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IOWA PRESS #2717 – Reporters Roundtable
December 26, 2000

Borg: AS WE PREPARE TO RING IN A NEW YEAR AND A NEW MILLENNIUM, WE FOCUS ON ISSUES AND PEOPLE WHO MADE NEWS IN 1999. OUR TEAM OF REPORTERS REVIEWS 1999 AND PROJECTS THE ISSUES OF 2000 ON THIS EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION. FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

THIS IS THE SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26 EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: OUR FINAL IOWA PRESS PROGRAM OF THE CALENDAR YEAR TRADITIONALLY PROVIDES TWO PERSPECTIVES. FIRST, OUR HEADLINE REVIEW REFLECTS ON THE IMPORTANT NEWS EVENTS OF THE PAST YEAR, AND IT GIVES A CHANCE TO PROJECT THOSE EVENTS INTO THE FOLLOWING YEAR. MORE IMPORTANTLY, PERHAPS, IS THAT WE ALSO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ANALYZE THE ISSUES WITH THE BENEFIT OF ELAPSED TIME THAT'S ABSENT AS WE REPORT AND CONSIDER THE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS.

GATHERED HERE TODAY, DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER, KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA, MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, AND KATHY OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS.

KATHY, IN IOWA, WE'VE HAD THE BENEFIT OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS AND INTENSELY HERE IN THE PAST YEAR OF HAVING THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES CRISSCROSSING AND SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY AND A LOT OF TIME IN IOWA. HOW DO YOU ANALYZE THE ISSUES THAT ARE DRIVING THAT CAMPAIGN HERE IN IOWA?

Obradovich: WELL, DEAN, I THINK TO START OFF WITH IN THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN, I DON'T THINK ISSUES ARE DRIVING THAT RACE AT ALL. I THINK WHAT'S DRIVING THAT RACE IS REPUBLICANS REALLY WANTING TO TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE, AND THEY'RE LOOKING FOR THE CANDIDATE THAT THEY THINK IS THE WINNER. GEORGE W. BUSH CAME ON THE SCENE. HE WAS THE CANDIDATE THAT A LOT OF REPUBLICANS PICKED AS THE WINNER, AND THE ISSUES, FRANKLY, ARE BOILER PLATE REPUBLICAN ISSUES: TAXES, THE BUDGET, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. BASICALLY, THEY'RE LOOKING AT THESE CANDIDATES AND TRYING TO DECIDE WHO CAN WIN.

Borg: KAY, HOW DO YOU READ IT?

Henderson: JUST LIKE KATHY DOES. IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSONALITY. THESE CANDIDATES ARE OUT THERE - BUSH IS MR. MACHISMO, ON MOST OCCASIONS, USING VERY STIRRING RHETORIC ABOUT ‘THE FEARFUL BUILD WALLS AND THE CONFIDENT TEAR THEM DOWN’, TRYING TO AVOID THE WIMP FACTOR THAT HIS DAD WAS LABELED AS. AND THEN YOU SEE OTHER CANDIDATES, SORT OF, BUILDING THEIR OWN PERSONALITY, AND THAT'S WHAT'S REALLY SELLING WITH REPUBLICANS.

Glover: YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER. THIS CAMPAIGN, RIGHT NOW, IF WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, IS BEING CONDUCTED AMONG ABOUT 100,000 PEOPLE. 100,000 ACTIVISTS WILL PROBABLY SHOW UP ON CAUCUS NIGHT. THESE ARE ALL HARD-CORE, COMMITTED REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS. ISSUES MAY BE IMPORTANT TO THEM, BUT ABOVE ISSUES, WINNING IS IMPORTANT TO THEM. AND RIGHT NOW, THE ONLY THING MOST REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS CARE ABOUT IS THAT THEY SEE A POLL THAT SHOWS THAT GEORGE BUSH BEATS AL GORE, THEY GET THE WHITE HOUSE AND ALL THE PERKS BACK. THAT'S THE ISSUE.

Yepsen: I GUESS I TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF A CONTRARIAN VIEW FROM MY COLLEAGUES HERE. I THINK ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT IN BOTH PARTIES. BOTH PARTIES, AS MIKE SAYS, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 100,000 ACTIVISTS IN EACH ONE, HAVE CERTAIN HOT BUTTON ISSUES, AND AS CANDIDATES TRY TO HIT THOSE ISSUES, THEY TEND, IN BOTH PARTIES, TO PULL THEMSELVES OFF TO THE SIDE OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM. WE SAW HERE EARLIER THIS MONTH WHERE GOVERNOR BUSH WAS TALKING ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. THAT MAY HAVE OFFENDED A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUT IT WASN'T AIMED AT THEM. IT WAS AIMED AT ACTIVIST CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS. CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER. THE SAME THING HAPPENED ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE WITH BILL BRADLEY AND AL GORE TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER OVER THE ISSUE OF GAY RIGHTS. THAT'S VERY CONTROVERSIAL IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WHAT YOU WIND UP WITH IS THIS SITUATION WHERE CANDIDATES ARE DRIVEN TO THE ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM AND MAY HURT THEIR ABILITY TO GET ELECTED IN THE FALL.

Glover: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT GEORGE BUSH HAS GOT TO ACCOMPLISH AND, OF COURSE, I THINK THAT WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT GEORGE BUSH IS PROBABLY APPEARING THE PUTATIVE FRONT-RUNNER IN THIS CAUCUS CAMPAIGN AND MAYBE IN THE CAMPAIGN GENERALLY, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS HE'S GOT TO AVOID DOING IS HE'S RUNNING AS A MAINSTREAM CANDIDATE. IN ONE SENSE, HE'S THUMBING HIS NOSE AT THE RIGHT WING OF THE PARTY, SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES. HE'S GOT TO AVOID OFFENDING THEM. HE'S GOT TO AVOID HAVING THE RIGHT WING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY START A JIHAD WITH HIM. SO HE'LL DO THAT, OCCASIONALLY, THROW OUT THAT LITTLE BONE. AND IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO PROBABLY WIN HIM A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE, BUT IT IS ENOUGH TO MAKE THEM THINK, WELL, MAYBE WE CAN LIVE WITH THIS GUY.

