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CNN INSIDE POLITICS

American People Give President Bush High Marks as He Nears 100 Days in Office

Aired April 24, 2001 - 17:00   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: After 100 days, I'd probably give President Bush a grade of incomplete.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: As some Democrats grumble about the president's term so far, our new poll shows most Americans see things differently.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The White House is very pleased with public perceptions on the president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Also ahead...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROBERT KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Our own scars and stumps of limbs are witness enough for others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Angry Vietnam veteran turned senator John Kerry reflects on the defining moment of his life, and his political future.

Plus: Retracing the footsteps of young warriors in the fight for integrated schools.

Now, Judy Woodruff takes you INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.

As the president prepares to mark his 100th day in office on Sunday, the White House seems to be less intent than before on downplaying the much ballyhooed milestone. New poll numbers that are pretty favorable for the president may have something to do with it. CNN's Candy Crowley has been studying our new 100-day survey to get a sense of Mr. Bush's political strengths and weaknesses at this point.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The presidency of George W. Bush hits the 100-day marker this Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So far, it's OK right now. I don't know how long it's going to last. So far, so good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Bush is just doing a terrific job.

CROWLEY: A CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll found that 62 percent of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling his job: a modern presidency average, but higher than his father or Bill Clinton at the same point in their administrations. And there is more.

NELSON WARFIELD, FORMER DOLE PRESS SECRETARY: Fifty-nine percent of Americans now describe themselves as George Bush supporters. That's up from less then half back in December, and it suggests that more and more Americans are investing with this president, that they want to see him succeed.

CROWLEY: But there are evident conflicts within the numbers that should caution the administration. Though 59 percent of those polled said the president cares about the needs of people like them, 63 percent said big business has too much influence over Bush administration decisions. And Democrats say some of the other numbers are not as good as they sound.

AL QUINLIN, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: In your poll, I think the figure was 55 percent believe that Bush's policies will help push the country in the right direction. It's a solid number, but it's not a particularly compelling number given it's his first two months in office, and he really should be at a higher point.

CROWLEY: More than 60 percent of voters expect the president will be able to improve education, increase respect for presidency, keep America prosperous and improve respect for the United States abroad, and almost 60 percent think he'll be able to get a tax cut.

But only slightly more than half think the president will be able to strengthen Social Security and improve health care. One of his worst scores involved the environment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems pretty clear that he's put the environment on the lower totem poll than the past presidents and he's shown less concern for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got some valid points about the energy needs in this country. As far as his solution to these problems, I don't know if I agree with tapping into Alaska and ruining the environment there for six months' supply of oil. CROWLEY: Forty-eight percent of those polled said the Bush administration will be able to improve the environment; 47 percent said he would not. Curiously, that's better than January numbers, before the administration announced a series of moves that enraged environmental groups. Still, it's enough for Democrats to go with.

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This should be the time where the president's agenda is generating a lot of heat, a lot of support, numbers in the 70's and 80's. Even on his signature issues, he is having trouble getting to 50 in many cases. And on things like the environment and health care, issues important to women, swing voters, he doesn't have a clear mandate.

CROWLEY: Indeed, an argument could be made that Bush's solid approval rating is built more on personal characteristics than specific policy: 55 percent said he inspires confidence; 69 percent said he could get things done, and, unlike his father who admitted to problems with the vision thing, the son is seen by 74 percent of Americans as having a vision for the country's future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Hundred-day polls have not proven to be much of a bellwether for future performance, but for a man who came into office under the most unusual of circumstances, this vote of confidence in public opinion polls, has got to make it a good day -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Candy, you have been covering the people around the president, the president himself for some time. As they look at these numbers, what would they take heart from, what would give them concern, a cause of concern?

CROWLEY: I think that one of the things is that what he ran on, leadership, you know, restoring dignity to the White House, he scores very high on those and I also think that Joe Lockhart, who you heard in that piece, is correct, that if you're the White House and you're looking at these internal numbers, what you're seeing is that while you still have more people for you than against you on the issues, then the margin is much smaller. So he has a lot do to kind of translate the public approval of really who he is and how he's conducting himself into any kind of momentum that can push forward his legislative agenda.

WOODRUFF: Candy Crowley, thank you very much. President Bush will discuss his first 100 days in the office in an interview with our senior White House correspondent, John King. We will air that interview in its entirety tomorrow on INSIDE POLITICS.

GOP congressional leaders say they hope to hammer out a compromise with Democrats on tax cuts and spending by Mr. Bush's 100th day in office. The president met with those Republican leaders at the White House today, and he urged them to get as close as possible to his proposed $1.6 trillion tax cut over 10 years.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott says no specific compromise number was agreed on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: And, of course, we are particularly interested in getting a good number for tax relief for working Americans. That's what we need for the economy, that's what we need for families in America, and we will get that resolution this week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Negotiators are trying to find a middle ground between the spending and tax packages approved by the House and the Senate. Senator Lott says he believes Mr. Bush will be able to sign a tax cut into law by July 4th.

As Mr. Bush's proposals have been making their way through Congress, the president's strategy has at times seemed to shift. For more on that theme, here is CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Two faces have eyes, sang Bruce Springsteen. President Bush could say the same thing about his dealings with Congress. There's been Bush the hard- liner, who refused to negotiate with Democrats over his budget and tried to muscle his $1.6 trillion tax cut through the Senate on a party-line vote, only to fall short when two moderate Republican senators balked.

Then there's been Bush the conciliator, whose White House staff negotiated exhaustively with senators in both parties over the president's education reform bill.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I hope the Senate hears that we need meaningful education reform by high standards, accountability. My education reform has a good balance of new dollars.

BROWNSTEIN: The result: A broad bipartisan agreement on policy that could produce final Senate approval of that legislation as soon as this week if -- and it's a big if -- the last disputes over education funding are resolved.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: We have made a lot of progress. I have actually referenced what a refreshing change this is from the budget experience we had before the recess, and the budget experience was pure confrontation.

