CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates Sr. Discuss AIDS; Jean Carnahan Talks About Reelection Prospects; Is DNC Building a Shrine to Soft Money?
Aired March 22, 2002 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. Jimmy Carter and Bill Gates Sr. go "On the Record" about the devastation of AIDS in Africa. And I'll ask the former president about his disagreement with U.S. policy toward Cuba.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm Bill Schneider in Hollywood, where Oscar excitement is building. But if you want real drama, stay tuned, because I'll be awarding the IPpys.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl in the Capitol subway, where I spoke with Jean Carnahan about the president's efforts to get her out of the Senate.
WOODRUFF: Also ahead, a question for debate. Is the DNC building a shrine to soft money?
ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington , this is INSIDE POLITICS WITH JUDY WOODRUFF.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. We begin with a campaign that has broken new ground in nastiness. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent and results of the vote will be announced in just a couple of days.
We are talking about hardball politics. Not here in Washington, but in Hollywood.
(voice-over): The Oscars have always been political, both behind the scenes and on awards night.
RICHARD GERE, ACTOR: In this day and age when defense budgets are shrinking, we can take some of that defense money and put it into AIDS research.
WOODRUFF: But this year the parallels between the Oscars and national politics are dramatic. While Congress was moving to limit the influence of big money on campaigns, the film industry was spending, by some estimates as much as $100 million, to influence the Oscar contest.
And while some political candidates are reaching out to ethnic and racial groups in new ways...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in Spanish)
WOODRUFF: Three African-Americans are nominees for top acting awards, a first in Oscar history. But the worlds of politics and Hollywood really seem to be morphing when it comes to campaign tactics.
But Jim Ryan broke his promise. And George Ryan used $155,000 in bribe money to run for governor.
WOODRUFF: Some might say that spot is warm and fuzzy, compared to the campaign against one of the leading candidates for best picture, "A Beautiful Mind." You probably have heard the story line by now. Rival studios reportedly have conducted a whisper campaign that the film is not a fully accurate depiction of the life of Nobel prize winner and schizophrenic, John Nash.
Nash even went on national TV to deny allegations that he is anti-semitic and gay. "Beautiful Mind" director, Ron Howard, says the tactics are all too familiar. At a luncheon for Oscar nominees, Howard likened the smear campaign against his film to the political attack strategy Lee Atwater honed during George Bush's 1988 presidential campaign against Michael Dukakis.
And for more on Oscar intrigue and politics, let's go to our Bill Schneider in Hollywood -- Bill.
SCHNEIDER: Judy, hello from Hollywood where, as you can see, they've rolled out the red carpet for us at INSIDE POLITICS. Because, as you reported, the Oscars and politics are getting closer and closer. Studios are hiring spin doctors and Oscar strategists to manage the campaigns for their pictures, including negative campaigns. Lee Atwater certainly would have been proud.
You know, Hollywood has always been a gold mine for politicians, especially Democrats, who depend on those high-dollar contributions. And you can bet they'll be out here digging for gold, because at the end of the year the campaign finance reform is going to shut down this gold mine.
Well, there's one big difference, and that is, the Oscar campaigning has stopped. The voting ended on Tuesday. But viewers can still vote for their choice for the IPpy awards. Look at the close race we have for the best performance by an actor, between George W. Bush and Tom Daschle.
Just log on to cnn.com/insidepolitics. I'll announce my winners at the end of today's show. So, ta-ta for now. Let's do lunch.
WOODRUFF: And we'll see whether Bill still has the shades on when we come back to him.
Many members of the entertainment industry are known to have a friendly relationship with the Democratic Party. But the billionaire chairman of the organization that created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has given the Democratic Party what is believed to be the biggest donation in the history of American politics.
Haim Saban recently handed a $7 million check to the Democratic National Committee, specifically to cover some of the cost of building the party's new high-tech Washington headquarters. The DNC says it hopes to raise $32 million in soft money to pay for its new home, before campaign finance reform legislation, banning such donations, is expected to become law late this year.
Now we turn to the New Jersey Senate race, and a Republican who has a history of taking on Democrats: former independent counsel, Robert Ray. I spoke today with Ray about his newly announced bid to challenge incumbent, Robert Torricelli. And I asked him if it is true that he talked with EPA chief, Christie Whitman, about the possibility that he would run for the Senate while he still was independent counsel.
