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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS
Schiavo Memo Author Revealed; Interview with Senator Robert Byrd; Papal Politics; Vatican City Prepares for John Paul II's Funeral; Blogosphere Round-Up
Aired April 7, 2005 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: A memo suggesting the Terri Schiavo case be exploited for political gain created quite a stir. But who was behind the memo? Now we know.
And a fight over filibusters. Are Republicans trying to right a wrong? Or are they making a power grab? Judy sits down with a senior Senate Democrat.
SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Now they're trying to intimidate the courts. Back off.
ANNOUNCER: He may have been a fill-in, but Dick Cheney knows funny.
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just the other day, I had this strange feeling in my chest. I found myself short of breath, shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then Lynne explained, she said, "Dick, that's called laughing."
ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.
Political and religious leaders from around the world are joining the millions gathering to honor the life of Pope John Paul II. Final preparation are under way now for the pope's funeral tomorrow at St. Peter's Basilica.
The lines of mourners continue to stream by the pope's body. The line is expected to close for good within the hour, however, so that the area can be prepared for the funeral.
Earlier today, a delegation of U.S. senators, including Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, joined those paying their respects inside the basilica.
President Bush, along with his father, the former president, and former President Bill Clinton, visited St. Peter's Basilica yesterday, shortly after they arrived in Rome. Today, Mr. Bush and the two former presidents met with Italy's president, and later they had dinner with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. They also met with the 11 American cardinals who will take part in the selection of the next pope.
We'll have more coverage on preparations for the pope's funeral at the top of the hour, including a live report from the Vatican.
Here in Washington, the mystery of who wrote a controversial memo which took note of how the Terri Schiavo case could have political benefits for Republicans has been solved. And a top Senate staffer has lost his job.
CNN congressional correspondent Joe Johns standing by with details.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy.
Senator Mel Martinez of Florida says a senior member of his staff was responsible for that memo. He says that staff member has resigned.
Martinez said in a statement issued last night he had a copy of the document in his lapel, apparently did not know it, apparently handed that document to Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. This, of course, is something Senator Harkin has essentially confirmed. He said he did receive the memo on the Senate floor, although, he's also said he'll have no other comment on that.
Now, here are some other statements from that statement that was made yesterday from Senator Mel Martinez. "I learned that a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document. It was not approved by me or any other member of my staff. The person responsible for drafting and circulating this document has tendered their resignation and I have accepted it,"
Now, if you remember, that Republican document had some very interesting language about the Schiavo case. It called this an important moral issue, and the pro-life base will be excited. It's said, "This is a great political issue because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor, and it's a tough issue for Democrats." Of course, Senator Nelson of Florida is up for re-election next year.
In a statement, Martinez said, "I apologize to my friend Senator Nelson," and said he wants to continue doing good things for the state of Florida.
On Capitol Hill, of course, the reaction was predictably mixed. Democratic operatives started circulating a memo of their own, accusing Republicans, including Martinez, of low-ball tactics. But Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, a Democrat, was essentially dismissing the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: I think that what's important here is the principle, not the politics. And Senator Martinez said it was a mistake, and I take him at his word. And let's move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Now, on the Republican side, Senator Arlen Specter, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said the fuss over the document was just about routine Capitol Hill. Told me, "It's no surprise that people are looking for political advantage. That happened once before around here."
Judy, back to you.
WOODRUFF: Joe, why did it take so long for the identity of the author of this memo to get out?
JOHNS: Well, if you take the senator at his word, he simply did not know. Perhaps there were other people around Capitol Hill who were more familiar with the situation, particularly Senator Harkin.
I was told by a senior senator here on Capitol Hill just a few minutes ago that, in fact, it was Senator Harkin who had to call Senator Martinez and say to him, "I got the document from you." And that, apparently, is when Senator Martinez started checking around his staff to try to find out the source of it -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: So, Joe, where does that go from here? How much more life does this story have in it?
JOHNS: Well, that's not clear at all. I talked to Senator Trent Lott of the Rules Committee a little while ago. Of course they did an investigation. He said, "Now that we know where the memo came from, and the staff member has resigned, that's pretty much the end of it."
Of course, Democrats will continue to try to make hey over it, especially since we still have the issue of the president's judicial nomination coming up. And that issue sort of dovetails into the Terri Schiavo matter -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Joe Johns doing all this reporting at the Capitol. Thank you, Joe.
The Schiavo memo controversy, you won't be surprised to know, has been big in the blogosphere. Our blog reporters, Cal Chamberlain, and Jacki Schechner, scouring the Internet for your comments. They'll join us a little later in the show.