BROWNSTEIN: Nothing may shape Bush's presidency more than his decision on which of these two strategies he'll use more in dealing with a Congress divided almost exactly in half between the parties. The White House says Democrats must meet them halfway. In the dispute over education funding, the administration complains that Democrats are asking for much a bigger increases than even Bill Clinton approved. But Bush will also have to bend on spending to reach the big bipartisan agreement he's seeking this week. The biggest question is which approach Bush will take as his tax and budget plan moves through a House-Senate conference committee, also this week. Bush can push the committee to accept a tax cut as close as possible to his $1.6 trillion goal, in which case he'll probably be looking at another nail-biting party line vote, especially in the Senate.

Or he can leave the tax cut closer to the $1.2 trillion the Senate approved, and probably pass the budget comfortably, with support from all or most of the 15 Senate Democrats who voted for that amount earlier this month.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWNSTEIN: Will it be conflict or consensus in Washington this spring? The answer may pivot on which face the president turns toward Congress -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Ron, why the president more willing to compromise on education, important to him, than on tax cuts, which are also important to him?

BROWNSTEIN: A good question, and a lot of people have sort of been wondering this, including the participants in the debates themselves. I think that there are probably two big reasons. One is that he starts off closer to the Democrats to begin with on education. Education is probably where he departs the most from traditional Republican ideology. It's the most centrist position, and the distance that he has to cover is smaller.

The second thing, and I think this may be one where some family history is involved, is that taxes are simply an issue more important to his base. You know, there are a lot of people who feel that this entire administration is being shaped by the insistence on not repeating what they see as the mistake of the father, alienating the conservative base.

He's been very intent on holding support among conservatives and taxes, quite frankly, is an issue where the stakes are higher for his base than on his education issues, and he may be more leery of making compromises that alienate them.

WOODRUFF: And yet we just we heard in that report on the White House that in the meetings today with the Senate Republican leaders, the president said, well, I hope that you can get as close as you can to the $1.6 trillion, but it sounds like the give is already -- he's preparing away.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, there has to be give. There are not the votes in the Senate for $1.6 trillion. The question, though, is the trade- off between each additional incremental dollar of tax cut and each additional Democratic vote. You can almost draw a graph between $1.2 trillion, $1.3 trillion, $1.4 trillion, $1.5 trillion; as the number goes up, the number of Democrats who vote for it in the Senate go down. And really, there is a very tangible calculation here. How much politically is it worth to Bush to get a big bipartisan vote for the budget that confirms his message of changing the tone in Washington, versus, how much value does he put on getting as much as possible out of that tax cut? I think that is a very real trade-off the White House has to face over the next few days.

WOODRUFF: And you are saying they have not made that decision yet.

BROWNSTEIN: And they probably will not make it until they feel out where the votes are, and what the pressure points are, and how far they can go.

WOODRUFF: All right, Ron Brownstein, thank you very much.

Congress gets set to take up the president's education bill next on INSIDE POLITICS. An education roundtable on the billions up for debate, and how the money should be spent.

Also ahead:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were many reasons for people feeling at that point in time, somewhat betrayed, and somewhat let down by their own country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry considers his military past and political future, 30 years after his return from Vietnam.

And later:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you began to ask him about his life or about his parents or about anything like that you -- he would go so far, and then he would stop. And that would be it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: New insight into the life of Ronald Reagan: my conversation with Michael Deaver. This is INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The Senate this week is scheduled to take up an education bill which could have major political implications for both the president and the Congress. Joining us to discuss the education debates that lie ahead: Roy Romer, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, governor of the state of Colorado, and now the superintendent of the Los Angeles schools.

Ginny Markell, the national president of the PTA.

And Republican Congressman Mike Castle of Delaware, the former governor of that state and the now the member of the House Education Committee. Thank you all three for being here.

I want to the ask you, first of all, and will turn to you, Governor Romer first -- Superintendent Roamer -- is the approach embodied in the education bill that is moving through the Senate right now the right approach in your mind to education reform?

ROY ROMER, LOS ANGELES SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT: It is if it has the right money in it. In other words, the approach of using testing, 3-8 is right. I think that giving states more flexibility is right. But don't go too far with that. But the most important thing is, you have to get enough money on the table. I have to tell you, when you are talking about a tax cut of $1.6 trillion, and we are arguing about 15 billion in education, aid difference. We really need to put that money into schools.

WOODRUFF: Spoken like a former head of the Democratic National Committee. Let me turn to you now, Congressman Castle. Is it the right approach?

REP. MICHAEL CASTLE (R-DE), EDUCATION COMMITTEE: I think that it is the right approach. We are addressing the issue of having every child read by 3rd grade, which is very important. And I agree with the Roy, that the testing in grades 3-8 -- not just the testing -- but if a kid doesn't make it, then helping that kid, through mentoring, tutoring aids, whatever it takes to help them is a very essential part of it.

Teacher, professional development, is very important. Recruiting teachers. It's significant. It's our one chance to really change the education in this country. And I happen to agree with Roy as a good fiscal conservative. I think we do need to spend money on education. We have done that by the way in the last six years, we have averaged about a 16 percent increase in education. And we have to address it again this year.

I think it's mostly on the table now and there maybe more things that we have to do. I know how difficult it is in the place like Los Angeles or any other big city, and we need to work on this. We need to help all of the kids. This bill could do it. Hopefully, it will be bi-partisan when it's all said and done.

WOODRUFF: I do want to ask you about the money, but let me have Ginny Markell get a word in here with the PTA.

Ms. Markell, is this the right way to go?

GINNY MARKELL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL PTA: Sure. We think that there is some real potential here. Clearly, as you've heard, we think the money will be the issue. We need to provide strong support for public education and we need to make sure that we don't truly leave any child behind. And that means we're going to have to increase the resources that are available, so every single child can be successful. WOODRUFF: Roy Romer, why is it necessary, the Democrats want to spend $250 billion -- why is so much money necessary when most spending for schools comes at the state and local level?

