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Joe Lieberman, Karenna Gore Schiff Speak to the Democratic National ConventionAired August 16, 2000 - 10:00 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: Connecticut's Joe Lieberman has stood in the well of the United States Senate speaking on issues of the day. Tonight, his words to delegates, party, and country will be under very close examination.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: All that to be followed by the very personal words of people who have known Al Gore longest and best. Tonight, nominating him for president will be his friend, the actor Tommy Lee Jones and daughter, 27-year-old Karenna Gore Schiff.
ANNOUNCER: ... 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.
WOODRUFF: This is the night that Joe Lieberman has been -- has to have been anticipating for the last eight days, since he found out at 7:00 in the morning last Monday that he was Al Gore's choice.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: John Lewis, a congressman from Georgia, a civil rights hero, is finishing his remarks. After him, Hadassah Lieberman will be here to introduce her husband. And you know, we use the words historic...
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: ... whose immigrant journey embodies the American dream, Mrs. Hadassah Lieberman.
GREENFIELD: We have talked about historic evenings before, Judy and Bernie. I think that would be an understatement right now, as the first Jewish vice presidential nominee will talk to the country.
SHAW: One of his first moments of truth on the road to the White House, he hopes.
WOODRUFF: Hadassah Lieberman, the second wife of Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. They were married in 1984. They have one child, a daughter, Hana, between them. And they each have children from previous marriages. Hadassah Lieberman spoke very movingly the day she and her husband were introduced to the American people about her parents, her mother, the survivor, a survivor of the Holocaust. GREENFIELD: And they fled a communist regime to come to the United States, so she spoke on behalf of all immigrants when she said: This is our country, too.
WOODRUFF: She told me in an interview last evening up here that -- she said: I still have not come down from cloud nine. She's still very, very excited about all this.
SHAW: You can just imagine how this woman feels in this hall tonight. And very shortly, she's going to tell us.
HADASSAH LIEBERMAN, WIFE OF SENATOR JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Thank you so much. Wow.
AUDIENCE: Hadassah. Hadassah. Hadassah.
H. LIEBERMAN: Thank you. Thank you. Wow. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
It's hard to believe that it was only one week ago that Tipper and I were in my wonderful home town, Gardner, Massachusetts...
... to celebrate this newest adventure in our lives. To all of our family, our old friends, our new friends, we thank you. We thank you for your support, for your enthusiasm, for your love. It has been overwhelming and so gratifying.
Tonight, I want to share with you some very personal thoughts about my Joey.
I want to share with you what public service really means to him and how his service has been shaped by the values that are his heart and soul.
For Joe, family, faith, neighborhood, congregation and community are the guideposts of his life, orienting the choices he makes and the causes that he champions.
Community keeps Joe grounded and reminds him of his commitment to respectful living. It reminds him to embrace our nation's diversity and to celebrate our differences. It reminds him of the republic he serves, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Joe often says that effective public service casts a wide net and gathers the community together to support one another, a kind of approach that demands living up to your obligations and leaves no person behind.
(APPLAUSE) An approach that invites collaboration and rewards the results.
Some folks have said my husband is just a regular Joe. He is that, and he's much more. His connection to the larger community has molded a vision that is anything but ordinary.
When Al Gore chose my husband as his running mate, this country got a man whose mission in life is inspired by the people -- the people that he serves and the community he loves.
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great, great pleasure to introduce my husband, my best friend and the love of my life, Joe Lieberman.
WOODRUFF: It's a piece of history, there's no question. He is the first Jewish-American to be placed on a major party ticket. You know, we've said that over and over again for the last eight or nine days. But there it is. This is a very special moment.
GREENFIELD: And the music "Chariots of Fire" from a movie that talks about prejudice in Great Britain about 70 or 75 years ago -- no accident, I presume. The first woman he kissed was his 85-year-old mother -- and then a kiss for Senator Barbara Boxer, then embraced with Hadassah.
AUDIENCE: Joe! Joe! Joe!
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, friends.
AUDIENCE: Joe. Joe. Joe.
LIEBERMAN: Thank you. Thank you very much. God bless you. Thank you.
Thank you so very much.
Thank you, Jenny (ph).
Is America a great country or what?
Yes it is. God bless America, land that we love.
Dear friends, 10 days ago, with courage and with friendship, Al Gore asked me to be his running mate.
And I don't have to tell you that this has been a most extraordinary week for my family and me. There's an old saying that behind every successful man there's a surprised mother-in-law.
Well, I can tell you, that this week, that's been particularly true.
I want to thank the daughter of my mother-in-law. The woman who just introduced me.
Isn't she great?
Hadassah, even before Al Gore made me his running mate, you made me the luckiest guy in the world.
I am so fortunate to have you by my side on this journey. And I thank you, sweetheart, for everything you mean to me.
That miraculous journey begins here and now. Tonight I am so proud to stand as your candidate for vice president of the United States.
AUDIENCE: Joe. Joe. Joe. Joe. Joe.
LIEBERMAN: Only in America, right? Only in America.
AUDIENCE: We want Joe. We want Joe. We want Joe.
LIEBERMAN: Thank you, dear friends.
I am humbled by this nomination and so grateful to Al Gore for choosing me. And I want you to know tonight that I will work my heart out to make Al Gore the next president of the United States. (APPLAUSE)
As I stand here before you tonight, blessed to have the opportunity I have, I know that we have become the America that so many of our parents dreamed for us.
But the great question this year is what will we dream for our country, and how will we make it come true? We who gather here tonight believe, as Al Gore has said, that it's not just the size of our national feast that's important, no, but the number of people we can fit around the table. There must be room for everybody.
As every faith teaches us -- as every faith teaches us and as presidents from Lincoln to Roosevelt to Reagan to Clinton have reminded us, we must, as Americans, try to see our nation not just through our eyes, but through the eyes of others.
In my life, I've seen the goodness of this great country through many sets of eyes. I've seen it through the eyes of my grandmother. She was raised in Central Europe, in a village where she was often harassed just because of the way she worshipped God. And then she emigrated to America.
On Saturdays, she used to walk to synagogue, and her Christian neighbors would pass her and say, "Good Sabbath, Mrs. Manger (ph)." Well, it was a source of endless delight and gratitude for her that here in this country she was accepted for who she was.
And I've seen America through the eyes of my parents, Henry and Marcia Lieberman. My dad lived in an orphanage when he was a child. He went on to work on a bakery truck and then owned a package store in Stamford, Connecticut. He taught my sisters and me the importance of work and responsibility. With my mother by his side, he saw me become the first person in my family to graduate from college.
My mom is here tonight.
Mom is 85 years old, but I'll tell you, she never felt younger than she feels today.
Mom, thank you, I love you. And you and I know how proud Pop would be tonight.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mom.
LIEBERMAN: Yes, we do love you, Mom.
And I've also tried to see America through the eyes of people I've been privileged to know. In the early 1960s, when I was a college student, I walked with Martin Luther King in the march on Washington for jobs and freedom.
(APPLAUSE) That was my honor. That was my opportunity.
And later that fall, I went to Mississippi where we worked to register African-Americans to vote.
The people I met never forgot that in America every time a barrier is broken, the doors of open opportunity go wider for every single one of us. And I know that in a very personal way tonight.
And I've tried to see America through the eyes of families who had the deck stacked against them, but fought back.
As Connecticut's attorney general, I worked to be the people's lawyer. I went after polluters who were spoiling our water and our air.
I stood with single moms to go after deadbeat dads.
And you know what? We even sued oil companies who were trying to gouge consumers at the pump.
AUDIENCE: Go Joe. Go Joe. Go Joe.
LIEBERMAN: And -- thank you. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Go Joe. Go Joe. Go Joe.
LIEBERMAN: We're going to go, right to the White House for a better America.
AUDIENCE: Go Joe, go. Go Joe, go. Go Joe, go.
LIEBERMAN: I've also seen America through the eyes of my wife and her parents. By now, most of you probably know Hadassah's story. Her family was literally saved by the greatest generation of American GIs who liberated the concentration camps.
We could never express our gratitude enough to them.
And then her parents escaped communism and were welcomed as immigrants to America and given a new life here. The fact that half a century later their daughter would be standing on this stage is a testament to the continuing power of the American dream.
