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President Bush Remembers War Veterans

Aired May 28, 2001 - 17:00   ET


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

Memorial Day in Washington: The president remembers the service and the sacrifice of America's veterans. As holiday travelers fill up coast to coast, the president heads West to talk energy and the environment and meet with California's chief critic of the White House energy plan. Plus, a summer rebate for taxpayers: crunching the numbers on the president's tax cut and when you can expect a check in the mail.

Now Judy Woodruff takes you INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us. There is late word of a change in the condition of U.S. Representative Joe Moakley, who announced back in February that he had an incurable form of leukemia and who was admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital on May the 21st just last week. Moakley's family has authorized a news conference. You can see those are pictures outside Bethesda Naval Hospital, and his family has authorized a news conference. We're told that is going to get under way any moment now.

Let's go to CNN's Kate Snow, who is there at the hospital -- Kate.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, I'm in front of the Capitol, Judy, waiting for word here. The family indeed authorized that news conference. I spoke with Mr. Moakley's press secretary a short time ago. She said they're reserving any statement until that time.

Mr. Moakley has served in Congress here since 1972, Representative Moakley coming from South Boston, known around Capitol Hill as a humorous man, known for his humor, known for his personality. He, after his first term, was appointed to the House Rules Committee, a very powerful committee on Capitol Hill, taking over a seat that was formerly occupied by his mentor, Tip O'Neill, the former speaker.

He was chairman of the Rules Committee when the Democrats held the House, but after that, when it switched to Republican control in 1994, he, of course, became the ranking member of that committee.

Known as being a feisty and tough politician -- February 12th is when he announced that he had incurable leukemia. In March, President Bush held a ceremony at the Rose Garden honoring him, quite a ceremony, with many of the members of Congress from Massachusetts in attendance.

Representative Moakley nearly retired back in 1995 when it was announced that his health had slipped a little and his wife had a brain tumor. She later died from that cancer after having encouraged him to stay on the job throughout that time -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Kate Snow, we know that, as you suggest, he had been plagued with health problems over the years. He underwent a liver transplant and had a kidney removed, and a right hip replaced. So this latest battle with leukemia was really the latest in a string of health setbacks for him.

SNOW: It was. It was. But he took it in good humor. I think we have some sound of him when he spoke just a short time ago back in April.

WOODRUFF: Kate, I don't know where that -- where that sound is. We're trying to pull that together. All of this has come about fairly quickly. It's only been in the last few moments that we learned that this news conference was -- was imminent. And we also know that, as you say, back in February was when he announced that he -- that he did have a case of incurable leukemia. Let's listen now.


REP. JAMES MCGOVERN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: ... both Massachusetts and from Washington, Fred Clark, who is the district manager to Congressman Moakley of Massachusetts; Kevin Ryan, who is his chief of staff in Washington; and George Crawford, who is the Democratic Rules Committee staff director.

It is my sad duty to notify you that our dear friend, Joe Moakley, passed away today, Memorial Day, at 3:30 p.m. here at the National Naval Hospital at Bethesda of complications from leukemia. At his bedside were members of his family, including his brothers, Bob and Tom, staff and friends.

All of us -- and I mean all of us -- want to acknowledge and thank the incredible team of health care professionals here at Bethesda Naval for the wonderful care, comfort and compassion that they provided him.

We all loved Joe very, very much. We all admired the courage and even the humor he demonstrated over these last few difficult weeks. Joe Moakley did some incredible things in his life, but he was also a man who never forgot where he came from: From the streets of South Boston to the jungles of El Salvador, Joe stood for and fought for justice. No matter who you were, if you needed help, you had a friend in Joe Moakley.

The people he represented were more than just his constituents. They were his family. He was proud to be a member of the United States Congress. He called being a congressman the greatest job in the world. He respected each and every member of the House as we respected him.

The world is going to miss Joe Moakley. I already do. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE). Do you feel comfortable in knowing that he ((UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

MCGOVERN: I want you to know that Joe Moakley was admitted here last Monday, a week ago. And he was working right up until the very end: doing constituent work, signing mail, making appropriations requests. He was doing that right up until he couldn't do it anymore.

And I think, in answer to your question, yes, I think he took great comfort in knowing that people who loved him very much were by his side. And all of us who care about him took comfort in being there as well.


MCGOVERN: Yeah, I was saying to someone before that Joe Moakley not only taught us how to live, but I think he taught us how to die, you know, with great class and with great dignity, and even with a little humor. And he is -- I mean, he's really an incredible person. And all of us, you know, feel a great loss.

QUESTION: Congressman, can you talk a little bit about your personal relationship with (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

MCGOVERN: I've known him for over 20 years. I worked for him as a staff member for 14 of those years. He helped me get elected to Congress. He's like a second father to me. I love him very much. So I'm, you know, he's -- he's my best friend.

QUESTION: Thank you.


WOODRUFF: We've been listening to Representative Jim McGovern, whom you just heard say THAT he did work for Congressman Joe Moakley, the late-Joe Moakley at one time, and then himself, McGovern himself ran for Congress with Moakley's encouragement. He did announce that Moakley passed away this afternoon at 3:30 Eastern Time there at Bethesda Naval Hospital after a month -- months-long battle with incurable leukemia.

Let's go now to our Boston bureau, to David Nyhan, a reporter, political reporter, a longtime reporter for "The Boston Globe."

David, what is Moakley's legacy? What do people who know Massachusetts' politics know him to represent?

DAVID NYHAN, "BOSTON GLOBE": Well, if he ever got your uncle a job or your grandmother a spot in public housing or fixed somebody's Social Security check, he was like Santa Claus. He put more people to work than the post office. He was a bread-and-butter jobs congressman, but he kept expanding, he kept getting bigger, as his work in El Salvador, where he became the champion of the dispossessed campesinos down there and brought to book the murderers of the six Jesuit priests by his efforts at reconciliation and withholding U.S. funds from the corrupt military there.

He kept getting bigger, and I guess the thing that's unique about Joe, Judy, is that even though he was a partisan and a rabidly partisan Democrat, he had the knack of making friends all across the aisle, all across the spectrum, and he was not a divisive personality, whether it was his jokes, such as when he -- he got a new liver and right around the time that Mickey Mantle had died. And I remember him telling me, he said: "Dave, with my luck, they gave me Mickey Mantle's liver, which had a lot of miles on it."

He was the fellow who made friends everywhere he went. He had the knack of good fellowship, and it's particularly appropriate that he passed away on Memorial Day, because at the age of 15, this kid, who was shaving probably since he was 12, ran away and joined the Navy with his two brothers. Lied about his age and jumped into World War II in the Merchant Marines, so. All in all, he was a hell of a guy, and across the spectrum, people think he was a good man.

