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Another Suicide Bombing on West Bank; Presidential Prospects Gather in Florida; Cold Facts on Drilling in ANWR

Aired April 10, 2002 - 16:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. As Democratic presidential prospects get ready to gather in Florida, I'll talk to Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, about their plans and the Gore program .

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Bill Hemmer in Jerusalem. The death toll grows again -- another suicide bombing on Wednesday. And the prospects for peace, concern growing there as well.

BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brooks Jackson in Washington with the cold facts on a subject of hot debate: oil drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge.


: Thank you for joining us. The White House is saying President Bush will not give up his new push for peace in the Middle East, despite setbacks along the way, including more bloodshed. For the very latest from the region, let's go right now to CNN's Bill Hemmer in Jerusalem. And, Bill, the news remains grim.

HEMMER: Indeed it does, Judy. Good evening from Jerusalem. First time now in nine days that a suicide bomber has penetrated Israel proper and blew himself up earlier in the day. This, in the coastal town of Haifa. Eight dead there, Judy, at least 14 others wounded, after that attack during the morning rush hour.

Again, this bus bound from Haifa to Jerusalem. Among the dead, we're told, the niece of Yahouda Lancry. He's Israel's ambassador to the U.N. His niece was 18 years old. Hamas has claimed responsibility. They say the suicide bomber came from the West Bank town of Jenin. We'll talk more about Jenin in a moment here.

Meanwhile, Colin Powell, Judy, is a day closer to Jerusalem. We do anticipate, possibly within 24 hours time, the secretary of state to arrive here and make his official stop. Earlier today he was in Madrid, Spain. He reiterated the fact that he would meet with Yasser Arafat.

The Israelis are calling that a quote/unquote "tragic mistake." Nonetheless, Powell says Arafat right now is the only option.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: I believe it is important for me to meet with Chairman Arafat. He's the leader of the Palestinian people and I think the Palestinian people and the Arab leaders with whom I've met over the last several days -- I believe that he is the partner that Israel will have to deal with at some point. He and the other leaders of the Palestinian Authority.

The reality is that no other Palestinian leader, or for that matter, Arab leader, is prepared to engage as a partner until Mr. Arafat has had a chance to express his views to me and to others.


HEMMER: Again, Yasser Arafat still inside his compound in Ramallah. We do anticipate a meeting to take place there. Earlier today the Israelis offered a trip to Jericho for Yasser Arafat. The Palestinians turned that down outright. Again, that meeting planned for Saturday here in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the fighting does continue, Judy, various parts of the West Bank. First of all, the town of Jenin -- we have talked about this at great length over the past several days. This has been the place for some of the fiercest fighting to date. We're told now that much of that fighting has been extinguished, although sporadic gun battles continue there, in Jenin.

The Israelis say that hundreds of Palestinian gunmen surrendered earlier today, turning themselves and their weapons over to Israeli defense forces in Jenin. Later that day, Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, came on CNN and said that 500 Palestinians have been killed in the towns of Jenin and Nablus combined.

The Israelis came out a short time later. They say that's a fabrication and a lie. Very difficult for us to get any verification on the ground. Journalists and their movement been quite restricted since this operation began about 12 days ago.

Also in Jenin, the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon flew up there earlier today to make a stop and visit Israeli troops. It was just yesterday where Israel suffered a major setback. Thirteen of its troops killed after a suicide bomber blew himself up in an ambush there along those thin, tight, narrow alleyways in the town of Jenin. Ariel Sharon saying once again that the operation will continue. The goals have not yet been met and Israel will not stop until those goals indeed are met.

I mentioned Jenin. More happening in Ramallah. We mentioned Bethlehem a short time ago and also a few small towns around Hebron. Again, it remains quite tense in all those areas again tonight -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Bill Hemmer from Jerusalem. Thanks very much, Bill.

The Middle East crisis and U.S. dependence on Arab oil come into play as the Senate prepares to debate oil drilling in the Arctic National Widelife Refuge. A GOP amendment to allow drilling is expected to be introduced tomorrow. So today our Brooks Jackson has been investigating the pros and cons.


