CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


In-Depth Look at Election 2002

Aired November 2, 2002 - 19:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, THE CAPITAL GANG.

I'm Mark Shields, with Al Hunt, Robert Novak, and Margaret Carlson.

Joining us tonight is "USA Today"'s Washington bureau chief Susan Page.

Thanks for coming in, Susan.


SHIELDS: Good to have you here.

A memorial service for the late Senator Paul Wellstone launched the campaign for former vice president Walter Mondale as the Democratic Senate nominee in Minnesota.


WALTER MONDALE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: This is tough on you, and it's tough on me. This was not my idea. I think somebody had to carry Paul's torch. Somebody had to make certain that this tragedy didn't end in futility.

We can't wait to get up to speed. We can't sit on his success. We can't go back to the way it was. We're going to move forward into the future. The future is now, and are you ready?


SHIELDS: Bob Novak, is it possible that Walter Fritz Mondale could actually lose to Republican Norm Coleman next Tuesday?

ROBERT NOVAK, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: It certainly is. This pep rally, this atrocious pep rally at the Williams Arena in Minneapolis hurt the whole Democratic ticket. But Fritz Mondale was never a very good candidate, you know that, Mark. And at the age of 74, he's an old 74, he looks like an old man, he talks like an old man. He's a much worse candidate.

I think that Norm Coleman's going to win this race.

PAGE: You know it's a midterm...

SHIELDS: Susan Page?

PAGE: ... so the name of the game is turnout. Only about a third of the voters are going to go to the polls. And I think what that rally did -- and it was a rally, not a memorial service -- was to gin up the Democratic vote. I think it's going to help Mondale. I think it'll help the governor in that race too.

SHIELDS: Mondale wins?

PAGE: I think Mondale wins.

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson.

MARGARET CARLSON, TIME MAGAZINE: Do you look younger than a -- than Mondale?

NOVAK: I sure do.


SHIELDS (singing): Younger than Mondale is he...

CARLSON: I think Mondale's going to win because people in grief want to do something, want to find a place for it. The memorial did get out of hand, but that is because it was unscripted and some people just, you know, let their feelings run away with them.

Mondale is a good candidate. Actually, he does well on college campuses. He's exciting people out there. I saw the Duluth college thing, and I think that he has a little bit of the Bush thing, which is, I bring back dignity and honor to the Senate.

SHIELDS: Mondale.

CARLSON: Mondale.


AL HUNT, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Bob was right only in the sense that the Wellstone memorial was a debacle, there's no question of that. I think that race made it a dead even Senate race, otherwise Mondale would have won in a walk. And Coleman has a certain advantage with the, with the write-in, with the write-in votes.

But I think in the end, Minnesotans are going to say, Norm Coleman would just be another pedestrian senator. And Bob is dead wrong about Walter Mondale. He's a very, he's a very sharp guy, he's a very, you know, I think, forward-thinking guy. I think they'll realize he'd be a really, really valuable member, distinguished member of the United States Senate.

SHIELDS: Mondale.

HUNT: Mondale. SHIELDS: Bob is right, the -- to the point where Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut actually apologized to Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, who was at the, at the memorial service, who had worked so closely with, with Paul Wellstone on mental health.

NOVAK: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cut short his, his, all his commitments to go to Minneapolis and...

SHIELDS: That's right. I mean, you know, it just -- it was, and it ended, to some degree, the grieving period. But Fritz Mondale, I agree with Al, represents a restoration to the time when Minnesota was really a supplier of great national leadership.

And I think Minnesota will want to return to a sense of dignity, and somebody who's never going to run for reelection. Mondale's gone away (ph).

NOVAK: And since I'm all alone on this, we'll see next week.

SHIELDS: Can I write that down, Bob? OK, fine, thank you.


SHIELDS: The most lavish per-capita spending on any Senate campaign has taken place in tiny South Dakota, where Democratic Senator Tim Johnson is challenged by Republican Congressman John Thune.

Margaret, whose South Dakota resources were better spent?

CARLSON: I think McDonald's with its new $1 hamburger was spent better, because people in South Dakota haven't -- had nothing but wall-to-wall ads, and I think it's diminishing returns.

I think the race is going to turn on the drought. You know, Thune has brought Bush to South Dakota any number of times, but for a visit, not to bring any money. And Johnson has made the point, with Daschle, the two of them can actually bring help to South Dakota. He's an appealing candidate, he's going to get Native Americans, he's going to bring out the vote, and I think he's going to win.


HUNT: I was out in South Dakota, and it is wall-to-wall advertisements. I think everyone is just dial-clicking in the last month or so. Despite Republican efforts to intimidate the Native American vote out there, won't work, and I think that Johnson will win, not because of the drought but because of probably the best ground organization in America. They'll turn out voters, and they'll win.

SHIELDS: I think that John Thune is as good a candidate, of all the candidates the White House recruited this year, I think John Thune is the best. I do think Tim Johnson is in many ways a better fit with South Dakota, and I think that get-out-the-vote effort on election day will tip it to Johnson.

