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Special Event

Republicans Open Their National Convention

Aired July 31, 2000 - 7:00 p.m. ET

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

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: A statuesque William Penn, founder of Philadelphia, observing as Republicans await tonight's speeches.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Inside the hall, delegates discover what a George W. Bush-run convention looks and sounds like.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight from Philadelphia, the 37th Republican National Convention. Two thousand delegates, 10,000 volunteers, and 15,000 media members have converged on the cradle of American democracy for the nomination of the GOP candidates for president and vice president of the United States.

In this grand old city, the Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan starts its quest for the White House led by a man with Texas roots and a president's name. Now from Philadelphia's First Union Center, here are CNN's Bernard Shaw, Judy Woodruff, and Jeff Greenfield.

SHAW: Thanks for joining us. This might be Monday Night Football in some quarters. But this is Monday night politics in this hall. These delegates want to hear speeches, cheer, and unify.

WOODRUFF: That's right, Bernie. And for the next four nights, the Republican Party under the firm hand, the firm guidance, of George W. Bush is going to try to sell the American people on its newly reconstituted soul, you might say.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: And they have come to the city where they wrote the Declaration of Independence on a hot summer, where they drafted the constitution on a blistering hot summer, where they held the first Republican Convention on a blisteringly hot summer day, and where 52 years ago they nominated a big state governor they were sure was going to win. They've come back and are sure they're going to win again this time.

WOODRUFF: You could say this is a city of new beginnings. And the Republicans are going to try to do that this week.

SHAW: But what Jeff was saying all done without air conditioning.

GREENFIELD: Yes, that's right. We and the delegates are much more fortunate. But the other difference in the climate of course is we've been hearing all day and will hear for the next three days is this Republican Party believes that for the last eight years it has had a tone of voice that it had to change. And George Bush when he announced for president said he was going to do it.

It's in the platform. It's in the speeches. It is in the air. They say they're going to change their voice to get the American people to get them back in the house they thought they owned.

SHAW: Our men watching these speakers up close tonight on the podium, Wolf Blitzer.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Bernie, one thing that's going to be a lot different that we're going to see at this Republican Convention is what they call a rolling roll call. Of course, all of our viewers know that traditionally one night there's a lengthy roll call of the states to go ahead and vote for the presidential nominee.

Sometimes that takes an hour-and-a-half, sometimes two-and-a-half hours. What the Republicans have decided to do is to begin that roll call tonight with about 15 or 20 states, then continue it tomorrow. Wednesday night go over the top. They're hoping that Wyoming will go over the top.

Thursday, wrapping up the roll call with Texas, Texas being the last state. The big states will pass as they go through it all of these nights.

They decided that for a variety of reasons. One reason, they thought it would just be too boring for the viewers out there to watch one lengthy roll call hour after hour. So they decided to split it up.

But look at this. There's a new poll that's just come out by the Pew Research Center which asked Americans what they liked more about these kinds of conventions. And they said, "What would you rather here, Laura Bush or John McCain, or watch the roll call?" and the answer was the roll call. So perhaps the roll call is not as boring to our viewers as some of these organizations originally might have thought.

Let's go down to the floor and see what's going on down there. Our Senior White House Correspondent John King is standing by in Pennsylvania, an important battleground state.

John.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. This state, Pennsylvania, many of the states in the mid-Atlantic region up through the northeast very poor performances by the Republican nominees in the last two presidential elections, George W. Bush promising to turn that around.

The themes of this convention will echo his strategy in trying to do so. To win statewide in Pennsylvania, a Republican must do well among suburban women here in the Philadelphia suburbs. You'll hear tonight, obviously, and you see from the placards here that will be one big theme here.

Another key issue here is blue collar voters in western Pennsylvania, part of this convention program over the next four nights designed to appeal to the so-called Reagan Democrats, blue collar members. Governor Bush trying to make the case that he should be elected the next president and that the vice president, Al Gore, does not deserve so much of the credit for the good economic times currently being enjoyed throughout this region.

Pennsylvania, one state where so far it appears to be working for Governor Bush. He's running ahead here in a state that Bill Clinton carried twice. Another state the president carried twice and a state absolutely critical if Al Gore is to win the White House in November is California, Governor Bush promising to contest there.

And over by the California delegation, we find my colleague Candy Crowley.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you're Al Gore, you need California. If you're George Bush, you dream about it. When you have 54 electoral votes as California does, you can pretty much set the strategy of your own.

This is a case unto itself here in California. And much of this convention is centered around the kind voters that Bush will have to appeal to in California if he is to have a shot here. In fact, his father did win here, three election cycles ago in his first race for the presidency, but since then, both times captured by President Clinton.

This message of tolerance, of moderation, is something that is aimed directly at California as a kind of microcosm of the rest of the country. It represents the swing voters among California, may be a tough go for Bush. At the very least, he can expect to at least make Gore spend a lot of money here.

And now to my colleague Jeanne Meserve somewhere near the Ohio delegation.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, thanks. Ohio isn't a want-to-win state, it's a got-to-win state. It's one of those big industrial battleground states in the Midwest that's going to make or break the Bush candidacy.

He is of course talking about issues he hopes will resonate here. And he is lavishing this state with attention.

Not only did the delegation get front-row seats, they're one of the few delegations getting a briefing from brother, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. George W. Bush traveled through Ohio on his way here. And he may go through again on his way out.

And advertising for Bush is already on the air in Ohio. This is a state that went twice for Bill Clinton. He wants badly to win it. And he's putting on the push to do so.

Now to my colleague Frank Sesno with the state of Georgia.

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ah, the state of Georgia. This is fairly friendly territory for George W. Bush around here, not only on the convention floor, but in the state itself.

The Republicans are counting on a solid showing, and as has been increasingly the tradition in the southern states. And right now, most polls show that with the exception of Arkansas and Tennessee, home states of Clinton and Gore respectively, George W. Bush is showing pretty well.

They hope for a serious bounce out of here, not only playing to issues that connect in the south, but also showing this new face of the Republican Party to try to pull over some swing voters and some minorities even in some of these key states.

We'll have more from here and of course elsewhere. Let's go back up to the booth and Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Frank. And as we listen to our correspondents in some of these states, as Jeanne Meserve was saying, some are got-to-win, some are would-love-to-win. They all are states that are important to George W. Bush.

We want to remember that this convention, at this convention, Governor Bush of Texas is doing everything in his power to get that message out there. This is his chance to reach as many voters as he can before the fall election, before the debates in October, to say, "This is who I am. This is the party that I stand for, that stands for what I believe in. And please vote for me."

GREENFIELD: That's generally a message that most politicians wind up with. But I do think apart from the tactics in the electoral vote count, one of the things we're going to be hearing throughout the next four days is a substantive pitch.

And that is that what George W. Bush represents is a conservative party that, to borrow the phrase of John McCain, is actually a reform and forward-looking party. The tradition has been to think of conservatives, as Bob Dole actually said four years ago, looking back to another time.

George W. Bush wants to say, "Conservatism in my fashion of it leads us into the future. And Al Gore is the candidate of the past." I think we should listen for that because it's going to resonate night after night in speech after speech.

WOODRUFF: Look at that picture we just saw, Bernie, of many, many, many placards that they're going to be waving. They all say - I think they all said "Bush-Cheney."

SHAW: This is going to be a long and interesting night. And if you're just joining us and wondering what's the schedule like, here's the answer. Here's a look ahead at this evening, the first night of the convention, Monday, July 31. At 7:30 Philadelphia time, House Speaker Dennis Hastert calls the session to order from a local landmark, one of many nods to this city's history.

But the focus of the four-day convention is the future. Monday's theme is "opportunity with a purpose, leave no child behind." It covers a range of child-oriented topics from education to adoption to parenting.

But each night the issues will be underlined by personal stories. The first will be Paul Clinton Harris. Born in poverty, he now holds the Virginia General Assembly seat once occupied by Thomas Jefferson.

During the 10:00 hour, an innovative teacher and his students will share their own lessons of hard work and concrete results. Then Laura Bush, the wife of the presidential candidate will discuss illiteracy, an issue that has dominated much of her time as Texas' first lady.

Near the bottom of the hour, Colin Powell furthers some of his causes. He'll speak about community and the importance of volunteerism. His appearance wraps up the first night of this four- day convention.

WOODRUFF: Governor Bush would have us believe it is a kinder, gentler Republican Party. We're going to consider whether that's the case when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GREENFIELD: Now if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Republicans have been flattering President Clinton by cheerfully adopting his 1992 mantra. Remember "a different kind of Democrat?" Well, this convention promises to be a different, a far cry from what it was just eight years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD (voice-over): When they gathered in Houston in 1992, the GOP had held the White House for 20 of the last 24 years. But a recession, and the breaking of Bush's 1988 "no new taxes" pledge, had cost him politically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pat in '92, Pat in '92...

GREENFIELD: Pat Buchanan had done well enough as an insurgent primary foe to command a prime time spot at the convention's opening night. And his message was uncompromisingly black and white.

PAT BUCHANAN, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is a religious war going on in this country. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton and Clinton are on the other side. And George Bush is on our side.

GREENFIELD: His speech ran so long that it pushed former President Ronald Reagan, most popular face of the party, out of prime time. You can see him glancing quickly at his watch.

Buchanan's language of confrontation also found echoes in the speech of Marilyn Quayle, wife of the vice president, when she talked about the 1960s with an unmistakable jab at Bill Clinton.

MARILYN QUAYLE, WIFE OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DAN QUAYLE: Because not everyone joined the counterculture. Not everyone demonstrated, dropped out, took drugs, joined in the sexual revolution, or dodged the draft.

