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Iowa Press #2752 - Rob Tully
August 27, 2000

Borg: IN THESE WANING DAYS OF SUMMER, THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SEASON MOVES TOWARD THE FULL ELECTIONS. WE'LL GET ASSESSMENTS FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ROB TULLY, 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, AUGUST 27th EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: BOTH MAJOR POLITICAL CONVENTIONS ARE BEHIND US, AND NOW THE INTENSE WINNER-TAKE-ALL STRATEGIC CAMPAIGNING IS UNDERWAY. THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, BUT THE STAKES ARE ALSO HIGH HERE AT THE IOWA STATE LEVEL. AS IS THE CASE EVERY TWO YEARS, ALL FIVE OF IOWA'S CONGRESSMEN IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ARE ON THE BALLOT, AND THERE ARE IOWA LEGISLATIVE SEATS AT STAKE, TOO. NOVEMBER'S ELECTION WILL DETERMINE THE COMPOSITION OF THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, AND THE DEMOCRATS THERE ARE HOPING TO MAKE GAINS ON THE REPUBLICANS WHO HOLD MAJORITIES IN BOTH THE IOWA HOUSE AND THE SENATE. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF IOWA, KAYNE ROBINSON, WAS OUR IOWA PRESS GUEST FOLLOWING THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION IN PHILADELPHIA. AND JOINING US ON THIS EDITION, FOLLOWING THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN LOS ANGELES, IS THE CHAIR OF THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ROB TULLY. WELCOME BACK TO IOWA PRESS.

Tully: THANK YOU. IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.

Borg: ALSO WITH US HERE AT THE TABLE, POLITICAL REPORTERS DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER, AND ON A BRIEF RESPITE FROM COVERING VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S CAMPAIGN, MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Glover: MR. TULLY, LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE MOOD OF THE ELECTORATE OUT THERE. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS DRIVING THE ELECTORATE IN THIS ELECTION YEAR?

Tully: WELL, I THINK -- AND AS I'VE SPENT SOME TIME, AS YOU DID, ON THE BOAT RIDE DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI, I START SEEING A CHANGE IN THE ELECTORATE. WE'RE NOW AT THE TIME, AS WE APPROACH LABOR DAY, THAT PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PARTICULAR RACE, THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE. I SEE A FEELING THAT'S COMING ACROSS CERTAINLY THE COUNTRY, BUT ESPECIALLY HERE IN IOWA, THAT I BELIEVE AL GORE IS COMING ALONG VERY WELL, AND ANTICIPATE THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A SPIRITED RACE THIS FALL, AND I THINK THAT THE ELECTORATE IS LOOKING TO SEE WHO WILL BEST BE THE LEADER OF THE COUNTRY.

Glover: IS THERE AN ISSUE DRIVING THE ELECTORATE? IS THERE SOME MOOD RUNNING THROUGH THE ELECTORATE? IS THERE ANYTHING DRIVING IT OTHER THAN JUST PERSONALITY?

Tully: WELL, I THINK THERE'S TWO THINGS. I THINK, ONE, IT'S ABOUT WHO BEST CAN SHOW THE LEADERSHIP TO RUN OUR COUNTRY. AND THEN, OF COURSE, I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, ALBEIT, THAT EVERYBODY WOULD LIKE A TAX CUT HERE OR THERE, THERE ARE SOME UNFINISHED BUSINESS THAT WE HAVE TO DO THAT THIS PARTICULAR ADMINISTRATION HAS STARTED, BUT WE NEED TO CONTINUE ON: EDUCATION; PRESCRIPTION BENEFITS FOR MEDICARE; BUT MOST ESPECIALLY, THOUGH, IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE ECONOMY KEEPS GOING; AND ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS, I THINK IS THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO CANDIDATES, IS TO PAY DOWN THE DEBT. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOW READY TO PUT WHAT HAS BEEN THE LARGEST DEBT IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY BEHIND THEM, AND WE CAN DO THAT BY 2012.

Yepsen: DEAN MENTIONED THE CONVENTION, AND YOU'RE BACK FROM LOS ANGELES. WAS IT A SUCCESSFUL CONVENTION? DID THAT CONVENTION BRING HOME THE DEMOCRATIC BASE? GOING INTO LOS ANGELES, AL GORE DID NOT HAVE ALL THE DEMOCRATS. THERE WERE STILL A LOT OF BRADLEY PEOPLE THAT WERE KIND OF TEPID ABOUT HIM. THERE WERE A LOT OF QUESTIONS FROM LABOR. WHAT'S YOUR FEELING? DID HE BRING HOME THE BASE?