Bob Novak.

NOVAK: I assume by Native Americans, I always consider myself a native American. I think you're talking about Indians, is that right? Yes. Well, I think they (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

HUNT: I like to call you, Bob, what you like to be called.

NOVAK: Yes. And I think the Indians are going to (UNINTELLIGIBLE), they're going to try to steal some votes there. But I don't think there's any question...

HUNT: As opposed to the white men stealing the land?

NOVAK: I don't think there's any -- well, we don't want to get into that. This is a very close race, goes back and forth. I think perhaps Tim Johnson's a little up in the polls right now. I think Thune is a good candidate, I agree with you, I think he's going to sneak in and win.

But I'm less confident in him than I am in Norm Coleman.

PAGE: And I think Johnson's going to win. But this is going to be a real embarrassment for the President Bush, I think. He's been there twice in the last five days. He's gone there repeatedly before. He recruited Johnson (sic), the White House did.

The fact that this White House recruited four candidates, it looks like all four -- all four of them are in tight races. But it's possible all four of them are going to lose. And that may have some repercussions for the White House as well. John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Norm Coleman, and, of course, their candidate in California didn't even make it to the California governor's race.

SHIELDS: That's true.

In Missouri, appointed Democratic Senator Jean Carnahan is challenged by Republican former congressman Jim Talent.

Al Hunt, can Jean Carnahan be reelected in her own right?

HUNT: Republicans were saying a week ago the race was over in the state of Missouri. I think Jean Carnahan has actually made a comeback in the last couple days, won't be quite enough. Jim Talent will win.

SHIELDS: This is my upset pick. I think Jean Carnahan will be reelected on her own right.

NOVAK: Your upset pick?

SHIELDS: Yes, really, no, I mean, but, no, I think the consensus is that Talent has moved ahead, and will win. Yes, go ahead, Bob.

NOVAK: It's a very tight, tight race. Jean Carnahan is a very poor candidate. Jim Talent's a good candidate. But there's still some residual sympathy for the tragic death of her husband. But I think Talent will sneak out a win.

PAGE: You know what's remarkable...

SHIELDS: Yes. Bob, is that...

PAGE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), your cell phone's going off.


SHIELDS: Jim Talent, Jim Talent calling to thank him.

HUNT: He may have the latest polls, Susan.


SHIELDS: Hope it's Nextel, Bob, their sponsor.

PAGE: I think Jim Talent's likely to win that race. What's remarkable, I think, is that she's -- Jean Carnahan has managed to make this such a close race. I mean, think about it. She never has run for office before...

SHIELDS: Sixty-eight years old (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

PAGE: ... and she's done an impressive job. But I think you'd have to give this one to the Republicans.

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson.

CARLSON: At 68, younger than Novak. I -- she has tightened it up. I think the sympathy factor has actually passed by, and now she is running on her own merits. I think she's been a good candidate, but Talent and the Republicans keep saying she's not up to the job. I think a smear they use against women, I think it's been somewhat effective, and I think Talent is going to win.

SHIELDS: In New Hampshire, Congressman John E. Sununu defeated Senator Bob Smith in the Republican primary, and now faces three-term Democratic governor Jeanne Shaheen.

Susan Page, can New Hampshire -- will New Hampshire elect its first Democratic senator in 27 years?

PAGE: I think they will, yes. Jeanne Shaheen was pretty far behind, but she's closed that gap. She's done well, she's been a good campaigner. And the Republicans are still divided from their primary.

SHIELDS: OK. We got to pick it up here, we're getting out of time.

CARLSON: Right. Bob Smith factor has not helped John Sununu. Shaheen is an excellent Betty Crocker type. You cannot go against her for being a strident woman. I think she wins.


HUNT: John Sununu is a smart fellow, but he's cast some dumb votes, like tax loopholes for corporate crooks. And Jeanne Shaheen will parlay that to a very, very close victory.

SHIELDS: John Sununu is a good candidate. He's a bright man. Unfortunately, he endorsed a -- and introduced a bill to privatize Social Security, and he's been hit over the head with it. And Jeanne Shaheen's going to win.

NOVAK: Another, another smear, another very close race and another smear. He didn't ever endorse a bill to protect loopholes. I think it's a very -- I think it's a very -- I would say she's Betty Crocker with a blackjack. She is very, very tough. She is, she is, she has a smile, but she's rough. Close race. I give the edge to Sununu. That's still a conservative Republican state.

SHIELDS: OK, finally, quickly, in Arkansas, Republican Senator Tim Hutchinson is struggling for a second term against Democratic State Attorney General Mark Pryor. Bob Novak, is Arkansas, can it be a sure Democratic pickup?

NOVAK: Just about. I don't think Mark Pryor is anything like the popular figure his father was, but Tim Hutchinson's got huge troubles. I think he's going to fade.

