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(Music: "Entry of the Gladiators.")

ANNOUNCER: It's the 17th annual McLaughlin Group Year-End Awards, 1998, part one. Now, here's the master of ceremonies, John McLaughlin.

MR. BUCHANAN: Little dignity, John.

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The envelope, please, Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Here you go, John.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thank you, Clarence.

MR. PAGE: You're welcome.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's see what we have here. Nice threads there, Clarence.

MR. PAGE: Thank you, John. Just for the occasion.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You really sealed this up! (Laughter.)

Biggest winner of 1998, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: Bob Livingston, the Republican leader. He was going to retire from Congress. He is now Mr. Speaker for 1999.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift?

MS. CLIFT: Jesse "The Body" Ventura, new governor of Minnesota, who kept the American dream alive by coming from outside the system with very little money and body-slamming the opposition. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence Page?

MR. PAGE: Well, the biggest winner, at least going into the winter, was Bill Clinton, of course. But I'd say the bigger winner was Barbara Walters. She got the exclusive Monica interview.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence O'Donnell?

MR. O'DONNELL: Saddam Hussein, who has continued to defy the mightiest military power on Earth and pay no price.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Biggest winner of 1998, a dual award: former President George Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, proud parents of the fabulous Bush boys -- (laughter) -- Jeb and George W., governors of Florida and Texas, two of the nation's most powerful states, as you well know, Pat, right?

MR. BUCHANAN: That's correct.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The biggest loser of 1998, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: Dual award: Mr. Newt and the OPEC cartel.


MS. CLIFT: I'm just sticking with Newt. (Laughter.) Bill Clinton gets embroiled in a sex scandal, and Newt Gingrich quits, repudiated by his own party.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence Page?

MR. PAGE: I'd say Newt and soon-to-be former Senator Al D'Amato. And it just goes right on down. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence O'Donnell?

MR. O'DONNELL: Bill Clinton, who will enter the history books as one of the three presidents who faced impeachment proceedings -- the stupidest thing a president can do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The biggest loser of 1998 is Helmut Kohl, former chancellor of Germany -- who served 16 years, Pat, '82 to '98 -- Christian Democratic Union Party leader, presided over the reunification of East and West Germany, defeated by Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder. Kohl is a big loss to the world stage.

Best politician, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: It is Jesse "The Body" Ventura. (Laughs.)


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Without question.

MR. BUCHANAN: Marvelous, marvelous. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift?

MS. CLIFT: Pat and I always find things to agree on --

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: -- but I'm going to give this award to Senator-elect Chuck Schumer, who did everything right in running against Mr. D'Amato and winning, and is going to go on to a long and distinguished career in the Senate, championing gun control.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well stated, Eleanor. And you're very well dressed today, but I think my jacket is better than yours.

MS. CLIFT: I have more velvet than you do, though. (Laughs.)


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughing.) Clarence Page.

MR. PAGE: Well, I guess it's left up to me to agree with Pat and say Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who also brought out young voters this year, which was quite an achievement in itself.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence O'Donnell.

MR. O'DONNELL: Bob Livingston. There's nothing more difficult than launching a coup to take over the Speaker of the House.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Very insightful, Lawrence. However, the best politician of 1998 is Russ Feingold, U.S. Democrat senator from Wisconsin who won reelection on principle, Pat, refusing to accept soft money.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Worst politician, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think Geoffrey Fieger, who is Dr. Kevorkian's lawyer, and who launched his campaign for governor of Michigan by blasting the three national religions, is the worst. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Dan Lundgren, once John's favorite candidate -- (laughter) -- for the vice presidency, lost the governorship of California, trapped in an out-of-date law and order campaign.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Worst politician.

MR. PAGE: Well, I've got to agree with Pat once again -- (laughter) -- with Geoffrey Fieger. But, you know, Kenneth Starr would have won, except he wasn't trying to be a politician is the only difference. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're not copying other people's award selections, are you, Clarence? (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: No, he stole mine. He got the -- (laughter) --



MR. O'DONNELL: The worst politician of the year was Bill Gates, who did not understand that by failing to buy his way into the Lincoln bedroom he did not buy his way out of trouble with Reno Justice.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: These are all good selections. However, the worst politician -- the worst -- is Byron Looper, Republican candidate for Tennessee state senate. (Laughter.) During his campaign, Looper killed -- literally killed -- his Democratic opponent. The opponent was found shot to death at his hog farm.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Looper continued to run his campaign from jail. But the widow of the victim won the seat. Looper did, however, get 5 percent of the vote.