Tully: YOU BET. AND IN FACT, I LIKE THE SPEECH THAT HE GAVE ON THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE CONVENTION, "NOT JUST A HOME RUN BUT A GRAND SLAM." WHEN WE LEFT, I DON'T THINK I HAVE EVER BEEN, MYSELF PERSONALLY -- AND I'VE BEEN IN POLITICS SINCE I WAS NINE YEARS OLD AND MY MOTHER MADE ME SELL CANDY DOOR TO DOOR FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY -- EVER SEEN A MORE ENERGIZED AND INVOLVED GROUP OF DEMOCRATS. IT WAS FABULOUS! AND I THINK THE BIGGEST THING WE TOOK AWAY AND AS THE HEADLINE SHOWED THE DAY AFTER THE CONVENTION, "I'M MY OWN MAN." AND THAT'S WHAT HE NEEDED TO DO, MEANING AL GORE, AND HE DID IT. HE DID IT WELL, AND PEOPLE ARE NOW STARTING TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS RACE.

Glover: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE IN THE LEFT WING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WHO ARE INTERESTED LOOKING AT RALPH NADER? WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THEM TO DISSUADE THEM FROM SPLITTING OFF AND VOTING FOR NADER? WHAT EFFECT DO YOU THINK HE'LL HAVE ON AN ELECTION?

Tully: WELL, LET ME START WITH THE SECOND PART OF YOUR QUESTION FIRST. I THINK RALPH NADER -- I PERSONALLY KNOW RALPH NADER. I THINK HE'S A FINE MAN, BUT I DON'T BELIEVE THAT HE IS GOING TO HAVE THAT MUCH OF A -- OH, WHAT'S THE WORD I WANT TO USE? -- EFFECT ON THE RACE. AND I THINK THE ONE PLACE THAT YOU LOOK AT WHERE HE WOULD PROBABLY DO BETTER THAN HE WOULD IN SOME PLACES LIKE IOWA... CALIFORNIA. HE WAS AS CLOSE AS, AT ONE TIME, SAY A MONTH, MONTH AND A HALF AGO, ABOUT 11 POINTS THAT HE WAS GARNERING OUT OF CALIFORNIA. THAT PARTICULAR NUMBERS HAVE COME DOWN TO THREE. AND SO THAT ONLY SHOWS YOU THAT THE MAIN DEMOCRATIC BASE, AS YOU REFER TO IT AS THE LIBERAL WING OF THE PARTY, IS COMING BACK HOME BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE GOOD STRONG LEADERSHIP IN THE WHITE HOUSE. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, GEORGE W. BUSH IS NOT THAT MAN, AND I THINK PEOPLE WILL REALIZE THAT A VOTE FOR RALPH NADER WILL BE A VOTE FOR GEORGE W. BUSH.

Yepsen: BUT NADER DOESN'T HAVE TO GET A WHOLE LOT TO START HAVING AN IMPACT ON A CLOSE RACE. IN 1976 YOU FIND A LOT OF DEMOCRATS THAT WILL ARGUE TO THIS DAY THAT GENE MCCARTHY COST JIMMY CARTER IOWA BY GETTING 1.5 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. DON'T YOU THINK RALPH NADER IS WORTH AT LEAST A COUPLE POINTS IN IOWA?

Tully: WELL, IF IT'S ANYTHING, IT MIGHT BE A COUPLE POINTS. BUT I DON'T THINK, BASED UPON WHAT I'M SEEING AND WHAT WE ARE UNDERSTANDING ACROSS THE STATE THROUGH OUR DEMOCRATIC CONTACTS ACROSS THE STATE, THAT IT'S GOING TO BE MUCH OF AN EFFECT, BECAUSE I REALLY DO BELIEVE -- AND, YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK ANY OF YOU ARE GOING TO EXPECT ME TO SAY ANYTHING DIFFERENT. BUT THE PREDICTION IS NOW WE ARE GOING TO WIN IOWA. GORE IS GOING TO WIN IOWA, AND I THINK WE'RE GOING TO DO EXTREMELY WELL IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE RACES.

Yepsen: YOU'RE RIGHT, WE DO EXPECT YOU TO SAY THINGS LIKE THAT, MR. CHAIRMAN. YOU GOT A BUMP OUT OF THE CONVENTION. THAT'S PRETTY CLEAR FROM THE POLLS. THE VICE PRESIDENT'S NUMBERS WENT UP ABOUT 8 TO 12 POINTS, DEPENDING UPON WHOSE POLLS YOU LOOK AT. THE QUESTION NOW IN POLITICS IS, IS THAT SUSTAINABLE. SOME BUMPS HAVE A WAY OF STAYING WITH YOU; OTHERS HAVE A WAY OF FADING. WHY IS THIS A SUSTAINABLE ONE, DO YOU THINK?

