New War

John McCaslin
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Posted: Oct 08, 2008 10:53 AM
New War

Gone forever is "The War Room" of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, manned by political newcomers Paul Begala, Dee Dee Myers, James Carville and George Stephanopoulos.

"George doubts he would know how to run a campaign in today's environment," according to filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, who 16 years ago directed the movie of the same name, "The War Room."

"Once again, Democrats have a young, unknown candidate, Barack Obama. But now it is YouTube and the Internet that are redefining campaigns in ways, both good and bad, unimaginable in 1992."

So for 2008 the two directors revisited the legendary cast of the 1992 production to ask how presidential campaigns have changed. The result is a new documentary, "The Return of the War Room," which airs Monday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. on the Sundance Channel.

"Our first stop was James and George, but there were many more whose stories formed that campaign," says the pair in a joint statement, including Rahm Emanuel, Mickey Kantor, Mandy Grunwald, Mary Matalin and Frank Luntz. "In the end what pleased us the most was that the camaraderie and strong friendships formed 16 years ago in that war room were stronger than ever. Many of them speak to each other first thing every day."

Or as Mr. Emanuel, now an Illinois congressman, puts it: "It's a conversation that never ended."

RISING WAVE

Don't give up yet, but Republicans as a whole could lose elections for the next three decades.

On the heels of a USA Today/MTV/Gallup poll revealing that 75 percent of young registered voters are firmly behind Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president, author Eric Greenberg is now predicting that the budding "Millenial Generation" - Americans born between 1980 and 2000 - are about to take America's political landscape by storm.

Co-author of "Generation We: How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever," Mr. Greenberg warns "if Republicans don't adjust their platform and thinking, they could continue to lose elections for the next 20 to 30 years."

He explains that by 2012 the Millennial Generation will be the big demographic movement in America: almost 100 million voters strong, compared with 80 million baby boomers .

Not all is lost for Republicans, though: the impending shift in voting behavior is less about partisan politics and more about ideas.

"The millennial generation is vehemently against partisan politics and is much more concerned with ideas that help the greater good," he says.

IT'S ABROAD, STUPID!

So, Pat Buchanan, founding editor of the American Conservative, explain, if you will, one of the primary causes of the financial crash of 2008:

"American companies morphed into global companies and moved plants and factories to Mexico, Asia, China, and India, and we began buying more cheaply from abroad what we used to make at home: shoes, clothes, bikes, cars, radios, TVs, planes, computers. As the trade deficits began inexorably to rise to 6 percent of GDP [gross domestic product], we began vast borrowing from abroad to continue buying from abroad."

CLEAN SLATE

"If people could vote on whether to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 17 percent would vote to keep them and 59 percent would throw them out and start over."

- Rasmussen Consumer Index, Oct. 6

OFFSET AL GORE

When it comes to curbing greenhouse-gas emissions, Al Gore is eating more than his words.

"He continues to eat meat," notes People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), even though Mr. Gore's Live Earth concerts' companion book, "The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook," says "refusing meat" is "the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint."

So if the former vice president won't walk-the-walk, PETA asks volunteers to "offset Gore's greenhouse-gas emissions" by pledging to go vegeterian for at least 30 days.