Despite the contents of that memo, most opinion polls taken during the Schiavo debate found the American people largely opposed any interference in the case by Congress and the president. Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider has more on how the polls have become a decisive factor in recent political showdowns.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Without polls, Bill Clinton could never have survived. When the Monica Lewinsky story came out in January, 1998, official Washington was ready to declare the Clinton presidency over.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: This week's leading magazines are leading with, you guessed it, the president. "U.S. News" covered the story and asked the question everyone is asking, "Is he finished?"
SCHNEIDER: Until the polls came out and showed the people did not want the president driven out of office.
Without polls, Elian Gonzalez would have stayed with his Miami relatives. Congress was threatening to intervene in the case.
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSISSIPPI: That's why we're going to have the hearings, to try to find the truth.
SCHNEIDER: But polls showed the American people thought the child belonged with his father. Without polls, attempts by politicians to keep Terri Schiavo alive might have succeeded. But three-quarters of Americans disapproved of Congress' involvement in what most people thought was a private family matter.
Some Republicans are now threatening retribution against the judiciary.
REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: We will look at an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats, who have been in the awkward position of defending the use of the filibuster to stop President Bush's judicial nominations, now have a new argument.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Apparently, it's not enough for Republicans to rule the White House and Congress. They want power over the independent judiciary too.
SCHNEIDER: That argument comes from the Terri Schiavo case.
KENNEDY: And Republican leaders abused their positions of power to play politics with Terri Schiavo's life.
SCHNEIDER: Republicans don't want their effort to end filibusters to be construed as an attack on the judiciary. They need to separate the filibuster issue from the Schiavo case.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told reporters, "I believe we have a fair and independent judiciary today. I respect that."
Senate Democratic leader Larry Reid said...
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: Let's just calm down and see where the American people are on this issue.
SCHNEIDER: Spoken like a man who has the polls on his side.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats defending the filibuster are now in a stronger position. They can depict themselves as defending the courts from an attack by Congress at a time when the polls have been strongly against Congress in the Schiavo case.
WOODRUFF: Bill, what about all this conversation and the charges that Congress -- well, that any of the Republicans and others involved are overreaching here?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, overreaching is exactly the charge. And in the case of an attack on the courts, that looks like exactly what they're doing.
The most famous case of overreaching was almost 70 years ago. And that wasn't by a Republican. It was a Democratic president at the peak of his popularity.
In 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt attacked the U.S. Supreme Court, which had invalidated parts of the New Deal, and he tried to expand the size of the court. It was called court packing. And even though he had huge majorities in Congress, he overreached and it didn't work.
WOODRUFF: And, in fact, in a minute, you'll see part of an interview I did today with Senator Robert Byrd, and he makes that very charge.
But, Bill, there are those who will say, wait a minute, that was 70-some years ago. What application does that have to today?
SCHNEIDER: Well, it's the same issue, the separation of powers, and the idea that politicians should interfere with the operation of the courts. In principle, Americans don't like it, but in the Terri Schiavo case, they really didn't like it. So I think the Republicans are going to have a tough case to make.
WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.
The passionate debates in the Terri Schiavo case have added to the controversy over the Democrats' use of Senate filibusters to block some of the president's judicial nominees, as we just heard bill discussing. A little earlier today I did speak with Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia about that issue. But first, I asked him about GOP claims that a major fund-raiser on his behalf by the left-leaning group moveon.org means he's too liberal for West Virginia voters.
BYRD: I have one word, one word for that. Horseradish.
That organization is made up of Democrats and Republicans, West Virginians, veterans, farmers, teachers, people from all walks of life. It's a patriotic organization. It believes in having its say, saying what it thinks. And I'm proud to have the support of that organization.
WOODRUFF: Well, the Republicans say it is out and out a liberal organization and that your association with it means you're in the same suit.
BYRD: You know, I'm just sick up to my ears concerning all this talk about labels. When I came to the Senate, I was to the right of Senator Goldwater. How about that? Now they say I'm a liberal.
Who cares? I vote the way I see an issue. And the labels just don't count. There's too much -- too much talk about labels.
They're not important. They're not real. And we ought to get beyond that.
WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you this, there are Democrats on the more moderate end who say that the vocal, the most vocal elements of the party are the liberal groups like MoveOn, and they say it's not good for the party. Is that something you're concerned with?
BYRD: You know, I pay no attention to the talk about labels. What I'm concerned about is the liberties of the people of this country. The liberty to speak out, to say what they think, and not be intimidated. That's one thing that's happening in this political atmosphere these days.
And I have to say there's too much of the effort to intimidate. There's an effort to intimidate those who speak out, who are critical of the administration, who are critical of the president.
