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Interview with Dan Quayle; What is Hollywood's Influence on Politics?; The Object Facing a Bush Nominee

Aired May 9, 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. We are going "On the Record" today about Hollywood's influence on politics. Plus, a cameo appearance by Julia Roberts.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Ten years after Dan Quayle went after "Murphy Brown," you may be surprised to hear what he has to say about today's TV fare.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl on Capitol Hill. I'll look at some of the obstacles facing one of President Bush's controversial nominees and tell you why an important adviser to Al Gore is supporting him.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm Jeff Greenfield in New York with a radio active example of the old adage that all politics is local.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Well, if it had been not nothing more than a defining moment in Dan Quayle's political career, which it was, the 10th anniversary of his infamous "Murphy Brown" speech might have passed unnoticed. But as the former vice president is eager to point out, his verbal slap at a then popular TV character was an early salvo in the political battle over family values.

Candy Crowley today caught up with Quayle and his views on the subject.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY (voice-over): Politicians don't get to write their own legacies.

DAN QUAYLE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT: At the time did I think we would talk about it ten years later? No. But we are, and I'm gratified for it.

CROWLEY: But catch up with Dan Quayle now and you learn that this paragraph of his legacy is OK by him.

QUAYLE: It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomizing today's intelligent, highly-paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers. CANDICE BERGEN, ACTOR: Glamorize single motherhood, what planet is he on?

CROWLEY: Oh, what an uproar he caused, this real-life vice president, in a great-for-the-ratings dispute with a pretend journalist over the impact on the real world of her pretend dad-free pregnancy. Can you imagine what Dan Quayle thinks of what's on TV today? No, you can't.

QUAYLE: You have a mother and father that are very involved with their children.

CROWLEY: Brace yourselves, my friends. Dan Quayle speaks in praise of "The Osbournes."

SHARON OSBOURNE, MOTHER: Oh, of course it's broken. Those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) packed it.

CROWLEY: That obscenity-laced reality TV show about hard rocker Ozzy bit-the-head-off-a-bat Osbourne, his wife and their kids.

QUAYLE: They do talk about curfews. They talk about no drugs, no alcohol. They encourage their children to do that. So I actually found some redeeming value of this rather bizarre family relationship.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTOR: It's not kicking right now.

CROWLEY: But what about this? Single moms like Rachel on "Friends" are such standard TV stuff these days, they're almost passe. Surely that must furrow the brow of the conservative's conservative. Not really.

QUAYLE: I don't like that particular message, but a father is involved. And a father is going to be involved. And I'm going OK, we've made at least 50 percent progress.

CROWLEY: What with the Million-Man March and hundreds of fatherhood initiatives, you could argue that headlines in history have shown Dan Quayle was not hopelessly out of step with time, but ahead of it.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is not the definition of a man, to father a child and walk away saying, they're not my problem, they are yours.

AL GORE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT: We've got to bring the father back into the picture.

CROWLEY: The truth is, Dan Quayle feels pretty vindicated these days. He thinks families are stronger now than they were when he first caused all that ruckus. And what he seems to love most is the roles played by real life dads.

QUAYLE: Polls show that people who would perhaps rather play a game of catch with the little guys rather than a game of golf with the big guys. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: He is feeling vindicated. He is tan and rested and only 55 years old. If you didn't know any better, you might think Dan Quayle looks like a guy who his running for something.

You never say never, he says. But who knows? After all, Judy, TV is not the only place for re-runs.

WOODRUFF: Very true. Candy, thanks very much.

And we will talk a little bit more about Hollywood and its politics a bit later with the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, Jack Valenti.

On Capitol Hill today, actress Julia Roberts tried to use her star power to influence the legislative agenda. In a packed hearing room, Roberts told a House subcommittee that more federal funding is needed for research on Rett syndrome. She got emotional talking about a child she knew who died of this neurological disorder that mostly strikes young girls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIA ROBERTS, ACTOR: As you consider our request, our deeply heart-felt request, please keep my friend Abigail, and my friends here, and others that aren't here today, in your hearts and in your minds. Her death was painful for her family and her friends. But Abigail's spirit motivates me and those with us today to raise our voices and the public's awareness about the urgent need for research funding of Rett Syndrome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Roberts says that researchers are confident that they can conquer Rett Syndrome if they have the continued resources to do so.

