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Inside Politics

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Petition by Bush Campaign

Aired November 24, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: The Florida recount becomes a federal issue as the United States Supreme Court agrees to hear a petition by the Bush campaign.



SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a time to honor the rule of law, not surrender to the rule of the mob.



BOB DOLE (R), FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The point is let's count their votes, let's count their votes, let's count their votes.



WOODRUFF: Will the latest legal developments overshadow the dueling messages of the two campaigns? Looking at the politics from protests to contests.

Also, forging ahead with two Florida recounts, with the deadline only 48 hours away.

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, with Judy Woodruff in Washington.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Bernard Shaw is off today.

After 16 days of high-stakes legal and political maneuvering, Florida's presidential stand-off headed into new and significant territory today. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by the Bush campaign seeking to block a Florida Supreme Court's decision allowing manual recounts to be included in Florida's official vote total.

The hearing will take place one week from today, next Friday, December 1st, five days after a deadline set by the Florida Supreme Court for counties to submit results of the hand recounts.

We begin our coverage with Bob Franken, who is standing outside the U.S. Supreme Court building here in Washington -- Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Judy, of course, as you know, the U.S. United States Supreme Court is acting with remarkable speed. It's an expedited hearing, just what the Bush campaign lawyers wanted, citing the urgency of the matter, the close time parameters that we're talking about.

The particular case that they decided to hear, one of two, is the one that you said: That involves the Florida Supreme Court, and there are really a couple of parts of that case that they want to hear. Specifically, did the Florida state Supreme Court violate federal law when it acted as it did?

The justices in their grant of certiorari, which is to say their grant to hear the case, specified that the lawyers should ask -- quote -- "What would be the consequences of this court's finding that the decision of the Supreme Court of Florida does not comply with III United States code, section 57." That is one that requires that any election disputes are cleared before the election.

There are also the constitutional questions, the two sides arguing over Article II of the Constitution, which specifies that it is up to the states to decide how elections are going to be handled. It reads: "Each state shall appoint in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct a number of electors..." And then it goes on and on.

The question that was raised by the Bush campaign, did the Florida court overstep its bounds and go into the area that should have been determined by the legislature?

These are the kinds of questions that could come up before the U.S. Supreme Court, and they are going to come up, Judy, very quickly.

WOODRUFF: Bob, most so-called "experts" were predicting that the Supreme Court would not agree to hear this. What is the thinking now as to why they did?

FRANKEN: Well, of course, you can never predict the Supreme Court, but there are a variety of proposals or a variety of ideas about why they might have done it. They may want to shoot down the arguments, never forget, of the Bush campaign. There is no guarantee that they're going to rule in favor of the Bush campaign.

The other one that some people have suggested is that the justices are really quite concerned about the chaos that was going on and they wanted to assert their position as the court of last resort in the United States to bring some order to this election.

WOODRUFF: All right, CNN's Bob Franken at the United States Supreme Court.

As for the two men at the center of this political storm -- Al Gore and George W. Bush -- both stayed out of sight today. Keeping tabs on the two presidential candidates, Tony Clark with the Bush campaign in Austin, Texas, Chris Black with the Gore camp here in Washington.

And first to you, Tony, what is the reaction from the Bushf folks to this Supreme Court agreeing to take on their appeal?

TONY CLARK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Governor Bush, as you know, at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, but aides are saying they are very heartened by the decision. They said that they felt all along that they had a good case to present to the Supreme Court. So they're pleased that it's being taken up.

And Ben Ginsberg, one of the attorneys for the Bush campaign, saying "We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the decision of the Florida Supreme Court," adding "The court will review whether it is fair to change the rules in the middle of the game."

You'll remember earlier this week when both James Baker, the Bush point man in Florida, and the governor himself came out very strongly against the Florida Supreme Court decision, saying that the court had overreached its authority, accusing it of rewriting the rules of the game after the election, and saying very forcefully that they thought that Governor Bush had won in Florida and that people were trying to take that away from him.

So feeling here in Austin very pleased that the court will hear this.

On one other subject, Judy, Senator Joe Lieberman came out today asking for the Bush campaign to come out against some of the demonstrations that are going on in Florida, to lower the rhetoric, as Senator Lieberman said. A spokesman for the Bush campaign saying today that it is an example of the Gore campaign saying one thing and doing another, pointing to the demonstration that Jesse Jackson led in Florida earlier, and saying that they didn't feel that it was their place to step in, that these were frustrated ballot observers who were just simply venting their frustration.

So move on the part of the campaign here to try to stop what is going on with the demonstrations in Florida -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, let's get back to that Supreme Court announcement, though, today. Chris Black to you in Washington. What is the Gore campaign saying about the Supreme Court agreeing to take on the Bush appeal?

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, the Gore campaign officials say they're taking this in stride. They're not completely surprised, because they say it is appropriate that the court would want to rule on a matter of such constitutional import.

But Gore's lawyers say that they do not believe the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the Florida -- the Supreme Court of Florida, because they say this involves issues of federalism that have been affirmed many, many, many times by the nation's hightest court.

Privately, Gore campaign officials say that they're please that the court's decision to hear the case has not stopped the recount, which is still going on in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and that it would not a stop a contest from beginning after the votes are certified on Sunday night.

And officials also privately say that they do hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will be the final word on this and that it will stop Republican talk of going to the state legislature in Florida or to the U.S. Congress, both bodies controlled by Republicans -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Chris Black there at the vice president's residence, where we can hear the Bush folks carrying on, or at least the pro-Bush folks, carrying on a bit of a demonstration.

CNN's legal analyst Greta Van Susteren joins us now. Greta, let's continue with this look at the Supreme Court announcement, a surprise, at least to some. The analysis I've been hearing is that most people didn't expect them to take this up.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think that's probably fair to say, and I think on occasion I've said that as well, because most would think that elections have been left to the states. But what the Supreme Court said, they basically acknowledged the argument by the Bush campaign that this belonged in the Supreme Court -- we don't know how they're going to rule -- but it belonged in the Supreme Court because there was a constitutional issue at hand, whether or not the court violated the Constitution when it changed in essence...

WOODRUFF: Greta, I'm going cut in. Excuse me. This is, I believe, the Florida House speaker-elect, Tom Feeney. He's a Republican. Let's listen.


TOM FEENEY (R), FLORIDA HOUSE SPEAKER: ... chance to enjoy the time with your family and friends. And although it was limited, I certainly took the opportunity and advantage of this historically thankful day.

