CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America Votes 2002: Look at Balance of Power in the United States Senate
Aired November 6, 2002 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From CNN election headquarters, you're watching continuing coverage of America Votes 2002.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. It is Wednesday morning, November 6. I'm Daryn Kagan.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Leon Harris and we are back with you from CNN's global headquarters right here in Atlanta.
And joining us now, as you see here, our colleague, Carol Costello.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, welcome to my world.
HARRIS: That's right, this is your world right about now.
COSTELLO: Yes, exactly. And hello DAYBREAK audience. And you guys have been doing a great job all night long.
KAGAN: Well, thank you.
HARRIS: It's been an interesting night.
KAGAN: You are fresh legs. We are very happy to see you.
COSTELLO: I'm here to help any way I can.
KAGAN: OK. Appreciate that.
HARRIS: All right, we're going to make you, we're going to keep you to that, too, as well.
HARRIS: No, it's not that easy. It's not that easy.
KAGAN: We got a little bit of work to do.
HARRIS: We would like it to be. But, all right, let's get right to it.
KAGAN: And we want to do that by looking at the balance of power in the United States Senate. This, of course, the lead story of the night and now going on into the morning here. This is clearly going to be going to the Republicans. Going into tonight, here we go, as we know, of the races that we know so far the Republicans have already locked up 50 of the seats in the U.S. Senate. So that, if they don't even get another one, they will still control the U.S. Senate with the tie breaking vote of Vice President Cheney.
And now we're looking at some of the races that have not been called yet as we get into Wednesday morning. Norm Coleman still holding on, it looks like right now the leader of that race for Senate in Minnesota. Walter Mondale, though, has yet to concede.
HARRIS: And looking next to South Dakota, our Jean Carl (ph), I believe we've still got him on the hook there, because this race is still too close to call with 95 percent of the precincts reporting. We're even hearing now they may be looking at the last two precincts to make this call for either John Thune, who was recruited by President Bush, versus Tim Johnson there, the incumbent.
KAGAN: Let's go to one race that looks like they're just about ready to call it, at least Associated Press is ready to call, and that is the race for governor in Hawaii. And Maui Mayor Linda Lingle looks like she has something to say to her supporters.
Let's go ahead and listen in to her.
LINDA LINGLE (R), HAWAII GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: Aloha, everyone. Aloha.
I want to thank you all for being here, sticking with us until the end. We have, we have, Duke and I have a very big, big responsibility now to deliver for the people of Hawaii. There are so many people who we want to help, people who stuck with me since 1998, starting with my campaign manager Bob Awana (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob!
LINGLE: I want to speak first to the people across the state who couldn't be with us tonight. Over on the Big Island, to Eric Wiener (ph) and Ted Hong (ph), Andy Bolle (ph); on Kauai, to Lori Yoshida (ph), Charlie King and Edwin Navaro (ph) and Maer Kusaka (ph); on Molokai, long time friend Cricket Shung (ph) and the Bethetel (ph) family for all their hard work; and, of course, to all the gang on Maui who came through so strong in that last printout; to Pam and Sherri Dotson (ph) on Maui, to Patty Jenkins and the gang in Kona Robin (ph) over in Kona; and Duke will mention some more people.
But there were people all across the state who came together because we believed things could be so much better in our state.
KAGAN: Well, here at CNN, we have not yet called this race, but you can see how close it is. Maui Mayor Linda Lingle, one of the more fun names in the elections.
HARRIS: That's five times you've said that now.
KAGAN: I know. I just like to say it. Beating Mazie Hirono. There is a significance besides the name here and that is, first of all, if, indeed, she is the winner, she will be the first female governor of the State of Hawaii. Also, a Republican as mayor of Hawaii. This is not something that we see too often.
And we want to bring political analyst Stu Rothenberg in to talk about that.
HARRIS: Yes, how significant is that?
STUART ROTHENBERG, POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very significant. First of all, there aren't a lot of Republican women governors. There are three right now. Two are leaving office. There's still one, Judy Marks, and if Linda Lingle wins, she will be the second one over the next couple years.
But Republicans haven't won the governorship in Hawaii since 1959, I believe. This is a rock rib bullet Democratic state. I mean the Republicans are nowhere in the legislature, congressional districts, Senate races. They just don't compete. Linga Linn...
ROTHENBERG: Linda Lingle -- it's getting too late.