And in my life -- in my life I have also tried to see this world through the eyes of those who have suffered discrimination. And that's why I believe that the time has come to tear down the remaining walls of discrimination in this nation, walls of discrimination based on race and gender and sexual orientation.
And we will. Together we will.
And that also...
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And that also is why I continue to say, when it comes to affirmative action, mend it but please don't end it.
You know when we see the world through the other -- through the eyes of other people, you understand that the smallest changes can make the biggest differences in all of our lives. That's something I'm really sorry to say I don't think our Republican friends really understand.
You know they're fond of dismissing the achievements -- the extraordinary achievements of the past eight years. But I'll tell you at the end of the day, the people I talk with, the real people on the street, tell me that their lives are a lot better than they were eight years ago...
... and they want it to continue. (APPLAUSE)
They want the prosperity to continue.
Thank you. Our opponents are decent and they are likable men. I'm proud to call many in their party my friends. But America must understand there are very real differences between us in this election.
Two weeks ago, our Republican friends actually tried to walk and talk a lot like us.
Did you notice? Yeah.
Well, let's be honest about this. We may be near Hollywood tonight, but not since Tom Hanks won an Oscar has there been that much acting in Philadelphia.
It's the truth.
AUDIENCE: Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go.
LIEBERMAN: You bet. I'm going to keep going.
Now look, I'm glad that the GOP has changed their rhetoric. But, you know what? I wish they'd also change their policies.
As my dear friend John McCain might say -- and let me say, great man John McCain, you are in our prayers here in this hall tonight.
You're a great fighter, and you're going to win the fight you're waging now.
As John McCain might say, "Let me do a little straight talking right now."
You know, I think it's a good thing that our opponent talks about the environment. But I'm sad to say that in Texas, the quality of the air and water is some of the worst in America.
We see the environment through a different set of eyes. For more than 20 years, Al Gore has been a leader in protecting our environment.
And I promise you that we will continue the work that he and I have done together to keep our air, water and land clean. We're going to work to make sure that a child can drink a glass of water, a father can fish in a stream and a family can go to a park without having to worry that their health or safety is at risk. I make you that promise tonight.
And look, it's a good thing that our opponent is talking about health care. But I'm sad to say that Texas is also falling behind on that. You know, Texas led the nation in the percentage of residents who did not have insurance. And today, it ranks next to last for health insurance for both women and children.
We see health care with a different set of eyes.
We know that health care is one of the most important problems facing America's family today. We believe that medical decisions should be made doctors, not bureaucrats.
We believe that -- we believe that senior citizens should not be stopped from filling a prescription in this great country of ours because they can't afford to pay for it. And I tell you tonight that Al Gore and I are the only candidates in this race who will extend access to health care coverage to every single child in America.
AUDIENCE: Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go.
LIEBERMAN: And, you know, I think it's a good thing also that our opponent talks about education. Schools need to be held to the highest standards of performance and accountability. But I'm sad to say that their plan just doesn't provide the resources our schools need to meet those high standards.
You know, sometimes it seems to me like their idea of school modernization means buying a new calendar for every school building.
We see education through a very different set of eyes. We are committed to making America's public schools the very best in the world. We're committed...
We're going to target more education funding to the schools that need it most to rebuild and modernize our crumbling classrooms, and to provide all of our children -- all of God's children, with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.
And my friends, we're going to do one other thing that our Republican friends will simply not do. We're going to treat the people who teach our children like the professionals that they are.
No one does a more important job in our country today than a good teacher of our children.
AUDIENCE: Joe. Joe. Joe.
LIEBERMAN: ... look, in the end...
AUDIENCE: Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go.
LIEBERMAN: Thank you. Thank you.
In the end, this is a question of priorities. This is a question of priorities and choices. Our opponents want to use America's hard- earned surplus to give a tax break to those who need it least at the expense of all of our other needs.
Under their plan, the middle class gets a little and the wealthy get an awful lot.
As a matter of fact, their tax plan operates under that old theory that the best way to feed the birds is to give more oats to the horse.
Think about that.
We see -- we see America's hard-earned surplus through a very different set of eyes, the eyes of working middle-class families. We want to use America's hard-earned success to preserve the future of Social Security and Medicare, to pay off our national debt, to cut the taxes of middle class families. We want to make the investments that will keep our economy moving forward.
My friends, it is this simple. We Democrats will expand the prosperity. They will squander it.
And let me say one other thing about the difference between our parties in this election. This party will reform our campaign finance laws. Because it's only Al Gore, and not George Bush, who will send the McCain-Feingold bill to Congress and sign it when it's passed.
Now let me just speak to those of you at home who've not made up your mind yet about how you're going to vote in this election. And I hope you'll think of it this way. If you want to build on our prosperity, if you want progress not partisanship in Washington, if you want to reform the system and not retreat from the problems, then I respectfully say to you your choice is clear. Al Gore and I are the guys who are ready to do the job.
AUDIENCE: Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go.
LIEBERMAN: My friends, I have known Al -- I've known Al for 15 years now. I know his record and I know his heart.
I know him as a public servant, and I know what it's like to sit with him around the dining room table. We have discussed -- often debated policy issues. And we've also shared private moments of prayer. I can tell you that Al Gore is a man of family and a man of faith, a father and now a grandfather.
I remember that when my youngest daughter, Hana, was 6, after spending some time with Al, she looked at me and said, "He must be a daddy." And she was right.
Al Gore is also a man of courage and conviction. He believes in service to America. He volunteered for Vietnam.
Together Al and I crossed party lines to support the Gulf War. I was there in the room...
... I was there in the room when I heard him forcefully argue that America's principles and interests were at stake in Bosnia and Kosovo.
And that wasn't easy. He had the guts to do it.
Two weeks ago, our opponent claimed that America has a hollow military. I must tell you that that made me angry. America -- America, you know better than that.
Our fighting men and women are the best-trained, best-equipped, most powerful fighting force in the history of the world, and they will stay that way when Al Gore and I are elected.
You can count on it.
And Al Gore -- Al is also a man of vision and a man of values. Long before it became popular, you know, Al and Tipper led a crusade to renew the moral center of this nation; to call America to its highest ideals. He knows that many Americans have a swelling sense that our standards of decency and civility have eroded.
And he believes, as I do, that no parent in America should be forced to compete with popular culture to raise their children.
For his entire career, Al Gore's values have guided the way he meets the challenges that lie ahead. That's why I hope that you will conclude -- you at home -- as I have, that for his honesty, for his strength, for his integrity and for his character, Al Gore must become the next president of the United States.
AUDIENCE: Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go. Go, Joe, go.
LIEBERMAN: It was 40 years ago, when we came to this city, and together crossed a New Frontier, with a leader who inspired me and so many others in my generation into public service.
Today we return to this same great city, with prosperity at home and freedom throughout the world that John F. Kennedy could only have dreamed about.
We may wonder tonight where the next frontier really is. Tonight, I believe the next frontier isn't just in front of us, but inside of us: to overcome the differences that are still between us, to break down the barriers that remain and to help every American claim the possibilities of their own God-given lives.
You know, sometimes I try to see this world as my dad saw it from that bakery truck. Right about this time of day, he'd be getting ready for the all-night run.
And I know that somewhere in America right now, there's another father loading another bakery truck, or a young woman programming a computer, or a parent dreaming of a better future for their daughter or their son. My friends, if we keep the faith, then 40 years from now, one of their children will stand before a gathering like this, as I am tonight, with the chance that I have to serve and lead this great country that we love so dearly.
That's what America is about.
So let us work together to make sure that they will be able to look back to this time and this stage and this place and say of our generation, they kept the faith.
Let them say that we helped them realize their hopes and their dreams. And let them look around at this great and good nation that we are all so blessed by God to share and say, only in America.
Thank you. God bless you. God bless America.
LIEBERMAN: Thank you. Thank you.
SHAW: The man from Connecticut has spoken. These delegates are responding.
WOODRUFF: With some humor, with an occasional tip of the hat to even the Republicans, with some anger over remarks that George Bush made at his convention two weeks ago. Joe Lieberman has made a speech that has struck a chord with these Democratic delegates.
