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Defense Secretary Assails China for Putting Lives of U.S. Air Crew at Risk

Aired April 13, 2001 - 17:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was almost probably 20 feet from our wing tip. So, he was inside of our wing tip.


ANNOUNCER: The Pentagon has a past close encounter with a Chinese plane, as the U.S. line toughens after the standoff with Beijing.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: It is clear that the pilot intended to harass the crew. It was not the first time.


ANNOUNCER: Also ahead...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The business is good at Massee's bakery. But Paul Massee is having a midsummer's nightmare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My worst nightmare right now is if the power goes off.


ANNOUNCER: Candy Crowley on the political heat from the California power crunch.

And, as Easter approaches, does walking on eggshells merit the "Political Play of the Week?"

Now, Judy Woodruff takes you INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us. After staying conspicuously silent during the standoff with China, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke out today. Just as President Bush did the day before, Rumsfeld pointed a stern finger at Beijing, and he showed some dramatic video to back up his charge that the Chinese have been harassing U.S. aircraft for some time.

Here is our military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, we got a BID on him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he going out?


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the videotape taken by an U.S. crew January 24th, a Chinese pilot, identified by sources as Wang Wei, the same pilot who died in the collision, is seen cutting so close in front of an EP-3 surveillance aircraft, his jet wash creates turbulence that rocks the slow-moving prop plane.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far are we?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One is right there in front of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is going right in front of us. Same altitude. All right! Wow, we got bumped!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got thumped.


MCINTYRE: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used the tape in a show-and-tell to document what he called the kind of dangerous flying that prompted a formal complaint to China last December.

RUMSFELD: Look at the plane's mushy behavior. You can see he's flying at a very slow speed for a fighter aircraft.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, this guy's having a little bit of problems. He's squirrelly, not real steady. He's having a hard time maintaining his airspeed. He's got his flaps down a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those planes are not designed to fly at 250 knots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh yeah, he's having problems.


MCINTYRE: Rumsfeld insisted the U.S. plane was doing nothing wrong, flying straight and level on autopilot and never turned, as the Chinese claimed.

RUMSFELD: For 12 days, one side of the story has been presented. It seemed to me that with the crew safely back in the United States, that it was time to set out factually what actually took place.

MCINTYRE: The Pentagon says there have been an increasing number of intercepts by Chinese jets of U.S. planes, 44 since December. And they have grown increasingly aggressive, six times coming within 30 feet, and two times within 10 feet.


MCINTYRE: Rumsfeld repeated the U.S. position that these flights are absolutely routine and done in the open, not spying. He said U.S. is one of six nations that conducts such surveillance flights of the Sea of Japan -- or Sea of China, the South China Sea, rather -- and that China was one of those countries.

He also cited numerous instances in which the United States has assisted other countries' surveillance planes or other aircraft that have landed on U.S. soil, including a Chinese airliner and a Russian surveillance plane, each time repairing the crew and sending -- repairing the plane and sending it on its way.

And he said that -- Rumsfeld also confirmed what CNN reported earlier today, that the crew, while making most of its way through the destruction, emergency destruction list, completed only a major portion, but not all of that destruction, indicating that there are still secrets to mine on that plane for the Chinese. Rumsfeld speculated that that might be why the Chinese haven't given it up. Pentagon officials say that's one reason why they want it back -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Jamie, what did the Pentagon say the Chinese have -- how have they responded when the Pentagon has complained previously about these aggressive behaviors on the part of their pilots?

MCINTYRE: Well, the Pentagon began making complaints back in December. And the -- I am not sure that they have gotten any response, because the harassing flights continued. They continued through February, -- January, February, into March and of course, the latest incident happening April 1st. That's something that the United States will try to take up with the Chinese at this meeting that is scheduled for next week.

WOODRUFF: And just quickly, Jamie, this plane was flying -- what -- 80 miles off of Chinese territory when this happened?

MCINTYRE: Right, and the U.S. -- the international recognition of airspace is a 12-mile boundary outside of the country's borders. WOODRUFF: All right. Jamie McIntyre, thanks.

As U.S. and Chinese officials do prepare to meet next week to discuss the collision of their aircraft, new details are emerging about the talks, and what will be on the Bush administration's agenda. For that, we turn to CNN's David Ensor at the State Department -- David.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, top of the agenda clearly is getting the plane back, as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage put it today: "It's ours, we want back." That is the top of the agenda, and for that reason, the delegation of seven or eight U.S. officials will probably be headed by a civilian from the Pentagon, rather than from over here at the State Department. That is the key issue.

But secondly, the Bush administration has some questions it wants answered. It wants, as it puts it, an explanation as to why this has gone on. Specifically, for example, why have these aggressive tactics of intercepting reconnaissance flights, sometimes coming within three feet of the plane, been going on? And why has the crew been held in detention at all, let alone for 11 days? And why demand an apology from the United States without having even conducted an investigation first?

So, the administration has some fairly blunt questions, and now that the crew is safe, they are ready to say what those questions are. The meeting is expected to be at times rather blunt, perhaps a little bit confrontational in tone. Nonetheless, officials are hoping, and the meeting may go several days, that there may be a possibility of coming to some kinds of understandings with the Chinese to try to prevent future accidents like this.

There are going to be more surveillance flights by the U.S. along the Chinese airspace, on the outside of it, in international waters. No doubt the Chinese will intercept those planes, fly along them. The U.S. would like to see them stay at a safe distance -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: David, those reconnaissance flights you say the administration is determined that those will continue, but as of yet, they have not resumed? Is that right?

ENSOR: That is my understanding, yes. But the feeling at the Pentagon and other parts of the U.S. government is that they should be resumed as soon as possible, and there is discussion about how to go about that. The thought is that they will resume soon.

WOODRUFF: All Right, David Ensor at the State Department.

President Bush is at his Texas ranch for the Easter holiday. He may be in need of some rest and relaxation, since his aides say Mr. Bush played an active role during the standoff with China. Here is our White House correspondent Kelly Wallace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the beginning of the standoff with Beijing, aides say President Bush took a hands-on approach, meeting in the Oval Office every morning with top advisers. Two days after the collision, according to a senior aide, the president urges his team not to escalate the incident into a crisis.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The first steps should be immediate access by our embassy personnel to our crew members.

WALLACE: Wednesday, Mr. Bush asks his team if there is a way to address the concerns of both countries. His advisers begin drafting a letter. The president approves the use of the word "regret" for the apparent death of the Chinese fighter pilot.

BUSH: First, I regret that a Chinese pilot is missing and I regret one of their airplanes is lost.

WALLACE: But senior aides say the Chinese wanted more. So the president first approves the word "sorry," and then over the weekend from Camp David, the words "very sorry." From early Sunday morning until Wednesday, U.S. officials say they waited for the Chinese to respond to the U.S. letter. Mr. Bush publicly and privately urges patience.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: From time to time, I think he would buck us up a little bit, and say, you know, diplomacy takes time.

