The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
Intro ROBERT MacNEIL: Good evening. Leading the news this Wednesday, presidential campaigns moved on to Illinois after Super Tuesday, as George Bush said he will be president, and three Democrats predicted a close race to the finish. Two military helicopters collided in Kentucky, killing 17 servicemen. Several people died in an attempted airline hijacking in the Soviet Union. We'll have details in our news summary in a moment. Judy Woodruff is in Washington tonight. Judy?. JUDY WOODRUFF: After the news summary, Super Tuesday is our lead focus. Our own analysts, Mark Shields and David Gergen join us to interpret the results. And we ask two leading Southern Democrats, former Virginia Governor, Chuck Robb, and South Carolina's Don Fowler, whether the big day worked. Then, the controversy over whether the nation's only college for the deaf should have a deaf president. The head of the student body of Gallaudet College and its newly selected president who students want replaced, join us.News Summary MacNEIL: George Bush emerged today from his sweep of Super Tuesday primaries, flatly predicting he'll be the next president. And White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker said it would take a major event to deny Bush the nomination. By winning 16 primaries yesterday, Bush picked up 578 delegates, giving him a total of 705 of the 1139 needed for the nomination. Senator Bob Dole won no state, but picked up 98 delegates for a total of 163. Pat Robertson won caucuses in Washington State, getting nine delegates for a total of 17. Dole said it will be up to Illinois next Tuesday to turn it around. Three Democrats came strongly out of Super Tuesday. Michael Dukakis took eight states for 386 Democratic delegates, and a total of 455 towards the 2082 needed for nomination. Jesse Jackson won five Southern states and 366 delegates, for a total of 393. Albert Gore won six states for 326 delegates, giving him a total of 348. Richard Gephardt won only his home state of Missouri, capturing 93 delegates for a total of 143. Gary Hart trailed in every state and won no delegates. Dukakis predicted a tough race that would not be decided until the California and New Jersey primaries in June. Judy? WOODRUFF: The war between Iran and Iraq continued to intensify today with more missile attacks on each other's capitals. Iran reported 35 people were killed in Teheran. Iraq gave no figure on deaths in Bagdad, but today on national television showed pictures of damage caused by missiles that hit the northern city of Mozel. The missile strike and counterstrike now in the tenth day, are being called the War of the Cities. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the random attacks and many thousands injured. An official in the Soviet Union acknowledged today that the Soviets have sold short range missiles to Iraq, but said that the Iraqis were not given permission to lengthen their range, so that the missiles could reach Teheran. The Iranians had accused the Soviets of providing the weapons. And a mob tried to storm the Soviet embassy in Teheran over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Reagan Administration announced today that it will resume selling high technology items to China now that it is satisfied the Chinese are no longer selling silk worm anti ship missiles to Iran. Sales were suspended last fall to protest the Chinese assistance to the Iranians. MacNEIL: The Soviet Union today reported an attempted airline hijacking, which resulted in several deaths. The Tass News Agency said armed criminals tried to take over a jet airliner on the Irkutsk/Kurgan/Leningrad run to fly out of the country. Authorities overcame the hijackers, killing most of them. An air hostess and three passengers were also killed. WOODRUFF: The Reagan Administration today denied that it had any plans to invade Panama. White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker used humor when asked about the accusation made yesterday by Panama's Foreign Minister that the U. S. is preparing an armed invasion. Baker spoke at an impromptu news conference outside the White House.
HOWARD BAKER, White House Chief of Staff: Panama is the site of national guard training exercises and has been for years. As I understand it, the Rhode Island National Guard is now holding regularly scheduled exercises in Panama. And certainly if the United States was going invade Panama, it wouldn't be with the Rhode Island National Guard. So it simply is not so. It has no connection at all. WOODRUFF: Pentagon officials say the exercises were scheduled long ago and are completely routine training. Panama's Ambassador to the U. S. also met with reporters today to give an update on his country's financial situation. He described Panama as paralyzed, with banks remaining closed and funds from the U. S. continuing to be frozen. MacNEIL: Israel's divided cabinet refused to endorse the peace plan proposed by Secretary of State George Shultz. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir prevented a vote being taken. In Parliament, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who supports the plan, said future generations would ask why we became afraid of peace. As Palestinian protests entered the fourth month, troops killed one Arab and wounded ten others in clashes. Palestinians staged a general strike to honor Arabs killed in the demonstrations. WOODRUFF: In this country, army officials said today that the two helicopters which collided in midair last night on the Western Kentucky/Tennessee border were on a routine night mission. All 17 soldiers onboard the two choppers were killed in the accident. Both helicopters were based at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. A team from the Army Safety Center is investigating the cause of the accident. MacNEIL: At Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington, student protests over the choice of a new president continued for the fourth day. The new president Elisabeth Ann Zinser can hear, and students are demanding that a college for the deaf have a deaf president. The Board of Trustees said the decision to hire Zinser will stand, as she is the person best qualified. Student leaders said two thirds of the student body might leave if the decision is not changed. WOODRUFF: That ends our summary of the day's top stories. Ahead on the NewsHour, a look at Super Tuesday's results and impact. Then the controversy over who should lead America's University for the Deaf. Super Tuesday WOODRUFF: We devote the next portion of our program tonight to the after effects of Super Tuesday. As we reported, Vice President Bush trounced his Republican opponent by racking up an impressive 16 state primary sweep. But on the Democratic side, there was no one decisive winner. With the South Carolina Democratic primary this Saturday, and the Illinois primary next week, the Democrats headed right back out on the campaign trail. In Chicago, correspondent Elizabeth Brackett caught up with a few of them.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: For Al Gore, Super Tuesday did what it was supposed to do. It got him into the race. Today, he brought his campaign north, and went straight to the blue collar Democratic vote that was supposed to belong to the other guys. Gore told workers in a Chicago steel mill that he was no surprised by last night's results. Sen. ALBERT GORE, Democratic presidential candidate: And I began to feel over the last week or ten days that as the field narrows, the voters were looking more carefully and listening more carefully. Consequently I was not surprised -- I know that some of the commentators were. Some of them were kind ofeating crow this morning. Because the conventional wisdom was that our campaign was not going to be able to carry any state or win any delegates outside of Tennessee.