PAGE: Yes, I agree, it's Pryor. It's a bad thing to mess up with your base, which is what Tim Hutchinson did.

CARLSON: Pryor good, right on gun control, wears a flak jacket. Hutchinson lived by the sword, died by the sword. He married his young staffer after criticizing Clinton. He never recovered from that, and Pryor will win.

HUNT: Amen to Margaret. After moralizing about Clinton's morals, then to go and ditch your wife and marry the young staffer, it's going to be Mark Pryor.

SHIELDS: Well, across the border in Texas, they like dynasties. Arkansas's going to have a dynasty, son of David Pryor, former governor, senator, and congressman. Mark Pryor, next senator from Arkansas.

The Republicans need a net gain on Tuesday of one seat to gain control of the U.S. Senate. What will the outcome be?

Bob Novak?

NOVAK: They'll get a net gain of one seat and get, get control, but they may have a net gain of two seats, because there may be an upset in Georgia by Max Cleland. That race is now even.

PAGE: I think the Democrats will be up two seats, strengthening their position, continuing to have the Senate be the center of the Democratic opposition to president Bush.

SHIELDS: Margaret?

CARLSON: Cleland wins in Georgia, and debt -- Senate -- the Democrats are up two.


HUNT: I think one Democratic gain, but it could come down to Louisiana and Mary Landrieu and a runoff in December.

SHIELDS: Wow. Three weeks in New Orleans, Al, at all those (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That's a lot better than Tallahassee. Three weeks, three Democratic pickups. I'm picking three, plus three Democratic on next Tuesday.

Susan Page and your CAPITAL GANG will be back to talk about governors' races, including the president's own endangered brother Jeb.


SHIELDS: Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe has publicly targeted Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, who is seeking reelection against Democratic newcomer Bill McBride. Governor Bush campaigned this week with Rudy Giuliani.


GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Terry McAuliffe -- is his name McAuliffe or McAuliffe? But the guy that runs the Democratic National Committee, when he started saying about three weeks ago that I was their number one target, I'd rather have one Rudy Giuliani than 20 Terry whatever-his-names is, McAuliffes.


SHIELDS: Lost the McAuliffe vote. Margaret, was it a good idea for the DNC chairman to publicly target the president's brother?

CARLSON: I think as long as Bill McBride didn't do it and stayed positive, it's probably OK, because he's got to energize the base down there, and that's one way to do it.

McBride is an excellent candidate. Bush hoped he'd be running against Reno. He wanted a recount to have her be the one. McBride, Marine, Bronze Star, made education his issue. He only stumbled once, and that was how to pay for it.

But I pick Bush.

SHIELDS: Yes, go ahead, Al.

HUNT: Of course Terry McAuliffe was right to target Jalalabad Bush, who has a lousy record. But he should do more and talk less, be good advice for the chairman. I think the humongous spending advantage that Jeb Bush has in this campaign, between the pork he's gotten from -- federal pork he's gotten from his brother, will be decisive, and Jeb Bush will win.

SHIELDS: This is my upset among the governors. On election day, it's going to turn around, and I think Bill Clinton's there this weekend, and I think that Bill McBride is going to spring the upset on Jeb Bush.

Bob Novak.

NOVAK: It's a huge, huge mistake by McAuliffe. Before he butted in, McBride was moving up on him. Really a mistake. He should worry about Senate seats, not governors' seats anyway.

But I'll tell you what's going to happen. It's not going to be close. Bush is going to win, maybe in double digits.

SHIELDS: Maybe in double digits? You got a bet on that one, Bob.

PAGE: You know, it can't have been a surprise to anybody that the Democrats were targeting Jeb Bush.

SHIELDS: I know.

PAGE: I mean, it's stating the obvious.

HUNT: That's true.

PAGE: Assuming that Florida can count itself this time, I think Bush will win easily.

SHIELDS: OK. In Massachusetts, Republican businessman Mitt Romney faces Democratic state treasurer Shannon O'Brien.

Al, can a Republican, a Mormon Republican, win the governorship in this majority Catholic Democratic state for the fourth straight election?

HUNT: Mark, this is another one where I want to flip a coin. I think it's that tight. My gut tells me that in the very end, that independent women will -- it's a big, big, big year for in Massachusetts -- that independent women will narrowly pull it out for Shannon O'Brien and restore the Democrats to Beacon Hill for the first time since Michael Dukakis.

SHIELDS: Boy, oh, boy. This one really pains me to say, but just get the sense that it's slipping away for the Democrats, and I think that Mitt Romney will prove that Massachusetts Catholic Democrats are a very tolerant group by electing a Republican Mormon.

Bob Novak.

NOVAK: I hate to say it, Robert Reich would have been a much better candidate than Shannon O'Brien. She's not a good candidate. I think Mitt Romney will win. And the day after he wins, he'll announce his candidacy for the presidency in 2008. PAGE: No, Mitt Romney's run before, and we thought he'd be competitive and prove not to be against Kennedy in that Senate race. I think Shannon O'Brien will win. And it's notable to see what's happening with women in governors' races this year. Ten women running in nine states, all nine of them in competitive races. We're going to have a record number of women elected and serving at the same time as governor.

