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Gore Attacks Bush for Not Influencing Congress; Broadcast Networks Slashing Convention Coverage; Bush Unveils Plan to Encourage AdoptionAired July 11, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: This is an absentee vice president, and now he's complaining that somebody from Austin, Texas should be making calls to the Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore's repeated calls for action by his opponent and a -- quote -- "do nothing Congress" strike a nerve on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George W. Bush is back to his basics: conservatism with a smile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Chris Black on the Texas governor's child-friendly proposals, putting him on common ground with the administration.
SHAW: Can the presidential hopefuls count on post-convention bounces? Our Bill Schneider checks the odds.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Al Gore was on familiar ground today in the South, and also in a familiar position. With his party's convention just over a month away, Gore still is trying to hit his stride.
From Little Rock, CNN's Bill Delaney reports on the latest tack in the Gore campaign. You could call it "Citizen Gore."
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a hospital in Little Rock, Vice President Al Gore called on Congress to pass a patients' bill of rights: not the Republican version, supported by his opponent, George W. Bush; the version supported by the Clinton White House.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a piece of legislation that has been crafted on a bipartisan basis, that has been waiting before the Congress for action for three long years. Why hasn't it passed?
DELANEY: Sounding his new populist theme and echoing John McCain, Gore tore into special interests.
GORE: But the Republican Congress has taken a different course: Do nothing for the people; pass nothing that offends the special interests; serve the powerful, not the people. That's their approach.
DELANEY: The Gore campaign continued to slam Bush for not trying to change the direction of Congress with a phone call.
GORE: If he is willing to pick up the phone and call the leadership of the Congress, he can help us pry loose that one last Republican vote. It is time for Governor Bush to show us whose side is he on.
DELANEY: Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had some thoughts, too.
LOTT: This is an absentee vice president. He's not here. He never meets with the leadership on the majority side. I cannot recall having received a call, an inquiry or anything from Vice President Gore in months, if not years. And now he's complaining that somebody from Austin, Texas should be making calls to the Congress.
DELANEY: As the Gore campaign shifted direction again.
(on camera): What's really going on, say critics of the Gore campaign, is that it continues to fragment like mercury on a table with each shudder of an unsympathetic focus group, to which Gore supporters respond, what you're seeing is the natural reach and breadth of a candidate with a restless, quicksilver intelligence.
(voice-over): This week, the Gore message is morphing again. He's been on a progress and prosperity tour, and though there's been some confusion, he still is. Now, though, he's also calling for people, not the powerful.
CHRIS LEHANE, GORE CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: It's not really a new message. It's really part of our message. Prosperity and progress -- progress: What are the right choices for all of our people? And part of that, or a slice of that, is making the right choice for all of the people versus making a choice that only benefits the powerful.
DELANEY: Meanwhile, the campaign of George W. Bush says it's presented a consistent image: compassionate conservatism. LEHANE: I think that's a little off. I mean, let's keep in mind, this guy went from a compassionate conservative to a reformer without results during the primary. He went to Bob Jones University, literally saluted the Confederate flag, and then spent six or seven weeks on this Bob Jones redemption tour.
DELANEY: Whether Gore's present presentation as a man of the people is likely to light a fire under his campaign is unclear. And anyway, sure, it's midsummer and no one's paying much attention. The question remains, though, as the Gore message continues to shift, Which Al Gore will be there when voters do turn their attention to him this fall?
Bill Delaney, CNN, Little Rock, Arkansas.
SHAW: With the vice president trailing in most of the polls, the Gore campaign is setting its sights on the Democratic convention in hopes of getting a lift. Joining us now from Los Angeles, the site of that convention, our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider -- Bill.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Bernie, you know, political conventions have become infomercials, week-long television shows aimed at selling a presidential candidate, just like a stain remover or a hair treatment: I've tried them all. You measure the success of an infomercial by sales. You measure the success of a convention by bounce: how many points a candidate goes up in the polls.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Question: What was the most successful convention since 1968, the one that produced the biggest bounce on record? Answer: Democrats, New York, 1992.
Democrats marketed themselves as new Democrats: not the party of liberalism; the party of change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 1992)
GOV. WILLIAM J. CLINTON (R-AR), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now that we have changed the world, it's time to change America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: What really gave the Democrats a lift was this man's decision during the convention to pull out of the race and say nice things about the Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 1992)
ROSS PEROT (REF), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now that the Democratic Party has revitalized itself...
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHNEIDER: The Democrats got more than a bounce in '92. They got a blastoff: 16 points, the mother of all bounces! Democrats also hold the record for the least successful conventions: two of them that resulted in no bounce at all. One was the Chicago catastrophe of 1968, when the only thing that got a bounce was the heads of the protesters. Viewers were not impressed. Hubert Humphrey actually lost points.
