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Torricelli May End Bid For Re-election; Congressmen Visiting Iraq Urge U.S. to Hold Off on Military Strike

Aired September 30, 2002 - 16:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. With control of the Senate on the line, sources say New Jersey Democrat Robert Torricelli will end his troubled re-election bid. We are waiting for the senator's news conference, and we will carry it live.
ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Senior Democratic operatives are saying that the last hours have been "confusing and chaotic," as Senator Robert Torricelli weighed the future of his re- election bid, which has been devastated by ethics controversy. Torricelli is expected to speak to reporters in just about one hour, and we are told that he will announce he is pulling the plug on his campaign.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is in Trenton, New Jersey for that news conference, but first, let's turn to our congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl. He is on Capitol Hill.

Jonathan, all day long, the Torricelli office has been full of rumors. What -- how did all this develop today?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was simply cold, hard political reality for Senator Bob Torricelli. As you probably saw, Judy, there was a poll over the weekend in the "Newark Star-Ledger" that showed that Torricelli was trailing by 13 points to Doug Forrester, his virtually unknown Republican challenger, and what Torricelli did is he looked at his own internal polls as well, and we have been told those polls were actually worse than the "Newark Star-Ledger," worse than a 13-point deficit. It's really an astounding fact when you consider that New Jersey has not elected a Republican senator in 30 years, and just a couple of months ago Torricelli had a double-digit lead over any possible challenger.

WOODRUFF: And, Jon, what are you hearing in terms of who might replace Torricelli as the Democratic Party's nominee? I mean, we are five weeks away from the election.

KARL: The scramble is on, and it's really a question of whether or not they'd be able to get anybody on the ballot at this point. There will be a legal battle on that question.

But here are some of the people that are under consideration: First, Bob Menendez, a member of the House of Representatives from New Jersey, somebody who is attractive because he already has $2.4 million in his bank account, and he is considered a strong candidate, potentially a strong candidate statewide.

Also another congressman, Frank Pallone, another person serving in the House for New Jersey considered a possibility. Another congressman is Rob Andrews. Rob Andrews is somebody who -- well, that's actually is Frank Lautenberg right there, the former senator, yet another possibility. There is Rob Andrews.

He is somebody who ran in the -- for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against the current governor, Jim McGreevey, and they've got a very rocky relationship, so he is considered less likely.

One other intriguing possibility, Judy, is Bill Bradley, who of course is the former senator from New Jersey, former presidential campaign -- presidential campaign -- somebody who is considered extremely popular. Party operatives in Washington and in New Jersey are right now trying to reach out to former Senator Bradley, making the case that he is the one person that could walk away with this nomination as far as -- walk away with this election as far as the Democrats are concerned, and he is the one person that could help the Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate. No word yet from Bill Bradley, though.

But a footnote on this, Judy, is on the Republican side, Doug Forrester, the Republican candidate there, has made this campaign about Bob Torricelli. They have been quite candid about that, saying that he is the person that is not Bob Torricelli, he is the person that doesn't have the ethical problems that Bob Torricelli has.

Now, all of a sudden, Republicans are faced with the possibility they may have to change their campaign focus and run on a more positive campaign, or find something else negative to run -- to campaign about, for whoever replaces Torricelli on the ballot.

WOODRUFF: Well, first, they've got to find out who they are running against.

KARL: Yes.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl, we will let you go back to doing some reporting, and we will come back to you again before that news conference gets under way at 5:00 Eastern.

Well, as we also told you, our Deborah Feyerick is in Trenton, New Jersey right now, waiting for the news conference to get under way. Deborah, tell us a little bit about what you are seeing and hearing there.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we need to describe it as chaotic and a bit confusing; that's the mood here, certainly, at the state house. Everyone had been set up in another room, then they told us, no, the press conference is going to be happening in the governor's office. So all these people waiting to get inside just now. Also, the press conference was supposed to be at 2:00, then at 4:00; now it is being held at 5:00.

We do know that the Division of Elections has been in a meeting. They are trying to figure out exactly what they are going to have to do in order to make sure this election goes off as scheduled. Under New Jersey law, basically candidates have about 50 days in which to withdraw; that is 50 days before the election to get out of a particular campaign.

That time has clearly run out, so they are reviewing their legal options, what they can do without scratching this race. The Republicans' spokesperson says tomorrow will be 35 days. The deadline has clearly passed. So right now, the Republicans also figuring out what their legal options are going to be.

Now, Jonathan mentioned that there were some scathing polls that came out over the weekend, which really put Torricelli behind the Republican challenger. But, also, at the end of that last week, something else that happened was that a nine-page letter written by prosecutors was unsealed, and that was a letter basically supporting a lighter sentence for a businessman who had made the initial ethics allegations against Bob Torricelli in the first place. So that was made public last week.

