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Vice President Cheney to Undergo Another Heart Procedure; Senate Nears Passage of Patients' Bill of Rights

Aired June 29, 2001 - 17:00   ET



DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't have any interest in continuing in the post unless I am able to perform adequately.


ANNOUNCER: Does Cheney expect to be on the Bush ticket again in 2004, or might his health stand in the way?

And is Rudy Giuliani joining the ranks of the homeless? We'll look at the questions facing the New York mayor, and his response.




JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us. Judy is off today. I'm Jeanne Meserve.

To hear Dick Cheney tell it, the heart tests he'll take tomorrow, and the chance he'll get what he calls a "pacemaker plus," are no big deal. But as he prepares for his third hospitalization since the November election, the vice president acknowledges that the public, and the media, have legitimate questions about his health, and his ability to serve.

So as CNN's Major Garrett explains, Cheney tried, as we say in the news business, to "get out in front of the story."


MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The vice president broke the news of his latest heart scare, doing everything to give the appearance of calm and control as he prepares to enter the hospital for more tests.

CHENEY: It's called an electrophysiology study, and it specifically is performed for the purpose of determining the perspective risk for me going forward in terms of abnormal heart rhythms.

GARRETT: Abnormal heart rhythms, again. Doctors detected them two weeks ago -- short flutters that Mr. Cheney says he can't even feel.

CHENEY: I'm oblivious to these incidents when they occur, and they only last one or two seconds. It's just a short of period of time when there's a rapid heartbeat and then it stops.

GARRETT: But intervention is required, just as it was in March, when doctors inserted a stent to enlarge a clogged artery. After Saturday's heart test, doctors will decide whether to implant a defibrillator -- a device that will detect a rapid heartbeat and electronically slow it down.

Mr. Cheney, 60, has already suffered four heart attacks.

CHENEY: I look on this as an insurance policy. It may never actually be needed, but if it is, it's obviously the right thing to do to have it implanted.

GARRETT: The vice president will have to be sedated during the outpatient procedure. Still, he hopes to be back to work on Monday, but will heed his doctors' advice about how soon to return to a full schedule.

CHENEY: The doctors have assured me there's no reason why either the procedure or the devise that's being implanted should in any way inhibit my capacity to function as the vice president.

GARRETT: Mr. Cheney maintains a heavy workload, heading up task forces on energy, domestic terrorism and global warming. He's a huge player on defense and international policy as well. Republican Senator Bill Frist, a nationally-known heart surgeon, said Mr. Cheney should be able to keep up this hectic pace.

SEN. BILL FRIST (R), TENNESSEE: Vice President Cheney is not limited in any way in any of his physical activities, in any way, by this procedure, by the condition of the heart.


GARRETT: Mr. Cheney said President Bush urged him to take all necessary precautions, and one precaution he did take was releasing this information himself, which he said was designed to minimize media speculation and a media feeding frenzy -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Major, what's the latest on how events will play out tomorrow?

GARRETT: Well, the vice president's spokeswoman Julianna Glover- Weiss told me the vice president will arrive at the George Washington University Hospital center between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

He will walk in, a bank of cameras will be there. Everyone will see him go in. She says he will then participate in what she described as a three-hour procedure and she made it very clear that the expectation is that the vice president will have that first test and then it is quite likely he will have this device implanted what, as you said, the vice president calls a pacemaker plus.

After that he will have to recover from his sedation, but the spokeswoman is expected to leave the hospital in late afternoon. Meanwhile doctors will brief reporters about noon or shortly thereafter about how the procedure went -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Major Garrett at the White House. Thank you.

During his news conference, Cheney was asked if he expects to serve as vice president if Mr. Bush wins a second term. He suggested that would be the president's call to make. But, some political observers are making calls of their own, and they're skeptical about Cheney's political future.

We get an inside view from our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are health questions and there are political ones.

QUESTION: And do you have any long-term doubts about your ability to remain vice president?

CHENEY: No, I have no long-term doubts.

CROWLEY: This is the vice president's third heart-related procedure in seven months. So, he knows what the question is.

CHENEY: I don't have any interest in continuing in the post unless I am able to perform adequately and the doctors have assured me that is the case.

CROWLEY: His demeanor was calm, his words were reassuring. The questions were persistent.

QUESTION: Have you talked at all with the president about the possibility of resignation and how it would be handled.

CHENEY: No. We haven't.

CROWLEY: But inside senior Republican circles, the level of concern is up a notch. Several top GOP operatives outside the White House doubt that Cheney will be No. 2 on the ticket in 2004.

CHENEY: I would expect he'll make that decision before the next convention as to whether or not he wants me to continue, but that will be his call, and if I'm in shape to do it, and if my health permits, then I'd be perfectly happy to serve.

CROWLEY: While emphasizing they believe the entire subject is off limits at the White House, several of those interviewed suggest the possibility the vice president would step down even before 2004.

These sources see the whole question of Cheney's professional future less as a political issue than as a personal health decision with political ramifications.

CHENEY: My capacity to function in this job -- if doctors ever conclude I can't, obviously I'd be the first to step forward and say so.

CROWLEY: "I think," said one Republican, "that eventually his wife or somebody will say, look, enough -- it's time to leave the job." There are dissenters who believe any thought of Cheney leaving his job is premature.

One source said, "If he is back in the hospital two months from now and two months after that, then we've got a problem, but right now I see no need to panic."

(on camera): To a person, every Republican contacted said this is not about wanting Dick Cheney to leave, but rather about believing that's where this is all headed.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


MESERVE: And now let's take a closer look at the vice president's health and the procedure he will undergo tomorrow. The president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Douglas Zipes, joins us now from Indianapolis.

Doctor, in terms we civilians can understand, explain exactly what these tests are, how they're conducted, what they'll look for.

DR. DOUGLASS ZIPES, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY: The vice president will have, under local anesthesia, a catheter, which is a skinny wire, introduced to the top part of his right leg in the groin area. It will then be fed back in a vein, watching the x-ray machine, into his heart.

And then rapid stimuli, little tiny electrical impulses from a pacemaker will be delivered to stress the heart and see if the heart is predisposed to developing any kind of a rapid heart beat problem.

This is a very standard technique. It's done throughout the world today.

MESERVE: Any risks involved?

Doctor, any risk to this procedure?

ZIPES: There is always some risk, but the risk is certainly less than .1 percent, and he certainly will do, I'm certain, quite well with this. MESERVE: And if they do discover that he has a propensity for an irregular heart beat, they are talking about a defibrillator. Tell us about that.

ZIPES: Yes, the defibrillator is a wonderfully modern device. It's like having an emergency room implanted in your chest. The defibrillator monitors each heart beat and if the heart beat gets too slow, the defibrillator will speed it up because it has pacemaker capabilities in it as well. And if the heart beat gets too fast, the defibrillator will then slow it down.

It's a very small device. It's put in beneath the left collar bone, and it's connected by wires that go down into the heart that monitor the heart beat, and can deliver the treatment appropriately. There are approximately 150,000 Americans with defibrillators in today, and it reduces the risk of dying from a rapid heart beat problem to less than 1 percent per year.

