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Deadly Violence Strikes Israeli Targets in Kenya

Aired November 28, 2002 - 16:00   ET


CHARLES MOLINEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: An in-depth look at the terror attacks and the special holiday edition of INSIDE POLITICS begins right now.
ANNOUNCER: Targeted for terror. Suicide bombers attack an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya. Just miles away, an Israeli airliner is nearly destroyed by missiles. And in Israel, a deadly shoot-out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Thanksgiving in the United States. It's bloody Thursday in Israel.

ANNOUNCER: Who's behind the attacks in Africa?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a number of al Qaeda cells in Kenya. They've been very active in East Africa.

ANNOUNCER: American troops, far from home, celebrating Thanksgiving.

Got turkey? there are plenty in politics. Bill Schneider will serve up the Top 10 of the year.

ANNOUNCER: In the kitchen with Donna and Bay. Whether it's Cajun food or the Louisiana Senate race, they like to stir things up.

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: I have more faith in this gumbo or jambalaya that you're making than in this political pot we've got going on.

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

MOLINEAUX: Charles Molineaux again live from the CNN Center in Atlanta. We'll go to INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff in a few minutes.

But first, let's go in-depth on a day of terror in East Africa and Israel. More than a dozen people were killed today in Israel and Kenya in terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians. The most devastating strike was a car bombing at an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya.

For the latest on the attacks, let's go live now to the Kenyan city of Mombasa and join CNN's Catherine Bond.

CATHERINE BOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're building a picture of what happened here, Charles. About 150 Israeli tourists arriving for the holiday in Kenya, here at this hotel behind me. And as they did so, they went through the gates in buses.

There was a car parked outside watching them go in. The car containing three occupants, all young men according to eyewitnesses. They then crashed through this barrier, having been refused entry by the hotel security, and swept their car down in front of the hotel lobby and detonated a bomb, a bomb that killed them and 13 other people, at least three Israeli civilians and the rest of the victims Kenyans.

We're told that two Israeli boys from the same family were killed in that attack. The Kenyan police are looking at the debris bomb, which is strewn right across the hotel compound for forensic evidence of what happened -- Charles.

MOLINEAUX: Thank you, Catherine Bond, live in Mombasa. Now minutes before that hotel attack someone shot two missiles at an Israeli chartered jet as it was taking off from the Mombasa airport. The missiles did not hit the plane, and the flight continued, as scheduled, to Tel Aviv. Israeli sources later reported the discovery two missile launch tubes in the field next to the Mombasa airport. The missiles are believed to have been SA-7s, also known as Strellas, which are considered widely available on the black market.

Most of the 271 people on the plane did not know they had been shot at until shortly before landing.

CNN's Matthew Chance was at the Tel Aviv airport when the plane got there.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, a lot of anxiety, but also a lot of relief among the passengers that we've been speaking to here in Tel Aviv. They disembarked from the aircraft having only just been told within the last half an hour before they landed here in Tel Aviv that the plane had come under missile attack. Many of them had been very disturbed by hearing unusual noises as the plane took off.

What we now know, of course, is that that plane came under missile attack just two kilometers or so after it left the runway in Mombasa. Some of the passengers we spoke to said how relieved they were to have escaped with their lives.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn't know anything. Just when we -- the airplane started to leave, we heard a boom. We didn't saw anything. The staff didn't tell us anything until about 10 or 15 minutes before we came to Israel. Then they told us what was happening. And about few minutes after that we saw the airplanes -- military airplanes going with us, checking that everything is OK with the plane. And they told us we were safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHANCE: Well the pilots of the air craft said that he saw two flashes just in the seconds after lifting off from the airport in Mombasa. He said he checked the aircraft systems, but found that there was nothing wrong with the plane and so at that point, made the decision to continue his journey on to the destination of Tel Aviv.

Captain Haffi Marek piloted that aircraft as it came under missile attack.


HAFFI MAREK, FLIGHT 582 PILOT: We were just taking off, and we were checking the landing gear. We felt a kind of bump, not bouncing very serious, and right after that we saw two white stripes passing by on the left side coming up from the back of the airplane towards the front of it and disappearing just after a few seconds. Just after takeover, after everything settled, we talked to the passengers, which also, some of them saw what we saw.

CHANCE: What did you tell them?

MAREK: And we just told them according to all our indications, everything is normal and we continued the flight to Tel Aviv. There was no panic whatsoever. Everything was calm and normal.


