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 plastics to power generation, GE, we bring good things to life."

Here's the host, John McLaughlin.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Poor little rich girl.

In her Barbara Walters interview and a new book, Monica Lewinsky paints her portrait of President Bill Clinton. Here's some collective quotes about her soul mate:

"I had only ever seen him on TV, and I never thought of him as attractive with his big red nose and coarse wiry-looking gray hair. He is an old guy." That was Monica's impression of Clinton from television.

But she changed her mind when she met him in person: "He gave me the full 'Bill Clinton.' It was this look; it's the way he flirts with women. When it was time to shake my hand, the smile disappeared, the rest of the crowd disappeared, and we shared an intense but brief sexual exchange. He undressed me with his eyes."

"We clicked at an incredible level. People have made it seem so demeaning for me, but it wasn't; it was exciting. And the irony is that I had the first orgasm of the relationship."

"I would imagine that it is very difficult to be the president of the United States. I would imagine that you have a tremendous, tremendous amount of pressure and that sometimes you just need a piece of normalcy."

"I feel that he should have shown more restraint and left it as a flirtation and as an unacted-upon fantasy. I am not blaming him for what happened. But it was just too much; it was too much of an emotional burden for someone my age."

Even as he was breaking up with Monica, Clinton was still the seducer, as she saw him. Lewinsky says he told her, "You know, if I were 25 years old and not married, I would have you on the floor back there in three seconds."

Question: What is the cumulative profile of Clinton from Monica's reflections, plus the Clinton quotes, Michael Barone?

MR. BARONE: Well, it sort of reminds me, John, of one of the sort raffish European royalty of the 18th or 19th century, and the memoir that we might have had from one of their paramours. I mean, the prince regent, later King George IV, was known to fool with a lot of actresses, and I think this is the sort of thing we may have gotten from him. He was past his prime in looks more than Bill Clinton, and he tried to divorce his wife, while Clinton seems to be running his for the Senate. But I think that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Regal raffishness.


MS. CLIFT: I think these are two very emotionally needy people who found each other. (Laughter.) And it's embarrassing to read this stuff. It's like two teenagers in love, frankly. And I think that there was a relationship here that went beyond what Monica calls "messing around." I think they did really care about each other. And in Monica's mind, she had a love affair, and anybody's attempts to make it tawdry she's going to reject.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony, what do you think? Was this true romance and true love?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I think she clearly describes it as a romance, but I think what is implicit in the context of what she describes is that he was ruthlessly exploiting her for mere sexual, mechanical reasons, and there was no love on his side at all, and she was completely deluded.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence O'Donnell, you're an authority on affairs of the heart. What do you discern here? (Laughter.)

MR. O'DONNELL: (Chuckles.) It's strange for me because, you know, in Democratic circles, we knew all of this about Bill Clinton in 1991. So there's been nothing that's been revealed about him, in terms of his sex life, since he started campaigning in '92 and through his presidency, that has taught me anything that I didn't feel I already knew.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the press did a disservice in not making this known to the American people?

MR. O'DONNELL: No, I think the American people were well enough aware of it, and I'm pretty convinced of their compartmentalization on this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't agree with that, do you, Michael?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think it was news, John. I mean, the fact is that -- Lawrence says we knew this in 1991. Most of us did not

MR. O'DONNELL: No, no, I mean Democratic Party insiders knew about it --

MR. BARONE: No, I think I know what you mean. But most of us did not expect, including most Democratic insiders that I've talked to, him to continue this into 1995 and 1997.

MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, I did.

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, we want to keep -- we want to -- we don't want to go down that --

MS. CLIFT: I just want to say one thing: that, you know, most women who have an affair with a married man don't end it feeling quite as generous to the person who rejected them as Monica does. So I think Clinton doesn't look all that --

MR. BARONE: So he's a real prince.

MS. CLIFT: He doesn't look all that bad here --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know what, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: -- and he was generous in his remarks to her on Friday, saying he wished she has a good life. I do too. (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know what, Eleanor? Monica saved the Clinton presidency. She had it within her power for him to be denied his presidency, by certain things she could have said, had she chosen not to say what she said --

MR. O'DONNELL: Absolutely. That's what she said.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- which presumably is the truth, but it may not be the whole truth.

MR. O'DONNELL: She says he's a lifetime liar.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But anyway, we don't want to go down a -- we don't want to go on a wild goose chase or a domestic goose chase. We want to keep the focus on Clinton. What did we learn about Clinton from Monica?