MESERVE: If you were putting one of these in one of your patients, would you be recommending that they avoid stress or that they reduce their workload?

ZIPES: I'm sorry, would I recommend that they what?

MESERVE: That they reduce their workload or that they avoid stressful situations?

ZIPES: No, no, no. The beauty of the defibrillator is that it allows an individual to function totally normally, to pick up their activity within hours to a day, and to totally forget about the defibrillator, to live a perfectly normal life.

The vice president is at risk from two problems. The coronary problem which Dr. Reiner is excellently taking care of, a very skilled physician, and the heart rhythm problem and the defibrillator will take care of that. So, I would think that he could be even more effective with this health issue put behind him and serve very well as vice president of the United States with no restrictions whatsoever.

MESERVE: You say there are two problems, but put them together for us, if you would. If this was your patient, they'd had four heart attacks, now this irregular heart beat and the possibility they may need this device. How worried would you be about the long-term or short-term prognosis for your patient?

ZIPES: I would not be worried because the defibrillator will take care of the heart rhythm problem. If he didn't have the defibrillator, I would be more worried.

It's important to emphasize that finding these extra heartbeats recently is not a change at all in his status. I suspect that these have been around for a while and only discovered recently. He's not had any worsening of his heart condition, and what we're doing is a pre-emptive strike, or what Dr. Reiner is doing, is to be prophylactically caring for any kind of heartbeat problem that may occur in the future. And this is what I would do with my patient. I would not be at all concerned. I would let them continue with their normal full-life activity.

MESERVE: Dr. Douglas Zipes of the American College of Cardiology, thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

ZIPES: Thank you.

MESERVE: And we will wrap up the big stories on our weekly political roundtable later on INSIDE POLITICS, but first the Democrats make the most of their Senate majority in the push for a patients' bill of rights. Also: L.A.'s mayor prepares to exit one stage and ponders a run for higher office.

And later...


MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: Sometimes some of you guys are really insulting.


MESERVE: ... New York's mayor calls it like he sees it when it comes to media treatment of his private life. This is INSIDE POLITICS.


MESERVE: Senate Democrats are moving closer this hour to achieving passage of a patients' bill of rights. Republican opponents have worked to amend the final version of the bill to lessen its impact on business. But it now looks certain Democrats have the votes they need, and they are working to wrap up debate and hold a vote tonight.

Joining us with the latest from Capitol Hill is CNN congressional correspondent Kate Snow.

Kate, fill us in.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jeanne, it's going to be a late night here in the Senate. We expect maybe as late as 9 o'clock, that coming from Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle just a few moments ago.

Republicans, as you mentioned, have proceeded to continue to try to pass changes to this bill, try to cast some amendments in here. Both sides realizing now, though, Jeanne, that a final passage of this bill is all but assured. But before that happens, Republicans feel that if they can at least air some of their grievances, some of their concerns in the form of these amendments that that's a good thing. As Senator John McCain put it, there's a lot of emotion on this issue, and his colleagues are trying to voice their issues for the record. Democrats and sponsors of the bill, though, clearly sense that they have a victory coming here, their first, by the way, as the majority leaders. But they have compromised on a few key points. Here are some of the compromises in this bill now: more protection for employers from lawsuits. Also states with protections, that already have protections on the books and their own state laws on patient protections, they won't have to change their laws to comply with this federal bill. And the bill now limits class-action suits as well.

But on the thorniest issues, which involve liability, involve how much money people can get over -- in a lawsuit and where can they file those lawsuits -- is it state or federal court? -- on those two issues, there is still no real agreement. It still remains the way that this bill was written in the first place, and the administration saying that this bill at this point is unacceptable.


TOMMY THOMPSON, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Why pass something that we all want to do on a bipartisan basis just so the president is going to end up vetoing? It doesn't make any sense to me. Who are we helping? We certainly are not helping the American citizens out there who want this -- want these rights, and they should have them.


SNOW: President Bush wants lawsuits to be limited only to federal court. He wants caps to be put on the amount damages that people could get out of those lawsuits against HMOs. But Democrats say they think the president is going to have to compromise. Senate Majority Leader Daschle saying that he thinks the president will need to reconsider. And Senator Kennedy, one of the key sponsors of this bill -- I sat down with him a short time ago -- he tells me that they don't see the need to compromise at this point on those liability issues.


SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, I've been around here long enough and have listened to enough presidents say, oh, I'm not going to sign it, I'm not going to sign it. And then the president turned around and signed it. And we will welcome his support. It'll be good to have his signature.


SNOW: And there are areas of agreement on this bill, Jeanne. The bill provides access to emergency room care. It provides more access to pediatricians, OB-GYNs and other specialists, and it also allows for broader access to prescription drugs under managed care plans. Those are the basics that both sides truly agree on in this debate.

President Bush obviously hoping that he can make some changes to the Senate form of this bill. But if it indeed passes tonight, Jeanne, he does have one last hope, and that is the House of Representatives. They take up this bill when they come back from the July 4th recess, the president already actively lobbying to try to create some of the changes that he wants in terms of liability in the House version of this bill -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Kate, let me switch gears here. When James Jeffords defected from the Republican Party and became an independent, the Democrats and the Republicans were in very intense negotiations about reorganizing the Senate. What's happened there?

SNOW: That's right. It's been weeks now, and if you remember for a while we were following this and tracking this every single day. When were they going to set up the organizing resolution, which would establish the committees? To this point, they haven't done that. To this point, all of those freshman senators, many of them Democrats, don't have any committee assignments just because they haven't passed this organizing resolution.

We now understand that after they work on the patients' bill of rights and after they have a final vote on that tonight, perhaps around 9 o'clock late this evening, Jeanne, they will move onto an agreement that they will come to on that organizing resolution. We're told that the two major issues that the Republicans had, if you remember, making public disagreements over judicial candidates, judicial nominees. When a home-state senator has an objection, they wanted that objection to be public. That's one thing. The second item was acknowledging that the history of the Senate is that they typically take up Supreme Court judicial nominees on the floor of the Senate, in the whole Senate, not just in the committee.

Those are the two outstanding issues. We understand that those are going to be taken care of in two letters that will be written for the record, and that they will agree on this resolution, because it's by solving those two issues they'll be able to agree on the resolution and the committee assignments will be taken care of later tonight -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Kate Snow, thanks, a late-night for you and the U.S. Senate.

In other news, Washington police tell CNN they are examining the cases of at least 10 other missing young women, looking for similarities to the Chandra Levy case. There are 107 active missing persons cases in Washington, and Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer tells CNN more than 10 cases involve young women in their 20s.

Chandra Levy, seen here in a home video, had just completed an internship when she disappeared on April 30th. Gainer also told CNN police want to interview the wife of Congressman Gary Condit, who has said he is a friend of Levy's. Details of the interview have not been worked out. Congressman Condit has talked with police on two occasions.

And now some problems on the Nasdaq today, some technical problems. Greg Clarkin is there to fill us in on the very latest -- Greg.

GREG CLARKIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Jeanne. What we understand right now is that the Nasdaq has corrected at least a major portion of their technical difficulties. Now, in a nutshell what happened here today was that at about 2:30 East Coast time, this afternoon, the Nasdaq suspended trading in two of their electronic trading systems. One is focused on retail investors. It's called the SOES system. The other is called the SelectNet system.

