THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Atlanta, Georgia)
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY, GENE SPERLING, ANN LEWIS AND DOUG SOSNIK Woodruff Park Filing Center Atlanta, Georgia
1:18 P.M. EDT
MR. MCCURRY: Good morning, everybody. I don't have anything to contribute to the festivities myself, but I have Mr. Gene Sperling. And I know you're all excited, and he's excited to be here. I will deny on his behalf that he has emerged as the leading candidate for National Economic Advisor to the President so he doesn't have to do that tawdry business himself. Wouldn't be a bad choice, though.
Q Does that mean he won't have a job in the second term?
MR. MCCURRY: What? We're concentrating on November 5th at the moment, not January 20th.
Gene, why don't you take a second walk through that, take any questions, and then we've got some other things here.
MR. SPERLING: Oh, man, I need Secretary Reich's little stool here.
The initiative that we're announcing today is to allot 100,000 work study slots to the America Reads Iniatitive, so that 100,000 work study students would be allotted to tutoring children, one-on-one, so that we could help meet the goal of having every child read by the end of the 3rd grade. As you know, on the convention week, the President announced the America Reads Initiative, which was meant to address the fact that 40 percent of children in the third grade, while maybe being able to read partially, are not reading independently enough to comprehend and read independently on their own, and that the main answer to that was individualized, continual tutoring and attention, the President at that time said that his goal was to try to mobilize 1 million tutors. This is a very smart and sound way for us to almost instantly create a battalion of 100,000 college students who could be the front lines of that tutor corps.
The reason why this is particularly important and particularly good policy is, often, these types of reading initiatives, one-on-one, are divided between two types. One is a very expensive and intensive program where teachers themselves do very intensive tutoring. Those models work, but they are too expensive to replicate on a broad scale. The other is when you rely on just purely volunteers.
The reason why relying too much on just purely volunteers is not always as effective is because in these types of things where you're trying to not only be a tutor, but a mentor, a big brother, a big sister to develop a relationship, you want people who are going to feel an obligation to be there two or three times a week, week after week, year after year, and as we looked around the country, we found -- and if you look at the examples we have there, in like the Texas Read-Read program, the Jump Start program, what was really working most effectively was when they could draw on the work study students, because that gives them a group that is there after school, they're doing it as part of a job, it's very inexpensive, and both is excellent for the college students and it's a way that they can earn money for college, but do so in a way that they're serving their community, fulfilling a national goal, and obviously very good for the tutors.
In the past, when we had called for allotting a significant number of work study slots to community service, the argument had been that those slots were already being used by colleges for other purposes. But what happened in this recent budget is that the number of work study recipients went up dramatically. The President had asked that we go to 1 million -- from 713,000 to 1 million work study recipients.
In this last budget alone, we went up an additional 200,000. So we now have an additional 200,000 slots for work study that will be starting in the next school year. And what we wanted to say right now to all of the colleges and universities across the country is, we believe that half of those slots should be set aside for community service, and that 100,000 of them should be for this tutorial mission.
And in every community across the country, this is a common need that they have, and this will empower every single school district, every nonprofit to know that they can work with their college and find this tutorial group, an army for them to call on and rely on.
One of the incentives, or one of the ways we're making it easier is, in the current work study program, the federal government pays 75 percent, and the employer pays 25 percent. So, at times, nonprofits themselves had to kick in 25 percent of the cost to have a work study student work for them. This will waive that matching fund when a work study student is being used for the America Reads Initiative to help tutor a young child to read.
So we expect it to receive a positive reception and are very optimistic that this will be well-received.
Q Gene, what further legislative approval is needed?
MR. SPERLING: We looked hard in terms of how much we could do in terms of regulatory, and we've become convinced that we have to do this through legislation. So the things that we have to legislate is the allotment of half of the new work study slots to community service, with 100,000 of those for tutoring children, and we have to legislate matching the 25 percent match by the employer. So in order to waive, like, for example, here, if you look at some of the examples that we have for the Jump Start program in Boston now, if they -- right now, if they wanted to have a work study slot, they would have to put up 25 percent of the cost in order to waive that, so that the work study program is paying fully for the work study slot; that will also require legislation.