Then there was 1972, when the Democratic convention was so out of control, the nominee gave his acceptance speech at 2:30 in the morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 1972)
GEORGE MCGOVERN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come home, America! Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: It's kind of hard to get a bounce from people who are asleep and George McGovern didn't. That same year, Republicans met in Miami Beach to renominate Richard Nixon. The press discovered a minute-by-minute script for the convention. Journalists were shocked -- shocked! -- to find that the party was organizing the convention as -- huh! -- a TV show. What an outrage!
But it worked. Nixon got a seven-point bounce.
The most successful GOP convention? 1980, when the Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan. The GOP was thrilled by talk of a dream ticket, Reagan and former President Gerald Ford. The excitement and Reagan's decision to reach out to the party establishment by picking George Bush gave the GOP ticket a record bounce: 13 points.
Reagan didn't get nearly as much of a bounce when he was renominated in 1984, just three points.
The 1996 Republican convention didn't do much for Bob Dole, either: another three-point bounce. Bill Clinton didn't get much more of a bounce from his convention in '96: only five points.
SCHNEIDER: The average convention bounce? Six points. Now right now, Al Gore needs a little more than that to catch up with George W. Bush. But this year, unlike 1996, could see bigger convention bounces than usual. One, there's no incumbent. Two, voters aren't sure what they want. And three, Bush and Gore are not as well-defined as Clinton and Dole were four years ago.
It's an open market. So it's up to the conventions to sell, sell, sell -- Bernie.
SHAW: OK, thank you, Bill Schneider, in Los Angeles -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Meanwhile today in Los Angeles, where Bill is, the Democrats accepted the keys to the site of their convention. The party is taking control of the Staples Center a month and three days before the convention officially starts. The man in charge of the Democratic convention is a party fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe.
This afternoon I spoke with McAuliffe and asked him if Republicans are stealing a page from the Democrats by stressing issues such as education, Social Security and the family.
TERRY MCAULIFFE, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION: I'm really glad you brought up that point. They're not stealing anything from us. They're actually coming to where we have always been. Our conventions, we always talk about these key issue; the Republicans don't.
In fact, since you mentioned it, I actually have the press release from the chairman of the Republican convention that they sent yesterday, and he says here that when the Republicans gather in Philadelphia, they're going to be "part of a historic event that is going to look, feel and sound different from conventions of the past." And then he's quoted saying: "Ours will be a different kind of convention for a different kind of Republican. We will be talking about issues like education and Social Security, which have not been at the center stage of Republican conventions before."
I mean, I'm just shocked they would admit that they don't ever talk about issues. We always talk about issues, but we not only talk about them, we act on them. And that's what the vice president's going to do in the prosperity and progress of what we have accomplished over the course of the last eight years and what Al Gore is going to do as president, is what we're going to deal with.
WOODRUFF: CNN is clearly going to be there before the doors open and after they close. But are you concerned that with the broadcast networks' announcement that they're going to be cutting way back on their coverage of these conventions that you are going to have a hard time attracting the attention of voters this year?
MCAULIFFE: No. See, we're actually very excited, because we're going to do things that have never been done before. The networks, as you know, are saying they're only going to do an hour a night. I think that's a big mistake. We're about to elect the next leader of the free world. But CNN and many other information news organizations will be there.
But we're using this as an opportunity. This will be the most open and accessible convention that we've ever had. We are going to use technology like it's never been used before. We are going to bring this convention into every person's living room all across America.
And we're going to do creative things. When a speaker finishes speaking, goes behind the podium, he's going to get on the Internet, and people can go into their den and fire up the Internet and actually send questions to that speaker, to ask them to talk about this, or ask them why she said this.
So we're going to not only talk to the American public, we're going to be interactive so they can talk to us. So we're going to use this as opportunity to go to all the homes in America like we've never done before, so this is a real opportunity for the Democrats. We have great things to talk about. We've had eight great years of economic growth. More importantly, we've got to talk about what Al Gore is going to do for this country, what a great president he's going to be, and the prosperity and progress he's going to bring this country.
WOODRUFF: There is a report in "The Boston Globe" today that the Democrats are so concerned about the potential bounce the Republicans are going to get out of their convention that the vice president, Al Gore is thinking about trying to make news while the Republican convention is going on. That would be unprecedented. Is that being planned?
MCAULIFFE: I don't think that's the case. I don't think "The Boston Globe" has that right. And there's also been talk that Governor Bush is going to try to campaign during our convention. Listen, he needs to do everything he can do. They really don't have anything to talk about they've done over the last eight years. They've got to try to get some message out. They're finally, they admit they are finally going to talk about education and Social Security. Al Gore has been talking about this his entire life.
