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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS
The Week's Political Events Reviewed
Aired June 8, 2008 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM FOREMAN, HOST: Move, let the battle begin! After months of skirmishes, casualties, and propaganda, the commanders have finally been chosen. The battle lines drawn. McCain and Obama are digging in. It's time to meet the general, general election. The war for the White House is underway.
Welcome, I'm Tom Foreman and this has been quite an extraordinary week in politics, a week almost no one would have predicted last fall. And now comes a battle for the White House almost no one could have imagined.
FOREMAN (voice-over): With a hug and a gesture of triumph, the battle that began over a year ago, the surprise victories, the friends that helped and those what, well, didn't, and finally, the long, grinding drive to overcome an opponent who just would not quit. It all paid off.
BARACK Obama (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight, I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States of America.
FOREMAN: There was little time for celebration. The next battle, the really tough one, is already under way.
JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The choice is between the right change and the wrong change, between going forward and going backward.
FOREMAN: The strategies are clear.
OBAMA: This is our time, our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love.
FOREMAN: Obama is painting himself as a fresh start. His opponent, as a continuation of the past.
OBAMA: He is running for George Bush's third term.
MCCAIN: Why does Senator Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it's very difficult to get Americans to believe something that they know is false.
FOREMAN: John McCain is fighting the drag of the Bush legacy and pointing out the virtues of experience. MCCAIN: I have a few years on my opponent. So I'm surprised that a young man has bought into so many failed ideas.
FOREMAN: There are many things to be done now, picking running mates, considering unstructured debates, coordinating with their parties. But number one on the agenda of both men?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does she want?
FOREMAN: This woman, Senator Hillary Clinton.
OBAMA: I have nothing but respect for Senator Clinton.
MCCAIN: Senator Clinton inspired a generation of young women.
FOREMAN: Her campaign failed, but she picked up millions of followers. And both parties are wondering where those voters will wind up in the fall.
CROWD: Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!
FOREMAN: Well, now, Hillary Clinton has answered that question clearly and firmly. Listen...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States. Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: But will the older women and blue collar workers who backed her really put passion and strength into supporting Barack Obama? Let's put that question to the writer of "The Fix," washingtonpost.com's political column Chris Cillizza and CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, who was there in the National Building Museum to hear Senator Clinton's speech.
Chris, let me start with you. This speech was full of soaring ideas, visions of the future, all sorts of hope. It wasn't about fighting and bureaucracy. If she had made this speech three months ago, she might be the candidate.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, Tom, I think that's often the case, is that you see a candidate at the end of the line give the best speech of the entire campaign. I think part of that is natural. They have a little less pressure on them. They feel a little less burdened to sort of, you know, keep the story line, stay on message. But I think you're right. I think the most important thing about today's speech and why it connected so well for Senator Clinton was that she was able to talk about emotion. She talked about how she felt. She talked about being a woman. She talked about running into that glass ceiling. All of those things are the kind of idea that I think people were very interested in hearing. And frankly, didn't hear enough during the campaign.
FOREMAN: Candy, did she get the job accomplished, though, that needs to be accomplished now? First step, but turning all of her followers toward Obama when she's been turning them so far away from him for months?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She didn't accomplish it, but she started it. Yes, I mean, it was pretty full-throated. It's hard to find anything in there that was nothing but a 100% endorsement, saying, you know, look, I understand, this has been hard-fought. But you have to understand - and this to her supporters, you have to understand how important it is we get behind Barack Obama. She said his name 14 times in half an hour. So every other minute.
And you know, she put his -- a link to his website from her website. I don't think -- and I know that the Obama camp is not complaining about this. They thought that there was no ambiguity. And they recognize how hard it was there, please there. But again, Tom, first step, it can't be the end of it. The bulk of it's up to him. But she needs to help this along.