Borg: SO BEING A COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE, AS HE SAYS, ISN'T QUITE ENOUGH, YOU DON'T THINK?

Glover: NO. I THINK HE'S GOT TO SHOW -- I THINK PEOPLE IN THE SOCIAL RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVE, RIGHT WING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE DEEPLY SUSPICIOUS OF GEORGE BUSH, AND HE'S GOT TO THROW THEM A BONE EVERY NOW AND THEN. I THINK THAT'S ALL HE'S GOING TO DO IS THROW THEM A BONE EVERY NOW AND THEN.

Borg: KAY, IS THIS GEORGE W. BUSH'S CAMPAIGN TO LOSE IN IOWA AND NATIONALLY?

Henderson: OF COURSE IT IS. HE HOPES TO BUILD WHAT THEY CALL A FIRE WALL HERE AND SECURE A VICTORY. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH, HE SOUGHT TO SORT OF DOWNPLAY EXPECTATIONS OF HIS FINISH, NATIONAL POLLS SHOW HIM ANYWHERE FROM 49 TO 52 PERCENT SUPPORT. HE SAID THAT NO ONE HAS EVER WON THE CAUCUSES WITH MORE THAN 37 PERCENT, SO THAT'S SIGNIFICANTLY LESS. IT ALLOWS OTHER CANDIDATES TO SORT OF CROWD HIM. HE'S REALLY TRYING TO REDUCE EXPECTATIONS HERE BECAUSE OF THE MCCAIN FACTOR. THERE IS SORT OF A GROUP OF MCCAINITES HERE, AND IF HE WERE TO COME IN THIRD, HE'S VERY ATTRACTIVE TO SOME PEOPLE IN THE PARTY, THAT WOULD BE REALLY, REALLY A HARD BLOW TO BUSH'S CANDIDACY.

Obradovich: ONE THING I WANTED TO SAY ABOUT MCCAIN, THOUGH, IS, FRANKLY, HE IS NOT RUNNING IN IOWA. THERE ARE SOME MCCAINITES HERE, BUT I STILL BELIEVE THAT IT TAKES ORGANIZATION TO GET PEOPLE OUT TO THE CAUCUSES. I DON'T SEE MCCAIN REALLY DOING ALL THAT WELL HERE. THE THING IS, THOUGH, THAT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, HE HAS BEEN CHALLENGING BUSH IN THE POLLS. SOME OF THEM EVEN SHOWED HIM AHEAD IN THE POLLS. THAT REALLY PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSH TO PUT HIS STRONGEST OPPONENT AWAY EARLY. IF HE DOES NOT DO THAT, MCCAIN WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO BEDEVIL HIM A LITTLE BIT FURTHER DOWN THE PATH, SO --

Glover: I THOUGHT IT WAS INTERESTING WHEN BUSH ALSO DID THE 37 PERCENT THING, HE FORGOT ONE THING: HE DOESN'T GET TO SET THE EXPECTATIONS, WE DO. AND THE EXPECTATIONS ARE GOING TO BE MUCH HIGHER THAN 37 PERCENT. AND I AGREE WITH KATHY. MCCAIN IS STARTING TO SHOW IN SOME POLLS HERE, MAYBE HIGH SINGLE DIGITS, MAYBE LOW DOUBLE DIGITS: 8, 10 -- 8, 9, 10 PERCENT. I DON'T THINK HE'LL GET THAT. EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT ME THAT WITHOUT THAT ORGANIZATION, AS YOU MENTIONED, YOU WON'T GET PEOPLE TO PRECINCT CAUCUSES. SO I THINK HE'LL PERFORM UNDER HIS POLLING.

Yepsen: AGAIN I ‘LL TAKE A CONTRARIAN VIEW. MCCAIN IS PHYSICALLY NOT HERE, BUT YET HE'S HERE BECAUSE HE'S ON TELEVISION. AND TELEVISION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FORCE IN OUR CULTURE. AND SO WHEN HE DOES WELL IN THE DEBATE, OR HE IS HAWKING HIS BOOK -- IOWA REPUBLICANS ARE NOT IMMUNE FROM THESE STORIES ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN AND HOW WELL HE'S DOING, AND THAT'S WHY HE IS SHOWING UP IN THE POLLS AS MIKE MENTIONED. KAY MAY HAVE A POINT. HE COULD SHOW UP THIRD, AND THAT WOULD BE A BIG VICTORY FOR HIM.

Borg: AND ASIDE FROM THAT, DAVE, AS YOU ANALYZE GEORGE W. BUSH AND WHAT HE HAS TO ACHIEVE IN IOWA, HE HAS TO KEEP MCCAIN AT LEAST AWAY FROM THIRD IN IOWA. WHAT ELSE DOES HE HAVE TO DO IN ORDER TO COME OUT OF HERE VERY, VERY STRONG?

Yepsen: WELL, I THINK EVERYONE WILL BE LOOKING AT THE MARGIN BETWEEN HIM AND THE SECOND-PLACE FINISH. I THINK HE'S GOT TO PROBABLY HAVE -- PROBABLY, HE'S HOPING FOR A DOUBLE-DIGIT SPREAD THERE BETWEEN HIMSELF AND STEVE FORBES OR JOHN MCCAIN AND, IF IT'S CLOSE, THEN HE'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE A WEAK FRONT-RUNNER.

Glover: AND NOTHING BLEEDS FASTER THAN A FRONT-RUNNER THAT'S GOTTEN STUCK IN AN EARLY TEST.

Borg: IN THE DEMOCRATS, KAY HENDERSON, WHERE DO YOU SEE THE CANDIDACY OF BILL BRADLEY, GIVEN THAT THIS IS THE FIRST INITIAL TEST. WHERE DO YOU SEE THAT CANDIDACY EVOLVING AFTER IOWA?

