CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Bush Appoints Kissinger to Head 9/11 Probe
Aired November 27, 2002 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must uncover every detail. We learned every lesson of September the 11th.
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ANNOUNCER: President Bush signs up an elder statesman to probe what went wrong on 9/11.
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HENRY KISSINGER, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: And the president has promised us that all the facts would be made available.
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ANNOUNCER: She is Republican target No. 1. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu tells us how she hopes to survive her Senate runoff and the big guns leveled against her.
The pluck of the Irish? One politician's trip to his family's homeland has taxpayers seeing green.
A Bush Thanksgiving, a tongue-and-cheek account of the president's political blessings.
Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.
Well, if you're traveling somewhere for Thanksgiving or waiting for someone you love, the threat of terror may also be on your mind, and that is where we begin.
In this news cycle, an Italian flight landed safely in southern France, after what police are calling an attempted hijacking. A former Italian policeman with a history of mental illness was arrested. Police say, he went to the cockpit, ranting about the al Qaeda terrorist network and threatening to blow up the plane. No weapons or explosives were found.
Here in Washington, as you heard, President Bush named former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to lead an independent commission to investigate intelligence failures leading to September 11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KISSINGER: It means a great deal to me, as somebody who grew up in New York, to contribute to the finding of the facts. Now, this is not a matter simply for New York. It is a matter for all of America.
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WOODRUFF: Kissinger's commission was created in an intelligence spending bill that the president signed this morning before he headed to his Texas ranch for the holiday.
Our John King is with the president in Crawford.
John, the president obviously had a major hand in getting this commission created, but is there some danger in what this commission could uncover?
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, we should point out the White House initially resisted this commission, and in the negotiations with Congress, fought contentiously over the timetable. The commission now has 18 months. The White House had hoped to keep that to 12 months. One fear at the White House is some damaging revelation in the middle of the 2004 reelection year.
The White House also insisted that it be the president to name the chairman. Some see the choice of Henry Kissinger as a choice of someone who will try to protect the president.
The president, though, in his public statement, said he wanted the investigation to follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may.
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BUSH: This investigation should carefully examine all of the evidence and follow all of the facts, wherever they lead. We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the 11th. My administration will continue to act on the lessons we have learned so far to better protect the people of this country.
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KING: In many ways, this controversy, Judy, is just beginning. The White House said it does not think the president should be called to testify. Key lawmakers say he should be called to testify.
The president, in his remarks, suggested the prime focus of the committee, this commission, should be on learning more about al Qaeda, its methods and its operations. Key lawmakers and victims -- family members of the victims, want to know if the government had even more clues about the prospect of attacks and failed to connect them.
So, the controversy will continue -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: John, with this selection of Dr. Kissinger, we're already hearing some criticism from various civil liberties groups, including one called the Federation of American Scientists. They are questioning whether Dr. Kissinger, as former secretary of state during the Vietnam War, would every disclose or seek the disclosure of official information, as this comment puts it, to members of Congress, the courts or others, and can't imagine that, for example, they'd ask the White House to turn over the president's daily briefing before September the 11th.
KING: And we certainly know the White House does not believe that the commission should have access to everything the president sees in that daily briefing. That is the president's prime intelligence briefing.
The commission wants to look at not only what the president was told in the weeks and months leading up to September 11 to see if he saw some of the clues that perhaps al Qaeda was operating and planning to attack the United States. They also want to know if the president has been briefed since then on any additional clues. We know about some things the FBI and the CIA knew, but failed to connect. The commission wants to find out if there are others.
The White House put as premium on secrets, Judy. Even as he signed this legislation today, the White House issued a separate statement saying there are some things in the legislation that the White House believes violate national security concerns, and that the president will interpret them as he sees fit. He will protect some information if he believes it is critical to national security and foreign policy operation.
So, there will be fights over secrecy, about getting the president's testimony, and about getting all of the records, all of the briefings the president had access to.
WOODRUFF: It will be a very interesting process to watch unfold. All right, John in Crawford, thank you very much.
