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CNN IN THE MONEY
Bush-Cheney Campaign Rolls Out Political Ads; A Look At How Bill Gates Is Trying To Improve Education In This Country; Interviwe with Jason Alexander
Aired March 7, 2004 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City America's financial capital, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST: Welcome to the program, I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY:
Madison Avenue meets Pennsylvania Avenue: As President Bush rolls out his campaign commercials, we'll find out whether political ads work and just how nasty they're likely to get before the election rolls around in November.
Plus, tough lessons: Bill Gates hundreds of millions of dollars trying to fix America's broken schools. We're going to ask his top education guy what's wrong and how we can all go about trying to make it right.
And hold the jokes: "Seinfeld" funnyman Jason Alexander has a new angle on Middle East peace. We'll see whether everyday people can do what the politicians have been unable to accomplish.
Joining me today as always, a couple of IN THE MONEY veterans: CNN correspondent, Susan Lisovicz and "Fortune" magazine editor-at- large, Andy Serwer.
So here we are again, four years later, getting ready for another presidential election, and who jumps right into the mix just like he did last time, Ralph Nader. The polls, prior to the Super Tuesday democratic primary, showed John Kerry beating President Bush by double digits, almost every tour he took around the country. Now all of a sudden Ralph Nader says, well I might -- I'm going to run again, and the new polls show Kerry and bush neck and neck and Ralph Nader getting six percent. That's not an insignificant number of votes when you figure how many popular votes the last election was decided by.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Well, remember that book that Ralph Nader wrote back in the day call: "Unsafe at Any Speed." Right, I'm thinking the democrats are probably thinking that same thing about him, right about now.
It's kind of interesting, I mean, everyone's saying he's not going to get the same amount of votes. What he get, 3.8 percent last time around?
SERWER: But, you know, these third-party people -- whoops, oh I'm sorry. These third-party candidates crop up because, I mean -- you know, you had Ross Perot for the Republicans doing the damage and now Ralph Nader.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He got a lot of attention on that "Meet the Press" announcement,
CAFFERTY: Oh, yeah.
LISOVICZ: But, I think -- I think he's going to fade, is my guess, just because the people who voted for Ralph Nader four years ago see Kerry as the lesser of two evils and they're not going to get...
CAFFERTY: Any truth to that story that there were two dozen roses delivered to his hotel suite signed by President George W. Bush?
SERWER: Karl Rove sent them over, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Yeah, Karl Rove.
LISOVICZ: And probably a new car, too.
CAFFERTY: All right. Be interesting to see what happens.
In this year's fight for the White House, both sides relying on a weapon that maybe you don't notice, although you look at all the time, in fact right now. We're talking about the TV set, and the TV ads, which are the bread and butter of any modern day political campaign. The Bush campaign fired the first salvo this week. White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, joins us now with a look at those ads and how they're being received.
Suzanne, nice to see you. They weren't on the air eight seconds and already there's controversy around those images that were used from ground zero, the site of the terrorist attacks on September the 11th in the Bush campaign ads. How are they playing in Washington?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jack, there certainly is a lot of controversy over this and we're talking about $10 million worth of ads hitting about 18 battleground states. A lot of controversy over this issue, you have some New York firefighters, some families of the victims of September 11 accusing the Bush administration of exploiting that tragedy for the campaign.
Now, Bush aides, very sensitive to this saying, look, they understand people's concerns, of course, but they say that they do not apologize about using those images in the ads. The reason why, they say, is because this was a defining moment for the Bush presidency, that it illustrates the campaign slogan, and that slogan is, "steady leadership in times of change."
That President Bush, like other Americans, experienced this on a personal level, that he also, was impacted by this. But, they also say that not only did it shape him personally, but it really was the impetus for his preemptive strike policy, that it was the first front on the war on terror, and they use the argument to say that, look, they point to the sluggish economy, they say, in part, one of the reasons why it is so bad is that the president inherited this recession, that there was some growth, but that it slowed down because of the September 11 attacks, and that it also necessitated these greater expenses when it came to the war on terror, when it came to homeland security, and that is one of the reasons, in part, that they -- that they argue that you have this record-breaking federal deficit. So, they believe that using those images is certainly legitimate -- Jack.
CAFFERTY: Well, if the controversy surrounding these very first ads is any indication, Suzanne, it's going to be a long, tough campaign.
Suzanne Malveaux joining us from the White House, thank you very much.