BRACKETT: Super Tuesday's results left Gore only about 100 delegates behind frontrunner Michael Dukakis. But Dukakis says Gore only won a regional victory last night, while his own campaign received a national boost. MICHAEL DUKAKIS, Democratic presidential candidate: What I think Super Tuesday did was to make it possible for a guy like me, coming out of Massachusetts and the Northeast, to demonstrate that in that part of the country where I was supposed to do very badly, I was able to win the two most important states in terms of delegates in the entire region.
BRACKETT: Caucus staffers say Gore's Super Tuesday momentum will come to an abrupt stop next Tuesday in Illinois. DUKAKIS STAFFER: There's been no presence of Gore campaign in Illinois. He does not have delegates slated everywhere. We see no evidence of a real effort and commitment -- Sen. GORE: They're counting on a possibility that we may not have the resources to campaign on television and radio here. If they're thinking that, if they're counting on that, they'd better find some other reason for hope.
BRACKETT: Both Gore and Dukakis had the other Super Tuesday winner to contend with in Illinois. Jesse Jackson. JESSE JACKSON: Yesterday Dukakis spent $3 to $5 million, Gore $3 million plus, Gephardt a million plus dollars. I spent $100,000. Poorest campaign, richest message! We took on the Goliath with our slingshot, and we came back a victor.
BRACKETT: Jackson won over 90% of the black vote in the South, but that may be a little tougher in Illinois. Jackson could not move his candidate for Mayor into the top spot after Harold Washington's death in November. That split in the black community still lingers. And could hold black turnout down. Jackson's attempts to broaden his base into the white liberal community will be hurt by Illinois other favorite son, Paul Simon. Simon is still ahead in Illinois polls. He says Super Tuesday turned out just the way he said it would. PAUL SIMON, Democratic presidential candidate: What I said to you and others yesterday was that no one would emerge as a clear winner. I said yesterday I thought three people would be claiming victory. And it will be very clear as people start putting the figures together that no one's going to be a first ballot nominee. And that means we have a very wide open race. And Illinois next week starts this second phase of the race in the industrial states. And I think I'm going to do well in Illinois. And we go on from there.
BRACKETT: The candidate who was hurt badly by Super Tuesday did not join his rivals here in Illinois today. Instead Richard Gephardt went back for more in South Carolina today. His staff says their best chance for repairing the damage from Super Tuesday will come three weeks from now in Michigan. WOODRUFF: Joining us now to put the Super Tuesday results in perspective are our regular team of analysts. David Gergen, editor of U. S. News & World Report and Mark Shields, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post. Well, gentlemen, what do we know about the Democratic race today that we didn't know before Super Tuesday? Mark? MARK SHIELDS, Washington Post: Well, we know among other things that Dick Gephardt was hurt very badly. No question about it. Michael Dukakis is the first and only Democratic candidate to win primaries or contests outside of his zip code and outside of his time zone. He's won in Texas, he's won in Minnesota. And he's the only one that (unintelligible). This is the test coming up. Can Al Gore, who did pierce a conventional wisdom, mea culpa, mea culpa, the way to the White House is not necessarily inevitably through Des Moines and Manchester. And Al Gore -- WOODRUFF: Are you trying to suggest that someone in our presence may have predicted this wrong? SHIELDS: I think that somewhere along the line that it slipped out, Judy. But I think that Dukakis is definitely a frontrunner. We'll find out if Gore can travel North. WOODRUFF: Do you buy that, David? DAVID GERGEN, U. S. News & World Report: I buy all of that. I do think that the real question of the Gephardt campaign right now is whether he's going to go on or not. There is word from some in his campaign that he might withdraw from the race. I expect him to bypass Illinois and go on to Michigan and see if he can make a last stand there. But I think there's a possibility he'll withdraw. WOODRUFF: Now, why is this? Just one month ago this fellow had just won Iowa. I mean, a month ago today -- SHIELDS: This is Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday -- the S should be a dollar sign, quite frankly, in my judgment. What we learned about Super Tuesday is that 97 different media markets -- that's cities with television stations -- you can't campaign the same way you could in Iowa and New Hampshire, retail politics, seeing people 150 -- 250 at a time. And you had to get your message out through pay television. The irony of Super Tuesday results and Albert Gore's remarkable showing is that he won the states of the South on Dick Gephardt's message. He actually -- Gore hit the jackpot on Gephardt's nickel. It was one of economic populism that moved the electorate in the last five days. GERGEN: And of course Dick Gephardt picked it up from Jesse Jackson, so we know where it all started. WOODRUFF: So it's Jesse Jackson's message? GERGEN: To a degree I think that's right. But, listen, I think that whether intentionally or not, the Gore campaign and the Dukakis campaign suckered Gephardt to a degree. They attacked him and had him spend a lot of money on negative advertising to attack that. And he never put much money into his positive advertising. I don't think he got his message out. WOODRUFF: Can Gore win states outside the South? We know he won the Wyoming caucus, but he hasn't won a primary as Dukakis has won. SHIELDS: No, and the question of course is Illinois. I think Albert Gore faces a very serious decision right now. As of yesterday, he is the sort of winter book consensus choice for Vice President. He's shown strength, he handles himself well, he's bright, he's articulate. All of these commendable qualities. Now he's got to decide whether he really wants to run for President. He's got about a one in ten shot at being nominated for President, I would say, right now. In order to do that, he's going to have to go after Dukakis the same way that he and Dukakis went after Gephardt. David is absolutely right about that. They caught Gephardt in a pincer movement, with a negative message. Is he going to do that and risk his chances of being nominated for Vice President? GERGEN: The indication -- the first indication