JACKSON (voice-over): The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR. Few humans ever go there, but they sure like to talk about it in Washington.

SPECTER ABRAHAM, ENERGY SECRETARY: Drilling in the wildlife refuge is going to scar and alter that beautiful land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ANWR production could replace more than 35 years of Iraqi imports.

JACKSON: So how much damage would there be? And how much oil? Let's check some facts. As for damage, there's far less from today's Arctic drilling technologies, seen in this oil company footage.

Equipment travels over roads of ice that melt and disappear in the summer. Slant drilling now allows one six-acre site to tap underground oil from miles in any direction, without disturbing the surface. But drilling is drilling. Some damage is inevitable. Recent government studies conflict.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey issued one study predicting the local caribou population would decline, then issued another saying it wouldn't. The first study made the unlikely assumption that drilling would take place everywhere. The second assumed, more plausibly, that drilling would occur only in a smaller area where 85 percent of the oil is thought to be.

History may help here. Back in the '70s there were also dire predictions that drilling at Prudhoe Bay would hurt caribou herds, but it didn't happen. According to Alaska's Department of Fish and Game, the central Arctic herd around Prudhoe grew, from fewer than 5,000 in 1974 before drilling, to 27,000 most recently -- a five-fold increase.

(on camera): So the historic fact is the Prudhoe Bay herd has flourished, despite drilling, even with older technology. But is any damage worth it? How much oil is there? The truth is, nobody's sure. There's been no exploration allowed since 1985.

(voice-over): Geological survey estimates are imprecise, at best. From a low estimate of 5.7 billion barrels that could theoretically be pumped out, to a high of 16 billion. Quite a range, but in either case, the biggest U.S. oil field in decades.

Using a middle estimate, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts ANWR could eventually produce about 800,000 of barrels of oil per day, maybe more, maybe less. In practical terms, that's a bit less than the U.S. would have saved had Congress imposed tighter mileage requirements on cars and SUVs. And it is just a bit more than the U.S. actually imported from Iraq last year.

But here's the kicker. There would be no oil at all from ANWR for at least seven years, according to government estimates, and maybe 12. And it would likely take until 2020 for ANWR to hit full production. By that time, U.S. oil consumption is expected to grow so much that ANWR would reduce dependence on oil imports very little.

Again, the Energy Information Administration's estimate is that in 2020, without ANWR, 62 percent of U.S. oil will be imported. With ANWR, 60 percent.

(on camera): So, probably not that much damage. And relatively speaking, not that much oil either. Cold facts in a hot debate. Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Well, that energy bill now being considered by the Senate addresses an issue that more often gets attention during presidential election years. Our Congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl reports on the politics of an alternative fuel called ethanol.


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the Senate gets its way, one out of every five ears of corn grown in the United States may be destined for your gas tank. It's all about ethanol, a grain-based gasoline additive with some powerful supporters.

SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: The use of it helps the farmers, helps clean up the environment. Helps our national security. Helps reduce our reliance upon foreign sources of energy. There's just everything about ethanol that has proved good, good, good.

KARL: About the only major provision of the energy bill to attract overwhelming bipartisan support is a measure to require nearly a tripling of the use of ethanol nationwide over the next decade. But the power of ethanol has more to do with politics than science.

PROF. DAN SPERLING, UNIV. OF CALIF-DAVIS: The incredible support comes from the farm lobby and companies like Archer Daniel Midlands, which are investing large amounts of money to produce the ethanol, and will benefit from dramatically increased sales.

KARL (on camera): Tom Daschle, from corn-rich South Dakota, has taken a personal interest in the issue. So have the many potential presidential candidates up here, with an eye on the Iowa caucuses. President Bush is a supporter, and both political parties are keenly interested, because most of this year's big Senate races are in states with a lot of corn.

(voice-over): But ethanol's critics -- and there aren't many in Congress -- say the effort to expand ethanol use will result in dramatically higher gasoline prices.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: There are only about seven companies that will produce this. And if we run into monopoly situation, I can tell you right now those prices are going to be jacked up all over the country. And if they're jacked up all over the country, consumers are going to be howling about it. Especially if they're not getting any clean air benefits.

