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Political Maneuvering Insures Passages of Security Bill

Aired November 19, 2002 - 16:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: The political battle over homeland security. Senate Democrats lose a showdown over what they call the pork in the House bill.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: It's a sad, sad day for the legislative process.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY LEADER: We have fought this fight. We need to get this done.

ANNOUNCER: Is the FBI sharing a terrorist watch list with corporate America?

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We need to find ways to share as much information with individuals as is possible.

ANNOUNCER: Are your civil rights being trampled? The controversy in our "CROSSFIRE."

Achieving equality. A new report says in some states, women still have a ways to go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The glass ceiling is still out there. So is the sticky floor.

ANNOUNCER: Why is Dick Armey so happy and Al Gore so steamed? the story behind the headlines as we look ahead to 2004.

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

WOODRUFF: Thanks for joining us.

Senator Joe Lieberman backed the idea of a homeland security department even before President Bush did. But Lieberman says Republicans should be embarrassed by the bill set to be cast by the Senate. I'll talk to him about wartime politics and his presidential prospects.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jeanne Meserve in Washington. I'll explore a question many Americans are asking: will a homeland security department keep us safer from terrorists?

WOODRUFF: Also ahead, President Bush just landed in Prague for the NATO summit, where Iraq will be a major subplot. And we'll get a live update on the hunt for weapons in Baghdad. We begin with the homeland security bill. It is now on track for final passage after a new loss by Senate Democrats and a good deal of last-minute political intrigue.

Our Jonathan Karl has been covering the high drama on the Hill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yeas are 47 the nays are 52.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Republicans prevailed, overcoming their final obstacle to passing a homeland security bill on the president's terms, prompting a congratulatory phone call from Air Force One.

LOTT: And when you wake up in the morning, you'll have the authority you need to protect the security of the American people here at home.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I appreciate that, Trent. And I want to thank you all for working hard.

KARL: But the victory came after high political drama on the Senate floor, as a group of Republican moderates threatened to side with Democrats, a move that would have handed the president certain defeat. The moderates were led by two senators from Maine.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: We felt that we needed to take a stand.

KARL: Like the Democrats, the moderate Republicans objected to what they called special interest items added to the bill by the House.

COLLINS: We made very clear to our leaders our unhappiness, not only with the provisions but with the process.

KARL: As a price for their vote, the Maine senators demanded a commitment to eliminate three controversial provisions when Congress reconvenes next year, including a measure limiting lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that make faulty vaccines, waivers that would allow companies to use offshore tax shelters to win contracts from the new Department of Homeland Security and a provision that would likely steer a new center for homeland defense to Texas A&M University.

Minutes before the vote started, the moderates won a commitment from Trent Lott to deal with the offending provisions next year.

LOTT: We're going to change that. You have my commitment we will change that.

KARL: But even that wasn't enough. They also wanted a promise from the Republican leaders in the House, but Speaker Dennis Hastert was out of the country and couldn't be immediately reached. COLLINS: The lines in cloakroom were kept free from the incoming return call from the speaker and from Tom Delay. And we waited in the cloakroom until those calls came.

KARL: Time expired on the vote and Dennis Hastert still couldn't be reached. The moderates held back, though. The vote was kept open. And finally the call came through.

If you hadn't gotten the call f they had a hard time getting through over the skies of Turkey or wherever he was, I mean, how would you have voted?

SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R), MAINE: Well, for the Lieberman amendment.

KARL: So you were prepared to vote with the Democrats if you didn't get that phone call?

SNOWE: That's correct.

COLLINS: Absolutely.


KARL (on camera): Now it's a little unclear just what kind of a commitment these two senators from Maine got. They understand and the Republican leadership in the Senate understands that there's a commitment to deal with those very specific provisions, to eliminate them when Congress comes back next year.

But the spokespeople for both Dennis Hastert and Tom Delay over in the House said there's simply a commitment to reconsider those measures when Congress reconvenes next year, not a commitment to do away with them. So Judy, this battle could spill into the next year.

But the bottom line is we are looking for final passage on the homeland security bill today. We expect a vote could come some time after 7:00 tonight.

WOODRUFF: All right, John. You're right. We haven't seen that sort of drama on the Hill in many weeks.