Now, the SelectNet system processes larger orders. It accounts for about 465 million shares a day. Both of those systems were suspended.

The Nasdaq originally thought they would have both of them up and running by 4 o'clock. They extended the trading day to 5 o'clock. At 4 o'clock, they ran into additional difficulties. And so we're told now that the SelectNet system came back up and running at about 4:30, 4:40 or so and was processing trades.

Now, as for that smaller order system, well, at this point it remains uncertain whether or not that came back online. We're being told by Nasdaq officials that they are looking into that, but chances are probably not come back up according to those folks.

Let's take a quick look, if we can, back here at the board. I want to give you a closing level. This is thereabouts where the Nasdaq closed on the day, up about 36 points or so. Now, if you looked at the Nasdaq at any point this afternoon, you saw virtually unchanged at about a 43-point gain, and then just in the last half an hour or so it started to click over a little bit as some of those very late, late and long-delayed orders were processed.

So, that is probably about where the Nasdaq will settle for the week in closing at 2,161.

So again, Jeanne, for the second day in a row, the Nasdaq with technical difficulties. We're told that things should be up and running and in fine shape for Monday morning. But the second day in the row for the Nasdaq's technical difficulties.

We should point out these are separate issues from yesterday. Today it is being described as a network problem that occurred when a diagnostic test was being run on one of their networks that shut the system down, and they had to kind of go back to square one and try to get these things restarted. It took quite some time, and the Nasdaq for the week was up, a very strong showing, but finishing in a real sloppy fashion here.

Jeanne, back to you.

MESERVE: Greg Clarkin, thanks so much for the update.

And the largest anti-abortion organization in the country is meeting this weekend. We'll talk to the head of the National Right to Life Committee. And from the opposite side on many women's issues, the leading voice and face of NOW is about to change. We'll also hear from her, when INSIDE POLITICS continues.


MESERVE: The National Right to Life Committee is holding its convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Joining us from there, Wanda Franz, that group's president.

Thanks so much for joining us here today.


MESERVE: The U.S. Supreme Court has just wrapped up its term and no justice has indicated that they were about to retire. What does that mean for you? How much progress can you make with your agenda if there are not some changes on the court?

FRANZ: Well, the National Right to Life Committee is committed to protecting the unborn children, 1.3 unborn -- million unborn children a year that die in America, and of course, the way to do that is to reverse Roe versus Wade, and that is our goal. And we're looking forward to working toward that goal by hopefully changing the Supreme Court.

MESERVE: President Bush has said there won't be any litmus test on abortion for his judicial nominees. His wife has said that Roe versus Wade should not be overturned. How much are you expecting from the Bush administration?

FRANZ: The National Right to Life Committee is very pleased to be working with a pro-life president in George W. Bush after eight years of a pro-abortion administration in Clinton-Gore, and we're very happy with what we've been able to accomplish so far.

MESERVE: The president is going to make a decision shortly on whether or not there should be federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Tommy Thompson, a member of his administration, is searching for a compromise on that issue. Do you think there can be a compromise on that issue?

FRANZ: Well, as I indicated to you, we're here to talk about our convention, and I'd be very happy to have someone from our Washington office fill your listeners in on the important issues that you're addressing here on stem cell. The National Right to Life Committee's position on stem cell research is that we believe that no human beings should be killed in order to produce research, and that we oppose any kind of destructive, embryo destructive research that would involve using human beings in order to harvest their cells.

MESERVE: There are some prominent people here in Washington who are normally very supportive of your agenda who differ with you on this particular issue. Senator Orrin Hatch is one who I've spoken to in the last couple of days. Will he and others like him, who have been in your corner in the past but are not on this issue, will they be paying a political price? Will it cost them the support of the National Right to Life Committee? FRANZ: Well, as I indicated, the National Right to Life position is clear. We want to save human lives, and I encourage you to refer your listeners to our staff in Washington, who can give you this information.

MESERVE: Elections coming up in 2002, what are the priorities for your organization?

FRANZ: Well, the National Right to Life Committee is a grassroots, single-issue, pro-life organization, the largest in the country. We have over 3,000 chapters nationwide, and it is our goal to protect human life by using education, legislation and political action to reach those goals.

MESERVE: Do you have a specific strategy for 2002, however?

FRANZ: Well, we have a strategy which we work out and we don't discuss that.

MESERVE: The surgeon general, David Satcher, has just issued a new report on sexual issues, some of the things this report says that sexual orientation cannot be changed, that sex education should be taught, that condoms should be provided, and that abstinence programs are not proven to be effective. What's your reaction to what he had to say?

FRANZ: We are a single-issue, pro-life organization. We're concerned with abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and we don't address the issues that you just mentioned. We are, however, very...

MESERVE: Although some of those...

FRANZ: ... very concerned about the very large number of abortions that occur in this country every year, 1.3 million abortions: 50 percent of those are repeat abortions, abortions being used as a means of birth control. We believe that the American public does not approve of abortion being used in this way. The majority of Americans over and over again in the polls indicated that abortion shouldn't be used as a repeat means of birth control.

MESERVE: But could some of the things recommended by the surgeon general reduce unwanted pregnancies, and therefore, reduce abortions?

FRANZ: We are very concerned about reducing abortion, and we believe that we've had success in that regard. There's been a decrease in abortion due to the legislation and education that we believe has been promoted by our pro-life movement across the country.

MESERVE: Wanda Franz of the National Right to Life Committee, thanks so much for joining us today from...

FRANZ: My pleasure. Thank you.

MESERVE: ... Charlotte, North Carolina.

And we'll be talking in just a moment to a woman with a very different point of view, Patricia Ireland. She is leaving her position as head of the National Organization for Women. We'll be right back.


MESERVE: After 10 years at the helm of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland is stepping down. What happens now with NOW? The outgoing president joins us live from Philadelphia, where the group's annual conference runs through Sunday. Thanks so much for joining us.


MESERVE: Let me ask you first about a couple of current issues in the news. First, the new report from the surgeon general, David Satcher, on sexuality. We just got some reaction from the National Right to Life Committee. We are seeing conservatives, social conservatives condemn this report. The president has distanced himself from it. What difference will it make?

IRELAND: I think that every time that someone speaks out and speaks up honestly about the concerns for disease and for the implications of sexuality, whether it's sexually transmitted diseases or the emotional impact, I think we have to be free to talk openly about these issues. They are of public health concern. And the more we try to bury our heads in the sand, the fewer solutions, real solutions that will affect real people's lives we are going to have.

MESERVE: The decision on the stem cell research is expected shortly from President Bush, whether or not he will support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. If that decision is against providing federal funding, what impact will that have on the abortion debate in this country?

IRELAND: Really, it has almost no impact on the abortion debate, but it, by a virtue of medical McCarthyism, will have a huge impact on people who really could benefit, whether it's from spinal cord injury or Alzheimer's, from diabetes, or other maladies that could be treated or perhaps even cured, prevented, if we have that very urgent fetal stem cell research.