GREENFIELD: And in a convention video, her husband answered his critics and what he called the cultural elite with a sharp rejoinder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN QUAYLE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wear their scorn as a badge of honor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GREENFIELD: Four years later in San Diego, Republicans were looking to present a different face to the country. On Monday night, General Colin Powell spoke openly about his difference with the party platform to applause and to scattered boos and dissent.

RETIRED GEN. COLIN POWELL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: You all know that I believe in a woman's right to choose, and I strongly support affirmative action.

GREENFIELD: House Speaker Newt Gingrich sought to celebrate American enterprise by praising the growth of beach volleyball.

FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA): No bureaucrat would have invented it. And that's what freedom is all about.

GREENFIELD: And Elizabeth Dole, wife of the nominee to be, took an Oprah-like walk through the convention hall to praise her husband.

ELIZABETH DOLE, WIFE OF FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ROBERT DOLE: He wants to make a difference, a positive difference, for others because he cares, because that's who he is.

GREENFIELD: But in other ways, the GOP message was the same. Bob Dole wanted to soften the anti-abortion platform language, but found little support. In turn, he said he hadn't even read the platform, which included tough language about immigrants and gays and which reflected a pervasive hostility to the federal government.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD: And there's no doubt about what this convention is trying to achieve. On the platform, blacks and Hispanics will be seen far out of proportion to their numbers as delegates. Congressional leaders in the Republican Party will be all but invisible. And while the platform retains uncompromising language on abortion and is opposed to gay rights, it is much different in terms of its support for immigrants, for education, and for social services.

One more point I should mentioned as a distinction. I think this says everything. Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, who is the chairman of this convention, comes to this convention with a positive- negative rating of 11 to six, which means those people who know him like him. Most people never heard of him.

Four years ago, Newt Gingrich came to this convention with a positive rating of 15 percent, a negative rating of 51 percent. As our colleague Bill Schneider has said, this is the un-Gingrich convention.

SHAW: You know, given what you said, given the high symbolism played out down there on that floor behind me, it seems to me, Jeff and Judy, that the Republicans have come to realize that television is a cool medium, one, and they have to project decorum on the road to trying to pull in the swing voters, the suburbanites, these moderates whom they desperately need if they're going to retake the White House.

WOODRUFF: If you look back at what Jeff was reporting just a moment ago, those two conventions, '92 and '96, especially '92, red meat conventions. There was red meat thrown out there.

As Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee reminded us today in an interview earlier today, he said, "What we're all about now is political vegetarianism." He said, "We're not interested in red meat at this convention."

And then he talked about windshields being bigger than rear view mirrors. There are all sorts of metaphors. But this is clearly a party that is trying to move in a different direction.

Frank Sesno is down on the floor. And as I go to you, Frank, not only is the party changing in its symbolism, it's changing in terms of the kind of people we're going to be hearing from.

SESNO: It is. So let's ask about a little bit of that contrast. Congressman Bob Barr from the state of Georgia talking about the new party and the old party and that kind of thing.

You were a manager during the president's impeachment proceedings. You were a loyal and enthusiastic member of the Gingrich Republican revolutionaries, retook Congress after that long 40-year drought. What was wrong with the old party? Why change?

REP. BOB BARR (R), GEORGIA: Well, we're not changing. What we're doing is I think we're getting much smarter about reaching out to different groups, different constituencies, people whether they're on the right or the left of the spectrum, union workers or management, and finding the common ground.

And I think that's what's new about this effort of the Republican Party. We're not changing our principles. But we're getting a lot smarter about realizing that we have a lot more in common with grassroots working Americans than some people realize. SESNO: Don't you feel the steam has been taken out of the engine a little bit on some of the issues that in previous conventions delegates said were what they should be all about, whether it was abortion, moral issues, family values, that kind of thing?

BARR: Not at all. I mean, everybody knows Bob Barr is modestly conservative. And they know that I'm not going to support a platform that is not pro-life, that I'm not going to support a platform that is not pro-tax relief, that is not pro-defense, but that also cares very deeply about working Americans.

And that's why when I met today with three different union groups, we found a lot of common area. So we're standing by our principles. But again, we're getting smarter about reaching out and realizing that we have a lot more in common with working Americans than people I think realized just a few years ago.

SESNO: Congressman Bob Barr, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.

Let's go over to my colleague Jeanne Meserve in the state of Michigan.

MESERVE: Right. And with me is Kevin Fobbs (ph), a delegate from Michigan. And this is a man who has made a leap.

In 1984, he worked for Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign. Now he's here as vice-chair of the Michigan GOP.

You told me that African American registration in your state has increased 25 percent since 1996.

KEVIN FOBBS, MICHIGAN GOP CONVENTION DELEGATE: Right.

MESERVE: What accounts for that?

FOBBS: A governor who has really delivered for the state of Michigan. His programs have delivered education reform especially. And that's had a major impact on African Americans in urban areas in the state of Michigan.

MESERVE: We're going to see a parade of African Americans go across this stage tonight. And yet when you look around the convention hall, 90 percent of these delegates are white. Does what's happening on stage ring true to you?

FOBBS: It does. It does. The governor of Texas has made an attempt, I think a very serious attempt, to make that happen for African Americans and other minorities. So has John Engler. We're going to see that this is a launching pad for the country.

MESERVE: We have to leave it there. Kevin Fobbs, thanks for joining us. Back to the booth now.

SHAW: We'll be in this hall for a little while. But as the Republicans get underway tonight, they're going to go outside the hall to Carpenter Hall, and we're going to be treated to some historical tradition, including a town crier.

WOODRUFF: And the music we're hearing, Bernie, is music they played when they actually got today's morning session underway. "Fanfare for the Common Man," Aaron Copeland.

Let's listen.

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yea! Oh, yea! Oh, yea!

To the good people of Philadelphia, to the visiting delegates of the Republican National Convention, and to all citizens of America, please give heed to the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the honorable J. Dennis Hastert.

REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Thank you, Philadelphia, for that authentic introduction.

In 1774, Carpenter's Hall, where we are tonight, was a brand new building with the smell of fresh paint and pine. Its builders, the members of the Carpenter's Guild, were proud to offer to the 56 patriots who met here that same year as the first Continental Congress to plan the construction of a brand new nation.

It is fitting that we launch our national Republican Convention here as well with some of your fellow delegates at the site of America's conception as we now meet to plan America's rebirth and renewal in the first year of the 21st century.

So I hereby call the 37th Republican National Convention to order.

(APPLAUSE)

HASTERT: Tonight and for the next three nights, all of America is invited to join our convention, to share our creative energy and our vision for America's best days still ahead. But to find our way forward, it is always best to plot a course from our very beginning.

And here tonight, we are joined by Robert Coles (ph), who in the person of his ancestor Thomas Jefferson, will place us back in the time of our nation's founding.

ROBERT COLES, ANCESTOR OF THOMAS JEFFERSON: I was 14 when my father died. The day of his funeral, Dabney Carb (ph), my best friend, and I went to mourn in our favorite little mountain, Monticello.

We loved that place and promised each other to bury the one who died first there under an ancient oak. Years later, when Dabney died of the fever, I buried him as we had agreed. I kept my promise.

By 1776, there was another promise to keep as war with England became inevitable. My committee colleagues gave me the honor of drafting our new nation's Declaration of Independence. Dabney's words weighed heavy on my mind.

He had said that someday one of us would have the chance to help fulfill our dreams of a truly humane society. This was my chance.

While each signature on the declaration held its own story of struggle and courage, as a whole these signatures were a bold step forward to the cause of liberty. It was both the twilight of the old and the dawn of a new day for we had sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man, recognizing that it is the people to whom all authority belongs.

And now in the year 2000, our nation is still strong. And here in Philadelphia, the people awaken to yet another new day, a day for the Republican Party to choose a new president to lead our country into a century of hope and opportunity.

WOODRUFF: We've been listening, as you can see, to a gentleman who actually is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson. And you have to say, Bernie and Jeff, a unique way to kick off a political convention.

GREENFIELD: I'm thinking of the late Speaker Sam Rayburn, who hated television, wouldn't let it in the House of Representatives or its committees. And now his successor is part of a television show. I think to quote Gerry Ford, "If Sam Rayburn were alive, he'd roll over in his grave."

SHAW: Paul Clinton Harris now occupies the Virginia General Assembly Seat once held by Mr. Jefferson, as they refer to him in Virginia.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL CLINTON HARRIS, HOLDS VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY SEAT FORMERLY HELD BY THOMAS JEFFERSON: Thank you. Thomas Jefferson and I share a home in the Virginia Piedmont. It's a land graced with God's beauty and graced with his legacy. Tonight I'd like to tell you about a child who was born to a poor teenage mother with a high school education in the segregated south.

His father was not around. Most folks thought this child had no future. But the boy's mother believed that where there is God, there is hope, where there is liberty, there is opportunity.

(APPLAUSE)

HARRIS: His mother knew that hard work and personal responsibility are the twin pillars of opportunity. That's why when the boy was only 12 years old, he went to work to help support his family to help make ends meet.

His mother said no to welfare. Instead, she worked three jobs. There were times when ends did not quite meet.

Tonight I tell you about a story that at night when the family shared a bed for warmth. his mother offered him the words that would impact the boy forever, "Don't curse the darkness, son. Light a candle." That young boy never forgot his mother's words.

Tonight, that young boy stands before you representing the same seat held by Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia House of Delegates.

(APPLAUSE)

HARRIS: How far we have come in America in 224 years. I stand before you tonight in this great city of Philadelphia where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, the creed that binds us together as Americans, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

That opportunity should be available to all Americans. And every parent in America should take comfort in the fact that their children will have opportunities they did not.

In pursuing the American dream, race and skin color do not matter. Economic station in life doesn't matter. And national origin does not matter.