ROMER: Let me tell you, I am in California now, but these local and states are really stretched. In California now, we have a power crisis. And we are very sober as we look ahead in terms of our educational funding. When you take -- this district has 720,000 students, more than all of the state of Colorado. Coming from the modest income levels and I tell you it takes extra effort and sometimes extra funds to get this job done.

Let me just say about competing for teachers. About 25 percent of the teachers in this district are uncredentialed. You know why? They can get more money elsewhere. People with talent sometimes don't come to education first, because the money is not good enough. We need to be competitive in our salaries.

WOODRUFF: Representative Castle, Republicans are not agree with that number.

CASTLE: Not agreeing with the total number, that is right, Judy. I think that perhaps it's more that we will spend, and I think that we are stretching it out in the ends a little bit. But there are some responsibilities we have. One is, children with disabilities. The federal government's not really paid its share of that over the years, and we should be doing that. That's something that we should step up to.

We do only contribute about 70 percent of all of education spending that is out there. That doesn't mean we shouldn't meet our responsibilities. We are not going to solve the problems alone, and I think that in that Senate fight that's going on right now, the differences will be some place in the middle, if I had to guess. But before it's all said and done, I thin this will be a very, very good year for education.

WOODRUFF: In the middle, meaning what?

CASTLE: I don't know for sure, because I am not exactly sure where they are going. I think that they are between an extra half million dollars at this point. And a lot more than that, up to 10 or higher. I am not sure what the numbers will be. But i think it will be some place between where the Democrats are and where the Republicans are right now, which already is based on a fairly significant increase.

WOODRUFF: Ginny Markell, where do you and the PTA come down on this amount of money?

MARKELL: We would like to see more. Clearly, we need some additional funding for special education, even though that there is an increase, that's not sufficient. We know that we need to infuse a great deal of money for those students who have limited English skills. We're really concerned about what the testing is going to do, while we agree with the accountability, the reality is that that's is going to be a huge financial burden on local and state governments, and we are concerned about what that really means. It means that we need to take money out of some other pot, in order for us to meet the president's requirement, in terms of accountability. While we support that, it's going to take funding, and clearly there's not enough in the program now.

WOODRUFF: Governor Romer -- and I think all three of you now have mentioned testing -- the president originally wanted a national standard, said that every state should -- should -- or most states should abide by one standard. Now it looks like that's not going to be the case. States will be allowed to -- to match their own standard, at least that's what in the language now.

Roy Romer, does it really make a difference?

ROMER: It really does. Let me tell you, we -- it is foolish to have 50 different tests in 50 different states. When I was governor of Colorado, I did a fourth grade math test and I had to go out and get it designed. It would have been so much better had I done it with 10 other states, because then we could have benchmarked to each other, we could have saved money.

And I think there's a way -- we don't need a national test, but if we could have some incentive to have states join together, hook up together, and say as a group go out and develop the test and benchmark against each other.

Let me tell you the advantage of that: It's just the test. It's how you make the cut mark. How good is good enough. And if you've got 10 or 12 or 15 states saying we together say that, it helps you in your own individual state saying this is why this is a good cut mark.

WOODRUFF: Mike Castle, do you see it that way?

CASTLE: Well, Judy, I do in a way. I don't think the president ever really said he wanted a national standard. I think it's always been state standards and state assessments, and I think that's what we should do.

But I agree with Roy. There's a lot of normed tests out there right now: the Stanford test, the Iowa test and a series of others.

There's no reason for states to develop solely their own tests, but this does give them some discretion. There's also something called a National Assessment for Education Progress, which is a sampling done in all states, which tells you how you're doing, one state versus another. It's not the actual assessment test, but it's a very good measuring tool.

I know in Delaware when I was the governor and we took that test and didn't do as well as I thought we should do, it made us put that much more effort into education. So I think that's a good overlay on top of the state standards and the state assessments and the testing that will go along with it. And the testing certainly can be done in a sense it's more than one state. You could work with the other states in working out how you want to do it in your state.

WOODRUFF: Just quickly to Ginny Markell on this testing. You have a concern that testing every year may lead teachers to teach to the test.

MARKELL: There is some concern. Our position is one that we need to make sure that the standards align with the testing. I just listened this morning to Paul Houston (ph), the executive director of ASA, who talked about the fact that students may now spend as many as 20 days a year testing.

That's -- while accountability is good, that is a significant number of instructional days and I think we need to look at that.

Clearly, we need to make sure that the expectations for student performance are outlined well before we begin to test.

WOODRUFF: Well, we want to thank you all three. We are going to have to leave it there. Ginny Markell, Roy Romer and Mike Castle, thank you very much. Good to see all three of you.

Tonight on "CROSSFIRE," sex education in the schools will be the topic. Former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and the Reverend Jerry Falwell will be the guests. That's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

There's more political news ahead, but first a check of some of the day's other top stories, including the latest from a flood-weary Iowa city. Bob Franken reports on whether the sandbags will hold if the water rises again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We'll have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories. After days of rising waters, the Mississippi River has crested. The floods have nowhere been more closely watched than in the city of Davenport, Iowa, one of the only cities along the river that does not have a permanent flood wall.

National correspondent Bob Franken is there now -- Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, we have been told all along that the river here at Davenport would crest sometime today. Sometime today was about three hours and 20 minutes ago, 1 o'clock local, 2 o'clock Eastern Time, when the river crested, according to city officials, at 22.33 feet. As a matter of fact, they say it's gone down to 22.25 now, but I've got to tell you, they're not breaking out the champagne bottles yet, because 22 feet is 7 feet plus over the flood stage of 15 feet.

As a matter of fact, you can see with the sandbags there the river is past that restaurant, the dock restaurant way down there. So it's still quite a danger, and the big concern now is that the water is going to stay at these levels for a day or more, which means that there is a danger that this seawall that has been constructed out of sandbags could be breached at any time.