Over at the White House, President Bush delivered his own message to Capitol Hill today. He pressed the Democratic controlled Senate to get moving on the backlog of his judicial nominees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: America's not getting the justice it needs. Ours is a system that relies upon an independent court system. And when there is vacancies, the American people suffer. And I call upon the Senate to approve, at least give hearings to, people we have sent up to the Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: To date, the Senate confirmed only three of Mr. Bush's first 11 U.S. appeals court nominees.

Our congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl, has an update on one of the most controversial of those nominees in limbo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL (voice-over): Touted by his allies, a future Supreme Court justice, 40-year-old Miguel Estrada, is the Republican poster child in the battle over judicial nominations.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY LEADER: Miguel Estrada -- this man has lived the American dream.

KARL: Republicans say Estrada has a perfect resume. He was born in Honduras. After graduating high school, he immigrated to the U.S. at age 17. He graduated with top honors from Harvard Law school, where he served on the law review. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and served as an assistant solicitor general for both the elder President Bush and President Clinton, arguing 15 cases before the Supreme Court.

Currently in private practice, he also coauthored the Bush campaign's brief to the high court in the Florida recount case. Democrats acknowledge Estrada's credentials. It's his political views they are concerned about.

RALPH NEAS, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: He seems to be the darling of the right. We're picking that up everywhere, that he might be the Latino Clarence Thomas. Someone who has a hard right judicial philosophy, which would undermine the key principles to protect our civil and constitutional rights.

KARL: That's a view echoed by key judiciary committee Democrats as the Estrada nomination has languished without a hearing for a full year.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: He is way out of the mainstream. He is in the mold of Scalia and Thomas.

KARL: But if Estrada holds controversial views, he does not appear to have put them in writing. Frustrated Democrats call him a stealth nominee who will be hard to beat because he doesn't have a paper trail. He also has some surprising allies.

ROB KLAIN, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Well, I think Miguel personally and politically is very conservative. I think as a judge, he would apply the legal precedents in an appropriate way and be a good court of appeals judge.

KARL: Ron Klain, who was Al Gore's top legal adviser and a key Democratic figure during the Florida recount, wrote a private letter to judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy, calling Estrada -- quote -- "a person of outstanding character and tremendous intellect."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Senator Leahy says Estrada will eventually get a hearing. He won't say when, but he's quick to point out the five top Hispanic organizations, including the council of the Rasa, have asked him to wait until at least August so they will have more time to look at his record.

Meanwhile, Judy, the Republicans have put Estrada on a milk carton, wondering where his nomination is and where it stands. Back to you.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl reporting from the Capitol. Thanks.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats say they are moving faster on President Bush's judicial choices than Republicans did for President Clinton's nominees. A little earlier I asked White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez about that claim and about the broader political dispute.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALBERTO GONZALES, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, you know, I think we can get into a disagreement about numbers. What cannot be disputed is that we have close to 90 vacancies across the country, even though the president has nominated a record number of federal judges in just 16 months in office. So the problem is that we do have a vacancy crisis and it needs to be addressed.

WOODRUFF: The Democrats are saying, Mr. Gonzalez, that between 1995 and 2000, the Republican Senate refused to confirm more than 35 percent of President Clinton's appellate court nominees.

GONZALES: Well, listen, that's part of the problem we have here, is that you have Senate Democrats looking backwards, looking back at the past. That doesn't resolve the vacancy problem that we currently confront. We have to look forward and it requires leadership in the Senate to address this problem.

WOODRUFF: Well, in their argument, they're saying there's so much at stake here that they don't believe the president, on the one hand shouldn't be penalized, but on the other hand, shouldn't be unfairly rewarded or advantaged for what happened in the past.

GONZALES: Well, the president had nothing to do with what happened in the past. And to penalize him or the American people by continuing this vacancy crisis is just wrong. I mean, what we need to do, again, it requires leadership in the Senate, realizing we have a problem and work with this president in addressing it.

WOODRUFF: I'm quoting one of the senators on the judiciary committee, who was saying the ball is in the president's court, that it's up to him to nominate reasonable, moderate people, not controversial ideologues. And they say there needs to be some give and take on both sides here.