KARL: Awhile.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

Well, we've seen that homeland security politics can be powerful, but will the new federal department that's expected to emerge be a powerful force in the war on terror?

Our Jeanne Meserve has been investigating how the department is supposed to work. Jeanne, what are you learning?

MESERVE: Well, we'll look at one slice of it. Judy, the key to keeping the homeland safe is finding dangerous people and things and that takes good intelligence. Right now, there is no institution in this country dedicated primarily to analyzing potential terrorist threats. That would be the job of the new department.

It would pool information from intelligence agencies, law enforcement and the private sector on potential threats. It would fuse it, synthesize it, analyze it, matching the threats with our vulnerabilities and then it could order protective action.

Some experts say this is something the administration got right; that the legislation makes a quantum leap forward. But others are skeptical.


JAMES LINDSAY, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: You can really doubt whether or not the intelligence unit in the new Department of Homeland Security is going to have the tools it needs, partly because it's not going to have automatic access to raw intelligence data, which creates a problem. What it will get will be filtered through other agencies.

And I think there's also a problem in terms of the extent it's interested in vulnerability assessment. Is it going to get the kind of information it needs from the private sector to conduct those assessments?


MESERVE: The private sector controls 85 percent of the critical infrastructure in this country.

Another problematic issue: the dissemination of threat information to local law enforcement and officials who sometimes complain bitterly that they're not told enough about threats in their own communities.

And still being debated: Is the FBI the right agency to collect information about domestic terrorist threats or should there be a separate entity along the lines of Britain's MI-5?

The homeland legislation which will wrap 22 different agencies together is the largest reorganization of government since the creation of the Department of Defense. It is a huge task, which some experts say in the short term could hurt homeland security by diverting attention from the nuts and bolts of protecting the country.

Most experts say if there is going to be a positive effect, we should not expect to see it for three to five years -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Three to five years?

MESERVE: Yes, long timeframe here.

WOODRUFF: Very interesting. New -- we haven't heard that take on it. All right.

MESERVE: No, a massive job.

WOODRUFF: Jeanne, thanks very much. Appreciate it. Well, another eye opener today about the state of airport security. In New York, at least 118 men and women were charged with using fake IDs to get jobs with access to high security areas at LaGuardia and JFK international airports. Federal officials say there's no indication of any connection to terrorists. Many of the accused are charged with using phony Social Security and immigration status cards to get jobs in baggage handling, food service and housekeeping. Some had access to international flight areas, tarmacs and even to airplanes.

Well, President Bush is set to join other NATO heads of state to plan the future of the security alliance and to invite new members into the fold. But as he arrived in the Czech capital just a short while ago, Mr. Bush also was preparing to reach out for allies support in a possible war with Iraq.

Meantime, in Baghdad, U.N. weapons inspectors are getting to work in their hunt for weapons of mass destruction.

CNN's Nic Robertson is in the Iraqi capital.

Nic, this the second day those inspectors have been there.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy, and for Hans Blix and Mohammed Al Barady, who are heading the U.N. Mission, they are wrapping up their element here. They had a meeting with the most senior Iraqi official they've had the opportunity to meet with so far, the Foreign Minister Naji Sabri. That meeting lasting something between half an hour to an hour. We understand not going into technical nuts and bolts but really symbolic of the cooperation that the United Nations inspectors say that they've found here.

Now, Hans Blix has said that he has found that cooperation, that Iraq agrees to comply with the U.N. resolution. That is, it will commit to fulfilling in a declaration of its weapons of mass destruction by December 8.

However, Hans Blix, in remarks to journalists perhaps now less than 12 hours before he leaves, said that even if Iraq thought about, thought about entering essentially a blank sheet for that declaration, they should feel that they are in a very strong position to be able to back up that blank sheet with hard evidence.


HANS BLIX, CHIEF U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: If the answer of the Iraqi government were to be that there aren't any left, whatever, then it must be convincing to show that they by documentation and by evidence that nothing is remaining. And in the analysis that we have made of the areas which I'm responsible, the missiles and biological and chemical, we do not think that that yet has been convincingly done.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTSON: Now, Blix says he is planning to send the first full inspection team to Iraq on the 25th of November. They will begin their work on the 27th of November. Then he expects to send another four teams in fairly soon after that -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So Nick, when is the earliest that we'll have a pretty clear idea of whether the Iraqis are cooperating or not?