SHIELDS: And that is a breakthrough. Yes?

CARLSON: Day for the sisterhood. Shannon O'Brien wins.

SHIELDS: Yah, yah.

CARLSON: Mitt Romney, a Mormon, supporting Brigham Young University, antiwoman, and calling her "unbecoming." It's become a focus of the campaign. First he said, Oh, it's not sexist at all. Then he said it was "conduct unbecoming an officer," as if she needed to be disciplined.

It's not the year of the businessman with them walking off like this to jail. It doesn't help that he was one. O'Brien.



SHIELDS: OK, could I have the envelope, please? And in Minnesota, there's a three-way race for governor to replace Jesse Ventura between Democrat Roger Moe, Republican Tim Pawlenty, and independent Tim Penny.

Susan Page, will Minnesota choose another independent governor?

PAGE: I don't know, we're going to miss Jesse Ventura, but, you know, my -- if my theory on turnout is right, which is that we're going to have a huge Democratic turnout in Minnesota, I think the Democrat will win for governor too, Roger Moe.

SHIELDS: Roger Moe. He's got the Big Moe.

CARLSON: Tim Penny, I wish he were doing better, because he's the real independent. He's what Jesse Ventura should have been. I think he takes away more from Richard Moe and in a close one, I think Roger Moe.

They're are not all...


CARLSON: ... they're not all (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Pawlenty wins, good and Pawlenty.

SHIELDS: Pawlenty.

HUNT: Well, I agree, I wish Tim Penny would win. I think he's a really, you know, terrific public official. But Mark, I don't have the slightest idea who's going to win this race.


NOVAK: ... a choice.

HUNT: But since Bob says I have to make a choice, I'll pick Tim Pawlenty, who I thought was an Italian pasta before I made this prediction.

SHIELDS: I will say this, that I -- I'm a big Tim Penny fan, always have. When he was in the House, I thought he was an independent then. Really think he is the authentic Jesse Ventura, the authentic any independent. But I think Susan Page has put her finger on it, that on turnout, and Democrats and excitement, Roger Moe, the state senate president and majority leader, is going to triumph and become the first Democratic governor there.

NOVAK: I was out in Minnesota for a little bit reporting, and one of the big surprises...


NOVAK: ... there, Tim Penny did not run a good campaign. I have a lot of respect for him too, but he didn't run a good campaign. Jim Pawlenty is getting the benefit of this terrible political rally-come- memorial service they had in Minneapolis. I think Pawlenty is going to run, is going to win, and he may win comfortably.

SHIELDS: OK. Republicans now hold 27 governorships, 21 Democrats, and independents hold two. What change will Tuesday bring? Predictions, starting with Robert D. Novak.

NOVAK: Well, there's a lot of governorships that have been held by Republicans for a long time, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin are going to fall. I say a gain of four for the Democrats. But let me tell you something that John Zogby has found in recent polling, and that is a tremendous rise by Jim Ryan in Illinois. That may be the upset special, Jim Ryan beating Congressman Blagojevic for governor.

SHIELDS: You're on for dinner on that one. Go ahead.

PAGE: I think Democrats will have a net gain of seven seats, and including big, important states like Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.


CARLSON: Plus four, I think I said, and in my home state, Pennsylvania, the former mayor of Philadelphia...


CARLSON: ... Eddie Rendell, wins and takes it back for Philadelphia. The curse is over.


HUNT: Democrats will take over 10 or 11 seats now held by Republicans, and Republicans will take over five or six seats now head -- held by Democrats. Net gain for Democrats of five. Susan's right, they will for the first time hold the majority of the most populous states, first time in a decade.

SHIELDS: That's the key, I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) win this race, then Democrats have control of New Jersey and California, and they're going to come out of it with a majority of the big states...

NOVAK: What's your number?

SHIELDS: ... and they're going to pick -- with a net gain overall of six.

Next on CAPITAL GANG, Democrats trying to regain the House.


SHIELDS: Welcome back.

Democrats must win a net gain of seven seats to win control of the United States House of Representatives for the first time in five elections.

Bob Novak, how close will the Democrats come next Tuesday?

NOVAK: Not very at all. They're going to lose seats.

SHIELDS: Lose seats?

NOVAK: It's going to be, it's going to be 0 for five, poor Charlie Rangel, he wants to be House Ways and Means chairman. It's going to go down today. We're talking about a 20-seat gain a few weeks ago. I say it's going to be a gain of four seats for the Republicans.

SHIELDS: Susan Page.

PAGE: Gain of one seat for the Republicans, I think, which is a victory for risk-free redistricting. Both parties chose to protect incumbents. They created very few competitive seats for Democrats to capitalize on, the way the party out of power usually does.

SHIELDS: It's a good point, Susan.

