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Inaugural Opening Ceremony Gets Under Way; George W. Bush Discusses the Challenges Facing His AdministrationAired January 18, 2001 - 4:35 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: The opening act for the Bush inauguration: a gala event now under way here in Washington.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: We're covering the party and all the politics surrounding the White House transition.
ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff in Washington and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.
SHAW: Thanks for joining us as we get an early start on INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: As you can see behind us, we have a bird's eye view of the nation's Capitol where the incoming Bush administration is being celebrated and criticized today. Right now at the Lincoln Memorial, the opening ceremony of the 54th presidential inaugural is just getting started. George W. Bush is there for the festivities featuring a host of entertainers.
SHAW: We plain to carry remarks by the president-elect and others as part of our live coverage of this kick-off to the inauguration Saturday. This party is playing out in a day in which two controversial Bush Cabinet choices faced scrutiny on the Hill.
Our Chris Black and Jonathan Karl are covering the confirmation hearings. First to Chris, and today's testimony about Attorney General-nominee John Ashcroft.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, Judge Ronnie White, the Missouri Supreme Court Justice whom John Ashcroft blocked from going on the federal bench was the lead-off witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee on this, the third day of John Ashcroft's nomination hearing.
He said -- he testified that John Ashcroft never questioned him about the death penalty cases that Ashcroft said were the reasons he should not go on the federal district court bench.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE RONNIE WHITE, MISSOURI SUPREME COURT: I was very surprised to hear that he had gone to the Senate floor and called me pro- criminal with a tremendous bent toward criminal activity; that he told his colleagues that I was against prosecutors and the culture in terms of maintaining order. I deeply resent those baseless misrepresentations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Judge White said that he did not believe that John Ashcroft was a racist, a statement that Republicans were obviously delighted to hear. But Democrats said what they do believe is that John Ashcroft used Judge White as a political pawn to create a death penalty issue in his tough Senate race against Governor Mel Carnahan.
Now, you remember, Bernie, that Mel Carnahan died in a tragic plane crash just weeks before the election, but his name was still on the ballot and he beat John Ashcroft in the November election and his widow, Jean, is now holding Ashcroft's Senate seat.
The Judiciary Committee members, the Republicans on the committee preferred to dwell on the details of one of those death penalty cases; a 10-year-old case involving a mass murder. Four people were killed by a Vietnam veteran who went on a rampage at Christmas time. One of them was the wife of the sheriff of Moniteau Kenny Jones, who was actually here today. He did not testify before the committee, but his testimony was put in the record in a written form.
In fact, the congressman from Missouri who was a prosecutor on that case, Kenny Hulshof, came to Ashcroft's defense. He was very careful not to criticize Judge White, but he said that Ashcroft had a valid reason in disputing the judge's ruling that Mr. Johnson, who was the defendant in that 10-year-old case, deserved a second trial because of inadequate counsel.
The committee is still hearing testimony. They're on the second of four panels. They're expected to go for a little bit longer today, and the chairman of the committee, Patrick Leahy, says we'll probably pick it up again tomorrow -- Bernie.
SHAW: Chris, on the point, how much longer do you think the Ashcroft hearings will go?
BLACK: Well, it's really anyone's guess, Bernie, but Democrats clearly are intent upon letting everyone who wants to speak. There are quite a few witness; a lot of different interest groups, both pro and con, and they're going through them one by one.
They want the record to be very complete, Bernie. Even though it looks like John Ashcroft has the votes to be nominated to be the next attorney general of the United States, they want a to send really strong message to this Republican administration that they don't like a lot of what they see.
SHAW: Chris Black. Now let's check in with Jonathan Karl on the interior secretary nominee -- John.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bernie, Gale Norton who, of course, is George W. Bush's pick to be the secretary of the interior, faced a packed hearing and received a relatively cool but still not outrightly hostile reception from the committee's Democrats. Basically, the Democrats' tone was set by Jeff Bingaman, who until the Republicans take over Saturday, is the chairman of that committee.
Here's what Bingaman had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BINGAMAN (D), NEW MEXICO: I have no doubt that Miss Norton is extremely decent and capable person and we have many recommendations to that effect. I do have doubts about some of the policies that she has promoted and whether they are consistent with the responsibilities of the job of secretary of interior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Bingaman said he is still undecided about whether or not he will ultimately support Norton's nomination, and the issues that he raised as well as some of the other Democrats were many of Norton's writings. Over the past 20 years, she has been an ardent advocate of state rights, of property rights and a frequent critic of federal environmental regulations.
These Democratic senators wanted to know if Gale Norton disagrees with environmental laws on the books, would she still enforce them in her duties as secretary of the interior?
Meanwhile, Norton herself defended her record, said she would be a good choice to run the department based on her experience and her views; and defended those views, echoing some of the very words that George W. Bush used during his campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORTON: I will be candid in telling you that I am both a conservative and a conservationist. I see no conflict there. In fact, I am a compassionate conservative and a passionate conservationist. I believe that, too, is entirely consistent.
If confirmed as secretary of the interior, I intend to make the conservation of America's natural resources my top priority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Norton, aside from Ashcroft, is the one remaining nomination that is really a controversial one up here on Capitol Hill, although Republicans -- Republican allies of Norton -- those that are shepherding her nomination through the Hill up here -- through the Senate, predict that no more than a dozen, perhaps 15 senators will ultimately vote against her -- that she will be confirmed by a large margin.
And the Democrats -- even some of those Democrats raising questions about here views acknowledge that she is very likely to be nominated, and nominated by a large margin -- Bernie.
SHAW: John, we know that John McCain of Arizona is very passionate about campaign finance reform.
Behind the scenes, what's the latest on that?
KARL: There's some really interesting developments on that today, Bernie, as a matter of fact. John McCain, of course, has been in these behind-the-scenes negotiations with Trent Lott over when to bring up -- have a full Senate debate on campaign finance reform. McCain has been ardent, saying it should happen right away. He has threatened to go to the Senate floor right at the beginning, once the new president is sworn in, to bring this up.
Well, Trent Lott has gone back to John McCain; he has presented John McCain with a proposal to bring up campaign finance reform, have a full Senate debate -- two weeks of debate on the issue, but not until the middle of May. The Republican leadership believe this is a quick timetable; they had preferred to wait much longer to bring up campaign finance reform.
