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Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Prepare for Spanish Debate; War of Words on War Against Terrorism Continues

Aired March 1, 2002 - 16:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. The two Texas democrats running for governor prepare to debate in Spanish. I'll talk with both of them ON THE RECORD.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm John King at the White House. The vice president isn't the only official working sometimes at a secure, undisclosed location. I will have the details on America's bunker government.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl on Capitol Hill, where the war of words over the war on terrorism continues.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. The Democrats see political opportunity in White House plans for Social Security.


WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. It is the latest sign that while life has returned to normal for most Americans since September 11th, the threat to the nation remains very real. In what reads like a chapter from the Cold War era, we learn details today on how officials are preparing in case of a catastrophic attack. Our senior White House correspondent, John King, joins me now -- John.

KING: And, Judy, they're dusting off these Cold War plans and trying to bring them in to current technology, current communications systems. All this, part of a plan we now learn was put in place in the minutes and hours after those terrorist strikes on September 11th. President Bush was travelling in Iowa today when he discussed publicly, for the first time, ongoing plans to have a so-called stand- by, shadow, or bunker government. Why? In case Washington is paralyzed by another terrorist strike.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I still take the threats that we receive from al Qaeda killers and terrorists very seriously.

KING (voice-over): The operation was first reported by "The Washington Post," and confirmed to CNN by several administration officials. The shadow, or bunker, government involves roughly 100 senior staffers from every cabinet department and major government agency, operates primarily out of two secret bunkers in the eastern United States, and is charged with running the executive branch if communication with Washington is severed.

BUSH: My administration has an obligation to the American people to provide and put measures in place that, should somebody be successful in attacking Washington, D.C., there is an ongoing government.

KING: The secret plan took shape in the minutes and hours after the September 11th strike, when Mr. Bush took a cautious route back to Washington. The so-called continuity of government plan was discussed during a national security council meeting Mr. Bush led from a military command and control bunker in Nebraska. At another bunker, this one deep beneath the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney and other officials implement plans that date back to the Cold War threat of a nuclear strike.

In this case, sources say one concern was the possibility Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network might have a crude nuclear device. Senior officials say the bunker government will remain in place for the foreseeable future because of continued terrorist threat.


Officials, of course, very reluctant to discuss the details because of the secretive, sensitive nature of all this. But they do confirm to us they are rushing to get new computers, new telephone technology, other technological improvements into these bunkers. And as this shadow government team is kept in place, we are also told that at least one member of the Bush cabinet, still kept outside of Washington under heavy security at all times, in case this shadow government is activated and needs a leader -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, did the White House want this information out there?

KING: No, they did not. And in fact, as "The Post" is reporting it, they battled "The Post" to keep some details out. As we have reported throughout the day today, we are being asked by officials to keep the locations of these secure bunkers out. On the one hand, they don't mind this out there. The Bush team wants to reassure the American people they are making every plan contingency plan to deal with this.

On the other hand, there are some fights with Congress over spending for the broader war on terrorism. We've covered that a lot in recent days. And they don't want to alarm the American people into thinking the threat is so high. That's why the president (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Once again, this is a story where you have a delicate balance between the desire to inform, and the desire not too inform too much.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King at the White House. On Capitol Hill, meantime, Senate majority leader Tom Daschle is standing by his comments yesterday about the U.S. war effort. And he says the Republican criticism that followed his remarks is off base.


SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: I think the Republicans reaction is nothing short of hysterical. I'm amused, frankly. I'd ask them to look at what I said, because I stand by what I said. The Congress has a constitutional responsibility to ask questions. We are not a rubber stamp to this president or to anybody else.


WOODRUFF: For more on all this, let's turn to our congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl. Jonathan, what have you learned about what is behind the senator's comments?

KARL: Well, Judy, behind the scenes here on Capitol Hill is a real frustration, a frustration shared by Republicans as well as Democrats, about what they feel is a lack of consultation from the White House to the Congress on the question of the war on terrorism. On Wednesday, the top four Congressional leaders had breakfast at the White House, a breakfast that included a briefing from the president -- a confidential briefing -- on the war effort.

