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CNN INSIDE POLITICS

FBI Issues New Terror Alert; Washington, D.C. Prepares for Protests at IMF, World Bank Meeting; What Is In the New Energy Bill?

Aired April 19, 2002 - 16:00   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington against the backdrop of a new terrorist threat. I'll tell you what President Bush is doing behind the scenes to protect himself.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kathleen Koch in Washington, where security is tight as thousands of protesters descend on the city before global finance talks this weekend.

BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brooks Jackson. Is this torche lamp the nation's biggest energy problem? The way the Senate has voted, you might think so.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm Bill Schneider. I'll tell you who hit the mother load in the political play of the week.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this INSIDE POLITICS WITH JUDY WOODRUFF.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. We begin with that new terror alert from the FBI. The Bureau says it has received unsubstantiated information that terrorists are considering attacks against U.S. financial institutions in the Northeast, particularly banks. Attorney General John Ashcroft emphasizes that the FBI does not have specifics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's important to note that there is no specific threat being communicated to any specific institution. We are not changing our assessment of the overall national threat level. And we are not asking banks to close or urging people to stay away from banks. We are alerting law enforcement and financial institutions and the American people to be vigilant and to be aware of anything that appears suspicious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Our justice correspondent Kelli Arena is here. Kelli, do we know what the source of this information is?

KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were several sources of intelligence, the most interesting being interviews with detainees taken from Afghanistan in relation to the 9-11 investigation. There's also electronic eavesdropping and phone intercepts. So there was a variety of sources culled together to present the information.

But again, the FBI says that, of an abundance of caution, it disseminated that information.

WOODRUFF: Kelli, is there any concern there, of the risk about making this public? And this whole notion, if you say it too many times, people won't believe you when it really happens, if it doesn't this time?

ARENA: Right. The "boy who cries wolf" syndrome, as one official put it today. There has been a discussion each and every time one of these threat alerts goes out. And this was an alert that went out after much discussion between the Treasury, the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Homeland Defense office. And so they decided that there was enough information that they wanted to err on the side of caution.

But this is a very tricky business. You don't want to alarm the public. But you want them to be vigilant and alert. So when you have enough information, I'm told, they're erring so far on the side of caution. Get it out there, make people aware.

But as you said, the fear is that once you hear this too many times and nothing happens -- and that has been the case over the last few months -- that people become dulled to it and they're not as sensitive to the warnings as they should be.

WOODRUFF: Kelli, one other thing just to be clear, here. What is covered by this alert? Who should be particularly vigilant now?

ARENA: Financial institutions is as specific as the FBI is getting. Now, that could include banks, it could include stock exchanges. It could include brokerage firms or federal reserve facilities.

But Attorney General Ashcroft has always made it a point to say that people in general need to be vigilant. You need to be aware of your surroundings, about people around you, about suspicious packages or about suspicious activity or conversation that you may overhear. And the advice is, get in touch with your -- with the nearest official. Whether that official is a bank official, if you're at a bank, or your nearest police station.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kelli Arena, our justice correspondent. This isn't the first time they've had to walk that sort of fine line over there, is it?

ARENA: That's true. No.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Well, even before this new terror alert, security concerns in Washington were already high. CNN's Kathleen Koch reports on the precautions before the expected protests, when the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank meet this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KOCH (voice-over): They are taking the usual precautions, setting up mobile command posts, banning parking. Removing trash cans, newspaper boxes, anything not nailed down that rowdy protesters could throw or damage. In a city no stranger to large, sometimes violent protests, they're also preparing for possible terrorism against demonstrators.

CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: At this time we don't have any intelligence information that tells us that anything is going to take place. But obviously in today's environment, we have to be very concerned about that.

KOCH: Protesters are promising peaceful rallies an marches. They're targeting everything from war, globalization and racism, to U.S. policies in Colombia and the Middle East.

MAHDI BRAY, MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL: We feel that our government has not been a fair broker. And therefore we want to bring people together to be able to articulate that message very loud an clear.

KOCH: Despite their disparate issues, organizers say a common thread runs through the protests.