But the early word from the McCain camp to this proposal is a very negative one. And McCain's aides -- on of his top aides told me that it would take a miracle for there to be some kind of an agreement now between Lott and McCain before the Senate comes back with a new president in the White House. What they're saying is that McCain will go to the Senate floor on Monday or Tuesday -- whenever the Senate comes back in session -- bring up his campaign finance reform and follow through on his threat to attach it to whatever piece of legislation comes before the Senate floor; essentially threatening to tie the Senate up in knots over the issue of campaign finance reform just as the Republicans up here were hoping to get started -- smooth sailing on George W. Bush's agenda, going after those things he campaigned for, such as education, not those things he campaigned against such as campaign finance reform.
SHAW: Very interesting; Jonathan Karl, thank you.
Still on the Hill, there was this other development: Secretary of State nominee Colin Powell has breezed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In a show of bipartisanship, this committee voted unanimously today to approve Powell's nomination and send it directly to the Senate floor.
Now this comes just one day after Powell testified before the committee. The full Senate is expected to vote on Powell's nomination and a number of others Saturday afternoon after George W. Bush is sworn in as the 43rd president -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Well, as we told you a moment ago, the inaugural opening ceremonies are underway at the Lincoln Memorial. Let's slip back over there now and listen to Jon Secada.
(JON SECADA SINGS "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL")
JON SECADA, SINGER: Thank you very much; thank you very much.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome two of Nashville's favorite stars: Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw. (LORRIE MORGAN AND SAMMY KERSHAW SINGING "I'VE FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE")
SAMMY KERSHAW, SINGER: Thank you.
KING: How about that.
WOODRUFF: All right, you can see our own Larry King over there acting as master of ceremonies.
We are here, across the street from the capitol, Bernie and I, along with Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.
Jeff, you were just telling me -- we were listening to this country music following Jon Secada -- every president brings in his own taste in music and everything else, for that matter.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: It's actually one of the first signs of the changing of the guard.
Now, it's really striking; if you look at -- Bill Clinton's 54 years old; George Bush is 53 years old...
WOODRUFF: Or 54.
GREENFIELD: So they're almost the same -- almost exactly the same age and they could not be more different, both in their experiences, in their attitude toward the culture wars of the '60s, and even the music.
In '93, MTV had a huge rock 'n' roll kind of party for the new Clinton administration. Interestingly, they're not here. They claimed they didn't have enough time; there's some belief that maybe MTV knows that George W. Bush ain't a big rock 'n' roll fan -- when Bill Clinton could do Elvis and he was called an Elvis.
Bill Clinton was very much in the mix of those culture wars. An anti-war demonstrator; at least experimented with marijuana. George Bush...
WOODRUFF: Stayed as far away as he possibly could from...
GREENFIELD: Well, at least as far as we know, from the war stuff, yes.
And I think we're going to see all weekend that the kind of people who flooded into Washington from Hollywood and from the music industry -- I think at one event in the -- eight years ago Little Richard performed -- the symbol of 1950s rock 'n' roll excess. I don't think Little Richard's going to be here in 2001.
WOODRUFF: We've learned that Hollywood -- that Nashville can be very -- much more politically divided than people may ordinarily think.
GREENFIELD: Well, you remember, right after the election we talked at some length about the cultural division the election showed -- the heartland was for Bush and the coasts were for Gore. And I think you're going to see that reflected in this inaugural. This is going to be much more traditional music, much less presence from the Hollywood community that embraced Bill Clinton.
Yes, I think we're going to see it all weekend.
WOODRUFF: In fact, this group, Jeff, that we're looking at right now, this is the Best Friends Diamond Girls Jazz Choir performance. This is a group of girls who are part of an organization -- Best Friends -- which promotes abstinence among teenage girls. They actively promote another way in terms of early sexual relations.
GREENFIELD: Bill and Elaine Bennett -- Bill Bennett being the former secretary of education and drug czar...
WOODRUFF: And wife Elaine.
GREENFIELD: His wife Elaine founded it. He is a leading figure among cultural conservatives. And they do a huge fund-raiser every year in Washington -- black tie, rock 'n' roll event, actually, to raise money. And it is a symbol of a kind of attitude that abstinence is, indeed, the best, if not the only policy. It's a self-esteem group, as well, for at-risk kids.
But when you look between the lines, you know, we all pay attention to inaugural addresses. These actions sometimes speak much louder than words about what we're seeing.
WOODRUFF: You've got the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, the famous Rockettes coming up. Somehow, you can't imagine them during the Clinton regime.
GREENFIELD: Judy, you raise an issue there I don't think I even want to go near, so let's -- but you are right. In terms of the culture, the Rockettes are places that the tourists come to New York and see. I don't think a New Yorker has been to a Rockettes' event except for Christmas.
SCHNEIDER: Judy, it's -- I think it's interesting that the song we just heard these two country music artists sing is a Barbra Streisand song. I don't think she's within 3,000 miles of this inauguration. That wasn't a country song. That was from Barbra Streisand's movie about -- "The Mirror Has Two Faces." That was her song. I don't think they acknowledged that.
WOODRUFF: No, I don't think so. But you are right: Barbra Streisand was known to be a Bill Clinton supporter.
SCHNEIDER: That is right.
WOODRUFF: From start to finish here.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. She wasn't here. But her music was.
WOODRUFF: All right, we are going to -- as we keep an eye on the Lincoln Memorial, much more ahead. We're going to take a break. Our live coverage from there and INSIDE POLITICS will continue in just a moment.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: When the White House changes hands, it often is the result of a candidate -- a mandate for change. This year, though, the mood may be a bit different.
CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider joins us now.
Bill, are Americans looking for big changes from this new president?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bernie, if you're talking about a big change of policy, the answer is no. This is a very unusual inauguration. We have a change of presidents and a change of parties, but the public is not looking for a change of direction.
Let's compare how satisfied Americans are with the way things are going in the country now, with the way they felt when Bill Clinton was inaugurated in 1993, and the way that they felt when Bush's father was inaugurated in 1989.
When Bush Sr. took office in January, 1989, 45 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the way things were going. People were on the line between change and continuity. They wanted some changes from the Reagan administration, but not the kind of radical change of direction they saw in Michael Dukakis. The elder president Bush captured the nation's mood when he talked about a kinder, gentler America.
When Bill Clinton took office in January, 1993, only 29 percent of Americans were happy with the way things were going. The economy was in bad shape and people wanted a big change of direction.
And now: 56 percent of Americans say they're satisfied with the way things are going. That's almost twice as high as when Clinton took office. It's even higher than when Bush Sr. took office. The public mood now is a lot more like when Bush's father came in than when Clinton came in except for one thing: we're changing parties now.
We were not changing parties in 1989; well, we may be changing parties, but people do not want any big change of policy. And that is an unusual challenge for this new president.
SHAW: So what kind of change are people looking for from Bush?
SCHNEIDER: Well, they're looking for a change of leadership. And, as usual, it's all about President Clinton.
