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Inside Politics

Campaign 2000: Insurgents Bradley, McCain Target Independents as N.H. Primary Approaches; Bush Expressing High Hopes; Gore Emphasizing High Road

Aired January 31, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET



BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I hope that when the returns are announced...



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tomorrow night, the message is going to be sent...



BRADLEY: ... to the rest of this country, that we can create a new politics.



MCCAIN: ... and that's what this campaign has been all about from the beginning.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: The insurgent line on the day before the New Hampshire primary. How much do Bradley and McCain have in common? and at stake?

On the flip side, George W. Bush is expressing high hopes. While Al Gore is emphasizing the high road.


HOWARD KURTZ, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the end, the home stretch of the New Hampshire primary amounts to a power struggle.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SHAW: Howard Kurtz on the candidates' struggle not with one another but with the media.

ANNOUNCER: From New Hampshire, site of the first in the nation primary, this is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff, and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schnieder.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.

We begin on this primary eve with the presidential hopefuls who are, to a large degree, depending on this state to keep their campaigns viable.

SHAW: Democrat Bill Bradley talked less today about whether voters can trust Al Gore, while Republican John McCain talked even more about winning tomorrow.

We begin with the McCain campaign and CNN's Jonathan Karl.


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a final get out the vote dash across New Hampshire, John McCain is talking victory.

MCCAIN: When we win tomorrow night, the message is going to be sent from New Hampshire to America and the world that we're going to give the government back to the people of the United States, take it out of the hands of the special interests and the big money people and give it back to you, and that's what this campaign has been all about from the beginning.

KARL: That was the Keene town square. Next up, the town of Hanover and Dartmouth College.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our next president and my hero, Senator John McCain.

KARL: At the fraternity house that inspired "Animal House," McCain made an appeal to young voters.

MCCAIN: And now, as you know, we've got a great race. We've got a great race.

KARL: Between stops, McCain, surrounded by reporters, did radio interviews via cell phone.

MCCAIN: If you see somebody who is supporting somebody else, trip them on the way, will you?

KARL: Also on the bus, McCain took a call from his struggling competitor Gary Bauer.

MCCAIN: Good luck to you tomorrow, my friend. I have grown to appreciate you very, very much. KARL: Some of McCain's aides are hoping for an endorsement from Bauer if he drops out of the race after Tuesday's primary.

At the New Hampshire statehouse in Concord, the spotlight shined brighter than ever for McCain, the biggest media turnout of his campaign.

In a reminder that the upcoming South Carolina primary is on McCain's mind, he brought along two of that state's top Republicans.

MCCAIN: Congressman Gramm and Congressman Sanford represent the next generation of leadership in South Carolina in America, I am very proud to have their friendship and support.

KARL: McCain's aides believe they got some help from rival George W. Bush over the weekend, when Bush brought his father to New Hampshire to campaign. In the words of one McCain strategist, that was, quote, "a huge dumb mistake" because it reminded voters that Bush got where he is in part because he has a famous father.


KARL: With his increased confidence, McCain has raised the stakes here. As one of his top supporters said, if we don't win here, it's over. That's not perception, it's reality -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John Karl traveling with John McCain.

Well, now to the other insurgent in New Hampshire, Democrat Bill Bradley and to his somewhat kinder, gentler tone today.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve has been on the road with the Bradley camp.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Bradley retracted his claws Monday in remarks at Holis Brookline High School he mentioned Al Gore only once by name and then to justify his own tough criticism of Gore over the past few days.

BRADLEY: When Al Gore would say something, I would correct the record. He continued to say it. And last Wednesday, I decided in the debate I am going to have to put a stop to this.

MESERVE: There were no charges that Al Gore has been inconsistent on abortion rights, no mention of questionable fund- raising by the vice president in 1996. Though there was plenty of oblique criticism, comparisons of the old politics, read Gore, to the new politics, that's Bradley.

There were rhapsodies about the value of truth and corruption of money in the political process, but only once did a hint of venom creep in, when Bradley, in answering a question, contrasted his gun control position with Gore's.

BRADLEY: Al Gore says: I am for licensing of all of the handguns. I am for licensing of all the handguns. Get this? Got to pay attention. Words are important. I am for licensing, he says, of all the hand guns. What he's saying is, I am for licensing of all new hand guns, not the 65 million that are already out there now.

MESERVE: Though there has been talk that the newer, more aggressive Bradley was a traitor to the old Bradley of principle and high mindedness, his staff insists he is not backing off. He is, they say, just returning in this final day of the New Hampshire campaign to his core message about the potential for good in politics and in America.

BRADLEY: I ask for your vote tomorrow. And I hope you will feel that if you cast that vote, that you're a part of something that's new and fresh and that we're at a time of a new beginning.


MESERVE: The campaign believes that it is making up ground here and that Bradley will do well. They're not predicting a win. They will only go so far as to say the race will be close -- Bernie.

SHAW: Jeanne Meserve, thank you.

Now, let's consider how much Bradley and McCain have in common, as they hunt for votes here in New Hampshire.

For that, we turn to CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Bernie, Bill Bradley and John McCain: two campaigns, two parties, similar styles, similar messages, but are they competing for the same voters?


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Here's Bradley, the visionary.

BRADLEY: And now is the time for us to fulfill our commitments to people in this country.

SCHNEIDER: And McCain the crusader.

MCCAIN: We're sending a message to America.

SCHNEIDER: Both are running as reformers, symbolized by their pact signed in New Hampshire last month to support campaign finance reform. Both are taking on frontrunners embraced by their party establishments. Both have the same anti-political appeal.

BRADLEY: I don't believe in politics as usual. Where it's simply charge-counter charge. I believe in fighting for principle.

MCCAIN: I have always had the belief that what's good for our country is good for our party.

SCHNEIDER: Talk to the people running their campaigns and you'll find that Bradley and McCain are targeting the same kinds of voters, new voters?

SUSAN CALEGARI, BRADLEY DEP. N.H. DIRECTOR: We're bringing a lot of new voters into the fold.

SCHNEIDER: Non-political voters.

MIKE DENNEHY, MCCAIN NEW ENGLAND POLITICAL DIRECTOR: They're the people that are apathetic to the political process. They're tired of the political bickering.

SCHNEIDER: And especially independents, who now make up more than a third of the electorate in New Hampshire and can vote in either party's primary on Tuesday.

CALEGARI: Secretary of state has predicted that there will be anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 independent votes cast in this election. We think that's good news for Bill Bradley.

DENNEHY: In targeting voters early on in the campaign last year, we knew that independents were beginning to outnumber Republicans in the state for the first time in history.

SCHNEIDER: Could Bradley and McCain be competing for the same pool of independent voters? No, because not all independents are the same.

DENNEHY: There are independents who lean Republican, there are independents who lean Democrat, and there are true independents who typically don't vote in a primary.

SCHNEIDER: Few independents switch from party to party.

