Jim Lehrer talks to Shields and Gigot as they scratch the surface of tonight's convention lineup, including Susan Molinari's keynote speech and the opening salvos of criticism.
JIM LEHRER: And before we all split, some evening preview words from Shields & Gigot, Mark Shields and Paul Gigot. Mark, some words of guidance for watching the big show tonight?
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: I hate to disappoint people, Jim, but there won’t be much raw meat, and in 1988 at New Orleans, Gov. Tom Keane was the keynoter, the New Jersey governor, and said, Democrats try to talk like Dirty Harry but they still act like Pee Wee Herman. And in 1992, in Houston, Pat Buchanan said the Democratic convention was the greatest collection of cross dressers in American political history. You won’t hear that sort of purpose prose from Susan Molinari.
Sending a message, messages that World War II veteran from rural Kansas, male, nominee of his party picks as the keynoter an ethnic, New York Congresswoman who voted for Bill Clinton’s family medical leave, voted for the assault weapons ban, is pro-choice on abortion, and is an ethnic, says the Republican Party is not--as Paul’s phrase--your father’s Republican Party, it’s not a party of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants suburbanites who went to good schools, debutante parties--(laughter among group)--
JIM LEHRER: Paul?
PAUL GIGOT, Wall Street Journal: Well, you may not get a lot of red meat there, but you probably are going to get--I think this is the night you’re going to see some, some real wacks taken at the President tried to deliver with humor and some subtlety, if that’s possible in politics, but they’re going to try, the Republicans are going to try to lay out their themes of attack for the fall, and you’re going to see the Clinton record in--
JIM LEHRER: They’re going to run some tapes, right, of the President speaking, is that right?
PAUL GIGOT: I would assume they are, Jim, and I think they’ll probably quote him heavily, and you’ll see his economic record and the tax increase run down. You’ll see his, his record in cutting the drug office by 80 percent. They’re just going to run down the whole litany.
JIM LEHRER: There was also our reporting staff told us a while ago that there was some concern that some of the pro-life women are still upset about the fact of Susan Molinari being the--
MARK SHIELDS: Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
JIM LEHRER: Yeah. And Kay Bailey Hutchinson, also a pro-choice Republican from Texas, addressing the convention, that they may take a walk. Have you heard that, Paul? Is that--
PAUL GIGOT: I haven’t heard that. It’s true they are pro-choice, but none of them are going to be talking about abortion frankly.
JIM LEHRER: Right. But just an act of, an act of protest.
PAUL GIGOT: They’re going to be probably pointing at pro-life politicians at this convention.
JIM LEHRER: Yeah. Susan Molinari, what’s your--Elizabeth asked Susan Molinari about why she was chosen--what’s your analysis of why she was chosen?
MARK SHIELDS: I think for the reasons stated. I mean, I think it sends a message about Bob Dole, about the party that Bob Dole wants to send, that he is comfortable with Susan Molinari’s generation, her gender, her politics, you know, all about her, that he doesn’t, he’s not frozen in time is the message he wants to send.
JIM LEHRER: But what--does it also send the message, Paul, to the pro-life wing of the party, to the rightist of the right wing part of the party, okay, you can have the platform, we’ll take everything else?
PAUL GIGOT: I don’t think it does that at all. I mean, Bob Dole’s pro-life. Jack Kemp is pro-life. Those are pretty big decisions, who your nominee is and who your vice presidential nominee is. I think she is much more of a--it’s a generational pick. She’s younger. She’s from Staten Island. I mean, she’s from an ethnic part of a big city where Republicans don’t typically do well. I mean, Deborah Price, who’s going to be speaking tonight, is from Columbus, another city. They’re trying to send a message about Republicans who can win in certain parts of the country and appeal to certain Democrats.
JIM LEHRER: Okay. And we’ll be talking to you all later about all of this. Thank you.