TERRA LAWSON-REMER, ALTERNET: All have very different agendas, but all are united by a common concern: U.S. military and economic policies that are undermining freedom, democracy and equal justice both at home and abroad.

KOCH: The demonstrations come to the nation's capital as World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials meet. The World Bank, insisting protesters' concerns are being heard.

JAMES WOLFENSOHN, PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK: My short answer to them would be that we have come a hell of a long way. That the poverty reduction strategy programs includes more than they've ever dreamed of.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOCH: Protest organizers are downplaying expectations for turnout tomorrow -- likely nowhere near the crowds that showed up at the pro-Israel rally on Monday. Still they are hoping that the strength of their combined messages will make up for their shortage in numbers -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kathleen Koch, thanks.

On Capitol Hill, House Republican leaders are secretly working to add $100 million dollars to President Bush's request for antiterrorism spending. A Congressional source says the money would be used to prepare a location for lawmakers to conduct business if terrorists attacked the capital. A source says that speaker Dennis Hastert asked appropriations committee chairman Bill Young to set aside the money when the two men met privately yesterday.

With the capital and the nation still anxious about terrorist threats, President Bush got a close-up look at security teams in action when he visited the Secret Service's training center in Maryland today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): It's training day for the president. A routine refresher course at a time when nothing do with presidential security can really be described as routine. The Secret Service training center has an airport area, a pool for rescue exercises and a track for limousine training.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand you got behind the wheel.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did get behind the wheel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did it go?

BUSH: Have you ever done a J-turn before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.

BUSH: I have.

WOODRUFF: Most of the training session is off-limits to cameras, for obvious security reasons. But you can get an idea of what it's like from previous on-camera sessions, such as this one from January of last year. Mr. Bush reportedly watched a similar demonstration today, of a simulated attack on a presidential motorcade.

Protecting the president is of course an intense and demanding job, vividly portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the 1993 film, "In the Line of Fire." The key to success: preparation. As the sign on the training center wall says, "Do not figure on your opponents not attacking. Worry about your own lack of preparation."

That 2,000-year-old advice from Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu has never seemed so relevant. After 9-11, agents are well aware that an attack on the president could come at any time, from any direction.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

In case you're wondering what a J-turn is, the president, we're told, backed up a Chevrolet Camaro at 40 miles an hour, then spun it 180 degrees and kept driving. We suggest you don't try this at home.

Another reminder this week of the perils that Secret Service agents face nearly 30 years after the attempt to assassinate Alabama governor and presidential candidate, George Wallace. Wallace survived the attack at a rally in suburban Washington, although he was paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Just yesterday the four Secret Service agents who protected Wallace that day finally were honored with awards of valor that reportedly had not yet been created back in 1972.

Still hearkening back to the turbulence of the '60s and the early '70s, the Black Panthers are holding a reunion here in Washington. Here is our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Judy, as you know, the Black Panthers were young black men and women in the '60s who did not renounce, but were impatient with, the nonviolent civil rights activism of Martin Luther King, and who literally took up arms in defense of neighborhoods they felt were under siege by a hostile government in the person of police.

It was a gimme to go and see where are these people now, the names that we have heard so long, and now in the history books. And we really only had to go as far as Capitol Hill to find Congressman Bobby Rush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BOBBY RUSH (D-IL), FMR. BLACK PANTHER PARTY MEMBER: We have blacks who were young ex-Panthers, who are now orthopedic surgeons, physicians, lawyers, teachers, people who have gone on to get advanced degrees in nursing. So we've got, you know, we represent a pretty broad cross section of America's best and brightest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: But in addition there are people who will tell you of another side of the Black Panthers, the 30-something former members of the Black Panthers who are now in jail, many of them for murder. Many of them for murder of police officials.

But we went and talked at the reunion to another well-known name from that time, Bobby Seale, who continues to insist that these men were doing nothing but defending themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOBBY SEALE, BLACK PANTHER PARTY CO-FOUNDER: So, don't say we were the ones that caused the shoot-outs. It was the FBI and the fascists behind J. Edgar Hoover's operation that caused this. Because we vowed -- and I gave orders and directives -- if they shoot at us, then we defend ourselves.