CHANCE: Well, Israel, of course, in some shock and feeling anxiety as a result of these joint attacks. Already we've heard from Israeli officials that they have ordered -- or advised for Israeli citizens in Kenya to leave the country. We're also hearing that they have shut down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, South Africa because of what they say are threats to the safety of its staff there.

Matthew Chance, CNN, in Tel Aviv.


MOLINEAUX: Also today in northern Israel, two Palestinian gunmen sprayed bullets at a bus stop at a nearby polling place. Five Israelis were killed. At least 36 more were wounded. The two gunmen were killed by police. Many of those wounded were waiting in line to vote in today's Likud party election, between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After the attack, Sharon urged Israelis to defy the terrorists and exercise their Democratic rights.


ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I called hundreds of thousands as follows -- it doesn't matter who you support. Don't allow terror to frighten you. Don't allow terror to impact. Go and vote. Go and vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MOLINEAUX: As for the election itself, the late exit polls indicate Sharon has defeated Benjamin Netanyahu in the race for the Likud party leader.

With me now to talk more about today's suicide attack in Kenya and the attempted missile strike against an Israeli airliner is CNN national correspondent Mike Boettcher.

Mike, we've got some Kenyan officials saying definitely al Qaeda. The White House says, Not so fast. Does this have any al Qaeda fingerprints on it?

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, definitely the hallmark of an al Qaeda attack is a complex attack with simultaneous aspects to the attack. That, of course, happened in Mombasa with the missile attack on the aircraft and the suicide bombing attack against the hotel.

But if you want to link it to al Qaeda, one piece of evidence to look at are those SA-7 or a variant of the SA-7 found 300 meters from the runway in Mombasa.

In August of this year, CNN recovered from al Qaeda archives videotapes showing trainees on an SA-7. Now this video you're looking at right now is an SA-7, and it's an instructional how-to manual that went on for almost an hour. It was believed at the time that this could have been sent around the world showing exactly how to use that type of missile.

Now, we're also going to show you more about al Qaeda's interest in SA-7s. This next piece of video the world has never seen before. It was part of the al Qaeda video, and it's them firing an HN-5, a Chinese-made missile which is called a red cherry. They actually fired it, which is an indication they had other types of missiles like this. This, of course, is a variant of a Soviet-made -- old Soviet- made SA-7 missile, again, called the red cherry.

Now, Kenyan authorities tell us that they believe that this is al Qaeda. But today in Beirut, Lebanon there was another announcement from a group called the Army of Palestine saying they claim credit for this attack, saying it coincided with the November 29, 1947 U.N. decision that eventually led to the creation of the state of Israel.

Now, we have learned from coalition intelligence sources that they are looking at the fact that this may have been a combined attack from several different groups working together. Specifically, al Qaeda and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Now, let's take a look at this man coming up who's on the FBI Most Wanted list. His name is Saif Al-Adel. He is wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. There is a $25 million price tag on his head. And we have learned that authorities around the world, part of the coalition, are looking at this man as a possible planner of the attacks in Kenya. He is said to have had good contact with both Hezbollah. He's a top al Qaeda operative. So this would make him a top suspect -- Charles.

MOLINEAUX: OK, thank you, Mike Boettcher.

Now for his part, President Bush has been monitoring all of the day's events in Africa and Israel from his Texas ranch. He got there late yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family.

With now from Crawford, Texas is senior White House correspondent John King. John, how much is the White House saying at this point?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Charles, the White House publicly condemning these attacks and saying, as you noted, not sure yet whether there's an al Qaeda role. Some White House officials also privately voicing concerns this could be the beginning of a wave of attacks designed to stoke up anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiment across the Arab world and the Muslim world in the middle, obviously of the critical confrontation with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

Mr. Bush, as you noted, at the ranch in Crawford, Texas with family. The former president among the Thanksgiving guests at the Bush ranch. In a statement, the White House says this -- quote -- "The United States deplores this violence. We stand ready to assist the governments of Kenya and Israel as they investigate these attacks."

A tough statement as well from the secretary of state, Colin Powell. He called these -- quote -- "despicable attacks" and as he condemned today's violence, he also revived constant administration criticism that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian authority are not doing enough to crack down on violence. Secretary Powell saying, "We also call on the Palestinians to take immediate and sustained steps to eradicate the infrastructure of terrorism and violence has that has brought such tragic bloodshed."