GREENFIELD: It was a speech, Judy and Bernie, pitched perfectly to television, low-key in tone, somewhat sharp in the attacks on the enemies. He concluded with a phrase made famous by a Jewish-American writer -- "only in America," a watchword of American immigrants.
WOODRUFF: Members of the Lieberman family -- his mother, his wife, Hadassah, has stepped back up there. The daughter they have between them, Hana, 13 years old. Three other of the Lieberman children with them.
GREENFIELD: And we are going to moving quickly to the nominating speeches for Al Gore, beginning with roommates at Harvard, a gentleman you may know, named Tommy Lee Jones.
WOODRUFF: Oscar winner.
GREENFIELD: One quick point, we heard tonight the opening salvos of a key Democratic strategy: to turn George W. Bush into the Michael Dukakis of 2000 instead of the Boston Harbor, Texas polluted air, bad educational system; you're going to hearing this theme for the rest of the campaign.
SHAW: One of the things I thought he did very skillfully was address the people at home watching his speech. And in effect, he used the language of ordinary Americans, when he said... WOODRUFF: This is Tommy Lee Jones, the well-known actor, longtime friend of Al Gore's.
GREENFIELD: His college roommate and star of "The Fugitive."
TOMMY LEE JONES, ACTOR: Al Gore has been one of my closest friends since the day we met on the first day of college 35 years ago. There are plenty of people at this convention who can and will speak to the big policy questions, but I have one very real issue to talk about, one I can probably address as well as anyone outside the Gore family, and that is the quality of this man's character. He is a good, caring, loving man.
I know 35 different people at least who have known Al Gore for 35 years at least, and I know that every single one of them will tell you the same thing.
I lived with him for four years, and what did we do? We shot pool, and we watched "Star Trek" when maybe we should have been studying for exams. He'd challenge me to shooting contests. We'd see who could hit a tin can from the farthest away. And I tell you, it was usually Al.
My parents lived overseas when I was in college, and the Gore home in Carthage was always open to me. When I visited Al in middle Tennessee, we did the complicated things you'd expect college kids to do. We'd catch a loose cow.
Go canoeing and hunting and chasing through the woods with coon dogs in the middle of the night. One time in college neither of us could make it home for Thanksgiving, so we made a fire in the venerable old fireplace in our room, and we wrapped a big turkey in a couple of rolls of tinfoil and roasted it right there in the dorm. I know from Tipper that that has been some of the most ambitious cooking that Albert has done since then.
And there were serious times, too. We were all affected by the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King and our country's tragic involvement in Southeast Asia. I remember how Al struggled to hold on to his faith at a time when it seemed like America was losing his way. And I can tell you, Al Gore never did lose faith in America.
I wasn't sure what Al was going to do with his life, but I always knew that he had the brains and the heart to change the whole world.
And then there was Al's love for Tipper. They'd only been dating for a short while when we started college, but I knew they'd spend the rest of their lives together. To this day, when they come to our house, they sit in each other's laps. They hold hands. They even smooch occasionally like the kids they have always been.
These days, when Al and I get together, we still talk mostly about our families and our lives, our cares and our dreams, the same things we talked about as college kids at a time that seems so long ago now but is really as close as the last minute.
And I will tell you this: I am very proud of what he has done for this country.
And I will tell you that Al's the closest thing I've had to a brother. And for me, the big issues therefore are, are they feeding him well?
Will the stress of the job hurt him? And I can tell you with full confidence he has sense enough to eat well and the stress is no problem.
Al, I know you're watching tonight, and I want America to know what I know: You're going to be one of the best presidents this country has ever had.
We need a person with Al Gore's commitment. We need a person with your heart, Al, because the office of the president represents every child on Earth.
And so, with affection, with admiration, with faith in the future he will lead, I nominate my friend Al Gore as the next president of the United States.
SHAW: Tommy Lee Jones, the actor and friend of Vice President Gore, almost sounded like a Marine Corps drill instructor as he just matter of faculty told these delegates what he thinks about Gore and why.
GREENFIELD: It was actually a conversation more than a speech about a guy he knows from an ultimate alpha male.
Let's go down to the floor -- Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This of course is the first of three speeches in really the first of a two-day effort by the Gore team to make this man better known to the public. They believe that a lot of his problems in the polls right now are because people really don't know Al Gore, so they want to show you the funny side, and the human side, and, of course, the leadership side. So both of these days beginning with the selection of Lieberman for number two in the ticket are all designed to showcase Al Gore, to bring him out of that famous Clinton shadow and put him into the spotlight. This is the run-up to, of course, that finale speech tomorrow night.
Back to you in the booth. Oh, sorry. I'm sorry, let me go to John King.
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Standing by. Thank you, Candy. And look at the issues Senator Lieberman discussed -- squarely addressed the swing voters, the independent voters, health care, education, the environment, campaign finance reform. Those are the top four issues if you ask independent voters. Most undecided swing voters, John McCain voters. Those are their issue. Senator Lieberman tonight making a direct appeal to them, and noting to them as well that he once broke along with Al Gore from the Democratic Party lines to support the Persian Gulf War an emphasis on values, on integrity. Those are the issues they wanted Senator Lieberman to discuss tonight, a direct appeal to the middle of the American electorate.
Now over to Wolf Blitzer.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, John. I'm standing with Tommy Lee Jones, who just gave the first of three nominating speeches for Al Gore.
Did you ever think, Tommy Lee Jones, that you would be in this position, nominating your college roommate for the presidency?
JONES: Well, it certainly doesn't surprise me that Al's going to be the next president. I'm surprised to see myself here.
BLITZER: Who asked you to come here and do this?
JONES: I don't know. Al called last week and said, how are things going? Said he'd like for me to speak. I said, I'll do anything I can to support your campaign. He said, fine, they'll be in touch. And the guys who called back a few days later asked me if I would be one of the nominators, and again, I said I'll do anything I can to support this campaign.
BLITZER: Are you planning on going to the campaign trail aggressively, actively to work for the Al Gore presidency?
JONES: I will do everything that I can. I will probably be more effective at home in Texas than I will waving from the back of a train.
BLITZER: Tommy Lee Jones, thanks again. Congratulations on this speech. Now back to Jeanne Meserve on the floor.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, thanks. I was with the Florida delegation while Joe Lieberman was giving his speech. And let me tell you, they liked it a lot. In the beginning, some of the floor demonstrations were a bit orchestrated, but they became very spontaneous. There have been some questions about African-American delegates in the hall. I can tell you in Florida they were very enthusiastic when Lieberman discussed his record on civil rights, the fact he'd marched with Martin Luther King, the fact he'd been a Freedom Writer, they loved it. Now to my colleague, Frank Sesno.
SESNO: Jeanne, very interesting reception here, very enthusiastic. From what we could see, not something organized by the whips. But we did find out one thing, and that was starting this morning and throughout the day, a number of states in their African- American delegations made it very clear that their public displays were to be enthusiastic, and they got agreement on that, that the disagreements that they might have with Joe Lieberman over such things as affirmative action and vouchers, though publicly patched over the other day, though they may still exist, those would be taken care behind closed doors.
Another very interesting thing -- Joe Lieberman invoked a number of president's names. We did not hear him mention Bill Clinton. We did hear him mention Ronald Reagan, among others.
Back to the booth.
WOODRUFF: All right, Frank Sesno. We should mention, the second nominating speech for Al Gore is coming from a woman, Lois DeBerry (ph) of Tennessee, a longtime friend of Al Gore's. She has been a Texas state -- I'm sorry, a Tennessee state legislator for many years, and she was asked by Gore to be one of the nominators.
SHAW: And when Karenna starts talking, we will...
GREENFIELD: We'll be back.
SHAW: Her father will be watching. We're told earlier that he is very nervous about his daughter's speech.
WOODRUFF: That's right. In fact, he said to some reporters today he's got more butterflies in his stomach about her speech than about his own.
I have to say, I keep looking back at Joe Lieberman's remarks, and, you know, Jeff, you made the point this is the first of these efforts by the Democrats to, as you put it, Michael Dukakis, pull the Michael Dukakis.
GREENFIELD: They talked that way in the Gore campaign. They're trying to "Dukakis-ize" Bush, almost Sounds like a foreign phrase, but that's the strategy.