CALEGARI: There are people who actually switch parties than independents who switch their votes from primary to primary.

SCHNEIDER: Here's why: Independents who vote in the Republican primary tend to be conservatives. Independents who vote in the Democratic primary are much more liberal.

CALEGARI: John McCain is a very conservative Republican, and Bill Bradley is a Democrat. And so when voters look at what these men represent, they are more not competing for those voters.

SCHNEIDER: What we're seeing in New Hampshire is parallel contests in the two parties, McCain is leading independent conservatives against the GOP establishment. Bradley is leading independent liberals against the Democratic Party establishment.


SCHNEIDER: Ideology separates McCain and Bradley, but their campaigns are both being driven by the same force, disgust with politics as usual and a desire for a new kind of leadership, one that's not driven by politics.

Not driven by politics? Well, you might call McCain and Bradley the un-Clintons -- Bernie.

SHAW: Bill Schneider. Well, while McCain has been targeting independents, he also has improved his standing among New Hampshire Republicans.

Our latest tracking poll shows: McCain now is neck and neck with Bush among Republicans in the Granite State, while holding on to his considerable advantage with independent voters.

In the Democratic race, Al Gore continues to lead among Granite State Democrats.

And for all the talk of Bradley's appeal to independents, he has only a two-point edge over Gore among independent voters in this state.

WOODRUFF: All right, well, now let's talk about the contrast in style and tone between the two races.

Jeff Greenfield, our senior analyst, joins us.

Jeff, first, the Republicans?

JEFF GREENFIELD. CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I think it has been remarkable how civil this exchange has been between actually the three leading candidates. When George W. Bush talks about McCain, he says I have an honest disagreement with my friend John about taxes. It's not exactly mudslinging. John McCain says, I believe I'm best-qualified to lead. But he absolutely refuses to say that Governor Bush is not qualified to lead. And even Steve Forbes, who four years ago launched this aerial attack of negative ads on Bob Dole and who was attacked for going negative this year, his adds are almost all positive. So it is really an exercise largely, so far, in civility, Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, so that's the Republicans. What about the Democrats?

GREENFIELD: Well, I think the Democrats, despite Bradley's tone today, have returned to an old line that when Democrats organize a firing squad they form a circle. It's one thing to argue about policy differences because those are relatively easy to patch up once the battle is over. But when one candidate says this other guy can't be trusted to tell the truth and we might lose because of that, and the other candidate replies that my opponent is engaged in vituperative, manipulative attacks, that's a much more difficult bridge to cross. And even if the candidates can do it being political folks, the candidates' followers often carry grudges right into the fall that makes unity much tougher.

WOODRUFF: And just quickly, Jeff, you said you've also -- I know you've also talked today with some folks who were making decisions in these campaigns today.

GREENFIELD: Well, both of them say for the record and publicly, you know, we can patch this together. But, I mean, the Gore people I think are less than happy with the tone of this. And the Bradley people seem to say, it's about time.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, thank you very much.

And coming up next, Al Gore: shaking hands and still trying to shake off Bradley's attacks.

And George W. Bush trying not to appear same-old, same-old on this primary eve.



WOODRUFF: Al Gore spent this day in New Hampshire trying to turn his current edge in state polls into a primary victory tomorrow.

As CNN's John King discovered, that meant there was a whole lot of shaking going on.


GORE: Al Gore, running for president, how do you do?

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There he was on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, caught in the act: the vice president practicing old-style politics.

There's the long version:

GORE: How do you do? Al Gore, I'd like to have your vote tomorrow.

KING: The short version:

GORE: I want your support.

KING: And the wasted breath:

GORE: How do you do, sir, Al Gore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, wrong party.

GORE: Well, nice to meet you anyway.

KING: It was a day of "plantgates" and diners for a vice president cheered by polls showing a primary eve lead over Democratic rival Bill Bradley.

GORE: I'm enjoying this contest a great deal.

KING: Gore had little to say about his rival, except to reject this Bradley refrain: that Gore is an old-style politician too quick to launch an attack, too quick to distort the truth.

GORE: Personal attacks? No, I haven't engaged in them and I will not. KING: It was a methodical Monday of handshakes...

GORE: How are you?

KING: ... autographs, eager poses with potential supporters and little favors designed to lock up one more vote before time runs out.

GORE: They'll close in the last polling place at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow. And I'm going to be campaigning full blast every minute of every hour between now and then, leaving off a few hours for sleep tonight.

KING: The Gore campaign is working feverishly to contact 150,000 voters Monday and Tuesday. And the candidate stopped by headquarters to pitch in.

GORE: No, I'm not joking you. It really is Al Gore.

KING: And if at first you don't succeed, well then leave a message.

GORE: Tell her it's Al Gore, G-O-R-E.

KING: The vice president believes a solid New Hampshire win would give him a firm grip on the nomination and bring pressure on Bradley to keep the disagreement civil as the campaign moves on.


KING: But Bradley will have roughly a two-to-one fund-raising advantage, cash on hand advantage, over the vice president when the campaign moves on from New Hampshire. So the Gore campaign seeking not only a victory here, but a comfortable margin so that it can make the case to Democrats that this race should be over -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So, John, when you say that the vice president is not mentioning Bill Bradley's name very often, why not?

KING: He doesn't want to end the campaign on a negative note. But he did bring Senator Bradley's name up just a short time ago. The vice president campaigning in a senior center, speaking to a crowd of about elderly residents. He said that the Bradley health care plan would put Medicare at risk. This one of the staple criticisms from the vice president. He says Senator Bradley does not put any of the federal surplus into the Medicare program. The Bradley campaign says that's a distortion of what the senator would do. But the vice president pressing his case to a very important constituency, obviously, elderly voters among the most reliable -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King, traveling with Al Gore -- Bernie.

SHAW: Republican George W. Bush faces a somewhat different dynamic: as a national front-runner who is trailing his leading rival in most New Hampshire polls.

Our national political correspondent Candy Crowley is covering the Bush campaign.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You have to get attention with the pictures, because the final day of any campaign has a broken record quality to it.

BUSH: People know there's big differences between me and the senator. Republican Party doesn't need to nominate somebody who sounds like -- sounds like Al Gore when it comes to cutting taxes.

If you're a Republican, I make the case we need somebody running for president who doesn't sound like Al Gore and Bill Clinton, who stands in contrast to them.

CROWLEY: The message is out there, and those who haven't heard it don't care to. So the last 24 hours are about turning out vote, your vote.

BUSH: I'm urging you to go to the polls. If you're for me, bring some friends with you.

CROWLEY: Most but not all the polls show John McCain leading in New Hampshire, where independents can vote in either party. The Bush camp is working the core of the GOP, which they believe will break heavily for Bush.

BUSH: I'm upbeat. I like my chances.

CROWLEY: He cannot say otherwise at this point, but aides say they and the candidate really do believe he can win here. Certainly, there is no outward sign of panic. That's Karl Rove, Bush's chief political strategist. This is Don Evans, Bush's chief finance man; Mark McKennon, (ph), his media maestro; campaign manager Joe Albaugh (ph); and Judd Gregg, the main man in New Hampshire.