They try to intimidate, intimidate the media. That's a good one. They've got you intimidated.
Intimidate senators who have the backbone to stand up for the rights of the people they represent, they try to intimidate. They try to -- now they're trying to intimidate the courts. Back off.
WOODRUFF: Well, I certainly don't believe they have me intimidated or my news organization intimidated.
BYRD: I don't think so. But look back at debate on the war.
Where was it? The Senate was mute. The media didn't ask questions, and the people didn't ask questions. We were mute.
People were intimidated. That's the effort now, is to intimidate anybody who has this common sense, and the courage and a strong feeling of what's right and what's wrong, trying to intimidate them. They're trying to do that to me.
WOODRUFF: Well, when it comes to speaking out, let me ask you about this. You know the Republicans in the Senate are talking about changing the filibuster rules. BYRD: Yes.
WOODRUFF: You've said you're against that. The Republicans say that's hypocritical, because they say, for example, back in 1977 not once, but they say four different times you helped to close a loophole that let the Republicans have their say.
BYRD: They're wrong.
WOODRUFF: They were the minority.
BYRD: They're wrong, they're dead wrong. And they've told themselves that so much that they probably believe it.
It's not right. They're wrong.
The ordinary people -- the elderly, the young, they're about to have their rights curtailed by this silly notion that filibuster ought to be eliminated. The filibuster is the last weapon, the lifeline of the liberty of the people. They need to back off that.
WOODRUFF: Last question, Senator. Are you running for re- election?
BYRD: Well, I'm not going to announce it today. I'm thinking about it, seriously.
WOODRUFF: What are you leaning toward?
BYRD: Taking care of the issues here. I'm leaning toward defeating this opening of Pandora's box, cutting off the filibuster.
WOODRUFF: Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia. He did go onto accuse the Bush administration of trying to pack the federal courts, in his words.
Pope John Paul II had a strong influence, we know, on American politics. Just ahead, will the next pope build on that legacy? I'll speak with CNN political analyst Carlos Watson.
And later, a live update from Vatican City in the latest on preparations for tomorrow's funeral.
WOODRUFF: As we've been saying all this week, Pope John Paul II, through his conservative views, had an effect on American politics. I'd like to talk more about that now with CNN political analyst Carlos Watson.
Thank you for being with us.
CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to be here.
WOODRUFF: Good to have you in Washington.
WATSON: I'm happy to be here.
WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.
So, the election of a new pope, whoever it, is or whoever he is, will that continue the trend, do you think?
WATSON: I think it could be very interesting in at least one regard. If you think about the Republican Party's recent success among Latino voters, we saw Bob Dole getting the 20 percentage range in 1996. We saw George Bush take that into the 30s in 2000 and in the 40s in 2004.
If they select -- if the conclave selects a Latin-American pope, maybe from Brazil, maybe from Argentina, maybe from Honduras, it will be very interesting to watch whether that person further focuses on these social conservative issues, further gets Latinos headed towards, if you will, the Republican Party, and ultimately we see that continued movement towards the 50s.
On the other hand, Judy, one thing to think about is if one of the three are selected and they focus on so-called social justice issues, immigration, third world debt forgiveness, will we actually see them confront the president and the Republican Party on what it means to be a compassionate conservative? Will there be a broader values debate? So I think it will be very interesting to watch if one of those three are selected.
WOODRUFF: And depending on which issues they stress.
Carlos, very different subject. We know the president's been on the road a lot lately pushing his Social Security reform plan. If he is not able to get through Congress what he wants, which is reform with so called carve-out personal accounts, investment accounts, what are the options for him, do you think?
WATSON: I think certainly you could wait and see what happens after the 2006 election, certainly if you increase your majority. And that's one thing you'll get.
But I think another thing to consider, Judy, are executive orders. You know, since the republic was founded, various presidents have used it, everything from the Louisiana Purchase, Emancipation Proclamation, Japanese internment camps. All of them were some form of an executive order. It will be interesting to see whether or not President Bush considers a trial version if he's not successful.
WOODRUFF: Of some version of Social Security?
WATSON: Of private accounts for federal employees, very heavily regulated. Remember that in the early '90s, when President Clinton failed to get his health care plan through, he tried out portions of it through the executive order process.
Now, we're not saying that's what President Bush would want to do. You know, it wouldn't be as broad a program, it wouldn't be exactly everything that he wants. But you can't forget that it's an option on that just like he's used it for faith-based initiatives, or he's used it in the war on terror.
WOODRUFF: Well, I confess, I didn't cover the Louisiana Purchase.