During that time, I did have the chance to speak to President McKay, and we have been reflecting on the situation that has affected Florida and our voters since November 7, 2000. Senate President John MacKay and I, as the elected leaders of the Florida legislature, have agreed upon taking certain steps to ensure the protection of Florida's election results.

Today, as speaker of the Florida House, I have agreed to join the president of the Florida Senate to attempt to participate in the United States Supreme Court proceedings pertaining to the question of whether or not the Florida Supreme Court exceeded its constitutional authority in rewriting laws and in directing the conduct of executive officers.

The legislature's participation is intended to make the United States Supreme Court aware of the legislature's concerns and possible consequences that may flow from the state judicial actions to date.

In that regard, we are in receipt of a verified letter from the Division of Elections reporting the results from the general election, the mandatory statewide recount, and the final results, including the overseas absentee ballots, under section 102.111 of the Florida statutes.

As I have been stating for some two weeks now, the legislature has a direct delegation of authority under the United States Constitution. It doesn't go to the state of Florida, it doesn't go to the Florida Supreme Court.

In 1892, the United States Supreme Court, construing Section 1 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the United States, held that this clause confers, and I quote, "plenary power to the state legislatures in the matter of the appointment of electors."

It went on to favorably quote a United States Senate report which acknowledged, and again I quote, "the appointment of these electors is thus placed absolutely and wholly with the legislatures of the several states."

In our view, the action of the Supreme Court of Florida changed the rules and standards established by the legislature prior to the election. We are encouraged that the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear certain questions arising out of the Florida Supreme Court's ruling last Tuesday, especially the question presented by the U.S. justices regarding the likely consequences of a decision in the case.

It is our hope that this will assist the Supreme Court in reaching a judgment which does not damage the ability of the people of Florida to be adequately represented in the Electoral College on December 18.

In addition, the Florida House has also joined the Florida Senate in forming a joint legislature oversight committee on electoral certification, accuracy and fairness. You'll be receiving the names of the appointees either later tonight or early tomorrow morning, I believe. This committee will be responsible for investigating and ensuring Florida voters will be included in the final nationwide election results.

And finally -- and again I apologize, I won't be taking any questions -- finally, the House of Representatives has retained a prominent Harvard law professor, Einer Elhaig (ph), to advise the House on federal law relating to the conduct of the presidential election. The Senate president, who's not here in Tallahassee today, has asked that I indicate that the Senate has retained Professor Roger Magnuson (ph) to advise the Senate in these same matters. Additionally, a prominent constitutional scholar, Harvard law professor Charles Freed (ph), a former member of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, will represent the House in the United States Supreme Court case.

I will be handing out several documents -- actually our staff will after I leave -- including a Wall Street Journal article written by Professor Elhaig, biographies of both Professor Elhaig and Freed, and the verified letter from the Division of Elections.

With that, I can tell you that my hope is to get off and stand down for a few days. Won't be back until Sunday night or Monday at the earliest. We don't anticipate the committee taking any action until Tuesday at the earliest.

So thank you. Have a great weekend.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker...


FEENEY: Oh, I'm not taking any questions.

QUESTION: Well, what are you saying? What did you just say?


FEENEY: I'm not taking any questions.


QUESTION: ... say what you just said, sir. We don't understand. What are you asking to do?

FEENEY: Well, appreciate it.

WOODRUFF: We're listening to is the speaker-elect of the Florida state House of Representatives announcing that the House and Senate -- the state House and Senate in Florida will be joining in on the side of the Bush campaign in appealing to the United States Supreme Court the decision earlier this week of the Florida Supreme Court upholding the hand recount.

We just heard Tom Feeney say that they will be joining in. He announced who their attorneys will be before the United States Supreme Court. He also announced that the House and Senate are creating a joint election oversight committee to oversee the counting of votes an the certifying of votes.

CNN legal analyst Greta Van Susteren still with me here in the Washington studio.

Greta, we heard Tom Feeney say, among other things, he cited what is in fact part of the Bush argument before -- what we expect the Bush argument before the high court will be, that it is the state legislatures that have a higher role, a higher responsibility in the selection of electors than any court or anybody else for that matter in a state.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's right and the reference is to Article Two in the Constitution, which I happen to have right in my hands here, which says each state shall appoint in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct. And the argument here is that the Florida Supreme Court by its decision has intruded upon the territory of the legislature and then, therefore, it is unconstitutional.

So that is one of the arguments that is going made before the Supreme Court because, interesting enough, in this decision today by the United States Supreme Court they directed both sides to address that as one of the issues. But there's also the second issue, and that's and that's whether...

WOODRUFF: Tell us about that.

VAN SUSTEREN: The second issue is whether when the Florida Supreme Court changed the date of certification from November 14th, which is seven days after the election, to this Sunday, which I think is November 26, that it also changed the rules and that violated a federal statute which says these matters should be resolved earlier.

But The interesting thing is, though, in the decision is that the Supreme Court also said, not only those two issues are we interested in, but we also want to know what are the practical consequences if the Court does rule that the Florida Court violated the federal statutes.

So, the Supreme Court has given another direction and sort of out of amusement, there's one other aspect that nobody has talked about is that the Supreme Court in its ordered today did grant the motion by the Bush people to file their pleading on 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper instead of having it professionally printed.

WOODRUFF: Greta, when they talk about the practical consequences, shades somewhat of the Florida Supreme Court in zeroing in the practical consequences of whatever ruling they were going to end up with.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, I mean, suppose the Florida Supreme Court did violate the federal statute as to when they should resolve any disputes or controversy having to do with electors, the question that the Supreme Court wants to know is, so, well, what does it mean? Why do we care?

And they're trying to figure out is this a technical violation of the statute which we should slap down the Florida Supreme Court and they say were wrong, assuming that that's what they will. We don't know how they're going to resolve it or whether, you know, this is a little bit more than telling the Florida Supreme Court they need to study up on the Constitution, whether there is a practical affect and the Supreme Court wants to know the views from different sides. What does this mean if we say that Florida did?

WOODRUFF: All right, Greta Van Susteren, legal analyst. Thanks very much. And still ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, by the numbers the latest on the recount efforts in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.


WOODRUFF: Here now the latest on Florida's hand recounts. George W. Bush has an official statewide lead of 930 votes in Florida. But six counties have revised their totals, resulting in a net gain of 70 for Bush.

Ongoing hand counts give Al Gore a net gain of 309 in Broward County and Bush has a net gain of 14 in Palm Beach County. So the unofficial Bush lead for now, 705.