What matter is the inner spirit of a child. What matters is that every child from every background in every classroom in America is treated as an individual with a mind and a heart.

More than ever before, we as Americans need a president who has the vision, the compassion, and the experience to usher in a new era of opportunity for all of our children. We need a president who will lead the effort to end the destructive habits of categorizing our children throughout America according to the color of their skin, family income, or national origin.

Low expectations and low standards may be the liberal prescription for America's poor and minority children, but we Republicans know better.

(APPLAUSE)

HARRIS: This party of Lincoln, this party of Reagan, this party of Bush, this party of growth, opportunity, and progress must continue to be the flame for parents and children throughout our country who against all odds still find the faith and the courage to light a candle in the darkness.

Governor Bush knows that it's time we find new and better ways to create opportunities for all Americans. He knows that it's time we ensure that no child is left behind.

(APPLAUSE)

HARRIS: We must work together so that no child is left behind to ensure in America an America whose future is one of unlimited hope and boundless opportunities.

Thank you all so much. God bless you. And may God bless America.

(APPLAUSE)

WOODRUFF: Paul Harris, who holds Thomas Jefferson's seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, stressing, telling us what the theme of this night is at the Republican Convention. Leave on child behind, opportunity with a purpose. Clearly, Paul Harris symbolizing the Republicans' new emphasis on diversity.

Frank Sesno is there on the floor with George W. Bush's international affairs adviser.

SESNO: That's right, Condoleezza Rice. And when we talk about the new face of the Republican Party, I'm standing and talking to one. Right now as we've been here, so many people coming by wanting to pose with you. It's like you're a rock star here.

Is this packaging, though? Or is this real?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ADVISER TO GOVERNOR BUSH: This is real. And it's real because this is George W. Bush's heart. And this is going to be his party.

And his party will be a party of inclusiveness, of diversity, where diverse views can be under the same tent because Republicans share the same values. And this party is not changing its values. But it is saying everybody has a place in this party.

SESNO: With respect, though, look at the leadership in the Senate and the House with one exception of this party, itself still overwhelmingly male and white.

RICE: It will take time. This is not a one-convention or a one- speech or a one-night effort to make this an inclusive party. It's going to take time.

SESNO: Excuse me, let me interrupt and go back to the booth.

SHAW: The pledge being delivered by Husna Crustival (ph).

HUSNA CRUSTIVAL, PRESENTER OF PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: ... to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now to honor America, we invite you to join in the singing...

SHAW: 10-year-old...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... 11-year-old Marie Grillergo (ph)...

SHAW: ... She's 11. Marie Grillergo. She's from New Mexico. And she is a sensation. (MUSIC)

GREENFIELD: And with the singing of the national anthem, the Republican National Convention is officially open. I think we've seen immediately from the very start that they want to be very clear that in who they put on this is a different Republican Party than the stereotype.

And when we come back, we're going to send the next half-hour taking a look at what the Republican Party is up to. There's some entertainment ahead. There's some conversation ahead. There's some politics ahead. Don't go away, please.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GREENFIELD: We are back in Philadelphia at the first night of the Republican National Convention. What we want to do now is talk to two folks who know something about conventions and their purpose, Mike McCurry, who you saw month after month talking on behalf of President Clinton, and Mary Matalin who has labored in the Republican vineyards for many a year.

Lady and gentleman, it's all yours.

MIKE MCCURRY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, Mary, it strikes me we've been around a lot of conventions. Conventions have to do a number of things. They've got to excite the base of the party, really get them motivated for the campaign ahead.

You have to broaden the appeal of the party, reach out to sort of other folks who might want to take a look at the party. And then you also have to introduce your candidate and get the candidate off to a good start.

I wonder whether you Republicans are missing something here. There has to be some excitement in this hall. We've talked about it tonight.

This is a convention that is much more conservative, much wealthier, much more white and male than the audience that George Bush seems to want to try to reach in the center of the political spectrum. I wonder whether it's going to fall a little bit flat as they try to invent this new, centrist Republican Party.

MARY MATALIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a little bit flat. Weren't you touched as a parent by that opening song? Come on, I saw you tearing up a little bit.

Look, they're trying to reach mothers. They reached me. Granted, I'm a conservative. But it was a very good kicker.

No, exciting and unifying the base is not the objective of this convention because, why, Bush enjoys as you know, record breaking Reagan-level support, somewhere upwards of close to 96 percent of Republicans, while Al Gore is still showing in the polls that 33 percent don't even, they want a new nominee. So Bush can use this convention to do the two things he needs to do, go to those swing voters, those independents which both parties need to attract to win.

And he needs to flesh out this compassionate conservatism. It is the first election of the 21st century. But he's the first Republican, 21st century Republican. We haven't run a Baby Boomer before.

MCCURRY: But he's also not unopposed. And the Democrats I think very wisely have used the selection of Dick Cheney as the running mate with a very conservative voting record to sort of pry open some questions about that more moderate Republican Party that George Bush would like to claim.

MATALIN: But who's asking these questions, Mike? This attack is an assault unlike any we've ever seen, unprecedented, seems to be having no effect other than to raise these certain dangers for you, not the least of which is because it's showing no effect, you're wasting time and money which are fixed in a campaign. So $23 million has been out the door. And Bush is still up.

MCCURRY: Well, I think the Bush campaign doesn't know a lot about spending money. It took $90 million to (INAUDIBLE)...

MATALIN: Well, now we're in the general. It's fixed. And this assault has used up not just a lot of money and a lot of time, and a lot of the president's capital, frankly. And it's done nothing, so...

MCCURRY: Well, the other thing though I think that you've got to remember is that there will not be an uncontested message delivery here. I think that everyone sort of seems to think - and by the way, I am highly impressed with the machinery and mechanics of this convention. You all do it a lot more efficiently than we do.

But at the end of the day, the argument the American people want to hear is going to include what the rebuttal is from the Democratic Party. And I think you're going to have a very sharp contrast when people are really beginning to sort of look more closely at some of these things about widening out the party and opening it. I just don't know if this is going to work, this stage managing.

MATALIN: That is true. The Democratic attack dogs are out there trying to contrast this message. But this message is the personification of Bush. He wanted a positive message. And the more it's attacked, the more it accentuates how positive he is and accentuates the negative of Gore, which is that he is...

MCCURRY: There's just something about me that a convention loves the good old attack lines and going at the opposition a little bit.

MATALIN: Well, we can do that. Why don't we do that?

MCCURRY: Well, we'll listen and see if we hear it. Back to you at the anchor.

SHAW: OK, thank you very much. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is at the podium explaining to these assembled Republicans exactly what is a rolling roll call and how it will work. GREENFIELD: And what we should say is it is a completely different roll call from the kind that we grew up with and our parents and grandparents. But tonight, what may make this interesting in a few minutes apart from the fact that voters seem to like to watch this, if not only for tradition's sake, is that the third state up tonight is the state of Arizona, the state represented in the United States Senate by John McCain.

And we expect that Cindy McCain may be taking the microphone to pledge her loyalty, her husband's loyalty, and the delegates' loyalty to George Bush.

Let's go down to Wolf Blitzer for a more thorough explanation of this rolling roll call.

Wolf.

BLITZER: Jeff, the third state will be Arizona that will be called on during this rolling roll call. But the third delegation that will be called will be American Samoa. There are five territories in addition to the 50 states who have delegations here as well.

There is no doubt that this is a change, this is a big change. Normally as we pointed out, these roll calls are done in one evening at the Democratic and Republican conventions. This time, they're going to spread it out over four nights.

And in order to let the third night, Wednesday night, see George W. Bush go over the top, the big states with all of those delegates are going to pass, meaning that they'll come up at the end. In other words, tonight once they get to California, it will pass. Florida will pass. Georgia will pass. Illinois will pass.

They'll get to like 15 or 16 or 17 delegations this evening. They will go ahead and vote. But we'll get more of that tomorrow yet again on Wednesday.

And finally on Thursday, just before Governor Bush delivers his acceptance speech, the final state will issue its declaration. That will be the state of Texas, which of course as all of you know in the booth is the home state of George W. Bush.

WOODRUFF: Well, Wolf, I can understand why they're doing it. I can see why they're spreading it out. But I'm nostalgic for the old days when there was one night when they did the roll call.

It was a big deal. We were all sort of sitting on the edge of our seats even if you knew how it was going to come out. There was still such drama that every state in the nation plus the territories were speaking as to who their choice is.

BLITZER: And that's perhaps one of the reasons, Judy, why some of these organizers decided to spread it out. Why get it over with in one day? Although I have to tell you the organizers were also insisting they thought it was relatively boring. Television is so much, as all of you know, of what they've done here this evening and throughout this week, as what the Democrats will be doing is aimed at those television cameras.

WOODRUFF: Well, it makes you wonder if they can just get too efficient sometimes.

BLITZER: They're very efficient here at the Republican Party...

WOODRUFF: All right, Wolf...

BLITZER: ... The earlier session today was ahead of schedule.

WOODRUFF: ... The roll call is starting. Let's listen to what it sounds like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alabama, 44.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL): They ready? They ready?

Alabama, a leader in biotechnology, aerospace, software development, and forestry casts all of its 44 votes for the next president of the United States, the Governor of Texas George W. Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

GREENFIELD: That is Senator Richard Shelby, a Democrat-turned- Republican casting the first votes. Not much of a surprising account, Judy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alabama coasts 44 votes...

WOODRUFF: He milked that W for all it was worth.

SHAW: This is my favorite part of the roll call. I like to hear them say, "Alabama."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alaska, 23.

JERRY PREVO, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN DELEGATION FROM ALASKA: Mr. Chairman, Jerry Prevo (ph), chairman of the Alaska delegation. Alaska is proud to have an all Republican congressional delegation, Republican Senator Ted Stevens, Republican Senator Frank Murkowski, and Republican Congressman Don Young.