So it's a very tense period right now. But it looks like they feel the worst might be behind them. They're hoping that's certainly the case.

And of course, this whole concept of the sandbag seawall and the absence of a permanent seawall is creating quite a controversy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency chief yesterday criticized the city for its decision to not build the seawall because it didn't want to destroy the beach-front look and the tourism that it brings in. He said that this is really unfair to the American taxpayers.

Well, that caused the mayor of this city to get quite upset.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PHIL YERINGTON, DAVENPORT, IOWA: ... when no other part of the country is punished for natural disasters that it's time to stand up and up say, let's sit down and work this out, but don't make it look like we don't pay any dollars anywhere and we just sit here in the Midwest, we flood every three years, and we stand here with our hands out. That's not what's going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKEN: Well, be that that as it may, there is a Democratic congressman from Oregon and Washington who's going to introduce legislation which will limit the amount money that taxpayers would pay that can be used for -- you should excuse the expression -- cities that go to the well once too often.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. EARL BLUEMENAUR (D), OREGON: ... the federal taxpayer should be available to help people in the case of natural disasters. But if we reach a point where there are people who live in areas where God has repeatedly shown that He doesn't want them, that the federal taxpayer should not be subsidizing that through our flood insurance program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKEN: As you can see, there are people in boats. There's a casino there, which -- all of which is an illustration of the Mississippi River and how far it has to recede. It has to go back to that point before in fact this flood danger is over.

So Davenport, Iowa right now seems to have reached this crest, and for people downstream, places like Quincy, Illinois, that means that the crest may be heading their way -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Yeah, Bob, I was going to ask you about the impact on other cities of that part of the Mississippi River.

FRANKEN: Well, there was some question asked about whether the fact that they're blocking it off, as they are here, whether that would just compress the water and send it to the -- over the banks downstream. And what they say is the Mississippi is such a wide river -- they don't call it the might Mississippi for nothing -- that it really is just going to just really just get into the water and go past.

WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Franken reporting, thanks.

And now for the weather forecast, we turn to Karen Maginnis in the CNN Weather Center. Hello, Karen.

(WEATHER BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We are going to watch it all. Karen Maginnis, thanks very much.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. is in trouble again. CNN has learned that Downey has checked into a rehabilitation center after another drug arrest. He was arrested overnight on a street in the Los Angeles area, on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Downey faces a hearing next week on a previous charge of felony drug possession. He has served prison time for drug-related offenses.

When INSIDE POLITICS returns, Senator John Kerry talks about his service in Vietnam, his crusade against the war and his political ambitions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is often mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2004. It was 30 years ago that Kerry first entered the political spotlight, as a Vietnam veteran turned anti-war activist. Our Jonathan Karl sat down with Senator Kerry to get his views on that war and what it has meant to the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty years ago this week, a 27-year-old veteran decorated for bravery under fire in Vietnam came before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and captured the nation's attention with his call to end the war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1971)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We wish that a merciful god could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped the memories of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Thirty years later, Senator John Kerry, now a member of that very Foreign Relations Committee, looks back at his Vietnam experience as the defining moment of his life. The memory he talked about wiping away may be his greatest political asset as he ponders what his allies consider an almost-certain run for president.

(on camera): During your testimony before the Senate, you said, "we wish that a merciful god could wipe away our own memories of that service." Do you still wish that?

KERRY: Well, not the service. What I was talking about was the war part, what we did in the war. I'm proud of my service. I loved the Navy. I keep in touch with my shipmates, with the people I served with in Vietnam. I am proud of them and proud of what I did in my service.

I think that what we were really talking about was the downside of what we were asked to do and the losses we suffered. There were many reasons for people feeling, at that point in time, somewhat betrayed, somewhat let down by their own country.

KARL (voice-over): Kerry received the highest honor awarded in Vietnam, the Silver Star, for his actions as a commander of a swift boat that came under fire on a river in the Mekong delta. The Silver Star citation says an enemy soldier sprang up less than 10 feet from Kerry's boat and fled. The citation reads, quote: "Kerry pursued the man behind a hooch and killed him, capturing a B-40 rocket launcher with a round in the chamber."

KERRY: On that particular day, I heard the ambush, I heard the firepower, and I made the judgment. Besides, we were very heavily weighted down. We had troops on board. We couldn't reach maximum speed. I knew that to whatever degree we were in the ambush, we were going to get hurt, so I turned the aspect of us toward it, minimizing our exposure, surprising them, and we did win. I mean, we ran right over the ambush, and it felt good to win.

KARL (on camera): And do you ever think about the person that was firing on you, who you ultimately chased down and killed and grabbed that live rocket launcher?

KERRY: Yeah, I mean, sometimes in the balance you do, but as I said, not with the sense of guilt. I mean, it was him or me, and I wouldn't be standing here today if it had been otherwise.

KARL: And you still have the rocket launcher?

KERRY: I do have the rocket, yes, I do have the rocket. One of the SEALs disarmed it for me, and I brought it home.

KARL (voice-over): For a moment, Kerry emerged as perhaps the most visible critic of the war. His organization, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, marched on Washington, encamped on the mall. The war heroes among them hurled the medals they earned in Indochina on the steps of the Capitol in disgust.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 1971)

KERRY: In a real sense, this administration forced us to return our medals, because beyond the perversion of the war, these leaders themselves denied us the integrity those symbols supposedly gave our lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Later, Kerry came under fire for trying to have it both ways: leading the protest, but never actually throwing away his own prized medals. He keeps them to this day in his desk.

(on camera): You threw the ribbons from your medals, but not your medals. Why not?

KERRY: I didn't have them with me. It was very simple. And I threw some medals back that belonged to some folks who asked me to throw them back for them. But it was a very dramatic, very moving ceremony that touched all of us who were part of it. And to this day, I think it had an impact on the country.