Because what we're doing, is we're defending our constitutional, democratic, civil human rights, whether the racist pig power structure like it or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Bobby Seale, a co-founder of the Black Panthers union. He has also written a book, "Barbecuing with Bobby." He still remains very active in the community and says that he believes that many of those ex-Black Panthers now in jail ought to be given amnesty -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Candy, I believe you're doing a fuller report on this tonight.

CROWLEY: Yes, at 10:00.

WOODRUFF: All right, Candy, thanks very much.

Question: Are improvements in the U.S. economy helping the rest of the world? When we return, we'll talk about protests and economic policy with the president of the World Bank.

In our "Taking Issues" segment, what does the Vatican need to do when American cardinals arrive next week to discuss the sexual abuse scandal?

And the man behind the political cartoons. We'll ask the "Washington Post's" new hire, Tom Tolls, about his art.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

WOLFENSOHN: What is good about it is that it will give an economic in these countries to advance quicker. But certainly, aid and openness of trade by the developed world to the developing world is still very necessary.

WOODRUFF: As you know, protesters have become a fixture at your meetings. There are certainly expected to be some this weekend in Washington. But they're primarily focused, we're told, on the Middle East and Afghanistan. Is the World Bank going to play a major role in rebuilding those countries devastated by war and by terrorism?

WOLFENSOHN: Well, I think not only will we, but we have been, Judy. We are probably the leading factor in the Middle East, along with our friends in UNDP. We're currently dealing with the emergency questions. We're ready to move immediately on reconstruction. We have pulled together a group to raise the money necessary in Gaza, the West Bank, the Palestinian territories.

And on Afghanistan, we have put together the package. We already have a team working there. And I'll be going there in another three weeks. So we're deeply, deeply involved in both those situations.

WOODRUFF: Just how bad is the situation in the Middle East, particularly in the Palestinian territories?

WOLFENSOHN: Well, it's terrible at the moment, in terms of humanitarian issues: lack of water, lack of food. Half the people in the area are living in poverty. There is the result of the damage that is being done physically by the violence.

But there's also the loss of jobs by Palestinians in Israel. And that's causing an overall, virtually halving of their gross national product. So it's a tremendously difficult thing, economically, and needs to be rebuilt, not only in terms of money, but in terms of mutual trust. WOODRUFF: I want to ask you about the reports book that came out this spring by a World Bank economist on leave, which echoes and expands the criticisms that came out in reports back in 1998 and '99, one of them commissioned by Congress, that really amount to a searing indictment of the World Bank. I know you're very familiar with all this.

But basically what they're saying is that Bank is no closer now than it was 50 years ago to figuring out a way to help poor countries. How do you respond to that?

WOLFENSOHN: Well, I don't think that's right at all, Judy. The simple fact is that we have made very considerable progress, both on poverty, on health, on education. And there is a general agreement now that the coming together of our strategies to pull the donor communities together under the leadership of the countries themselves, to bring in civil society, to bring in the private sector, is the way to go.

And our recent reports clearly indicate that this sort of consultative process, this methodology, is working. And I have no doubt that we are better off today than we were 10 years ago.

WOODRUFF: So, even when the internal reports and then this book by William Easterly say that there are really very few genuine success stories, are you able to point to them?

WOLFENSOHN: Yes, I can point to them. First of all I can point to the work that we've done in India and China, which after all, 2.2 billion people out of 6 billion people on the planet. I can point to Uganda, to Mozambique. I can point to Brazil, Chile, Peru. There are many things that I can point to.

That's not to say that I don't think that we are left with tremendous problems in the world. We are the largest giver and provider of services and money. But it doesn't stop me saying and giving a warning that unless we deal with the question of global poverty, there will not be peace.

But we cannot do it alone. It's essential that we all unite on this issue. I have no doubt that there are things that we do wrong. But I'm absolutely clear that on the things that we do right, we are leading the pack.

WOODRUFF: How do you account for this criticism then?

WOLFENSOHN: I think you'll always have criticism when you're a big organization. I expect it continuously, from NGOs. I think that Easterly's book, if you read it, has a lot of elements that are both positive and negative.

