CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Is War on Terrorism Headed in Right Direction?; Battle Begins Over Nuclear Waste Storage; Primary Run-Off in Texas
Aired April 9, 2002 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff. As the Middle East boils, is the U.S. war on terrorism heading in the right direction?
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl on Capitol Hill, where the battle has begun over a truly radioactive issue.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera in Dallas, where it's primary run-off day in Texas, and the main bout pits a teacher with a truck and a big city mayor.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brooks Jackson on Capitol Hill with a question: does Congress ever see a favor it can't refuse.
ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS WITH JUDY WOODRUFF.
: Thank you for joining us. I'm in our New York bureau today. We begin with the latest bloodshed in the Middle East. Amid intense fighting and explosions at West Bank refugee camps, Israel says 13 of its soldiers were killed in an ambush by Palestinian militants. In response, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said again the Israeli offensive in the West Bank will continue until Palestinian militias are crushed.
Hours earlier, Israel finished its withdrawal from two West Bank towns, Qalqilya and Tulkarem. But at the same time, Israeli troops and tanks rolled into Dura, southwest of Hebron.
In Egypt, Secretary of State Colin Powell tried to emphasize the positive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm pleased that in the last 24 hours, the Israeli government has started to pull back from some of the cities that it had gone into, although there are still a lot of movements taking place and we have seen some rather fierce fighting in Jenin and the situation is unsettled in a few of the other areas, as you all know.
Nevertheless, the president hopes that Prime Minister Sharon will end this operation quickly and start to remove the forces now. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: From Egypt, Powell moved on to Spain, which will be the latest stop on his mission to stop the fighting in the Middle East before traveling to Israel on Thursday. Powell said today that he does plan to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as well as with Prime Minister Sharon. He offered U.S. observers to monitor a truce he says he hopes to broker.
Israel's pullout from two Palestinian cities helped to ease some of the jitters in the oil market. Here in New York, the price of crude futures was down sharply at the close of trading. Prices had spiked yesterday after Saddam Hussein announced that Iraq would suspend its oil exports for 30 days. Saudi Arabia helped to settle the market by saying that it would ensure global oil supplies.
But there remained concerns about output from the world's No. 4 oil exporter, Venezuela. As Venezuelan workers staged a one-day general strike, the state oil company's refineries were shut down, or running at reduced rates. And crude exports were sharply curved.
Now let's get the latest on the oil outlook at the White House, with U.S. gas prices on the rise. Here's our senior White House correspondent, John King. John, what is the White House saying right now about the fact that gas prices are still climbing?
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Two concerns, Judy. One is an economic concern. We have heard the president say repeatedly in recent weeks, the economy is not out of the woods yet. Yes, it is recovering, but a sustained recovery is not assured. And the president saying again yesterday in an interview with "The Wall Street Journal," that he's worried that rising energy prices, specifically, rising gasoline prices, will put a ceiling, if you will, on the recovery and keep the economy from growing more quickly.
So an economic concern on the one hand. Even though the administration says what Saddam Hussein is saying won't have a long- term impact, the administration is concerned it is hurting the economy a little bit, these rising prices. Even though they say they're seasonal, largely.
On the other hand, there's a political concern. Remember the president's party normally loses seats in a midterm election year. Some concern here at the White House, if energy prices are up, if the recovery is not that strong, the voters will focus on the economy this November, blame the president and therefore the Republicans, for that.
That's why you see the administration talking every day now. The secretary of energy out, saying he's keeping a close eye on this. If there's any price gouging, the administration will deal with that.
So they certainly think it's a short-term issue, but they want to show that they're watching it very closely, because of the connected, if you will, economic and political concerns.
WOODRUFF: John, what about the White House fond hopes that there could be drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve? Now that the Iraqis have stopped exporting oil for 30 days, aren't they wanting to use that, perhaps, as an argument to go ahead with the drilling?
KING: They certainly are, Judy. And the president did that just so today. On the one hand, dismissing what Saddam Hussein says in terms of its impact. Saddam says he won't export any Iraqi oil for a month, or until Israel withdraws. The president on the one hand, says that shouldn't have any real impact on world global petroleum markets.
But, as the president said at a fund raising event in Connecticut earlier today, it is proof to him that the Congress should get about the business of passing his energy plan, which would include more domestic production and, most controversially, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was made pretty clear the other day, when Saddam Hussein stands up and announces he's going to try and organize an oil boycott. You know -- you know my opinion about Saddam.