U.S. officials somewhat concerned. They say the president will keep track of this throughout the day and throughout the holiday weekend here in Crawford, Texas, but that say it is too soon point fingers at al Qaeda. They are especially interested in the investigation, of course, in Kenya where those surface-to-air missiles were used --Charles.

MOLINEAUX: John, the White House has been talking about this increased volume of communiques among what they believe the al Qaeda -- the chatter, as it's called. Has anyone drawn even a dotted line connecting this with that?

KING: No, but certainly as Mike Boettcher just reported, the use of the surface-to-air missiles raise suspicion. And again, it was in 1998 in Kenya you had the attacks on the U.S. embassies.

So there has been al Qaeda activity in Kenya before and there have been, in these recent conversations, the Osama bin Laden audiotape and other conversations indications that there could be more attacks against the United States and U.S. interests. So there are some suspicions here, but U.S. officials say it is simply too soon to draw any conclusions. They will work closely with the Israeli Mosad (ph) the intelligence agency, and with the Kenyan authorities on these investigations.

MOLINEAUX: OK. Thank you, John King in Crawford, Texas.

For more on the terror attacks in Kenya and Israel, please watch a special two-hour special edition of "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS," Starting at 5 p.m. Eastern, 2:00 Pacific. And for details anytime, you can go online at For AOL users, the keyword is CNN.

Judy Woodruff will be along next with a Thanksgiving edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Among the stories ahead:


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: If turkeys get what they deserve on Thanksgiving, shouldn't politicians, too?


MOLINEAUX: Political analyst Bill Schneider on the political turkeys of 2002.

Also ahead, the nation's capital falls silent. Bruce Morton on Washington during the holidays.

And later, Jean Carnahan heads home to Missouri. She'll talk to Judy about her two years in Washington and the tragic events that led her into public office.

INSIDE POLITICS is just minutes away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Happy Thanksgiving from the first of 504, Bagram, Afghanistan. All the way! Yeah!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, this is Sergeant Richey (ph) from the 339th cache in Bagram Air Base. I'd like to wish my family a Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope to be home soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is specialist (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Bagram, Afghanistan. I'd like to say hi to everyone back home in Chicago, and a special hi to Melanie (ph). I love you. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I'm Staff Sergeant Samuels (ph). Happy Thanksgiving to my family in Pittsburgh: Sam (ph), Robert (ph), Myra (ph) and my family in New York. Happy Thanksgiving!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I'm Master Sergeant Jack Lee (ph) in Bagram, Afghanistan. I'd like to say hi to all my family and friends back home in Wichita, Kansas. Happy Thanksgiving!


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN HOST: Thank you for joining us. We would like to think that many of you are sitting around this holiday watching this program and talking about politics. But our new poll proves what we suspected. Most Americans have other plans. The top activities? Cooking, driving , visiting relatives and watching sports.

Well, some women might assume that they're getting the short end of the holiday stick. They will do most of the cooking and cleaning, while men will spend more time watching sports. Things never change, do they?

But after all that cooking, it's probably a good thing that most Americans say they will spend at least an hour eating Thanksgiving dinner. Almost a third say that they will spend more than two hours at the table. That's what I plan to do.

Turkeys as all of us know, can be tasty. Especially on these holidays. But they also are known for other attributes, which reminds our Bill Schneider of people we cover throughout the year.


SCHNEIDER (on camera): Turkeys are foolish creatures, overstuffed, noisy and self-important. Sort of like politicians. If turkeys get what they deserve on Thanksgiving, shouldn't politicians, too? Especially those who have behaved like turkeys. So bring on the political turkeys of the year, and let's carve them up!


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Turkey No. 10: New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli. He did something that just isn't done in American politics. He quit because he was losing.

BOB TORRICELLI (D), NEW JERSEY: I will not be responsible for the loss of the Democratic majority in the United States Senate. I will not allow it to happen.

SCHNEIDER: So what happened? His arch enemy, Frank Lautenberg, took his place on the ticket, held the seat, and the Democrats lost their Senate majority anyway.

Turkey No. 9: another quitter. Andrew Cuomo left the Democrat primary race for governor of New York on a rather self-congratulatory note.

ANDREW CUOMO (D), N.Y. GOV. CANDIDATE: If we were to now spend $2 million this week on an acrimonious campaign, we would only guarantee a bloody and broke Democratic nominee, whoever won.