Margaret Carlson.

CARLSON: You know, the shift in the consumer confidence, that drop made me think that, you know, people would be sour going into the booth, and it might work for Democrats. But I'm afraid that the -- that Republicans maintain a five-seat lead.


NOVAK: We'll get no change.


CARLSON: No, they're up six, aren't they?

SHIELDS: Yes, maintain and one pickup.


SHIELDS: Go ahead, Al.

HUNT: This is a bipartisan scandal with the lack of competitive seats. A hundred and fourteen seats in California, Texas, and New York, only three are in play. The Republicans, as Tom Davis predicted last week, will pick up two.

SHIELDS: Actually the Democrats will pick up two, which is -- and Susan makes a good point. Give Steny Hoyer of Maryland credit for redrawing the districts there so at least the Democrats had a shot at two. They scrambled them. California, status quo politics, 53 seats, no change. Ah! Down! Boo!

OK, Margaret, give me a House upset for next Tuesday.

CARLSON: Yes, everything's so exquisitely drawn that no one loses. But in Iowa, they do it like this, and Jim Nussle, who's been running ahead, the Republican in Iowa...

SHIELDS: House Budget chairman.

CARLSON: ... 01 is going to be beaten by Ann Hutchinson, a very successful mayor who created surpluses where there were deficits.


HUNT: Mark, a seat that wasn't even on the boards three weeks ago, the eastern part of Long Island, incumbent Republican Felix Grucci will be upset by Tim Bishop.

SHIELDS: I'll tell you upset is the surprising thing, because the president's (UNINTELLIGIBLE), one of the president's very favorite members of Congress, Ann Northrup in Louisville is going to lose to Democrat Jack Conway, who's just lighted up a prairie fire.

NOVAK: Ann Northrup's losing would be an upset. Those other two are not upsets. My, I'll give you a real upset, California, California, 18th congressional district, the Gary Condit district, I think it's going to be a very close race, a possible upset...


HUNT: ... predicting (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

NOVAK: ... possible upset, Republican Dick Montieth against Gary Condit's former aide, Dennis Cardoza.

SHIELDS: Do you want to get John Zogby on the phone and call him? Go ahead. Susan.

PAGE: West Virginia, two, you know, Shelly Moore Capito, ought to win reelection. She's a classic candidate. George Bush has repeatedly gone in to campaign for her. I think she'll lose to Jim Humphries.

SHIELDS: Do you really?

PAGE: The power of Social Security and money. He spent $10 million since -- in these two competitive, these two matchups against her. He's got so much money he's advertising on Washington, D.C., TV.

SHIELDS: That's an upset, and you were nice enough to pick one instead of saying a possible one.

SHIELDS: We'll be back with our CAPITAL GANG classic, the gang's predictions the last time a new president faced a midterm election in 1994.


SHIELDS: Welcome back.

Eight years ago, on November 5, 1994, THE CAPITAL GANG forecast another midterm election in the first term of a new president. Our guest was "Hotline" publisher Doug Bailey. The Republicans needed 40 seats to gain control of the U.S. House. And I asked THE GANG for predictions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, November 5, 1994)

HUNT: We'll go to 34, Mark, but I'll tell you why I think that the Democrats are going to stay home and Republicans are going to come out, particularly in those districts. It's not going to be incumbents. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is open seats.

SHIELDS: Back in September, I predicted 29 pickup. I've upped that to 33.

NOVAK: I put the number at 42 right now, which is two over the number necessary. And I'll tell you something very funny. That is not an extravagant estimate. I'm telling you right now that if you have a big turnout for the Republicans, you're going to get some surprises. You could have a gain of in the high 50s. It's entirely possible.

DOUG BAILEY, PUBLISHER, "HOTLINE": I'm proud to say that I agree with Al and I disagree with Bob on this one. It'll be 34 seats.

CARLSON: Little more bearish.


CARLSON: I'm more bearish, yes, family values. Twenty-eight.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SHIELDS: Republicans gained 56, 56 seats that day. Margaret Carlson, why were you so bearish?

CARLSON: I was closer on the Senate. And unlike Bob, you know, who gets calls on the air, I'm not doing my own polling.


NOVAK: I thought...

SHIELDS: Go ahead, preen, Bob.

NOVAK: I was right, I was right. I'm very happy to be right. It was very -- it's very hard for a lot of people in this town to ever think the Republicans can win, because they think they're so wrong on everything. But the American people believed in the Contract With America, they believed in gun rights, they believed in term limits and pro-life, and that's how they won.

SHIELDS: Just a shame the Republicans didn't (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

PAGE: It was a great election night, and congratulations for predicting it, because an awful lot of people didn't see that coming.



HUNT: Mark, you know, our last producer of this segment, Brad, joined the Marine Corps because he couldn't find any more classics that made Bob Novak look good. So a tip of the hat to his replacement. Suzy, you found one more.

SHIELDS: I have to say, it was one where Robert D. Novak did call it, and it's so rare, I think we ought to run it and rerun it and rerun it.