WALLACE: The president fires away questions and talks with Brigadier General Neal Sealock about the condition of the crew, asking if they have Bibles and if they are exercising.

Tuesday, he reaches out to four world leaders. The leaders of Great Britain, France, Canada and Brazil, welcoming any lobbying of Beijing. But by early Wednesday, he prepares to tell the American people the crew is coming home.

While Democrats and most Republicans have praised his handling of the matter, some conservatives have not. In "The Washington Post," Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan write: "The lesson is all too clear. When you bully the United States, the United States searches for a way to apologize."

But with crew members safely back in the United States, the entire administration has taken a tougher tone, beginning with President Bush on Thursday.

BUSH: The kind of incident we have just been through does not advance a constructive relationship between our two countries.


WALLACE: Through it all, Mr. Bush never talked directly with China's president. Aides say, early on he asked if he should make such a call. The consensus of his team was no. With his national security adviser saying, you can only play that card once, the feeling being, such a call would only escalate the situation, and aides say that that is exactly what they were trying not to do -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Kelly, tomorrow, when the crew returns to the United States, to their home in Washington state, is the president planning to be there?

WALLACE: No. The president is not planning to be there. Neither is Vice President Dick Cheney. Although we do expect that the president may watch the ceremonies on television. Interestingly, though, we just talked to Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary.

He said that when Mr. Bush met with the family of one of the crew members in North Carolina two days ago, he told them that what's important is for everyone to come home without a lot of "hoop-dela." That's an exact quote from Ari Fleischer. So the president welcoming the crew home, but thinking that they should have their privacy and be withi their families as soon as possible, so he won't be there.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kelly Wallace reporting from Crawford, Texas.

And joining us now: Richard Holbrooke, who was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration. Mr. Ambassador, was the administration right to say "very sorry" twice in that letter?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: The administration did fine, and I don't think there's any point in second-guessing what happened over the last 10 days. The people are home safe and sound.

The real question now from me, Judy, is: why did the Chinese do this? They are the big losers here. And while it's understandable that the press focuses on the Washington side of this, it is the single most badly handled performance by Beijing since Tiananmen Square in June of 1989.

And it's inexplicable to me why they did something so damaging in the long term to the U.S.-China relationship, just as the Bush administration had to make these momentous decisions that you mentioned earlier on Taiwan arms sales and the renewal of trade relations.

WOODRUFF: How is this damaging to U.S.-China relations?

HOLBROOKE: I think you just saw it in Kelly's piece. Now that the men and women are back safely, there's going to be an argument over the plane. There's going to be a backlash from the conservatives who, with the sole exception of Kagan and Kristols -- article in today's "Washington Post" -- have been silent up to now, but are furious.

One of their most senior conservatives on the Hill told me yesterday that what Beijing had done was a Godsend to the forces who want to give Taiwan the best possible armaments.

China has won a few extra "sorries" and "very sorries" and regrets by holding these men and women a few extra days. But it wasn't worth that small little gain for them, because my guess is the Bush administration and the Congress are now going to take a much tougher line in what really matters in this critical relationship.

WOODRUFF: Well, specifically, how do you see that tougher line manifesting itself? What will happen?

HOLBROOKE: The big issue for you and the American public to watch is what the administration does in terms of how modern and how much equipment they sell to Taiwan in the next few weeks.

WOODRUFF: And meaning the radar, the ships and how sophisticated the radar is?

HOLBROOKE: Yeah, and Taiwan has asked for an enormous arms package, one that a lot of people would think would destabilize the situation and actually lead to the opposite of its intent. It could lead to an arm's race, and build-up in the Taiwan straits.

The Bush administration was having a discussion on that. It was beginning in public, you had reported in it. Now there is no possibility they're going to sell less to Taiwan as a result of this. The only question is how much more?

So my view is that China gained a few extra "very sorries" by holding our men and women a few extra days, but they're going to pay a long-term price, and it is a very badly handled performance by the leadership in China.

WOODRUFF: Is there -- how would you describe what the U.S.-China relationship is now?

HOLBROOKE: It's an enormously complicated relationship. $75 billion worth of two-week trade, with China gaining a large surplus. Billions of dollars in investment, technology flows, tremendous cultural exchanges; the Chinese want to host the Olympics in 2008. The U.S. and China and their destiny in the next half-century will be the dominant strategic factor on the face of the globe. There are many other issues, but this is the big relationship, the way U.S.- Soviet was in the last half century.

And the Chinese have done something extremely provocative to a new administration, whose president, our president, had proclaimed during the campaign that he did not agree with President Clinton's strategic partnership, but considered China a strategic competitor. And nothing could have strengthened his case more, and shown the Chinese at more disadvantage than the terribly inept way they handled this.

So to underscore the point, winners and losers, Washington gains something, a little perhaps. China loses, I think, very heavily from what happened in the last 10 days.

WOODRUFF: Do you agree with those who argue there should be some retaliation?

HOLBROOKE: I am not sure what you mean by retaliation. My guess...

WOODRUFF: Well, by selling Taiwan more sophisticated rather than less sophisticated weaponry.

HOLBROOKE: No. Personally, I believe that the decision on Taiwan should be made on its merits and not in retaliation for this. But what I'm saying here is that whatever I believe is irrelevant. The political consequences of this are inevitable. Those who want to sell Taiwan more have been given, as one of them put it to me yesterday, a golden weapon. And China did this to itself.

WOODRUFF: So all lessons for the Chinese, not for the -- and none for the administration?

HOLBROOKE: Well, again, the Chinese have done this for all of these reasons you're explained over the last 10 days so excellently. Their face, their history, all this stuff. By the way, I do not believe that Chinese public opinion was a factor. The communist regime has not shown much concern for public opinion in the past, and I think that's been way overwritten.

Beijing did this because of whatever they did it for -- internal power struggles between the military and the moderates, whatever. But they are going to have paid a heavy long-term price for a couple of "very sorries" in a letter which President Bush is already in the process of repudiating.

Secretary Rumsfeld laid out the facts. And I think the argument over the plane is going to continue, and the U.S. will obviously resume these flights. So China gained nothing. And as I said, when you and I last talked about this a few days ago, the people came home safe and sound and in good spirits, at no cost to the United States.

And by the way, contrary to what Kagan and Kristol said, the U.S. was not humiliated. The administration did fine.

WOODRUFF: All right. Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Thanks very much.

HOLBROOKE: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: I appreciate it.

Much more to come on INSIDE POLITICS, including our weekly political roundtable.

But first: the latest from the tense streets of Cincinnati.

And a live interview with that city's police chief.

Also ahead:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clean coal is actually an oxymoron. You can't burn coal cleanly enough.


WOODRUFF: Environmentalists pour cold water on so-called clean burning coal.