Prosecutors basically finding that, yes, most of Mr. Chang's allegations were credible. However, that he himself was not credible enough for them to ever bring charges. So Mr. Torricelli got rebuked by the Senate ethics panel back in beginning of the summer. He thought perhaps it was going to over, but this very much an issue now -- Judy?

WOODRUFF: And Deborah, one thing we know that's clear, is we understand that there is no way they can change what is on the ballot between now and November the 5th; it will be Torricelli's name on there regardless, is that right? Or not?

FEYERICK: That is what we understand from the Division of the Elections. That's what we are understanding right now, but again, they have been in a meeting all afternoon. This is significant, and so they are going to have to figure out the best way that they can handle this. But Election Divisions don't change that quickly, so that will be interesting to see.

WOODRUFF: OK, thanks very much. Deborah, appreciate it.

And as we told you a little while ago, we will be going back to Trenton and to our Deborah Feyerick when that Torricelli news conference gets under way.

Let's take a closer look now at Robert Torricelli's political troubles. Our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield, is with us from New York. Jeff, you have been doing some looking back and some thinking back at his career.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, and particularly this election, because as we look across the river here from New York into New Jersey, this is truly an example where we can say, as we're about to see, that truth in politics in New Jersey this year is stranger than fiction. Let's take a look.


GREENFIELD (voice-over): In the fictional New Jersey millions of Americans see every Sunday night, high drama is a weekly occurrence, but in the real New Jersey, the last thing anyone expected to see this fall was high political drama. This state of eight million people, predominantly middle class, has in recent years swung from a swing state to reliably Democratic. Al Gore carried it by 15 points two years ago, and the state hasn't elected a Republican senator in 30 years.

So the reelection of first-term Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli against businessman and one-time local politician Doug Forrester should have been a cakewalk, as pollster Clay Richards explains.

CLAY RICHARDS, POLLSTER: He is a Democrat. He's aggressive, he's popular. He has a good voting record. He is in tune with the state. He's done everything right, except...

GREENFIELD: Except getting himself into an ethical tar pit. This summer, the Senate Ethics Committee severely admonished Torricelli for taking gifts from Korean-American entrepreneur David Chang, who has charged the senator with influence peddling in return for those gifts.

SEN. ROBERT TORRICELLI (D), NEW JERSEY: I want to apologize...

GREENFIELD: While Torricelli has conceded errors in judgment, he has branded Chang a liar. But late last week, a Justice Department letter described many of Chang's charges as "credible," and a local New York TV station aired a 40-minute long devastating account of Torricelli's troubles.

All that turned the race upside down. Torricelli's poll numbers tanked. He'd already had put up the worst job approval ratings of any incumbent senator in the country. So with Democrats holding a one- vote majority in the Senate, the Torricelli campaign made that margin a key issue. A vote against Torricelli, it argued, was a vote for a Republican-controlled Senate. Not surprisingly, that is an argument Torricelli's opponent finds wanting.

DOUG FORRESTER (R), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I think this idea that somehow we should sacrifice New Jersey for some speculative reorganization of the Senate is not a good idea.

GREENFIELD: But we did find at least a couple of Democrats who have reluctantly embraced just that idea.

BOB RICE, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I'm going to vote for Torricelli. I'm going to hold my nose and vote for him. I can't vote for the Republican, because I think that in the balance hangs the control of the United States Senate.

JANE FORD, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: It makes me sick, but what else can I do? I don't want to see a Republican majority. I don't want to see it happen. (END VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD: But that argument for Torricelli was severely weakened by those new poll numbers that showed his campaign going south. In fact, for Democrats, that need to keep New Jersey from tipping the Senate to the Republicans may wind up having proven fatal to the senator. Because New Jersey is essentially Democratic, and with most Forrester voters as Jonathan Karl reminded us, telling pollsters they were voting against Torricelli, removing him from the race might be the Democrats' best hope retain seat they desperately need.

And if you don't think the Republicans know that, Judy, the Republican senatorial campaign committee already has publicly released this legal opinion by their general counsel, saying that the Democrats can't take Torricelli off the ballot. It is too late. The Republicans want Torricelli on this ballot as desperately as the Democrats now want him off -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Whoa, hard to keep track of all this.

GREENFIELD: One more quick thing. If Torricelli resigns, the Democratic Governor McGreevey can appoint the Democrat who will be running in the fall into the Senate now.

WOODRUFF: All right. And OK. Well, we're going to pursue that. Now, Jeff, we want you to stay with us because we're going to bring in two other people who have been following New Jersey politics very closely.

One is Ed Henry, he's co-editor of "Roll Call," a very familiar publication to all of us, and Democratic strategist Ken Baer who once worked briefly for Senator Torricelli.

Ken Baer, let me start with you. You know Senator Torricelli and you were saying, to our INSIDE POLITICS staff here that you're astonished that he would agree to step out.

KEN BAER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It really is astonishing. I thought the only way he would ever leave the Senate early was in handcuffs or a body bag. He is most tenacious politician I have ever worked for, and, it is very -- it's very shocking. I just really wonder what is it that put him over the edge?