KARL: But you're proud of those medals. Why would you want to throw them back?

KERRY: I was trying to, like all of us, reach America. We wanted to say to America, you've got to stop and think about what's happening over here. And it's not just kids at college who think this thing is wrong. It's also some of us who served there, and we want you to know that this is how strongly we feel about it.

KARL (voice-over): News of Kerry's act reached another Navy officer serving in Vietnam, who would later harbor presidential ambitions. John McCain was a POW in Hanoi at the time.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We came from very different perspectives on the war, and whether we should have indeed continued that noble cause or not. But at the same time, that perspective from both our sides was that the great strength of America is our right to disagree with our government.

KARL: Back in 1971, Kerry was seen by some as as much a passionate advocate for himself as he was for the anti-war cause. Back then, the comic strip "Doonesbury" poked fun at his penchant for self-promotion. And in the wake of the anti-war march, Kerry was further thrust into the spotlight in a "60 Minutes" profile. Morley Safer, for the first time, asked the 27-year-old an astounding question:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES", 1971)

MORLEY SAFER, "60 MINUTES" CORRESPONDENT: Do you want to be president?

KERRY: Of the United States? No. That's such a crazy question at a time like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: I was shocked by the question at the time, and I don't completely recall my answer, except that I thought it was a little premature, I guess. KARL (on camera): So is it premature now?

KERRY: Yeah, it's premature now. I mean, I'm running for re- election. Obviously, it's something that's more in the realm of possibility today, that it's something I could consider to try to do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1971)

KERRY: When 30 years from now, our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, without a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam," and mean not a desert, not a filthy and obscene memory, but mean instead the place where America finally turned and where soldiers like us finally helped in the turning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: What's the verdict? Is Vietnam a filthy, obscene memory or is it where America finally turned?

KERRY: I think Vietnam did have a profound impact on this country, on our attitude, on how we send soldiers to places in harm's way today. I think what Colin Powell has said about how we make choices is a reflection of the attitude that I was talking about.

(voice-over): More certainly, Vietnam was a turning point for John Kerry: the cause he fought and even killed for, but also the cause he bitterly opposed.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: And up next, Michael Deaver recalls his 30 years at the side of Ronald Reagan: his views on the former president, the man and the political figure, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The former deputy chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan has written a new book about his years with the president. In "A Different Drummer," Michael Deaver chronicles his more than three decades as an aide and friend to the president and the Reagan family.

Yesterday, I met up with Deaver near the White House to talk about his book, and began by asking him about the apparent contradiction between Reagan's public success and what Deaver describes as his shy nature.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL DEAVER, AUTHOR, "A DIFFERENT DRUMMER": Well, I think he had learned to be a performer, but as person, you know, the last place he wanted the light to shine was on him, and it played out in small groups. I say in the book that unlike most politicians, if you took him into a room for a reception, you'd have to feed him people. Otherwise, he'd stay attached to that first person that he met and spend the rest of the evening with them, whereas a normal politician is always looking over your shoulder, trying to find another, next person to talk to. But that wasn't Reagan at all.

WOODRUFF: And yet he always maintained a distance. I mean, there was -- there was an interesting, I thought, distance between Ronald Reagan and even the people who were close to him in a way. I mean, he never fully revealed everything there is.

DEAVER: No, and I think it was that he really believed that there was a part of all of us that should be private, that there was a mystique that was important. But still and all, he just never got up with sort of the modern, let-it-all-hang-out sort of thing. It just wasn't him. If you began to ask him about his life or about his parents or about anything like that, he would go so far and then he would stop. That would be it.

WOODRUFF: What was the secret, do you think, of your relationship with him? I mean, you were with him probably longer than anyone, other than Nancy Reagan, is that right?

DEAVER: Well, you know, Ronald Reagan told me one time the camera doesn't lie, that you can't fool the camera. And I think my love and respect for him came through. He knew that. He sensed it, and he knew I wasn't looking for -- to step in front of the camera, that my goal was always to make him look great, and I think Nancy knew that, because I worked with her early on, and I'm sure she said that to him, you know, don't worry, you can trust, Mike.

But it was, you know, hours and days of sometimes the two of us, just alone on airplanes and trains and hotels and going on and on.

WOODRUFF: Why do you think he was frequently, if not always, underestimated? And you write even the kitchen Cabinet, the gentlemen who surrounded him in his early political career, thought early on that they could manipulate him.

DEAVER: Well, two reasons, I think. First of all, he was such a nice guy, and most people think nice guys come in last. And secondly, he was a an actor, and so you assume that an actor is what he is because someone has written lines for him and choreographed the whole thing and he steps onto the X and that's it, but he couldn't do anything if he didn't have the lines.

And of course, that wasn't true of Reagan. I tell a story in the book about when I first went to work for him, going in and explaining a big speech he was going to have as governor and saying, don't worry, I have handed out all the questions you're going to get so I can give you the questions and you'll know the answers. And he said, Mike, don't ever do that.

I was crushed. I'd really done what I was supposed to do. He said, no, you can't hit a home run on a softball. And he was right. The tougher the question, the better he'd do. WOODRUFF: You mentioned Nancy Reagan. What is it about Nancy Reagan that makes his life is and has made his life what it is and what it has been?

DEAVER: I mean, I can't answer -- it's a question about chemistry between two human beings, but it obviously was something that ignited the first time they met and it's still there today. Even in the darkness of his mind, he still reaches out for her.

She just -- when she met him, he became her life. She would do anything to protect him, to help him get where he wanted to go, and to comfort and love him always. I mean, it was just a relationship like I've never seen. You always knew when Nancy was out of the White House because he wasn't quite the same. He would be more irritable. He would be less patient. There was a serenity that was always there, but it was more there when she was around.

I mean, it was just -- I guess the answer to that is that he simply wasn't complete without Nancy.

WOODRUFF: And how is he doing now?