over the box in the last 24 hours, he's been attacking Dukakis in a way which suggests he does not want to be Vice President, he wants to be President or nothing. SHIELDS: I would dissent from that. When you cast it in terms of tomorrow vs. yesterday, and the future vs. the past. That is not -- GERGEN: He's been saying essentially that this man can't win. I'll tell you this -- I continue to believe Albert Gore did a rather strong campaign in the South. I think he made a mistake not going to New Hampshire. I continue to believe that he would have proven himself better than I think he has. But I don't think now any of us are underestimating this man. He could prove to be a very popular candidate in some regions in the Northeast. WOODRUFF: The Republicans. Is George Bush unstoppable? Mark? SHIELDS: Is George Bush unstoppable? George Bush has shown a remarkable ability to stop himself in the past. I mean, this man -- an immense set of victories yesterday, immense, very impressive -- but George Bush in the past has shown himself to be a sore winner. If Bob Dole's a sore loser, George Bush is a sore winner. I take you back to 1984 after a good showing for Ronald Reagan in the debate with Geraldine Ferraro, what's he do the next day? ''Hey, we kicked a little ass last night. '' I mean, it's that sort of thing that George Bush does. And he puts his foot in it when it isn't necessary to do it. And I think that's the test when the spotlight falls -- WOODRUFF: Is that what happened, David? GERGEN: I think it's time to give some credit to George Bush. He did come back after all from a bad loss and got himself off the mat. And he's run a very well organized and good campaign in the last three weeks. I think it's been a very cautious campaign. I hope (unintelligible) we'll hear more from him about his plans for the future in the next few weeks. But nonetheless, he ran a nearly flawless campaign. He and Jesse Jackson are running the best campaigns of the last few weeks. WOODRUFF: Is there anything Bob Dole can do to resurrect himself at this point? Is it pretty much over for him? SHIELDS: I don't know where Bob Dole goes -- Illinois obviously -- but there's got to be some place where he draws the difference, whether it's Noriega and Central America -- George Bush's work as the drug czar, George Bush's work as the antiterrorist -- he's got to take that subset of issues and make it into a profound difference that attracts and appeals to voters. Because he hasn't been able to do that. WOODRUFF: (unintelligible) already running commercials in Illinois on the Vice President and Iran contra -- GERGEN: I feel that is an issue that is going to be hanging over -- we're going to be hearing more about that issue in the next few weeks because it is a potential -- WOODRUFF: Indictments will be coming down -- GERGEN: Indictments are coming out, coming fairly soon and so forth. But let me just say this. I think that Dole does have a chance -- he does have a strong base in the Midwest and that may help him. I don't think he's out of the race yet. Illinois is a crucial test, but I think Bush won two victories yesterday. Not only did he hurt Dole badly, but I think his victory over Robertson is terribly important for him at the convention. Because if he can come to a convention in which the religious right does not have a strong voice, does not dictate a lot of the platform, that's going to help him a lot in the fall. SHIELDS: Okay, before we send George Bush to Cooperstown as the Hall of Famer that David wants him to be, he was the beneficiary in Dixie of what he'd been a victim of in Iowa. Ronald Reagan had an 81 to 13 favorable rating among Republican voters yesterday, and that was a big plus for George Bush, because he's still a derivative political personality at this stage. WOODRUFF: Just quickly, we hear that Jack Kemp is having a news conference tomorrow. We believe that's to get out of the race. GERGEN: And possibly to endorse George Bush. WOODRUFF: All right, gentlemen, stay with us. Robin? MacNEIL: We look next at Super Tuesday itself. Did it work? Southern Democrats came up with the idea of a regional primary as a way to put a moderate at the head of the ticket. But yesterday's results were far from conclusive as we've just heard in those Southern states. Rev. Jesse Jackson captured the Deep South states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia. Tennessee Senator Al Gore won his home state as well as the Southern border states of Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis finished first in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt's sole win was his native state. So just how effective did Super Tuesday turn out to be? We pose that question to one of its chief architects, former Virginia Governor Chuck Robb, and one of its main opponents Don Fowler, the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention, and former Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. He joins us from the studios of WLVT in Bethlehem, PA. Mr. Fowler, you opposed it. Were your fears justified? Was it a flop? DON FOWLER, former South Carolina Democratic Chairman: Well, I didn't oppose it because I had any fears of what would come of it. It actually turned out pretty much as I expected. I opposed it because I thought it was an attempt to predetermine the result in selecting a Democratic nominee. I thought that was a bit fanciful and then I thought it was not going to work out to achieve that end. I've been involved in the nominating process and the rule making for 15 years, and it seems that every time we address this subject, there's a group or some candidate that wants to rig the system, or change the system to achieve a particular result. And I thought the Southern primaries as started was an attempt to do that. It didn't work exactly that way, although it did give Senator Gore a new lease on life -- which was a little surprise to me and some other people. But it turned out pretty much as I expected. MacNEIL: Gov. Gore, did it work from your point -- I'm sorry, Governor Robb, did it work from your point of view? Gov. CHARLES ROBB, former Virginia Governor: I think it did. Let me just suggest with respect to Don Fowler's characterization of Super Tuesday as designed to have a definitive result or for that matter other characterizations that it was designed to either attract a particular candidate, a particular philosophy or someone from a particular region. Those may have been some of the hopes that some of those who ultimately supported the concept held. But Super Tuesday was basically designed to nationalize the message, to try to