ROBERT RAY (R), N.J. SENATE CANDIDATE: True. And what I had said all along, as early as the time that Congressman Conyers inquired of me, as to what I had done in connection with meetings that I had had, prior to the time that I left as independent counsel was confirm, as Governor Whitman confirmed, that I was exploring the possibility, which is to say whether or not I would seriously consider running for the United States Senate.
WOODRUFF: Do you feel that that was the proper thing to do?
RAY: Well, I think it's appropriate for anyone to make plans about what they might do or consider, as far as possibilities in the future. It would not be appropriate, however -- and this is the dividing line -- for me to do something that would make me a candidate for office.
And it's very clear in the regulations that apply, that it would not have been appropriate for me to seek endorsements or to raise money, or to organize a campaign staff or any of those things that would be indicative, in fact, of a campaign. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) confirmed, as I had been saying all along, that I'd done none of those things.
WOODRUFF: And in connection with that, the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, others involved with the judiciary committee in both the House and Senate. They now asked the GAO, the General Accounting Office, the attorney general, to look into whether there was something illegal or unethical done here. What do you say to those who are asking these questions?
RAY: It is unfortunate that the instruments of government are now being used by Senator Leahy and others on Senator Torricelli's behalf, in order to attack my integrity and impugn my integrity, with allegations that are very easily made, but are unsubstantiated and unsupported. I never used the instruments of government as independent counsel, to engage in a partisan attack in the political process. They have now chosen to do so. And it is clear that it was a coordinated effort between Senator Leahy and the Democratic Senatorial committee, in order to attack me and undermine my candidacy.
WOODRUFF: Senator Torricelli, who we talked to yesterday, said he had not talked to Senator Leahy about this.
RAY: Well, it was clear, however, that there was a coordinated effort between Senator Leahy and the Democratic Senatorial committee, in connection with their allegations and their efforts to attack my campaign. And Senator Leahy chose to wait until after I was independent counsel, in order to launch this attack, very shortly before I announced my candidacy.
WOODRUFF: Well, at the very least, Mr. Ray, what do you say to those who are arguing, even conservative Republicans I have spoken with -- that it was unwise of you to have this independent counsel report on Whitewater, Former President and Mrs. Clinton, issued so close to the time you announced your Senate candidacy.
RAY: The Special Division is responsible for the timing of the release of a final report. And as the cover page to the final report makes clear, it was filed more than a year ago, in January of 2001, before I even announced the resolution of the case against Former President Clinton on his last full day in office, on January 19th.
Two weeks before, we filed the final report in the Whitewater matter. It is only now, some 14 months later, that the Whitewater report was released, after the comment period that occurred by the Special Division.
It was important to me that my job be complete before I announced my candidacy, so that after the Lewinsky report was filed, and then publicly released now, two weeks ago, and the Whitewater report was finally publicly released, that it was appropriate for me, with the job now complete, for me to announce a candidacy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Robert Ray, the primary's June the 4th, and we'll be watching that race very closely. Thank you so much for joining us.
RAY: I appreciate engaging in that debate, and I look forward to it. Thank you.
WOODRUFF: A powerful pair take on the issue of AIDS in Africa. Up next, Former President Jimmy Carter and philanthropist Bill Gates Sr. tell us about their mission, and how it hits close to home.
The final report on the Clintons and Whitewater is in, and there is plenty for Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile to argue about.
And our Bob Novak has the "Inside Buzz" on the emergency message that some Republicans are getting in the mail.
WOODRUFF: At the U.N. development conference in Mexico this week, Former President Jimmy Carter said the U.S. should do more to help the millions of people living in poverty around the globe. President Bush today addressed the same conference. He said the recently announced $10 billion increase in USAID will be used to encourage economic freedom, political liberty and human rights.
Just a little while ago I went "On the Record" with Former President Carter. I asked him about the USAID increase, and if he thinks the Bush administration is doing enough on this issue.
JIMMY CARTER, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This administration is doing more than any administration has done in the last 20 years. And I'm deeply grateful that President Bush has taken this initiative and this bold step. Because I know there are some key people in his administration that didn't even want to increase development assistance at all.
