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Inside Politics

Bush and Gore Prepare for Debate Rematch

Aired October 11, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: the Bush-Gore rematch. Will they improve on their first debate performance?


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The vice president enters round two with nagging problems on two fronts: image and issues.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: John King looks at Gore's challenge.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George Bush is facing the most pivotal moment of his campaign since -- well, since last week.


WOODRUFF: Candy Crowley reports on the task ahead for Bush.



MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A crisp fall night in New Orleans, and a jazz man is playing to the moon.


SHAW: Maria Hinojosa on the political themes in Louisiana's African-American community.

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff at CNN election headquarters -- and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.

SHAW: Thanks for joining us.

By most accounts, the second debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush tonight is supposed to be more casual than the first, largely because the face-off in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is a sitdown-at- a-table affair. But there is nothing casual about the way both campaigns are viewing the match-up at Wake Forest University. As our John King reports, the Gore camp, in particular, knows it has some repair work to do.


KING (voice-over): The vice president enters round two with nagging problems on two fronts: image and issues. His overriding strategy is to focus on the economy and tax fairness. Democrats believe this is where Gore benefits most from his differences with Governor Bush.

WILLIAM DALEY, GORE CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Middle-class targeted tax cuts that help those people who need the help most right now, as opposed to those who may be doing better than most of the American people, who really don't need a tax cut.

KING: The vice president came to the Winston-Salem debate looking to address several weaknesses. Aides concede his audible sighs at the first debate conveyed an image of arrogance. And the Bush campaign has honed in on several Gore misstatements to make the case the vice president can't be trusted. The Gore campaign's public line is to shrug off any character controversy.

DALEY: That's all kind of side-show stuff. The American people, I really do believe, are going to look at who has the plans that are going to affect their lives over the next four -- not only four years --- but possibly the next 40 years.

KING: But image was a major focus of the vice president's latest debate preparations.

DOUGLAS SCHOEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The vice president really faces the challenge of communicating to the people of the United States that he's a likable, affable, effective personality, somebody who can provide real leadership.

KING: Image isn't the only Gore challenge. The race is a dead- heat, in part, because Governor Bush is competitive on the issues Democrats had hoped would swing the race. Gore has an edge, for example, when likely voters are asked which candidate would better handle health care, but not as big an advantage as President Clinton enjoyed on that issue four years ago.

And the vice president has just a narrow edge on the critical issue of education. Mr. Clinton enjoyed a two-to-one advantage at this point back in 1996.

SCHOEN: I think the vice president has to make it clear that there are clear issue differences between himself and Governor Bush, particularly on the tax cut, on education, on protecting Social Security, on Medicare and prescription drugs -- patients' bill of rights.


NARRATOR: What you're seeing is the worst smog in America. The city: Houston, Texas.


KING: The governor's Texas record is under fire in an increasingly bruising TV ad war. And the vice president will look for debate openings to echo the theme that the governor's record doesn't match his compassionate campaign rhetoric.


KING: But any contrasts will be drawn carefully. Tonight's sitdown format is viewed as more receptive to conversation than confrontation. And for a Gore campaign team that entered the first debate full of confidence -- even cockiness -- the round -- the watchwords for round two are caution and kindness -- Bernie.

SHAW: John, in the debate tonight, what is the Gore campaign anticipating on international policy?

KING: They expect, Bernie, because of the developments around the world in recent weeks -- the revolution in Yugoslavia, the continuing turmoil in the Middle East -- that there will be more questions this evening about international policy. The vice president views that as a strength.

He, of course, is in constant touch with White House officials and others in the administration about ongoing developments. The Bush camp thinks it cost -- caught the vice president a bit off guard about Russian involvement in Yugoslavia at the first debate. That has been a squabble since that debate. Look for that issue to come up again.

This is an area, though, where the vice president believes he has the upper hand, an area where he thinks the more the American people see a discussion of international policy, the more they might have doubts about the Texas governor. But remember, they said the same thing about Bill Clinton back in 1992, when he was the governor of Arkansas -- Bernie.

SHAW: Indeed, John King at ground zero -- Judy?

WOODRUFF: George W. Bush's biggest debate challenge tonight could come in the form of questions about international policy, as John just mentioned, an area not generally considered to be Bush's strongest suit.

But as our Candy Crowley reports, the Bush camp is exuding a certain degree of confidence about the rematch.


CROWLEY (voice-over): George Bush is facing the most pivotal moment of his campaign since -- well, since last week.

QUESTION: Governor, what do you have to do tonight?

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tell people what's on my heart, what's in my mind.

CROWLEY: If the stakes are higher in Winston-Salem than they were in Boston, it's because the election is a week closer. The agenda is largely set by the moderator, but the governor is bracing for assaults on his Texas record, hoping for further discussion on education, Social Security reform and Medicare, and preparing for another go-around on his tax cut.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Under Governor Bush's tax cut proposal, he would spend more money on tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent than all of the new spending that he proposes for education, health care, prescription drugs, and national defense all combined.

BUSH: I can't let the man continue with fuzzy math.

CROWD: No fuzzy math! No fuzzy math! No fuzzy math!

CROWLEY: "No fuzzy math" was a hit with the faithful, but Gore was seen to have scored some points, so look for a more definitive comeback in round two. With Yugoslavia in flux and the Middle East roiling, the Bush campaign expects more questions on international policy, an arena thought to favor the more-experienced Gore, a perception the Bush camp says did not prove out in debate one.

KAREN HUGHES, BUSH CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: When Governor Bush suggested that -- that the United States should encourage Russia to use its influence to tell Mr. Milosevic it was time for -- for him to go, the vice president sort of tried to pooh- pooh that idea and put the governor down, when actually it turned out later, we found out, that President Clinton and the administration had been doing exactly that.

CROWLEY: Overall, the governor's task in this second debate is what it was in the first: Show he has the stature and the substance, and yes, the syntax, for the Oval Office.

KARL ROVE, BUSH CAMPAIGN CHIEF STRATEGIST: The Gore campaign has been saying that he is bumbling and babbling and can't string two coherent sentences together. So I guess, from that perspective, if he just shows up and strings two coherent sentences together, it will be a success. But we would like to judge -- we think he'll do more than -- obviously do far more than that.

CROWLEY: In fact, the Bush campaign says the governor is feeling confident, and conditions are favorable for a good evening. Bush's poll numbers went up in the days after the first debate, erasing what was left of the vice-president's post-convention lead. And Bush aides say the relaxed, sit-around-the-table setting is more comfortable for their less formal candidate.


CROWLEY: But if there is one certain lesson in election 2000, it is that this electorate can and does turn on a time -- turn on a dime. For either candidate, there can be little comfort in that -- Judy. WOODRUFF: Candy, you mentioned -- we saw Karl Rove pointing out the -- that the Gore people are saying that -- pointing out Bush's misstatements, problems with getting, as he put it, two words strung together correctly. What -- how does the governor plan to deal with that tonight?

