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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Rules of engagement.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS OF THE U.S. SENATE: (From videotape.) Hear ye, hear ye,

hear ye, all persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment,

while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the

United States articles of impeachment against William Jefferson Clinton.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: For the first time in the 223-year history of the

republic, an elected president has now been put on trial before the United

States Senate, a trial that will judge guilt or innocence, conviction or

acquittal, on accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice, as

outlined in articles of impeachment adopted by the U.S. House of


The rules governing the Senate impeachment trial have been adopted by a

bipartisan vote.

Question: What's the significance of this whole bipartisan deal, Pat


MR. BUCHANAN: I think that's the very problem. The Republicans, in this

search for bipartisanship, are handing out hostages and giving the capacity

maybe to circumscribe, maybe to shorten the trial, maybe to curtail

witnesses, to a Democratic minority, John, that thinks this impeachment

should never have been brought, that would throw it out if it had the power

to do so, that is never going to throw Bill Clinton out of office and put

him in the history books with Richard Nixon.

I think the Republican interest here is in a full, open, complete trial,

and let Clinton have his total defense, so the whole thing is on the

record. They should give nothing of that away for bipartisanship.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Unnecessarily circumscribed?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think they're moving in that direction.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the fix is in, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: I do believe in -- look, I think in part -- look, do you

think all those jurors are impartial, Chuck Schumer is open-minded on this

thing? These Democrats want this thing thrown out, and they want the House

Republicans forever discredited.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, what is your view?

MS. CLIFT: Well, listen, Chuck Schumer is as open-minded as Mr. Nickles

and Mr. Santorum and Mr. Grams.

And sure, politics is involved. This is a political procedure.

And in fact, what they have just decided here -- to put a fig leaf of

bipartisanship over this -- actually, that works against the president's

interest, because he was able to use the partisanship in the House to

undermine the legitimacy of the impeachment process.

What this tells me about the Senate is every one of those senators cares a

lot more about his or her future than they do about the president. And

those futures are going to hinge a lot on how they handle this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This joint agreement was passed unanimously, Tony. What

do you think of it?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think Pat is a little too gloomy on this one, and

Eleanor's closer to the mark. I think that this separates Clinton from his

Democratic senators substantially. It starts the process with, I think,

the likely prospect of witnesses being called. I think the Republican

managers from the House are going to be -- are satisfied with this,

clearly. They -- and they're going to push for witnesses. I think they're

going to get the testimony. And it's the mixing up of the process. It's

the changing of the dynamic and seeing where it leads. So I think it is,

on balance, relatively bad news for the president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Michael Barone?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think what's happened -- I think Eleanor's right.

The Senate Democrats have given up the partisanship card that -- the

Clinton White House has encouraged Democrats to kind of trash the process,

trash the institution, as they did in the House of Representatives, and

de-legitimize the verdict, so that the Clintonites can say, "Hey, it's just

partisan politics. It didn't matter." The Senate Democrats have declined

the invitation of the White House to partisanize it by doing things like

claiming that this crazy Bruce Ackerman theory that it's illegitimate

because a lame duck Congress voted it. They said no dice to that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see the way the New Republic knocked that right

out of the lot, by the way?

MR. BARONE: Well, and Senator Dianne Feinstein did the same thing --


MR. BARONE: -- many other Democrats. That's a ridiculous argument.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. Well, let me ask you --

MR. BARONE: And they furthermore are obviously not going to pursue the

course that some people said, of get up 51 votes for an adjournment

immediately, make this look like a Mickey Mouse thing. Senate Democrats

have decided not to operate that way. That's really significant.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. We have a lot to talk about. I want to move

on. Let's go to one quick question before the exit question, and that is,

will the calling of witnesses help or hurt Bill Clinton, dominantly, Pat


MR. BUCHANAN: Bill Clinton has nothing to gain from calling witnesses,

only --


MR. BUCHANAN: Look, he would like to have this voted up or down.


MR. BUCHANAN: Just what I said --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How are witnesses going to hurt him?

MR. BUCHANAN: Because if witnesses --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- if witnesses are not called, and they vote on this

thing, he will be acquitted right now.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean he's right now in an ahead position --

MR. BUCHANAN: He's in a --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and this introduces an uncertainty into the mix, and

it can only hurt him?