And most of the issues that he has raised, we have raised ourselves in our own reports. He actually worked for us, and so it's not that he's raising issues that we're unfamiliar with. They were developed when he was a member of our team. WOODRUFF: James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank. We thank you for talking us to on the eve of these meetings here in Washington.

WOLFENSOHN: Thank you very much, Judy.

WOODRUFF: A day of relief and high emotion for families of American Marines. Up next, families reunite after seven months of separation. We join the homecoming next in our "Newscycle."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Among the headlines in our "Newscycle," D.C. police are clearing sidewalks and preparing for protests as the World Bank and the IMF gather for annual meetings this weekend in Washington. This event comes as the FBI issues a new terror alert for U.S. financial institutions. A source tells CNN that the unsubstantiated threat involves potential attacks to be carried out by al Qaeda operatives.

In Florida, investigators say that a track misalignment is one possible cause of the deadly Amtrak derailment in northeast Florida. Four people were killed, 159 others injured, when the 40-car train derailed.

Nearly 400 Marines reunited with friends and family today at the Marine Corps air station in New River, North Carolina. The group is part of the air combat element of the 26th Marine expeditionary unit, deployed to Afghanistan seven months ago in the war against terror.

Earlier today President Bush talked with reporters about this week's Senate defeat of his proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. Mr. Bush said he's not sure if he will sign an energy bill without a provision for ANWR drilling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I do think it is very important for the American people to understand we need more supply to offset the national security risk of importing oil from parts of the world that do not like America. And I am confident we can find more supply in an environmentally friendly way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: With me now to talk more about that ANWR vote and another top story, Deroy Murdock of Scripps Howard and Michelle Cottle of "The New Republic." Michelle, should the president be so confident that other ways will be found that are politically acceptable?

MICHELLE COTTLE, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": Well, Judy, the ANWR thing, the Democrats made a real point of pride here. They were not going to let it go through.

But the president has got a lot riding on this. He's going to push with the Middle East, upset gas prices are going to rise this summer. This could come back to bite the Democrats. And I'm not sure that this should have been their line in the sand. They've missed a big opportunity here to use this as a bargaining chip for something, you know, even more substantial, like better CAFE fuel economy standards.

WOODRUFF: Deroy.

DEROY MURDOCK, SCRIPPS HOWARD: I think the president should have been more active in making the very simple point that this is a terrible time for the U.S. to step away from potential energy independence. You've got an actual oil embargo, on the part of Iraq, in terms of its exports.

In Venezuela, another major oil exporter, you had Hugo Chavez kicked out in a military coup on Thursday, and kicked back into office on Sunday. While at the same time, you have petroleum workers on strike.

In Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter out there, just last weekend they had a telethon to raise money for the survivors of the homicide bombers in the West Bank and Jerusalem. This is a very clear case to have been made. I think it's really amazing that the Senate did not open up ANWR under these circumstances, with gasoline prices rising, as Michelle said.

I do wish the president had been more engaged and flown a planeload of reporters up to Alaska and let them take a look at ANWR. This is not Yosemite or Yellowstone. Basically it's an icebox in wintertime and a mosquito farm in the summer.

(CROSSTALK)

MURDOCK: He should have, I think, really put more of his prestige on this and pushed harder. Perhaps even a national address on how important this is. President Bush has got to take this high popularity he has and invest it in issues other than the war on terror. And I think he's really hanging on to his political capital and really hoarding it in a way that doesn't advance his agenda.

WOODRUFF: Quickly, Michelle, if the president had taken a group of reporters up there, would it have turned some people around?

COTTLE: I don't know. This has been such an issue for the environmentalists. And reporters -- I guess it depends on where they drop them. I mean, the reporters could then cynically say, but of course, Bush has dropped them in a bad part of ANWR, or whatever. I think though that it is going to come back. It could hit the Democrats in the election cycle, because they have ticked off the unions over this.

WOODRUFF: All right, let me turn you to a story that we're watching very closely next week, and that is the pope, Pope John Paul II, calling in U.S. cardinals to Rome for a meeting on the sexual abuse scandal here in the church in the United States.