CAFFERTY: A good political ad can get stuck in your head, if there's not a lot else going on there. But, whether it changes your mind is another matter. For a look at whether political ads really work, we're joined now by the Ira Teinowitz, who's the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for "Advertising Age" magazine.
Nice to have you with us, thanks for coming on the program.
IRA TEINOWITZ, "ADVERTISING AGE": My pleasure.
CAFFERTY: The only one that -- I'm 61 years old, and the only one that really sticks in my head is that Willie Horton thing that put together back there a few years ago, but everybody says, this campaign could be one of the nastiest we have ever seen. Do you agree with the early reviews on what this is shaping up to be?
TEINOWITZ: Well, it's not entirely clear, there's several things here in this campaign that are a little different. First, a change in the campaign finance law that could make some negative ads difficult to run.
CAFFERTY: How so?
TEINOWITZ: Well, one thing you have to do, is the campaigns themselves have to run the ads and they have to feature the president or John Kerry specifically endorsing it. So there are some ads, like the Willie Horton ad, which would have to have the president standing up and saying, "And I endorse this ad." The question is, will that make them a little bit more careful in what they do? And will that make them just a little more gingerly -- operating a little more gingerly in terms of what they do? LISOVICZ: Ira, we have six months of campaign commercials upon us.
TEINOWITZ: Seven months, yes.
LISOVICZ: We've seen President Bush "steady, strong leadership," that's the first theme that has been sounded. What does John Kerry need to do to respond? And, also, how hard can he attack the president? Is there a line that you can't cross when you're attacking the sitting president, out of respect, for instance?
TEINOWITZ: Well, I think, to some extent we've already crossed that line in this campaign and we crossed it a long time ago. I mean, traditionally, the Democrats have supported the president on international things and attacked domestically, and we're already endorse -- we're already fighting over international things.
There's one interesting aspect of this campaign that hasn't been discussed much, which is that a lot of voters have already decided, so what you've got in terms of these ads is not so much an attempt to woo new people over, but an attempt to really reinvigorate the base, so you're going to see a lot of advertising that's directed, not so much at John Kerry getting people to vote for -- for him, or -- but as so much as keeping the people who are already voting for him in his camp.
CAFFERTY: And, there's a little bit of that, live by the sword, die by the sword philosophy when it comes to negative ads. The Willie Horton worked very well, it was devastating to Michael Dukakis in his bid to gain the presidency. Give us an example or two of these negative ads that backfired on the people around them.
TEINOWITZ: Well, there were some ads last time around that were against John McCain that hurt Bush, at least initially. And there have been ads in a number of local campaigns that have hurt the candidates. The -- you know, you sort of have a -- two phases of this. One question is a: Is the candidate well known? And, you know, and then the question is, can he do the negative ads? If your candidate is not well enough known, especially in senatorial races and gubernatorial races, if he starts out with negative campaigning, the first impression is that this person is just a negative campaigner, as opposed to some positive. So, you want to be very careful that you've established yourself before you start the negative ads.
LISOVICZ: Hey Ira, since we talked about some of the negative ads that stand out, let's talk about some of the best ads. I mean, Reagan's re-election campaign message, "Morning in America" ...
SERWER: Hal Riney, right?
LISOVICZ: ..which just painted over this wonderful, wonderful message, really resonated with voters, but that's something, obviously, that can't be used, right now. What ads do you like?
TEINOWITZ: Well, I mean, that ads, going back, I mean, both some of the negative and some of positive have done very well. I mean, there's a famous negative ad that was used by Lyndon Johnson against Barry Goldwater that had the "Daisy Ad," which you probably remember, where a girl was counting the daisy -- a little girl counting then you had the nuclear explosion at the end of it. So, you know, those ads can be very effective. Some of the other ads depend on how well the candidates are known. If the voters know a lot about the candidate, the ads aren't as effective. If the voters don't know much about the candidate, the ads can be very effective.
LISOVICZ: Ira Teinowitz, Washington, D.C. Bureau chief for "Advertising Age." You'll be a busy man up to November. Thanks for join us.
Ahead on IN THE MONEY:
Making the grade: the Gates Foundation is sending U.S. high schools back to class. Find out what's wrong in what the foundation is doing about it.
Plus, don't wait for a punch line. "Seinfeld's" comic Jason Alexander tells us about Middle East peace, and a new approach that just mike mate it possible.