Well, the president never mentioned military plans for military action in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia or in Yemen. That pleased none of them when -- none of those leaders, when they read about that in the newspapers. Even Senator Trent Lott told reporters earlier today in the hallways in Congress that it would have been nice to get a heads up about those plans.

WOODRUFF: And, Jonathan, some grumbling among Democrats -- I'm sorry, let me get this straight, just a second. Any Republicans voicing support for what Senator Daschle said? I know you just mentioned Republicans frustrated. But are they going so far as to say they agree with Tom Daschle?

KARL: Well, not quite that far. But I had an interesting conversation with Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican who is on the foreign relations committee, who has been critical of what Senator Daschle. He's even suggested it went over the line. But in an interview I had with Senator Hagel just a couple of hours ago, he said that Daschle was raising some legitimate questions.


SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: I think Senator Daschle may have used a bit of a blunt object in some of his language. But the foundational part of his question was appropriate. And I don't think there is any question that Senator Daschle supports the president.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KARL: By the way, Judy, Senator Hagel -- I also asked him about Senator Lott's comments. Lott came out yesterday with a written statement that said how dare Tom Daschle criticize the president. Well, Senator Hagel was critical of that, saying it's time for both parties to be more mature in how they approach this, and to not try to score political points on either side -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl at the Capitol, thanks.

Two candidates for Texas governor plan to debate in Spanish. Straight ahead I'll go "On the Record" with two Democrats taking part in a political first.

The U.S. war effort and the role of Congress -- one of the issues on the table for Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile in our "Taking Issue" segment.

Plus, a year since he stepped away from the network that he helped to build. I'll catch up with my friend and former co-anchor, Bernard Shaw. You're watching INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: History will be made in Dallas, Texas tonight. That's where the first ever gubernatorial debate in Spanish will take place. The candidate, Dan Morales, is taking some heat for saying that he will translate all his answers to English. Today I asked Morales about that during interviews with him and his Democratic primary opponent, Tony Sanchez.


DAN MORALES (D), TEXAS GOV. CANDIDATE: Our agreement from the outset was to participate in one English language debate and one Spanish language debate. I think that Mr. Sanchez' effort to essentially elevate the status of the Spanish language debate to one of equal status with English is ill-advised.

The fact of the matter is, that the vast majority of the people who will be voting in this election consider English their first language. And that includes the vast majority of Hispanic Texans. I'm proud to be Hispanic. I'm proud of my culture, my heritage, and the tradition from which I hail. I'm proud of the fact that three of my four grandparents were born in Mexico and came to this country, really as refugees from the war, from the revolution.

But, I'm also proud to be a Texan. I'm proud to be an American. And the primary and principle language that we speak in Texas is English. So I think it's imperative that when we engage in this later Spanish language debate, that none of those Texans, who do not understand Spanish, feel as though they are left out.

So I will be translating my comments and my responses this evening. Essentially, I intend to engage in a bilingual discussion.

WOODRUFF: So, those who say -- and I'm quoting now on a spokesman with the nonpartisan Velasquez Institute, who says: "Spanish is the second language of Texas." You are just trying, in his words, "to zing Mr. Sanchez and appeal to non-Hispanic voters"?

MORALES: That's really untrue, and an unfair characterization, Judy. I think it is imperative that every candidate for this office recognize that we have an obligation to communicate to as many voters in Texas as we possibly can. Only a very, very small minority of voters in Texas, some 3 to 4 percent, consider that Spanish is the only language that they understand.

I have been troubled by the efforts on the part of the Sanchez campaign to attempt to divide our state by race, by ethnicity, and now by language. And we are not going to let them get away with it.

WOODRUFF: Let me finally ask you about a comment you made about taxes. You said at one point that there are far worse things than raising taxes. Exactly how do you think Texas should cover what is going to be apparently a $5 billion deficit?

MORALES: Well, Judy, I agree with those who have the opinion that our first effort must be to ensure that we have the most effective, most efficient state government that we possibly can. I think efforts directed toward elimination of all waste, all fraud, all duplication of state efforts, be completed first.

However, in the event that after that process has run its course, the legislature then comes to the determination that in toward improve our public schools, our system of health care, in order to take care of our families and kids in a manner that would make all Texans proud, additional resources would be necessary. I have indicated I would be prepared to consider that.