BUSH: The world's not going to follow him. But it just goes to show how important it is to diversify our supply away from places like Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: So on the one hand, the administration critical, saying Saddam Hussein using this as a cynical ploy to try to curry favor in the Arab world at the time of Israeli aggression. Yet the administration, of its own right, trying to use it politically her at home, as it presses the Senate to pass the president's energy plan. But presses the Senate to keep that drilling, the most controversial part in the plan, perhaps, in whatever the Senate acts on -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: John King at the White House. Thank you, John.
And as John was saying, the Senate is moving toward a vote on Alaska drilling, on ANWR, as early as this week. And some Jewish groups are backing up the Bush administration view. They are saying that oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would help the U.S. ease its dependence on Arab oil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NATHAN DIAMANT, UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS OF AMERICA: Yesterday Saddam Hussein put a cup of coffee on our table, and it's time for us to wake up and smell it. He is trying to dictate American foreign policy by manipulating his oil reserves to pressure us to pressure our own foreign conduct and foreign policy, and the conduct of Israel's policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: Now let's bring in CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein, of the "Los Angeles Times." Ron, how does this latest volatility in the oil markets, Iraq shutting off exports, prices going up, what bearing is all that going to have on hopes on the part of those who want to see drilling in Alaska?
RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Strangely, Judy, probably not very much at all. In the end what we have in the energy bill in the Senate is pretty much what could be called mutually assured destruction. Even as both parties are growing more concerned about our dependence on foreign oil, the way the debate is unfolding, each side is blocking the other's principle idea for reducing that dependence on foreign oil.
A few weeks ago, the administration, the Senate Republicans and the auto industry, blocked the main idea of Democrats for reducing our dependence, which was increasing fuel economy standards -- requiring cars and SUVs to get more miles to the gallon. That was summarily defeated.
And in the next few days, it's pretty unequivocal that the president's proposal to drill at ANWR will be defeated as well. So we're likely to get what we got a decade ago, which is, if there is an energy bill at all, it will be without the main ideas that could have the most impact on both the supply and the conservation side.
WOODRUFF: Well, if you don't have that, what's left?
BROWNSTEIN: You don't have much. The last time the Senate tried to do this, in the early 1990s, they passed the bill only after -- as it looks like we're on track for now -- stripping out ANWR and the fuel economy standards. At that point we took about 46 percent of our oil from imports.
Now it's up to 59 percent, and the term line is up for 2/3 by the end of this decade. I mean, there really is very little here. Both sides have chosen, as they do on many issues now in Washington, that they'd rather block the other side's main initiative, rather than compromising and taking a bit of each and putting it in the final bill that. That would require them to confront their base to do that. They choose not to do it.
And I think what we're going to have, in all likelihood, is even if the staunchest ANWR supporters say they have virtually no chance of reaching the 60 votes they need to break a filibuster, right now, Judy, they're not even sure they have 50 votes to get a majority for the proposal, in which case they may never even offer it in the Senate.
WOODRUFF: So, Ron, you're saying, with all of the anxiety right now rising about oil -- we don't know how long it's going to last -- you're saying neither of the forces for more drilling in the U.S., nor the forces for conservation are going to be able to come up with anything.
BROWNSTEIN: It really is the all or nothing delusion, Judy, which we see in a lot of issues in Washington. I think the lesson of the past decade is that neither side is really strong enough in this argument, with this evenly divided red state, blue state America, to get what it wants, unless it's willing to give the other side part of what it wants.
And at the moment, neither side is willing to do that. Even if we can get -- the administration hope is to get any kind of bill out of the Senate. Bring it into the conference with the House, which did include some ANWR drilling in their version, and maybe somehow squeeze it out of a conference committee with a provision to drill in Alaska.
The problem is that if that comes back into Senate with no provision for fuel economy increase, which it won't have, since that didn't pass either bill, there's no reason why the Democrats wouldn't filibuster that. So even the proponents of ANWR say it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which a bill ultimately gets to the president's desk with it in it.
And of course, the fuel economy is dead as well. And we're left with doing very little, when in fact, the public would probably prefer they do some of both at this point.
WOODRUFF: You're probably right. Ron Brownstein, thanks so much.
BROWNSTEIN: Sorry it's so gloomy.