WOODRUFF: Fifteen terms in the Congress. Were there issues -- I mean, you mentioned El Salvador later in his career, David, but what were the other issues you would associate him with?

NYHAN: Well, he started out as a regular Democrat, and his great pal and patron was Tip O'Neill, who put him on the Rules Committee, which is a fast-track position, I think two years after he got into the House. And he learned that O'Neill -- O'Neill, in turn, had learned from John McCormack, another Democratic speaker.

So, these were inside players. They knew how to work the House caucus. You know, it was -- the Democrats were in control of the Congress for the most of the time Moakley was in there, and from his role as chairman of the Rules Committee, which is the traffic cop position, as you know, Judy. He was able to extract a lot of concrete and patronage and jobs for his district and his friends.

WOODRUFF: Tell us, David, about the district, Boston, the district that he represented. What about it and what about his relationship to it?

NYHAN: He was a classic South Boston politician. He -- after the war, he went back to South Boston High School, majoring in what he said was sheet metal, and he then became a state legislator. Had to run as an independent to get into Congress because the seat was held by Louise Day Hicks, a formidable foe of mandatory busing in the '70s.

And he was really a work-and-wages Democrat, a dependable vote for labor, a dependable regular Democrat. But he had the knack of building coalitions. And in his later years, particularly since Tip O'Neill's death, he was the godfather of all of the New England delegation, and he helped steer massive amounts of federal aid to our hospitals, our research universities, to the big dig, which is a $15 billion, the largest civilian construction project in the company.

And he was also -- played a key behind-the-scenes role, for instance, in orchestrating labor peace, giving the unions a deal where they agreed not to strike and delay the progress in exchange for guaranteed high wages. So he was the type of politician who wanted to see everybody make out in a deal. And while you couldn't push him around, as several presidents found when they tried to knuckle him to do something, he was willing to work with anybody.

WOODRUFF: I ask you this last question, David, because I know he would if he were here. Who is thinking about running for that seat?

NYHAN: Well, the name most people know is Kennedy, and a young Kennedy, Teddy's nephew Max, who is going to run. There is a state senator named Stephen Lynch, who is another South Boston guy, a former iron workers union official, who has some labor support, and there are some people from the southern part of the district, which runs probably 30 miles south of Boston. It's not just south Boston now.

WOODRUFF: All right. David Nyhan, with "The Boston Globe." We do appreciate you coming on such short notice. Thanks very much.

NYHAN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Great to you talk to you about this.

NYHAN: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, as we reported, Congressman Joe Moakley, 15-term congressman from Massachusetts from South Boston died today, 3:30 Eastern time at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Complications from leukemia.

Here now are some comments that President Bush made about Joe Moakley just a few months ago. Let's listen.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Joe is not only a passionate advocate for what he believes in, he's an enormously effective member of Congress. Representative Moakley understands how the United States House of Representatives operates. He knows its rules, and he knows its ways.

But what makes Joe Moakley exceptional is not simply his political skills. It's the fact that he is so well-liked and admired by members of both political parties. Joe has a well-deserved reputation for being civil, friendly and funny. Members love his sharp Irish sense of humor. They admire his courage in the face of adversity. And few past members of the Rules Committee even like his singing voice. Notice I said a few.


WOODRUFF: President Bush commenting on Joe Moakley, those comments a few months ago. Joe Moakley, dying today this afternoon, in Washington at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Here now are some comments Moakley himself made at a tribute to him in April.


REP. JOE MOAKLEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: My friends, despite some of my recent medical news, I really feel like one of the luckiest guys on the planet. I've had the rare privilege of serving in the elected office for close to 50 years. I've had the greater privilege of representing and serving with some of the finest and the most decent people in the world.

And to all of those who allowed me the great honor of being their congressman, and before that, the state representative, the state senator, the city counselor, words tonight just cannot express my gratitude.


WOODRUFF: Once again, Joe Moakley died this afternoon, 3:30 Eastern time at Bethesda Naval Hospital after a long bout with leukemia.

We'll be back with more INSIDE POLITICS in a moment.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back now to INSIDE POLITICS. President Bush left Washington just a few hours ago on a trip that has taken him to Arizona where he has just arrived, and then onto California. He will go to promote the new White House energy plan. California's been ground zero, as we know, in the nation's looming energy crunch, and the state's governor has been a key critic.

CNN's Frank Buckley is standing by now in Los Angeles to preview the president's arrival. And here in Washington, CNN White House correspondent Major Garrett has a preview of what the president expects to gain from this trip.

Frank, let's start with you.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, there is some anticipation here, as people look forward to a meeting between President Bush and Governor Gray Davis. The governor has suffered politically as the extent of the energy crisis has hit home with Californian residents. His job approval ratings have plummeted from where they were just a few months ago.

In September 2000, California residents gave him a 66 percent job approval rating. It was 60 percent in October, 63 percent as we entered the new year. But this spring, we had a few hot days, a few rolling blackouts, and by May, his job approval rating was down to 46 percent. The governor has been very actively engaged in dealing with the energy crisis, issuing executive orders, instituting a conservation plan and attempting to speed the construction of power plants.

He has also tried unsuccessfully to get President Bush to cap wholesale electricity prices. Davis has called Bush AWOL on this subject. But so far, California residents haven't taken out their frustration on the president. If you look at Bush's job approval ratings compared to Davis in California, David stands at 46 percent, Bush is at 57 percent.

When you asked Californian residents how each leader is handling the electricity problem, Davis gets a 29 percent approval compared to 60 percent that disapprove; Bush doesn't fare much better there, only 33 percent approve of his handling of the electricity problem, while 56 percent disapprove.

Governor Davis says he hopes this meeting with the president will result in some creative thinking that will help to produce some relief on this electricity issue here.


GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: We both inherited this mess. Neither the president nor I created the problem, which occurred back in California in 1996. But people expect us to solve it. He is a practical person, I'm a practical person. He's a doer, I'm a doer. I think we can find common ground and find some way to allow relief to Californians.


BUCKLEY: So far, however, President Bush has shown no inclination to bring on the wholesale price caps that Governor Davis believes would bring that relief. And so, Judy, few people are expecting much to come out of the meeting -- Judy?

WOODRUFF: All right, Frank. And now let's bring in Major Garrett, who's at the White House. Major, what does the White House expect to accomplish on this trip?

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, one senior White House adviser told me today that the purpose in part is for the president to look Californians in eye and talk about energy; tell him the things he's done on their behalf by urging more conservation for all federal buildings in California, expediting that permitting process that Frank just referred to, to help Californians build power plants faster. And also to tell them, in the words of this White House adviser: No, on the key issue of wholesale price caps for electricity.