Well, Democratic congressional leaders go to name the vice chairman of that 9/11 commission, and they chose George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader, who more recently led the negotiations that produced a peace agreement for northern Ireland.
Now to Iraq, where U.N. weapons inspectors have finished their first day of renewed searches for weapons of mass destruction. They say they are pleased with the cooperation they've gotten from Baghdad so far.
CNN's Nic Robertson is in Iraq.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): One team of inspectors went to a missile testing facility about 130 kilometers southwest of Baghdad. They say that they saw everything they needed to see there.
We followed another team of inspectors. This was a team of nuclear inspectors. They went to the Tahadi (ph) site about 25 kilometers east of the central Baghdad, just on the outskirts of Baghdad. This complex contained about 12 warehouse buildings, surrounded by a high wall that was topped with barbed wire. There were armed guards on the gate.
Now, when the inspectors went in, we weren't able to follow them, but we could see them through holes in the wall. They were going from building to building. They appeared to be carrying documents. Occasionally, they stopped to talk with Iraqi officials on those sites. We could also seem them taking photographs.
Now, after about three hours, they left that site. They went back to their base. We were then allowed by Iraqi officials to go on to that site and take a look inside one of the warehouses. In that warehouse that we were shown what appeared to be heavy generating equipment, a lot of maintenance going on at it there.
Now, a senior Iraqi official there, the director general of that Tahadi (ph) plant, said that the inspectors have been able to see everything they needed to see, everything they'd asked for. He said they hadn't taken anything away.
And when he was asked, did that site have any connection with weapons of mass destruction? He said, absolutely not, definitely no. He said the inspectors came and saw everything that there was to see, and then they left happy, he said.
Now, the weapons inspectors for their part pretty much mirroring that statement, saying they were happy with what they saw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The team was able to complete the inspection work they had planned to carry out with the cooperation of the Iraqi side, and we had access to what we wanted to see. We hope that the Iraqi response today reflects the future pattern of cooperation.
ROBERTSON: So, all in all, it seems from both sides, day one appears to have been pretty successful.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Baghdad.
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WOODRUFF: To politics now and Louisiana, where Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu still leads the last in the nation's Senate race. A poll out today shows Landrieu 16 points ahead of GOP challenger, Suzanne Terrell. That survey was taken a week ago.
Now, 10 days before the runoff election, Mary Landrieu is with us from New Orleans. And we should note that we recently interviewed her opponent.
Senator Landrieu, you have President Bush coming in there, you have the president's father, former President Bush -- so many prominent Republicans. This must be a concern for you. How do you counter this?
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIAINA: Oh, it's been very difficult, but I really believe, Judy, the people of Louisiana know the record that I have developed over six years, a record of independence. I've worked with President Bush when I felt that he was right and leading the country in the right direction, but not hesitant to stand up against him when he tried to put steel tariffs here, which we've lost thousands of jobs in Louisiana, when he tried to close off parts of the Gulf of Mexico to drilling. And of course, we in Louisiana have drilling in the Gulf and it creates jobs and hope and opportunity.
So, the people know of my record on the Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee. And I don't think they're going to give this seat up for this outside influence to come in to our state.
WOODRUFF: Well, with all due respect, the president campaigned all over the country for other candidates before November the 5th. In most cases, he was successful. He has a 72 percent popularity rating. You're not worried at all about that?
LANDRIEU: Well, I'm not saying I'm not concerned about it. But again, I've worked with the president when I felt like he was correct and leading the country in the right direction. I've been strong in terms of investing in our military. I'm on, as I said, the Armed Services Committee and standing, you know, with him shoulder to shoulder on terrorism and homeland security issues.
But you know, Judy, when it comes to creating jobs in Louisiana and having a strong voice at that appropriations table, being on the Energy Committee, being on the Small Business Committee, people in Louisiana are saying, why do we want to give up the seat that we have in the Senate for someone that is untested and unqualified for the job?
WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about the vote coming up. It's a week from Saturday. At first after the election, there was concern on your behalf that the black turnout was low. Now, upon analysis, the experts are looking at it and saying it was about 40 percent of the registered black voters. It was a good turnout.
On the one hand, that's good. On the other hand, there's not much room to build on there. Is that a problem for you?
LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, Judy, I wasn't ever concerned. I've got such a strong record with issues related to the African- American community. My rating is 91 percent with the NAACP. I'm proud of that. That means that we fight -- you know, I'll fight for jobs, for housing opportunities and for things that matter a lot to people trying to make their way up and give opportunity for everyone.
Other pundits were saying that people in Louisiana, black and white, young and old, know that I have represented the state fairly and honestly for six years. And so, I think the turnout is going to be quite good, despite the fact that the national party has spent over $10 million distorting my record, as they did in Georgia to Max Cleland and in Missouri to Jean Carnahan.
But people in Louisiana can see through a lot of that, you know, noise, if you will, and have seen a senator that they respect and want to send back. And this seat, as I said, doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the people of Louisiana, and we want to keep it, the seniority that we have in the Senate.
WOODRUFF: Senator Mary Landrieu, thanks very much.
LANDRIEU: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: And we'll be watching closely over the next eight or 10 days. Thanks very much.
LANDRIEU: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
Up next, the youngest victims of AIDS. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talks about the HIV crisis overseas, as well as the threat of war with Iraq.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brooks Jackson in Washington. There's been a big change in the way business gives to Republicans, and it's putting a squeeze on Democrats.
WOODRUFF: Plus, is the Bush administration giving a freer hand to National Forest officials or taking a new swipe at the environment?
WOODRUFF: Coming up on INSIDE POLITICS, "Their Politics," a key election from across the globe and what they may mean to you.
Plus, heading home for the holidays, will the weather be friend or foe to your travel plans? The holiday forecast is minutes away.
WOODRUFF: Just a few hours ago, I spoke with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright from London. In addition to Iraq and the U.S.-led war on terror, we talked about her trip this week to Romania, where a unique effort is under way to work with 8,000 HIV and AIDS- infected children.
I began by asking Madeleine Albright why so many children in Romania have contracted the AIDS virus.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, it's really obviously a leftover of the communist regime, where the children were not all taken care of, plus their whole health system. I remember when I was there in the '80s, they, in effect, didn't even have absorbent cotton. They had to share that and share needles. So, this is the result of that kind of care.
Also, I spoke to them about the fact that they had done nothing in terms of checking blood supplies at all. I mean, there was no control whatsoever. But the encouraging story, Judy, is that they are now kind of on top of it. And in the issue of pediatric AIDS, they have, in fact -- with the help of Merck and the government and some other pharmaceutical companies -- been able to get on top of it. And I went to an HIV/AIDS pediatric clinic and I was quite encouraged.
WOODRUFF (on camera): So, all these children now have access to the best drugs?
ALBRIGHT: They do. And they also have -- are monitored, and they can then figure out what level of HIV that they have, what kind of drugs they ought to have. They have out-patient services, and they monitor these children.
And it's also interesting in that I saw some of the children come there with their parents, or mothers, and some of them are orphans that are part of the horrible legacy, but I was very encouraged by what I saw.
WOODRUFF: Particularly worth talking about, because of this report out today by the United Nations that half of the cases of AIDS around the world now are women.
I want to move on to Iraq. As you know, Secretary Albright, today the U.N. weapons inspectors have fully and formally begun to visit the various sites around Iraq, everything from military research labs, presidential palaces. The early signs are positive. Are you confident that Iraq is going to provide all the access that is being demanded of them?
ALBRIGHT: I think it's very hard to tell, Judy. I had been just listening to the report that today was an encouraging day. This is just the beginning of a very long process. I think this proves the importance of having gone through the U.N.; that President Bush undertook that step. And I think we're going to have to watch it day by day, because there are many sites, there are many possibilities of problems. But I would say that this is an encouraging, very preliminary step.