Tully: I'VE SAID THIS BEFORE; IN FACT, I SAID IT AS EARLY AS LAST FALL. I BELIEVE IN MY HEART THAT GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE JIM ROSS LIGHTFOOT OF NATIONAL POLITICS. EVERYBODY ASSUMED THAT JIM ROSS LIGHTFOOT WAS GOING TO BECOME GOVERNOR OF IOWA. EVERYBODY ASSUMED THAT GEORGE W. BUSH WAS GOING TO BECOME PRESIDENT BECAUSE HE HAD AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY, THAT THERE WAS A SUSTAINED GROUP OF REPUBLICANS THAT HAVE RALLIED BEHIND "THIS IS GOING TO BE THE PERSON THAT'S GOING TO BE OUR RESPECTIVE LEADER." BUT AS TIME WENT ON -- AND I THINK WE'RE ALREADY SEEING IT AS WE SAW ON MONDAY NIGHT THAT WHEN GEORGE W. BUSH SPEAKS, HE'S NOT VERY COHERENT SOMETIMES AND MAKES A LOT OF MISTAKES. THERE'S A LEADERSHIP GAP WITH GEORGE W. BUSH THAT I BELIEVE THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND ESPECIALLY IOWANS ARE GOING TO SAY, "WHEN WE REALLY GET DOWN TO IT, DO WE REALLY WANT THIS MAN MAKING DECISIONS WHEN HE CAN'T EVEN GET THROUGH A SIMPLE FUND-RAISING DINNER WITHOUT MAKING A NUMBER OF GAFFS." THE RUMOR I'M HEARING BACK NOW IS THAT PRIVATELY PEOPLE ARE REFERRING TO HIM AS THE PRESENT REPUBLICAN PARTY'S DAN QUAYLE IN TERMS OF HIS ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE. THAT REFLECTS ON LEADERSHIP ABILITIES, AND SO I BELIEVE THAT JUST LIKE TOM VILSACK WHO, LIKE AL GORE, SET AN AGENDA AND SAID TO THE PEOPLE OF IOWA AS AL GORE IS SAYING TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, "THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR YOU. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO DO." HE HAS A VISION. HE HAS AN AGENDA. AND I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY THIS IS TRUE LEADERSHIP, AND THAT'S WHY I ANTICIPATE –

Glover: SO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS THAT GEORGE W. BUSH DOESN'T WEAR WELL.

Tully: I DON'T THINK HE WILL IN THE LONG-RUN.

Glover: IF WE CAN LOOK AT THIS CONVENTION FOR JUST ONE MORE MOMENT, A LOT OF HOOPLA, A LOT OF BALLOONS, BOTH IN PHILADELPHIA AND LOS ANGELES. HOW LONG ARE THESE CONVENTIONS IN THEIR CURRENT FORM GOING TO LAST? AREN'T THESE THINGS REALLY BECOMING DINOSAURS? IT'S BEEN YEARS SINCE A CONVENTION REALLY NOMINATED A CANDIDATE. TELEVISION NETWORKS ARE CUTTING BACK THE COVERAGE OF THEM. YOU HAD FAR MORE PEOPLE WATCH "SURVIVOR" THAN WATCH ACCUMULATIVE VIEWERSHIP OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION. AREN'T THESE INITIALLY DINOSAURS?

Tully: WELL, YOU KNOW, I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU, AS A PERSON THAT PARTICIPATED AND WAS THERE AND ALONG WITH OUR DELEGATION, WHO I WAS VERY, VERY PROUD OF OUT IN LOS ANGELES, THEY CERTAINLY COULD SHORTEN THEM. I THINK THE OBVIOUS REASON THAT BOTH PARTIES USE IT IS THAT THEY'VE GOT FOUR DAYS OF COVERAGE. THAT GIVES THEM FOUR DAYS OF BASICALLY A FOUR-DAY COMMERCIAL FOR THEIR PARTY AND THEIR PLATFORM AND AGENDA. AND SO I THINK THAT CERTAINLY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE COULD PROBABLY USE A DAY OR SO LESS OF THAT. BUT I THINK THAT WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE THE CONVENTIONS BECAUSE OF THE PROCESS. WE JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE TWO CANDIDATES THAT BROUGHT THE PROCESS TO AN END FAIRLY QUICKLY BECAUSE THE PARTY SOLIDIFIED BEHIND A PARTICULAR CANDIDATE. BUT IT HASN'T ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY.

Borg: IS THERE A WAY TO PUT SUSPENSE BACK IN THE CONVENTIONS? YOU KNOW, "SURVIVOR" WAS POPULAR BECAUSE THERE WAS SUSPENSE. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE INFUSED?

Tully: WELL, NOT IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE AN OPEN DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. THE REALITY IS THE VOTES ARE GOING TO BE TAKEN PRIOR TO AND IN AN OPEN FORUM. SO I THINK WE ARE PROBABLY GOING TO HAVE THAT, BUT IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHO EMERGES IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS AS THEY RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

Yepsen: ANOTHER THING THAT BOTH YOU AND YOUR COUNTERPART, KAYNE ROBINSON, WERE ABLE TO GET DONE AT YOUR RESPECTIVE CONVENTIONS WAS TO PROTECT THE STATUS OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES. IN 2004, IOWA WILL STILL CONCEIVABLY BE FIRST. AT LEAST YOU HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT INSIDE YOUR PARTIES TO GO FIRST, BUT WILL ANYBODY SHOW UP IN IOWA? DIDN'T JOHN MCCAIN PROVE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE THAT YOU CAN BYPASS IOWA AND STILL DO WELL?

