the middle, independent voters and others to whose views Lieberman's might be appealing.
SCHNEIDER: First, he's got to get through this convention, and there Lieberman has been attacking a bit as to what we reported a little bit earlier. But yes, he intends to use Lieberman to show those swing voters and independents that he's open to other points of view. He doesn't want Lieberman to shift completely, I don't believe.
SHAW: Bill Schneider, thank you very much. Much, much more to come in our coverage from Los Angeles. My watch tells me that in a few minutes, "LARRY KING LIVE" will also be here. Back in a moment with more.
WOODRUFF: We're just about an hour away from what you might call the meat of this third night of this Democratic convention. We're going to hear from Joe Lieberman, the candidate for vice president. We're going to remarks by actor Tommy Lee Jones, and by the 27-year- old daughter of Al Gore, Karenna Gore Schiff. Let's take a look now at the life of this remarkable young woman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome Karenna Gore Schiff.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): She has spent most of her life in the political arena. But now, just a week past her 27th birthday, Karenna Gore Schiff stands on the national stage in a true supporting role. She is an informal adviser to her father's presidential campaign, and also heads up GoreNet, the youth-oriented arm of the campaign. She delivers a pointed message to college students and Generation X'ers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARENNA GORE SCHIFF, DAUGHTER OF AL GORE: For all our creativity and enterprise, too many of us look at the ballot box and say, "whatever."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: The eldest daughter of Al and Tipper Gore was born into politics: Her grandfather, Albert Gore Sr., served 32 years in Congress. Her father won his first Congressional seat on her third birthday.
Today, she is married to Andrew Schiff, a physician and former New York City Council candidate. They have a son, Wyatt, who turned 1-year old this past 4th of July. Karenna Gore Schiff not only juggles motherhood and the all-consuming work of politics, she's also looking beyond the election. She recently graduated from Columbia Law School and plans to take the bar exam in February, the month after the presidential inauguration.
WOODRUFF: And Karenna Gore's mother will be a guest next on "LARRY KING LIVE."
We'll be back in an hour. See you then.
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