ROBERTSON: Obviously, the initial indication here that they are cooperating now. I think perhaps the next indication will be best read by those U.N. Inspection experts on the 8th of December. They'll read through that declaration, and see how closely it matches with information they may already be in possession of.

So perhaps, they will get a clue then, then they begin the work of going out, and checking and verifying and checking off the items that they know about, the items on the declaration and see if everything matches up. Now, they have 60-days from the 27th of November to submit to the U.N. Security Council their initial findings. Perhaps it will come in that 60-day period, difficult to judge. But December the 8th should be an early indication for those in the U.N. teams who are really in the know -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, just a matter of a few weeks away, perhaps.

Nic Robertson, thanks very much.

Well, I'll talk war, peace and politics up next with senator and would be president candidate Joe Lieberman.

Also ahead, political hardball. Bob Novak has the inside buzz on some rough play in Texas.

Then on Tom Daschle's future in the senate.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is feminism dead? Well, let's hope not because we still have a long climb ahead.


WOODRUFF: When it comes to women in politics, not all states are equal. We'll tell you which states get the best and worst marks.

And she likes us. She really likes us. Find out why the political world may be saying that about actress Sally Field.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back. INSIDE POLITICS continues in a moment. But first this developing story.

Sniper suspect John Lee Malvo was in Fairfax County Court this hour in Virginia. His lawyers are asking that the 17-year-old be given a psychiatric examination. But the prosecution argued that such an examination is premature, and the judge in the case agreed. Another hearing was set for January 14. We're back in two minutes.


WOODRUFF: With Homeland Security legislation headed for approval, we turn now to Capitol Hill and one of the original supporters of a cabinet level Homeland Security department. On the record now, Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Senator, with provisions that you earlier today called a shame an embarrassment, is this the department that you envisioned?

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, the truth is this bill does create the department that I envisioned almost 100 percent. Unfortunately, it also contains some stuff that never should have been put on there, that was last-minute rush through and some of which is just plain unfair. Unfortunately, that's the way the Congress sometimes works. But most of this bill is exactly the Department of Homeland Security that was in the original bipartisan legislation that some of us introduced more than a year ago last October.

WOODRUFF: So when Republican Senator Fred Thompson today asked when are we going to stop looking at who gets some little benefit here, and start focusing on the national interest, your response is?

LIEBERMAN: My response is, it's too bad -- it is more than a little benefit. There were some real last-minute special interest provisions put into this bill that have nothing to do with Homeland Security. The one to limit the rights of families who believe that their children have become autistic as a result of an additive put into vaccine. Why would we limit their right to seek compensation in a bill on Homeland Security.

The provision that the late Senator Paul Wellstone put in to say to companies who locate offshore to avoid paying U.S.taxes, you can't do business with the Department of Homeland Security, and get taxpayer money for it. Those all seem like public interest provisions which have been dramatically cut back in this proposal. And unfortunately, we tried to strike them out and we lost after some dramatics that you've been reporting on CNN.

WOODRUFF: The president obviously wasn't on board originally, but he later was. And now he's got what he says he wanted.

Any regrets? Do you have any regrets about being part of holding this up before the election, when you saw the Republicans successfully use this as a way to defeat some Democrats including Max Cleland?

LIEBERMAN: Well, we did the right thing. And you never regret it when you do the right thing. I thought the administration really deserves the blame for holding it up, because they were so inflexible on this question of federal workers protections and rights. We offered compromises that they rejected. In any case, we've now got it done, we're together, it will pass with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. And I hope from here on, support for the new Department of Homeland Security will be as nonpartisan as support for the Pentagon, the Defense Department.

WOODRUFF: I want to ask you about Al Gore. He's obviously out on a media tour doing interviews these days. Last week, among other things, he apparently released you from any pledge not to run for president if he decides to run again. Do you feel released?

LIEBERMAN: I appreciated what he said. And Al and I will sit down and talk some time in December, after his book tour, which seems to be going well. And I'm very happy for him and Tipper, but nothing's changed. I'm grateful to him for the opportunity he gave me in 2000, that's why I said a year ago that I couldn't imagine myself running against him, and nothing has changed.

WOODRUFF: So you're still thinking about it?