SCHNEIDER: Then he compounded the problem by telling "New York Times" columnist Bob Herbert he couldn't go negative against an African-American opponent. How could I go against Carl McCall? How could you do that? Don't you like black people? Aren't you a progressive? Aren't you a liberal, you young, arrogant S.O.B.?

Cuomo got out because it was politically correct. That's a first.

Turkey No. 8: Governor Paul Patton of Kentucky. A woman sued him, claiming he gave her official favors when they were in a sexual relationship, and harassed her after she broke it off.

First, the governor denied the relationship. Then he came clean -- or not so clean.

GOV. PAUL PATTON (D), KENTUCKY: My mistakes were mine alone. I take full responsibility for them.

SCHNEIDER: The governor is currently under investigation for ethics violations.

Turkey No. 7: Gary Condit. Defeated for renomination by his own party.

REP. GARY CONDIT (D), CALIFORNIA: I want to thank everybody in the 18th Congressional District for giving me this opportunity. It's been a great opportunity to be in public service and represent them in Washington, D.C and I'll never forget it.

SCHNEIDER: No, he probably won't.

Turkey No. 6: Bill Simon Jr., Republican candidate for governor of California. During a campaign debate, Simon claimed to have the goods on his opponent, Gray Davis: a photo showing Davis accepting a campaign contribution illegally.

BILL SIMON (R), CALIF. GOV. CANDIDATE: Have you ever accepted a campaign contribution in the state capitol or in any of your government offices?

SCHNEIDER: Pictures don't lie, do they? In this case, yes. The photo was taken in a private home, 400 miles from the state capitol.

SIMON: I think we should have verified a few things before I asked that Mr. Davis that question in the debate. I really do. And, you know, I think that would have merited -- that would have been a good idea.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, it would have, you turkey.

More turkey? We'll be right back.


WOODRUFF: We can't wait.

Well, Thanksgiving is one of those times of year when it seems as if everyone in Washington has flown the coop. As our Bruce Morton explains, it is especially lonely right now under the Capitol dome.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Senate's in recess and so is the House. Not a creature is stirring not even a -- not even a, well, they do a few mice here, but members of Congress are scarce this week. They've gone home and lobbyists. Nobody to lobby. Occasional staffers. There's one -- look quickly.

And tours, though we didn't see any. They only allow groups now after 9/11. Before you could take your kids and just wander. Capitol police are working, of course, but it's empty.

In the Senate radio-TV gallery, nobody's telling reporters anything. Well, there aren't any reporters, of course. And the TV monitors will remind you why, in case you've lost your calendar.

Outside, traffic is light. Across the street, the Supreme Court is quiet, too. The big plaza where lawyers repeat for reporters and cameras what they argued before the justices inside, it's quiet. No cases, of course.

And back inside the Capitol, echoes and statues. What stories some of these folks could tell if they could speak. All sorts of statues: cowboys and Indians and politicians all mixed up. Good thing the Congress is gone. Some argue they can't spend your money while they're not here. And this is the first time they've adjourned before December in five years.

Echoes and statues and one other thought. Wouldn't this be a swell place for a party, now that the grown-ups have left?

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Party in Washington? Never.

Still ahead, more of Bill Schneider's countdown of the Top 10 political turkeys.

But up next, a turning point in American politics. We'll go back a number of years for a timely reminder that just a few words can cause a politician the White House.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Master Sergeant Kevin Geyser (ph) from Trustville, Alabama (ph). Go huskies! We're 20 Special Forces group here in Bagram Air Base. I've been here since September 13. I'd like to say happy Thanksgiving to everyone at home, especially my lovely wife, Suzy (ph), and my daughter Bradley (ph), my son, Blake (ph) and my baby girl Abby (ph), who turned 2 in September. Happy Thanksgiving. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, I'm Specialist Ann Marie Schultz (ph) of Bagram, Afghanistan. I've been here six months. Happy Thanksgiving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant Ingram (ph) from the 82nd Airborne Division. Been deployed here since June of this year. I'd like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to family and friends back in the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. area and I'd like to say hello to my daughter, Lauren (ph). I love you and daddy will be home soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Happy Thanksgiving from the hospital in Bagram.


WOODRUFF: Many political figures have learned important lessons from the past. As the saying goes, those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

That brings us to our senior analyst Jeff Greenfield with a turning point in American politics.


JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (on camera): An old piece of folk wisdom says, I can protect myself from my enemies, but God save me from my friends. Here's a perfect example, from 1884, when a single sentence from a friend may have cost a candidate the White House.

