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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for December 15, 2000

Aired December 15, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Hey, here with your week-ending NEWSROOM, I'm Tom Haynes. Let's get started with a look at the rundown.

The U.S. election is over. Now the transition begins for the administration of George W. Bush.

Moving on, we're bringing the drama in today's "Editor's Desk."

And get ready: We're letting the dogs out in "Worldview."

Finally, we'll "Chronicle" the life of the man who will be president: George W. Bush.

The United States shifts from election to transition mode as President-elect George W. Bush not only prepares for his next four years in office, but scrambles to build a new administration.

George W. Bush began his first day as president-elect with prayer and a message of unity at a church service in Austin, Texas. After that, he spent time on the phone, accepting congratulations from world leaders. He also spoke with several Republican congressional leaders and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. Among other things, Bush and Jackson discussed election reform and ways to bring the nation together.

In addition to healing the wounds caused by the prolonged election contest, George W. Bush and Vice President-elect Dick Cheney must put together a White House administration. Altogether, the Bush transition team needs to make about 6,000 political appointments for which it's received nearly 21,000 resumes.

Among those jobs are the high-level cabinet posts, such as the secretary of education. Because a full-scale transition was delayed by the dispute over Florida's votes, the timetable for getting a cabinet in place is much shorter than usual.

The challenges that lie ahead for George W. Bush don't stop there. Because of the close election and the controversy that entailed, Mr. Bush is under considerable pressure to perform well in his role as president, and to work with both political parties.

John King has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The election was November 7, the result uncertain for more than a month, the inauguration now little more than a month away and the burden squarely on Mr. Bush to seize the moment.

Consider the challenge: the country and then the courts divided in the fight for the White House, the Congress evenly divided, too.

GEOFF GARIN, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: The election was close for a reason, is that the electorate is closely divided in its own mind about what a president should do, that this is not an electorate that is looking for radical or extreme measures from George W. Bush. And I think that whether he is accepted or not as president depends very much on his performance.

KING: Al Gore lost the election but won more votes. Democrats will be looking for olive branches.

PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Does that mean building a bipartisan Cabinet? Probably. Does that mean telling the extreme wing of your party, hey, hold on? Probably. Does that mean having to work together to get any kinds of legislation passed? Definitely.

KING: Meetings with President Clinton and the vice president are in the works, designed to signal both closure and conciliation.

But the middle-of-the-road approach has its risks. Eight years of Democratic rule has Republicans in a restless mood, and President- elect Bush owes them, too.

MARSHALL WHITMAN, HUDSON INSTITUTE: We have to wait to see who fills some of those key slots that are of importance to social conservatives, such as attorney general and health and human services secretary. Because if there are not pro-lifers in those positions, the Bush administration could have some problems on its right.

KING: It is, in the words of one top aide, the ultimate high- wire act, a period of intense pressure and scrutiny even before Mr. Bush takes the oath of office.

(on camera): His first steps were those of a man who understands the difficult and delicate challenge just ahead, a promise of bipartisanship and an appeal to those who voted against him to at least give him a chance.

John King, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: The U.S. federal government has decided to step in to ease California's severe power shortage. Among other things, the state's dealing with tight energy supplies which are causing high prices. To keep the lights on, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson is ordering energy suppliers to sell power at set prices.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG LAMOTTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The power crisis in California is threatening to bring the state's huge economy to its knees and force millions of state residents into the dark. So critical has the situation become, the U.S. Energy Department has announced it will:

BILL RICHARDSON, ENERGY SECRETARY: Require generators and marketers that refuse to supply power to California because of credit issues to send power into the state.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: The price of power has risen astronomically on the spot market, and may very well bankrupt two of California's major utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison.

LAMOTTE: Energy in California is in critical condition. No new major power plants have been built in a decade. A third of the state's power generators are off-line for scheduled maintenance.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: We must bring these prices under control. Otherwise, the utilities simply are not liquid enough to pay the prices, to power our economy, keep the lights on, protect the sixth largest economy on the planet.

LAMOTTE: The federal government has also announced it will now set power rates if the parties are unable to.

RICHARDSON: While I ensure that the generators receive a fair return, I will not allow them to unjustly profit due to current market conditions. I will demand a fair price.

LAMOTTE: Even so, the crisis is not over -- not by a long shot.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: It's not a done deal yet, but AOL and Time Warner took a significant step toward their mega-merger. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which approves things like company mergers, gave the green light with some conditions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG CLARKIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Federal Trade Commission gave the merger the green light after gaining additional concessions at the 11th hour. FTC chairman Robert Pitofsky said the question of approval boiled down to one issue.