WOODRUFF: Ed Henry, what are you hearing?

ED HENRY, CO-EDITOR, "ROLL CALL": We're hearing the internal numbers for Torricelli were much worse than the independent poll showing him down 13. The internals had him down 20. And I think Ken's right.

But the humiliation of going down to somebody that Torricelli thinks is an empty suit, in Doug Forrester by 20 points or more, was the final nail where he said, Look, I've got to get out, and his only chance at some kind of redemption, some shred of credibility now, is to try to look like he is bigger than, you know, that the party is bigger than himself, and say I'm going to help keep the Senate in Democratic hands. That's his last hope.

This came at a dramatic meeting last night at the governor's mansion and insiders saying it was Torricelli's decision, that he went to Governor McGreevey and said that he wanted out. Again, that's the spin so far, and that would suggest, Torricelli trying to show that he is bigger, you know, that the party is bigger than this and that he's not the monster that even Democrats paint him as.

WOODRUFF: Well, Ken Baer, does this give the Democrats a chance, you know New Jersey, does this give the Democrats a chance now?

BAER: There are three potentially.

WOODRUFF: Of course, we don't know who is going to be on the ballot.

BAER: But there's three potentially very strong candidates: former Senator Lautenberg, who has his own personal wealth to dip into, who's run statewide and won very successfully; Frank Pallone, who is from the central part of the state, which is swing territory.

WOODRUFF: Eight term.

BAER: Eight term, exactly. And Rob Andrews, who is from south Jersey, which is Doug Forrester's strongest region. So, if Rob Andrews is on ballot, he could undercut that regional support.

Democrats in New Jersey, when they're energized, and I think they will be once Bob Torricelli is off the ballot, is a very formidable force, and you know, who knows? But I really think it really puts it back in play.

WOODRUFF: Ed, do you agree? Does it put it back into play?

HENRY: Absolutely.

What we're hearing, Paul Kane, one of our ace reporters who was chasing this story all day, said that basically Senate Majority Leader Daschle and Senate Democratic Whip Harry Reid had been urgently trying to reach Bill Bradley all day. I think that sounds like it's -- he's their first choice because of the name ID. But Bradley has been traveling and he's been hard to reach. Some people are reading that to suggest that maybe not calling back quickly because he doesn't want it. He is kind of aloof, he won't make a snap decision. And what we are also hearing is that Lautenberg wants it and he's waiting for the call from McGreevey. He wants it.

I have talked to Lautenberg over the last couple years since he left the Senate. He's itching to be part of the game, to be an insider again. I think that he clearly wants it.

And the other thing that we are hearing is that Torricelli still has something in neighborhood of $5 million to $6 million dollar left in his campaign account that can go to state party. If you add that to fact Lautenberg is very wealthy and can dump $5 or 10 million of his own money into the race. That could not only help in this race, but could free up the Democratic senatorial campaign committee to, rather than put money here, put money into Colorado, Missouri, some aces -- South Dakota, where the Democrats are in some peril.

WOODRUFF: Listen, very attractive scenarios there.

Jeff Greenfield, let me turn back to you. What about Bill Bradley? I mean, we just heard Ed Henry say Democrats try to reach him, they haven't been able to, as far as we know.

What -- first of all, what do you think he would he do?

GREENFIELD: You know how I feel about that kind of speculation. I mean, he left the Senate in 1996 with some very angry words about the political process. He described it as "broken." He's an investment banker now, I think with Allen & Company. On other hand, as opposed to Lautenberg, who is 78, Bill Bradley is 59. And while he almost was beaten in 1990 by Cristie Todd Whitman, I think that was more a reaction to internal New Jersey politics.

I keep coming back to the question, and I hope we can get an answer from this, Is -- Can they put anybody else in this race?

If Torricelli had died they could. But, I'm looking at precedent, I remember -- well I'm just -- in just one example in Minnesota where, a frontrunning governor candidate left a week before the election in a sex scandal, the Republicans put in their state auditor, Arnie Carlson, and he won. But I don't know whether New Jersey law is going to permit the Democrats to substitute a candidate.

WOODRUFF: Well what about the Carnehan situation in Missouri?


WOODRUFF: Well, I know he died. But the fact is they kept his name on the ballot right after the election, his wife was --

BAER: There is a precedent in New Jersey of a state senator, I believed it was in the past two decades, the last minute did resign, and the judge ruled that he could block out the name and put another candidate on the ballot. I think that will be the basis of any, some, legal counter arguments to what Republicans are going to do.

WOODRUFF: That's pretty clear at this point, it's not clear.

All right, Ken Baer, Ed Henry, thank both.

Jeff Greenfield, always, thank you.

And there is much more ahead on the "Torch" and whether he will decide to snuff out his re-election bid, as we're hearing.

Our Bob Novak has been getting more inside buzz.