DEAVER: Well, he's 90 years old, and has Alzheimer's. It's not getting better. It's tough. I mean, it's just horrible to think about this vibrant, exciting, interesting, loving person and he's not there. He's someplace totally else, someplace I don't know.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you one other thing. You have been around a lot of public figures -- politicians, people in public life, elected office, appointed and the rest of it. What set him apart?

DEAVER: I think it's because he had this -- such a solid feeling of right and wrong. He had this sure idea of who he was. He never had to part his hair on the other side. He never had to change the color of his clothes, all of this stuff.

And when you take all of that, knowing who you are and having a strong sense of what it is you want to do, and you add to that a kindness and a gentleness that you just don't see in politics -- I mean, he would never talk about those Democrats or his enemies, in harsh terms. Yes, I mean, you would argue about policies forever, but he loved Tip O'Neil. They had a wonderful time together.

There's a wonderful afternoon, it was Tip's 70th birthday, and Reagan invited him up to the second floor of the residence for lunch. And at the end of it, Reagan, who was not -- you know, had a glass of wine occasionally -- ordered a bottle of champagne.

And the butler brought in this bottle of champagne and they poured a couple of glasses, and Reagan raised his glass and said to Tip -- and these two old Irishmen, from different parts of this country, but basically grew up poor, in poor neighborhoods as Democrats -- both of them. He raised his glass to Tip and he said, "If I had a ticket to heaven, and you didn't have one, too, I'd give mine away and go to hell with you."

(LAUGHTER)

DEAVER: And, you know, Tip was gone. He was melted. How can you argue with a guy like that?

WOODRUFF: Oh, that's a great story. Great story. Mike Deaver, thank you. The book is "A Different Drummer: My 30 years with Ronald Reagan." Thank you very much.

DEAVER: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Michael Deaver.

Still ahead, the early Democratic front runner for the New York mayor makes is official.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The race to succeed New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is taking shape. Democrat Mark Green today officially announced that he will run for the post. Green is well-known to city voters. He currently serves as the city's elected public advocate. The polls show he leads the field of potential Democratic candidates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK GREEN (D), N.Y. MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I am running for mayor to keep crime and misconduct down, simultaneously and significantly. I am running for mayor to spur neighborhood job growth, information technology, and more housing, with the specific goal of 400,000 more jobs throughout all our communities in New York City.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: The Democratic Primary will be held in September. The winner needs 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

There's still much more INSIDE POLITICS ahead in the next 30 minutes. The White House decision on arms for Taiwan.

Plus: Celebrating a piece of civil rights history 50 years later. Bruce Morton on the greater significance of a student protest.

This is INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Taiwan officials were briefed on which weapons they will and will not get.

CNN White House correspondent Kelly Wallace has more on the arms deal and the reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Taiwanese delegation heads here, to Fort McNair in Washington, to learn just what weapons the United States is offering to sell Taipei.

The shopping list won't include, at least for now, destroyers equipped with the sophisticated radar system known as Aegis, but will include older destroyers containing upgraded radar systems, diesel submarines and anti-submarine aircraft.

Aides to President Bush say the 300 ballistic missiles the Chinese currently have pointed at Taiwan were certainly a factor in his decision.

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It was based on his assessment and the assessment of his national security team about the threat that is posed to Taiwan by China, and that includes all the military operations of China.

WALLACE: China, already angry following the American surveillance plane episode, raised its objections about the proposed sale at the State Department.

PHIL REEKER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: I think one can call it a formal protest, based on what they have read and seen in the press.

WALLACE: China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has threatened to use the force if Taipei try to assert its independence. Military analysts say the U.S. offer doesn't address the Chinese missile threat, but could protect Taipei from a Chinese naval and air blockade.

LARRY WORTZEL, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The military balance is tilted toward the Chinese. It certainly, in terms of the quantity of weapons and people that can bring there, but increasingly, in terms of the quality of the equipment that China can bring to bear against Taiwan.

WALLACE: Lawmakers from both parties praise the president for striking the right balance between helping Taipei and sending a message to Beijing.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: I am glad he didn't exclude forever the possibly of selling them the Aegis-class destroyer, because we want to hold that option open, if we feel in a later time that Taiwan needs that to protect its own independence.

WALLACE: Now, the United States will wait to hear what Taiwan wants to buy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And one complicating factor could be finding a place to manufacture the submarines, because they are no longer made in the United States, and because some countries which do produce them, such as Germany and the Netherlands, have already said they won't sell Taiwan these submarines, because that would represent the violation of their one-China policy -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Kelly, where would the United States have the submarines manufactured?

WALLACE: That is the key question, and right now officials here at the White House and at the Pentagon are not saying. All they are saying is that if the Taiwanese come back and do say they want these diesel-powered submarines, that the U.S. would be able to honor that request. But right now, the how is not clear.

The most likely and the fastest way would be going to a third country. But as we mentioned, so far a couple of Europeans countries have already said, no way, they won't be selling those to Taiwan.

WOODRUFF: And whatever the United States says, Kelly, don't the Chinese view these submarines as offensive weapons?

WALLACE: They certainly do, and that is why the Chinese were protesting, certainly, at the State Department and raising what they are calling serious concerns. Still, the Bush administration is saying and pointing to some military analysts who were saying that the package looks to be defensive in nature.

And the line, Judy, from the Bush administration is, Beijing can best handle its concerns about the arm sales to Taiwan by reducing its threat against Taiwan -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kelly Wallace, reporting from the White House, thanks.

And now, to Beijing for more on China's reaction to those U.S. weapons sales and the global politics at play. Here is CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REBECCA MACKINNON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China condemned the United States for selling any advanced weapons to Taiwan.

ZHANG QIYUE, FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): It undermines China's sovereignty, interferes with China's internal affairs, and will give rise to tensions across the Taiwan straits.

