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Carole Mikita ReportingDonna Brazile, the first African American to lead a presidential campaign - the Gore-Lieberman race - and now a CNN commentator was the keynote speaker at a state Democratic luncheon today. Ms. Brazile touched on every hot political topic in the country but she began by telling her audience that this was her first trip to the Beehive State.
No matter which party they belong to, political experts consider Donna Brazile a remarkable woman and one of the most dynamic voices in the country. She is a veteran Democratic political strategist and former campaign manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential bid.
She has taken note of Utah's latest thrust into the national spotlight with Governor Leavitt poised to become EPA chief.
Donna Brazile, Democratic National Committee: "The senators will ask questions about the administration's environmental policy, exactly what we're doin' now to protect the environment and in light of the blackout last week, he may be asked some questions on our energy policy as well and what's happenin' out west."
She is against the recall election in California, fearing that it sets a dangerous precedent.
Donna Brazile: "It's a bad move on the part of the republican party to start this process across the country, and 17 states have similar laws, similar recall laws, and I fear that this recall process will just spiral out-of-control."
She calls Cruz Bustamante, former Speaker of California's House, a credible candidate but she also believes voters will reject the recall and keep Gray Davis as Governor. As for Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Donna Brazile: "Someone who I think is an amateur..."
Turning to national politics, a recent network poll put Senator Hillary Clinton ahead of not only the Democratic candidates but ahead of President Bush.
Ms. Brazile believes President Bush is vulnerable on both domestic and foreign policies. She also said by the end of the month, there may be 10 Democratic candidates for president; Gen. Wesley Clark will also throw his hat into the race.