MR. BUCHANAN: What Clinton and the Democrats do not want is something

that's unchoreographed, unprogrammed, some surprise.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will it also dramatize this in a way that has not been

done before, to the press, to the public, and to the senators themselves --

MS. CLIFT: Well, wait a -- this --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- if there are witnesses under even cross-examination?

MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, they're talking about, first, if they do

witnesses -- and they yet have to vote on that -- that they would first

depose them in private and only bring them forward before the cameras if

everybody agreed. So we're several steps away.

So --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, wait a minute. I want to clarify --

MS. CLIFT: Wait, I want to say -- (inaudible due to cross talk) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me clarify -- let me clarify this. Let me clarify


MS. CLIFT: (Yells.)


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you saying that the process can be so hemmed-in that

no witnesses can be called?

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, they delayed the vote on witnesses --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that your worry, Pat?

MS. CLIFT: But what I want --

MR. BUCHANAN: That is my concern.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. BUCHANAN: You've got to have witnesses, or you don't have a fair,

complete --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Finish, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: But it depends who the witnesses are, as to whether they're

going to help or hurt the president. I think Monica Lewinsky is a wash; I

think she's dangerous ground for the prosecution as well. I think Vernon

Jordan and Betty Currie could be powerful witnesses for the president.

MR. BLANKLEY: It could go either --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will witnesses help or hurt, dominantly, the president?

MR. BLANKLEY: Pat's exactly right, by definition. Right now there are

not 67 votes for conviction, and therefore this changes it, makes it

possible that there could be. So it's bad news for the president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No repressed evidence is going to come forward, correct?

MR. BARONE: That's correct.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nothing that's under seal right now?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no, they've to vote.

MR. BARONE: Well, unless 51 -- unless 51 senators vote to bring it up.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So that can be overridden, too.

MR. BARONE: So that could be overridden.

John, I think what Henry Hyde's managers are trying to do now is what

happened with the impeachment of Warren Hastings as governor general of

India in 1786. They presented evidence. They made arguments. The prime

minister was generally -- William Pitt the Younger -- was thought to be

against it. But as he was listening to the second count of impeachment, he

said to one of his friends, "It looks all very bad, doesn't it?" And he

changed his vote, and the impeachment of Warren Hastings went through the

House of Commons.

I don't think that's likely to happen in the U.S. Senate. I think Henry

Hyde is trying to make it happen, and I think the Clinton White House is --

(inaudible due to cross talk) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, but you're saying that a true and proper

demonstration of evidence really turned his vote around?

MR. BARONE: It can sway votes on occasion. (Inaudible due to cross talk)

-- don't know.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. You know, Republicans --

MR. BUCHANAN: What's going to happen to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you know that Bob Byrd has said that he has not

decided. Not only has he not --

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He has not decided.

MR. BARONE: I don't think Bill Clinton is confident which way Senator

Robert Byrd --

MR. BUCHANAN: John? John?

MR. BARONE: -- is going to vote as he begins his 41st year in the United

States Senate.

MR. BUCHANAN: The longer it goes on, the more different things can

happen, new evidence. Clinton wants this shoved off --

MS. CLIFT: Well, the biggest --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We have got to get out. We want to talk about the

protagonist. So before we get to him, Bill Clinton himself, the exit

question: Which word better characterizes this trial, "traumatic" or

"cathartic"? (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: "Cathartic," if they have the whole trial and take it to

the end.


MS. CLIFT: Neither of those two; "political," "political." (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: I think "cathartic."


MR. BARONE: Certainly "cathartic."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think -- "cathartic" too.

MS. CLIFT: No. (Laughter)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we come back, Bill Clinton was asked what it feels

like to be impeached. His response was, "Not bad." (Laughter.) Does that

answer show him to be resilient or arrogant or both?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Clinton Agonistes.

How this trial proceeds will depend on the players; the defendant Mr.

Clinton and his legal team, the 13 prosecutors or managers, the 100 Senate

jurors and the presiding judge. Foremost among these players is the

defendant himself, the protagonist, William Jefferson Clinton.

What is his frame of mind, his strategy of defense at the outset of this

trial? Does he want to fight back, or does he want to accept his

punishment, or both?

Okay. Clinton Rorschach test. The psychological and the emotional and

the strategic posture of the president as he faces trial is perhaps best

found in a recent conversation he had with an L.A. Times reporter at a

holiday Christmas party at the White House. Elizabeth Shogren asked Mr.

Clinton, "How does it feel to be impeached?" "Not bad," Mr. Clinton said.