Okay, Clinton as a truth-sayer: Monica can't seem to make up her mind about whether Mr. Clinton was truthful. On the one hand, Clinton told her about his efforts to find her a job. (Quoting from "Monica's Story" by Andrew Morton.) "All I think about is you and your job. I'm obsessed with you and finding you a job. I wake up in the morning, and it makes me sick thinking about it. My life is empty, except for you and this job search. All I have is my work and this obsession."

On the other hand, Monica doesn't believe the president when he says he is sorry about the scandal. (Quoting from Monica Lewinsky's television interview.) "When I think of the person that I thought was Bill Clinton, I think he has genuine remorse.

When I think of the person that I now see as 100 percent politician, I think he's sorry he got caught." But then she says this: "I know people make fun of him for having said, "I feel your pain," but I think he genuinely means it." Hold on. Monica amends that to this: "He's the only one who knows the truth, and he never tells the truth."

Question: Is Bill Clinton a controlled or an uncontrollable liar? Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: I think lying about sexual escapades and affairs of the heart is something most people are familiar with. And what I was struck in watching the interview is Monica's statement that Bill Clinton is not comfortable with his sensuality and put all kinds of limits on the relationship, whereas she is very comfortable. I think there's a huge generation gap here. When Barbara Walters asked Ms. Lewinsky, "Well, exactly what is phone sex, for our viewers who don't understand?" and she gave a diplomatic answer and then concluded with one of those big, luminous smiles, "It's fun!" you know, I felt I was being -- I mean, she ought to give lessons in flirting -- (inaudible).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the most extreme example of the duplicity of Bill Clinton in connection with his love life?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think what was fascinating was when he said under oath in his answers in one of these legal proceedings, "What began as a friendship then turned into something regrettable." It did not begin as a friendship, it began as a view of thongs. I mean, you know, the sort of amazing tendency to tell absolutely transparent lies does suggest something congenital here, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the most extreme example of duplicity is Bill Clinton having given his wife Hillary a copy of "Leaves of Grass," and then he proceeds to give Monica a copy of "Leaves of Grass."

MR. O'DONNELL: That's not duplicity, John; that's consistency. (Laughter.)

MR. BARONE: It's volume discount.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it could be called standardized giving?

MR. O'DONNELL: Listen, to me, the worst thing about --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does he have a closetful of "Leave of Grass" that he passes out?

MR. O'DONNELL: Let me jump back to your original question, is he an uncontrollable liar, and the answer to that is yes, because his problem is not lying to Monica or lying about Monica. Of course he's going to do that. His problem is he doesn't know who to lie to and who not to lie to in Washington. He lies to certain chairmen of committees that he shouldn't like to, and he tells the truth to certain staff people he shouldn't tell the truth to. That's where his governing is a mess; it is the way he lies within government.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you telling me it is not targeted lying on his part?

MR. O'DONNELL: No. It's --

MR. : It's mistargeted.

MR. O'DONNELL: It's targeted, but it's mistargeted. He doesn't know who he needs to govern.


MR. O'DONNELL: And so he's lying to certain Cabinet members he should --

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he's lying controllably. It may be misguided, but he's not just irrationally telling the truth -- the untruth, is he?

MR. O'DONNELL: He is stupidly mistargeting his lying.

MS. CLIFT: Attaching the word "lying" to the way politicians do business, I think, is wrong.

MR. O'DONNELL: Eleanor, if you've been in the room, as Tony has, there is such a thing as lying in the rooms of government.

MS. CLIFT: Well, there's such a thing as being a very good politician, also.

MR. BARONE: And this guy is worse than just about anyone.


MR. BLANKLEY: He lies even when he doesn't mean to lie.

That is the sign of a congenital liar. He makes up things, when he would be better off telling the truth.

MS. CLIFT: That sounds like political sour grapes --

MR. BLANKLEY: It isn't, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: -- from Mr. Blankley, who worked for Newt Gingrich.

MR. BLANKLEY: It's not sour grapes.

MR. O'DONNELL: There are people who will not lie in the room --

MR. BLANKLEY: You know it's not sour grapes.

MS. CLIFT: Oh, I think -- (inaudible) --

MR. O'DONNELL: -- at a certain point in making the deal. And Bill Clinton is not one of those people who --

MR. BARONE: And you can make subsequent deals much better if people are confident --

MR. O'DONNELL: That is correct.

MR. BARONE: -- that you are not going to lie, then if they feel that you are lying -- (inaudible).