ROBERT PITOFSKY, FTC CHAIRMAN: Our concern here was with access, that these two powerful companies would create barriers that would injure competitors of Time Warner, competitors of AOL.

CLARKIN: To ensure other Internet companies have access to the cable lines owned by Time Warner, parent of CNN, the FTC won several concessions. One calls for ISP EarthLink to be offered on Time Warner cable lines before AOL. Within 90 days of making AOL service available in some markets, Time Warner needs to sign on two additional ISPs. And AOL-Time Warner will be required to notify the FTC of complaints regarding access to content.

Consumer advocates called the agreement a significant achievement.

JEFF CHESTER, CENTER FOR MEDIA EDUCATION: Now the Federal Trade Commission, in essence, has taken a can opener to open up AOL-Time Warner's monopoly cable systems and have forced them to let other Internet service providers provide customer service.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: All right, here's one for you. What do Paul Newman, Henry Winkler and Sigourney Weaver have in common? They're all graduates of the Yale School of Drama.

Yale is located in New Haven, Connecticut and was founded in 1701. The graduate school of drama is one of Yale's 10 professional schools. Students spend three years in the program where they develop skills in everything from acting to sound design to playwriting.

Cynthia Tornquist spotlights the school's success in our next story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CYNTHIA TORNQUIST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yale University has turned out such distinguished graduates as Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce and Angela Bassett.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "NOBODY'S FOOL")

PAUL NEWMAN, ACTOR: Go home, you jerk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TORNQUIST: Paul Newman, seen here in "Nobody`s Fool," studied there. Yale was also an old haunt for Vincent Price, who went on to make films such as "House of Wax." "Silence of the Lambs" star Jodi Foster is a graduate. However, she earned her degree in literature, not the fine arts. Robert Kline left the university after about a year.

(on camera): Were you a good student or a bad student?

ROBERT KLINE, ACTOR: I was a good student, funny student. I couldn`t play by the rules that they had in some instances.

PATTY CLARKSON, ACTRESS: You`ve aged a little, but you`re still handsome.

(LAUGHTER)

CHRIS NOTH, ACTOR: I'm taking my time.

TORNQUIST: What was she like in school?

NOTH: Patty was the class fox.

(LAUGHTER)

NOTH: Everyone wanted to do scenes with Patty.

TORNQUIST (voice-over): Yale became one of the first universities in the nation to offer training in the professional theater when it established the Department of Drama in 1925.

STAN WOJEWODSKI, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA: People come, we like to think, with the passion and the talents and the intelligence, and I`d like to think that they leave with increased experience and discipline, so that when they leave they hit the ground running.

TORNQUIST (on-camera): Yale University is a training ground for talent in all areas of the entertainment industry. Countless writers, directors, designers, producers, musicians and actors have studied here.

TORNQUIST (voice-over): August Wilson`s Pulitzer prize winning play "Fences" was first staged at Yale, as were many other award- winning plays.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FENCES")

JAMES EARL JONES, ACTOR: I ain`t got to like you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL O`KEEFE, ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE: You`re not going to hit me again, are you?

TORNQUIST: Movie star Michael O`Keefe is guest appearing in this latest Yale production called "Heaven," as the university continues to be an incubator for the arts.

O`KEEFE: Hopefully what I do as a professional with the students is offer them an opportunity to work with somebody who`s got 30 years of experience in theater, who can maybe be there for them in ways that their teachers can`t.

TORNQUIST: This 75 year old university judges its success by the company it keeps.

Cynthia Tornquist, CNN Entertainment News, New Haven, Connecticut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

HAYNES: We are all about dogs in "Worldview" today. First up, we'll hear how dogs are helping people and how people are helping dogs. Our stories take us to China and the United States. And I'll even pop up a little later to play with a puppy or two. It's a canine extravaganza right here on NEWSROOM.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: We begin in China, a country in eastern Asia containing one-fifth of the world's population. Today, the Chinese are ruled by a communist government that defeated the Nationalist Party in 1949, dismantling a 37-year-old republic. Prior to that, China was ruled by a dynasty spanning more than 2,000 years. Among other privileges, the Chinese royalty once enjoyed exclusive ownership of a dog you may be familiar with the: Pekingese dog.