Q Why won't it require -- (inaudible) -- you're going to be paying something that the employer would have?
MR. SPERLING: It will mean that we will be paying more money, that the federal government will be paying more money not totally, but more money for these slots. So you could possibly have, if you didn't have this waive, you might have a few more work study slots overall.
But it's our view that the benefits to the students and, most importantly, to the young children is so much greater when you're having students earning their money not by shelving books, but by helping children read books, that that's where we believe the money should be dedicated towards.
One of the reasons why work study had trouble expanding in the past is that people felt while it was a very worthy and good mission to give people a chance to work their way through school, there was at times questions about the wisdom of having so much of the funds go to things like working in cafeterias and working in libraries. Now we're saying when we get new funds towards that, we would like to see all of those funds go to community service. We would like to see all of those funds got to tutoring children.
But, legislatively, we want to at least require that half of those funds go that way, and we're willing to pay a little more by waiving the match so that the students are helping young children read by the end of third grade.
Q Have you got a dollar figure on the waiver, how much it costs?
MR. SPERLING: The waiver would probably be, when fully implemented, about $25 million. So in other words, that's not an incremental cost, that just means of the program costs that exist. So --
Q You have the money, you just --
MR. SPERLING: No, no, that's right. That just means within -- this used to be funded at $616 million; we went all the way up to $813 million this year. So we've had a very large increase in the amount of money. What we're saying is that we would be willing to allocate $25 million of that to help waive the match so that more of these students could be spending their time tutoring young children to read.
Q Two things to follow up on. One is on that point. That means there would be slightly fewer people participating, I assume, in the work study program because some of the money would go to offset the waiver.
MR. SPERLING: Let me just explain. Right now, there are 713,000. The expansion, if we -- the expansion that we got was so dramatic that we will be over 900,000, even with waiving the match.
Q Some of that is now going to be scaled back a little bit, some of that expansion.
MR. SPERLING: It is the case that we could -- yes, we probably could have gone as high as 950,000 slots if we kept it just the same way. It might be a few thousand less slots than that because of the extra cost, and we think the worthy cost, of having these students, as I said, instead of working in a cafeteria or a library, being out in their communities, helping often disadvantaged children learn, get up to speed and read and be able to keep up with their classmates by the end of the third grade.
Q The other thing is that there would be additional costs, would there not, for the colleges, since they wouldn't get all of these people to work in the cafeteria, so they would have to spend more money.
MR. SPERLING: No, no. That's the beauty of the way this initiative was. That was the argument when we were at a static level, which was that when you had this existing 713,000 number, that if we said of that existing 713,000, we want you to take 100,000 out of that, then your case would be right -- we would be pulling away resources they're already using.
Now, we're adding 200,000 or more, and we're saying of that 200,000 additional that you're going to get, that you aren't planning on now that we're offering, we want at least half of those to be serving your community and helping kids tutor. So that's the nice part about this. This is about how you divide the incremental addition. This does not take away from anything that a college is currently using to help them function.
Q Mike, weren't the schools counting on this? They've been lobbying for this bill -- college --
MR. SPERLING: I don't think until this year anybody was counting on anything like this. There was a dramatic turn of events and attitude by the Republican Congress of funding education over this summer.
Last year, education was on the chopping block; this year, almost solely because of what happened in '95, because of the public rejection of education cuts, virtually everything the President asked for and even more was granted on education. So this is an additional 200,000. The reason why I think it's hard to argue that they're expecting this is, this is a program that had been flatlined for about four years. It had been at $616 million for four years. Now, we're suddenly -- $616 million -- dollars, for four years consecutively. Now we are dramatically increasing that by over 30 percent.
So what you're talking about is not taking away money people already expected; in other words, we're saying, here's a huge amount that you didn't expect, and of that huge amount, we want it to go to helping tutor children. And, yes, any time you're allocating resources, it would go to someone else, and that's the choice of governoring, is what is the best use of that resources? Do you think it is best to have these additional resources going to subsidizing the functioning of libraries, et cetera, in our nation's colleges, some of them well-off, private colleges? Or is it better, as we've done, to link earning college with serving your community and serving an important national goal?