WOODRUFF: But it's good to remind people that it did exist and it was an executive order involved.
WATSON: And just one of many.
WOODRUFF: OK. Carlos Watson, our political analyst, good to have you.
WATSON: Good to see you.
WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.
WATSON: Good to be here.
WOODRUFF: Just ahead, Vice President Cheney tries his hand at humor at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner.
WOODRUFF: Checking today's "Political Bytes."
A new poll taken for "The Hotline" finds that if the presidential campaign were going on right now, the vigorous White House push for changes to Social Security would cost the president votes. Fifty- percent of those polled say that given Mr. Bush's stand on Social Security, they would be unlikely to vote for him now. Forty-one percent said it is likely they would vote for the president.
Well, Vice President Cheney stood in for Mr. Bush at last night's Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner here in Washington. The president, of course, over in Rome for the pope's funeral. The vice president filled in admirably in a post where humor is expected, maybe demanded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: I don't want to you get worried, but just the other day I had this strange feeling in my chest, I found myself short of breath, shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then Lynne explained, she said, "Dick, that's called laughing."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: He got a good reaction.
Also last night, our own Candy Crowley, along with senior producer Sasha Johnson and Mike Roselli (ph) were awarded the Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in journalism. They were honored for their work covering the 2004 presidential campaign.
We should also add that Candy won the award in 1997 for her work covering the '96 presidential campaign. So congratulations to Candy, Sasha and Mike. We're very proud of you.
Some top American Catholic politicians are in Rome as well to say goodbye to the pope. We're going speak with one of them when we return.
Plus, a memo suggesting the Terri Schiavo case be exploited for political gain has created quite a stir. Now we know who's behind the memo. But what's the fallout? We'll get the take from the left and the right.
WOODRUFF: It's about two minutes before 4:00 in the East. And as the markets get set to close on Wall Street, I'm joined by Kitty Pilgrim in New York with "The Dobbs Report."
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy. Thanks.
First of all, let's tell you about another pain medication that was pulled from the market. Now, you may recall that Vioxx was taken off the market by Merck last fall on safety concerns. Now Pfizer says the FDA told it to suspend sales of Bextra.
Bextra may cause heart problems and life-threatening skin conditions. And FDA scientists had warned about Bextra months ago.
Now, the FDA also called for the strongest warning to be put on another drug, Celebrex. That was another Pfizer drug. And it wants a stronger warning label on over-the-counter painkillers like Motrin and Alleve.
Pfizer stock just slightly lower. Let's take a look and see what the rest of the markets are doing.
Dow industrials up for a fourth straight day, gaining about 60 points right now. The Nasdaq nearly 1 percent higher.
And the price of crude oil, it tumbled nearly $2 a barrel. Rising inventories and a production increase from Saudi Arabia factored into today's trading.
That, however, is not showing up in gas prices. They hit another record today, and a new government forecast shows that they're headed even higher.
Gas is now $2.22 a gallon. That's an average. And government regulators say that could possibly peak at $2.35 on average in May, and stay high throughout the summer. Well, coming up on CNN, 6:00 p.m. Eastern on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT," "Broken Borders." We have a special report on how illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers $10 billion every year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN CAMAROTA, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: There's no question that the federal government has failed to take even the most elemental steps necessary to reduce illegal immigration. And one of the things that happens is the state and local governments are often left holding the bag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: Also, tonight, Senator Chuck Hagel joins us to discuss why he believes terrorists are looking for ways to enter the United States at the Mexican border. And then Tom Nassif, the head of the trade group Western Growers explains why he believes U.S. agriculture could not exist without a foreign workforce. Plus, former General Electric chairman Jack Welch joins us to talk about his new book, "Winning." That and more, six Eastern, on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT," but for now, back to Judy Woodruff.
WOODRUFF: Thank you, Kitty. We'll be watching. INSIDE POLITICS continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Closing St. Peter's, the Vatican ends the viewing of the pope to get ready for tomorrow's funeral. We'll go live to Rome.
The president and the polls: does Mr. Bush have a problem? We'll get the take from the left and the right.
Now, live from Washington, Judy Woodruff's INSIDE POLITICS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Welcome back.
Mourners continue to fill St. Peter's Basilica inside Vatican City, but the doors to the basilica are expected to close this hour. The closure will give church officials time to prepare the area for tomorrow's funeral, which has drawn millions of mourners from all around the world.
With me now for the latest from Vatican City is CNN's Rome bureau chief Alessio Vinci. Alessio, I imagine you have never seen anything like this; neither have we.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: That is correct, Judy.