GONZALES: I disagree with that characterization. We have worked very closely with senators from both sides of the aisle. You look at the qualifications of the president's nominees. All the pending nominees have been rated qualified or well qualified by the American Bar Association, which Democrats have described as a gold standard for evaluating the qualifications of our judges. These are people who believe in the rule of law, in construing the Constitution and not legislating from the bench. In my judgment, they're included in the mainstream of judicial philosophy.

WOODRUFF: Is the president prepared to change any of these, or is the White House saying no deals whatsoever?

GONZALES: Well, for the good of the American people, the president is not willing to compromise his principles here, in terms of the types of judges he wants to appoint. This is probably one of the most important decisions a president can make, because it is a lifetime decision.

So this is too important. No, the president will not compromise on his principles.

WOODRUFF: Even if it means waiting until November or later to see what happens in the Senate election?

GONZALES: Again, it's just too important to compromise. The president is going to do what he believes is right here.

WOODRUFF: All right, Alberto Gonzalez, who is counsel to the president. We thank you very much. Good to see you, sir.

GONZALES: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Gonzalez added that he believes all nominees deserve a hearing, that he doesn't agree with what the Senate Republicans did in the past.

The web of Hollywood and politics is up next. As the movie industry rakes in big money from "Spider-man" and the like, is it still mindful of the post 9-11 mood in the country? We'll ask Motion Picture Association of America chief, Jack Valenti.

Is Chelsea Clinton the new JFK Junior? Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile take on that question posed by "Vanity Fair."

Plus, "The Young and the Restless." How does our political version compare with the TV soap opera? You be the judge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: We are here in Washington at the headquarters of the Motion Picture Association of America, talking with its head, Jack Valenti. You've been head of this organization, Jack, for 36 years, is that right?

JACK VALENTI, CHM, MOTION PICTURE ASSN. OF AMERICA: Give or take a few days.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about feature films right now. We just had "Spider-man" come out and apparently break all box office records.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How strange. There's nobody here.

WOODRUFF: Is this a season of the blockbusters? Is that what we're looking at here?

VALENTI: It's always been that way. The one thing that is unchanging in this changing world is that people don't want to be connected to an electronic box every night. They want to get out and go to the movies. And that's the biggest asset the movie industry has.

We had the greatest year in the history of movies last year. This year is bigger than last year. We're riding an ascending curve, because this is what Americans want to do.

WOODRUFF: That box you're referring to is a television set, I assume.

VALENTI: I was trying to be as unobtrusive as I can on that.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about one movie that's coming out, not on the big screen, but speaking of television, on HBO. It's a movie called "A Path to War." It's about the days in the Lyndon Johnson White House leading up to a decision to put greater involvement in the war in Vietnam.

You've been involved somewhat in this movie. Your son is in it. What I want to ask you first of all, is there new ground broken here, in terms of what President Johnson did? And we should say you worked in the Johnson White House as special assistant.

VALENTI: I worked for Lyndon Johnson on the day of this grotesque assassination of President Kennedy. Flew back with him on Air Force One. I guess I was the first newly hired special assistant of the new president. I was in on every Vietnam meeting that he presided over for the next three years. So I was there. And I saw it.

I think the new ground that's broken here is that the American people will get to see in an eerily accurate way how a president got drawn into this war he didn't start, whose continuance he loathed and whose ending he just could not design. And to see how he agonized over it. How he prayed over it. How it, almost like drinking carbolic acid every morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want me to do? Put everybody's grandmother in that place?

WOODRUFF: Did you give your son John any advice? He plays you in that movie.

VALENTI: I thought that was an inspired piece of casting, as a matter of fact. He does play me in the movie. And I was quite proud. He was the only nonprofessional in this move. He's not an actor. And I hope people would not say, nor does he play one on television. WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about something. As I mentioned, the Motion Picture Association, for more than three decades. Now, though, with the nature of movie studios changing -- they're part of these big, corporate conglomerates, where they not only own movie studios, but they own television networks. They own, in the case of AOL Time Warner, they own AOL, the Internet service company.

Is it getting a lot harder to present a united front when you've got so many different interests, on the part of the entertainment companies?

VALENTI: It is hard. But in a strange way, it's always been hard. Go back to 1983, when we've had a big fight with the networks. There was one of my companies that didn't want any part of it and we've had to go on without them.