(voice-over): The Republican candidate that year was named James G. Blaine, ex-speaker of the House, ex-U.S. senator, ex-secretary of state. A man it seemed destined for the White House, but also a man dogged by persistent tales of political corruption. The plumed knight, supporters called him.

Blame, blame, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine, his opponents sneered.

The Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, who in three short years went from mayor of Buffalo to governor of New York to presidential nominee. A reformer who clashed with New York's Tammany Hall Democrats, Cleveland was dogged by stories, apparently true, that he fathered an illegitimate child.

Ma, ma, where's my pa, his opponents jeered. As the election neared, Blaine was favored, in part because it seemed implausible that Cleveland could win New York's critical 36 electoral votes. That Tammany machine was determined to defeat him. Then, shortly before Election Day, Blaine went to New York's Fifth Avenue Hotel, for a meeting of supporters including one Rev. Samuel Bouchard (ph).

In his remarks, Reverend Bouchard referred to Democrats as -- quote -- "the party whose antecedents have been rum, Romanism and rebellion" -- unquote. A blatant insult, both to Roman Catholics and the thousands of New York immigrants for whom wine and spirits were customs, not a sin.

Well, maybe he didn't hear the words. Maybe his political antenna failed him, but Blaine said nothing. Whatever the explanation, the comments triggered a firestorm.

And on Election Day, the Tammany Hall was helpless. Enough Democrats did turn out to give Cleveland New York state by the improbably thin margin of 1, 047. And New York's electoral votes were enough -- just enough to put Cleveland in to the White House.

(on camera): Two footnotes. On election night, Cleveland supporters put a punchline on that chant his opponents loved to use. Ma, ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha.

Four years later, Cleveland lost his re-election bid even though he won the popular vote. The would be the last time that would happen until 2000.

But, four years after that, Cleveland won back the presidency, and that's why he is counted in the history books as both the 22nd and the 24th president. That's today's "Turning Point."

I'm Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: Few public officials have been through the emotional wringer like Missouri's Jean Carnahan. Up next, the widow-turned- senator tells me how she's coping after personal tragedy and political defeat.



WOODRUFF: This holiday season, outgoing Senator Jean Carnahan still is counting her blessings, despite more heartache than most people can endure in a lifetime. Her husband and son died in a plane crash. While still grieving, she became a Senator, and two years later, voters sent her packing back to Missouri. I spoke recently with Carnahan and I asked her how she's doing.


SEN. JEAN CARNAHAN (D), MISSOURI: I'm doing just fine. I remember someone said, once, that Life isn't the way it's supposed to be. It's the way is. It's the way you cope with it that makes a difference. So I feel like I've had family and friends and certainly my faith to cling to, and those things made the difference for me.

WOODRUFF: Has it made it -- people wonder, has it been that much harder because it's all been out in the open, in the public eye?

CARNAHAN: Certainly it has. When I first came to Washington, I realized I wasn't there like the others. I didn't have six years to come up to speed. I had to start right away. People were watching me all the time. Not only that, I had run on two tracks. I had to start campaign,a multimillion dollar campaign that I had high to start up right away.

So I felt like I was running on two tracks the whole time here and that was difficult, but I was willing to do it and I wish it had a different outcome, but it didn't, and so we go on, and to the next phase of our lives.

WOODRUFF: This campaign that you ran, again, very close. You ended up losing by something like 22,000 votes out of 1.9 million cast. As you look back on it, are there things could you have done differently? It was so close.

CARNAHAN: Well, you know, I just don't think you should look back and try to second guess. I guess there are lots of things you could do, but I don't do that. I just think, looking back, saying what if or wanting to take some sort of revenge or something. I think these are things that just corrode your soul. You've got to get beyond that and you move on and you take the next step in your life, whatever that is.

I'm one of these who feels like one door closes, another one opens. And so at this point in my life, I'm looking for the next opened door.

WOODRUFF: Paul Wellstone. Tragic death in a plane crash. At first it was thought, if anything, that this would produce a wave of sympathy. That if anything, would help you. Then along came this memorial service that turned into a partisan event, and there are many who looked at this situation and said not only did it help -- hurt the Democrats in Minnesota, but it hurt Democrats across the country, and specifically you.

What do you think about it?

CARNAHAN: I don't think it translated that far. I think there in Minnesota, people saw it as going, perhaps, too far. I was there at the service, though. I saw what was occurring at the time. But I don't think it translated into our state. The president came to our state quite a bit. So I felt like I was running against the president, and, of course, as you know, that's very difficult to do.