It's a terrible irony that those who say they are in favor of life would block that research, because it involves embryos that would otherwise be thrown away. It is just a terrible tragedy.

MESERVE: Let's switch now to the big picture issues that have to do with your departure from NOW. The goal was equality. How far did you come? How far is there left to go?

IRELAND: Well, we've made tremendous progress in improving women's lives. We have made advances on economic equality. We've gained funding for women's health research and treatment. I think we have reframed the debate about violence, which was seen as a personal, private problem, is now seen as a civil rights issue for women, a public policy problem. We are still defending abortion and birth control, and as we've just discussed, it spilled over into medical research and other areas.

And I think we're going to have to do a lot of hard fight to preserve Social Security, as we address that in the Congress, along with welfare reform. We'll be reopening the discussion about the value of women's traditional work in our homes. For Social Security purposes, we get no credit. If you are a poor woman and you're told that your work raising your kids, keeping them healthy, in school, off drugs, out of gangs, that has no value. We have to really show the respect that we say we have for mothers in The Social security check and in now we treat the poor.

MESERVE: You know, there is a stereotype that NOW members look a lot like you, that they are white and middle-age and fairly affluent. Does your organization have a lot of work to do to reach out to other types of women, young women, women of color?

IRELAND: Well, I think one of the things that I have been proudest of in the last decade has been strengthening some of the lines across -- the lines that have traditionally separated us, or have been used to divide and weaken us. Here in Philadelphia, we are working with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. I've just come back from a tour of 30 campuses in 34 days, and I am here to say that the young activists are so idealistic, so ready to continue this struggle.

MESERVE: But for a lot of young women, feminism is a dirty word.

IRELAND: Feminism carries -- it's a loaded word. To me, it's an exquisite word and a valuable political philosophy in politics. The reality is that we always find those who will find a negative stereotype. That goes back to the first woman who tried to gain the right to vote and were ridiculed. They were called unnatural, they were described as mannish and spinsters.

Anytime you try to make progress, you find resistance. Jackie Jackson, Reverend Jackson's wife, who was just in Vieques and was held for 10 days in solitary confinement because she refused the strip search and a body cavity search, said to me on the phone yesterday: "You never realize how fragile democracy and freedom are until you challenge it." And it's -- whether it's being thrown in jail or being called names, I think there's reasons, there is a cost.

But I will also tell you that at the end of my term as president, there is enormous benefits to the sense that we are making progress, that we are make a difference and historic movement. We are really literally changing the course of history.

MESERVE: And we have to leave it there. Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women, just for a bit longer, thanks so much for joining us.

IRELAND: Thank you, Jeanne.

MESERVE: And Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan leaves city hall tomorrow after eight years in office, but his biggest challenge may lie ahead. In recent months, Riordan has vaulted to the forefront of potential Republican candidates for California governor. And he has done little to quiet the speculation. Here's CNN's Frank Buckley.


FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The guy in the driver's seat of the bus pulling up outside city hall in Los Angeles?


MAYOR RICHARD RIORDAN (R), LOS ANGELES: Come on in. I'm Dick the driver.


BUCKLEY: Outgoing L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan in a gag reel for a recent roast.


RIORDAN: Move on. Yes, I'm trying to get a job!


BUCKLEY: Riordan's search for his next job looks increasingly like a campaign for Gray Davis' job, governor of California. Listen to his response to a question as we rode with him as he made the media rounds during his last week in office.

RIORDAN: Well, I'll have the best people working with me, and we're going to, you know, run a very above-board, clean campaign, but if we get hit hard, we're going to hit hard back.

BUCKLEY (on camera): Well, you just said, "we're going to run a campaign." Sounds like you're running.

RIORDAN: "If" -- hypothetically.

BUCKLEY (voice-over): Speculation increased this week with statements like that and Riordan's visit to the White House, where, Riordan says, top Bush aides encouraged him to run.

(on camera): Are you running for governor?

RIORDAN: Well, I'm flattered that a lot of people are asking me to run.

BUCKLEY (voice-over): But first, he says, he'll tour the state.

RIORDAN: Learn the problems and the challenges of other towns outside of Los Angeles before I make up my mind.

BUCKLEY (on camera): It sounds like a Hillary Clinton listening tour.

RIORDAN: Well, you know, a little bit. She did OK. BUCKLEY (voice-over): The potential Riordan run gained momentum last month when a field poll showed Riordan virtually tied with Davis in a hypothetical match-up.

RIORDAN (singing): Gray skies are going to clear up, we'll have a happy day.

BUCKLEY: Riordan's elevator music with its reference to Governor Gray Davis, music to the ears of some Republicans, like Kevin Spillane.

KEVIN SPILLANE, GOP CONSULTANT: He leaves office with high popularity approval and with a tremendously successful record on a number of important issues. In contrast, Gray Davis inherited a state that was in great shape and he's turned it into a mess.

BUCKLEY: While Riordan is a popular figure in L.A...

RIORDAN: Superman wants my autograph!

BUCKLEY: Observers say his record as mayor was mixed. Successful on issues like charter and school board reform, which didn't require the support of L.A.'s city council, with whom he had an often contentious relationship.

ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, FORMER L.A. CHARTER REFORM COMMISSION CHAIRMAN: But I think he was very unsuccessful in dealing with things like police reform, very unsuccessful in dealing with how divided we are as a city, economically and racially.

BUCKLEY: And California Democrats say he doesn't have the depth to be a governor.

ART TORRES, CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN: I don't think I'd be running for governor knowing what my weaknesses are as an administrator and clearly being able to grapple with the lack of experience and seasoning that I would need as governor.

BUCKLEY: Analysts say Governor Davis' response to the energy crisis here, particularly over the summer months, will go a long way toward setting the stage for a Riordan run.

SHERRY BEBITCH JEFFE, POLITICAL ANALYST: If we don't suffer unduly from blackouts, if it looks as though Gray Davis has gained control of the energy crisis, it will be difficult.

BUCKLEY: Riordan says he'll use the summer to travel the state, studying the issues of the various regions, deciding by summer's end whether to run for governor of California.

Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.

MESERVE: In New York, the mayor is also in the spotlight, but not for issues of politics and policy. CNN's Jason Carroll has more on Rudy Giuliani's increasingly bitter divorce, and his reported search for a new place of residence. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a story that continues to anger New York City's mayor when reporters ask him about it.

RUDY GIULIANI, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: Don't be a jerk. Thank you.


GIULIANI: I said don't be a jerk.

CARROLL: Name-calling is just part of what drives the media to keep covering the messy and very public story involving Rudy Giuliani and his estranged wife, Donna Hanover. Giuliani's attorney once said Hanover was howling like a stuck pig for refusing to leave the mayoral home, Gracie Mansion. Now reports are, Rudy may be moving out, looking for a new pad so he's not living under the same roof with Hanover while dating his girlfriend, Judith Nathan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try not to pay attention to that kind of stuff, because it's a little ridiculous.

CARROLL: Ridiculous? Yes. Thought-provoking? No, but it's definitely...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he should move out...

CARROLL: ... a talker in this town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's the mayor and I don't know why he should be moving out.