Susan Page, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you.

PAGE: Thank you.

SHIELDS: Coming up in the second half of CAPITAL GANG, our "Newsmaker of the Week" is "Hotline" founder Doug Bailey, who you saw earlier. "Beyond the Beltway" looks at the race for governor of Maryland, with Sarah Koenig of "The Baltimore Sun." And our "Outrages of the Week."

All after the latest news following these urgently significant messages.


ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, THE CAPITAL GANG.

SHIELDS: Welcome back to the second half of CAPITAL GANG.

I'm Mark Shields, with Al Hunt, Robert Novak, and Margaret Carlson.

Our "Newsmaker of the Week" is veteran campaigner and campaign watcher Doug Bailey.

Douglas L. Bailey, age 69, residence Washington, D.C., undergraduate degree from Colgate, Ph.D. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

President of Bailey Deardourff (ph), a Republican consulting firm, 1968 to 1987, founder and publisher of "The Political Hotline," 1987 to present. Founder of Freedom's Answer, a youth voter corps, 2002.

Earlier this week, our own Al Hunt sat down with Doug Bailey.


HUNT: Doug, characterize this campaign.

BAILEY: Well, it certainly hasn't been particularly informative. The ads that I've seen have been generally awful. I -- maybe it's just age, Al, but my sense is that our politics gets worse each two years. The parties seem to have less specificity to their programs.

HUNT: Can you think of a single competitive race that you have seen that has been more dominantly positive and avoided the negative stuff?

BAILEY: No. I can't. I do see some races that I think are less personally negative than others, but right here in the Washington area, where I live, there's a race for governor in Maryland that is extremely close, and it's extremely competitive. And it's very negative in the sense of the issues that they're talking about. But the -- but it's not personally negative.

HUNT: You know what the politicians and the consultants say. They say, Well, you're right, we don't like this negative stuff, but it works.

BAILEY: Well, years ago, I used to be in the political ad-making business, and one of the reasons I got out was that I realized that negative advertising does work. It's easier for me to get a vote against you than it is for me to get a vote for me.

HUNT: And sometimes done to intentionally drive down voting.

BAILEY: Unfortunately so.

HUNT: Yet in this environment, Doug Bailey, always the optimist, launches Freedom's Answer involving young people to try to create a record turnout next Tuesday. Are you tilting against the windmills?

BAILEY: Everybody says, because of the closeness of this election, that it is a turnout election, that what matters is who votes. And yet it is also said, and true, that every two years fewer people seem to vote than have voted before. Yes, I'm tilting at windmills. Freedom's Answer is a program that tries to get into the high schools. We're in 2,500 different high schools across the country to encourage students that are too young to vote to encourage their parents and get voting pledges from their parents and grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts and neighbors to vote, to honor the service men and women who've been fighting for our freedom overseas, freedom including the right to vote.

You know, this is the first election, Al, since the September 11 tragedy, first national election. And it would seem to me that we could all pause long enough to connect the dots between the freedom that was attacked and that, and that we count among our blessings, and the right to vote, which is a blessing of that too.

HUNT: I mean, what are these idealistic young people telling you? What are the saying? What are they finding when they're going out in this effort?

BAILEY: They're saying almost to a person, which is what I have found with this proposal, nobody is against that. Well, yes, I should be voting, shouldn't I?

HUNT: What kind of a turnout should we look for next Tuesday?

BAILEY: I don't know, I think there are so many close elections that there will be unusually high turnouts in some states. And the students that would be owed a debt of gratitude if they did that, and they would recognize that they are part of the system.

HUNT: Any mandate coming out of this election?

SHIELDS: I don't think so. I don't think that either party has gone so far as to create a situation where there is a national mandate for a particular issue, for a war in Iraq or for a particular domestic policy issue.


SHIELDS: Al, Doug Bailey is an enormously valuable public citizen. I've got a question for you. Is it negative campaigning to just publicize your, expose your opponent's public record?

HUNT: No, it's not, Mark, but it's done these days in such a petty way, most of the time, picayune way. But, you know, Doug Bailey really is one of the great public servants of our time. This makes most of us unrelentingly cynical. He just wants to try to make it better.

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson?

CARLSON: If "The Hotline" were in general circulation, voter turnout rates would go way up. It just goes to us junkies, but he does a wonderful job there. And there is going to be an anti-mandate, and that is, against privatizing Social Security. All those candidates lose. NOVAK: I didn't really need a Democratic commercial at that point...

SHIELDS: Bob Novak.

NOVAK: ... Margaret...

SHIELDS: Let's have a Republican commercial.

NOVAK: ... I'm not going to give you a Republican commercial. What I'm going to tell you is, the reason the campaign is so negative is that the candidates of both parties under the thrall of posters are afraid to say what they really stand for, both Democrats and Republicans. I'd like to see a real debate on things like Social Security.