KARL: Ethanol supporters portray the fuel as a boon to the environment, but that's not a view shared by most environmentalists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The environmental community is sitting on the sidelines because they don't see a major effect one way or the other.

KARL: In fact, many environmentalists say the effect of more farming and the accompanying use of pesticides and fertilizers, may mean a net environmental loss if ethanol use is increased. But don't expect to hear much about the downside of ethanol on Capitol Hill, a place where corn has friends in high places.


About the only critics of ethanol here are the two senators from California and the two senators from New York. Both states with far more people who buy gasoline -- would be more expensive with this new ethanol requirement -- than grow corn. So you can expect to hear, Judy, from them tomorrow. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who's leading the charge against this -- the lonely charge against this -- will try to introduce the first of several amendments to either scale down or eliminate the ethanol requirement in this energy bill -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl. We'll get an update from you on that tomorrow. Thanks.

Joe and Hadassah Lieberman go "On the Record" next in INSIDE POLITICS. What do they think about another presidential race, this time with his name at the top of the ticket?

In our "Taking Issue" segment, human cloning and controversy. Can Margaret Carlson and Tucker Carlson find any common ground?

And later...


JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": She's the host of CNN's INSIDE POLITICS WITH JUDY WOODRUFF, please welcome Judy Woodruff.



WOODRUFF: Tag along as I have some fun, onstage and behind the scenes, with Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show."


WOODRUFF: My "On the Record" guests this Wednesday are Senator Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah. I met them at their home here in Washington, where we talked about life in the spotlight and their political thinking about the future. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

We're talking to you because this weekend there's is a party convention in Florida. And, Senator Lieberman, you're speaking, as are some of the other Democrats who are interested at this point, and thinking seriously about running for president in 2004. I assume, because you've come to this point, that this is something that the two of you have discussed together.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, I'm glad you brought it up, because I thought it was time to talk to Hadassah about it. Sweetheart -- yeah, we've talked about it. I mean, this is a very big decision, to put it mildly. It's a big job and a big decision for an individual, as a member of a family, thinking about doing this.

And because we were fortunate enough to be asked to run on the national ticket in the year 2000, we have a little bit of an idea of what's involved. And it's tough work.

WOODRUFF: And knowing what's involved, Mrs. Lieberman, does that make you more excited at the prospect of going for the top job in 2004, or less excited?

HADASSAH LIEBERMAN: I think life is a series of adventures and struggles and challenges. And I love Joe, and it was an exciting adventure, and time will tell. Who knows?

I think the adventure, to use the same word, about the campaign, the adventure that we shared, 2000, was incredible. Because it was really, as I often have said, at the risk of boring some of the people who know me, it was eye contact with America. And it was really just talking to people straight on, very naturally, and getting to know the strength of this country, and how important our democracy is.

And I relate to that, obviously, from my background, which was from totalitarian situations. And so, coming through that and watching what happened, I think, in 2000, in terms of the country coming together with us in so many ways, was exciting. But these are awesome kinds of considerations.

WOODRUFF: And at this point, you're saying you haven't made the final decision, right? You've said, I believe, that you think a decision should be made by the end of this year?

J. LIEBERMAN: Yes. I feel very strongly that anybody who wants to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 has to decide by the end of 2002. Because it's just too big and there's too much to do. And the process begins, and could end very quickly, in 2004.

WOODRUFF: But could a decision come sooner than that?

J. LIEBERMAN: Well, some may decide. I don't feel in a rush. Judy, let me put this part of it to you. I made a decision, thanks to the encouragement I've received from people around the country, as we enter this year, 2002, that I would begin to do just about everything I would do if I had decided that I would be a candidate for president.

Because you can't wait. There's too much -- too many people to meet. Too many ideas to refine. Too much introducing of yourself. And so I have been doing that. And I think that will give me the opportunity to wait until later in the year to decide.

WOODRUFF: You've also tied the decision of Former Vice President Gore to this, and said that if he decides to run, then how will that affect you?

J. LIEBERMAN: Yes, I have said that if Al Gore runs, I will not run.

WOODRUFF: And that's an absolute?