WOODRUFF: And now let's turn to another issue that has some people worked up on Capitol Hill. The Bush administration plans to store nuclear waste at a facility in Nevada's Yucca mountain. Our Congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl, has been covering the battle -- Jon.
KARL: Well, Judy, Nevada's Republican governor, just after he exercised a very unusual power to actually veto the president's decision on that, came to Capitol Hill to urge fellow Republicans to stand with him in standing up against the White House on storing nuclear waste at Yucca mountain.
(voice-over): To keep 77,000 tons of radioactive waste out of Yucca mountain, Nevada needs 51 votes in the United States Senate. That's a tough sell to senators who would rather see the waste in Nevada than in their own states.
GOV. KENNY GUINN (R), NEVADA: I'm calling upon all Americans to wake up to this grave danger of having nuclear waste transported through their communities, through their downtown areas, through their neighborhoods, alongside their schools, their rivers and their parks.
KARL: To make the case against using Yucca mountain as the nation's nuclear waste depository, opponents are talking about the 45 states the waste could travel through on its way to Nevada. But the Bush administration says Yucca is the only place to safely store the material, which is now scattered at nuclear power plants around the country, and is believed to remain radioactive for 10,000 years.
SPENCER ABRAHAM, ENERGY SECRETARY: Burying it 800 feet below a mountain in the desert near Death Valley will work. It's scientifically sound, and it's been studied for 20 years for $4 billion. We know it can work, and that's the best way to proceed.
KARL: Opponents of the Yucca plan have hired an army of top political strategists, including GOP pollster Frank Luntz, former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, and former Reagan chief of staff, Ken Duberstein. With at least $8 million in public funds from the state of Nevada, they plan to launch a national TV ad campaign.
And on the other side, the nuclear power industry, which has hired former Bush chief of staff John Sununu and former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, will spend heavily to make the case for trucking the waste to Nevada.
Congress has 90 legislative days to either override or sustain Governor Guinn's -- to sustain or overturn his veto on the issue. That means that this could come to a front here in Congress anytime between now and the August recess -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Jon Karl, very awkward for Republican administration and a Republican governor. But they clearly disagree on this. Jon Karl at the Capitol, thanks.
We will return to the Middle East crisis next on INSIDE POLITICS. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Richard Holbrooke, will go "On the Record" about that war, and the prospects for peace and beyond in Afghanistan.
It's all about political pork, when our Brooks Jackson pours over the entries in the latest pig book.
Also ahead, in living color...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD KURTZ, "WASHINGTON POST": Let's face it. Black and white is so 20th century. People don't like shades of gray. They expect technicolor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Howard Kurtz, on "The Wall Street Journal's" new look.
WOODRUFF: We discuss the Middle East, Afghanistan and the connection between the two now with Richard Holbrooke. He's a former assistant secretary of state and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Ambassador Holbrooke, first the Middle East. Thirteen Israeli soldiers killed today by Palestinian gunmen. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sharon saying this operation will continue until the other side is crushed. What does this do to Secretary Powell's mission?
RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FORMER U.S. AMB. TO U.N.: It makes a difficult mission even more difficult, Judy. He had a tough mandate to begin with. Now he's going into a situation where it's even tougher for the Israelis to move. They've been brutalized by the Palestinians. And their right of self-defense is going to be paramount in their minds.
WOODRUFF: Not only do you have Prime Minister Sharon defying the request by President Bush, you now have the Arab states continuing to be so angry at the U.S. because they say the U.S. isn't doing enough to restrain the Israelis. How much influence does the U.S. have at this point in that part of the world?
HOLBROOKE: You know, for the last 30 years, we've been continuously engaged as the outside power that mediated, that kept the lid on, that kept things under control. I wish Secretary Powell, who I greatly admire and respect, all the luck in the world. He is carrying on a historic mission here.
But the initial mistake of this administration, to disengage from the 25-year legacy of continuous negotiations under five presidents at the beginning of administration last year, is now beginning to look, in retrospect, like a historic era of enormous proportions. Because it took the lid off, and the Palestinians escalated their suicide bombing, the fighting escalated. And now Powell has to reinsert the United States under the most difficult circumstances.
Here is the irony, Judy. With our tremendous military success in Afghanistan, with the most powerful military structure in the history of the world, ability to project power anywhere on earth, our diplomatic and political influence is under tremendous pressure right now, and I'm very concerned about it.