Plus, the showdown with Saddam Hussein. GOP Senator Chuck Hagel warning toppling the Iraqi leader won't be easy or cheap.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You are helping the Iraqi government sell to the Iraqi people their hatred of the United States of America.

WOODRUFF: Senator John McCain sends a message to Democratic house members now in Iraq.

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for the latest on Iraq debate and campaign news.


WOODRUFF: Members of Senate are expected to begin debate tomorrow on a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against Iraq.

The House is not expected to take up the measure until next week. Meantime, some Democratic Congressmen traveling in Iraq, said the U.S. Should give U.N. weapons inspectors a chance to work before making preparation for war. Representatives David Bonior and Jim McDermott are urging Iraqi officials to allow U.N. weapons inspections to resume.

Earlier today on CNN, McDermott criticized President Bush, and others that he says have written off the value of weapons inspections.


REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: You are seeing from the White House and some members of Congress setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. They start by saying it isn't going to work, they are not going to do it, they're liars -- they're doing all -- they are setting it up not to work. Now, if you don't trust Hans Blix to go in and negotiate parameters that he can live with and then to come and make these decision, I guess we should give up now.

But I will not do that. I don't want war. I want the process to go forward. And there is no reason why we have to do it tomorrow or the next day, to declare war or anything else. We can let the process work.


WOODRUFF: Representative Jim McDermott.

Well, Senator John McCain is among those who are unhappy that some members of Congress are commenting on U.S. policy from inside Iraq's borders. A little while ago, the senator shared his opinions on this issue and others with our Jonathan Karl in the latest edition of our "Subway Series."


KARL: All right, senator, welcome to the straight talk express.

MCCAIN: Thank you. Nice to be back.

KARL: The subterranean version.

MCCAIN: Subway straight talk express. Yes, yes, absolutely.

KARL: Hey, I wanted to get right to something that happened over the weekend. We saw members of Congress, Jim McDermott and Bonior over there, in Baghdad, questioning the credibility of their president. Did they go too far?

MCCAIN: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Look, if Congressman McDermott and Congressman Bonior wanted to go to the floor of the House and question president's credibility, go right ahead and do it. Don't go to Baghdad and do it. You are helping the Iraqi government sell to the Iraqi people their hatred of the United States of America, and it's wrong, and -- I -- I honestly do not understand it.

KARL: You know, George Will actually suggested that this was worse than when Jane Fonda went over to Hanoi back during the Vietnam War.

MCCAIN: Well, it's not as bad as what Jane Fonda did, because she got into a gun emplacement, said she'd like to shoot down American air power. But it's worse in the respect -- she was a young, troubled actress. I mean, let's face what she was. These are members of Congress. These are supposed to be grown, mature individuals. I do not understand it.

Look, I travel all over the world at taxpayers' expense, and during the Clinton administration many times I disagreed, but I never disagreed publicly overseas. We disagreed domestically. We don't go to a foreign country, particularly an enemy of the United States of America.

KARL: We went back and looked at all the speeches that the president and the vice president have made of the last several months at fund-raisers, political fund-raisers, and in every one that we could find, there is talk about Iraq. Is it inappropriate for the president to be talking about war at a political fund-raiser?

MCCAIN: I think at a political fund-raiser, it's perfectly appropriate to talk about all issues. I wouldn't at a political fund- raiser, obviously, attack any opponents of my policies.

The president and Tom Daschle are both frustrated not so much over Iraq but over the failure of us to move on the homeland security bill. That's what the president was criticizing the Democrats about; the Democrats have been critical of the president. But I think it's a fine line, and you have to be very careful.

KARL: All right. Now, you don't mind if I mention your book?


(CROSSTALK) KARL: A lot of attention was paid to the last passage in this book, where you mention the possibility of making an exit from the political stage, leaving politics, retiring from your seat in the Senate. Look, you know what, the line that I saw was the line that you seem to be opening the door toward another run for the presidency.


KARL: Yes. . You see, you doubt you will ever have -- what is it -- the reason or the opportunity to run for president. Well, you doubt, but, I mean, you may well have the reason. We talked about some reasons right here, and the opportunity may present itself.

MCCAIN: I envision no scenario that I will run for president.

KARL: I can envision a couple of scenarios.

MCCAIN: I can't. I can't. But on the issue also of retrospection, 44 years I have been in public service, and I think when you are at a point as I am, then you ought -- you ought to look back and see what you have done, and look forward and see what you can do, and then make a judgment. I would most likely run for re-election in the Senate, but for me to just blindly say I'm going to continue until, you know, I die or leave feet first or something like that, I don't think that's the way I should serve my constituents.

KARL: On the Strom Thurmond model, you should have another five, 10 (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MCCAIN: There is only one -- there is only one Strom Thurmond. There is only one. Barry Goldwater left, as you know, and went home to Arizona, and didn't come back to Washington. That's one of the many things I admired him for.