And late nights, hard times, cold pizza. Dean did the running, but his young volunteers kept him on the road. We'll find out what their campaign was really like.
LISOVICZ: Bill Gates spent years making billions. Now the world's richest man try to give a lot of his money away. One area Mr. Gates and his wife are focused on is education and with good reason, a recent report showed a high school graduation rate of just 68 percent for all American students and a significantly lower rate for minorities. Tom Vander Ark runs the education arm of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and he joins us now.
Welcome. It's a pleasure to you have.
TOM VANDER ARK, GATES FOUNDATION: Hi, it's a pleasure to be with you.
LISOVICZ: To date, the foundation has invested $740 million to support more than 1,900 small high schools in more than 40 states. Is that true?
VANDER ARK: About half of those are new schools, and about half are efforts to improve existing schools.
LISOVICZ: What's the biggest, single problem?
VANDER ARK: Well, the big problem, as you mentioned it, is 30 percent of American students don't even graduate from high school and another third that do graduate aren't ready for college or work.
LISOVICZ: So what are you doing?
VANDER ARK: We're helping to create great new schools based on proven and promising models and we're helping existing schools improve the rigor of their curriculum and the quality of the academic supports that go along with it.
SERWER: Tom, I've been out there to Seattle and spent time with the folks of foundation. I know it's an absolutely huge effort you guys are undertaking. I'm interested in the mechanics of giving to a public school system. Can you simply walk up to a public school system and say, voila! Here's $100 million? How does that work?
VANDER ARK: No, we sure don't. We invest through a community intermediary, so that's either a nonprofit organization or local foundation or a university -- a local partner that is our eyes and ears in the field that then re-grants the money and provides technical support.
What we found is that in a place like New York, that local partner will survive four or five different chancellors and provide stability and a level of support that's really important that you wouldn't get by investing through the school system.
CAFFERTY: Tom, Susan made reference to the fact that only 68 percent of the high school kids in this country graduate. American high school students test scores in math and reading have been declining to where we are probably the last in the industrialized world.
VANDER ARK: Among the worst in the industrialized world, that's right.
CAFFERTY: Something approaching half of the college freshmen who enter every year have to spend time taking remedial classes in English and math because they're not equipped to do college-level work. It didn't used to be this way. We spend a lot of money on education in this country. What's wrong?
VANDER ARK: Well, there's a variety of problems which makes it a big challenge. First of all, we're expecting our schools to do something we've never asked them to do, help all students graduate ready for college, work, and citizenship. So there's a design problem.
Secondly, we've added to the level of challenge. We have, in most communities, more kids that are new to the English language and more mobility and more poverty. So, we need schools designed for the new challenge. We need teachers that are highly qualified and able to work in -- under much better circumstances, and we need a new level of public will necessary to educate all kids well.
LISOVICZ: Tom, since the foundation has spent nearly a billion dollars, so far, in this very worthy cause, what are your goals? Do you have any goals, and what is the timetable to see them?
VANDER ARK: Yes, those are great questions. One of the challenges of working in high schools is that everything is long-term. It's our goal to help lift the national graduation rate, especially for African-American and Hispanic students. So, we want more students to graduate and to go on to college, and in particular we'd like to see double the number of low income and minority students that graduate and go on to college. Ultimately we'd like to see double the number of low income and minority students graduating from college.
SERWER: Hey Tom, explain to us a little about what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is all about. I mean, here's the richest man in the world basically giving away an awful lot of his money. What's he trying to do?
VANDER ARK: We're trying to attack the biggest inequities in the world. In the United States, that's education, particularly high schools, we think it's the biggest, toughest, most ignored problem in America. Around the world it's health. It's access to quality healthcare. So, in short, we're trying to attack the largest inequities that are the most difficult problems and often the most ignored.
SERWER: All right. We're going to have to leave it that. Tom Vander Ark, executive director of education for the Gates Foundation. Thank you very much.
VANDER ARK: Thank you.
SERWER: Next up on IN THE MONEY
Eating for two: McDonald's is sending its biggest portions to the fat farm. See if that super sizing has stopped.
And later, new streets: "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander tells us about a new push for Middle East peace with everyday people doing the pushing.
Plus, high stakes and no brakes: We'll find out about the life of a Dean campaign staffer from someone who lived it.
LISOVICZ: The verdict is in at the Martha Stewart trial. For the latest we're joined by Mary Snow.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Susan.