I don't like taxes any more than anyone else. However, I'm of the opinion that Texans are prepared to invest in a quality public school system and in a state government of which they can be proud.

WOODRUFF: Well, Mr. Morales, we're going to have to leave it there. Dan Morales, candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor. We appreciate your joining us.

MORALES: My pleasure, Judy. Thank you.


WOODRUFF: And now for the other side of the Democratic race for governor, joining us is Tony Sanchez. Mr. Sanchez, thank you for being with us.

TONY SANCHEZ (D), TEXAS GOV. CANDIDATE: Thank you very much for inviting me on your show.

WOODRUFF: Dan Morales just tells us that he has decided to translate his answers in the Spanish debate tonight into English. And he says to do otherwise would be to exclude the vast majority of Texas voters, for whom English is their first language. SANCHEZ: Well, you know, that's certainly his prerogative to want to do so. But that's not what we agreed to. And -- but that's fine. He can do so if he wishes. You know, 35 percent of the people in Texas are Hispanic, and a vast majority of them, under recent polls, have said that they prefer to listen to the dialogues of these candidates in their native language, in Spanish. And he agreed to that. He agreed to the format. But he is changing it at the last minute. I really don't understand why. But that's fine.

WOODRUFF: He says, among other things, he says that you, by criticizing him, are only trying to divide the electorate by race and by ethnic origin, by insisting that it be in Spanish only.

SANCHEZ: No, that's completely untrue. He has been attacking me, he has launched personal attacks against me for the last two months. At one point, two, three weeks ago, he accused me of being partly responsible for the 9/11 attacks in New York. So I think he has made a lot of very irresponsible and outrageous attacks on me and statements about me. So I'm not paying any attention to that.

WOODRUFF: And just to be clear, are you going to translate your answers tonight into English, or leave it in Spanish?

SANCHEZ: No, actually we're going to leave it in Spanish. We're having an hour's debate in English and then we're going to have an hour's debate in Spanish. That was the format that was agreed to. As a matter of fact, on a number of occasions in the last two months, he said he wanted to have more than one debate in Spanish. He wanted to have a series of debates in Spanish. And I guess when we finally came to an agreement he realized that, you know, I was very serious about this. And now in the last few hours, he's wanted to change that.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about something else. You have never held elective office before. Mr. Morales says now is not the time to put a rookie in as governor.

SANCHEZ: See, that's the problem. You know, I've spent 30 years of my life in business. I have a lot of experience in the real world, and with real jobs with real world problems. And he doesn't. He's been a professional politician in Texas for the last -- well, all of his adult life.

And I think that's probably one of the reasons we've got some problems in Texas that haven't been resolved. I think the people of Texas, the ones I speak to, have told me now for 20 months that we need to move away from professional politicians trying to resolve our problems.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you one other thing. You are independently wealthy, as you point out. You've been a very successful businessman. You put millions of dollars into your campaign. Mr. Morales is saying your only qualification is, in his words, your -- quote -- "big, fat wallet."

SANCHEZ: Yes, he's been saying that now for two months. But you know, I have been working for a living for 30 years. And he has been raising money for 15 years, millions of dollars, millions of dollars. Every time he had a campaign he's been raising millions of dollars for his campaigns, and he has been spending that money. I've had to do in 20 months what he's done in 15 years.

Now, he would have a whole lot of money if he hadn't been forced to spend these last few million dollars recently in the last year hiring lawyers to defend him on some criminal proceeding before a federal grand jury.

WOODRUFF: Well, we don't have time to get into that. But perhaps it'll come up in tonight's debate.

SANCHEZ: Oh, I'm sure it will.

WOODRUFF: Tony Sanchez, we thank you very much for joining us.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: The president calls for Social Security reform, and the Democrats see a political winner. Up next, our Candy Crowley has the "Inside Buzz" on how the Democrats plan to handle the issue on the campaign trail.


WOODRUFF: Joining me now with "Inside Buzz" around Washington, our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley. All right, Candy, what's this about the Democrats and some kind of strategy for the fall?