SHIELDS: I will say this, I don't think that the campaigns are more negative or the spots are more negative than they were. There's just fewer positive messages of, This is who I am, this is what I want to do, this is what I believe. So the easy thing is to attack the other guy.

Next on CAPITAL GANG, "Beyond the Beltway" looks at the fierce fight for governor of Maryland with political reporter Sarah Koenig.


SHIELDS: Welcome back.

In heavily Democratic Maryland, Republican Congressman Bob Ehrlich is locked in a close race for governor with Democratic Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Since the sniper shootings in Maryland, the Townsend campaign has emphasized gun control.


ANNOUNCER: Now Bob Ehrlich is trying to blame crime and gun violence in Maryland on Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. In fact, for years she's worked to protect our families and children from crime and taken on the NRA. The truth? Ehrlich doesn't want to enforce gun laws, he wants to repeal them.


SHIELDS: The Ehrlich campaign has tried to tie the lieutenant governor to the unpopular Democratic governor, Parris Glendening.


GOV. PARRIS GLENDENING (D), MARYLAND: Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and I are proud of our record. We're very proud of our record.

ANNOUNCER: Maryland has a $1.7 billion budget deficit, a dysfunctional justice system under federal investigation, and convicted criminals purchasing guns, with roads that haven't been built and a culture of corruption that has been in power too long.


SHIELDS: A recent poll for "The Baltimore Sun" gives Congressman Ehrlich a 4 percentage point lead.

Joining us is Sarah Koenig, political reporter, who is covering the Ehrlich campaign for "The Baltimore Sun." Thanks for coming in, Sarah.


SHIELDS: Sarah, why is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend trailing in Democratic Maryland?

KOENIG: Boy, if I knew the answer to that, I think that's what she wants to know. I think it's a bunch of factors. One is, she got off to a bit of a rocky start in her campaign. Her choice of running mate got her a lot of criticism, especially among African-Americans. And she had...

SHIELDS: Former superintendent of the Naval Academy.

KOENIG: Yes, Admiral Larsen, yes.

SHIELDS: Yes, former Republican, yes.

KOENIG: Former Republican, exactly, a white guy. I think a lot of African-Americans were hoping, This is our chance, we can get a black candidate. So she had to spend a lot of time firming up that base and sort of making amends there.

There are other things -- she -- she's a -- she's had a hard time sort of firing up her base. She can be a little bit awkward. She's gotten a lot better as the campaign's gone on. But she's also been tied to a bunch of things that haven't gone so well in the current administration, so...

SHIELDS: Bob Novak.

NOVAK: Sarah, my dear friend Bob Shrum, who is a very talented campaign consultant, really destroyed Ellen Sauerbrey four years ago when she ran against Glendening. And you find the same sort of thing, trying to turn this moderate Ehrlich into a right-wing monster.

Is it possible that this kind of thing is backfiring, that it is incredible to say that Ehrlich is a, is a, is a, is a terrible fiend on the right?

KOENIG: I think it is -- it's possible. I think, you know, the poll that we just did showed that that message wasn't really sticking, this thing that he's too conservative for Maryland, which really she's been hammering for, for months.

And voters aren't quite buying it. I think she has gotten their attention on certain issues, certain of his votes she's really hammered on. He voted against -- to eliminate the Department of Education, for example, or gun votes. Those things have stuck. But overall of him as an extremist hasn't really.

SHIELDS: Margaret?

CARLSON: Right, other than that ad we just saw, many of his ads seem to be soft, soccer moms saying, Oh, you should have built, built that road. Her ad calling him the NRA candidate, in the midst of the sniper scare, that -- the horrible murders here, did that work or not work? Did that move her? Was there a backlash?

KOENIG: You know, there, it, it's funny, I -- there wasn't quite a backlash, but it also didn't, it didn't seem to help her. It was -- it didn't seem to help her in the polls, anyway. I mean, the numbers never really moved. I think what maybe it did do is take voters, say, in Montgomery County, which is a really key voting area for Maryland, they started saying, Huh, maybe I need to look at his record.

CARLSON: A little closer.

KOENIG: A little closer. Whether it moved them, it's unclear.


HUNT: Sarah, I think, just watching as a viewer here, Ehrlich has run a good campaign, particularly effectively against Glendening, talked about the culture of corruption in that ad we saw.

I was puzzled the other day why he was campaigning with Marvin Mandel, the former governor, who just, I think, got out of the slammer a couple years ago.


NOVAK: His conviction was overturned.

HUNT: Well, you know, but, but, but he was not exactly what you...


HUNT: ... one of the great ethical...


HUNT: ... compasses of our time.

KOENIG: Right, yes. And Ehrlich's been getting a little bit of heat for that lately, because he's got a few characters associated with his campaign who are not squeaky clean.

You know, Mandel is very respected for his knowledge about government, and I think Ehrlich just thought, Well, no one's going to, you know, make a fuss. And frankly...

CARLSON: Except for Al Hunt. KOENIG: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- Right. And after day one, it didn't really.