The numbers released by the canvassing boards in each county do not include about 1,150 disputed ballots in Broward County. Also, Palm Beach County must still review about 300,000 ballots, which are counted but not finalized, and as many as 6,000 disputed ballots.

Based on the Florida Supreme Court's ruling, results must be submitted to the Florida secretary of state by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Sunday in order to be included in the official state total.

Let's go now to two of our reporters on the scene in Florida: Susan Candiotti in Broward County, Mark Potter in Palm Beach County.

Susan, to you first.


It's been quite a boisterous day here outside the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, because while the hand recount has been going on in one of the building right next door to me here the sixth floor, we have had a number of -- I think numbers topping 350 at their most of Bush supporters, who began arriving here at about 8 o'clock this morning.

They are being described by the Bush campaign as being the new face of the Republican Party. I think you can take a look at them over my shoulder. The Bush campaign describes these people as coming from all over the country. They were bussed in here, and some are from this area.

They say they are here to try to -- because they want the hand count to stop, they want Vice President Gore to concede the race, and to stop this from happening.

Now, some of these same people that are here today we recognize from the group that was in Miami-Dade County just last week when there was a disruption inside the Miami-Dade government center as that hand count was going on and then eventually stopped.

Now, in view of what happened in Miami-Dade County, six Democratic congressmen, two of them from Florida, signed a letter today and sent it to the Justice Department, asking for an investigation for what they say might be a violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act, and quoting from the letter here to the Justice Department, these Democratic congressmen say, "What happened in the Miami-Dade County" -- that is the stopping of the hand recount and the number of people that showed up there to protest the hand recount, quote, "what appears to be a shocking case of undermining the right to vote through intimidation and threats of violence."

So far we have not received a response from the Justice Department. Now, let's take you inside to give you a look at what's happening as this hand recount is going on. To remind you, there are two Democratic members of this Broward County canvassing board and one Republican, and they've been counting these votes since 8 o'clock this morning and plan on going until 8 o'clock this night.

So far, you indicated the numbers that we have thus far, a net gain of 309 votes for Vice President Gore. Senator Dole even sat in on the proceedings today and said, in his view, they are not counting ballots, they are casting ballots.

Let's see where we can pick up the proceeding right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you know that was open over there. That almost scared me.


CANDIOTTI: Right now, you're looking at the Republican member of the panel, Judge Robert Rosenberg, and he's been frequently using that magnifying glass, this day in particular, as he examines each of these ballots, looking for dimples, trying to look at the ballot card in its entirety to try to determine what a voter was intending to do.

Some of these ballots are rejected outright. Some of them go for Gore and some for Bush. And the voting among the panel, we understand, has been indeed crossing party lines at times.

Again, this work will go on today, tomorrow, Saturday, trying to meet that Sunday deadline. And Bush supporters believe that they will not -- that the Democrats will not be able to get enough votes to overtake George Bush's lead. Democrats say they're not so sure, and they're hoping to get some help, as they it, from Palm Beach County.

Reporting to you live, Judy, Susan Candiotti, CNN, here in Fort Lauderdale.

WOODRUFF: All right, Susan, thanks very much. And now, let's go to Mark Potter in West Palm Beach for Palm Beach County -- Mark.

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy, it's a little quieter here. We do have some Republican protesters on site, but it's a much smaller group and they are being kept away from the building.

Inside the emergency operations center, where the count is going on, the canvassing board has been at it all day, slowly going through the contested ballots. That's all they have to count today, but that's no small task. There are thousands of them. In fact, the board says that they know of 6,000 contested ballots, and there may be more. There are still some boxes that they have not opened up yet.

So far, they say they have counted about 900. They may be approaching a thousand, but they have a long way to go before that Sunday deadline at 5 o'clock. We have not been told, however, whether any of the candidates have gained votes as a result of this process. That information not yet released by the county.

Now, the county does say that they will make the deadline even though they have this uphill battle ahead of them. They may have to be burning the midnight oil to get it done, but they say they will.

We've been watching pictures, as we just saw a moment ago, of the canvassing board going through the ballots. Some would say this is a fascinating glimpse at a civic process. Others would say it's about like watching grass grow, and they would probably all be right.

It is a slow, laborious process, one ballot at a time and with thousands more to go before Sunday at 5:00.

Now, the Democrats here are still concerned about the counting of the dimpled ballots. An attorney for the Democrats says the party believes that not enough of the dimpled ballots are being counted, and he said that the party may -- and I stress may -- go back to court, asking for further clarification from a judge that would tell the canvassing board to count more of those dimpled ballots. The Republicans, of course, would strenuously oppose that as they have in previous hearings.

Judy, back to you.

WOODRUFF: All right. CNN's Mark Potter in Palm Beach County. Thanks a lot.

Well, there's much more ahead on this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come, what will face the eventual winner of election 2000? We'll ask Republican Bob Michel and Democrat Mario Cuomo.



RICHARD B. CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nothing has happened subsequent to that that changes their judgment with respect to my ability to be able to perform the responsibilities of that office.


WOODRUFF: Vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney is out of the hospital and back to his duties on the GOP ticket. But should Americans know more about his health? Jeff Greenfield weighs in.

And later, counting down the top 10 political turkeys of the year.


WOODRUFF: In an extraordinary development today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to intervene in the contested presidential vote in Florida.

Here are the latest developments: The nation's highest court said that it would hear one of two appeals filed by lawyers for Governor George W. Bush. The justices said they will hear arguments a week from today on whether to overturn a decision by the Florida Supreme Court, a ruling allowing the manually recounted votes to be included in the state vote total.

In Florida, legal skirmishing and recounting continued today. Officials examined hundreds of questionable ballots in Broward and Palm Beach counties. And in Tallahassee, Bush lawyers asked a judge to order 14 counties to reconsider about 500 disqualified absentee ballots cast by U.S. military personnel overseas.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman said he was "deeply disappointed" about allegations that Republicans orchestrated a protest in Miami-Dade County Wednesday that forced that county to shut down its hand recount.


LIEBERMAN: This is a time to honor the rule of law, not surrender to the rule the rule of the mob. This is a time for patience and respect, not intimidation and violence.


WOODRUFF: We're going to speak now with two longtime leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties. We will be going to former New York Governor Mario Cuomo in just a moment. But first, we're joined by former Republican House Minority Leader Bob Michel.

Bob Michel, thank you very much for being with us.


WOODRUFF: Does it reassure you or does it concern you that the presidential election could now be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States?