CROWLEY: They've been doing focus groups the past couple of weeks. And what they would like to do is focus in on Social Security. You're going to be hearing a lot in the coming days about the Republicans' secret plan to cut your Social Security benefits after the election. This is part of the Democrats' effort that you've seen in Gephardt and seen in Daschle, to push Social Security to the front and try to see sort of the whites of their eyes of the Bush White House.

And what they say is, look, yes, privatization really sells well in the polls, and something like 62 percent of the people think it's a great idea to take part of your Social Security money and be allowed to invest it. But when they say, yes, but that will mean cutting some of your benefits, then those numbers begin to fall. So that's what you're going to see Democrats focusing on.

WOODRUFF: You mention Daschle and Gephardt. But what's this about grumbling among some Democrats about Al Gore?

CROWLEY: I heard the word "disappointment." Here is what they see as the problem, at least among the party officials. And that is, they would love to have Gore get out there and really begin to chip away at those high poll numbers of President Bush.

They were disappointed in the foreign policy speech in New York that Gore gave. They thought that he should have taken Bush on, on the axis of evil. Now they say, look, he's too late. He's a little late for this party. What they would like is a real party -- a real partisan.

But if Gore is going to run for president, he has an entirely different role. So, sort of the hydra head, as someone said to me, of the Democratic Party.

WOODRUFF: Well, harking back to the Gore-Clinton administration, the last one, there is the Whitewater independent counsel final report due out next Monday. What are you hearing they're going to say?

CROWLEY: Democrats believe that they will say that clearing former President Clinton on Whitewater, but saying he committed perjury in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, which led to the whole impeachment and Monica Lewinsky. What I hear, which is, to me, very interesting, is they say you know, this report was supposed to come out earlier, but Monica Lewinsky's lawyers said no, we need more time to look at it.

And now it's coming the day after her HBO special. And they think it shows that Monica Lewinsky has learned how to manipulate the system somewhat. So, they're not looking forward that, as you know. President Clinton and some of those around him have been trying to rehabilitate that post-presidency, and this sort of gets in the way of that, at least for a blip.

WOODRUFF: Will be an interesting turnaround. Candy Crowley, thanks very much. And you're going to be sitting in this chair next week while I'm in California.

CROWLEY: It's true. We'll have to coast-to-coast women.

WOODRUFF: We will.

CROWLEY: We like that.

WOODRUFF: A first. I think it's a first, anyway. We'll say that it is.

It is time now for some more "Inside Buzz" from our Bob Novak. I stopped by his office here at CNN a little while ago.


Bob Novak, let's start out talking about Tom Daschle. What's this about him get no respect back home in South Dakota?

ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN TIMES": Senator Daschle, as the Democratic leader of the Senate, possible Democratic presidential candidate. But the legislature in South Dakota is overwhelmingly Republican, and they've been passing one measure after another intended to embarrass him. One saying that they should not roll back any of the Bush tax cuts. Another proposal saying he should take up the tax stimulus bill. Another saying that they should pass the anti- cloning bill, which is pending in the Senate and he hasn't taken up. And then, just this week, Judy, the Republican governor of South Dakota, William Janklow, signed a measure making it against the law for Tom Daschle to run for reelection to the Senate in South Dakota and for president in the same year in 2004.

WOODRUFF: So that could have the effect of discouraging him from doing that. The AFL-CIO, they took a vote on dues from member unions. What about that?

NOVAK: They met -- the executive council met in New Orleans, and they made a preliminary vote saying that they were going to assess members of the unions, $17 million for additional political fund, to be used against Republicans, mainly. Well, the Teamsters dissented on that. Teamsters are trying to balance themselves off between the Republicans and the Democrats, under James Hoffa.

But it was really interesting, and it has been published, is that the machinists also voted no. I asked the president of the machinist union why they did that. He said it was a secret meeting. He wouldn't tell me why. But I think some of these blue collar unions are upset with John Sweeney, the president of AFL-CIO. Not only has he gotten too deep with the Democrats, but they're too much of a trade -- of a service trade and government workers union, not enough of an industrial union.

WOODRUFF: All right, finally, Bob, what about this, on the social front here in Washington -- what about these birthdays of Teddy Kennedy's?