As a matter of fact, the hundreds of thousands of people that about which -- whom we have been reporting throughout this past few days have completely disappeared right now here from St. Peter's Square. As you can see here behind me, an area usually packed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every day is now virtually empty. You can see just a few people here still getting organized. There are a lot of preparations ongoing, of course, because tomorrow, in about 12 hours' time, the funeral of John Paul II will begin. The doors of the basilica are still open.
The people you see going in there right now are just some members of private delegations, as well as some of the people that have been working throughout the days to secure the area, to help out with civil protection duties including distributing water and blanket. They have been given a last chance to pay their last respects after an estimated two million people, even perhaps more, have been coming through this square in the past four or five days, some waiting up to 15 hours.
As the camera pans toward the left you can see some of the preparations are already ongoing. There are the last -- the top of the image, there are pilgrims on the edges of the square because they will be the first ones tomorrow who will be allowed into the square. Authorities here telling us an estimated, perhaps 100 or 115,000 people will be allowed in the square to participate in the funeral.
As we continue the tour here around the square, as you can see how the preparations are ongoing, of course, there is first medical aid, a lot of the water being prepared. They are expecting, again, a massive amount tomorrow in the morning, and eventually this entire area will have to be secured. Security has been beefed up. We expect that throughout the night this area to be completely cleared so the security can be obviously -- the area can be secured because, of course, tomorrow, in the morning, you are going to have several hundred former heads of state, government officials, as well as church officials, who will begin attending this funeral that is expected to -- that will begin tomorrow morning at 10:00 local time here in Rome, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Alessio it is to strange to see it practically empty after the days of seeing people -- filled. Do you have any idea how many were turned away who didn't make it there in time?
VINCI: Look, exactly 24 hours ago we were told that the lines had been closed, basically, that nobody was allowed to go back in line again. Then this morning, surprisingly, perhaps, so we were told more people could actually come in. We don't think that a lot of people were turned down. I think the vast majority did manage to go inside the basilica. We do know, however, that some people were turned back and now they are here waiting to get access to the square at least to be here tomorrow morning during the funeral, Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Our Alessio Vinci, our Rome bureau chief. Alessio, thank you very much.
There is much more to come from Vatican City. Our Vatican analyst John Allen joins us next to talk about a good-bye on a grand scale. And politics and religion do mix for this extraordinary event. Coming up, New York Governor George Pataki on his faith, the pope, and paying his last respects.
WOODRUFF: Live pictures from the Vatican.
Vatican City is the world's smallest state but it feels like one of the most populated right now as mourners continue to stream in to say good-bye to pope John Paul II. These are special delegations of people; the door is now closed. The pope's funeral just hours away.
Today we learned details of his will. CNN Vatican analyst John Allen joins us now from Vatican City. John, what do we learn from the will?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Hi, Judy.
For one thing we learned that, as early as 1979, John Paul was reflecting on the prospect of his own death. Bear in mind, his predecessor John Paul I had reigned only 33 days, so obviously, he was conscious in the very beginning this could happen at any time.
Beyond that, we learned that at an earlier stage in his pontificate, he was actually open to and leaning towards the idea of being buried in Poland, but as the years went by he began to sort of change his thinking on that. In the end, he left the decision in the hands of the college of cardinals, and as we know, the college of cardinals eventually decided that he would be interred in St. Peter's Basilica where 148 of the 263 popes of the Roman Catholic Church are buried.
In addition to that, we also learned in the jubilee year in 2000 when John Paul turned 80, he began reflecting much more seriously on the prospect that death might be coming for him. Earlier in the day, some of the initial reporting was a little confused about that and thought this was maybe a reference to the idea of him resigning. In reality, he was invoking an ancient Latin phrase that comes out of the new testament, "Im dimentus (ph)", which is a reference to the idea of death. So, the pope obviously, as he aged and as he got into the new millennium, realized that time might be short and he wanted to reflect on what his last message to the world and the church would be.
WOODRUFF: So sounds like there were entries in this will and testament over a period of years.
ALLEN: That's right. These were 15 handwritten pages that -- some of which have dates, some of which don't -- but it's stretches from 1979 all the way to the year 2000. Essentially, what the pope would do, every year he takes an annual retreat in Lent, one week where all business in the Vatican shuts down. And apparently what he would do is, after these retreats were over -- each year they are preached by a different bishop or clergyman -- he would go back to his private apartment and he would reflect on what he had heard, try to put that in the context of taking stock of his own life and the reality of death, which, of course, given his Catholic faith was not the end but a new beginning, the entryway into a new life. This document is the fruit of that reflection and prayer.