We still have to remember, though, that the United States, at this point, is at the very bottom of all of the rich countries, in being generous to others. And this is a surprise to most Americans. We give about 1/1,000 of our Gross National Product to humanitarian aid in other countries, including AIDS and everything else. Whereas the average European country gives almost four times that much. The Japanese give four times that much. The Scandinavian countries give seven times as much as we do.
So I think this conference in Monterey was a wonderful expression for future support for development assistance by President Bush, has been well worthwhile. What I'd like to see is for the United States and Europe and Japan to be competing with each other, about who can be the most reasonable, in providing necessary assistance to these people.
But I think the main thing now, Judy, is to convince the American people, the citizens, to ask their Congress members to increase the generosity of our country. And I think the same thing needs to be done in Europe, in Japan, and other rich countries. So what we need to do now is to appreciate what has been done the last few days, announced by President Bush, but not to let this be the end of it.
WOODRUFF: President Carter, I know you have said you did not want to answer any questions about Cuba because you did do an interview yesterday. But I would be -- because of the historic nature of this announcement yesterday, that you would be going there. I would be delinquent as a journalist not to at least ask you about it. So I did want to ask you, what you would hope to accomplish on this trip.
CARTER: Judy, we're making plans now. And as we've said, we've been invited to go to Cuba, and we intend to go. But I'm not prepared at this point to give our goals and the names of people that will go, or when we will go, because we haven't really made those plans yet.
WOODRUFF: And what is your feeling about this announcement?
CARTER: Well, as you probably would remember, when I was president, I departed from my predecessors and unfortunately, my successors, in lifting all travel restraints on American citizens to go to Cuba, almost immediately when I was president, within a few weeks. And I also established intersections, which is one short -- one step short of full diplomatic relationships, between Havana and Washington. And those intersections, with staffs representing our countries, they have never been closed.
So I think the best way to bring about democratic changes in Cuba is obviously to have maximum commerce and trade and visitation by Americans and others who know freedom, and to let the Cuban people know the advantages of freedom. That's the best way to bring about change. And not to punish the Cuban people themselves by imposing an embargo on them, which makes Castro seem to be a hero, because he's defending his own people against the abusive Americans.
So this is a position that I've taken for the last 20 years or more. If and when we go to Cuba, before we go, I'll be sure to let you know about a more final plans for the trip.
WOODRUFF: President Carter just returned from a three-nation trip to Africa, where he was joined by Bill Gates Sr., who oversees the foundation created by his son, the Microsoft founder. I spoke with both men about their trip and the devastating spread of AIDS across the African continent.
For Americans who cannot even imagine what AIDS has done to the continent of Africa, President Carter, what would you say to them of what you saw on your trip together this month?
CARTER: We saw a much more horrific consequence of HIV AIDS in Africa than I had even imagined, even after the media stories that I had read. I think one way to put it into vivid perspective, which is not a very good example perhaps, is that we lost, horribly, about 3,100 people in the terrorist attacks in New York. And that many people die in Africa from AIDS every 12 hours, 365 days a year. That was last year.
And that rate is increasing every year because of inattention in some countries, and a lack of funding and support from the rich nations of the world, to try to control this pandemic. It is absolutely horrible. Every American should be involved in the solution to this problem.
WOODRUFF: Mr. Gates, we know that the Gates Foundation has already poured hundreds of millions of dollars into this. But I'm sure that on this trip, there are some images that have stayed with you. What are some of those? BILL GATES SR., PHILANTHROPIST: Well, I think that the sharpest image I have is of a visit I had with a woman who runs a hospice for babies. That really brought this thing into focus. To think that we are in the business of dealing with the imminent death of babies, and caring for them in a hospice, as we do with the elderly here in this country.
WOODRUFF: President Carter, I believe we have some videos, pictures of you and Mr. Gates together, holding -- and I believe with Nelson Mandela -- holding some infants. What was that experience like?
CARTER: Well, it's very distressing to have sitting in front of us mothers who have had courage enough to be tested. They found they are HIV positive, have AIDS, and they took a medicine that cost about $4. It's given away free there -- that would prevent half their babies from being born HIV positive. And we held those babies in our arms, and it reminded me vividly of my own children, my own grandchildren, and how much attention we get in this country.