The president believes that would not only not solve the problem, it would make it worse by increasing demand and reducing supply. So the president wants to underscore that he's not going to change positions on that. And the White House has taken very careful note of the criticism that it's received from the Democratic Governor Gray Davis, and they're all too mindful that that criticism occurred just when Governor Davis began to encounter that downward slide in his approval ratings.

The president's advisers have taken note of that. Say he's not going to be dissuaded by any of Governor Davis' threats -- Judy?

WOODRUFF: And, Major, we understand that the president is also going to be meeting with the mayor of Los Angeles while he's there?

GARRETT: Yes, indeed. Just as Frank talked about great anticipation in California for that meeting between the president and Governor Davis, there's also a good deal of anticipation in Republican circles that the president will meet with the Los Angeles mayor, Mayor Richard Riordan, who many have talked about as a potential candidate to run against Governor Davis. Now, the White House has said nothing about whether or not the president would endorse that, but they are going to talk about all of Mr. Riordan's political future, all of his options that very well may make California Democrats and the California governor, Gray Davis, just a bit nervous.

Also, a key part of that meeting is the president received a lot of criticism last week from Jim Jeffords, the Vermont Republican who switched parties, that he wasn't open to Republican moderates. Well, Richard Riordan is among the most well-known Republican moderates in California. The White House want's to shine a light on that, saying in fact, the president has very good relations with moderate Republicans -- Judy?

WOODRUFF: All right. Major Garrett at the White House, and Frank Buckley reporting as well. Thank you both.

For more on the political challenges facing the president's energy agenda, I'm joined by CNN senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

Bill, tell us, are the president's problems broader than just California?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: They certainly are. The president here in Washington, he just won a big tax cut, which is the top item on his agenda. But the president's job is to address the top problems on the American people's agenda. Now, in our CNN-"TIME" magazine poll last week, we asked people: Has President Bush had the right priorities, or hasn't he paid enough attention to the country's most important problems?

And Americans are split. Almost half say he has not paid enough attention to the country's most important problems. Now, what do they mean by that? Consider this: when we asked people to name the country's biggest problem, energy topped the list. Three times as many named energy as named taxes. The public is happy with the tax cut, but what really concerns them right now is gasoline prices. And President Bush really hasn't proposed any immediate solution to that problem, except for the tax cut.

My guess is, even if people get a tax rebate check this summer, they're still going to be upset if they have to pay high prices for a gallon for gasoline. You know, Americans think they have a constitutional right to cheap gas.

WOODRUFF: Tell us, though, are the president's energy problems already having an effect on his popularity approval ratings?

SCHNEIDER: Yeah, they actually are. Disapproval of the way President Bush is handling his job has actually been growing. It was 24 percent in February. It's up to 38 percent last week. Now, it's not the economy. The country's economic mood has brightened a bit in recent weeks. Most Americans now think a recession is unlikely within the next year. President Bush gets more good marks than poor marks for his handling of the economy. But he gets poor marks for his handling of energy. People don't blame President Bush for the nation's energy problem, but blame is not the issue. The issue is what he's doing about the problem, and most people say not enough.

Moreover, his credibility is suspect. Both the president and the vice president come out of the energy industry, and people wonder: Is their first priority helping the country or helping the energy industry? The country's agenda right now is energy: electricity in California, gasoline prices everywhere. A president gets into big trouble if people think he's paying more attention to his agenda than to their agenda.

And now that the Democrats are just about to get control of the U.S. Senate, the public is going to judge Democrats by the same standard. What are the Democrats going to do about energy prices?



WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Schneider, thanks very much.


WOODRUFF: Well, as the president considers how he will achieve his energy goals in a Democratic-controlled Senate, he is still celebrating his 10-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut. The legislation passed Congress over the weekend and Mr. Bush is expected to sign the bill during the first week of June.

CNN congressional correspondent Kate Snow reports the first benefit of the cuts will be almost $100 million rebate checks for taxpayers.


SNOW (voice-over): By late July, the checks should -- literally -- be in the mail. The U.S. Treasury will send a tax rebate to roughly 100 million Americans.

ANDREW CARD, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The checks go to people who paid taxes, so it doesn't go to every citizen in America. It goes to people who paid taxes.

SNOW: Single taxpayers with at least $6,000 in taxable income will get a check for about $300 from Uncle Sam. For single parents, it's $500, and married couples who make at least $12,000 in taxable income will get about 600 bucks. It's the first step in a multilayered tax bill that gradually lowers income tax rates. The refund comes because the legislation creates a brand new bracket for the first chunk of everyone's earnings. CLINT STRETCH, DELOITTE AND TOUCHE: What they're doing here is they've created a new 10 percent bracket that lowers the bottom rate. And instead of just doing that for this year and letting it show up next April, they decided this year to implement that by doing a rebate check.

SNOW: The Treasury Department will churn out 11 million checks a week from July through September 30th. Who gets them first? The order is set using the last two digits of a taxpayer's Social Security number. The last big rebate was back in 1975, when Gerald Ford was president. Don Alexander was IRS commissioner at the time. He says it's a huge job.

DON ALEXANDER, FORMER IRS COMMISSIONER: Some of the checks will go to the wrong place. Some people have moved. Some people have gotten divorces.

SNOW, (on camera): But the administration says it can be done, and once the checks arrive, the hope is Americans will spend the cash, giving a boost to the U.S. economy.

Kate Snow, CNN, Capitol Hill.


WOODRUFF: How will the president's agenda fare as the dog days of summer approach?

Ahead, Ron Brownstein reports.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this picture is something you kind of wait for, I guess, all your professional life -- or I have -- to be in the Oval Office just before the sitting president leaves for good. And this was that moment.


WOODRUFF: Through the lenses of the photographers who cover the White House. Washington's most famous faces go on display. All that and more, ahead on INSIDE POLITICS.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My budget provides a significant increase for health care at the Department of Veteran Affairs, where Senator (sic) Principi is very much in charge. We're making considerable progress on implementing the Veteran's Millennium Health Care Act. And the secretary -- did I say Senator Principi?


BUSH: Always worried about that balance of power.



WOODRUFF: Wishful thinking, perhaps. Mr. Bush could certainly use another Senate Republican after the loss last week of Vermont's Jim Jeffords. If the president managed to joke about it today, losing the Senate to the Democrats is not a laughing matter. At least, not to White House, and not to Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Joining us now to talk about the Jeffords switch and how it came about, Matt Cooper, deputy Washington bureau chief for "TIME" magazine. "TIME" magazine, Matt, having a really interesting set of stories about the Jeffords decision to move. And what struck me, I think, the most, was how much time went into his considering this. This didn't just happen overnight.