NOVAK: Bob Novak, boy, social reporter. Last week was Teddy Kennedy's 70th birthday, and he had a huge birthday party for his 3,000 closest friends, I would say, at his mansion in Colorado. In fact, even you and I were invited to that one. But -- that got a lot of publicity. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) three cabinet members from the Bush cabinet there.

What didn't get publicity was, the next morning he had a private party for his real friends. A lot of his old cronies who were in his first campaigns down from Boston. But as far as I know, only two senators. His fellow Massachusetts senator, John Kerry -- and this may surprise you, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland was invited. Also Jim Sasser, former senator from Tennessee, former ambassador to China were there. Those are the people that Ted is really close to. Not you and I, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, now we know who the in crowd is. All right, Bob Novak, thanks very much.


WOODRUFF: Actually, Bob is the in crowd. But now checking the Friday headlines in our campaign news daily. President Bush plans to campaign in Missouri this month for Congressman Jim Talent. Talent, as you know, is running for seat held by Senator Jean Carnahan. Now, she was appointed after her husband, Mel Carnahan, died in a plane crash just days before he defeated incumbent John Ashcroft. New TV ads in the South Dakota Senate race are focused on support for the military. Democratic Party ads for incumbent Tim Johnson use his son's military deployment to deflect critical Republican ads.


ANNOUNCER: Senator Johnson's own son, Brooks, is a soldier who served in Kosovo, Korea and now the war in Afghanistan.


WOODRUFF: Meantime, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is running a new ad for Johnson's opponent, Congressman John Thune. The ad touts Thune's defense credentials and it criticizes Johnson's voting record.

A look at the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle" is coming up. And Republicans are firing back at Democrats who questioned the president's future war strategy. We will hear next from Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile on that issue and other matters when we come back.


WOODRUFF: Time now for a quick look at the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle": While America recovered from September 11, U.S. leaders began preparing for a worst-case scenario. A so-called bunker government has been secretly on standby at two secure facilities outside Washington. Those facilities are apparently the undisclosed locations that Vice President Cheney has been moved to periodically.

The vice president's daughter is going to work for the U.S. State Department. Liz Cheney-Perry will be a deputy assistant secretary of state. She will be working to promote U.S. trade in the Middle East.

And a small contingent of U.S. troops apparently will soon be heading for Yemen. One official tells CNN that the U.S. forces are ready for deployment. Their role will to be to train Yemen's forces to root out al Qaeda and other terrorist cells.

And now with their takes on some of the issues of the day, we are joined by Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause, and Donna Brazile, former campaign manager for Al Gore.

Thank you both. Good to see you.

Let's start with Tom Daschle, today standing by his remarks on the president, the policy on the war on terrorism. This is after Bobby Byrd and Fritz Hollings both had something to say about it.

Are Democrats on solid ground here, Bay, criticizing or even raising questions about this?

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: You know, there is a point at which they can raise it. And that is that they as a Congress have given the authority to the president to wage a war on terrorism that is related somehow to 9/11. And, as long as the president is doing that, the Democrats can't say anything, because are the ones who gave him authority to do so. But I think where the Democrats are wrong, especially Mr. Daschle, is, he is saying it was a success up to now, but we don't know that it will continue to be a success.

It has been so successful, far to succeed any expectation, for him to suggest that it may not be in the future is where I think his mistake is, his real mistake. And I think he comes across as a nagging naysayer and very harmful to the party.


I think Tom Daschle is expressing the same sentiment that George Bush expressed during the second presidential debate, where he said we should have a clear mission and an exit strategy. The Democrats are right to raise questions and question the enormous expenditure that the Defense Department will be making in the so-called effort to defeat terrorism and rebuild our military.

Now, the last time I checked, Tom Daschle represents a very important branch of government, the legislative branch in government. And there is a co-equal balance there. And the Republicans want a blank check. They don't want Democrats to check them on the facts, check them on some of the strategy. And I also believe Daschle is right. We need to find bin Laden.

BUCHANAN: You know...

WOODRUFF: Go ahead.

I want to quickly move us to something domestic.

BUCHANAN: Sure. Sure.

WOODRUFF: I know we could talk about this for a long time, but two other things: California. Next week, voters, Tuesday, voting on Prop 45. This is an effort to modify term limits, to cut back pretty dramatically on it. Should Californians be asked to vote to undo term limits right now, Bay?