CROWLEY: Well, I can tell you how they have dealt with it so far, because the Gore campaign has been sort of at this for the past couple of days. And it's a sort of, you know, back-at-you response, which is: Look, if the governor mispronounces a word, if he takes a circuitous route around to make a point, we think that the American people are a little more comfortable with that than they are with a candidate who exaggerates.

So they sort of put that out there and use it as a comeback. I don't expect actually to see it come back in quite that realistic a form. I don't think that we will see them charging each other with, you know, stretching or bumbling. I think maybe we will see that in the aftermath, and that will be their comeback.

WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley in North Carolina, thanks.

Well, Bush and Gore head into their second debate with 27 days left until the election, and with more evidence that their contest is close and volatile.

Our up-to-the-minute CNN analysis shows Bush has moved back into the lead in the race for electoral votes. He is now ahead in 23 states, which would give him a total of 205 electoral votes. We're now putting Ohio into Bush's column. The state had been a toss-up. Gore now leads in 13 states and the District of Columbia, which would give him a total of 185 electoral votes. Notice the absence of Pennsylvania. We have moved it into the toss-up category. It is one of 14 states with a total of 148 electoral votes that are up for grabs -- Bernie.

SHAW: Nationally, Bush and Gore are dead-even again in our daily tracking poll. Each has 45 percent support in our CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup survey of likely voters. An apparent Bush surge in the past few days seems to have faded.

Let's turn to our Bill Schneider now.

Bill, what is happening in the polls?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Bernie, it's been a week since the first debate.

Do you know where your polls have been? They've been all over the place. Just in the past week, our own tracking poll has shown Gore ahead, then the race neck-and-neck, then Bush ahead, and now a dead-heat again.

Let's check out our poll of polls: all of these polls taken during the last four days. "The Washington Post" poll released today has Bush three points up. Both the Pew Research Center and the MSNBC- Reuters poll show a one-point lead for Bush. Our own CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup tracking poll has the race tied. CBS News puts Gore ahead by one point. Every one of these polls is within the margin of error. They average out to 45 percent for Bush, 44 percent for Gore.

So the polls are really consistent. Neither candidate has a lead. Going into tonight's debate, this race remains too close to call.

SHAW: But what about the intensity factor?

SCHNEIDER: Well, your old outfit, CBS News, asked an interesting question. Their poll asked people whether they supported their candidate -- quote -- "enthusiastically" or not. A majority of Bush voters said they support their guy enthusiastically. Gore voters are less enthusiastic.

We've noticed in our own tracking poll that women voters have done most of the shifting around over the past week. Gore's lead with women is less solid than Bush's lead with men. Advantage Bush, advantage to George Bush.

But -- and there's always a "but" -- the CBS News poll also shows more people expect Gore to win in the end. Only a third think Bush is going to win. That's bad for morale. Advantage Gore.

SHAW: Now, these candidates say they have stark differences on the issues. But does the public buy that?

SCHNEIDER: Well, you know, the voters are more and more concerned that Gore represents bigger government. Bush has been making that charge, and it could be one reason why Gore's lead has slipped.

Take a look at "The Washington Post" poll. In July, 59 percent of the voters believed that Gore favored larger government with more services rather than smaller government with fewer services. Now, that view grew 10 points from just before the conventions to now.

Now, look at what's happened to the public's perception of George W. Bush. The view of Bush as an advocate of smaller government has also grown by about 10 points from July until now.

What about the voters? What do they want? A solid majority of the voters wants smaller government.

Now, remember when President Clinton said, "The era of big government is over"? Democrats believe the surplus liberates them to talk about more government spending. It doesn't. Republicans believe the surplus liberates them to talk about big tax cuts. It doesn't.

SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider, and over to Judy.

WOODRUFF: Now, to Jeff Greenfield with more on these polls and tonight's debate -- Jeff.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Yes, because the minute tonight's debate ends, people like us are going to be trying to figure out what happened: partisans, journalists, "real people," and polls will be flying out you out of the screen.

But before the revels begin, let's take a look back at what happened last week, because what happened had literally never happened before. The first post-debate polls last week all showed that Al Gore won, and so did the polls taken in the days after. The numbers varied from poll to poll, but not the result.

But now look at where Gore and Bush were before the first debate compared with the post-debate numbers. Again, lots of different numbers depending on which poll you looked at, but all with the same story: movement toward the governor.

So what? Well, for one thing, as I just mentioned, it is the first time ever since 40 years of debates that voters have said one candidate won the debate while the other guy gained.

Why? What happened? Well, here's a hunch. In a time when voters are so much more conscious about political theater, some of them may have separated their debate judgment from their political judgment, saying, in effect, "Yes, I know Gore won, but I think I like Bush better."

Now, much of the focus on this has been on Gore's behavior: the sighs, the exaggerations. But there's one poll number that we just referred to that suggests something more ominous for the vice president. When we asked voters whose vision of government they felt closer to, they chose Bush's by a healthy margin, even though they're closer to Gore on a lot of specifics about government programs, like prescription drugs and Social Security.

Why? Well, one more hunch: It is possible that Gore's behavior reminded some voters of what they least like about government, that "we know best" attitude, like the IRS guy who tells you, you didn't fill out the form right or the zoning bureaucrat who makes you tear down that shed because you violated rule 617(b).

And one final note: We're talking about a small movement to Bush and about standings that are subject to change with almost no notice. And we're talking about movement that cannot be measured instantly, that needs a few days for voters to think about this and talk with each other.

So please, keep that in mind when the post-debate spin begins. Please.

WOODRUFF: Do you think we can actually manage to not talk about this for a few days, Jeff?

GREENFIELD: Well, no, but I think we did OK last week saying, heads up, watch what happens. And let's see if we can keep to that tonight.

WOODRUFF: We sure did. I remember we did.

Jeff Greenfield, see you a little later.

And still ahead on this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, just hours from tonight's big event, the advice from debate coaches: plus, political insight from David Broder and Bob Novak.


SHAW: When George W. Bush and Al Gore take the stage tonight, they will likely have considered and tried to correct the mistakes of their first encounter.

Our Bill Delaney checked in with two debate coaches for an inside view of what the candidates must work on.


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What do Al Gore and George W. Bush need to do in their next debate? Simple say veteran debate coaches. They should prepare like crazy to come off looking like they didn't much have to prepare at all.

DAN PAYNE, DEMOCRATIC DEBATE COACH: It's something you've got to learn over and over and over again.

DELANEY (on camera): You have to learn spontaneity over again?


PAYNE: Unfortunately you do. You can tell them, tell me that story again, tell me that story 15 times until -- until you've got it cold, until you can pause at the right places, until you can give me the comedic effect you want.

DELANEY (voice-over): Comedic effects, plain old likability debate coaches say may be superficial but they win people over. After all, what most observers saw as Gore's greater command of the issues in the first debate has not meant a surge in the polls.

PAYNE: He's got to be given permission by somebody among his trainers, go ahead, do that, smile a little, laugh, laugh at yourself. These are not necessarily things that you think of doing when you're out there, when you're concentrating on getting your answer straight and staying within the time limit.