WOODRUFF: Any thoughts about that service? Did you feel it was a mistake for it to get...

CARNAHAN: His supporters were so enthusiastic and so wanting for the campaign to go on that I think perhaps at one point in particular, I thought it went overboard, it went too far, and I think that certainly hurt.

But, again it was something that was done out of just a passion for Paul Wellstone. And sometimes you have to forgive those sort of things when people are so passionate for people they believe in.

WOODRUFF: What about Jean Carnahan going forward? A political future, somehow, some way? CARNAHAN: Well, you know, we never say never in politics. You never know what's going to be down the road. My husband was out of politics 14 years after he lost one time. I always thought that was a good thing because it gave him a chance to do some normal things in the community, and not to be a professional politician.

So I think things may come open in the years down the -- on the way, but right now I want to go home and settle down in my new apartment and start looking for some work.

WOODRUFF: So maybe something in public service?

CARNAHAN: Oh, definitely. I mean, public service is such a big part of our family life. It has been for my children and as well as for all of us. And for three generations, actually, have served in public office.

So I'm sure it will be something that has to do with public service in some form.

WOODRUFF: The Democrats have a chance in two years to take back the Senate...

CARNAHAN: Sure they do. You bet they do. They do, and, in fact, I predict they will.

WOODRUFF: f anybody looks at you and says, Gee, I feel sorry for Jean Carnahan for what she's been through. What do you say to them?

CARNAHAN: Oh, don't feel sorry for me. I have found that you get up every day. You look what the new challenge of the day is. And you look around to find somebody that you can help. There's always someone out there who needs your help. And if you look for it, can you find it, and it helps you in return.

WOODRUFF: Senator Jean Carnahan, we wish you the very best and thank you for talking with us.

CARNAHAN: Glad to do it.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.


WOODRUFF: Up next, what's cooking in the last Senate showdown this year? We'll join Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan in the kitchen to cook Cajun and talk about the heated runoff in Louisiana.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I'm PFC Duncan, 82nd Airborne. I've been in country now for about four months and I'd just like to say happy Thanksgiving to my mom, dad, grandma, sister and brother-in-law. All my family back home, happy Thanksgiving. Happy holidays.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is CW 3 Tartaglia (ph). I've been at Bagram Air Base since May. Happy thanksgiving to my wife and kids. Hope to see everybody on Christmas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are from CTF 180, TF-A2 in the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), here at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. We're on our way to take some turkey Thanksgiving dinners to fire bases out on the border. We'd like to say: happy Thanksgiving!




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. My name is Specialist David Little (ph). I'm with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell. I'd like to say hi to my parents and all my friends and family back in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Happy Thanksgiving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. My name is Staff Sergeant Bridwell (ph). I've been in Afghanistan for two months. I'd like to say happy Thanksgiving to my wife, Tara (ph), my daughter, Kylie (ph), and my son, Justin (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Seth Brettcher (ph). I'm in beautiful Bagram, Afghanistan. It's getting a little bit cold here. Just want to say hi to my wife, Janell (ph), and my son, Steven (ph), and my daughter, Kristen (ph) and they're in Baltimore with their grandparents, and say hi to everybody else in my family and my dad and Connie (ph). Happy Thanksgiving. We're having a good time here. Bye.


WOODRUFF: Louisiana politics can be a lot like the local cuisine: an unusual mixture with plenty of spice. So what better place to talk about the upcoming Louisiana Senate runoff than in the kitchen with former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile and American Cause President Bay Buchanan. A Louisiana native, Donna whipped up some jambalaya while we talked.


DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I believe that the race is going to go down to the wire and, as result of that, I'm trying to cook to get my nerves together and I came over Bay's house because I thought Bay could help me out and perhaps if I kept Bay in the kitchen, she won't go down to Louisiana to help Mary - Suzie Terrell.

WOODRUFF: Well, before we go any further, let's tell everybody what you are cooking here. This is a Donna Brazile family recipe.

BRAZILE: This is actually grilled jambalaya, which comes from the southern part of the state of Louisiana. Out of the Spanish Creole tradition in Gonzalez, Louisiana, people take out their big pot and start cooking all of the meats and seasoning and Louisiana rice and make a big old pot of Creole jambalaya right before Thanksgiving to get people hungry for that good Creole gumbo.

So that's what I'm cooking today with Bay and hopefully her and her sons will enjoy this tonight and tomorrow and on to Thanksgiving Day.