WOODRUFF: John Allen, last question, and we have less than a minute. What are you looking to see or hear at tomorrow's funeral?
ALLEN: Well, I think at one level it's the spiritual message of the thing. The event itself is a carefully crafted attempt to lead one to an emotional place where you can understand the Christian concept of death which is entering a new life.
But there is a political subtex, too, Judy. The celebrant is going to be Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He is a leading candidate to be the next pope, and he is going to have an opportunity to give a talk. We are going to listen to what he picks out of John Paul's life that he wants to carry into the future.
WOODRUFF: All right. John Allen, CNN Vatican analyst, and of course, we'll continue to be talking to you in the hours and the days to come. John, thank you again, very much.
ALLEN: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: A number of American politicians will attend the pope's funeral tomorrow. Among them New York's governor, George Pataki, first met the pope ten years ago. I talked with the governor a little earlier today, and I asked him why he decided to make the long trip to Rome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE PATAKI, GOVERNOR, NEW YORK: Well, it was just important for Libby and I to be here. And, to be honest, if we were standing blocks away it would be a privilege just to be here. This is a memorable weekend honoring one of the great figures of the second half of the 20th century. And someone who I as a Roman Catholic just, will always look up to and remember with the greatest of affection.
This week is very special because we're here to honor one of the great figures of our time, certainly a tremendous leader of the Catholic Church and of Christianity, but also a great leader of the world. Someone who through his faith, through his love, through his belief in peace and freedom truly changed the lives, not just of tens of millions of Christians but of tens of millions of others around the globe and this is the week, this at the time time, when we should reflect on his greatness and give thanks for his presence leading, not just the Catholic Church but so many of the people of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: New York's Governor George Pataki; he is one of a number of Americans in Rome for the funeral and please, we tell -- urge all our viewers, turn to CNN tomorrow morning for the funeral of John Paul II. Our coverage begins at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.
Different story. We now know where a controversial memo about the Terri Schiavo case came from, but that's only fueling more debate today. Up next, it's Donna Brazille versus Bay Buchanan. Don't miss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, on "PAULA ZAHN NOW," William and Harry, the future of the British monarchy. Every family fight, every family flaw, a public spectacle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They felt a parental responsibility should come a very far second to their royal duties.
ANNOUNCER: Forced to deal with the death of their mother, their lives an open book, Princes William and Harry, on "PAULA ZAHN NOW," tonight, 8:00 Eastern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRES OF THE UNITED STATES: I realize we probably got some potential candidates for 2008 in the room right now, so I want to make my plans absolutely clear. I have no intention of running for the nomination in 2008. I'm certain the Republican party will do just fine in that election. We have a lot of terrific candidates out there. Just to prove my confidence in the field, I have agreed to lead the search committee to pick the next nominee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Who said the vice president doesn't have a sense of humor? We have proven it now.
So, with me now, former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazille and Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause.
Different subject: let's talk about the Democrats and the Republicans. Bay, the Republicans have been saying the Democrats -- the Democrats are saying the Republicans are using the Terri Schiavo case to go after and to mold and shape the judiciary. We now have this memo revealed, written by a Republican Senate staffer, basically saying, well, Republicans can make some political hay out of this. Does that substantiate what the Democrats are accusing the Republicans of?
BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: The memo doesn't. The memo -- if that's what they are going to use for the next couple weeks to talk about they really need to get a life, because the memo is just one fellow wrote it. And I don't know if his boss, his senator, even read the thing. It was never moved to other Republicans, so it's really a nonstory. One guy, seems like a political hack, decided maybe we could use this in some other fashion.
I think it's clear that Republicans, and I think it's unfortunate, they were very strong to do something about the Schiavo case, and to give her a chance to have the federal court review her case. But then they backed off, they hesitated, and that was the wrong signal. Americans like clarity. They like to know where the people stand and they want to know where their leaders want to go. They may not agree with but they like to see them have the courage of their convictions and I think Republicans, by backing away from the issue, suggested maybe something there was wrong with their first position.
DONNA BRAZILLE, FMR GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This is another attempt at lowball tactics to divide the country. The Schiavo memo was circulated by a high-ranking staffer. I mean, a general counsel on a Senate staff is a very high-ranking staff person. Gave it to his senator, Mel Martinez of Florida who was a point person, who circulated it on the floor of the Senate. Tom Harkin of Iowa received a copy, and we know more senators saw it.
BUCHANAN: No, we do not know that.
BRAZILLE: Well, a lot of Democratic senators saw it and some Republican said...
BUCHANAN: Only one person admitted who saw it, and that was Harkin.