DELANEY: For Bush, who to many seems more naturally genial than Gore, the challenge will be to seem naturally in command of issues.

TODD DOMKE, REPUBLICAN DEBATE COACH: Bush now has to have a mastery over the rebuttal and the refutation on those points that Gore makes over and over and over.

DELANEY: The new posture of the candidates in the second debate, seated at a table, should loosen the tone, debate experts say, more in the mellow mode of the vice presidential debate many found refreshingly relaxed. Good for Bush, maybe even better for Gore.

DOMKE: He loses support because people see him as too argumentative, too pedantic, and this new format should help that.

There's a reason why there's always a table in peace negotiations, because it invites people to be conversational, to listen, to be less argumentative.

DELANEY: In the end, Gore and Bush just might need to be more like each other: Gore, more of a good guy; Bush, more of a smart guy.

(on camera): For Gore and Bush, in their next encounter, the paradoxes of every big-time political debate will be fully at play: Be yourself, even if you have to fake it to seem that way; know a lot, but don't seem like a know-it-all; don't pander, pose or pontificate; in a setting absolutely saturated with politics, don't come off like a politician.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.


WOODRUFF: Tall order there.

Now, well, joining us now from Winston-Salem to talk more about tonight's debate, David Broder of "The Washington Post" and Bob Novak of "The Chicago Sun-Times."

Gentlemen, let's talk first about Al Gore. The focus seems to be more on him tonight.

David Broder, does he have the tougher job of the two tonight?

DAVID BRODER, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think he may have the tougher job, although his manner and style seems to be what turned people off, and I would think that Al Gore is disciplined enough to change that. Gore has to show the substance, and it may be harder for him to acquire instant substance, than for Gore to turn off the pedantry and sort of condescension that turned people away a week ago.

WOODRUFF: Bob Novak, does Gore have the tougher job, do you agree?

ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": No, I think -- I think perhaps Bush has the tougher job, because a lot of Republicans were really startled that Governor Bush, who had heard these arguments about tax cuts for the rich and all the rest of it, he had heard it a million times, and he didn't have a better, more concise, more flowing answer. And certainly, that's what he has to do tonight.

As for the job for Gore of trying to be more likable, that sounds like a terrible thing, because it's a personality adjustment. But politicians are like actors in making personality adjustments at all times.

The funny thing and the thing that upsets a lot of Democratic politicians is that he was not warned by his very professional staff, that is Gore was not warned by his very professional staff that he had to, he couldn't come over as condescending in the first debate. So I'm sure he has been told this time, but why wasn't he told the first time, people wonder.

WOODRUFF: David, is it as simple for Gore as just being more likable? What are we really talking about here?

BRODER: Well, I think we're talking about the deed for him -- after all, Al Gore has spent the last 20 years of his life saturated in the Washington atmosphere. And I think what the real challenge for him is to be able to talk about these issues, which he knows very well as a Washington operator, from a perspective of people who are looking to -- for answers to the question, what will you do that will change my life or my family's life? He's got to move himself from inside the Beltway into Main Street America.

WOODRUFF: And Bob Novak, for bush, I mean, he's been, again, studying these issues. He's been surrounded by advisers. What's to stop him from turning in a stellar performance when it comes to international or domestic policy for that matter?

NOVAK: Well, people hope so, because his performance in the first debate was really a little disappointing. I think he won the first debate because of the reaction to Gore, not the immediate reaction but the delayed reaction.

I think the problem for Vice President Gore, Judy, is that when he hears something about the Balkans, he shouldn't say something dopey like my uncle was gassed in the Balkans, which is very doubtful that he ever was in the Balkans. I mean, that is the kind of thing that comes to his mind, and it's going to take the kind of discipline that David talked about not to just fly out with these very peculiar statements, which didn't work.

I think -- I think this is a beauty contest. I think the 8 percent who are undecided in the vote, they're not much interested in issues. They're interested in who looks smart and nice.

GREENFIELD: David, it's Jeff Greenfield. I want to pick up on that point that Bob made, because one of the substantive divides that seems to be emerging from this campaign is the idea that Gore and Bush represent very different views about government. If that is right, does Gore have any hope to convince people that his vision of government is what they want, given the track record of the last eight years, which would look pretty good for a government guy?

BRODER: Well, Jeff, as you know, he's spent the last eight years trying to improve the performance of the federal government. He didn't talk about that performance review in the first debate. I expect we'll hear a lot more about how he's tried to cut down the size of the bureaucracy and improve the delivery of services.

It's not so much, I think, that people are anti-government, but they think that there's still a lot of what Ronald Reagan used to call waste, fraud and abuse in government. And if Gore gets stuck with being the defender of the status quo, he's got problems.

GREENFIELD: Bob? NOVAK: I really doubt, Jeff, that the people who really are interested in the size of government, whether they're for it or against it, haven't already made up their mind. I think these people who are still shopping aren't much interested in those questions, and probably it's a waste of effort for Bush or Gore to go into it.

That is what makes these debates very frustrating for their handlers, because it is a question of presentation. And you hear that the interviews with the undecided voters, and they have this high- flown quest for who is going to look like the best president. I don't think that gets down to an ideological discussion of the role of government.

BRODER: I disagree with that, Bob, because watching the first debate, as I did, with a group of undecided voters out in Wisconsin, their frustration was there were so many figures and numbers thrown back and forth that they really could not sort out which program and which policy was going to actually have some beneficial effects for them and their families.

I think these candidates would be well-advised to go back and try to explain their programs in human terms, not accounting terms.

WOODRUFF: All right. We're about to have a debate of our own here.


David Broder, Bob Novak, terrific to see you, and we'll see you all after the debate.

BRODER: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Great. And much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS...

SHAW: Still to come...


HINOJOSA: ... in this Louisiana political season, slow even in the oyster bars, where politics and food have mixed for a century.


SHAW: Maria Hinojosa on the lack of voter enthusiasm in Louisiana and the struggle to turn out key Democratic votes.



HOWARD KURTZ, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: When the candidates square off this time, we have some idea what to expect. And we also have some idea how the spin cycle will play out.


WOODRUFF: Howard Kurtz on round two of the media and the debates.

And later...

SHAW: Table manners -- Margaret Carlson and Tucker Carlson on the candidates and tonight's forum.


JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Joie Chen at CNN Center. Bernie Shaw and Judy Woodruff will have more of the day's political news ahead. First, a look at some other top stories.

Ford Motor Company takes another blow as a California judge orders the recall of about two million vehicles. The cars, trucks and vans are 1983 to 1995 models sold in California. It's alleged that a defective ignition causes them to stall at different speeds. Ford denies any problem, though, and plans to appeal the ruling. The automaker will not recall any vehicles during that time. This is the first court-ordered car recall in U.S. history. Ford is already dealing with the massive recall of Firestone tires, commonly used on its Explorer SUV's.

In the Middle East, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan continues his efforts to end two weeks of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinian anger shows no signs of abating, though the level of the violence seems to have dropped somewhat. At least three more Palestinians were killed in confrontations with Israeli authorities today. In all, more than 90 people have died in 14 days of clashes, primarily in the West Bank and Gaza.