J. LIEBERMAN: That is. I thought about it before I said it, about a year ago, and I still believe it.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you, you just said that you think a decision has to be made by the end of the year. If he didn't make a decision by the end of the year, would you feel you had to go ahead and make a decision, in which case it wouldn't be contingent on his...

J. LIEBERMAN: That's a brilliant question. But I'm confident that Al Gore will make a decision by the end of this year. And therefore there will be no conflict of that kind.

WOODRUFF: How do you know?

J. LIEBERMAN: I just think that Al is going to have to face the time schedule -- the same time schedule that anyone thinking of running for president will face. There's a lot of money to be raised, a lot of political support to be obtained. And remember, there are candidates out there now looking for that support and asking for those commitments. So, Al's been through this a few times. He knows how big an undertaking it is, and therefore I'm sure he'll make his decision by the end of the year.

WOODRUFF: We're talking about, if Al Gore decides to run and you've spent all this time traveling around the country, talking to people, getting to know people, it's not going to be hard for you to just walk away from this?

J. LIEBERMAN: Well, so be it. I'm a lucky guy. I had the chance to run for vice president in 2000.

WOODRUFF: Just one quickly, about the decision. You said by the end of the year. Do you think you already know now? Or is this truly...

J. LIEBERMAN: No. Look, I have to say that, based on the travels I've done, on the series of policy speeches I'm giving, to set out a course of values and programs that I think would be better for our country, that my interest is rising.

But this is a big decision. I can't do it alone. I've got to feel that my family is with me. And I've got to feel that I've got enough political support.

WOODRUFF: It sounds like at this point, you're with him in this, supporting him?

H. LIEBERMAN: Well, I'm always -- I mean, as I said, Joe and I -- we're lucky, we're very lucky that we found each other. And we're with each other. Now, I don't know what is going to happen. I have no idea. I just know that I'm proud of Joe. What you see is what you have.

J. LIEBERMAN: Look, Hadassah and I are not only partners, but we're friends. And whatever decision we make about whether or not to run for president is going to be made by both of us together, with our kids. So if we go forward, we're going to go forward as a team.


WOODRUFF: And a number of other Democrats, as we've noticed, have their eyes on the White House as well. In the days ahead, we plan to interview other potential presidential candidates and their spouses. Tomorrow I will talk with North Carolina Senator John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth.

Secretary of State Powell prepares to head to Israel. Up next, in the "Newscycle," an update on Powell's peace mission and details on the latest suicide bomber to strike in Israel.


WOODRUFF: Time for an update on the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle." A suicide bomber blew up a bus today near the Israeli port city of Haifa. Eight passengers were killed and at least 14 others were wounded. Several hours later, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with troops in the West Bank. He told them their mission will continue -- quote -- "until the job is done."

In Madrid, Secretary of State Colin Powell met today with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and European Union officials. Powell said the latest suicide bombing would not derail his peace mission to the region. And he again called for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank.

Here in the United States, President Bush repeated his opposition to human cloning. He endorsed a Senate bill making it a federal crime to create a cloned human embryo. A similar measure passed the House last year, but its Senate prospects are uncertain.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans have begun a lobbying effort to support President Bush's nominees for the federal bench. Today's focus was Miguel Estrada. He was nominated last May to the circuit court of appeals for the District of Columbia. Senate Republicans accused Democrats of discriminating against conservative nominees who happen to be minorities. If approved, Estrada would be the first Hispanic on the D.C. appeals court. Democrats deny any claims that they are discriminating. With us now to talk about the delay in approving judicial nominations, and another top issue of the day, Margaret Carlson of "TIME" magazine and Tucker Carlson, of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."

Tucker, another controversial judicial nominee, this time Miguel Estrada, a Latino, nominated to the appeals court. We just mentioned that. Is this going to be a repeat of Charles Pickering?

TUCKER CARLSON, "CROSSFIRE": I don't think so. I think it's going to be much tougher to work this guy. For one thing, he's qualified. He's been passed for the Senate twice before. ADA calls him well-qualified. He's phi beta kappa Columbia, Harvard law school.

And I think, more to the point, there was a press conference today on the Hill put together by Hispanic groups, essentially accusing Senator Leahy of not liking Estrada because he's Hispanic. Now, whether that's a fair criticism, probably not. But still a powerful one.