BRAZILLE: Well, for weeks the Republicans have tried to smear Democrats, and say that we made it all up. Now we know Republicans circulated it, and they should apologize. First of all, I think someone should apologize to Senator Nelson.
BUCHANAN: It wasn't circulated.
BRAZILLE: It was circulated.
BUCHANAN: ABC and "Washington Post" both had it wrong. It was not circulated; it went to one person and the person who gave it to him admitted...
BRAZILLE: It was wrong, it was still wrong. We use a case of a dying woman to -- for political gain, and that's what the Republicans did. They should apologize.
WOODRUFF: Donna, let's talk about Democrats. We've got a poll showing 76 percent of Americans said they disapprove of Congress' involvement in the Schiavo case yet the majority of the Democrats were silent on this. Could this come back to bite the Democrats?
BRAZILLE: No, I don't think so. I think the American people are sending a clear message to Congress and the federal government to butt out of social and moral issues. They are telling the American people right now through these polls that they did not approve of what happened on Capitol Hill last week. Democrats were mixed. The Democrats who did come back, again, we didn't know what time and place they would set this debate, but those that did come back were evenly split. And I think this, for Democrats, it was a matter of conscience, especially those that voted. But I think by and large, the American people are absolutely right, Congress should butt out of the issue. BUCHANAN: You know, it's clear: 47 Democrats voted for this. I say again the problem is Congress should have stayed with it and showed -- told the American people where they think it to go and should take action to make certain such a case doesn't happen again.
WOODRUFF: Let me take it from a different angle. Bay, we know the president won reelection getting something like nine out of every ten Republican votes. Now there's a new "Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll that show, one-third of Republicans -- this is Republicans -- say Democrats should prevent President Bush from going too far in pushing the Republican agenda.
BUCHANAN: At least it would give the Democrats something positive to do. They have no agenda themselves, and so what they are trying to do is hold up the Republican agenda. I think it makes some sense, Judy. On issue after issue you don't expect 100 percent of Republicans to agree with the president. The polls show still 88 percent, I believe, of Republicans still support the president.
So, it isn't lost Republican support. But, on some issues they may think that he might be wrong and they like the idea that the Democrats might slow him up. But, the key here again is clarity and strength. That's what we expect of our leaders. I do not believe we saw it to the extent we should have and that you'd expect...
BRAZILLE: There's a lot of anxiety out there over job creation, there's a lot of anxiety still with Iraq, on Social Security, on rising gas prices, and the Republicans seem to be out of sync and out of touch with the American people. And, yes, Democrats have an agenda for job growth and job creation, but the problem is, we don't control Congress and Washington, D.C., it's the Republicans, and they're now out of sync. The American people are tired of the hubris.
WOODRUFF: In this same NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll 30 -- just 34 percent are saying they think the country is headed in the right direction. My question, Bay, is what is all this about? And Donna, why aren't Democrats taking advantage of it?
BRAZILLE: I think Democrats should take advantage. There are signs of life now inside the Democratic party, and Howard Dean is doing a great job. This is a great opportunity to tell the American people what we're going to do differently from the Republicans.
BUCHANAN: It is an opportunity to them. It's sad they haven't done something yet. Obviously the American people did not see the kind of strength in Washington they expected from their leaders in the last couple of weeks. There's no question about that. The issue was social issues.
I think the Republicans should get together and say look, we do believe there's a certain direction, and lay it out. Sure, there's going to be some polls that don't say it's so good. But they say, this is what we believe, we are going to fight for this. That would, I believe, that leadership quality is what the people are really looking for.
BRAZILLE: The American people are getting a good glimpse of what the Republicans stand for and they don't like it.
BUCHANAN: They don't know what you guys stand for.
WOODRUFF: ...the American people are looking for.
BUCHANAN: We're still waiting, Donna.
WOODRUFF: Bay and Donna, thank you both. OK.
So, what is the reaction to the news about the Schiavo case memo in the blogosphere? We'll check in with our blog reporters next; they're tracking your comments. Stay with us.
WOODRUFF: Well, it turns out the Terri Schiavo case memo is attracting a great deal of attention from the bloggers today. They are learning the source of the controversial document. We check in now with our blog reporters Cal Chamberlain and Jacki Schechner.
JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN BLOG REPORTER: Hi Judy.
Yes, news broke last night that the unattributed Terri Schiavo talking points memo had an author, and that it was Republican Brian Darling, legal counsel for Senator Mel Martinez. Now, he has since resigned, Brian Darling, that is, but the blogs are blowing up over this one.
