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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST:
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

GUESTS:
PAT BUCHANAN
ELEANOR CLIFT
TONY BLANKLEY
JAMES WARREN

DATE: SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 2002

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Operation Anaconda.

GEN. TOMMY FRANKS: (From videotape.) The area inside Afghanistan continues to be very messy. It continues to be very dangerous. So we have brought some Marine helicopters in and positioned them inside Afghanistan, and I'd rather not say exactly where. But we have provided some additional robustness there with attack helicopters.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hundreds of U.S. reinforcements hit the mountains of eastern Afghanistan this week, battling enemy fire and weathering the austere Afghan landscape. They were sent to assist an earlier deployment, which lost eight U.S. soldiers.

Here's how it happened. Last Saturday, a U.S. Special Forces soldier was killed by enemy fire during an assault on al Qaeda and Taliban forces near Gardez. Then on Monday, a Navy SEAL fell from a Chinook helicopter after it was hit by a grenade-propelled enemy rocket. He was dragged off by al Qaeda fighters and killed.

Later that day, same day -- Monday -- less than a mile away from the first attack, six other service members died in a firefight after their helicopter was hit by enemy fire.

The loss of eight soldiers so far makes Operation Anaconda the costliest operation since the Black Hawk Down disaster in Mogadishu, Somalia, 1993. Operation Anaconda was supposed to be quick and easy. Instead it has been tougher than expected, with higher U.S. casualties and longer and more intense fighting.

Question: What does this Anaconda operation tell us about the war on al Qaeda? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, first off, John, it was a great American victory. We let these people come in, congregate in a particular place, surrounded them and killed them in great numbers, despite that mishap which killed a lot of good Americans.

However, more importantly, what it tells us is phase one of the war is not over. Secondly, al Qaeda is getting sanctuary in Pakistan, much as the Viet Cong got sanctuary in Cambodia. So this could be an enduring war.

Third, you've got the civil war breaking out inside Afghanistan. What that means is that so-called phase two, the war on Iraq, I believe, is going to have to be put off. I don't think the Americans can do that at the same time we have to do Afghanistan. Otherwise I think we'd be overloading the circuit in the Islamic world.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A slower and more resistant war than we had contemplated. Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: I'm playing for sympathy today. I've got a cold. So you're all going to be nice to me and not interrupt me.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Wait a second. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: I think this battle came as a big surprise, because there was a sense that we had already declared victory and we were going on to something else. But you referred to Black Hawk Down in the set-up piece. And the lesson of Black Hawk Down was that it took only 18 deaths of American servicemen to drive the U.S. out of that country and to radically change American policy.

And I think the president is right here. We've got to show staying power. We've got to show that we're not just a bully from 30,000 feet, that we're willing to slog through the snow and take casualties. Nobody wants to see a bloody battle, but I think this is a chance to send a message to bin Laden and the rest of the world that the U.S. has the resolve to fight this out and stay there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We have to mop up individual groups of terrorists. Unlike Kosovo, unlike Desert Storm, this means a slower war, a longer war. What does it tell you?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I don't think it tells quite as much as Pat would suggest. This is not another Vietnam because the magnitude of numbers is so much smaller, with the number of al Qaeda, who were able to slip back and forth between Pakistan and the hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of North Vietnamese who could maneuver. So I don't take that analogy.

What it has done -- the president, I understand, is asking some hard questions to his military folk. This is, I think, a good sign. There's a tendency for the military people generally to sort of have a rosy view of things. Now I think there's going to be a very realistic, cooler assessment of the challenges. I don't think this is going to end the progress towards Iraq.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rumsfeld is already talking about sending 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan for purposes of stabilizing the country. Does this suggest that we should not multiply our objectives? The more you multiply your objectives, other theaters, the more you compound risk. What do you think?

MR. WARREN: Well, I think, first of all, I can't believe you're so parsimonious as not to get Eleanor honey for her tea.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think I want to lose my reputation?