And to realize that the government of South Africa only permits this testing of mothers and the treatment of babies in 15 out of 2,000 clinics, because there's still an aversion in the top levels of government, in South Africa and some other countries, to the use of anti-retroviral treatments, even to prevent babies from inheriting AIDS from their mothers.
A lot has to be done in Africa in education, and active support from the top levels of government. Some countries have done an outstanding job. But I think what they need is support and encouragement and funding, from the wealthy countries of the world.
WOODRUFF: Mr. Gates, how do you explain, or can you explain, this decision at the highest levels of the South African government, not to permit the use of these anti-AIDS drugs?
GATES: It is hard to explain. It's really quite surprising, given the virtual universal effectiveness of these drugs, in our own country and in other places. But they have this sense that their population is different and that these drugs need to be proven over again in their -- among their people, before they're willing to make them available through the public health system. It's discouraging.
WOODRUFF: President Carter, any sense of headway being made with President Mbeki on this issue?
CARTER: No. Bill Gates and I met with him, and we tried to convince him, if you have an aversion to the use of the medicine, just forget about that for the time being, and have the best prevention program in all of Africa. But he didn't respond even well to that.
I might say quickly, though, is that we went from there to Nigeria, and from there over to Kenya. President Obasanjo and President Moi are doing an outstanding job in taking full advantage of the opportunities that they have to acquaint their people with the threat of AIDS, the fact that it exists, the fact that you can prevent it.
And other countries have already demonstrated vividly that this is possible with a relatively small amount of money. Senegal has never been above 2 percent infection of AIDS. And Uganda, under President Museveni, got way up near 30 percent. And because of his actions, they've reduced it down to about half. So it's possible to control the spread of AIDS, with strong investments and wisdom on how to use the limited funds.
WOODRUFF: And, Mr. Gates, you were saying it's important for Americans, of course, to realize just how serious the crisis is in Africa. If you could take Americans by the shoulders, literally, and shake them and look them in the eye, what would you say to them about this?
GATES: I think you need to get across to them that there's never been anything like this in the history of the world. We have a continent that's threatened by this disease. And if, I believe, if the people of this country really understood the seriousness of it, there would be a very, very warm and generous humanitarian response. It's just getting across a sense of how serious this thing is.
WOODRUFF: Mr. William Gates Senior, President Jimmy Carter, gentlemen, we thank you very much for talking to us about your trip to Africa earlier this month. We appreciate your joining us.
And Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile will join me in a few moments. Up next, the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle," including an update on yet another suicide bombing in the Middle East.
WOODRUFF: Among the stories in our "Newscycle" this Friday, while U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni chaired a security meeting today between Israelis and Palestinians, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a West Bank checkpoint. One Israeli soldier was reported injured in the attack. It is the third suicide bombing this week.
Here in the U.S., the cost of mailing a letter will jump from 34 to 37 cents, as soon as the end of June. Post cards will jump to 23 cents under the new rates.
And Hollywood producer Haim Saban has donated $7 million dollars to the Democratic National Committee, to help pay for that party's new Washington headquarters. The soft money check is believed to be the largest political donation in U.S. history.
And now with their takes on some of issues of the day, Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause, Donna Brazile, former campaign manager for Al Gore. Bay, I have a feeling you may have something to say about this $7 million check for this building. What do you think?
BAY BUCHANAN, AMERICAN CAUSE: Incredible hypocrisy here, Judy. You look at this. Here the Democrats are, leading the charge reform, saying the people in the country need to regain their trust, and the soft money is corrupting. And they get the bill, they're out there voting. And as they're voting, they have the vacuum cleaner out the back window and are sucking up as much of this money as they can. Donna, where's the honor in this?
DONNA BRAZILE, FMR. CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR AL GORE: Well, first of all, Bay, as long as the soft money tree is producing such wonderful low-hanging fruit, both political parties will be picking up a lot of soft money until it dries out this fall. There's no shame in the Democratic Party's game, or the Republican Party game, of going out there and finding large dollars to support critical infrastructure.
Look, for 20 years -- and I'm going to say something really nice about the Republican Party. For 20 years The Republican Party built up their infrastructure. Had an e-mail system that was, you know, unmatchable, on the political scale. And now what Terry MacAuliffe has done, is he's gone out there and he's raised some money to rebuild the party's infrastructure.