KARL: But you are leaning toward a run for reelection?

MCCAIN: Yes. .

KARL: All right, well, Senator McCain, thanks for taking a ride on the subway of straight talk express.

MCCAIN: Thank you, Jon. Appreciate it.


WOODRUFF: And there is only one John McCain and only one Jon Karl.

Well, after several big name Democrats voiced their concerns about an attack on Iraq, GOP Senator Chuck Hagel has given his own speech on the subject. He will go "On the Record" with me next.

But first now, let's turn to Rhonda Schaffler at the New York Stock Exchange for a market update. Rhonda, not as bad as it might have been, but still not great news today. RHONDA SCHAFFLER, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy, and not great news when you talk about the quarter. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average just closed the books on its worst quarter since the 1987 market crash. The blue chip average lost 17 percent between July and September. Today's selloff came partly on reports of frail consumer spending. A couple of big-name retailers warned September sales were soft. And government figures show consumers are slowing their buying binge.

Stocks did battle back somewhat by the closing bell. Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 109 points, turning around somewhat at 240 points. Nasdaq ended the session 2.25 percent lower. September also proved to be one of the roughest months on record.

Also today, there are new charges in the war against corporate corruption. New York's attorney general announcing its civil lawsuit against former WorldCom chief Bernie Ebbers and four other top telecom execs over profits they allegedly gleaned from initial public offerings. The suit charges the executives steered underwriting businesses to Salomon Smith Barney in return for a lucrative IPO shares. Once the IPO prices soared, in trading the execs allegedly cashed in for hefty personal profits.

That's the very latest from Wall Street. More INSIDE POLITICS after the break, including a leading Republican's warning about the cost of toppling Saddam Hussein.


WOODRUFF: "On the Record" this Monday, U.S. policy toward Iraq, the Middle East and beyond. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska today laid out his vision of the U.S. role in world affairs. Just a short time ago, I spoke with the senator, and I asked him if there is legitimate urgency on the Iraq issue, or if he thinks the administration is rushing into action.


SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: Not necessarily, Judy. The urgency of the threat is a very legitimate question many of us have been asking. It doesn't dispel the fact that Saddam Hussein is a threat. He is a very serious threat to the Middle East, and ultimately will be to the United States.

But what some of us are asking is we have to factor in, don't we, the urgency of the threat, based on trying to develop a coalition, working through the United Nations, in order to get to a coalition force, if that is what will be required in order to deal with him.

WOODRUFF: Well, are you saying you don't think it is as urgent as the administration is saying?

HAGEL: Well, the administration has been talking about the urgency of this. But, again, not to dispel the threat, I don't believe and I don't think there is any intelligence that shows -- I have not seen it and I have had a number of CIA briefings in the last five weeks -- that an attack on America is imminent in the next few months.

Now, a terrorist attack could come at any time, we know that. But what I'm saying is it's more important to get this right as we go in. If in fact, we have to use military force, we want a coalition, we need allies, because, Judy, here is the real issue: What happens afterwards, what happens the next day. Who stays, who rebuilds Iraq. How many years will American forces be required to be there. The economic, the cultural, the political restructuring of that country. We need to think through this, and we'll get to an answer, but we need allies.

WOODRUFF: Well, right now, the administration clearly trying to get support at the same time from the Congress and from the U.N.

At this point, are you prepared to support a resolution similar to what the White House said it would go along with last week authorizing the president to use military force to get Saddam's weapons of mass destruction out of there and perhaps a regime change?

HAGEL: The administration moved a long way last week on coming closer to accommodating many of the Congress' what we believe necessary requirements to have Congress as a partner in this effort.

I don't think we are there yet. I think we are close to it. There's no question that we up here on Capitol Hill want to support this president. That isn't even an issue. But we want to make sure that we are building something here that not only is here for the immediate, but it will be a precedent that will be used in the future. When the next president, the next Congress has to deal with something, they need to do it.

WOODRUFF: But the White House is saying, Senator, they need this resolution out of the Congress in order to have more leverage at the U.N.

HAGEL: Well, I'm not sure that's right. I don't know if one coming before the other is particularly important.

The administration is doing a good job, intensely focused on working with our U.N. partners, as they should be. I don't think there's any question that the United Nations knows, every member of the United Nations, that the president is going to get a supportive resolution here. So I don't think there is any mystery there. But I think we keep working both tracks and narrowing the gap. And I think we are coming closer and closer on a resolution.

WOODRUFF: Is the administration, in your opinion, giving due respect to the role of the United Nations here, the role that other countries play? Or is the U.S., the Bush administration trying too much to go it alone?

HAGEL: I think, initially, there was too much of a go-it-alone- attitude.

But things changed, Judy, when the president went before the United Nations about three weeks ago, gave a magnificent speech, laid it before the United Nations, said everything he needed to say. In the meantime, Secretary Powell, his people, are all over the world, working with our leaders. The president himself is on the phone daily. So the process is working the way it should work.