WOODRUFF: Even with at most, we're told, 100 inspectors in a country practically the size of California?
ALBRIGHT: Well, it's going to be very hard. And although, as I understand it, they now have much more sophisticated procedures, as well as technology. But -- and Iraq is obviously on notice to be -- to open up and tell the truth. Obviously, one of the other dates we're looking for is December 8, when the declarations have to be made.
So, this is going to be a very slow process, and one that's going to require monitoring over and over again from various aspects. It's a big, big job, and Saddam Hussein knows that, literally, his neck is on the line.
WOODRUFF: One other subject, Saudi Arabia. A number of stories the last few days, questions being raised about how reliable an ally the Saudis are, stories about the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. making a gift to Saudi individuals, that money finding its way later to the 9/11 hijackers. Is Saudi Arabia doing enough right now to crack down on terrorism?
ALBRIGHT: Well, again, I think -- what is enough? I mean, they have, I think, been helpful in some regards. I think that they have to really clamp down and understand that our relationship with them is based on the fact that they have to be reliable friends in terms of cracking down. It's very serious. They obviously have been suspected in many ways, because of the fact that there were Saudi citizens that performed 9/11.
But I think that they have to understand the seriousness of it, and I'm sure that Secretary Powell is making that very clear to them.
WOODRUFF: So, it remains to be seen, is your answer.
ALBRIGHT: Right. And I think that every day, again, we have to check, have to ask. I also -- but I think we have to be careful not to overreact in terms of trying to figure out what really did happen, and we all know these people. I mean, I know Princess Haifa fairly well, and I just think that it's important to try to figure out what really happened, whether some of these things are accidental or whether there is some just sense that there are too many loose aspects of it and not enough ways to track where the money is going.
WOODRUFF: Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joining us from London. Thanks very much -- good to see you.
ALBRIGHT: Thanks, Judy.
WOODRUFF: And now, a quick look 'Inside Their Politics," campaign news from around the world that Washington is keep keeping a close eye on.
South Korea's presidential election race is under way; five candidates running to succeed incumbent Kim Dae-jung who is barred from seeking re-election. One issue dominating the campaign: What to do about communist North Korea, which admitted last month that it has nuclear weapons? Some 35,000 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.
In Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears, according to polls, headed for an easy primary victory tomorrow over his foreign minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The right-wing Likud Party will be choosing a candidate for Israel's general elections in January. The dominant issues are: How to respond to Palestinian suicide bombings, whether to expel Yasser Arafat, and whether to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The winner of the Likud primary will face Labor Party candidate, Amram Mitzna, who supports resuming negotiations with Palestinians.
Are some in the news media too close to the Republicans? That's what Al Gore says. The former vice president's hard-hitting comments, coming up.
But first, on this day before Thanksgiving, investors feasted on some good economic news. Mary Snow gives us all the details.
MARY SNOW, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Judy.
Yes, we had a strong rally on Wall Street and that gave investors something to be thankful about. Stocks rocketed higher; we had a broad based rally. This after several economic reports suggested better times ahead.
By the closing bell, the Dow Industrials surged 256 to a three- month high, and the gains put the blue chip average back on track to extend its winning streak to an eighth straight week. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite rallied three percent.
The bulls let loose after a raft of economic reports indicating that another recession might be averted. Orders to factories spiked last month and fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week.
Another report raised hopes that the holiday shopping season might not be so bad after all. Personal spending rose greater than expected -- four tenths of a percent in October. This while incomes rose just one-tenth of a percent. This was the first time personal spending outpaced income growth since July.
The markets will be closed tomorrow and on Friday we'll have just a half day of trading. That's the lastest from Wall Street. More INSIDE POLTIICS after the break, including Al Gore's thoughts on bias in the news media.
WOODRUFF: The battle over America's forests. Will a new plan by the Bush administration give loggers too much say? The controversy in a moment.
But first, this "News Alert."