WOODRUFF: But whether it's finally or not, the fact that they are talking about it steals some of the Democrats' thunder, doesn't it?
MCAULIFFE: I think the American public say they finally have woken up. The Republicans are going to talk about education and Social Security. They're going to join with the Democrats of not only talking about it, but things that they've actually done. So we welcome the Republicans to come over to the Democratic side, talk about the issues that affect the working families in America. But it's not only going to be those two issues; we're going to talk about education, and we're going to talk about the environment and the health care, and many of the issues that affect American's working families.
WOODRUFF: And just finally Terry McAuliffe, is it your goal to try to limit any bounce that George W. Bush gets out of his convention?
MCAULIFFE: We want the Republicans to go. We want them to have a great convention. We want to talk about the few things they are able to talk about. The problem with the Democrats have, which is a real opportunity, is we have so many things we can talk about. We have a record to run on. We can talk about what the future of this country is going to be about with Al Gore as president of the country. So it's really a prosperity and progress what we're going to do.
So let the Republicans -- I wish them well. I hope they have a great time in Philadelphia. It has such historic value to our country, Philadelphia. We're not talking about the past. Al Gore's going to talk about the future of this country, and what he's going to do as president.
WOODRUFF: All right, Terry McAuliffe chairman of the Democratic convention, coming up in the month August.
MCAULIFFE: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.
WOODRUFF: And later this week, we hope to speak with Andrew Cad, who is the general co-chairman of the Republican convention -- Bernie.
SHAW: As the party out of power, the Republicans are going first this year. Their convention in Philadelphia begins in less than three weeks, and they are giving us hints as to how it will go. Among the featured speakers: Laura Bush, the wife of the Texas governor, as well as retired General Colin Powell. Plus, global affairs adviser Condoleezza Rice, and former campaign rivals Elizabeth Dole and John McCain. Also on tap, the traditional speech by the vice presidential choice and the one by the presidential nominee. In a break with tradition, the Republicans are planning to abstain from one of their hallmarks, the night devoted to attacking Democrats. Among other new features: The party says Governor Bush will make a nightly appearance at the convention, either by television or in person. The roll call of delegates may occur in segments covering three nights, rather than one. And somewhat unusual, none of the party's former presidents is being asked to give a speech.
Joining us now, Mike Allen of "The Washington Post."
Mike, what are these two campaigns trying to do to make each convention stand out in the voters' minds?
MIKE ALLEN, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, Bernie, the parties have the essential problem that a convention lasts four days. And in the middle of summer vacations, do they really have four days of must-see TV? It's a little like a student triple-spacing a term paper. How do you spread the goodies over four days and yet make them powerful enough to generate this bounce that Bill Schneider was talking about. And both parties are attacking this on two fronts. One is with their programming during the convention, with some of the innovations that you mentioned that the Republicans have announced, and another way is their means of getting that message out. For instance, Republicans are broadcasting their convention in HDTV to reach Republicans abroad. They've set up a system on the Web called a "dot.com delegate," where voters go on there and watch their states' delegations.
So they're looking at it beyond just the TV show that it's been in the past to, how can we get people talking about this when otherwise they may not be?
SHAW: Well, given what we've just heard outlined, and given Terry McAuliffe's interview done by Judy, in which he was virtually salivating about what the Democrats would be doing in Los Angeles, is this really going to work?
ALLEN: Well, Terry McAuliffe says he wants the Republicans to have a good convention, but they want it to end there. They want to, as you mentioned, limit that bounce, and one way that they're talking about doing that is to announce the Democratic vice president very shortly after the Republican convention to sort of derail the seven, eight, nine, 10-day train the Republicans hope they will have when you consider the time before and after their convention.
Mr. McAuliffe said he couldn't confirm that "Boston Globe" report, but it gives you an idea of how concerned Democrats are about the issue. The ones that I talked to today said they think it sounds like a great idea, and the vice president is scheduled to be on vacation during that week, but you can bet that is reconsidered now.
SHAW: Any angst between the Clinton and Gore camps over the first lady speaking and when?
ALLEN: The conventions are the one time that the interests of the vice president and the first lady are very much going to diverge, and most of the time what's good for one is good for the other. At the convention, though, some of Vice President Gore's people are anxious for her to speak her peace, do her thing and yield the spotlight to him. On the other hand, people working for Mrs. Clinton's campaign make the case that she, for a variety of reasons, has every right and expectation to be a central player throughout the convention. And this is just one other reflection of this concern about, what do we do to get a bounce? The vice president needs a bounce right now a lot more than the -- than Governor Bush does, just because he has further to bounce.
One Democratic official today, I asked them what they were going it do to spice up the convention and he said, "striptease," joking, but it's a big concern, what do they do?
SHAW: Well, we'll see what bounces and what does not bounce?