Tully: WELL, IF JOHN MCCAIN HAD WON THE NOMINATION, I'D TELL YOU THAT THAT'S PROBABLY TRUE. BUT I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT -- AND THIS IS WHY I THINK THE IOWA CAUCUSES ARE AND WILL REMAIN IN THIS POSITION: ONE, WE DEFENDED OURSELVES EXTREMELY WELL. WE HAD TAKEN TESTIMONY ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND, AS YOU KNOW, I WENT TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE MEETINGS. WE HAD SIX OF THEM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND THERE ARE A LOT OF STATES OUT THERE THAT DON'T LIKE US IN THAT POSITION. BUT WE ARTICULATED OUR REASONS FOR US TO BE FIRST, AND THE COMMITTEE VOTED UNANIMOUSLY FOR US TO CONTINUE IN THAT FASHION. AL GORE WON THE IOWA CAUCUSES DECISIVELY. PRIOR TO THE TIME THAT HIS MOMENTUM WAS BUILDING IN IOWA, BILL BRADLEY WAS WINNING NEW HAMPSHIRE. THERE'S NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THE BOUNCE THAT WE ALL TALK ABOUT COMING OUT OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES HELPED AL GORE WIN NEW HAMPSHIRE. ONE OF THE SIDELIGHTS, TALKING ABOUT WHAT DEAN HAD TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, AL GORE IS THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF OUR PARTY TO WIN EVERY SINGLE CONTEST IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS WHY IT WAS A LITTLE ANTICLIMACTIC THAT OBVIOUSLY WE WERE GOING TO NOMINATE AL GORE, BUT THAT SHOWS THE STRENGTH OF THIS INDIVIDUAL.

Yepsen: YOU AND I TALKED AFTER THE CAUCUSES, AND ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WERE CONCERNED ABOUT AT THAT TIME WAS THAT MAYBE IOWA NEEDS TO DO SOME THINGS DIFFERENT IN FUTURE CAUCUSES IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THOSE CAUCUSES. HAVE YOU GIVEN ANY MORE THOUGHT TO SATURDAY CAUCUSES, ABSENTEE BALLOTS, RAW BODY COUNTS? WHAT SHORT OF CHANGES WILL YOU BE RECOMMENDING TO YOUR PARTY AS YOU LEAVE OFFICE FOR HOW TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY IN FOUR YEARS?

Tully: WELL, ACTUALLY THAT IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS, AND YOU AND I HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT THIS. I BELIEVE THAT IT'S IMPORTANT FOR AS MANY PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROCESS, AND ESPECIALLY OUR CAUCUS PROCESS. I THINK THAT IT MIGHT BEHOOVE US TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER MOVING THE CAUCUSES FROM A MONDAY NIGHT TO A SATURDAY AFTERNOON SO THAT WE CAN HAVE MORE PEOPLE PARTICIPATE. IF I HEARD IT ONCE, I HEARD IT A NUMBER OF TIMES WHERE, ESPECIALLY IF OUR ELECTORATE HAS CHANGED, THAT WE HAVE TWO PEOPLE WORKING INSIDE THE HOME AND OUTSIDE THE HOME. AND AS A RESULT, THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THEY HAD TO FLIP A COIN AS TO SEE WHO WAS GOING TO GO THAT NIGHT BECAUSE OF CHILD CARE SITUATIONS AND EVERYTHING ELSE, SO I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE COGNIZANT THAT WE HAVE TO WORK FOR THE ELECTORATE BECAUSE THAT'S REALLY WHAT OUR JOB IS. IT ISN'T TO WORK FOR THE CANDIDATES. IT ISN'T TO WORK EVEN FOR THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OR ANYTHING ELSE. OUR JOB IS TO WORK FOR THE DEMOCRATS THAT WE REPRESENT.

Yepsen: BESIDES MOVING THEM TO A SATURDAY, ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT? ANY OTHER CHANGES?

Tully: WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK THAT WE NEED TO CERTAINLY ADDRESS AGAIN IS WE HAVE A COMPLICATED ACCOUNTING SYSTEM, VERY COMPLICATED. AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT ALL OF OUR PEOPLE THAT PARTICIPATE, CHAIRPERSONS -- AND KEEP IN MIND, LIKE WE'VE TALKED, WE HAVE TO HAVE 2,142 CHAIRPERSONS IN EACH PRECINCT AROUND THE STATE. AND OUR RULES ARE SUCH THAT IT WOULD BE A LOT SIMPLER IF WE HAD A SIMPLE COUNT WITH, MAYBE, A FORMULA THAT RELATES TO DELEGATES, BECAUSE IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT ELECTING THE 2,000 DELEGATES FOR THE STATE CONVENTION, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO SIMPLIFY THAT.

Borg: IF I ASK A QUESTION ON WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS FOR REGAINING THE IOWA LEGISLATURE, DO I GET THE PREDICTABLE ANSWER?