Henderson: IN SOME RESPECTS, I LOOK AT HIM AS I LOOKED AT MARK MCCORMICK AND WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM. HE WAS A WONDERFUL CANDIDATE. PEOPLE WERE ATTRACTED TO HIM BECAUSE OF HIS ARTICULATE NATURE. THEY WERE ATTRACTED TO HIM BECAUSE HE HAS A THINKING MAN. THERE ARE POCKETS IN THIS STATE WHERE THERE ARE REALLY RABID BRADLEY PEOPLE: GRINNELL. IOWA CITY. BUT I'M UNCERTAIN THAT THEY HAVE BUILT THE KIND OF ORGANIZATION THAT'S GOING TO TURN OUT VOTERS ON CAUCUS NIGHT TO YIELD HIM A FINISH. THE GORE ORGANIZATION, BY COMPARISON, IS GARGANTUAN, AND IT'S WELL ORGANIZED AND THEY ARE REALLY, REALLY FOCUSED ON TASK, AND SO IT WILL TAKE SOME DOING FOR BRADLEY TO MEET EXPECTATIONS. OF COURSE, EXPECTATIONS FOR HIM HAVE RISEN DRAMATICALLY, AND WHAT MAY HAPPEN HERE IS THAT HE FALTERS MERELY BECAUSE HE DOESN'T COME WITHIN GORE AS WE ALL EXPECT.

Obradovich: ONE THING, THE ANALOGY YOU DREW WITH MARK MCCORMICK, GORE ALSO HAS THE ADVANTAGE OF THE UNION BACKING, AND THAT WAS A BIG HELP FOR VILSACK. THE UNIONS ARE VERY ENERGIZED, AND THEY ARE A BIG PART OF THAT ORGANIZATION THAT'S GOING TO GET OUT THERE THE CAUCUS VOTE FOR GORE.

Glover: THERE'S SOMETHING AT WORK HERE. THERE'S SOMETHING OF A HISTORY IN THIS STATE WHERE SOMEBODY GETS HOT, IN JANUARY, TOWARDS THE END. IT'S HAPPENED IN -- GARY HART GOT HOT IN '84, DICK GEPHARDT GOT HOT IN '88. THERE IS A POTENTIAL, I HESITATE TO MAKE IT ANY STRONGER, THERE'S A POTENTIAL FOR BRADLEY GETTING HOT. HE THINKS HE CAN. HE THINKS HE CAN GET HOT AND GET NEXT TO GORE IN THIS STATE. HE'S DEVOTING VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE MONTH OF JANUARY, FAR MORE TIME THAN AL GORE, TO CAMPAIGNING IN IOWA. HE THINKS HE'S STRONG IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. HE'S GOING TO FOCUS ON IOWA. HE COULD GET HOT AGAIN NEXT …

Borg: I'VE HEARD YOU SAY BEFORE, MIKE, THAT BRADLEY MAY HAVE PEAKED TOO EARLY. YOU'RE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER PEAK THEN, OR POSSIBLY HE'S HOPING FOR ONE.

Glover: WELL, IT MAY NOT BE A QUESTION JUST OF BRADLEY BECAUSE CAMPAIGNS ARE NEVER ABOUT ONE CANDIDATE. THEY'RE ALSO ABOUT HIS OPPONENT, AL GORE. AL GORE HAS NOT -- HE'S SHOWING ME TO BE A VERY VERY STRONG ORGANIZATIONAL CANDIDATE, BUT AS A CANDIDATE HIMSELF, HE'S NOT SHOWING ME TO BE A TERRIBLY STRONG CANDIDATE. WE HAVEN'T HAD A CLEAR SENSE OF DIRECTION ABOUT WHERE THAT CAMPAIGN IS HEADED. HE'S NOT DEMONSTRATED, PERSONALLY, THAT HE HAS A LOT OF THE CHARACTERISTICS. I THINK THERE MAY BE A WEAKNESS ON THE GORE SIDE THAT BRADLEY CAN EXPLOIT.

Obradovich: SOMEHOW YOU SEE AN ANTI-CLINTON SENTIMENT WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. THERE CERTAINLY IS AN ANTI-CLINTON SENTIMENT WITHIN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY, AND BRADLEY IS CERTAINLY TAPPING INTO THAT.

Yepsen: BRADLEY MAY HAVE PEAKED TOO SOON. WE DON'T KNOW YET, BUT WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING IN AN INSURGENT CAMPAIGN, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO CATCH UP WITH THE GUY, THE FRONT-RUNNER, CLOSER TO THE ELECTION. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO GET THE "TIME" MAGAZINE COVER NOW. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GET IT AFTER YOU WIN SOME OF THIS. AND BRADLEY IS NOW TO THE POINT WHERE IF GORE WINS, IT'S A WIN, AND THE GORE PEOPLE KNOW THAT THEY'RE IN TROUBLE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND THEY'RE POURING IT ON ORGANIZATIONALLY HERE IN IOWA.

Obradovich: GETTING CAUGHT EARLY ALSO MADE THE GORE PEOPLE POUR ON THE EFFORT TO TRY AND RAISE BRADLEY'S NEGATIVES. I THINK WE'VE SEEN A LOT MORE NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING IN THE DEMOCRAT RACE THAN WE'VE SEEN ANYWHERE IN THE REPUBLICAN SO FAR, AND THAT CAN HAVE A TOLL, IT CAN TAKE A TOLL ON THE FRONT-RUNNER TOO, BUT THAT'S SOMETHING THAT BRADLEY'S GOING TO HAVE TO OVERCOME.

