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The New York Times
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by The Editors
Face the Nation
Albright on spies and kids, Ickes counterspins
Guest one: Madeleine Albright. Bob Schieffer asked Albright about the warning to Americans traveling abroad of possible terrorist actions against U.S. citizens. Schieffer: "This one seems a bit more ominous." Albright encouraged vigilance and recommended viewers check for updates on their web sites. Schieffer asked if sama bin Laden was a specific problem, and Albright hinted that more than one group might be up to no good.
Gloria Borger asked about very optimistic signs that Israel and Syria can reach a peace accord. Not much later, Schieffer asked Albright to elaborate about her comment that this was an 'amazing' opportunity. Albright was trying not to sound overly optimistic and would not answer questions that were "premature' -- but it was clear that she is extremely encouraged by developments.
Talk turned to the arrest of a Russian woman on spying charges and the discovery of a snooping device in a conference room. Albright said it was a quite serious incident -- as she tried to downplay it. Schieffer asked if this was indicative of Russia stepping up espionage, and Albright characterized it as an ongoing problem. Gloria asked if there was a mole in the State Department -- and Albright avoided answering for the obvious reasons. Did serious security leaks come out of that room? Albright essentially said no.
Schieffer then brought up Elian Gonzalez -- wouldn't the father have some rights if he were an American citizen? Albright stuck to the "official" government position while emphasizing that "this is a little boy, not a political football," a comment she made twice.
Schieffer asked Albright about Russian President Yeltsin's somewhat bellicose rhetoric -- and Albright threw Yeltsin a bone by saying that Yeltsin was saying that Russia is relevant and needs to be recognized as a serious power. On the issue of Chechnya, Albright cited the complexity of the situation -- and reminded Gloria that Chechens had murdered Russians in a series of apartment house bombings as she also said that the U.S. is concerned about Chechen civilians.
Guest two: Harold Ickes, campaign advisor to Hillary Clinton. Schieffer asked about Hillary's statement that "don't ask, don't tell" and Ickes bashed Rudy Giuliani for not having declared. Gloria asked a silly question about whether Bill Clinton should campaign for Hillary if they differ on certain issues, and Schieffer asked Ickes if Hillary would march in the St. Patrick's Day parade -- and Ickes said she hopes to, if the parade is "inclusive" -- a hint that she may not unless a gay and lesbian Irish organization is allowed to march.
Talk then turned to the policy positions and differences between Rudy and Hillary. Schieffer then turned to a quote from Gail Sheehy's new book on Hillary that Ickes allegedly made, and Ickes officially joined a long list of interviewees who have said Sheehy misquoted them. Sheehy's book, Hillary's Choice, is, by the way, so chock-full of factual errors that it cannot be trusted -- for example, columnist Gene Lyons found eleven errors in a space of three paragraphs.
Schieffer twisted Ickes arm about getting Hillary on Face the Nation, which got a laugh out of Ickes. We hope she takes up Schieffer's offer.
Next: Beat the Prez
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