This will do as much as anything that's ever been proposed to improve the relationship between colleges and communities. Because now communities and schools will see their college as the source of their tutoring and individualized attention. I think this will be very popular. I think that we will work very hard with colleges to get them to agree to do even more than the half. And I was very happy to see in U.S.A. Today that the American Council of Education described this as a win-win situation. So I believe because of the increment, we will receive the kind of positive reaction from the college community that we would not have received if we were trying to take away their existing funds.
Q Gene, how much more money did the Republicans give to the program than the President, in fact, asked for?
MR. SPERLING: It was more than we asked for, for this year. It was not as much as our goal. Our goal was a million. We were willing to try to get to a million over a few-year period. This amount of money would go over that amount.
Now, in terms of --
Q Wait a minute. I thought you said you got 1.2 million.
MR. SPERLING: I'm sorry. Our goal was to get 1 million by the year 2000. We were willing to kind of do that in steady increments. The Congress, both Democrats and Republicans wanted to -- the President having raised this goal, they wanted to try to have a large increase in it this year alone, which was -- we were more than happy with. And so among us, between both Democrats and Republicans and us, we all agreed that we would go almost to where the President wanted to be by the year 2000, in Fiscal Year '97 alone.
So they were already gone from 713,000 slots to something over 900,000 slots. And we think with steady incremental increases that we can get to 1 million.
I also think there will be much greater public support for this when people now see the work study slots as actually helping the community and serving a national goal, a compelling national goal like this one. It's very hard to think of another community service thing which would be -- exist where the need would be so great in every single community, as the fact that in every community there are children in kindergarten, first, second, third grade who are behind and need individualized, after-school attention and attention in the summers.
Q So what do these extra 200,000 slots -- you want 100,000 to go to community service --
MR. SPERLING: Essentially, our goal by fiscal year '99 is of the 300,000 slots that will be added, we would like to require that at least 150,000 of those go to community service and that 100,000 of the 150,000 be specifically committed to tutoring young children so that we can meet this goal of having every child read by the end of third grade. That is the legislation.
In terms of the President's challenge, we would like to ask colleges to do even better than that, because we believe that these federal dollars are best justified to the American taxpayer and to the good of the country if they are being used to provide this kind of community service in our schools.
Q What's the -- did you say what the other 50,000 --
MR. SPERLING: We would -- communities will have specific needs. They could be for antidrug programs, they could be for, you know, a variety of other things, type of things AmeriCorp does. We obviously don't want to fall into the mistake that's in the past with federal legislation, where in your desire to do something good you lock in such a specific requirement that you take away the flexibility of the community doing something that is great and that we would want to encourage.
So, we wanted to leave flexibility for other community service things that people would think was worthy. But we did want there to be a clear national focus on meeting this goal of having children being able to read independently by third grade.
As the President said today, whether a child is able to read by third grade is as important of an indicator of how they do, how they feel about themselves and how they do at school, whether they graduate as almost anything that we know about. Some of the people in this community say from kindergarten to third grade you learn to read, for the rest of your life you read to learn. And if you're not reading by third grade you can't keep up with anything you're doing, with any of your courses. And it can mean the difference between a child spiraling up and a child spiraling down.
Q As this program develops, as I assume it's supposed to, who gets to decide which kid is most needy and who are eligible for this tutoring?
MR. SPERLING: Obviously the local schools and teachers and the community groups that do it. One of the things we try to do in our handout is -- one of the reasons why I personally like this initiative about as much as anything we've proposed is because when you talk to the people who do this -- when you talk to them -- and we put the phone numbers of the contact groups on there -- when you talk to them these are local heroes. These are great groups that are mobilizing on shoestring budgets to try to give disadvantaged children -- and even children from middle-class families who are not at reading level a way of keeping up. I encourage you talk to some of the people there. We did not just come up with this work study idea as just something we dreamed up. We talked to groups and said, "What will most help you meet this goal." And this is what we heard back from. And we listed, I think, three pages of examples. So, I would talk to them about how they do it and how they work with the schools. That will give you a better indication than anything that I could say.