reduce the influence of the so called Iowa syndrome, or the rather parochial approach to a number of litmus tests that have been administered in the caucus system. It was designed to increase participation in the process, it was designed to bring the whole process into some of the states that were involved, it was designed to get elected officials in the process. These are some of the things that those of us who were in effect, present integration, wanted to achieve, and we think we did achieve them on that score. MacNEIL: How about some of the things that have been said about it, Gov. Robb, that it put a premium on television ads, on tarmac campaigning, that instead of giving the Southern voter a real contact with the delegates, it was all so rushed that it -- as I say -- put a premium on ads, particularly negative ads, and of course the requirement of raising the money to pay for the ads. You heard Mark Shields just say a moment ago the S in Super Tuesday should be a dollar sign. Gov. ROBB: To some extent I think that's true. But Super Tuesday was designed to test candidates' skills in a general election. We're not terribly concerned those of us who were a part of the formation of the Super Tuesday concept, about how many states are in it. There may be a few less next time around. But what we wanted to do is move away from the individual approach to so called retail approach, and see if a candidate could talk about issues and priorities in presidential terms. And that requires an emphasis on organization, on money, on the ability to motivate in a broad scale without doing it on the basis of one on one approaches to an individual ward healer or somebody else in a state that may encourage him to bring out all of these friends on a cold February night. We wanted them to talk about the broad issues that are facing the country. And there is a certain amount of tarmac campaigning in a presidential election. MacNEIL: How do you feel about that, Mr. Fowler? Mr. FOWLER: Well, Robin, there are two or three thoughts I had about what Gov. Robb said. First of all, I think that in terms of the Democratic Party, we did achieve a good result, because the Super Tuesday nominated George Bush, and I think we can beat him. But let me move one then. I think the South in a very peculiar way had a greater impact on the race in 1984 than it did this time because as you remember, Vice President Mondale came out of New Hampshire and he had lost, and he came down to Georgia, Alabama, and Florida and he won. I think that after Super Tuesday this year, we don't have much more of a key as to who is going to be the ultimate nominee than we did before yesterday. Although I will say that the good organization and the large amount of money that Gov. Dukakis has gave him an edge and he maintained that edge. Money and organization is at a premium. But if we're looking for a representative, a fair system of nominating our candidates, we need to look at something other than a broad brush of a single region. If we want to have general election issues discussed, and I certainly agree with Gov. Robb on that, I think something more akin to a time zone regional primary would be better. Because it's more diverse, it's more representative of the Democratic Party than either Iowa or New Hampshire, and I certainly share Gov. Robb's objections to the impact of those two states. But I think that a time zone primary, or series of caucuses, would be more effective for the Democratic Party and force a concentration on a broader range of issues than a regional primary. MacNEIL: Let's bring in our other two analysts now. David Gergen, do you think Super Tuesday should be kept? Dropped? Made smaller, what? GERGEN: Well, with all due respect to Gov. Robb whom many Southern Democrats would have enjoyed having in the race on Super Tuesday, and he would have been a very strong candidate -- I believe that Super Tuesday, while it may have helped some of the candidates, did not help the voters. He said that there were several criteria by which the Super Tuesday should be judged. Certainly the ability to raise money, and the ability to organize well were two criteria that both Bush and Dukakis met. However, I do not think it met the third criteria, and that was to deliver a message. I don't think we heard much out of these candidates in this tarmac campaign that has enlightened us about what the future's going to be like under either one of the parties. And in that respect, I think the voters went to the booth yesterday very uninformed about what the candidates believed in. Over a third of the voters that came out on the Democratic side said they were uncertain about their candidates. A lot of them said they might split from the party. I don't think it served the process well. I don't think it served the voters well to have this kind of massive election effort. MacNEIL: Gov. Robb? Gov. ROBB: Well, I think that the effort did succeed. I will acknowledge that the message question is still a troubling one. What we wanted to do, frankly, was to avoid the downside. Too often in Iowa and some of the early contests, candidates had said things that made it very difficult for them to have any real prospect of winning a general election. Let me shift the focus if I may for one minute, though, in terms of what actually happened, and what may be of real benefit to the Democrats. There's a lot of credit that clearly goes and ought to go to George Bush. But if you look at the individual numbers and all the talk about realignment and repositioning, and then look at the vote totals -- and in three of the -- I'm looking now just at the Souther Super Tuesday states, some 13 states -- in three of the states, all three of the Democratic candidates, frequently described as unelectable by our Republican friends, all three of them beat George Bush. In five additional states, at least two of the candidates beat George Bush's total. And in four additional states, at least one of the candidates had a higher vote total than George Bush, and only one of the 13 states, Florida, did George Bush end up beating all three of the candidates. That's in a field that was described by a number of Republicans as having two or three, depending upon the way they described the candidates, unelectable candidates. MacNEIL: Does that validate Super Tuesday in your mind, Mark Shields? SHIELDS: Gov. Robb always validates things when he makes -- it was a good argument. No, it doesn't validate Super Tuesday to me. I come back to the message problem. I do think that the emphasis upon my -- I remain a partisan fan of both Iowa and New Hampshire, of