WOODRUFF: Well, you mention Afghanistan. Very real questions have been raised in the last weeks about where Afghanistan is going. You yourself have said the United States may have won the war, but we may be losing the peace. What did you mean by that?
HOLBROOKE: As I said a moment ago, we can put our military forces anywhere on earth. And the military victory in Afghanistan is assured. But military victory is worth only as much as the peace that follows it.
And I believe that the United States Pentagon, specifically, has made a tremendous mistake not supporting the expansion of the international peacekeeping effort. They have restricted it. And they have done this very publicly, at the United Nations and elsewhere, to 5,000 troops, no Americans, in only the capital city of Kabul.
This should be a nationwide peacekeeping force, four or five times as large. I think the U.S. also ought to give it some support. And I'm very troubled by this. Afghanistan, Judy, is going to become, once again, after the military victories, the sanctuary and safe haven for warlords and drug lords, often the same -- and you know, 90 percent of our heroin comes from there.
And for terrorists, who are going to start plotting against us and against Pakistan's President Musharraf again, unless we step up and make a long-term commitment, of the sort we did in Bosnia five years ago and in Korea half a century ago.
WOODRUFF: But I can just hear the Bush administration saying, you know, our first priority now is fighting the war on terror. We're worried about Saddam Hussein. We're pledged to remove him from power. We've now got a crisis in the Middle East. How can one expect them to simultaneously do what you're asking them to do in Afghanistan?
HOLBROOKE: Well, No. 1, I'm not asking them to do it. I'm asking them to support other nations doing it, and make a small contribution. No. 2, I agree with everything you just said. Since the main arena of this very dangerous three-ring circus we're watching, going from east to west, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Mideast. The main central arena still is Iraq.
We're not going to be able to turn our attention to Saddam, who's the most dangerous person around, if Afghanistan becomes a mess again. Yesterday...
HOLBROOKE: ... you reported very dramatically that the defense minister was almost killed in a trip to Jalalabad. That kind of thing is going to get worse and worse, unless we support an expansion of the international peacekeeping effort. As for the Mideast, you and I have just discussed it. We're not going to be able to turn our attention to Saddam if we don't get this under control.
WOODRUFF: You said Afghanistan may be right now as important to the U.S. as Korea was a half-century ago. Do you really mean that?
HOLBROOKE: Sure. And you know, if you told the American public in 1953 that we would have 40,000 troops in Korea half a century later, people would have said, not possible. But there they are. They cost a great deal of money. Everyone supports them. And they provided the security umbrella behind which Korea became a stable, viable democracy and economic power, which was in our national interest.
Now, I'm not saying that Afghanistan can, in the foreseeable future, ever become what Korea was, but people wrote Korea off, too. The fact is, that when it's important enough to send troops to risk their lives and die, as we did in Korea, as we've done in Afghanistan, it's also important to build the peace that follows.
The U.S. has a proud history in this area. And we should support these efforts in our own national interest on the war on terrorism. Otherwise -- and I underscore this -- our magnificent fighting men and women are going to win every military victory, at the end of which Afghanistan is going to be once again a mess for drug lords, warlords and terrorists. And we cannot afford that. And if that happens, we won't be able to turn to Saddam. WOODRUFF: Well, we hear you loud and clear. Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke. Perhaps the U.S. Defense Department will be able to come on and talk to us about their point of view on all this. But thank you very much for joining us.
HOLBROOKE: Thanks, Judy.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
Some call it pork, others call it serving the home folks. A look at the big spenders in Congress, just ahead.
Plus, four people are charged with helping the convicted terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. A "Newscycle" is next.
WOODRUFF: Checking the headlines in our "Newscycle." Hours after Israeli forces withdrew from two West Bank towns, 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush at the Jenin refugee camp. An Israeli commander said a suicide bomber detonated a blast inside an alley filled with explosives.
Here in the U.S., four people were indicted today and charged with aiding the imprisoned cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. Among those indicted were Lynne Stewart, Rahman's defense attorney when he was convicted in 1995, for plotting to attack New York landmarks.
A pro-marijuana group purchased this ad today in "The New York Times," using Mayor Michael Bloomberg's own words to promote their cause. Before he became mayor, while he was campaigning, Bloomberg was once asked if he had ever tried marijuana. He said, -- quote -- "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it." Today Bloomberg said there's not much he can do about the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: I never lie, so when somebody asked me a question, I told them. Do I in retrospect wish I didn't say it that day so they couldn't quote it? Of course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Bloomberg also said today he favors the enforcement of all drug laws.