MR. MCCURRY: Thank you, Mr. Sperling. Any other subjects of note?
Q No, no, no. James Huang, is the White House more concerned since this is going on? There was a court hearing today. Is there anything else the White House can do to try to pressure him to come forward?
MR. MCCURRY: I addressed the question yesterday. I don't know that I have much to add. He was represented in court by his attorney yesterday and the Democratic National Committee had counsel there as well. Their remarks, I think, have been widely reported. I don't have much to add.
Q What does the White House think about the -- why should this wait until after the election for him to testify?
MR. MCCURRY: As we have said, we referred this matter to the Federal Election Commission with the hope that the American people could have some answers related to these contributions prior to the election and we would hope that could proceed.
Q Would you call on him to come forward and testify before the election?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he is now represented by counsel and his counsel is exercising his legal rights. Our view is the one that I expressed to you yesterday, that the President believes that people should cooperate with legitimate actions of the court and legitimate law enforcement work.
Q Why don't you call on him openly to come forward. What's -- why is it so difficult?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I just said that we'd call on people to cooperate with legitimate inquiries.
Q Mike, the present controversy set aside, does the President claim to push vigorously for campaign finance reform to keep this sort of thing from happening again?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the President feels that this election year has provided many reasons to believe that he was right in suggesting campaign finance reform ought to be a priority. And we had an agreement with the Speaker at one point to pursue that objective. That fell apart. You can well imagine that if the President is reelected he would make this a high priority.
Q Mike, did you say that you were hoping that the FEC would take some kind of action on this before the election?
MR. MCCURRY: We have made available DNC personnel and suggested that -- the DNC has suggested specifically that anything that can be done to expedite the review so that answers can be available before November 5th would be welcome.
Q Mike, you mentioned that you encouraged people to cooperate with legitimate inquiries. What Mr. Huang is being brought into is an action started by a conservative legal foundation. Do you consider that to be a legitimate inquiry?
MR. MCCURRY: The court is the one that determines the appropriateness of the matters brought before the court. The fact that it has come from a conservative group that probably does not share the President's objectives is immaterial to the fact that there are, you know, questions that have been raised that are now before the court. The judge has ruled on some of those issues accordingly.
Q So, this is a legitimate inquiry?
MR. MCCURRY: What the court decides is certainly legitimate.
Q If I could change the subject. On stage, Max Cleland -- you said you're here to help Max Cleland. He wasn't introduced when the President came on stage, he didn't speak and he didn't come forward.
MR. MCCURRY: No, that's not true. He spoke during the pre-program prior to the President's arrival. The President gave him a very strong endorsement during his remarks.
Q But Mike, he did speak in the pre-program briefly and he is the Democratic candidate for United States Senate here. It's a little unusual that he wouldn't have been right there and even sitting closer to the President given the office that he's running for?
MR. MCCURRY: We gave him a very strong endorsement, as you heard the President say, and look forward to his election.
Q Why would Roger Bedford have spoken yesterday and Max Cleland not today?
MR. MCCURRY: Different times, different ways we handle different programs. Not every event is the same --\
Q Is Max going to speak in Macon?
Q -- why this was handled differently?
MR. MCCURRY: Handled to the mutual satisfaction of both campaigns.
Q Was it his wish not to speak --
MR. MCCURRY: You would have to ask their campaign.
Q Was there an logistical question of him being able to move up when all of the state officials came up to the --
MR. MCCURRY: Not that I'm aware.
Q Hey Mike, do you guys agree --
MR. MCCURRY: I'm having an elevation problem here.
Q Campbell called Dole "Darth Vader" --
MR. MCCURRY: Say what?
Q -- Dole is Darth Vader and how does that fit into your hope here to keep it civil?
MR. MCCURRY: What's that?
Q Campbell -- he says Darth Vader is dark.
MR. MCCURRY: Carroll Campbell?
Q No, Bill Campbell, the Mayor.
Q What was the quote?
MR. MCCURRY: I'll let that comment stand on its own.