Tully: WELL, THE ANSWER IS YES. LET ME TELL THE REASON WHY I BELIEVE THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO WELL THIS FALL. FIRST OF ALL, I REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT AL GORE IS GOING TO DO WELL IN THIS STATE, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES ON THE WHITE HOUSE LEVEL AS WE DO ON THE COURTHOUSE LEVEL AND THE STATE LEGISLATIVE LEVEL. AND THAT IS, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT EDUCATION AND SMALLER CLASS SIZES. THE REPUBLICAN-LED LEGISLATURE, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE, DID NOT ADDRESS A NUMBER OF ISSUES THIS YEAR. THEY JUST IGNORED THEM. PART OF IT, I THINK, IS PARTISAN POLITICS AS WE COME UP TO AN ELECTION YEAR; WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE THE OTHER SIDE SOMETHING. AND I THINK IOWANS, AS WELL AS AMERICANS, ARE TIRED OF THE JOCKEYING FOR POSITIONS. WE WANT RESULTS. AND YOU KNOW, THE REPUBLICANS COULD HAVE LED THIS YEAR, BUT THEY DIDN'T DO IT. SO THAT'S WHY I BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE AN ALTERNATIVE LOOKED AT. AND OBVIOUSLY, DAVE SCHRADER AND MIKE GRONSTAL HAVE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB OF RECRUITING SOME REALLY WONDERFUL CANDIDATES ACROSS THE STATE. WE HAVE, AS IT WAS POINTED OUT WHEN KAYNE WAS HERE THE LAST TIME, WE ALSO HAVE A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHO IS WORKING EXTREMELY HARD FOR THESE CANDIDATES. HIS PLATE IS FULL ALL THE WAY TO NOVEMBER TO BE CAMPAIGNING, TO BE OUT THERE, AND I BELIEVE IOWANS ARE HAPPY WITH GOVERNOR VILSACK AND HIS LEADERSHIP. AND I ANTICIPATE THAT THAT'S GOING TO HELP US THIS NOVEMBER.

Glover: LET'S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE LEGISLATURE. FIRST OF ALL, THE SENATE; IT'S 30 TO 20 IN REPUBLICAN HANDS. GIVE ME SOME KEY RACES IN THE SENATE THAT YOU HAVE TO WIN TO GET THAT CHAMBER BACK. AND ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT LOSING MIKE GRONSTAL? HE'S GOT A TOUGH RACE ON HIS HANDS.

Tully: HE'S GOT A TOUGH RACE BUT, YOU KNOW, MIKE IS A LOT LIKE ONE OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD, TOM HARKIN; WHEN HE GETS INTO A SCRAP, HE DOES WELL. SO I'M NOT ANTICIPATING -- HE'S GOING TO HAVE A TOUGH RACE, BUT MIKE IS GOING TO FARE VERY WELL. I THINK THE RON DONALD RACE WITH SENATOR SHEARER OVER IN THE AMANAS, I THINK, IS A KEY RACE. HE'S A FANTASTIC CANDIDATE. HE'S GOING TO DO EXTREMELY WELL. YOU KNOW, PART OF ALL THAT SENATOR SHEARER HAS RUN ON AND A LOT OF PEOPLE RUN ON IS TAX CUTS, TAX CUTS, TAX CUTS. THAT IN AND OF ITSELF IS NOT LEADERSHIP. THAT'S A POPULAR THING TO SAY, AND IT RINGS BELLS ALL OVER THE PLACE, BUT THE REALITY IS THAT THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO DO IN THE STATE IF WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND TO MAKE THIS STATE, AS GOVERNOR VILSACK TALKS ABOUT, THE FOOD CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO DO THINGS ABOUT EDUCATION. WE HAVE TO MAKE IT -- AND WORK ON VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS.

Glover: WE'RE DRIFTING INTO ISSUES, MR. TULLY. LET'S GO BACK TO RACES. I HAVE A COUPLE OF KEY SENATE RACES. THE ONE IN THE AMANAS YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT.

Tully: I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT. I THINK THAT WE HAVE A NUMBER OF INCUMBENTS THAT ARE GOING TO -- MAY HAVE A COUPLE RACES HERE AND THERE, BUT I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO DO WELL. THERE ARE SOME RACES SUCH AS KITTY REHBERG'S RACE UP IN -- NEAR -- I GUESS IT'S UP IN –

Glover: NEAR WATERLOO.

Tully: YEAH, NEAR WATERLOO. THAT WE HOPE TO DO WELL IN. BUT THOSE ARE NOT RACES THAT I THINK ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR US TO WIN.

Glover: LET'S WALK ACROSS THE ROTUNDA TO THE HOUSE. IT'S 66 TO 44. GIVE ME SOME RACES THERE YOU THINK YOU CAN WIN.

Tully: WELL, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO WIN THE ANDRA ATTERBURY RACE OVER THERE IN MANCHESTER. THAT IS A RACE WHERE THE INCUMBENT JUST PLAIN HAD INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT AS A LEGISLATOR WEARING A T-SHIRT THAT TALKED ABOUT HAVING GUNS AND WHAT HAVE YOU --

Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE JAGER?