MICHEL: Well, if it's going -- if there's going to be an issue or two eventually brought before the highest court of the land, better soon than later. Frankly, I would have hoped that we wouldn't have had to have gone that far, but we'll just have to wait that one out. And since that hearing won't be for another week, then we run up against another deadline.

WOODRUFF: Vice President Gore's camp -- and I know you just heard Joe Lieberman saying that they are deploring Republican demonstrations Tuesday of this week that intimidated and helped stop the vote count there in Miami-Dade County in Florida. Is this something that we should be concerned about. He's saying it's moving on to Broward County and so forth, these very active demonstrations.

MICHEL: Well, not being on the scene and being able to comment specifically, I guess people are entitled to do their demonstrating although I -- sometimes it does get a little bit out of hand. I was rather disturbed earlier on when Jesse Jackson and his crew were down their making their point. It's legitimate, and they thought there was some case to be made. The opposition has always got an opportunity to be heard, too, but I don't like to see it degenerate it to be heard in placards and waving and demonstrations. I think we've got a much more, hopefully, lawful society in which we have the means by which we adjudicate these differences. And let's hope that is all plays out rightly and to the best interest of the country.

WOODRUFF: Bob Michel, you've seen a great deal of this city. You know how Congress and the president work. What is it going to take for the next president, whether it's George W. Bush or Al Gore, to be viewed legitimately by members of the other party?

MICHEL: Well, first of all, I think that both parties agendas that they were enunciating during the course of the political campaigns is going to be considerably muted, whether it's on the Republican side tax reduction and the Democratic side whatever, I think those issues are going to be -- well they have to be harmonized in a very close margin.

But that doesn't mean that, you know, nothing will move. Frankly, I think if, with our control on the Republican Party of at least a narrow margin in the House, two less probably than that what we had before, conceivably a 50-50 vote in the Senate, you're going to have to have the leaders get -- and thank heavens we have tested leaders. Trent Lott, Daschle, Danny Hastert and Dick Gephardt, they've all been through the traces a number of times.

While there have been some, really, differences obviously during this past election year, they've really got to just come together and decide what can we get done in the best interests of the country.

WOODRUFF: But given the animosity of recent days, Bob Michel, do you think that the will is going to be there to do that?

MICHEL: Well, I could say if I were there I would sure make every effort to do that. I just don't think that there's any other alternative. I was encouraged by the fact that Dick Gephardt right after the election made a special call to Denny. Now they've been poles apart all year long. That suggests that he wants to talk and keep talking, as we did in the old days, when there wasn't a day gone by that leaders, as I did, with Tip O'Neil or Tom Foley, we did talk about every day. And you just cannot do it otherwise. And I would hope they would concentrate on that effort.

WOODRUFF: Well, Bob Michel, we thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

And now, as promised, we're joined by former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Governor Cuomo, I hate to hold you to your words, but I did see you on "BURDEN OF PROOF" on CNN earlier today predicting that you didn't think the Supreme Court would take up the Bush appeal of the Florida Supreme Court ruling. You, and I should say many others, including a number of Republicans, now that they have said that they will take it up, are you worried?

MARIO CUOMO (D), FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: No, I think this is a very good thing. Let me say something first about Congressman Michel. First of all, it's a privilege to be on the same program with him, and we miss him. He's a really class person. I agree with him totally about what would happen when finally a president eventuates from this wild process we're going through, and it's a pleasure to listen to him.

No, I didn't think that they would take the case. I'm surprised they did and I'm delighted they did. One thing it does, Judy, immediately -- and you heard Congressman Michel say another deadline -- it vaporizes all talk of this artificial deadline for this Sunday. You know, the notion that the secretary of state would announce, OK, it's all over and we will coronate Al Gore as the president because he suddenly came up with the votes this weekend, and now he's -- we can't do that, unfortunately for Vice President Gore, nor could we do it for Bush.

WOODRUFF: But her office is saying she will certify those votes.

CUOMO: Well it won't make a difference. It won't make any difference because a week -- if the Supreme Court of the United States thought that there was any possibility of having any kind of finality this weekend, why in God's name would they set a date next Friday? What they're obviously saying is what Congressman Michel implied, that forget about this deadline. They know that there's going to be a protest. They know that you're going to have to argue Miami-Dade, they know that there will be all sorts of questions about the Buchanan -- all these other lawsuits that are out there.

It's totally a ploy to suggest that this Sunday, if you can keep the ballots from being counted, if you can bring in more thugs, if you can frighten them into submission the way they did in Miami-Dade, then we can declare somebody a -- winner on Sunday -- will not happen.

The Supreme Court is waiting for you on next Friday. They wouldn't do that if this could have been rendered moot on Sunday.

WOODRUFF: Mario Cuomo, what do you say to Democrats, most of them anonymously but some out in the open like the senator from your neighboring state of New Jersey, Bob Torricelli, who is saying, looking at the map it looks very unlikely that Al Gore can pick up the votes to overtake George W. Bush in Florida, suggesting, hinting very strongly it's time to think of an exit here.

CUOMO: Oh, I doubt Bob Torricelli, who's one of my favorite senators, would ever say anything like that. Because then what would happen -- and this would be terrible -- people would start imagining that the Democrats in Congress are saying, look, we're better off with Bush because then maybe we can win a majority two years from now.

I remember all the way back, Judy, when there was a big argument between the Democrats on the Reagan budget. And one parts of the Democrats said, let's give him his budget. Let him choke on it. Well America choked on it. We wound up with a huge deficit, we wound up with huge debt, and we know what happened to the states -- I was a governor at the time.

So any suspicion here that the Democrats in Congress are saying, hey, look, it wouldn't be so bad, Al, if you step aside, bring Bush in, the economy is softening, he won't be clean because of the way that he won this thing, you won the popular vote. I reject that thesis. The best thing for America is for the winner of the popular vote, Al Gore, to be the winner in the collegiate -- in the Electoral College.

And, Judy, for a big reason. There was an agenda when we elected Al Gore. There was an agenda when we elected Al Gore. It's different from the Bush agenda. It would mean a difference as to the Supreme Court justices. It means a difference as to women's choice and prescription drugs, and what size tax cut, et cetera. So I -- no, no, no, Torricelli can't be saying that he thinks that Al Gore should concede. He wouldn't be saying that.

WOODRUFF: All right, well, I'm just quoting what he -- part of what he does say, which was...

CUOMO: Ask him again.

WOODRUFF: ... the math was not good.

CUOMO: Ask him again.

WOODRUFF: All right, we'll try do that. Governor Cuomo, thank you very much and once again, our thanks to Bob Michel joining us here in Washington. Good to see both of you.