BUCHANAN: And I'll be inviting you back for Christmas.

Any time you want to cook out here, Donna, you're most welcome.

BRAZILE: I'll bring some et touffe (ph) for Christmas.

WOODRUFF: All right, now Bay, you've been watching. Again, we're going to talk about the Senate race in Louisiana. But you've been watching her. What do you think as you watch...

BUCHANAN: I'm so hesitant with the seasoning. You know, always I always think I'll make it too hot, no one's going to eat it, you know? And I'm not certain of it. And here she is just pouring this and pouring this and pouring that, without any hesitancy.

WOODRUFF: And she doesn't have a -- I haven't seen a measurement.


BRAZILE: This is a little chili pepper, again, because you're using...

BUCHANAN: You put that chili pepper in there three times, Donna.

BRAZILE: That's because I like chili pepper.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about Louisiana. You heard Donna sort of lay out what this Senate race is all about. What do you think? What are you hearing?

BUCHANAN: You know, she -- Mary Landrieu has a problem on two fronts. Donna indicated she runs against Suzanne Terrell, but I think that's -- Suzanne Terrell is insignificant, really, quite honestly. She's running against George Bush. You know, there's a movement out there. And the polls this week have shown Americans are much prefer with public (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And so she's running against that kind of national movement and George Bush's popularity.

In addition, she has never been able to get over 50 percent in the polls, which is a clear indication of vulnerability for an incumbent. She has get -- energize the black vote to win.

WOODRUFF: She did get an endorsement, though, Donna. Did she?

BRAZILE: She did. State Senator Cleo Fields, one of three African Americans who were holding out came on board last week. he's helping Mary out.

BUCHANAN: But it's not going to make a big difference. BRAZILE: That's going to make a difference. One out of three voters in Louisiana is an African American and Mary enjoyed tremendous African American support in the primary. She won 56 of 64 parishes. That's counties for people who are not from this state. Suzanne only won one parish, St. Tammany, north of New Orleans, where she is also a resident of the city of New Orleans.

They're both southern, New Orleanean Catholics and they're running in a state that is heavily Protestant in the north and I think some of the issues that are on the minds of voters are taxes, jobs -- Louisiana's lost jobs, especially jobs at the port in New Orleans. The sugar cane industry is in trouble. I hope the president, when he goes down there explains to the people of Louisiana why he intends to flood the markets with Mexican sugarcane.

BUCHANAN: Listen, I'm on your side with that particular issue.

But let me ask you, what makes you think, Donna, that suddenly that people down there will vote differently than people around the country? They're going to vote on issues rather than for George Bush? They're voting out there for George Bush, in which case, she's in trouble.

BRAZILE: Well, she's a moderate, centrist Democrat. She's not a liberal Democrat. She's from a state that loves independent politicians. We all remember Huey Long and the great tradition in Louisiana.

BUCHANAN: She has never able to get over 50 percent. Now how is she going to do that without energizing the black vote? Can she do it without that? And no one suspects that the black community is going to be voting for her.

BRAZILE: I think the African-American community -- it's a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) by the way, and it's hunting season in Louisiana right after Thanksgiving and also LSU is potentially going into the playoffs. New Orleans Saints, which is...

BUCHANAN: This is doesn't sound like a real (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- it's high turnout.

BRAZILE: But what I'm saying is that I think it's going to be a tremendous turnout.

BUCHANAN: Donna, I have more faith in this gumbo or jambalaya than you're making than this political talk that's going on. There's a little bit too much spin in this -- a little too much hope.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about the Senate. Right now the Senate is 51-48 with Jim Jeffords as the independent. How much difference does this really make? I mean, we -- the Republicans are going to have the majority. That's counting Landrieu as winning. They already have a majority, Bay, Donna...

BUCHANAN: I think it makes a huge difference. It's -- so many votes are close, and there are several, as we both know, Republicans who tend to vote with the Democrats on key issues. And so this gives her, especially, Suzanne Terrell, which will absolutely voting with the president -- this gives him one more certain vote. And so, less need to compromise, I think it's a real -- it's a critical vote.

WOODRUFF: So what about the Democrats?

BRAZILE: Well, I think Democrats -- this would be a very important victory for us as we head into 2003 and 2004. I also think that Mary is not going to be a rubber stamp for the president's policies. They're hurting certain Louisiana families and hurt Louisiana jobs.

