ANNOUNCER: From the nation's capital, the McLaughlin Group, an unrehearsed program presenting inside opinions and forecasts on major issues of the day. "GE is proud to support the McLaughlin Group. From lighting to financial services, GE: We bring good things to life."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Jumping into the nuclear fire.

NAWAZ SHARIF (prime minister of Pakistan): (On audiotape, through interpreter.) Today the flames of the nuclear fire are all over. I am thankful to God that today we have taken the path shown by Allah. We have jumped into these flames. We are very proud of our neighbor China for all its help,.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pakistan detonated five nuclear bombs last Thursday. Pakistan has now joined the United States, Russia, England, France, China, and India to become the seventh member of the planet's nuclear club.

Pakistan got the initial design to produce these bombs from China in 1983, intelligence reports indicate. Between 1983 and 1996, China provided assistance in constructing nuclear reactors and providing materials used in uranium enrichment.

LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER (former secretary of state): (On videotape.) While the Chinese have a great deal to be responsible for in all of this to begin with, I'm the guy that had to cut Pakistan off back in the '80s because it was clear they were getting assistance from China.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: With China contributing to nuclear proliferation in South Asia, why is the president still planning a visit to Beijing in four weeks? Pakistan's nuclear event this week is one more reason that in the post-Cold War era China should be held at arm's length. Mr. Clinton calls China "our partner." Others call China "our adversary."

Question: Which is it? Is China our partner or our adversary or neither, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, China is a rival and an antagonist of the United States of America. It is silly to call them a strategic partner. Their objectives are to seize Taiwan and to achieve hegemony over Asia and to drive the United States out of the Western Pacific.

With regard to Pakistan, they had every right to do what they did --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pakistan did?

MR. BUCHANAN: -- and to explode those bombs. They have fought three wars with India. They have been dismembered by India. And India blew off those five explosions right in their face. I think the Pakistanis did exactly what they had a right to do.


MS. CLIFT: China is big enough to be a superpower, and superpowers act in their own self-interest. It just so happens that in containing the explosion of arms in that area of the world, our interests coincide with China's interests. And it's unfortunate that Pakistan didn't listen to China.

China did play a responsible role to try to get them not to test.

Pakistan was listening to its own domestic politics. Benazir Bhutto was taunting Sharif, saying he wasn't man enough to test. They're out there in the streets, shooting guns into the sky and dancing and exchanging chocolates. They're going to have bread lines next because the sanctions are going to really hurt.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Linda Chavez. How is everything with Proposition 227?

MS. CHAVEZ: It's actually going to win.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the proposition state?

MS. CHAVEZ: It says that bilingual education is not good for kids who don't speak English, and it's going to end it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it's going to end it? Do you approve of that?

MS. CHAVEZ: Absolutely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want that vote?

MS. CHAVEZ: Absolutely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why aren't you out there in California campaigning for this?

MS. CHAVEZ: (Laughs.) Well, I have done my best writing about the subject.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the answer to this question: Is China our adversary or our partner or neither?

MS. CHAVEZ: John, friends do not aim nuclear-tipped missiles at American cities. There is no question the Chinese are not our friends.

This idea that we should be, you know, applauding what Pakistan has done -- the only reason that India exploded that bomb was because China had been shipping nuclear technology to Pakistan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think China's policy is on nonproliferation, or is it a policy of selective proliferation?

MR. BARONE: Well, John -- selective -- well among things, they have selective proliferation of campaign money, some of which found its way into the Clinton campaign. But the fact is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that's why --

MR. BARONE: One of the ironies that's going on, John, is that we have now got nonproliferation sanctions, as we should under the law, against India, which doesn't proliferate and give its weapons to others. We don't have them against China, which has been giving the nuclear design, as you pointed out, to Pakistan in 1983, which shipped them weapons-grade materials, and also shipped weapons-grade materials to our great friends in Iran in the early 1990s.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And North Korea?

MR. BARONE: And under this administration and under the past administration, we did not take sanctions against them. And we've basically been --

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. Well --

MR. BARONE: We're now in a position where we're almost a military ally of China against India. We have helped them aim their missiles. Our defense contractor, headed by the No. 1 Democratic contributor, helped them aim their missiles, which of course are aimed partly at India.

MS. CLIFT: Look, the best way --

MR. BARONE: And that is an unfortunate position to have gotten the United States into.