That's why we are not going to have Social Security reform this year. That's why we are not Medicare reform this year --

MS. CLIFT: Well, we are not going to have --

MR. BARONE: -- why we are not going to have a lot of those things that -- (inaudible) --

MS. CLIFT: -- either of those -- (inaudible) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor -- (inaudible) --

MR. BARONE: -- because people on Capitol Hill do not trust Bill Clinton, and they have good reason not to.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's not get talking about serious issues here.

MR. BARONE: Do you want me to talk --

(Cross talk.)


MR. BARONE: -- (inaudible) -- little else all night, John. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What the Washington Post describes as "the book's kinkiest moment":

In 1996, Monica flew to Bosnia on an official Pentagon trip. When she got to back to Washington, Clinton called her on the phone. They chatted away far into the night, the president enthralled, actually sexually aroused by her excited description of the Bosnia visit. The Bosnia reference is reminiscent of the second sexual encounter with Monica, reported in the Starr transmittal.

Question: What is the other Bosnia-related incident, Tony? Can you shed light on that? (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, regretfully I can. It has to do with when she orally copulated him, while he was on the phone with a Republican congressman, discussing troop deployment to Bosnia. And he apparently gets some sort of thrills about discussing Bosnian foreign policy while in the presence of that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.


MR. BLANKLEY: From his own mouth --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think that is why the troops have been there that long, do you? (Laughter.)


MS. CLIFT: It shows what a consistent policy wonk he is. (Laughs.) (Laughter.)

MR. BARONE: Nice try, Eleanor. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what did you learn about Clinton from all of this?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did this shed any nuance? For example, I'll start you off. Do you want me to do that?

MR. BARONE: Well, I have no choice.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think that I have learned that he is a bit more of a predator than I had hitherto thought. The way he conducts himself in the White House, in the Oval Office, is more like a singles bar than it is an Oval Office. And I --

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- on this one relationship?

MR. BARONE: John, I think that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible.)

MR. BARONE: -- well, this is the prince regent King George the Fourth all over again. He was a frivolous character. Important things happened in his administration. The British won the Battle of Waterloo, for example, which was not a minor thing.

But on the other hand, the man was essentially frivolous. And he is remembered in history, not by any of the accomplishments that occurred during his reign and regency, but by the disorder of his personal life. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: Well, this is not Waterloo, and it's not a singles bar. It was like teenage drinking -- teenagers sneaking sex in the corridor. It's pretty pathetic.

(Cross talk.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Teenagers do not have sex in the Oval Office of the White House.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you get a copy --

MR. O'DONNELL: This was not a teenage practice --

MR. BARONE: It shouldn't be a teenage hangout.

MR. O'DONNELL: -- to be having sex in the room adjoining the Oval Office of the White House. No teenager has ever done that.

MS. CLIFT: But it was not an adult relationship either.

MR. O'DONNELL: I don't think she knows about it --

MS. CLIFT: Plenty.

MR. O'DONNELL: There's something demented about, but it's not teenage.

MS. CLIFT: Well, you know, is this a convocation --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think he comes across -- does he come across as a sexual adolescent?

MR. O'DONNELL: He comes across as somebody who has absolutely no judgment about where the behavioral lines are drawn in his chosen occupation --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that he is a man with vast volume of mind -- and he probably has an I.Q., as I've said before, of about 160 -- but there's an emotional arrestment that's taken place?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to go deeply Freudian with me on this, please, Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: I don't know how Freudian I want to get, but he comes across as a predatory lounge lizard taking advantage of a woman who feels sensitive about her weight, to pretend that he's having a relationship with her while he's just exploiting her sexually.

MS. CLIFT: I don't know how anybody could watch that interview and conclude that Bill Clinton is the sole predator in this -- she knew exactly what she was doing. She had an affair --

MR. O'DONNELL: I agree with that.

MR. BLANKLEY: She still -- she still --

MS. CLIFT: Wait a second. She -- let me finish. She had an --

MR. BLANKLEY: She still didn't --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish.

MR. BLANKLEY: She still didn't still didn't know it. Last night she --

MS. CLIFT: Let me finish, please.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish, Tony.

MS. CLIFT: She had an affair with a married man. She's now telling the world about it. Shed's going to make lots of money on it.

MR. BLANKLEY: She still doesn't get it.

MS. CLIFT: You know, let's not cry for Monica.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's go back to Clinton.

MR. BLANKLEY: She still doesn't get it.

MR. BARONE: John, with Clinton --

(Cross talk.)