MACKINNON: Privately, the Chinese diplomats are relieved the U.S. did not include destroyers equipped with Aegis radars, which could help shield Taiwan against Chinese missiles. Because Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen personally lobbied President George Bush against the Aegis sale, it would have been considered a direct slap in the face of China's leadership.

Even so, Beijing says it's offended by the sale of 1970's Kidd- class destroyers, diesel submarines and P-3 submarine hunters. So what will China do about it?

QIYUE (through translator): The Chinese side will continue to lodge representations to the U.S. side on this issue.

MACKINNON: Frustration with the United States continues to be a major theme here. Daily reports in the state-controlled media mourn the loss of Chinese fighter pilot Wang Wei after his collision with a U.S. spy plane. China's leaders honor his widow as the wife of a martyr who died trying to keep a bully away from China's doorstep.

China insists the U.S. plane caused the accident, and that its surveillance activities were an affront to Chinese sovereignty, each report contributing to a growing public image of the United States as a global bully.

"The U.S. feels its economy and military are so strong it can do what it wants," says this man, "but one day, China will be just as powerful, and then the U.S. won't be able to look down on us any more."

(on camera): The next bump in the road: a trip to the United States by Taiwan's former president, Lee Teng Hui. Washington's decision to grant him a visa is seen here as yet another sign of U.S. disregard for China's interests.

Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, U.S. officials say they look forward to working closely with the man poised to become the new prime minister of Japan. Junichiro Koizumi was elected leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, today in a stunning upset that signals a new era for the nation's ruling party. Koizumi soundly defeated the favorite of the party's old guard by riding a groundswell of support from Japanese who were alienated by the LDP's corruption scandals and economic missteps.

Now, we turn to U.S. relations with Mexico. President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox met again over the weekend during the Summit of the Americas in Quebec. One possible topic of discussion: their shared goal of allowing more Mexican guest workers to live and work in the United States. CNN's Kate Snow has been looking at this immigration issue and the reaction to it on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Angelica Nurseries, there are more than one hundred guest workers, Mexican citizens with jobs on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Julio DeSantiago sends every spare penny back to his family.

JULIO DESANTIAGO, GUEST WORKER: In Mexico, it's a difficult life, little money.

SNOW: They are not illegal, but they're not U.S. citizens. Their official status: non-immigrant workers on a temporary U.S. visa, called H2a. BERNARD KOHL, ANGELICA NURSERIES: The H2a program is a vital part of our labor force here. For many years, we got labor through other means, and the last few years it has been increasingly difficult to get the sufficient number of workers that we need on a seasonal basis.

SNOW: That need could shape the future of U.S. immigration policy. President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox both support an expanded guest worker program. The thinking: help U.S. employers fill jobs while stemming the flow of illegal immigration and turning some undocumented workers already in the U.S. into legal guest workers.

The current H2a program is not very big, in part because it's hard for companies to cut through the red tape. About 30,000 visas were issued in 2000, most to Mexico nationals. Compare that to an estimated six or seven million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S.

In Congress, two competing proposals would make major changes. Republican senator Phil Gramm would give employers six months to convert undocumented employees to guest workers.

SEN. PHIL GRAMM (R), TEXAS: What we would do with the program I'm talking about is set to up a system where we would know who is here, where they are protected by the law, where they can get training and accumulate wealth. And then, when they are through working under the program, they are required to go home.

SNOW (on camera): Mexican nationals could stay in the U.S. for up to three years before they'd have to go home. But advocates for immigrants say the Gramm plan doesn't provide adequate workplace or wage protection.

(voice-over): A competing proposal from Democratic Congressman Howard Berman would provide special protections and streamline the H2a program. But it would also allow experienced farm workers to become permanent U.S. residents.

REP. HOWARD BERMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: This recognizes that probably a majority of the farm workers in America today are undocumented, that they are often exploited, that they are usually fearful of organizing or asserting their rights under American labor laws, because of their undocumented status, and it provides a process for adjusting that status so they can become legal workers.

SNOW: Politically, Berman's bill is a hard sell. Conservatives in Congress will resist allowing a large numbers of immigrants to live permanently in the U.S.

For some guest workers, that is not a problem. Eduardo Louis Gallardo (ph) is happy to return to Mexico and hopes to make enough money this season so he won't have to come back.

Kate Snow, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: From immigration to tobacco. Tough regulations on tobacco ads head to the Supreme Court. Up next: does advertising qualify as free speech? And if regulation is OK, how much is too much?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Tomorrow morning at the U.S. Supreme Court, justices will hear arguments in a tobacco case that centers on the First Amendment right to free speech. And whether some forms of speech, in this case advertising, can be regulated by the state. Here's CNN senior Washington correspondent Charles Bierbauer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tobacco companies gave up their billboards following tobacco's 1998 settlement with the states.

WILLIAM CORR, CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO FREE KIDS: But they do advertise at retail stores, at convenience stores, where three out of four teenagers visit at least once a week.

BIERBAUER: In 1999, Massachusetts sought to curb that advertising, too, with a statewide ban on outdoor tobacco ads, such as these, if placed within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and playgrounds, and limits on the location of cigarettes and ads inside stores. The tobacco companies appealed to the Supreme Court.

MARK BERLIND, PHILLIP MORRIS ATTORNEY: All that's at stake in this case for us is the ability of ourselves and retailers to place small signs in the retail stores or directly outside the retail stores so that customers, adult customers, can be notified that cigarettes are available, what the brands are, what the price is.

BIERBAUER: Actually, two important issues are at stake. The tobacco companies contend the 1965 Federal Labeling Act that required the surgeon general's health warning on cigarette packages, preempts the states from imposing separate ad restrictions. The companies also raise a First Amendment claim for "commercial speech."

BERLIND: We've got truthful speech here. In addition, this is a restriction that singles out tobacco advertising. It is discriminatory in that way.

BIERBAUER: But critics counter that commercial speech does not get as strict constitutional protection as political speech.