And here, I believe, comes Karenna Gore Schiff, not only one of the daughters of the vice president but one of his closest advisers in this campaign.
WOODRUFF: She and her mother were in on the decision to move the campaign from Washington to Nashville, Tennessee. She is someone he's listened to for advice for a number of years. He's very open about that.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ANNOUNCER: ... the candidacy of her father. Please welcome Karenna Gore Schiff.
KARENNA GORE SCHIFF, DAUGHTER OF AL GORE: I guess there is no doubt about who I'll be voting for in November. But I know that I would be supporting my dad for president, even if he hadn't raised, fed, clothed, taught and loved me, and even if he hadn't accepted more late-night collect calls from me than I'd ever like to admit. But he did do those things and much, much more.
So I want to take a few moments to talk about my father as a father. His own father's family were small farmers, trying to plant big dreams in rocky soil.
My grandmother's family worked hard, too. During the Depression, her father went from owning a country store to working as a night watchman.
My dad learned from childhood about the dignity working people have. My grandparents taught my dad that it is right to treat every woman and man with equal respect; to call them sir or ma'am; to do your physical labor, and clean up your own mess.
I see a lot of my grandfather in my father. He believes in taking the hard road when that's the road that will take us to higher ground. And I think his old-fashioned politeness is refreshing in today's world.
When my dad was a congressman, he listed our number in the phone book in Carthage so the people he worked for could always reach him. During my summers on the farm, I would answer the phone and it would often be a constituent who needed help getting his veteran's benefits or finding the right health care. I was taught to run, not walk, to get my dad so that people wouldn't be kept waiting for a moment.
My dad has always been there for us, too, whether it was the breakfast he made for us every morning before school -- toast...
... with lots of butter -- or the way he told my two sisters and me as well as our brother that we could be whatever we wanted to be in life.
One time, he came home after a long day of hearings and meetings and votes and found me struggling to begin that all-important elementary school assignment, the dinosaur diorama. He was tired, but while my mom was getting the others to brush their teeth and get in bed, my dad was the one who took me down to the store to get the emergency Q-Tips, colored Play-Doh and construction paper because he was simply being a dad.
Now that my husband, Drew, and I have a baby boy of our own, I often think about those times, about the little things Dad did and the way that he always put us first.
A long time ago, after a big snowfall, Dad and Mom taught us to build an igloo. We piled the snow high, poured water on it so it would freeze, and dug out the center. My friend Eliza (ph) and I decided to sleep in it, so we put on about 10 layers of cloths, the final ones being my dad's sweat suits. Even though he'd just returned from a full day of open meetings in Tennessee, he stayed up to check on us and brought us hot chocolate out there under the stars.
It won't surprise any of you parents out there to know that we ended up waddling back inside, our lips blue from the cold, but he welcomed us back like adventurers from the North Pole and gave us warm hugs and fresh blankets.
He never laughed at our big plans. He always believed in us with his whole heart.
One of his favorite sayings is, "The truth shall set you free." OK, so sometimes he was referring to whether or not I had stayed out past my curfew, but what it really means to him is that each human soul is precious, and it is in striving to give everyone a chance that we liberate what is pure and honest in ourselves.
Dad is a man of faith in the most gutsy, practical sense. He wants to see goodness prevail.
I'm not asking you to support Al Gore because he's my father, or even because he's been a great dad for his kids. What really matters is what he will do for all our kids.
On November 7, America must decide, will all children get health care or won't they? My dad wants to win the fight for affordable health care.
We must decide. Will struggling single mothers get a fair paycheck so they can care for their kids? My dad wants to win the fight for an equal day's pay for an equal day's work.
We must decide. Will we keep America green and growing? My dad wants to stand up to the big polluters and win the fight for the environment.
There's something else we must decide this November. It's about every woman's control over her own body and her own life.
I believe in every woman's right to choose, and I know my father will always, always defend it.
I hope for the sake of our country and our future that my father is elected president. But I want you to know, to me he's already won, for he's been the most wonderful father in the whole world.
And it gives me great joy and pride tonight to second the nomination of my father, Al Gore, for president of the United States.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, delegates, we will now have the roll call of the states to nominate the 42nd president of the United States.
WOODRUFF: A very different kind of a nominating speech. We're sitting here remembering when nominations used to be made by politicians. No wonder...
Well, look who's here.
Somewhat of a break from precedent. Typically the party nominee doesn't show up on stage until the fourth night of the convention.
GREENFIELD: Well, they've been breaking that precedent for a while. Clinton did it in '92, Reagan in '80. But I think what you're seeing, Judy and Bernie, is the whole different television era notion of what a nomination is. People used to come out and proclaim that their candidates were larger than life, extraordinary people, almost demigods. The happy warrior, as Roosevelt called Al Smith.
Now it's important for people to know that Al Gore shot pool, watched "Star Trek," maybe didn't study as hard as he used to be (ph), and was a good regular dad, the regular guy thing is a huge theme tonight.
BERNARD SHAW, ANCHOR: Watching all this, William Bennett, who's been here in our booth before, and from Louisiana, Senator John Breaux.
Senator, your impression of what's going on, on behalf of your party tonight right now.
SEN. JOHN BREAUX (D), LOUISIANA: Well, Bernie, I think, number one, you know, our vice presidential nominee, Joe Lieberman, had to do two things. The first thing was, he had to convince the people in this room behind me that he was OK. A lot of these people who are the base of the party only know Joe Lieberman as a Democratic Leadership Council chairman, a moderate, middle-of-the-road type of organization. And a lot of these people, quite frankly, don't know Joe and have a little feeling of uneasiness about them.
So I think he had to assure them that he was OK, and I think he did that. I heard shouts of "Go, Joe, go," and I think he convinced these people that he's more than OK, that he's going to be a terrific candidate.
I think the second thing, obviously, he's going to have to show that he also is a DLC Democrat and to reach out. And I think he touched on a lot of things that were very important there. I don't want to go into all of them, but he talked about a strong military, he talked about family values, he talked about health care, and he talked about paying off the national debt. Those are good DLC ideas as well.
SHAW: Mr. Bennett?
WILLIAM BENNETT, EMPOWER AMERICA: Yes, well, I -- it was nice to see Joe Lieberman, and this was history, and that was history in the making, that was nice. Also humor, he can drop a line off a table pretty well, I think. You get the sense there's an adult here, you know, he's a real guy, lot of decency, and I should think genuine patriotism, love of country on his behalf and Hadassah Lieberman's behalf.
I'd pick up on what John Breaux said, one of the distinguished members of the DLC, what struck me about the speech was that this was not a DLC speech, not a Democrat Leadership Council speech. Maybe he's trying to reassure this base, which is left of DLC. But this is not the core of Joe Lieberman that I know.
He touched on some issues. This is about big oil and big polluters and other things, hitting some themes from the left side. I was hoping that Al Gore would move in the direction of Joe Lieberman, because I think that's a smarter direction to go, I think that's where the country is.
Of course, that's also where the Democrats win elections, so that would not be something that I'd like to see for that reason.
But the speech tonight, Lieberman moves in the direction of Gore.
Couple of things I didn't like. He shouldn't criticize Bush's education proposal when he called it when it first came out commendable and remarkably similar to the proposal of the Democratic Leadership Council. And a couple other things too. But I thought the tone here was to satisfy, I agree with John, to satisfy the crowd here. But I was missing Joe Lieberman, a lot of Joe Lieberman.
GREENFIELD: Senator Breaux, is there any doubt in your mind now that the Gore campaign feels that one of the things it has to do, apart from making Al Gore more accessible and humane and a regular guy, is to go right at the heart of George W. Bush's claims by going after his record in Texas? If you'll pardon the expression, to Dukakis-ize him?
BREAUX: Well, Jeff, I don't think you're going to see Joe Lieberman as an attack dog at all. That's not Joe Lieberman personally. He believes in bipartisanship, he believes in working together. But you know, this idea of going after the turf of the nominee is not new. Dukakis in Massachusetts, when Republicans went after him, Republicans also went after Arkansas and the Clinton record in Arkansas. And I think it's proper to at least talk about what has happened in Texas under the leadership of George W. Bush.
But I think you're going to see it done by a Joe Lieberman in a style that I think is consistent with what Americans would like to see.