CARROLL: Rudy has told the divorce court, despite a multimillion dollar book deal, he only has $7,000 to his name. If that's the case, the mayor is in for a sticker shock.

SCOTT DURKIN, CEO, THE CORCORAN GROUP: Well, if you've got 7,000 to spend, it's going to be tight.

CARROLL: This three-bedroom apartment real estate agent Scott Durkin showed me costs $25,000 a month. Sure, Rudy could find cheaper digs, but in this market, nothing really great for a three bedroom under nine -- thousand, that is. And Rudy has no one to blame but himself.

DURKIN: He created it. He brought New York City back, but it's so strong and the economy is so strong, the demand is there, that rental prices have shot through the roof.

CARROLL: Rudy could try buying. Maybe a co-op, like the one in this building, where he's reportedly been staying with a friend. Problem is those choosy, publicity-shy co-op boards, the kind that turned down Mariah and Madonna when they tried buying into swanky buildings. MARC MALKIN, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: Well, in New York for $7,000 maybe he'll be able to do a half a year in a small little studio in Hell's Kitchen. No doorman.

CARROLL: Maybe Rudy is right. Maybe we in the media should just drop it. After all, folks in Chicago...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, I don't know anything about it.

CARROLL: And in Los Angeles...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really haven't followed it.

CARROLL: ... just don't care where, or who Rudy ends up with.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.

MESERVE: President Bush's approval ratings, and Vice President Cheney's heart problems. Our Friday roundtable will tackle these topics and others when we return.


MESERVE: It's time for our Friday roundtable discussion of the hot topics of the week, including Vice President Cheney's health and the Patients' Bill of Rights legislation.

Joining us from New York, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield and Robert George from the "New York Post," and from Miami, Florida, Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times."

Gentlemen, welcome all. Jeff, let me start with you. When I saw Dick Cheney in the briefing room today talking about his heart, I thought, wow, these people have learn a lot about the public relations.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, certainly the idea of putting forth Dick Cheney himself, rather than having a kind of announcement in a sense that it seems to be a cover-up was absolutely the right thing to do, politically. It was a way of saying, look, I'm OK, I'm here, I'll answer any of your questions. And that was politically appropriate. The -- the greater echo of the story we're not going to hear yet, and maybe never will.

MESERVE: Ron, the public line is of course he's fine. What are people saying behind the scenes? Anything different?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "L.A. TIMES": You know, The White House folks -- each time this has happened, they have said that he has assured the president he is fine, that he can carry on, and that really has been the line all the way through. But the fact is that he told the president on Tuesday, talked to the president on Tuesday, and once again, we waited until Friday to put it out publicly. There have -- I think Jeff is right. They handled this better that the earlier episodes, but it does go back, I think, to the original question...


BROWNSTEIN: ... what his condition was to begin with.

Of course, the other question will be -- and there are going to be a lot of Republicans now who think their phone is going to ring sometime in the summer of 2004, because the issue will be whatever happens in this term, does Bush run with Cheney again for a second term?

MESERVE: And, Robert, what do you think? Does he run for a second time with Bush?

ROBERT GEORGE, "NEW YORK POST": Based on what we know now, I think he's going to be -- I think he's going to be definitely running. Cheney will definitely be running with President Bush. I agree that they've definitely -- they definitely handled the whole news, public relations side of it a whole lot better this time, in a sense, getting out in front of -- getting out in front of the news.

So basically, this story is not really any different from -- from the -- from the last episode. Though, unfortunately, it does create more of a cloud over the rest of the administration as to, you know, will he be running? Will Bush be running with Cheney?

Which, ironically, the reason why they selected Cheney in the first place was to avoid the Quayle issue that the former President Bush had. And there was that question going into 1992, will Bush keep -- will Bush keep Quayle? And now the question has sort of come back in a very different manner.

BROWNSTEIN: Jeanne, we've had three major heart stories in less than a year since the election. I think it is not at all -- you can't say at this point that he's definitely going to be running with him in 2004. I mean, I think there's going to be a lot of debate about this, and of course it will depend events that haven't occurred yet. But I think it's going to be very much an open question, right up to the convention three years from now.

MESERVE: Jeff, I'm curious, if you see any similarities or dissimilarities between reaction to this, and how the Bill Bradley heart problems played out?

GREENFIELD: Interestingly enough, I think it was much more costly to Bill Bradley, for a couple of reasons. One, it -- it came out of the blue. Here was Bill Bradley, a former professional athlete, who was sidelined from the campaign for a day. I do think that it's exactly right, what Ron said. If you go back and look at what we did and did not learn last summer when Cheney was picked, it's quite clear that the Bush campaign was less than fully forthcoming. And I think they suffered no political damage whatsoever.

I also think that in some way, Cheney is still the master of his fate, at least to the point where if something happens that really does throw his health into -- into doubt, unless something happens, he can still say, look, I'm under medication, it's OK. You know, I'm telling you everything that I know. It's when -- when and if something happens that can no longer be handled, and what I'm talking about, to be quite blunt, is for instance, something in public. Something where Cheney is supposed to be somewhere and it turns out he's had to go to his doctor or the hospital. That's when the thing becomes untenable.

GEORGE: Well, Jeanne, you also have to keep in mind that Bradley was running for the top spot. I mean, he was running to be president of the United States, and it was certainly reasonable to find out that the -- that the top man was in perfect -- was in perfect shape. I mean, you know, God forbid Cheney has, you know, something even worse happen to him. I mean, basically, you know, Bush will, then, of course, have to select somebody else. But he is still -- Bush is still the president and not Cheney.

MESERVE: Ron, let's talk for a minute about the poll numbers, approval ratings dipping a bit for Bush in some recent polls. What do you make of it?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, dipping more than a bit. Look, he is in a situation where his approval -- his overall approval rating has been consistently now in a series of polls in the low 50s, and the reason for that, Jeanne, is that he has basically polarized the electorate faster than any incoming president other than Clinton.

There is no other president other than Clinton who has had majority disapproval from voters in the opposition party this early in the presidency. We have a history of a honeymoon. Other than Bush and Clinton, they are the only two who have really done that.

Now, some of that is the legacy of 2000, but some of that is that in the early months, this has been somewhat more of a polarizing administration than people expected. And as long as you have that very high disapproval among Democrats and among moderate-to-liberal independent voters, even has own people say there is sort of a ceiling here in terms of how high you can get in your job approval, and it really sets up the critical decision they face on the patients' bill of rights, campaign finance reform, as that comes forward, minimum wage probably, prescription drugs by the end of the year.

On all of these issues, Bush is going to have to decide: does he accept that are probably somewhat to the left of what he wants, or does he veto them and extenuate this polarization? And these public polls I think really set the backdrop for the political choice he faces on patients' bill of rights and what comes after.

MESERVE: Jeff, your thoughts on that?

GREENFIELD: I would add something to Ron's list, and in fact, I would put four stars next to it, which is the first Supreme Court vacancy. I think for a lot of folks who do not follow politics as closely as, say, we do, no one of these legislative items is going to rise to a very, very high level of disability, at least not with certainty.

That first Supreme Court nomination -- talk about polarization, talk about having to make a choice between satisfying your base and -- and alienating folks on the other side and making them even more angry. I think when and if that comes up in the next new months, it is going to put every one of these controversies in the shade.