MS. CLIFT: The best way to create an enemy is to go looking for one. It is insane to cut ourselves off from this country that it's a quarter of the population. And it seems to me that, if we are going to deal with China, we have to recognize the fact --

MR. BARONE: Oh, look, both India and China

MS. CLIFT: -- wait a second --

MR. BARONE: -- have a fourth of the (word inaudible) population.

MS. CLIFT: -- that there is a chain of command here: Pakistan wants the bomb because India has the bomb. India wants the bomb because China has the bomb. China wants the bomb because Russia has the bomb. Russia wants the bomb because we have the bomb. And these five members of the nuclear club ought to sit down together when Clinton goes to India in the fall, as he should, and begin to --


MS. CLIFT: -- bring some rationality into the discussion.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you thinking he's going to go to India in the fall?

MS. CLIFT: He's going to go, but he's not going to announce it until the end. He's going to wait until he can get something in return for the trip.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's -- we've got a little news here.

MR. BARONE: No, he's told a leading Democratic senator that he will go to India.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I've got a question for you. On the fundamental question of proliferation versus nonproliferation, we are anti-proliferation. We are spending millions of dollars with Russia to affect this end, with their denuclearization.

MR. BUCHANAN: But, look, what --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where insistence on -- to India -- we're punishing India, we're punishing Pakistan --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, there's a simple --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, my question is this: On this fundamental question, we are opposed. They are proliferators. We're talking about North Korea, we're talking about Iran, we're talking about Pakistan.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, this is -- there is a certain simple-minded liberalism which thinks China is a friend of the United States.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you have anybody in mind, here? Is that what --

MR. BUCHANAN: These are -- China is a great power. India is alone in the world; it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself. It's isolated. Pakistan is terrified of India. These countries act in their own interests; they don't sign little pieces of paper and thereby forego rights to become -- to defend themselves.

MS. CHAVEZ: And they don't trust -- and they no longer trust the United states to provide any kind of nuclear security.

MS. CLIFT: Well, of course not, but the core issue is --

MR. BARONE: Well, when we've -- (inaudible due to cross talk) -- China, it's going to be hard for India to trust us. And in turn, Pakistan is sitting out there in this (inaudible word) status.


MS. CLIFT: If you ask any American policy-maker what part of the world is most likely to explode in a nuclear exchange, they'll tell you India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and that's the next area that has to be defused, and that's what the policy-makers are worried about.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question, we got to get out. President Clinton leaves for China in four weeks. Should he go, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: He shouldn't go to China and he shouldn't go to Tiananmen Square and he's going to do both.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why -- what should he go to China?

MR. BUCHANAN: He should not go to China because China, in my judgment, has been basically backhanding him every time he extends a hand to these folks.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, China --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does he have any strategic vision with regards to nuclear nonproliferation?

MR. BUCHANAN: I -- look, he does not. He has no clout left with anyone, and China is -- look, China has defied us at every step along the way.

MS. CLIFT: That's not true, Pat!

MR. BUCHANAN: They've done everything but smack -- look --

MS. CLIFT: That's not true. They've released -- they released --

MR. BUCHANAN: Madeleine Albright said it's going to be serious if they tried to interfere with America's (defense ?).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's get back to the exit question.

MS. CLIFT: They released the leading dissident, they've cooperated with defusing nuclear tension in North Korea, they've stopped cooperating with Iran on nuclear technology --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We think. We think.

MS. CLIFT: Right. Well --

MR. BARONE: But they aren't giving warm and fuzzy treatment to a lot of political prisoners in China now.

MS. CHAVEZ: And they aimed missiles right at us --

MS. CLIFT: -- keeping -- being engaged with them is the right thing to do.

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your answer to my question? Should he go?

MS. CLIFT: I don't remember the -- yes!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should he go?

MS. CHAVEZ: Absolutely not.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should he go?

MR. BARONE: He should never have moved up that trip originally scheduled for this fall to June. Now he's got two bad alternatives: go or not go.


MR. BARONE: Either one of them is the loser. He should have kept it back in October, and we wouldn't be having --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he calls you up, and he says, "Michael, what should I do?" What do you tell him?

MR. BARONE: I'd tell him to punt. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think he should go.