Raised in China since the 700s, the Pekingese dog remained a secret from the rest of the world until 1860. It was then that the British Army seized Beijing and also took two Pekingese back to England. But today, the dog is being shared with people closer to home.

Ty Marega tells us how one man's best friend is playing a new role.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TY MAREGA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These dogs are going to school, but it's not for obedience training. These canines are the key part of a program called Doctor Dog. Twice a month, a gray poodle and white Pekingese visit the new Yuan Xi School (ph) in Beijing for an hour.

Dong-dong (ph) is an 8-year-old boy with a severe case of Down's syndrome.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD (through translator): They're really fun. They're really fun.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD (through translator): Fun. I like that dog over there.

MAREGA: The simple act of playing with the dogs helps the children overcome some of the limits of their disabilities.

WANGE QIYUE, TEACHER (through translator): Children are basically unaware of how they fit into society. They don't understand the complex dynamics of human relations. But, on the other hand, their relation to these dogs is totally natural. Doctor Dog sets them free and lets them express their true identities. GENG YONGJI, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL (through translator): To these children who are mentally handicapped, Doctor Dog gives them psychological support and helps them break out of their shell to connect with the outer world. For instance, little Xiao Ching (ph), he was scared and stayed away in the very beginning. But after a while, he found the dogs so cute that he couldn't help but to go touch them and play with them. He's learned that these animals aren't intimidating. And with this knowledge, he'll have the courage to interact with other people.

MAREGA: The benefits of the program don't stop with the children. Doctor Dog is helping promote animal welfare in a country where dogs have traditionally been regarded as a health hazard and public nuisance. And now that China no longer stages mass eradication campaigns, dogs are being viewed with a new sense of purpose.

Ty Marega, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Yes.

You know, Kathy, I'm a little upset.

KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why is that, Tom?

HAYNES: Because you brought me all the way out here to do a field lead on dogs and you brought your cats.

NELLIS: They're not cats. These are Yorkshire terriers, a toy breed first developed in England. And their names are as long as their pedigrees. This is "Little Demon Just a Tad" and this is "Bit of Joy, Pot of Gold."

HAYNES: Come on, meow for me.

What are their real names?

NELLIS: For short, we call them Bitsy and Tad.

HAYNES: Listen, just like humans, dogs have nicknames, too.

Jeanne Moos has the long and short of it in our next report.

Meow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): My name is Moos. I thought my name was bad until I went to the dog show. Name that show dog.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Majenkir Timosius VII (ph).

MOOS (on camera): I don't understand a single one of those words. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fablehoff Zoot Suit (ph).

MOOS: What's the first word?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kennel name, Fablehoff.

MOOS: Sablehoff?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fable!

MOOS (voice-over): Whatever happened to Lassie, Spot, Rin Tin Tin?

(on camera): What's your dog's name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Air Force One.

MOOS (voice-over): That at least makes sense. Try reading this guy's name.

Every show dog has a name registered with the American Kennel Club.

MOOS (on camera): 26, 27, 28.

(voice-over): Unfortunately, the AKC allows lots of letters.

(on camera): What's her formal name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Champion Touchstones Ooh Whad Yah Dooh.

MOOS: Ooh Whad Yah Dooh?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ooh Whad Yah Dooh.

MOOS: How do you spell that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you had to ask. O-O-H W-H-A-D Y-A-H and D-O-O-H.

MOOS: And then for short you call her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beebee (ph).

MOOS (voice-over): It's pretty clear which name the dogs prefer. Rascal here turned a deaf ear to his registered name.

(on camera): Moptop's Good Luvin (ph)!

Rascal! Yes.

(voice-over): A few pointers: the "C-H" stands for champion, and the first word usually refers to the kennel where the dog was bred. After that, anything goes: Pass the Pepper, Worth the Wait, Come Hell or High Water.

But even the dog show announcers fall back on the everyday call name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's Spicey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oreo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ernie the Bernie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daniel the Spaniel.

MOOS: Here is the long and short of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Champion K-Var Josandre's Triple Crown (ph). There we go.

MOOS (on camera): And what do you call him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scooter.

MOOS (voice-over): Breeders have a habit of creating theme litters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did a litter of pointers, and we named them after all the iced teas. We have Tetley, Lipton, Snapple.

MOOS: This is Snapple. And from another theme litter, here's Carbon Copy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had Facsimile, Carbon Copy, Xerox.

MOOS: There are litters named after candy bars, even litters named after Beatles songs. This bloodhound's name is Ticket to Ride. His sister's is Eleanor Rigby, though her owner prefers...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rigadoodle!