MESERVE: Robert George, how does he improve the numbers?

GEORGE: Well, I think one of the things that he is going have to do is get out in front and be a lot more visible, more visible himself. He's delegated a lot of the these issues, the issue-handling to some in the Senate staff and the vice president on issues such as energy and the environment, and so forth.

I think he has to be out -- he has to be out there. Because one of the things -- one of the things where his poll numbers have actually stayed pretty high are on his personal -- his personal likability. In certain ways, it's like the flip side -- it's a flip side of Bill Clinton. They like the job that he was doing, but didn't like him personally. People like George W. Bush personally, but they got problems with him on the specific -- the specific issues.

So, I think he, in a sense, has to go out there and sell a lot of these things, sell a lot of his agenda himself.

MESERVE: Robert George of CNN's "TAKE 5," also Ron Brownstein and Jeff Greenfield, thank you all for your input.

GEORGE: Thank you.

MESERVE: Ramrodding legislation, or just taking care of long overdue government business? Our Bill Schneider cuts into the patients' bill of rights issue in today's "Political Play of the Week," when we come back.


MESERVE: It's time for our "Political Play of the Week," and we thank you for your suggestions. Among the leading nominations we received from viewer e-mail were North Dakota's bid to drop the "North," and simply become "Dakota." I kind of like that one. And the federal appeals court's decision to halt the breakup of Microsoft.

But joining us now with his pick, CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know that some people actually wondered how much difference it would make for the Democrats to claim the Senate majority. It's still the same Senate. Not a single vote has changed.

Well, this week, we found out. It's a whole new world over there in the Senate with a new world order, and a "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The patients' bill of rights has been languishing in Congress for years.

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D), WEST VIRGINIA: We have been debating this for 10 years in some form, five years intensely, and the time has long since passed to do it.

SCHNEIDER: Well, they're doing it right now. No sooner did the Democrats take over the Senate than they made patients' rights the top item on their agenda. It's become the first test for new majority leader Tom Daschle. When Daschle found out he was taking over, he promised a new spirit of bipartisanship.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: We can't dictate to them, nor can they dictate to us.

SCHNEIDER: What's happened to that spirit, Republicans ask, as they complain bitterly that Daschle is ramming the Democrats' bill through, even threatening to cancel their 4th of July vacation.

SEN. DON NICKLES (R), OKLAHOMA: I'm not going to be railroaded, but I will try to cooperate to get it concluded as expeditiously as possible.

SCHNEIDER: But what can Republicans do? They haven't got the votes. Why not? The composition of the Senate hasn't changed. No, but the Democrats have public pressure on their side. As more and more Americans have been forced into managed care, they want more leverage against insurance companies.

It's not like the health care debate of 1994. That was about giving new rights to the uninsured. This is about new rights for the insured, a larger and more powerful constituency. So, Democrats are pushing through a bill President Bush is threatening to veto. What's the point of that, you may ask? The point is that Senate Democrats are putting together a bill that will be very difficult for the president to veto.

He does have some legitimate complaints about the Democrats' bill.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are some other alternatives that are working their way, are being debated in the House and in the Senate that will run up the cost of health insurance for American workers and could conceivably cost millions of people their health insurance.

SCHNEIDER: So, Senate Democrats have repeatedly accepted compromises, brokered by moderates, on issues where the bill might be politically vulnerable. Like protecting small business, and deferring to states' rights, and limiting frivolous lawsuits.

SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R), MAINE: I think it would be politically perilous for us to be sending a bill to the president of the United States that he has to veto.

SCHNEIDER: But on big issues, like giving patients the right to sue their insurance companies, Democrats are standing their ground. They've got the American people on their side.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), NORTH CAROLINA: I think the president's going to have to make a decision about this issue, whether he wants to stand with the big HMOs or with the patients and doctors.

SCHNEIDER: The new majority leader is using his power ruthlessly and skillfully. They say turnabout is fair play. In this case, it's the "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: Our Capitol Hill producer, Dana Bash (ph), reports that Democrats are savoring the fact that they are passing a popular bill that President Bush has to keep saying he is going to veto. They've got the president on the defensive. And you know what? That makes Democrats very happy.

MESERVE: Happy indeed, Bill Schneider.


MESERVE: Thanks.

He's been covering the rumblings in Washington, including activity at the Supreme Court, for two decades. Now award-winning journalist Charles Bierbauer, an institution himself here at CNN, is saying farewell. We'll have a tribute in the next half-hour of INSIDE POLITICS.


MESERVE: Keeping pace with Vice President Dick Cheney and his heart. We'll walk you through the tests he faces tomorrow.

Also ahead, some rare, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Camp David, and the presidents who have kicked back there.

And, the shadow, as President Bush once called him, returns!

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

MESERVE: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Jeanne Meserve, sitting in for Judy. Vice President Dick Cheney is likening his return to the hospital tomorrow morning to "an insurance policy" for his heart. Cheney disclosed today that recent tests revealed that he has been experiencing irregular heart rhythms, and now his doctors want to take a closer look.


RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It detected some minor periods, very short periods, one to two seconds each, of rapid heart rate. I can't feel anything when it happens, I'm asymptomatic. Nothing shows externally with respect to that, but it does raise the possibility that I may need to have implanted, sort of, I think of it as a pacemaker plus. It's something called an ICD, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

MESERVE: As he prepares for his third heart-related hospital stay in six months, Cheney says doctors have assured him that he'll still be able to serve as vice president. If they told him otherwise, Cheney says he would follow their advice.


CHENEY: If there were any inhibition on my ability to function, if it were the doctor's judgment that any of these developments constituted the kind of information that indicated I would not be able to perform, I'd be the first to step down. I don't have any interest in continuing in the post unless I'm able to perform adequately.


MESERVE: For more on the vice president's announcement and what comes next, let's bring back our White House correspondent, Major Garrett.

Major, the White House handled this situation very differently than when Mr. Cheney experienced his last heart scare, didn't they?

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. The big difference between this episode and the one in March is, in March there was a medical plan but no media plan. Today there was both, a medical plan and a media plan.

The president's top advisers and the top advisers to the vice president huddled to find out the best way to put the story out. And the best way was to put the vice president himself at the podium, and also to make sure this information was available to reporters right away -- statements from the vice president's doctor about exactly what would happen, another statement released explaining the exact test the vice president will undergo at the George Washington University Hospital Center.

Before, in March, there was a mad crush by reporters, myself and others, to get information about why the vice president was over at George Washington University Hospital. For a while, information was not readily available. That led to somewhat of a crisis atmosphere, many White House advisers concluded in the aftermath. That avoided that situation this time by putting the vice president out ahead of this story, and as much information about what would happen tomorrow available and in reporters' hands -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Major, what sort of schedule will the vice president have next week?

GARRETT: Advisers say it will be exactly the same schedule as anticipated. He will be here to work on Monday if everything goes well this weekend, have his morning security briefings with the president of the United States, continue what he's been doing for the past week or two, which is getting on talk radio around the United States, promoting the president's energy plan. Again, a regular schedule on Tuesday. He'll take most of Fourth of July Wednesday off, and then on Thursday head to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an extended vacation weekend -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Major Garrett at the White House, thanks.