But in the end, I've always been able to bring the companies together because, in the end, unity is far better than a fractured organization. And everybody understands that. So it's a little harder, but not that much harder. It's challenging, because there are such new and unbelievably complex issues. We're entering the digital world, totally like any other world we ever lived in before.

WOODRUFF: I want to ask you one other thing. After September the 11th, a number of movie industry representatives met with White House -- the president's top adviser, Karl Rove, to talk about what the entertainment industry could do in the wake of 9/11. We haven't heard much about that effort. It was called Hollywood 9-11 group. What's happened?

VALENTI: We met in California. I was never prouder of the movie industry than I was that day, when Mr. Rove said that we're just here to see, can you help us in this war effort. That is, to get out messages, communication all over the world.

And as one, all elements of the movie industry said yes, the movie studios, actors, writers, directors -- you name it. Unions, craft unions, they said yes. And we have been meeting every 10 to 12 days. This is not work that's publicized.

But when you see these spots, public service announcements on television, we've given away hundreds of thousands of our movies on fighting ships abroad so that these young fighting men and women can watch a movie. We've been to bases all over the country.

The cast of "Ocean's 11" went to our base in Turkey. We have done a lot of work and I'm very proud of this industry. Because we're serving our country at a time when the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the nation's belly and we're trying to respond as best we can. And I'm proud of that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America.

The "Newscycle" is next, including an update from the Middle East.

Plus, we know where Dan Quayle stands on Murphy Brown ten years later. Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile have their say in our "Taking Issue" segment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Time for a check of the headlines in our "Newscycle." European Union sources say there is a deal to end the five-week standoff at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. An agreement is said to call for a number of European countries to accept the 13 gunmen Israel wants exiled from the region.

Preliminary field tests found traces of anthrax this week at an outside mail facility used by the Federal Reserve Bank. The possible spores were detected on about 20 pieces of mail. More tests are under way to determine if the initial field tests are correct.

President Bush today called on Senate Democrats to confirm more of his judicial nominees. Mr. Bush, joined by Republicans on the Senate judiciary committee, said that the nation is suffering from -- quote -- "a vacancy crisis." He criticized what he called the raw politics of DeLay.

With us now, former Gore campaign manager, Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan. She's president of American Cause. I want to start by asking you both about the Dan Quayle story, the fact that today, ten years after the Murphy Brown speech.

Bay, was Dan Quayle right to call the country's attention to single mothers and how wrong that is, and how we need to correct it?

BAY BUCHANAN, AMERICAN CAUSE: Two points. One, he is absolutely correct to make the point that Hollywood was glamorizing this, that it was just as easy and just as fine to have a child out of wedlock as in wedlock. And it's not. I'm fifteen years now, a single parent. And I know what impact it has on the kids.

There's nothing glamorous about it, No. 1. And No. 2, it's hard work to be a parent and sometimes overwhelming to be a single parent. That message was not relayed in Murphy Brown, Judy. And in fact, the baby disappeared after about a month from the show.

There was no one calling and crying, saying the baby is sick. She didn't have to miss office because of the sick baby, or be home with any of the other problems. They just moved that baby out.

DONNA BRAZILE, CHAIRWOMAN, DNC'S VOTING RIGHTS INST.: Well, at the time, Judy, it appeared to be an attack on single women who are out there struggling to make ends meet, trying to raise families on their own. And I think at the time, Mr. Quayle was trying to make a point and it got lost in the shuffle.

The fact is, Murphy Brown fed her baby, she took it home and it was raised by a village of all of the friends and people that supported her. And I'm sure that baby is living somewhere. They have returns again and again.

But it's ironic that Mr. Quayle would come and give a speech in Washington, and not go to Hollywood directly to address these issues. But perhaps that's family politics in America today.

WOODRUFF: Single moms may be less controversial now because there are so many TV shows with not normal families on...

BUCHANAN: Well, you know, it's less controversial also, because in reality, there are so many single parents. You've got to deal with reality. But I think, on the one point, you shouldn't glamorize it and say it's easy.

But in the second point, I think many conservatives will come out and say it's a terrible thing, and the likelihood of success is so slim and all these bad things happen. And that's not the right message.

I agree with Donna, that the message should be, you can do it. It's tough. Put the children first and put your head to the grindstone.