And later: DNA testing and its limits. The mystery surrounding what could be the blood of Abraham Lincoln.



WOODRUFF: Tough measures to stamp out violent protests in Cincinnati appear to be paying off. But officials say they are not easing up just yet. Trouble erupted on Monday after an African- American, 19-year-old, was shot and killed by a white police officer. Our Bob Franken has the latest.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cincinnati officials declared the 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew a success. Violence on the nearly empty streets almost eliminated.

CHIEF THOMAS STREICHER, CINCINNATI POLICE: The citizens of Cincinnati have elected to maintain control here. They've elected to change the type of activity that was being conducted here, and take a greater interest in the city and realize that it's time for things to settle down and cool off.

FRANKEN: Officials say they plan to continue with the curfew, assessing on a day-to-day basis, and continue to strictly enforce it, arresting anyone who has no legal reason to be outside past 8:00. It is tense on the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: ma'am there's a curfew. You need to be inside. I suggest you do it very quickly, please, ma'am. Otherwise you'll be arrested.

FRANKEN: In many areas the city police stand with guns drawn. On the alert, they say, for snipers. The anger is still simmering over the shooting death of an unarmed 19-year-old African-American man by a policeman. It is largely expressed at a packed town-meeting, called by the NAACP at a neighborhood church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Mfume, can you please use your political clout to call these pigs off tonight?

FRANKEN: The organization's national president, Kweisi Mfume, pleads for an end to the violence, but demands action by the city to address decades of charges that Cincinnati police are brutally hostile toward African-Americans. KWEISI MFUME, NAACP PRESIDENT: This can't wait two months or three months down the road. There's an imperative here for fair deliberations and for equal justice.

FRANKEN: But before deliberations and justice, city officials insist that calm must be restored. And for one night, calm is restored -- at gunpoint.

(on camera): We believe, said the police chief, we are returning to a great sense of normalcy. Normalcy to find there's an entire city under overnight house arrest.

Bob Franken, Cincinnati.


WOODRUFF: And we are joined now by the police chief in Cincinnati, Thomas Streicher. Mr. Streicher first of all, is Cincinnati now under control?

STREICHER: Actually we haven't had a single bit of problem today at all. There has been no active protests at all today and business has been as usual here in the city of Cincinnati. As you know, we're still under a state of emergency. We anticipate that some problems could erupt over the weekend, obviously, the funeral's tomorrow. We also have some intelligence information that there are some people planning to create some problems this evening, and tomorrow after the funeral. So we do still have concerns here.

WOODRUFF: Who are the people who are planning to do this?

STREICHER: Well, it's some intelligence information about some groups that have come in from out of town. We understand that there are 1,200 notifications out on some different Web sites calling for different anarchy groups to come in to Cincinnati over the weekend, particularly tomorrow, at a market square that is very near where the funeral is going to occur tomorrow.

WOODRUFF: What do you expect from this funeral in terms of the crowds and their reaction to all of this?

STREICHER: Well, it's difficult to tell what to expect. I think that at funerals we certainly would expect that family and friends would be there to comply with the wishes of Mrs. Leisure who is the mother of Timothy Thomas. She has asked for all people calm down here in the city. She has asked that no violence occur here in the city.

She has repeatedly stated that she sees no -- no benefit at all from the type of violence that has occurred here, and she does not want any type of violence to be associated with the death of her son. She is asking the city of Cincinnati citizens here and across the country to allow her to mourn the death of her son and to remain calm and to look for peaceful resolutions to the problems that are being identified.

WOODRUFF: Chief Streicher, do you welcome an investigation into what happened to Timothy Thomas?

STREICHER: Absolutely. Absolutely. We are more than willing to open up our books to anybody. We have concluded our investigation here in the police division, and we feel very confident that we have determined exactly what occurred that night. I met with the Hamilton County prosecutor the morning before yesterday, turned over all of the investigative files, and now the legality of the circumstances is in the hands of the prosecutor and the grand jury.

WOODRUFF: How do you respond to -- our reporter, Bob Franken, just paraphrased -- what Kweisi Mfume of the NAACP said. He said, in so many words, "The city needs to do something about city police of being brutally hostile to the city's African-Americans."

STREICHER: I am not exactly sure what Mr. Mfume was referring to with that point. I wasn't there present with that. I would simply say to you here that the city of Cincinnati in our police division does not endorse nor do we condone any type of brutality here.

Our emphasis is always on treating people with courtesy and respect and allowing people to maintain dignity themselves as human beings.

WOODRUFF: How do you account for all the anger then?

STREICHER: How do I account for all of the anger?


STREICHER: Obviously there -- obviously there has been a situation here that is of great concern to a number of people with the death of Mr. Thomas. People have reacted to that. And my reaction to it is, is that it is very, very unfortunate, but I don't believe that it's confined here to the city of Cincinnati. It's a -- it's a -- it's a symptom of something that affects society all across the United States of America.

Unfortunately, here in the city of Cincinnati, it's come to a head. It's not the first place that it has occurred, but I certainly do hope it's the last place that it does occur.

WOODRUFF: He was the 15th young black man to be killed by city police in the last six years, is that correct?

WOODRUFF: Yes, ma'am.

WOODRUFF: And those statistics, what is does one make of that?

STREICHER: Well, I think that it's an error to look at a simple statistic. I think you have to take a look at each individual circumstance and judge it and weigh it on its own merits. If you'd like I could share some of the circumstances with you. Two years ago, at the intersection behind me, a police officer by the name of Katie Conway was stopped by a citizen who waved her down for some assistance. When she rolled down her window, he shot her three times. He then grabbed her and beat her unconscious with her radio, pushed her across the front seat of her car. He kidnapped her in her own police cruiser, and drove about a mile from here where she was able to retrieve her when she regained semi-consciousness. She shot him, killed him, the car then struck a building.

She was permanently disabled. She is unable to carry a child for a full term. She's been medically separated from the department and still, to this day, is unable to walk correctly. Her spine was severely injured and so were her hips and that is one example there.

I would say to just lump that in, and -- I have several more. I have another one in November where I have a police officer shot in the forehead. He was also shot in the hand. Another officer returned fire and killed that suspect. So I think that the issue here is that the loss of life is tragic, it's always tragic. The issue that they're all African-American is of great concern to us, absolutely.

It should be of great concern to everyone all across this country whenever someone dies. But I would say to you this very simply, don't just look at it from one point of view. Everyone's point of view has -- has to be examined here, everyone has to step up and say and look into a mirror and accept responsibility for their own actions, and then agree to treat each other with mutual respect and, at that point, start to move forward.

WOODRUFF: All right. Well, Police Chief Thomas Streicher from the city of Cincinnati. We thank you very much for joining us.

STREICHER: My pleasure, ma'am.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

STREICHER: Yes, ma'am.