BUCHANAN: Well, they obviously got it on the ballot, or it appears they have it in the votes coming up. But, clearly, they should vote no. This is not coming up groundswell from the people, saying this was a bad decision on our part 12 years ago. We should reverse it.

This is coming from special interests and elected officials. They are the ones that are putting the money into it, because they have got this cozy relationship now with their elected officials. The elected officials want to be career politicians. This is not in the best interests of good government. And the citizens should vote it right down.

BRAZILE: As a matter of principle, I trust the voters on this one here. And I think, if they are willing to go out there, go back to the polls in four days, they should make a decision.

And I agree with you that they should vote no on this. They should keep 190. And, if the politicians and the specials interests -- and I'm sure some of them are your friends, because special interests...

BUCHANAN: The unions and Democrats are real heavy on this side


BRAZILE: Big-ticket money is behind this. And you know we don't get that in the Democratic Party.

But I do believe the voters will make the right decision this time and say no on this issue.

WOODRUFF: All right, another domestic political question.

Massachusetts acting Governor Jane Swift, she is the one that everybody knows because she had twins while she was governor. She is saying this week that she is not going to allow -- quote -- "powerful men" to push her out of the governor's race to make room for Mitt Romney, another Republican who ran, apparently, a very successful Olympics, but who is thinking about running for governor himself.


BUCHANAN: You know, Judy, this is very sad. This woman has handled everything so poorly, she has turned herself into a whining governor, for heaven's sakes. That is worse than a whining woman.

What she should have said, is: "Listen, if the big guy wants to comes back from Utah and spend a little time in our state again and reacquaint himself with it, and jump in a primary, he will find me there because I've made my decision."

Instead she says: "Oh, these big bad men are trying to throw me out and of this. And I'm just not going to let it happen." She is whining. Just keep her mouth shut. Do what she wants to do. And if she keeps this up, I say throw her out of there.

BRAZILE: Well, let me just tell you, we have 15 excellent women running for governor in the Democratic Party, from Janet Reno if Florida, to Jennifer Granholm in Michigan. So my suggestion is that Ms. Swift should change party registration, run as a Democrat, and perhaps she will be a lot more successful.

BUCHANAN: You want one that whines like that? A woman that whines is just awful for all of us.

WOODRUFF: So you are saying that, just by bringing up the term "powerful men," that she is whining?

BUCHANAN: She is whining because she is saying, "Oh, they are trying to push me out." She is the governor. "They're trying to push me out of the primary." How can you push a governor? You can't push anyone out of a primary.

BRAZILE: Because the White House is pushing people left and right outside the Republican Party.

BUCHANAN: If she wants to be governor, she should act like she's a strong person, for heaven's sakes, and say


BRAZILE: Bay, if she wants to be governor, she should change party registration, like Judy Dutcher in Minnesota, who is running, and become a Democrat. And she may have a chance of winning. Right now she will have no chance of winning as a Republican.

BUCHANAN: Listen, on some of those social issues, I think she should, too, myself, become a Democrat.

BRAZILE: That is a great endorsement for the Democratic Party.

WOODRUFF: All right, we are going to leave it there. Maybe Jane Swift was listening to all this good advice.

Bay Buchanan, Donna Brazile, thank you both. We appreciate it.

BUCHANAN: You're welcome.

WOODRUFF: A yearning for younger viewers may spell doomsday for "Nightline." When we come back: how a heavyweight comedian could replace a television news institution.


WOODRUFF: It is perhaps the case that television's obsession with attracting younger viewers could mean the end of "Nightline" if ABC manages to lure David Letterman from CBS.

Well, joining us now, our own Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff, you worked at "Nightline" for something like 14 years. But I have to say, this report today stunned everybody I know in journalism.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Well, for all those years at ABC, Roone Arledge, then the news president, not only described "Nightline" as the jewel in the crown, because it was unique to ABC, not only was it a show that got honored, it also made a lot of money for ABC. And back then, at least, advertisers paid more for the audience because it was considered upscale, more educated, more affluent.

So, if it is true that there is something about the audience now, its age and undesirability, that it is that shifted, that at least speaks to some really powerful changes that are going on on the television.

