Memo: To Bill Bradley
From Jude Wanniski
Re Call Dennis K
Caught you on Meet the Press yesterday, Bill, and thought you looked awfully good. Nice suntan. Tim Russert did his usual good job in the interview and I thought brought it out the best in you. My guess, though, is that you will need to touch up a bit here and there to get into the presidential leagues. You sounded a tad stale on welfare and tax policy and will need to freshen up. That's one of the reasons to go on the Sunday talk shows, so your admirers will be able to offer constructive criticism. Of course I am pulling for you, hoping you can win the Democratic nomination, because I think Vice President Gore would not give the GOP much of a run for the money. I see one poll that says 68% of the electorate would not vote for him under any circumstances. And I don't think it is because he is "associated" with Clinton on the administration scandals and that there is a "Clinton fatigue" pulling him down. I simply think the public has had a chance to size him up over the years and has decided he shouldn't be President, unless there is nobody else around.
You have great strength in foreign policy. Your comments on Taiwan/China were as sharp as I have seen, very encouraging to see you warn Taiwan that if it declares independence, it should not count on help from us. Kosovo did not come up, but it will as the months roll by, and Gore will be stuck with Clinton's policy. My advice is to give a call to Rep. Dennis Kucenich [D OH], who has just written a remarkable piece on his involvement in the Kosovo issue this year in the Progressive. First, of course, read the account of his pilgrimage. The former mayor of Cleveland, Kucenich is Croatian by ethnic heritage, and as a result probably has paid closer attention to what has been going on there. He was among the members of Congress who traveled to Moscow some months back, with Rep. Curt Weldon [R PA] more or less in charge. I think what President Clinton did in this realm is far worse than anything he did in his personal life, and that this is something you should be thinking about as the contest with Gore shapes up. The fact that Kucenich has been so hard on Clinton and his foreign-policy team means much more than the fact that I agree with him. I think you would be a much better candidate and President than Al Gore, but you have to sharpen up a bit on policy.