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Inside Politics

Five questions with director/actor Rob Reiner


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Rob Reiner at the Democratic National Convention in Boston
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America Votes 2004
Rob Reiner

(CNN) -- Rob Reiner helped bring the polarizing issues surrounding civil rights and the Vietnam War into living rooms across America in his role as Michael "Meathead" Sivic, the liberal son-in-law of Archie Bunker on the long-running 1970s sitcom "All the Family."

He has since been an award-winning director of movies as diverse as "This is Spinal Tap," "The American President" and "Ghosts of Mississippi." Reiner answered five quick questions for CNN.com at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

CNN: What most impressed you on the first night of the convention?

REINER: Besides Bill Clinton being the greatest speechmaker of all time, what impressed me is that you could see how unified the Democrats are. I've never seen anything like it.

CNN: What led to that?

REINER: I think the wrong-headed policies of George Bush, economically here at home and in foreign policy around the world. Democrats are just saying, "That's enough. Let's bring this country together."

CNN: What do Democrats need to say on values issues to connect with undecided voters?

REINER: More than just social issues, values are making sure there is social justice and making sure everyone gets a chance at equal opportunity, at having quality education, health care and a clean environment. Those, to me, are values. Those are family values.

CNN: In his speech on the first night of the convention, Clinton spoke about how the 1960s were part of a divisive time in this country. "All in the Family" was built around many of those issues. How would the debate between your character, Mike, and his father-in-law, Archie Bunker, go in today's America?

REINER: Actually, it would be a wonderful argument. You'd have Archie and Mike screaming about weapons of mass destruction and al Qaeda and why we should never have gone into Iraq and how we've diverted our efforts from the war on terrorism. We'd have gone at it pretty heavily. And, Archie, of course, would have supported Bush and said it was a good thing to get rid of Saddam Hussein.

CNN: And who would Edith have sided with?

REINER: I hope that, eventually, Edith would decide to vote for John Kerry.


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