WOODRUFF: Finally, let me ask you about the presence in Baghdad this week of three members of the House of Representatives. They happen to be three Democrats, Bonior, Thompson and McDermott, at least one of them questioning President Bush, whether the president is misleading the American people.

Is all of this talk, is their presence there appropriate right now?

HAGEL: Well, I think we all, each of us who has the high privilege and responsibility of being a senior government official, has to be careful where we go and what we say.

I wouldn't impugn any of my colleagues' motives here or what they say, but I think a little restraint is required. I think it is important that those members of Congress went to Iraq. I don't see anything wrong with that. That is part of their responsibility. But we should all probably lower the rhetoric here so that we can come at this in a way that the American public and the world has confidence in our process.

WOODRUFF: Senator Chuck Hagel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, good to see you.

HAGEL: Thank you, Judy.


WOODRUFF: This just in to CNN: CNN learning that the trial of an accused terrorist has been delayed next year.

Joining me now: our justice correspondent Kelli Arena.

Kelli, Zacarias Moussaoui, that was to begin in January, the trial, but?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Jury selection now starting May 27. This is the second continuance that has been granted in this case so far.

Moussaoui has been arguing that, due to the overwhelming amount of material that he has to go through, that he simply -- he and his standby counsel -- as you know, he is representing himself -- just were unable to go through this. The prosecution has argued the same, that there is just an overwhelming amount of evidence to go through.

There was also the situation where the government inadvertently gave Moussaoui documents that he wasn't supposed to see. That, of course, took some time away from him to go over the documents that he was trying to go through. So the judge said, "Great. We will start this in May of next year, rather than January." Ironically enough, the original date for jury selection was supposed to be today. So it was supposed to start today. So this is the second time that they have delayed it.

The judge also granted him -- and we just got our hands on this order -- a larger cell. She says that, due to the amount of time that he is going to spend in this -- it's a very small, windowless cell that he has been in. His standby counsel argued that was just inhumane treatment, that he would be in this windowless, very small cell for this amount of time, and the judge today siding with his attorney, saying, yes, he can do into, as she put it, "a bigger cave."

WOODRUFF: Kelli, how do you explain this to people watching? This man Moussaoui was picked up, it has been over a year. It was right after the events of 9/11. And now we are hearing that a trial won't begin for the better part of yet another year. Why do these things take so long?

ARENA: Well, there has been an incredible amount of investigation, as you know, that went on post-9/11. Even though Moussaoui was in custody in August before the attacks, a lot of this information did not come in until the months after that. So you had the attack. And then you had this worldwide effort to gather information. So there are reams and reams of documents.

Also, there is some speculation that the arrest of Ramzi Binalshibh, the al Qaeda operative, will also throw a wrench into these works, because this is the only other person that they have in custody who has allegedly been directly involved with the September 11 attacks. So there is that, too. So as more people are taken into custody, as more information is made available, not only in the United States, but outside of the United States -- more notably outside the United States -- it just keeps coming in. And there is a lot to go through here, Judy.

And he insists on representing himself, which causes even more of a problem.

WOODRUFF: Which makes it more


ARENA: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: OK, Kelli, thank you very much on the Moussaoui trial, now delayed its start until May of 2003.

In our news up next, more on our lead story: Senator Robert Torricelli's expected announcement that he is ending his troubled reelection campaign. Bob Novak will have the "Inside Buzz." Also ahead: Will New York billionaire Tom Golisano be the spoiler of Governor Pataki's reelection bid?


WOODRUFF: In our "News Alert": Sources say Senator Robert Torricelli will announce he is dropping his bid for reelection. The New Jersey Democrat has scheduled a news conference at the top of the hour. Torricelli's campaign has been severely damaged by an ethics controversy. His GOP opponent, Doug Forrester, is leading Torricelli by double digits in new polls.

Torricelli's exit from the race five weeks before the midterm elections would be a stunning turn in the Democrats' battle to maintain control of the Senate. Party officials already are said to be looking at possible alternatives, including Representatives Robert Menendez and Frank Pallone and former Senators Bill Bradley and Frank Lautenberg.

Bob Novak is here with some "Inside Buzz" on this Torricelli development.

Bob, I know you have been talking to a lot of people this afternoon. What are you hearing about possible replacements?

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, up in Trenton other places in New Jersey, they have been talking about this all day, since it became clear that Bob Torricelli would almost certainly not only get out of the race, but resign from the Senate.

So there would have to be immediate action by the governor to appoint a Democrat in his place. The favorite for the people in New Jersey would be Bill Bradley. I know former Senator Bradley well. The last thing he wants to do is go back to the Senate.

Former Senator Lautenberg may be a different matter. People who know him, some people say he would never do it. Some people who have talked to him today said he is interested. He is 78 years old, coming in as a freshman senator.