BRAZILE: And we have to help working families.

WOODRUFF: And on a different subject, this question about flight attendants being armed with these 16-inch metal batons. There's been a debate out there about whether the pilots should carry guns. What about flight attendants?

BRAZILE: I think passengers, we should just bring some whistles and become referees on flights. I think it's a ridiculous idea to give flight attendants batons, as well as give pilots guns. I mean, that's one more way the terrorists and hijackers could get their hands on weapons on an airplane.

So I think we should just continue to back the transportation agency, the new security agency, and update our technology.

BUCHANAN: I disagree. There's no question that stewardesses, unless they're built like Jesse Ventura, should not be given these batons. I mean, because someone is just going to grab that and use it on them, and a few of us passengers, probably.

But, you know, I think the gun idea, and I don't think it should be a gun where a bullet could actually penetrate the plane and cause the plane to collapse or crash. But I think stun guns, there's no reason why the pilots shouldn't have stun guns. And likewise, very likely that stewardesses have some access to a stun gun.

BRAZILE: So, what are you going to say? Pass the pretzels, pass the baton?

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: No, no.

BUCHANAN: Get rid of the baton.

BRAZILE: Get rid of it.

BUCHANAN: Give it to me, but not to them.

WOODRUFF: From this story to "Vanity Fair." The magazine, in its new issue, has an article about Chelsea Clinton at Oxford. And, in essence, they are calling her the new JFK Jr. Chelsea is a sex symbol. Donna?

BRAZILE: She is her own person. Chelsea is her own person. She is a wonderful young lady, very smart, very bright. And I'm sure we know where she got those genes from. But she has no interest in politics. And I think Chelsea is just someone that we all admire and we look up to, because she is great.

BUCHANAN: You know, for her own sake, the last thing she wants to be is some kind of a sex symbol or any kind of symbol. She wants to have her own life and a private life, I'm sure. The last thing she would want to be is on the front page of these tabloids month after month and having those paparazzi following her around.

BRAZILE: Week after week.

WOODRUFF: All right, this last question is for Donna alone, Donna.

BRAZILE: Uh-oh.

WOODRUFF: Because you were quoted in "The Washington Times" in the last day or so as saying, at the White House Correspondents Dinner...

BRAZILE: Never. Never.

WOODRUFF: ... over the weekend, would you ever work for Al Gore again?

BUCHANAN: Smart lady.

WOODRUFF: And you said "Never." Now, the question is, are you absolutely ruling out him? And, if so, why?

BRAZILE: Look, Al Gore's cup will runneth over in terms of operatives and strategists and consultants. So, I'm removing myself from the 2004 presidential primary contest. I have so many friends running.

WOODRUFF: You mean from any campaign?

BRAZILE: From any campaign. Never. Seven presidential campaigns, 55 congressionals, 19 state and local. I'm looking for a new gig.

BUCHANAN: And I'll tell you, there's a sigh of relief by Republicans, too. (LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: Don't worry. I won't be signing up for any Republican either.

WOODRUFF: If this wasn't Shermanesque, it was close to it. Whatever the female equivalent of Shermanesque...

BRAZILE: It was Donna-esque.

WOODRUFF: Donna-esque, all right.

BRAZILE: Never. Never. (LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: Donna Brazile, Bay Buchanan, thank you both. We appreciate it. And we will roll out our ad reel and flashbacks to stealth tactics of the Clinton era when we return. Also ahead: a shakeup of sorts for Janet Reno and her red truck. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: And now our political version of "The Young and the Restless." It is a saga of youth, ambition and election 2002 as told by Amy Walter, an editor for the "Cook Political Report."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMY WALTER, "COOK POLITICAL REPORT": Well, we have always seen a number of young, ambitious, aggressive people run for office. It's a consistent theme in our nation's history. But, this year, what I find very interesting is, not only do we have a large number of younger candidates -- and, by that, I mean candidates who are under the age of 40 -- but we see that they're running not as outsiders, but as insiders.

I think we find now even young candidates coming out and saying: "Yes, I'm a fresh face, but, also, I have a lot to bring to the office." So we see some candidates -- Dario Hererra is an example in the new Los Vegas suburbs running. He's a county commissioner. He's running on his record as a county commission.