Vice President Cheney says he asked his doctors whether they would have prescribed the same course of action as he faces tomorrow if he were a lower-level government employee. They said yes.

CNN medical correspondent Rea Blakey takes a closer look at the procedure.


REA BLAKEY, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The test Vice President Cheney said he would be undergoing is called an electrophysiology study, or EPS. In this test, several catheters are run through the femoral vein or sometimes the arm to the heart, where they're used to stress the electrical system of the heart. The goal is to see if irregular heartbeats are produced. If so, there may be a need for an implantable defibrillator, similar to the size of a pacemaker.

DR. STUART SEIDES, WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER: It's a device that is implanted in a patient that can detect abnormal, usually rapid heart rhythms and deliver an electric shock to the heart that can right the rhythm and often save the patient's life.

BLAKEY: Doctors were alerted to Cheney's irregular heartbeats when they were detected by a portable heart monitor he was wearing. Although he didn't feel the abnormal rhythms, doctors were still concerned.

SEIDES: It's been well documented that patients like that who do not have defibrillators run the risk of sudden death -- sudden cardiac death at a rate that far exceeds those who have the defibrillators.

BLAKEY: Cheney has had four heart attacks from 1978 to November 2000. In March, he had a catheterization to open a possibly blocked artery in his heart.

SEIDES: There have been trials that have shown that implanting defibrillators in patients like that can improve their prognosis.

BLAKEY: Experts estimate about 25 percent of people who've had a heart attack need an implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD. The American Heart Association says in 1998, 26,000 patients received defibrillators.

(on camera): Some implantable cardiac defibrillators also function like pacemakers, slowing the heart down. But doctors won't know what type of defibrillator Mr. Cheney might need until after the procedure Saturday morning.

Rea Blakey, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE: And we have some news just in from the Pentagon and our producer there, Chris Plant. A Pentagon investigation into the falsification of maintenance records for the Marine Corps' embattled V-22 Osprey has found that a small number of Marine Corps officers were aware that phony records were being kept but failed to report the abuse and took no action to stop it.

Those officers could face disciplinary action up to and including court-martial. The Osprey, of course, suffered a number of crashes that killed a total of 23 Marines there, a tilt-rotor aircraft. We'll bring you more details as they become available.

And the Supreme Court heads to recess. Next on INSIDE POLITICS, we will recap the high court term just ended, including the one case that will be remembered more than any other.


MESERVE: The Supreme Court has recessed until its new term begins in October. It marks the end of a term notable for a number of major decisions including one December case that will be studied and debated perhaps more than any other. Here's CNN's senior Washington correspondent Charles Bierbauer.


CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inevitably, the term will be remembered for its unexpected case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll hear argument now on number 00949, George W. Bush and Richard Cheney versus Albert Gore.

BIERBAUER: The politically-tinged opinion on the night of December 12th brought Florida's presidential recount to a halt, saying, "There is no recount procedure in place that comports with minimal constitutional standards."

In effect that made George W. Bush the election winner, Al Gore the loser. It was not the justices' only brush with politics. They ruled campaign contribution limits apply when a party coordinates spending with a candidate; that term limits for members of Congress are unconstitutional; and that voting districts may be drawn grouping minorities together if the reason is how they vote, not the color of their skin.

WALTER DELLINGER, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL: It is the predominant use of race that is a constitutional wrong, not because it deprives any person of the right to vote, but because it gives an overwhelming message that race is what really matters.

BIERBAUER: The justices also defined individual rights: Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search, bars Indianapolis police from using roadblocks to sniff out drugs. Nor could a South Carolina hospital give police test results of pregnant women who used drugs. Nor law officers use thermal imaging without a warrant to detect marijuana growing in an Oregon home.

First Amendment rights expanded to permit the religious-themed Good News Club to meet in a public school; to overturn an ad ban that infringed on tobacco companies' free speech; and to allow broadcasters to air recorded cell phone conversations illegally taped by a third party. A ruling critics called chilling.

MICHAEL CARVIN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: People won't say in private, things that they would otherwise say if they think that it'll be on the front page of "The New York Times" the next day.

BIERBAUER: The court compassionately allowed disabled golfer Casey Martin to buck the rules of pro golf and ride a cart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that they'll -- that executing me is going to solve anything.

BIERBAUER: And asked a Texas jury to reconsider whether convicted murderer Johnny Penry's mental retardation was reason to spare him the death sentence, but lock him up for life.

Next term, the court will consider if the retarded should ever be executed, or if that's cruel and unusual punishment.


It would be the eighth term with the same nine justices on the court. And despite speculation, so far, no justice has indicated any plans for retirement that would allow President Bush to make his first nomination to the court -- Jeanne.

MESERVE: Charles, thanks. Don't go away. We have to embarrass you here now. You know how these things go.

We at CNN are marking the end of the high court's term for another reason: Charles Bierbauer is leaving the network, we are sad to say, after more than 20 years. During that time, he hosted "NEWSMAKER SATURDAY," covered the Pentagon, the White House and more recently the court.

Always, he's delivered the news with insight and great intellect, a dedication to solid reporting, and, at times, we have to tell you, with a big flash of humor.



BIERBAUER: Those opinions due at 10:00 this morning, "CNN LIVE THIS MORNING" will be back after this break.

Did I do that right? Could I have a career in this business? (END VIDEO CLIP)


BIERBAUER: The $13 billion cut is a compromise.


BIERBAUER: President Reagan has endorsed German reunification.


BIERBAUER: In Jackson, Michigan, Jackson Wyoming and here in Jackson...



BIERBAUER: Mr. President, what about those Senate Republicans that want to come down and talk to you?



BIERBAUER: And as for the president, if he takes a conservative tack then he must be able to slip Mondale's punches.




BIERBAUER: The formal swearing in of the president will take place in just about two hours at the White House because the...



BIERBAUER: First impressions, we are told, will count in this summit meeting. Mr. Gorbachev, I am told, understands some English, though he doesn't really speak it. The president doesn't understand much Russian, but they'll find ways to communicate.



BIERBAUER: You are having fits with Congress about Judge Bork's nomination and it would seem that you are going to have to send them someone else. Have you determined in your mind what kind of a man you can nominate for that seat on the Supreme Court who will be acceptable to congress?

REAGAN: Well, it's up to Congress to see whether someone like that is acceptable, because I have appointed a man who has been lied about, who has been treated with distortions that actually amount to a lynching.



ANNOUNCER: Newsmaker, Saturday.

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Reports of my death were greatly exaggerated.

BIERBAUER: In the race for the presidential nominations is George Bush again the front-runner?



BERNIE WILLIAMS, CNN ANCHOR: And quickly now to our Supreme Court correspondent Charles Bierbauer.

BIERBAUER: Bernie, let's work through this as carefully as we can, but let me get to the bottom line here: The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is reversed. That was the judgment that had allowed these broad counts to go forward.



MESERVE: Great work, Charles. But I want to know, do you still have the hat?