WOODRUFF: The politics of coal, as the fossil fuel tries to make a comeback, coal-state politicians argue new technology will mean cleaner air. But environmental groups say they're not convinced.


WOODRUFF: Three members of the environmental group Greenpeace today delivered a message for President Bush, from a top of a water tower a few miles from his ranch. Three activists jumped the fence to hang the banner, which labeled Mr. Bush, quote, "the toxic Texan." The three came down from the tower after about two hours, and were taken into custody. Officials said they would be charged at least with criminal trespass.

The rising costs of oil and natural gas have spurred a second look at America's plentiful supplies of coal. And the new attention has given coal promoters, especially politicians from the nation's coal regions, a chance to plug new technologies that they reduce coal's environmental impact. Can coal make a comeback? Our Jonathan Karl reports from a coal-rich state of Pennsylvania. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Coal. It's the most plentiful and cheapest fossil fuel. It once provided virtually all of America's power, but at a cost. The cheapest fuel was also the dirtiest, the most devastating to the environment. But coal power is getting cleaner, at least here at this Pittsburgh area power plant.

(on camera): All that stuff going up in the air is steam?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, primarily steam.

KARL (voice-over): Senator Rick Santorum is among a group of coal state politicians arguing that coal can make the U.S. less dependent on imported oil.

SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: We have just in Pennsylvania alone, 300 years worth of coal sitting in the ground that we aren't really utilizing now because of -- principally, because of concern for the environment. And it's a legitimate concern, but it's one we can overcome.

KARL: Santorum has a powerful ally in the White House.

BUSH: We are now in an energy crisis.

KARL: President Bush has included $2 billion in his budget over the next 10 years for research and development in technology to make coal burn cleaner. Environmentalists say the money should instead be spent on cleaner energy sources.

DAN BECKER, SIERRA CLUB: Clean coal is actually an oxymoron. You can't burn coal cleanly enough. In fact, when you burn coal, you emit more acid rain pollution, more air pollution, more smog and more global warming pollution, which threatens the entire planet.

KARL: But coal advocates point to high-tech operations like the Bruce Mansfield power plant. It provides enough electricity to power nearly one million homes. Plant officials say one out of every $3 spent to build the facility was spent on environmental protection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We burn about six million tons of coal a year here at the Bruce Mansfield plant.

KARL: Filters remove most of the pollutant that causes acid rain, and new technology soon to be put in place will remove most of the pollutant that causes smog. The plant also recycles the ash by- product of burnt coal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We convey it across the street, actually, under the major highway there and into the national gypsum facility.

KARL: The ash by-product is turned into 100 percent recycled wallboard for use in home construction. (on camera): Technology has made it possible for power plants like this to reduce traditional pollutants like sulfur dioxide, but it is still a far cry from what is the holy grail of clean coal technology, and that's a power plant that has no smoke stacks because it produces no emissions.

(voice-over): What most concerns environmentalists now about coal power is carbon dioxide, or CO2, the gas that causes global warming.

(on camera): What about CO2?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CO2 -- we have no controls in place now or any plan for CO2 reductions.

KARL: And what's the problem there? Just no technology available?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To my knowledge, there is no technology presently available that could remove CO2.

PROF. DAVID KEITH, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: Carbon dioxide is the one thing that we've done nothing about so far, from really any of our economy, aside from buying increasing efficiency, and it's the one thing that will substantially change the climate on time scales of 100 years or so.

KARL (voice-over): Research is under way at the National Energy Technology Lab on what is called "carbon sequestration" technology. It would capture CO2 gas and inject it either into the ocean, or into the ground. It's the kind of technology that would make possible the elusive emission-free power plant.

KEITH: I don't expect to actually see one of those plants in operation, one that is purpose-built for this, for anything less -- sooner than 15 years.

KARL: And it may take longer than 15 years to develop the technology. Until then, coal can be made to burn cleaner, but it will still be a leading contributor to global warming.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Shippingport, Pennsylvania.


WOODRUFF: In the state of California, the environment is always an issue. But the immediate concern, especially with summer approaching, is the need for more electricity. CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley traveled to the Golden State, to see how the governor is handling the crisis and its political fallout.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a perfect spring day in Berkeley. Not too cold, not too hot. Down Shattuck avenue, business is good at Massee's bakery. But Paul Massee is having a mid-summer's nightmare.

PAUL MASSEE, OWNER, MASSEE'S BAKERY: My worst nightmare right now if the power goes off, especially it's a little warmer than it is today, which it's going to get, and I have to throw away thousands of dollars worth of cream. I have nightmares at night.

CROWLEY: Next door, at Saul's Deli, they're worried about the nightmare about to be delivered in the mail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven't gotten an energy bill yet. I understand that businesses are going to be paying more than residences because there are fewer of us to fight back politically, so for a business like ours, which operates on really small margins, it starts to be a scary scenario when you might have several blackouts, and your bill is twice as high.

CROWLEY: The governor of California wants you to know this energy thing is not his fault.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I inherited a massively flawed system, and I came into my governorship after 12 years of the state not building a single power plant, not one. We've made great progress in building plants, and we're doing our best to clean up the financial mess that was put in place by the people that preceded me.

CROWLEY: Democrat Gray Davis has been in office for two years, riding high on a healthy economy, looking good next to an anemic state Republican Party. A solid bet for re-election, Davis' name was on the national grapevine as presidential timber for 2004.

DAN SCHNUR, GOP CONSULTANT: He was part of the buzz. That's over.

CROWLEY (on camera): Yeah?

SCHNUR: Yeah. Whenever he gets off the plane in Iowa, or New Hampshire, or any other primary state, the only thing these people are going to know about him is the electricity crisis. And if he thinks the voters in the San Fernando Valley are upset about their electricity bills for air conditioning, wait until he starts talking to people in New Hampshire about home heating oil.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Republican eagerness to bury Davis' political career is premature, but the talk now is not about whether he'll run for president, but whether he can win re-election for governor. Gray Davis has been wounded.

BRUCE CAIN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: Two months ago, he had his $23 million in the bank, he had virtually no opponents, and he was way ahead in the polls. Now, after the energy crisis, he still has $23 million in the bank, but he has got opponents lining up on both sides, potentially running against him, and he's definitely taken a hit with respect to public opinion of him.

CROWLEY: A cautious micromanager with a solitary management streak, Davis has few friends in the capital. On the right and the left, he is criticized for failing to act quickly and decisively enough, for dragging his feet before allowing necessary rate hikes, for failing to stop the state's largest utility from going bankrupt, for weighing politics before deciding policy. A summer heat wave, it's said, will smother him.

DAVIS: I have been blessed with the same good fortune that George Bush has been blessed with, low expectations. No one expected me to get elected governor. No one thinks I can solve this problem. Let's just wait and see how it turns out.