SHAW: Lieberman really threw down the gauntlet in his speech when it came to United States military preparedness. He said that what Governor Bush said in Philadelphia two weeks ago made him angry. And he also said, "America, we know better than that."
William Bennett, Senator Breaux, how do you explain the complete different interpretation of the status of such a serious entity as the U.S. military? Governor Bush says it's ill prepared, it's underfunded, yet Vice President Gore, and we heard Lieberman say tonight just the opposite, as we heard last night from this podium.
BENNETT: Well, they obviously, they obviously have a difference of opinion, and then in different reports. There's a lot of talk about low morale in the military, and there are some reports about preparedness. But I think you'll see this debated at length through the campaign.
It was interesting there was no mention of missile defense, which is an important issue to Joe Lieberman and again to many in the DLC.
You know, another thing that I thought was very interesting was his brief mention -- it was brief, but it was a brief mention of American values and Hollywood. He just touched on it in a glancing way. Would have been nice to see -- to hear, to hear a little more.
I agree with John, I don't think Joe Lieberman's going to be a very effective attack dog. They put in the word "angry" to show that he could be angry. But he's not going to be effective. I do agree with Jeff Greenfield, though, the battle of Texas is going to be waged, up and down, north and south, going to be waged by somebody. But I think it is -- it's a tempting target for them, they think, but I think it's fraught with a lot of risk too. This is one very popular man in Texas...
BREAUX: Bernie, this national defense issue is really important. This is the first time I can remember where you've actually had the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff getting involved and calling a political statement about the condition of the military just flat-out wrong. And we saw that, and we also have a Republican secretary of defense, Secretary Cohen, who I think does not agree with George Bush's assessment about military preparedness.
WOODRUFF: I want to ask you, both of you, and come to you first, Bill Bennett, when Joe Lieberman says, "Al Gore and I are the only candidates in this race who will extend access to health care coverage to every child in America," that's a flat promise. Bill Bennett, is he right when he says that? (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
BENNETT: Well, I don't know, you know, I'm not a surrogate for the Bush campaign. I don't know what the plans will be. It is a big promise. One would want to see the price tag for that and how it will be laid out.
But that's a big promise, a big commitment. And again, it's addressed somewhat to the audience, but addressed a great deal to the audience here in this room. That's a big issue, it's an issue Ted Kennedy's identified with, Hillary Clinton's identified with it. That's the group they're trying to get behind Joe Lieberman tonight. We need to see the details of that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
WOODRUFF: And John...
BENNETT: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to that claim, how it works.
WOODRUFF: And John Breaux?
BREAUX: Well, Judy, I mean, the price of not doing it is astronomical, because we can't teach sick children, no matter how nice the school building is. This is something that is a Democratic priority. It's also a DLC priority in trying to expand health insurance to all children. This is something that we cannot afford not to do.
WOODRUFF: All right, John Breaux, Bill Bennett, we thank you both.
We are going to take a short break. We have, when we come back, the first video from attempts to rescue that Russian sub lying at the bottom of the Barents Sea. We have exclusive footage. And we'll be right back to show you that.
WOODRUFF: Throughout this Democratic convention in the city of Los Angeles, CNN has been keeping a very close watch on another story halfway around the world, desperate efforts in the Barents Sea to rescue a submarine with over 100 Russian submariners.
We are now showing you the first footage of these rescue efforts in the Barents Sea. This footage was taken by a crew that flew in a small plane, a Piper Navajo, flew from Norway for, we think, over an hour out to the site. We are told that what you're seeing here are several Russian ships, a cruiser, two destroyers, all part of a rescue fleet, again, trying desperately somehow to get to these over 100 men lying at the -- in this submarine, stranded on the bottom of the sea some 400 feet below the surface.
And these are comments now from the pilot of this Piper Navajo, Sigourd Henricks (ph).
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SIGOURD HENRICKS, PILOT: Yes, it was close to one hour to get out there to the area from the closest position we could get. We went out from the further east airport on Norway, and then we headed out east, and we had to zigzag a little bit to get a -- stay clear of the territorial area of Russia, because we were warned that we could be shot down if we intruded into that area.
I don't know how real that warning was, but we didn't want to take any chances.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SHAW: We have seen two ships in the pictures. The first one, the second one definitely was one of two destroyers on station there.
Earlier, CNN's Mike Hanna had reported that the Russian rescue efforts were continuing. He noted that a British rescue team was preparing to go on station, stationed here, where we're seeing this scene now, and Mike reported that the oxygen aboard the submarine is running out.
WOODRUFF: We -- the Russians have indicated they are still trying to get to the crew. They don't have any -- they're not giving any definitive word on the fate of the crew. They say, though, that there is communication going on. However, U.S. intelligence sources say they have picked up no signs of communication that they can determine over the last few days.
Again, these are exclusive pictures obtained by a Norwegian crew flying in a private Piper Navajo. What you're looking at there is the wing of this small airplane flying out over the Barents Sea from Norway, taking these pictures and then returning. Russian efforts to rescue these men on board the ship in what is clearly a desperate, desperate situation.
We're going to continue to follow that story, to bring you any reports just as soon as we get them.
GREENFIELD: And as the outside world reminds us that there's sometimes tragic news going on outside, we are coming back inside the convention hall, in fact, down to the podium, and Wolf Blitzer, who is with the daughter of the man who will be nominated for president and who helped nominate him.
BLITZER: Thank you, Jeff.
And with us, of course, is Karenna Gore Schiff. Thank you so much for joining us. You're not just the daughter of Al Gore, but you're one of his important advisers, aren't you?
KARENNA GORE SCHIFF, DAUGHTER OF AL GORE: Well, we're a close family, and we definitely talk about personal challenges in all of our lives, trying out for football or running for president or whatever it is. And also we do share a passion and interest for the issues that are at stake in this election, like the environment and civil liberties and health care and education.
So I've been very privileged and happy to be a part of the campaign team.
BLITZER: You're an attorney. You went to law school. But you've taken a leave. You're obviously involved in the campaign. Are we looking at a third generation of Gores right now who might go into politics?
SCHIFF: Well, I can honestly say I have no plans at all to run for office myself. But I do love politics, and I always want to support candidates that I believe in. I think that's really important, because it's -- politicians are going to be making decisions that affect all of our lives, no matter what, so we might as well have a say in it.
And I just feel that I hope more people my age will be drawn to public service. I don't think we should all be from the same family, so I'm hoping that a lot of my friends and the people that I meet on the trail will be called to run also.
BLITZER: And finally, I know that you've been actively involved in trying to generate young people to support your father. What are you doing specifically? Because he does seem to have some trouble with younger Americans.
SCHIFF: Well, I think that his message actually does resonate, because young people have the most at stake, really, in this election. If Medicare and Social Security run out, it will be on us. If we wake up to find that abortion is illegal once more, it'll be younger women who pay the heaviest price. If we don't protect our environment, we'll be the ones buying bottled water and air filters and explaining to our kids what the seasons used to be like.
So I really feel that that does resonate. And the thing is, a lot of young people are completely turned off to the political process, they just see -- they think it's corrupt, it's distant, it does -- it's not responsive, it's -- the special interest funding is completely corrosive. And I think that that's important, and those voices should be heard, because we got to clean it up.
BLITZER: OK, Karenna Gore Schiff, congratulations on nominating your dad...
SCHIFF: Thank you.
BLITZER: ... for this presidential nomination.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
BLITZER: Back to the booth.
SHAW: Thank you very much, Wolf.
We have been reporting on the condition of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, about whom several speakers tonight have extended their best wishes. When we come back, we're going to update you. Senator McCain has returned to Phoenix, Arizona. We're going to update you on this recurring skin cancer.
Back in a moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... for Al Gore, the next president of the United States.
SHAW: Here in the Staples Center, the roll call of states is under way now on the nomination of Vice President Al Gore to be the Democrats' presidential nominee. And as Jeff Greenfield observes, there was a time when this was heady stuff, when the nomination was in doubt. And a lot of times in times ago the parties would be doing this in prime time. Not so, it's after 11:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Of course, the outcome is not in doubt.