Americans are happy with Clinton's job performance. He leaves office with a 66 percent job approval rating, which is three points higher than President Reagan's job rating at the end of his two terms. In fact, Clinton leaves office with the highest job rating of any president on record -- which is why a lot of people expected Al Gore to win by a landslide, but the vote on Election Day was virtually a tie.
Why did so many people vote for Bush? It was not because they thought the country needed a fresh start; only 41 percent felt that way on Election Day. Most Americans said the country needed to stay the course, but that sentiment was turned upside down when voters were asked about the moral climate in the country. Only 39 percent thought the country was moving in the right direction morally; most Americans felt the country's moral condition was seriously off on the wrong track.
Now, in our poll this week, solid majorities say they believe Bush will improve respect for the presidency and he'll improve the nation's moral values. What Americans want from Bush is stronger moral leadership, but not radically different policies.
SHAW: Very interesting -- Bill Schneider.
And from our rooftop perch at the Labor Department, with the west front of the Capitol Building behind us, INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
SHAW: Striking up the band, from the Radio City Music Hall to the Lincoln Memorial -- the Rockettes performing at this moment here in the nation's capital.
President Clinton has less than 48 hours remaining at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And tonight he delivers a farewell to the nation. He will speak at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. And, of course, CNN will carry it live.
Joining us now for a look back at his presidency are former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer, former press secretary Joe Lockhart and a man President Clinton called the best reporter in the nation, Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times."
Gary Bauer, to you.
GARY BAUER (R), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, Bernie.
SHAW: How has President Clinton affected the United States?
BAUER: Well, I'm going to try to be as charitable as I can these -- this 48-hour period as we say goodbye to one president and hello to another one.
Look, on the downside, obviously, there was scandal. I think that the presidency was hurt by it. I think a lot of our children found out about a lot of things we would preferred they not find out about. But let me take my hat off to the president that's leaving in some other ways. Look, he was probably the man most in love with the office of any recent president. The guy loved being president. You could see it in his eyes. He fought every day for his agenda.
I happen to disagree with most of that agenda. But I -- I do admire the fact that, under extraordinary circumstances, and when some other men would have given up or assumed that they were no longer relevant, Bill Clinton got up every day and fought sometimes 20 hours a day for his liberal ideas. I wish he would have not fought so hard. But I hope the new president that I supported, George Bush, will fight just as hard for conservative ideas.
SHAW: Joe Lockhart?
JOE LOCKHART, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think that the numbers that Bill Schneider was talking about before tell a lot of the story. I think what Clinton did is, he renewed optimism in this country.
If you look back to 1992-1993, most people thought we were going in the wrong direction. This idea of America as a great nation was beginning to have questions at its foundation. And the president renewed a really positive outlook in this country. There's lots of statistics. There's lots of numbers of jobs created, the prosperity. But I think it goes to the heart and soul where of America was.
And I don't think that this past election was anything but people looking for more of the same. They may have wanted Gore. They may have wanted Bush. It came down very close. But no one was looking to change the basic direction of this country. And I think the president gets credit for that.
SHAW: Ron Brownstein, how has this outgoing president affected the nation?
RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, I think, Bernie, on both the policy and the political front, the ledger looks very similar to me: substantial accomplishment tempered by some very real missed opportunities.
You start with the political side: Bill Clinton restored the Democrats' capacity to compete for the White House. People can forget how completely, how abjectly the Democrats had lost the ability to seriously contest the White House. But in the three elections before Bill Clinton, the Democratic nominee averaged less than 11 percent of the total electoral votes that were at stake. That was the weakest performance over a three-election sequence since the formation of the modern party system in 1828.
It was the weakest performance the party had ever had. So he clearly brought the party back: winning reelection for the first time since Roosevelt; leading a coalition that was essentially a dead-even split with the Republicans for Gore. Again, on the other side, though, there is the missed opportunity, the loss of Congress in '94 that was accelerated by the missteps -- that was precipitated by the missteps of Clinton and the Democrats, who then held the majority in his first two years.
On the policy side, he clearly has changed his party, probably forever: the idea that government activism has to be bounded by fiscal responsibility; the idea that policies that attempt to help the needy should also demand personal responsibility. But, at the same time, many of his broader ambitions of sort of renewing the idea of government as an activist agent for change -- the health care plan of 1994, most of the things he proposed in the second term -- those were frustrated. And in many cases, both on the political and policy side, his personal missteps made it harder for him to achieve his policy goals. So I think it looks very similar in both respects.
SHAW: OK, Joe Lockhart, what impact did Clinton have on the Republican Party?
LOCKHART: Well, I think, put simply, he drove them crazy. And they never could figure out a way to get by, as a whole, their personal animus to him. I think they -- we might have gotten more done. They might have been more effective over the last eight years if they could put aside this idea that somehow they were entitled to the White House and he was an aberration.
But instead, I think they hurt themselves by focusing on the politics of investigation. There's a lot of talk about the president and his missteps. But I think if you look at the political story, the Republicans gave up a lot of years and a lot of opportunities because they got the focus wrong. They were out of touch with what the American people wanted. And the president brought the Democratic Party right back into the center and in touch with the American people.
SHAW: Gary Bauer, do you see your party as having had a Clinton fixation?
BAUER: I don't, Bernie. And I don't think it was personal animus. Look, my party, by and large, is the traditional party. And we do care deeply about things like the dignity of the White House and the values that we're broadcasting to our children by the things that we here in this town. And I think anybody would have been really remiss to sit by silently in view of some of the things that happened in the Clinton presidency.
The other thing I would say is, you know, if Joe thinks the Democratic Party is in great shape, I would say the Republican Party is in great shape after eight years of Bill Clinton. We control more state legislatures than we have in years. We've got more governors than we did before he took office. We now -- still control the House of Representatives for the third cycle in a row -- a dead-even Senate.
But I think there are enough conservative Democrats that we can get effective control there. So, you know, many more years of Bill Clinton, and we Republicans would have been yelling all the way to the bank because, quite frankly, there's been a tremendous realignment in our direction in the last eight years.
BROWNSTEIN: Gary, I don't fully agree. I think have you separate trends going on at once that somewhat get confused when you look at the aggregate picture. On the one hand, the Republican realignment in the South has continued. George Bush won every Southern state.
On the other hand, Clinton's move back toward the center after '94 did allow the Democrats to stabilize outside the South. In '94, after that '94 landslide, Republicans held the majority of House seats in the South and the non-South for the first time since the Civil War. But now they are in deficit outside of the South: in the House, in the Senate. And at the presidential level, Gore won 71 percent of the electoral votes outside of the South and dominated all the big suburban counties along the coast and in the Upper Midwest.