Glover: THIS COULD BE AN INTERESTING TEST OF CONVENTIONAL WISDOM BECAUSE KAY'S EXACTLY RIGHT: AL GORE HAS A FAR BETTER CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION THAN BILL BRADLEY, IF YOU LOOK AT JUST THE MECHANICS AND THE FIELD ORGANIZATION, HE'S MILES AHEAD OF HIM. IF BRADLEY CAN GET CLOSE TO HIM, THAT WILL CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ABOUT JUST HOW ORGANIZATIONALLY-ORIENTED THIS STATE IS.

Yepsen: THE DEMOCRATIC RACE COULD GET REAL NEGATIVE, BUT I THINK IT'S HEALTHY FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO HAVE THAT ARGUMENT BECAUSE IT'S A TOUGH CHOICE FOR A LOT OF DEMOCRATS. YOU'VE GOT AL GORE, HE'S SUFFERING FROM CLINTON FATIGUE. A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT A CHANGE IN AMERICA, AND THEN YOU'VE GOT BILL BRADLEY, AND HE'S PERCEIVED AS TOO LIBERAL. IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO WIN. DEMOCRATS NEED TO HAVE THAT ARGUMENT OVER THE NEGATIVES OF ONE ANOTHER'S CANDIDATES IF THEY WANT TO PICK A WINNER FOR THE FALL.

Borg: KAY, ARE THERE ISSUES, WE'VE PRETTY MUCH HAD THE CONSENSUS HERE EXCEPT FOR DAVE WHO IS CONTRARY, AS HE SAID, THAT THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN IS DRIVEN MORE BY A DESIRE TO PICK A GOOD HORSE AND RIDE THAT HORSE INTO THE WHITE HOUSE. ARE THERE ISSUES, THOUGH, THAT ARE DRIVING THE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN?

Henderson: WELL, THE CANDIDATES ARE TALKING ABOUT EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. BUT WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE PROPOSING, THERE'S NOT VERY MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO ON THOSE SPECIFIC ISSUES. THEY'LL CONTEND OTHERWISE. BUT BOTH BRADLEY AND GORE ARE RECOMMENDING NEW INITIATIVES IN REGARDS TO HEALTHCARE, WHICH HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE. THEY'RE NOT VERY MUCH FAR APART, AND THEY'RE SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE REPUBLICANS, NONE OF WHOM ARE SUGGESTING THAT GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE SYSTEM.

Yepsen: I THINK THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BRADLEY AND GORE HEALTHCARE PLANS. I THINK BRADLEY'S IS MUCH BIGGER. LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WANT THEIR TURN. THEY GOT CLINTON ELECTED, AND THEN HE TURNED OUT TO BE THIS CENTRIST, SORT OF THIS EISENHOWER DEMOCRAT. AND SO IF YOU'RE A GOOD PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT IN IOWA AND YOU LIKE WHAT BILL BRADLEY'S SAYING, YOU'RE SAYING, BY GOD, IT'S OUR TURN TO ELECT A PRESIDENT. AND I THINK ISSUES THERE MATTER, LIKE HEALTHCARE.

Borg: AND WHAT ROLE, MIKE, DO YOU SEE LABOR UNIONS? NOW, LABOR HAS ENDORSED AL GORE. IS THERE ANY THOUGHT, IF YOU SAY THAT BILL BRADLEY IS MORE LIBERAL IN SOME OF HIS PROPOSALS, IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT LABOR WOULD TEND TO GO THAT WAY, EVEN THOUGH THEY'VE ENDORSED THE OTHER CANDIDATE.

Glover: LABOR WOULD TEND TO GO THAT WAY, PHILOSOPHICALLY, BUT LABOR IS WEDDED TO WHAT WE CALL THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S ESTABLISHMENT. AS HOLDING THE WHITE HOUSE, BEING THE VICE PRESIDENT, HAVING BILL CLINTON IN THE PRESIDENT'S SEAT, LABOR HAS MADE THEIR ADJUSTMENTS WITH THAT WHITE HOUSE. THEY DON'T ALWAYS AGREE WITH THEM. THEY FIGHT ON SOME PRETTY BIG THINGS LIKE TRADE WITH THEM, BUT THEY'VE MADE THE ADJUSTMENTS, AND THEY'VE REALIZED OVER THE YEARS THAT THEY'RE BETTER OFF WITH THE DEMOCRAT THEY DON'T AGREE WITH ON A LOT OF THINGS THAN A REPUBLICAN WHO THEY DON'T AGREE WITH ON ANYTHING. SO LABOR IS PART OF THAT POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT WEDDED TO AL GORE, AND THEY'RE VERY, VERY RELUCTANT TO TURN THEIR BACK ON A WHITE HOUSE…

Yepsen: I THINK LABOR HAS ENDORSED GORE, BUT I THINK IT'S A PRETTY TEPID SUPPORT. LABOR REALLY DOESN'T HAVE A HERO IN THIS RACE. LABOR DOESN'T HAVE A CHAMPION ON TRADE, FOR EXAMPLE. THEY'VE HAD TO SWALLOW HARD WITH AL GORE. KAY AND KATHY HAVE MENTIONED THE VILSACK/MCCORMICK RACE FOR GOVERNOR, AND HOW THE UNIONS WERE IN THAT AND HELPED TOM VILSACK WIN, AND THAT'S TRUE. THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE THOUGH. THE UNIONS WERE HOT FOR TOM VILSACK. PARTICULARLY THE UAW. THEY WANTED HIM, AND THEY TURNED THE CRANK HARDER THAN I HAVE EVER SEEN BEFORE. THEY'RE NOT DOING THE SAME THING FOR AL GORE.

Borg: BEFORE WE LEAVE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DISCUSSION HERE, WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A THIRD PARTY. THAT HASN'T BEEN A FACTOR HERE IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES, KATHY OBRADOVICH, BUT DO YOU SEE ANY HINT OF THAT IN IOWA THAT COULD GROW AS THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN GOES ON THROUGHOUT THE NATION?