I mean, Democrats don't like him because he's conservative and they think the D.C. court of appeals is a launching pad, as it is, for the Supreme Court. And they want to stop him early. But it's a pretty heavy charge, and I think will prevent Democrats from stalling the nomination longer.

WOODRUFF: Margaret.

MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME": I don't think anyone is going to buy that Democrats are against him because he's Hispanic. They may be against him because he is very conservative and because he was in the law firm that argued for Bush in the Florida case and helped him win the election. So he was quite a partisan nominee.

It is going to take a long time for Democrats to catch up in the delay game, given how many judicial nominees were delayed by Republicans during the Clinton administration. So the complaints about delay fall on deaf ears, because this is nothing compared to what it was.

T. CARLSON: Wait. But you still have to come up with an argument, even if it is a phony one. You can't just say, "Well, they did it us; therefore, we are doing it to them." You can't just say: "Well, he was involved in a Supreme Court decision that we don't like." Gore isn't president. We're still mad about that. Therefore,, we're going to block this poor guy." You can't say that in public. There's no argument.

M. CARLSON: No, no, no. But you and I might say that you can't say that, but it is said all the time in politics. It is said about scandals. It is said about independent counsels. It is said about judicial nominees.


T. CARLSON: But you need rhetoric, though. And, so with Pickering, they could use the phrase "cross burning and he was against interracial marriage in the 50s," etcetera. At least they had -- they had set up kind of a phony argument against him. Even if that wasn't, as we know, the real reason, they at least had a reason. They don't in this case.

M. CARLSON: Yes, there is a lack of writings and decisions -- Tucker is right about that -- for them to hang their objections on.

WOODRUFF: Let me move you quickly to human cloning. The president today urged a complete ban. He urged the Senate to follow along and do what the House did. If this happens, Margaret, wouldn't this completely shut the door on medical research? And is it the right thing to do?

M. CARLSON: Well, what Bush has done is to use human cloning -- which is a frightening thing and which there is -- I don't know who is for cloning another Tucker, for instance.

T. CARLSON: Thank you, Margaret.

M. CARLSON: There is no lobby for human cloning.

WOODRUFF: Tucker, defend yourself.

T. CARLSON: Yes, I shall in a moment. I will let Margaret finish.

M. CARLSON: Nor is there a lobby for cloning me.

But to put everything else is under this human cloning ban, which is therapeutic human cloning and certain kinds of human stem cell research -- and Bush pulled in Senator Bill First, who I think is against human cloning, as we all are, but who is for some stem cell research, which would also get snagged in some of this language.

T. CARLSON: Well, first of all,, Margaret, there is a lobby for post-viability, late-term abortion. So if there's lobby for that -- there are Satanists out there -- there is a lobby, doubtless, for cloning.

M. CARLSON: There is a lobby for partial-birth abortion?

T. CARLSON: Well, absolutely. Abortion providers lobbied for it, and successfully, as you know.

But I think this is going to pass, Brownback-Landrieu bill against cloning. And I think this administration has put out this kind of pro-stem-cell position already. So I just don't buy that the bills will make that illegal.

WOODRUFF: So against cloning and against any of these other interpretations that include medical and opportunity


T. CARLSON: Well, no, I mean Senator Frist and the president are of one mind on stem cell research. And it's a pretty liberal view they have.

M. CARLSON: As I understand Senator Frist, he would do more stem cell research. The president limited his stem cells to the 60 existing, which turned out not to be 60. So I think Frist has a slightly more expansive view.

WOODRUFF: And only adult.

M. CARLSON: And only adult, yes.

WOODRUFF: All right, we are going to leave it there. Margaret Carlson, Tucker Carlson, thank you both.

T. CARLSON: Thank you.

M. CARLSON: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

And you can give us your opinions on these topics and more at Plus, don't forget to e-mail Bill Schneider with your ideas for his "Political Play of the Week" this week.

Well, Rudy Giuliani may be out of office, but next, he's still in the game, talking, traveling and making money. We'll have the "Inside Buzz" on his life as a private citizen.