WOODRUFF: Well, Bush administration officials today announced plans to revise the way national forests are managed, drawing new protests from environmentalists. The proposal would allow more local decision-making by regional foresters on the use of federal land. The plan would eliminate specific procedures for monitoring wildlife populations, and it replaces the previous standard with broad goals.
Local forest managers would also be allowed to bypass environmental impact studies, and may draw up future land-use management plans.
The top forest service official, though, says these changes are needed, because forest regulations issued in the final days of the Clinton administration were too complicated and too difficult to implement.
With us now, Margaret Carlson of "Time" magazine, Tucker Carlson of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."
Hello to both of you.
TUCKER CARLSON, CNN CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Hello.
MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Hi, Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, given these new logging -- proposed logging regulations, Margaret, what is this administration's commitment to the environment, especially coming on the heels of this announcement last Friday that they are loosening clean air regulations?
M. CARLSON: Right. Industrial pollutants no longer have to adopt state-of-the-art measures, and Christie Todd Whitman was nowhere to be seen when that particular announcement was made. "The Washington Post" has done a good job of detailing the paybacks to campaign contributors, and this may be one of them. In fact, the American Forest Products and Paper Association was in on the change of these particular rules.
And the Clinton administration was a simplification from the Carter administration rules. And people at the time thought it was a great advance, a good balance between the environment and the paper industry. But now it seems like the paper industry, when you read "broad goals" and "local decision-making," that is another way of saying, the people being regulated will be saying how the forests are going to be run.
T. CARLSON: I wonder, though, if this was such a brilliant idea, why the Clinton administration snuck it in in the last eight minutes or something of the administration.
This is a part of the legacy, the legacy of the last couple of days of the Clinton administration, when all these new rules went into effect without any sort of public debate whatsoever and really kind of a political bomb that it left for this administration. I have to say, though, that the environmental lobby is not the only group of Americans who have a say in what should be done with our national forests.
Everybody, including the paper companies, who aren't de facto evil, ought to have a say in it. And these new regulations don't throw it open to the paper companies. They just simplify the process.
M. CARLSON: The people's interest is a general interest. And then you have a very specific interest, which is the commercial interest, which seems to be...
T. CARLSON: However, the environmental lobby has specific interests, too. And it's an interest that opposes civilization in general. So it's a lobby itself. WOODRUFF: What about Christie Todd Whitman, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator? There are those who say she should step down. Today, is it "The Washington Post" called for her -- or "The New York Times" -- "The New York Times" calls for her to stay on the job, to continue to fight. Does it really matter who is the head of the EPA these days?
M. CARLSON: Well, it matters. and you don't know, because Christie Todd Whitman has not said or been out in public to say how she feels about many of these changes.
WOODRUFF: Today or Friday.
T. CARLSON: Right.
The suspicion, of course, is that she doesn't agree with them and that Christie Todd Whitman is much more liberal on environmental matters than the administration she works for. That's the perception. I think it's probably true. She probably disagrees. But, in the end, she is not president.
WOODRUFF: Louisiana politics: We love to talk about this one and only Senate race that is still out there.
M. CARLSON: Thank God we still have one.
WOODRUFF: Mary Landrieu is defending her job as the senator. She's being challenged by Republican Suzanne Terrell, who has not just President Bush, but the former President Bush and probably nine-tenths of the Cabinet and most of the prominent Republicans in the country coming in to campaign for her. Is this going to push Suzanne Terrell over the top, even though she is, right now, behind in the polls, Margaret?
M. CARLSON: Well, I think it was 46 percent to 27 percent, Mary Landrieu, in the runoff. And you would think that Mary Landrieu would have a huge leg up.
But the Republicans, you might as well move the White House down there, there's been so much help given. And they're fighting on the basis of Mary Landrieu saying: "Listen, in a Bush state, I'm for Bush 74 percent of the time. I vote with him. I've worked with him on different acts." But the problem with that approach is that Suzanne Terrell comes along and says: "I vote with him 100 percent of the time. I'm totally on his side."