MR. WARREN: You're absolutely -- first of all, you're correct.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: By being kind and humanitarian?

MR. WARREN: Well, you're going to lose her. You won't be able to beat up on her anymore.

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She has a lot more resilience than you think.

MR. WARREN: We're reminded of the fallacy in thinking that once the Taliban split Kabul, this was all over. And I think we remain rather naive about what's to play out here. Will Rumsfeld actually send about 30,000? I think you've got about 5,000 there now. I sort of doubt it. But as far as stage two and going into Iraq, I don't buy that. I don't think it's going to happen.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Independently of this, you don't buy it?

MR. WARREN: No, not at all. I think it's too dicey. I don't think -- there's too much dissension within the administration about --

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. WARREN: -- whether to do it, how to do it and what to do with a government post-Saddam.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're also in the Philippines now, about 650 Americans. And who knows what mission creep may occur there? And then we have the Somalia operation.

MR. BUCHANAN: You're in Georgia.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Georgia.

MR. WARREN: This is the same group of --

MR. BUCHANAN: You're in Yemen.

MR. WARREN: This is the same group of folks who criticized Clinton for being spread way too thin militarily.

MR. BUCHANAN: Tony is right to this extent. Look, Vietnam, we had half a million guys there. We're not going to put half a million guys into Afghanistan. But if you put in 30,000, they're fighting and we're taking casualties there. You're fighting in the Philippines. You're in Georgia. You've got all these other commitments. We've got half the forces we had at the time of Desert Storm, and they are not going to launch an invasion of Iraq.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And we have 20-year-old helicopters.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, look, let me just throw one thought in. The reason we're doing all of this is because our government and our experts believe there's a reasonable likelihood of an attack with weapons of mass destruction on this country. So, therefore, certain levels of risk are going to have to be taken that wouldn't be if we had the luxury of simply waiting for years.

The spread -- we're talking about hundreds, not thousands, in the Philippines. In Yemen it's 120 people. Keep in mind that our military is not so small that we can't put around a few hundred people here and there and not still have a --

MR. BUCHANAN: You've got all over. You've got them in the Balkans, and you've also got this Middle East thing that is exploding in Israel. And, look, let me tell you, Tony, you've got Israel with Ariel Sharon shooting Palestinians, us shooting Afghans and us invading Iraq, and you are talking about a clash of civilizations. They will think twice before they do it now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question. Since this war is proving to be much slower, much more resistant, is it time to shelve planning and talk about invading Iraq or bombing Iran or bombing North Korea? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, they're not going to do North Korea and they're not going to do Iran; they've already said that. I think, with regard to Iraq, they've got to bring the Congress in. You've got to have a declaration of war before we take a risk like that. I think they're going to put it off. They're not going to halt it. I think they're going to postpone it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, you say they announced that and it's clear. I haven't heard any clear announcement with regard to North Korea.

MR. BUCHANAN: Secretary --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I have heard that it is reported that --

MR. BUCHANAN: Secretary of State --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- Bush said behind the screen that he would not take military action against North Korea.

MR. BUCHANAN: Powell went up and said, "We have no plans for any war on Iran or on North Korea," which Saddam Hussein noted.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: It would be suicidal to bomb North Korea or to do anything with Iran. Iraq is still in this administration's target sights, but they do not have authority from Congress --

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MS. CLIFT: -- to go into Iraq. They would have to go back to Congress. And there's concern, not only among Democrats but Republicans -- taking out Saddam Hussein might be doable, but what do you have after that? You could have a worse cauldron.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, let's hear from the war lobby now. (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I think that the import of this is there will be some delay, some reconsideration by the government. And the Middle East cauldron is certainly going to be another factor in there. And Clinton -- Bush got an earful from Mubarak this week on the danger of going alone in Iraq. But I don't think he's going to have to go alone. I think ultimately Turkey is going to be with us and Bahrain and some other places. I think it's delayed a little bit, but I think the planning moves forward.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see what happened to David Frum because he used the phrase "axis of evil"? Actually Gerson filled in the "evil," I hear.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. Then --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see what happened to him? Was he fired because he got the president into a policy box that he really didn't want to be in?