KAGAN: Yes, right.
ROTHENBERG: Linda Lingle came close last time. If she wins it this time, this would be a dramatic development. And, you know, if you think about it, Republican governor in Maryland, a very Democratic state; maybe a Republican governor in Hawaii; we have Democratic governors elected now in Wyoming and Kansas, two very Republican states; it just shows you that voters are willing to send the opposite party to the statehouse to be governor when they're frequently not willing to send them to Washington, where all those big, bad, mean ideologues are.
COSTELLO: Well, state budgets mean a lot as far as governor's races go because they have to balance their budgets. They're not under the same parameters as federal office holders are. And the economy was quite bad in Hawaii, and that's one of the reasons that she pulled through.
ROTHENBERG: Absolutely. And governors tend to be very pragmatic. As you point out, the bottom line is to make sure the state works. There's less emphasis on tough ideological issues, although there are some in the states, unlike Washington, D.C., where everybody's ideological about everything.
COSTELLO: You've got that. It's a sport there.
KAGAN: Should we check some other races?
HARRIS: Well, Mazie Hirono, if she does lose, I mean that may be bad, but she still gets to live in Hawaii.
KAGAN: That's a good -- all right, we know we've been up all night.
HARRIS: I'd take that. I'd take that.
COSTELLO: Oh, my.
KAGAN: That is a good consolation prize.
HARRIS: All right, now let's look back at some other races here this evening, some that we were able to call here.
Jim Talent with a pickup for Republicans there in Missouri. This turned out to be a key pickup for them and helped send the Republicans to the majority in the Senate this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM TALENT (R), MISSOURI SENATOR-ELECT: I want to go to Washington to work together. You know, the last two years have been a difficult time for the leaders of our government and particularly in the Senate. There's been a struggle, a sense that it was all, there's a tremendous struggle for power going on ever since the Senate changed hands when Senator Jeffords switched. I don't blame either side for that sense of struggle. Or maybe I blame both.
It is time to set that aside. The election's over. The Senate's going to be narrowly divided. We're going to have to work together to get things done. And even if we disagree about tactics, in many cases we agree about what we want to do. And we should set our differences aside and try and accomplish something. That's not looking through rose-colored glasses. That's what every generation of leaders in America has done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Let's move on to Georgia. Maybe another big surprise in the Georgia Senate race. Saxby Chambliss, the Republican, defeats incumbent Senator Max Cleland, you can see, by 53 percent to 46 percent. This is a pickup seat for the Republicans. A lot of people were surprised. And they've been close all through this race.
Let's hear what Saxby Chambliss had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), GEORGIA SENATOR-ELECT: I got a call from Senator Trent Lott and I picked up the phone and I said, I picked up the phone and I said is this the majority leader?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK, let's move on to Arkansas now, another hotly contested race. You can see that this is another pickup for the -- oh, it's a pickup for the Democrats. I take that back. Mark Pryor beating Tim Hutchinson. Of course, Hutchinson was suffering under some, oh, shall we say family values problems and it really cost him in this election. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM HUTCHINSON (R), SENATE CANDIDATE: This victory belongs to the people of the State of Arkansas. And I can assure you that I'll go to Washington and every day I'm there I'll work hard to make you proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: And he'll get some lights. That's his next goal. His first goal in office is to get some light on his face.
HARRIS: Get the power bill paid there, huh?
Let's move on to the Colorado Senate race. Incumbent Republican Senator Wayne Allard has defeated Democrat Tom Strickland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. WAYNE ALLARD (R), COLORADO: There's people all over the country that have prayed for us, and I thank them very much for their prayers. It means a lot to Joan and I. But most importantly, and this is the most important thing, I want to thank the people of Colorado for their vote of confidence. We will not disappoint you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: That -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
KAGAN: I was going to say Democrat Tom Strickland trying twice in a row and coming very close both times but not going to happen.
HARRIS: I'm curious about why they, why it was that close to begin with there in Colorado.
KAGAN: Well, there about to...
KAGAN: I'm sorry. Go ahead.
ROTHENBERG: No, well, that -- no, no, let's hear from you.
HARRIS: Yes, our new political analyst, Daryn Kagan, will answer it.
KAGAN: I feel so bad. You know, please.
COSTELLO: Leave her alone.
KAGAN: Carol, they're picking on me.