LIEBERMAN: Well, thinking and, frankly, getting ready in case Al decides, which he'll announce early in January, whether he's going to run or not. If he decides not to run, I'm going to take a quick hard look.

WOODRUFF: Just quickly, a poll "The Los Angeles Times," did a poll past week of Democratic national committee members. Asked them who they'd like to see as the party's nominee in '04. Results were interesting; Gore had 13 percent, John Kerry had 10 percent, but 22 percent said nobody in particular, 24 percent said I don't know, you had 2 percent.


WOODRUFF: What does this say about what the Democrats want?

LIEBERMAN: Well, first off, that was a small group of members of the Democratic national committee. So fortunately in the polling I've seen of Democrats nationally, I do a lot better. In fact, if they asked people if Al Gore doesn't run, who do you favor? I've been privileged to come out first in all those polls. Look, the party needs to be very clear about where we're going. And I think we have to regain the public's confidence as a party who cares about security and values. And then we can present our alternatives to President Bush on the economy, education, health care and the environment.

WOODRUFF: You're right. It is not the DNC that gets to vote. They'll be among many millions who get to vote.

LIEBERMAN: Fortunately for me, I guess.

WOODRUFF: All right. Joe Lieberman -- Senator Lieberman, thanks very much.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, Al Gore may not have made up his mind about another run for the White House, but some Republicans say they look forward to another Gore campaign. In a "USA Today" article addressing Gore's future, retiring House Majority Leader Dick Armey said -- quote -- "I would love a rematch with Al Gore. I would see nominating Al Gore as tossing in the towel."

A "Washington Post" writer, Leeza Mundy, yesterday told a chat room questioner that Gore was angry that parts of her interview with him appeared in Friday's "Post, " two days before the interview ran in its entirety. Mundy said that Gore also told her while he'd not read the article, he had heard that it -- quote -- "wasn't very good."

A Gore spokesman tells CNN that Gore was told the interview would run no sooner than Saturday, but he understands mistakes happen. As for the Armey comment, the spokesman said Gore has not decided if he would run for president but -- quote -- "anyone who reminds voters what it's like to have fiscal responsibility would be a formidable opponent in 2004."

A reminder, Al and Tipper Gore will be guests on tonight's "LARRY KING LIVE" at 9 Eastern and Al Gore will join me here on INSIDE POLITICS in two weeks on December 2.

Should the FBI share a list of possible terrorists with corporate America? The controversy coming up in our "CROSSFIRE" debate.

Plus, I'll talk with one of the fresh faces coming to the Capitol, Democratic Freshman Leader Frank Ballance of North Carolina.

But first, it has been just minutes since the closing bell rang on Wall Street.

Mary Snow joins us live now from the New York Stock Exchange with a close eye on your money. Hi, Mary.


Yes, stocks faltered for the second straight day. A weak outlook from Home Depot sparked -- helped spark today's losses. Soft sales at the home improvement giant darkened hopes for consumer spending just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Home Depot slid $3.50 and other retail stocks fell as well.

Also, shares of AT&T lost 50 cents after it completed the $30 billion spin-off of its cable TV unit to Comcast. It was also the first day of trading for the telephone company following a one-for- five reverse stock split. The reverse split boosts the value of the stock, but if you held 100 shares before, now you own just 20.

Let's take a look at the closing numbers. The Dow Industrials lost just 11 points. The Nasdaq composite suffered a large hit, falling one and a third percent for the day.

Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan is still trying to explain the Central Bank's hefty half percentage point rate cut earlier this month. In an address to the council of foreign relations, Greenspan said the Fed is far from exhausting the tools needed to boost the economy and keep inflation in check. But he also warned that the shallowness of last year's recession will make a strong recovery more difficult. That's the latest from Wall Street. More INSIDE POLITICS after the break, including a look at what happens when an FBI watchlist enters the public domain.


WOODRUFF: FBI officials today acknowledged that they have -- quote -- "lost control" of a terrorist watchlist distributed in the days after September 11. The list includes the names of suspected terrorists, as well as people the bureau simply wanted to interview. It was first distributed to a number of major corporations and an unknown number of copies now exist throughout the private sector. The list is now considered obsolete, but in the words of one official, it has taken on a life of its own.

Businessman Mark Deiutch, who travels to the Middle East, told CNN that his life is turned upside down since his name appeared on the list.