FOREMAN: Now Candy, the question still, I guess, is whether or not these people will just show up. Not that they'll go to John McCain necessarily, but the ones who will just be angry and upset enough they just won't play.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. And she can't hand them to him. It doesn't happen like that. And he is, in fact, beginning to go out there this coming week. He is going to talk about these working class issues. He's going to reach out to downscale voters, women as well as Latinos. These are the three groups that have fueled Hillary Clinton's campaign. He's got to go out there and get them. She can open their minds to the idea, but he needs to get them.
FOREMAN: Interestingly enough, Chris, that's something that McCain is doing. Now we look at the general election, we know who the two big contenders are for this. And quite clearly, McCain is saying I can reach across the line and score some people and Obama's thinking the same. Who are the target groups for each candidate?
CILLIZZA: Well, you know, Tom, we saw at, you know, at the end of this primary season last Tuesday on June 3rd, John McCain make a very direct appeal, I thought, in a very sort of Machiavellian appeal in some ways, saying to Senator Clinton supporters, I don't think she's been treated all that fairly by the media. Either the story lines haven't been helpful to her.
So clearly, I think he is making a play to that hardcore Clinton supporter. I would generally think that's older women, older voters generally, voters who live in more rural areas if exit polling is to be believed. Hispanic voters.
But make no mistake, McCain understands that he cannot, given where the Republican brand is at the moment, he can't simply get everyone who calls himself a Republican to vote for him to win this election. If he did that at this -- given the current state of affairs, he'd be in about the mid to upper 30s. So he's got to get to 50. He's going to need a lot of people, moderates, Independents and yes, people who in the past have supported Senator Clinton, are just not comfortable, despite what she said this weekend, are not comfortable porting over to Barack Obama.
FOREMAN: Candy, the economy is far and away the number one issue right now. What does John McCain have to do if he wants to continue down this path that Chris is mentioning? And what does Barack have to counter with?
CROWLEY: Well, what McCain has to do is what he started to do late this week when we got more bad economic reports. And that is to come out and say, this is terrible. People are really hurting out there, because of course, the rap against Republicans is that they really don't care that people are out there hurting.
John McCain hurt himself early on by saying he just totally hadn't focused on economic issues. Suddenly, it becomes the number one issue. Barack Obama has a slightly easier task because by default, when the economy is bad, people tend to look to the Democrats because they tend to be for more government activism when the economy is bad.
Nonetheless, when we looked at the polls this week, John McCain is behind Barack Obama by single digits on who do you think could best handle the economy. So Barack Obama has to be out there with some very specific plans. And he has to do the same thing that he has to do to reach Hillary Clinton's voters. And that is say I get it, and here's what I'm going to do to fix it.
FOREMAN: Who would have thought the race would have lined up this way? Thanks so much, Candy and Chris.
More questions coming up in this special edition of THIS WEEK IN POLITICS. Is Chad up to no good in Florida again? Where will the attack ad ninjas strike next? And what is ahead for Hillary Clinton now?
But first, putting money where your mouth is. On the British website intrade, betting on the vice presidential picks is running hot. For the Dems, Hillary Clinton has faded into second place behind Senator Jim Webb with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson surging into third. And the smart money is on Mitt Romney to pair up with Republican John McCain. But Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is coming up fast in the betting. And former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is hanging in at third. And you can bet that we'll be right back.
FOREMAN: As Spoon put it, Hillary Clinton had no fear of the underdog. And now Obama is the overdog. But you can almost certainly count on this, she will survive. The question is how and what will she do now? She hinted at one answer on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I'm going to keep doing what I was doing long before the cameras ever showed up and what I'll be doing long after they're gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: So what does that mean? Another return to the Senate or a run for governor or the vice presidency? CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is back to help us peer into this murky crystal ball. And in New York, we're joined by Lisa Caputo, who is First Lady Hillary Clinton's press secretary and a senior advisor to her campaign.
Certainly, Lisa, there has to be a little recovery time first. And the Clintons will enjoy that and so will all the rest of you. But what do you think is coming next?