And ahead on this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, he's out of the hospital after suffering a minor heart attack, but what are doctors saying about his health? We'll have the latest on vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney's medical condition when we come back.


WOODRUFF: Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney was discharged from George Washington University Hospital around 10:30 Eastern time this morning, two days after suffering what was described as a mild heart attack.

CNN medical correspondent Rhonda Rowland takes a look now at Cheney's medical condition.


CHENEY: President of the United States, the honorable George W. Bush.

RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Secretary Cheney joined the Bush ticket last July, doctors gave him a clean bill of health, despite his history of three heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. Cheney never released specifics on his heart condition such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels, or which medications he was taking.

CHENEY: I'd had a treadmill in July and it hadn't shown anything.

ROWLAND: Cardiologists say that's not unusual. The exercise stress test only looks at how the heart performs under exertion.

DR. JAY MAZEL, CARDIOLOGY ASSOCIATE: Well, a stress test is really an indirect look at a blockage within a vessel.

ROWLAND: Dr. Mazel says it's likely some atherosclerosis or narrowing of the artery, existed in July and progressed during the past six months.

MAZEL: It can be very unpredictable. Often atherosclerosis has a tendency to be progressive but occasionally it can occur quite suddenly.

ROWLAND: The only definitive way to find out if an artery is narrowed or blocked is to do a heart catheterization or angiogram.

CHENEY: So I signed up for the angiogram. We went in, did the angiogram. While they were doing the angiogram, found a blockage in the branch of the LAD.

ROWLAND: In a statement, doctors said: "We feel this has been a trivial cardiac event and there's no indication of significant damage to his heart muscle."

Cheney was asked if the stress of the election recount contributed to his heart problems.

CHENEY: I don't think so, but I -- you know, that'd be speculation on my part. I've been in much more stressful situations in my public career. I mentioned the Gulf War, for example.

ROWLAND: Doctors say it's difficult to measure the role of stress in a particular individual.

DR. REDMOND WILLIAMS, DUKE UNIVERSITY: There's clear evidence that emotional upsets can contribute to the development of coronary disease as well as the precipitation of acute coronary events.

ROWLAND: Cheney's physicians are recommending medications, exercise and diet changes to help prevent further heart problems.

(on camera): Cheney says he'll take the weekend off, but plans to return to work next week. His doctors say he'll have no restrictions and will be able to resume a full, active life.

Rhonda Rowland, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: Joining us now, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff, talk a little about the political history of disclosing health issues?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: It actually comes up with surprising frequency. 1944, when President Roosevelt ran for a fourth term, he was suffering very severe heart troubles. His doctors, in fact, knew he wouldn't live out another term. That's why the selection of his vice president, Harry Truman, was so significant.

In 1960, Senator John Kennedy was trying to project a vigorous image. There were rumors he had Addison's Disease. He denied it. It turns out he did it have.

Sometimes, the issue is reassurance. In 1981, after President Reagan was shot, there was this picture you're seeing now of him standing up the day after with Nancy. In fact, he was being assisted standing up and was much more seriously injured, much closer to death than we had been told at first.

In 1992, former Senator Paul Tsongas ran, assuring us that his lymphoma was in remission. It turned out that wasn't the case. He later apologized for not being frank. He had a relapse right after, November 1992, when he might have been just elected president.

And just this year, former Senator Bill Bradley was hospitalized for an irregular heart beat and he not disclosed that condition. While it may not have been medically seriously, it was clearly politically damaging and one more point.

Imagine if John McCain had been the Republican nominee and then a month had found out that he had to be treated for melanoma, Imagine the consequences of either disclosing that as a nominee or not disclosing that. So you can see how it can be at times a pretty serious political matter.

WOODRUFF: The Cheney case?

GREENFIELD: Well, I think Rhonda admirably sort of summed it. The doctors said that he had a clean bill of health. George Bush, the father, the ex-president had asked famed heart surgeon Denton Cooly to review the medical records and Dr. Cooly said there'd be no restrictions on him.

But even at the time, some medical writers said there's an awful lot that there were not telling us that would lead independent doctors to give a much better evaluation. Cholesterol level, blood pressure, how much weight he's gained since he'd been secretary of defense, which appears to be fairly significant. Medications he was taking and what they call injection fraction, how efficient his heart was performing. That exhausts my knowledge, but the point is that compared to what other political figures have released, there was a pretty limited disclosure.

WOODRUFF: And Jeff, at this point, what's the political fallout of all this?

GREENFIELD: I think very little for a couple of reasons. One, as we saw, Dick Cheney appears to be in good health. The doctors are saying this really was not a serious thing, but also look at the timing. We're in the middle of this enormous post-election, historically unprecedented instability. The Supreme Court today has just stepped in, announcing they'll hear the case.

Imagine, though, if Dick Cheney had been admitted to the hospital on a mild heart attack on November 4th, three days before the election, right after the story about Governor Bush's old arrest. There would have been all kinds, I think, of speculation about how forthcoming they were. Why weren't we told earlier? I think now, limited if any political impact.

WOODRUFF: Jeff, is there any privacy aspect to all of this?

GREENFIELD: I think as a general matter, absolutely. Even in this day and age of, you know, impossibly intrusive media and quote, the public's right to know, there are all kinds of very personal, intimate things that are not related to anybody's health that doctors and campaigns keep to themselves. I remember when Tom Eagleton was under fire for having gone through electric shock treatment. He felt compelled to tell us that he had half a hemorrhoid. I don't think anybody needs to know that.

But when you get this argument -- what's fair, what's foul, what's public, what's private -- generally speaking, what everybody agrees on is the health of a potential president is a matter or should be a matter of pretty complete public record. So...

WOODRUFF: One thing we've learned. All right, Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much.

GREENFIELD: See you tonight.

WOODRUFF: See you.

And up next as this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS continues, keeping up will all the developments and angles in the election standoff is a challenge. We'll get some expert opinions and commentary when we come back.


WOODRUFF: Here is the latest on Florida's hand recounts: George W. Bush has an official statewide lead of 930 votes in Florida, but six counties have revised their totals, resulting in a net gain of 70 votes for Bush. Ongoing hand counts give Al Gore a net gain of 309 votes in Broward County and Bush has a net gain of 14 in Palm Beach County. So the unofficial Bush lead for now, 705.

The numbers released by canvassing boards do not include about 1,150 disputed ballots in Broward County.

