Skip to main content
ad info

    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  




Analysis indicates many Gore votes thrown out in Florida

Clinton's chief of staff calls White House over vandalism reports

Gephardt talks bipartisanship, outlines differences



India tends to quake survivors

Two Oklahoma State players among 10 killed in plane crash

Sharon calls peace talks a campaign ploy by Barak

Police arrest 100 Davos protesters


4:30pm ET, 4/16









Texas cattle quarantined after violation of mad-cow feed ban

CNN Websites
Networks image

Candy Crowley's spectacular view of the inauguration

Candy Crowley  

CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley watched the inauguration of President Bush from a vantage point few could match: the platform on the front of the Capitol where Bill Clinton handed over power to his successor.

Q: What was the mood on that stage?

CROWLEY: The podium was a spectacular place to be if you're a journalist and probably if you're an American. It was the most fascinating mix of politicos that I've ever seen collected in one place. It gave new meaning to the term "seat of power."

Seated on the platform was the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter; the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush; the 42nd president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton; and the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush. Almost all 50 governors were there, along with Supreme Court justices, the House of Representatives and the Senate and political dignitaries ranging from retired Sen. Bob Dole to retired House Speaker Tom Foley to Newt Gingrich.

And I couldn't tell you enough about the sight looking out over the Washington Mall, from the Capitol up to the Washington Monument, and seeing the people who came out despite the fact that it was so cold and so rainy.

Laura Bush interview

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

Cheney talks about Senator John Ashcroft, the Middle East, and his family

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

CNN's Jeanne Moos on who was shaking it and who was faking it

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

Bush sat down Thursday for an interview with CNN on a variety of issues

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
Campaign promises could prove troublesome for Bush
Bush inaugural schedule crams a week's celebrations into 4 days
Education, tax cuts top Bush's Washington agenda
Bush assembles defensive front in advance of Washington move
Photo gallery
Key players

Q: What was the crowd like?

CROWLEY: The picture that I'll keep in my head was when George Bush walked up to take the oath of office, as corny as it sounds, it was like all of a sudden a million diamond-like flashes went all across the crowd -- the width of the crowd and the depth of the crowd. It just was an extraordinary sight. It just lit up the crowd on the Mall area -- the only bright spot on an otherwise dreary day.

Q: This followed years of bitter partisan battles and a very contentious process in Florida. Did you see any of that reflected among the politicians there today?

CROWLEY: I can't tell you, obviously, what was in their hearts. This was clearly a difficult moment for Vice President Gore, who sat on the stage, and obviously a melancholy moment for Bill Clinton. But it looked like a bitter-free zone.

There are lot of little vignettes, including Chelsea Clinton walking over to the Bush daughters, Jenna and Barbara, for a quick conversation. There were conversations, a couple of them, between Bill Clinton and George Bush -- both, actually. There were people there like James Baker, the Bush point man in Florida, shaking hands with Bill Clinton. It really was an extraordinary amalgam of people.

Q: What were your impressions of Bush's inaugural address?

CROWLEY: What Bush wanted to do was reach out to the people who didn't vote for him. To me, the rhetoric and the nature of that speech was very much in line with the first part of the Bush campaign, when the emphasis was all on "compassionate conservatism." This was in many ways designed to define for the country what a compassionate conservative is -- how he views what that is -- and it was designed by Bush and his team to try to reach out in part to minority communities where the election and the way it was settled has exposed a lot of raw nerves.

I will say while many of the rhetorical flourishes about not allowing anyone in need to go in need and about those whom the economic boom has left behind, this crowd -- and remember these are Republican faithful who come -- cheered the loudest for tax cuts.

Q: Were there any surprises in the speech?

CROWLEY: I think what's interesting is when you look at the speech and parse it, that it really could have been written by a Democrat. If there was something surprising, I think what may have surprised people about the speech was that so much of it was aimed at reaching out to the people who have been so critical of George Bush, and reaching out to those in need -- those whose experiences are far different from this son of privilege, telling them that he's listening and he cares.

Q: George W. Bush is now officially president. What's next?

CROWLEY: While up there I had the opportunity to speak to a number of people named to Bush's Cabinet. They feel this next week is extremely important for George Bush to show that he is on the move, that there is no time to waste acclimating oneself or sort of easing in. They feel they need to hit the ground running, and in fact they would hold their first staff meeting Sunday.


Saturday, January 20, 2001



Back to the top  © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.