MATT COOPER, "TIME" MAGAZINE: No, it didn't. It's a funny and interesting story that's got a mixture of sort of a John le Carre spy novel and "Ally McBeal." You know, they sort of -- the Democrats handled Jeffords for several weeks like a Cuban athlete who's thinking about defecting. And he really talked about it a lot with Democrats, and Republicans really only caught wind until it was pretty much too late, at one point finding out because another senator, Pat Roberts of Kansas, talked about it with Jeffords in the men's room off the Senate floor.

WOODRUFF: Well, so many people were asking last week, why didn't the White House know about this sooner. Why didn't Republicans in the Senate, Jeffords' colleagues, know about it sooner?

COOPER: Well, the Democrats did a good job of keeping a lid on it, and Jeffords, for his part, never really hinted to even his closest moderate colleagues in the Senate that he was thinking about such a drastic move.

WOODRUFF: So they were deliberately keeping this very, very quite.

COOPER: No question. But there were a few days, as CNN was the first report on the Friday going into last weekend about -- that Jeffords was thinking about this. The Democrats worried that the jig was up, that Jeffords would get hustled off to Camp David and love- bombed by President Bush and the Senate Majority Leader Lott and he'd give up any thoughts of defecting. In fact, no one paid -- they should have paid more attention to CNN, because if they had really gotten in there they might have had a shot.

WOODRUFF: Well, that's something they should do more often in general.

COOPER: Well, there's that.


WOODRUFF: But, Matt, here you have somebody who has been unhappy, you might say, or at least uncomfortable in the Republican Party for a long time. Came into this election thinking that George Bush was going to do what? I mean, he apparently had a different idea about the kind of policies Bush was going to pursue as president?

COOPER: Yes. Well, I think there were a couple of different things. One is, he did have a different impression of Bush, as I guess a fair number of people did. He emphasized compassionate part of compassionate conservative more, and thought Bush would be more moderate than he turned out to be. But also, as Jeffords acknowledged publicly, when your party is in the White House, they enforce a level of discipline on you that they wouldn't if the Democrats were in. So while under Bill Clinton's reign, they were more willing to tolerate him as kind of a quirky, do-it-yourself independent. Under Bush, they really demanded a level of discipline that he could no longer abide.

WOODRUFF: When it came down to the real serious talks with him, negotiations, if you will, was there a quid pro quo in his conversations with Tom Daschle and Harry Reid and other Democrats?

COOPER: Well, you know, it's like Washington and campaign finance or something. People say they give contributions, and there's never quite an exact quid pro quo, but somehow they seem to get what they want at the end of the day. I think it was a little bit like this. There was never anything as explicit as: "If you do this, then Y."

But it was pretty close to that. I mean, he knew if he flipped over to the Democrats that he would be able to keep his chairmanship, despite becoming a self-styled independent.

WOODRUFF: How key were the roles of Tom Daschle and Harry Reid, Chris Dodd and some of these other people?

COOPER: Well, Harry Reid was the main guy. And, you know, Nevada and Vermont couldn't be more different states, but Harry Reid and Jeffords are a lot a like. They're both sort of older men, quiet, not that well known, never had big presidential ambitions. And Reid was Daschle's point man, because Daschle basically delegated this defection to his right-hand man, Harry Reid. And Reid really worked Jeffords, quietly, slowly, over several weeks, never pressured him. They talked in big philosophical terms in several conversations. And that's what really did the trick over time.

WOODRUFF: What do you think, in terms of more defections? I mean, should we be looking for more Republicans to go independent? Or what about on the other side, Democrats?

COOPER: You know, we report, in time, that Senator John McCain had had some conversations with Ted Kennedy and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, about becoming an independent. But I think, realistically, none of these things are going anywhere. You know, it's like a Cuban athlete in an old pre-Cold War track meet or something. People are really going to be keeping eyes on the potential defectors.

WOODRUFF: Especially in the Senate, but even in the House.

COOPER: Yes, I don't see anyone going anywhere for a while. But, hey, we didn't see this coming, either.

WOODRUFF: All right. Matt Cooper with "TIME" magazine. Really interesting reading this week. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.

With President Bush's tax bill passed, and education headed towards resolution, a new crop of controversy is arising that will test the suddenly shifting balance of power in Washington. On this Memorial Day, CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times" plays political weatherman and looks ahead to the coming squalls.


RON BROWNSTEIN: The forecast is for a steamy summer in the capital. Washington will be devoting most of its energy this summer to energy. Bush's energy plan has touched off an epic struggle between the oil industry and environmentalists, that will likely divide Congress more along regional than partisan lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stick out your tongue. Say "ah."

BROWNSTEIN: Health care will heat up on several fronts. A bipartisan Senate alliance, led by two potential presidential candidates in 2004, Democrat John Edwards and Republican John McCain, will challenge Bush with a Patients' Bill of Rights much broader than the president prefers. Another bipartisan Senate coalition is mobilizing for the most serious effort to expand health care to the uninsured since the collapse of Hillary Clinton's universal coverage plan in 1994. And with Democrats about to take the Senate reins, both chambers may move forward on prescription drugs for the elderly, which the White House is fighting, to link the fundamental reform of Medicare.

Storm clouds are gathering even in space, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is expected to provide more details about the kind of missile defense system the administration wants to build.

(on camera): The minimum wage, expedited trade negotiating authority. judicial confirmation battles in the newly-Democratic Senate -- there's plenty on the plate to ensure that as the weather heats up, the conflict in Washington won't cool down.

This is Ron Brownstein for INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: That's a new role for Ron. I hadn't thought of him as a weather reporter.

Coming up next on INSIDE POLITICS, a reported guilty plea in the case of a stolen videotape, and other campaign materials from the Bush-Gore election.


WOODRUFF: A former aide to a Bush campaign media adviser reportedly has admitted stealing debate materials and mailing the items to the Gore campaign. The "Dallas Morning News" reports Juanita Yvette Lozano has agreed to plead guilty to mail fraud and perjury, and faces possible prison time.

Last September, a Bush videotape and strategy books were mailed to former Democratic Congressman Tom Downey, who was helping Al Gore with debate preparations. Downey gave the materials to the FBI which later identified Lozano as a suspect. Joining us now from Austin, Wayne Slater of the "Dallas Morning News."

Wayne, what has the former aide Ms. Lozano admitted to?

WAYNE SLATER, "DALLAS MORNING NEWS": She has admitted to doing this, to shipping off the tape and the briefing book and a couple pages of reaction -- part of the campaign material, and she said she did it all by herself. Our reporter from the paper, who followed this throughout, broke...


