This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, November 10, 2003.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Six months ago, few people out outside of Vermont had heard of Governor Howard Dean, but since taking the lead in the pack of Democratic presidential candidates, he's now a household name and frontrunner. But who is Howard Dean? Joining us from New York are Hamilton Davis and John Margolis, two of the authors of the new book, Howard Dean: A Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would Be President.
Nice to see both of you. And Ham', first straighten me out. Is Howard Dean a liberal or not?
HAMILTON DAVIS, DEAN BOOK CONTRIBUTOR: Well, on financial matters, he's absolutely a conservative, probably the most conservative governor that Vermont has had in 50 years. On social issues, he's a liberal. On things like...
VAN SUSTEREN: Jon -- oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead, Ham.
DAVIS: Well, on things like abortion and civil unions, then he's definitely a liberal.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jon, today or in the last couple days, we've heard that he's going to forgo matching funds. In the beginning of his campaign, he said he thought public financing was important. Why the turnaround? And does it surprise you?
JON MARGOLIS, DEAN BOOK CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it doesn't surprise me because the Democrats -- or President Bush has so much money that he can use starting right now, if he wanted to -- he won't start for a while -- that if the Democrat only had $45 million to President Bush's $200 million to spend between now and September, he'd be so terribly outspent that it would be almost like unilateral disarmament. So he -- it's almost -- there's almost no choice. If you can raise the money -- and Dean can raise the money -- then you take the money.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Ham, this book is an issue book. Tell the viewers, I mean, who's written it. I mean, it's not just you two. There are many reporters who have been following this governor.
DAVIS: Well, there are nine writers, Greta, and they've -- it's all been split up by subject area. John has written two chapters, most of the politics. I've done two chapters, which is mostly Governor Dean's record. Then there are individual chapters by other writers on civil unions, on his early life by Irene Wilosky (ph), on his early campaigns, and so forth. So we've really -- we have, I think, a complete political biography of Governor Howard Dean.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ham, when you start -- when you started to write the book, I assume you had certain thoughts about the governor -- I mean -- and then after you dug into it with your colleagues, did anything surprise you about what you learned writing the book?
DAVIS: Well, I've watched Howard Dean sort of from a distance, and I've actually been involved with him on some issues at a distance, things like health care. I was surprised by the things that I learned about Howard Dean away from his actual service as governor. I knew nothing, really, about his younger life, and Irene Wilosky did a terrific piece on that. I think that John's work on the political campaign, the mechanics of it, I think the chapter on -- by John Dillon (ph) on the Internet, his use of the Internet, was very critical. I knew nothing about that. I did know quite a bit about him because I've been watching him all this time, about his policy as governor.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jon, what kind of president would he be, do you think?
MARGOLIS: Well, he would be -- as Ham said, he would be a mixed president, as far as ideology is concerned. He would be liberal on some things, conservative on other things. I think he basically would be a mainstream Democrat, maybe a mainstream Democrat with a little bit of Eisenhower Republican in him, when it came to -- when it came to fiscal matters.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Ham, in terms of writing this book, how is the editor in this book, Ham?
DAVIS: The editor was superb. I know this is a loaded question, Greta. The editor of this book was Dirk Van Susteren, who is Greta's older brother and is a long-time friend of mine. We've worked together for 30 years. He did a superb job. We put this book together in six weeks flat. And I just think it's terrific. And it could not have been done without a tremendous job of assembling all the writers, putting them in the right places, getting the very best effort out of them, and then putting the whole thing together and having it come out as smoothly as it did. It was just superb.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I will tell you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a loaded question. It's too bad we're out of time because I got lots of stories about the editor, too, which are vastly different than yours, having grown up with him.
DAVIS: I understand.
VAN SUSTEREN: But gentlemen, thank you. It is a great book, indeed. If you're a Republican, you should buy it so you'll know what the likely opponent's going to be. If you're a Democrat, you should buy it so you'll know who the candidate might be. Howard Dean: A Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would Be President, [is on] Amazon.com. Go out and get it. Thank you both, and say hello to my brother.
DAVIS: You're welcome.
MARGOLIS: Thanks, Greta.
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