HARRIS: I learn something new about you every day. That's all right.
ROTHENBERG: This was a rematch, as Daryn points out. The same two candidates, Allard and Strickland. Look, Colorado is a pretty competitive race, Strickland well funded, articulate, good looking, an established name, actually after having won six years ago. Wayne Allard is something of an anonymous senator. Nobody was, he wasn't very well known back in the state. He hadn't cut a very strong profile, didn't have the kinds of record that everybody automatically knew.
So the race started off even a very negative race. They attacked each other on corporate accountability. Senator Wayne Allard has been close to Qwest. Strickland had been close to Global Crossing. Neither of those businesses have been particularly successful recently and they accused each other of being in...
COSTELLO: That's the understatement.
ROTHENBERG: .... having involvement in the financial problems.
Strickland attacked on things like abortion and some traditional Democratic issues. Allard tried to respond, but it was a difficult race for both men and I think at the end just the Republican won. The incumbent had the advantage.
KAGAN: See, I couldn't have done that nearly as well as he does.
ROTHENBERG: I don't know about that.
KAGAN: That was really good. He...
HARRIS: I concur.
KAGAN: Yes, I know u7 do. In other words, Daryn, put a lid on it and let Stu do the hard work.
HARRIS: No, why don't you do this now?
KAGAN: Yes, I do want to look at Louisiana. And this is an interesting race, just how Louisiana state law is set up. Mary Landrieu with 46 percent, the incumbent. But under Louisiana state law, she needed to get 50 percent to avoid a runoff. Three Republicans in this race. It is the primary, so it looks like the runoff will be with Suzie Haik Terrell. The other two Republicans not doing as well. That runoff will take place, by the way, on December 7.
On to New Hampshire, Governor Jeanne Shaheen going for the Senate race, but she is not successful. Instead, it will be Congressman John E. Sununu representing New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR-ELECT: I want everyone in New Hampshire to know the issues that matter most to New Hampshire, I'll take the right stand in the United States Senate. On the issues that matter most to the United States, I won't be afraid of ideas. I won't be afraid to provide leadership. I won't be afraid to make a difference for all of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: All right, now, going to New Jersey there, Frank Lautenberg was called back to serve and he did so and was successful in coming back. You see here he had a strong win over Doug Forrester. And this was a case where asking a senior leader to come back actually was a positive and actually did prove to be a winning move in New Jersey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK LAUTENBERG (D), NEW JERSEY SENATOR-ELECT: Quite a surprise. We squeezed 10 months into five weeks, got it all done, got it all done and tonight we stand here with a mandate to go ahead to Washington, stand up there for all the people of New Jersey and the people of this country and do the right thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: In North Carolina, the Senate race there, Elizabeth Dole defeated Erskine Bowles, another one that we mentioned earlier this evening with a connection to the Clinton administration there. Elizabeth Dole here coming through and with a strong win, and surprisingly so when you look at the margin. Coming in this was a very, very tight race, but she pulled away at the end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH DOLE (R), NORTH CAROLINA SENATOR-ELECT: Those who voted for Erskine Bowles to please give me a chance, because I intend to be a senator for all of North Carolina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Let's move on now to the Tennessee Senate race. Lamar Alexander, a Republican, defeats Bob Clement, the Democrat. No surprise here really. This fills the seat that was vacated by Republican Fred Thompson, who has moved on to Hollywood, shall we say? Alexander, you may know, is a former Tennessee governor and former U.S. education secretary in the previous Bush administration. Alexander actually ran for president in 1996 and 2000. He didn't do very well in those races. And Clement had been a congressman since 1988.
KAGAN: I think we have some sound.
HARRIS: There we go.
COSTELLO: Oh, I thought we had some sound...
KAGAN: I guess not.
COSTELLO: .... some sound from Lamar Alexander. We'll hear from him later.
Let's move on to the Texas Senate race. John Cornyn, the Republican, defeats former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk. Cornyn, a lawyer, is a former Texas attorney general and state supreme court justice. He served in the Bush-Cheney transition advisory committee and he was actually recruited by President Bush. And he won.
In the Iowa Senate race, Senator Tom Harkin was reelected pretty easily. He defeats Greg Ganske, the Republican.
OK, we've been through lots of races. Boy, we have a lot more to tell you about this morning.
HARRIS: That's right. We're going to take a look at some of the House races.