Most defining political moment -- (laughs) -- Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm only gonna to say this once. (Laughter.) I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You I believe. (Laughter.)

Eleanor. Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Right. Well, in that same vein I'm going to pick President Clinton's televised grand jury testimony, which allowed Americans to see in its entirety --

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: -- a man being asked questions nobody should be asked and shouldn't be expected to answer. It turned the tide of opinion in this country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most defining political moment.

MR. PAGE: That depends on what your definition of "is" is. (Laughter.)

Bill Clinton's State of the Union address, which turned around the polls. They were beginning to dip against him. He turned them around, and within a week he got poll numbers that have carried him all the way through the year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: These are defining moments, but they're derivatives. The most defining moment, political moment, was the Clinton stain on the Lewinsky blue dress. That stain changed the entire course of history in this sick saga, right? (Laughter.) Right.

Turncoat of the year, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Dick Morris wins the gold -- (laughter) -- Stephanopoulos takes the silver, and Sam Dash gets the bronze. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you've exhausted our turncoats here.


MS. CLIFT: I'm sorry, gold, silver, bronze all go to Linda Tripp -- (laughter) -- the massive betrayal of a friend which turns off even people who don't like President Clinton.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence Page.

MR. PAGE: I'm sorry, you have all swept my nominees. (Laughter.) I put Linda on top, too. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Linda was on top.

MR. PAGE: Linda was on top.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you say, Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Dick Morris, number one. Pat's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Turncoat of the year, as Pat mentioned, was Sam Dash, ethics adviser to Kenneth Starr. Dash resigned because Starr chose to personally appear before the Hyde committee to testify on Starr's own report, a report that Dash himself had signed off on days before.

Most boring person, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Maxine Waters of the Judiciary Committee. Get the hook, Eleanor. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, most boring.

MS. CLIFT: Oh, leave Maxine on as long as she wants.

Most boring, it's still early, but I think Bob Livingston is gonna get that --

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: -- and gonna be a champion, a long-running champion.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, she's branding already. (Laughter.)


MR. PAGE: Well, my nominee is Congressman Bob Barr, who's perennially calling for Clinton's impeachment even before his current eligibility. But I would project ahead, though, John: Bill Bradley and Al Gore are going to have a tough competition.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A real rivalry for boredom.

MR. PAGE: You got it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Boredom Award of 1999.

What do you say, Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: This was a very boring choice on my part: Al Gore.


Actually, and I want you to take this with the spirit with which it is intended, the most boring person is John Conyers, the congressman from Michigan, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, whose speech tempo makes Al Gore seem like Richard Simmons on speed. (Laughter.)

Most charismatic, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Hugo Chavez, the rebel commando elected president of Venezuela. He will outshine Fidel Castro even at the next hemispheric summit.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Interesting.


MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.) Which you will be attending, I assume?

MR. BUCHANAN: Nah, I'm staying away from that crowd! (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: Gerhardt Schroeder, the new chancellor of Germany, who has charisma in the Clinton-Tony Blair mold. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: New charisma, right?

MS. CLIFT: It wins elections.

MR. PAGE: Well, Vernon Jordan wins my award, John, certainly the best dressed charismatic.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, you're right in there, Clarence.

MR. PAGE: I'm trying, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Stick with me, and we'll improve you even more.

MR. PAGE: I stop at the bargain outlet stores, too. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence. (Laughing.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Most charismatic is the only award that should be going to Jesse "The Mind" Ventura. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The most charismatic person of 1998, myself excluded, a tie: Jesse "Rainbow Coalition" Jackson and Jesse "The Mind" Ventura. Jackson rallied the critical black vote for the Democrats in November's elections. Ventura bodyslammed his opponents with his gubernatorial win thanks to straight talk and to populist ideas.

Bummest rap, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: This is serious, John. It is the malicious attacks on Pope Pius XII for alleged complicity in or indifference to a Holocaust that the pope did more to alleviate than any other person.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well stated.


MS. CLIFT: That Janet Reno is acting out of political expediency in refusing to name special counsels to investigate campaign finance reform. She's on solid legal ground, and there is a Justice Department investigation ongoing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not appointing an independent counsel for what?