WOODRUFF: When Rudy Giuliani left the New York mayor's office, no one expected him to fade away. Well, Giuliani has managed to keep himself in the spotlight and in demand.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick helps us catch up with citizen Giuliani.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's still Rudy Giuliani's city.

CROWD: Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!

FEYERICK: One hundred days after leaving city hall, Rudy remains the rage. He's been wined, dined and knighted, an honorary knight. The non-Brit can't officially be called "sir."

New York City's 107th mayor, a private citizen, very much in demand.


FEYERICK: He's got his own business: Giuliani Partners, LLC, a consulting company billed as helping make and manage investments. The staff? Members of his inner circle from city hall. Their clients? No one named as of yet.

GIULIANI: The area in which we are doing a lot of preliminary work, at least, is the security area.

FEYERICK: Giuliani, the person of the year, has been doing a lot of talking: speaking engagements with a price tag listing $40,000 and up. No one's allowed to tell how much they are paying the mayor. It's in the contract -- Giuliani still protective, nay secretive about details of private life.

Almost always at his side: the woman he first called his good friend, he now calls partner. No one really says girlfriend. How come? Who knows. Maybe because Giuliani's very bitter divorce from a TV newswoman is not yet finished. Also unfinished: the proofs for Giuliani's much-anticipated autobiography.

But who has time? Rudy rarely left New York City while mayor. Now he's traveling everywhere, for himself and others. He is the Republican Party's not-so-secret campaign weapon, in California backing a rich businessman, a first-time candidate who ended up winning the Republican nomination for governor, even though the White House backed the other guy.

Exactly how much Giuliani had to do with the win is hard to say. But it's worked before in New York City. And, of course, the question: Will Rudy Giuliani, called America's mayor, ever run for higher office?

GIULIANI: Not out of the question. I don't know how to grade it as, you know, likely, more unlikely, less likely. I have no plans to run for office right now.

FEYERICK: As busy as he is, Giuliani says he is a lot more relaxed. There are no emergency calls in the middle of the night. And his battle with prostate cancer is over.

GIULIANI: I'm in great health. I'm probably stronger now than I was. I think I'm both physically stronger -- I know I'm spiritually and mentally stronger than I was before.

FEYERICK: And now that the first pitch has been thrown, the next 100 days should be even better for this lifelong Yankees fan.

GIULIANI: I'm enjoying it better now that the Yankees are back and baseball is back.

FEYERICK (on camera): One thing Giuliani is not doing: He's not criticizing the new mayor, Mike Bloomberg. He's barely weighed in on several policy changes. That may be a sign that, while Rudy is synonymous with New York City, it is a new day for both the city and the ex-mayor.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: And now to the money race in the Florida governor's race. The fund-raising totals are in for the first three months of the year. And not surprisingly, incumbent Republican Jeb Bush has raised the most: $2.4 million. The Democrats trailed, in the six figures. But Tampa attorney Bill McBride managed to out-raise his better-known former rival, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, by more than $200,000. Jeb Bush also has considerably more cash on hand, $3.9 million, compared to about $870,000 for McBride and a little more than $300,000 for Reno.

Two Texas runoffs headline our "Campaign News Daily": Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk won yesterday's runoff for the Democratic Senate nomination. Kirk got about 60 percent of the vote to defeat schoolteacher Victor Morales. Kirk now faces Republican John Cornyn.

Also in Texas, Denton County Judge Scott Armey was upset in his bid to succeed his father in Congress. The son of retiring Majority Leader Dick Armey lost to political newcomer Michael Burgess by 10 percentage points. Armey led Burgess by more than 20 points after last month's primary.

And, in California, the current mayor of Long Beach, who ran for reelection as a write-in candidate, is locked in a tight race with an openly gay opponent. Term limits kept Mayor Beverly O'Neill's name off the ballot, but she received 27 percent of the vote. Vice Mayor Dan Baker is running a close second. If Baker wins in a runoff, Long Beach would become the largest city in the country with an openly gay mayor.

When local politics go national and why: Jeff Greenfield considers the lessons of Newt Gingrich and midterm elections just ahead in today's "Bite of the Apple."