As they exchange snowballs with the press corps, the candidate was inside working a crowd of state workers, pitching his pitch, walking the walk.

BUSH: I'm signing and shaking and smiling.

CROWLEY: In the end, no matter how many people are around, how chaotic the chaos, how bizarre the circumstances, the final day seems pretty lonely.


CROWLEY: Snowball fights, snowmobiling, sledding, what next for the New Hampshire adventure of the governor from Texas? There was a nasty rumor out there about ice fishing, but in the end, looking at today's agenda, the only field trip left is to a bowling Alley -- Bernie.

SHAW: Candy, Governor Bush seems confident. But what happens if he doesn't win? CROWLEY: Well, his words when that question was put to him today was, I'll do the post-election post-election. But look, they think they're sitting fairly easily after New Hampshire. One of the things that they believe will have to happen should John McCain win here is that McCain will have to go out of state -- say, South Carolina, the next big one, even Delaware where he's, where McCain has not had a presence -- that McCain will have to go out of state and raise some money, whereas Bush has already raised that money and can remain in the state and do some campaigning. So that's one of the things that they think they have at their advantage.

SHAW: OK, Candy Crowley -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Now, let's talk about the Republican race with Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci, who is a Bush supporter, and former Senator Warren Rudman, the co-chairman of the McCain campaign.

Senator Rudman, let me just put to you what we just heard from Governor Bush. He said: We don't need a president, someone running for president who sounds like Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

WARREN RUDMAN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR/CO-CHAIRMAN, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN: Well, look, wonderful rhetoric, has no truth to it whatsoever. If you look at John McCain's voting record in the United States Senate and you look at Al Gore's voting record in the United States Senate -- and incidentally, I was there to watch both -- there's no comparison whatsoever.

But you know, it's the last day and people get a little careless with what they say. But you know, people in New Hampshire aren't buying into that, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Governor Cellucci, is Governor Bush just being a little careless with what he says? Is that what happened?

GOV. PAUL CELLUCCI (R), MASSACHUSETTS: I don't think so. Governor Bush wants to cut the taxes big time, and Senator McCain sounds like President Clinton and Al Gore. I think Republicans want someone in the fall who is going to be a contrast with the Democrats.

I thought President Clinton made an eloquent statement the other night in support of what Governor Bush has been saying. He was spending money at the rate of $2 billion a minute.

George Bush is right: If we don't take the money out of Washington, they're going to spend it to make the federal government bigger and bigger. And Senator McCain's tax cut plan is just like theirs.

RUDMAN: Well, with all due respect, I've got to respond to the governor. He's a pretty conservative governor, has run a pretty tight fiscal ship. We don't know if there's going to be a surplus, and I'm a bit of an expert on that subject from the federal level. There is no economist who says that gravity's been repealed. John McCain wants to pay off a lot of debt, wants to shore up Social Security, and then give a tax cut. If there's more surplus, we can have a larger tax cut.

We think it is reckless and most economists think it is reckless, and by the way, the American people think it's reckless to just assume that we'll have surpluses as far as the eye can see.

So with all due respect, if you define the word "conservative," governor, John McCain has the conservative tax plan. If Bill Clinton wants to copy it, hurrah for Bill Clinton.

CELLUCCI: Sounds like my Democratic colleagues back in the legislature, back in Boston criticizing my tax cuts.


RUDMAN: Well, you don't -- you don't have a $5.2 trillion debt, governor, thank goodness.

WOODRUFF: Governor Cellucci, John McCain is -- an argument that he's making is that Governor Bush is really just part of the Republican establishment, that he's literally had a parade of prominent Republicans going through the state of New Hampshire and elsewhere, and that that's not what Republicans need.

CELLUCCI: Well, I think we need someone from outside of Washington, someone who got 50 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 1998 election, someone who got almost a third of the black American vote. That's the kind of candidate we need to win the White House back.

And I would tell you, these early contests -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Delaware, South Carolina -- none of them have Republican governors. We have 25 Republican governors around this country who have their political organizations ready to go to work for George W. Bush. It's the fire wall of fire walls. We're ready.

GREENFIELD: Senator Rudman, it's Jeff Greenfield. How are you doing?

RUDMAN: Hi, Jeff.

GREENFIELD: One of the arguments that Senator McCain makes is that "I am the best-qualified," he says, "in the dangerous world of foreign policy." And certainly, United States senators have a major role to play in foreign policy. And yet the great majority of Republican senators have endorsed Governor Bush.

Doesn't that say that at least on that score they either are fully confident in Governor Bush or they have got some kind of problem with John McCain? What do you -- how do you...

RUDMAN: Oh, they have some kind of a problem with John McCain, no mistaking that. Their problem is they don't like John McCain's campaign finance reform bill where most of the American people want to grab this country back from the special interests. That's what the battle with McCain and some of his colleagues.

I might point out that some of the very thoughtful members of the Senate -- including Fred Thompson, Chuck Hagel -- will be up here tonight with John McCain.

The fact on who's prepared or who isn't prepared -- I won't comment on Governor Bush because I don't know him that well. But I will tell you this: There is nobody in the United States Senate has a better understanding of America's position in the world, the military, the threats in the world and what American foreign policy ought to be than John McCain. And even those who don't like him in the Senate would not disagree with that statement.

CELLUCCI: If we'd use this argument, the Republicans would not have nominated Ronald Reagan. He and George Bush, President George Bush, ended the Cold War.

WOODRUFF: Well, Governor Cellucci, but let's talk about this point of experience. Isn't that ultimately going to be an Achilles heel for Governor Bush?

CELLUCCI: He's got plenty of executive experience down in Texas, the second-largest state in this country. He's dealt with the Mexican government. He's cut the taxes, record tax cuts. He's ended social promotion. He's done the job as an executive.

We could argue that Senator McCain doesn't have any executive experience.

But I think in the end what Republicans are looking for is they're looking for someone who will contrast with the Democrats and someone who can win, and that's George W. Bush.

WOODRUFF: So -- so Senator Rudman, when Republicans are confronted with the "who can win" argument and when they're confronted with the cold fact that Governor Bush has raised tens of millions of dollars more than Senator McCain, how do you turn around and tell them, but no, let's not go with Governor Bush?

RUDMAN: Very simply. I think we'll have results in this state that will send a message across this country that John McCain is a candidate that has appealed to the broad spectrum of people in this state. I think he'll do well in South Carolina. And the bottom line is that both of these candidates are qualified. There's no question about that. I would never say that Governor Bush is unqualified nor would John McCain.

But John McCain has a life's history of character and toughness. He directly confronts issues. He is not afraid of taking on enormous problems.

And John McCain is convincing the people of this state, in my view -- and we'll find out tomorrow -- that he is best-qualified to lead the country. Only time will tell.