MR. BLANKLEY: He chose to retire. He said he announced his retirement before that happened, and his wife sent e-mails around bragging about the line.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who do you believe? Do you believe Frum or do you believe Novak? (Laughter.)

MR. WARREN: David Frum, Canadian-born speechwriter, now former speechwriter for Mr. Bush, whom you just alluded to. But take a look at an excellent piece in last week's New Yorker Magazine by one of your favorite investigative reporters, Seymour Hirsch, which laid out in great detail tremendous dissension within the ranks of the Bush administration over what to do with Saddam Hussein. There is no unanimity on whether to do it. There's no unanimity on how to do it. And there is absolutely no --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does Seymour think will happen? What does he think is going to happen?

MR. WARREN: -- view of what happens post-Saddam. We don't have a guy to stick in there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does Seymour think is going to happen?

MR. WARREN: Probably nothing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That would be welcome. What was my question? I want to answer it myself.

MR. BUCHANAN: It was Iraq. Are they going to put it off?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, they're going to put it off. I think they are.

When we come back, should DC license Mike Tyson to box in Washington?

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Blood-Soaked Holy Land.

(Videotape of violence.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Each day brings fresh reports of more lives lost and more Palestinian and Israeli families shattered by those losses.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was a blood-soaked week, with more killing than any other week since September 2000, and maybe in decades. Is there a glimmer of hope anywhere? Perhaps. The Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler, Abdullah, has offered a peace proposal, incorporated in a speech locked in his desk drawer, never delivered.

Quote: "This is exactly the idea I had in mind: Full withdrawal from all the occupied territories, in accord with U.N. resolutions, including in Jerusalem, in exchange for full normalization of relations. I have drafted a speech along those lines. My thinking was to deliver it before the Arab summit and try to mobilize the entire Arab world behind it. The speech is written, and it is in my desk. But I changed my mind about delivering it when Sharon took the violence, and the oppression, to an unprecedented level."

The crown prince's idea was endorsed by all mainline Arab States, notably Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad -- the latter traveling to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to confer personally with Prince Abdullah, a key development. President Bush also sees the Abdullah framework as a critical opening.

PRESIDENT BUSH: They cannot reject the notion of Crown Prince Abdullah that says, "We recognize Israel's right to exist." I think that's an important opening.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Groundwork is currently being laid for the March 27th Arab League summit. The Arab League wants Yasser Arafat there, but Israel is detaining him at his headquarters in Ramallah. International pressure is being put on Israel to avert the consequences of blocking Arafat from attending the Beirut conference.

Question: Should Sharon permit Arafat to attend the Beirut Arab League summit. Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Of course. There's no purpose served by keeping Arafat under house arrest. And Sharon seems bent on all-out war, and he's using American munitions and American planes. And only late this week, after Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke out, Sharon now seems willing to say that he would go ahead with talks and that a week of non-violence doesn't seem to be a prerequisite. So there is a glimmer of hope now to at least get some sort of dialogue started.

MR. BLANKLEY: This is fantasy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. BLANKLEY: This idea of a peace agreement. Just at the end of this week, in order to get Syria back into the fold and endorsing Saudi Arabia's proposal, they had to change the proposal to include endorsement of U.N. Resolution 194. That allows the return of Palestinians. It's up to 3.7 million Palestinians registered with the U.N. to be able to return back, out of 5 million Jews in Israel. That alone kills the deal. There's not going to be a peace deal, unfortunately.

MR. BUCHANAN: That's a deal-breaker. But, look, it is important in this sense. The Saudi crown prince has said, "We will recognize Israel if it does the following." I agree it is utopian to say, "Get out of all this." But, look, the very fact that he says, "We will recognize Israel" -- people get killed in the Middle East for saying he will do that. So there is something there to build on.