Deroy, what about expectations for this? What has to come out of this meeting, if anything, to restore the credibility of the Catholic Church in America

MURDOCK: Unfortunately, I think the Catholic Church's credibility is really on the line here. I spent last night seeing a Broadway show called "Sweet Smell of Success," which I found rather interesting.

And there's a scene in the show, of John Lithgow and another character in a Roman Catholic Church chapel. And one character says something like, "The cardinal lets me use this chapel at night," and then he starts asking the other character about what it was like to be an altar boy.

And in the whole middle of this serious scene, people are just chuckling and tittering. The Roman Catholic Church is becoming, unfortunately, the butt of a lot of jokes.

And I think the way to turn that around is for the church to understand that, if it is a matter of priests sleeping with a 24-year- old man or a 24-year-old woman, that's an internal matter.

But when you are talking about 8- and 9- and 10-year-old altar boys, this is a matter of criminality. And what the pope needs to stress is that the bishops need to come back and turn the names over of people who have been accused of pedophilia. And they need to be investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted, tried, and then jailed. This is a criminal matter, not of a matter of internal church discussion and debate.

WOODRUFF: Michelle?

COTTLE: I think this is true.

One of the things concerns me is a lot of what's going to be talked about, they said, was the issue of how they screen gay candidates for the priesthood. This is not what they need to be focussing on. My concern is that this pope just in no condition at his point in his tenure to be addressing things like women in the church and the whole issue of celibacy.

WOODRUFF: What do you mean no condition? You mean because of his physical well-being?

COTTLE: He is unhealthy. He is old. And at this point, I would like to think that he is up to the task of really fundamentally addressing these issues. But unless these big-ticket items get discussed, there is really not much that is going to happen substantively here.

WOODRUFF: All right, we are going to...

MURDOCK: Yes, and I think the real risk for the Catholic Church is if it doesn't move forward on this and stop the stonewalling and turn over names to prosecutors.

The church can talk about abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, these other important matters, and people will say: "Why should we listen to you? You condone grown men sleeping with little boys and then you cover it up and you move them around from one archdiocese to the next." And until the Catholic Church cleans house, their credibility is going to continue to fall.

WOODRUFF: We are going to have to leave it there. Deroy Murdock, Michelle Cottle, thank you both. Good to see you. Have a good weekend.

COTTLE: Thanks, Judy.

MURDOCK: Good to see you.

WOODRUFF: Don't forget, INSIDE POLITICS is on the Web. We have news and we have a place where you can send us your ideas and opinions. It's all at CNN.com/INSIDE POLITICS.

"Inside Buzz" on the Democrats and a Democratic mayor in hot water with some in his own party: the latest on Washington's Anthony Williams and his appearance at a GOP candidate fund-raiser.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Some "Inside Buzz" on D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and last night's fund-raiser for a Republican House member. Williams, a Democrat, took part in the event for Maryland Congresswoman Connie Morella. Now, she chairs a subcommittee with jurisdiction over D.C. affairs. Cameras were not allowed inside, where Williams praised Morella as a friend of the city. Democrats have criticized the mayor, but Williams says he is just looking out for the best interests of the city.

Well, now for some "Buzz" on some of the other congressional races in play and insight into how Democrats hope to counter the president's popularity, I am joined by CNN congressional correspondent Kate Snow.

All right, Kate, yesterday you were talking to the people who are trying to get Democrats elected. Today, you were talking to people trying to get Republicans elected.

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Other way around. Actually, the other way around. Yesterday was Republicans.

WOODRUFF: Sorry. Republicans yesterday, Democrats today. Thank you.

SNOW: Today Democrats.

And it was a bit of a rebuttal to what the Republicans had said yesterday: the Democrats making it really clear what their top issue is going to be, at least right now. They think Social Security is the golden egg for them. It's really the winning issue. And it is already showing up on the airways. We got ahold of an ad that is running right now in West Virginia for a Democratic challenger.

Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, HUMPHREYS CAMPAIGN AD)

ANNOUNCER: He'll take on big corporations like Enron and protect workers' pensions, stand up to the Wall Street bankers who want to privatize Social Security and gamble with our retirement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Now, you heard two things there: gamble with Social Security. Democrats say half of Americans and two-thirds of older American seniors are worried about Social Security. They think that's just their winning issue.