BUCHANAN: What kind of money is he raising? The kind that the leaders of the party have said is corruptive, and which they're absolutely opposed to. The Republican Party has been against the ban on the soft money. They see nothing wrong with it.
The Democrats have said it is wrong, absolutely wrong. And here you are, violating your own principles.
BRAZILE: No, in 228 days, we will not have this money. The Republicans will not have this money. The Democrats will not have this money. And so while it's available, the Democratic Party will not (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
BUCHANAN: And I tell you one thing, Judy, there's going to be more soft money raised in this cycle than the last cycle, with this bill having passed.
WOODRUFF: We're going to be checking on it regularly, so I have a feeling we're going to come back to this one.
Different subject: There was a report formally issued this week, finally, on the subject of Whitewater, former President Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Donna Brazil, is this a report that we've waited for for a good reason?
BRAZILE: Waited for, 10 years in the making and one year sitting on his shelf until what, filing deadline in New Jersey? No, this reminds me of the Shakespeare play "Much To Do About Nothing." The Clintons once again are exonerated. They are free to go on and live their happy lives as a senator and a former president out there working for wonderful, charitable causes.
BUCHANAN: You know this is -- this is no exoneration whatsoever. This is certainly not a report I'd want in my personnel file, Donna. This fellow in this report says that both of them, the president and his Mrs., lied to investigators. And in addition to that, Mrs. Clinton is running around with those doggone billing records, they feel, in the White House. But they didn't have the evidence to convince the jury they weren't certain of that. I think he made the right decision not to go ahead, but it's certainly not a report...
BRAZILE: Well it stinks...
BUCHANAN: ... that I'd be proud of.
BRAZILE: It stinks to the high heavens, $73 million of taxpayers money for a partisan witch hunt. And you know what, nothing, nothing,...
BUCHANAN: Partisan witch hunt.
BRAZILE: ... absolutely nothing in the report to indict the Clintons. It will exonerate the Clintons. And perhaps the penance should be some of the Clinton bashers should be able to go out and do some volunteer work on behalf of the president's favorite charities.
BUCHANAN: Let's remember where this investigation landed, right to the Monica Lewinsky investigation, which led to an impeachment and a disgrace of the president. This man -- you all gave us this independent council law and then you gave us a president who triggered it time and again, that's the shame of it.
BRAZILE: Well, there's no shame. Again, no shame in the Democratic Party's game and no shame in the Clinton's game. They are free this weekend to begin to enjoy the Easter season.
WOODRUFF: Have we heard the end of Whitewater?
BRAZILE: I hope so.
BUCHANAN: I hope so too.
BRAZILE: I hope so. We can go...
WOODRUFF: One thing we can agree on.
BRAZILE: We can go fishing for something else now, right?
BUCHANAN: I hope we've heard the last of Bill Clinton, Judy.
BRAZILE: I hope not. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
WOODRUFF: The spouse of a senator.
BUCHANAN: Yes, that's...
BUCHANAN: As that...
WOODRUFF: All right.
BRAZILE: And they're doing important work on AIDS in Africa as well -- President Clinton is.
WOODRUFF: All right, we are going to leave it at that.
Something I just spoke with former President Jimmy Carter...
BRAZILE: That's correct.
WOODRUFF: ... and Bill Gates Sr. about.
Donna Brazile, Bay Buchanan, thank you both.
BRAZILE: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Great to see you this Friday.
BUCHANAN: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: We'll see you next week. Thanks.
And Bob Novak's "Inside Buzz" is up next. Now that Mitt Romney is running for Massachusetts governor, Bob tells us which Democrats are jittery and which one may have some cause to celebrate.
WOODRUFF: "Inside Buzz" today on the computing capability of two state Democratic parties. A pack controlled by North Carolina Senator John Edwards has donated 123 computers to the Iowa Democratic Party. The Edwards pack has also given 53 computers to the New Hampshire state party. Iowa and New Hampshire, of course, just happen to be home to the first in the nation caucuses and presidential primary.
Well, when told of the computer donations, one Al Gore supporter said -- quote -- "well maybe they can set up an early warning system for incoming candidates."
Well now some "Inside Buzz" from Bob Novak of the "Chicago Sun- Times" and CNN's "CROSSFIRE." I met up with Bob a little earlier today.