LISA CAPUTO, SR. ADVISER, CLINTON CAMPAIGN: Well, I think some down time will come immediately next. And I think she will absolutely hit the road for Senator Obama and will do whatever the Obama campaign would like her to do in terms of campaigning across the country.
I would suspect they will deploy her among her core interest groups, which are, as you noted earlier, the working class voters, the Latino voters, and obviously the women voters, obviously comprising 51% of the population. Beyond that and getting Senator Obama elected as the next Democratic president of the United States, I certainly don't know what she'll do, per se. If she's not on the Democratic ticket, she'll return to the Senate. And I would think she will look to take a leadership role in the Senate.
FOREMAN: She has mentioned some of the very favorite issues of hers, even as we've gone into this weekend. Listen to one of the comments she made about health care once again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We'll have to work hard to achieve universal health care. But on the day we live in an America where no child, no man, and no woman is without health insurance, we will live in a stronger America. That's why we need to help elect Barack Obama our president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Soaring words there, Candy. But in a practical sense, when a politician loses such a high-profile race, do they really have the muscle to get these kinds of things done? Or do they need to fade into the shadows for half a year or something like that?
CROWLEY: Well, we've never had a runner-up this powerful, let's face it. She has more delegates than any other runner-up in history and more votes than any other runner-up in history. She is a power player. She is a national power player. And she will play some role. I don't know, you know, I agree with Lisa. If she's not on the - you know, obviously she has four years left in her term as a New York senator, her second term. She could go back and be -- play the role eventually of Teddy Kennedy, sort of the caretaker of the causes of the Democratic party and yet someone who can reach across the aisle and come to a compromise, which she's proven very good at on Capitol Hill.
She could go run for governor as you mentioned. She could do any number of things. I don't think it's clear in her mind what she wants to do other than maybe sleep at this point. But there is no way that she is going to fade into the darkness of the Senate and the halls down there because she is just too big a player, too visible a player. And she will, perhaps, take up the cause of health care on Capitol Hill for Barack Obama. I mean, we don't know. She doesn't know, but I can tell you, it will be a major role or what she called, fighting on the front lines of democracy. She'll be there.
FOREMAN: Lisa, do you think she has to tread a little bit cautiously for a while, though? Because if she went off pushing some agenda aside from just getting Barack Obama elected, people would once again start saying you're trying to steal the likelight, you're distracting from him, that's not good?
CAPUTO: She's absolutely not going to do that. I think she made that very clear today. I think today in the speech that she gave at the National Building Museum, she really gave a historic speech. And I think made clear her intention to campaign her heart out for Senator Obama and encouraging all of her supporters not to look back, not to say "what if," because if you do that, that's going backward and not going forward.
And I think also it's important to note that she will be a party leader as Candy said, and is very popular with 18 million votes. As she said, there are 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling. She's got an enormous amount of support out there that she's going to rally behind Senator Obama. And this was the second step, I think, the speech she gave at the National Building Museum. You saw the first step earlier this week at APAC, when she came out and really gave strong support of words for Senator Obama. And now...
FOREMAN: Lisa, I don't want to go too far before I ask you another question related to this, though. What about you and all of the people who were in her camp? You were all ready to help move forward with the new administration. There were many, many hundreds of you out there also saying, what do we do next? We believe in this party, we believe in an idea. What do we do?
CAPUTO: Well, I think speaking for myself and speaking for so many of my friends who worked full time in the Clinton campaign, I did not. I was a full-time volunteer in some respects at night. But I think that all of us want to help Senator Obama and see a Democrat elected certainly in the fall. And I think there are a lot of young people on her campaign. And you heard her send a message to them today, which was, you know, please, this is our time, this is a turning point election. The Democratic party is a family. Let's all work together and unite.
FOREMAN: And Lisa, I have to jump out of here for just one question. Real quick to Candy, and this is almost a yes or no, do you think that we will see Hillary Clinton run for president again?