WOODRUFF: With us, it is never too early to discuss the upcoming midterm elections, including how the lessons of the past may affect the voting this fall.

Joining me now with more in today's "Bite of the Apple" is our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield -- Jeff, hello there.


WOODRUFF: Jeff, all the polls we've seen lately are suggesting, at this point anyway, there's no overriding national issue out there. So does that mean we're back to the famous Tip O'Neill line: "All politics is local"?

GREENFIELD: Well, we may be, Judy, but it's important to remember that that famous observation is often wrong.

The Republicans didn't sweep into the Congress in 1946 for local reasons. It was post-war discontent that centered around Democrat President Harry Truman. The reason the Democrats did so well in 1974 was anger at Richard Nixon's behavior. It hurt all the Republicans. The reason the Republicans took the Congress in 1994 was anger over both Clintons, President Clinton, and his kind of administration that they didn't think was going anywhere, and Hillary Clinton and her health care plan. And, even in 1998, when people thought that Clinton would be the reason why Republicans would gain, it turned out House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his House Republicans, who were seen to be too partisan, wound up with a rare midterm gain for the party in power. So, you have to be careful about that insight, I think.

WOODRUFF: So, Jeff, if it has happened so often, why not this year?

GREENFIELD: Well, one of the things about all those examples that I just mentioned is, those were highly polarizing figures. You look at George W. Bush, he is not, I think, a polarizing figure.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is hardly a Newt Gingrich in terms of drawing the lightning. The Republicans are trying to make Tom Daschle, the Senate leader, into this obstructionist kind of villain. But there's something about that South Dakota low-key quality of Daschle's that makes that tough. So, in this circumstance so far, I do think, as of now, we're back to primarily local concerns.

WOODRUFF: So that means the Tip O'Neill rule kicks in?



GREENFIELD: If there is another terrorist attack on the United States, if there is a huge spike in Middle East oil prices -- in oil prices that sends our economy into the shambles, that's two examples of issues that can nationalize the race.

I am tempted to say we should wait and see. But when you say that to political journalists, it is like saying to lemmings, "Don't run into the ocean just yet." But I really do think that it is entirely possible that, by the fall, it will change.

WOODRUFF: Well, we want an answer now, but I think you're telling us we need to wait.

GREENFIELD: You can't have it.


WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, thanks.

The Middle East in perspective when we come back: Our Bruce Morton considers Colin Powell's mission to those who went before him.


WOODRUFF: The Middle East crisis has shadowed U.S. administrations for decades now, despite the best efforts of America's top diplomats.

CNN's Bruce Morton reports on the current challenges facing Colin Powell, while unique in their own way, bear a strong resemblance to efforts in the past.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here they come; there they go: American secretaries of state -- Colin Powell now -- shuttling through the Middle East. Kissinger, Haig, Vance, Christopher, Shultz, the rest, shaking hands talking diplotalk.


WARREN CHRISTOPHER, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think we all realize that only through negotiations...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To do all we can to move this process forward.



MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, SECRETARY OF STATE: I have a sense that there is a desire to seize the moment.


MORTON: Hard to seize though.

CLOVIS MAKSOUD, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Well, at times, it's motion without movement.

MORTON: The professionals have a phrase for it.

MARTIN INDYK, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: If you don't visit the Middle East, it will end up visiting you.

MORTON: Henry Kissinger brokered some effective truces after the 1973 war. Cyrus Vance, Jimmy Carter's secretary of state, had a real breakthrough: the agreement between Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin, which returned the Sinai to Egypt.

James Baker arranged the Madrid peace conference, which led to -- well, it's hard to remember what it led to. Warren Christopher made a couple of dozen trips to the region. His successor...

INDYK: Secretary Albright didn't want to do what Secretary Christopher did, so she tried to avoid going for a while, but ended up getting caught up in it. And I suspect exactly the same thing will happen to Secretary Powell.

MORTON: The United States keeps trying, maybe because there isn't anybody else. MAKSOUD: The pivotal role that the United States plays is because of a sort of vicarious veto that Israel does not allow anybody else but the United States to have some influence on its behavior pattern.