That response did not translate well with even the defenders of Mr.

Clinton. And when Senate dean Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia,

was asked this week what he thought of Mr. Clinton's comment on how it

feels to be impeached -- namely, "not bad" -- said this:

SEN. ROBERT C. BYRD (D-WV): (From videotape.) I was sorry. I was sorry

that he gave that response. One cannot be flippant in this situation. And

there is a certain arrogance about it. And that has -- if I may say --

that has not helped the president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: At the Christmas party, Mr. Clinton did not seem

dispirited or disheartened, says Shogren. Clinton laughed about porn

magazine publisher Larry Flynt becoming a major influence in the Washington

political debate. Mr. Clinton also likened his plight to that of South

African President Neslon Mandela.

The overall impression from this is that Clinton sees himself as a victim

surrounded by tormentors, an image that he projected on the South Lawn of

the White House at a rally staged by himself on Saturday afternoon,

December 19, following the House adoption of two articles of impeachment

against him.

One hundred Democrats, after saying how earnestly they wanted to rebuke

the president for, quote, unquote, "dishonoring his office," trooped down

Pennsylvania Avenue to hail their newly impeached chief, behavior which

many see as contumacious defiance, including the influential Senator Byrd.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D-WV): (From videotape.) That was an egregious display

of shameless arrogance, the like of which I don't think I have seen. And I

would hope that in his own interests that he be more careful.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What word best describes the attitude that Mr.

Clinton has been portraying towards his impeachment?

Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: I think he is pretending that he is able to go about his job

as usual and that this is all just politics.

And frankly, John, you have taken a lot of disparate threads here and

woven them together in a very negative way, which I think is totally

unfair. This is a man who beat out the pope for most admired person in the

country. His approval rating shot up to 70 percent when the House

impeached him. That so-called "pep rally" was designed to head off calls

for his resignation which, you know, were -- which might have come. I

think it was totally appropriate. Unlike Richard Nixon, he wanted to show

that he has his party with him. And, you know, the fact that he dares to

do his job and the country wants him to do his job, I think is a mark of

his resilience and not arrogance.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How about that, is that a touche item? He is the most

admired American, according to the polls.

MR. BLANKLEY: Every president is always automatically the most -- we

admire the president of the United States, whoever is in the office.

Look, the point -- I'm going to be the first revisionist on Clinton. I

think he's got a political tin ear. I think he is not the world's best

liar but the world's worst liar because everybody knows he's a liar. I

think that although he's got certain fabulous political skills, he is

proving to have -- he's lost at least three opportunities to have killed

this -- ended this thing; probably in March, again in August before the

testimony there, and the week after the election --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: By doing what?

MR. BLANKLEY: By making a concessionary statement instead of an arrogant

statement in all three times.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor's position is that he is performing his duties as

though nothing has happened.

MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, is the problem with that, as he did this week, he

moved from place to place and he appears to be frantic, but does that also

not convey, particularly if he chooses to appear before the Senate and his

peers in the jury, will they not see him exhibiting the kind of perceived

arrogance that Senator Byrd talks about?

MR. BLANKLEY: You see, the point is, every press secretary -- one of his

rules is make the boss, you know, look like it's business as usual. There

are times when not to apply that rule, and a good politician knows -- and

Clinton ought to know that now is the time not to pretend that it's

business as usual because it's not business as usual. Therefore, he should

be showing some emotional --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear from --

MR. BARONE: I think we may be seeing something in the nature of an

adolescent in need of adult supervision. I mean, for Bill Clinton to

compare his travails right now with those of Nelson Mandela, who spent 27

years in prison --

MS. CLIFT: That's not what he did, Michael.

MR. BARONE: Eleanor, let me talk, please!

MS. CLIFT: That's not what he did.

MR. BARONE: He did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he compared his plight with the plight of Mandela.

MR. BARONE: The plight with Mandela --

MS. CLIFT: No he didn't.

MR. BARONE: -- 27 years in prison and came out with a saintly attitude

towards reconciliation. It's obscene.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: On this point -- on this point, he also compared himself

to Ulysses S. Grant.

MR. BARONE: Well he compared himself to Ulysses S. Grant because Grant

was attacked for corruption. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct. Do you think that was a fair comparison?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me defend Eleanor!

MS. CLIFT: Yeah! Come on!

MR. BARONE: I don't think it was a fair comparison either.