CROWLEY: Yes or no?
FOREMAN: Yes or no is the answer, I guess.
CROWLEY: It depends on what happens this fall. How's that?
FOREMAN: We'll have to see. Thanks, Candy. Thanks, Lisa. We appreciate it from both of you. Coming up, TV ads that bite. And did someone say recount the sequel? Making your presidential pick on the economy. Do you really think either one of these guys can help with your housing and fuel costs?
And speaking of running out of gas, after many months, it's finally time for a fond fair farewell to the Democratic presidential candidates lost along the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we got in the boat. We took a great journey. But it's time to bring the boat back to the dock.
SEN. CHRIS DODD: My friends, tonight, I'm withdrawing from the presidential race.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we've done it. And let me make something clear to you. I ain't going away.
BILL RICHARDSON, GOVERNOR, NEW MEXICO: It is with great pride, understanding and acceptance that I am ending my campaign for president of the United States.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: I won't be president, but I can continue to fight for these important issues as a United States congressman.
JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER SENATOR: Today, I am suspending my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.
CLINTON: Today, I am standing with Senator Obama to say, yes, we can!
FOREMAN: David Bowie sang "Don't Want to be a Richer Man." Probably a good idea with high oil prices smashing the global economy. From carmakers to airlines, everyone is cutting back. And that means pay cuts and layoffs, a pretty gloomy picture with politicians and voters, too.
So we do as we always do when the news gets nasty, we turn to senior business correspondent Ali Velshi up in New York.
Ali, is there anything that either party can tell us or promise us this summer that will help?
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nope, not at all. This is a world problem. In fact, there was a big study that came out that says if you want to address global warming and the energy crisis over the next 20 or 30 years, it's going to cost $45 trillion. That's three times the size of the U.S. economy.
No, this is not a U.S. problem. The only thing we can do is make changes to our lives so that we consume less of the things that have become more expensive because of oil and gas.
FOREMAN: Let's take a look at some of the numbers that are in recently, which are just stunning when you look at some of the big changes out there. The bad news, unemployment up 5.5%, the biggest monthly jump in 20 years. 1 million homes are in foreclosure. That's an awful lot, Ali.
On the other hand, we're a very big nation. How seriously should we take all those numbers? Because a lot of people are doing fine in the middle of this.
VELSHI: Well, you know, here's exactly the thing. First of all, yes, this is not a recession like others in that the whole country feels it. There are some people who aren't feeling it at all.
But number two, we're not policymakers. So what you can do is make the changes that are relevant to your life. So Ford and General Motors have told us that with $3.50 and then $4.00 gasoline, people stopped buying trucks and SUVs. That's because you made a choice. People made a choice. You've tried this, Tom. You've tried different ways of getting to work. We've making choices about that. We're making choices about our travel. We're making choices about going overseas because the dollar is worth less. The bottom line is Americans are consumers. They are making choices. Our companies are responding. So all you can do -- I don't know if oil prices are going to get lower or gas prices are, but we are going to be able to consume less if we make changes.
FOREMAN: So very quickly here, when you look at the two campaigns out there, and you look at the economy...
FOREMAN: ...what do you think people should be listening for? Messages that reflect that view?
VELSHI: Yes, you should be looking at what the candidates are going to do about your taxes over the long term. You should be looking at what they're going to do about health care, how they're dealing with Social Security.
Beyond that, they can't solve the gas price problem right now. Nothing any of these candidates say is going to help you before they come into office in January. And then it's questionable whether they can help you then. So the bottom line is you need to look at those things from the candidates. And the rest of it, your life and your consumption.
FOREMAN: Way to put a cloud over the sun there. Thank you very much, Ali. Good seeing you, as always.