Tonight, the Alaska delegation is proud to unanimously cast all of its votes for the first president who will have lived in Alaska, the next president of the United States, Republican George W. Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

GREENFIELD: You can't get up without praising your state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alaska casts its 23 votes for Governor George W. Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: American Samoa, four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Secretary, greetings and talofa (ph) from the very good Americans in American Samoa. Because we do understand what is meant by "is," the Republican Party of American Samoa proudly and enthusiastically casts all of its four votes for the next president of the United States, George Walker Bush. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American Samoa, four votes for Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arizona, 30.

CINDY MCCAIN, WIFE OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): Mr. Chairman, my name is Cindy McCain. And I am the chairman of the Arizona delegation.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: And I am the wife of Senator John McCain. I am very proud and deeply humbled to be here this evening, to stand here and represent my home state of Arizona, my country and my family. My husband and I have been honored to be part of a process which we believe will restore honor, dignity, and grace to the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: In a long tradition of great Arizonans like Barry Goldwater, John Rhodes (ph), our dear friend Paul Fannon (ph), and now John McCain, Arizona enthusiastically and unanimously presents to you our 30 delegates for nomination for George Bush, the next president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona casts its 30 votes for Governor George W. Bush.

WOODRUFF: A lot of symbolism in that statement by Cindy McCain because it was her husband who was the chief rival to George W. Bush, who at one point looked like he might even have a shot in taking the nomination away from him.

GREENFIELD: John McCain came here on the Straight Talk Express up from Washington, reunited some of the press and some of his supporters. He's been almost as busy as if he were the nominee with receptions and speeches and dinners.

But clearly, whatever private feelings may or may not be harbored, publicly he's utterly gracious and completely enthusiastic as far as anybody can tell for George Bush.

SHAW: And on your point of symbolism, Judy, you have Cindy McCain on the floor tonight delivering the delegates to George Bush. Tomorrow night you have John McCain at this podium delivering a very crucial speech about national security and national defense. Let's go down to the crow. Oh, OK. I misspoke.

WOODRUFF: We may do that in a minute. We're going to take a break.

Much, much more to come. Among other things, we will talk with Pat Robertson. We'll be back shortly.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: Here at this 37th Republican Convention, the planners would have you believe that everyone is of a like mind. Not so.

Candy Crowley is on the floor with a delegate. Candy.

CROWLEY: Bernie, I'm in the California delegation which just passed. However, you've got in a lot about your state.

I'm here with Rosario Marin (ph), councilwoman, Huntington Park...

ROSARIO MARIN, COUNCILWOMAN, HUNTINGTON PARK, SOUTHEAST LOS ANGELES: Correct.

CROWLEY: ... Southeast LA. I want to talk to you about the new face of the Republican Party. Are you it?

MARIN: Of course we are it. I think that this is amazing. And if you see California representing not only California but the United States. And you see that diversity. You see young people. You see Latinos. You see African Americans, Asians. You see everybody. You see old and young.

CROWLEY: But when we look at the demographics of this convention, we see that primarily it still is, as we've mentioned a number of times on the air, white male rich. Are you where you need to be? And what is it about this candidate that you think can broaden the chance?

MARIN: I think that the most important thing has already begun. And that is Governor Bush's clear agenda of inclusion. And I think just by looking, compared to what it was four years ago and certainly 20 years ago, what you see here today is people from all walks of life, from all different races, from all different religions being represented here.

CROWLEY: You told me that you were a councilwoman in a 99 percent Latino district, but 75 percent Democratic. What does George Bush have to do to turn that around?

MARIN: Well, I think he has to do throughout the nation what he has done in Texas. And that is take the message of inclusion everywhere. And with the result and with his record, especially in education, I think we see that he has a great future of telling everybody that they belong here, that the American dream is for everybody. And I think we see that here. CROWLEY: Thank you so much for joining us. We're going to hitch over to my colleague John King.

John.

KING: Well, Candy, thank you. We're standing here in the Missouri delegation. One key to winning a state like Missouri is getting support among suburban moms.

You hear a lot about soccer moms. Ann Wagoner (ph) with us tonight. She's not only a soccer mom, she's the chairwoman of the state Republican Party, a party that had a male chairman when it was here four years ago, also had a third of your delegates who supported Pat Buchanan four years ago.

This year, a solid delegation for George W. Bush. What does that tell us about the state of the Republican Party in your state?

ANN WAGONER, CHAIRWOMAN, MISSOURI STATE DELEGATION: It tells us that we are unified and ready for a winner.

KING: Now Bill Clinton carried your state twice, Governor Bush right now up around 10 or 11 points in the polling. Why is that? Which constituencies is he doing better with than Bob Dole or President Bush before him?

WAGONER: What constituency is Bush doing better with currently? I'll tell you what. He's doing well with women, people that care about education, people that care about restoring integrity and honor to the office.

I think certainly one of our largest constituencies that's polling well in Missouri right now are males 25 to 45 and young women also ages 30 to 40.

KING: Now another thing many Republicans enthusiastic about, Governor Bush doing well on the statewide level, helps you with statewide races. We were talking a bit earlier about one thing you would like to accomplish if you can elect a Republican governor in this election. Can you tell us about that?

WAGONER: That's right. It's the Super Bowl in Missouri this year. We are not only going to elect George Bush, but we need to return John Ashcroft to the U.S. Senate and win the governor's mansion.

And I'll you what. If we do that, John, we are going to redistrict in 2001. And we are going to redraw Dick Gephardt's seat all the way out to West St. Louis County, and it will be a 63 percent Republican district. And we in Missouri predict that Dick Gephardt will never run for reelection again.

KING: And we thank you for your time. Again, the enthusiasm for Governor Bush reflected here on the floor. If he continues to do well in states like Missouri, the Republican Party there not only confident that will win the White House but that they will have some newfound success on the state level as well.

Dick Gephardt, of course, hopes to be speaker of the House come November. The chairwoman here says she'd like to pencil him out of Congress altogether.

Back to you in the booth.

SHAW: John King, it sounds like Gephardt needs a flak jacket.

GREENFIELD: That, you want to talk about...

WOODRUFF: If she has her way.

GREENFIELD: ... Here's some political red meat for you. She is not playing softball. She knows who her target is. And that's how politics is done. And as I said, it's a contact sport.

SHAW: The role of the religious right in the Republican Party. Our analyst Bill Schneider joins us now with a look at some perspective.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Bernie, the religious right, that's a major constituency in American politics. It accounts for one in six voters, a larger constituency than African Americans.

Where are the voters? Well, right now about three-quarters of them favor George Bush over Al Gore. That's very solid support. After all, Bush saved them from John McCain in the primaries, who attacked the religious right. Bush preserved their platform. Bush didn't waffle to the center when he picked his running mate, Dick Cheney.

A politician once said, "Your base are the people who are with you when you're wrong." By definition, the religious right is the Republican Party's base. When the Republicans got in trouble with President Bush in 1992, over 60 percent of the religious right stuck with Bush. When they got in trouble with Bob Dole in 1996, two-thirds voted for Bob Dole.

That was more loyal to the GOP than even wealthy voters. The support of the religious right seems so solid that Bush appears to have some wiggle room on the abortion issue. He departs from the Republican Party platform when he says he would not impose a litmus test on the abortion issue when he appoints judges.

There have been no complaints. The message is when it comes to George W. Bush, the religious right trusts him.

Bernie, Judy, and Jeff.

SHAW: And the Reverend Pat Robertson, who joins us.

REV. PAT ROBERTSON, CHRISTIAN COALITION: Thanks, Bernie.

SHAW: Do you have wiggle room? ROBERTSON: Well, you can't do so many egregious things. But I have been saying I think George Bush is a man who embodies the philosophy that the Christian social conservatives hold. And right now they trust his personal integrity rather than the verbiage on the campaign trail.

And things like litmus tests, that's like a landmine. People don't step into landmines willingly. So he avoided that, and we understood it. But there is more wiggle room and more tolerance and understanding in this group than I think any political bloc in the country.

WOODRUFF: Do you agree with his position on abortion that there should be exceptions when it's a case of incest, rape, or when the life of the mother is at stake?

ROBERTSON: Absolutely, Judy. I've always felt that. Certainly, for any legislation there should be exceptions. I know there are some who absolutely think there can be no exception. But I would certainly think exceptions for those things.

GREENFIELD: I'm sorry, but when you referred to the verbiage on the campaign trail, it's hard to know whether or not we're supposed to think that George W. Bush is giving you guys a wink and a nod while talking to the center or giving a wink and a nod to the center while telling you, "I'm OK," as in, "I'm not for a litmus test, but the justices I admire are Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia." What does that tell you about his intentions in that regard?

ROBERTSON: Well, it tells me that what he's looking for is a justice who adheres to the original intention of the framers of the constitution. And that's what we're interested in.

But to say I have a litmus test visa-vie abortion, that would be suicide for a candidate. And he's avoided that trap.

But what he's saying is, "I want strict construction as to the constitution, not judges who legislate from the bench." And that's what I've been so opposed to.

WOODRUFF: But that's what the party platform says. The party platform says there should be a litmus test.

ROBERTSON: Well, he said one thing. And remember Bob Dole, "I didn't read it. I didn't read it. I'm not bound by it." But I think this platform reflects George Bush's philosophy. And I'm perfectly contented with what he's going to do.

But he has never sat down with me and said, "Well, I guarantee you I'm going to appoint pro-life judges." He's never said that. And...

GREENFIELD: Do you have any doubt that he won't?