The most logical candidate is Congressman Robert Menendez, an Hispanic-American. He would be the only Hispanic-American in the Senate right now, very intelligent, very adept politically. And he has been wavering all over the place. I think he's changed his mind at least twice. One source tells me he is ready to go right now. He would be a strong candidate, if he did go.

WOODRUFF: Legal obstacles, Bob, though, because we are so close to Election Day?

NOVAK: Legally, they can't replace him on the ballot. There's supposed to be a 45-day limit. And the 45 days have passed for replacing somebody on the ballot.

However, the attorney general of New Jersey who is a Democrat could make that choice. If Republicans go to court, I don't think that works very well. So I think they'll be able to get over the legal difficulties. And if you read the New Jersey law very, very carefully, Judy, you will find, however, that it looks as though they don't have to have a Senate election at all if there is a vacancy within 30 days. But I don't think that will happen.

WOODRUFF: All right, how does this affect the Forrester campaign? This is somebody who was running completely against Bob Torricelli. It was the whole basis of his campaign.

NOVAK: This is a disaster for the Republicans and for Forrester. Republicans have looked at New Jersey as a stolen seat in this very tight race for control of the Senate. They didn't think they had a chance there, now thought they had a sure thing. Now, Forrester, if he is only a remainder man -- that is, he's better than Torricelli -- he has a real problem in readjusting in a state that has just been electing Democrats to the Senate almost exclusively -- a bad blow for the Republicans.

WOODRUFF: You named all the serious possible replacements. Now, there is one replacement who is being floated, but maybe not so seriously.

NOVAK: Yes, I got this -- this is coming from Democratic sources in New Jersey. And take it for what it's worth, which isn't much. But these sources say that President Clinton suggested it might be a good idea to offer the Senate seat to that famous son of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen, the Boss.

WOODRUFF: Ah. All right, well, we'll see whether the Boss decides to get in.

Our boss, Bob Novak, good to see you. Thank you very much.

Next here: the New York billionaire ready to spend millions, literally, and more in his race for governor. Also ahead: new poll numbers on key state races, including the showdown for Massachusetts governor.


WOODRUFF: Today, New York state election officials are certifying the results of the September 10 primary, including businessman Tom Golisano's win of the Independence Party's nomination for governor.

As CNN's Bruce Morton explains, Golisano may now be positioned to throw a wrench into Republican George Pataki's reelection effort.


TOM GOLISANO (I), NEW YORK GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: We have had less job growth than almost any other state in the country.

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thomas Golisano, a self-made billionaire from Rochester, started a payroll business with $3,000, and went up from there, is at New York City's Covenant House, a privately-funded agency that helps at-risk youth. He is here because he is running for governor again.

CROWD (singing): Happy days are here again.

MORTON: This was 1994. He spent over $6 million, got 4 percent of the vote, campaigned some with Ross Perot. In 1998, he spent $13 million and got 8 percent. This time he may spend 50. What makes him run? GOLISANO: We need more economic development in our state. We need to keep our level of taxation down. We have to improve our schools. And we have to preserve our democracy. That's what my campaign is about.

MICHAEL TOMASKY, "NEW YORK": He wants to put a certain number of issues on the table. And I think, too, he wants to make Pataki sweat a little bit.

MORTON: That won't be easy. Pataki, originally a conservative, is for abortion rights, talks about protecting the environment, and gets endorsed by construction unions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why we need him for another four years. Don't you agree?


GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: We are going to win the race. It's that simple. And I am confident of that. And we are going to continue to work in every community and fight for every vote.

GOLISANO: There has been also eight years of George Pataki. And I think, after four years, there was still a honeymoon going on with the voters. But what's happened, particularly in the area of job growth and taxation, many people are just not as happy as they were four and eight years ago.

MORTON: Maybe that helps state Comptroller Carl McCall, the Democrat.


CROWD: It's time for Carl McCall!

MORTON: Al Gore has campaigned for him. Does Golisano help McCall by taking votes from Pataki?

MCCALL: I'm not looking at those numbers. I am just looking at the enthusiasm that we are generating all around the state.

MORTON: It's New York, so it's complicated. Golisano is on the ballot because he beat Pataki in the Independence Party primary, though fewer than 19,000 people voted in it.

PATAKI: Keep building.

MORTON: Pataki is on the Republican and conservative party lines. It helps to be on more than one. McCall is on the Democratic and working families party lines. Still, it comes down to three men.

TOMASKY: It's easy to see how Golisano makes it a very close race between Pataki and McCall. But then there is about another 3 percent or 4 percent that McCall has to steal from Pataki on his own. But Golisano's presence makes a Pataki defeat a lot more possible. GOLISANO: Is the medical staff a combination of paid and volunteer?


MORTON: That's not, of course, how Golisano sees it.

GOLISANO: I think we have a really good chance to win. Absolutely.

MORTON: With self-made billionaires, you never know for sure.

Bruce Morton, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: Our poll numbers are new. And they lead off our Monday edition of our "Campaign News Daily."