WOODRUFF: Bob Novak, good to see you today.
ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Nice to be here.
WOODRUFF: All right, Mitt Romney announcing he's going to run for governor, a Republican nomination for governor of Massachusetts. What's this doing to the state?
NOVAK: It's had one unanticipated consequence. According to Democratic sources, it has really boosted the chances for the Democratic nomination of Robert Reich, the professor, former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. He was considered to have no chance at all. But all of the other candidates, Democratic candidates for governor, are kind of state house hacks (ph) and Romney really will crush them as an outsider. Democrats say they have to get an outsider. Might be Romney versus Wright. Be an interesting race.
WOODRUFF: We may hear from some of those you called hacks. We'll see what happens.
All right. Senate battles coming up. What's that all about?
NOVAK: They are just in a tremendous partisan battle over these judgeship nominations. The Republicans have a plan, I don't know if they'll go through with it, they may clutch at the end, to really bring the Senate to a standstill and unless they bring some of these appeals court judges up for a vote on the floor.
The next target of the Democrats could be Texas Supreme Court Judge Priscilla Owen who is nominated for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that Pickering was nominated for. Justice Owen, it seems, received $8,000 in contributions for Enron for her judicial campaign and then she rolled on a unanimous court in favor of Enron in a tax suit. They say -- the Republicans say that it's irrelevant, she should be permitted to vote on the Senate floor.
WOODRUFF: All right, separate question. People -- those in Congress who support drilling in Alaska in the ANWR, they're looking for labor support. What's labor (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
NOVAK: They got a lot of labor support, the Teamsters, some of the other blue-collar units, but the interesting thing is they're trying to get the steelworkers. are a very strong, liberal, Democratic unit, but the president -- President Bush gave them something on the steel tariffs and there's some talk of having a buy America provision on drilling in ANWR, which might bring the steelworkers on President Bush's side on ANWR drilling.
WOODRUFF: Last but not least, there's a Senate race going on in the state of North Carolina. And what is this about Mrs. Dole and her fund raising?
NOVAK: Mrs. Dole sent to people who have already given her money what she called an emergency request for more funds. She says she's being hammered by television, by the North Carolina Democratic Party because of alleged Enron connections so she's asking for emergency contributions. Now the interesting twist, I've never seen this before, in the fund raiser she put in a prepaid -- prepaid FedEx. And what you do if you want to give an extra $250, $500 to Elizabeth, you put the money right in there, zip it, it's all paid and send it off to Salisbury, North Carolina.
WOODRUFF: Now was this mailed to Bob Novak or someone else?
NOVAK: Someone else.
WOODRUFF: All right.
NOVAK: I'm not on her list.
WOODRUFF: One of -- one of Bob Novak's sources.
Good to see you. Robert Novak's notebook.
NOVAK: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Our focus is on Florida in the "Campaign News Daily." The Florida branch of the AFL-CIO is expected to announce its pick for governor tomorrow in Jacksonville. Reports say that Democrat Bill McBride is the front runner for the union's endorsement. The AFL-CIO has about a half a million members in Florida.
Another Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Janet Reno, has a busy travel weekend ahead. Reno is in California today. She returns for the AFL-CIO meeting tomorrow and then flies back to California for more fund raisers. She also plans to work in an Oscars party on Sunday as a guest of Elton John and a Tuesday appearance on "The Tonight Show."
New York Governor George Pataki is headed to the Sunshine State. He has a Sunday speech to the Republican Leadership Council, along with several fund raisers to help his re-election campaign.
And coming up next, our Bruce Morton gets -- puts his spin on the newly-passed campaign finance reform bill and whether it will really limit big money in politics.
WOODRUFF: Our Jeff Greenfield is on vacation, so today we'll get our daily dose of "Bite" right here in Washington from our Bruce Morton.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, I think it's about time we started demanding campaign finance reform. I know they passed a bill a couple of days ago, but that stuff lasts about as long as bananas.
I remember the last reforms after Watergate. They set up the Federal Election Commission, which is still with us, and a friend of mine in the political business said they ought to call this the Consultants and Accountants Protection Act, we are going to make a lot of money out of this. He was, of course, right.