President Clinton is keeping a close watch on developments in the Middle East. CNN's Kelly Wallace joins us from the White House now with the latest on the peace efforts -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joie, the president left open the possibly that he or his secretary of state or both of them could travel to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, but indicated a summit was not imminent. Over the weekend, the president proposed a Mideast summit to be held in Egypt.

But the Egyptians are refusing to host one until the violence ends. U.S. officials says the president does not want to convene a meeting just for a meeting's sake. And the president told reporters he would make his decision about diplomatic next steps based on how he thinks the U.S. can help.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everything that the United States does should be designed toward, No. 1, trying to preserve the calm, and No. 2, trying to restore the peace process. And so I will do whatever I think is likely to advance those objectives. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Meantime, the president continues working the phones. He spoke this morning with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the secretary-general's latest meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The White House is encouraged by an increase in diplomacy and an apparent drop in the violence. But one senior administration official says the situation is still -- quote -- "fragile and volatile."

That official said another goal for the U.S. is coming up with a process to investigate the violence. The Israelis and the Palestinians disagree over what the make-up of any fact-finding commission should be. Finally, Mr. Clinton is rebuffing criticism from some Middle East watchers that his failed Camp David summit this summer may have contributed to the violence -- the president telling supporters if those talks were never held, the situation would be must worse -- Joie.

CHEN: Kelly Wallace for us at the White House.

And when INSIDE POLITICS returns: more perspective on tonight's presidential debate and a look at the Republicans' cash advantage.

Stay tuned.


WOODRUFF: A new poll shows the race still neck-in-neck in the hotly contested state of Florida. The Mason-Dixon survey gives George W. Bush a three-point lead over Al Gore. Gore led by three points in another Florida poll earlier this week. In Indiana, Bush maintains a double-digit lead in a new poll in a state that has gone Republican in every presidential race since 1964.

In Louisiana, Bush appears to have an edge, despite that state's considerable African-American population, which skews typically toward Gore.

CNN's Maria Hinojosa reports on what is at issue, politically, for Louisiana's black voters.


HINOJOSA (voice-over): A crisp fall night in New Orleans, and a jazzman is playing to the moon. The tempo is slow in this Louisiana political season, slow even in the oyster bars, where politics and food have mixed for a century. Low energy for politics, particularly in the black community.

EDWIN MURRAY (D), LOUISIANA STATE HOUSE: And I kind of sense that things are getting ready to happen, but just they haven't happened yet.

HINOJOSA: At Antoine's, one of New Orleans oldest restaurants, black political leaders, all Democrats, express fear that apathy could even undo Al Gore's candidacy here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to have to get a good, solid black vote to win Louisiana.

HINOJOSA (on camera): And if they don't it means what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then they lose. They'll lose. Louisiana, I think, is going to be a key state.

HINOJOSA: A full third of Louisiana's electorate is African- American, and traditionally they vote Democratic in high numbers. But for that vote to pay off for Al Gore in this battleground state, black voter turnout is key, and it's got to be high.

DONALD CRAVINS (D), LOUISIANA STATE SENATE: In the state, they've done a very poor job. There's no question about it. And I think it amounts to what has been said that, perhaps, the Democratic Party is taking the black vote for granted.

HINOJOSA: Gore-Lieberman ads begin running today in 90 African- American newspapers in 14 battleground states. But Terry Jones, vice president of a national newspaper association for the black press, says that campaign is not nearly aggressive enough.

TERRY JONES, PUBLISHER, "NEW ORLEANS DATA NEWS WEEKLY": To be honest with you, I don't see the enthusiasm that I would like to see.

HINOJOSA: The Gore campaign counters, saying the campaign and the Democratic Party launched an advertising effort in the black community today that will grow to be the largest ever in a presidential race: $1.5 million of newspaper advertising, $4 million spent on black radio.

And the local Bush campaign acknowledges little has been done to lure Louisiana's black voters. Susan Eddington, coordinator of their effort in Louisiana, says the campaign realizes it must reach out.

SUSAN EDDINGTON, BLACK VOTE COORDINATOR, LOUISIANA BUSH CAMPAIGN: He cannot win it without the black vote, not without it. But we're not -- we don't -- we have not deceived ourselves to try to believe that he's going to get 30, 40, 50 percent of the black vote. But we would like him to get 10 percent of the black vote.

New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial has the task of energizing black Democrats. His father was the city's first African-American mayor, during the era of President George Bush. His message to black voters: Be afraid enough of this new Bush to vote for Gore.

MAYOR MARC MORIAL (D), NEW ORLEANS: I'm fearful of a George Bush administration. I'm fearful, because when I'm reminded of Reagan/Bush, I'm reminded of the most difficult economic times in this state in my lifetime.

HINOJOSA: That message, says the mayor, will be repeated often to black voters as the election nears. MORIAL: Most of the polling I have seen here in New Orleans shows a decisive, strong support for Vice President Gore, but we know we have our work to do to turn the vote out.

HINOJOSA: Black voter turnout high enough to decide an election.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New Orleans.


SHAW: Democrats have traditionally held the edge in that kind of grassroots organizing, but Republicans, Republicans have held the advantage when it comes to money, and never more so than now.


SHAW (voice-over): According to party estimates, the G.O.P. raised about $100 million in the third quarter, which ended nearly two weeks ago. The Democrats raised $55 million. That gives the G.O.P. a 2 to 1 cash-on-hand advantage, with at least $45 million in the bank, roughly half of which is hard money that can be spent directly for a candidate. The Democrats have $26 million, half of which was hard money.

The G.O.P. plans to spend much of its cash, at least 20 million, on a multi-state ad blitz, including 1.6 million a week in California. Democrats plan to spend about $10 million. With less money, they're targeting their ad buys more carefully, focusing heavily on critical battlegrounds such as Florida.

But while the Democrats are at a disadvantage in the air war, the ground war is more evenly matched. Republicans intended to spend twice as much as the Democrats on get-out-the vote efforts, but the Democrats can count on some major help from the labor unions.


SHAW: Democrats acknowledge that there's little they can do to offset the Republican cash advantage with the election just four weeks away.

When INSIDE POLITICS continues...


KURTZ: First comes the handicapping score, then the partisans weigh in.


SHAW: Howard Kurtz with a look at what happens when the media try to crown a winner in these presidential debates.


WOODRUFF: With a second presidential debate just a little over three hours from now, you can be sure of one thing. Members of the news media will be quick to declare a winner. But will they be too quick?

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


KURTZ (voice-over): When the candidates scare off this time, we have some idea what to expect.

Gore as teacher:

GORE: Yugoslavia, as they call Serbia plus Montenegro.

KURTZ: Bush as rebellious student.

BUSH: The man is practicing fuzzy math again.

KURTZ: Gore exacerbated -- let's go to the instant replay.

And we also have some idea how the spin cycle will play out. First comes the handicapping score: how the candidates did as measured by the betting line laid down by the media odds-makers.


MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Given the expectations, you could say Bush won.



HOWARD FINEMAN, "NEWSWEEK": Everybody was waiting for the big gaffe, presumably from by George Bush. It didn't happen.


GREENFIELD: I think Bush may have surprised a lot of people who thought he was incapable of completing a sentence.

KURTZ: Then the partisans weigh in.


BILL KRISTOL, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I thought if you looked at Al Gore there, you thought back to the smartest kid in class who was always raising his hand, sighing audibly when you made a mistake. Al Gore was annoying, I thought.


KURTZ: Others said Gore clearly finished on top.


DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, NBC NEWS: I agreed that Gore was more energetic, more in command, and more dominant.


KURTZ: And even some partisans were candid enough to abandon their man.


PEGGY NOONAN, FORMER REAGAN SPEECHWRITER: I think Gore dominated from the get-go, to tell you the truth.


KURTZ: But the media mood began to shift when the instant polls came in when declaring Gore the winner, even though such surveys are rather suspect.


DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: Again, for whatever, if anything, it may be worth, that is our first pull at a poll coming out of tonight's joint appearance.



PETER JENNINGS, ABC ANCHOR: It all seems to be pretty meaningless and totally unscientific.


KURTZ: The journalistic hunger for numbers, almost any numbers, was quickly apparent.


KATIE COURIC, NBC ANCHOR: Most polls, Mr. Vice President, showed you winning last night.


KURTZ: By the morning after, the candidates themselves were asked themselves as how they did, and sports metaphors abounded.


TOM BROKAW, NBC ANCHOR: Governor, this is a baseball game. Give me the box score at the end of the debate.

BUSH: Well, I felt I did well. But I am not the scorer.


KURTZ: By now, the press has settled on a storyline. In this case: Gore won on points, but lost in a new category created by the judges, body language.


JANE CLAYSON, CBS ANCHOR: Those who criticize your performance last night used words like haughty, maybe condescending.



COURIC: They could hear you audibly sighing or being exacerbated, as Governor Bush was answering questions. Do you think that is presidential behavior?

GORE: Well, I guess sometimes the mike picks up your reaction to the other person. And I'll try to be more careful on that.


KURTZ: Even some pundits who had earlier declared Gore the winner began ridiculing how he looked.

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN "CROSSFIRE": He looked like he was big and pasty and pompous.

KURTZ: Now the Fourth Estate is seizing on exaggerations by the vice president -- for example: that he was with the top federal emergency official on a visit to Texas. Forget the original verdict that he beat the Texas governor on substance. Gore now sounds like the loser.


FRED BARNES, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": He has clearly lost the post-debate. It will be remembered as the debate where Gore exaggerated.



TIM RUSSERT, HOST: Does the vice president have a problem with embellishing and exaggeration?



KATE OBEIRNE, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": And it goes to the kind of things Bill Bradley complained about all during the primaries, that Al Gore doesn't tell the truth, and how can we trust him to tell the truth later?


KURTZ (on camera): When Bush and Gore meet tonight in North Carolina, they will be playing most of all to the television audience. But then the journalists will be crowning the winner, critiquing the loser, seizing on gaffs, scoring the exaggerations. That means we may not know who won, so to speak, until the commentators are all talked out.

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


SHAW: When INSIDE POLITICS returns: Margaret Carlson and Tucker Carlson are gargling. And they'll talk about -- guess what? -- tonight's presidential debate.


SHAW: Under the rules of tonight's debate, the candidates will be seated at a table with the moderator. They will each have two minutes to respond to his questions. The moderator then may continue the discussion or move to a new issue. At the end of the debate, each candidate will make a two-minute closing statement.

Joining us now for their take on tonight's debate, Margaret Carlson of "TIME" Magazine and Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard."

Margaret, how do you rank the importance of tonight's debate?

MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME": Well, it would be important except so many people may have been turned off by the first debate that they may be ending up not watching tonight. So it only got 40 million last week. Maybe 30, maybe be fewer.

So it raises our importance, how we interpret it, but not as many people will see it. So, that will be a problem for tonight.

SHAW: Tucker?

TUCKER CARLSON, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Yes, I do think, but I mean, I also think the trickle-down effect is what matters. I mean, there was, you saw in Howie Kurtz's piece, this huge difference between the immediate sort of scores that they both got last week and the final judgment on it. I mean, the Bush people think that Gore actually lost support after that, and I think that's probably true.

M. CARLSON: But isn't that more by people who didn't watch...

T. CARLSON: Well, sure, it is.

M. CARLSON: ... getting it from us? So our...

T. CARLSON: We're the press filter, Margaret.

M. CARLSON: I know, yes. I know.

T. CARLSON: Isn't that the beauty of it all?

M. CARLSON: So tonight we're more important because fewer people will actually see it first hand.

T. CARLSON: Well, I'm all for that.


T. CARLSON: But also, I mean, in this sort of environment where people really are making -- I mean, the people whose votes are up-for- grabs are obviously the ones who haven't made up their minds, and there's a lot of evidence that they're making up their minds on the basis of criteria -- I don't know what the word would be -- but on things like the debates. I mean, this is absolutely important.

The Bush people -- I spoke to one of them today -- said that after next week's debate, they believe that the poll numbers, when they shake out after that debate, will be roughly the final numbers or at least we'll be able to see the trend as to who will win at that point. They think this is hugely significant.

SHAW: Is the pressure on both candidates or more on one of them?

M. CARLSON: Well, they have different kinds of pressure, Bernie. There's the -- the -- for Gore, Gore has to stop boasting and Bush has to stop coasting. It's easier, I think, to stop boasting, because you just have to rein yourself in, and we have the body language scoring. Gore has to stop turning his head and he has to stop sighing. It's not that hard to stop sighing. I mean, for instance, Tucker you stopped sighing when I would say something you didn't like.

T. CARLSON: Yes, unless it is hard.

M. CARLSON: You got that over...

T. CARLSON: See, this is the key. If he can stop sighing, that means that last week it was part a strategy, and I'll buy that. If he doesn't stop sighing and exaggerating, that means it's part of a personality disorder, and that is a problem.

M. CARLSON: No, sighing can be an unconscious thing. I don't -- I don't think you can say, if he stops sighing tonight because he's trying not to, that he was staging it last week. It may have just been a reaction.

SHAW: Margaret, how do you coast in a 90-minute debate?

M. CARLSON: Well, Bush coasted last week. Don't you think he coasted last week, Bernie? I think there were answers that he gave, the one on "What would you do in a financial crisis?" he listed Congress, Alan Greenspan. He didn't mention the Texas Rangers bat boys. But he mentioned everybody he could think of, and you know, he didn't fill up the time on that question. There were a number of other questions where you got the impression that he was waiting for the bell to ring.

He got repetitive, and it wasn't just that he didn't know how to rebut Gore's programs. He didn't have enough details about his own program to rebut what Gore was saying about them. T. CARLSON: I think you're tragically misreading this. That is pith. He was being pithy, not light.