Q It's been two months since Richard Jewell was publicly fingered as essentially the guy -- the culprit for the Atlanta bombing -- does the President think that he deserves an apology at this point since the evidence seems to be fading on him?
MR. MCCURRY: The President awaits further word from the Justice Department on the status of that inquiry. And there has been some speculation on what the Justice Department might say. I have addressed that on previous occasions.
Q Do you think at some point he deserves an apology if it turns out he's --
MR. MCCURRY: I think the Justice Department has that matter under review and we await whatever word they provide on it.
Q Mike, you just said you're going to let the comment about Darth Vader stand on its own. I mean, the President gets up in every speech and instructs people not to --
MR. MCCURRY: The President believes this should be a campaign of issues and not insults, and I'm not going to render judgment on what kind of comment that was. You know the President's --
Q Why not? He does it every day.
MR. MCCURRY: You know that the President has conducted himself consist with his view that it should be a campaign about ideas and issues.
Q But it's easier --
Q Do you have anything about this proposal on aid to victims of crime the President is going to be talking about?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll be doing that later on. You'll see -- we'll put out an embargoed copy of the radio address, but it deals with the ways in which the administration has successfully increased the amount of funding available for the Victim's Assistance program administered by the Justice Department. There's a particular way that fund is going to be added to or enhanced. And we'll have some additional information on that after he tapes the address.
Q Mike, in regard to this Darth Vader business, has the President had any reaction in the past couple of days about Mr. Dole's character attacks on him? I know a while ago he said he liked Bob Dole. Does he still like Bob Dole? Has he had anything to say recently about these attacks?
MR. MCCURRY: He's -- he has not rendered any comment on it. And he's said what he feels personally about the Senator.
Q What about this comment last night that Dole made? He said the country is going to hell in a handbasket unless things change around?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, look, Bob Dole went negative on Bill Clinton and that didn't work. Now, Bob Dole's gone negative on America and I don't think that's going to work, either.
Doug's got a couple of things, then Ann, if you've got anything.
Q Is the President starting to lose his voice? It's started to fail at least three times during the speech.
MR. MCCURRY: No, occasionally in the morning, he gets a catch in his throat. But he's been pretty careful this campaign period about keeping his vocal cords in good shape. But I imagine that will change by November 5th.
Q Mike, is the President disturbed by the report in The Washington Post on their poll today that half of all the voters they surveyed don't think he's honest and trustworthy?
MR. MCCURRY: The President had addressed that on many occasions and believes that he's made a very strong argument about the future of this country -- that that's what people are looking at as they evaluate the candidates. And we obviously are very encouraged with the polling results that we've been seeing.
Q But what about the integrity issue, Mike?
MR. MCCURRY: I think he's addressed that; integrity in the judgment of the American people appears to be based on whether you live up to the promises that you make, whether you keep them, whether you compile a record that satisfies the American public. And we'll see November 5th what they think of this President's record and that's a measure of integrity, to be sure.
Q Mike, could you comment on the appropriateness of the President referring to Max Cleland's sacrifice and then suggesting that the Republicans didn't have that same idea of sacrifice given Bob Dole's service.
MR. MCCURRY: No, he has been very complimentary of Senator Dole's service to his nation, and was seeking only to remark upon the exemplary service of Mr. Cleland.
Q -- contrast that with the Republicans' idea of service, of sacrifice; what she said was to give up Head Start and -- and the environment --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I think he was drawing some distinctions there about the price and the sacrifice the American people would pay if the Republican budget had been enacted, and that's obviously appropriated in drawing the contrast between the two parties.
Q Mike, I was going to follow this. I don't know if you have heard -- the President said the Republican idea of sacrifice is to cut Head Start; he said it after talking about Cleland. It was a little jarring, since Dole has injuries, too, not just -- would you look into this maybe at our next stop and tell us if there's anything sinister in this, if it's -- give us an innocent explanation?
MR. MCCURRY: I can certainly look into it, but I assure you the President was implying nothing related to Mr. Cleland's service. He was saying very clearly --
Q Or, Mr. Dole's service?