a small state being at the outset where an underfinanced, undercovered candidate who isn't the darling of the media, can have an impact and make a difference. I guess what I would add to it is, to follow up what Don Fowler observed, voters on Super Tuesday in all those states rejected electability as a factor. The two most electable candidates in both parties by most politicians' judgment, Bob Dole and the Republicans, and Dick Gephardt and the Democrats, were rejected. GERGEN: I'd like to ask Gov. Robb if he thinks the man who now merged as the inside track in the Democratic Party for the nomination, Gov. Dukakis, will go in if he's the nominee, will go in as the favorite against George Bush in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina? Gov. ROBB: David, I would have to concede that at this point I think that if Mike is the nominee of the Democratic Party he's going to start off as the underdog. But I think things have changed, and the playing field is a bit more level. And I think the stature of the Democratic candidates in the last few weeks has improved. And I think that the two frontrunners at the time in the Republican field, have been cut down to human size. So I think that the contest is a little closer than it was. But the point I was making is that all this talk about realignment was supposed to have all of the swing voters and everybody who's participating in Super Tuesday lining up on the Republican side. MacNEIL: Let me -- Gov. ROBB: Better than two out of three of every voter who went to the polls on Super Tuesday, voted for a Democratic candidate. MacNEIL: Let me bring Don Fowler back in. You said a moment ago you'd be in favor of a wider national primary if we're going to try that kind of thing. Hasn't the objection and the time zone primary -- hasn't the objection to that always been that it would do what Super Tuesday already demonstrated, and put this enormous premium on national campaigning, well known candidates, already well known candidates, the ability to raise money and wage television campaigns just like in the general elections? Wouldn't it just exacerbate that problem of Super Tuesday? Mr. FOWLER: Sooner or later you have to come to that where the candidates do have to speak to a national audience and to a national range of issues. My sense about a time zone primary is that it's more representative than a regional primary, even the Southern regional primary. I think that you can get a mix of people and a mix of concerns that will serve the public more generally. Now, Mark Shields is a great fan of retail and politics and I think there's a place for that. My objection to Iowa and New Hampshire is that they are not representative. If you want a retail politics early in the process, get two or three small states that are more representative and let the candidates get in there. But at some point you're going to have to get to wholesale politics. And my point about the time zone primary is that except for maybe the mountain time zone, all three of the others are much more representative than any particular region. I do, Robin, before I quit and get off, want to respond and add to what Gov. Robb said to Mr. Gergen's comment about who would be favored in the South. If you look at the polls and how they've moved, the Seven Dwarfs have done very well in the last six months. And the man that's been Vice President, Mr. Harris and his poll last week had both Gov. Dukakis and Congressman Gephardt beating George Bush. And while they were a little behind in the South, they were catching up. So I think this is going to be a very competitive race in the South. Show me somebody, a Democrat, who can win in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and I'll show you a Democrat who can win in North Carolina and Arkansas. MacNEIL: Gov. Robb, how would you change Super Tuesday next time around? Gov. ROBB: Next time around, I think it's clear that we'll probably have some changes in the individual participation. I wouldn't be surprised if, say, the Northwestern states that clearly felt a little bit left out -- I was with Tom Foley today, and I've talked with some representatives -- they're looking at it. Maybe Hawaii will want to drop out. It may be that Maryland and Alabama, who felt somewhat neglected in this process, may want to opt out. Massachusetts and Rhode Island may want to opt out. It may be one of the others. All I want to see is a representative group of states that's too big to manipulate because of its small size and its predictability. Something that forces the candidates to deal with the kinds of issues and the kinds of concepts that they're going to confront in a general election. Iknow the candidates were frustrated by what they had to do to prepare for Super Tuesday. But one of the tests is to see how they respond to those kinds of pressures and to see how they do. Because all of the candidates are essentially subjected to the same kinds of pressures. MacNEIL: Would a smaller -- Mr. FOWLER: Robin, may I make a comment about that, please? MacNEIL: Yep. Mr. FOWLER: As I indicated earlier, I have been involved in the Democratic party's efforts to bring some order to this since 1972. And I can tell you with some degree of experience and some number of wounds that it's almost impossible for a party to bring order and structure to this, because any time a state wants to jump outside a window, except itself from a given pattern, and the candidates go there and the media follows. that the Party is virtually helpless in doing anything about that. If there is going to be order and rationality, I think that the Congress is going to have to something about that. I'm sorry to say that, but I've had a number of problems in that area and it seems that way -- MacNEIL: Well, that's a subject for another program -- Mr. FOWLER: Yes, it is -- MacNEIL: Don Fowler, Gov. Robb, David Gergen, Mark Shields, thank you all. Judy? WOODRUFF: Coming up on the NewsHour, the controversy that has swept through America's only college for the deaf. We have the newly named president and the president of the Gallaudet student body. But first, this is pledge week on Public Television. We are taking a short break now so that your public television station can ask for your support. That support helps keep programs like this on the air. Gov. Michael Dukakis MacNEIL: For those stations not taking a pledge break, the NewsHour continues with extended excerpts from Elizabeth Brackett's interview with Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. She talked with him last night following his Super Tuesday victories in eight states.