MARK DEIUTCH, FINANCIER: Having been on the list, the business I do is somewhat sensitive. I work with foreign governments and foreign individuals, investors and to some extent military technology. So typically, whenever I enter into a business transaction of that nature, there's a background search done. Some of those are sophisticated searches. Some of them are no more than going to Google and typing in my name.

So I have had a lot of comments, there's been a lot of questions. And in some cases I think, perhaps, folks have chosen not to do business because they looked at the issue superficially. Saw my name affiliated with 9/11 and backed off.


WOODRUFF: Talking homeland security today in our "Taking Issues" segment -- with us from CNN's "CROSSFIRE" set at George Washington University, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

Tucker, this list went out to hundreds if not thousands of businesses, banks, car rental companies, trucking companies and on and on. A lot of the names on there were people the government ended up having no interest in. Was a mistake made here?

TUCKER CARLSON, CNN CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well a lot of those people wound up going to casinos, the MGM Grand reported that it reported six names, which tells you something about suspected terrorists.

No, in theory it's a good idea. People criticize the FBI for not sharing information. This is an example of sharing information in a potentially fruitful way. The problem is not keeping control of the list once you disseminate it.

And I also think the FBI has an obligation to get people's names off the list as soon once they're declared no longer suspicious. And apparently, according to the "Wall Street Journal" anyway, it hasn't helped people get off the list and that is an outrage.

WOODRUFF: Paul, I mean, this list went out there and it never was renewed. It never was updated.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, that is sloppy. I have to say I was one of the people criticizing our law enforcement for not communicating enough. And so more information is better. I think it is good that they put together a list of people that they're concerned about. It doesn't bother me, even as a liberal, but when is crummy is when it starts ruining innocent people's lives and the government doesn't step in to correct its error.

Our government is asking us for an enormous amount of power right now and most of us are willing to give it to them. But they've got to show a lot more responsibility in exercising that power if they don't want another black eye like this one.

WOODRUFF: All right, speaking of security, Congress -- Senate is just about to finally pass this bill creating a whole new Department of Homeland Security, combining 22 different agencies, 170,000 employees.

Tucker, can we count on this agency to make us all safer?

CARLSON: Well, I don't know if, you know, reorganizing the federal bureaucracy in the end is going to make the public a whole lot safer. One hopes so. I'm not sure what the government in the end can do to protect the average person from terrorist attacks anyway. This seems like an important vote today.

Not so important, though, that Ted Kennedy came back from Paris and the fashion show he was intending to actually vote. He didn't.

But I think Democrats still talk about how the special interest provisions were holding it up. To believe that, you have to believe, for instance, the people who made the magnetometers in airports on September 11 are partly responsible for the terrorist attacks. That's ludicrous. They weren't. These so-called special interest provisions were actually sort of sensible. Just the trial lawyers didn't like them. That's why the Democrats were mad.


BEGALA: Well, in point of fact, it was outrageous. President Bush opposed this bill for nine months. Then very belatedly he said -- he took the Democrats position and supported it.

But then he held it up to extract political gain out of it. This silly dispute about workers' rights. And then look what they slipped in, Judy. This is what the problem in the Senate was.

The House Republicans slipped in special provisions so that if people who make equipment at airports knowingly, recklessly make faulty equipment and it costs lives, they won't be held accountable. We've taken a class of people, Republican contributors coincidentally, and put them above the law. And I think it's a real outrage. It will not make us safer to say people in corporations are no longer responsible for these homeland security products that manufacture.

CARLSON: No, the idea is can suing people -- does ambulance chasing make the average person safer? Does it make vaccines more accessible to the average American?

The answer is no. That's ludicrous. You'd really have to be taking money from the trial lawyers in order to believe that. I don't think most Americans do believe it, which is why Mary Landrieu voted with the Republicans. She's in the last remaining Senate race in the country. And she knows that the public is on her side. That's why she voted that way.

BEGALA: Well, in fact, everything from seat belts to safety glass, we can thank consumers who sued big, avaricious, crummy, scummy corporations who give all this money to the Republicans for that.

Any time these Republicans want to take people and consumers and lock them away from exercising their rights to protect themselves against defective and dangerous products is a bad day for the American consumer.

CARLSON: If you've got a phone, you've got a lawyer.

WOODRUFF: It's always a good day when we get to talk to Tucker and Paul.