MR. MCCURRY: He was saying very clearly that there would be a sacrifice by the American people if certain budget priorities articulated by Mr. Dole and the Republican leadership in Congress had been enacted. I think that point was pretty clear to everybody.
Q I don't think that's how it came out.
MR. MCCURRY: All right, I'll look at it again, and if there's anything I've got to add to it, I'll do it later.
Doug's got a couple of things on numbers that we want to run through.
MR. SOSNIK: I just had two quick things. One is, many of you asked me we're up in our internal pollings five to 10 points in Georgia, and it's been consistent. The only thing I wanted do add was the final FEC reports for the campaign were issued yesterday for spending through the 16th of October. We -- the Clinton-Gore campaign has on hand $34.5 million, and the Dole campaign has $19.2 million. And I might refer you back to some of the comments specifically about Charlie Black and Scott Reed last week as they were talking about moving into California, about the financial advantage they were going to have at the end of the campaign.
Q So are you going to spend about all of it between now and November 5th?
MR. SOSNIK: Mara asked if we were going to spend it between now and the election; yes, we'll spend it.
Q All of it?
Q Mostly on what? Mostly on ads? Does that allow you in the last two or three weeks to really to just barrel out -- I mean, every time you turn the TV on to see an ad?
MS. LEWIS: That will depend on where you live. I'd say our budget for the last two weeks, once again it's travel; we have four principals who travel. As you've just seen in today's event, these are not inexpensive. The response the President gets as he travels around is really wonderful, but we'll continue to do that. The Vice President's out there, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Gore, so that's one.
The second is our media, which continues in targeted states. We are adding -- we have both television and radio going on now. And third is, once again this is -- and that was going to be my theme -- this is Get Out The Vote Time. And for the last two weeks of this campaign, you're going to see a growing emphasis by us on getting out the vote, and that includes mail and that includes mail and phone calls, that's going to include a variety of tactics, and I just wanted to point out as you heard from the President today, and it's a theme you're going to hear, one, in his message increasingly, the President -- first, he delivers his strong, positive message about the future, about an agenda for the second term, about the direction America should go; second, a comparison between his vision for where we should go and that of his opponents and, third, again making clear to each audience that it is their votes that will make that difference.
So you're going to see growing emphasis on the importance of everybody turning out and vote. Second, in the campaign we have a responsibility and we're moving now to amplify that message and to deliver it, and as I say, you're going to see more mail that's going out right now, telephone calls are going out, we are kicking in a Get Out The Vote campaign state by state that has been in the planning since last spring, and finally, in our media, as you may have seen -- those of you who saw the script of the ad that went out yesterday, the daytime ad, counting -- we'll see that we are now talking about issues, why they're important to the family, and then making the direct connection with "it's up to you to vote on Election Day, November 5th."
So I would just encourage you as you watch and listen as we go around to see our growing emphasis on turning out the vote. We feel very positive about the outcome of this election if people turn out to vote. We have a responsibility in the campaign to do everything we can to see that will happen.
Q Ann, what is specifically the message in the phone calls, and do you have a transcript of that?
MS. LEWIS: Those are going to vary, but by and large they are: this is an important election, here's what's at stake. Let me take the issue of education -- you just saw a very good example with Gene Sperling here today -- the President has said education is going to be a priority. We have talked about tuition tax credits, we've talked about other ways to ensure that children, young people are going to get to college. This might be a message, depending, again, on the target audience. It says, you know how important education is for the President; there's a real difference between what President Clinton wants to do and what would happen if the Republicans took control. We hope we can count on you to vote.
So we build in these issues to part of the Get Out The Vote campaign; depending on people's response to those calls, they'll then get a reminder vote around Election Day weekend, and you will see again an awful lot of phone calls going on between now and Election Day.
Q So based on the response you get in your initial contact, then you pull out a, b, c, d --
MS. LEWIS: Yes. And Doug is going to --
Q Can I just, on this issue -- how much concern is it because the national polls are so large right now that -- the Get Out The Vote campaign, that congressional candidates who you're trying to help with the money, the turnout will be low and that's why you need to do the Get Out The Vote, so --
MR. SOSNIK: Look, in '94 we had a bad year --
MS. LEWIS: Wait, stop. Say it again -- okay.