Tully: RIGHT. AND I ANTICIPATE THAT WE'RE GOING TO WIN THAT. THAT'S A STRONG RACE. I THINK THAT WE HAVE DONE SOME -- OR THAT MIKE HAS DONE SOME GREAT JOBS IN RECRUITING OTHER RACES. IT'S GOING TO REALLY COME DOWN TO, QUITE FRANKLY, I THINK PERSONALITIES. DAVE HAS WORKED VERY HARD WITH OUR CANDIDATES TO DO THOSE -- TO DO JUST THAT, TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RACES ARE ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALS, WAS CERTAINLY TALKING ABOUT EDUCATION AND ALL THE OTHER FACTORS.

Yepsen: LET'S TURN OUR ATTENTION TO CONGRESS. THE CONVENTIONAL VIEW IN IOWA POLITICS RIGHT NOW IS THAT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE IS VERY COMPETITIVE, THAT THE RACES FOR THE LEGISLATURE ARE VERY COMPETITIVE -- BUT THERE'S THIS BIG HOLE IN THE BALLOT CALLED THE RACES FOR CONGRESS -- AND THAT FIVE SITTING CONGRESSMEN, FOUR REPUBLICANS AND ONE DEMOCRAT, ARE ALL SAFE. DO YOU SHARE THAT VIEW? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN RECRUITING OPPONENTS AGAINST FOUR INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN? THEY SEEM TO BE GETTING A BYE.

Tully: WELL, THE INTERESTING THING IS IT'S DIFFICULT, QUITE FRANKLY, TO FIND PEOPLE THAT CAN SACRIFICE BASICALLY TWO YEARS OF THEIR LIVES TO RUN. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF IT THAT SCARES PEOPLE OFF FROM RUNNING IS MONEY. NOW, WE'VE GOT SOME GREAT CANDIDATES. I THINK MIKE HUSTON IS AN INCREDIBLE CANDIDATE HERE IN THE FOURTH DISTRICT. DONNA SMITH, WHO DID WELL IN '96 AND, AS YOU ALL KNOW, THAT I RAN IN '98. KEEPING IN MIND, I RAISED $750,000 FOR THAT HOUSE RACE UP THERE. I GOT BURIED IN SOFT MONEY, JUST BURIED. SO THE REALITY IS THAT UNTIL WE REALLY HAVE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, UNTIL WE HAVE AN ABILITY FOR GOOD CANDIDATES TO BE ABLE -- AND I'M HAPPY WITH ALL OUR CANDIDATES, BY THE WAY, BUT UNTIL WE'RE ABLE TO ADDRESS THOSE TYPES OF ISSUES, IT KEEPS PEOPLE A LITTLE SHY ABOUT RUNNING.

Glover: DON'T YOU HAVE A TACTICAL PROBLEM ON YOUR HANDS IN GIVING THESE PEOPLE IN CONGRESS A PASS? YOU HAVE GREG GANSKE, WHO EVERYBODY KNOWS IS RUNNING AGAINST TOM HARKIN IN TWO YEARS, IS FREE TO BEGIN RUNNING AGAINST TOM HARKIN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HE'S NOT BEING CHALLENGED. SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE FOUND A STRONGER CANDIDATE FOR PURELY TACTICAL REASONS?

Tully: WELL, I THINK MIKE HUSTON IS THE STRONG CANDIDATE. LET ME ALSO SAY THIS, THE OTHER THING ABOUT GREG GANSKE, I THINK HE'S SHOWING A GREAT DEAL OF ARROGANCE BY BASICALLY TELLING THE PEOPLE OF THE FOURTH DISTRICT: "I'M NOT PLANNING ON STICKING AROUND; I'M RUNNING AGAINST TOM HARKIN IN TWO YEARS." SO HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO SAY TO THE FOURTH DISTRICT, WELL, I'M NOT REALLY GOING TO BE WORKING ON THIS, I'M RUNNING FOR THE U.S. SENATE. AND THE FOURTH DISTRICT NEEDS A CONGRESSMAN THAT'S GOING TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOURTH DISTRICT, AND THAT'S WHAT MIKE HUSTON WILL DO.

Glover: YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU THINK AL GORE IS GOING TO DO VERY WELL IN IOWA AND IS GOING TO CARRY IOWA. AL GORE HAS SPENT A LOT OF TIME HERE. ISN'T THAT A SIGN OF A PROBLEM? I MEAN, DEMOCRATS HAVE CARRIED THE STATE FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. WHY DOES AL GORE HAVE TO CAMPAIGN HERE? SHOULDN'T HE START OUT WITH THE STATE IN HIS POCKET?