Over on the right, they are dealing with the fall-out of having suggested that perhaps this was a Democrat dirty trick or even the mainstream media was somehow involved in fabricating this. Over on the left, they are doing their fair share of gloating. We go to the carpetbaggerreport, where they say, "The end of the dumbest right-wing conspiracy theory ever." And they said that they "whined incessantly about this alleged dirty trick for weeks. It dominated right-wing blogs, right-wing talk radio, right-wing newspapers. It is time for them to accept responsibility and apologize."
And in case you're curious, what exactly people were saying on the right all along, John Aravosis over at Americablog.org has a really good round-up of what some people were saying, and he talks about Tucker Carlson, he talks about Michelle Malkin, he talks about powerline blog, just to name a few.
CAL CHAMBERLAIN, CNN BLOG REPORTER: So, if you want to find out a little bit more about who Brian Darling is, you can go over to Roger Ailes blog at rogerailes.blogspot.com. Under the title, "Who Is Brian Darling?" he asks, is Brian Darling the designated fall guy for Senator Martinez? And then there's a brief resume for Brian Darling, and he goes on to say at the bottom, "my guess is that Brian Darling will be very, very quiet about his role in circulating the GOP memo and will find himself again in a comfortable position in the right wing lobbying machine very, very soon, if he knows what's good for him."
And then, just under that he has a link back to the "Mel Martinez Wants Your Feedback" site where, if you click it, you can send your comment and concern and give Mel your feedback on exactly how you feel about this.
And, speaking of feedback, the blogosphere is certainly not short of that. Over at "The Whiskey Bar," which is at billmon.org, under the title "Power Lie"...
SCHECHNER: Which is a take on powerline blog, the blog that loves the memo.
CHAMBERLAIN: Right. The memo-loving blog, powerline. It's called power lie. He says, "the inhabitants" -- kind of a funny take on the whole thing -- "the inhabitants of the dark side of the blogosphere seem to be stumbling around in some confusion today after an intensely painful beam of truth penetrated through their thought cavern and burned out the retinas. Conservative eyeballs just aren't equipped to handle that kind of light." It's kind of funny. He goes on with this sort of parody of "Star Wars," and the whole memo scandal things, and at the end he says, "It's great to gloat. I'm sure enjoying it, anyway, even if this is a silly squabble over an asinine memo that didn't matter much when it was first reported and matters even less now."
SCHECHNER: Now, some apologies on the right.
CHAMBERLAIN: Right. There's some apologies going on out there. The one we found was at anklebiting.
SCHECHNER: Some of the people apologizing, but not hourly. There are a couple that are doing it, anklebitingpundit
CHAMBERLAIN: Right. We have h-bomb at anklebitingpundit saying, "we have been tough on the Democrats for floating fake memos in the past, so when the Schiavo scandal hit, we were tough on them again but we were wrong." And he goes on to say, "We can expect a very hard pushback against bloggers from mainstream media after this. And, yes, we were and the rest of the people that said it was fraudulent, were wrong." Which, is refreshing.
SCHECHNER: It's fair. Some of the blogs are taking a look at this from a larger perspective. We go over to right-wing nuthouse. Talking about sort of the aftermath of this...
CHAMBERLAIN: That is the name of the day. C'mon.
SCHECHNER: ..Schiavo -- that's the name of the day, right wing nuthouse -- Schiavo memo, "real inaccurate." And if you scroll down, it says, "There is a lesson for all of us. There are some things the blogosphere does very well, and then there's journalism. Being so large, the sphere's eventually going to sort itself out, and those that wish to practice journalism will have to chance to do so. Those that want to offer opinions and rant about events," like himself, "will also have a place." Although, he suspects most people will tire of the latter and, unless one is a really good writer, those sites will fall by the wayside.
By the way, in the vein of -- and we know the bloggers rarely miss anything, I have a slight apology or correction. LeftI, on the news noted that a few days ago I was talking about Representative John Conyers and I inadvertently said "his fellow Republicans." I meant to say his fellow Congressmen. He is in fact the -- he's a Democrat on the House judiciary committee, the ranking Democrat on the House judiciary. So, I stand corrected, Judy. He is in fact a Democrat.
WOODRUFF: Our policy on INSIDE POLITICS is, whenever we make a mistake, and we all make them, we come back and correct them as fast as we can.
WOODRUFF: And what was that about the eyeballs again?
SCHECHNER: Oh, it was -- it's the name of the blog, leftI.blogspot.com. L-E-F-T "i" dot blogspot dot com.
WOODRUFF: Got it. All right, thank you both. Cal, Jacki, we appreciate it.
That's it for INSIDE POLITICS this Thursday. I'm Judy Woodruff. "CROSSFIRE" right now.
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