Thanks very much joining us, Mike Allen from "The Washington Post."
ALLEN: Thanks, Bernie.
SHAW: You're welcome.
ALLEN: And still ahead here on INSIDE POLITICS, the Republican presidential hopeful and his preconvention focus on compassion. Plus, we're going to talk to Governor Christie Whitman about the number-two spot on the ticket and the latest controversy in her home state.
WOODRUFF: In the state of Missouri, a new poll of likely voters shows George W. Bush with a four-point lead over Al Gore. Bush got 47 percent, Gore 43 percent, and 2 percent said they would vote for other candidates. The Clinton-Gore team carried Missouri in the last two presidential elections. George W. Bush went to bat today for children in foster care. In suburban Detroit, Bush announced a plan designed to help find foster children -- help them find permanent homes.
CNN's Chris Black reports Bush is sounding more and more like the caring conservative that seemed to vanish during some of the primaries.
BLACK (voice-over): A picture-perfect moment with 7-year-old David Calair, a foster child in the process of being adopted.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I appreciate the spirit of love that exists inside these walls.
BLACK: George W. Bush is back to his basics, conservatism with a smile.
BUSH: It's just helping people help themselves, helping people who love one another to help those who need to be loved.
BLACK: And another modest initiative to provide help to families and children who are adopted or in foster care. At a family services center outside Detroit, Bush proposed a five-year plan to encourage adoption: $1 billion to increase the adoption tax credit from $5,000 to $7,500 and $300 million for educational vouchers for children who are too old to stay in foster care. Bush also proposed closing the loophole that allows states to avoid a federal mandate to check the backgrounds of prospective adoptive and foster parents, although only one state, North Dakota, has done so.
Bush told Sierra Calair, who is adopting David and his brother Eric (ph), the tax credit is intended to make her life easier.
BUSH: And the tax credit's a good way to help...
SIERRA CALAIR, ADOPTIVE PARENT: Oh yes.
BUSH: ... to help people with the financial burden. And I know that is not the reason you are doing this. This is love. There is no price tag on love. I know that.
CALAIR: Absolutely not. Eric and David are just as much as our children as...
BUSH: That's great.
CALAIR: ... as if we would have had them ourselves.
BUSH: So, how are they getting along. Eric, you get along pretty good with this man right here? Uh huh. You don't boss him around, do you, as the older brother? A little bit.
BLACK: The initiatives build on accomplishments of the Clinton- Gore administration. President Clinton signed into law the $5,000 adoption tax credit four years ago. And just last December, Mr. Clinton signed the foster care independence act, a measure providing $700 million over five years to help foster children too old to stay in foster care. Adoption initiatives are one of the few issues on which Mr. Clinton can agree with one of his most fierce critics, house Republican whip Tom Delay.
Bush aides say Governor Bush has streamlined the adoption process in Texas, resulting in a dramatic 175 percent increase in adoptions in the state in three years.
(on camera): In the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention, Governor Bush is returning to an original theme of his campaign: Conservatives can be compassionate. But he is steering clear of any proposal a conservative could not support.
Chris Black, CNN, Royal Oak, Michigan.
SHAW: A former presidential hopeful may be on the short list of possible Republican running mates. Ohio Congressman John Kasich says he's been asked to provide background information to the Bush campaign. Kasich abandoned a White House bid of his own and endorsed the Texas governor. He told an Ohio newspaper -- quote -- "I have been contacted. That is all I will say, period."
Joining us now from New York, a woman who has been mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential contender, New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman.
Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS, Governor.
GOV. CHRISTIE WHITMAN (R), NEW JERSEY: It's a pleasure, Bernie.
SHAW: Before we go to the veep list, I want to ask you about something that's in the news, going back to 1996, and Camden, New Jersey. You took this picture of your frisking a black man in the presence of state troopers. And this has generated a lot of controversy. Why did you do that?
WHITMAN: Well, first of all, there is absolutely no meaning to the picture outside of the context in which it was taken. And it was taken, as you say, four years ago after I had spent a night with the state troopers whom I had ordered the attorney general to place in Camden because the people of Camden were desperate to get control of their streets back. They just had the worst year for murders, 60 in '95, and I spent a year with them -- I mean an evening with them.
I wanted to see what it was I was asking the state troopers to do. And I also wanted to see what it was that the people of Camden were facing at night. And out of those two nights -- and I rode with them two nights -- came increased legislation that allowed the police to do a better job of cleaning up the streets in the open-air drug markets. We've spent $2.1 billion in that city. And I had saw in those two nights how good, well-trained law enforcement officers doing their job can do it right. That picture came at the end of one of the evenings when a trooper said, did I want to pat down a suspect that they had already stopped?