M. CARLSON: Succinct...

SHAW: Tucker...

M. CARLSON: ... and that's very important in these debates.

SHAW: Tucker, take us to the roundtable.

T. CARLSON: Well, i think the roundtable matters. I mean, you know, it's one of those things that people are apt to write off as, you know, as not making a difference -- so they're in a different physical setting.

Sure, it matters. I mean, Bush was visibly uncomfortable at certain points during last week's debate, visibly tense, I thought. And there's just no question that sitting down at a table and getting to, you know, hook your arms over it like a bar puts you more at ease. And the Bush people are certainly convinced that he's going to do better, and I totally buy it.

M. CARLSON: I mean, if we were at podiums right now, we'd be very different, Bernie.

SHAW: You also can do something with your legs and feet when you're seated at a table that you can't do standing at a podium.

T. CARLSON: Well, sure, you can stamp them and kick and get the aggression out. Sure.

M. CARLSON: Jump up and down.

SHAW: What are you looking for tonight?

T. CARLSON: Well, I would be surprised if -- I think both of them -- and I say this with profound sadness -- will probably try not to beat each other up, probably try to be nicer after last week's debate, and all this talk about how wouldn't it be nice if the vice presidential candidates were running as the presidential candidates. And they'll probably take again, sadly, the wrong lesson from that and not engage each other in the hostile way I hope they would.

M. CARLSON: It's a dare to be dull night.

T. CARLSON: I know, it is.

M. CARLSON: Because the vice presidential debate, Bernie, got such rave reviews that the idea now I think is to be as dull as possible.

SHAW: Well, we'll be watching. Margaret Carlson, Tucker Carlson, thanks very much. See you later on this evening -- Judy. M. CARLSON: Bye, Bernie.

WOODRUFF: They're sure never dull.

SHAW: Never.

WOODRUFF: Well, before and after tonight's debate, our CNN's Wolf Blitzer will be talking with a group of undecided voters in Missouri.

Wolf, hello. You're out there already. It is neck-and-neck in Missouri, isn't it?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's a real battleground here, especially in St. Louis County, which is right outside of St. Louis. We're in Lemay at the lodge at Grant's Trail. It's a lovely setting.

We've invited about 25 or so persuadable voters, as the Gallup polling organization, calls them. They've helped us find these voters. Some are leaning slightly toward Gore, some are leaning slightly toward Bush. Most of them are totally undecided. They want to the hear from these candidate tonight. They want to hear more at this debate.

Missouri has 11 electoral votes, and in a close election, this state could be critically important. So everyone is focusing a lot of attention on these undecided or persuadable voters here in Missouri.

We're going to talk to them before the debate, then we'll speak extensively to them afterwards to see if any of them change their mind.

As important as it is, Judy, to hear from the political experts wherever you are, it's also important to hear from these undecided voters out here in these battleground states.

WOODRUFF: We couldn't agree with you more, Wolf. We're going to be listening very intently when they're talking. We'll see you later.

BLITZER: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: This special INSIDE POLITICS continues at the top of the hour with a live update from the scene of tonight's presidential debate.

Plus, we'll consider a question that may be on the minds of Bush and Gore: Are debates better the second time around? And we'll go to the fair to find out what voters there are saying about a likely debate topic tonight: tax cuts.


WOODRUFF: Three hours and counting until the Bush-Gore debate sequel.

SHAW: At the debate site in North Carolina, what kind of second impression will the candidates make?

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS from CNN election headquarters. Here once again are Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.

SHAW: Welcome back to this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS as we and the candidates gear up for tonight's presidential debate.

WOODRUFF: Both Al Gore and George W. Bush are in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

And so is CNN's Jonathan Karl. He joins us now from the debate site -- Jonathan.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, with the debate now less than three hours away, both candidates are back in their hotel rooms with their families, not to be seen publicly again until they take that stage for the opening handshake.

George W. Bush, who stayed in nearby Greensboro last night, did come over here to Wake Forest earlier today to take a look at the Wait Chapel, where the debate will be held. On his way over, a group of reporters shouted out a question, asked him what he expected to get out of tonight. Bush's response, quote, he wants "to tell people what's on my mind and in..." -- I'm sorry -- "what's on my heart and in my head." So George W. Bush came over for that tour.

Vice President Gore also arriving here today, arrived on Air Force Two from Sarasota, where he had spent three days preparing for tonight. Vice President Gore at that airport talked to a group of supporters about the situation here in North Carolina, a state that is solidly Republican. He talked about the polls here in North Carolina, citing one that actually has him in the lead, and told those supporters that he expects to win here.


GORE: I appreciate the poll that showed us just one point behind in North Carolina, and the whole bunch of polls that had a thin margin of error. We have the momentum in North Carolina, and with your help, we're going to win North Carolina.



KING: Predictably, both sides here are publicly out there saying that the pressure is on the other candidate, but both sides also saying their candidate needs to do a little bit better.

As for George W. Bush, his aides are saying that Bush needs to come in here and talk about the specifics. They say in the last debate he did a good job laying out his kind of ideological vision, but here he needs to show a command of the specifics of the policies he's proposing.

As for Vice President Gore, his team saying he needs to appear more likable and slightly less aggressive.

And I will tell you this: The Gore side did not expect to come in today's debate where they are now: even in most of the polls, actually trailing Bush in some of the polls. Gore's aides thought they scored a pretty clear victory, maybe not a knockout punch, but a clear victory in the last debate. And they thought they would be coming into this debate with a comfortable lead and all of the pressure on George W. Bush to come back.

That is not the case. They are going into this telling their candidate, telling Vice President Gore that he needs to be more relaxed, that he needs to be a little less aggressive in trying to win every -- debating points on every exchange.

As one aide said, "He needs to take it easy, let the other guy talk a little bit," or using a baseball analogy, he said that he told the vice president, this aide, "Don't try to strike out three batters in one inning."

Now we also have a situation here where the format is different. Obviously,this is the talk show format, the very format that George W. Bush fought for.

But as they sit down at those chairs at that table, every detail of that format was negotiated ahead of time, including such small details as how far apart the chairs will be. You'll notice those chairs are a little bit further apart than most talk shows. And also, there's not going to be much swivel because they negotiated very minimal swivel in those chairs.

Bernie, back to you.

SHAW: Thank you, Jonathan Karl, we'll get back to you later tonight.

The presidential debate is not the only big story this day. Let's go back now to Joie Chen with more on the day's other news -- Joie.

CHEN: Bernie, thanks.

Here's a look, now, at the day's top stories outside politics.

An unprecedented move today by a judge in California. He ordered the recall of close to two million Ford cars and trucks.

CNN's Greg Lefevre with more.


GREG LEFEVRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Never before has a state judge ordered an automaker to recall cars. Judge Michael Ballachey says Ford put a defective ignition part in millions of its cars and trucks and now must bring them in for repair or reimburse owners who've already paid for the fix. The judge accused Ford of hiding a known defect from 1983 to 1995. JUDGE MICHAEL BALLACHEY, SUPREME COURT, ALAMEDA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: This case was about concealment of a dangerous condition and that it's inarguable that a car stalling -- I mean, I just think it defies common sense to suggest that, if you take your car out on the freeway and go 70 and turn the motor off, and tell me that that's safe.