Tully: WELL, QUITE FRANKLY, AS THIS PARTICULAR ELECTION -- AND ALL ELECTIONS ARE DIFFERENT. WE HAVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE RUNNING. AND QUITE FRANKLY, AL GORE IS HERE BECAUSE HE'S NOT -- AND HE'S PAID ATTENTION TO THAT, HE'S NOT GOING TO NEGLECT THE STATE OF IOWA. WE'VE GOT AN ELECTION THIS YEAR THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME -- THE FIRST TIME IN AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER -- AND I THINK YOU PROBABLY HAVE TO SAY THE SAME THING – "IOWA IS IN THE MIX." THESE SEVEN ELECTORAL VOTES GET EITHER GEORGE W. BUSH OR AL GORE TO 270. THAT'S IMPORTANT. AND SO YOU CAN'T NEGLECT -- YOU CAN'T TAKE FOR GRANTED, JUST BECAUSE THREE ELECTIONS AGO THE DEMOCRATS WON THE STATE -- I ADMIRE AL GORE FOR BEING HERE AND NOT TAKING FOR GRANTED WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST. AND AS HE TOLD US ON THE NIGHT OF HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH, "I'M MY OWN MAN." SO HE'S GOING -- AND AS HE DID SO WELL ON THE BOAT TRIP DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI AND THE PEOPLE OF IOWA RESPONDED, THE CROWDS WERE INCREDIBLE.

Yepsen: BUT WHAT'S AT WORK IN THE ELECTORATE THAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN THIS TIME? I MEAN, YOU WON -- PRESIDENT CLINTON WON IOWA IN 1992 AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A PRETTY ROUGH FARM ECONOMY. WE WERE STILL HURTING. THAT HELPED HIM A LOT AGAINST PRESIDENT BUSH. WHY DO YOU THINK -- WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE ELECTORATE RIGHT NOW IN THIS TIME OF GREAT PROSPERITY THAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT IOWA VOTERS ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO VOTE DEMOCRATIC AS OPPOSED TO REVERTING TO THEIR TRADITIONAL VOTING TRENDS, WHICH IS TO VOTE REPUBLICAN?

Tully: WELL, I THINK WE SAID BEFORE: IT'S THE LEADERSHIP GAP. I THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT AL GORE AND SAY, "THIS IS THE MAN THAT I WANT TO LEAD THIS COUNTRY." I THINK NO MATTER WHAT IS SAID BY GEORGE W. BUSH IN HIS PROMISES TO PROTECT ETHANOL -- AND WE REFER TO THESE GUYS AS THE TEXACO TWINS -- YOU LOOK AT THAT THEY HAVE RAISED ALMOST $20 MILLION FROM OIL INTERESTS -- OIL INTERESTS ALONE IN THEIR CAMPAIGN. AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT THESE PEOPLE THAT GIVE THIS INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY FROM ONE INDUSTRY ALONE ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT ETHANOL, WE'RE KIDDING OURSELVES. THE REALITY IS THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SAID AND HAVE CONTINUED, WHETHER IT BE AL GORE, WHETHER IT BE THE NEXT SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, DICK GEPHARDT, ETHANOL IS HERE TO STAY. AND IT'S THE DEMOCRATS THAT ARE GOING TO PROTECT IT. I THINK THAT'S WHY, DAVID, WHY WE'RE GOING TO WIN IOWA.

Glover: YOU HAVE MADE THE POINT THAT AL GORE DID WHAT HE NEEDED TO DO WHEN HE SAID, "I'M MY OWN MAN." IN EFFECT, HE SAID, "I'M NOT PRESIDENT CLINTON." IS PRESIDENT CLINTON GOING TO BE A DRAG IN THIS ELECTION WITH THE HISTORY OF SCANDALS WITH WHITE HOUSE INTERNS AND SO FORTH?

Tully: I DON'T THINK SO AT ALL, BECAUSE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC UNDERSTOOD BACK WHEN WE WERE IN THE MIX OF THIS "SCANDAL," THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRESIDENT CLINTON IN HIS PERSONAL LIFE AND PRESIDENT CLINTON AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. HIS APPROVAL RATINGS WERE AS HIGH AS THEY'VE EVER BEEN DURING THAT WHOLE PROCESS. AND SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT STUPID; NEITHER ARE THE PEOPLE OF IOWA. THEY UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AL GORE AND BILL CLINTON. AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HIS PLANS, AND I THINK HE'S GOING TO DO EXTREMELY WELL.

Yepsen: DO YOU WANT BILL CLINTON TO COME TO IOWA TO CAMPAIGN FOR AL GORE?

Tully: OH, I THINK THAT IF BILL CLINTON CAME, I DON'T THINK THERE WOULD BE ANY PROBLEM WITH THAT, KEEPING IN MIND THAT I'VE ALWAYS SAID THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE WELL BY IOWA, ESPECIALLY STARTING WITH BACK IN '93 WHEN WE HAD THE DEVASTATING FLOODS. BOTH AL GORE AND BILL CLINTON WERE HERE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE WERE TAKEN CARE OF.