No. 2, you also heard him mention Enron. Democrats told us today, they think if they play that up, it gives them an advantage. They think House Republicans tried to give a corporate tax break to Enron. Remember that last fall. They're going to point back at that in some of their ads. Expect to hear that. In fact, today the Democrats said, almost jokingly, the only thing less popular than Enron is the Nazi Party.

And, thirdly, one other issue that they say they are going to pick up on is education. Democrats say their polls show them that people trust them more than Republicans on education. Now, Republicans, Judy, said to us yesterday that: "Look at this long list here. They clearly don't have one issue. They're struggling for issues." The Republicans say the Democrats don't have one thing that is going to galvanize people and get them out to the polls. And that's why they're -- in the words of Tom Davis -- throwing things at the wall and hoping that something is going to stick.

WOODRUFF: Now, Kate, the president is obviously not on the ballot this year, but he is very popular. And the Republicans would argue that his popularity is going to help them. What do the Democrats say to that?

SNOW: And the Democrats say his popularity is going down. They say take a look at the figures right now. And it is starting to creep back down. And they say, by the time the election rolls around, they think he will be in the 60 percent range rather than up the high 70s, where he is now.

And they also say that they think the Democratic Party is gaining strength nationwide in generic polls. Republicans say to both those things: "First of all, of course the president is not going to remain quite as popular as he was after September 11. That is fully expected." But they say: "Hey, we'll take 65 percent. That is not so bad. What are Democrats yelling about?" They also dispute that the Democrats are gaining ground.

In fact, they say right that now more people are self-identifying themselves as Republicans than ever before. They say it is at a record level. The one thing that both parties sort of agree on is what I mentioned a minute ago: that there really isn't one thing that is going to galvanize a whole lot of people to get out to the polls. The Democrats said today there's no earthquake that is going to send people running for the polls. Both parties agree on that.

WOODRUFF: Well, that's one thing they can come together on.

(LAUGHTER)

SNOW: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kate Snow, thanks very much.

SNOW: Sure.

WOODRUFF: The vice president is staying busy supporting GOP House and Senate candidates, you wouldn't be surprised to know. Turning to "Campaign News Daily": Cheney, Dick Cheney is making fund- raising stops today for Republican congressmen in Pennsylvania and New York. Cheney has attended 17 fund-raisers in 13 different states already this year. He is expected to appear in total at about 60 events for GOP candidates before Election Day.

Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt has endorsed Democrat Dan Blue in the North Carolina Senate race. Gantt says that Blue has the best record to replace retiring Republican Jesse Helms. Gantt ran against Helms himself twice in the 1990s, but he lost both times.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley is in Iowa helping out a congressional candidate. Bradley spent a lot of time in Iowa during his run for president. He returned to attend fund-raisers today for 5th District House candidate Paul Shomshor.

And we will look at the Senate energy bill when we return. Did it lose its drive? Our Brooks Jackson has the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We've been reporting for the last few hours a new threat, in effect, issued from the FBI about a potential terrorist attack in the United States.

Our David Ensor joining us, a little more information about where this information is coming from -- David.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, it is coming from a variety of intelligence sources, I am told. But one of them is rather significant and rather interesting.

That is the prisoner Abu Zubaydah, the senior al Qaeda lieutenant who was captured in Pakistan, is now in U.S. hands. He was one of the top people, considered the chief operations officer, in effect, of al Qaeda since the death of Mohammed Atef.

He is talking, we are told, to U.S. officials. And it is in part from him that this information about a possible threat to a bank or banks in the Northeast has come. So, A, it is very interesting that the information is coming from him. And, B, it is tremendously significant that this man is now cooperating with his interrogators.

WOODRUFF: Well, it is surprising, isn't it? Many of the others associated with al Qaeda have not been cooperating, correct?

ENSOR: That's right. And he knows so much that is significant and useful, potentially, to the U.S. in wrapping up the terrorist threat from al Qaeda to the United States that, if he is talking, if he is telling anything, that is tremendously useful.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Ensor, watching this story. And we know you will continue to do that throughout this day and this weekend. Thanks, David, very much. Appreciate it.