Martha Stewart emerged from the courthouse appearing stoic after a jury convicted her of all four counts brought against her: Conspiracy, two counts of making false statements, and obstruction of justice. The jury also convicted her co-defendant, former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic on four of the five counts brought against him. They include: Conspiracy, making false statements, making and using false document's. He was found not guilty. Found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice.
One of the jurors in the case came out telling reporters that he did not believe that it made any difference whether Martha Stewart testified or not. U.S. attorney for the southern district, David Kelley, saying that the conviction sent out a message: "Whether you're John Q. Public, Martha Stewart, or Peter Bacanovic, we are going to go after you if you tell these kinds of lies."
Both attorneys for the defendants saying that they will appeal these convictions. Sentencing is set for June 17.
Back to you guys.
SERWER: Thanks, Suzan (sic).
McDonald's bid to reinvent itself continued this week. The fast food chain announced it was phasing out super sizes portions on fries and drinks. But folk who bet on McDonald's was it was at its low last week, rather than super sizing their portfolios, that's for sure. That's because the stock is up almost 150 percent last year. That makes McDonald's our stock of the week.
And you know what? It's a two for one job here, phasing out those super size portions, because they get a little publicity...
SERWER: ...and they make the menu simpler. I mean, that's what they're saying they're doing, and it is true, I mean you had: small, medium, large, super size, extra large, and that costs money and hassles the employees, so that's a good thing that got...
LISOVICZ: McDonald's is very smart, because as goes McDonald's so goes the fast-food industry.
SERWER: So does the crew.
LISOVICZ: It wants to avoid regulation. Right? I mean it's under attack. Even if that court case on obesity brought by teenagers in New York was dismissed.
CAFFERTY: It was thrown out twice.
LISOVICZ: Thrown out twice, the fact is, it could feel the drum beat coming from Washington.
CAFFERTY: Well now, wait a second. If I go into a super market and buy a pie,
SERWER: It's your...
CAFFERTY: I don't have to go home and eat the whole pie.
SERWER: It's your...
CAFFERTY: I can go home and have a slice of pie. Does that mean grocery stores should not be allowed to sell me the whole pie?
CAFFERTY: This is nonsense. If I want super fries, three orders of fries, five orders of fries, why shouldn't I be able to get it.
LISOVICZ: This is America.
CAFFERTY: I mean, it's nonsense.
LISOVICZ: This is America. But it was under a lot.
CAFFERTY: "I'm fat because I ate cheeseburgers." Don't eat the cheeseburgers!
LISOVICZ: It was under a lot of pressure, really, that it' -- is helping create this obese nation that is the United States of America.
CAFFERTY: People are fat because they eat too much, and I don't -- you know, and I exclude the people who have a legitimate medical problem. We eat too much food in this country!
SERWER: Well, you know why the business is doing so well. First of all, I should remind you all that the stock has been up so much in part because the numbers are doing so well. I mean, you're doing same-store sales, that store's open a year, double digits, 20 percent growth now, month after month and it's because, not because of the hamburgers, it's because of the chicken and salads and Paul Newman's dressing.
LISOVICZ: And that brings up...
SERWER: I know you like that Paul Newman's dressing. That's big Paul Newman's dressing guy up here.
LISOVICZ: And, that brings up another thing. What a year for McDonald's/
CAFFERTY: Oh, yeah.
LISOVICZ: Coming after its first quarterly loss ever -- and then it changed the menu, updated the menu, cleaned up its restaurants, improved its service...
CAFFERTY: And put out a press release every two weeks about new products and new -- I mean they really did, they were in communication with the media, bang, bang, bang, banks.
SERWER: And one -- and one other point about it too, is that when you see one of these brands that gets down like that, it sometime is a really good time to buy the stock because, and we're saying -- last year was half...
LISOVICZ: You're late.
CAFFERTY: Do you take profits, now? Do you sell it?
SERWER: Well now, I still think -- I mean it was $50 in the late 1990s, so it still could go back up a bit more.
SERWER: Disney is the same kind of thing, we talked about, but you have to be careful because Kodak -- you know, maybe just keeps going down.
SERWER: So, you have to watch it, but that's a classic example of a rebound.
CAFFERTY: You got to read the prospectus
SERWER: Yes sir.
CAFFERTY: ...and follow it. And if you want -- if you like their fries, and I happen to love their fries, just get two bags of the large ones instead of one.