KAGAN: As a matter of fact, we do.
HARRIS: Yes. Some surprises among the governors' contests, as well. We're going to talk some more about that. We've been talking about that all night, incredible, incredible turnout in some of those races there. We'll have that for you and much more coming up after a break, so don't go away.
HARRIS: All right, welcome back.
America Votes 2002, well, America's waiting now to find out what happened with their votes 2002. We're continuing our coverage here. We've got the whole team this morning, Carol Costello, Leon Harris, Daryn Kagan, Stu Roth...
COSTELLO: Stu struggling to stay awake over there.
HARRIS: Don't worry, we'll get to him in just a bit.
Right now, we want to talk a look at the balance of power in the House of Representatives there. The change, there was no change here. Some minor surprises to talk about here. Coming into it, the elections, coming into this, Democrats had 211 and one independent voting with them, Republicans 223 seats. Now as it stands, Republicans are holding 226 seats, the Democrats 201 with seven remaining undecided right now.
Now, going to the House races, House District 1 in Arizona, we see here Rick Renzi defeating George Cordova there, an open seat in a newly drawn district there. We're going to call this a pickup for Republicans in that district.
And moving on now, let's get to the next one, in California, the House District 18 there, Dennis Cardoza there in, what is it, Monteith, I'm sorry, Dick Monteith, yes, I'm sorry. It's late. Again, in this one, we're going to say that right now Cardoza has a pretty close, a pretty big lead there in this race here and that, of course, is the district that Gary Condit had been representing up until now.
And House District 7 in Colorado here, we see Beauprez, Bob Beauprez versus Mike Feeley in this one and we're seeing here with 87 percent of the precincts reporting, we're not calling it yet, but we're seeing a lead there for Beauprez of 48 percent to 46.
And in Connecticut there, we're calling this one here a pickup for Republicans. Nancy Johnson there picking up this one over the other incumbent, Maloney. This was a case where incumbents were going against each other because of redistricting. Yes, it's been late. It's been a long night. And Nancy Johnson there taking the lead in that one. We're going to call that her race.
COSTELLO: Oh, it's OK, it's been such an interesting night, too.
KAGAN: It has.
COSTELLO: Here's another pickup for the Republicans. Florida in District 5 in the House, Brown-Waite wins over Thurman, and Gargan really was never in the race, so we'll see. It's a decisive win for her.
In District 3 in Florida, another pickup for the Republicans. Katherine Harris -- oh, Katherine Harris wins. We all know who she is.
HARRIS: That brought back a memory for you, huh?
COSTELLO: It sure did, and she's looking so much better these days, isn't she? Anyway, congratulations to her.
HARRIS: I'll leave that to you to say.
COSTELLO: All right.
KAGAN: We girls will talk about that later.
COSTELLO: OK, let's move on. Let's move on to Hawaii. You know, I should let Daryn handle this, because she loves this Hawaiian politician.
KAGAN: Well, I do. But this is interesting. This is actually very sad because Congresswoman Mink passed away -- Stuart, help me here...
HARRIS: That's right.
COSTELLO: Yes. KAGAN: .... right after the primary but as a tribute to her they decided to keep her on the ballot and they were encouraging Hawaiians to vote for her. And then...
COSTELLO: So what happened?
KAGAN: Somebody to be named later.
ROTHENBERG: There's a special election...
KAGAN: A special election.
ROTHENBERG: .... to fill the seat, yes.
KAGAN: Carol, Illinois is you.
COSTELLO: OK, Illinois, the Fifth District, former Clinton staffer Rahm Emanuel with an easy victory over Mark Augusti in the Democratic stronghold on Chicago's North Side. This is to replace Governor Elect Ron Blagoyavitch (ph), who was also a winner tonight.
In Iowa, in the District 2, House race, Representative Jim Leach, a Republican, versus Julie Thomas, a Democrat. Leach seeking a seventh term. Thomas, by the way, is a pediatrician. If you want to know, Leach is the winner.
Let's move on to Maryland, because what a surprise here. Chris Van Hollen beats Connie Morrella, oh, by a bigger margin than everyone expected. Connie Morrella has been a fixture in Maryland politics for many, many years. She's 71 years old and for the first time in a long time she will be without a seat in government.