We have another young candidate running in Kentucky in the 3rd District against Anne Northup. His name is Jack Conway. And he's running on his experience working for the governor. We see in New Hampshire, Sean Mahoney is a businessman. He is only 35 years old. He's a Republican. He made his money the old-fashioned way. He started and then sold out his companies. He moved back to New Hampshire. And he's running in an open congressional district. He is running as somewhat of an anti-politician. But, at the same time, he is talking about his experience as a business person, the experience that he will bring to the office.

And we have one other candidate, Stephanie Herseth. She is in her early 30s as well. She's running in South Dakota as a Democrat. She comes from a very political family. I think it was her grandfather who was the governor of the state of South Dakota. Her father is a state senator. She has been living in Washington for a while, going to school here and working as an attorney. She's moved back and, again, is emphasizing her experience moving out of the state and how important it is to ensure that young people have incentives to stay within South Dakota.

So, I think we're seeing a young, energetic group of people out running for Congress.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Amy Walter of the "Cook Political Report." Well, the two political parties are running a lot of ads for this time of year. David Peeler of "Competitive Media Reporting" has been tracking the new ads all across the country. David joins us now from New York -- hi, David.

DAVID PEELER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy. How are you?

WOODRUFF: Good. Is the strategy behind this really similar to Bill Clinton's so-called stealth campaign of 1996?

PEELER: Well, the strategy is the same, Judy. But I'll tell you, the tactics are being accelerated. What's different here is that, for the first time ever -- early used to be defined as the summer cycle in a general election cycle. We're talking about early spring when ads are running. That is unique and new. Now, generally, you are going to try and define your candidates in the early ads. What we're also finding different this time around is that the parties are spending money against negative ads, campaign ads that generally don't run until much later on in the election cycle. Iowa Republican Greg Ganske has been attacked, as has Oregon Democrat Bill Bradbury.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, STATE PARTY AD)

NARRATOR: And, as Senate president, Bradbury pushed for the biggest tax increase in Oregon history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DSCC AD)

NARRATOR: He writes legislation to allow bank and insurance companies to sell your private medical records without your knowledge or consent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: From a Republican tactic point of view, we are seeing something that I think is pretty predictable. Most of the Republicans so far are trying to ride high on President Bush's coattails. And we see an awful lot of candidates surrounded by the president and the president out on the stump for them. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, STATE PARTY AD)

NARRATOR: And when President Bush needed a point man in the Senate on missile defense, he turned to Wayne Allard. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NRSC AD)

NARRATOR: Lieutenant Colonel Greg Ganske fights alongside President Bush. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, STATE PARTY AD)

NARRATOR: President Bush calls Lindsey Graham a leader on education reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: Well, remember, in the last Republican primary, Lindsey was the point guy for Senator John McCain. So, I think that demonstrates that not only does President Bush have a lot of power at this point in time, but Lindsey's pretty lucky. Even in the state of Minnesota, where there's very, very aggressive ad wars in place right now, we see Paul Wellstone up, as well as Republican Norm Coleman. So, it's a lot of money being spent very early. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NRSC AD)

NARRATOR: He involved parents, demanded accountability. The result? Higher test scores and better schools. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DSCC AD)

NARRATOR: Wellstone has proposed a plan in the U.S. Senate that will make prescription drugs more affordable. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PEELER: Well, let's take a look at how the ads are stacking up in terms of spending. First, from the Democratic point of view, there is a significant amount of money being spent. So far, we've seen the state and national parties kick in about $660,000, most of that in the state of Minnesota. So that's a very aggressive race.

For the Republican side, we see over $700,000 being spent. They're spending it in about eight states so far, spreading their money out a little further. But I think what you're seeing is a very early kickoff to the season, much earlier than we thought, and much more aggressive than you'd usually see at this time in the race.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Peeler, thank you very much. Good to see you again.

PEELER: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: And now more news from the trail in our "Campaign News Daily": Janet Reno today suffered a fender-bender today in her now famous red pickup truck. Reno was not injured in the accident. And the truck was not damaged. Earlier this year, Reno drove the truck across the state of Florida to kick off her campaign for governor.

In Maryland, Governor Parris Glendening has imposed a moratorium on death penalty executions. The decision comes about a week after Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend asked for the moratorium. Townsend, who is running to succeed Glendening, said executions should wait until the completion of a study on possible racial bias in the use of capital punishment.