SHIELDS: I mean, he did, he has really kind of identified, as you pointed out in your pieces, I mean, some sort of sleazeball (UNINTELLIGIBLE), as a matter of fact.

Let's predict the winner. Bob Novak.

NOVAK: I got to, I got to say, Governor Mandel was a great governor, and he was, he was railroaded by the feds, and he, and his conviction was overturned, for crying out loud. I predict Ehrlich is going to win because they don't, people don't like Glendening, they don't like his lieutenant governor.

CARLSON: I'm afraid I agree with the native American Novak over here. First time tonight. Kathleen Townsend just hasn't excited her base, and she hasn't proved to be an exciting campaigner, as we expect of Kennedys, so I predict Ehrlich.


HUNT: Marvin Mandel may know about government, but he was a sleaze. I think Kathleen Kennedy Townsend wins it a hair because of turnout.

SHIELDS: It's tough to run, toughest thing in politics is to run to succeed an unpopular executive of your own party, especially when you're that close to him. I do think she -- you're right, Sarah, she's gotten better each of weeks in October. I think she will win, in part maybe because of Montgomery County in this election.

Sarah Koenig, thank you so much for being with us.

KOENIG: OK, thank you for having me.

SHIELDS: THE GANG will be back with our "Outrages of the Week."


SHIELDS: And now for the Outrage of the 2002 campaign.

The Greeks were right when they said character is destiny. Just consider former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led a family values House Republican posse to lynch President Bill Clinton for his lying and marital infidelities, even though, as the public would learn, the married Mr. Gingrich had since 1993 been carrying on an affair with a young House staffer.

Last week, the hypocritical Gingrich was lying again on TV's "Meet the Press," saying that Walter Mondale favored privatization of Social Security. Walter Mondale does not, and Newt Gingrich knew it. Character is destiny, Newt.

Bob Novak. NOVAK: National Democratic pattern attacks Republicans by distorting isolated legislative provisions, as in this ad by New Hampshire Democratic Senate Jeanne Shaheen against Republican John E. Sununu.


ANNOUNCER: Sununu voted to let corporations like Tyco avoid taxes by setting up phony addresses in Bermuda.


NOVAK: That's just not true. Sununu opposes overseas tax shelters. He voted against the Democratic gutting of a Republican pension reform which contained, incidentally, anti-Bermuda language.

Such tricks are needed when candidates like Jeanne Shaheen don't dare push the liberal Democratic agenda.

CARLSON: This outrage I never heard.

SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson.

CARLSON: In radio ads aimed at getting blacks not to vote, Missouri Republicans falsely accused Democrats of backing policemen who killed two unarmed black suspects. Actually, Bush's Justice Department supported the police. And blamed Democrats for redistricting blacks out of congressional seats. Another ad generalizes, quote, "There are some real ugly Democrats out there that hurt black people."

Governor Frank Keating's GOPAC accuses Democrats of taking blacks' Social Security benefits. Quote, "The next time some Democrat says he won't touch Social Security, ask why he thinks blacks owe reparations to whites."

Can negative advertising get any worse?


HUNT: Mark, this has been a pervasively petty, at times mean campaign, but nothing was sleazier than Georgia senatorial candidate Saxby Chambliss suggesting that Senator Max Cleland was soft on national security, even linking him to Osama bin Laden. Thirty-five years ago, Max Cleland fell on a grenade and left three of his limbs in Kae San, South Vietnam, while fighting for his country.

To impugn the patriotism of this war hero is despicable, or as Georgia's conservative Democratic senator Zell Miller said, "Chambliss should be ashamed."

Mark, I do want to say, in this dreary news there is one bright spot.

SHIELDS: What is that, Al? HUNT: A week ago today, Champaign-Urbana, the grand marshal of the homecoming parade was our own Robert D. Novak, celebrating his 50th reunion, a very proud and distinguished (UNINTELLIGIBLE) alum.

NOVAK: Thank you very much.


NOVAK: They killed Indiana.

SHIELDS: Did they really? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Indiana...


HUNT: Do you recognize the song, Bob?

NOVAK: Yes, I do.

HUNT: Who's the trophy wife in the picture with you?

CARLSON: Could you sing a congratulations, Bob?

SHIELDS: Did you want to say that was equal time for an ad for John Sununu in New Hampshire?


NOVAK: Well, I was just trying to set it straight, you know.

SHIELDS: I think (UNINTELLIGIBLE) before you do it...


NOVAK: Thank you.


HUNT: ... we should do a program with (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

SHIELDS: I think the fighting Alainai (ph), OK.

This is Mark Shields saying good night for THE CAPITAL GANG.

In case you missed any part of this program, do not despair. It'll be rerun in full at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and again at 4:00 a.m.

Coming up next, "CNN PRESENTS: Manhunt -- Cracking the Case."

Go to your room, Bob.

And be sure to tune in Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern for a special election day edition of your CAPITAL GANG.


© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.