When we come back, it's raining money in Washington with floods of money to come. What should we do with this deluge of dollars?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two. Washington weather: Raining money with flooding expected.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: (From videotape.) Now, it's official that this year, well ahead of the most ambitious schedule, America has balanced the budget.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In the Rose Garden this week, Bill Clinton brought with him three bouquets: one, a $39 billion federal budget surplus this year, $495 billion in surplus over five years, $1.3 trillion over 10 years; two, a reasserted commitment to the financial security of senior Americans.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: (From videotape.) Let me be clear; I will oppose any budget that fails to set aside the surpluses until we have strengthened Social Security for the 21st century.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Three. This bouquet was the most tantalizing:

PRESIDENT CLINTON: (From videotape.) Let me also be clear that does not mean that in the future there could never be a tax cut.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clinton open to a tax cut? Well, not quite. Two hours later, Clinton's economic czar Gene Sperling yanked back the Clinton tax-cut dangle.

GENE SPERLING (Assistant to the President, Economic Policy): (From videotape.) Unless something unexpected were to happen, we would not entertain tax cuts that drain the surplus. The worst thing would be we get into a bidding war on tax cuts or anything else.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Classic Clinton close-watchers say, by staying absolutely committed, supporting Social Security first, Clinton's cement is senior support. By opening the door to tax cuts, Clinton pulls in the 75 million boomers. In addition, Clinton co-opts what Republicans thought they had co-opted; tax cuts as an issue cornerstone in November's election, just five months away.

And the Rose Garden political minuet didn't stop there. It was also a brilliant diversion. On the very same day, Tuesday, Ken Starr was demanding handwriting, voice and fingerprint samples from Monica Lewinsky. By announcing old surplus news, beating the drum for keeping Social Security strong, and showing ankle on tax cuts, Clinton kept, quote, unquote, "that woman" below the page-one newspapers polls.


Question: Was the Rose Garden address primarily economic or primarily political, Michael Barone?

MR. BARONE: Well, the answer is it was primarily political, as most statements by most presidents are on budget, as most statements by Bill Clinton are.

But the fact is, those -- you know, the politics can have policy consequences beyond what the president might anticipate. His State of the Union message where he came out with what I thought was sort of a, you know, cheap-shot way to the stop the Republicans, cheap shot on taxes --


MR. BARONE: -- with this save Social Security -- it would have to go to Social -- that's had consequences, John. We've had Pat Moynihan's statement on March 16th, urging a partial privatization of Social Security. You've had the CSIS study, which Senator John Breaux, Democrat, supported. That's going to have consequences towards privatizing Social Security.

And I think now, with this money coming in, in large part because of capital gains tax cuts and mutual fund ownership rampant among the public -- that's what's gushing in the money -- there's going to be pressure for tax cuts that Mr. Clinton won't be able to hold back.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think -- does that cover the issue? Can we move on now to the next issue? (Laughter, cross talk.)

I want to ask you: Can Clinton co-opt the tax cut issue?

MS. CHAVEZ: I think it's going to be very tough for him to co-opt the tax cut issue. First of all, Gingrich has said he wants a $70 billion tax cut, and I think it's going to be difficult for the Democrats not to go along with the tax cut --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think he can reduce it to parity with himself and the Republicans --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- so it's political parity?


MR. BUCHANAN: No. Listen, whenever you get into the war on tax cuts, the Republicans will always win, because they seem bolder and more aggressive.

But John, the economy is cooling. It's moving down to 2 percent growth. And don't think that gigantic 1 trillion-whatever-it-is surplus is going to be there --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was this a political appearance, or was it --

MR. BUCHANAN: It was a political appearance, but he opened the door to tax cuts, and he can't win on that battlefield.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He showed some ankle, didn't he, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you --

MS. CLIFT: How dare he divert attention from the Monica scandal by focusing on public policy! (Laughter.)

Look, it's easy to trump this -- it's easy to trump this Congress on tax cuts --


MS. CLIFT: -- because they can't agree among themselves.


MS. CLIFT: The Republicans are all divided.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clinton won't talk. Mr. Clinton has been invited, it was disclosed this week, at least four times in the last three months to testify before the grand jury, by Kenneth Starr, voluntarily. The president said thanks, but no thanks. Why? Too busy. No precedent. Starr is a rabid partisan.

Question: Will Clinton succeed in eluding Starr and never be forced to talk about the Lewinsky legal matter in public or in private? I ask you, Linda.