The Republicans reliably won from '68 to '88, when they were dominating the White House in the era of the Republican presidential lock. So I think you have two separate things here. The sort of the new Democratic synthesis that Clinton produced did strengthen the Democratic position with swing voters in the big suburban communities outside the South. But it wasn't powerful enough to reverse -- and, in fact, probably some of the things that he did accelerated the pull toward the Republican Party in the South and probably in the Mountain West and the Plains.
You have a very polarized electorate. But outside the South, Clinton -- you can't really say that Clinton has left the Democrats in a position where they are in retreat anymore.
BAUER: Ron, I'm sure Joe wants to jump in on this. But, I think the one thing we can probably all agree on is that the country is narrowly divided. The trend lines are amazing when you look at how close the division is -- that's why I think all this talk about bipartisanship is going to go down the drain pretty quickly. The country is divided on fundamental questions, and one side or the other is going to win, and that is, in its own way, also part of the Clinton legacy.
LOCKHART: I can't predict whether we'll have a partisan extension or bipartisanship. But I don't think the country is as divided as we think; I think the country has united behind a set of ideas that Bill Clinton put in front of them. I think some of the country was caught up in the missteps along the way and some of the mistakes, but I think if you look at the policy and the idea of fiscal discipline -- pay as you go, the way to create new jobs, and things like that -- the country is very much behind that.
The question is: which party is going to stand up and lead on that? And I think if you look at the trends, trends are all going the Democratic way. I think this election was a virtual tie -- in fact, a lot of Democrats think that Al Gore won it, and will always believe that. But if you look at the trends, there's even life, as Ron was saying, in the South. If you look at some of the gubernatorial races, the Senate races down there, and I think 2002, 2004 will be a year where we'll really reap the benefit of the structural changes and the policy changes that Bill Clinton brought to the Democratic party. We paid the price in some elections, but I think we're now going to enjoy the fruits of that.
SHAW: Gentlemen, we've run out of time.
Thank you, Joe Lockhart, Gary Bauer and Ron Brownstein.
And INSIDE POLITICS will return in a moment.
KING: ...goes back two centuries will take place, and shortly thereafter, a new family will move into what is probably the most famous house in the world.
The house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is often called the "people's house." And every president since John Adams has called it home.
In 1976, our bicentennial year, two of America's most talented icons, the late Leonard Bernstein and Alan J. Lerner got together and wrote a song about this enduring symbol of democracy. The song was called, "Take Care of This House." Today, we are most fortunate to have with us an incredibly gifted 14-year-old singing sensation from Wales to sing this hopeful anthem, "Take Care of This House," -- the incredible Charlotte Church.
(SINGING) -- CHARLOTTE CHURCH, "TAKE CARE OF THIS CHURCH"
WOODRUFF: Preinaugural ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial. The program continues with selections put together by Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. We'll listen:
(JESSICA SIMPSON AND JOSIE WALKER SING "LET US LOVE IN PEACE")
WOODRUFF: Jessica Simpson and Josie Walker, the Hoover Middle School chorus with Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Broadway composer. This is a special selection put together by him, titled "Let Us Love In Peace."
And coming up, we are going to hear from Colin Powell, confirmed today by the Senate committee where he -- here he is. He was undergoing confirmation hearings. Let's listen and he'll be followed by Muhammad Ali.
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: ... On Saturday, we will be holding the 54th induction ceremony for our nation, passing the torch to a new president. I'm reminded of another great event that occurs every four years, the Olympic games. The theme of this inaugural celebration is celebrating America's spirit together, and it is that same spirit of togetherness that inspired our Olympic athletes this past summer to strive, to accomplish, and to triumph.
In order to achieve their goals, these young people trained long and yard, made many sacrifices and never lost sight of the fact that they were representing their country. Because of their determination and their support of each other and of the American people, the stars and stripes was highly visible on the winner's stand during the summer Olympic games in Sydney, Australia.
And I don't care how jaded you are, how cynical you may have become or how uninvolved you may be in competitive sports, you couldn't help but be moved as our athletes entered the stadium full of hope and enthusiasm and pride, carrying our nation's flag.
Today, representing our athletes is a shining example of what can be accomplished with grit and determination and talent. She is an Olympic swimmer, and she can relate her remarkable story better than anyone.
Please welcome four-time Olympian Dara Torres.
DARA TORRES, OLYMPIC SWIMMER: Thank you, General Powell. It is an honor and privilege to be here. You know, I had already won Gold medals in three Olympics and been involved in a sport half of my life. So, in the seven years I was retired, not once did I think about a comeback. In fact, I didn't like swimming anymore.
But then something happened. In June of '99 a friend of mine has planted a seed in my head about making a comeback. I had not swum in seven years. I was 32 years old, which is like granny age in swimming terms, but I couldn't get the thought out of my head. Within three weeks, I made a decision to give a fourth Olympics a try.
TORRES: Yes. I've got to tell you, though, I was scared to death. I mean, I was taking a chance at doing something where all odds were against me. But you know, I didn't care. I didn't listen to what the critics were saying. I crammed seven years of training into 14 months.
The most satisfying feeling I had going into the Olympics was that I knew I had done everything I possibly could to get there, and that I was just going to have fun while I was there. Well, I walked away from there with two Golds and three Bronze medals after only wanting to make the Olympics as an alternate on a relay. Here's one of my medals.
You know what, though? I followed my heart, and I believe that now more than ever that nothing is impossible. Thank you.
POWELL: Congratulations, Dara.
TORRES: Thank you.
POWELL: We have one other Olympian with us today. He is not only an American hero, but a hero to the world. He was known for many things, but he did whatever he set out to accomplish, and he has one label that defines him forever.
TORRES: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce the greatest, Muhammad Ali.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the vice president-elect of the United States, Dick Cheney! RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Washington, and welcome to the inaugural celebration for the 43rd president of the United States; George W. Bush.
CHENEY: Many of you came a long way to join us today, and we're glad you're here. A lot of folks come with their entire families, and we appreciate their effort. I understand we've got a good turnout from my home state of Wyoming, and from the president's home state of Texas. Wherever you're from, you're honored guests in this city and at this inauguration.
Two days from now, we will all be gathered at the other end of this mall at the west front of the capitol building, all to hear the words of an oath, first taken by George Washington. The country has changed so much since Washington's time, but in the end, everything still comes down to that oath of office and the Constitution where it is written. Everything still comes down to the pledges we make and keep. I am honored not only to assume the vice presidency, but to serve with a chief executive who is equal to this great office.
He is a good man; a man of generous instincts and high standards. A man of integrity, worthy of the trust America has given him. Yesterday, he said farewell to his home state of Texas. Let us now welcome him to Washington as the next president of the United States!