Yepsen: MR. TULLY, I ASKED THE REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN, KAYNE ROBINSON, THIS QUESTION WHEN HE WAS ON THIS PROGRAM. I'LL ASK IT TO YOU AS WELL. TALK TO THE VOTER WHO SAYS THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE IN THESE TWO PARTIES. YOU HEAR THAT FROM THE NADER SIDE. YOU HEAR THAT FROM THE BUCHANAN SIDE. YOU HEAR THAT FROM A LOT OF INDEPENDENT VOTERS. THESE GUYS ARE TWEEDLEDEE AND TWEEDLEDUM. THEY'RE ALL THE SAME. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? TALK TO THE VOTER OUT THERE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT SITTING THIS OUT BECAUSE THERE REALLY ISN'T ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUSH AND GORE, IN THEIR MIND.

Tully: THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO INDIVIDUALS IS THEIR VISION FOR THE FUTURE. AL GORE HAS ACTUALLY LAID OUT PLANS AND A VISION FOR WHAT HE ANTICIPATES THAT HE THINKS NEEDS TO BE DONE THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AS HE SPENT TIME TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY, HAVE TOLD HIM THAT WE NEED THESE TO HELP US. THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IS FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. AL GORE HAS LAID OUT A PLAN THAT INCLUDES PAYING DOWN THE DEBT AND ELIMINATING THE NATIONAL DEBT BY 2012. NOW, YOU LOOK AT GEORGE W. BUSH. HIS FIRST AND BIGGEST -- AND IN FACT, AS I RECALL, HE MIGHT HAVE EVEN ANNOUNCED IT HERE IN IOWA. BUT IN ANY EVENT, HE TALKED ABOUT AN ACROSS-THE-BOARD TAX CUT, ACROSS-THE-BOARD... $1.9 TRILLION. NOW, THAT NUMBER HAS CHANGED. IT WENT DOWN TO $1.3 TRILLION. THE LATEST NUMBER I HEARD WAS $1.6 TRILLION. WE HAVE A $1.5 TRILLION SURPLUS. ADD TO THAT, THAT HE WANTS TO SHIFT OVER PRIVATIZATION OF -- A PORTION OF PRIVATIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY. THAT WILL COST THE COUNTRY ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. THEN ADD INTO HIS EXPENSES THAT HE WANTS TO SPEND ANOTHER $500 BILLION ON PROGRAMS. THE REALITY IS IT'S SIMPLE MATH. HIS NUMBERS DO NOT ADD UP. AL GORE HAS PRESENTED A PLAN THAT NOT ONLY IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE, BUT MAKES SURE THAT WE DO NOT GO BACK INTO DEBT AND THAT WE PAY DOWN THE DEBT.

Glover: MR. TULLY, LET'S LOOK AT ANOTHER THING. IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES, DON'T YOU SHARE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CREATING A POLITICAL CLIMATE WHERE A LOT OF VOTERS ARE JUST TURNED OFF BY POLITICS, DON'T THINK POLITICS TOUCHES THEIR REAL LIVES?

Tully: YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT'S A GOOD POINT, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I PREACH ALL THE TIME WHEN I'M WITH OUR STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE AND THEY SHARE IT. POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO THE PEOPLE. THEY HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE IN A SENSE THAT THEY MUST LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY NEED AND WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO TOUCH THEM. AND I AGREE WITH THAT COMPLETELY. AND I THINK THAT THAT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GORE AND BUSH, THAT GORE IS ACTUALLY LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE AND TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT THEY WANT TO HEAR.

Borg: MR. TULLY, IS THIS CAMPAIGN AND THE SUCCESS OF IT FOR DEMOCRATS ACTUALLY YOUR REELECTION CAMPAIGN AS PARTY CHAIR?

Tully: THE ANSWER TO THAT IS NO. MY JOB IS TO DO THE BEST I CAN WITH THIS POSITION AS I HAVE IT. I ANTICIPATE THAT WITH ALL THE DEMOCRATS WORKING TOGETHER, THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE AND ALL THE OTHER LEADERS OF THE PARTY, WE'RE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL, BUT I'M NOT CAMPAIGNING FOR REELECTION.

Borg: ARE YOU GOING TO SEEK REELECTION?

Tully: AT THIS TIME, NO.

Yepsen: ARE YOU GOING TO RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 2002?

Tully: I NEVER SAY NEVER.

Borg: I HAVE TO SAY IT RIGHT NOW. WE'RE OUT OF TIME. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, WE BEGIN OR 30TH BROADCAST SEASON ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. TO MARK THE OCCASION, OUR TEAM OF IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS GATHERS HERE TO DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN OF 2000 AND THE ISSUES DRIVING IT, FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. AND A CLOSING REMINDER, IOWA PRESS NOW ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB. HOOK IN AT WWW.IOWAPRESS.IPTV.ORG. YOU'LL FIND TRANSCRIPTS AND OTHER ITEMS RELATED TO THE TOPICS THAT WE TALK ABOUT HERE AT THE IOWA PRESS TABLE. THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. UNTIL THEN, I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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