CROWLEY: Davis is fighting back: photo-ops at power plants; high-profile statewide addresses to Californians urging patience and conservation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is on the news every night. He is making a lot of motions. I don't know what he could be doing more, personally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple years from now, if it gets worse, I think it could definitely have an effect on voting. Even my own, perhaps.

CROWLEY: Along Shattuck Avenue, Gray Davis has bought himself some time.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Berkeley, California.


WOODRUFF: Up next, our Friday round-table looks at the president's China performance and previews the obstacles ahead.


WOODRUFF: Now to our Friday round-table guests, Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times," Tamala Edwards of "TIME magazine" and CNN's "Take 5, " and in New York, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff, the consensus seems to be the president handled this China incident well. You agree?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Yes, I'm almost never tempted to agree with the consensus, but I think that's probably right. The political implication of that is another story, because I just don't happen to believe there is going to be one. But, yeah, it was an 11-day incident, put into high focus by the obsessive coverage of networks like this and our competitors. But, sure. Nobody died. They are out. No harm, no foul.

WOODRUFF: What do you mean, Jeff, "no political implication"?

GREENFIELD: I think Ambassador Holbrooke outlined quite well the impact on the political insiders. That is, it emboldens the more conservative folks to hold Bush's feet to fire.

But in terms of a public reaction, I think three months from now, nobody's going to remember this, because frankly, this country Post- Cold War, ain't that interested in international affairs. Unless our guys were still over there three months from now, where it would have had a major impact, I think this will fade almost completely from memory in no time.

WOODRUFF: Tamala Edwards, little public afterglow, if you will?

TAMALA EDWARDS, CNN'S "TAKE 5": I think Jeff makes the most important point, about the fact that Bush's priority was getting these people back. Indeed, if it had taken three months, or worse yet, if something had happened, if there had been a loss of life, that's the story that would linger. Instead, the story we see is the warm and fuzzy, mom and dad in Nebraska, clapping and crying, and you move on.

The next story is, what does he do in terms of the these flights? You hear them saying that they intend to resume them. Does he actually do that? And what happens in the next sort of international altercation? He can figure out when the tax battles are coming, or other domestic fights. But in terms of international things, how does he handle the next problem -- be it in Europe, Africa, Asia, certainly again with China?

WOODRUFF: Ron Brownstein, is the president, the administration now obligated to do something tough toward China?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": That's an interesting question, Judy. One thing about these last few weeks -- last two weeks, that they've unfolded very differently than they would have if Al Gore or Bill Clinton was president. I think it was a reminder that on a variety of issues --this was really, perhaps, the best demonstration of it -- conservatives are giving Bush a lot of rope.

There really was very little pressure on him on the right. Bill Kristol was just about the only voice among prominent conservatives who accused him of being too conciliatory toward China. I suspect there will be more pressure as we go forward. Perhaps it will be reflected in the Taiwan arms sale decision.

But by and large, conservatives are giving him a lot of rope, and I think you will see that, even as we move forward.


GREENFIELD: I think Ron makes a really critical point. If Al Gore or Bill Clinton had been the president when that letter was sent to China with those "very sorries," the conservatives in Congress, Rush Limbaugh, the other folks on the right, would have been apoplectic -- absolutely gone through the roof. Weakness. Kowtowing.

But it is another demonstration, I think, of how effective the Bush political machinery has been, really, right through the campaign, and now in telling the conservatives: "We're on your side, so give us some slack."

EDWARDS: And the fact that the day after they get back, he immediately moves back into the harsher rhetoric. And if indeed, they start those flights up next week, that may be a slight appeasement of that right flank.

WOODRUFF: So, Tamala, you don't see the obligated, though, to take some unusual measure to appease them, then, beyond what you've just said.

EDWARDS: No, not at this point. I think the problem will become -- if, you know, let's say that flight happens again next week, and we get into this situation again. I don't know that he's able to say another, "I'm very sorry." In that case, I think people would expect a much tougher stance.

But for the moment, the rhetoric, the things that he was saying today, the fact that they are promising to resume those flights. As long as those people came home alive, that was the most important thing. And he gets credit for keeping his eye on that ball and not giving in to saying: "I need to make some sort of demonstration," that could have kept us in that conflict much longer.

GREENFIELD: Judy, if I may -- the other part about this, though, I'll just make briefly, is that there are two kinds of Republicans, or even two kinds of conservatives. The more economic ones see China potentially the world's biggest market. You have -- quote -- "conservative" groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, Chambers of Commerce -- they don't want confrontation with China. They want those markets open.

And it's the social conservatives that -- you know, the Gary Bauers of this world, who are talking about human rights, and religious persecution, the torturing of prisoners. That's not a mainstream conservative argument, the way it might have been, say, 20 years ago.

WOODRUFF: All right. The president has China behind him, at least in part. There are other challenges that lie ahead. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be back with more from our round- table.


WOODRUFF: Back now with our roundtable, Jeff Greenfield, Tamala Edwards and Ron Brownstein.

Ron, the president has China behind him, but when this Congress comes back, he has got his tax cuts, his budget cuts. Where does he stand on all of this?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, he's got his tax cuts, his budget cuts and his education bill, all coming up very quickly after he comes back. The education bill, first in line in the Senate, followed by the tax and the budget. And so far, Judy, he has pursued a very different strategy on these two bills, which are really his top priorities.

On education, he's gone out of his way to negotiate the White House with congressional Democrats, and they've reached a pretty brood agreement that they may be able to pull off a broad bipartisan bill the first week they come back, on April 23rd. On the budget, they're taking a much more hard-line confrontational strategy. Generally, avoiding negotiation until they simply didn't have the votes in the Senate, and the question they have to face really over the next week or so, as now that bill moves into a conference between the House and the Senate, is how hard do they push.

The House approved a blueprint that was more conservative, more to the president's liking, bigger tax cut, less spending. They want to push it back in that direction, but the risk is, if they go too far, they can once again, endanger their Senate majority. So, they face some very important political decisions over the next 10 days or so.

WOODRUFF: So, Tamala, what is the smart approach for the White House?

EDWARDS: Well, what is going to be interesting is to watch certain senators. Like when you things like money taken away from ship building, you knew that the Trent Lotts of the world were going to come back and say: "Wait a second, ship building is big in Mississippi, and you'll be putting that money back in here."

Exactly whose interests get fulfilled in what this final bill looks like? And it's interesting that Jeff made a point about the business lobby in China. I suspect you have the business lobby have a strong hand in what happens on these tax and budget bills. And with this White House already having a small drum beat of things, whether it's arsenic in the water, or beef for school children, or things with the environment.

I think one thing that the White House does not want is a budget and a tax plan that come out benefiting the upper class, benefiting the business class and creating a larger view for someone to run against the Republicans in 2002, saying, you know, this group of people, they really only care about the wealthy. They really only care about the economic interests of the business class.