WOODRUFF: All right, former Senator Warren Rudman, Governor Paul Cellucci, we thank you both for joining us.

CELLUCCI: Thank you.

RUDMAN: Thank you very much.

WOODRUFF: And up next on INSIDE POLITICS, the cold weather issue that has presidential hopefuls on the spot in New Hampshire. A report from our Bruce Morton.


SHAW: As the winter weather continues here in New Hampshire, residents are dealing with a familiar issue: the cost of home heating oil. With production cuts driving up oil prices, some voters are looking to politicians and the presidential hopefuls for solutions.

Our Bruce Morton reports on the issue, its impact and the candidates' positions.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jim Tuttle delivers home heating oil. These days he gets abuse along with cold hands.

JIM TUTTLE, LORDEN OIL COMPANY: I mean, we get all sorts of different comments, some of which I can't repeat. But you know, people I think are just generally upset.

MORTON: They're upset because roughly 3/5 of the homes here are oil-heated and the price of heating oil is soaring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heating oil in this state has gone up about 40 cents a gallon in the last seven days average from about $1.20 a gallon, which was already about 20 or 30 cents higher than it was last year, to about a $1.60 to $1.80 a gallon.

MORTON: Low-income people can get government help, those just above the income limit can't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of people who are on fixed incomes who don't have much money who have to make a decision. This thing went up 60 to 70 cents a gallon. I only have so much money. Where do I spend it? Do I spend it on the heat? Do I have to cut back on my food?

MORTON: It's an issue for the presidential candidates.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would call these people -- particularly Saudi Arabia, Kuwaitis, UAE, Bahrain -- and I would make it very clear that this is not an acceptable situation for them to drive the price of oil from $9 a barrel up to about $29 a barrel.

MORTON: Bill Bradley suggested letting oil out of the U.S.'s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That is there in order to have oil enter the market when prices go up. That'll keep prices down.

MORTON: George W. Bush opposes that.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I agree with the energy secretary that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant for a national wartime emergency. What I think the president ought to do is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say, we expect you to open your spigots.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that it's highly unlikely that OPEC will be able to maintain the kind of discipline on the control of supplies that they maintained for a while in the 1970s.

MORTON: The candidates talk. After a mild December, it's turned cold here. Congressman Bass isn't sure it's just OPEC and wants Congress to investigate.

Most New Hampshireites just want to be warm at a price they can afford.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Milford, New Hampshire.


SHAW: "TIME" magazine is reporting the Clinton administration is considering a proposal that would release reserve oil into the market, giving consumers some relief from those rising prices. And sources say the plan is circulating among top administration officials and could be approved by the president soon.

WOODRUFF: At a campaign event this morning, GOP hopeful Gary Bauer turned a misstep into a message. Bauer appeared at the same pancake flipoff attended by George W. Bush in Manchester. But as Bauer stepped back to catch a flapjack, he fell backwards off the stage.

Well,the candidate recovered quickly, and he told the crowd -- quote -- "See, folks? I'm a fighter."

Bauer was not injured in the fall.

And much more ahead on this 90-minute edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

SHAW: When we continue from our primary headquarters here in Manchester, a look at the campaign coffers. We're going to find out which candidates are ahead, at least where money is concerned.



GORE: I made a mistake in the episode that you asked me about. I have learned from that mistake.


WOODRUFF: Charles Bierbauer on the fund-raising specter that still haunts Al Gore.

And later...


TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: ... has cast a huge shadow over politics, racetracks and barrooms. And tonight, he's proven it once again.


SHAW: The political press corps honors one of its own here in New Hampshire.



SHAW: Republican candidate Gary Bauer at that flipoff with Texas Governor George Bush here in Manchester this morning. As you see, he's quite all right. He joked about it.

This New Hampshire primary has a long record of knocking out losing candidates, victims of a lack of support, and just as often, a lack of money. But for the main challengers in 2000 money may not be the problem. New FEC records are showing that Bill Bradley and John McCain have the means to fight on if they have the will.


SHAW (voice-over): According to Federal Election Commission reports filed today by the candidates, Bradley had $8 million in the bank at the end of 1999. He's spent a lot of that since, including $4 million on ads alone. But still Bradley has more than enough to compete in the expensive multistate primaries in March.

Al Gore is considerably worse off. He had $6 million on hand at the end of last year, and he has spent 3 million since just on ads.

Gore and Bradley have raised as much money for the primaries as they are legally permitted to spend, but both are expecting to get about $10 million in matching funds to help pay the primary bills.

John McCain's fund raising picked up late last year, reflecting his rise in New Hampshire polls. McCain raised 6 million in the last quarter of 1999, a big improvement over the first three quarters. But that still puts him far behind George W. Bush, campaign 2000's undisputed money leader.

McCain is banking on success here in New Hampshire to keep him alive at least until South Carolina. As McCain's rise has brought him prosperity, Steve Forbes' stagnation appears to have hurt his fund raising.

In the last quarter, Forbes took in $14 million: impressive except that 12 million of that came from the candidate himself.


SHAW: And for the year, Forbes contributed $29 million of his own money to his $35 million war chest, almost all of which he has spent.

Contrast that to George W. Bush, who raised 69 million in 1999, and he still has 31 million American dollars on hand.

WOODRUFF: In recent days, both Bradley and McCain have raised questions about Al Gore's role in the fund-raising scandal of the 1996 campaign.

As Charles Bierbauer reports, the investigations of that campaign's alleged abuses have left Gore legally in the clear, though the political implications are more uncertain.


CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There were pictures: Vice President Al Gore on a 1996 visit to a Buddhist temple near Los Angeles. That raised $140,000 for the Democratic National Committee, nearly half of it illegal. But the words did not match.

Gore repeatedly called it community outreach but denied he knew at the time that it was a fund-raiser even though Gore was accompanied by Maria Hsia, a woman he'd long known as a fund-raiser with links to the Taiwanese community, and shadowed by John Huang, a fund-raiser for the DNC.

Hsia goes on trial this week for illegally funneling funds to the DNC, and Huang told the House Government Reform Committee as recently as December there was money being raised at the Buddhist temple and his people knew about it.

Gore now acknowledges he should have known.

GORE: I made a mistake in the episode that you asked me about. I have learned from that mistake.

BIERBAUER: That and other Gore explanations have armed Democratic opponent Bill Bradley.

BRADLEY: When you listen to Al Gore speak, you have to listen very carefully, because old politics uses words in a very tricky manner.

BIERBAUER: For example, Gore explaining how he made fund-raising phone calls from the White House when election law appeared to prohibit that.

GORE: There is no controlling legal authority that says there was any violation of any law.

BIERBAUER: Republican-led House and Senate committees condemned Gore's activities.

SEN. FRED THOMPSON (R), TENNESSEE: You cannot hold fund-raising events at churches or temples or other tax-exempt organizations.