When it comes to government spending, one lawmaker's pork is another's way of helping out the folks back home. As our Brooks Jackson reports, the pork barrel projects keep on flowing, through good times and bad.
JACKSON (voice-over): How is the U.S. Congress like the Corleone family?
MARLON BRANDO, ACTOR: Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service.
JACKSON: Answer, according to one watchdog group, they both run on favors -- favors given and favors returned. From Congress, more favors, at greater cost than ever.
THOMAS SCHATZ, CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE: They protected their incumbency, as they porked out their directed levels.
JACKSON: To refurbish the boardwalk at Daytona Beach, Florida, scene of an annual biker gathering, $240,000 added to the federal budget. To train hospitality workers in Las Vegas, $700,000 Congress is billing to federal taxpayers. Senator Larry Craig sung out for a favor for a program to study jazz history at the University of Idaho -- $750,000.
And back again for yet another favor, the city of Birmingham -- Alabama's famous project to refurbish a statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of the forge. Another $2 million this year for what's becoming the poster image for pork barrel spending.
Deficits have replaced surpluses and yet Congress shows less spending discipline than before, according to Citizens Against Government Waste.
SCHATZ: The problem has never been this big. The pay book has never been fatter.
JACKSON: The group's annual reckoning says Congressional appropriators stuck 8,341 pork barrel projects in the budget for this year, costing $20.1 billion, a record. That's 9 percent more money for pork than last year, nearly $9 billion for military pork alone, including $125 million added by the House to build a destroyer like this one that administration budget officials said comes at the expense of more urgent needs, like fighting terrorism.
The Navy is also getting an extra million, not to fight the war on terrorism, but to recover the Confederate vessel Alabama, sunk during the Civil War.
(on camera): There's money for growing asparagus in Washington state, money for tattoo removal in California, money for combating Goth culture in Missouri, and money for manure management in Iowa. It makes you wonder, does Congress ever see a favor it can't refuse?
Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: And just ahead: How have some Republicans turned hostile territory into friendly turf? Our Bill Schneider has some ideas. And we'll get the "Inside Buzz" on today's runoff in Texas for the Democratic Senate nomination.
WOODRUFF: And now we head to Texas, where turnout, we're told, is light in today's primary runoff. And the race for the Democratic Senate nomination is tight.
Our Ed Lavandera filed this report.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six years ago, small-town high school teacher Victor Morales revved up his truck and campaigned across Texas to became a U.S. senator. He came within nine points of knocking off Phil Gramm. And now Morales and the little white truck are back.
VICTOR MORALES (D), TEXAS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: It's creaking. There's a lot of noise. Sometimes I wonder if the door's not going to fall off or something. But it's still running, though.
LAVANDERA: This political duo is driving the political establishment crazy again. Morales is still teaching full time, campaigning at night, on weekends, or whenever he finds two people willing to listen.
MORALES: The problem I have, of course, is I don't have money to present myself in the media with a commercial. Besides, I'd rather do it face-to-face, man-to-man. You see my eyes. You see what I'm saying. And you get a feel of whether or not it's another politician talking or a very real person.
RON KIRK (D), TEXAS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: The choice in this election is: Who do you believe can work across party lines to get it done?
LAVANDERA: Kirk is the seasoned politician. As the first black mayor of Dallas, he won the support of the traditionally Republican business community. Ann Richards was his political mentor when he served as secretary of state. Kirk has raked in endorsements from virtually every Texas Democrat.
KIRK: I have spent the last eight weeks in churches across this state. I am clearly the most prayed-over candidate in the history of this state.
LAVANDERA: Divine intervention is what many political experts predicted Victor Morales would need to beat Ron Kirk. But the latest poll shows Morales has a seven-point lead over Kirk. The tight race has sparked feisty exchanges, like when Kirk accused Morales during a debate of flip-flopping on the issue of school vouchers.
KIRK: When you get on the floor of the United States Senate, you don't get a do-over. You don't get a chance to make a vote and then come back and say: "Oops I'm sorry. I forgot. I didn't mean that."
MORALES: If you had listened at all, Mr. Kirk, you would have heard me be consistent for five years.