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thank you, Mr. Vice President-elect. There's a lot of excitement in the air. And I'm not sure if it's because people came to see you or Ricky Martin.
BUSH: Laura and I are so grateful to be here today. And we're so grateful to you all for coming to Washington. Wherever you come from, whatever your political party, thank you for taking part in this great tradition of our country.
Many of us have visited the Lincoln Memorial before. We have looked up at his face and read his words carved in the walls. And we have thought of the greatness of this man and of the country that made him.
For me, it is deeply humbling to know that I will soon take up the same office he once held. I'm honored to serve, and I am ready to start.
BUSH: I will treat the office with care, never take it for granted, and always remember to whom it really belongs.
The presidency does not belong to any one person, but to all of us. It belongs to the American people. As Vice President-elect Cheney has said, every inaugural continues the oldest commitments of our country, to the rule of law and the enduring power of our Constitution.
At the same time, a new administration is an opportunity for change and a new direction. That is the promise I have made and a promise I will keep, to give America a fresh start.
BUSH: My administration will serve all Americans.
And this inaugural is for all Americans to enjoy.
I want to thank the entertainers who came from all around America, and some who came from foreign countries.
I can't thank the Inaugural Committee enough for their hard work to make sure these grand festivities are as grand as they'll be.
But, most of all, I want to thank my fellow Americans. Thank you for coming to celebrate our great nation. God bless you all, and God bless America.
SHAW: As we get closer to Inauguration Day, this man, every hour, beginning to appear to be the president.
WOODRUFF: Bernie, I thought it was significant that George W. Bush managed to say, in those very brief remarks -- he said, I will treat the office with care, I will never take it for granted, and always remember to whom it belongs.
Bill Schneider and Jeff Greenfield, do you think there was a message there?
SCHNEIDER: Well the Republicans said many times at their convention and during the campaign that they thought Bill Clinton did not treat the office with the proper respect. I remember, they talked about how Ronald Reagan would never appear in the Oval Office without a shirt and tie. Their criticism of Clinton was, for obvious reasons -- they didn't think he treated it with the respect that the office should have, and Bush was making that statement here today.
GREENFIELD: These are also times when you -- this is about the least political -- a president ever gets and the run-up to and the immediate day after or of his inaugural, and I think back to the times when I've stood on those (UNINTELLIGIBLE) platforms, looking out on the west wing of the Capitol, and you see bitter political enemies that day, genuinely glad to see each other, shaking hands, laughing. The inaugural addresses themselves almost never have a political moment, and this is the time when a president, particularly when he takes office under these rather odd circumstances, has a maximum amount of good will and wants to use them.
WOODRUFF: No politics at the Lincoln Memorial right now. Ricky Martin, the man a lot of people have been waiting to hear:
SHAW: Live from the Lincoln Memorial steps, George Walker Bush in celebration en route to the becoming the 43rd president of the United States.
INSIDE POLITICS will continue in a moment.
WOODRUFF: This is the scene in the skies over the nation's capitol, Washington, D.C. You can see the Lincoln Memorial, where inaugural opening ceremonies and just now concluding. We've been listening to Ricky Martin, we've heard from the president-elect, George W. Bush.
He and his wife and the Cheneys have just left the Lincoln Memorial, and these are the spectacular fireworks -- I think I saw that these are something like four times as big as the fireworks that we had in Washington at the Mall on the 4th of July last summer. So a pretty spectacular display.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: You might say Washington never looked so pretty. Well, as you've just been hearing and you've been seeing, the president-elect has been at the Lincoln Memorial. He arrived here in Washington last night. He has just wrapped up his part in a gala kick-off in his inauguration coming on Saturday.
Earlier today, he sat down for an interview with our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley. And Candy is joining us.
Candy, tell us about.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Judy, we sat down at Blair House which, as you know, is right across the street from the White House where President-elect Bush will take up office on Saturday. He was calm. He was relaxed. He was looking forward to the festivities.
We talked about a wide range of matters, but we spent much of the time talking about race relations and what he might do to improve his standing in the African-American community.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, first, I want to make sure that people understand that Al Gore ran a very good campaign in the African-American community, and there was a lot of folks who voted in the community.
In the state of Florida, for example, I understand that the percentage of African-American is roughly 12 percent, yet 16 percent of the total turnout was African-American. So, the participation was strong, to his credit. I wish they had turned out to vote for me, but they didn't.
Secondly, I do believe there are some in our society who don't think this criminal justice system is fair; that don't believe the American experience is really meant for everybody. They hear Republicans like me talk about prosperity and then they say, well, he doesn't really mean it for me, and that concerns me.
Anybody who does not feel a part of the American experience -- somebody feels left out is of concern of me and I'm going to address that in my inaugural speech, interestingly, enough. And so step one about what I can do is to make sure the election process is fair. Step two is to address a problem, and a problem is some don't think America's meant for them. And three, to the extent there is bigotry and prejudice in our society, enforce laws that prevent that -- supposedly prevent that from happening.
And fourthly, is make sure everybody gets educated. See, I think that education is the great equalizer; is the -- is the place where people can really understand their potential to realize and take advantage of America.
CROWLEY: Let me talk some specifics that are...
CROWLEY: ... of particular concern, and you brought up one of them -- the criminal justice system. Everything from the disparity in sentencing for powder cocaine versus crack to the number of -- or the percentage of African-Americans or minorities on death row are of great concern in the African-American community.
Is there something as president -- do you share that concern, first of all? And is there something, as president, that you want to do to try to rectify, if not the reality -- if you don't think that this is a real -- that this actually reflects reality, the very real concern and frustration within the African-American community about that?
BUSH: Well, first, it's real and if a lot of people believe it's real. That, in itself, is reality. In other words, if people feel like our criminal justice system is unfair, then we better look at the reasons why, the underlying concerns.
You mentioned drug-users. One of the things that we have got to make sure of in our society is that our drug-prevention programs are effective. And I think a lot of people are coming to the realization that maybe long minimum sentences for the first-time users may not be the best way to occupy jail space and/or heal people from their disease. And I'm willing to look at that.
I understand the concern on the death penalty. I am obviously from the death-penalty state. And I suspect that my upholding the laws of Texas affected some people's attitudes towards me. I -- in my state of Texas, I have asked two questions, as you know. Is the person innocent or guilty of the crime and did they get full representation in the courts? And I felt like every case that came to my desk, that it was answered affirmatively. Those two questions were answered affirmatively.
But I understand. I can hear the concerns. And to the extent the law is unfair, then I think we need to analyze the unfairness.