MORTON (voice-over): This city is full of very smart people who are in the business of taking whatever rules there are and bending them to their candidate's advantage. They had great success with the last bunch of reforms, and it would take a really foolish person to bet they won't succeed with the new law too. The voters get it. A CNN-Gallup-"USA Today" poll last month asked, "No matter what new laws are passed, will special interests always find a way to maintain their power in Washington?" And two-thirds of the people we polled said yes, special interests will, proving once again that the voters are a lot smarter than we sometimes think.
How long will the new reforms work? Well that depends. Opponents will take the law to court arguing that the restrictions it puts on unions, corporations and interest group's ability to advertise during campaigns are unconstitutional. And the First Amendment, of course, does say Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether Congress has made such a law this time.
But however that goes, the political pros will find ways around this reform. The new bill takes effect in 2004, old loopholes are still good this year. And I'd bet that by what, 2008, '12 at the latest, Granny Dee Lesser (ph) will be marching again and earnest people will be demanding reform now.
MORTON (on camera): Harold Dickies (ph), who's worked in a lot of campaigns, said the smartest thing I ever heard anyone say on the subject, "water finds a crack," Dickies (ph) has told a Senate hearing, "money finds a campaign." He's got that right.
WOODRUFF: It may be that truer words were never spoken.
Thank you, Bruce.
Well the "Subway Series" returns after a quick break. CNN's Jonathan Karl talks with Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan next.
WOODRUFF: Missouri Democratic Senator Jean Carnahan was appointed to office when her late husband, Mel Carnahan, died in a plane crash just days before he defeated Republican John Ashcroft. Jean Carnahan now faces a tough election battle in a race already receiving close attention from the White House.
Earlier, Senator Carnahan met up with our Jonathan Karl for the latest installment in his "Subway Series."
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Senator Carnahan, welcome to the "Subway Series.
SEN. JEAN CARNAHAN (D), MISSOURI: Well thank you. It's good to be here, Jon.
KARL: Now I've been very interested to see all the White House travels to your state. George Bush's father has been there, Karen Hughes, Mary Madeline. The president's been there. We hear Dick Cheney may be headed to Missouri soon. Why is the White House so anxious to get you out of the United States Senate?
CARNAHAN: We're a wonderful tourist site.
CARNAHAN: Well of course this is the -- you can expect that a Republican administration would come in for a Republican candidate. So I expected that, and so it's not anything that seems odd around or strange to me. I expected it.
KARL: Now in the president's last trip, he, when he came to Missouri, did a fund raiser for your opponent, Jim Talent. He seemed to be implying that you're not in favor of clean elections. I mean he didn't mention you by name, but he said at least one of our senators -- at least one of your senators from Missouri isn't in favor of, you know, clean and fair elections. What was he saying?
CARNAHAN: Well you know I'm certainly for election reform, and I was one of the co-sponsors of the bill, so I certainly think he knows better than that. But what I wanted to make sure was that we were able to let those who are minorities or those who are elderly or disabled, to make sure that their votes counted. I didn't want to put anything in the way of their being able to vote.
KARL: And you were one of the first people to be targeted by ads from the -- from the Republican Party, and those ads used the president. What did you think of that?
CARNAHAN: Well, of course I would rather the president not do that, but I can understand that he wants to -- that he wants to get back the Senate. And I'm one of those who is in the Senate that makes it possible for the Democrats to have a majority. And so I can understand why he did that. But of course we'll -- his name will not be on the ballot in November, but mine will and my opponent's will, and I think coattails only go so far. People really want to know what your record is and I'm very proud to run on my record.
KARL: Now you had it -- something happen to you personally, which a lot of people didn't realize because of the timing, but your home was destroyed in a lightening strike. It burned down.
CARNAHAN: Well, yes, that's right. It happened on the 9th of September, and I -- at the time I heard about the Twin Towers, I was actually walking through my own rubble looking at what was left over of the house. So it was a -- it was a very -- it was a very difficult time.
KARL: But when all of this happened to you and the tragedy involving your husband, you have your home getting struck by lightening and destroyed, September 11 two days later, you lose faith? I mean...
CARNAHAN: These are the things that happen in people's lives. I've heard of a lot more tragedy in other people's lives. They come up to me when I'm at the airport or on the street or in the grocery story and they share these things with me. And I realize there are other people out there hurting and overcoming tragedy and triumphing over the difficulties in their lives every day. And so I take strength from them and hopefully maybe I pass on a little.