ROBERTSON: I think what he's going to appoint will be judges that will reflect the constitution. And that's about all I can say. And that's all I would ask for because I'm an erstwhile constitutional scholar.

And I think that what has been done over the past 40 years with the Warren court on has been appalling. I just -- the way they have destroyed the Constitution in my opinion is appalling. So if they just get back to the interpretations of Clarence Thomas and Scalia and Rehnquist and others, I'll be quite happy.

SHAW: Give us a snapshot of this conversion by the religious right in its thought process. There was a time when you were vehemently adamant about these positions on abortion. You didn't see any grays.

But now you have an expression of satisfaction. Is this a case of your feeling you have somebody you can do business with?

ROBERTSON: Actually, Bernie, I've always been more tolerant.

SHAW: But historically, walk us through that.

ROBERTSON: There's a - I think what's happened is I got in the process in '88. And these were political neophytes. And they were looking at a party platform as if it was the dogma of a church.

And if somebody comes to me and says, "Will you shade the definition of salvation to get a few more in here?" I'd say, "Not on your life." I mean, I'm not - I have no authority to change the biblical mandate.

And some of the great scholars of the church have gone to their death rather than give up on one word. But in terms of the political platform of a party, this is a statement with which you have to gain a broad consensus.

And I think we're learning in this process that our troops, if I can use that term, are becoming much more sophisticated into how politics actually works. It's a give and take among a disparate group of people.

SHAW: Fascinating.

WOODRUFF: Finally, Pat Robertson.

SHAW: Fascinating.

WOODRUFF: You were quoted in the "Wall Street Journal" today saying you had a little nostalgia for the battles of yesteryear. You said, "I kind of miss it. I wish we weren't so slick maybe."

ROBERTSON: Judy, I gave a speech...

WOODRUFF: You really mean it.

ROBERTSON: ... in '88. And I had a fellow from California said, "I still remember that speech, that tale of two cities speech you made." But I went after them.

In the good old days of the party, you took the gloves off or let them have it.

WOODRUFF: Well, is this too slick?

ROBERTSON: Absolutely. Don't you remember Everett Dirksen's, you know, "We're not sick. We're not even indisposed. We're mismanaged," and -- and Teddy Kennedy's, "Where was George?" All of -- we're not going to have any of that in this convention, and I think we're going to miss something of that wonderful political rhetoric which we've been accustomed to over the last 40 years.

GREENFIELD: You know, we've -- we've -- this is a historic moment. Pat Robertson and the national media in total agreement on something.

We want to thank you for joining us, and...

ROBERTSON: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

GREENFIELD: When we come back, from God to (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We'll hear from James P. Hoffa, president of the Teamsters union.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GREENFIELD: We're back.

This phase of the rolling roll call has ended, and it is appropriate that it ends with Iowa where, six months ago, many thousands of us were freezing ourselves off in the first caucus state. Iowa now ends this rolling roll call. No surprise as to who it has cast its votes for.

Two hundred and eighty-three votes for Bush. Five votes so far cast for Alan Keyes. I don't think the outcome is in doubt. The outcome in November is.

One of the unions that may play a critical role in this is the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that went from Bush in '88 to Clinton in '92 to no endorsement in '96. John King is down on the floor with the president of the Teamsters.

John.

KING: Thank you, Jeff.

James P. Hoffa, the president of the 1.5-million-member Teamsters Union, is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the state of Michigan, but he is here on the floor of the Republican National Convention tonight on opening night of the Republican National Convention.

Is this a sign, sir, that your union could support Governor Bush in the fall campaign?

JAMES P. HOFFA, TEAMSTERS PRESIDENT: This is a sign that we are pursuing a bipartisan policy, which I promised when I ran, that that would be the policy we would fulfill. We're here meeting with our friends who are Republicans, just as we're going to meet in two weeks with our friends who are Democrats.

We're basically outlining a program of bipartisan politics, working together, basically forming a formulation that's going to help working families and unions throughout the country. We have many, many friends in both parties, and we're amplifying on those relationships, and that's why I'm here, to see our friends and to make sure that we have an anchor in the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party.

KING: Your union is the largest union in several key battleground states -- Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri. We're standing here in the Missouri delegation. Is -- the AFL-CIO very early came out for Vice President Gore. What has he done wrong that has kept you from joining the labor community at large?

HOFFA: Well, I think we've been a little bit reluctant because of his trade policies and certain things that we want to make sure that -- when he basically changed some of his policies to be more in tune with working Americans, and we're going to be talking to our friends in the Democratic Party and in the Republican Party and, eventually, we will form a consensus as to what the Teamsters are going to do in the next election, and that will be done around Labor Day.

KING: Does this complicate it at all, the spending of the millions of dollars in your political action committee, when it comes to the congressional campaign this fall? Most of the labor community wants the Democrats to take back the House of Representatives and the Senate. What is your view on those races?

HOFFA: Well, we're cer -- we're certainly backing our people re -- we have Republicans and Democrats that -- we're backing both with regard to the Senate and the House. We have people that we see eye to eye with in both parties, and we are backing some Republicans. So we're pursuing an independent policy as to where we're going.

KING: Now Governor Bush's views on trade no different than Vice President Gore's. Why not get behind the rest of the labor community? Are you getting criticism from other union presidents?

HOFFA: Well, I think it's unfortunate that both Bush and Gore have the same trade policy, basically a wrongheaded trade policy that gives away our advantage and shifts jobs overseas, and that's one of the issues that we're so opposed to that has held up any endorsement so far. But there are other issues. Trade is not -- just one of the major issues, and we'll be dialoguing along all these lines with both parties and, eventually, we'll form a consensus. But we're going to do that around Labor Day.

KING: All right, sir. We thank you for your time.

James P. Hoffa, president of the Teamsters union on the floor of the Republican convention tonight. Back to you in the booth.

SHAW: Thank you, John. And thanks to your guest.

As you can hear, tonight is a potpourri of entertainment between scheduled speaking segments, and what they're doing now is pausing because the next person they might hear from is Hank Williams, Jr. If you watch ABC's "Monday Night Football," you know that he's the guy who comes on and says, "Are you ready for some football?" ABC not carrying this convention yet. They're going to dip in at halftime for about 10 minutes. So let's see what happens here.

WOODRUFF: Hank Williams Jr., of course, the son of the legendary country singer.

I just want to -- one other quick note about James P. Hoffa. I was talking to him earlier today, and I asked him -- he said, "We're taking a vote." I said, "Are you going to go by what your members say?" and he wouldn't answer me. He said not necessarily do they go by how the members -- how the members vote.

SHAW: Here he is.

WOODRUFF: And here he is. Hank Williams, Jr.

HANK WILLIAMS, JR.: My fellow rowdy Republicans, are you ready for the best Republican National Convention ever? Thank you.

GREENFIELD: Well, if the Republicans were looking for a halftime show, they didn't quite get it, but I think there's another explanation for this. George Bush said when he lost for Congress in 1978 that his opponent, quote, "gave me a lesson in country-boy politics, and I vowed never to get outcountried again." If you want to know what Hank Williams is doing here, that's one of the explanations.

WOODRUFF: You notice he didn't sing, but a little -- a little football symbolism here.

As the Republicans are entertained, shall we say, by a little football and a little music and some more of the Liberty Bell, we're going to take a break with more of this historic Republican convention when we're back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: On day one of the 1880 Republican convention in Chicago, 15,000 delegates, journalists, spectators, and supporters jammed into a building designed to hold far fewer people. Tickets to the event at the Interstate Industrial Exposition Building cost $30, the price of a rifle or a steerage-class trans-Atlantic boat trip.

With memories of the Great Chicago Fire only eight years earlier, the City of Chicago had police and firefighters put up ropes for crowd control to prevent accidents and guide what "The Chicago Daily News" called the mass moving of humanity."

Delegates would pick Ohio Representative James Garfield. He would win and be assassinated after a year in office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GREENFIELD: Well, there is this Republican Party, and then they're at the -- there are the parties for this party, about 474 of them, as far as we can count -- formal wining and dining, casual entertainment -- and when it comes to these parties, some delegates are more equal than others, namely the heavy hitters, because the glitz and glamour of this convention comes at a very steep price.

Our Brooks Jackson now looks at who is picking up the tab and why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the most expensive ever, a four-day TV sales pitch for the Republicans and their candidate, costing nearly $70 million.

So who's paying? Look closely. This four-day political infommercial is brought to you in large part by business corporations, many in search of access and influence.

TONY CELLUCCI, AT&T: It's very important for us to get our message across to policy-makers and the influentials that AT& -- what AT&T is all about.

JACKSON: AT&T is pouring in about a million dollars, paying for this portable cellphone tower among other things, and they're not even the biggest donor. Horizon Wireless, product of a controversial megamerger, is said to be contributing $3 million. Comcast Cable is the proud host but too bashful to say how many millions it's spending.

The Philadelphia host committee expects to raise and spend at least $55 million, mostly from business, more than double what the San Diego host committee raised four years ago. Federal taxpayers are also contributing $13-1/2 million, bringing the total budget to Hollywood levels.

DAVID GIRARD DICARLO, CO-CHAIR, RNC HOST COMMITTEE: It reminds me a little bit of a movie. When you watch a movie and a film, at the end of the film, you see all the credits, and I've often wondered "How in the world can it cost them $50 million or $60 million or $70 million or $100 million to make a film that's an hour and a half?"

JACKSON: Corporations are also spending tens of millions more to wine, dine, and entertain members of Congress and other powerful Republicans. House Whip Tom DeLay wouldn't tell us where he got the nearly $1 million he's spending to provide House colleagues with cars and drivers and to entertain them with events like this golf outing, but we found out where some of it's coming from.