MS. CLIFT: But Clinton behaved foolishly and reckless, but he didn't behave criminally.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can I ask you a question, Eleanor? Can we go back to Clinton and get the focus past Monica?

MS. CLIFT: I just did. (Laughs.)


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that Clinton, after the revelations of the book and the interview, will be more attractive to women or less attractive to women? (Laughter.) I ask you.

MS. CLIFT: I think that she's got attitude and edge, but I don't think anybody's going to look on her as a role model. I mean, she's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm not talking about her, I'm talking about Clinton. Is he going to be more attractive or less attractive to women?

MS. CLIFT: Is Clinton going to be -- I think that, you know, his daughter's never going to look at him the same way, and that's the big price he's going to pay.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I didn't want to get into that.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. BARONE: Well, and I think the other thing, John, that we should factor in here -- the Juanita Broaddrick charges -- those were credible charges in the sense of being charges that a reasonable person could believe. I think that is a pall that is going to continue to hang over Bill Clinton, and the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you will know -- you will --

MR. BARONE: -- sort of the detail there is very convincing -- taking -- putting the sunglasses on, a la the Blues Brothers --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, but --

MR. BARONE: -- and then saying, "You better put some ice on that. I feel your pain." It sounds an awful lot like Bill Clinton.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. But you all note that there is nothing in the Monica account, the volumes of it, in the Starr report, the interview, now the book -- there's nothing there that suggests in any way, shape, or form involuntary action on her part -- nothing.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, look -- look, what --

MR. O'DONNELL: Quite the opposite.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It may be that he's narcissistic. It may be that he is very selfish and egotistical. It may be that he's emotionally arrested. It may be that he's a true predator, because he goes from -- from his --

MS. CLIFT: You know --

MR. BLANKLEY: I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- from one interest to another. But there's nothing here that indicates -- that we've seen or what she says --

MS. CLIFT: You know, I --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- that he's violent.

(To Mr. Blankley.) Yes?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think -- to answer your question, I think he will probably continue to be attractive to sort of lubricious Gidgets, whether he meets them in the Polo Lounge or somewhere in Manhattan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, I think there are a lot of women who would love to live out their fantasies with celebrities and rock stars -- they'd love --

MS. CLIFT: That's his -- that's his business, you know? That's not anything for us to care about.

MR. O'DONNELL: There's a tiny minority of American women who want to have sex with this president, and they will continue to want to have sex with this president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit. Now that we have more complete picture of the president, does it change your image of Bill Clinton? We've already addressed that, so let me ask you this: If all of this had been known, the interview, the book, et cetera, were known during the trial, would it have affected the conviction or acquittal of Bill Clinton?

MR. BARONE: I think it might have changed a few votes. Not many. I think if it had been known before the '96 election, he might not have been reelected.

MS. CLIFT: I think, on balance, this is sympathetic to Clinton. I don't think it would have changed any votes in the impeachment. And if it had been known in '96 -- you know, the country's been telling us for quite a long while that they really care about their lives and not the president's private life. And I thought the president answered the question exactly right on Friday when it was put to him, that the country is screaming at Washington, the pundits and the politicians, to get on with their lives and he's right on that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think, Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: I don't think it would have changed a single vote in the Senate, neither Republican nor Democrat. They were voting for their own political purposes, not because of their judgment of Clinton, and frankly, what we learned here is what we knew before about him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean they were voting on the basis of their own personal political self-interest? Is that what you're saying about the United States Senate?

MR. BLANKLEY: It is a shocking thing to say, but yes, sir.

MR. O'DONNELL: I disagree. I think a bunch of Republicans voted against their self-interest in voting to convict, from states that were not --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would it have changed one of the 45 Democratic senators?

MR. O'DONNELL: It would not have changed -- it would not have -- no. It would not have changed a single vote in the Senate, but it would have changed some real votes in 1996.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Because they are so bonded to their own political self-interest, correct?

MR. O'DONNELL: Because they -- because they had a view of the Constitution that does not include this as a high crime and misdemeanor.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. O'DONNELL: (Laughing) -- aw, I can't even finish. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that those Democrats, as Pat Buchanan said here a couple of weeks ago, had the responsibility of cleaning up any residual mess that could come along, either because of Juanita Broaddrick or whatever. Or Whatever.

MR. O'DONNELL: They do not have any constitutional responsibility --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they really ought to realize they have a moral responsibility because not one of them voted for conviction. I don't think it would have changed anything, either. When we come back, is Clinton remaking Washington in his own image?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Go, Pat, go!