CROWLEY: Are there places that you think it's unfair. I bring up again the disparity in the sentencing. As you know, powder cocaine is seen as sort of an affluent, white drug.
CROWLEY: ... as opposed to crack cocaine. And the penalties are harsher.
BUSH: Well, I mean, that's -- that ought to be addressed by making sure the powder-cocaine and the crack-cocaine penalties are the same. I don't believe we ought to be discriminatory. I mean, I think we ought to be sending a clear signal. But my point to you on the drug use is that one of the things we've got to do a better job of in our society is helping people cure themselves of an illness.
Addiction to alcohol or addiction to drugs is an illness. And we haven't not done a very good job, thus far, of curing people from that illness. And it's one of the reasons why I believe so strongly in faith-based programs to help people first change their lives, which would then change their habits.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you about what's referred to as driving- while-black -- actually, the profiling.
CROWLEY: It's one of the things -- I am sure know -- that President Clinton sent up to the Hill, and said that: We need to stop racial profiling in law enforcement. What do you think about racial profiling? Do you think that it should be stopped? And can it be stopped at a federal...
BUSH: Well, I think what the federal government can do is work with states and local jurisdictions to help gather data to make sure that racial profiling is not occurring, and if it is, encourage local folks to address the situation. I am absolutely opposed to racial profiling. I think most Americans are opposed to racial profiling. And I think the best way to get at the root of if there is racial profiling is to first understand if it exists. So the federal government can help collect the date necessary to make the right choice.
CROWLEY: Now, there are, as you know, some law enforcement officials in various states -- along the East Coast are the ones I know about -- that say there is racial profiling. But you don't see a need for a federal law that would ban racial profiling?
BUSH: I think -- my attitude is we ought to ban racial profiling. And I'm convinced that every mayor in America wants to ban racial profiling. I don't think people want racial profiling in America. I don't believe that.
I, to the extent that the federal government can help, understand the depth of an issue in a particular community; we need to do that. We can pass a law; the fundamental question is: How do we enforce it? And the way to enforce it is to work with states and local jurisdictions to say, here is the data, you've got racial -- what appears to be racial profiling; correct it.
CROWLEY: What about federal hate crimes legislation? I know you talked about this a lot in the campaign and your feeling that the penalties were already there for people -- that all crimes are hate crimes. But this has becoming something that's very important to, particularly the minority community -- that it becomes symbolic.
You talked about the Education Department and how Republicans always wanted to get rid of the Education Department. And everybody thought, oh, they -- it just means they don't like education. Is there a point when something like a federal hate crimes legislation becomes important as a symbol of reaching out? Is it something you could see yourself supporting?
BUSH: Well, I think -- there was a couple of laws that were proposed, one of which I could support, by Senator Orrin Hatch -- I could support that. I was concerned about the law that Senator Kennedy proposed which would undermine the criminal justice systems at the state level.
And I think the signal we need to send in our society is that we're going to prosecute hate; that somebody who commits a crime against somebody has generally got hate in the their heart and we're going to prosecute them. But the most effective criminal justice system is one in which -- where there's vibrancy at the state level, and I don't want to undermine the state's ability to enforce their law. I don't want federal law to -- I don't want to, you know, federalize criminal law. I think that would be a mistake.
There are federal laws that need to be enforced, but the states need to enforce laws on the books as well. And my state -- I heard all the noise during the course of the campaign; I kept stressing, we have a hate crimes law on the books and we also enforce the law. And that should send a chilling signal to those who feel like they can harm somebody.
CROWLEY: What is -- if, you know, we're on the eve of your inauguration where you say you're going to become president of all the people...
CROWLEY: ... what is the most -- you know what the African- American community and some of the leaders have been saying in terms of, you know, we don't think this was a legitimate election. You know, we don't think that he cares about -- how can somebody who came from such a privileged background understand, you know, what's going on in some of these communities?
What's the most reassuring thing you can say to people of color, to minority communities, about your tenure as president and how you...
BUSH: Well, the most reassuring things is that I've been a governor of a diverse state and that, the first time I ran I didn't get a lot of votes in the African-American community, but I assured my fellow Texans from all walks of life that I'd be their governor; that I'd work to promote a more civil society; that I would promote values that made -- that stood the test of times; work on education; and criminal justice matters in a fair way.
And I did that; and as a result, gained the confidence of people who didn't have confidence in me the first time around. I'm -- you know, I'm not the type -- I wish I had done better in certain communities and in certain states around the country.
That's not going to prevent me from being their president. And I'm going to be fair and even-handed. I hope people have taken notice that, in my national security apparatus, for example, the -- two of the key players are African-Americans. They're there not because they're African-Americans. They're there because they're going to be fantastic at the job.
You know, when people get to my know heart and understand the goals I've set for America pertain to everybody, I believe that people will come around. And I hope they do. And if they don't, that is just -- that is democracy. I understand that.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you a couple of quick questions about some things that are out there: California electricity. They have had, you know, half-a-million people in the sort of rolling blackouts. Is there something that the federal government ought to be looking at in the short term in terms of helping California? Is that purely a state problem? What is your current take on that?
BUSH: Well, to the extent that we can help California maximize power production at its plants, we need to do so. In other words, if there is any environmental regulations, for example, that's preventing California from having 100 percent max output at their plants -- like I understand there may be -- then we need to relax those regulations.
California has a faulty law on its books. And it needs to correct it. Secondly, the situation in California underlies what I was saying in the course of the campaign. We have an energy problem. And although we need to promote conservation, the best way to make sure we have energy independence is to encourage more exploration. And we need to do so in places that -- where there is oil and gas. And we need to do so in places that can stand, you know, industry.
In other words, there are some places where we don't need -- shouldn't explore. But there are a lot of places where some think we shouldn't explore what we should, because I am convinced we can do so in an environmentally friendly way.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the legacy question -- a lot of talk this week, as you know, about Bill Clinton's legacy. On the positive side, if you had to write that paragraph in history for what Bill Clinton's legacy is, what would it be? What do you see as his positive...
BUSH: Well, first, let me give you a -- my view of history, if you don't mind, as a way to dodge your question. There is no -- it's hard to determine any living president's legacy because all short-term history is so subjective. The true legacies of any president won't really emerge until years after we have passed.
I would say he was a deft politician. He gave -- and I look at it from a different perspective. I look at what lessons can I take from the Clinton presidency. And one of the lessons I can take is he did a pretty good darn job of understanding the end game with Congress, and that's relevant because there's always a struggle between the executive branch and the legislative branch, regardless of who's in power. It's just -- it's just a part of the history of our democracy. And President Clinton was -- was -- was very good at the politics of dealing with the Congress.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you about two other personalities...