SERWER: Yeah, double up.
LISOVICZ: Super sized!
CAFFERTY: Time for us to get a take a break, pay some of the bills of our own. When we come back, Jason Alexander, no joke, funny guy, but he's here on the serious to talk about a move to try to get ordinary people involved in working for peace in the Middle East. It's not a bad idea, if you think about it. The politicians haven't done a very good job.
And later on, a candy bar with an adrenaline chaser: Dinner's no gourmet event when you're a staffer on a presidential campaign. Find out what life's really like inside the Dean Machine.
Back in a minute.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Bob Franken in Washington. More IN THE MONEY after a check of the top stories.
In Iraq at this hour, investigators are trying to figure out where 2 rockets fired into the green zone of Central Baghdad a short time ago ended up. Officials say 7 rockets were fired from the bed of a nearby SUV, 5 of them hit the Al Rashid Hotel injurying 1 civilian security worker. Those explosions came perilously close to the coalition provisional authority headquarters, which is where Iraqi Governing Council members will gather tomorrow to sign an interim constitution if all continues to go well, after a weekend of negotiation.
Less than an hour ago, dozens of shots rang out in front of the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The shootings came as about 1,000 anti-Aristide demonstrators were wrapping up what had been a peacful celebration of the ousted president's departure from power. It's unclear who fired the shots and we'll bring you more details as we get them.
More news at the top of the hour. Now it's back to IN THE MONEY.
CAFFERTY: Politicians, you know, they have been working for decades to bring peace to the Middle East. Maybe that's the problem. So, a project launched last year is turning to ordinary people instead of the political people, it's called One Voice Project and designed to give average Israelis and Palestinians a way to be heard. Actor Jason Alexander is among the well-known people involved in the Onevoice Project. It's organized by the Peaceworks Foundation. Jason of course played George Costanza was on Seinfeld. He is here in an entirely different role, and we are delighted to have you with us.
JASON ALEXANDER, ACTOR: Thank you.
CAFFERTY: Tell me about the idea of how this is going to get it done where all of the other ways that have been tried so far have failed.
ALEXANDER: Basically what's always been done in the middle east and in conflict resolution everywhere is either the political leaders formulate a plan, negotiate a plan and bring it to the population and try to sell it to them. Or someone from outside the region themselves have sort of forced and implemented a plan on the population. What One Voice is doing is offering a public negotiation platform.
It's basically saying to people, sign on, tell us that you agree to a nonviolent resolution of this conflict. And once they do, it offers them the key sort of 10 elements to this particular conflict, and they're the real hard issues. There's Jerusalem, borders, there's Palestinian refugees, it's all on there. And it makes a proposition and it says do you agree, do you disagree. If you disagree, it gives you a numerical point value for how much you disagree. All that information is taken, run through a computer and it gives you a good photograph of what the people -- where the consensus are and where the differences are. The differences are then give to a panel of experts they are reshaped. The questions are reshaped. Other compromises are offered.
And the population keeps voting on this process an refining it until at end you pretty much have a referendum for a peace agreement that can be taken to the leadership with the full blessing of the population and says implement this. As far as we know it's never been done before it's a very exciting process.
CAFFERTY: I don't mean for a minute to put down what you are doing, but it sounds a little bit like those surveys where you ask people if they watch PBS. Everybody watches PBS on the surveys, but nobody watches PBS. There is a deep and abiding hatred between the Israelis and Palestinians that goes back a long way.
Is it reasonable to expect by doing these questionnaires that somehow you will be able to get at that in a meaningful way?
ALEXANDER: Sure. Well, Jack, you know, having just been there, I'll refine what you said a bit. There's a very long and historic conflict. It is not always as strong as the word hatred. They actually, the people that I met and talked to, and it was a good cross section of both populations, there is certainly a distrust right now. But there is also a great sense of connection between these two nations. So, hatred it can be overcome. You are right if you are polling for an abstract issue that does not impact on peoples lives, you can manipulate those polls. This is not a poll. This is asking people to participate in a negotiation. It is not meant to take your opinion. It is meant to take your position so that it can be refined. It's more like going to a voting poll than taking an abstract news survey poll. And I think the people are perceiving it as that difference and feel their own involvement. And I think that's what they're rallying to.