As for Ariel Sharon and Arafat, he will let Arafat go. The question is --

MR. BLANKLEY: Will he come back?

MR. BUCHANAN: -- will he let him come back?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's focus on the Syrian requirement. Bashar Assad insisted on the plank that the right of return be in the deal. However, that's negotiable, because you negotiate in exchange for something of value. Is it possible that the right of return, as a right, would be given away, surrendered, in favor of compensation, and that might turn the lock?

MR. WARREN: I don't think compensation and return. We all know what the ultimate deal is going to have to be here. Israel returns to pre-'67 borders, Palestine becomes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and you cut Jerusalem in half --

MR. BLANKLEY: Wait --

MR. WARREN: -- which is why what the Saudis have proposed, as Mubarak told the Chicago Tribune in an exclusive interview, which somehow you probably missed, he said that the Saudi plan is merely an idea, not an action plan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I thought that was given to Lally Weymouth. That was not yours. Lally Weymouth interviews all these heads of state.

Okay, it's quite clear that what you need is an outline of a peace plan. Now, here's the McLaughlin peace plan. Listen to it closely.

One, West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians get 100 percent of both territories.

Two, the Golan returned to Syria.

Three, Jewish settlements on the West Bank and Gaza remain if inhabitants so wish, but then the settlers become Palestinian citizens, as well as Israeli citizens. If they choose not to remain, they are eligible for a cash payment for resettlement outside of Palestine.

Four, Palestinian right of return to Israel, surrendered by all Palestinians -- a right they have insisted upon since 1948, for over half a century -- voided.

Jerusalem status: An open city, like the Vatican state, administered by Jewish, Muslim and Christian clerics in equal number. That edifying cohesion in the heart of the Holy Land would serve to defeat al Qaeda recruitment of Muslim terrorists.

Would you comment on that brilliant peace plan?

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, it's utopian. If everyone would agree to it, it's a great plan. The trouble is that you now have these passions that have arose. I don't think diplomats or statesmen are capable of bringing their people in. Not only that; all of the talking about the Arabs excludes Iran, which is Muslim. And I just happen to have a press release from Rafsanjani issued this week where he says, "The Islamic Republic does not recognize the Zionist regime. Iran politically and morally supports freedom-seeking struggle against Israeli occupation" --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No news there. No news there. That's not a mainline Arab state.

MR. BUCHANAN: That's why --

MR. BLANKLEY: Iran can, by itself, create chaos and threaten the Israeli security. But it can't have a deal where Israel is being guaranteed its safety if Iran, with 60 million people, and --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This crown prince's idea is revolutionary in that it's the first time in 50 years, it's the first time of someone of his stature, and it's all the Arab states, the mainline Arab states.

MR. BUCHANAN: You're exactly right for this reason. And the point you made is valid. Iran is saying, in effect, "We won't go with it and we'll kill him if he signs it." So that's why it is courageous.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this --

MR. BUCHANAN: As for your plan, John, Jerusalem is a non-starter.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why?

MR. BUCHANAN: Because no Israeli president can sign away Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and no Arab nation is going to give up its right to Jerusalem.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're getting the surrender of the right of return, which is what the Israelis fear the most.

MR. BUCHANAN: The Palestinians -- what the Israelis have got to give the Palestinians is a couple of hundred thousand returning to validate the right. You can't give it up forever. The Palestinians can't do it.