Also, Palm Beach County must still review about 300,000 ballots which are counted but not finalized, and as many as 6,000 disputed ballots.

Based on the Florida Supreme Court's ruling, results must be submitted to the Florida secretary of state by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday in order to be included in the official state total.

Now, that we've talked about those numbers, let's talk about the issues all surrounding this Florida recount. I'm joined by E.J. Dionne from "The Washington Post" and Rich Lowry of "The National Review."

Gentlemen, just quickly on the United States Supreme Court: E.J., is this a whole new element here that could turn this thing completely around?

E.J. DIONNE, "WASHINGTON POST": It sure is. In some ways, it could be the best thing that ever happened or it could be the worst thing that ever happened. I think depending on how the court decides, if you had a unanimous or near-unanimous decision out of this court saying, this is what the law says, this is what should happen, I think it would add a lot of legitimacy to whatever the outcome turned out to be.

If, on the other hand, you got a split 5-4 decision with the two most conservative justices anchoring one side and the two Democratic justices anchoring the other side, then the court may not help us out of this.

I think, as Mario Cuomo said, it may help buy Al Gore a little bit of time, because the court has postponed...

WOODRUFF: The deadline has moved on.

DIONNE: Has moved on. The court won't hear until Friday. And so, that gives Gore some time to launch his challenges, which he probably will do if he doesn't come out ahead.

WOODRUFF: Rich Lowry, is there a concern that people will now ascribe political motives to the Supreme Court?

RICH LOWRY, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, there's always that worry, and my preference would have been that this would have been decided by the elected bodies, by Congress and the Florida legislature, who are actually really accountable to people. But we're obviously far beyond that point now.

I think this is actually a very ominous development for the Gore campaign, because the initial Bush federal suit filed a week-and-a- half or so ago was -- didn't have much merit, and even the Bush lawyers would kind of whisper in your ear, we think this may be frivolous and it's a long shot.

But in this case, I think they have a real constitutional claim, and you're going to hear conservatives talking about what they'll start calling "The Good Roe (ph)." There was a 1995 case, Roe versus Alabama, where the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal court, struck down an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that changed the rules of an election after the fact, to change the rules for accepting absentee ballots.

So there is a real precedent...

WOODRUFF: So there's some precedent.

LOWRY: There's an absolute precedent. There's constitutional issues involved, equal protection, due process. And there's also a federal statute that Mike Carvin referred to in the oral argument for the Florida court that says these sort of disputes have to be resolved with rules that were decided before the election.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you both, it looks to many of us that both sides are digging in, digging in, deeper and deeper. Is there any indication, E.J., that on either side there's any pulling back anywhere?

DIONNE: No. If anything, I think you're seeing both sides sort of engage even harder. I thought another significant development today was when Senator Lieberman came out and essentially went after what he called "mobs" trying to influence the decision of Miami-Dade to stop recounting ballots. I think that's important, because it'll give Gore some grounds for saying this decision to stop the recount wasn't fair or legal.

And Democrats are going to say, look, if Jesse Jackson or somebody on the Democratic side had led comparable demonstrations, you can imagine what Republicans would have said about them. And then the Bush decision to go to the Supreme Court even before this count was in suggests that they're not going to let anything ride either. They're not going to take the chance that Al Gore, if he went ahead over the weekend -- and we don't know that that's going to happen -- they aren't going to take the chance of letting that stand. So I think both sides are actually digging in deeper.

LOWRY: You know what they say in the movies, now this is personal. I think -- I think both campaigns have that attitude and both of them want to take it as far as they can.

Now -- but I think Gore might have a little more difficulty doing that. A potential important straw in the wind today was liberal columnist Richard Cohen's column in "The Washington Post," where he said, if he had it to do over again, given current circumstances, he would vote for George Bush for president, because he thinks Bush would be best able to kind of calm the partisan rancor that we see in Washington. And I think there's a danger for Gore that you'll start to see honest liberals, who care about something besides just winning, beginning to abandon him shortly, and sort of say, look, eventually you have to stand down for the good of the institutions.

WOODRUFF: Until then, we have miles to go before we sleep. We have the Sunday deadline and then we have the Supreme Court a week from today and so forth.

All right. We'll have to leave it there. I'm sorry. Rich Lowry, E.J. Dionne, good to see you both.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

LOWRY: Thanks for having us.

WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.

And there's much more ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, including an update on the legal battle over the Florida vote as the campaigns prepare to take their arguments to the nation's highest court.

INSIDE POLITICS will continue.


WOODRUFF: Looking at the legal focus of the fight for the presidency, as the U.S. Supreme Court gets involved.



BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Can either Gore or Bush, given their backgrounds, their temperaments, say, I concede, it's over?


WOODRUFF: Our Bruce Morton with what may become the million- dollar question.



WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Turkeys are foolish creatures, overstuffed, noisy and self-important. Come to think of it, they're a lot like politicians.


WOODRUFF: Our Bill Schneider serves up the biggest political turkeys of the year.

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Once again, Judy Woodruff in Washington.

Welcome back to this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

Yet another day of dramatic developments in the Florida presidential standoff: The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by the Bush campaign that would block a Florida Supreme Court decision permitting manual vote recounts in three counties to be included in the official state total. The hearing has been scheduled for next Friday, December 1st.

Meanwhile, the Bush and Gore camps are pressing forward on other fronts. The Bush campaign is arguing that several hundred overseas military ballots may have been unfairly left out of the Florida total. Former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole was in Florida to call for those disputed ballots to be counted.


BOB DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Looking back on not my service but just service of men and women throughout those last 55 years, whether it's Vietnam or the Gulf crisis or the Korean War, whatever it may have been, they're special people. They're not entitled to special rights, but they are entitled to rights. And they are entitled when they vote, their vote ought to be counted.


WOODRUFF: On the Democratic side, six members of the U.S. House of Representatives have called for a federal probe into allegations that the Bush campaign orchestrated a protest Wednesday that then caused the Miami-Dade recount to shut down.

In Washington, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman added his voice to the charge.


LIEBERMAN: I am deeply disappointed by reports of orchestrated demonstrations on Wednesday inside a state building, a government building in Miami-Dade County, not just to express a point of view but to disrupt and halt the counting of ballots.


WOODRUFF: For more now on the Supreme Court development, we turn to our Bob Franken, who is outside the Supreme Court building -- Bob.

FRANKEN: Well, Judy, by Supreme Court standards, holding this hearing next Friday, in just a week, is blurring speed. As a matter of fact, they're calling for the first briefs to be filed on this next Tuesday, just a few days away.