Top White House aide Mary Matalin is headlining two Republican fund-raisers tomorrow. Matalin will be in Detroit to raise money for GOP House candidate Candice Miller. She then heads to Iowa and the state party's annual Abraham Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines. We will turn to nuclear politics next, when our Jeff Greenfield looks for pressure points in the debate over Yucca Flats. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Our Jeff Greenfield is here. All right, Jeff, let's talk about the old adage, "All politics is local." It's not exactly a surprise that Nevada's senators, one Republican and one Democrat, are together opposing this nuclear waste depository at Yucca Flats. So, is this just another example of local politics ruling all the time?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Well, I don't believe it rules it all the time, Judy, but this is one case where it sure does dominate. It's simply inconceivable that either Senator Reid or Ensign would have said: "You know, I've looked at it and it is OK. Let's put the waste here," just as with the Crusader weapon that Rumsfeld wants to cancel. One of the people who will most be fighting that is J.C. Watts.

Guess what state a lot of the business of building the Crusader would be happening in? That's right, three guesses, Oklahoma. You've also seen a lot of criticism that the foreign bill that is about to be signed into law is a massive example of out-of-control spending. It's a complete reversal of the free-market philosophy of just a few years ago. You simply are not going to find a farm state senator, especially one up for reelection, opposing a bill that pours tens of billions of dollars into the pockets of their constituents. It just doesn't work that way.

WOODRUFF: So, do these local pressures, Jeff, sometimes push politicians away from their basic beliefs?

GREENFIELD: Let's be charitable and say that the flexibility of politicians to somehow fit local demands in with their principles is worthy of a circus act. Alan Cranston -- you remember him -- served as a senator from California for many years. He was a major advocate for peace and disarmament and cutting the defense budget. It is what got him into politics in the first place.

But he was an adamant supporter of the B-1 bomber, which was built in California. I can recall another example. Wisconsin Senator Bill Proxmire railed against government waste, invented those so- called Golden Fleece Awards to mock and ridicule excessive government spending. But he never saw a farm subsidy he didn't like, because Wisconsin is a Dairy State, an agricultural state. That's how the system works. And we see it actually nationalized.

Anybody running for president suddenly goes to Iowa, sight of the first caucus, looks at all that corn. And, suddenly, ethanol looks a lot less like a huge, cost-inefficient subsidy and much more like a brilliant scientific notion.

WOODRUFF: So, Jeff, are there any politicians who can resist these local pressures?

GREENFIELD: I think you have to give John McCain some credit. He has been one of the principal people on the floor of the Senate attacking pork-barrel spending. He's gotten a lot of his colleagues angry by singling out their pet projects. And he generally doesn't play the game that, "My pork is better than your pork." I think it's that he's so determined to point the finger at waste that I think he must feel that he simply can't be seen as embracing a double standard.

He is a relatively rare exception, I think, to the rule. There are no atheists in foxholes and there are very few government spending-cutters when it is their state that's getting the dough. I think the founding fathers even knew it was going to work this way, to some extent.

WOODRUFF: Probably so. Jeff Greenfield, good to see you. See you tomorrow.

GREENFIELD: Great to see you.

WOODRUFF: Still ahead: history in the making in Ohio. We will talk to the two African-American women running for lieutenant governor. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the No. 2 post in the Ohio Statehouse are African-American women. So, no matter who wins, the state is poised to elect the nation's first black female lieutenant governor. Right now, Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier is the only African-American woman elected to a statewide office.

But the percentage of black women in public office has been on the rise: from 11 percent in 1970 to 34 percent in 2000. I spoke recently with the two lieutenant governor hopefuls in Ohio: Democrat Charleta Tavares and Republican Jennette Bradley. I asked Bradley about the symbolism of the race.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNETTE BRADLEY (R), OHIO LT. GOV. CANDIDATE: Well, I think the significance of the historic event, I'm aware of that and I appreciate that. But, importantly, it is a matter of electing the leadership for the state of Ohio. So, I'm looking at this as a campaign for the state of Ohio.