WOODRUFF: How much of a problem is that for the president, Jeff?

GREENFIELD: It's a problem, and it's a problem because of what happened in November. You know, you have an evenly divided Senate and a president who cannot claim, in the political sense, a mandate. And it also means that the pressure he can put on wavering Republicans in the Senate is limited.

I mean, there are people -- conservatives talking about trying to punish, for instance, Vermont Republican Jeffords for deserting the president on the tax bill. Well, A, he just got re-elected, so he's got about five years and eight months left in his term, and B, you push Jeffords too hard, and as he said to somebody in the press, you know, it's a short walk across the aisle. They push too hard, they have a 51st Democratic senator instead of a 50th Republican.

So, his options, in the Senate particularly, I think are pretty limited. BROWNSTEIN: Judy, I just want to say real quick, in the Senate, they think they have better options, better chances of picking up the votes they need if they push the tax cut back up from some of those Democrats than the do from those last few Republicans, particularly the Democrats who are running in 2002 in states that Bush carried, like Mary Landrieu and Max Cleland in Louisiana and Georgia.

WOODRUFF: All right, I want quickly turn your attention to Cincinnati, a city where a young black man was shot to death by a white policeman over the weekend. There have protests since then, and the city is under curfew. Tamala, how do we read what is going on there?

EDWARDS: You know, I think what's going on in Cincinnati is very important, and for this reason: I mean, currently, the issue of racial profiling -- in New Jersey, it's become an issue of the removal of perhaps a state Supreme Court Justice. It's become an issue in the mayor's race in New York City.

But this is the first time that I think we've seen such widespread, large-scale protest. And I don't think it will be the last time that we see this. And so, I think that state and city, national and federal officials, have to look at this problem.

You know, Al Gore said this will be one of the first things that I will have dealt with. And I think that it would be interesting and smart if there was actually some leadership out of the White House. Certainly, if I were a leader in a city or a state, this is an issue I would be looking at. It cuts across class, and it could cut across race. I think people of all races look at this and say: "This is wrong."


GREENFIELD: I think it is very interesting to see what happens at an all-news environment when one story crowds out another. If we hadn't had China incident that dominated all of the news for the last 11 days, I think -- and I also I have to say bluntly, that if this happened in New York or Los Angeles, it would have been a huge story for two reasons: one, the issue that Tamala was talking about. This is an unhappy incident that happens in American cities. You can go back a century or more, and it happens.

And second, what was muted in a lot of the coverage was that there was a good deal of racially motivated violence after this shooting, where white motorists were beaten as they drove through black neighborhoods, a kind of a small-scale version of what happened in Los Angeles in '92, much smaller scale.

And I think to that extent, the muting of this may have turned our attention from another potentially incendiary story. Look, the issue of black and white runs like a scar through the entire American history, and this is just another reminder that whether the crime rate is up or down, or it's in remission, it's always ready to blow up.

BROWNSTEIN: Judy, but I think that the issue is a little more complicated that it sometimes initially appears, because on the one hand, there are these very legitimate concerns about racial profiling, or the growing incarceration of young black men.

On the other hand, the principle beneficiaries of the declining crime in the '90s from the more aggressive policing, and use of the broken window theory, or community policing, have been minority communities, African-American and Hispanic communities. That's where the biggest decline in crime have occurred.

So, on the one hand, you have communities that are concerned about aggressive enforcement, on the other hand, there is no doubt that those communities are also benefiting from the reduction in crime. It wasn't white stock brokers on the Upper East Side who were being killed in large numbers during the late '80s and early '90s in New York City, and the big declines we've seen in murders in the big cities have been among minorities.

EDWARDS: But I don't think it's an either or. I don't think that black mothers think that they can either live in a safe neighborhood, or have their son shot without holding a firearm. I don't think that these communities are willing to accept that, nor should they.

WOODRUFF: We are going to have to leave it there. Tamala Edwards, Ron Brownstein, Jeff Greenfield, thank you all three.

Just ahead: Bill Schneider's "Political Play of the Week."


WOODRUFF: President Bush waited until the safe return of the U.S. crew before ratcheting up the criticism of China. It was the careful use of language over the last week that helped to secure the release of the 24 Americans. And that is noteworthy, according to our Bill Schneider, who joins us now from Los Angeles -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, the China standoff ended just in time. It was in danger of turning into a full- fledged hostage situation, with debilitating consequences for President Bush.

So, let's give credit where credit is due. Three cheers and a "Political Play of the Week" for the much-maligned art of diplomacy.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): In diplomacy, form and expression matter as much as facts.

JAMES LILLEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: What you got was the traditional, historic Chinese stubbornness, fixation on semantics, preoccupation with face and this terrible thing they did about our crippled plane landing.

SCHNEIDER: In this instance, form and expression were about all that mattered. CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The road map, if you will, has been in place for quite a long time, and it was really just a matter of getting the language right.

SCHNEIDER: Getting the language right was no small issue. President Bush set firm guidelines for his negotiators.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We did not do anything wrong, and therefore, it was not possible to apologize.

SCHNEIDER: The president turned the matter over to professionals, like Powell, but he provided the one element essential for diplomatic success: patience.

RICE: From time to time, I think, he would buck us up a little bit and say: "You know, diplomacy takes time."

SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile, negotiators struggled for 10 days to find language that would satisfy the Chinese. "Sorry" wouldn't do. We had to be "very sorry" for the loss of the Chinese pilot.

POWELL: We were expressing the fact that we were sorry, very sorry, and regret the loss of his life.

SCHNEIDER: Were we also "very sorry" that our pilot entered their airspace without permission? Not particularly.

POWELL: He did enter that airspace without permission and landed without permission, and for that we are very sorry, but glad he did it.

SCHNEIDER: The Chinese extorted those concessions from the United States. Embarrassing? Yes. But in America we put saving lives over saving face. The lives of the crew were saved. Now President Bush has to regain face. Notice that the minute we got our crew back, the president took a harder line.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China's decision to prevent the return of our crew for 11 days is inconsistent with the kind of relationship we have both said we wish to have.

SCHNEIDER: President Bush provided the resolve. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice provided the diplomatic skill. We'll provide "The Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: Conservatives are not happy with the U.S. loss of face, but as we just herd from our roundtable, they're cutting President Bush some slack. If Bill Clinton had been president and made those same concessions to China, you bet conservatives would be calling for his blood.

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider. Thanks very much. Ahead on INSIDE POLITICS we'll go live to Hawaii for the latest on the crew from the U.S. surveillance plane freed from China. Plus we'll preview the agenda of next week's between U.S. and Chinese officials.


WOODRUFF: The Bush Administration rolls a videotape to dramatize its accusations against China. Also ahead, writing the book on a legendary, new-deal Democrat: The late House Speaker, Tip O'Neill. Plus, President Lincoln, and a stain that could make a mark on his legacy.

Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. Pentagon Chief Donald Rumsfeld took exception today to suggestions that the Bush Administration is talking tougher about China. But, in his first public comments about the U.S. standoff with Beijing, Rumsfeld certainly seemed to take a hard line, saying that China was clearly to blame for the air collision that led to the detention of 24 U.S. crew members.

Rumsfeld also showed a videotape of a Chinese jet flying dangerously close to a U.S. surveillance aircraft back in January in order to back up his charge that China has been endangering U.S. aircraft for months.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: It is clear that the pilot intend to harass the crew. It was not first time that our reconnaissance and surveillance flights flying in that area received that type of aggressive contact from interceptors.


WOODRUFF: Rumsfeld said that he decided to break his silence about the standoff with China now the that the U.S. crew members have been released.

As part of the agreement that ended the impasse between China and the United States, the two countries agreed to meet this coming Wednesday to discuss the collision of their aircraft. CNN's David Ensor tells us what U.S. officials hope to get out of the meeting.


DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting the damaged surveillance plane back from China will be at the top of the agenda for the U.S. delegation, which will be headed not by a diplomat, but by a civilian Pentagon official.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The EP-3 aircraft is United States property. It was worth in excess of $80 million. As the president has indicated from the outset, Secretary Powell, that subject will be a front-and-center at the April 18th meetings.

ENSOR: U.S. officials admit a key reason they want the plane back, aside from its value, is to find out how much, if any, of the high-tech intelligence gathering equipment remains untouched by the Chinese.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will ask our United States representative to ask the tough questions about China's recent practice of challenging United States aircraft operating legally in international airspace.

ENSOR: Those questions from the U.S. at the meeting will include, senior administration officials say, why has China used such aggressive tactics, intercepting reconnaissance flights and sometimes flying within three feet of the plane? Why was the crew held in detention at all, let alone for eleven days? And why did China demand an apology before it had even done its own investigation into who was at fault in the accident?

U.S. officials also hope, in Beijing, to work out some understandings to make such accidents less likely in the future, but they concede the meeting, which could last several days, is likely to include some blunt talk. They will be watching the Chinese body language at the meeting very closely.

DAVID SHAMBAUGH, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: It's going to be very difficult for both governments, particularly with the kind of scar tissue that's built up from the spy incident, to maintain the framework and the overall floor to the relationship.

ENSOR: Keenly aware of that, senior officials say the president and his aides are taking a deep breath, stepping back for a moment, and thinking about how they can best keep the U.S.-Chinese relationship from running off the tracks.

David Ensor, CNN, the State Department.

WOODRUFF: Tomorrow, the 24 crew members of the Navy surveillance plane will return to their home base in Washington State and see their families for the first time since their release. But for now, they are in Hawaii, undergoing a second day of debriefing about their mission: The collision with the Chinese jet, and the landing on Hainan Island. Joining us from Pearl Arbor, CNN's Martin Savidge -- Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Judy. As you mentioned the second day of debriefing, intensive debriefing for the 24 crew members is well under way. Last night, they went until about 9:00 in the evening. The crew admitted, when they arrived here in Pearl Harbor, that they were very much tired. They were able, we are told, to have gotten some good rest last night. They are said to be in good spirits this morning and also, we are told, that as a result of medical checkups that they had, that they are all in good health.

Let me give you an idea of how these debriefs are conducted. There are 12 debrief teams, and essentially the crew members are taken one at a time, or individually, led into these conference rooms and then they are asked specific questions as to what happened, both in the air and on the ground after they got in China.

This is a questioning process that goes on for about an hour at a time. It's a comfortable environment, they say, for the crew member. Then they take a break, and the crew members, most of them, are using that break opportunity to, once more, get on the telephones they have been given to communicate with the relatives. So they are able to talk to family members back in the mainland, as they go through this process. And, as we say, it is expected to go until about 10 o'clock tonight.

Also there were religious services that were made available to the crew members today in light of the fact that this is Good Friday.

WOODRUFF: Martin Savidge reporting from Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, thanks.

CNN's special live coverage of the return ceremony at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station will begin at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. That's in Washington State.

Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, a familiar face, once a fixture on Capitol Hill. A look at the biography of Tip O'Neill and his affect on politics and the Democratic party.


WOODRUFF: A newly released book recalls a Democratic icon: former House Speaker Tip O'Neill. John Farrell, who's the Washington editor of "The Boston Globe," spent the last few years writing the book "Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century." I recently sat down with Farrell and began by asking him about O'Neill's first election to Congress in 1952.


JOHN FARRELL, "BOSTON GLOBE": It was the Irish against the Italians, and the Italians were in the Boston wards, and the Irish were in the Cambridge wards. And the Boston wards had bought machines. It was the first time you ever had voting machines, and so those returns came in very quickly, and they showed that Tip's opponent, Michael LoPresti was way ahead. And there was a big party, and in fact, one of the evening newspapers even came out and said, LoPresti wins, and Tip was down in the dumps.

And all of a sudden, the paper ballots in Cambridge began to come in, and they were strong O'Neill, to the point that some of LoPresti's men smelled a rat, and they went over there and they found that these little Irish poll watchers have put pencil leads under their fingers, and as they counted the ballots, they would come across one that said LoPresti, and they would put a mark next to O'Neill, and they would say: "Oh, this ballot is obviously flawed," and they would crumple and throw them away.

And those were the 1952 equivalent of the overvotes in Florida. And if the ballot was blank, which was very common in those days, and they very casually with their fingernail would just put a mark next to O'Neill. And so, the guy that told me this story, he got so upset, he threw a fit and he was arrested by the police for disturbing the peace, and he was held incommunicado for enough hours that they could get away with it.

WOODRUFF (on camera): So, you are saying that Tip O'Neill stole his first election to Congress?

FARRELL: There are Italian-Americans in Boston who will tell you this. To this day, they believe he stole it. The official response from the O'Neill family is that the graveyard voted on both sides, and that's probably the truth.

WOODRUFF: He was in Washington at a very interesting time in American politics. He came at a time when the Republicans were dominant. Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House, Republicans in the Congress. But then, there was a lengthy Democratic area when Democrats were powerful and in control. To what extent was Tip O'Neill a man of his time, in terms of his philosophy of government?

FARRELL: He was an unreconstructive, unabashed New Deal Democrat. Franklin Roosevelt was his idol, and the New Deal philosophy together with the Sermon of the Mount was about where he based his entire political philosophy. And of course, that made him a very unique individual when Reagan finally came and put an end to the New Deal era, in that you had so characteristic a person to represent Roosevelt's vision.

WOODRUFF: But Ronald Reagan comes along and wants to shrink government. This is the antithesis...

FARRELL: Everybody was gone. The Kennedys were gone. Hubert Humphrey and Lyndon Johnson were gone. Ted Kennedy had run and lost. Jimmy Carter and Mondale had run and lost. And the only person representing Roosevelt's vision was Tip O'Neill, this big old hunk of a bear of a guy.