WOODRUFF: Looks like we just lost our connection with Wayne Slater in Austin. Our apologies. We will take a break, and come back, and maybe we can get it fixed. We'll be right back.


WOODRUFF: Back now with our interview with Wayne Slater of the "Dallas Morning News". He's in Austin.

Our apologies to you, Wayne. We were talking about Juanita Yvette Lozano, the former aide to Bush's media adviser, Mark McKinnon, and you were telling us that she admitted that she sent this material off to the Gore campaign.

SLATER: Yeah, she basically admitted, I did it and I did it all by myself. Very early on, this whole business had the look for a made-for-TV who done it? But in the end, it looks like Yvette Lozano said, I'm the one who did it.

WOODRUFF: How is this different, Wayne, from what she was saying before?

SLATER: Well, it's remarkably different. When the story first broke last September, she said that she was not involved, and in fact when her image was caught at the post office shipping a package, she said initially that the package was some pair of pants that she was shipping for her boss, Mark McKinnon, the Bush media adviser.

Later, she told the grand jury -- and this is what we now find out -- she wasn't sure what was in the package. That was intriguing, because it raised the question about whether or not she would go to trial and try to implicate someone else in a conspiracy. That all appears to be over now, because she now admitted in the plea bargain agreement that she did it all by herself.

WOODRUFF: So, prosecutors are pretty convinced that no one else was involved.

SLATER: They are pretty convinced that nobody else was involved. There's no question she did a lot. She said early on she didn't even know who Thomas Downey was, and in fact, prosecutors found, on her own computer, that she had gone to her Web site, and had searched for the address to Tom Downey so she could ship the materials there. Prosecutors basically say they have no other evidence at this point to link somebody else.

At the same time, our Pete Slover, the reporter that broke this story initially, says he's talked to prosecutors that said, we haven't given up yet, but very often, prosecutors never complete their investigation. At this point it appears there is no evidence for anybody else, and Yvette Lozano is the only person.

WOODRUFF: And Wayne, interesting quote in the "Dallas Morning News" article about this, a quote from Mark McKinnon who was her boss.

SLATER: You know, obviously, the real loser here is Yvette Lozano. But also Mark McKinnon, who was her boss, who early on, had stood up for her, and said that she couldn't have been involved in something like this, has found himself somewhat tarnished by the whole operation.

Although I talked to Bush people throughout the end of the campaign last year and early this year -- they all assured me he was not on the outs with the White House, and in fact, McKinnon has been involved most recently in doing some spots for Bush on behalf of his tax cut. There were really some questions about whether or not, in a White House where loyalty and honor and confidentiality reign supreme, whether Mark McKinnon was somewhat on the outs at least among a few people.

WOODRUFF: Yes, I noticed, I guess it was an AP story. My mistake -- it was an AP story where McKinnon said, we're talking about a presidential race won by fewer than 500 votes. He said that if Tom Downey had been any less honorable of a person -- in other words, hadn't turned this all over to the FBI -- we could have been talking about a President Gore here.

Wayne, just quickly, what sort of jail time is she facing?

SLATER: She faces the potential of between six months to a year in prison, though the indication is, when a judge finally hands down a sentence next month probably, it could be in a halfway house. It's possible that she could, as part of the plea bargain agreement, actually serve this time at home under the court's jurisdiction.

WOODRUFF: Wayne Slater from the "Dallas Morning News," thank you, very much. Good to see you again.

SLATER: Good to see you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: The White House News Photographers Association is honoring its best and brightest with the Eyes Of History Awards.

This year, for the first time, the 180 winning photographs are on display in the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Now, a look at some of those images through the eyes of the men and women behind the cameras.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes the White House News photographers really different is, we are the photographers that actually cover the White House, cover Washington, and in a lot of respects cover the world. We have a very unique access.

There are times when a photographer can capture a moment where -- this is five minutes before he is sworn in -- and to have the victor and the defeated candidate with the outgoing president all in the picture together, is just really incredible to have that kind of access.

This picture here -- you can't tell who it is, but it's John McCain. Seeing this kind of thing and having this kind of access, and for him to even be out in public after surgery was incredible to me.

The photographers we have in the association really are the eyes of history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this first photo is probably a really good example of why you should be prepared. I was covering the IMF protest, but the protesters got too close to the fence and they basically hit everybody -- protesters, news photographers, anybody in the way -- with tear gas.

Well, the first time it happened, I got hit, I couldn't see for several hours, but then I came back later with a mask. So, you know, tear gas me once, and I'm an idiot, tear gas me twice and I come back with a mask.

We needed a photograph to sort of address Clinton's last days, and this was three days before Bill Clinton left office, before the inaugural, and he basically said, I am going to miss you, I love you, thank you for your support. And it was just this little moment, and I convinced -- I spent about half-an-hour lobbying, can I get behind, can I get behind, and they really don't like you to you get behind the president, but they let me peek the lens through one little hole in the curtain.

This series was probably the story I did last year that meant the most to me. This was a story on children in poverty. And if you think about it, last year, people weren't doing a lot of poverty stories. I mean, everybody was talking about the dot-com millionaires and the booming economy. And I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to see the poor people that nobody is really talking about, because everybody is so excited about the expanding economy. And there are 13.5 million children in American who are considered in poverty and often go to bed hungry. And the irony is, even though there was a boom economy, a lot of families, their rents went up. You know, in cities like, you know, Charlotte or Austin or Dallas, the rents went up because of the economy and it actually hurt poor people, because their $7 an hour jobs didn't go up. These were all working parents. You cannot feed your children and have housing and a car on what usually is a minimum-wage job.

I focused on Tennessee and Texas, because during the campaign it was interesting to see folks that most likely would not be visited. So, in a strange way, the campaign didn't really affect these folks. They were like, it doesn't matter who is in, we are the forgotten people. And that's why I called it the forgotten children.

DIANA WALKER, "TIME" MAGAZINE: I have the opportunity to be behind the scenes with President Clinton his last week in office. I had done many -- I had a lot of opportunities to do behind the scenes work of the Clintons over the last eight years, and I was very eager to be there at the end.

And I did it. And so this is a picture story of that last week, starting with Monday and working right through until January 20 at 10:10 a.m. in the Oval Office. Monday, he was on his way to make a speech, and he was in his limousine in a garage, looking particularly pensive.

This picture was taken in Arkansas. He had many, many, many friends who were there and very excited to see him and appreciative of the fact he came down there that last week. And he took Chelsea with him. You know, father-daughter thing there.

And I was down in the lower level of the West Wing, near the photography office, when suddenly along came Mrs. Clinton, taking down the photographs that had been taken by the White House photographers to decorate the walls of the White House -- and they are hers and his, so she was going and taking each of them down. And I thought, that's certainly shows they are moving out, doesn't it?