MICHAEL DUKAKIS, presidential candidate: What counts is the cumulative total -- I mean, Gore didn't go into any of the early states. You know, you can't run for your party's nomination and be a strong national candidate if you're picking and choosing from state to state and region to region. And I think what tonight demonstrates is that our candidacy is a national candidacy. I won in New England, I won in Maryland, won the two biggest prizes in the South, did fairly well in a number of other Southern states, and I think when the returns come in on Washington and Idaho and Hawaii, we will have done well out there. And if I can come out of this as I think I can, with the largest total of votes cumulatively, I think we're going to be on our way to the nomination. I did quite well in many of the Southern States. Didn't win them, but we got good votes in North Carolina and Georgia and Arkansas. I think I was second in Kentucky. Second or close third in Oklahoma. And remember, I was running in those early primaries and caucuses, every single one of them, while a guy like Al Gore wasn't there and was spending all of his time in the South. So to be able to win five out of the first seven, and then to win in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and Maryland and Florida, and Texas, and I hope in Idaho and Washington and Hawaii, to win outside the South and in the South, I think is very good news. So for me, Super Tuesday has been a real boost forward, and also a real test of whether or not I and our candidacy has what it takes. When you look back at 1984, after what I guess you might call a mini Super Tuesday, there were three candidates left: Mondale, Hart and Jackson. Well, we'll have to see. But I don't think there's any question that the results today will probably narrow the field down some more. And as we move to Michigan and Wisconsin, and then New York and Pennsylvania and Ohio and some of the big industrial states and then go back out West, I think we'll have a further winnowing. I've always said that this race was not going to be won until the final day. And that was true in 1984 as well. I don't think there's any question that Gephardt's negative ads, which were inaccurate and badly distorted, had an effect on our candidacy there. And I made it very clear after that happened, and after it happened in New Hampshire that if it happened again I'd have to respond. I hope his campaign and others have learned a lesson from this. Because I don't think it helps any of us to have to do that. But I've also learned from very painful experience in the past that if somebody comes at you with that kind of stuff, you have to respond, and of course I did. Both Paul Simon and Jesse Jackson are highly respected here. And they have the same home field advantage that I had in Massachusetts, obviously. But I made a commitment in the beginning that I was going to be in every single primary and every single contest. I know I'm not going to win them all, but that's the way you make your candidacy a national candidacy and you build the strength of not only the nominee, but a winning candidate for November. So I'm going to do everything I can to win my fair share of votes here. And it will be again with a very strong message of good jobs, of economic growth, from somebody who has the experience to go to the people of Illinois and build a strong economic future for this country. And I think for most people in Illinois, that is the single most important issue. I'm running against two candidates who live in this state and who are popular in this state and respected in this state. But I'm not picking and choosing, I'm not skirting around those states where I don't think I'll do well. I think if you're going to establish your candidacy as a strong national candidacy you have to be in all states. And one of the tremendous advantages of doing so, whether you finish first, second or third, is that you have a good, strong base and very committed supporters who have worked with you through the primary, I've got dozens of delegates who were here with me tonight, and who'll be out there running themselves as delegates for Mike Dukakis. And that means that if I win the nomination I could come back to Illinois, pick up where we left off, with a good, strong grass roots organization. And that's a tremendous advantage. MacNEIL: Gov. Dukakis' eight state win yesterday gave him 386 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Jesse Jackson won 366. Tennessee Senator Al Gore 326. Sounds of Silence WOODRUFF: Next tonight, we focus on a story of special interest to the hearing impaired. The controversy that has erupted on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, D. C. Gallaudet is the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world. At issue is the appointment of the university's new president. Students, faculty and staff actively campaigned for the appointment of a deaf educator to the post. But on Sunday night, the university's Board of Trustees selected Dr. Elisabeth Zinser as the school's new president. Zinser is not hearing impaired, and does not know sign language.
PROTESTOR: We're going to keep peace, and we're going to get what we want! (cheers) WOODRUFF: Almost immediately, the campus of Gallaudet became the scene of widespread turmoil, with both students and faculty boycotting classes to protest Zinser's appointment.