WOODRUFF: Did you hesitate at all when the governor asked you to do this? BRADLEY: No, I didn't. I've known Bob Taft for about 10 years. So, I was honored and flattered and absolutely excited about the opportunity to work with him during his second term to serve all of Ohioans. So it was not a moment's hesitation for me.

WOODRUFF: Were you surprised?

BRADLEY: Yes, because I hadn't thought about it. Quite honestly, I was surprised to receive his call.

WOODRUFF: Ms. Bradley, you and the governor, we know, do have disagreements when it comes to the issues of abortion rights and gay rights. Have you pretty much agreed with him that, if elected, you just will not be involved in those issues?

BRADLEY: No. The governor understood my position on those issues when I was selected. And I understand and respect his. I think that we reflect both views as well as many of the views of Ohioans. But what we have agreed to do is to work on issues that we have a common purpose and a common agreement upon. And that is for more jobs, better education for Ohioans. We did not go into this knowing that we would agree on everything. But we do agree on what we need to do for Ohio. So, I don't see it as a problem.

WOODRUFF: And last quick question: You mentioned earlier, it's a question of leadership and not race. However, Republicans in the past, as you know, historically, have drawn just a fraction of the African- American vote. Do you think your being on the ticket will help the governor in that regard?

BRADLEY: Well, obviously, I think being on the ticket will help the governor. Otherwise, I would not have accepted. But I don't think the focus is on race. I think the focus is on leadership. And I am not discounting the fact that this is an historic event, just as I'm from Central Ohio, just as someone is from Northern Ohio. There is diversity on the ticket to appeal to all of Ohio. That's part of politics. But the issue here is selecting the new leadership for the state of Ohio. And, for the next four years, I agree that it should be Bob Taft and Jennette Bradley. (END VIDEOTAPE) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: I just want to ask you about your selection to be the Democratic running mate, the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate. After that happened, then the Republican governor, Bob Taft, turned around and chose Ms. Bradley to be his running mate. I guess my question is, did the Taft campaign simply try to choose a mirror image of you, do you think?

CHARLETA TAVARES (D), OHIO LT. GOV. CANDIDATE: Well, I think what they looked at was the importance of the city of Columbus. And, certainly, it helped that his running mate happened to be an African- American woman. But what I think what was most important in his decision of selecting his running mate was the fact that she was a member of Columbus City Council.

Our council is seven members. And we represent all 711,000 people in the city of Columbus, the largest city in the state of Ohio, the capital of the state of Ohio. That's what is critically important. We now have a Democratic mayor. We didn't have a Democratic mayor three years ago when Bob Taft ran for governor. So, he is afraid that he will lose Franklin County, the hub of government and the largest city in the state of Ohio.

WOODRUFF: I want to ask you, Charleta Tavares, about the latest poll that was done, I think by the University of Cincinnati, showing that you and the governor candidate on the Democratic side, Tim Hagan, are trailing the Taft-Bradley ticket by 29 points, trailing. We know also, in terms of money, how do you think that you and Mr. Hagan can catch up?

TAVARES: Well, several ways. First of all, we have not done any campaigning with respect to political commercials and that kind of effort. The governor has been in office for almost four years. So, certainly, his name recognition is much higher than Tim Hagan and Charleta Tavares. Again, he has been in office, so he's been raising money. I think it's about $11,000 per day that he's been in office.

We don't believe we need to match him dollar for dollar. We will raise enough money to get our message on the air and get our issues and the issues that the people believe are important out into the communities throughout the state of Ohio. We will win by a strong grassroots campaign, coupled with an effective media campaign. We are where the people are on the issues. When Bob Taft is polled on his trustability and where he is on the issues, people do not trust and do not agree with him on where he stands on education, on health care, and his ability to grow jobs and build the economy in the state of Ohio.

WOODRUFF: All right, we are going to have to leave it there. Charleta Tavares is the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate in the state of Ohio. We thank you very much. And we will be watching your campaign.

TAVARES: Thank you very much, Judy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: More INSIDE POLITICS coming up, but now let's look at what's ahead on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" -- Wolf, you are in Jerusalem. WOLF BLITZER, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": And we are following, Judy, two major developments that could break at any moment. In Gaza, will the Israeli military strike? And, in Bethlehem, will that five-week standoff come to an end? We are live from the scene. It is all coming up right at the top of the hour right after INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. CNN's coverage continues now with "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." Thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.

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