MORTON: And, of course, because it seems so awful, U.S. governments keep thinking there must be a way to make it better. There just must.

INDYK: Even though there is a sense of hopelessness at the moment, there is, still underneath it all, an aspiration of people on both sides to a more peaceful future.

MORTON: And yet, and yet -- A "New York Times" headline in 1982 read: "The Mideast: A Personal Test for" then Secretary Alexander Haig. Twenty years later, only the names have changed.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: And we will have something a little different when we return, as I get the sort of treatment that I don't get around here on "The Daily Show." And you'll hear what the host, Jon Stewart, had to say about our own Wolf Blitzer.

Speaking of Wolf, Wolf, you're with us now with a preview of what's ahead on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

WOLF BLITZER, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": Judy, I watched last night. it wasn't pretty, but thank you very much for defending me.

The Middle East crisis escalates again. We'll have some breaking news, as Israel has some choice words for the United States. Also, it takes a lot to frighten lawyers. I'll ask Alan Dershowitz about a controversial case with a big scare factor. And the man who has the power to file charges against a cardinal: Will he do it? I'll ask Massachusetts' top law man.

It is all coming up right at the top of the hour right after INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: Here's a quick preview of what's in the works for tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS. In my latest visit with Democratic hopefuls and their spouses, I will interview North Carolina Senator John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth. And we'll find out why singer Elton John has scheduled his latest appearance on Capitol Hill. Plus, I'll talk with Tom Toles, the new editorial cartoonist for "The Washington Post."

Well, there are some surveys out these days that show that many Americans are getting their political news from late-night comics. So, last night, I engaged in a field study, of sorts. I appeared on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Comedy Central. And I brought a photographer along, so you could see what goes on there behind the scenes.


WOODRUFF: You've already got my name on the door.

Hi, there.


WOODRUFF: I'm Judy Woodruff. Nice to meet you.

STEWART: I know. I watch you on the TV all the time. Hey.

WOODRUFF: When the staff found out in Washington that I was doing your show, they said: "Oh, my God. Well, we have got to send a crew."

STEWART: The crew -- oh, I've got to make this interesting. Oh.

Is Blitzer -- here's a question just for Blitzer.


STEWART: Still with the suit and the mustache. Is he cleaning that at all?


WOODRUFF: You know, I'll have to ask him.

Where do you get your political news? Other than watching CNN, what, do you read everything?

STEWART: Yes, I read everything, Internet. It is almost osmosis at a certain point. We're so surrounded by and saturated by information that it is just a question of sopping it up, almost.

Actually, we're sending a correspondent to ANWR tomorrow.

WOODRUFF: Oh, and then they'll be able to get back from Alaska.

STEWART: Yes, exactly, in time to do -- so they are going to be in ANWR, basically, trying to figure out what it is that every crisis prompts the ANWR drilling as the solution. We have a theory that it's buried treasure, that they know there is buried treasure and they need to get there to dig it up. But they're trying to play coy with the American public so.




STEWART: Please welcome Judy Woodruff.


STEWART: George Bush is a sitting president in wartime. They've got tons more money. And the Democrats have -- I mean, Al Gore grew a beard. That's almost like giving up. You might as well come out with your pants undone. That is just giving up. They lack pizzazz. And the Republicans, let's face it, are a much stronger opposition party.

WOODRUFF: They would resent that. Could you sit here and look at John Kerry and say, "You are tired"?

STEWART: He's a war hero. I couldn't say anything to him.

WOODRUFF: All right. John Edwards, would you look at John Edwards and say, "You're tired and you've been around the block"?

STEWART: Gephardt I could look at say that pretty good.

WOODRUFF: All right. All right. What about Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont? He is running.

STEWART: Yes, he has got great name recognition, too. He'll do great. Howard Dean, most people think he makes sausage.



WOODRUFF: Yes, Jon Stewart's only problem is, he doesn't have a sense of humor.

"The Daily Show" was going to send a crew to INSIDE POLITICS to watch, but we decided that was taking it too far. I had a lot of fun.

CNN's coverage continues now with "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." Thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.


Prospects Gather in Florida; Cold Facts on Drilling in ANWR>



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