So, if you're a Democrat, that is not particularly a winning message. And she has a problem with her black base.
WOODRUFF: A lost cause for Mary Landrieu?
T. CARLSON: Oh, I don't think so at all. I think the poll I saw today was 34/50 Landrieu. That, of course, could change. She's in a much tougher fight than most people expected.
You have to feel sort of sorry for her, though, because, as Margaret just said, Terrell has Trent Lott and the vice president. And virtually every Republican in the world is down there campaigning for her.
M. CARLSON: And the president next week.
T. CARLSON: And the president, that's right.
And Mary Landrieu has -- let's see -- nobody, because she doesn't want to have -- first of all, there's a dearth of Democratic leaders nationally. But to the extent there are Democratic leaders, she doesn't want them campaigning for her.
M. CARLSON: That was a problem all over the country. Could you have Clinton or not have Clinton?
WOODRUFF: Well, we will find out whether he shows up in Louisiana between now and Election Day.
Tucker Carlson, Margaret Carlson, thank you both. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
M. CARLSON: Thanks, Judy.
T. CARLSON: Thank you.
M. CARLSON: You, too.
WOODRUFF: Good to see you.
The story of a governor and his expensive trip to Ireland straight ahead. Also: Business donors decide to take sides in a scramble for campaign cash.
WOODRUFF: Checking headlines now in our "Campaign News Daily": New Jersey's governor, Jim McGreevey, said today that the state Democratic Party will reimburse taxpayers for much of the cost of a recent trade mission to Ireland. "The Newark Star Ledger" reports that the tab for a McGreevey family reunion cost about $3,200. The newspaper also reports that the governor racked up a cell phone bill of more than $16,000.
The governor said today that he will cover the cost of that reunion. And he said it was a mistake to ask for the state to cover the cost of the trip. He also said that total expenses for the trip, not counting security, was $57,000. That's less than what the newspaper had reported.
Well, Al Gore is holding true to his vow to -- quote -- "let her rip" in his public comments. Gore tells "The New York Observer" that some news media outlets are -- quote -- "part and parcel of the Republican Party." He also says -- quote -- "Fox News Network, 'The Washington Times,' Rush Limbaugh, there's a bunch of them. And some of them are financed by wealthy ultraconservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administration and the rest of the media -- end quote.
In Maryland, Congressman and about to be governor Bob Ehrlich said he did nothing improper by writing letters to the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of a Baltimore-based company. The company, Sinclair Broadcasting, later donated a helicopter for Ehrlich to use at reduced rates during his successful run for governor. Published reports say the FCC admonished Ehrlich for violating commission rules. Ehrlich says he has written thousands of similar letters on behalf of constituents during his time in Congress.
Well, not so long ago, business interests thought that it was smart not to play favorites between political parties, because, that way, business always had a seat at the table, regardless of election outcomes. In this past election, however, business took sides.
Brooks Jackson is here to tell us about how big money has changed -- Brooks.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a big change, Judy, since the days when Democrats ran Congress and business owners felt they had to pay tribute. Back then, many industries gave equally to both parties, but no more.
(voice-over): Look at the accounting industry. In 1990, there was a 50/50 split, Democrats and Republicans both getting just over $1.5 million. But, this time around, Republicans are getting nearly $3 for every $1 given to the Democrats.
That could explain why Democrats were quick to call for Harvey Pitt's scalp at the Securities and Exchange Commission and why they pushed for a much tougher crackdown on accounting fraud than did Republicans. It's the same with the insurance industry, whose donations were split evenly back in 1990, just over $6 million to each party. This time, Republicans are getting nearly $19 million, Democrats just over $8.5 million.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's ask the American people to give health insurance to everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Was that influenced by the Clintons' failed push for national health insurance? Does it help explain why Republicans side with HMOs, when Democrats want to open them up to malpractice lawsuits? You think?