The United States Senate now moving to wrap up an energy bill that does not include some key and controversial measures. So, what is in the bill?

Our Brooks Jackson says: not much.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Middle East in flames, oil from Iraq cut off, gasoline up 26 percent in eight weeks and headed higher, yet the Senate votes down requiring higher mileage for SUVs. Auto companies and their unions might be angered.

And it also votes down drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Environmentalists would be sore -- so practically no new energy production and a lot less conservation.

STEVEN NADEL, AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR AN ENERGY EFFICIENT ECONOMY: Originally, we estimated that this bill could reduce energy use by about 6 percent. But probably a good half of that was from the automobile fuel economy. So, they are now down into the 2.5-3 percent range.

JACKSON: And that could go lower. A vote to strip out higher efficiency standards for air conditioners could be very close. Most manufacturers are opposed.

(on camera): Here's an example of what little is left in the Senate bill: tough new standards to require torchiere lamps to cut back from 300-watt bulbs to 190-watters. Nobody's constituents are mad about that. This one is made in China.

(voice-over): The Senate bill is prepared to get tough on 30- watt exit signs: cut them back to 5 watts in new buildings only. And traffic lights: The bill would boldly slash wattage, but only for red and green, not yellow. Don't want to go too far. Oh, and handouts: The bill would give an estimated $3,000 tax credit for buying hybrid cars such as this 52-miles-per-gallon Toyota. Who could be against that?

And up to a $2,000 credit for building a new energy-efficient house, billions to pay consumers to save energy. There is also a requirement that would triple the use of ethanol in gasoline, pleasing Midwestern corn farmers, but producing questionable energy gains. A Department of Agriculture study says plowing, planting, harvesting, hauling and refining the stuff consumes as much oil as it replaces.

(on camera): So, for now, the Senate may be willing to take on the Chinese lamp lobby, but not much more.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: We're going to tell Brooks to hold on to that lamp for a while.

Politics and art are ahead. Is there a secret to drawing and satirizing the president? We'll ask editorial cartoonist Tom Toles.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: And now the art of being an editorial cartoonist. It was announced recently that Buffalo news veteran and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Toles was being hired by "The Washington Post" to replace the late Herb Block.

I spoke with Toles about his work and his politics.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM TOLES, POLITICAL CARTOONIST: I'm consistently liberal, but not in a consistent way. I derive from a liberal political background, but I -- as many liberals feel they have been -- have been battered about a bit by -- I don't know if I would say mugged by reality, but reality does tend to counter your thinking. And experience does chasten one a bit. So, I don't feel like I'm reflexively anything.

WOODRUFF: Do you feel that you will need to match always the editorial views of the editorial page of "The Post" and is that their expectation?

TOLES: No, it's not their expectation and it wouldn't work.

A political cartoonist, like a columnist, has to find their own voice and develop that and stay with that. It is the good fortune that my politics and "The Post"s are not that different. I hope to -- while being independent, I hope to be very much a part of "The Washington Post" editorial page, well integrated with it.

I think we'll probably disagree sometimes. But I don't think it will be a mismatch of any sort. And I think any disagreements that come up will just make the page livelier and more interesting.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about some of your recent drawings. You have a column with Ariel Sharon sitting at his desk, someone who looks like George W. Bush, sort of, standing at the door. Tell us about how you arrived at this one.

TOLES: Well, this one was a little bit more illustrative. The idea there was just the situation, where George Bush has very publicly demanded something and has been pretty very much publicly rejected. And I tried to portray the tension in that situation and the expectation of a resolution. It's a cartoon that tries to catch a moment accurately and with the expectation that reality is going to fill in the next panel of that cartoon.

WOODRUFF: Talk about a little bit just about how -- about drawing George W. Bush vs. drawing Bill Clinton.

TOLES: Well, Bush is -- my Bush caricature actually started -- I started out looking at my caricature of his father. And the only thing that really carried over at all is his upper lip. The rest of his head seems to be very differently constructed. So I have a very different caricature.