MR. BARONE: But the fact is, you know, Bob Byrd -- I think what happened

at this meeting of 100 senators on Friday -- which Trent Lott deserves

credit for pushing; most of the Democrats didn't want to go into this

bipartisan setting -- that helped to set the stage for the bipartisan

solution, and I think a key role was played by Senator Bob Byrd.

MS. CLIFT: Let Pat speak.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me get a word in. Let me talk to this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor -- he's right about the tin ear and the rally was

nonsense. But Eleanor is right, this is a guy --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible) -- his political advisers on this?

MR. BUCHANAN: This is a man, whether you agree or disagree with him, who

has an extraordinary durability, who has stood up under the kind of

beating, frankly, which would crack most people; most people would fall

apart. I am astonished at how well he stands up under this fire. And the

fact that he does his job, I credit him for that. And frankly, I think he

ought to go up and deliver his State of the Union.

MS. CLIFT: And the lesson he learned from Mandela is that he was trying

to be generous to the people who were his enemies. That was the

comparison. And that is not --

MR. BARONE: And then he sends James Carville out after them. Is that

generosity, Eleanor? Is that reconciliation? Come on!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We all know that Clinton is a consummate Machiavellian.

We know that. But unfortunately, he has out-Machiavellianed himself.

Exit question: Will Clinton go before the Senate trial?

MR. BUCHANAN: Never! (Laughs.) Why would he go up there and be

questioned by those Republicans and put his presidency at risk?


MR. BUCHANAN: The only occasion would be if there were 80 votes set

against him, he would show up.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Three of the members of the -- of the managers, all

appeared and won their individual prosecutions against judges.

MR. BUCHANAN: They are very tough --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All those three judges appeared before the Senate Chamber.

MR. BUCHANAN: They are tough, good -- those managers are terrific; they

range from good to outstanding.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you counsel the president to appear before the Senate?

MS. CLIFT: I think there are real questions about separation of powers,

and I don't think he should go up there. And second of all, that herd of

managers from the House -- (laughter) -- I mean, frankly, all that was

missing was white sheets.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly! Quickly!

MS. CLIFT: They were like night riders going over -- (inaudible) -- Bill

Clinton! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you advise Clinton to go up before the Senate?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, I would not unless it was a "Hail Mary" desperation

move --

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- which he currently doesn't need to make.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. BARONE: I agree. I would not advise Bill Clinton to go up there. I

think that he's better off staying away from the fact. He doesn't want any

witnesses, and I think one of the witnesses he doesn't want is himself.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think he's going to reach a point where he will decide

to go and will, in fact, go in front of the Senate jury.

Issue three: 13 House managers.

REP. HENRY HYDE: (From videotape.) The managers on the part of the House

of Representatives are here and present and ready to present the Articles

of Impeachment which have been preferred by the House of Representatives

against William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thirteen House members will manage, or prosecute, the

case against Bill Clinton. The prosecutors, or managers, all served on the

Judiciary Committee that sent the impeachment articles to the House. All

managers are male, white, Christian and lawyers. Almost two-thirds served

appointments as U.S. attorneys, i.e., prosecutors. Nearly half served in

the military. Eleven of the 13 won their districts with 55 percent or more

of the popular vote. Three of the 13, namely Hyde, Sensenbrenner, and

Gekas, successfully prosecuted judges, one each, in the U.S. Senate trials

following the impeachment of those judges in the House. Nine of the 13 are

baby boomers; the average age of the group is 52.

Question: Will these managers stick to evidence already published, or

will they try to introduce new evidence which is provided for under the

rules, under a rather circuitous process. What will they do, Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: My sense is the managers have some instinct to want to

expand beyond. Whether it'll be their judgement that they can push the 51

senators to that point, I'm not so sure right now. But I think they'd like

to be able to go beyond the public record.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, Lindsey Graham is already waving the bloody shirt --

(laughter) -- and saying, let's get into unnamed evidence and bring out

allegations --

MR. BLANKLEY: Which allegations did you have in mind, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: -- that Ken Starr did not even see fit to include, and

allegations that are not part of the impeachment report, allegations that

go back a dozen or more years, that are total hearsay.

MR. BUCHANAN: But, you know, they could put the names -- in the total

amount number of names, they could put them in there, and then they go

through the depositions, then they vote on each witness. So I think

there's plenty of protection for the president against anything that is


MS. CLIFT: I would agree.