LAVANDERA: Morales has about $10,000 in his war chest. Ron Kirk is counting on $1.6 million to pull him through. But, in this race, it might take more than money to convince voters who should be in the driver's seat.
LAVANDERA: Judy, here at this polling place in Dallas, turnout has been rather slow today. And voting officials here in Texas say they expect that to continue throughout the rest of the day.
The Democratic candidate for governor, Tony Sanchez, came out and endorsed Ron Kirk yesterday. And Victor Morales has been quoted as saying that he thinks it is sad that it takes so many political heavyweights to beat a man in a pickup truck. The winner of this race will face Republican John Cornyn in November's election -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, nothing quiet about that contest, Ed Lavandera. And, of course, we'll be reporting tomorrow on the outcome. Thanks, Ed.
Well, we are going to shake things up a little bit in today's "Campaign News Daily." Political analyst Charlie Cook is joining me now from Washington to share his insights on today's edition -- hello, Charlie.
CHARLIE COOK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to see you, Judy.
First up, former independent counsel Robert Ray, we now know, has dropped out of the Republican race for the Senate in New Jersey. We have a campaign spokesman saying Ray decided he did not have enough time to raise the money that was needed to mount an effective campaign. Ray announced his candidacy less than three weeks ago for the seat that is now held by Robert Torricelli.
WOODRUFF: Charlie, what effect is this going to have on the race? There's still something like five or six other Republicans running.
COOK: I don't think this is going to have much of an impact.
It reminds of when Alice Roosevelt Longworth was told that President Coolidge was dead and she said, "How could they tell?" Ray was not a factor in this race at all. If someone had asked me before he got in, "Who's the independent counsel that replaced Ken Starr?" I couldn't have even come up with his name. He had no name recognition in the state, minimal fund-raising capability. He was not a factor in the race.
The situation in place is that Bob Torricelli has been damaged by scandals. He's got terrible job approval ratings. He's very, very vulnerable. But the state is trending very, very, very heavily in favor of Democrats. It is a very expensive state, with the New York and Philadelphia media markets, the first and fourth most expensive media markets in the country, dominating the state. So it is a very difficult state for a challenger to break through.
If lightning were to strike, if Republicans were to make this a competitive race, I think it would probably mean that state Senator Diane Allen won the nomination, who is sort of a moderate Republican. She theoretically could give it a tough race, if she had the money. But, frankly, I think it is a very uphill struggle for Republicans. They've got a lot better shots elsewhere.
WOODRUFF: Charlie, let's move quickly to Pennsylvania.
There's a federal court there that has thrown out the state's new congressional districts. And they've given the legislators three weeks to draw up new ones. Now, the map was expected to give Republicans a big advantage this fall. So does this mean this helps the Democrats?
COOK: Well, the vast majority of state legislatures around the country drew lines that were basically pro-incumbent, incumbent protection plans. There were a couple places, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Republicans really stuck it to Democrats. There were a couple places, Georgia, Maryland, where Democrats really stuck it to Republicans.
The state was going to lose two seats anyway. This plan may have rendered maybe Democrats losing four seats and Republicans picking up two seats. But the thing is, it gives Democrats some hope. But Republicans in the legislature have three weeks to come up with a plan. And I think they still could end up sticking it Democrats. The Democrats' only hope, really, is if the legislature can't do it, if it gets thrown to a panel of federal judges, and if that panel renders a favorable verdict. So it gives Democrats a little bit of hope, but it's still uphill for them.
WOODRUFF: Well, Charlie, that's Pennsylvania.
Now, in Connecticut, President Bush was up there today. He was the star attraction today at a Republican fund-raiser. Now, they were raising money for several Republican candidates, including Congresswoman Nancy Johnson. Now, because of redistricting again -- we're still talking about redistricting -- she is locked in a tight race for reelection against another incumbent, Democrat James Maloney.
Charles, these incumbent-vs.-incumbent fights are always messy. What do you think the prospects are?
COOK: Well, we have a handful of them around the country. And the common theme typically is one very, very experienced, sort of heavyweight member against a junior member. And, in a lot of cases, there are things that tilt it towards the junior member. But you wonder, how much does clout play a role?
In this particular case, Nancy Johnson has been in Congress for a long time. She is one of the more influential members of the House of Representatives, or Republicans in the House of Representatives. She's a real heavyweight. Maloney has only been in, what, three terms, I guess, has not been in that long. The district sort of tilts a little bit towards the Democrats. But Johnson has so much more clout in the House that this will be a test of how important is clout in Congress in this sort of thing vs. the tilt of the district?