BIERBAUER: Or accept illegal overseas funds, but Attorney General Janet Reno refused to appoint an independent counsel to further investigate the vice president.

JANET RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: This decision was mine, and it was based on the facts and the law, not pressure, politics or any other factor.

BIERBAUER: Legally, Vice President Gore may be off the hook for his fund-raising activities of the last campaign. But politically, there's no statute of limitations.

(on camera): Bill Bradley cautions Democrats to clean their own house or Republicans will. And Republican John McCain says when he talks about campaign finance abuses, he intends to "point my finger at Al Gore."

Charles Bierbauer, CNN, Washington.


SHAW: And up next, we get a check of some other stories making news, and later, Howard Kurtz on the struggle between candidates and the news media over message versus news.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Kyra Phillips at the CNN Center in Atlanta. We'll have more on the day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.

Residents in the Northeast are receiving a blast of stormy winter weather. It's the same weather system that hit the Southeast Super Bowl weekend.

This time New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are among the storm's victims. In Virginia, more than 180,000 customers lost power because of ice on trees and power lines. Some parts of New England could get up to a foot of snow.

Poor weather in Florida forced NASA to scrub today's planned launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Cold, clouds and rain all combined to keep endeavor grounded. The main goal of the mission: to get highly detailed maps of approximately 70 percent of the Earth's surface.

At least 10 people survived the crash of a Kenyan Airways plane. The jet plunged into the Atlantic Ocean last night just after taking off from an Ivory Coast airport: 179 people were aboard; 86 bodies have been recovered.

Rescuers say there were a number of foreign nationals on the plane, including several Americans and Canadians.

Kenya Airways engineers and investigators are on their way to the crash site to assist in the recovery.

Jury selection begins in the murder trial of four New York policemen accused of killing an African immigrant. The accused officers had to pass through a gauntlet of angry protesters. The protesters were upset because the racially charged trial has been moved a hundred miles out of the Bronx to Albany, New York.

The jury must decide if the killing of 22-year-old Amadou Diallo was a case of mistaken identity or a case of murder. The officers say they mistook Diallo for a serial rapist and thought he was armed.

There won't be any executions in Illinois, at least not for a while. Governor George Ryan says he's calling a halt to them until he's sure everyone on death row deserves to be there. Ryan says the state has a bad record when it comes to sentencing innocent people to death.


GOV. GEORGE RYAN (R), ILLINOIS: I still believe the death penalty is a proper response to heinous crimes -- and we've had several in this state -- and it's a good response. And I believe in it. But I believe that it has to be where we don't put innocent people to death.


PHILLIPS: Ryan is appointing a panel to study the state's capital punishment system, and since Illinois reinstated the death penalty in '77, 12 people have been executed while the death sentences of 13 others have been overturned.

In health news today, a new study shows that obesity in women is linked to increased chances of also suffering from depression. But men have the opposite problem with the weight and depression. The study shows that in men, being too thin is linked to depression.

In other health news, new research shows that women who regularly snore have a 33 percent greater chance of developing heart disease. Researchers have long reported the link between men who snore and greater risk they face from heart disease.

INSIDE POLITICS from Manchester, New Hampshire, will return in just a moment.


WOODRUFF: Night lights of Manchester, New Hampshire.

The presidential hopefuls are spending the waning hours before the primary reaching out to voters. But here in New Hampshire, under the glare of news media attention, the candidates may find it is more difficult to get their messages out.

Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" explains.


KURTZ (voice-over): They're everywhere, crawling all over New Hampshire morning, noon and night: not just the presidential candidates -- yes, they're here too -- but the journalists who follow them, shout questions at them, and increasingly, surround them like a bloated security patrol.

The New Hampshire primary has become, in every sense, a media event.

(on camera): You can always tell the TV reporters. We're the only ones stupid enough to be out here in the freezing cold -- here's some actual New Hampshire snow -- to convince you how hard we're working to cover this primary.

(voice-over): What's unfolded here in the last few days is nothing less than a battle for message control. Each side wants to set the agenda.

This is what the candidates want you to hear...

BUSH: I'm running because as we head into the 21st century I don't want anybody feeling left out.

GORE: We have got to make education and the need for revolutionary improvements in our public schools the No. 1 priority for investing in the future.

MCCAIN: I am fully prepared to assume the responsibilities of commander in chief. I do not need any on-the-job training.

BRADLEY: The message is that politics as usual is out and that a new politics is in.

KURTZ: The journalists, of course, want to ask about polls, ads, tactics, and controversial issues like abortion and the Confederate flag.

Vice President Gore hasn't held a press conference for nearly a week, and his aides don't hide the fact that they don't want reporters to knock him off his streak. Instead, they made their own TV show, a half-hour Gore infomercial that aired Saturday night on Manchester's WMUR.


GORE: I think it would be a big mistake to drain money away from our public schools with vouchers that give public money to private schools.


KURTZ: George W. Bush's campaign got tired of three-straight days of questions about abortion, so an aides said the governor would talk to the press only when he had a message to convey. Spokeswoman Karen Hughes said that was just a misunderstanding and Bush has continued to take media questions.

But Bush is also circumventing the press with his so-called "crash ads," 30-second spots that are taped, edited and thrown on the air in one day with a bare-bones style that resembles a news report.


BUSH: If you abolish employer-related benefits to pay for a tax cut, it means that working people are going to have to pay those benefits.


KURTZ: John McCain still schmoozes with reporters on his campaign bus, but the easy banter of a few weeks ago has become more contentious.

When a reporter asked the senator what he would do if his 15- year-old daughter needed an abortion, his response -- that she would decide in consultation with the family -- was front-page news in "The Boston Globe."

McCain naturally wasn't anxious to continue the conversation.

MCCAIN: But those decisions and those discussions, I believe, are a private matter between me and my family.

KURTZ (on camera): In the end, the home stretch of the New Hampshire primary amounts to a power struggle. The candidates want to stay on message, on message, on message. The reporters want news, preferably involving attacks and counterattacks. And the pundits will get the final word as soon as the returns start coming in.

This is Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES."


SHAW: Jack Germond has covered politics for 45 years, becoming a fixture in the campaign trail and at "The Baltimore Sun." Last night, Germond celebrated a personal milestone, his 72nd birthday. To honor him, his colleagues gathered at a famous watering hole, the Wayfarer Inn, in Bedford, New Hampshire.


JACK GERMOND, "BALTIMORE SUN": There's a point of justice. I have spent some of my life here, and I love it. My birthday comes around all the time. And also, I love New Hampshire and the Wayfarer.


TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: He's a walking encyclopedia of political information and lore. He's also a walking tribute to the strength of a man's heart and liver.



MARK SHIELDS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: What's Jack Germond like? He's a sensitive, vulnerable, nurturing sort of person. Jack is a great human being. Jack is an admirable preacher, one of God's best works. God need not apologize for Jack Germond.



AL HUNT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": What we're going give him is the most appropriate birthday present he could ever have, a Wayfarer bar stool. He's been on it 60 days a year every four years. We want to be able to let him sit on one every year.