MR. PAT BUCHANAN: (From videotape.) It is our calling to recapture the independence and the lost sovereignty of the American Republic, to clean up all that pollutes and poisons our culture and to heal the soul of America. And to that end, I declare my candidacy for president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday, Patrick J. Buchanan officially launched a White House 2000 bid, his third try for the big enchilada. Back in '96, Buchanan stunned his party when he won the New Hampshire primary, beating out front runner Bob Dole 27 to 26 percent. And back in '92, he was George Bush's stinging gadfly. And next year in 2000, Bush Junior will likely be tormented by Buchanan's unswerving economic nationalism.

MR. BUCHANAN: (From videotape.) To those who call me a protectionist, I say without apology, I will use the trade laws of this country and my authority as president to protect the jobs of our workers, the standard of living of our American families, the independence of my country and the sovereignty of the United States and no global authority will keep me from doing my job as president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Will Pat's economic nationalism resonate with voters in the GOP primaries, Lawrence O'Donnell?

MR. O'DONNELL: It couldn't be a worse time for that particular message. The economy really, truly could not be better, really has never been better in this half of the century. So it's -- he's got to find another way to go.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Suppose the economy tanks, Tony? Suppose it tanks?

MR. BLANKLEY: I mean, that is the moment when his argument would go, but I think it would work better in a Democratic primary than a Republican primary. Although, free trade has never been popular -- but at a time of high prosperity and low unemployment, it's the worst possible time to run on what is potentially a winnable issue.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, Buchanan on the White House soap opera.

MR. BUCHANAN: (From videotape.) The White House, where I spent eight years as assistant to three presidents, this temple of our civilization has been desecrated, used to shake down corporate executives, to lie with abandon to the American people, and as a place to exploit women. The personal destruction of political rivals has been perfected to a high art. It is time to call down the curtain on the sorry opera in the White House and restore dignity to the national stage. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Buchanan's direct moral condemnation of Bill Clinton and his White House good strategy today?

I ask you, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, it is in the Republican primary. The one-third of the country that is repulsed by Clinton and wants him out are largely the voters of the Republican primary. And it also, I think, works better in an election to replace Clinton than it does during an attempt to get rid of him by impeachment. So yes, I think it works well for Pat.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There are a lot of Republicans out there who don't like what Trent Lott said; namely, get through the trial fast and sweep it under the rug.

MR. BLANKLEY: You betcha. You betcha.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And he wants -- Buchanan wants to sweep them all in, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, Buchanan hardly is alone among the Republican candidates in condemning the morality of the Clinton White House. That's not his niche in this primary process.

MR. BARONE: You may hear that from --

MR. BLANKLEY: But he does it very well.

MR. BARONE: You may you hear hints of that from Bill Bradley and the Democratic side.

MS. CLIFT: -- and also, the niche that he runs on a shoestring -- he raised and spent $25 million in the last campaign. So he --

MR. BARONE: From small contributors.

MS. CLIFT: He will create mischief for the primaries.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A quick exit question: On a political probability scale of zero to 10, zero meaning zero probability, 10 meaning metaphysical certitude, how probable is it that Pat will win or place second in the New Hampshire primary?

MR. BARONE: Well, I think even though he's going away from Ronald Reagan's internationalism, free trade and immigration policies, three out of 10.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Three out of 10.

MS. CLIFT: Point-five. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Point-five. Even for second place?


MR. BLANKLEY: One-point-five.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One-point-five.

MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, I give him a five for second place.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll give him a six for second place.

We'll be right back with predictions.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions.

Michael? Five seconds.

MR. BARONE: Monica Monica will finish in the top two in the Louisiana 1st District special primary.


MS. CLIFT: The Medicare Commission recommendations will be so pro-insurance company, there will be no Medicare reform this year.


MR. BLANKLEY: Republicans are going to fight Clinton on the question of breaking the spending caps. They're going to hold -- go to the mats against the president on that to stop his spending.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Good. Good. Sound, sober fiscal policy.

MR. O'DONNELL: If there is a tax bill this year, which is not at all certain, it will not include an elimination of the so-called marriage penalty.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Governments in the Vatican, Latin America, Europe, Canada, the United States have all tried to get Castro to loosen the handcuffs of Marxist economics. Castro has not and he will not. Stalinist thought control and its full rigor will be ruthlessly enforced until the strong man, in power for 40 years, passes.

Next week: Clinton visits Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to see for himself the horrors of the damage wrought by Hurricane Mitch.