LISOVICZ: Jason, I don't doubt your conviction or passion, but sometimes people see a celebrity like yourself, involved in a widely popular sitcom and they sort of roll their eyes, and say, another celebrity. You know, goes to this war zone for a week and then forgets about it.
What can you really do, do you think?
What can you bring to the table?
ALEXANDER: Well, I do the same eye roll, Susan, so -- that was my first question when I talked to the co-founders of Onevoice. I said, you know, what can an American celebrity with no real political involvement do for you?
In this case, one voice is not looking for advice or real involvement from anyone outside of the Israeli and Palestinian population. What they came to Hollywood to get was really some celebrity attention. I went to Israel because they were launching the technological part of this referendum. And the media there was not doing a terribly good job of covering it.
So I go, you know what is the one upside of celebrity?
You can get cameras turned on you. So, if you stand next to the right thing I can sometimes divert the attention off of me on to it. That's what we did. It did cause initial excitement, that was great. God knows the people there, you know, I -- "Seinfeld" is huge over in the Middle East right now, I don't know why. But I was greeted as hail fellow well met. It was very exciting for them and it was very exciting for me. We quickly got over the celebrity, you know, bang of it all, and got on to what we were there to talk about. So it created excitement. Obviously that will not sustain the process. The process itself is going to need to be exciting and involving for them. And they're going to need to see success quickly. SERWER: Jason, Andy Serwer here. I read that you said it was the beautiful people, you, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. I appreciated that comment it was a good.
Listen, unfortunately isn't the playing field controlled by the extremist elements in this situation?
The religious right on the Israeli side and the extremist in the Palestinians, the corrupt government elements there?
How do you fight that with this program?
ALEXANDER: You are right. The extremists on both sides have controlled this process. The damage they have done is -- and I was just bombarded with this on my trip, is that the moderate voices are by far and away the vast majority on both sides. And they already acknowledge there is a two-state solution here, and they pretty much know the path to get there. What they don't believe anymore, they don't believe they really have a partner to negotiate with on the other side. That's part of what this referendum is trying to overcome. The hope is and the belief is that right now the extremists are winning because the people have never been so directly involved. They don't trust politicians what a surprise and a shock, and now they don't trust negotiating partners. So, the extremists have had an open playing field and have pretty much blurred what's going on.
As the majority population start to at least see the reports, the consensus reports, difference reports of what the negotiations is going on between them, the hope is that will empower them in their numbers to stand up against the extreme forces, and say, you know what, you're not going to rule this agenda anymore. That's really all it takes. If the majority force was willing to stand up and say we will not accept, tolerate or abide by this behavior, they would have a hard time continuing controlling this agenda.
CAFFERTY: But how do you overcome the violent elements, for example, in the PLO, that perpetrate the violence they do and have for years, and years, and years?
They're not going to listen to the moderate voice for anybody. It's in their interest to keep this stirred up and just the way it is.
ALEXANDER: Absolutely. But, Jack, those -- it's -- we say an extremist. An extremist is just a person who lives among the moderates. The moderates say I see it, I don't see it, I have no better solution. These are all people living amongst people who want to make peace. Right now it is tolerated. When the moderates feel that the peace process is actually vital, they're not let the people function normally among them. That is not happening right now on both sides, and everyone acknowledges that. The hope is empower the people of character, and they will look at their neighbors who are on the extreme side and say we will not tolerate it. Much like, you know, if you knew you had a hardened criminal living in your neighborhood, you would point it out and make life very difficult for them.
SERWER: All right, We will have to leave it at that, Jason. Thanks for that take on the situation. Jason Alexander, actor of course, and from Onevoice/Peaceworks Foundation.
Don't go wandering off to see what's in the fridge or get a sandwich. we have more just ahead.
Coming up, the other faces of the Dean campaign. You saw the doc but not the staffers behind him. We'll straighten that out.
And the booming business in putting porn on mobile phones.
SERWER: The hours are bad and the pay is worse but you do get one big perk if you work on a presidential campaign, you get a shot at changing the world. A new Discovery Channel series called "staffers" shows us what it was like to be a grunt on the Dean campaign team. And as Dean's former press secretary Sandra Abrevaya, wasn't just along for the ride. She had one of the better seats on the bus. She is here to tell us what it was like.
Sandra, tell us a bit of why you first signed up for the dean campaign?