Can you question whether I should have thought twice about that? Yes, obviously I should have, but I didn't. And the point here is that it wasn't part of a photo-op. We didn't have cameras with us. I didn't tell reporters I was going in to do this. It was part of what I felt was my job to see what I was asking those state troopers to do and to face, and what the people of Camden were facing.
SHAW: Governor, you say that this picture is not part of a photo-op. The New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union said that state troopers had searched this man before this picture, found no contraband on him, and then turned the man over to you. That's not a photo-op?
WHITMAN: No, it certainly wasn't a photo-op, as, again, I was with them doing everything that they did that night, as they chased down suspects, as they stopped people, as they looked through quiet neighborhoods. And what happened was, yes, they searched him to make sure he didn't have a weapon and said, should I do -- would I do what they were doing? And it was question, at that time, of being hands- on. This was four years ago. This was not -- as I say, no reporters went with us. The only person that had a camera, apparently, was a state policemen who took that picture.
That has come out now four years later, I think, for reasons other than what the ACLU may be saying right now. The point here is that I won't apologize for having focused attention on Camden. I won't apologize for what we're doing in the state of New Jersey to ensure that there is no racial profiling. Do I think I probably should have thought twice when I was offered the opportunity to do a pat-down? Yes, of course, because this kind of a picture can be taken out of context, which is what's happening, and been used to inflame emotions; which is against everything that I stand for.
And if a picture is worth a thousand words, actions speak louder than word. And my actions, and the actions of this administration, would belie everything that people are trying to connote from that picture.
SHAW: Switching subjects, Vice President Bush is trolling for a running mate. If he asks to you join the ticket, would you?
WHITMAN: Well, obviously, I'd be crazy not to consider it. But that's not going to happen, Bernie. I don't anticipate that at all. I'm flattered by the attention, because I think that is reflective, again, of the wonderful things that have been happening in the state of New Jersey. And that's great. It's great for the state. And obviously, I am pleased to be part of that. But I don't believe that I am going to be offered that kind of an opportunity.
SHAW: Why don't you think it's going to happen? Do you feel you've shot yourself on the foot on abortion or other issues? Why do you think it won't happen?
WHITMAN: No, I don't -- well, first of all, nobody has reached out to me. At this stage, people would have done that. So I think I can fairly certainly say that it won't happen. I am controversial, I think for a lot of the wrong reasons, particularly on the issue abortion. There are many out there who feel that I support abortion, support particularly partial-birth abortion, when I did back, again, in '95, exactly what the Supreme Court said would have been constitutional in their decision last week. I took a bill that was unconstitutional and rewrote it in a way that would have had a ban on late-term abortions in New Jersey.
But it got, again, taken out of context. It was easy to do. And so I was made into a target on that.
SHAW: If he runs and wins and asks you to be in the cabinet, or asks you to accept an ambassadorship, would you?
WHITMAN: I'd have to think long and hard. And it obviously would be, whatever that position is, again, it would be honor. But I love being governor. I really have just come from the National Governors' Association meeting. And that really is a wonderful reminder of what a privilege it is to be a governor in the United States of America. And I just love what I'm doing.
SHAW: What do you think about other possibilities? We mentioned John Kasich. You've heard some other names.
WHITMAN: I think there are a lot of good names out there.
SHAW: Well, be a betting woman for us on INSIDE POLITICS. If you had to bet right now, whom would you bet on?
WHITMAN: Well, I really like Tom Ridge a lot of. I think he would be a very good candidate, would bring a lot to the ticket. I know John Kasich. And he obviously has a wonderful background, particularly in the area of economics and the budget. And that's important. My only concern is that we have the kind of vice presidential nominee that our presidential nominee is: a person who understands the importance of bringing people together, someone who has shown leadership qualities.
George Bush is all those things. And I know that when he looks to a vice president, he's going to look for those same things. And he is not a litmus-test person, and that's what I'd want to see in a vice president.
SHAW: Christie Whitman, governor of New Jersey, never a dull moment having you on the show. Thank you.
WHITMAN: It's a pleasure, Bernie.
SHAW: Same here. Thank you.
And there is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: Still to come: the first steps of the Mideast summit as the president tries to broker a deal for peace and for his legacy.
Plus... (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I have to say that I was listening to Metallica this morning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Heavy Metal meets Capitol Hill? A look at the latest case of politics and odd alliances.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All these no-shows, it's a little like what's happening to the presidential candidates these days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Our Bruce Morton on the all-star absentees of baseball and presidential politics.
SHAW: We'll have more of the day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories.
