Ups and Downs for the Week of November 4-8

This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, November 9, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Ups and Downs.

UP: Secretary of State Colin Powell

BARNES: Powell helps massage the fragile of egos of France and Russia, and after eight torturous weeks, the United Nations Security Council unanimously and finally passes a tough resolution against Iraq.

Here's Bush Friday after the vote.


BUSH: The outcome of the current crisis is already determined. The full disarmament of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq will occur. The only question for the Iraqi regime is to decide how.


MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Well, you know, I mean, Saddam Hussein has to be dismayed that this vote was unanimous, I mean...

BARNES: Dismayed?

KONDRACKE: ... even Syria, for heaven's sakes, voted for it...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... in, in addition to France, Russia, and, and China, which he was depending on.

What what worries me is the timing on all this, there's the these various deadlines. I'm afraid that Saddam Hussein can drag out the inspection process past his birthday and mine next April, April 28, when it will be too hot to wage war and we won't...


KONDRACKE: ... be in a position to do that until next November.

BARNES: Yes, well said, I agree with you.

Now, the first deadline is 30 days from today, from this weekend, and by then, Saddam has to hand, have handed in an inventory of every weapon and, and rocket and everything...

KONDRACKE: Do you think he will?

BARNES: ... he has. No, I don't think he will.


BARNES: So I think day 31, we ought to be getting ready to, getting ready to move.

UP: Minnesota senator-elect Norm Coleman

KONDRACKE: Coleman overcomes two big-time political hurdles to win the Minnesota Senate race, the Wellstone sympathy vote and a last-minute assault by Democratic stalwart Walter Mondale.

BARNES: I don't know, maybe it was...because he was a Democrat when he was first elected mayor of St. Paul. He worked for Hubert Humphrey. But whatever is, this package that came together, I thought he was the best candidate I saw all year. He was the most articulate, he was dazzling in that debate with Mondale.

There are a couple people that he has to thank, I think, one, former congressman Vin Weber, who talked him into switching parties, and Dick Cheney and President Bush, who insisted that he run against -- well, it was Paul Wellstone, and ultimately Walter Mondale.

KONDRACKE: Yes, I think he, he, the, the -- Look, the Democrats did, did themselves no favor by that Wellstone memorial rally.

BARNES: Really.

KONDRACKE: But, but Coleman delivered in that debate...


KONDRACKE: ... emphasizing what he'd done for, for St. Paul. It was very impressive. And Mondale...even though he, you know, he, he was a quick study...

BARNES: Yes, right.

KONDRACKE: ... just didn't look like the future.

BARNES: Yes, he treated St. Paul as if it were a microcosm of the nation. I mean, it, it did -- having said it about 10 times.


UP: Georgia Republican Party Chairman Ralph Reed

BARNES: The former Christian Coalition director helps engineer the GOP's best day in Georgia history, knocking off Democratic incumbents in the Senate, state house, and house speakership.

KONDRACKE: I mean, this was a phenomenal performance, you know, this is the first time that, that a Democrat has been in, I mean, a Republican has been governor of Georgia since Reconstruction. And Roy Barnes was thought to be unassailable. Reed organized the, the state wonderfully.

Now, you know, Karl Rove, the, the president's political genius, could do worse than to make Ralph Reed Republican National Chairman. I doubt that he'll do it.

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: But someday, mark my words, Reed is going to be RNC chairman.

BARNES: Yes, I agree with that. You know...remember when we met the Georgia Democratic house speaker, Tom...


BARNES: Yes, Tom Murphy, a mean man. He really tried to blow Republicans out of the state with his gerrymander, and he, he created these house seats carved for Democrats, and Republicans won two of them. And, and then he got beat, amazing, amazing.

KONDRACKE: Bad, bad news for him.


DOWN: Securities and Exchange Commissioner chairman Harvey Pitt

KONDRACKE: After being called everything from inept to corrupt, Pitt finally sees the writing on the wall and steps down as SEC chief.

BARNES: Now, who is your bete noir? Is it Harvey Pitt, or is it Tom DeLay? I don't know, I mean, I know, you've been cheerleading Harvey Pitt out the door. Frankly, I thought Harvey Pitt was too tough as SEC, the SEC chairman, and causing unnecessary lack of confidence in the business community. As it turned out, there was WorldCom, there was Enron, there were a couple others. It was not, there was not some widespread corporate fraud scandal.

As we found out on August 14, one of the good things Harvey Pitt did, corporations, Fortune 1000 corporations had to turn in new audits of -- signed by the CEO affirming the numbers, and no problem.


BARNES: You probably didn't hear about it, because the press ignored it because there was no new WorldCom.

KONDRACKE: ...I was watching all that.

Harvey Pitt was no Arthur Levitt, who will go down in history as one of the great SEC chairmen. And if he'd managed to get -- have Congress to go along with him...


KONDRACKE: ... the, the Securities -- the, the frauds might, might not have happened.

BARNES: Yes, but who in Congress...

KONDRACKE: Pitt, Pitt...

BARNES: ... wouldn't go along?

KONDRACKE: Both sides. Both parties.


KONDRACKE: Now, now, the problem, the problem with Pitt was that he was politically inept, and, you know, wanted to make the SEC chairman a cabinet rank? Come on.

BARNES: OK, little clumsy.

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