KAGAN: We check in on this House race from Minnesota. This is Representative Bill Luther versus John Kline. Luther seeking his fifth term. And it looks like he's not going to get that. Kline was a 2000 House nominee, a retired marine officer.
On to New Hampshire, District 1 House race, Jeb Bradley versus Martha Fuller Clark. It was an open seat. This is the seat that John Sununu held. He, of course, gave it up to run for governor, run for Senate, run for Senate against the governor, Jeanne Shaheen, and he was victorious in that race.
HARRIS: He won.
KAGAN: And in Ohio, this is Leon's favorite race, James Traficant giving it the old college try from prison in Pennsylvania. District 17, unfortunately for Traficant's supporters, it doesn't look like this is his year, even though more than 27,000 people still voted for him.
COSTELLO: That is just astounding, isn't it?
KAGAN: Even though he is doing time for racketeering. OK.
HARRIS: It isn't unfortunate just for his supporters. It's also unfortunate for hairpiece salesmen, as well.
KAGAN: Support actually fortunate, though, for Ryan supporters, because he will be the next congressman from Ohio.
HARRIS: That's right. But hearts are broken in beauty salons all across the core of Ohio, I've got to tell you.
COSTELLO: Wig make shops, that's right.
We're going to take a break now. We have much more coming your way after we return. You stick around.
COSTELLO: And welcome back to this special edition of DAYBREAK, I guess. Leon Harris, Daryn Kagan with me. Stu, our illustrious political analyst down there remaining awake.
KAGAN: He thinks he's leaving at six.
HARRIS: Hey, we've been wearing Stu Rothenberg out here. He's...
KAGAN: You leave...
ROTHENBERG: I have a plane to catch.
HARRIS: He thinks he's got a plane to catch now.
COSTELLO: That's a poor excuse.
HARRIS: We're not going to do that to you. We'll make sure you catch your plane.
COSTELLO: We were talking about the governors' races and I guess the Republicans really cleaned up overnight.
ROTHENBERG: No, actually, there was just an exchange of races. The Republicans lost, I don't know, eight to 10 governorships. On the other hand, they picked off a handful of Democratic governorships. So it was really a trading off and it has to do with the poor state economies that you mentioned earlier.
COSTELLO: Yes, yes, and that desire to balance the budget that not every governor could meet.
KAGAN: Without some major budget cuts.
COSTELLO: Let's take a look at the Alabama governor's race right now, because this one remains undecided this morning. This is Democratic Governor Don Siegelman versus Republican Bob Riley. It was always a close race and as you can see, it still is. So this is too close to call right now. We're going to have to wait probably for a couple of days for the outcome of that one.
On to the Oklahoma governor's race, as you can see, Brad Henry defeats Republican Steve Largent, a former congressman. Largent was the heavy favorite in this race because, of course, he had such great name recognition. But it didn't help him there.
On to the governor's race in Arizona. Janet Napolitano versus Republican Matt Salmon. It's a very tight race, as you can see. Is this one too close to call, too, with 98 percent of the precincts reporting? It is too close to call. So we'll have to wait to see the outcome of that race.
In the Hawaii governor's race, Linda Lingle, Linda -- that is hard to say, Daryn.
KAGAN: It is. And it's Maui Mayor Linda Lingle.
COSTELLO: Maui Mayor Linda Lingle is ahead with 52 percent of the vote. She actually just came out and gave a victory speech, but we are not projecting her as the winner just yet.
And that is a good pickup for the Republicans, by the way.
HARRIS: All right, now, the Oregon governor's race, you see here Democrat Ted Kulongoski versus Republican Kevin Mannix here. Again, we're not calling this one just yet, too close to call here with just 73 percent of the precincts reporting.
And in California, Governor Gray Davis probably breathing a big sigh of relief, although he's probably doing it in his sleep right now. He's won a second term in office, defeating Republican businessman Bill Simon, who ran the campaign that you say is a textbook case for all campaigns.
KAGAN: It's kind of like "Glamour" magazine...
HARRIS: To never run a campaign this way.
KAGAN: It's like "Glamour" magazine dos and don'ts, you know, Carol? You know, for fashion dos and don'ts, a don't on how to do that.
HARRIS: All right. Now, in the Florida governor's race there, Jeb Bush there coming through with a decisive victory over Bill McBride there, perhaps aided quite a bit by the 13 visits by this brother, the president, George W. Bush, to the State of Florida. This is the state that the Bushes were putting everything they could in because of what it meant to, it would have been a big blow to the Bush pride to not hold onto this state.