GERMOND: My own stool! Thanks (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...




PARTY-GOERS (singing): Happy birthday, dear Jack! Happy birthday to you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blow them all out, Jack.


GERMOND: Call in a Democrat to do that.



SHAW: And of course, many more for Jack Germond.

There's still more to come on this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Coming up in the next half hour, our Bill Schneider on the gender gap and the money gap in this campaign.

Plus, a look at the people manning the Gore campaign. Does the vice president have an army of federal volunteers?

And later, a look at the tiny New Hampshire town poised to once again launch the New Hampshire primary.


SHAW: And welcome back to this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: On this evening before the New Hampshire primary, the presidential candidates are making late pitches for votes and trying their best to avoid last-minute mistakes.

For Bill Bradley, that meant a town meeting and a softening of his recent attacks on Al Gore's record and integrity. His aides say they are hoping for a win, though Bradley trails Al Gore in state polls.

The vice president went into retail politics overdrive. The Gore camp says a solid win in the Granite State is likely to firm his grip on the Democratic nomination.

SHAW: In the Republican race, John McCain is sounding more confident than ever about victory as most polls show him with an edge over George W. Bush. Nonetheless, Bush says he likes his chances in the lead-off presidential primary. On his agenda today, flipping pancakes and getting out the vote.

Gary Bauer -- watch this -- bounced back after falling off the stage during this same pancake event. He may be hoping for a similar comeback in this state, where he barely registers in the polls.

For more on presidential politics and these polls, let's bring back our CNN senior political analyst, Bill Schneider -- Bill.

SCHNEIDER: Bernie, on the Republican side, something interesting is happening with sex. Who knew? Until now, John McCain, the war hero, has always done better with men. But in the last few days, McCain has surged ahead of Bush among women. Women now give McCain a 15-point lead.

Now, here's another reason why McCain is leading. He's wiping Bush out among moderate Republicans and holding his own with Bush among Republican conservatives. Bush does better, but conservatives give him only a slight edge over McCain.

Where are the rest of the conservatives? Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer. They're sopping up conservative votes that Bush desperately needs to beat McCain here in New Hampshire, which suggests that if this ever comes down to a Bush-McCain face-off, conservatives are likely to tilt the balance toward Bush.

Now, on the Democratic side, a new war has broken out, and it's a class war. High-income Democrats here in New Hampshire are voting for Bradley. Now, look at low-income Democrats. They're for Gore two to one. Bradley's support drops 21 points as you go from rich to poor. Now, we've seen this split before. Bradley's getting the kind of affluent, high-minded reform Democrats who used to vote for Adlai Stevenson and Eugene McCarthy and Michael Dukakis and Paul Tsongas. Gore is not the stiff anymore. He is the populist -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, interesting to watch those numbers.

Well, now to another group that is very supportive of Al Gore, people who work for the Clinton-Gore administration.

More than a few of them currently are taking a holiday in New Hampshire, though as CNN's Chris Black reports they are not here to see the sights.


CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This government lawyer is putting aside her legal briefs to persuade New Hampshire voters to back Vice President Al Gore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm at Interior. I sat next to people from Transportation on the plane today. You know, I've been working with people from the Council on Environmental Quality, the White House.

BLACK: She is not alone. Jake Siewert (ph), a deputy White House press secretary, is usually hard at work in the West Wing. Not today.

Many of the federal foot soldiers who carry out the policies of the Clinton-Gore administration have hit the campaign trail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had so very many people who unannounced have arrived and said, I came in from Washington and I want to help.

BLACK: Joe Grandmaison (ph) is one of them. A longtime Democratic activist in New Hampshire, he took a month off from his current job running the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to return to his home state. One Small Business Administration official told CNN he spotted more than three dozen fellow feds at a rally for Gore in Somersworth Sunday.

So many were at the Gore office in Nashua this weekend, a sign went up Sunday night telling them all the flights back to Washington had been canceled because of an ice storm.

The trend attracted notice last week when Janice LaChance, director of the Office of Personnel Management, was late calling a snow day in Washington because she was in Iowa for Gore.

During his first year in office, President Clinton signed a law relaxing the Hatch Act, which prohibited political activity by public employees. It may be legal, but some say it gives incumbents an unfair advantage.

PETER EISNER, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: And that's what really is the problem here: Should there not be an equal playing field?

BLACK: And not surprisingly, Republicans are using it to score partisan points.

STEVE DUPREY, NEW HAMPSHIRE GOP CHAIRMAN: Al Gore is in favor of making the government bigger, expanding it, and spending our surplus on more government programs, which probably sounds like a good idea to government employees.

BLACK (on camera): The federal workers were part of an army of almost 2,000 volunteers campaigning in New Hampshire for Al Gore over the weekend. Many had planned to be back at their desks in Washington on Monday morning, but were stranded by another New England snow storm.

Chris Black, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.


SHAW: And joining us here in the Granite State now, from the left and from the right, Bill Press and Mary Matalin of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."

You both have sat in with staff members. You've button-holed them, you've talked to them.

Are the Bush people sweating McCain's drive? -- Mary.

MARY MATALIN, CO-HOST, CNN "CROSSFIRE": Well, they're feeling very good about their closing message here, which is a conservative tax cut. They think that Clinton's -- I mean that Gore's tax cut and McCain's tax cut are very much alike, and that is not a good message to take beyond New Hampshire. They are feeling good about going on to South Carolina where there aren't independents, where there are not independents of the ilk that McCain is enjoying here. And they feel very good about their turnout effort, which is a signature Bush operation. They have thousands of volunteers here in the state from all across the country, not to mention the operation in the state.

In fact, a number of those volunteers were in our own CNN parking lot, raising signs and singing about Bush. So they're feeling pretty good about the closing hours.

SHAW: Bill, what are you hearing?

BILL PRESS, CO-HOST, CNN CROSSFIRE: Well, Bernie, I think Mary's right. You know, the campaigning is over. Having run a couple of campaigns in the state for Jerry Brown, I remember this awkward feeling, when suddenly you've had the last rally, the last sound bite, the last interview, and it's all down to organization. It's all down to get out the vote. And I think that's where we are right now.

I was out today in Nashua, personally visited the John McCain headquarters. I was very impressed with the number of people who were in there. They were all on the phones, including three POWs who served time in the Hilton -- Hanoi Hilton with John McCain who were just sitting there with other volunteers, calling people around the state. Went over to the Gore headquarters, filled with volunteers, most of them students. And with Gore, they weren't on the phone: It was a ground operation.

The Bradley people have told me they've got an equally big ground operation. The Forbes people I know have been on the phone identifying voters.

That's the key right now. No good getting the message out unless they can also get their supporters out. And I think in every camp, that's what's happening. It's going to be big.

SHAW: Mary, you say the Bush people are feeling very good. But have you gotten the slightest whiff of anybody in the Bush campaign saying, hey, it looks like McCain is going to do it tomorrow here in New Hampshire?