Thank you both. Good to see you. We appreciate it.

BEGALA: Thanks, Judy.

CARLSON: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, in politics, as in many other fields, many women find themselves bumping up against a glass ceiling. Up next: We've seen a surge in women candidates, but some states are behind the times. Find out how your state rates when we come back.


WOODRUFF: Their stock portfolios may be dwindling, but women are making some gains in corporate America. A new survey shows the percentage of women serving as corporate officers in Fortune 500 firms has almost doubled from more than 8 percent in 1995 to more than 15 percent this year. There was just one female CEO in the Fortune 500 ranks back in '95. Now there are six.

Women who work in politics also have been making some progress, but how much may depend on where they live.

Here now: our national correspondent, Bruce Morton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The report surveys things like health, income, business ownership, political representation. It shows big differences among the states. For instance:

AMY CAIAZZA, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH: If you live in Washington state, almost 40 percent of seats in your state legislature are held by women. But if you live in Alabama, less than 8 percent are.

MORTON: But the report also paints a national picture of where women are.

MARTHA BURK, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS: In no state are women equal to men on all or even most of the dimensions measured in this report.

MORTON: Median income for women is up, but:

HEIDI HARTMANN, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH: There are only nine states in the United States where women earn $30,000 or more per year. There's only one state in the United States where men who work full year, full time, as did the women, earn less than $30,000 per year.

MORTON: Again, those are median incomes.

For the record, here are the states the survey rated best: Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont in the lead, then Connecticut, Washington, Alaska, Maine, and New Hampshire. Here are the ones rated worst: Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee and, in last place, Mississippi.

On some issues, like abortion rights, the survey does not see progress.

BARBARA GAULT, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH: Abortion access is very difficult, especially for low-income women. At the state level, parental consent laws and mandatory waiting periods have been on the increase since we started these reports in 1996.

MORTON: Political representation: slow, slow progress.

LINDA WILLIAMS, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: If women's representation in Congress changes at the rate it did during the 1990s, it will take more than a century to achieve equality in political representation.

MORTON: Not in time for even this voter -- and on health insurance, a step back.

HARTMANN: In the year 2002, only 17 percent lack health insurance. Back in 1996, only 14 percent lacked health insurance. So what you see with health insurance is, we haven't caught up yet to where we were in '96. MORTON: To sum up, women have made progress, but do not equal men in the measurements this survey used anywhere in the United States.

GAULT: It's become very popular nowadays to ask, is feminism dead? Well, let's hope not, because we still have a long climb ahead.

MORTON: Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: It would be interesting to hear what some of those states listed as worst would have to say about that survey.

Well, the House speaker fires a shot across the bow -- that story next in Bob Novak's "Inside Buzz".

And supporters of cockfighting fight back in today's "Campaign News Daily."


WOODRUFF: Checking the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily": Two weeks after Election Day, Alabama Governor Don Siegelman has conceded defeat. Siegelman last night dropped his request for a recount, saying the effort could turn into a months-long legal battle. He lost to Republican Bob Riley by a little more than 3,000 votes out of more than one million cast.

Riley's victory means all three Democratic governors who ran for reelection in states carried by President Bush went down to defeat. Republicans now will hold a 26-24 edge in governorships nationwide, down only slightly from their current margin.

In Oklahoma, voters have approved a ballot measure to ban cockfighting. But opponents say they hope to have the law declared unconstitutional. Several cockfighting supporters sued to overturn this new law. And the ban is now on hold until a hearing can be held. The measure passed with about 56 percent of the vote, but it won a majority in only 20 of Oklahoma's 77 counties.

The battle over provisional ballots continues in Colorado's undecided race for the 7th Congressional District. Democrat Mike Feeley has filed a lawsuit demanding that all provisional ballots be counted. Republican Bob Beauprez Feeley by 386 votes, with only provisional votes left to be counted. Election officials are working to determine which provisional ballots were cast by qualified voters.

Well, Bob Novak is here now with some "Inside Buzz."

All right, Bob, I understand you've been talking to people on the Hill and elsewhere about Tom Daschle's future.

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, people on both sides of the aisle, Judy, think that Tom Daschle will not seek reelection to the Senate in 2004. They don't think he'll run for president either. They think he'll just go, at least for a while, to private life.