It was a victory for the Republicans, who claim that they needed to have this heard by the nation's highest court and they needed what is called the expedited review.

Now the Supreme Court will be considering three questions: Did the Florida Supreme Court overstep its boundaries by overturning the rulings by the Florida secretary of state? Did it, in fact, violate federal law which requires that all election disputes be decided before the election? And thirdly, did it violate the Constitution, which specifies that the state legislatures should control these elections?

Those will be the issues before the Supreme Court. It is a setback for the Gore administration. This is not to say -- the Gore campaign. This is not to say that the Bush campaign is guaranteed a win, but definitely it made a step forward in its effort to stop the hand recount in Florida -- Judy. WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Franken at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Well meantime, Bush campaign lawyers were also in a Florida court today trying to force 14 counties to reconsider several hundred rejected overseas absentee ballots.

CNN's Kate Snow is in Tallahassee -- Kate.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, attorneys for George W. Bush were in court arguing essentially that the rules that have been followed by some 13 counties here in Florida as to whether or not to accept military overseas ballots were simply too strict in the eyes of the Bush campaign and the Bush legal team. They want the court to order those 13 counties that they must accept all of the military overseas ballots that to this point they have rejected, discarded for one of four different reasons.

Here are the reasons: postmark, date, signature or the voter didn't -- sent in a write-in ballot but hadn't proven that they had previously requested an absentee ballot -- a bit of a technical one, but those are the four reasons that the ballots have been rejected.

And the Bush team saying that not only do you not need a postmark on a military overseas ballot for it to count here in Florida, but they argue, and they argued before the court today, that you don't need a date either.


FRED BARTLIT, ATTORNEY FOR BUSH CAMPAIGN: A ballot which is regular in all ways but which is not dated but which is received prior to November 17th, that unless there's some other indication that the ballot is fraudulent, unless there's some indication that there's some hanky panky, that there ought to be a presumption that if it's received in time, if it's received by the 17th then it's OK.


SNOW: Now Bush attorneys also arguing that they think the Democrats were behind throwing out some of these military ballots. They say it was an orchestrated effort. The counties who were represented in court today, not all 13 of them were there, but those that were very vocal in saying, no, that's not the case at all. We weren't told what to do by anyone. We did our job. We tried to maintain a legal view on this. We tried to throw out only those ballots that legally could not be accepted under Florida state law. They were very defensive about that.

The hearing lasted about two and a half hours. The judge at the end of all this saying that basically he could not issue an advisory opinion. All he could was rule on whether to order the counties to consider these ballots or not. And he said, I'm going to take this, I'm going to look at it, but he indicated that he didn't feel he had hear enough evidence of wrongdoing today. He said, I might not even be able to find that any of these counties broke the law.

We expect to hear more from the judge, perhaps a decision, by tomorrow -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kate Snow reporting from Tallahassee -- thanks.

And ahead on this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS:


MORTON (voice-over): If the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court start fighting about who says what, for instance, the system will suffer real damage, unless of course one of the candidates really can say, hey, I lost.


WOODRUFF: Bruce Morton taking stock of our electoral system and the men who would be president.


WOODRUFF: As the vote counting and legal wrangling in this election stand-off continues, we take a moment or two now to look at the broader picture.

Our Bruce Morton considers our electoral process and the two men at the center of the political spotlight.


MORTON (voice-over): Is this history in the making or Trivial Pursuit? The fight for the presidency now seems certain to extend past whatever the Florida Supreme Court does this weekend, and some people worry.

History has been kind to the U.S. electoral system. It survived Andrew Johnson's impeachment and Bill Clinton's, survived Richard Nixon's razor-thin loss to John Kennedy in 1960. Nixon didn't fight the result, though some backers wanted to pursue vote fraud charges. Survived Nixon's resignation as president, a first, in 1974, thanks to Gerald Ford's calm leadership.

But what happens this time if neither man can say, "I lost?" Al Gore, raised in a political family, has aimed at the presidency all his life.

BILL TURQUE, GORE BIOGRAPHER: He is just -- he's an immensely competitive guy, and he realizes that this is his shot. And the -- winning the popular vote, I think, gives him in his own mind enormous moral license to really push the envelope on this thing.

MORTON: And George W. Bush? Again, family is part of it. A win would avenge his father's loss to the Clinton-Gore ticket in 1992. James Baker, whom some of the Bushes resented for leading that failed 1992 campaign, is back now, fighting in Florida.

And there's more history. WILLIAM REHNQUIST, CHIEF JUSTICE, U.S. SUPREME COURT: It is therefore ordered and adjudged that the said William Jefferson Clinton be and hereby is acquitted...

MORTON: House Republicans have in Tom DeLay a leader as fiercely partisan as any in history. They failed to convict Bill Clinton, but some have already talked of a congressional role in making sure Gore does not succeed Clinton in the White House.

George W. Bush himself projects a softer image, but he has approved taking the fight beyond Florida to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Can either Gore or Bush, given their backgrounds, their temperaments, say, "I concede; it's over"?

TURQUE: There's also Al the class president, the guy who plays by the rules, who is sincerely -- there's a place in him where he is sincerely concerned about the environment after this election and concerned about what happens to the system. And I think probably in the next few days we'll see that Al, but not quite yet.

MORTON: Some say, keep fighting.

CUOMO: I'm one of maybe 50 million people that voted for my candidate, who happens to be Al Gore. The notion that he or George Bush has some kind of personal prerogative to decide to give up on the legal system and abandon my vote and my agenda -- and maybe even because they think it's better for them -- that's not what's good for the country.

MORTON: But at some point, if the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court starts fighting about who says what, for instance, the system will suffer real damage. Unless, of course, one of the candidates really can say, "Hey, I lost."

History in the making or Trivial Pursuit?

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Coming up next on INSIDE POLITICS, Bill Schneider and his "Political Turkeys of the Year."


WOODRUFF: This day after Thanksgiving has our Bill Schneider pondering this question: Could there be a connection between that bird most of us feast on and the theater we call politics? His answer was yes and even prompted a top 10 list.


SCHNEIDER: Turkeys are foolish creatures: overstuffed, noisy and self-important. Come to think of it, they're a lot like politicians. There are a lot of leftover turkeys the day after Thanksgiving and a lot of leftover political turkeys, too.

So let's bring on the political turkeys of the year and polish them off.

(voice-over): No. 10 turkey: When it comes to politicians behaving foolishly, it was hard to top the Reform Party this year. The party's convention in Long Beach looked like the turkey farm.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let democracy reign! Come on, don't you think...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... property.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean private property? This is America, Mister!


