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CNN Today

90-Year-Old Grandmother Walks Across Country for Campaign Finance Reform

Aired February 29, 2000 - 1:51 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Cause and conviction are not just for young rebels. Meet "Granny D," a 90-year-old great-grandmother who just walked across the country trying to get big money out of politics.

Reporter Jonathan Aiken caught up with her in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DORIS HADDOCK, "GRANNY D": Thank you so much for all of you coming to welcome me into Washington, D.C.

JONATHAN AIKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's taken 425 days of walking for Doris Haddock, or "Granny D," as she's known, to get within sight of the Washington Monument. This 90-year-old great- grandmother of 12 has gone through desert heat and winter's cold, four hats and four pairs of sneakers to get people thinking about campaign finance reform.

D. HADDOCK: I'm doing the walk because I feel that our country is in peril.

AIKEN: Her son Jim thought something else when she decided to do this.

JIM HADDOCK, "GRANNY D"'S SON: You know, when your mother says, I'm going to walk across the country, if you've got any brains at all you say, well, yes, but...

AIKEN: She did it anyway, starting from Pasadena, California on New Year's Day, 1999. She got caught in a sand storm in the Mojave Desert and wound up in the hospital, spent four days walking across Texas. Along the way, "Granny D" has picked up a Web site, a band of supporters, newfound friends, and a theme song. She's made her case to friendly presidential candidates like Bill Bradley in her home state of New Hampshire, and John McCain, whom she visited during a break in her walk for a lobbying trip to Capitol Hill. He gave her a pair of sneakers. She gave him press coverage.

D. HADDOCK: He said, Doris, I haven't had this kind of press for a long, long time.

AIKEN: Her journey's over now, but not the mission to get a campaign finance reform bill through Congress.

D. HADDOCK: We need eight more votes in order to get that McCain-Feingold Bill passed. And that is the beginning of the whole thing. It's only the tip of the iceberg, but that's where it starts.

AIKEN: At the same place where the walking ends, 3,100 miles, four hats, and four pairs of sneakers and one birthday later.

Jonathan Aiken for CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATERS: And our hats are off for "Granny D."

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: That's for sure.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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