Earlier, Vice President Gore had issued a statement of concern about the condition of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. Let's go now to Phoenix and CNN's Jonathan Karl for an update.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, those close to Senator McCain say that the statement released by McCain's office this afternoon talking about the two instances of melanoma was very carefully worded. Those two cases of melanoma, one on his temple and one on his arm, they say, are separate and unrelated, and therefore not a sign that the cancer has spread.
McCain is here in Phoenix at his home. He will go tomorrow morning to the Mayo Clinic. He is described as determined and optimistic, and truly believing that he is going to win this battle, and that they have caught this early enough. Of course, they will find out more tomorrow. It's going to be an extensive series of tests that will take place most of the day tomorrow at the Mayo Clinic.
Then on Friday he will go back to the Mayo Clinic and meet with a team of doctors to determine a course of treatment. That course of treatment almost certain to be surgery, surgery that would happen as soon as it could possibly happen, possibly even as soon as this weekend or certainly next week.
In the meantime, McCain very anxious to get back on the road again, back out there campaigning. As a matter of fact, he still has one scheduled stop on his schedule for Sunday back in Ohio for Senator Mike DeWine, still as of this point, he plans on being there, unless, of course, he needs to be back here for surgery.
Bernie, back to the booth.
SHAW: OK, thank you, Jonathan Karl.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Jonathan. One can only wonder what this news would have been like if John McCain were the nominee of the Republican Party. It would raise an incredible question.
When we come back, we will go to our knights and ladies of the round table, our floor correspondents.
GREENFIELD: A couple of months ago, five champions took to the floor of the Staples Center and won a world championship for Los Angeles. We go to the floor now with our five champions, our floor reporters. Down to you folks.
SESNO: Thanks a lot, Jeff.
I guess we start it over here. You know, if there was any question about subtlety tonight, it went away. It was father, family, fighter, confident friend night for Al Gore, for him to be shown off to the world by all those folks who came parading through there.
I'm wondering, though, whether that was a new dimension of Al Gore, or whether people have got a sense of him already., sort of a second chance to make a first impression.
BLITZER: He's trying to make another impression. He's been trying to do that for some time, reintroducing himself constantly, almost. And of course tomorrow night, he's going to have that major opportunity.
There's no doubt that the Al Gore that has been talked about at this convention by Joe Lieberman, by his daughter Karenna, by his good friend Tommy Lee Jones, who went to college with him, that's the Al Gore they're trying to project out there. But unfortunately, that's not the Al Gore that always comes out there to the public.
CROWLEY: Well, not only that, I mean, you wonder how many people are listening to Tommy Lee Jones and going, OK, I'll vote for him now that I know that in college he, you know, sometimes played Nintendo, or whatever the equivalent was when he was in college.
MESERVE: They shot pool, I bet.
MESERVE: And they ran through the woods with (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
CROWLEY: You know, you just kind of wonder, you know, these people don't need to be convinced. They're going to go with him. I think they're a little less sure of Lieberman, but that's a whole different subject.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we saw some of Joe Lieberman's style tonight, not afraid. He wasn't only partisan, not in a red meat way, but went after George Bush hard, hit the Texas record, education, environment, health care, campaign finance, issues important to independent and swing voters.
And also a sense of humor, one of the things the Democrats think that Joe Lieberman brings to this ticket is that he does have a light touch, he has a sense of humor. They think especially in the small markets that vice presidents tend to campaign in, he'll be very well accepted and received.
MESERVE: Interesting the things he didn't mention in the speech. He didn't bring some of those hot button issues up. We didn't hear about abortion, we didn't hear about gun control, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
BLITZER: He did do what he was told to do and what he wanted to do, is basically (UNINTELLIGIBLE) biography, the biography of Al Gore, was part autobiography, his own, that he wanted to get across, because he was, in effect, introducing himself to the American people. It was his first real opportunity to do so before a huge audience.
But he also wanted to make it clear that, yes, he's often worked with Republicans, but he's willing to take them on and take on the traditional vice presidential running mate as being someone who's going to go out there and fight.
MESERVE: And he did mention...
SESNO: I think it's worth pointing out why this is important too, this introduction of Al Gore. If you talk to very many people here, and certainly the political strategists, and their sense is that he's either, A, not well known, or those who know him or think they know him, don't like what they know. And so this effort to humanize him, to personalize him, and to tie him to the issues that polls suggest and the experts believe most conform (UNINTELLIGIBLE) party and to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) swing voters out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there was some concern, not alarm but concern coming into this speech, how would he be received in the whole by African-American activists because of the dispute over his views on affirmative action. The Gore campaign working behind the scenes all day to discourage any protests in the hall, telling people that Senator Lieberman would address that in the speech. And he did, he said he supported essentially the Clinton administration approach, mend it, don't end it.
And I know over in your section, you saw firsthand some of the organizing they did on the floor.
CROWLEY: We saw it, Donna Brazile worked the New York delegation about an hour before Lieberman's speech, then run down and work the Michigan delegation. It's pretty clear that there was some soothing going on there, saying, you know, hang on, because we had, you know, putting that all together, we had (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sit on their hands.
And then when we saw the reception, he got a great reception. I mean, it's hard to tell, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) behind the scenes at this particular point. But in public, they've all decided to join hands.
BLITZER: And the other thing is that we (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hear a lot, we heard very little, in fact, about the man who spoke here and electrified this crowd only two days ago, and that would be Bill Clinton. Really what is happening is they are trying to make it obvious that Al Gore is now the leader of this party. And we're not going to be hearing much from Bill Clinton. They just want him to go away, to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) president, of course, until January 20 of next year.
But at the same time, let Al Gore get away from his shadow.
MESERVE: Interesting, the delegates in my part of the floor who I spoke to were very excited about hearing Lieberman tonight. They really feel that his -- the pick of Lieberman really has breathed some life back into this campaign. They think it's going to be much easier to come out of here and sell something with Joe Lieberman on the ticket.
CROWLEY: Yes, I take that with a little bit of caution, because I was on the campaign floor, and I think you were too, when Jack Kemp ignited the Republican convention and then, you know, four days later it was sort of downhill.
One of the things I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) talk to my delegation, and a couple of them around, who said they were a little disappointed that Joe Lieberman didn't talk a little more about himself. I mean, they were saying, I don't -- you know, I know all those positions, because those are Al Gore's positions. I really would have loved to have heard more about his story and more about him, because I really don't know him that well.
So even on this floor, there's still that sort of, Who is Joe Lieberman? Some of us who have known him for a while or at least seen him in action, you know, know that, but I think on this floor, he's still an unknown.
KING: Now, Bill Clinton not here and not mentioned very much tonight, but there is a debate in the hall about how active a role he should play in the fall campaign. And in Senator Lieberman's speech, the ghost of Bill Clinton, if you will. He talked of renewing the moral center. Well, you don't have to renew something if it's not broken or at least a little tattered. And the Democratic Party knows that Al Gore runs a risk of being associated with this president. You heard Senator Lieberman mention a long time ago, Al and Tipper Gore's efforts to change lyrics in music, and him saying that he's a decent man, a man of faith. That all part of the Clinton legacy and Al Gore's effort now to distance himself with it. We saw him in the hall tonight. Tomorrow we hear from him.
BLITZER: Unfortunately, that's all the time we have right now. I want to apologize to our viewers out there in case they couldn't hear us. We are right now in the middle of this perhaps hour, 20 minute roll call. It should be over with in about 45 minutes or so. It's a symbolic gesture, but it's something a lot of the delegates here are having fun with.
Back to the booth.
GREENFIELD: OK. I think our audience heard you loud and clear, but thanks for the politeness. It's not that usual among journalists.
WOODRUFF: Speak for yourself!
GREENFIELD: I have.
While we've been inside...
WOODRUFF: We've noticed.
GREENFIELD: ... watching these political events, as you know, protesters have been gathering all evening outside. We want to let you know what happened. We'll be with Martin Savidge when we come back.
GREENFIELD: Outside the Staples Center earlier this evening, we told you protesters were gathering. There have been incidents, and we are now going to Martin Savidge with a tape that was recorded earlier this evening.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During the Democratic convention, L.A. has been under control. It has also had the luck of being under siege. The police presence on the streets has been daunting and dominating. Protesters had feared it was not just the Democrats who wanted to shine during the convention, but also the city's scandal-beleaguered police force.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: We're really worried that LAPD has seen this week somehow as a week of redemption.