COSTELLO: Yes, that still... HARRIS: Here's what Jeb Bush had to say moments ago.
COSTELLO: Oh, go ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Well, there are more Democrats than Republicans in the State of Florida. It's a state of transition so I ran the campaign as though I was 10 points down from the beginning and then the person that you had on prior, you know, was saying that I was their number one target, Mr. McCauliffe, that got me a little worried. They raised a lot of money at the end.
But the good news is that we also had a lot of support here and the president of the United States, my brother, George W. Bush, came down and campaigned and I think that made a big difference. He is very popular here and people are inspired by him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: And just to the north of that state, of Florida, in the state of Georgia here, one of the biggest surprises of the evening. There's Sonny Perdue coming back and winning over governor, the incumbent governor, Roy Barnes here, a big pickup for Republicans in the state. I don't believe Republicans had expected to win this one coming in and they did so convincingly with a big margin there. And this despite the fact that Roy Barnes had a huge war chest to work with. Sonny Perdue ran a campaign that was practically invisible and yet he walks away the victor and he'll be sitting in the governor's mansion.
KAGAN: Let's take advantage of our final minutes to...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNY PERDUE (R), GEORGIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: It's about meeting the needs of the extended family in the state, caring for those who can't care for themselves. It's about meeting human needs. And folks, you've inspired me. You've encouraged me all over this state. As I look out across your faces here tonight, I'll tell you one thing, you will also hold me accountable to do the very best I can and do the things that you told me to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAGAN: We want to get back to the race that we were talking about right before that and take advantage of our last half hour with Stu Rothenberg, unless we can convince him to skip his plane, which at this point does not look like a possibility.
ROTHENBERG: I don't think so.
KAGAN: But looking at the Jeb Bush-Bill McBride race in Florida, this one ended up with a lot wider margin than some people had expected. ROTHENBERG: I think you're right, a double digit lead. I think people thought that this race could be exactly as close as the presidential race in 2000, an absolute squeaker. I think there's going to be some interesting second guessing here because this was a case where Bill McBride argued that he was the more electable, that in a general election against Jeb Bush he had a better chance than...
KAGAN: Sorry, I wasn't...
ROTHENBERG: Janet Reno. Janet Reno.
KAGAN: I was in bed (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
ROTHENBERG: Janet Reno, who allegedly was stronger with the Democratic base in the southern part of the state, the southeastern part of the state, Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach. There are going to be some people that say wait a minute, Bill McBride may have done fine in north Florida and central Florida, but he didn't get core Democratic groups energized. And that's why he did so poorly.
COSTELLO: He kind of blew the race for himself, then.
ROTHENBERG: And, actually, I think in a debate they had recently, Jeb Bush just fall...
COSTELLO: Annihilated him.
ROTHENBERG: ... was much, much stronger.
You know, a lot of these races we talk about ideology and issues, a lot of them have to do with leadership, projecting strength and personality and toughness, and you're going to lead the state. Jeb Bush had all of that.
Now, the big question was whether the state was so polarized, whether Jeb Bush was the poster child for the 2000 election that Democrats would come out anyway. Apparently they didn't.
COSTELLO: Yes, and a lot of people thought that Haitian crisis might affect Jeb Bush, and that didn't even, that didn't even bug him in the least.
ROTHENBERG: Yes, well...
HARRIS: McBride, I mean his problem really was that debate, getting back to it. You can't underestimate how badly he did in that debate. He had been saying all along that the problem was that, you know, Jeb Bush's plan for the classroom... KAGAN: Classroom size.
HARRIS: The classroom size issue, you know, his stance was all wrong. But when he was pressed by Tim Russert in that debate, it come up, and explained what his plan was, he just gave a big uh, uh, uh.
COSTELLO: But, you know, the strangest thing about that is Jeb Bush doesn't really have a plan to pay for his education plan either, yet he managed to look really good in that debate.
ROTHENBERG: And Republicans are often very adept at turning around and issue like that and saying sure, it sounds good, your plan sounds good, but who's going to pay for it? What about the bottom line? And McBride just couldn't turn around and force Bush to answer the same question.
KAGAN: We want to ask you a question about Jeb Bush. So he gets his second term. Where does he go from here? We were hearing Bill Schneider talk about...