But it should be a very competitive race, because she has won in a heavily Democratic district before. But he has survived some pretty tough challenges before. It will be a very good race. I would tip it slightly towards Johnson. But it is going to be a very close race.
WOODRUFF: All right, Charlie Cook, who watches all the races all the time. Thanks, Charlie.
Well, we have several governor's races here on the East Coast that are also worth watching, particularly if you're looking for tips on turning things around.
Here now: our senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are supposed to be hostile territory for Republicans. Yet all three states have had Republican governors for at least eight years. And after this year's election, they could have them for four more years. Do Republicans up there have a secret formula for success?
Well, New York astonished the political world when Republican Governor George Pataki beat Mario Cuomo back in 1994 and reelected Pataki in 1998. And ditto for Connecticut. Republican John Rowland got elected in '94, reelected in '98. Well, this year, Pataki and Rowland are running for third terms. Has their time finally run out? Apparently not.
They are both running way ahead of their potential Democratic opponents.
(voice-over): Pataki beat Mario Cuomo in 1994 -- and reelected Pataki in 1998. Ditto for Connecticut: Republican John Rowland in 1994, reelected in 1998. This year, Pataki and Rowland are running for third terms. Has their time finally run out? Apparently not.
They're both running way ahead of their potential Democratic opponents. In another Northeast state, heavily Democratic Massachusetts, acting Governor Jane Swift dropped out when another GOP candidate came skiing in from the Salt Lake City Olympics. Like Pataki and Rowland, Romney is favored. Do these guys have a secret formula for Republican success in the Northeast? Yes. It is called libertarianism.
GOV. JOHN ROWLAND (R), CONNECTICUT: We are fiscally conservative, but we are aggressively inclusive.
MITT ROMNEY (R), MASSACHUSETTS GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm a fiscal conservative and a social moderate.
SCHNEIDER: Ah. But what about the abortion issue? Pataki and Rowland say their views on abortion have evolved. They both started supporting abortion rights in 1994, when they decided to run for governor. Romney's views on abortion have also evolved to fit the Massachusetts electorate.
ROMNEY: Accordingly, I respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose.
SCHNEIDER: Romney, Pataki and Rowland have no primary opponents, whereas Democrats in all three states have nasty, highly competitive contests. The three Republicans have a lot of money, whereas Democrats are way behind in fund-raising. So, the bottom line? Republicans in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts have got their act together -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider pulling it all together -- thank you, Bill.
WOODRUFF: Well, Jeff Greenfield's "Bite of the Apple" is just ahead. Question: Can acts of violence reflect a sensible strategy? Jeff considers the risks of labeling all violence as senseless.
WOODRUFF: To outside observers, the ongoing Middle East violence might seem haphazard and chaotic. But for those involved on both sides, there may be a larger strategy at work.
More on this from our Jeff Greenfield in today's "Bite of the Apple."
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: You hear this all the time: "This wave of senseless violence must stop." At times, it seems as if those two words, senseless and violence, are joined together at the hip. But painful as this is, we have to understand that some violence, while it may be malevolent, inhumane, brutal, may not be senseless at all. In fact, it may be very shrewdly sensible.
(voice-over): Some acts of terror -- the Columbine school shootings, for example -- are indeed senseless, the product of deranged minds. We might understand what could have triggered it -- rage at being bullied, for example -- but the violence itself has no purpose. It's aimed at no result except the violence itself.
The bombing of that federal building in Oklahoma City has that same senseless quality. Even if it was revenge for what happened at Waco, what was it going to accomplish: stir up a national revolution against the federal government? By contrast, look at what happened when terrorists blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983. The killings were aimed directly at U.S. military presence in the region. A few months later, President Reagan pulled those Marines out.
According to Osama bin Laden, it was a sign that Americans would not stand and fight. Bin Laden and his followers drew that same lesson after President Clinton pulled the Marines out of Somalia in 1993 after 18 were killed in a firelight. America's enemies saw this as a humiliation inflicted on the world's one superpower. And violence throughout the colonial empires, in Kenya, in Algeria, helped convince the European powers that the cost of maintaining those empires was simply too high.