Here's one way you can battle high gas prices on your own. Put your lawnmower away and let the grass grow, unless you live in the wrong part of Ohio, where we kick off our weekly political sideshow.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Watch your back, all you deadbeat gardeners. It's now illegal to let the grass grow under your feet in Canton, Ohio. That shaggy front lawn could cost you 30 days in jail. The new law has gained national attention with some critics drawing comparisons to Communist Russia. You would think Canton would focus on other illegal types of illegal grass.
We've got a renegade third-party candidate who's shaking up this election. No, not that guy. Not him either.
THELMA HARPER: I'll get this country back on the right foot.
FOREMAN: It's Thelma Harper, the fictional granny from the 1980s sitcom "Mama's Family." Granny, also known as comedian Vicki Lawrence, has written a book "Mama for President: Good Lord, Why Not?" So what are her credentials?
HARPER: I'm a no nonsense girl. I will take no crap from anybody.
FOREMAN: She's got my vote.
And do you recognize this hunky country music star? Still don't see it? How about now? That's Chet Lott, the son of former Senator Majority Leader Trent Lott. Like father, like son. That's dad singing along with Senator Larry Craig. No kidding. Now that's so toe-tapping music. And we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're winning, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: In the classic movie "Casablanca", the police captain demonstrates his separation from the gambling in Rick's Cafe, sort of like the separation between the political parties and those independent political groups. What is an independent political ad?
Well, our devil's dictionary defines it as a horror movie for politicians, shocking and enjoyable, all at the same time. So what can we expect as we head into November? We've rounded up two of the usual suspects. Steve Phillips is the president of Powerpac.org, an independent organization supporting Barack Obama. He joins us from San Francisco. And with me in Washington, Chris Lacivita, a Republican strategist who was the co producer of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth TV ad.
Let me start with you right here if I can. Chris, should we expect a lot of these third-party ads this time around in this campaign?
CHRIS LACIVITA, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think you will. I think regardless of what, you know, the Republican nominee says and the Democrat nominee says, the third party groups are going to be very active. They always have been. The conservative groups tend to be a little slower in getting organized and kicking off, but history's shown tend to be a little bit more effective.
So it's just a matter of time before both sides start showing all the cards.
FOREMAN: Steve, this is the sort of thing that a lot of voters really do get upset about. They have this feeling that there are these outside snipers reaching in and attacking both candidates and saying the whole time, well, we're not connected to the campaigns. Should voters be upset about it now?
STEVE PHILLIPS, PRESIDENT, POWERPAC.ORG: Well, they should be. And that's not what's going to be happening on our side is that the other side we think really needs to rely upon attacks and deception and destruction. Whereas we're relying on hope and inspiration and motivation.
FOREMAN: Wait, hold on a second, Steve. Isn't that an attack right there to say, well, the other side, they're the bad guys, we're not?
PHILLIPS: Well, I mean, you're talking about ads. In terms of what the independent groups are going to be doing. Well, our side is going to be doing is engaging in a massive grassroots mobilization of low income people, people of color, young people, getting people involved in the process, expanding democracy. We're not going to be doing Swift Boat-type ads. We're not going to be doing -- tearing down John McCain and really engaging in that kind of negative politics that people don't like.
FOREMAN: I want to show you an example of exactly what you're talking about here. One of the ads that your group has put together here using the young man known as Common, a bit of a celebrity. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMMON: What up, y'all, this is Common. I want to tell everybody out there, man, definitely vote. I'm voting for Obama. He just had to do some good things in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP) FOREMAN: Steve, why don't we see more of this from both sides? Just these sort of positive, we're going to rally our side, and our side based on its merits will win. We don't have to attack the other side.
LACIVITA: Well, first of all, it should be stated that 527 groups and C-4 groups d not exist to affect the impact of the presidential campaign. Believe it or not, it's the law. It's about issues. It's about engaging in an issue debate. So I know that some people find that hard to believe. But the law states that you cannot -- the TV ads that you do for 527 or C-4 cannot expressly advocate the election of the defeat of anyone.
FOREMAN: It doesn't. But you and I both know, and everybody else does, it does. The truth is although expressly it doesn't do it...