A few days before the inauguration, Mrs. Clinton came over to the Oval Office to meet and shake hands with some staff people and their families, to say good-bye, and she was standing in front of the president's desk when he called to her and asked her to come over. And I turned, and she walked behind the desk, and there they where, in front of the window, just having a private moment.

This is the morning of the inauguration. It is the tradition that there is sort of a coffee at the White House for the incoming principals and the outgoing principals, and it's very interesting. It's like this sort of weird dance, and fascinating.

And this picture is something you kind of wait for, I guess, all your professional life -- or I have -- to be in the Oval Office just before the sitting president leaves for good. And this was that moment. And the president had written a letter to president-elect Bush, and that's in the envelope right there on the desk. And as you can see, there's nothing else. The room was absolutely pristine.

He walked over, he looked out the window for a second, turned around, walked to the door of the Oval Office, and I -- you know, it was a wonderful opportunity for me. I mean, it's history. And also, I had decided a couple years ago that at the end of this administration I would also stop covering the White House. So, to have this as my last picture, an exclusive picture that, you know, you can't repeat, and you're one of the few people in the room, is very exciting. It's exciting for me.


WOODRUFF: That last speaker, Diana Walker, the incomparable Diana Walker of "TIME" magazine. The exhibit "Eyes of History" will be on display at the Corcoran here in Washington through June 18.

Ahead, at the top of the hour here on INSIDE POLITICS, we will go live to Arizona, where President Bush is taking part in Memorial Day observances, on the first leg of his trip out West to promote his energy policy.


WOODRUFF: President Bush heads West for a California sit-down with his No. 1 energy critic.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They've cleared the seas, crossed the rivers, charged the hills and covered the skies. And they have never let America down.


WOODRUFF: A Memorial Day honor for the veterans of World War II, final approval for a permanent salute on the National Mall in Washington.

Plus, inside the British elections. Senior political analyst Bill Schneider on the campaign, the issues and why the voters are ignoring it all.

Democratic Congressman Joe Moakley of Massachusetts died today at Bethesda Naval Medical Center here in Washington, after a battle with leukemia. Moakley was admitted to the hospital last Monday, and by Saturday he was described as being in grave condition. The death was announced just about one hour ago.

CNN's Kate Snow is on Capitol Hill -- Kate.

SNOW: Judy, Congressman Moakley will be remembered here on Capitol Hill and sorely missed as well. The 74-year-old served here since 1972, more than 25 years. He was known for his strong opinions and for his sense of humor.

Moakley was the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, a very powerful committee on Capitol Hill. It was his mentor, Tip O'Neill, the former House speaker, who served on that committee just before him and placed him there. Tip O'Neill, of course, coined the phrase, "All politics is local." Joe Moakley lived by that and also had his own phrase. He said, "Most voters view life through their kitchen windows."

Speaking a short time ago, his former press secretary and now representative himself, Jim McGovern, a fellow Democrat from Massachusetts, had this to say about Joe Moakley.


REP. JAMES MCGOVERN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: From the streets of South Boston to the jungles of El Salvador, Joe stood for and fought for justice. No matter who you were, if you needed help, you had a friend in Joe Moakley.

The people he represented were more than just his constituents. They were his family.

He was proud to be a member of the United States Congress. He called being a congressman the greatest job in the world.


SNOW: And the governor said Joe Moakley taught us not only how to live but also how to die. His battle with leukemia lasted for several months. Just a couple of weeks ago, less than two weeks ago, a ceremony inside the Capitol to unveil a portrait of Joe Moakley. He was at that ceremony. The portrait will hang in the U.S. Capitol next to three portraits of other former chairmen of the House Rules Committee.

He reflected at that time on his life and career.


REP. JOE MOAKLEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I've enjoyed every minute that I've spent here, members on both sides of the aisle. I began my political career 50 years ago as a state representative from South Boston, and I'm proud that some of the people who voted for me then are still voting for me.

And as I said before, if the almighty would come down from the heavens and say, "Joe Moakley, you've been a good public servant, I'm going to appoint you to any political position that you want," I'd say, "God, let me stay where I am, I love it."


SNOW: Congressman Moakley passed away at about 3:30 Eastern Time this afternoon. He had been admitted to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center one week ago. He passed away, we're told, surrounded by family and friends. And as Representative McGovern put it, he said, I'm going to miss -- he said, "The world is going to miss Joe Moakley: I already do" -- Judy. WOODRUFF: All right, Kate Snow reporting from the Capitol.

President Bush traveling in Arizona also had a comment about Congressman Joe Moakley just moments ago. Our own John King is traveling with the president on this trip out West.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, we're here in Mesa, Arizona now. The president informed aboard Air Force One on his way out West on Congressman Moakley's death. The president very briefly here held a moment of silence. He told the audience here in Arizona of Congressman Moakley's death earlier today, had a brief moment of silence, and then in very brief remarks said that Congressman Moakley loved America, he was great man, and he will be sorely missed.

We're expecting a more detailed statement from the White House a bit later. You might remember -- I believe you used the footage earlier in the program -- back in March the president had a reception for Congressman Moakley in the Rose Garden, that after he had announced he would not seek re-election because he was seeking treatment for his incurable leukemia. So the president making note of it here as he traveled.

One personal footnote: I grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, right next door to South Boston, and Congressman Moakley used to march in the Dorchester Day Parade and made it by the King family cookout a couple of times for a beer and burger -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, that is a footnote, John.

We know Congressman Moakley, having served 30 years in the United States Congress.

John, the president is in Arizona participating in a Memorial Day event, but he heads on to California as part of a plan to promote his energy plan. Tell us what is in store for the president there.

KING: Well, a very high-stakes policy trip, Judy, as well as a high-stakes political trip. As you know, the president and the California governor, Democrat Gray Davis, have been sparring over the solutions to the California power crisis. The governor saying he needs help from the president. He needs temporary price caps on electricity. The president consistently saying -- and the administration still saying -- Mr. Bush does not view that as the solution.

Now, obviously, 54 electoral votes in California. President Bush didn't carry them in the 2000 election. Most Republicans believe he won't try as hard as he did last time in 2004. But many Republicans in the state, especially members of Congress from swing districts, very nervous about this. They believe the president needs to come out to California and make his case, and veterans of California politics agree. They say the president might not carry the state down the road, but that it is critical that he come and first-hand explain himself directly to the California people. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN SCHNUR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The president and the administration are absolutely right in arguing that permanent price caps would result in even more blackouts for Californians, and that's not something that Californians want. But because they've been making the argument from Washington, D.C. instead of from making it from on the ground in California, it's not being heard.