Federal authorities in New York have issued murder indictments against a former physician in the death of three patients. Michael Swango is accused of killing them by lethal injection at a Long Island veteran's hospital in 1993. Swango has already served time for poisoning coworkers who survived. Federal authorities say he conducted, allegedly, a reign of terror that began in Ohio in the early 1980s, continued in Illinois, and finally reached New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY: Through a web of lies and deception, Swango invaded his way into the confidence of hospital administrators across the country and the world. Once in their trust and in their employ, he utilized his skills to search for victims and take their lives. As his lies were discovered, Swango was forced to move from hospital to hospital, where he refined both of his lies and his methods of murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: The U.S. attorney's office said Swango is a suspect in a number of suspicious deaths around the country. Several publications report the number as more than 60.
WOODRUFF: A possible vaccine for Alzheimer's Disease is being tested on humans, and officials at Elan Pharmaceuticals say it appears to be safe. So far, they say that is all they say they know. Further tests on the drug's effectiveness could begin next year. Scientists hope that the vaccine will help the body destroy the plaque that builds up on the brain. The three Alzheimer's drugs now on the market offer limited relief from such symptoms as memory loss, speech, and motion impairment.
SHAW: Defense Secretary William Cohen says he's disappointed over last Saturday's missile test failure. However, he says the failure is not fatal to the program. Cohen says he'll soon have a recommendation on whether the United Sates should stick to its timetable for deploying a limited missile defense system by 2005. Sources say intelligence agencies are assessing potential missile threats from North Korea, Iran and Iraq.
WOODRUFF: Some major airlines are dropping fares for summer and fall travel. Southwest, U.S. Airways and Midway have all announced sales. The deals cover travel in the United States and Canada. They include $99, one-way, coast-to-coast fares on Southwest. U.S. Airways offers even deeper cuts in its discounted fares, if reservations are booked online.
Coming up next on INSIDE POLITICS, a shot at peace in the Middle East -- the summit begins at Camp David.
SHAW: In Maryland's Catoctin Mountains, the Middle East summit has begun at Camp David. We don't known much about details because there's a news blackout.
But we do know -- what we do know comes from our White House correspondent, John King.
JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mood seemed downright playful as the leaders opened their high-stakes summit.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We pledged to each other we would answer no questions and offer no comments, so I had to set a good example.
KING: The first disagreement came seconds later: a good-natured debate over whether Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak or Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat should enter the room first. The president returned to broker his first compromise, and they entered together to face what Mr. Clinton calls a moment of promise.
CLINTON: Both leaders feel the weight of history, but both, I believe, recognize this is a moment in history which they can seize.
KING: Day one is designed to test the mood and see whether the Israelis and Palestinians are ready to make concessions to each other. But in the days ahead, senior U.S. officials tell CNN the president is prepared to force discussion of several possible compromises. One would leave most of Jerusalem in Israeli hands, but carve out a slice of Arab-dominated East Jerusalem for the Palestinians. Another would cede most of the West Bank to the Palestinians, but with the lines drawn carefully so the relatively small portion retained by Israel would include most of the Jewish settlements outside of Israel's 1967 borders.
CLINTON: Both sides must find a way to resolve competing claims to give their children the gift of peace.
KING: The question is whether the leaders are prepared to make concessions to the president that their aides have refused to make in direct negotiations.
WAYNE OWENS, CENTER FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE: That's why the summit's so important, they're willing to come to Clinton's position, each of them, but not to the opponent.
KING: Barak arrived eager for direct talks with Arafat. The Palestinians appear in less of a hurry, and say Israel isn't abiding by the terms of prior agreements.
HANAN ASHRAWI, PALESTINIAN SPOKESWOMAN: I think it is high time that everybody understands that if you want to end the conflict, you have to end the causes of the conflict.
KING: Now the symbolism of the Camp David site evident even in the room assignments: Prime Minister Barak was given the cabin used during the 1978 Camp David summit by the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat. Mr. Arafat, on the other hand, was assigned the cabin used by then Israeli President Menachem Begin. All part of a carefully calculated White House strategy designed to put the leaders in a mood to make peace -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King, reporting. Thank you very much.
And joining us now, Kate O'Beirne of "The National Review" and Alexis Simendinger of "The National Journal."
Thank you both for being with us.
Let's pick up with the Middle East. John King's report reminds us there are clearly military, diplomatic, economic ramifications if there is a peace agreement. Are there political ramifications, Kate?
KATE O'BEIRNE, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, if there is a peace agreement, sure, I mean something definite and final, which hasn't happened yet because they're running out of time. The most contentious issues now remain and have to be decided by September.
The expectations, of course, are quite low. So I don't think there's much of a downside if they're unable to pull off an agreement. But if Bill Clinton's able to and it sticks, Judy, I think -- I think he would get enormous credit.
WOODRUFF: Alexis, do you agree? ALEXIS SIMENDINGER, "THE NATIONAL JOURNAL": The only downside I can possibly imagine is if for some reason this blows up in a horrible way and somehow members of the Republican Party would want to say that the president misused his leadership this week or somehow blew an opportunity, I can't imagine, though, that there isn't an upside, you know, to the general sense of politics.