SCHNEIDER: Pat Buchanan claimed the Reform nomination, but what was it worth? The party split apart and Buchanan ended up with less than 1 percent of the vote, disqualifying the party from federal subsidies next time.

Is there a No. 9 turkey? Who needs turkeys when you've got rats.


NARRATOR: The Gore prescription plan? Bureaucrats decide.


SCHNEIDER: And moles, like the one who leaked a videotape of George W. Bush's debate preparation to the Gore campaign. That mole is still underground.

No. 8 turkey: This one's a Democrat. Remember all the trouble Al Gore went to, to keep his distance from President Clinton? Picking Joe Lieberman, Clinton's severest Democratic critic, telling Democrats...


AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand here tonight as my own man.


SCHNEIDER: Well, President Clinton managed to step on Gore's message with his gladiator-style entrance to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles and his so-called "exit interview" with "Esquire" magazine. In a statement perfectly constructed to get out the Bush vote, Clinton had this to say about Republicans, quote: "They never apologized to the country for impeachment. They never apologized for all the things they've done."

Then, to top it off, just before Election Day, President Clinton told a radio interviewer that electing Al Gore would be, quote, "the next best thing to four more years of Clinton."

Number seven turkey: Michigan Governor John Engler, who was one of Bush's earliest backers in the GOP primaries.


BUSH: I feel something in the air here in Michigan. I can smell that sweet scent of victory here in Michigan.


SCHNEIDER: But Engler failed to deliver for Bush in his own state's Republican primary. Engler had high expectations for November.


GOV. JOHN ENGLER (R), MICHIGAN: The Bush campaign in Michigan is doing very well.


SCHNEIDER: So did Bush.


BUSH: I want to thank my friend John Engler as well. I love coming to Michigan to be with my buddy. He's been a very good governor of this state. He's smart. He's capable. He loves Michigan. And as I told him earlier, maybe one of these days I'll win this state.


SCHNEIDER: Not this year. Bush lost Michigan again in November.

Number six turkey: That was Jack E. Robinson, who challenged Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts -- successful entrepreneur, Harvard graduate, African-American. But also on his record: a restraining order from a former girlfriend; a drunken driving arrest; and more recent, driving problems.


JACK E. ROBINSON (R), MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CANDIDATE: Just because the governor doesn't think that there could be. I just got into an accident.


SCHNEIDER: Robinson even had himself investigated.


ROBINSON: I have come up with the Robinson report. It is a self-detailed analysis of everything in my personal background that I could possibly think of that someone could consider to be negative or embarrassing.


SCHNEIDER: After Robinson allegedly forged signatures on his nominating petitions, the state's Republican governor took back his endorsement. But Robinson stayed on the ballot and lost 73 to 13 percent.

Number Five: a New York turkey. Rick Lazio may have lost the New York Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton at this moment in their Buffalo debate when he tried to corner the first lady and get her to sign a deal to stop raising so-called soft money.


REP. RICK LAZIO (R), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: Right here. Here it is. Let's sign it. It's the New York freedom from soft money pact. I signed it. You sign it...


SCHNEIDER: Lazio enabled Mrs. Clinton, once again, to look like the victim of male aggression.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: I admire that. That was a wonderful performance.

LAZIO: Well, why don't you sign it?

H. CLINTON: And you did very well.

LAZIO: I'm not asking you to admire it. I'm asking you to sign it.


SCHNEIDER: On Election Day, women elected Mrs. Clinton.

Turkey Four: Mr. Gore. Gore, too, had debate problems. Remember his first debate with George W. Bush? The vice president's make-up made him look embalmed. His manner came across as unpleasant.


GORE: Let me call your attention to the key word there. He said all poor seniors.

BUSH: No, wait a minute. All seniors are covered under prescription drugs in my plan.

GORE: In the first year?

BUSH: If we can get it done in the first year, you bet.


SCHNEIDER: Gore also annoyed viewers with his theatrical sighing.


BUSH: You do not test every year. You can say you to the cameras, do but you don't. Unless you changed you plan.

GORE: I didn't say that.


SCHNEIDER: Number three is a pair of turkeys: Bush and his running mate Dick Cheney had their turn to look foolish when this exchange got picked up by a microphone.


BUSH: There's Adam Clymer, that major league a--hole from "The New York Times."

CHENEY: Oh, yes. Big time. Big time.


SCHNEIDER: Think that's embarrassing? Look at turkey two: the television networks on election night.


BRIT HUME, FOX ANCHOR: We've just been able to make a call in the state of Florida and Fox projects that Al Gore will carry the state of Florida.



TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: What the networks giveth, the networks taketh away. NBC News is now taking Florida out of Vice President Gore's column and putting it back into the too-close-to-call column.


SCHNEIDER: Well, everybody makes mistakes. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: George Bush, governor of Texas, will become the 43rd president of the United States. At 18 past 2:00 Eastern time, CNN declares that George Walker Bush has won Florida's 25 electoral votes.


SCHNEIDER: Two in one night?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now let's get back to Florida because in the interest of sobriety, if nothing else, we are going to take Florida back into the too-close-to-call column. The too-close-to-call column. So, we now have our second major switch of the night.


SCHNEIDER: Oops. We all looked like, well, a bunch of turkeys.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we say somebody's carried a state, you can pretty much take it to the bank, book it, that that's true.


SCHNEIDER: We've seen moles. We've seen rats. And now, for the turkey of the year, we present: a butterfly -- Palm Beach County's infamous butterfly ballot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, a butterfly is a ballot that flew out the window.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It never happened, a ballot with wings.


SCHNEIDER: This ballot confused so many voters, it may have single-handedly cost Al Gore more than enough votes to carry Florida and the election and cost the country weeks of agony.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times must you count a ballot, before it's a vote for Al Gore and how many chads must fall to the ground, before you don't count them no more. The answer, my friend, may be on CNN, the answer may be on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHNEIDER (on camera): What could be a bigger disaster than the Florida vote? Well, here's one. Suppose grandma dropped her Thanksgiving platter on the floor. She'd cause three national disasters: the downfall of Turkey, the breakup of China, and the overthrow of Greece.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: No, Bill, you didn't say that. That's all for this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

Stay with CNN throughout the evening for the latest on the Florida recount, including a special of THE WORLD TODAY at 8:00 Easter.

And Jeff Greenfield and Perri Peltz will host a special report, Election 2000 at 10:00 Eastern. I'm Judy Woodruff.




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