MOOS: Bulldogs tend to have inventive names.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do like, Will E. Bite.

MOOS: This Irish wolf hound's registered name is Queen Eleanor. Very dignified. But at home she likes to chase skunks, so...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've nicknamed her Smelly Elly, Queen of the Skunk Hunters. Sometimes we call her Smellinor or just plain Smelly.

MOOS: At the dog show, everything on a leash has a formal name.

(on camera): Now his registered name is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michelangelo.

MOOS: And at home you call him...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mikey.

MOOS: Why's he got a paper towel in his mouth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He always likes to hold something.

MOOS (voice-over): Just call him Champion Quicker-Picker-Upper.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: If you play sports, you know that you might feel aches and pains after jumping too high to catch a fly ball. Well, your pet can be prone to sports injuries, too. Next up, we take a look at a common weakness they share with people.

Ann Kellan has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye.

ANN KELLAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While you work, Fido waits and waits and waits until Saturday. Then it's playtime. All work and only weekend play makes Jack and his dog more prone to injuries. One vulnerable spot for both human and beast are the knees.

Dogs have four legs, but only two knees in the back. And like us, one wrong jump and twist and the ligaments in the knee can tear. These rubber band-like strands connect and stabilize the thigh to the leg bone. The most susceptible to injury: the anterior cruciate ligament.

DR. KARL KRAUS, VETERINARY ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON: Right in the middle, it goes from here down to here just like that.

KELLAN (on camera): That's the ligament?

KRAUSE: That's the ligament on the side of...

KELLAN: And that's what gets torn?

KRAUSE: That's what gets torn.

Oh, he's pretty bad.

KELLAN (voice-over): Some dogs like Rembrandt are born with bad knee construction and more prone to this injury.

BETSY SIMONS, REMBRANDT'S OWNER: And she would just be waddling around. I mean, basically, it's like a three-legged dog.

KELLAN: Roxanne has a torn ligament, too. She and Rembrandt will have a relatively new type of surgery to correct it.

KRAUSE: OK, Roxanne, we'll see you on Friday then.

KELLAN: How it works: Dr. Kevin Krause removes the bad ligament. And instead of replacing it with another, he cuts and reshapes part of the leg bone to create a better connection between the leg and thigh. A metal plate reinforces the bone during healing. After that, the dog should be able to walk without a limp.

SUSAN BOJNOWSKI, MAXMILLIAN'S OWNER: Good. Can't even tell the difference.

KELLAN: The success rate? Krause says after four months recuperation, two out of three dogs feel like Maxmillian. A year ago, he limped, had the surgery, and now outpaces his owner.

BOJNOWSKI: He really doesn't have any problem at all anymore.

KELLAN: The cost? $2,000 a knee.

(on camera): Was it worth it, you think?

BOJNOWSKI: Oh definitely, definitely.

KELLAN: You can't even tell. Let me see that knee.

(voice-over): To reduce the risk of this happening, keep the weight down and warm up and stretch -- yes, dogs, too -- a little walk or jog on the leash before you go all-out.

Ann Kellan, CNN, Boston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: Have you ever worried about losing your pets? If so, you may be delighted by an Internet solution. An entrepreneur from the United States has created a nationwide search engine devoted to finding lost pets.

Bill Tucker has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC DORFMAN, DOG OWNER: He's just pure love.

ANNETTE CONTY, DOG OWNER: They're like little kids.

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pet owners like Eric and Annette dote on their four-footed companions. They would be devastated if their canine pals were suddenly missing.

DEBORAH WELSH, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, AWOLPET.COM: Pets are so much a part of the family. And when they're gone, it's such an agonizing process. And I wanted to do what I could to get them home.

TUCKER: Kansas City entrepreneur Deborah Welsh has put 21st century technology to work helping to find missing animals. Welsh created AWOLPet.com, a Web site with accessible databases, to aid in the search for missing pets.

DR. MARK L. WEISSMAN, VETERINARIAN: It allows people to track their animals throughout the United States.

TUCKER: The site's address, A-W-O-L-P-E-T.com, is engraved on a red metal tag sent to registered owners.

WELSH: Only $7 for one pet. There are discounts if you have more than one pet. The registration is good for as long as your rabies vaccination.

TUCKER: The Found Pet database allows concerned folks who find pets to post a description of the animal they've found. The site's other database list lost pets. An owner can post a description of the pet and any relevant information.