MR. SOSNIK: No, and we really made an effort, though, following it to realize that we really had to change how we did our business. Nine out of 10 biggest states in the country have Republican governors. While there is no correlation between who carries a state based on whether you have the sitting governor or not, I can tell you -- having done politics -- if you don't have a sitting governor, it takes a lot more work to put together a state operation. And since about over 70 percent of the country right now has Republicans as governors based on population, we set out -- reinforcing what Ann said -- a long time ago to first understand what we did wrong in '94. Because in '94 it was a relatively normal turnout election, but there was a big variance within that turnout as to who voted and who didn't vote.
And so we've been working for quite a long time not only figuring out what went wrong in '94, but changing how we did our business for '96. And because we're organizationally at a disadvantage across the country not having these governors, we started this process a long time ago.
And if you go around the country and look at the people in charge of the coordinated campaigns and the State Directors for Clinton-Gore, you'll find a very experience group of people and a number of people who most -- like Tony Podesta in Pennsylvania is an example who's probably capable of running a national campaign is doing Pennsylvania. And Ron Widen's Manager and Special is running Michigan.
So throughout the country in these targeted states, we brought people in early who were experienced that the people on the ground -- the locals -- felt comfortable with. We didn't force people on them. We've been working for a year and a half now to get ready for this final push that Ann was talking about.
Q So if a man answers the phone, you ask, is the woman of the house at home? (Laughter.)
MS. LEWIS: Have you noticed in how many households the woman winds up answering the phone first? (Laughter.)
Q Doug or somebody -- is Max Cleland also going to be in Macon? And who are Wiggins and his Republican opponent down there? Who are those folks?
MR. SOSNIK: Cleland will be in Macon. And the Macon --
Q Will he speak in Macon?
MR. SOSNIK: I don't have the program in front of me. I don't know.
We -- there is a Congressional race down there. Chamblis, the Republican, is the incumbent. He is considered a marginal Republican -- target of opportunity for Democrats to take the seat. Jim Wiggins is the Congressional candidate there. And he will be at the event.
Q I'm sorry. Did I get a signal, no? Secretary of State Cleland will not be --
Q He's not going to be able to travel --
MS. LEWIS: -- going again to the reason when you try to put a program together, you also have to deal with candidates, congressional candidates and their campaign schedules. He was with us, he will not be able to make the next site.
Q What things are the youth events that are supposed to be going on around the country?
MS. LEWIS: We have a list and I will get them to you, but you will find event -- I can think of a dozen that I think we pass where a number of our states -- this is one of our series of rollouts where, if you may know, we encourage state parties to take an event, take an issue and do similar events around the same day. We did it originally around crime; it's been very successful. We've done it around family leave, we've done it around senior citizens' endorsements, and today we were doing it around youth. I think we've got about a dozen states that have put on similar events, and I'll get you that list from headquarters.
Q Governor Whitman's campaign in '92, the Clinton-Gore campaign ran into questions because of the way they did the Get Out The Vote with so-called "walking around money." What have you done to assure there's no running afoul of the law with walking around money?
MS. LEWIS: Okay, we are not going to have the problem that the Whitman campaign in New Jersey, if that was the example you were using.
Q Well, there were two examples -- the Clinton-Gore '92 and there was the Whitman campaign both had questions raised.
MS. LEWIS: That was a question by somebody going to a press event later and sort of boasting about voter suppression. Our goal is to encourage people to turn out and we're going to do that carefully and we're going to do it well.
Q Were there any pictures taken, video taken of the President and Max Cleland together for use in the campaign? Literature, ads, anything like that?
MR. MCCURRY: They were doing something --
MS. LEWIS: We will have to find out from the local people who were back there.
MR. MCCURRY: The President's teleconference with these African American clergy people from around the country, several hundred of them, about 200 cities around the country, 32 states. He's going to be obviously doing a little bit of mobilization. There's a chance he may say something about St. Petersburg, too, just to let the wires know.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:55 P.M. EDT