You can have the best argument in the world, but if you're trying to make it from 3,000 miles away, it's a lot harder to close the sale.


KING: Now the president, in addition to that meeting with Governor Gray Davis -- and again, administration officials saying he will hold fast and continue to oppose any price caps on electricity. The president will also tour an energy facility at Camp Pendleton, that to put an emphasis on what he says is a responsive federal effort to try to help the state of California.

Mr. Bush, you will recall, issued an executive order ordering federal agencies and especially military facilities to try to cut their energy use in California. Mr. Bush will receive an update on that effort as he tries to make the case to the people of California that he's doing all he can -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, John, as you suggested, the governor of California, Democrat Gray Davis, has had some very critical things to say about the president, about the president's energy policy, talking about the president's ties with the energy, the oil and gas industry. How is the president going to deal with that?

KING: Administration officials tell us the president wants to stay above the fray. If you look at the polling, both the president and Governor Davis have suffered in the polling. They're in charge, of course, so they suffer when there are things like rising gas prices or like power shortages.

One of the mistakes the Bush White House believes Governor Davis has made is having a partisan battle, making this about Democrats versus Republicans. We're told what the president wants to do -- and the meeting with Gray Davis is closed, so we won't have much media coverage. We're told the president will just say he respectfully disagrees with the governor, but that he's doing all he can on other fronts to help California try to stay out of a partisan fray.

But we also know many environmental groups and others, including the Democrats, planning protests as the president spends to days out west in California.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King, traveling with President Bush right there in Mesa, Arizona, heading later on to California. Thanks.

Mr. Bush began his day with a Memorial Day breakfast at the White House. The president used that event as a backdrop for the signing of legislation that gives final approval for a World War II memorial on the National Mall.

CNN White House correspondent Major Garrett reports the memorial design became a political battle all its own.


MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It took five years to win World War II and eight years for America to decide how to pay homage to all who served.

BUSH: The generation of World War II defeated history's greatest tyranny, leaving graves and freedom from Europe to Asia. Our nation must always remember their heroism and humility and terrible suffering.

GARRETT: After intense debate and an overhaul of the original design, Congress moved last week to end all remaining challenges.

The seven-acre memorial will be carved deep into the Mall, resting between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Private donations will cover nearly all of the $160 million in costs. Construction is scheduled for July. And the dedication? Some time in 2004.

Critics say the monument amounts to historical blasphemy, a monstrous celebration of war that will disturb sight lines between the monument to Washington, the hero of the 18th century, and the memorial to Lincoln, who saved the Union in the 19th century.

JUDY SCOTT FELDMAN, SAVE THE MALL: To put it here, where it would cut in half with a huge obstruction, the great, open expanse of the Mall simply cannot stand, and we must attempt to do anything we can to protect it.

GARRETT: But proponents argue that the war defined America and the 20th century, and that no one figure -- not Roosevelt as president, not Eisenhower as supreme allied commander -- deserve a tribute as much as the soldiers who fought and died history's bloodiest war.

One of those veterans, the nation's 41st president, flew Navy torpedo bombers in the Pacific. He nearly died after being shot down in 1944. So for his son, the memorial is a deeply personal issue.

BUSH: It is my huge honor to set my name on this bill ordering construction of a monument that will stand for the ages. Not only will I sign the bill, I will make sure the monument gets built.

GARRETT (on camera): Sixteen million Americans fought in World War II: 3 million have died during debate over the memorial's construction. Another 1 million are expected to die before it's finished: a powerful reason, Mr. Bush believes, to build it as soon as possible.

Major Garrett, CNN, the White House.


WOODRUFF: Not too many years ago, the design for another war memorial on the Washington Mall stirred controversy. Opponents called it too stark, too dark, too pessimistic. But over the years, as CNN's Bruce Morton reports, the Vietnam Memorial has become a special haven to millions of visitors.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At its dedication in 1982, it was a place where it was OK for grown men to cry. Still is. They come every day, young and old, vets who've lost friends, young adults who lost parents, different generations now.

They touch a name, make a rubbing of a name, climb ladders to reach a name they know.

What do the young people make of it, you wonder? The war is something in a history book. America's longest war, Washington's most visited memorial, those who run it say: more than 4 million people every year.

And they leave things: letters, photos, flags. More than one thing so far for each, of the more than 58,000 names on the black wall. The wall calls to many and offers many a chance to heal.

Janice Nart (ph) was a nurse during the war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wall is coming us home and we have to come here eventually, because the healing is so important.

MORTON: It's hard to remember now what it was about. The Domino Theory, the victorious Vietnam would spread communism to neighboring countries. Didn't happen.

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Vietnam vet, spoke at the wall of this day.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: Imperfect, bad decisions, wrong decisions, yes. But so it is with the responsibility of leadership.

MORTON: The war was a long time ago. And maybe what matters now is that America honors the veterans of that controversial war. They come here, they march in the Memorial Day parades now. They didn't make the big decision, their country told them to go fight a war. And like other Americans and all the other wars, they did.

HAGEL: We can debate how Vietnam was fought. Mistakes made. But for the families of the over 58,000 men and women whose names are on this wall and for the almost 2000 men and women missing, it is important that they understand that their sons and daughters did not waste a very important commitment to this country.

MORTON: So people came and remembered and talked and cried together. And the wall worked its old healing magic for some of them at least. You could mourn here and the people around you will honor your grief.

Bruce Morton, CNN, at the Vietnam Wall.


WOODRUFF: Former President Clinton is in the spotlight again. He's being treated as a star overseas. In a moment, we'll hear what the Europeans think of Bill Clinton, and his successor as well.


WOODRUFF: Washington's newly named envoy to the Middle East met today with Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat and with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. And Reuters News Service now reports the Palestinians have agreed to attend security talks with Israel, mediated by the United States.

William Burns is in the Middle East as part of the newly-launched effort by the Bush administration to end the Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. The administration was forced into the role of mediator by the recent escalation of violence.

On another difficult overseas matter, the Bush administration has a plan to try to ease Russian concerns about the proposed American shield against enemy missiles. Administration officials say to win the Russians over, the United States will offer military aid and joint anti-missile maneuvers, and might even offer to buy Russian defensive missiles to be deployed as part of the so-called shield.

President Bush is expected to raise the subject when he meets next month in Slovenia with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia has strongly objected to the Bush anti-missile proposal, which would require that Washington pull out of the antiballistic missile treaty agreement with the former Soviet Union.

Former President Bill Clinton fulfilled another ambition today. He played a round of golf at the old course in St. Andrews, widely considered the game's birthplace. He's on a tour of Europe, and as CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers reports from London, appears to be having a ball.


WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's come back. Back in Europe. Back out in the world outside the United States, perhaps so no one can accuse him of trying to upstage George W. Bush. In Ireland:



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you miss most about being president?

CLINTON: The job.

RODGERS: He also seems to miss being in command, giving orders.

CLINTON: We should take a picture in front of this portrait.

RODGERS: Quite a step down from commander in chief, to arranging a group photo. But whether a private visit to India last month or Poland, strolling through Warsaw, Bill Clinton remains indefatigable.

Even when pelted with an egg, he can't be stopped. Small wonder the Republicans hated him. He just keeps going.

ANNE WROE, JOURNALIST: When you have been president of the United States, you are so used to the adulation and the attention and you just can't lay it aside, especially Bill Clinton, because it's always important to him, I think, to be loved.

RODGERS: That Clinton legacy also makes it more difficult for Bush to be liked in Europe.

(on camera): President Bush visits Europe next month, but the Europe he inherits in 2001 is much different from what Clinton inherited eight years ago. The differences are making it harder for President Bush to connect with Europe.

(voice-over): Europe has gelled now more independent, economically and politically. Analysts say the new administration has yet to learn that.

ROBERT LEONARDI, POLITICAL ANALYST: I think there was a true expectation on the part of the Bush advisers, who are now members of the cabinet, that they could set an agenda of their own, and therefore, not having to talk with others.

RODGERS: For Mr. Bush to be a credible player, internationally, he also has to overcome the prejudice among many Europeans that Americans are just plain dumb.

WROE: If you have a country like this with so much power in the world, so much influence, and not always a great deal of intelligence, you feel the Europeans are going to see this as a cowboy mentality.

Europeans never questioned the intelligence of Bill Clinton, and they learned to like and laugh with him. Mr. Bush's challenge will be to make Europe laugh with him, not at him.

Walter Rodgers, CNN, London.


WOODRUFF: INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


WOODRUFF: With just 10 days until the British elections, Prime Minister Tony Blair is on the campaign trail. Today, Blair made several stops with his wife. The prime minister's Labour Party is widely favored over the opposition Conservative Party in the coming elections. Our Bill Schneider spent some time following the Blair campaign and filed this reporter's notebook.


SCHNEIDER, ANALYST (on camera): Unlike British campaigns I've covered in the past, there really wasn't a lot of voter interest. You couldn't find many billboards, people didn't seem to be particularly engaged. That's why the moment when John Prescott punched a voter who had thrown an egg at him, it was kind of sensational. It dominated the news for about three days, and it really put some life into the campaign, because everybody had an opinion about it.

The race looks a lot like Clinton versus Dole in 1996. I mean, you've got a popular prime minister who's presiding over a good economy, he's got high poll numbers, and you've got an opposition leader, William Hague, who just simply can't seem to get into the race at all.

The conservatives started out by running on a tax cut. Big surprise for a Conservative Party, but they thought this would be an instant vote-getter. The problem is, in Britain, there is a lot of concern about the deterioration of public services, the national health service, the railways, the education system, and Labour is trying to warn voters that if the conservative tax cut goes through, they will not have the money to invest in public services. Labour has promised big new public investment without raising the income tax.

And probably most important is the euro currency: will they ditch the pound and replace it with the common European currency? Well, that's where the conservatives have really taken the popular position, because their position is: never. Tony Blair's position is he'd consider adopting the European currency if the economic conditions were right, and only after a public referendum. So, the conservatives have not been able to make a lot of headway, even though they have a popular position, because the Labour government has said they won't do it without consulting the people.

I wouldn't say Tony Blair is a commanding figure. A lot of people consider him a lightweight. You know, the press is constantly making fun of him. They say he's all spin and presentation, and he's a sort of incessantly smiling figure who stages photo ops all the time. So, he doesn't seem as imposing a figure as a British prime minister is supposed to be.

But his government also has some serious policy problems. Foot- and-mouth disease was handled far too poorly. They responded too slowly to that. The illegal immigration issue is very big. Rising fuel costs in Britain, as in the United States, is a very big issue.

I think Labour's biggest concern, as it was communicated to me, was turnout. The Blair government is worried if people don't come out to vote in the numbers they've voted in the past, because they feel they know what the outcome is, and neither alternative looks very appealing, that Labour could be in for a very rude shock on June 7. If Blair wins a solid victory on June 7, this will be the first time in history that a Labour Party government has won two full terms in office. That's never happened before.


WOODRUFF: That was Bill Schneider, and INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


WOODRUFF: On this Memorial Day at the United States Capitol and elsewhere, flags are flying at half-staff. This one over the U.S. House of Representatives.

The news this afternoon that Congressman Joe Moakley has lost his battle with leukemia is being felt from Washington to Moakley's home district in Massachusetts. CNN's Boston bureau chief Bill Delaney has more now on Congressman Moakley and the people he represented for 15 terms.


BILL DELANEY, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Since Joe Moakley got into politics at 25 in 1952 as a Massachusetts state legislator, on his South Boston home turf he'd never need a focus group to sort out the seasonings of the place's Irish stew.

DAVID NYHAN, "BOSTON GLOBE": Well, he is the last of the old- time urban inner city guys who believed in work and wages. He was a jobs guy, a fellow you went to if you needed an apartment, if you needed to get your old auntie into a nursing home. He had a problem with Social Security. He was a from-the-ground-up congressman who took care of his people, and they took care of him big time.

DELANEY: Electing a son of Southie who run away to sea at 15, 15 times to the U.S. Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you see him sometimes, used to hang out, run around here and run around in the morning, and you see him sitting there in the car, drinking his coffee. He always waves to us, says hello, you know. Very personable, very friendly guy.

DELANEY: Old-school, front-porch politics, though Moakley's influence would reach well beyond Southie. Perhaps most notably, leading a task force when six Jesuit priests were murdered in El Salvador in 1989. His commission uncovered Salvadorian army involvement, shaking the then-Bush administration and dictatorships throughout Latin America.

Though high as he rose in Washington, this the day he acknowledged he was terminally ill.

MOAKLEY: The people I represent, the constituents, they're really like family. Despite today's headlines, I consider myself a very lucky guy. I've had the privilege of serving in an elected office for close to 50 years. And I've had even a greater privilege of knowing and representing some of the finest, most decent people in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was Joe, you know. He wasn't Congressman Moakley to most people in Southie anyway. He was Joe. You know, how are you doing, how are you feeling, what's up? Maybe help me with this, you know? Yeah, I loved the guy.

DELANEY: If a life well lived is a life well loved, Joe Moakley lived very well indeed.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.


WOODRUFF: Joe Moakley died today at the age of 74.

And that's it for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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