(on camera): A lot of the business spending here is just local boosterism, like this parade paid for by Wah-Wah (ph), a chain of convenience stores headquartered here in Philadelphia. What could be more local than the Mummers (ph)? But critics say when international corporations pay millions, they're not just underwriting democracy.

CHUCK LEWIS, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: No, I -- I -- I think that they're underwriting their access and influence with perhaps the next president of the United States and the people who are around him and leading members of the Congress.

JACKSON (voice-over): Just beyond the red, white, and blue bunting, the convention is a playground for corporate lobbyists. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be using Amway Corporation's giant yacht to schmooze Republican lawmakers away from Washington.

BILL MILLER, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: But this offers a more relaxed atmosphere where our lobbyists, our policy people can sit down in a much more casual and relaxed atmosphere and talk to members of Congress about the issues that we care about.

JACKSON: Those business lobbyists have powerful Republicans singing a happy tune. Just listen.

REP. J.C. WATTS (R-OK), CONFERENCE CHAIRMAN: My girl / Talking about my girl...

JACKSON: House Conference Chairman J.C. Watts was honored -- that's the phrase they use at these deals -- by lobbyists from DaimlerChrysler, the natural gas industry, Coors Brewing, Coca-Cola, and others.

And how's this for symbolism? The actual keys to the Republican Party's birthplace born way back in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin, are being auctioned off this week to the highest bidder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The owner's probably not going to take less than $100,000 for them.

JACKSON: The party gets to keep 10 percent, another corporate donation.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Philadelphia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: There are some people who would like to reform out of existence that kind of stuff. Candy Crowley on the floor has a guest who might think otherwise.

Candy.

CROWLEY: I think so, Bernie. I have with me Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Thanks for joining us.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATE COMMITTEE/CHAIR, KENTUCKY DELEGATION: Sure.

CROWLEY: We just listened to a long piece by Brooks Jackson about the number of corporate sponsors there are for the convention. Why would someone looking at this and looking at the list of that not think that those corporations want something for their money and what they want is access?

MCCONNELL: Well, first of all, we're grateful for their help. We couldn't put on this convention without them. The only other way to finance a convention would be with tax dollars, and I think America taxpayers would be justifiably outraged to see that their money was being spent to underwrite buttons and balloons and, for that matter, in campaigns -- campaign commercials. So we're grateful for their help. Secondly, it's all disclosed, and the critics can make of it what they will.

CROWLEY: So, I mean, but would it -- what else would -- I mean, why do they do it then? Tell me why you think they do it.

MCCONNELL: I know it's impossible for you to believe this, but an awful lot of these companies are public-spirited companies. They feel that this is part of their responsibility to America. These are the same companies that contribute to worthwhile charities, and I think they view it almost like a charitable contribution. We're -- we're grateful for it. If anybody's offended by it, it's, of course, all disclosed, and you can make of it what you will.

CROWLEY: And -- and why not just do a smaller convention? I mean, if you could avoid that -- OK, the - you know, "This corporation wants access to George Bush or wants access to a senator or to a Congressman," why can't you just do a smaller one?

MCCONNELL: Well, why would we want to put on a small, little, puny convention when we can have a good, effective convention? This is an important part of American democracy, which, I think, is kind of lost because a lot of the drama is not in it anymore. It's still important. It's the one time every four years when party members from all over the country gather in one place. It doesn't happen any other time in four years. So it is an important part of American democracy, and we appreciate the corporate help, and we're glad you all are here, too.

CROWLEY: Well, thank you.

MCCONNELL: And all of you are big corporations, too, you know.

CROWLEY: Absolutely, but wait -- you know, do you -- would you agree that there is at least a perception and an uneasiness in the public when they see this kind of money from corporations going into the parties, going into the conventions, and shouldn't something be done about the perception of it?

MCCONNELL: I really don't want to offend you in any way, but there's a good deal more concern of a perception problem with the media in the way they cover politics than corporate contributions. I mean, everybody can make of it what they choose. A lot of these delegates think that the media is overwhelmingly against us. Now I don't believe that, but it's all disclosed, Candy, and everybody can make of it what they will. We're grateful for their help.

CROWLEY: Thank you so much, Senator Mitch McConnell.

MCCONNELL: Thank you.

CROWLEY: As you know, it's really hard to insult us. Thanks.

MCCONNELL: I didn't mean to insult you.

CROWLEY: Now to my colleague, Jeanne Meserve.

MESERVE: I have with me Bob Eleveld. He was chairman of the McCain campaign in part of Michigan.

Thanks so much for joining us here today. How do you feel about all the corporate money that's being spent around this convention?

BOB ELEVELD, MICHIGAN DELEGATION: Well, I don't think it's any different than many conventions before this, and there is a lot of corporate money being spent, but when we get to the Democratic convention, there'll be a lot of union money being spent.

MESERVE: I know you were an advocate of campaign finance reform, as someone who was working for McCain. I would think this would give you some level of discomfort.

ELEVELD: Well, this is a little bit about what he was talking about, but this is not really campaign contributions. On the other hand, I do agree with the senator that there's too much money buying too many votes in Washington.

MESERVE: Is that what it's doing here?

ELEVELD: I don't really think it's directed at that here. It's attempting, in a lot of cases, to get Republicans elected to office, but I don't think that they're trying to buy votes here.

MESERVE: We just heard someone say that a puny convention isn't an effective convention. Would you agree with that?

ELEVELD: I didn't hear your question. I'm sorry.

MESERVE: A puny convention isn't an effective convention. What's your reaction?

ELEVELD: Well, I think it's an effective convention. I -- I don't know. I -- it was different, but...

MESERVE: Bob Eleveld, thanks for much for joining us.

And now back to Jeff in the booth.

GREENFIELD: Thank you, Jeanne. As you know, throughout this week, on the assumption that those of you watching us have an interest in politics, we want to see just how knowledgeable you are. So we've been offering you a quiz. No prizes. Just the satisfaction of knowing you're right.

Here is the first question. If you listened to Brooks Jackson's piece, you already know the answer. The Republican Party was founded in: (a) 1844; (b) 1850; (c) 1854; (d) 1860. Eighteen fifty-four. That explains why the first convention was held in 1856.

Question 2: This legendary cartoonist penned the elephant to represent the GOP. Was it a) Al Capp; b) Norman Rockwell; c) Thomas Nast; d) Garry Trudeau? The correct answer...

SHAW: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GREENFIELD: Nice try, Bernie. But it was Thomas Nast.

Three: Which president wanted the United States to "speak softly and carry a big stick"? (a) Ulysses S. Grant; (b) Theodore Roosevelt; (c) Franklin Roosevelt; (d) Dwight Eisenhower.

Judy Woodruff, what's your answer?

WOODRUFF: Teddy Roosevelt.

GREENFIELD: Ah, the woman knows her politics. Indeed, it was Teddy Roosevelt.

Now we've been hearing a lot about corporate money for the last few minutes, but there is still a lot of grassroots activity in these United States when it comes to politics.

When we come back, you'll meet a delegate at this convention who exemplifies that spirit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEN STEIN, HOST, "WIN BEN STEIN'S MONEY": I am lucky enough to be the host of a game show on Comedy Central, and I'm proud to say we've won six Emmys. The show is called "Win Ben Stein's Money." Yes, it is really my money.

GREENFIELD: The delegates are being entertained by Ben Stein, son of Herb Stein, the famous Republican economist, Yale Law School graduate, speechwriter who gained fame as the world's dullest teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and is now a game-show host. I mean, this is what politics is nowadays, I guess.

WOODRUFF: And Ben Stein is here for a reason. I mean, he's not only a comedian and a political speechwriter, but he worked -- he was a staunch admirer of former President Nixon. He worked for the Federal Trade Commission, what, in the '70s during the Nixon and maybe even the Ford administration.

SHAW: And this underscores what Pat Robertson said to me. You recall he indicated that he felt that this was a very soft convention and what have you, that they don't mix it up anymore, the way he wished they did. When he sat down to -- next to me, he said, "Bernie, this is pabulum for four days," and he laughed. You don't get it?

WOODRUFF: We -- we understand, but the manager of George W. Bush's campaign is somewhere close at hand.

Karl Rove, come have a seat.

SHAW: Yes, he's...

WOODRUFF: He's in the room.

We're going to invite you to sit down, even as we're on live television. Fresh from the -- from the Bush caravan making its way...

SHAW: Welcome.

KARL ROVE, BUSH SENIOR STRATEGIST: Hey, Bernie.

SHAW: Haven't seen you since...

WOODRUFF: ... making its way to Philadelphia.

SHAW: ... Austin.

WOODRUFF: Karl Rove -- yes, this is -- he's getting his microphone put on here. You're watching. Is this -- now is this your idea of a lively, energetic, contentious Republican convention, Karl Rove?

ROVE: Well, livelier.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAW: Livelier.

ROVE: Last time, we saw really contentious conventions were '72 and '68, and the results (UNINTELLIGIBLE) contentious Democratic conventions. Those weren't particularly good, so...

SHAW: Pat Robertson sitting in this seat about 15 minutes ago, said, "Bernie, this is pabulum for four days." He was ecstatic.

KARL ROVE, BUSH SENIOR STRATEGIST: Well, I don't think it's pabulum. There will be some very significant addresses here. It's an opportunity for us to showcase Governor Bush's agenda. So we'll have a lot of education and substance passed on over the next several days to those that are watching and listening and interacting.

SHAW: Well, I'm sure he meant a big picture of unity, huggy, kissy, warmy, feely kind of projection out there. I'm certain he wasn't denigrating the fact that Laura Bush, Colin Powell speaking tonight, John McCain tomorrow night, Dick Cheney Wednesday, and of course, Governor Bush on Thursday. He didn't mean it that way.

WOODRUFF: Any danger of overdoing it, Karl Rove, just making this convention so light that people don't even take it seriously?