SETH EDELSTEIN, DOG OWNER: I think that's using the Internet as a true resource.

TUCKER: The Humane Society says Americans own more than 120 million cats and dogs. Eight million to 12 million of them are lost each year, and fewer than 20 percent are ever found. That leaves 6 million to 10 million pets that Deborah Welsh aims to get home safely using AWOLPet.com.

That's "Your Money," Bill Tucker, CNN Financial News, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: In less than six weeks, George W. Bush will be sworn in as the United States' 43rd president.

Candy Crowley, who's been following his campaign closely throughout the election, brings us a closer look at the man who will be leading America for the next four years.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Ready to go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, governor.

BUSH: See you later. You coming?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm coming.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first time he remembers hearing it was July 6, 1996.

BUSH: And Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, a Democrat, stood up and said, I'm -- it's great to be here at the birthday party of the next president of the United States.

CROWLEY: George Walker Bush looked around the room.

BUSH: Exactly. I was trying to find who might that be.

CROWLEY: Four and a half years later, Bush is poised to become the 43rd president of the United States. He has his father's looks, his mother's attitude. He may govern like Ronald Reagan.

BUSH: Because I'm such a positive person. See, I'm an optimistic person. I'd rather talk about the right things that are happening.

CROWLEY: The nation is getting a big-picture guy with a sunny personality and a stubborn streak. He is focused on results, disinterested in process, impatient with details, a delegator.

BUSH: Leaders get things done. And they realize they cannot do it alone, so they surround themselves with good people and build a strong team.

CROWLEY: Consider that while the networks aired the tape of the Supreme Court hearing that could decide his political fate, George Bush went to the gym. It was enough that lawyers he trusted were on the job.

BUSH: Got a good briefing from our team. I would call them cautiously optimistic.

QUESTION: And how about yourself? Are you cautiously optimistic?

BUSH: If they are, I am.

CROWLEY: The coin of the realm in the Bush inner circle is loyalty. The president-elect both demands and returns it. In the lowest moments of his campaign, Republican insiders sniff that Bush needed to deep-six his Texas-centric staff. He did not.

A study in contrast: Bush talks endlessly about changing the partisan tone in Washington but never hesitates to use brass knuckles.

BUSH: They're going out as they came in. Their guide: the nightly polls. Their goal: the morning headlines. Their legacy: the fruitless search for a legacy.

CROWLEY: He is a conservative Republican who literally took the road less traveled.

BUSH: I like to be seen in neighborhoods sometimes where Republicans aren't seen. I like to fight that stereotype that somehow we don't have the corozon necessary to hear the voices of people from all political parties and all walks of life.

CROWLEY: He is a laid-back, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may Texan with a nervous intensity, a kind of cat-like edginess behind the good-old-boy.

Though an easy, often electric retail campaigner, Bush lacks Reagan's way with the camera and ease with the written word. Teleprompter speeches are stilted, and minus a script he can butcher the language. BUSH: When I was coming up it was a dangerous world and we knew exactly who the "they" were. It was us versus them and it was clear who "them" was. Today we're not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there.

CROWLEY: His tangled syntax, less then firm grasp on some issues and CEO approach fueled the toughest question of the campaign: Is this graduate of Andover, Yale, and Harvard Business School smart enough for the job?

BUSH: I remember what they did to Ronald Reagan. They belittled him and they said he can't possibly be smart enough to be president of the United States, he's simply an actor. The man turned out to be a great president. And you know, I think it's partly because those of us who don't spend our adult life in Washington, D.C. are seen to be somehow be deficient.

CROWLEY: Defenders say Bush is no more gaffe-prone than the average person, and he did work his way through three presidential debates against an opponent a lot of people thought would wipe the floor with him.

Bush has acute people skills, an innate ability to size up an opponent and read the dynamics of a room. He is, by all accounts, a good listener and facilitator who prides himself on the number of Democrats in Texas who call him friend.

BUSH: I've got a reputation in my state as a uniter, not a divider.

CROWLEY (on camera): Of the things he brings to the table, Bush may be best served in rough-and-tumble Washington by his underlying confidence in his judgment and his capabilities. Asked once what should be written on his tombstone, the governor replied: "He was comfortable in his own skin."

Candy Crowley, CNN, Austin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: And you can count on CNN NEWSROOM for all the latest on the U.S. presidential transition.

I'm Tom Haynes. Have a good weekend. We'll see you back here on Monday.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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