WOODRUFF: Jeff, what about this comment today from one network executive who said that, with all-news cable and all-news radio, he said, "Nightline" has lost its relevancy?

GREENFIELD: Well, you know, maybe that's why he was anonymous, because, look, cable news has been around for more than 20 years. All-news radio has been around for more than 30.

But there's not that much chance for an audience to see one subject treated in depth with the kind of resources and the kind of intelligence that "Nightline" brings to it. I mean, what I do think may be true is that the audiences may think they have heard about a story because they picked up a bit and piece of it somewhere along the way.

WOODRUFF: And, Jeff, this may be the toughest part of this all, this notion that "Nightline"'s audience, in fact all audiences for news, is old. And advisers don't want an old audience. They want to sell their products to young people.

GREENFIELD: Yes, I've always thought, even when I was young, that this was an idiotic notion by advertisers. Their definition of old is over 50. People over 50 do change their minds about products. And some of them have money. But the fact is, news does skew old. All you have to do is look at the ads on the evening newscasts: remedies for ailments literally from head to toe and top to bottom.

But one of the things that you can at least see from a narrow, bottom-line view that these network executives are thinking is: Well, older people go to sleep earlier. Shows like "Conan O'Brien" -- he has just reupped for a huge contract at NBC -- is on an hour later than "Nightline," but the audience is younger. Maybe they don't go to work in the morning. Maybe they're students. Maybe they have more energy. But there is that notion that younger audiences are what you want in late night.

And there's one other really important point. A generation ago, there used to something called the public interest. Broadcast stations were licensed to serve the public interest. And regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission kind of kept an eye on the networks and stations to do some news. That has pretty much fallen out of fashion, not just on the part of bottom-line executives at the stations, but even the FCC is in a much more deregulatory kind of mood.

I still must say that the idea that a show like "Nightline", one of the great journalistic institutions of our time, could be jeopardized by this kind of thinking is a powerfully depressing thing. And I hope it is not just journalistic self-interest or nostalgia to make that point.

WOODRUFF: Well, not just to mention the fact that this whole notion of public service, public interest, is one of the main reasons most of us got into journalism in the first place.

GREENFIELD: A good point.

WOODRUFF: Jeff Greenfield in California, thanks very much. Well, a nation with an image problem here in the United States may get a boost from the new Middle East peace plan. Our Bill Schneider will explain how when we come back.


WOODRUFF: A situation desperate for new ideas just got one from an unlikely source.

CNN's senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, joins us now with the details -- Bill.


Amid the terrible escalation of violence in the Middle East, there was a glimmer of hope that appeared this week. Now, you can't call it a breakthrough, but you can call it the "Political Play of the Week."


(voice-over): Good timing for a new peace initiative, especially one that comes from Saudi Arabia, a country that has never been involved in the Middle East peace process.

ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: Now here is an idea that is very simple, that essentially says withdraw from the territories, including Jerusalem, in exchange for normalization.

SCHNEIDER: In other words: land for peace.

Haven't we heard this before? Yes. What's new is the fact that it is coming from the Saudis, a country with unique standing in the Arab world, and the fact that it defines what peace means: collective recognition of Israel by the entire Arab world, led by the Saudis. That's never been offered before.

RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We think it is a significant, positive step, not only the content, but also the fact that it was made.

SCHNEIDER: And that's where timing comes in. Yasser Arafat needs to regain his legitimacy after being isolated and ostracized. So, the Palestinian leader is enthusiastic.

YASSER ARAFAT, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: It is an initiative which we are appreciated and supported completely.

SCHNEIDER: The Israelis need to find a way out.

SHIMON PERES, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: We welcome, by large, the Saudi approach. We think there are some new elements in the Saudi position.

SCHNEIDER: The Saudi proposal is a politically opportune move that is getting a positive response from the crucial players. What will come of it? That's not clear. What is clear is that it is the "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: The payoff for the Saudis? Well, they need to change the subject from their connection to Islamic extremism. And they need to change their image in the United States, which, as we can see here, has deteriorated badly since September the 11th -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Schneider, thanks very much.

And right now, let's go to Wolf with a look at what's coming up at the top of the hour on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

WOLF BLITZER, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": Thank you very much, Judy.