Obradovich: WELL, I THINK THAT THERE ARE STILL SOME PAT BUCHANAN FANS IN IOWA THAT ARE INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING HIM BEYOND THE CAUCUSES. OF COURSE, HE DROPPED OUT OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO RUN AS A REFORM PARTY CANDIDATE. I THINK THAT JUST THE SORT OF GENERAL PUBLIC INTEREST IN SOME OF THE DONALD TRUMP CANDIDACY OR WHATEVER, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WATCH THAT FOR ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, IF NOTHING ELSE. AND IT'S NOT A FACTOR IN THE CAUCUSES, AS YOU SAY, BUT AS THE GENERAL ELECTION GOES ON, I THINK IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW PEOPLE REACT TO THOSE KINDS OF CANDIDATES.

Glover: LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. RIGHT AFTER PAT BUCHANAN JUMPED FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO THE REFORM PARTY, THERE WAS A REFORM PARTY MEETING IN AMES, AND EVERYBODY WAS VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS THING, SO WE ALL RUSHED UP TO AMES TO CHECK OUT THIS REFORM MEETING. WE WALK INTO A HOTEL ROOM IN AMES, AND THERE ARE LIKE 15 PEOPLE SITTING THERE FROM AROUND IOWA THAT IS THE REFORM PARTY MOVEMENT. NO, THERE'S NOT MUCH INTEREST IN IT. THE REFORM PARTY HAS SUFFERED FROM A LOT OF WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THIRD PARTIES HISTORICALLY IN AMERICA. THIRD PARTIES FORM AROUND AN ISSUE, THE OTHER TWO PARTIES RECOGNIZE IT AND SOLVE IT, AND THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENED.

Yepsen: I DON'T THINK WE'LL SEE "THE DONALD" OUT HERE IN IOWA.

Borg: KAY, ANOTHER THING THAT I WONDER ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON, ARE WE GOING TO SEE ANOTHER IOWA CAUCUS WITH THE ATTENTION THAT THIS ONE HAS HAD IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS?

Henderson: DEPENDS ON WHO THE NOMINEE OF THE PARTY IS, AND IT DEPENDS ON WHO WINS. I THINK THE FUTURE OF THE CAUCUSES IS IN DOUBT. PARTLY BECAUSE YOU HAVE MCCAIN SITTING OUT THERE, SITTING OUT IOWA, NOT CAMPAIGNING HERE. IF HE DOES WELL HERE, THAT'S GOING TO BLOW A HOLE IN THE THEORY OF ALL PEOPLE WHO SAY YOU HAVE TO COME HERE, YOU HAVE TO ORGANIZE HERE, YOU HAVE TO MEET IOWANS FACE-TO-FACE. SO I THINK THERE'S A REAL DANGER FOR THE CAUCUSES IN THE FUTURE. THIS MAY BE THE LAST TIME WE GET THIS KIND OF ATTENTION.

Borg: AND IS THAT RESULTING, MIKE, MORE FROM THE PRESSURE OF OTHER STATES? IOWA, THIS TIME, HAD TO LEAPFROG AGAIN BECAUSE OTHER STATES WERE MOVING THEIR TESTS, PRIMARY, OR CAUCUSES OR WHATEVER WAY THEY WERE GOING TO CHOOSE THEIR DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE NOMINATION, KEPT MOVING IT UP, AND IOWA NOW, FINALLY, ENDED UP -- THEY WERE BACK IN FEBRUARY, NOW THEY'RE JANUARY 24, IN ORDER TO BE FIRST IN THE NATION.

Glover: THERE WAS A LOT OF ADDITIONAL PRESSURE FROM THE STATES THAT CAUSED A PROBLEM THIS TIME AROUND, BUT THERE WAS ALSO SOMETHING THAT I THINK -- THE CANDIDATES JOINED INTO IT AS WELL -- BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER THING THAT I THOUGHT THIS TIME WAS A VERY BAD SIGNAL FOR THE FUTURE OF IOWA CAUCUSES. SINCE ABOUT 1984 IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, THE FIRST TWO TESTS, HAVE SORT OF GRUDGINGLY GOT ALONG AND COOPERATED AND WORKED TOGETHER TO KEEP THEIR TWO CONTESTS AT THE HEAD OF THE FIELD. THEY SPLIT THIS YEAR. I THINK THAT PRESAGES A TOUGH, HARD LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF THIS WHOLE LINEUP.

Yepsen: WELL, LET ME TAKE A CONTRARIAN VIEW AGAIN. I'VE COVERED THE CAUCUSES EVER SINCE 1976. AND EVERY TIME WE HAVE SOMEBODY SAYING, PEOPLE ARE SAYING WELL, THIS MAY BE THE LAST TIME THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN. SOMETIME THEY MIGHT BE RIGHT. BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THIS, THAT AS LONG AS IOWANS AND IOWA POLITICIANS AND POLITICAL LEADERS ARE WILLING TO FIGHT HARD, WILLING TO MOVE CAUCUSES AND JUMP AROUND AND STUFF LIKE THAT, THEY CAN STAY FIRST. I MEAN THEY SHOWED DOWN LOUISIANA. LOUISIANA HAD TO BACK OFF. THEY'VE NOW FOLDED THEIR CAUCUSES. SECONDLY, ALL THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES EXCEPT MCCAIN HAVE COMMITTED TO KEEP IOWA FIRST IF THEY'RE ELECTED TO THE WHITE HOUSE. THAT'S A GOOD SIGN FOR THE FUTURE IN TERMS OF WHO THE PRESIDENT IS. AND THIRD, DEAN, THE COUNTRY CAN'T AGREE ON AN ALTERNATIVE. EVERYBODY HATES THIS PROCESS; IT IS A GOOFY PROCESS. IT ISN'T IOWA'S AND NEW HAMPSHIRE'S FAULT THAT THERE IS THIS COMPRESSION, BUT ABSENCE AND AGREEMENT BY THE TWO PARTIES IN THE 50 STATES THAT DO THIS DIFFERENTLY, SHEER INERTIA WILL KEEP IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE FIRST.