PROTESTER, through translator: Some people still think it's impossible for deaf people to function in the hearing world, and we can do it, and it's about time that we show that we mean business right now. PROTESTER, through translator: We keep hearing that hearing people have doubts about deaf presidents and don't think that we can function. There's an article in the newspaper saying that we can't function in a hearing world. That anguished me, and I don't like it. I know that many deaf people can do it. PROTESTER, signing and speaking: We may be deaf, but not dumb. WOODRUFF: For its part, the Board of Trustees and its chairman Jane Spilman, expressed surprise at the outcry. But she said today it would stand by the decision. JANE SPILMAN, Gallaudet Board of Trustees: The majority of the Board of Trustees is confident that the vote was proper, lawful, reasoned, followed a thorough search process, and is inherently in the best interest of Gallaudet University. WOODRUFF: Now to two people at the center of the Gallaudet controversy. Elisabeth Ann Zinser is the newly appointed president of Gallaudet. Before this appointment, she was vice chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Greg Hlibok is the Gallaudet Student Body President, who has been leading the protests against Ms. Zinser's appointment. Interpreting for him is signer Betty Colonomos. Let me begin with you, Ms. Zinser. What qualifies you to be the president of Gallaudet? ELISABETH ANN ZINSER, President, Gallaudet University: I come from a background that includes a great deal of experience in the academic world in a number of different universities. And I've been a very service minded person all my life. I believe that I come with a deep conviction about the quality of academic programs and about the advancement of the university and its research and scholarly mission. And the fact that it is concerned with the preparation of professionals that work with the deaf. The range of programs and the mission of the university are very challenging. It's a very precious institution, and I feel very committed to the opportunity, and very privileged by the opportunity to provide leadership at Gallaudet University. WOODRUFF: Just to confirm, though, you are not hearing impaired, is that correct? Ms. ZINSER: That's correct. WOODRUFF: And you do not know sign language? Ms. ZINSER: Not yet. WOODRUFF: Okay. You're learning? Ms. ZINSER: I'm learning. WOODRUFF: Mr. Hlibok, why do you reject Ms. Zinser? GREG HLIBOK, President Student Body, Gallaudet University, interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Well, I would like to make the point very clear, we do not reject Ms. Zinser as a person. We reject the concept of having a hearing person be president of Gallaudet University, that is the point. Ever since Gallaudet University's been established, for the last 124 years, deaf people have been oppressed on that campus, and we feel that this is the right time for us to express our true feelings about this issue. In how we see ourselves, and how we want Gallaudet to be run. We want to show the world that we can do many things. And so this issue is not really a Gallaudet issue any more. It's a worldwide issue. WOODRUFF: When you say -- Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Gallaudet representing the views of the deaf community -- WOODRUFF: When you say Gallaudet students have been oppressed, what do you mean by that? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Okay, the Board of Trustees consists of four deaf people and 17 hearing people. I mean, what does that say to you? And 124 years without a deaf president -- what does that say? I think that that speaks for itself. WOODRUFF: Why must you have a president of your university who hears? Why is it not enough to have someone who is concerned about the education of students who happen to be deaf? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Okay, since Gallaudet University is the center of the world of deafness, and throughout the world, it sets the model for other nations and places to follow. And it's a role model. So it will mean many things to us and many things to deaf people throughout the world. To have a role model of a deaf leader at a deaf university. And that's how we feel. And we feel that this is the right time to move forward on that concept. And in terms of the qualification issue, we want to ask the question, who has decided what the qualification should be. And the board has said that Dr. Zinser is qualified, even though she did not meet the criteria that she knows a lot about deafness. And in the deaf community's eyes, the most qualified president must be a deaf person himself. WOODRUFF: Let me come back to Dr. Zinser. He said that what the student body wants and others in the deaf community want is someone who will be a role model, since this is the college for the deaf in the nation and in the world. How do you respond to that? Ms. ZINSER: Well, it is true that Gallaudet University is the symbol of leadership in higher education and in general for the deaf community. And I think the deaf community all throughout the United States is looking at this situation because they would like very much -- and I think it's quite understandable -- to have the leader of this university be a deaf individual. The Board of Trustees acted in their wisdom to choose someone who is not deaf, but who they feel have the qualifications to provide the leadership and the academic world of that university. I feel it's very important for the next administration, mine, to take upon myself the responsibility of providing opportunities, advanced opportunities for deaf individuals to assume increasing levels of responsibility in policymaking positions and administrative positions, and that is part of the business of the university. And I'm very anxious to get on with the business of that challenge. WOODRUFF: But what about his point that what they are looking for is someone who will be a role model? And are you concerned, frankly, that by your being there you're sending a message that a deaf person isn't qualified to run Gallaudet? Ms. ZINSER: Well, I think that a person can't look at just one individual as a role model. I can't be a role model for individuals who are deaf because I'm not deaf, that's true. What I can do is provide the opportunity for more role models to develop over time for the deaf community. But I admit that I cannot be the kind of role model that the students are calling for. But the role of the president is not simply to be a symbol or a role model. But to provide effective stewardship of the university and to provide effective leadership in the academic programs of the university. WOODRUFF: Mr. Hlibok, Ms. Zinser is saying that what she can do -- if she can'tbe a role model herself -- she can provide an opportunity for other role models to emerge in the years ahead. What's wrong with that? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Okay, there's two things I'd like to say about that. First is the choice of the Board of Trustees. We have to remember that the Board of Trustees has a very small number of people. Okay? Seventeen hearing as I said, and four hearing impaired. How many of those 17 people have any knowledge of deaf people? How many of them have ever gone out with a deaf person? Sat down over dinner and asked them what they think about anything? Probably none. The second thing is Dr. Zinser -- I understand Dr. Zinser's desire to help and facilitate that. But a deaf president could do the same things that she could do and be the role model at the same time. This is our priority, and this comes first in our mind. WOODRUFF: Is this a civil rights issue? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Yes, absolutely. Because that will help many, many deaf people all around the world. And it will give them the opportunity to express themselves. And it opens gates for them, and many, many doors that have been locked in the past. WOODRUFF: He's saying, Ms. Zinser, that this is not just an issue that involves Gallaudet University, it involves the deaf community across this country and the rest of the world. Ms. ZINSER: Yes, I think it does. But the responsibility of the president of a university is to care for the integrity of the institution as an entity. And to develop the strongest program for the constituency that it serves. I believe I'm in a position to offer that. And the Board of Trustees has acted with that view in mind. But I do believe that the president of a major university -- it's a national university in the higher education community in general, and it certainly stands out as the principal institution concerned with the education of the deaf. Therefore, the president is a spokesperson for the deaf and a spokesperson in advocating for the rights and the education of the deaf. I believe that is a possible role for me to play and an important role for me to play. WOODRUFF: Mr. Hlibok, what is going to happen? What are you and other students going to do if the board does not change its mind and Ms. Zinser does become the president? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: We will stay with our demands. We will not give up, we will not concede. We do not feel at this point that we can compromise. We have been conceding so many things for so many years that we feel that this time it's their turn to compromise and make concessions. Let me give you an example. Do white people speak for black people at the university? It's better for people to speak for their own kind. WOODRUFF: What is it that a deaf president could do that a president who can hear cannot do? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: Well, there's a much better understanding of the issues involved. For example, there will be much better relations with schools for the deaf all over the United States. There has been a problem with decreasing enrollments because there's a lack of understanding of the issues of deafness. As many of the administrators are hearing people. If we have deaf administrators, those schools that have deaf administrators will remain strong and those with hearing administrators may have more problems. And so we're trying to set the precedent. WOODRUFF: Ms. Zinser, he's saying this, and he's also saying that they are not going to give in. What will you do? Ms. ZINSER: Well, at this point and time I am serving as president. I came into Washington today, not having anticipated taking on my responsibilities until July. But when I saw the situation at Gallaudet University and recognized that the position has been vacant for four months now, I felt it was important for there to be a focus of leadership on the campus. WOODRUFF: How do you feel about that, going to a university where you're not wanted? Ms. ZINSER: It's a very difficult circumstance, Judy, it really is. And it's something that concerns me deeply. But I have come to feel very committed to the future of this university. And at this point and time, what I am approaching is on a day to day basis, is an opportunity to meet with the students on an individual basis, on a collective basis, to meet with the faculty and the staff, and ask them to give me an opportunity to interact with them on a personal level, and see if they can help me understand these issues and see if we can turn these issues and this united situation on that campus into something very positive. WOODRUFF: Just quickly, one last question, Mr. Hlibok, any chance that you will change your mind and the other students on this? Mr. HLIBOK, as interpreted by Betty Colonomos: It's impossible, because we are getting stronger and stronger every day. And we're getting much more support every day, and we're getting support from leaders all over the world. And we're getting funds to continue this movement. So we will continue to be stronger. WOODRUFF: Well, we thank you all for being with us. Greg Hlibok, we thank you, Dr. Zinser, we thank you, and also Ms. Colonomos. Recap MacNEIL: Again, the main stories of the day. After his sweeping victory in Super Tuesday, George Bush headed for the Illinois primary next week, claiming he will be the next president. Three Democrats who did well yesterday, Dukakis, Jackson and Gore, predicted a close race until next summer. Seventeen servicemen died last night when two helicopters collided in Kentucky. The Soviets disclosed an attempted airline hijacking yesterday in which three passengers, one crew member, and at least two of the hijackers were killed. Good night, Judy. WOODRUFF: Good night, Robin. That's our NewsHour for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow night. I'm Judy Woodruff. Thank you and good night.
- The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
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- NewsHour Productions
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- NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
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- Episode Description
- This episode's headline: Super Tuesday; Sounds of Silence. The guests include In Washington: ELISABETH ZINSER, President Gallaudet University; GREG HLIBOK, President Student Body, Gallaudet Univ.; MARK SHIELDS, Washington Post; DAVID GERGEN, U.S. News & World Report; Gov. CHARLES ROBB, Former Virginia Governor; In Bethlehem, PA: DON FOWLER, Former S.C. Democratic Chairman; REPORTS FROM NEWSHOUR CORRESPONDENTS: ELIZABETH BRACKETT. Byline: In New York: ROBERT MACNEIL, Executive Editor; In Washington: JUDY WOODRUFF, Chief Washington Correspondent
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- War and Conflict
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- Politics and Government
- Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode)
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- Moving Image
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: NH-1162 (NH Show Code)
Format: 1 inch videotape
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- Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” 1988-03-09, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 28, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-rf5k93208n.
- MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” 1988-03-09. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 28, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-rf5k93208n>.
- APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-rf5k93208n