MR. BUCHANAN: At the same time, then, if it's relevant, they can bring

them in.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue four: Jury of 100 peers.

CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM REHNQUIST: (From videotape.) Will all senators now

stand and raise your right hand? Do you solemnly swear --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fifty-five Republicans, 45 Democrats. Senate jurors.

They will sit in silence, passing questions in writing to presiding judge

William Rehnquist. They have all sworn themselves to, quote, "impartial

justice," unquote, described by Senator Robert Byrd.

SEN. BYRD: (From videotape.) And the individual himself should not

figure into it. One should completely forget personality, one should

completely forget political party, and remember his duties under the


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senate juror impartiality will be put to the test by the

realization for 33 Senate jury men that their reelection is fewer than 22

months away, November 2000. Nineteen Republicans, 14 Democrats will be up.

Of the GOP 19, eight are seen as potentially vulnerable; Roth, Abraham,

Grams, DeWine, Santorum, Jeffords, Gorton and Ashcroft. If six of these

less-than-sure-bet GOP senators believed that they would worsen their

political jeopardy by a vote for conviction of a popular president, then

they could join the 45 Democrats and, with that 51 majority, call for an

adjournment vote, thus, cutting their election losses.

Only a simple majority is needed to adjourn and, thus, abort the trial.

Adjournment would lead to a censure vote in all probability, and thus, a

straight up-or-down acquittal or conviction vote would be eluded.

Question: Of the 100 senators, how many will vote acquittal on the basis

of their own narrow reelection interest rather than as statesmen? Michael


MR. BARONE: I don't think any will, John. I mean, I hold to this view

that people here in the Congress, both in the Senate and in the House of

Representatives, have really been trying conscientiously, virtually all of

them, to do their duty.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How do you forget your own --

MR. BARONE: You don't forget it, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- constituency and your own career?

MR. BARONE: But the fact is you have got a situation here where you have

got plausible arguments, serious arguments saying, "For conviction,

perjury; against conviction; it doesn't rise to" --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you see --

MR. BARONE: -- the level --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- can you see that --

MR. BARONE: -- and you tend break ties in favor of the home time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right.

MR. BARONE: It's a natural human tendency.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you see six Republicans defecting to vote for

adjournment with the 45 Democrats --

MR. BARONE: No. I don't think they'll go --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- thus, rendering the 51 majority?

MR. BARONE: No. I don't think they'll go with adjournment because I

think that would be seen as a cheap cut.


MS. CLIFT: I think --

MR. BARONE: They may go for acquittal.

MR. BUCHANAN: They will not -- I cannot believe that the Republicans --

MR. BARONE: I don't think so.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- will allow this thing to be adjourned without hearing


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you feel that way?

MR. BLANKLEY: I agree with Pat. I think there is also a few Democrats

who are -- Bob Graham of Florida might well also be in the same position as

some of the Republicans you described.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Bob Kerrey, for other reasons?

MR. BLANKLEY: For other -- (powerful ?) -- reasons.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: For merit reasons?

MR. BARONE: Chuck Robb of Virginia.

MR. BLANKLEY: For other reasons.


MR. BLANKLEY: (Inaudible) -- be political.

MS. CLIFT: I think support for censure is fading right now, and I think

the president's best deal now is to go for an acquittal and just, you know,

come out of this clean.

But you know, Republican senators --

MR. BARONE (?): Clean? (Laughter.)

MR. : Clean?

MR. BLANKLEY (?): I don't think he is going to come out --

MS. CLIFT: Yes, clean. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. We all conclude --

MS. CLIFT: A clean acquittal without a censure! (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We all conclude that the 100 senators are well-suited for

the task before them. We do not all conclude that the 13 managers,

prosecutors, are well-suited for the task before them.

MR. BUCHANAN: There is one dissenter.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But do you -- do you feel that well-suited?

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, I think they are outstanding.


MS. CLIFT: I think they put a right-wing zealous face on the Republican

Party --

MR. BLANKLEY (?): Right.

MS. CLIFT: -- which does not serve the party well in the future. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, they are all lawyers. Eight of them --

MS. CLIFT: They are all associated with the Christian Coalition.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And 75 percent --

MS. CLIFT: They have been driving this thing from the beginning.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look. Most of the men on that committee are very moderate

men in their manner and demeanor.

MS. CLIFT: They're so blinded by hatred of Clinton, they're willing to

destroy themselves.