MS. CLIFT: To look into campaign finance reform. She's on solid legal ground.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not the last one, against Clinton?

MS. CLIFT: Oh, yes, she is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I mean, are you saying that -- you're referring to the last one on --

MS. CLIFT: I'm saying that she's refused to name any --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it's not concluded yet. I mean there's still the possibility of Ickes.

MS. CLIFT: She's not going -- well, she's got another shot, but -- she's got another shot, but I don't think she's going to do it.

MR. PAGE: Well, I would nominate the notion that now Patricia Ireland and the other feminist community are being hypocritical for supporting Bill Clinton, that means in his hour of need --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think it's a bum rap?

MR. PAGE: A bum rap. That's -- (laughs) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you say, Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: The biggest bum rap goes against Donald Smaltz who brought a perfectly reasonable case against Mike Espy and a jury had a perfectly reasonable verdict of not guilty. Those two things are both possible.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Actually, the bummest rap was the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, bombed erroneously and recklessly by U.S. missiles on the basis of faulty evidence that it was a chemical weapons factory linked to Osama bin Laden -- a wicked blemish on the U.S., in my view.

Fairest rap, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: The denunciation by the Catholic League of Terrence McNally's play, "Corpus Christi." This is the one that features Christ as in a nest of homosexuals. They denounced that as a hate crime by America's cultural elite and they were dead right.


MS. CLIFT: I think we're going to have to have a motion here for separation of church and state on the set. (Laughter.) Fairest rap: that Thomas Jefferson fathered a child with Sally Hemings and that it does not detract one iota from his authorship of the Declaration of Independence.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you hear that ridiculous award? (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: I agree with it, John! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A totally bum rap. Please continue.

MR. PAGE: A very fair rap, but my award, with all due respect, Larry, goes to Don Smaltz -- (laughs) -- who went over Janet Reno's head, virtually, in order to get approval to expand his investigation into Mike Espy only to fall flat on his face. And the second prize would go to the Special Counsel Law, which I think has just been thoroughly devalued by this debacle.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, there's another read of that verdict.

MR. PAGE: Yes, what's that, pray tell?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jury nullification. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: Oh, let's have a show on that! Let's have a show on that, John!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to get into that? Do you want to plunge into sobriety here?

MR. O'DONNELL: Yeah, I haven't heard that since the O.J. trial. The fairest rap is Lindsey Graham's label of the president of the United States as an unrepentent perjuror.


MR. : (Whistles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that means a great deal, coming from you, wouldn't you say, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: We got one more vote. (Laughter, cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The fairest rap is the universal -- are you ready? The universal condemnation of CNN for Operation Tailwind, its bogus expose alleging that Americans used chemical weapons against other Americans in Cambodia, a vicious falsification.

We'll be right back with more McLaughlin Group Awards.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, the best comeback?

MR. BUCHANAN: Dow Jones comes soaring back from its July lows to set another all-time record and discombobulate some of us who didn't think it wouldn't happen. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Like you, Pat. Now, are you predicting no recession next year?

MR. BUCHANAN: I am waiting for the megaprediction, John. It's coming.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. (Laughter.)


MS. CLIFT: John Glenn, literally, who returned to outer space at age 77 -- how many? -- 36 years after he originally was the first man to orbit the Moon.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A great comeback.

And what about you, Clarence?

MR. PAGE: Good nominees. I never thought I'd be saying this, John, but I think the comeback of the year was Geraldo Rivera. It took this media orgy over Monica to make Geraldo look good.

MS. CLIFT: Right. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: And now his show on CNBC is one of the most highly regarded now for information --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Geraldo got great raves for his O.J. coverage, too.

MR. PAGE: Yeah, well, ratings, John. Ratings are not everything, John. Well, maybe for you they are. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Now he has got credibility. (Laughter.)


MR. PAGE: Thank you.

MR. O'DONNELL: California Senator Barbara Boxer, who was actually trailing in her reelection campaign, but closed very strong.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does she deserve all the credit?

MR. O'DONNELL: She does deserve all of it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Or was it -- (inaudible) -- by Fong?

MR. O'DONNELL: She ran a great campaign. Matt Fong didn't make any mistakes. She ran a great --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Best comeback of the year, Christopher Reeve, who refused to give in to his paralysis and instead made a comeback in both his acting and his directing cinema career, a triumph of spirit and a wonderful inspiration.