SAVIDGE: Since Sunday, even protests with city permission have been met by legions of heavily armed police officers. Dressed in full riot gear, they run to keep up beside demonstrators, at times even outnumbering them. Protest organizers call the show of strength "excessive."
Monday night, after a legal concert outside Staples Center was suddenly shut down, police on foot and on horseback moved in on the remaining crowd. Police called the response "measured and strategic." Those caught in it say it was anything but.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw people getting trampled by horses, and not just -- not the stereotypical protesters, people who were dressed up, people who had come, delegates or at least conventioneers who'd come out of the protest.
SAVIDGE: Police fired round after round of impact munitions into the crowd. Many protesters say they were shot in the back. Members of the media covering the confrontation were also assaulted, despite equipment and credentials identifying them as non-participants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I was targeted. I -- you know, and again, I didn't -- I didn't -- I didn't come here to -- to find myself in a situation where I'm -- I'm engaged now in a battle with the -- with the L.A. police department.
SAVIDGE: Wednesday, as a protest against police brutality approached the convention site, the crowd was met by a black wall of police. During the tense stand-off, officers struck out with batons, hitting by-standers, among them a sound technician working for CNN.
Police ordered the crowd to disperse. The demonstrators heeded the warning. As the people left, the streets of L.A. once more belonged to the police.
SAVIDGE: We contacted the Los Angeles Police Department this evening for their explanation of events on the streets today. We also wanted to clarify what exactly their position was when dealing with accredited media who were out there covering the demonstrations. The Los Angeles police say that they will hold a news conference at 9:15 local time. That is a little more than about a half hour from now.
After the altercation of Monday night, authorities said that the high presence of police officers on the street was necessary in order to maintain safety and security throughout the convention. Demonstrators would say that it goes far beyond just providing a sense of security. It is actually antagonistic.
Back to you in the booth.
WOODRUFF: Martin, just to clarify, because it was hard to tell there in that -- those last moments of the video that you were showing, what exactly provoked the police, or -- or -- if anything?
SAVIDGE: Well, what was taking place at the time of that last altercation you saw there had been a demonstration throughout the day against police brutality in this community. There were about 1,500 people that were finally, after five hours, making their way from marching through the streets, heading down to the Staples demonstration site, a place they were supposedly legally allowed to be.
Suddenly, there was a wall of police officers that blocked their path, and a stand-off ensued. At times, because of the large number of people trapped in a relatively confined street, the presence of the police became quite aggressive. And what you were looking at there was apparently attempts by police to move some of the crowd back. Members of the media, as well as the general public, were caught up in the melee that ensued.
SHAW: What's the status of the CNN person who was struck there and was on the ground there?
SAVIDGE: We understand that she was taken to a Los Angeles hospital and that she is undergoing treatment. It is not clear exactly what the extent of her injuries, possibly something either bruised or maybe even a broken rib.
SHAW: That officer right there -- does anyone have his name? He's a corporal.
SAVIDGE: Well, I...
SHAW: He had two stripes on his shoulder, and he backed away.
SAVIDGE: I'm sure that working on the identification process is something we are doing, but it is not just our own people we are concerned about. Obviously, the demonstrators, as well, believe that the excessive presence, as they describe it, has been attributing to the problems on the street.
GREENFIELD: Clarify one thing for us, Martin, because on Monday night, we saw footage that suggested that a small group of the demonstrators had broken away and were engaged in what some people would call provocative action. Did you see anything of the sort tonight?
SAVIDGE: We did not see provocative action. I should tell you, though, that throughout the parade or the demonstration, as they moved down the streets to come to the convention center, there were a number of times that this -- the anti-police protest group did have confrontation with authorities. It appeared that police were trying to keep the people away from the sidewalks and confine them to the street. In doing so, they were using their batons and pushing the crowd, aggressively at times, to force them back into the street.
Now, all the people in that crowd were not angels. There was a lot of shouting. There were swear words that were exchanged. And people were quite angry against the police presence -- keeping in mind this was an anti-police demonstration. However, for the most part, it was orderly. It was not quiet. And the ranks were maintained between police and demonstrators. It seemed that the most serious confrontation took place immediately before they came into the Staples demonstration site.
SHAW: Marty, one other question. When the police skirmish line was moving people back, were the police ordering the people in front of them to get back?
SAVIDGE: Police had ordered people in the area, telling them that this was an unlawful gathering. There was confusion on that particular point because in order to demonstrate through the streets, these demonstration groups must obtain a permit and permission. Now, we knew that permission had been granted. It was believed that they also had permission to use the demonstration site until 9:00 o'clock this evening, which is why there was the confusion and the surprise when that parade was met by a large phalanx of police officers.
Orders were given that people were to clear the intersection. Whether that process was ongoing at that moment when police moved in, we're still working out the details of that, Bernie.
SHAW: Thank you very much, Martin Savidge, for that very factual report, and we'll watch it furthermore.
When we come back to this convention hall, the Capital Gang. They have a lot to talk about.
JIM EXON, FORMER NEBRASKA GOVERNOR: ... delegation from Nebraska, and I am proud to say that we cast 32 Nebraska votes for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman.
KATHLEEN VICK, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY: Nebraska casts 32 votes for Al Gore. Thank you, Nebraska.
NEVADA CHAIRMAN: Madam Secretary, the great state of Nevada is proud of its vast natural resources, of its dynamic entertainment industry and of the fact that for the first time in many years, the majority of its citizens are Democrats.
We are also proud of the woman that represents our first congressional district, the hardest-working woman in Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
WOODRUFF: What we think is going to happen in this roll call is that the -- let's listen.
REP. SHELLEY BERKLEY (D), NEVADA: ... that in 1988 supported Al Gore for president, who in 1992 voted to elect him vice president of the United States, and in 1996 voted to reelect him as vice president of the United States, graciously yields to the great state of Florida. WOODRUFF: Nevada yields to the state of Florida because the Gore campaign wants the state of Florida to put him over the top to make him officially the nominee of the Democratic Party for president in the year 2000.
GREENFIELD: And can I just point out...
WOODRUFF: Let's listen to Florida. Jeff, yeah?
GREENFIELD: Just want to point out that the notion that because Florida gets to put Al Gore over the top will swing the state into his column in November is a little dicey.
WOODRUFF: Senator -- Senator Bill...
UNIDENTIFIED FLORIDA DELEGATE: ... which is to yield the microphone to our senior senator, Bob Graham, who will be joined soon by Senator Bill Nelson in the United States Senate.
SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: Almost 180 years ago, Florida's first governor was Andrew Jackson, a great Tennessean, "Old Hickory." When Andrew Jackson was the governor of Florida, it was a much different place. It was small. It was desolate. It was isolated and inhospitable to people from other states and countries. What a difference 200 years makes.
As we begin the 21st century, Florida is the fourth-largest state in the United States of America. As we begin the 21st century, we are the hospitality state. And we extend a welcome to peoples around the globe to come and visit our beautiful state to take advantage of our wonderful opportunities, to visit our environmental treasures such as America's Everglades.
And while you are there, you will notice our 15 million residents representing the full diversity of America and doing so with pride and enthusiasm. My fellow Democrats, Florida looks today like America will look tomorrow. We believe in the future. And tonight, we -- and we believe Florida is going to be the battleground state of 2000.
We are privileged to nominate the man who is our best hope for the future. Nearly two centuries after Andrew Jackson governed Florida, the 186 delegates of the Sunshine State are proud to cast our vote for another son of Tennessee and the next president of the United States of America, Al Gore!
WOODRUFF: OK, it's official. Al Gore now is the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States of America. And you just heard Senator Bob Graham, whose name was, at one point, one of the names in the hat that Al Gore was supposedly considering, although we may never know everybody he was considering. But Florida, as Jeff Greenfield just suggested, is pretty much in the Republican column right now. It has a governor whose last name is Bush.
GREENFIELD: I think that's right. Now, remember Bill Clinton contested Florida in 1992, forced George Bush, the father, to spend lots of money, and he won the state in 1996, first time a Democrat did that since Jimmy Carter, I believe. The Gore people, if they think they can make a fight out of Florida, think that that will be a powerful impediment to Bush winning.