MR. BARONE: They have --


MR. BARONE: They have -- Eleanor --

MR. BLANKLEY (?): That's not true.

MR. BARONE: -- give someone else a chance. The fact is they have

persevered through the month of November, when everybody said it was

politically impossible. They persevered over the idea of censure in

December, and they have gotten this farther than anybody thought, November

6th, they would be able to get it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I thought they were also quite civil and patient, faced

with a good deal of demagoguery from the Democrats.

MR. BUCHANAN: They are political heroes because they stood up against the

press, the polls, everything, and did their duty.

MS. CLIFT: Right, they're heroes to the right wing of the Republican

Party -- (laughter) -- and that's it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back with predictions.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will the Senate trial be over within roughly six weeks,

let's say specifically by March 1?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes, it will.

MS. CLIFT: I think so, yes.

MR. BLANKLEY: Probably, but I'm not certain about it.

MR. BARONE: Yes, and well in time for St. Patrick's Day.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is yes.

Next week, opening arguments. Will they be electrifying or a snooze?




MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue five: Headlines in the dark.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: (From videotape.) I'm ready to accept that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The domestic press is riveted on the trial of William

Jefferson Clinton. But there is other news around the world, and some of

it is big. Here's what the BBC has been headlining.

"U.S. Improves Cuba Links." Washington has announced plans for more

contact between ordinary Americans and Cubans, but nothing major. And the

embargo stays.

"Confident Start for the Euro." Europe's new single currency enjoys a

strong debut.

"New Sex Scandal for Clinton." The BBC reports on an American tabloid

magazine story in the works that is comparing the DNA of President Clinton

with samples taken from the 13-year old son of an Arkansas prostitute to

test her allegations that Mr. Clinton is the boy's father.

"U.N. Inspectors Spied for the U.S." U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

has evidence that U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq helped the United States

collect intelligence information. Iraq applauds this revelation as a

victory for the truth.

"Dole Quits Red Cross." Elizabeth Dole steps closer to a bid to become

the first female American president.

There you have it -- Cuba, the euro, a possible paternity claim against

Clinton, UNSCOM inspectors spying for the U.S., and E. Dole may run for

president. Question: we're talking proportionality here. We have Clinton

and impeachment and then we have these five stories. Which one suffered

the most because of the dominant -- dominant, if not overpowering --

coverage of Clinton, I ask you, Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think the story that lost the most was the Iraq story.

That's the biggest story.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is that story?

MR. BLANKLEY: The fact that we're completely collapsing in having any

coherence. We're apologizing for spying on Saddam. It ought to be a major

story. Our foreign policy is in disarray.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that our audience was not surprised to hear that

the U.S. has had -- coopted the inspectors as spies, because they heard it

on this program, correct?

(Cross talk.)

MR. BARONE: As they well should.

MS. CLIFT: I don't think we were apologizing for spying. I think we were

bragging about it.


MS. CLIFT: And I think the bigger story is that we don't seem to have

much of a policy towards --

MR. BLANKLEY: We have no policy there at all.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the Elizabeth Dole --

MR. BUCHANAN: Aw, Elizabeth Dole got enormous national attention. What

are you talking about? She was all over the place --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it was just a little overpowered by the Clinton story.

MR. BUCHANAN: She retired from the Red Cross, and I've never seen such

publicity! (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, Pat's watching --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you complaining over that, Patrick?

MR. BUCHANAN: No! I'm not complaining!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think I notice a little bitterness in your voice,

Patrick -- (laughter) -- do you have an announcement?

MR. BARONE: Pat, do you have an announcement?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: She got more publicity --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait, one other story.

MR. BARONE: Well, the euro. One of the things that wasn't covered in the

coverage of the euro --

MR. BUCHANAN: It was just enormous coverage.

MR. BARONE: -- was the potential for inflation. You've got these

left-wing governments in Europe now. Some of them, like Britain, which is

not going into the euro, seem to be very fiscally responsible. Others,

like Germany -- you know, Oskar Lafontaine's going to be going here --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you talking about inflation here? In this country?

MR. BARONE: I think, not over the short term of the year, but over a near

term the possibility of a euro going in an inflationary direction could

destabilize world economy in a very worrisome way that would probably be --

(inaudible) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Well, you'll be happy to know that Fred Bergstrom

agrees with you. I don't know whether you're lifting from him or he's

lifting from you.