BIERBAUER: I do still have the hat. I bought that hat when I was in Moscow, and it was very cold and it kept me very warm. I guess we were all younger and furrier at one point.


MESERVE: Yes, you certainly were, we saw the evidence there! I know you are going to work on that forehand and that backhand and that serve. What else are going to be doing?

BIERBAUER: Well, I've got some speaking, some writing, some teaching projects that I'm working on. Still looking for the keystone piece of the puzzle to put together. I'm open to offers. I have some I want to think about, but I'm really taking the opportunity to look at other things that may sort of build on the last 20 years here, and a dozen or so years before that.

MESERVE: The CNN softball team is wondering how it's going to survive without its first base man. Any words of encouragement for the team?

BIERBAUER: We have a strong team and we're just going to keep winning, and I think we have a strong team here, too.

MESERVE: Great, Charles, thanks so much. Loved working with you. It's been great.

BIERBAUER: Thank you, Jeanne.

MESERVE: Enjoy yourself, please.

And fallout from the extradition of Slobodan Milosevic next on INSIDE POLITICS. Protesters in the streets of Belgrade and a government in turmoil.

Also, Camp David in pictures, seen by the public as it is seen by presidents.


MESERVE: The extradition of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has led to the collapse of the Yugoslav federal government.

Earlier today, Yugoslavia's Prime Minister resigned to protest what he called the "illegal and unconstitutional" extradition of Milosevic. And thousands of Milosevic supporters marched to protest the Serbian government's decision to hand over Milosevic.

Yugoslavia's president now must appoint a new prime minister, or call new federal elections. Slobodan Milosevic was transported the Hague yesterday, to stand trial before the International War Crimes Tribunal. The move brought a positive response from a group of Western donor nations, who today pledged more than a billion dollars to help rebuild Yugoslavia.

Here in the United States the new Japanese prime minister prime minister will meet with President Bush tomorrow at Camp David. Talks between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and Mr. Bush are expected to cover a wide range of matters, including economic, environmental and defense issues. CNN White House correspondent Kelly Wallace previews tomorrow's agenda.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, headed off for his first foray on the world stage after his sweeping victory in April.

Hailed like a rock star at home, he is viewed in the U.S. as a reformer with a mandate.

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: He seems committed, he seems to be very popular, and I think he will take the right course of action.

WALLACE: President Bush is said to be intrigued by the new Japanese leader.

BUSH: Together we will explore ways we can continue to strengthen our security relationship. We will talk about the prime minister's agenda for reforming and revitalizing the Japanese economy.

WALLACE: An economy marked by a series of recessions since 1990, Koizumi is seeking Mr. Bush's endorsement of his plan to clean up Japan's troubled banking system, even though these steps could mean short-term pain in the world's second-largest economy, and could worsen the slowdown in the United States.

BILL BREER, CSIS, JAPAN CHAIRMAN: We have lived with a kind of limping Japan economy for, what, eight or nine years now? So we can probably tolerate that into the future, if there's light at the end of the tunnel.

WALLACE: The two men are not likely to showcase their disagreements. Koizumi will try to convince Mr. Bush not to abandon the treaty negotiated in Japan to reduce global warming, while Mr. Bush will try to get his counterpart to fully endorse a national missile defense system, a system Japan worries would anger neighboring China.

Also at issue, growing Japanese opposition to the large U.S. military presence in Okinawa, after another allegation of rape by a U.S. servicemember.

But this meeting is mostly about the personal, and these men might find they have very much in common. For instance, both view themselves as outsiders.

BREER: Mr. Bush came from Texas; he's not a product of Washington. Mr. Koizumi has been in the Liberal Democratic Party, but he's always been sort of a loner within the party.

WALLACE (on camera): And so the goal of this Camp David summit is building a bond in an informal setting so the two men and their advisers can tackle the thorny issues confronting the two largest economies in the world.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, the White House.


MESERVE: The Japanese prime minister says the Camp David invitation shows a favorable feeling on the part of the U.S. Mr. Bush left the White House for the presidential retreat just after 4:00 p.m. Eastern. The meeting may not yield crucial agreements, but Camp David should offer a relaxed atmosphere for talks.

Well, care for a tour? Grab your mouse and keypad for some never-before seen photos courtesy of a new Web site.

CNN national correspondent Bruce Morton reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here's the Web site address. It's run by a man named Bill King, who was the senior noncommissioned officer at the camp during the Eisenhower and Kennedy years.

But it started under Franklin Roosevelt, named Shangri-La after a utopia in a popular novel back then called "Lost Horizon." The cabins had funny names then. Roosevelt's was the Bear's Den, and the swimming pool -- FDR loved to swim -- was Bear Wallow. Roosevelt invited guests, of course, including Winston Churchill.

Harry Truman used it some, but his wife thought it was dull. Dwight Eisenhower renamed it Camp David after his grandson, and named all the cabins after trees and shrubs. He used to enjoy skeet shooting there.

RICHARD SHENKMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Eisenhower actually wanted to get rid of Camp David. He got rid of the presidential yacht, and he also wanted to get rid of Camp David. But Mamie was so distressed over his jettisoning of the yacht that she made him keep Camp David, and he was very, very glad that he did after he had his heart attack, because that was a place where he could really convalesce in peace and quiet.

MORTON: Peace and quiet are important. John Kennedy used the place some and let staff use it when he wasn't. For Lyndon Johnson, it was a place to walk, to enjoy the views, and to get away from the angry crowds in the streets demonstrating against the war in Vietnam. Richard Nixon, also no stranger to controversy, used it almost as much as the five presidents before him.

SHENKMAN: It's a very simple reason why presidents love to go to Camp David: They leave the press behind. They can be free citizens; they can walk around and know that no reporters are going to be coming at them and asking them a lot of questions. So it's a wonderful place to just relax.

MORTON: Jimmy Carter may have hosted the most famous negotiations with Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel. Ronald Reagan, in his eight years, spent more time there than any other president, 571 days. He and his wife Nancy often just came by themselves for a day or two. The first President Bush liked it and decreed informality -- no neckties. And now it's his son's turn. Presidents do need a place to get away from it all, and Camp David's a lot closer than his Texas ranch.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


MESERVE: And he's at it again: Former President Bill Clinton makes an appearance in Washington and steals the show. We'll tell you why, when and how after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MESERVE: Finally, as many INSIDE POLITICS viewers know, this program was expanded to an hour and a half right after the November election for added coverage of the presidential standoff, then the inauguration, and on through the new administration's first 100 days. Well, the IP team is now happy to report that beginning Monday, INSIDE POLITICS returns to its regular one-hour format, from 5:00 to 6:00 eastern.

Starting next week, Bill Hemmer takes the reins at 6:00, with CNN's "FIRST EVENING NEWS," a fast-paced half-hour report you won't want to miss.

And that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. But, of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's, AOL keyword: CNN. And our e-mail address is:

And these weekend programming notes: Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham will be the guest tomorrow on "EVANS, NOVAK, HUNT & SHIELDS." That's at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. And at noon eastern Sunday, House Majority Leader Dick Armey will be among Wolf Blitzer's guests on "LATE EDITION."

I'm Jeanne Meserve. "MONEYLINE" is up next.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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