Coming up, we'll go into the shadows of the government, especially since September 11. We will have more on how federal officials are preparing for the event of another catastrophic attack and the unfolding details about America's bunker government -- also more on the invitation for late-night funnyman David Letterman to perhaps join another network. Is he jumping the CBS ship?


WOODRUFF: It's exactly one year ago this week that I lost my anchor partner, Bernard Shaw. So I decided to check in with him to see what the world looks to him now.


(voice-over): So, what's Bernie been up to since he left? Well, for one thing, traveling around the country giving talks and listening to people. He is also grappling with an autobiography. He calls it slow and lonely work.


WOODRUFF (on camera): Well, I was feeling a little lonely myself on this anniversary of his leaving, so I met Bernie in a park here in Washington to catch up.

SHAW: It doesn't feel like a year. But, then again, it does. Not having to go to work and work 12-, 14-, 15-hour days sometimes, and sometimes seven days a week, and go to other states and countries, it takes some getting used to after doing it for 21 years at my favorite network. But I'm trying.


SHAW: It is a strange thing, Judy. Once you go across the Potomac and head out across this great country, people are getting on with their lives. They're not preoccupied with Washington mania, even with the passage of the education bill, for example. It didn't create a huge ripple out there. And these are off-year elections. And people are not talking about Social Security yet or the economy. They are just getting on with their lives. But one thing I really sense, I sense that Americans are just kind of holding their breath, waiting. And I think it has to do with the times we're living in. We're at war.

WOODRUFF: Now you are watching. You are a viewer. Particularly you were a viewer, Bernie, on September the 11th. How -- what was that like?

SHAW: That day started, as most of my days start, I got up around 9:00, turned on CNN and realized what was happening with the first plane going in and then the second one. And I just sat there on the couch in the dining room. I was transfixed for about five or six hours.

And I have never cried as much as I cried that morning and that afternoon. I have never been angrier. But I was angry for what had been done to my country and fellow Americans and people, nationals from other countries. And I followed that. I mean, I was with you and all of the other CNN people with that. After a while, I just went into a state of very, very deep depression. It took me a couple weeks to get over it.

And then my rage and anger were renewed after what those bastards did to Danny Pearl, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter, over there. And I'm still angry. I'm still bitter.

WOODRUFF: What do you think about the way the media have covered this whole episode? I mean, obviously, the media takes many forms. It is not just CNN. It's not just television. It is print as well.

SHAW: I think the American media have done what they are supposed to do. I don't think the American people could want for too much more information.

Now, of course, journalists and the Pentagon have always been in contention in time of war. But there are certain things I as a journalist don't particularly want or need to know. And, you know, it really bothers me, people who criticize the FBI for these alerts or criticize the White House for these alerts. We Americans tend to be impatient. But these warnings are for a reason.

And you can't expect any intelligence agency to tell you at a time certain and at a moment certain and a date certain when something is going to happen. The best you can do is get raw information, alert the people. And then the people have to stand by. But, in the process, I think the American people are showing great maturity by absorbing this information and then getting on with their lives.

WOODRUFF: You obviously feel pretty strongly about this.

SHAW: Oh, I do.

WOODRUFF: Do you feel freer to express that now that you are not in front of the camera day in and day out? SHAW: Now that I have left CNN -- it's been a year this week -- I feel that the yolk is lifted. I can say whatever I want to say to whomever. And it is a great feeling. I can actually express personal opinions.

WOODRUFF: Well, we miss you. And are you going to give us permission to come back and talk to you a year from now to check in on the second year out anniversary?

SHAW: Oh, of course, permission granted.

I will tell you, I don't miss the rigors of broadcast journalism. And I don't miss going into CNN every day. But I do miss the people of CNN. They are one of a kind. They are irreplaceable. And, if you have worked at a place for 21 years and don't miss the people you worked with, there is something wrong with you.


WOODRUFF: And we miss you, Bernie.

Well, tune in next week as I head to sunny California. I will be talking with Arnold Schwarzenegger and I will be covering that newly hot gubernatorial primary out there.

CNN's coverage continues now with "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." I'm Judy Woodruff.


War of Words on War Against Terrorism Continues>



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