Clinton -- I went through a lot of phases with Clinton. And I was trying to capture that ineffable Clintoness that is there. It's hard to put your finger on it. It's a lovable and hatable quality, topped off by blow-dried steel wool for hair. So, they are different.

I try to make it look sort of like the person, but an abstraction of the person that captures the way I see them. I guess that would be the simplest way to sum it up.

WOODRUFF: Last thing: What do you want your readers to come away with every day?

TOLES: I want them to take a new look at a familiar subject, to see it a little bit through my eyes, which maybe will cause them to rethink it just a little bit. And I also want them, over time, to come to have a sense of how I see the world and view my cartoons within a context of who I am and what I'm about. And I think that, over time, people will come to find that I have an interesting point of view on things and one that they will enjoy looking at.

WOODRUFF: Well, Tom Toles, it's a real pleasure to talk to you. And, again, congratulations. And we are looking forward to seeing you every day in "The Washington Post."

TOLES: Well, thank you very much. I'm looking forward to it, too.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: And you'll notice Tom Toles is the one who draws himself down in the lower right-hand corner of all of his cartoons, with another comment on that day's cartoon.

The defining issue that garnered the "Political Play of the Week" is next.

But first, let's check in with Kate Snow for a preview of what is ahead at the top of the hour on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" -- hello, again, Kate.

SNOW: Hi again, Judy. Thanks.

We'll have the latest on the terror alert facing the Northeastern U.S. And there's another threat to tell you about, this one on the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birthday -- also, controversy over shirts at Abercrombie & Fitch, why the store pulled them off the shelves -- those stories coming up at the top of the hour after INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: A quick preview now of what's in the works for next week's INSIDE POLITICS. I'll anchor Wednesday's INSIDE POLITICS from the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Later that evening, Democrats hope to raise $2.5 million dollars for a voter-registration drive with a celebrity-filled concert. And we plan to have interviews with some of the participants. Among those scheduled to appear on their program are Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett and former President Bill Clinton.

Every once in a while, a defining issue comes along here in Washington with the potential to change the terms of an entire debate.

Bill Schneider is here with me now to explain -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, Democrats need an issue, the commentators have been saying, something where they can take a stand against President Bush's domestic agenda, something to define the Democratic Party.

Well, this week, they got their issue and the "Political Play of the Week" besides.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): "Drill, we must," the Bush administration said. "Why?" Democrats asked.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The vast majority of Americans understand, the energy future of the United States is not in oil.

SCHNEIDER: President Bush gave a lot of reasons to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Here's one: Saddam Hussein.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In order to make sure he doesn't hold us hostage, we better figure out a way to explore for more energy at home.

SCHNEIDER: "Oh, come on," Democrats said.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: The next thing you know, they will be saying drilling in the Arctic Refuge is the only way to bring back Oprah's book club.

SCHNEIDER: On Thursday, the Senate voted. "Drill, we must not," they said, 54-46. Not only did the president fail to get the 60 votes he needed to break a filibuster; he couldn't even get a majority. Environmentalists were ecstatic.

DEB CALLAHAN, PRESIDENT, LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS: This was a huge win for the environment, a huge win.

SCHNEIDER: Democrats have their issue.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: We are just not going to allow Republicans to destroy the environment.

SCHNEIDER: Notice something interesting about the three Democrats leading the fight? Republicans did.

SEN. FRANK MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: You had, if you will, potential Democratic presidential people involved very heavily. You had John Kerry. You had Joe Lieberman. And, of course, you had the Senate majority leader, Senator Daschle.

SCHNEIDER: Aha! Potential Democratic challengers have been drilling for an issue and coming up dry, until this week, when they hit a gusher. And it's coming out green. That is the color of this week's "Political Play of the Week."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: Now, wait a minute. What about Al Gore, the Green Giant of the Democratic Party? Don't count him out on this issue. He is delivering a major environmental speech on Monday, which just happens to be Earth Day -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: You don't think it is all a coincidence?

SCHNEIDER: A coincidence? Now, there's an idea.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, thanks very much. Have a good weekend.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

WOODRUFF: And CNN's coverage continues now with "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.

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



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