And in the book, I argue that between them, Reagan and O'Neill drew a line in the sand for American politics that has not moved for 20 years. Clinton tried to nudge it with national health insurance, and was defeated in 1994. Gingrich came back the other way in 1996, and was beaten back by Bill Clinton. Maybe George W. will have more luck by trying to privatize Social Security, sort of a gentler, kinder dismantling of the New Deal.

WOODRUFF: Would he survive in today's political government? What would it be like for him? And you already had Bill Clinton say the era of big government is over.

FARRELL: Oh, as a -- philosophically, I don't think he would. I mean, I think that certainly the New Deal era was dead, buried by Ronald Reagan. And what Tip -- it's not that Tip won more for his side, he just kept Reagan from dismantling it more.

Stylistically, it would be hard to imagine Tip, except for the fact that he did very well on television. Toward the end of 1981, when Reagan was winning all those big battles, all of a sudden, he lifted his game a notch. And this is real testament to the man. This is not a man who was at ease on television, or a natural, and yet Americans could look at him, as they did with Reagan, and see somebody who was authentic and genuine and believed in what he said.

WOODRUFF: Why was he so successful, John Farrell, as a politician? How did he work other people?

FARRELL: Oh, darling, how are you doing? How is your brother. How is your dad? I haven't seen you. I know all eight of your brothers!

And he was just wonderful. He had that -- "All Politics Is Local" was his slogan, and he had that great human, personal touch that was probably 90 percent true and 10 percent artifice. Because an awful lot of people, after he had gone through a room like that, or after he had gone through a congressional hearing or a debate, would reach for their wallets just to make sure that they were still there. He used it as a weapon, his great charm.

WOODRUFF: But he could also be very tough with people.


TIP O'NEILL, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And it's the lowest thing that I have ever seen in my 32 years in Congress!


FARRELL: He could, he could. There are a couple of anecdotes in the book where people like his long-time roommate Eddie Boland, close friend -- they smoked their first cigars together back in the 1940s, was up for an Appropriations Committee post, and Tip supported Jamie Whitten, a segregationist from the South. And the reason was is that Tip always kept lines open to the South as he rose to power, and the idea that he would go against his buddy, Eddie Boland, the fellow person from Massachusetts, for a southerner was just outrageous, but he did. He was a tough guy.

WOODRUFF: And where did that come from? Just who he was as a human being?

FARRELL: I think that Boston politics was rough and crooked, and Tip always said that he was honest to the ethics of his times. So, he grew up in a rough-and-tumble era, and he knew how to throw elbows.

And he had to. He had to deal with characters like James Michael Curley, and on the other hand, he had to deal with somebody like the Kennedys.

WOODRUFF: Let me just finally ask you about -- double-back to Ronald Reagan, because the two of them, as you point out, were on opposite ends of this dividing -- this great dividing line in American politics, and yet they got along in a way, didn't they?

FARRELL: You know, they liked each other just enough so they could hurt each other's feelings, which is kind of unusual in Washington, where so much is to be said business and politics, and not personal. But there was enough of a personal spark there that they could really make each other angry. They had a lot in common. They both were great storytellers, they both were the kind of guys that could sell you the Grand Canyon if you were in the room with them for 10 minutes. They both had great staffs. They were secure enough to delegate authority. So, there was a lot that they had in common, as well as a lot that they differed over.

WOODRUFF: Nobody today like Tip O'Neill?

FARRELL: Joe Moakley from Massachusetts, looking at his last term in Congress. And maybe Dennis Hastert, who knows.


WOODRUFF: All right. That interview with -- on the book, "Tip O'Neill."

Still to come: modern science may hold the answer to one of history's mysteries. Is this the cloak Abraham Lincoln's wife was wearing when he was assassinated?


WOODRUFF: Millions of Americans are finishing up their income tax forms, to be filed before Monday's deadline. The Bushes and the Cheneys are no different. For the year 2000, the president and first lady reported more than $744,000 in earnings. They paid more than $240,000 in federal income taxes. In 1999, then-Governor Bush earned $1.6 million, and paid $449,000 in federal taxes.

The Cheney tax return for 2000 shows the couple earned $36.1 million, and paid $14.3 million in federal taxes. In 1999, the Cheneys earned $4.4 million, and paid $1.7 million in taxes. Some big numbers there.

Well, there's more INSIDE POLITICS coming up, but first, let's go to Jan Hopkins for a preview of what's ahead at the bottom of the hour on "MONEYLINE."

Thanks, Judy. Coming up on "MONEYLINE": We'll bring you an hour-long special on your money, and getting defensive. We'll tell you how to save money on taxes, investments, and take a close look at the health of the job market this spring. And we'll take your calls.

Plus, we'll check some of the day's top stories as the U.S. defensive secretary declares China was at fault for the mid-air collision.

All that and more coming up on "MONEYLINE."



(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The question is whether or not this stain on this cloak is blood from the 16th president. The problem:

NANCY BUENGER, CHICAGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY: There's no authenticated reference sample of Lincoln's DNA. We need to have something to compare with the blood that may be on the cloak.

OPPENHEIM: No, there are no plans to dig up Lincoln from his tomb in Springfield to obtain a DNA sample. But there could be some of his DNA in this comb, or in this lock of hair, or any of the blood stains. The challenge is to document which of these potential DNA sources actually came from honest Abe.

Strange as it may sound, there's also an issue with confidentiality.

(on camera): The process could reveal part of Lincoln's medical history, information which could prove problematic for his descendants. In other words, the Chicago Historical Society is concerned about the way this is done, not just for history's sake, but in terms of the ethics of looking into the DNA of anyone's past.

BUENGER: We're also interested in having the public evaluate the evidence for themselves, and determine whether or not they think the cloak is authentic, and whether or not the blood is Lincoln's.

OPPENHEIM: It's not likely historians will ever be 100 percent sure whether the cloak is stained with Lincoln's blood, but they hope, with a little help from modern science, they'll have a better idea.

Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Chicago.


WOODRUFF: And as we head into Easter weekend, preparations are under way at the White House for the annual Easter egg roll. The free event, for local children, will be held Monday morning on the White House south lawn. It is the largest public event held at the White House, and it dates all the way back to 1878, in the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes. And you should see the lines at the White House when they have that egg roll.

That's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but of course, you can go on-line all the time at CNN's The aol keyword, CNN. These weekend programming notes: former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will be the guest tomorrow on "EVANS, NOVAK, HUNT AND SHIELDS." That's at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

And at noon Eastern Sunday: Senators Jon Kyl and Barbara Boxer will be among the guests on "LATE EDITION" with Wolf Blitzer.

I'm Judy Woodruff. "MONEYLINE" is next.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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