SHAW: Atmospherics. Notice not a single balloon. These Democrats are conservationists tonight when it comes to balloons. They say that they have inflated more than 150,000. And of course, you know tomorrow Al Gore will be speaking from this podium. Guess who the balloons are being reserved for?
GREENFIELD: Is this one of our Political IQ Quizzes, Bernie? Because I think we know the answer.
WOODRUFF: It's not George W. Bush.
Now, we have -- we've pointed this out already tonight, but this -- this roll call used to be the big moment at these conventions, when there was suspense about who was going to -- who was going to win. And they would take sometimes not one ballot but two.
Jeff, you're the expert. What's the most ballots?
GREENFIELD: One hundred and three in 1924, when they...
WOODRUFF: I knew you'd know that.
GREENFIELD: Well, it -- that's the all-time record. And it's also -- it was also the time, since everyone was paying attention, that the chairs of the delegations got up to brag about their oranges or kumquats or whatever they produced.
WOODRUFF: And when was the last time we even had more than one ballot at a presidential nominating convention?
GREENFIELD: At a -- it was 1952, the Democratic convention. Stevenson won on the third ballot, and that's it.
WOODRUFF: And since then, it's been the first.
All right, we have some of our favorite commentators down there on the floor, The Capital Gang.
Where are you guys? We hope we can hear you.
MARK SHIELDS, CNN "CAPITAL GANG": OK.
WOODRUFF: Go ahead. SHIELDS: Welcome to the floor of the Staples Center on Wednesday night. Al Gore is the nominee. But most importantly, we heard from his vice presidential choice, Joe Lieberman. We heard Joe Lieberman tonight. We heard history made. Tell us, was it a magic moment, Kate O'Beirne, when Joe Lieberman spoke?
KATE O'BEIRNE, CNN "CAPITAL GANG": I think for all the Americans for whom this is the first extended look at Joe Lieberman, they must have gotten a very favorable impression. Joe Lieberman's not known for his political oratory, but I thought his conversational style was very effective. His speech was light on policy, but he was really here to give a character reference to Al Gore and came across as very likable.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt, you agree that it was -- that Joe Lieberman's speech worked for Al Gore tonight?
AL HUNT, CNN "CAPITAL GANG": I'm not sure, Mark. It worked for Joe Lieberman. There's no question about it. It was a tremendous introduction, actually a far more effective speech than Dick Cheney gave in Philadelphia, I think. And the audiences around America must have loved it. But I'm not quite sure if it translates to Al Gore because I'm still not quite sure what the message was.
SHIELDS: OK. Margaret Carlson, what about Joe Lieberman?
MARGARET CARLSON, CNN "CAPITAL GANG": Well, usually they send a Rottweiler to do this job, but now we have a St. Bernard who did it, and he delivered some if not raw meat, you know, stewed meat to the -- to the mix out there. And you know, I think he actually made a few good points and threw a few zingers at the Republicans. But he does it in such a conversational, gentle way that it's even more effective than Dick Cheney being kind of sneering and loud.
SHIELDS: Bob Novak, are you going to be the nay-sayer?
ROBERT NOVAK, CNN "CAPITAL GANG": You bet. You know, I think it's amazing that in a couple of weeks, the Dick Cheney speech, which we all sat around saying was a good speech...
SHIELDS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) speech.
NOVAK: ... has suddenly become ineffective and mean. I thought Cheney gave a very good talk...
SHIELDS: ... better.
NOVAK: Well, wait. Can I continue, please?
SHIELDS: Sure. OK.
NOVAK: I thought Cheney had a very effective speech, more effective than Lieberman. Most of the people, not only in the audience but in this -- in this convention, didn't know anything about Lieberman. He had -- he received in the last -- he had achieved in the last two days, three days a mythic quality that he's going to save the Democratic Party. And he came out as a very, very ordinary politician, not even a new Democrat, but singing the old-time liberal religion. I thought it was a very nothing speech, and it really puts the pressure on Al Gore tomorrow night...
NOVAK: ... to do something...
CARLSON: Bob! Bob! Bob!
HUNT: Everything Bob -- Bob, first of all, has just said as many false predicates as someone could possibly do in 30 seconds. No one said Dick Cheney gave a bad, mean-spirited speech. He gave a good speech, Bob. Joe Lieberman gave a better speech. Joe Lieberman did not come across like an old-fashioned liberal hack. He came out against big tax cuts for you. I can understand why that would upset you. But he appealed, I think, to most Americans.
CARLSON: And he corrected the mistake that Bush made about the military not being ready. And when is the last time you heard Democrats stand up and cheer military readiness?
SHIELDS: Could I make -- I thought -- I thought this evening was about filling in the gaps, filling in the gaps on Al Gore personally, in the sense of Karenna Gore Schiff saying what a good father he was, he's a good father, he'd be a good president. He made breakfast. Tommy Lee Jones talking about Al Gore, kind of the scalawag and the hell-raiser. And I think just as Philadelphia was about filling in the blanks on the substance and experience of George Bush, this was to give a personal feel about Al Gore.
O'BEIRNE: But Mark, look at the gaps they're filling in. This man has been a national politician for 25 years and vice president for the past seven. What those people told us tonight was he's a nice, normal family man, that some of his friends like to hang out with him, and his kids love him. Now, it's pretty sad that Al Gore has to be telling the American public these basic things about himself and what he's responding to was the fact that despite the public probably believes all of those things, that he's a good father and his friends like him, they don't like him. But it's not because his friends and family don't like him.
CARLSON: But Kate...
NOVAK: Let me -- let me say that I think it's -- you know, it's a new politics. Both parties do it. You put out a movie actor and a -- and his very nice-looking daughter to give the seconding speeches. Has nothing to do with policy, has nothing to do with politics. And as far as this not being a liberal speech, Al, the one thing that Sam -- that Joe Lieberman said that was new politics, he said "We both voted for the Gulf war," got almost no applause! This was...
HUNT: He talked about culture from...
NOVAK: This is a...
HUNT: Bob, you ought to read the speech. He talked about...
NOVAK: If I can finish my -- my statement, I...
NOVAK: I would say that that showed it was a liberal speech.
SHIELDS: OK. Was Karenna Gore Schiff a star born?
HUNT: She certainly is a very attractive young person, a great endorser of her father. I'm not -- I sort of agree with Bob on that. I'm not quite sure children help their parents a lot!
SHIELDS: All right, I got to take it back to Bernie in the booth now. "THE CAPITAL GANG." Thank you very much, CNN.
SHAW: And we thank you.
Thursday the grand finale here at the Staples Center. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW (voice-over): Here's a look ahead to the final day of the Democratic national convention, Thursday, August 17th.
The afternoon session opens at 4:00 Eastern, 1:00 Pacific. But the focus will be on the evening session beginning at 8:00 o'clock Eastern, 5:00 Los Angeles time. The group Boyz II Men will lead off, singing the national anthem. Then a rousing and reflective tribute to police officers and firefighters. One of those to be honored, Matt Mosely (ph), an Atlanta firefighter who made a daring rescue last year of a crane operator stranded over an out-of-control warehouse fire.
In the next hour, 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific, the spotlight returns to the presidential nominee. Family and friends will share their personal stories of Al Gore, his boyhood, his college years, his military service, his beginning in politics. Then Al Gore speaks for himself. His acceptance speech will take up most of the hour, 10:00 o'clock Eastern, 7:00 Pacific, and set the stage for the party's celebration of its presidential ticket. That will bring down the curtain on the final night of the Democratic national convention.
WOODRUFF: And that's right. Tomorrow night's the big night. Tonight we heard from the best friend, we heard from the daughter, we herd from the vice presidential nominee. Jeff and Bernie, tomorrow night, the man. GREENFIELD: And for these delegates, I think the title of tomorrow night's convention session is a Mel Brooks movie, "High Anxiety." Can the vice president do it?
Right ahead, "LARRY KING LIVE" with a passle of very distinguished guests, as well as a police spokesman from Los Angeles, Joe Kalish, about tonight's clashes between police and demonstrators. That's coming up straight ahead.
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