LACIVITA: You know, it's a matter of perception. But at the end of the day, people like myself who engage in this process engage in the process in terms of issue advocacy and are pushing a certain, you know, issue set or whether it's foreign policy, whether it's defense or what have you.
There's - listen, let me tell you. Whether you're conservative, liberal, whether you're Republican or Democrat, moderate, what have you, everyone is for increasing voter participation. You know, we're all for that. At the end of the day, the party system, you know, whether it's the Democrat party or the Republican party, they are the ones who generally are pushing, you know, the whole aspect of voter registration, voter drives, things of that nature.
You know, Power Pac seems to be an organization that it's a PAC, it's a federal PAC that can actually expressly advocate the election of defeat of John McCain, or you know, and Barack Obama. So their whole focus is about getting Barack Obama elected.
FOREMAN: Steve, I thought the whole point of some of the reforms we've had in recent years here was, perhaps, to get a little bit of this vitriol out and maybe bring the campaign back to what, for want of a better word, people just refer to as a more civil campaign. Will that produce any real result?
PHILLIPS: Well, I think that that's where Senator Obama is trying to go. And just on the legal front, Chris is correct that the main purpose is not about impacting candidates. And actually Powerpac is a C-4. It's about bringing voters into the process.
But we do do some work that's partisan work. And that has been to support Senator Obama. But we're really emphasizing the positive hopeful aspects of this election as a way of increasing voter participation. We think that's consistent with what Senator Obama has held his message out to be, his message of hope, his triumph in the primaries. And we think that inclusion, expansion, mobilizing, expanding democracy is what's going to carry the day, not just for the November election, but really to transform politics within this country over the next several years.
FOREMAN: Chris, I want to get in very quickly a clip here from the Swift Boat ads that you were involved with some years ago, just to remind people of what those look like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY: ...and that was the medals themselves. I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine.
ANNOUNCER: How can the man who renounced his country's symbols now be trusted?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: It looks like a lot of these ads may not show up as much on TV as they did before. But the Internet is going to be absolutely rife with them this year, wouldn't you say?
LACIVITA: Right, well, yes, I do. First of all, you talk about, you know, eliminating the vitriol and things like that. I mean, if anybody wants to see vitriol, all they have to do is spend a little bit of time on the Internet, because really, that's really fostering an enormous amount of negativity in American politics, because none of it has to be verified. None of it has to be backed up.
FOREMAN: Lots more of it there this year, I'm guessing.
LACIVITA: Oh, I think so, because you've seen this progression. And it's because there's no accountability. You can say whatever the heck you want to say on the Internet and no one's going to hold you accountable. You can't put a TV ad on TV attacking a candidate. TV stations will not run it, unless you can verify every single...
FOREMAN: And I want to give a quick last word to Steve out there. Steve, what do you think? Voters overall, should we brace ourselves for another really rough season? Or do you think that the high-minded folks on both sides will (INAUDIBLE) this?
PHILLIPS: I think that we're bracing for attacks from the right wing. We think that that is going to come. That's the only way that they can actually win. On our side, we're engaging in a massive mobilization of grassroots people who are excited about this process. And we think that's what's going to prevail in November and beyond.
FOREMAN: Steve, I think you're the very picture of passive aggressive this time. Good to be here. Thanks to you both.
These guys are the professionals. But in this age of the Internet, political videos can be made by almost anyone with a computer and a twisted sense of humor. But what will they do about Hillary Clinton? Well, we'll worry about that next week. This week, though, she's still fair game in our favorite viral videos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Young Hillary Clinton.
FOREMAN: Young Hillary Clinton, 60frames.com takes a look back at the determined candidate. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to officially declare you the winner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE But I won.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I didn't.
FOREMAN: How about when she ran for class president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary, you didn't win. Barack is the new class president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I won, I won!
FOREMAN: Put on your Members Only jacket and hop in your time machine, folks. Remember Debbie Gibson's "Shake Your Love"?