Okay. Most original thinker, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Clarence, the envelope please.

MR. PAGE: Here you go, Pat. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Most original thinker -- best original screenplay for a serious drama in 1998 goes to Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Rodham Clinton -- (laughter) -- for the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy." (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE (?): (Inaudible) -- please. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excellent.

Most original thinker, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Well, as Calvin Trillin says, "It may not be a 'vast right-wing conspiracy,' but it sure is a creepy little cabal." (Laughter.)

My thinker is Alan Greenspan, who managed to keep, not only this economy, but the world economy sort of afloat with one little phrase, or a phrase here and there, "irrational exuberance." He did a lot with a little. (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Alan deserves a lot credit for even the --

MR. O'DONNELL: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- for everything he does. Yes. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: That's right.

In all seriousness, John, my nominee for best thinker of the year would go to a minister in Boston named Reverend Eugene Rivers, who made the cover of Newsweek this year, after helping to reduce their juvenile homicide rate to near zero, quite an achievement. There are some really creative things going on there.


MR. O'DONNELL: Mine goes, with no surprise I would think, to my former boss New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who has come up with the only possible Social Security reform plan that could get Democrat and Republican votes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Working with the payroll tax, right?

MR. O'DONNELL: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most original thinker -- Pat, you will love this -- Harvard University Professor of Economics Robert J. Barro, who argues persuasively that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, not only failed to stabilize the world's economy, but undermined global stability by bailing out economic misbehavior.

Most stagnant thinker, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: Madeleine Albright and NATO expansion. Enough already! (Laughter.)


MS. CLIFT: Bob Barr -- (laughter) -- who's been Bobby One Note on impeachment forever.

MR. PAGE: Dr. Kevorkian. Enough already! (Chuckles.)


MR. O'DONNELL: The AFL-CIO, which will attempt to prevent any Democrat from entertaining any new idea on Social Security reform.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The most stagnant thinker is JFK apologist Arthur Schlesinger, who dismisses perjury and the cover-up of adultery as little more than political high jinks, even though ordinary Americans go to jail for the same kind of perjury offense. Schlesinger sees two systems of justice: one for the powerful, one for the rest of us. (Soft laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Insightful.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Best photo op, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: The first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan," which showed the baby boomer generation what the great generation really accomplished.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And what's involved in war, right?

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly. That's the Higgins (sp) boats landing on the Normandy beach --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's an interesting award you've just given.


MS. CLIFT: The photo op that wouldn't stop: President Clinton greeting a mysterious young woman in a beret on a rope line. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: Gee! Never would have thought of that one! (Laughter continues.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hey, that's a defining moment.

MR. PAGE: It sure was. That was the most used photo op of the year.

But I would say all those photo ops that Hillary Clinton had with various candidates, Democratic candidates around the country, helping to put them over the top, with the exception --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you're close --

MR. PAGE: -- with the exception of Carol Moseley-Braun in Illinois.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're close there, Clarence, but no cigar.

MR. PAGE: (Chuckles.)

MR. O'DONNELL: It would be Arafat and Netanyahu at the White House with Bill Clinton and King Hussein after the Wye agreement.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll give you the best photo op: Bill and Hillary's cinema v‚rit‚ bathing-suit embrace -- (laughter) -- on the beach in the Virgin Islands one week before Bill's Paula Jones deposition. (Laughter.) How's that?

Okay, the "enough already" award, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Jack Kevorkian, get thee to a penitentiary! (Laughter.)


MS. CLIFT: Saddam Hussein, who's exhausted everybody's patience, and we'll hear from him again next year.


MR. PAGE: (Laughing.) The Monica story. What else?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Enough already?

MR. PAGE: Enough already!


MR. O'DONNELL: James Carville. Need I explain? (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: These are some welcome surprises from Lawrence, aren't they, eh? (Laughter.)

Enough already: the "Titanic" -- good effects, but banal dialogue, class stereotypes, mawkish music, especially the Kenny G rendition. (Laughter.)

Worst lie, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: That was last year, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's still around, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Okay. The worst lie --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're still getting it, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: The worst lie is, "All I can recall is that at one point she brought me some pizza." (Laughter.)


MS. CLIFT: Linda Tripp telling Monica Lewinsky, "This is just between you and me. And by the way, that blue dress makes you look fat." (Laughter.)

