January 9, 2004 | Broadcast

American Morning

With us, to take a look at three major stories and some we might have missed, in Washington D.C. is Democratic strategist Donna Brazile.

Hey, Donna, good morning to you.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good morning, and happy New Year to you.

O’BRIEN: Thank you, and likewise.

Cliff May is a Scripps-Howard news columnist. He joins us as well this morning.

Good morning to you. Nice to see you, Cliff.

CLIFF MAY, FMR. RNC COMM. DIR.: Good to see you again, Soledad.

O’BRIEN: You are filling in for Jonah, we might add, who’s taking a little vacation.

Also this morning, Andy Borowitz of “The New Yorker,” and he’s in New York this morning.

Hey, Andy, nice to see you. Good morning.

ANDY BOROWITZ, “THE NEW YORKER”: Good morning, Soledad.

All right, let’s get to it.

Donna, we’re going to start with you. Let’s talk about Wesley Clark, now in second place in a tracking poll in New Hampshire. Why do you think he’s on this roll?

BRAZILE: Well, I think the Clark campaign has really promoted itself as the alternative to Dean. And look, this just goes to show you voters are still warm to outsiders. That’s why Clark is picking up momentum.

O’BRIEN: Nationally, Cliff, four points off in national polls. Do you think that Howard Dean lost his momentum, as we’re hearing suggest here, or do you think Wesley Clark really just internally, it’s his own campaign that’s really gaining.

MAY: I think there’s no question that within the Democratic Party, there a lot of people who would rather not see Howard Dean as a candidate. They are looking for an alternative. Wesley Clark is emerging at the only possible alternative.

I think it will be very interesting to see whether Wesley Clark actually attacks Howard Dean hard, or he does not. I know he said he doesn’t want to run for VP on a Dean ticket. My Democratic sources, which really means Donna, says there’s too much bad blood between the two factions, but you know, to bring the Clinton faction, which is Wesley Clark, with the Dean faction, which is the left, together, would be powerful. We’ll see if that happens.

O’BRIEN: Donna, he just named you as a source. Your not supposed to do that. You’re a columnist, sister.

All right, Andy, what do you think.

BOROWITZ: Well you know, He got the endorsement of Madonna, and I usually don’t like when actors endorse candidates, but I will say this for Madonna, she’s no actor.

O’BRIEN: All right. And our next question now, and we’re going to, Cliff, start with you, Pete Rose acknowledges betting on baseball. Everybody thought he did it. Finally 14 years later, he comes clean. What do you think? Does he belong in the Hall of Fame.

MAY: I think my guru on this is George Will, who points out that to be in the Hall of Fame, some of the characteristics you need are integrity, and character and sportsmanship. He fails on those counts — he shouldn’t be there.

O’BRIEN: But at the end of the day, Donna, is it really about a stat? I mean, he was a great baseball player. No one is arguing that point.

BRAZILE: Well, I’m not a betting woman, but compared to some of the professional athletes today, what he did is small change. I say give him a couple more years to be remorseful, show him humility and give him a seat in the Hall of Fame.

O’BRIEN: So it’s less bad than other people, so he should get a seat. That’s an interesting argument.

Andy, where do you fall in?

BOROWITZ: I hope Pete Rose gets in the Hall of Fame, because I know he has a lot of money riding on this.

O’BRIEN: All right, let’s turn, Donna, to our next question. The president, as you well know, early in the week, talked about a plan to give temporary legal status to millions of foreign workers here in the U.S. What do you make of the plan? Do you think it’s going to actually get turned into law eventually?

BRAZILE: Well, this is going to have a little rough sailing on Capitol Hill. Democrats have offered a similar plan for years with a little bit more teeth, but this is an election year, so the president will succeed whether he gets this bill before Congress or it fails.

O’BRIEN: Cliff, we heard rough sailing from Donna, but actually, some are saying it’s more like a lot of resistance. What do you think?

MAY: The interesting thing is that conservatives are the ones who are giving the most opposition to this plan. They are very angered over it. They think that it’s saying it’s OK to be a lawbreaker. And liberals are not happy with it, because Bush proposed it, and anything that comes from Bush, they couldn’t possibly like. So I think for those reasons, it will have rough sailing.

O’BRIEN: And, Andy, what do you think.

BOROWITZ: The plan doesn’t go far enough. There are eight million undocumented workers, and only one of them will get the chance to work for Donald Trump.

O’BRIEN: All right, let’s get right to our under-covered story of the week.

Cliff, do you want to start with that?

MAY: Yes, I thought the under-covered story is the fact that we had nuclear scientists patrolling five major American cities with the most sophisticated equipment, looking for evidence of radiological or dirty bombs. Now I know that’s not as important as Britney Spears getting married, but still, how blase have we gotten that it’s below the fold that we’re looking for radiological bombs in five major metropolitan areas.

O’BRIEN: Hey, we covered both those stories, radiological bombs and Britney as well.

Donna, what do you think was missed?

BRAZILE: Well, D.C. residents are preparing to cast the first ballot in the 2004 presidential contest. It’s nonbinding, but still this is a major effort to put voting rights and statehood on the agenda.

O’BRIEN: And, Andy, you get the final word this morning. What did we miss this week?

BOROWITZ: Well, Britney Spears was actually patrolling five different cities looking for a new husband.

O’BRIEN: That is our final word this morning. Nice to see you guys, Happy New Year. Thanks, Cliff May, Donna Brazile and Andy Borowitz joining us.