CORR: The current Supreme Court rulings allow states and cities, if they have a very important public purpose, and narrowly tailor their regulation, to regulate advertising, or so-called commercial speech. And that is precisely what Massachusetts is trying to do.

BIERBAUER: The public purpose, in this case, is to limit teenagers' exposure to the tobacco ads in the hope of reducing teen smoking.

(on camera): It could be a close call. Some justices feel free speech is free speech and should not be divided into different categories to meet different government objectives.

Charles Bierbauer, CNN, The Supreme Court.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: The marketing of music and movies to children is also a major political issue. Today, the Federal Trade Commission followed up on its report from last September which criticized the marketing practices of the entertainment industries. The new report credits the film and video industries with curbing their marketing of adult-themed products to young people. But the commission said the music industry has quote, "not responded to last year's report."

Senator Joe Lieberman says he plans to introduce legislation designed to prevent the marketing of adult movies and the music to underaged audiences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIEBERMAN: It's their right to express themselves artistically in whatever way they want, but if they themselves and their rating committees rate a movie, a video game, a record as only appropriate for adults, it's just not fair and right to turn around and market that same movie or video game or record to our children. It's kind of an end run on America's parents and on the rating system. That's not right. That's not censorship, and that ought to be illegal and is that's what my legislation would do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Meantime, a music industry spokeswoman took issue with the new Federal Trade Commission report. She said the industry has taken steps to include parental advisory labels on recordings with explicit lyrics and she urged retailers to display the parental advisory labels.

Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, former students return to the site of their 1951 protest to remember the blow they dealt to segregation. Bruce Morton looks at a moment in civil rights history.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: There is more INSIDE POLITICS coming up, but first let's go to Willow Bay for a preview of what's ahead at the bottom of the hour on "MONEYLINE." Hi, Willow.

WILLOW BAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, Judy. Coming up on MONEYLINE, Walt Disney's earnings announced after the bell. They breezed past estimates, despite declining revenues. We'll break down the numbers and we'll speak live with CEO, Michael Eisner.

America's consumer confidence skids as job cut announcements continue to roll in.

And "The Producers": It hit Broadway with a bang, but how long will that last? We'll have those stories and more coming up next on "MONEYLINE." INSIDE POLITICS continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Fifty years ago, 10 African-American students led a protest and became part of one of the most famous civil rights cases in history. The students' fight for better conditions at their all- black school in Virginia was included in the 1954 Brown versus Board of Education decision, which ordered -- the Supreme Court, that is -- ordered the end of school segregation.

Yesterday, those former students marked the anniversary of their 1951 walkout, and our Bruce Morton was there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GROUP (singing): I woke up this morning with my mind set on freedom...

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moton High School, Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia, being dedicated as a civil rights museum.

This was the black high school built for 180 students, crammed with 450 when, back in 1951, half a century ago, the black kids walked out, on strike.

John Watson, a strike leader, remembers.

JOHN WATSON, FORMER MOTON STRIKE LEADER: They had insulted the entire black community by putting up tar paper shacks around the main building, as though we were a bunch of cattle or something.

MORTON: The strike leaders went to see the school superintendent, white, of course.

WATSON: He read us the riot act. Our parents are going to be arrested. Our parents are going to lose their jobs. And to me, he looked like a scared little old man that was seeing the beginning of his world crumble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about this? This is it here.

MORTON: Hazel Miser was one of the strikers, and the lawsuit the students filed became part of Brown V. Board of Education, the case in which the Supreme Court outlawed segregated education.

But rather than integrate, Prince Edward County closed its public schools in 1959. Hazel's daughter, Shirley Eanes, watched the bus to the all-white private academy go by.

SHIRLEY EANES, DAUGHTER OF MOTON STRIKER: And I'd go to the mailbox, which was at the end of the road, and I would watch the bus pick up the children who were going to go to Prince Edward Academy. And I would pretend that they were going to pick me up.

MORTON: The black children learned any way they could: at home, in churches. Shirley learned from her mother.

EANES: I played school with my dolls. I was the teacher, and I taught them the things that she taught me. I taught them their alphabets.

GROUP (singing): Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...

MORTON: The night before the dedication: a church service. Hymns, black and white together here. The public schools reopened in 1964. Fifty-nine percent black today, 40 percent white. The segregated academy changed its name and integrated. Hymns this night, and memories.

Louise Franklin-Ramirez, one of the volunteers who came here to teach the black kids, remembers with tears in her eyes. And then, the formal dedication ceremony, meant, in part, to honor the then-young people who struck 50 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you, you were courageous, and you were right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we cut?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now.

(LAUGHTER)

MORTON: They cut a ribbon. You do, at openings. They talked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look not at the face. Not the color of a person's skin. But look for that heart that is deep within.

MORTON: And they walked, as the pioneering, striking young people had walked 50 years before, to the courthouse. For one striker, though, things here haven't changed all that much.

WILLIE SHEPPERSON, FORMER MOTON HIGH STRIKER: You have the same hates, the same errant undercurrents, and the same evil stuff that's going on here.

MORTON: At courthouse, strike leader John Watson has a different view.

WATSON: But when you tell your children about what happened here, leave the hate out. Tell them about hope. Leave the anger out. Tell them about reconciliation.

GROUP (singing): We shall overcome...

MORTON: And they sang the song that people sang on all the marches all those years ago, half a century ago. Public schools shut, then open. Some here remember, young people listen and wonder, what was it really like? What have we learned?

Bruce Morton, CNN, Farmville, Virginia.

GROUP (singing): We shall overcome...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Well, that is all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com, the AOL key word, CNN.

And this programming note: How would President Bush grade his first 100 days in office? We'll find out tomorrow when he talks with our senior White House correspondent, John King. The interview will air in its entirety on INSIDE POLITICS.

And starting in just a couple minutes, cnn.com will carry a live Webcast featuring four former secretaries of state, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher and George Shultz. You'll be able to submit your questions via e-mail.

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

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

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