ROTHENBERG: I heard about that.
KAGAN: You know, he had this whole dynasty theory.
ROTHENBERG: I thought that was very curious and I didn't say anything at the time...
COSTELLO: But Bill's sleeping, so you can say something now.
HARRIS: Yes, talk about him now. He's...
ROTHENBERG: We ought to tell viewers what Bill said. Bill suggested that there is this...
KAGAN: Dynasty plan.
ROTHENBERG: I don't know, kind of a conspiracy or a scenario where George W. Bush will make sure that there is no vice president to prepare to run for president after a second term, if there is, indeed, a second George W. Bush term. And why? Because he wants to pass the torch onto Jeb Bush in 2008.
I wonder how voters would respond to that. You know, this is a country, you know, it's one thing to talk about Kennedys and the Kennedy aura and the kind of the family, the political family. But passing a governorship, passing a presidency after eight years from one brother to another brother? I think there are a lot of, would be a lot of Americans who would say gee, you know, we want something different. And we often find that parties, you know, after eight years voters want something a little different.
Boy, Jeb Bush, George Bush, it doesn't sound very different for most voters.
COSTELLO: But after the outcome of these midterm elections, isn't anything possible at this point?
ROTHENBERG: You're right, Carol. But I think we ought to remind ourselves that while this looks like a good Republican election -- and it was. The Republicans took over the Senate. They gained seats in the House. They had losses in governorship, but they were minimal. They were smaller than we expected.
Still, the net changes in each of those branches was relatively small. This, we have not had some sort of overturning of the two party system. The Democrats are going to lick their wounds. They'll figure out a way to come back. If we're talking about 2008, I think we're getting ahead of ourselves.
HARRIS: And still, by and large, we're talking here about not really seeing much evidence that the nation itself hasn't changed very much. It is still relatively split, isn't it?
ROTHENBERG: Yes, I think so. No, I think Democrats are going to be nervous about 2004. They saw George W. Bush go around the country. He did pretty well this year. The Republicans had a good election year and they're, they may say well, maybe we don't, maybe we're not so eager to take mud. I think Bill Schneider said that and Bill is right.
But, again, boy, two years is an awful long time. Just think what...
COSTELLO: Anything could happen.
KAGAN: ... two years ago. Exactly.
HARRIS: Just think of what things were like here two weeks ago.
HARRIS: Or two months ago, you know?
KAGAN: Do not go far, because we're going to still do some more with you.
We want to check out the Massachusetts governor's race. This one going to the Republicans, Mitt Romney, the man many people credit with saving the Salt Lake City Olympics, goes ahead and defeats Shannon O'Brien, the state treasure there in Massachusetts.
COSTELLO: You know, I think it was those topless ads that did it for him. Remember he was in the lake swimming with his family? KAGAN: Yes, looking quite attractive to the women of Massachusetts.
KAGAN: I think we have some -- Leon's like this is so out of hand. Let's listen to the governor elect of Massachusetts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (D), GOVERNOR ELECT, MASSACHUSETTS: We have a tradition in Massachusetts elections of sending a loud and clear message to the people who represent us in Beacon Hill. And tonight we sent a loud and clear message. And that message is, that message is that it's time for a new era in Massachusetts government. The message is that the people come first, not the politicians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK, let us move on to the New York governor's race. Governor George Pataki pulls it out. He is reelected, defeating Carl McCall, who had a very controversial run in New York.
Let's listen in to George Pataki.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: You have given me the tremendous honor and privilege to be the governor of the state that I love for eight years. Tonight you have given me that privilege again for the next four. Let's continue to stand together. Let's continue to work together. Let's continue to move forward together to greater heights for us, for all New Yorkers, for our children and for the next generations who will come to this great state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: All right, a very easy night for the governor there in New York. But not the case in every other statehouse race across the country. And we've got much more of those races coming up, results. And no more talk about topless ads, all right? They've got much...
KAGAN: I think you're outnumbered, my friend.
KAGAN: And Stu's leaving, so its the gals leading election coverage.
COSTELLO: You're in trouble.
HARRIS: I might be leaving with him.
COSTELLO: She's right.
We'll be right back. HARRIS: Can you get me another ticket on that plane, Stu?
All right, stay with us. Much more coming up as America Votes 2002 continues.
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