This is personal diplomacy for Clinton. If this works out well, of course, that -- the wash of good news comes to Gore, too.
O'BEIRNE: And if they're unable to reach an agreement, there could be a real problem in September when these, as I said, deadlines approach. If there was some sort of a clash in the Middle East, I think Bill Clinton would have been given credit for doing something to try to head that off.
WOODRUFF: And -- and Gore? Does it wash over to Gore if something's accomplished?
O'BEIRNE: I think much less so. When it comes to foreign policy, it seems to me, it's the No. 1 guy who gets the credit here. If any -- in some respects, it doesn't much help Gore who, we're relentlessly told, has got to move out from under the shadow of Bill Clinton.
WOODRUFF: All right. Alexis, George W. Bush yesterday makes a speech almost unprecedented. Republican -- presumed Republican nominee appears before the NAACP convention in Baltimore. What does this bring him as the Republican nominee, presumed?
SIMENDINGER: Really terrific pictures, first of all, I think. It's a very good image for a guy who's trying to say, I'm a healer, I'm a person that can bring people together, and I'm not afraid to go into an arena that isn't naturally friendly to me and say, hey, give me a look, give me a try.
I think what we've learned, at least today, is he got some very good press for the general atmospherics of it. And there were lots of people, including minorities in the United States, who were willing to give him some credit for making the effort.
WOODRUFF: Kate, I did hear the head of the NAACP, Julian Bond, interviewed this morning, saying, well, we're glad he came but he didn't address the issues of greatest concern to us. Is this forever something that's not going to work out here?
O'BEIRNE: Well, I think that...
WOODRUFF: African-Americans and the Republican Party?
O'BEIRNE: At a minimum, he avoided the kind of criticism that would have come had he not shown up, as previous candidates hadn't.
I think the past 24 hours says it all about the shape of the race. There's George W. Bush meeting at the NAACP convention, reaching out. He spent the past two weeks meeting with Hispanic groups around the country while Al Gore is trying to rally his base. Clearly, it speaks to the fact that George W. Bush his base and is able to spend these weeks reaching out to others while Al Gore seems stuck trying to appeal to Democrats at this stage.
WOODRUFF: Al Gore making this populist appeal, criticizing George W. Bush for not moving Republicans on the Hill, saying, I'm for the people, he's for the special interests. Where does this get the vice president?
SIMENDINGER: I think what we've seen this week is actually a very good week for Gore, last two weeks maybe, in that he was getting a chance to set the agenda. He got a chance also to feel very good about his campaign.
I often look at Gore, and I try to get the tone and tenor of how he feels about his own campaign, and this was a two-week period that he felt very good about. And I think that probably brings some energy to his campaign.
The downside of this, though, is when you're the vice president and you're bashing big interests, whether that's big business or just the money that goes into the other guy's campaign, that's a little different than when you're president, which Clinton has done, used his bully pulpit to effectively bash some special interests to get what he wants.
The vice president is trying to encourage people to think that he's got the right economic program, but yet he's underscoring that big business is supporting George Bush. What does that say?
O'BEIRNE: Yes, I...
WOODRUFF: So risky for him to do this?
O'BEIRNE: I see it as another detour on this prosperity tour. I mean, it's very difficult to take credit for this great economy while you're bashing an awful lot of the people responsible for it. And polls tell us that the public believes business, including small business, Bill Gates, has a lot more to do with this economy than politicians. So I think it's hard. It definitely contradicts his prosperity message...
WOODRUFF: Is he...
O'BEIRNE: ... bashing corporate America.
WOODRUFF: Excuse me. Is he just not articulating who it is he's really trying to bash, because clearly he -- one assumes he's not criticizing all of business? But if that's the message that's coming across...
O'BEIRNE: I'm not clear that this was completely by design. This could just be, in a way, he's responding to events outside his campaign. Clearly, he has to say something about the price of gas. He'd rather not talk about the administration's policy. It's better to bash big oil. There's a prescription drug bill on the floor. His administration has done nothing about prescription drug costs. It's better to bash pharmaceuticals.
So I'm not entirely sure that this is a big populist corporate bashing design on his part. He might just be responding to current events.
WOODRUFF: We would never bash the two of you. Kate O'Beirne, Alexis Simendinger, thank you very much.
SIMENDINGER: Thanks, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.
And just ahead, why rock musicians are turning to the Senate, making their music a national issue.
SHAW: High-tech, hard rock and politics came together on Capitol Hill today -- really: at a hearing called by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch concerning the online music exchange known as Napster. It was an interesting convergence, especially given Hatch's other career.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I have to say I was listening to Metallica this morning in my office.