(Chuckles.) "And don't dry-clean it." (Laughter.)


MR. PAGE: Very close, Eleanor. I think it was when Monica said, "What that's double clicking I keep hearing?" And Linda's saying, "Oh, I was just chewing gum."

MS. CLIFT: Right. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is obviously Clinton-oriented.

MR. PAGE: Somehow.


MR. O'DONNELL: The worst lie of the year is every reason Bill Clinton has given for refusing to open normal trade relations with Cuba.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excellent. I will add to that. I will say that if he wishes to rehab his legacy, the one thing he could do is lift the embargo against Cuba. You like the idea?

MR. O'DONNELL: Nixon went to China. Clinton can go to Cuba.


Worst lie: Hillary Clinton's description to White House aide -- (laughs) -- Sydney Blumenthal describing her husband's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, namely that the president was simply, quote, "ministering to a troubled young person." (Laughter.) Minister Clinton in the White House. (Laughter.)

Okay, the capitalist of the year award, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: General Suharto. He retired from a lifetime in government with $35 billion. (Laughter.) You can do it, John, if you put a little bit away every payday. (Laughter.)


MS. CLIFT: Jerry Seinfeld, who has enough money that he could walk away from the biggest paycheck in TV, bigger even than yours, John. (Laughter.)


MR. PAGE: Who is the fellow who invented Star Wars? Oh, yes, George Lucas. (Laughter.) I was going to name Seinfeld, too. George Lucas, for being able to actually market the preview to a movie that hasn't been made yet.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Best capitalist, Lawrence.

MR. O'DONNELL: Steve Case, America On Line, the merger with Netscape.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, here's a little bit of an obscure one, but important one. The capitalist of the year award goes to Pierre Omiyah (sp), founder of eBay, an online auction website whose stock soared in two months from $18 a share -- you know this story?

MR. O'DONNELL: Yes, I do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- to $234 a share in November. Omiyah (sp) is 31 years of age and he is a billionaire-plus already. What an icon, huh? What a beacon.

MR. PAGE: I'm jealous. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, we'll be right back with the person of the year award.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, the web,, it's your turn, who is the biggest winner of '98 as you see it, the biggest loser, the turncoat of the year, the best comeback? Give us your award picks on

Pat, person of the year 1998.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm gonna say first, Monica's clearly the woman of the year in that she may do for the president what Mrs. Simpson did for the king --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, we're going to do woman of the year next week on part two.

MR. BUCHANAN: All right. The person of the year is Alan Greenspan, whose intervention and management of the American economy and monetary policy steered this country through the storms produced by the Asian crisis and kept it moving along at a rate of growth that you did not even predict this year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I didn't predict it.

MR. BUCHANAN: No. You predicted 1-1/2 percent earlier on. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor. Eleanor.

I didn't drop as low as you did.


MS. CLIFT: The person of the year has got to be first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who triumphed over humiliation with grace and dignity and has a bright future politically, if she wants it, after they leave the White House.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's what you say. (Nervous laughter.) Some people say that she was right in the middle of the cover-up.

MR. PAGE: That's what makes politics, John -- (laughter) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's right.

MR. PAGE: -- I think.


MR. PAGE: My nominee -- actually it's shared, John, between Sammy Soza and Mark McGwire this year, who came along with their --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, McGwire --

MR. PAGE: -- home-run competition.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- hit more home runs than Soza.

MR. PAGE: Let's not get into that argument, John. (Laughs.) Let's just talk -- well, you see, we weren't talking about who made the Most Valuable Player in a while and that kind of thing. (Laughter.) The important thing is, John, at a time when we were up to here with Monica stuff and feeling really awful about the state of the nation --


MR. PAGE: -- these two guys came along and presented a proportion, not just from sportsmanship but true friendship --


MR. PAGE: -- and true principles, et cetera, et cetera. We needed that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Like an oasis in a desert, right?

MR. PAGE: Exactly.

MR. O'DONNELL: The person of the year is Northern Irish politician and statesman John Hume, who has been working for peace there for 30 years and is close to achieving it, and he has got the Nobel Prize this year to justify it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excellent choice.

U.N. Secretary -- this is my choice -- General Kofi Annan, who saved the U.S. from a speeding bullet in Iraq, last February, when he negotiated a compromise with Saddam; also, a man who has greatly trimmed the bureaucracy. And he has gained almost universal acclaim, including that of the medias, but of course he will never get that of Pat Buchanan. (Laughter.)