LEFEVRE: Ford vehemently denied the problem.

RICHARD WARMER, FORD ATTORNEY: ... no evidence in the record establishing the causation of accidents and injuries by the failure of this component. It's simply not there.

LEFEVRE: Now a court-appointed referee will determine which California Ford owners qualify for the recall and how the defect is to be fixed. The judge's most troubling accusation: Ford hid the problem of repeated ignition failures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for so many years the agency lost jurisdiction.

PAUL NELSON, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: NHTSA was deceived, as the judge found, and was not able to act. The statute of limitations for NHTSA is eight years, so this was, in many ways, the court of last resort.

LEFEVRE (on camera): If you drive a Ford in California, don't expect to receive a recall notice any time soon, Ford says it will appeal.

Greg Lefevre, CNN, Oakland, California.


CHEN: In Washington, more fall-out from the Firestone tire recall. Despite strong opposition from car makers, the House of Representatives has passed an auto safety bill. It provides stiff prison sentences for auto executives who hide safety problems. It requires car and tire makers to regularly report on death and injury claims and requires new warning systems for under-inflated tires.

The bill, though, faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Meantime, Firestone is fighting to earn back the trust of its customers. And even as it does, the tire maker faces mounting legal woes from the recall; 12 new lawsuits were announced by lawyers in Mexico City today. They allege the tires weren't recalled early enough and that led to deaths and injuries.

A federal inspection of aging aircraft wiring has found room for improvement, but authorities say, no immediate safety concerns. The FAA says cracked and frayed wiring it found does not mean that there are thousands of bad wires in jetliners, just that many are located where wires are subject to high heat or maintenance damage. The NTSB emphasized wiring as a possible factor in the crash of TWA flight 800 back in 1996.

And on the volatile and violent situation in the Middle East, there are some developments to report today.

For the latest we're joined by CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, who is in Jerusalem -- Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Joie, while diplomatic efforts are frantically continuing to restore calm, over the last two weeks no more than 90 people have been killed, thousands more reported injured; the overwhelming majority of those Palestinians.

The U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been shuttling between the Israeli Prime Minister Barak and the Palestinian leader Arafat, and tonight, just a while ago, his spokesman tells CNN that the secretary-general believes he's made something of a breakthrough. He says he has a commitment from both Arafat and Barak to convene the trilateral security commission, which is a security committee made up of U.S., Israeli and Palestinian security officials -- convene that committee at the highest level to discuss the emergency on the ground.

Now, they have not met at the highest level for quite some time; the secretary-general considering this a progress, a move forward, a first step towards ending the violence on the ground before attempting to restart the peace negotiations.

Meanwhile, the United States President Bill Clinton has also been trying to do whatever he can -- says he's prepared to do whatever he can, even come to the region if it will help; but he hasn't been able to come up with a formula for new talks, despite hours of telephone diplomacy.

As we mentioned, Secretary-General Annan continues his diplomatic shuttle effort on Thursday. He's due in Beirut to talk to the Lebanese government about the fate of those three Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped by the Hezbollah guerrillas on Saturday.

Now, after a brief lull in the violence, new fighting, new clashes erupted on Thursday. Even tonight there has been sporadic gunfire reported with more injuries -- Palestinians, at least three more of them were killed here on Wednesday. In the northern West Bank town of Nablus, near Nablus, Israel deployed tanks and helicopters as troops exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen. The gunmen had targeted the funeral convoy of an Israeli settler who had been killed earlier in the violence. There were also other gun battles in both the West Bank and Gaza. Now, Israel's deputy defense minister warns that the continued violence could -- quote -- "cause irreversible damage to the peace process."

And again, he says that the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, holds the key to solving this crisis. A Palestinian council member, Hanan Ashrawi, disagrees with him.


EPHRAIM SNEH, ISRAELI DEP. DEFENSE MIN.: If Arafat gives a clear, final order to stop the violence, and the violence really totally stops, then everything is open again for resumption of the talks, and even to reach an agreement -- a comprehensive agreement -- in a relatively short time.

HANAN ASHRAWI, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATOR: But we are not a push- button population. Not Yasser Arafat or anybody else can tell the people to rise or to come down. The people have a will of their own.


AMANPOUR: And that sentiment can most certainly be found at a Palestinian refugee camp north of here.


(voice-over): At the Kalandia Refugee Camp, every day is a day of rage, and the rage is taught at a very early age.

"My family tells us how Israelis kicked us out of our country and they teach us how to get it back," says 10-year-old Mohammed. "We'll kill the Israeli army and get it back."

"Our children are raised to resist the occupation by any means," says Abu Amar (ph). "If the school doesn't teach them how to resist, we do."

Mothers may wince at the danger, but for the fathers it's a matter of honor.

"For us, there's no danger because we've lost everything," says Abu Amar. "Today, we're willing to sacrifice our children for Palestine and for the Al-Aqsa holy site."

(on camera): Your father just said that he's willing to sacrifice his children for the struggle.

(voice-over): "I'm not scared," says 12-year-old Suhib (ph). "If I die, I'll become a martyr."

(on camera): Wouldn't you rather play football?

(voice-over): "When there are clashes," says Suhib, "I throw stones to defend my country. When there are no clashes, I play and I study."

Mujahed (ph) is 16. His name means "fighter."

"I have no dreams," he says. "All I want is weapons to defend my country."

Even 17-year-old Shireen (ph), who wants to be a doctor, is caught up in these inflamed passions.

"Maybe I have another ambitions," she says, "but I am also willing to die liberating my country."

(on camera): Seven years of peace efforts appear to be unraveling so quickly because Palestinians, especially those who live in refugee camps like this one, simply haven't seen the benefits of peace. Once, they say, they had hope, but now they are disenchanted, disheartened and, in many cases, destitute.

(voice-over): Hazim (ph) is a baker. Like so many people here, he barely makes a living wage: $250 a month.

"We were optimistic back then, not like now," he says.

These men usually work in Israel, but the army has closed off access since the recent troubles.

"When we work, we eat that day. If not," he says, "there is no food or drink."

"We don't care about food, we want freedom," yells this man.

And for every day that passes without a final peace deal, there are more youngsters willing to risk life and limb, yet another generation willing to put its dreams on hold.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, at the Kalandia Refugee Camp.

(END VIDEOTAPE) AMANPOUR: So sentiment is still very high, as you can see, as diplomatic efforts continue. Those are the latest developments from here in Jerusalem -- back to you, Joie.

CHEN: All right, Christiane.

Now let's go back to Bernie and Judy for more INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: Thank you both. And thanks to Joie, too.

Now, still ahead on this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS: the candidates and their tax plans. And later: a final thought from our own Jeff Greenfield.


SHAW: A key issue in this presidential election has been the anticipated budget surplus and how to spend it. Al Gore and George W. Bush have debated the merits of their tax cuts and will likely do so again tonight.