MS. CLIFT: Even the Arabs know they're not going to get the right of return, but it's the only bargaining chip they have. If they surrender that, they don't have anything else. I think that's negotiable. But the settlements cannot stay. That is the tradeoff. And that goes back to President Jimmy Carter. The settlements have been an open wound since then.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One final point before we move on. There was another peace plan advanced this week, and that was the very important Mubarak plan. He says that the president should insist. He should make it happen. He should, in effect, force both Sharon and Arafat to visit with Mubarak in Sharm-El-Sheikh. If that happens, there is then some hope, if he can get those two together. Isn't that an enlightened idea?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's not only an enlightened idea; I think this is going to happen. I think the United States is moving slightly away from Sharon. I think Sharon is moving away from his demand for one week of no violence. I think they're going to get together with the Palestinians.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think your point is enforced by the fact that Sharon came here -- excuse me -- yeah, Sharon came here on this past visit and on December the 6th with the direct and immediate purpose of having the United States separate itself from Arafat and permit him or the United States directly to dump Arafat out? The president said no to that. He said, "No, don't harm him" in December.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And on this trip he turned him down again, did he not?

MR. BUCHANAN: Here's the key thing now, though, is both Powell and the president are seeing all this bloodshed, these Israelis going into these villages and all the rest of it. They've had enough.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Boxer Rebellion.

WASHINGTON DC MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS: (From videotape.) You know, I could point you to people in the NFL, people in the NBA, people in the hockey league, who have had troubled backgrounds and continue to play their support. So where do you we -- my problem is, where do we draw the line?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams wants to bring the WBC-IBF heavyweight prizefighting bout between Lennox Lewis -- the current holder of both titles -- and Mike Tyson to the nation's capital.

The fight had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas but was canceled after Tyson was stripped of his Nevada boxing license. Supporters of the Washington venue want to bring the fight, and the millions of dollars that go with it, to DC because tourism revenue in the capital has collapsed after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Opponents say Tyson and his checkered past have no place in Washington. Here are some of Tyson's career highlights:

January 22 of this year: Tyson breaks into a bare-fisted brawl with Lennox Lewis and his entourage during a press conference.

February 1999: Tyson serves three and a half months in a Maryland jail for kicking and punching two other motorists after an accident.

June 1997: Tyson is disqualified during a title fight for biting the ears of his opponent, Evander Holyfield.

March 1992 to March 1995: Tyson serves three years in the Indiana Youth Center after being found guilty on one count of rape and two counts of deviant sexual conduct.

Mayor Williams has been widely criticized, but he also has his supporters; notably, sports columnist Michael Wilbon. "I can't believe that there are so many moralists running amok, or that there's even this much debate. Maybe the lawyers and journalists and politicians who comprise Official Washington haven't noticed, but let's not kid ourselves; the local economy is in trouble. We're not a blue-collar town. DC needs tourism for its service industry. The people who drive limousines and work in the catering business and work at the hotels need a boost."

Question: Degeneracy is nothing new to Washington DC. Just look at all the congressional scandals over the years. This is a town where any scoundrel is welcome to make a comeback. So why should Tyson be discriminated against? Yes or no. Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: He shouldn't be. Nobody's perfect, John. No, seriously, I'd let him fight.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You would?

MR. BUCHANAN: Sure.

MR. WARREN: Yes.

MS. CLIFT: I think --

MR. WARREN: I mean, come on, this is a town where the government doesn't work, the police department doesn't work. They're always close to bankruptcy. How can you possibly hurt the image of the town any more?

MR. BUCHANAN: This is Marion Barry's town.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Isn't there any high-minded moralizing that can go on here? What about you?

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm perfectly in favor of two men consenting to beat each other's brains out -- (laughter) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Okay. It's exploitation of a psychologically sick individual. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is, let him fight.

We'll be right back with predictions.

MR. BUCHANAN: Just like here. (Laughs.)

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Saddam will let inspectors in and complicate our problems in invading.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: He's right. And Congress will toughen air pollution standards on cars and trucks.

MR. BLANKLEY: Paula Jones will beat Tonya Harding next Wednesday in the big fight.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you just hear your Iraq idea shot down?

MR. WARREN: Get out your red-plaid shirts -- the surprise retirement of Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee means that Lamar Alexander will wind up in the Senate.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's Fred going to do, run for governor?