SANDRA ABREVAYA, FMR. DEP. PRESS SECRETARY, DEAN CAMPAIGN: Well, I think a lot of young people these days are looking to make social change happen. And a lot of us are starting to jump back on to the band wagon of believing political change can be used for a vehicle for that. And I decided that he was a candidate whose message I wanted to work hard for, to fight for, and so I joined this campaign in the fall.
LISOVICZ: Sandra, what was it like to ride the wave, and this was like a tsunami with Howard Dean. You rode that publicity wave going up. Everybody loved him, then it came crashing down.
Can you describe what that was like, because Howard Dean was a candidate who benefited and also imploded from the media.
ABREVAYA: Yes. It was difficult at times. When I first joined the campaign he was definitely at the peak of his media love phase. And definitely in the weeks following, with the other candidates having the opportunity to run ads and attack him, and the media started to criticize him as well. And it really effected obviously what voters felt, and we started to see his numbers go down as a consequence of that. And it's never easy to watch that happen, his message is still the same, he still believes in the same things. He still has the same fantastic track record in Vermont. Yet, there's such a fluctuation because of the perception being changed.
CAFFERTY: Sandra, let me defend the media's side for a second.
ABREVAYA: Of course.
CAFFERTY: That's how I made my living. It wasn't the news media that stood up on a riser and acted like a walk away from an asylum. He did that all himself. The fact that the news media was there to record it is what we are supposed to be doing during a campaign. ABREVAYA: Yes. Well, I don't know if I would characterize it as a walk away from an asylum.
CAFFERTY: Well, maybe more colorful language than I would have chosen, but you'll have to forgive me.
ABREVAYA: I think at that moment in the Iowa caucus in the evening after the precinct calls came in, he wasn't perhaps acting in what people characterize as the most presidential manner. I think however something that is important to note that wasn't really noted by the media to the public at the time was that he was responding specificly to the energy in the room, to over 2,000 volunteers who had come in from all over the country to support him to work for his campaign. And he was really trying to reenergize that room full of people to remind them what they had done, it wasn't futile and it wasn't pointless. That they were there for a reason and they would continue and do well.
So, I think that granted, you know, nobody changed what he did he was definitely energetic that evening, but at the same time, I think that things were misplayed slightly. And that's always, you know, the ride people go on in the wave of media appearances.
CAFFERTY: That's fair enough.
SERWER: We appreciate your sense of humor about that and your grace in handling that. I want to ask you about John Kerry.
How much support can he expect from the Deaniacs?
Will they support him, work for him, are they going to go to Nader?
ABREVAYA: No, I think the dean workers and supporters will support the nominee. And I can only speak for myself, but I do support Kerry. And I definitely am not going to be going for Nader. I think that -- that is a mistake that I really hope we don't make again in 2004.
LISOVICZ: Sandra, quick question for you -- with such a bitter sweet experience, I imagine for you, do you feel that you still have faith in the political process?
ABREVAYA: Most definitely. I think that it's hard because what the media will see is a group of kids who were working in probably the lower echelon for Dean for several months and sort of saw the end of his campaign come. And I think people expect us to be disappointed, and jaded, but that's not the case at all. What I saw was a candidate who people did not know about, who had an extremely strong message, who brought that message to a slew of other candidates who were running who adopted it on their platforms. I believe that Kerry has taken on much of Dean's message. And I support that. So...
CAFFERTY: You know what? You are a win. The reason you are a win is because they talk about people not being involved in this country, and not enough of us go to vote and not enough of us give a damn about the future and who will run the place. Well, people like you do give a damn, and I hope one day you run for office. And if you are and I'm still around, I'll vote for you.
ABREVAYA: Thank you.
SERWER: What an endorsement.
CAFFERTY: I'll vote for you even though you work ford Howard Dean. I'm just kidding. Just kidding. Thanks for being on the show.
ABREVAYA: Thank you very much.
CAFFERTY: Coming up next, Allen Wastler has the latest on the porn industry attempt to go porn. That's what we need -- mobile porn.
And tell us what you are thinking about this. You can e-mail your thoughts to email@example.com.
But first, Susan has "Money and Family."
LISOVICZ: Last week we gave you the basics on 529 saving accounts. This week we will look at tax benefits that make 529 a popular choice. First, earnings in your 529 account will grow completely free of federal income tax. So, like a Roth IRA, your earnings can grow at a faster rate since they are reinvested without being taxed. When you withdraw money on a 529 to spend it on qualified educational expenses, you don't pay federal income taxes on the earnings. That saves you the taxes you would ordinarily pay on a regular stock account.