Our Pat Neal traveled to the battleground states of Tennessee and Arkansas to see how these two plans are playing with voters.


PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lauren Gross (ph) won a grand prize for her cow, Daisy (ph), at the Arkansas state fair. Her dad, Scott, a fireman and farmer in Hot Springs, thinks George W. Bush is a winner, too. With an income of $35,000 a year, Scott likes Bush's plan to give an across-the-board tax cut.

SCOTT GROSS (ph), FARMER/FIREMAN: I think that would be more fair for the rich and poor -- be straight across the board. Every -- you know, a man just pays according to what he makes.

BUSH: It is time for new leadership in Washington, D. C.!

NEAL: Bush's centerpiece campaign proposal is his 10-year, $1.3 trillion tax cut. Every taxpayer would get a break.

GORE: I ask for you to get involved, because I want to fight for you!

NEAL: By contrast, Al Gore offers targeted tax breaks only for lower- and middle-income Americans. His tax cuts are designed to help those saving for college, retirement, or paying for health care or child care. Scott and Margaret Hailey (ph) say tax cuts are a main reason they're voting for Bush.

Scott owns a Little Rock dry-cleaning business, and makes $65,000 a year. Margaret stays at home with the kids, so they get no benefit under Gore's plan.

SCOTT HAILEY, BUSINESSMAN: If we decided to send our children to daycare, we'd get credits. We're penalized by choosing to stay home and take care of our children.

NICOLE SIMPSON (ph), WAITRESS: My name is Nicole, I'll be serving you. I'll be back in just a moment.

Single mom, Nicole Simpson, often pulls double shifts in a Memphis restaurant to make about $19,000 a year.

SIMPSON: I'm late for rent every month. And I'm not breaking it -- not even breaking even. It is just -- it's just a struggle.

NEAL: Al Gore's plan offers eight million parents, like Nicole, a tax credit to cut the cost of daycare and after-school care for her two young sons.

SIMPSON: It would mean a lot.

NEAL: On the stump, Bush likes to talk about single waitress moms with two kids, who make a bit more money than Nicole: $22,000 a year. Under current tax law, they would be penalized for earning overtime or getting a raise, since their federal subsidy for poor workers, called the earned income tax credit, would be reduced. At the same time, their federal taxes would go up.

Bush says his tax plan would change that, and they would pay no tax at all. It's his main rebuttal to Gore's claim that Bush's tax plan only benefits the wealthiest Americans.

(on camera): While Bush makes a key point of wanting to help the waitress mom, many don't fit Bush's example of those who pay higher marginal taxes. In fact, the Bush campaign couldn't deliver one in the city of Memphis, and the campaign says, nationwide, only three million people fall into this category.

LULA YANCEY (ph), NURSE: While don't you roll that way? I'm going to do your ankle first.

NEAL (voice-over): Lula Yancey took early retirement as a nurse to care for her 94-year-old mother. She likes Gore's proposed long- term care credit, which would give her a $3,000 tax break.

YANCEY: I mean, I would just really be elated if that would happen.

NEAL: But the Gore campaign estimates only 2 million people in the country would benefit from this proposal. Gore's goal is to help Americans he says have not benefited from the country's prosperity. Bush believes all taxpayers should get the same treatment.

The difference in philosophies is shaping up as a cutting issue for Americans who say tax proposals will help them decide who should be the next president.

Pat Neal, CNN, Memphis.


WOODRUFF: Just ahead, Jeff Greenfield with one method of appealing to key voters. Plus, is the second debate easier than the first? Bruce Morton on whether the second time around can be the charm.


SHAW: Tonight, George W. Bush and Al Gore will have a second chance to reach the voters and try to best each other. But do candidates do better in a rematch? Our Bruce Morton takes a look back.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice-over): Is debating easier the second time around? Depends.

Gerald Ford, in his second debate with Jimmy Carter, seemed to say the Soviets didn't dominate Eastern Europe, which they did. Voters had thought Ford did a better job than Carter in their first debate, 37 to 24, but after that mistake in the second one, the numbers were Carter 57, Ford 19. Ouch.

In President Bush's second debate with then-Governor Bill Clinton in 1992, the first ever in a town meeting format, Bush seemed ill at ease, stumbled over a question about how the national debt affected him personally.


GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not sure I get it. Help me with the question and I'll try to answer it.


MORTON: Who did the best job? Bill Clinton, 58 percent said; Bush, 16; Ross Perot, 15.

ED FOUHY, FORMER PRODUCER, PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: The irony was that it was a format that George Bush and his people wanted. They wanted a kind of a talk-show format, a Phil Donahue, who was fashionable at the time, kind of format. And as it turned out, it did not work to his advantage at all.

MORTON: And of course, Ronald Reagan's famous comeback line, "I won't use his youth and inexperience against him," against Walter Mondale in their second debate.

FOUHY: The tension the first time you go into a presidential debate is overwhelming, and once you've done it, and you've done it and survived, you can do better the second time.

MORTON: So what will these candidates do in round two?

MELISSA WADE, DEBATE COACH, EMORY UNIVERSITY: You can win the substance of the debate, like Gore did in the first debate, and lose the style of the debate, which Gore also did in the first debate. So trying to balance those out for the second debate, I think, is going to be the role of the advisers who helped prepare them.

ROBERT ASMAN, SPEECH COACH: I think a lot of the mistakes that were made, perhaps not factual mistakes -- although there were some of those -- but certainly mistakes in style and delivery and so on, I'm sure that they will gain from the experience of the first debate.

MORTON: We'll find out soon.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: And Jeff Greenfield, a final thought.

GREENFIELD: Actually, Judy, I'm indebted to "The New York Times" for this one for digging out a story about a politician who's apparently breaking new ground in the search for ethnic votes.

Thomas Wesson is a Republican candidate for constable in Dallas County, Texas. His name on county records is Thomas Edwin Wesson. He's run twice for office as Thomas Edwin Wesson. But now, in this heavily Hispanic district, he has decided that his name really is Tomas Eduardo. Si.

Well, is this really so outrageous or simply a logical next step. After all, George W. Bush speaks Spanish in Hispanic neighborhoods, Al Gore goes to an African-American church, starts talking like a black preacher. Episcopalians come to New York Jewish neighborhoods and slap a yarmulke on their heads. Italians wear green on St. Patrick's day. Vegetarians pretend to eat Polish sausage in Chicago. So consider this not pandering, but a breakthrough.

In fact, Bernie and Judy, I am planning to run for mayor of Boston next year, as sure as my name is Jeffrey Fitzgerald O'Green. Faith in the God that be above.

WOODRUFF: O'Green. It has a ring to it.


WOODRUFF: Jeff Greenfield, we'll see you a little later.

And that's all for this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

SHAW: These programming reminders: Our pre-debate coverage will begin tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We will carry the presidential debate live from Winston-Salem starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, and immediately following the debate we'll go live to a CNN/"TIME" town meeting in the St. Louis area.

I'm Bernard Shaw.

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



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