Now, that would seem to be an opportunity for Congressman John Thune, the Republican who just narrowly lost out for the Senate seat this time. But that is not the case. The governor, Bill Janklow, who was elected to Congress this time has sent a message to Thune saying he is going to run for the Senate for the Daschle seat if Daschle leaves. And he's entitled to it because he won on November 5 and Thune didn't.

WOODRUFF: All right, what's this about recriminations among Democrats about what Terry McAuliffe should have said about Boston before the election?

NOVAK: Several Democrats, Judy, say that they knew about Boston being picked a month ago. And they figure, why didn't Terry...

WOODRUFF: McAuliffe.

NOVAK: ... McAuliffe announce that at that time to give Shannon O'Brien, the Democratic candidate for governor in Massachusetts, a boost up? She lost the race.

I don't think that Terry McAuliffe had anything against Shannon O'Brien. But he just isn't a very subtle politician who thinks of those things. It would have given her a boost if he could have announced with her at his side that the Democrats are coming to Boston.

WOODRUFF: Just quickly, two other things: a Denny Hastert power play?

NOVAK: Denny Hastert surprised the House Republican Caucus last Friday. He didn't much attention, but he came in and he said that, from now on, the Steering Committee -- that means the speaker -- will review the subcommittee chairmanships on appropriations. Those are the College of Cardinals.

That was a shock. I don't think he's going to kick anybody out. But it was a shot across the bow of the Appropriations Committee, which has been a law unto itself.

WOODRUFF: Clear loser there?

NOVAK: The clear loser there is Jim Dyer, the staff director of the Appropriations Committee.


NOVAK: You bet.

WOODRUFF: Finally: Texas Republicans playing some hardball.

NOVAK: They had a tremendous election in Texas for the GOP. They won everything. Even John Sharp, the Democrat who was supposed to be elected for lieutenant governor, he lost. But the Republicans, having tasted blood, want more. They're talking about a reapportionment this time, since they won the House of Representatives in Texas, which would wipe out a lot of the Democrats still there, you know, even going after famous Democratic congressmen like Martin Frost and Charles Stenholm. So the GOP tide is pretty tough in Texas right now.

WOODRUFF: So maybe a Democratic shutout, they're looking for.

NOVAK: That's what they want.


WOODRUFF: OK, Bob Novak, thanks very much.

Well, everybody remembers, don't we, what it was like to be a freshman? What about a freshman in Congress? I'll chat with the president of the freshman class of Democrats next.


WOODRUFF: On the heels of the Democrats' election debacle, a battle already is under way to take over the party's Congressional Campaign Committee.

Representative Nita Lowey of New York is not expected to seek a second term chairing the DCCC. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Bill Jefferson of Louisiana have begun to go after the post. Markey has been an active fund-raiser for the DCCC and is the presumed front- runner. But Jefferson got a boost Friday when he won the endorsement of fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

With me now to talk more about Democrats in the House is congressman-elect Frank Ballance of North Carolina. He was elected president of the Democrats' incoming freshman class.



WOODRUFF: How did this come about? You know, we paid a lot of attention to the leadership battles last week, but how did your election come about? And I should say, your predecessor, Eva Clayton, from North Carolina, was the president of her freshman class.

BALLANCE: Ten years ago. And when I succeeded Eva Clayton, I thought about it. And I said to her: "Eva, you went up to Washington from North Carolina and became the president of the Democratic freshman class. Maybe I ought to give it a shot." That's what started it.

WOODRUFF: And you just notified your colleagues you were interested?

BALLANCE: When we arrived Monday a week ago, I had a little resume. I passed it out to my colleagues. And I didn't do much campaigning, because I thought everybody had enough work to do.

WOODRUFF: There are only about 20 of them, right, 20 Democrats?

BALLANCE: That's right, 20. We passed it out among those. And after all of the hullabaloo about the other elections, they said, "There will be a meeting of the freshman class." And we went in and had a little election and it came out.

WOODRUFF: So how much power do you have?



WOODRUFF: That may be the first time I've ever heard anybody in Washington say they had zero.

BALLANCE: My power was getting called by you to come over here.


WOODRUFF: The question on everybody's minds, of course, is, with the Republicans in the majority, not only in the House, but in the Senate, you are coming in as a brand new Democrat. Is it demoralizing at all to know that you are part of a minority that is going to have to fight every step of the way for the next two years?