MATALIN: Well, they've been consistent with their feeling about this entire campaign: that it's a marathon, it's a 50-state race, that Senator McCain has had the luxury of living in this state, a luxury he won't enjoy in subsequent states. He's not even participating in the next primary, which is Delaware. So they have their sights set on a long race.

And no matter what happens here, the name of this game is delegate counting, and they'll still be ahead by the delegate count. They have their eye on the long view.

PRESS: Bernie, if I can, I was on the "Straight Talk Express" yesterday, my turn on the bus with John McCain and have been to a couple of his town meetings. And their feeling is they're going to win here. They're going to win by just a couple of points, but it will be a win.

As John McCain says, that will give him an immense megaphone to go around the rest of the country. And they believe that once John McCain wins here, even by a couple of points, the national polls for the first time will show George Bush losing to Al Gore, which will show the dynamics of this entire race, starting in South Carolina and then moving across the rest of the country to California.

That may be their spin. That's what they're counting on.

And by the way, speaking of spin, the Forbes people are saying that they're going to come out of here, could very well come out of here, with between 20 to 27 percent, a strong third place, which they think is enough to keep them going.

MATALIN: Well, Bernie, obviously, Bill has been brainwashed like everybody else when he got on the Straight Talk Express. What the McCain people -- what they are saying in their spin is a couple of points. What they are saying to themselves and to other operatives is that they expect to win by seven to 10 points here. That's a pretty hard hurtle that they've set up for themselves.

And I think if they don't win big here, as our polls and others have been showing, they're not going to have the megaphone they expect to be having.


Another interesting dynamic that's going on here -- I spoke with the Keyes people today -- who say they have a 20 percent favorable. They claim to have identified the old Buchanan voters who are not telling pollsters but are going to turn out for them. Buchanan, you'll recall, beat Bob Dole here in 1996. And they -- those Buchanan voters are not going with Forbes. They think he's a fraud. And they're going with Keyes. So, that's an interesting dynamic.

PRESS: Well, I just have to add, Bernie, speaking of spin, that is the consummate Bush spin. Look, if John McCain wins by one vote, it's a win here in New Hampshire and he'll be alive in South Carolina.

MATALIN: You were brainwashed on the Straight Talk Express. He wants to vote for McCain.


SHAW: What are you hearing in the Bush camp and the McCain camp about whom they would like to see win the Democratic primary?

PRESS: Well, I must admit I didn't ask that question to John McCain, but I think if I did I think the answer would be Gore, because they're counting on the independents moving from Bradley to McCain after Bradley didn't do so well in Iowa.

MATALIN: They -- truly, in all the conversations, there have not been any that have involved what's going on in the Democratic side. In fact, one today said, "We're really not even following that."

The parties are following -- the national party, of course, is following what's happening on the other side and collecting any information that may have to be used and should be used in the general election.

But these campaigns, all of them at this point are focused on their own races.

SHAW: Mary Matalin, Bill Press, "CROSSFIRE," thanks very much.

PRESS: All right. Thanks, Bernie. See you.



BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Way out on the far reaches of democracy in a niche of New Hampshire's White Mountains, a snow crystal turned upside down, the enclave of Dixville Notch.


SHAW: Our Bill Delaney on a town just hours away from the start of the nation's first primary. But first, Willow Bay with a look at what's coming up on the MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR, followed by a news update before we return.

STUART VARNEY, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks. Coming up on "MONEYLINE," the last in our series "MONEYLINE" 2000: The Candidates." Steve Forbes calling for a radical tax code: How could it affect you?

WILLOW BAY, CNN ANCHOR: And today's market rebound cannot hide a dismal month overall. We will explore the so-called January effect.

VARNEY: Plus on the eve of a new record, we'll look at what's driving America's greatest economic boom. How long can it last?

BAY: That's coming up next on MONEYLINE. This special edition of INSIDE POLITICS continues in just a moment.


PHILLIPS: Hello, I'm Kyra Phillips at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

We move now from politics to a parade. The fans in St. Louis are giving a rousing welcome to their newest heroes. We're talking about the Rams, who won last night's Super Bowl XXXIV. The victory parade is just kicking off in downtown St. Louis, and we go to CNN's Jeff Flock for some of the coverage.

Hi, Jeff.


We are in what they call Keener Plaza (ph) right now. It is about 100,000 folks strong. St. Louis celebrating its first-ever Super Bowl championship, first ever NFL championship.

As you report, the parade has now just begun. The players are back in town, arrived at the airport and are now being drawn by the Budweiser clydesdales -- you can see the Budweiser banner on the plaza down here. Of course that's a big part of the economy and what makes up St. Louis.

As perhaps you can see also, the Budweiser clydesdales are leading the parade and all of the new St. Louis Ram Super Bowl champions will be on display. Running a little behind, but there you see also the great St. Louis arch behind it, too. And a lot of pride here, because, as I said, this is the first time it's ever happened in St. Louis. It's one of those days, Kyra, when the crowd kind of seems to know everyone -- everyone seems to know each other. It's that special kind of spirit that you don't get often, but it's kind of characteristic of a town that has achieved something for perhaps first time.

PHILLIPS: Now, Jeff, I understand these are the same streets that people paraded on when the Cardinals won the '82 World Series. Is that right?

FLOCK: That's right. 1982 was the last time they had a world's champion of any kind in St. Louis. A lot of people ask the question, you know, which is the bigger deal? Or is the Mark McGuire home runs the bigger deal?

We said earlier that the guy who prints T-shirts in St. Louis, one of the big T-shirt printers, he says he's printed the Mark McGuire T-shirts, the ones for the pope's visit here, as well as the '82 series. And he believes that he will print more T-shirts this time. And I don't know if that's a function of the fact that people have more money to spend on T-shirts or popularity, but it certainly is a big special time in St. Louis.

PHILLIPS: Are you saying there's a bigger turnout now than there was for the pope?

FLOCK: No, I don't to misrepresent. No, I'd better not say that. That would get me in big trouble. But, you know, I think probably more people turned out for the pope, but this one cuts across a lot of lines, too.

PHILLIPS: So what else is planned, Jeff? We've got the parade. Obviously everybody is out in the masses. What else is going to be going on today?

FLOCK: Well, we'll have the parade. It will come down what is Market Street -- that's Market Street that you're watching right now, the St. Louis Rams cheerleaders. And we almost -- we always -- we've got to be careful we don't say St. Louis Cardinals cheerleaders, because, of course, there was a football team here by that name. And I think today, finally -- and perhaps you get a sense by how big this crowd is -- finally today, with this kind of a turnout, they've sort of finally forgotten the Cardinals.

After the parade is over, everyone will be back on the stage here, on that big Budweiser stage here at Keener Plaza, to welcome their new champions.

Everyone looking forward to it, Kyra. Back to you.

PHILLIPS: All right, it looks like they're having a good time. Have fun. Jeff Flock from St. Louis.