KARL: Senator, I want to -- I want to thank you for joining us on the subway. It was very nice to have you here.
CARNAHAN: Well thanks, Jon, this was fun to do.
KARL: We'll be watching the campaign very carefully.
CARNAHAN: Come ride with me again.
KARL: Great, take care.
WOODRUFF: Senator Jean Carnahan.
A drum roll, please. You don't have to wait until the Oscars on Sunday because next our Bill Schneider will be handing out his "Ippy" awards for the best political performances of the year.
But first, Wolf is here with a look at what's ahead on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much, Judy.
Coming up at the top of the hour, new developments in the sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic church. We'll tell you about a new legal step some victims are taking. Also, what's it like to witness a suicide bombing? We'll talk to a man who lived through it. And how safe are your medical records? We'll tell you who may be getting access to them. It's all coming up right after INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: A quick preview of what's "In the Works" for Monday's INSIDE POLITICS. I will have an interview with Carol Roberts. She's a Palm Beach, Florida County Commissioner. You may recall her from the 2000 election controversy. She's running for the 22nd congressional seat held by Republican Clay Shaw.
And finally, it is awards time, so let's roll out the red carpet again for our Bill Schneider in Hollywood.
BILL SCHNEIDER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, we're all dressed up from head to toe here in Hollywood where everyone is waiting breathlessly to hear who wins the Ippys. That's right, the Ippys, as in IP for INSIDE POLITICS.
Now this is a handsome award given for outstanding achievement in the political arena. So take your seats, ladies and gentlemen, limousine liberals on the left, country club conservatives on the right, as the curtain goes up and the show goes on.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Best supporting actor, who else but Rudy Giuliani whose support was crucial for getting Michael Bloomberg elected mayor of New York and Bill Simon nominated for governor of California.
BILL SIMON: Thank you, Rudy. God bless you.
SCHNEIDER: Best supporting actress, the Ippy goes to House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi who supported a lot of people to get her job.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY WHIP: I endorsed Gary Condit as -- when I endorsed all the members of the California Democratic delegation.
SCHNEIDER: Achievement in art direction, the winner is Attorney General John Ashcroft whose department spent $2,100 to rent a curtain and turn this into this.
Achievement in cinematography, this made-for-camera moment at President Bush's speech to Congress last September certainly deserves an IPPY. Costume design, can't beat this for a new look. Best makeup, Al Gore as the werewolf. Best live action short, former Enron executives take the Fifth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I respectfully decline to answer the question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on my Fifth Amendment constitutional rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to be a witness against myself.
SCHNEIDER: Best song, September 11, 2001. This stirring rendition of "God Bless America" on the steps of the United States Capitol by members of the Congress.
(CONGRESS SINGING): God bless America, my home sweet home.
SCHNEIDER: Best actress. That would go to the acting governor of Massachusetts, Jane Swift, for her tragic performance. Best performance by an actor, the Ippy goes to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the tough guy role of a lifetime.
DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: He is important. We're after him. We intend to find him. I believe we will, but we haven't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if he turns up somewhere thumbing his nose at you?
RUMSFELD: We will go see about that thumb.
SCHNEIDER: And finally, the Ippy for best picture. That award goes to a memorable, unscripted performance by President George Bush on the day he visited ground zero, September 14, 2001. It was a moment that transformed Mr. Bush and removed all doubt that he is truly president of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) can't hear you.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can hear you.
BUSH: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people...
BUSH: And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
SCHNEIDER: Now we hear they're planning to give out some kind of other awards here on Sunday night. But I'll tell you, when it comes to real drama and inspiration, nothing Hollywood has done or can do can match the real political world for drama and inspiration -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: I'm with you on that one, Bill. And who's going to deliver the actual Ippys to the winners?
SCHNEIDER: Well, I think I'm available for that task, but they'll have to dress up and show up here in Hollywood.
WOODRUFF: We'll send Bill Schneider around. All right, Bill, enjoy California. We'll see you when you get back.
SCHNEIDER: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: And CNN's coverage continues now with "Wolf BLITZER REPORTS."
Thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.
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