CROWLEY: ... one of them your brother, Jeb.
BUSH: Yes. Fine man.
CROWLEY: A lot has been written so far that, in fact, he may have spent all of his political capital in Florida...
CROWLEY: ... that we have seen the end of the Jeb Bush tenure in Florida. Has he been damaged by what went on in Florida? Do you feel, you know, brotherly guilt about it? What do you -- give me your political assessment and your personal assessment?
BUSH: My political assessment is that Jeb is going to be very difficult to beat because the voters of Florida will judge him based upon what he has done as the governor of the state of Florida. I know a lot of the national punditry would hope that my election would spill over and affect him in a negative way. But that's not going to happen.
Jeb Bush has been a good steward of the budget of Florida. He's been really good on education. He has got a solid vision of a clean Florida. I mean, this is a man who's led, and woe to any Democrat who takes him on. In terms of how he's feeling, I guess good. I haven't spent a lot of time chatting with the boy.
CROWLEY: Saddam Hussein -- we're just going to go from one personality to the other.
BUSH: No parallel there, is there?
CROWLEY: Ten years since the Gulf War.
CROWLEY: Lots of talk this week about, you know, should they have taken him out? Lots of talk about how the sanctions are extremely leaky; lots of Western goods that make their way into Iraq.
Do you foresee a Bush administration in any way, shape, or form dealing with Saddam Hussein?
BUSH: We're going to deal with him. It is very important for people to understand that this is a man who appears to be bent upon developing weapons of mass destruction -- I say "appears" -- and that would be very damaging to our nation's interests. It would be damaging to our -- it could be damaging to our friends, the Israelis. And his ability to threaten countries in the Persian Gulf would be damaging to our friends the Saudis or the Kuwaitis.
And we will deal with him. I am concerned that the sanctions -- sanction regime is -- appears to be unraveling. I think I referred to it the other day, kind of like Swiss cheese. But that's not going to prevent my administration from working to rebuild alliances necessary to keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein not to develop weapons of mass destruction.
CROWLEY: But when you say dealing with him, you're talking about freezing him out? You're not talking about opening up diplomatic relations with him? You say, dealing with him, you mean...
BUSH: Dealing with him means making it clear to the best of our abilities that we're not going to tolerate his developing of weapons of mass destruction. That doesn't mean, you know, walking down arm- in-arm with the man. It's the opposite. It says that we're going to watch you very carefully and we're going to completely -- we'll assess all policy, of course. And this is one area that requires a lot of reassessment.
CROWLEY: President-elect George W. Bush, two days short of taking the oath of office. We asked him whether or not he was nervous. He said no, he's not nervous. Well, is he excited? He said he was getting there -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Candy, you were just telling me before we aired this interview that this was the first time you'd seen the president-elect since December, just after the Florida recount was finished and we knew who was going to be the next president.
Did he seem any different to you?
CROWLEY: You know, you notice, Judy -- and you've seen enough presidents go from candidate to president -- there's always an involvement. And, yes, I do see it in President-elect Bush. And I saw it, really, over the course of the year-and-a-half that he ran, but even more so once it was settled and we knew that he would, indeed, become the 43rd president.
They kind of rise to the occasion; they become more presidential. I think you can see it in his manner; I think you could see it at the opening ceremonies tonight. I saw the same thing happen with former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. I saw the same thing happen, indeed, even with Vice President Bush, when he became President Bush.
They tend to become presidentialized, and you can see that happening with the soon-to-be 43rd president.
WOODRUFF: A new verb: "presidentialized." Candy Crowley, thanks very much; appreciate it, we'll see you later.
And coming up on INSIDE POLITICS: The senators hear from one of attorney general nominee John Ashcroft's biggest critics.
WOODRUFF: For many Democrats who are troubled by John Ashcroft's nomination to be attorney general, the name Ronnie White has become something of a mantra. Today, White, an African-American judge from Missouri, testified before the Senate panel considering Ashcroft's nomination.
Our Chris Black has been covering that hearing and the old political wounds it has exposed.
BLACK (voice-over): Day three of John Ashcroft's nomination hearing: The focus, a spurned judge; a 10-year-old Missouri murder case and Ashcroft's long political rivalry with the late Mel Carnahan. A year after Ashcroft orchestrated a party line vote against Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White's nomination to the federal judge bench, Judge White spoke in his own defense.
JUDGE RONNIE WHITE, MISSOURI SUPREME COURT: I believe that Senator John Ashcroft seriously distorted my record, but I believe that the question for the Senate is whether these misrepresentations are consistent with fair play and justice that you all would require of the U.S. attorney general?
BLACK: In response, Republicans zeroed in on the grisly 1991 Christmas rampage of James Johnson in Moniteau, Missouri. Johnson received a death sentence for the four murders. Judge White ruled Johnson should have a second trial because of inadequate legal counsel. When White's nomination came to the Senate floor, Ashcroft cited that ruling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN ASHCROFT (R), MISSOURI: We don't need judges with a tremendous bent toward criminal activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Democrats accused Ashcroft of using White to create a death penalty issue in his Senate race against Governor Mel Carnahan.
ASHCROFT: Why? Because the late Governor Mel Carnahan had spared a man in death row after a personal appeal by the pope when he visited St. Louis. And you, Judge White, were the victim of this political calculation.
BLACK: The congressman who helped prosecute Johnson said Johnson had good lawyer.
REP. KENNY HULSHOF (R), MISSOURI: He hired counsel of his own choosing. He picked from our area in mid-Missouri what we've referred to -- what I refer to as a dream team.
BLACK: Adding drama the hearing, Moniteau County sheriff Kenny Jones, wearing the picture of his dead wife, Pam, one of Johnson's victims. Democrats did not dispute the horror of the murders, but did question whether Judge White's ruling proved Ashcroft's charges.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: You were not trying to release the person charged with murder, you were just trying to make sure he got a fair trial; is that correct?
WHITE: That's correct.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: But do you think Senator Ashcroft was doing anything other than expressing his own honest views?
WHITE: To call me pro-criminal and with a criminal bent -- and if you look at the record, the record don't support those views.
BLACK: Republican committee members seemed defensive, but heartened by this comment from Judge White.
WHITE: I don't think Senator Ashcroft is a racist, and I wouldn't attempt to comment on what's in his mind or what's in his heart.
BLACK (on camera): Democrats say Ashcroft, as a senator, showed a pattern of judging Clinton administration nominees by their views rather than they're qualifications. Now they're are discussing whether they should hold Ashcroft to the same standard.
Chris Black, CNN, Capitol Hill.