In the Massachusetts governor race, Democrat Shannon O'Brien has opened a slight lead over Republican Mitt Romney. O'Brien leads by six points among likely voters, according to a "Boston Globe" and WBZ TV poll. One key advantage for O'Brien: She leads Romney by a whopping 18 points among women. I will be reporting from Massachusetts tomorrow, where I will moderate tomorrow night's gubernatorial debate.

In Iowa, a poll taken just as last week's eavesdropping story was breaking shows Senator Tom Harkin with a wide lead over Republican challenger Greg Ganske. "The Des Moines Register" survey gives Harkin a 20-point lead over Ganske. Now, this poll was taken before two Harkin campaign staffers, including his campaign manager, resigned over the fallout from the secret recording of a Ganske strategy meeting.

Republican Linda Lingle is leading the race for Hawaii governor, but Democrat Mazie Hirono has closed the gap since the summer -- Lingle leading by eight points in the new survey. Lingle led by 15 points back in June. If elected, Lingle would become the first Republican governor elected in Hawaii in 40 years.

Coming up next: behind the scenes at the White House with General Karl Rove?


WOODRUFF: A number of Democrats have been up in arms in recent days, accusing the White House of politicizing the debate over national security and war with Iraq. And in their private conversations, the name of Mr. Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, no doubt popped into a few Democrats' minds.

Well, Jay Carney has article an in this week's "TIME" magazine titled "General Karl Rove Reporting for Duty."

All right, Jay, you talked to Karl Rove recently. What is he saying about all these Democratic accusations?

JAMES CARNEY, "TIME": Well, he says, with good reason, that the charge that he, as the president's political strategist, orchestrated this whole Iraq debate is ridiculous.

The idea that President Bush needs Rove to tell him to stir up war talk against Iraq and to go to war against Iraq is sort of silly, when you think that he also has Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the administration super-hawks, also pushing him very hard to do this.

So what Rove is doing is his job, which is taking the circumstances that present themselves in the run-up to these elections and maximizing their -- for the advantage of Republicans. National security as a debate topic helps Republicans. Karl and the president and the rest of the White House team are using that to Republicans' advantage.

WOODRUFF: At the same time, you have that comment from Karl Rove back in January, where he said the war on terror is going to work to the advantage, to the benefit of Republicans. And then you had that disk that was dropped at Lafayette Park back in the summer, which, among other things, showed Rove and others saying, "Talk up the war" to Republican candidates.

CARNEY: Well, exactly, what those are, are instances of indiscretions, because it's really -- for Democrats to express shock and outrage is somewhat naive and quaint. You cannot take politics out of the major, pressing issues of the day. These are our elected leaders. They are politicians.

And war is about politics, just as it is about national security. Rove does have a tendency to say things or write things that tend to get him in a little hot water. But, again, I don't think that there is any surprise or that we should be surprised by this.

WOODRUFF: A little nugget that you dropped in that piece, Jay, was that it is going to be Karl Rove who, in essence, is orchestrating the president's campaign in '04. And he's already got the map sort of laid out there. He has decided who is going to leave the White House and run it.

CARNEY: Well, Judy, this president and this White House, while they claim to not be as political as the previous one, the fact is, since they came into office, Rove has been thinking about 2004. He has got a plan in place where he will stay in the White House on the White House staff, while Ken Mehlman, his current deputy at political affairs in the White House, will be the campaign manager.

But Rove will run it, much as James Baker ran Ronald Reagan's reelection campaign in 1984, from within the White House. That keeps Rove close to the president, in touch with the nexus of policy and politics, very in touch with the schedulers of the president's time, and also allows Rove to sort of expand his portfolio, because Rove is as interested in policy as he is in politics.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jay Carney, as you said, it's been done before this way. And we will see how it works the next time.

CARNEY: And it worked in '84.

WOODRUFF: But they are already gearing up, is the point here.

CARNEY: Absolutely. And we'll see these appointments -- I think we'll see this transition once they get the campaign under way, probably in January of next year.

WOODRUFF: OK, Jay Carney, "TIME" magazine, thanks a lot.

CARNEY: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.

In Hawaii, politicians are sparring over the correct way to honor Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who died this weekend at age 74 after a monthlong hospitalization for pneumonia. Democrats urging voters to cast their ballots for Mink in November. But GOP leaders are accusing their rivals of using her death for political purposes. The 12-term Democrat was expected to win reelection. Mink died Saturday, two days after the deadline for replacing her on the November 5 ballot.

The political world has also lost a longtime influential player behind the scenes. Joanne Coe worked for former Senator Bob Dole for 33 years. She served as the first woman, secretary of the Senate, when Dole was majority leader. She died suddenly last week of an aortic aneurysm. She was 69 years old. And she will be missed.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.



I'm Judy Woodruff, still waiting for that Bob Torricelli news conference.


Visiting Iraq Urge U.S. to Hold Off on Military Strike>

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