MR. WARREN: He's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I predict Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who drowned her five offspring, will be declared by the jury to have been, at the time of the slayings, insane.

Bye bye.

(End of regular program.)

(PBS segment.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue four: Bush does New York.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): (From videotape.) Well, nearly six months ago, Mr. President, I sat in the Oval Office and I asked you for $20 billion to help New York. There were tears in his eye, tears in mine. And he said, "New York needs help." And I said, "Yes, Mr. President." And without hesitation, without even flinching, he said, "You've got it."

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY): (From videotape.) Well, Mr. President, last September, when Chuck and I were in the Oval Office, you never promised us a rose garden. But you did promise us $20 billion. And today we're getting both, the Rose Garden and the $20 billion.

Well, I don't write newspaper headlines, which should be obvious to everyone. (Laughter.) But maybe tomorrow's headline will be, "Bush to New York: Help Is On The Way." And so, Mr. President, we say thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: (From videotape.) As you can see, I'm standing with the mighty -- and I emphasize mighty -- New York delegation. This is the right thing to do. It's the absolute right position for our government to take. It is essential that New York City come back, and come back strong, for the good of the entire nation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: In 2004, when George Bush runs for re-election, will he carry the state of New York, as did Ronald Reagan in 1984 and no Republican since? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Nixon carried it in 1972, as you recall. I don't believe President Bush will carry New York unless he wins a 45- to 50-state landslide. That's the only way --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you understand the importance of this $21.4 billion that he's arranged?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think the president will do far better than he did. But carrying New York, John, the only way a Republican carries New York is if he's carrying 45 to 50 states.

MS. CLIFT: And, John, you didn't cover the back story in that deal. The administration tried to filch on the money. Remember the budget director said New Yorkers were a bunch of money-grubbers. But New York now has a place in the heart of everybody in this country, and the president sees it as a good thing to identify with New York, which I thought I'd never see in my life, as somebody who's from New York.

MR. WARREN: Speaking of backs, did you see that little pat on the back of Hillary by the president of the United States?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm-hmm. Have you ever seen Hillary looking better, by the way? Looking better, talking better, more spontaneous. You don't think that Hillary is going to deny herself the opportunity to serve Americans at a national level in 2004, do you?

MR. WARREN: She and Schumer will not deny themselves the possibility of being in front of any camera, Rose Garden or elsewhere. I think that's what that was all about -- those spineless Democrats now giving Mr. Bush a nice almost campaign video there, standing right behind him. But this also, seriously, is an example of politics actually working, and everybody gets out okay.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think of Bush? Don't you think he's established himself as a serious winner, possible winner in New York, bearing in mind that most Republicans -- most presidents, I guess, kind of ignore New York? Even Clinton (started to?) take it for granted.

MR. BLANKLEY: I agree with Pat that it's got to be almost a 45- or 50-state sweep for New York to come into play. If it does, he could.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, we cannot fail -- I'm sorry --

MR. BLANKLEY: That's it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We cannot fail to overlook that the United States Congress, all members of the Senate, 100, 435 members of the House of Representatives, are going to migrate to New York to hold a session of Congress, an official session of Congress, in New York. Do you like the idea? This could take place around July 4th. It could take place as late as September the 11th. It will be at the Jacob Javits Convention Hall or Madison Square Garden. What do you think of the idea?

MR. WARREN: Right-field seats at Yankee Stadium. Let's be really patriotic here.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want to hold it there.

MR. BUCHANAN: Good for New York and good for Washington that they're gone. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You understand this will be mostly symbolic. Probably no legislation will be passed.

MR. BLANKLEY: I think it's important for Americans to be reminded constantly of the struggle that we're involved in. This will help and may encourage --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You realize the security that will be necessary for 535 of those gentlemen and ladies? Do you realize that?

(End of PBS segment.)


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