Borg: PROBABLY, EVEN MORE, KATHY OBRADOVICH, THAN THE CAUCUS EVENT ITSELF, WHICH IS STILL COMING UP ON JANUARY 24, WAS THAT AMES STRAW POLL, WHICH WAS A SPECTACULAR EVENT BACK IN AUGUST, CAUGHT THE WORLD'S ATTENTION, THAT WINNOWED THE FIELD RIGHT THERE.

Obradovich: ABSOLUTELY. IN SOME WAYS THAT REPUBLICAN STRAW POLL PERFORMED THE FUNCTION THAT THE IOWA CAUCUSES ARE SUPPOSED TO PERFORM, WHICH IS IT KICKED LAMAR ALEXANDER OUT OF THE RACE, DAN QUAYLE OUT OF THE RACE, EVENTUALLY ELIZABETH DOLE. IT WINNOWED THE FIELD, AND THAT'S WHAT THE IOWA CAUCUSES ARE SUPPOSED TO DO. THE THING THAT WILL -- PERHAPS, THE STRAW POLL WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO HAPPEN AGAIN IS BECAUSE IT RAISED BIG BUCKS FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF IOWA. THAT WAS THE MAIN PURPOSE OF IT. IT DID STEAL SOME OF THE THUNDER FROM THE CAUCUSES, BUT IT'S A BIG FUNDRAISER, AND THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WEIGH THAT THE NEXT TIME AROUND.

Yepsen: CAUCUSES THEMSELVES, THOUGH, COULD WINNOW STEVE FORBES AND GARY BAUER PRETTY QUICKLY OUT OF THIS THING. SO YOU CAN KEEP AN EYE ON THOSE TWO.

Borg: LET'S FOCUS NOW ON THE STATE OF IOWA. MIKE, WE HAVE A GOVERNOR WHO IS JUST NOW COMPLETING HIS FIRST YEAR AFTER A LONG REIGN, 30 PLUS YEARS OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS IN IOWA, WE HAVE TOM VILSACK COMPLETING HIS FIRST YEAR. HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE WAY THAT HE'S ESTABLISHED THAT ADMINISTRATION? I'LL PREFACE IT BY SAYING HE SURPRISED MANY BY HOLDING AN OLIVE BRANCH TO THOSE REPUBLICANS WHO'D HELD POWER FOR SO LONG, AND EVEN APPOINTED MANY REPUBLICANS AND ANGERED SOME OF HIS OWN PARTY WHO SAID, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Glover: YEAH, HE DID. HE STARTED OFF HIS TENURE IN OFFICE BY ANGERING SOME DEMOCRATS BY REACHING OUT TO SOME REPUBLICANS, AS YOU SAID. AND HE CONTINUED TO DO THAT THROUGHOUT MUCH OF HIS FIRST YEAR. IF YOU RECALL DURING HIS FIRST SESSION, MANY OF THE BIG AGREEMENTS WERE ANNOUNCED IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE WITH THE GOVERNOR STANDING THERE WITH REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE LEADERS. HEADING INTO THIS NEXT SESSION, HE'S ALREADY SITTING DOWN TALKING TO REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE LEADERS, STRIKING, LOOKING LIKE HE'S GOING TO STRIKE SOME DEALS. THAT, I THINK, IS A FAIRLY SMART MOVE ON HIS PART BECAUSE HE IS DEALING WITH THE A LEGISLATURE THAT'S OVERWHELMINGLY RUN BY REPUBLICANS, AND THERE AREN'T GREAT PROSPECTS OF THE DEMOCRATS TURNING THAT AROUND. SO HE'S CHARTERED THE MIDDLE COURSE, BUT I SUSPECT IF YOU READ A JOB APPROVAL RATING RIGHT NOW, YOU'D FIND HIM IN THE HIGH 60S.

Borg: KAY, BUT WE'RE COMING INTO AN ELECTION YEAR WHERE DEMOCRATS ARE OUT OF POWER IN THE LEGISLATURE. THEY HAVE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, BUT AS TOM VILSACK BEING THE TITULAR LEADER OF THE PARTY THEN, IS IT UP TO HIM TO CLEAVE SOME DIFFERENCES AND HELP THE DEMOCRATS RECLAIM THE LEGISLATURE? ARE WE GOING TO SEE A RECLAIMING, IF YOU WILL, OF THAT OLIVE BRANCH THAT'S BEEN HELD OUT?

Henderson: WELL, HE'S ARTICULATING AN AGENDA WHICH IS NOT GOING TO BE SWALLOWED BY THE REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE, AND YOU'VE ALREADY SEEN REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE START TO THROW SOME DARTS AT HIM IN REGARDS TO SEVERAL ISSUES. I THINK THE ISSUE OF GRANTING STATE WORKERS WHO ARE GAY OR LESBIAN OR ARE CROSS-DRESSERS, SOME PROTECTIONS IN THE WORKPLACE IS GOING TO BE A HUGE ISSUE DURING THE UPCOMING LEGISLATURE, AND REPUBLICANS PLAN TO FLAG THAT AS MUCH AS THEY CAN.

Obradovich: AT THE SAME TIME I DON'T THINK THAT YOU CAN -- THE DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE CAN'T RELY ON VILSACK CARRYING ALL THE WATER. YOU'VE SEEN THEM, THE MINORITY LEADERS, OUT HERE ALREADY SAYING THAT THEY DON'T AGREE WITH VILSACK ON ALL ISSUES. FOR EXAMPLE, THEY DON'T NECESSARILY ALL LIKE THE IDEA OF HAVING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE A PUBLIC VOTE FOR ANY INCREASE IN TAXES. THEY DON'T ALL LIKE SOME OF THE TAX CUT IDEAS THAT THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSED. SO I THINK THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEE SOME DIFFERENCES WITHIN THE DEMOCRATS.