BUCHANAN: I think it's key to the Democrats. I mean, they now have just taken a terrible hit. And this -- to have this come on top of it, losing this race here will really demoralize them further and just, I think, carry that kind of demoralization right into the new year, which is nothing they need.

WOODRUFF: Well, nothing demoralizing about the jambalaya that we're watching. So as we wrap this up...


WOODRUFF: All right. I can be helpful in one small way over here. Now, talk about what you're doing. You're adding the shrimp to the...

BRAZILE: Well, you always add the shrimp last because shrimp will, you know, just cook real quick and become very small and insignificant in the jambalaya and of course, the rice is just about ready.

BUCHANAN: Do you need me to stir this?

BRAZILE: Yes, and we're ready to strain off some of the excess broth of the rice, and now we're about to do the happy Creole magic.

WOODRUFF: All right. Donna, how is Louisiana politics like Louisiana food? Louisiana cookin?

BRAZILE: Well, it's spicy. It's hot. It's unique. It's flavorful. The cooking is something that unites Louisiana. It's black and white and rich and poor, urban and rural, and we all love to cook, and we all love to talk politics as we prepare our traditional meals.

BUCHANAN: In your family, Donna...

BUCHANAN: All Democrats? The whole family's Democrats?

BRAZILE: Well, I have one or two Independents. I had a Republican once and ...


BRAZILE: No. We just stopped feeding him. WOODRUFF: So that's what happens.



WOODRUFF: To ask for Donna's complete Creole jambalaya recipe, you can e-mail us at It is delicious.

Well, the waiting is almost over. Up next, our Bill Schneider answers the burning question: who was the No. 1 political turkey of the year?


WOODRUFF: And now, it's time for Bill Schneider to pick up where he left off and reveal his Top Five political turkeys of the year.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Ready for a second helping?


SCHNEIDER: Turkey No. 5: Washington, D.C. Mayor Tony Williams presented 10,000 signatures to qualify for the Democratic primary ballot, but many were in the same handwriting, and some names were not those of registered D.C. voters. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan? British Prime Minister Tony Blair?

The mayor, who ran on his record of competence, was thrown off the primary ballot and had to win renomination as a write-in candidate.

MAYOR TONY WILLIAMS (D), WASHINGTON, D.C.: Now we had the most organized campaign? No. We had the most well-managed campaign, I will readily admit? No.

SCHNEIDER: Turkey No. 4: this one a real personal. The Voter News Service got $10 million from the TV networks and the Associated Press to revamp its exit polls. So what happened on election night? No exit polls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be from us no exit poll projections tonight.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Jeff, this is shocking news, obviously, for those of us who have grown up with the exit polls over the years.

SCHNEIDER: Like me, whose job it is to report the exit polls.

Who am I? Why am I here?

Thanks a lot, VNS.

Turkey No. 3: speaking of election screw-ups, how about those turkeys in Florida? On primary day this year, they did it again.

JIM SMITH (R), FLA. SECY. OF STATE: It has been embarrassing to the state. It's been embarrassing to South Florida.

SCHNEIDER: What happened to all the money Floridians spent to fix their election system? Maybe they gave it to VNS.

GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: I'm angry, as can you tell.

SCHNEIDER: Turkey No. 2: Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. First, she apologized to the Saudis. Then, she called for an investigation into whether the Bush administration had advanced notice of the September 11 attacks.

REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (R), GEORGIA: What does this administration know and when did it know it?

SCHNEIDER: If the government knew, why didn't warn the American people? Because, McKinney said, persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war.

On primary day her constituents said, Enough is enough.

Turkey No. 1 -- the turkey of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, former Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant.

REP. JIM TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: Think about it. Tonight I have dark pants on. Am I scared to death? No. I'll go to jail before I'll resign and admit to something I didn't do. Now, I want to go case by case. Forget all these witnesses.

SCHNEIDER: But the jury didn't. Neither did the voters when Traficant ran again as an independent. Today Mr. Traficant is celebrating Thanksgiving in the Big House, with a lot of other turkeys.

(on camera: And now, for my annual Thanksgiving question: if you dropped the Thanksgiving platter what three national disasters would occur? The downfall of turkey, the breakup of china, and the overthrow of grease.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: "In the Works" for tomorrow, after digesting all of those turkeys, Bill Schneider still had a stomach for a "Political Play of the Week."

That's it for today's INSIDE POLITICS. Happy Thanksgiving. I'm Judy Woodruff.



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