SHAW: Well, again, I'd say it's a substantive convention. We're going to have speakers here talking about George Bush's plans to reform education, reform Social Security, cut taxes, change and rebuild our American military, and then you'll hear later tonight some important talks about taking important steps to confront the poverty and suffering that remains in our country. I don't think any of those are too light a subject to be addressed in a political convention.

GREENFIELD: But we asked Pat Robertson earlier, and as Bush's campaign manager, you can actually provide us a thoroughly candid answer. Is there a sense in which you are reassuring the conservative base that, look, we have to do this to win but you're going to win most of what you want? Or have you had to do what Bill Clinton had to do with liberal Democrats eight years ago and say, "We have to take some different directions"? In other words, how big a shift substantively do you think is going on here?

ROVE: Well, look, Bush is a different kind of Republican. We are at a point where each party's agenda, previous agendas have pretty well exhausted themselves for different reasons. And Bush has laid out a new agenda for his party and for the country that takes the party into new directions. And that's healthy.

WOODRUFF: Do you think the most conservative members of your party would agree with you, that that agenda, that much of that agenda that was so dear to their hearts has been mostly exhausted?

ROVE: Well, a lot of it has been exhausted because we succeeded. I mean, we were a party that fought communism and the Berlin Wall fell. We're a party that was against big government. We even had the Democrat president of the United States saying the year of big government is over. So there are lots of things that have changed in American politics, and one of them is that each party's agenda has largely been succeeded. I think that's a theory of Jeff Greenfield, if I remember correctly.

SHAW: Have you talked to the governor today?

ROVE: I talked to him twice today, yes.

SHAW: What did he say?

ROVE: Well, he was, first of all, very excited because the crowds in Ohio were just unbelievable. And I talked to him this afternoon after he'd been in Dayton where 6,000 people showed up to greet him. And there's -- we have -- he's making his way to the convention with a high level of excitement out there in the states that Republicans have not carried since at least 1988.

WOODRUFF: Does Mrs. Bush really have butterflies?

ROVE: I bet she does. Laura is a fabulous speaker but this is not a woman who has spent her adult life giving lots of speeches. But people see the passion that she has for education. This is a woman who was an elementary school librarian, an elementary school teacher. And she's helped making reading a top priority in Texas. And as a result, our reading scores for African-American and Hispanic kids are leading the country in improvement.

GREENFIELD: You were at a college dissertation on 1896, and we know that you are, if not fixated, fascinated by the notion that McKinley won way back again because he was the harbinger of a new economy. How important is it for your candidate to be seen in the next few months as the tribune, if you will, the advocate of a new way, a new economy, a new kind of country.

ROVE: Well, I think it's real important because people's attitudes about where economic prosperity comes from are changing. And this is why Bush has such tremendous support in Silicon Valley. That's why he has led in the polls on the mention of who would be better able to continue America's economic prosperity. He understands wealth was created by provident individuals, by companies and risk takers and entrepreneurs. And people respond to that as opposed to somebody who says, "All the prosperity in America came from me, the government." And that's very helpful.

SHAW: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you very much. We appreciate it, especially on the spur of the moment.

ROVE: Happy to do it.

SHAW: Good to see you again.

WOODRUFF: You can drop by anytime.

ROVE: If we've got calls, I come.

SHAW: Thank you.

GREENFIELD: Thank you. And when we come back, as promised, we think, a real live delegate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Coming up at 9:00 Eastern time, about 23 minutes from now, "LARRY KING LIVE," with his guest, Senator John McCain of Arizona. Senator -- former senator Bob Dole on stage, the official convention photo and much, much more.

And Jeff Greenfield, you want to tell us about something. We're all going to be interested to see.

GREENFIELD: Well, I hope when they take that picture, nobody moves. But what I also want to tell you is that for all we talk about officials, the delegates are the heart and soul of this convention. They are the foot soldiers of this party, often coming her at their own expense and doing it because of something they believe in.

We want you now to meet a woman from Georgia, a woman named Sue whose energy could power an entire town. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUE EVERHART, GEORGIA DELEGATION: And don't forget, somebody has to take balloons -- we're going to put a bow and a hat on him so he'll look like a girl elephant. Can wear the flag.

GREENFIELD (voice-over): 7:30 on the morning of July 4th, and Sue Everhart...

EVERHART: We're not even going to mess with this...

GREENFIELD: ... and her volunteers...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy 4th of July.

GREENFIELD: ... have been here since dawn decorating the Cobb County Republican Women's Club float for the annual Marietta, Georgia Freedom Parade.

EVERHART: Yeah, yes, that looks good. 7:30. What time is the first viewing?

This can be Mrs. Bush. This can be Laura Bush. See what goes into hometown USA?

GREENFIELD: Sue Everhart has spent at least a thousand hours this year stuffing envelopes, working the phones, hanging the banners and the bunting. She does have time now, retired from a local bank, a widow with her children grown, but she has been at this for nearly 30 years.

EVERHART: I am going to convince you people...

GREENFIELD: It is a life's avocation borne not out of her childhood but from her first step into the adult world, into the voting booth.

EVERHART: I felt like the first time I voted, that I was really a VIP, because I was the only one in that voting booth. And from then on, I just -- I shamed people that didn't vote. But I just love this country. And if you love this country, you got to make a difference. And the only way you make a difference is at the voting box.

GREENFIELD: But the voting booth is only one stop on her nonstop rounds.

EVERHART: It all starts here. That this may be corny or whatever, but we'll pick up members today.

GREENFIELD: At the 4th of July parade...

EVERHART: I'm Sue Everhart, a Republican woman. You got to vote right.

Can I convince you to read about George W. Bush? Big George. I like that. Big George. Now you're going to vote George W. George W. Bush...

GREENFIELD: She works the crowd old...

EVERHART: Can I get you to pass these out to the rest of the people?

GREENFIELD: ... and young.

EVERHART: You're a good man, tiger cub.

GREENFIELD: The scouts can't vote but their parents do. So do many of those lining Roswell (ph) Street...

EVERHART: We're in Bush country now.

GREENFIELD: ... as her homemade float rolls down toward the town square. And there is no one who can squeeze a few dollars more out of the crowd at the local GOP barbecue.

EVERHART: A dollar? You cheap...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got mine.

EVERHART: Yeah, you cheap thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much is it?

EVERHART: Well, it's whatever you want to donate. They donated $20.

GREENFIELD: She is, after all, a familiar face to everyone from the neighbors next door...

EVERHART: I love you, hi.

GREENFIELD: ... to a neighboring congressman.

EVERHART: I was his first chairman for Women for Bob Barr and I can't vote for him. I don't live in his district.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe in us.

GREENFIELD: Believe? You better believe it.

EVERHART: Got change. How many you want? You going to spend $20 so we can give you some tickets next year?

Writing a check's easy. Anybody can write a check. I'd love to just write checks everywhere. But then, I wouldn't' know what's going on at the grass roots of this country and I wouldn't have a clue, because the newspapers, they don't tell it right. They tell their way, you tell your way, I tell my way. So between the three of us telling the story, we get the correct story.

GREENFIELD: And now, after three decades of unpaid days and nights, Sue Everhart is going to her first national nominating convention.

EVERHART: I just feel like this is an opportunity of a lifetime to really learn the process. I mean, it's the last process before you go to the voting box.

GREENFIELD: But while Sue Everhart is heart and soul with the nominee, her vote will come with a message as well.

EVERHART: I just feel like that that will be the time when I feel like that I am doing something with my child, that I have finally given you your wings, and now you've got to fly. And you better soar with eagles and not embarrass us. And I'm sure that's what his mama will tell him.

GREENFIELD: And when the festivities in Pennsylvania end, Sue Everhart will be back in Cobb County, Georgia, doing what she has been doing all of her adult life.

EVERHART: You just keep plugging along because you can always make it better. If you get out and work, you can make it better. And if you don't, at least it's better for you because you go to bed at night and you feel real good, and it's like, you know, I went out there today and I gave it my best shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: As she's worked her way to the floor of this convention here in Philadelphia, Sue Everhart with Frank Sesno.

SESNO: Indeed. Sue Everhart, we've just seen this piece about you. We saw you there, we see you here. What is it that keeps you going?

EVERHART: I love my country. And the country is a good country. People are always running it down but it is a good country. And to keep it good, we have to get out there and volunteer, keep electing good people. Good people elected just don't happen. I have to help get it there. All the people in this room work to help get a candidate here tonight, and we think it's the right candidate for America.

SESNO: After all that volunteering, this is your first convention?

EVERHART: Yes. First time I ever tried to come. I've never gone to the nominating committee and asked. There were people I felt were just as deserving or more deserving. I got my family raised pretty much, and now, it's time to get out and step up to the next level.

SESNO: And what's after this?

EVERHART: Elect George W. Bush.

SESNO: What will you consider a successful week for you? EVERHART: That when we leave here with harmony with the Republican Party and ready to move on into November and move on to the White House in January.

SESNO: We get so many people who sound a little cynical, a little worn out by the whole process, but you've maintained an incredible degree of enthusiasm and energy. Some might wonder how.

EVERHART: Because you don't give up on your family, you don't give up on God. Why should you give up on your country?

SESNO: Sue Everhart, thanks a lot.

EVERHART: Thank you.

SESNO: Appreciate it. Let's go back up to the booth.

WOODRUFF: Frank, all the excitement, because as you see in the picture, former president George Bush and his wife, Barbara, the parents of the nominee to be, George W. Bush, Governor George W. Bush, have joined the group there in the seats overlooking this convention floor.