MS. CHAVEZ: I think he will avoid talking, but those around him can't avoid talking. And I think the Supreme Court is going to take this appeal, and I think we're going to have a lot of people talking. It's going to be bad news for Bill Clinton.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. This is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I have got a question to you: Do you think that (they're ?) waiting until Monica speaks first, and then Clinton might speak?

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. That's good lawyering. (Laughter.) He wants to wait until he hears what she has to say.

But also this is negotiating. In '95 and '96, Starr wanted to bring the president to Arkansas and have him testify before the jury there. The White House said: "No. We'll only do written questions." He ended up taking videotape testimony in the White House.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can Clinton get --

MR. BUCHANAN: Monica's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- can Clinton get through this without addressing it?

MR. BUCHANAN: No. Monica is liable to be speaking from a witness box. Look -- (laughter) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think he can get through it without addressing it?


MR. BARONE: I think if Ken Starr indicts Monica Lewinsky, as it's beginning to look like --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, really?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think that's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That means a trial?

MR. BUCHANAN: And guess who the --

MR. BARONE: Well, I think then the president's testimony can be compelled like that of any citizen --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can he take the Fifth then?

MR. BARONE: Well, of course, he can take the Fifth.

MR. BUCHANAN: (He ?) can. He's a defense witness --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So if Monica is put on trial, then he can be compelled to appear as a witness, and he must be.

MR. BUCHANAN: He'll be subpoenaed.

MR. BARONE: He can be compelled. Now, the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Or he'd be held in contempt?

MR. BARONE: -- the circumstances under which he would be held, you might make concessions to what the president's duty --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Exit: Will there be tax cuts this year? And if so, which ones and how much? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think there will be some, and the Republicans will go for the family --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Which ones?

MR. BUCHANAN: -- the family deduction. The marriage tax. They're keeping that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the estate tax? Will they get rid of that?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no. (Laughs.) The marriage penalty -- (laughter) -- I know you'd like that, John, but you're not going to get that. When it's -- the marriage penalty will go, if they do anything.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MS. CLIFT: I think it's more likely there'll be a tax increase on tobacco.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tax cuts this year?

MS. CHAVEZ: I think there'll be tax cuts, about half of what Gingrich wants, about $45 billion.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What kind of cuts?

MS. CHAVEZ: And I think the biggest is going to be the marriage penalty --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: No, no. They don't have the money for that.

MR. BARONE: I think the likelihood is that I think the marriage -- I think Eleanor and Pat are both right; the marriage tax, and we'll have a tobacco --

MS. CLIFT: No. I say no to marriage --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is --

MR. BUCHANAN: We won't have a tobacco tax.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- the answer is no tax cuts this year.

Issue three: The emerald tiger.

PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR (United Kingdom): (From videotape.) It is a big step and a very welcome one, but there's still a long way to go.

GERRY ADAMS (president, Sinn Fein): (From videotape.) What the electorate did was to sign up for a future, not a past.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most of the recent foreign news has been bad: one, nuclear tests in India and Pakistan; two, rioting in Indonesia; three, crashing of the Russian trading market with stocks down to one-half their value.

Four, Gingrich in Jerusalem kicking up dust.

But in Ireland, the news is good. The Northern Ireland peace agreement passed last week by wide margins in both Northern and Southern Ireland. The diplomatic skill and tenacity of Blair, Adams, Mitchell, Clinton, Ahern and Trimble all contributed to the blessed breakthrough.

But there was another powerful force, equal or greater than diplomacy, that moved the process along; namely, Ireland's booming economy. With the international press focus held for so long and for so hard on Northern Ireland's troubles, Southern Ireland, meanwhile, has been undergoing an economic transformation from sow's ear to silk purse.

In 1997, Ireland's economy grew faster than the economy of Great Britain by nearly three times. Ireland is arguably the most vibrant economy in the European Community; it's called the "Emerald Tiger." This is in marked contrast to what Ireland was in the '70s and the '80s, and for that matter, most of this century. The problem then was no jobs, no economic future, and a vast Irish youth out-migration to Britain, the United States or Australia. In the '70s and '80s, as many as 40,000 Irish left their country every year, but last year, 44,000 people immigrated into Ireland -- most of them returning Irish themselves.

Question: The diplomatic effort has received more credit for the passage of the Irish peace plan than has the economy. Did the diplomats deserve more credit, or did the economy?

Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Well, it was a courageous act to invite Gerry Adams here a couple of years ago, and now he's back. This week he was the toast of Wall Street, you know, raising money. So I think the primary credit does go there.

But I agree with you; I think the economy allowed the peace process to take root. And Secretary Daley is going to take a planeful of executives of major corporations to Ireland on June 7th, and the investment opportunities in biotech and pharmacological industry is wonderful over there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How will Ireland's economy fare in a united Europe?

MR. BARONE: I think they think it will fare very well. They've been getting subventions from the European Community; that's not going to continue.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Low labor costs?

MR. BARONE: The fact is they've got the big advantage of the English language; they have good schools where they teach people to speak, read and write English well, unlike our country. And they're also getting over the trauma of 150 years after the potato famine. I think that's been a tremendous trauma. Ireland is over that now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, here's a trick question. Exit: If the Irish economy takes a dive, will the peace process go with it?

Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, it won't because, look, Southern Ireland has always been pro-peace; they've never wanted a conflict up there. And they're doing well economically. That's good, but it's irrelevant.


MS. CLIFT: Pat's right, and all the super-Irish, including you, John! (Laughs.)


MS. CHAVEZ: I think getting the weapons out of the hands of the IRA is more important than the economy in whether the peace process works.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think? Quickly!

MR. BARONE: It's a sustaining process. Only danger if there's a new group of terrorists, and thank goodness, they haven't appeared.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Irish economy buttresses the peace process and the continuation of peace. If the economy were to falter badly, it would mean some cracking in the peace process.

Issue Four: Roto-Rudy.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R-New York City): (From videotape.) Civility is a concept that's as old as the Greek democracy, and it's about the inherent respect people have to have for the rights of other people.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani wants to clean up his city. Already Giuliani has: cleared out the car squeegee paparazzi; driven out subway loiterers; cracked down on jaywalkers; got tough with the city's taxi drivers, proposing mandatory drug testing and raising insurance requirements; and most recently he banned street vendors from 144 blocks in downtown Manhattan. In addition, Giuliani is cracking down on littering and blaring car alarms. He wants school children to study ethics and civility. In effect, Rudy Giuliani is committed to making New York polite.

"You got a problem with that?"

The New York Times does:

"Of course it's amusing to hear the mayor promise that the floggings will continue until everyone is civil, but it may be time to get past the joke and consider the serious question of whether a civility campaign puts this city in conflict with its own peculiar nature. For generations New York has touted ~~`rude' the way California touts `mellow.' Like the deserts of Africa or the ice fields of Siberia, New York challenges the human being's ability to adapt not to mere extremities of weather, but to preterhuman levels of noise, competition, aggression and speed. Viewed against the backdrop of this tradition, the mayor's pitch against jaywalking and noise and public incivility seems off image. A genteel New York sounds like a quixotic attempt to promote suburban quiescence in the known universe's vortex of urban hubbub. Besides, it is one thing to hear about our 'better angels' from Abe Lincoln, and quite another to hear it from a human hand grenade like Rudy Giuliani."

Exit question: Who is right: Giuliani, in his attempt to make New York civilized, or New York's "Old Gray Lady," the New York Times, for scolding Giuliani because he wants to bring manners to New York? I ask you.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, if Godzilla and King Kong couldn't make those folks civil, Rudy certainly ain't going to do it. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But you're not on the New York Times' side, are you?

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm on Rudy's side on this one. It's a very noble effort. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: I'm on Rudy's side, too. And he's also taking on the Catholic Church and trying to give benefits to partners, to gay partners.

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, great!

MS. CLIFT: So he's got lots of troubles ahead.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MS. CHAVEZ: Yeah, he does, on that one.


MS. CHAVEZ: But I'll tell you, he -- I was in New York City the day of the taxi strike; it was the finest day in New York City's history.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So gung-ho, Rudy?

MS. CHAVEZ: Gung-ho, Rudy!

MR. BARONE: Gung-ho, Rudy! And I think the New York Times deserves the Stuffed Shirt Award -- (laughter) -- for advancing civility in the stuffiest way I can believe.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not only that, but the New York Times is non-historical, because in the Knickerbocker days and all through most of its 300-year history, it has been moving towards as much cultural -- its cultural aspiration has been good manners and politeness and courtesy and urbanity. True or false?

MR. BARONE: Yeah, that's the right. That's the (key to ?) civility.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So the New York Times is subversive.