BALLANCE: Well, strangely enough, it is not for me, even though I come from the North Carolina Senate, where I was among 35 Democrats, 15 Republicans. I was the deputy president and had been there for 14 years as a senator, and in the majority all those years.

However, this is a different venue, a different agenda for the country. It is a great honor to be serving as a member of Congress. And I look forward to carrying out my duties. I don't feel the least bit demoralized or upset because I'm in a minority, because my feeling is that the leadership of this Congress has to respect every congressman. And I know there are party issues and our bills won't get heard.

WOODRUFF: Will get heard, is that what you said?

BALLANCE: Will not.

WOODRUFF: Will not get heard.

BALLANCE: Democratic bills get thrown in the trash.

WOODRUFF: Oh, OK. Well, that's one way...

BALLANCE: But we're going to reform that system.

WOODRUFF: I want to ask you this, though. Much of the second- guessing after the election was around the argument that Democrats didn't really make their message heard. They didn't have a clear message. What do you think went wrong for the Democrats in this midterm?

BALLANCE: I give a lot of credit to George W. Bush and his team. They put an agenda -- they put an issue on the agenda that should not have been on there. And that was the war with Iraq. It was good politics, but I think it was bad for the country to bring that issue up just prior to the election.

It worked for them in this election, but it won't be there next time. And I think all we have to do -- their base came out in response to the rallying call. Ours did not. And that was the difference. All this talk about no message, there's some credence to it. You need a message. But I don't think it was all message. I think it was simply that issue about the Iraq war that resonated with some people. And Bush is pretty popular now, since 9/11.

WOODRUFF: And next time will be different?

BALLANCE: It will be a different story next time. We may have body bags. We don't know. I hope not. I hope the issue is resolved with Iraq. I think we went the right way with the U.N. resolution. That's was what should have happened early on. It finally did happen. So now we're on the right course.

But I hope it will work out. Maybe Saddam will resign and go to the beach.

WOODRUFF: And avoid...

BALLANCE: And avoid a war.

WOODRUFF: Avoid a war, right.

BALLANCE: Maybe we'll work it out.

WOODRUFF: Well, the refreshingly candid congressman-elect, Frank Ballance, from North Carolina, newly elected president of the freshman class of Democrats, thank you very much. It was good to meet you.

BALLANCE: I'm honored to be here. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: And congratulations again. All right.

Tomorrow: the other side of the aisle. I will speak with Max Burns of Georgia. He is the Republican freshman class president.

From Washington to the rest of the world, let's take a quick look at some political headlines from across the globe that could have repercussions back here in the U.S.

Israel's opposition Labor Party is going with a former general who opposed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in January elections. According to exit polls, Amram Mitzna, the dovish mayor of Haifa, won today's balloting to lead the Labor Party. He says, if he is elected prime minister, he would reverse Sharon's course by withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and negotiating with Palestinians. And a victory today for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf: The country's parliament elected two members from the president's party to be speaker and deputy speaker. Musharraf is a major supporter of the U.S. war on terror, a stance that is opposed by Pakistan's religious parties.

Up next: from the flying nun to congresswoman? And America loses an actor who portrayed different facets of the national spirit.


WOODRUFF: In the works for tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS: I'll ask retired General Wesley Clark if he is thinking about laying groundwork for a possible presidential bid. And Coke and Pepsi may be rivals, but they are allies in a political battle that is popping in Maine.

Actress Sally Field may be heading to Capitol Hill. After a relatively brief stint playing a Supreme Court justice on TV, Field apparently has grown fond of Washington roles. "The Hollywood Reporter" says field is in negotiations to star as a congresswoman in the sequel to the hit film "Legally Blonde." Can't wait for that.

And, finally, a farewell to Oscar-winning actor James Coburn. He died in California yesterday at the age of 74. Many movie fans knew Coburn as Derek Flint in the American spoofs on the "James Bond" films. But during his film career of more than 40 years, Coburn may have been best known for his roles as a tough guy with a good heart, often in Westerns, from "Young Guns II" to the classic "The Magnificent Seven." At a time when the nation has a renewed appreciation for heroes, real and fictional, James Coburn will be missed.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS this Tuesday. I'm Judy Woodruff.


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