Next week, part two of the McLaughlin Group Year-End Awards. Merry Christmas. Bye-bye.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. An honorable mention to those people or events that don't readily fit into our standard categories but, nevertheless, deserve recognition.

Have you had the opportunity to give this any thought, Patrick?

MR. BUCHANAN: I have reflected long and hard on this, John, and I have got to agree with Clarence. I think the Sammy Soza battle with Mark McGwire, all the way through the latter part of that season, it was healthy, it was positive, it was terrific. You thought Soza was out of it, and he came back. And it was just a great good thing for the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, I don't want to --

MR. : (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- rain on your parade, but let me ask you a candid question, all right?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was any of the bloom taken off that rose by the talk about steroids and McGwire?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, I think some of it clearly was. And look, they didn't really beat Ruth's record. When Ruth got his record, he hit more home runs than any other team in both leagues. These guys were both out-hit by every team in the league.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what about the steroids?

MR. BUCHANAN: That took a little bloom of the rose, you know, when you get pumped up like that. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: You talk like a typical journalist, John.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. PAGE: You have got to -- every syllable --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, honorable mention?

MS. CLIFT: I want to know, Pat, when was the last time you went to a baseball game? (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Me and my Secret Service agents went to opening game in 1996 --

MS. CLIFT: Okay. I was just checking. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are they going to go to another opening game in 1999 or 2000, rather?

MR. BUCHANAN: You only get them, John, if you start winning. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: I want to single out the state attorneys general who had the courage to sue the tobacco industry to get compensated for the health costs associated with people who they addict to tobacco. Specifically, Skip Humphrey in Minnesota and Michael Moore in Mississippi. They're heroes. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we all feel better after hearing that, right?

MS. CLIFT: Good. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about you, Clarence?

MR. PAGE: Still trying to quit smoking, John.


MR. PAGE: I am, indeed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What are you down to, a pack a day?

MR. PAGE: (Laughs.) Down to about one or two cigarettes and a pack of Nicorette gum -- but anyway --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You can get addicted to Nicorette gum.

MR. PAGE: Yes. I am, that's the problem! That's worth a story, too.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But that is a gum, not smoke.

MR. PAGE: But it's a gum, not smoking. That's what my doctor said, I'm, you know, I'm saving my lungs, I'm giving away my tongue and all that stuff.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Well, we'll pray for will power for you.

MR. PAGE: Thank you. I appreciate it, John. My nominees for this category, John. I want to read this at the Bush brothers and say that they performed a great service for the Republican Party in showing how the party can once again in the 1990s reach out to black and Hispanic voters. Take careful note, Pat. And hook up with --

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, well, thank you. Thank you, Clarence, for stepping into our party and helping us out. (Laughter.)

MR. PAGE: Listen, I just have to give my advice anyway; it's going to be more or less --


MR. O'DONNELL: My very honorable mention goes to former Senator George Mitchell who President Clinton asked to mediate the peace talks in Northern Ireland. He did an incredible job that I don't think anyone else in the United States could have done.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's his reward going to be?

MR. O'DONNELL: I'm not sure there is a reward that he wouldn't have gotten anyway. I think the next time there's a Supreme Court opening, he will be asked if he wants it once again.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does he seek national office?

MR. O'DONNELL: I don't think he does. He has a young child now, a new marriage, and I think he's off into a new life.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Honorable mention to author Thomas Wolfe whose new novel, "A Man in Full," rivals "Bonfire of the Vanities" and is a literary tour de force. I heard an address by Mr. Wolfe about two weeks ago, and he's got a pretty grim prognostication for the upcoming century, with us facing almost a valueless several decades, at least. Pretty grim.

MR. PAGE: John, Tom Wolfe also picked the Internet.

MR. BUCHANAN: Have you read the book, John?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I've not read the book. I have read reviews of the book, and I've --

MR. O'DONNELL: It's a great doorstop.

MR. BUCHANAN: I have read the book.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You have read the book?

MR. BUCHANAN: I certainly have. It does a wonderful job on Atlanta, too. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean Mr. Croker?

MR. BUCHANAN: Croker. Charlie Croker, the 60-minute man who went to Georgia Tech. He's the greatest figure in the book.

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