529 accounts can also reduce your estate taxes. Yearly contributions of up to $11,000 are considered gifts in the tax code and become a deductible on the account owner estate. And in some states, some or all of your 529 account contributions may be state tax deductible. I'm Susan Lisovicz from "Money and Family."
CAFFERTY: Here's something you probably didn't know. The VCR helped porn find its way into millions of American homes in the '80s. Then it became one of the top draws in the Internet in the '90s. And now the porn industry is trying to get a new foothold in your life on your cell phone.
Webmaster Allen Wastler hat latest on this phenomenon of porn on the run or something.
CAFFERTY: Porn that moves around. ALLAN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: Has a success rate, doesn't it?
Now all the phones are coming with screens on them. It says, hey don't you want to see naked people on your screen.
CAFFERTY: We can look-at people on the LIE watching porn movies while doing their commute in the morning. Now that's a little scary.
WASTLER: There's two things block it. One is technology, the second is morality. Over in Asia and Europe, this is already a trend. It's already going on.
CAFFERTY: They're doing this already.
SERWER: They're doing it.
WASTLER: The business consultants are saying we figured this could be maybe a 1 billion to $6.5 billion industry. This is going to be great. But you have to do a few things. The cell phones we have over here are a bit different from the cell phones they have on the other side of the ocean. We are trying to slowly make the change to third generation cell phones.
SERWER: Sounds like theirs are better.
CAFFERTY: Nice analysis.
WASTLER: You need the new technology essentially. Right now you can do surfing. I've got a web-equipped phone in the name of journalism I did surfing yesterday to find out what you can and cannot get.
LISOVICZ: In the name of journalism.
WASTLER: And it's pretty, you know, not that great. It's kind of clumsy. And the best you can do is text message and somebody sending you dirty stories. Over in Europe and Asia you can get the pictures and the goods. What they're figuring as the technology changes and you know , the porn guys, they figure out how to make it work. They just say we'll do this, and this and this.
CAFFERTY: We do have an option, though in this country until they get the cell phone thing figured out that's the fun site of the week.
WASTLER: That is true. Since we are talking about porn, what could be better than hot Amish porn. That's right, folks. You don't think it's there. You can find anything on the Internet.
SERWER: I don't want to know.
WASTLER: There it is. There it is, Andy.
SERWER: No. No. WASTLER: Hot Amish porn. Before everybody starts banging out the e-mails and picking up the phones, it's a joke. Any link you click on here will take you to quilts, and cookie recipes. But you can see it all on your Amish laptop compete with chalk board, and some charcoal and an abacus. That abacus, by the way, can take you up to at least eight digits.
SERWER: And a horse and buggy.
LISOVICZ: Go see the movie "Witness" if you want to see the best love scene.
CAFFERTY: Very erotic. I agree. All right. Hot Amish porn until we can get the cell phones working right. What a program this is.
Coming up next, we'll read your e-mails, and if you were offended by our fun site or anything else on this program, you can let us know. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Be back after this.
CAFFERTY: Well, we have a lot of e-mail about our interview with Dr. Laura Schlesinger.
Eric wrote this, "Dr. Laura assumes men can't be more emotional and that's giving in to the our macho culture. As a man, I find it disgusting that men can't take care of their family's emotional needs and just let their women do it for them."
Our segment on the CEO of the outsourcing company also drew a big reaction. Vince from Seattle weighed in with this, "Jack, I loved when you asked the CEO if he ran an Indian or an American company. He said American, but there was no true patriotism in his voice. Companies like his are like pimps selling America piece by piece."
Now our e-mail question this week is as follows, are you worried about the federal budget deficit?
You can e-mail your answers to that to email@example.com. And you can also learn more about this program and get the fun site of the week this week it's hot Amish porn. The address is money.com/inthemoney. And you might want to write soon because once the folks in Atlanta check out hot Amish porn we might not be back next weekend. We could be toast here. In the meantime, thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY.
Thanks to the gang here, CNN Financial correspondent, Susan Lisovicz, and my pal, "Fortune" Magazine editor-at-large, Andy Serwer, money.com managing editor, Allen Wastler.
Join us next week, Saturday 1:00 Eastern, Sunday at 3:00, or you can catch Andy and me all week long on "AMERICAN MORNING" starting 7:00 Eastern. Hope to see you soon. Thanks for spending some time with us.
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