We'll be right back with predictions.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions.


MR. BUCHANAN: Pentagon voice Ken Bacon, who leaked the stuff on Linda Tripp -- I don't think he's going to survive.


MR. BUCHANAN: Mmm-hmm. (Affirmative.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did it go higher than him?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Al --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did it go up to the -- did it go up any higher than Bacon?

(To Ms. Clift.) Go ahead.

MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor will tell us! (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Al Checchi's disastrous showing in next week's California primary will end the romance with these business tycoons who want to muscle their way into politics on the strength of a check.


MS. CHAVEZ: The unions are going to succeed in defeating Proposition 226, which would have restricted their ability to collect money for politics.

MR. BARONE: Passage of Proposition 227 is the beginning of the end of bilingual education.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: By year's end the Supreme Court will strike down as unconstitutional the line-item veto.

Next week: Congress comes back to balance the budget. Bye-bye!





MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue five: An intern by any other name.

(Beginning of videotape sequence of a White House press briefing.)

MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS: (From videotape.) Is there a White House policy that senior officials should not hit on interns or attempt to have personal relationships with them?

MICHAEL MCCURRY (White House press secretary): I think that's common sense and common decency, and of course that applies to everyone.

(End of videotape sequence.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The term "intern," a commonly used word in offices everywhere, has a new ring to it these days. Students tell friends and family they are coming to Washington, and elsewhere, for an internship, and they get winks and giggles. The once proud single-entendre term "intern" has become a double entendre and a punch line.

In New Jersey, the Princeton Partners ad agency says they have done away with the word "intern" at their firm altogether because of Monica: "The Monica Lewinsky situation, whether true or not, has irreparably stigmatized the position of intern. We don't think candidates would appreciate the connotation that 'intern' seems to have gained, so we have changed the title to 'student associate.'"

Question: Is this ad agency overreacting, or is it on to something? I ask you, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. I think it's totally silly. But I would suggest that the president of the ad agency, if he is so sensitive about the terms; if he thinks the intern is to blame here, I imagine he thinks the president is to blame here. So maybe he ought to strip himself of his own title of "president" and make it even.

MR. BARONE: Don't use the word "strip," Eleanor. (Laughter.)


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Careful of your language.

What do you think of this? And do you think that there is a double entendre or something with "intern"?

MS. CHAVEZ: I don't think that there is any double entendre with "intern." I just hired three interns. And believe me, their jobs are all official.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you asked them what the reaction was of their friends and neighbors when they told them that they were going to become an intern and be working in Washington?

MS. CHAVEZ: Well, they are a few blocks away from the White House, so I don't think anybody is too nervous about that job.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, I would --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But when we tried it on (our end ?) -- (inaudible) -- that there is a certain amount of giggle and, you know, when they said they were going to intern --

MS. CLIFT: They love it. (Laughs.)


MR. BARONE: Maybe at "The McLaughlin (Group ?)." (Laughter.)


MR. BUCHANAN: I was at CNN, and this beautiful young lady comes into my office. And she said: "Excuse me. I have got to do some filing in here," because I share an office with Mr. Novak. And she said, "I am the new O.A." And I said, "A what?" (Laughter.) "You are the new what?" "Operational associate." (Laughs.)

MR. BARONE: Operational --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The don't use the word "intern."


MR. BUCHANAN: She is the operational associate, and I had never heard it before.

MR. BARONE: I was an intern in the Office of the Mayor of Detroit, in 1967, some years ago. We had the riots that summer. It was a very interesting awful time to work there. I would maybe like to put it a little different. Although their term "student associate" now, how do you abbreviate that? Stud. Ass.? (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Let's --

MR. BARONE: I think you've got to be careful. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it not true that in today's society, there is a prevalence of double entendres. I mean, people are reading into words, which normally had an innocent and direct construction, they are reading into a certain amount of sex. Is that true or false?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think that any of us --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it true or false?

MR. BARONE: It's true.

MS. CLIFT: Speak for yourself, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it true or false?

MR. BARONE: Many of us that --

MR. BUCHANAN: Nonsense!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you think of such words? (Laughter.)

MR. BARONE: Those of us who have been on programs --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it true or false?

MS. CHAVEZ: Those with dirty minds maybe do.

MR. BARONE: Those of us who have been on programs that the -- (end of audio).