Even the energy industry used to give fairly even-handedly: 58 percent to Republicans, 42 percent to Democrats. But it's shifted big time. Now energy firms give almost 3-1 to Republicans. Does that have anything to do with the Republicans' push to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Pay attention. There may be a quiz on this later. Only a few industries have remained wholly pragmatic, such as real estate, which split its donations 50/50 in 1990 and about 54/46 this time around. But that's a rare exception.
Democrats now are forced to depend more and more on just a few loyal interest groups for their money. Hollywood is one. The TV, movies and music industries gave 73 percent of their money to Democrats in 1990. Now Hollywood gives 78 percent. Lawyers, especially trial lawyers, who sue businesses for a living, they gave 68 percent to Democrats then and 72 percent now.
And, of course, labor unions, which gave 92 percent of their money to Democrats then, and now still 92 percent, the core of the Democrats' financial support.
JACKSON: The big money shift began after 1994, when Republicans took over the House. And the business tilt to Republicans is likely to grow even more pronounced now that they control the Senate and the White House as well -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Brooks, thanks very much.
Coming up next: John Kerry revealed, a personal side of a senator who his eye on the Oval Office. Joe Klein of "The New Yorker" will tell us what he now sees in a man he covered 30 years ago.
WOODRUFF: New evidence today of just how friendly Senator Jim Jeffords is with Democrats since his famous switch from Republican to independent. Jeffords will deliver the Democrats' weekly radio address on Saturday, the only independent ever to do The that. Democrats say Jeffords is the best person to address their issue of this week, the environment.
Kentucky Congressman Ken Lucas says the speculation should stop now. He says he is and will remain a Democrat. In a statement, Lucas says he is honored by the overtures that he has received from Republicans. But he says he plans to return to Washington as an enthusiastic Blue Dog Democrat, although he adds he will continue to voice his disagreement with his party's leadership on issues such as national defense and taxes.
Well, we told you about a quote in "The New Yorker" magazine in which Senator John Kerry talked of being four sheets to the wind on a weekend in his younger days. That apparently was one way of trying to soften his eager-, serious-guy image as he lays the groundwork for a possible presidential race.
Author Joe Klein is here with us to talk about that article and his revealing conversations with John Kerry.
Joe Klein, you first covered this man 30 years ago. How has he changed in that time? JOE KLEIN, "THE NEW YORKER": Boy, I'd like to say it feels like only yesterday, but it feels like 30 years ago.
He really has changed a lot. He was a terrible candidate in 1972. He was a major war hero, having led the Vietnam Veterans Against the War protests in '71. But he was strident. He was pompous. He didn't connect well with the old shoe workers on the North Shore of Boston, where he was running for Congress.
Now he's a lot smoother and a lot more confident. And he's still a pretty stiff guy. He isn't your down-home populist. And he will never be able to pass for one. But I think he's come to terms with that.
WOODRUFF: The Vietnam War clearly helped to define him then. Joe Klein, it clearly helps to define him now, but in a different way.
I think that Kerry spent about 20 years after I first saw him perform kind of in the political wilderness. He won some races. He became lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and then senator. But he didn't really find a home until he connected with the other Vietnam combat veterans in the Senate, especially over the issue of normalization of relations with Vietnam.
He headed a committee on POWs and MIAs and became very close to John McCain and Bob Kerrey and Max Cleland and the other Vietnam veterans, who are a rowdy bunch. And I think that they kind of loosened him up a bit.
WOODRUFF: What about this quote, Joe, that so many of us have picked up, the four sheets to the wind? Was he trying to get that out there for some reason, do you think?
KLEIN: Oh, yes. He was trying to counteract the image that he has of being the most serious guy on the block, a guy who has never able to tell a joke in his life, who has never seemed very loose in his life.
And he was just trying to -- he was kind of overreacting, trying to convince me, "Hey, I can be fun, too." But you know what? A lot of his friends have said that: "He's not only fun. He's reckless." He's a wild wind surfer. He does aerobatics, whatever that is. And he's a pretty -- he plays the guitar. He does have a life.