Henderson: BUT HE IS THE ARTICULATOR OF THE VISION AND THAT'S HIS ROLE.

Yepsen: I WAS TALKING TO THE GOVERNOR THE OTHER DAY, AND I THINK HE'S NOT A HAPPY GUY. HE'S AN ACTIVIST DEMOCRAT; HE'S A GOOD PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT; HE'S A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, IF YOU WILL, AND HE GOT ELECTED, AND WHAT HAPPENS? THE STATE STARTS RUNNING OUT OF MONEY, SO HE CAN'T DO A LOT OF THINGS. HE'S GOT A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE. THE OTHER PROBLEM HE MAY BE HAVING IS HE'S TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH. FORMER DELAWARE GOVERNOR PETE DUPONT HAS A FAMOUS SAYING THAT GOVERNOR CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS, HE JUST CAN'T DO EVERYTHING HE WANTS. AND TOM VILSACK GOT 6 BIG INITIATIVES AND 77-POINT PROGRAMS HE'S PRESENTING TO THE LEGISLATURE. THAT'S AN AWFUL BIG LOAD TO BE PUSHING ON A LEGISLATURE THAT'S NOT OF HIS PARTY, AND AT A TIME WHEN A LOT OF IOWANS ARE PRETTY COMPLACENT ABOUT THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING. SO, HE'S KIND OF FRUSTRATED, I THINK, A LITTLE BIT.

Borg: MIKE, DAVE HAS BROUGHT UP THE FACT THAT IOWA'S REVENUE IS NOT UP TO EXPECTATIONS. THE FARM ECONOMY HAS BEEN TRASHED HERE IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS, AND THAT'S BEING REFLECTED ALL THROUGH IOWA'S ECONOMY. IS THAT GOING TO HURT EITHER THE REPUBLICANS OR THE DEMOCRATS AS WE COME INTO THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION, LESS MONEY TO WORK WITH?

Glover: WELL, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE LESS MONEY TO WORK WITH. THAT'S ONLY PARTIALLY BECAUSE OF THE CONDITION OF THE ECONOMY; I THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT THING THAT WE NEED TO REFLECT. STATE REVENUES ARE CONTINUING TO GROW AT NOT AN UNREAL CLIP. WHAT'S HAPPENED WAS IN THE LAST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE, THE REPUBLICANS AND VILSACK CUT SOME DEALS AND KICKED SPENDING UP PRETTY SIGNIFICANTLY, SO SPENDING IS OUTPACING GROWTH IN STATE REVENUES, ALTHOUGH, YOU'RE RIGHT, STATE REVENUES ARE NOT GROWING QUITE AS FAST AS THEY THOUGHT. AND THE PROBLEM THAT'S GOING TO CREATE, I THINK, FOR BOTH PARTIES IS BOTH PARTIES LIKE AN ELECTION YEAR TO COME UP WITH SOME SNAPPY LITTLE PACKAGE, SOME $25, $50-MILLION PLAN THAT THEY CAN GO BACK AND TELL VOTERS, "THIS IS WHAT I DID FOR YOU." THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE A LOT OF MONEY LAYING AROUND FOR THAT TO HAPPEN. INSTEAD THEY'RE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT BUDGET CUTS, PLACES THEY CAN CUT SPENDING. THAT'S NOT A REAL GOOD THING TO TAKE TO THE ELECTORATE IN AN ELECTION YEAR. POLITICIANS WOULD RATHER TAKE SOMETHING ELSE.

Obradovich: AND ULTIMATELY THAT MIGHT BE GOOD FOR THE STATE. IT GIVES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NEW ADMINISTRATION TO GO IN, ROOT OUT ALL THOSE OLD ADMINISTRATION PROGRAMS THAT THEY DON'T REALLY WANT ANYMORE, RATHER THAN JUST PILING SPENDING ON TOP. BUT IT'S NOT REALLY A POPULAR THING FOR ANYBODY TO DO. THEY DON'T REALLY LIKE TO DO THAT. IT'S ALSO GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS BECAUSE WHAT THEY WERE AFTER WHEN THEY WERE CUTTING TAXES WAS REALLY TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT, AND THEY'RE GOING TO GET SOME OF THAT, AS WELL.

Yepsen: ONE WAY IS IT'S MAYBE AN EASY SESSION IS IT'S CALLED "THE JUST SAY NO" SESSION. I WALKED INTO SPEAKER SIEGRIST'S OFFICE THE OTHER DAY, AND HE'S GOT IN HIS CHAIR A STUFFED GRINCH DOLL THAT GREETS EVERYONE AS YOU COME IN, AND YOU SORT OF KNOW WHEN YOU GO IN IF THAT DOLL IS SITTING IN THE SPEAKER'S CHAIR, YOU'RE ABOUT TO BE TOLD, "NO."

Borg: KAY, THERE'S ALSO TALK OF A GROWING RURAL/URBAN SPLIT IN IOWA. TENSIONS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE, AND THEY'RE JUST INHERENT IN THE STATE THAT IS LARGELY RURAL BUT HAS SOME URBAN CENTERS. BUT DO YOU SEE THAT BECOMING MORE OF A FACTOR IN THIS SESSION. AND I PREFACE THAT BY SAYING WE HAVE REAPPORTIONMENT COMING UP, AND IT'S LIKELY THAT RURAL INTERESTS WILL LOSE SOME OF THEIR INFLUENCE IN THE LEGISLATURE AS A RESULT OF REAPPORTIONMENT. IS THIS THE LAST HURRAH, THE LAST CHANCE OF SOME RURAL INTERESTS?