Now look at what might have been -- you've got to wonder, would Reagan have become the great communicator in a world of viral videos?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm melting, melting!
FOREMAN: And finally, we should have seen this one coming after all the other movie parodies. Here's the Democratic party in their rendition of "The Wizard of Oz."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's all right. You may all come out and play.
FOREMAN: And we're off to see the next commercial break. Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron, I think the networks have the wrong numbers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). Just got off the Baltic. A machine in Fallujah went crazy. Get this. It actually added 3,000 votes to Bush's total and subtracted thousands of votes from Gore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: If you were one of the millions who watched HBO's "Recount" about the Bush/Gore race in 2000, you may be wondering what has changed since the Florida fiasco. Well, everything and nothing. Moves toward reliable electronic voting have been plagued by mistrust and back steps. So as the Scottish groom said brace yourself, Nelly, our old friend chad will be around this fall still looking for mischief.
In one scene from "Recount," actor Dennis Leery describes what went wrong with the punch card voting machines in Florida.
DENNIS LEERY: You take these ballots and you put them through a tabulating system. WHat happens is the hanging chad get pushed back into the holes. So the machines read it as if the holes were never actually punched.
FOREMAN (voice-over): That scene was based on the work of a man who investigated the Florida debacle for the Gore team. And that man, Kimball Brace, says this fall, there will once again be room for error, even in the new optical scanning system.
KIMBALL BRACE: The problem with optical scan, of course, is the American public has a great way of fouling up their ballot. We've been doing that for a long time. We're getting good at it. We tend to circle the candidate's name as opposed to put the mark in the box, or we circle the arrow instead of putting the - connecting the -- or we put a checkmark...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or we put a checkmark...
BRACE: Or we put a checkmark or something like that. And many times the optical scan systems cannot read those kind of marks. And so you end up having problems with people's votes not really being counted.
FOREMAN: Automated lever action voting machines were invented in the 1890s when Grover Cleveland was president. And for 70 years, those machines were the standard, all without a paper record of how anyone voted.
FOREMAN: And nobody was complaining about it.
BRACE: Nobody was complaining about it.
FOREMAN: In the '60s, the more efficient, less expensive punch card machines became popular. Then the year 2000 came, and everything went to hell.
BRACE: It all went to heck, yes, that is true.
FOREMAN: The turmoil of 2000 sent a shockwave through the voting technology world. Since then, 63 percent of the nation's electorate have changed their voting system. The biggest shift in American history, and yet suspicions of computerized voting have simultaneously deepened.
BRACE: People became concerned that they were not being able to see, how did you really vote? It's in the computer, but do we really trust that it's being counted properly? FOREMAN: Add to that growing worry about hackers invading voting systems, changing the results, changing history. Are these realistic fears?
BRACE: No, no.
FOREMAN: Theoretically, someone could hack into a system and cheat it somehow. But they could do that with any system in some way.
BRACE: That's correct. I mean, in theory, there's a lot of things that could happen. In reality, there has never been one hack of a voting system.
FOREMAN: There's never been one example of hacking?
BRACE: Never one.
FOREMAN: Of course, if there were a computer hack, how would we know? Worried about just that, several states have moved from pure computer systems to systems with paper records as well. So while reform of our voting methods is underway, it is two steps forwards, one chad back, even as we head toward fall and the showdown that could once again be historic. Everything's still in place for the same thing to happen again?
BRACE: Absolutely, unfortunately, but, yes.
FOREMAN: Unfortunate for politicians, maybe. A great story for us.
Straight ahead, fast track, a look at all the dirty deeds ahead next week. But first, a look back at some of the other events in THIS WEEK IN POLITICS.
The accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co- defendants were arraigned in a military court at Guantanamo Bay. Mohammed told the judge that he wants to plead guilty and face the death penalty in order to be martyred. He also says he wants to represent himself.