WOODRUFF: Any doubt in your mind that he's going to run for president, and that, assuming he does, that he has sort of made his peace with what that means for him and for his family for the next few years?
KLEIN: Well, I think it's clear that he's running. I mean, James Carville told me, the guy is not only testing -- he's not testing the waters. He's immersed. He's growing gills. He's in there. And in my experience -- which now stretches past 30 years, Judy -- I've found that the candidates who are least conflicted about running for president are often the ones who are most successful.
WOODRUFF: All right, Joe Klein with "The New Yorker," we recommend the piece to everybody. It's fascinating reading. Thanks very much. Good to see you.
KLEIN: Happy Thanksgiving, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Have a good Thanksgiving, too.
KLEIN: You, too.
WOODRUFF: Well, as Americans prepare to pause and give thanks, what about the president?
Our Bruce Morton has some ideas about what Mr. Bush can be thankful for -- coming up.
WOODRUFF: Well, as we've been reporting, President Bush has now joined his family in Texas for Thanksgiving.
And our Bruce Morton has some thoughts on what the president has to be thankful for. Here's Bruce's tongue-in-cheek essay on what Mr. Bush might have been thinking on his flight back to the ranch.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Dear diary, what a time it's been, so much to be thankful for.
"I'm thankful the old Congress went home, though it did some good things: passed my tax cut in spite of the Democrats' yelping it was mostly for the rich. Well, if you make bigger bucks, don't you deserve a bigger cut? I'm thankful they passed my education bill, even though it will take a few years to see how that works out.
"We're not drilling for oil in the Alaskan Reserve yet, but we've eased pollution standards for coal-burning power plants. And I'm thankful for that. Campaign finance reform, I'm thankful I could sign it in private, no photo-op for John McCain. And I'm even more thankful judges have started saying parts of it are unconstitutional. Take that, John.
"But, seriously, I'm truly thankful there hasn't been another 9/11. I'm thankful the Congress approved my Homeland Security Department. Sure, it was a Democratic idea originally. But, thankfully, no one will remember that.
"I'm thankful the country has stayed with me on Iraq. I know I sometimes seemed as if I wanted to invade the next day. And now I am giving the U.N. a chance. But the country has been with me, whatever I said. And Rumsfeld and Powell still speak to one another. And I'm thankful.
"Add the Middle East hasn't turned into World War III, though it did seem close sometimes. And my friend, Ariel Sharon, looks as if he's going to win his primary this weekend against that Netanyahu guy. And I'm thankful for that. Sharon and I understand each other, I think.
"And the election. I'm thankful I raised more money than any president ever did in an election cycle, more than $140 million, they tell me. I'm thankful that I put my prestige on the line and risked my political good name and won, gained seats in the House, took over the Senate. I may get a little tired of Trent Lott, mind you, majority leader there, singing those barber shop quartet tunes, but he's a big improvement on that Daschle fellow, let me tell you.
"And we'll get some judges confirmed. And I know it takes 60 votes for the big stuff, like another tax cut. But this was a result to be thankful for. No doubt about it.
"And the twins turned 21, strong thankfulness there -- no more stories in the tabloids about underage drinking. They can have a beer if they want to. And what college kid doesn't sometimes want to? They can lead normal lives. I can lead a normal life. I'm thankful."
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: And we can all be thankful there hasn't been another 9/11 or anything close to it.
Still ahead, something to grab the ears of Republicans: a surprising GOP retirement.
WOODRUFF: Do you know what GOP stands for? Well, if you're watching this show, you probably do. But "The Wall Street Journal" thinks many Americans may be baffled by the abbreviation for the Republican Party. So the newspaper says that it will -- reportedly says that it will avoid using GOP in articles and headlines beginning next month.
The style change was revealed in an in-house memo titled, "RIP GOP." "The Washington Post" broke this grand old story. And it quotes a spokesman for the Grand Old Party as saying, "We're still the GOP." And we're glad to know it.
That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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