Now, was September 11 senseless? Al Qaeda, with 19 men and a few hundred thousand dollars, inflicted more human and financial damage to the United States on a single day than any other force in history, and introduced an unprecedented level of anxiety. If you hate America, this was a triumph.
Are the current wave of Palestinian suicide bombings senseless? They have pushed Israel into a response that has put it on the diplomatic defense and crippled parts of the Israeli economy and its sense of security. If you are out to undermine Israel, that's very sensible.
(on camera): There is, in fact, a real danger to calling every horrific act of violence senseless. It suggests that it's all a therapeutic problem, fixable by increased understanding. But if the people perpetuating such violence know exactly what they are doing and why, then doing something to stop it becomes a whole lot harder.
WOODRUFF: Jeff Greenfield.
Well, we will get some color commentary next on INSIDE POLITICS. What's black and white and updated all over? Howard Kurtz opens the pages of the new "Wall Street Journal."
WOODRUFF: Some will see it as another break with journalistic tradition, but others will say it's a much-needed face-lift to keep up with the times. Either way, "The Wall Street Journal" isn't what it used to be -- from a design perspective.
Here now: CNN's Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES."
HOWARD KURTZ, "RELIABLE SOURCES": I hold in my hand a 112-year- old newspaper that has just tiptoed into the modern era.
(voice-over): In the beginning, July 8, 1889, "The Wall Street Journal" was $5 a year. The average of the top stocks was 88. And bankers and brokers bought ads at the top of the front page. And, like all newspapers, it was all very black and white.
It wasn't until nearly a century later -- 1982, to be exact -- that "USA Today" gave American journalism a splashy full-color front page, not to mention a spiffy weather map that critics loved to ridicule.
Other newspapers, "The New York Times" "The Los Angeles Times," "The Washington Post," left the black-and-white era behind -- but not "The Journal." As recently as, well, yesterday, "The Journal"'s front section remained defiantly black and white, mostly boring text and small headlines, no photographs, just these little sketches of the famous and not-so-famous.
But today's "Journal" has a redesigned front page: some subdued color, bigger headlines for breaking news, and a decidedly more modern look. The paper has had a tough year: its headquarters ruined by the World Trade Center collapse; and the killing of Daniel Pearl. And the new design, with a "Personal Journal" section, has provided a morale boost.
Television began in black and white, too. You all remember pictures like these. But even Lucille Ball's hair was eventually seen as red. Movies, too, were a black-and-white phenomenon, until color became all the rage in the theaters. By the mid-80s, black and white was seen as so archaic that Turner Broadcasting took some heat for colorizing such film classics as "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
(on camera): Let's face it, black and white is so 20th century. People don't want shades of gray. They expect Technicolor. "The Journal" hopes to attract younger readers -- the average subscriber is 54 -- and more women by leaving behind the era of the man in the gray flannel suit.
This is Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES."
WOODRUFF: Howard Kurtz in loving color.
Well, there will be more INSIDE POLITICS coming up, but first, let's go to Wolf Blitzer for a preview of what's ahead at the top of the hour on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" -- hi there.
WOLF BLITZER, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": Thank you very much, Judy.
The White House is demanding it, but Israel is not immediately withdrawing from the West Bank. We'll talk to officials from both sides of the conflict. And the war on terror nets an American attorney. We will examine the Justice Department's case. And Sarah Brady joins us to talk about her new book on the bullet that hit her husband during the assassination attempt on President Reagan and her crusade against the gun control lobby -- all that and much more at the top of the hour right after INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: A quick look now at some of what's in the works for tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS: my extended interview with Senator Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah. And one of the issues we discuss: his decision on whether to run for president in 2004.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: I feel very strongly that anybody who wants to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 has to decide by the end of 2002, because it is just too big and there's too much to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: So, that's Wednesday, talking with Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah.
Then on Thursday, I will talk with another one of the Democrats thinking seriously about running for president, North Carolina Democratic Senator John Edwards, and his wife, Elizabeth. And, on Friday, I'll be in Florida in Orlando for the Florida State Democratic Party Convention. They will be meeting over the weekend. I'll be there until Sunday. We'll be listening to all of the Democrats, almost all of the Democrats who are thinking seriously about running, from Al Gore to John Edwards, to Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, and a few others.
We'll be covering that and reporting on it on Monday.
CNN's coverage continues right now with "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.
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Begins Over Nuclear Waste Storage; Primary Run-Off in Texas>