Republican senators Pete Dominici and John Warner oppose the $3 trillion budget plans the Senate passed on Wednesday. But when it came to casting an actual vote, they declined, showing some professional courtesy to their Democratic colleagues, Senators Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy who were absent because of illness.
And Barack Obama wasn't the only big winner in Montana's primary. Republican Bob Kelleher won his party's nomination for a U.S. Senate seat without money, without a campaign staff, or any help from the state GOP. The next step, though, could be harder. Kelleher has to take on Montana's veteran Democratic Senator Max Boccus and his $10 million war chest. Good luck. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) FOREMAN: It's time to hit the road. That's me in the hat. We're packing up THIS WEEK IN POLITICS. Staff, producers, even the dog, you'll want to be there Saturday at 6:00 and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. It's a political party you won't want to miss.
It's time for fast track, everything you need to survive the next week. And who better than the skipper of our little Gilligan's island of politics, our senior CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
President Bush heading off for a European Union meeting. There will be headlines, there will be photo ops. Will there be good news for John McCain out of this?
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: President who?
FOREMAN: Yes, President Bush.
SCHNEIDER: Bush, I've heard of him. Well, John McCain may be hoping that President Bush is going to change the focus of the national security. You know what, ain't going to happen. The economy's a mess. And a lot of people remember when his father was president and the economy was a mess, he went all over the world. And people starting wearing T-shirts that said the anywhere but America tour. It could happen again.
FOREMAN: That would be bad for McCain. The newest polls are out here that we have since Obama clinched the nomination. What are they telling us?
SCHNEIDER: Tight, close, neck and neck, rock 'n' roll. You have McCain trailing Obama by 3 points, 49-46. McCains number is 46 percent. Bush's rating is in the low 30s. The Democrats' job is to drag McCain down from where he is to where President Bush is.
FOREMAN: Thanks so much, Bill Schneider, for coming in here. In a moment, a great political remembrance that you will not want to miss. But now let's take a moment and fasten our eyes on the late night laughs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO: The good news, the whole voting process ended tonight. It's all over as of tonight. The bad news, the 2012 Democratic primary starts on Thursday. OK, get the ball rolling.
DAVID LETTERMAN: ThankGgod it's over. Are you with me on this? The Democratic presidential primary. I mean -- I mean, the thing started, I mean, a long -- Nixon was president when the...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This can't be over! It seems -- it seems like it started only 17 months ago.
FOREMAN: That wraps up THIS WEEK IN POLITICS. Lou Dobbs "THIS WEEK" is next. But we want to end by marking a milestone. 40 years ago this weekend, a train made a slow, sad journey, carrying the slain presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy from New York to his final resting place here in Arlington National Cemetary. "Look" magazine photographer Paul Fusco was on that train. And he watched as a grieving nation honored a fallen leader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL FUSCO: The first thing I saw was hundreds of people on train station platforms. I was absolutely stunned. I didn't anticipate it. I hadn't thought about it. I couldn't - it was - like an apparition. I instinctively jumped up, grabbed one of the windows, (INAUDIBLE), pulled the - pulled it down. Stood in that window until the train got to Washington.
America came to mourn. And it was just suddenly overwhelming. All these people, young, old, black, white, yellow, just all there together, driven by one concern. And a love, hopefully, for a great man, a loss of their future.
Bobby Kennedy at that time made a lot of people believe that it wasn't the only the rich who had a great time to be in America. America was for everybody. Everybody had a chance.
It was incredibly emotional train ride, which is unrelenting. There's a black woman at the end of the line maybe 30 or 40 people who was in absolute agony. Arms flayed out, a face twisted with pain and anguish. A young family, mother, father, five children very carefully standing at attention for the sight of the tracks. And a woman by herself in this empty landscape. It was very strong, melancholy and makes you worry about her, wonder about her.
So many clumps of Americans all mourning and saying good-bye, farewell to - so long Bobby. And they were all there.