SHAW: Now to the other Bush Cabinet nominee who is considered controversial. Interior Secretary-nominee Gale Norton testified today before the Senate committee considering her nomination. Environmental groups have questioned her commitment to protecting natural resources, in part, because of her long affiliation with conservative groups seeking to open federal lands for development.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GALE NORTON, INTERIOR SECRETARY NOMINEE: I will be candid in telling you that I am both a conservative and a conservationist. I see no conflict there. In fact, I am a compassionate conservative, and a passionate conservationist. I believe that, too, is entirely consistent. If confirmed as secretary of the interior, I intend to make the conservation of America's natural resources my top priority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: The Norton hearings continue tomorrow.
Just ahead here on INSIDE POLITICS, the Reverend Jesse Jackson confronts reports that he fathered a child out of marriage.
WOODRUFF: The Reverend Jesse Jackson was one of President Clinton's most vocal defenders when Mr. Clinton came under fire for having an extra-marital affair. Now, Jackson finds himself facing the same scrutiny.
CNN's Brian Cabell has details.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bombshell was first revealed by "The National Enquirer," then later confirmed by Reverend Jackson, himself. The mother of the child, Karin Sanford, a 39-year-old professor and writer who once wrote a book about Jackson and also serves on his organization, Rainbow-Push.
Jackson made no public appearances Thursday, but did release a written statement saying: "I am a father to a daughter who was born outside of my marriage. I fully accept responsibility and I am truly sorry for my actions. No doubt many close friends and supporters will be disappointed in me. I ask for their forgiveness, understanding and prayers."
His supporters rose to his defense.
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: The Reverend Jesse Jackson should not be judged by just this situation. We should remember that for 35 years, it was Jesse Jackson that walked the picket lines; that marched and went to jail and went to foreign shores to bring home prisoners of war.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW-PUSH COALITION: We are all precious in God's sight. Everybody is somebody.
CABELL: For the last three decades, Jackson has been the most prominent civil rights leader in the United States. He marched alongside Martin Luther King in the sixties. He's forged alliances with labor groups. He founded the multiracial Rainbow Coalition. He journeyed to Yugoslavia to help free three American prisoners of war. And after President Clinton admitted to a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Reverend Jackson was there to lend Clinton his support.
JACKSON: None of us are outside of the need for mercy and grace and understanding and redemption.
CABELL: Jackson, who led protests over the presidential election in Florida, will appear at a demonstration in Tallahassee this Saturday. This according to the demonstration's organizations. He's expected to again make the case that many black and Jewish votes were not counted.
Can Jackson recover from the revelations? Some Americans certainly think so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unfortunately, he made a mistake, and I'm afraid that what he'll be judged by is his mistake rather than all the good thing that he has done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As long as he takes responsibility for it and he takes of his child and does not neglect it -- at least he came out in the open with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everybody has made mistakes, you know, at some time or another.
CABELL: Even long-time Jackson critic Niger Innis said Jackson's problem is a personal one.
NIGER INNIS, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: And I hope that my conservative brothers and sisters would allow Jesse Jackson to heal the breach that may exist within his family.
CABELL: Reverend Jackson and his family reportedly met at the family home in Chicago on Thursday.
Brian Cabell, CNN, Atlanta.
SHAW: The beginning of the George W. Bush administration marks the end of the Clinton era. When INSIDE POLITICS continues, some of the things we will remember.
WOODRUFF: Eight years ago, they were inaugurating another president. William Jefferson Clinton took the center of the national political stage, and he relinquished it only rarely. We've prepared a two-part look at the images and the sounds of the Clinton presidency. Tonight, a look at his first term:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 20, 1993)
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, William Jefferson Clinton, will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States so help me God.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
W. CLINTON: Well my fellow Americans, this is our time. Let us embrace it!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 25, 1993)
W. CLINTON: The president's task force on national health reform. This task force will be chaired by the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 19, 1993)
W. CLINTON: Under this policy, a person can say, I am a homosexual, but I am going to strictly adhere to the code of conduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOVEMBER 13, 1993)
W. CLINTON: We will honor the life and the work of Martin Luther King. We will honor the meaning of our church. We will, somehow, by God's grace, we will turn this around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 8, 1993)
W. CLINTON: In a few moments, I will sign the North American Free Trade Act into law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOVEMBER 9, 1994)
W. CLINTON: I accept my share of the responsibility in the result of the elections. When the Republican Party assumes leadership in the House and in the Senate, they will also have a larger responsibility for acting in the best interest of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 31, 1995)
W. CLINTON: We will do our best to work through you this and come to an accord.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 25, 1995)
W. CLINTON: We pledge to do all we can to help you heal the injured, to rebuild this city and to bring to justice those who did this evil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 6, 1994)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the statement of Paula Corbin Jones. It is with regret that I have today commenced a federal lawsuit against Bill Clinton and Danny Ferguson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president vehemently denies the vicious and mean-spirited allegations in this complaint. Quite simply, the incident did not occur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 18, 1995)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today the Senate Whitewater Committee begins its first round of public hearings. Three years ago, the American people first learned of Whitewater.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 26, 1993)
W. CLINTON: There is compelling evidence that there was, in fact, a plot to assassinate former president Bush. Therefore, I ordered our forces to launch a cruise missile attack on the Iraqi intelligence service's principle command and control facility. Don't tread on us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SEPTEMBER 13, 1993)
W. CLINTON: We have been granted the great privilege of witnessing this victory for peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, OCTOBER 7, 1993)
W. CLINTON: We all reacted with anger and horror, as an armed Somali gang desecrated the bodies of our American soldiers. These tragic events raise hard questions about our effort in Somalia. Why are we still there, and when will our people come home?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUGUST 15, 1994)
W. CLINTON: My fellow Americans, tonight I want to speak with you about why the United States is leading the international effort to restore democratic government in Haiti.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOVEMBER 21, 1995)
W. CLINTON: About an hour ago, I spoke with Secretary Christopher in Dayton, Ohio; he informed me that the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia have reached a peace agreement to end the war in Bosnia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUGUST 29, 1996)
W. CLINTON: I don't know if I can find a fancy way to say this, but I accept. I ask all of our fellow citizens to join me and to join you in building that bridge to the 21st century. I believe in the place called hope -- a place called America! Thank you and God bless you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOVEMBER 29, 1996)
W. CLINTON: Today, the American people have spoken. You have given me an opportunity and a responsibility that comes to few people. I will do my best, and together, we will, we will build that bridge to the 21st century. Thank you. Good night and God bless America! Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Bill W. CLINTON: the first term. That's all for this expanded edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
SHAW: This programming note: President Clinton will give his farewell address to the nation at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. CNN will carry the speech live. I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff. The "MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR" is next.
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