SHAW (voice-over): What does Utah straight-arrow senior senator have in common with the world's best-known heavy metal drummer? They're both musicians and they're both worried about Napster, the online music trading forum where you can download just about anything without paying a penny.
LARS ULRICH, METALLICA: Napster hijacked our music without asking. They never sought our permission. Our catalogue of music simply became available for free downloads on the Napster system.
SHAW: Musically, Hatch and Ulrich are about as far apart as you can get. Hatch, a devout Mormon, writes patriotic and devotional songs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HATCH (singing): ... I was lost, never counting the cost of a life fueled with darkness and sin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: And here's Metallica.
Ulrich has reason to be concerned. You can get almost everything Metallica's ever done on Napster, including rough cuts of still unfinished songs, all free. While Hatch said that's unfair, he's wary of stifling the Internet.
HATCH: We must protect the rights of the creator, but we cannot, in the name of copyright, unduly burden consumers and the promising technology the Internet presents to all of us.
SHAW: Napster's CEO says the music industry should thank him.
HANK BARRY, CEO, NAPSTER: A chorus of studies show that Napster users buy more records as a result of using Napster, and that sampling music before buying is the most important reason that people use Napster.
SHAW: Hatch himself is putting that "sample first, buy later" theory into practice. His own Web site, hatchmusic.com, offers several songs for free, and full CDs for $15.98.
SHAW: For now at least, Hatch's music is not on Napster, so he has no direct stake.
WOODRUFF: I think a prerequisite ought to be a prerequisite to serving in the Senate.
Up next, political parallels and baseball diamonds -- a look at the all stars, those who will play the game and those who won't.
SHAW: A little more than two hours from now, Major League Baseball's 71st all star game will begin in Atlanta. But many of the big names of baseball won't be on the field tonight.
As our Bruce Morton sees it, America's favorite pastime and the 2000 elections have a lot in common.
MORTON (voice-over): Big doings at Turner Field. The All-Star Game? Well, not exactly. All-star pitchers Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux? missing, hurt. Catcher Mike Piazza? Out, concussion. Shortstop Alex Rodriguez? Out, concussion. Of course, you get Derek Jeter. Third baseman Cal Ripken? Out, back. Of course, you get Travis Fryman.
TRAVIS FRYMAN, INDIANS THIRD BASEMAN: Call Ripken's played 21 years, and he deserves to be there, and they want to see him, no matter if he's hitting a buck-10.
MORTON: Outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr.? Out, knee. He hit in the home-run derby, but doesn't want to risk running.
KEN GRIFFEY JR., INJURED REDS OUTFIELDER: The guys who are replacing everybody, they're still All Stars. I mean, you look at their numbers and they're done just as well as everybody else.
MORTON: Outfielder Barry Bonds? Out, thumb.
BARRY BONDS, INJURED GIANTS OUTFIELDER: As a fan, sure, you might be a little bit disappointed. But you know, that's why we're hear to explain, what do you want Barry Bonds to do? Play with a broken thumb? I owe teammates first, but I will give you the common courtesy and respect of showing up.
BOBBY COX, NATIONAL LEAGUE MANAGER: I always worry about the integrity of the game when guys miss, but you know, in these cases, they are all legitimate injuries can, and they can't help it.
MORTON: Cynics say National League manager Cox is also worried about having nine guys to play the game. He was heard lamenting one catcher's escape to a vacation in Puerto Rico.
All these no-shows it's a little like what's happening to the presidential candidates these days.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I asked that I not to be considered for vice president.
MORTON: There's one all-star out of George W. Bush's lineup. Colin Powell won't play either. Nor former Sen. John Danforth. Nor Florida's Connie Mack. He's retiring from the sport. Nor Dick Cheney. He's the chief v.p. scout, not expected to be an active player himself. And Jack Kemp, of course, suffered a career-ending injury in campaign '96. But W. isn't the only one with a problem.
GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I've said many times to reporters that I have an obligation to serve a four-year term, and I'm committed to do so.
MORTON: OK, no California governor on the Al Gore all-stars. No Bill Bradley. They retired his number years ago. No Bill Richardson. His stock fell when another team stole some signs. No Bill Daley -- again, coaches aren't usually players, too. It's a problem.
COX: I always worry about the integrity of the game.
MORTON: Good point. What do you do with a game, politics or baseball, where so many stars won't shine?
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
SHAW: It should be an interesting game still.
WOODRUFF: I think it will.
SHAW: That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you again tomorrow when our Bill Delaney will be with Al Gore at the NAACP convention in Baltimore. WOODRUFF: We will also have as our guest, Andrew Card, the general co-chairman of the Republican National Convention. Of course you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
SHAW: I'm Bernard Shaw.
"WORLDVIEW" is next.
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