And that's all from the St. Louis Super Bowl victory parade.

We'll go back to this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS previewing the New Hampshire primary.


SHAW: By my watch, less than six hours from now the residents of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, will gather at the polls to cast the earliest votes of this state's primary.

Our Bill Delaney takes a look at the community, the residents and their political tradition.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Way out on the far reaches of democracy, in a niche of New Hampshire's white mountains, a snow crystal turned upside down, the enclave of Dixville Notch, amounting to not much more than the magnificent old Balsam's Hotel -- except for the fact that inside Balsam's, the day before the New Hampshire primary, preparations were again under way for a tradition since 1960: the casting of the first votes at midnight of the first- in-the-nation primary, an idea hotel owner Neil Tillotson is credited with while also taking considerable credit for having presently reached his 101st winter.

The first president he ever laid eyes on: Roosevelt -- Teddy Roosevelt. He's most proud that 100 percent of Dixville votes, distressed so few do just about everywhere else.

NEIL TILLOTSON, HOTEL OWNER: What we're doing now is dangerous. If you lose that vote, people -- they should think a little bit as to what it means. What kind of a society are you going to live in if you don't vote?

DELANEY: All 29 residents of Dixville Notch will: four this year by absentee ballot, 25 in person, filling out their ballots, each in an individual voting booth.

On the Dixville slopes Monday, nonresidents of the town were braving the fresh powder. Resident voters and owners of the ski shop, Billy and Christine Caggiula, were bracing to brave the middle-of-the- night vote, whatever the weather.

It will be Christine's first vote in Dixville Notch.

CHRISTINE CAGGIULA, SKI SHOP OWNER: I mean, it makes a difference.

DELANEY (on camera): Even if it's midnight?

C. CAGGIULA: Even if it's midnight, I will get up anytime just to -- just to say that I did vote.

BILLY CAGGIULA, SKI SHOP OWNER: We're all serious people, I guess, when it comes to who's going to run our country and how it's going to be run.

DELANEY (voice-over): Not the sort of thing you hear all that often on elections days most other places.

STEVE BARBA, PRESIDENT, THE BALSAMS: There are few voters in America who have the intensity of knowing just how precious this moment is. I've never had but only one other vote outside of Dixville: when I was in college in 1968. But I don't think I felt the same level of solemnity that I do feel here in the ballot room.

DELANEY: Dixville Notch voters, who also choose first in the November elections, miss more often than not predicting the eventual winner.

When it comes to democracy, though, up in the middle of nowhere, about the only thing missing is cynicism.

(on camera): This year, for the first time, two local young people, not of voting age will cast symbolic votes here. The idea: to create respect for the privilege of voting, a privilege the early voters of Dixville Notch have never lost sight of.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.


SHAW: Well, I can't vote in Hew Hampshire, but my vote goes to 101-year-old Neil Tillotson.

Just a thing about being here in New Hampshire, I'm getting the same feeling as we had in Des Moines, Iowa: the fact that we're on the eve of Americans actually voting. First primary is very exciting.

GREENFIELD: And one of the differences is we learned today that the turnout in the Iowa caucuses was abysmally low. barely 60- something-thousand in the Democratic caucuses and I think 85,000 in the Republican.

For all their talk in Iowa, they have a very low turnout because they're caucuses. Here, tomorrow, the expected turnout's well over 70 percent.

And I think New Hampshire, as I said last night, has given us a corker, two corkers of races. I mean, this is actually a case, believe it or not, where we're all going to have to wait and see what the voters decide. What a concept.


SCHNEIDER: That's right. Both candidates -- the front-runners are ahead by very tiny margins: McCain on the Republican side and Gore on the Democratic side.

But what's interesting to me is we could have a race -- suppose Gore and Bush win by decisive margins tomorrow. It's going to be very hard, there's general agreement in the press, for Bradley and McCain to go on, although they intend to.

I think there's going to be a vast public revulsion across the country by voters who are suddenly confronted with news that it's decided: Gore and Bush have been nominated by Iowa and New Hampshire. And they're going to say: "Wait a minute. When did we vote? How did this happen?"

And I think there's going to be a lot of discussion of this front-loading process.

WOODRUFF: You know, Bill Delaney's comment about, really picking up on what Bernie and Jeff and Bill are saying, about the only thing missing is cynicism.

I went to a Bradley event here today in Derry, New Hampshire, and there were people that they were willing to wait in this hot crowded room for an hour. There were women there with their children who the children didn't have school today because we had a lot of snow in New Hampshire last night. So one woman there had five kids with her. She was trying to keep them happy, and they ranged all the way from two to what looked like 15.

But what I found was interesting is these people are undecided, some of them, between whether to vote for Bradley or McCain, Bradley or Forbes, and Bradley and Gore. So decisions being made here right up to the last minute.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. And remember, these are decisions for the most part within the same party. There are not vast differences between, say, Bradley and Gore. So it's a tough decision for a lot of people.

WOODRUFF: All right, now, joining us again with some final thoughts, our own Jeff Greenfield -- Jeff.

GREENFIELD: Which Bill Schneider may not entirely agree with, but that's what makes for horse races. Once again, the political community is about to learn a lesson it receives almost every election cycle but rarely remembers.

Voters have a habit of turning our assumptions on their heads with gleeful regularity. Consider the governing assumption of this season: that the front-loaded system would end the process before it had barely begun, that voters outside of Iowa and New Hampshire would have nothing to say.

But a McCain victory tomorrow, even a close loss, will bring him to South Carolina in 19 days, to Michigan and his home state of Arizona three days after. A couple of upset victories there, he might even survive to the national primary where states like New York, California, Ohio and Georgia vote.

The Democrats, unlike the GOP, have no contests until that March 7th super primary. Bill Bradley has already said he'll be there with more money to spend than Gore does.

In other words, barring those two landslide wins that Bill Schneider referred to, New Hampshire will not have ended the process: It will have begun it, leaving to other states, maybe even including the most populous and diverse of states, to settle these nominations conclusively.

To quote the Carpenters, a singing group even Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer could love, "We've only just begun."

WOODRUFF: And that's what makes it all so exciting.

GREENFIELD: Schneider and I in a steel cage later to figure this out.

SCHNEIDER: Well, I happen to agree.


SHAW: And I hope you're right.

That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

These programming notes please. Tonight, Larry King goes one-on- one with Bill Bradley. That's "LARRY KING LIVE" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

WOODRUFF: Tomorrow, CNN will have live coverage throughout the day as New Hampshire residents go to the polls. Wolf Blitzer will host a two-hour special edition of "INSIDE POLITICS" starting at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

And Bernie and I, along with Jeff Greenfield, will be here at 7:00 p.m. Eastern -- and Bill Schneider -- and throughout the evening as the returns come in.

SHAW: Of course, you will be able to online for primary coverage at

I'm Bernard Shaw.

WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff. The "MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR" is next.


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