And when we come back in just a moment, Bernie has a closer look at one of the two feature speakers tonight, Laura Bush. And we are going to talk with the nephew of Texas governor George W. Bush, George P. Bush. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GREENFIELD: Twenty years ago, he was the surprise choice as Ronald Reagan's running mate. Twelve years ago, he was the nominee for president. Now he is an honored elder statesman at a convention that will nominate his son. The Bushes, if they are not a dynasty, have been a longtime part of the American political fabric.

Bernie, you're going to tell us about one of their family members.

SHAW: Indeed, Bushes are everywhere. And very shortly, we're going to interview this handsome young man, George P. He was just looking at his grandparents, the son of Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. But we spent some time with your aunt, the first lady of Texas, Laura Bush, the wife of Governor George Walker Bush. And she's had an interesting career, from first lady to teacher to librarian to her childhood. She stands by herself on her own. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY OF TEXAS: It's been a long road but it's come so quickly, I think, from when we started last June.

Good morning.

I think America's ready for a new kind of leader.

SHAW: Laura Bush is not a follower. Laura Bush is her own person and a partner.

L. BUSH: Did you register to vote?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I'm definitely going to.

SHAW: Partner of a man who wants to be president, wife of nearly 23 years, mother of twin daughters.

L. BUSH: Good morning, Officer Buckle. It's time for our safety speech.

SHAW: Fifty-three-year-old Laura Welch Bush has her own story, which blends naturally with strong, political support of her husband.

(on-camera) How has he earned your loyalty?

L. BUSH: Well, by being so loyal himself. George is a very loyal friend and that's why he's earned everyone's loyalty. But he's also been a very loyal father to our children and husband to me. And I think that's the way he earned my loyalty.

SHAW: And yet, this is not the path this only child, raised by her parents in the small west Texas oil town of Midland imagined for herself.

L. BUSH: I remember the big sky. Midland has a huge sky since there are no trees, no native trees. The sky isn't obscured at all. But mostly, I think I remember a feeling of being really sheltered. You were free in Midland to ride your bike anywhere and go all around town by yourself. But at the same time, I think you felt a lot of love from a lot of people.

REAGAN GAMUTTER (ph), CHILDHOOD FRIEND: You'd go to the football game on Friday night. There'd be family picnics, you know. Most people went to church on Sunday.

SHAW: Oldest, dearest friend, Regan Gammon. She follows and cheers on the race for the White House but she remembers their earlier life, a life of innocent times.

GAMMON: We would listen to 45 records all the time. We loved to dance around in our socks, I mean, just like in, you know, you see in the movies.

SHAW: At San Jacinto Junior High School, friends recall an emerging passion: books.

JAN O'NEIL, CHILDHOOD FRIEND: She loved to stay home and read her books. And, you know, we'd go over. I mean, she never missed anything because of the course, but you know, she'd finish that one chapter and we'd run by and pick her up on our way to wherever we were going and that kind of stuff.

Laura, I think, knew that she wanted to be a teacher, wanted to go into education. SHAW: And she did. An education degree from Southern Methodist and then a master's in library science. Laura Welch got down to business, teaching nine years in the Texas public school system.

Submarine (ph) librarian Laura Welch, a prime resource here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she was.

SHAW: Laura was determined not only to help educate but to inspire the hundreds of children she saw. Some fellow teachers remember.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You'd have to hunt for her because she was usually pulling books for a classroom. Plus she had story time. All day long, she was scheduled up and the children came in in classes and she had storytime. And she was very animated.

SHAW: No disrespect to you, but would libraries have a friend...

L. BUSH: Libraries would definitely have a friend.

SHAW: ... in the White House?

L. BUSH: Former librarian that I am.

SHAW: 1977, 30 years old, she meets the man. He would alter her life forever and she, his.

L. BUSH: Well, what I liked about George when I first met him was I liked his personality.

SHAW: Though they lived just miles apart as children and were at the same junior high school for a while, a friend's barbecue 20 years later in Midland brought them together.

L. BUSH: I liked that he gave me a lot of energy because of the energy of his personality. Plus, he was funny and we laughed a lot. Both of us love to laugh and I think that's great.

GAMMON: She came back and she said, "Well, I had dinner with George Bush." She said, "He's really a cute guy, and you know, I think he liked me." And then he came to Austin, and then he came to Austin, and he came to Austin.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I saw an elegant, beautiful woman who turned out, not only to be elegant and beautiful, but very smart and willing to put up with my rough edges, and I must confess has smoothed them off over time.

L. BUSH: Not all of them. Only kidding.

SHAW: Within six weeks, engaged. Within three months, married.

L. BUSH: It was a small wedding, just about 75 people. It was in the church I'd been baptized in as a baby and had always gone to and in the church that George joined with me and where our babies were baptized. So it was, you know, a really wonderful way to start a new marriage.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I married a public school librarian.

SHAW: Laura shelved her librarian's career for the paramount role of mother, raising twin baby girls: Barbara and Jenna.

L. BUSH: We were thrilled. We had waited a long time to have children and so when we got to have two at once, we were especially thrilled.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I was in the operating room and I can remember showing them to Laura. And I'm an emotional person. I got weepy. And then I realized our life had changed forever in a positive way, that these little human beings were little women that just needed a daddy and a mom to love them.

SHAW: With her husband, Laura knew what she had on her hands: grandson of a senator, son of an ambitious father, who was everything -- national party leader, ambassador, president...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Thank you.

SHAW: Laura knew George W. Bush's saturation in politics since boyhood might move him toward a powerful legacy.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I'm proud to be called George Bush, but for many people, you know, kind of the positive shadow, there are those saying, "You know, this boy's never done anything. Just running on his daddy's name." And that's fine. That just means I'm going to be underestimated in the political arena.

SHAW: You like that.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I'd rather be underestimated than overestimated, I'll tell you that.

SHAW: In 1994, Bush wanted to become the next governor of Texas and he did, defeating incumbent Ann Richards by winning more than 53 percent of the vote.

GEORGE W. BUSH: A woman who will be a great first lady of Texas, Laura Bush.

SHAW: With Laura behind and beside him, Bush emerged the Republican leader of Texas. Now, for the most private Laura Bush, no more quiet life in the background, not as first lady of Texas.

L. BUSH: When my husband was a Cub Scout, his mother was his troop den leader. And it was then that her hair turned white.

I think maybe you have to be the kind of person who draws a very definite line and says, "This is going to be the public part of my life and this will be the private part of my life."

SHAW: What's the most trying part of having a politician husband?

L. BUSH: I think the criticism that you hear of me just because that's a fact of life in politics. I think that's by far the hardest part. It's fun. I've had a wonderful time. It's been great to campaign around our country and meet people everywhere and see terrific things that are going on all over our country. But sometimes, when I start to read a really critical article, I don't like that part of it.

SHAW: Is this too much for a family to sacrifice?

L. BUSH: No, no. I don't think so. I mean, it's a huge opportunity. It's a huge opportunity for me if George is elected. Work on things that I've always worked on that I think are really important. So I don't think it's too much of a sacrifice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: And she'll continue sacrificing because shortly after 10 minutes past 10:00 Eastern time tonight on this podium behind us, the first lady of Texas, Laura Bush, will be addressing, not only this throng in the convention hall, but of course, our CNN audience around the world.

And a nephew sits here, George P. Bush. You've been out campaigning on behalf of your aunt and uncle. What are you hearing? What are you picking up on the campaign trail?

GEORGE P. BUSH, NEPHEW OF GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, so far, I have to tell you, Bernie, that it's been an incredible experience. I've had an opportunity to visit more than 19 states in the last 22, 23 days. It's an exciting election year. People are really energized on both sides of the aisle. People are really enthused. And I think when election year 2000 is over, that it's going to be known as a year in which the voting turnout levels are going to be reversed. I think we're going to see a very active election year.

WOODRUFF: You are -- your father, of course, is the brother of Governor Bush. Your father is the governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush. Your mother, Columba (ph), happens to be Hispanic. You -- are you a symbol of this governors' and this party's effort to be more diverse?

GEORGE P. BUSH: I wouldn't say that -- I've always played a minor role in the campaign. I'm just a loyal nephew supporting my uncle wherever I can. You know, I don't consider myself a spokesperson or person at the forefront of a movement, but I have to tell you that I am proud that the party is making a sincere effort in reaching out to communities and voter groups that typically aren't reached out to as it relates to the Republican Party.

GREENFIELD: Great grandfather, a senator; grandfather, a president; uncle, maybe the next president; father, a governor. You don't have a whole lot of choice about your career, do you?

GEORGE P. BUSH: I would respectfully disagree. I'm going to start law school in the fall. And as you know, J.D. opens a world of opportunity. So we'll see where I'll end up.

GREENFIELD: What do you want people to know about your uncle that maybe they don't know after all the news coverage?

GEORGE P. BUSH: I would say that he's -- above all else, he's a family man but he's sincere. I think that oftentimes during a political campaign, whether you're talking about a Republican or a Democrat, sometimes people lose a sense of what the candidate is really all about. And if I were to convey one message tonight, it would be that, that my uncle really does care about the policies. This is a man who has a huge heart and he does want to make a difference.

WOODRUFF: We want to say thank you to you, George P. Bush, for joining us.

GEORGE P. BUSH: Thank you.

SHAW: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: We're going to be watching your whole family for the next four nights.

GEORGE P. BUSH: We'll be watching you guys, too.

WOODRUFF: Good.

GREENFIELD: Deepest sympathy on going to law school.

SHAW: We've been watching you on television for the past couple of weeks.

WOODRUFF: We want to urge all of you -- excuse me -- we want to urge all of you to stay tuned. "LARRY KING LIVE" coming up next in just a moment. All of us will be back in an hour. Much more to come. Laura Bush, Colin Powell, a little Kate Smith. Stay tuned.

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