Henderson: ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING STATISTICS I'VE RUN ACROSS IN THE PAST YEAR IS THE FACT THAT THERE ARE FEWER THAN 100,000 FARMERS ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN FARMING, WHEREAS THE NUMBER OF LATINO VOTERS IN IOWA AND LATINOS LIVING IN IOWA WILL SOON ECLIPSE THAT. SO THAT WILL BE A LARGER VOTING BLOCK THAN WILL FARMERS. I THINK THAT'S VERY TELLING. THE STATE IS BECOMING MORE URBAN, AND RURAL LEGISLATORS WILL HAVE LESS AND LESS OF A VOICE IN POLICY, AND PRETTY SOON THEY'RE GOING TO GET ROLLED ON SOME OF THESE KEY ISSUES, SUCH AS HOW TO DISPERSE ROAD USE TAX MONEY, SO THAT URBAN ROADS GET MORE OF THE DOUGH RATHER THAN FARM-TO-MARKET ROADS, WHICH GO ALONG A PASSAGE WHERE NO ONE LIVES ANYMORE.

Glover: WE DID SOME COMPUTER MODELING A COUPLE YEARS AGO LOOKING AT LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS WHERE VOTER REGISTRATION AND POPULATION GROWTH WAS OCCURRING. IF YOU LOOK AT A MAP, IT'S A TREND TRUE THAT'S BEEN GOING ON FOR CENTURIES. THE PEOPLE LEAVING THE FARM GOING TO THE CITIES HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY, BUT SPEEDING AND SPEEDING RAPIDLY IN THE 1990S. THE GROWTH IS SUBURBIA, THE COLLARS AROUND URBAN AREAS, AND THE GROWTH IS INCREASING DRAMATICALLY.

Obradovich: ONE FARM GROUP, THOUGH, THAT STILL HAS SOME POWER IS THE FARM LOBBY: THE IOWA FARM BUREAU, THE COMMODITY GROUPS. THEY STILL HAVE BEEN MANAGING TO RAISE POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND STILL ARE ABLE TO GET THE ATTENTION OF URBAN LAWMAKERS, AS WELL AS SOME RURAL ONES. SO I WOULDN'T TOTALLY COUNT OUT RURAL ISSUES BASED ON THE NUMBER OF LEGISLATORS. YOU STILL HAVE A FAIRLY POWERFUL LOBBY.

Yepsen: ONE LEGISLATOR TOLD ME ONE TIME, VERY SAGE PIECE OF ADVICE, THAT IN THE LEGISLATURE GOD DID NOT MAKE A DUMB FARMER. AND THESE RURAL LEGISLATORS, THERE MAY BE FEWER OF THEM, BUT THEY STAY THERE LONGER; THEY HAVE SENIORITY; THEY KNOW THE SYSTEM BETTER. AND THEY GET THERE FOR BREAKFAST AT SIX IN THE MORNING AT THE CAPITOL, CUT THEIR DEALS, AND THEY'RE RUNNING THE SHOW BEFORE THE URBAN LEGISLATORS EVEN SHOW UP FOR WORK.

Borg: DAVE, IF YOU CAN NAME ONE ISSUE THAT THE RURAL INTERESTS BEFORE THEY LOSE THE POWER THAT'S ANTICIPATED OR THEIR INFLUENCE, SHOULDN'T SAY POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Yepsen: LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX REVENUES, DEAN. MANY URBAN AREAS IN IOWA, RETAIL CENTERS ARE PASSING THIS TO HELP SCHOOLS. A LOT OF RURAL LEGISLATORS ARE HOT ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THEY'RE THE PEOPLE PAYING THE TAX, AND THEY SEE HAD THIS AS A SUBSIDY TO URBAN IOWA. URBAN LEGISLATORS SAY "YEAH, WELL, YOU GIVE US BACK SOME OF OUR INCOME TAX ON THE INCOME TAX REVENUE OR THE GAS TAX REVENUE THAT WE'VE BEEN SHIPPING TO YOU, THEN WE'LL TALK A DEAL," BUT THAT WILL BE AN IRRITANT THIS SESSION.

Borg: MIKE, WE'RE GOING TO LET YOU WRAP UP HERE. DO YOU SEE A CHANCE IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE FOR DEMOCRATIC GAINS AS A RESULT OF ALL WE TALKED ABOUT AND THIS SESSION?

Glover: TAKING OVER EITHER CHAMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO BE VERY, VERY DIFFICULT. REPUBLICANS HAVE A FAIRLY HEALTHY EDGE IN BOTH CHAMBERS, AND THERE'S A PROBLEM THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE ALL AROUND THE STATE IN THAT THERE ARE NO COMPETITIVE CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS. THERE'S A TOP OF THE TICKET, AND THEN RIGHT DOWN TO THE LEGISLATURE. THERE'S NO CONGRESSIONAL COMPETITIVE OPTIONS THEY CAN PIGGYBACK ON.

Yepsen: I THINK THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A SHOT IN THE HOUSE. A FEW SEATS IS ALL THEY NEED, AND IF THEY TARGET WELL, THEY HAVE A SHOT AT THE HOUSE.

Borg: WELL, PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION POLITICS, LEGISLATIVE POLITICS, A LOT MORE TO TALK ABOUT, BUT OUR TIME IS OUT, AND WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK TO PROVIDE SOME MORE INSIGHTS LATER.

ON OUR NEXT EDITION "IOWA PRESS," WE'LL FOCUS ON THE UPCOMING SECOND SESSION OF THE 78TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. JOINING US, THE SPEAKER OF THE IOWA HOUSE, BRENT SIEGRIST, WILL DISCUSS THE AGENDA FOR THE 2000 SESSION, WHICH SHOULD BE CONVENING IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON MONDAY, JANUARY 10. THAT'S IOWA PRESS NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00.

IN CLOSING, ALL OF US HERE AT IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, IN PARTICULAR OUR IOWA PRESS CREW, EXTEND OUR SINCERE WISHES TO YOU AND YOURS AS WE CONCLUDE THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND BEGIN A NEW YEAR. IF YOUR HOLIDAY PLANS INCLUDE HIGHWAY TRAVEL, TAKE CARE.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK AT THE SAME TIME, OUR FIRST PROGRAM OF THE NEW YEAR, I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION. FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.