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CNN INSIDE POLITICS

Gephardt Announces Presidential Campaign Officially; White House Says U.S. Will Offer New U.N. Security Council Resolution on Iraq

Aired February 19, 2003 - 16:00   ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
REP. DICK GEPHARDT (D-MO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've got to hand it to him. Never has so much been done in so little time to help so few.

ANNOUNCER: Dick Gephardt gives it another shot, taking on President Bush, and a host of fellow Democrats who want to win the White House.

Snapshots from a presidential background. As the troops move out, what to do Iowans want in a commander in chief?

A White House resolution on Iraq. The Bush administration decides its next move at the United Nations.

A new campaign by the homeland security chief. Is he preparing Americans or tangling them in more duct tape?

TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Oh, and yes, I have to stay, stash away the duct tape. Don't use it. Stash it away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.

Well, since Dick Gephardt stands with the president on disarming Saddam Hussein, that was pretty much the only Bush policy that he did not lambaste in his announcement speech today. Our update on Iraq is just ahead, but we wanted to begin with the Democratic presidential race. Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is in Iowa, the latest stop on Gephardt's campaign kick-off tour. Candy, how did it go?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, so far, so good. This is his second stop. He started off with a meeting with labor leaders here, that being one of his key constituencies. Dick Gephardt, as you know, is one of the most familiar faces in the nation, one of the most familiar Democratic faces. And yet, his campaign talks a lot about reintroducing him. What that really means is allowing Dick Gephardt to get out of Washington and back to his roots, which in this case was St. Louis, Missouri.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEPHARDT: I love America. I know we can do better. I know we can do more. Here in the home of my values, here at the heart of the American dream, I announce my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Now, Gephardt has been in Congress almost 30 years. He ran for president before in 1988. And the rap has been, thus far, that perhaps he is a little too familiar, that maybe Democrats want to find someone else. But if you can't beat them, join them, because what Gephardt apparently plans to do is use his experience as a big plus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEPHARDT: I'm not going to say what's fashionable in our politics. But I'm a Washington outsider, that I couldn't find the nation's capital on a map, that I have no experience at the highest levels of government. I do. And I think experience matters. It's what our nation needs right now. I'm not the political flavor of the month. I'm not the flashiest candidate around, but the fight for working families is in my bones.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: As for the speech, Judy, very full of a lot of policy issues he'd like to take on should he become president. It was, as you said, quite a critique of President Bush -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Candy, the timing of all of this coming as the nation is thinking a lot about whether we're going to go to war with Iraq, why did Gephardt do this now?

CROWLEY: Well, first of all, you've got a lot of other people that are already in the race. Actually, Gephardt filed his exploratory committee papers with absolutely no fanfare in January. I asked him on the plane, I said, you know, why do this now? Why come out? Why didn't you do it when you did your exploratory papers?

And he said, I wanted to get it together. I wanted to really think out what I wanted to take out on the campaign trail. In addition to that, he spent a lot of time on the campaign trail. He just hasn't been as visible. He's behind the scenes, drumming up support from some of those leaders that are really necessary to bring people out here in the caucuses, and in New Hampshire as well.

WOODRUFF: All right. Candy Crowley in the snows of Des Moines. Thanks very much. We'll see you when you get -- actually, we'll see you a little later in the program. Thanks.

CROWLEY: OK.

WOODRUFF: Well, the GOP is calling Dick Gephardt an inside the Beltway liberal who has been tried, tested and rejected. I'll ask Gephardt about that and much more later on INSIDE POLITICS.

Now to the showdown with Iraq. In this "NewsCycle," a military official tells CNN that the U.S. wants Turkey to decide in the next 48 hours whether it will allow American troops to be based in northern Turkey. But Turkey says it has no plans for a parliamentary vote this week. The Bush administration says it has made its final offer to Turkey on financial compensation, and will make alternative plans for troops if necessary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Obviously, the more assistance one gets, the easier it is. The less assistance one gets, the more difficult it is. But nonetheless, it's doable and there are workarounds.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: As the United Nations continues open debate on possible war, the White House says that the U.S. definitely will offer a new U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq. But the administration has not yet decided whether to introduce it at the U.N. this week or next.

Let's go now to the White House and to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. Suzanne, do they have the view at the White House, Suzanne, that this is -- there's some political risk involved, given the fact that they've clearly only got Britain and a very few other countries on their side?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly is risky, but, Judy, they say it's riskier not to do this because what this resolution is about is for U.N. Security Council members to go on record, whether or not they'll enforce previous resolutions.

The strategy at the White House has been for some time to force the members to either say yes, acknowledge that Iraq is in material breach of previous resolutions, at the very least, at the most, to give authority to use military force. They hope that they can get nine out of 15, that's what required, out of the U.N. Security Council and no vetoes. If they cannot do this, the president then, we're told is going to make that critical decision whether to move forward without them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: The president intends to work with our friends and allies to offer a resolution, either this week or next, at the United Nations Security Council. And the president has made it repeatedly clear that the preferable outcome is for the United Nations to act. If the United Nations Security Council fails to act, the president, along with a "coalition of the willing," will enforce Resolution 1441 by disarming Saddam Hussein.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And, Judy, within the hour the president is going to be meeting with NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. He's going to be thanking him for the aid to clear the way for defensive aid for Turkey, a critical ally if the United States can actually base troops there. That is still undetermined, as you had mentioned before. But, of course, the White House is recognizing it has a lot of work ahead in the diplomatic front as well -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Suzanne Malveaux at the White House.

And now let's quickly bring in our political analyst, Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times." Ron, from your perspective, how much political risk is there in bringing up this second resolution at the U.N.?

RON BROWNSTEIN, POLITICAL ANALYST, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, I think the second resolution really is essential in many parts of the world, and it would be helpful even here. Well, Judy, the polling is such that in America, which, of course, was the nation attacked on 9/11, there's the most inclination to go ahead, even if we do not get a U.N. resolution.

But in other countries, especially Great Britain, where Tony Blair is facing enormous popular resistance to his course, the polling is very clear. There's much more support for going ahead with U.N. authorization than without it. And I would say even here the polls are showing that the public is more supportive under that circumstance. And it would be a lot easier for the Democrats who are supporting Bush, if there is a U.N. resolution.

WOODRUFF: Ron, what about the thinking at the White House in terms of whether to go for a specific deadline, or to leave it more general in order to get something through. How much does it matter that the White House gets that deadline right now?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think it's more important to get something through. The White House now is in a situation that many hawks, I think, feared from the beginning. For them, the U.N. process and the inspections were a means, not an end.

That is, very few of them ever thought that inspections themselves would end the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. What they wanted the process to do was to build international support, and for that matter, support here at home for when they chose to go to war, which is what they viewed as the ultimate solution.

The problem is, once the process starts, it's not easy to turn it off. It's not clear what the exit strategy is. The inspections have momentum of their own. There are countries that, obviously, argue to continue them. And the administration needs a way to disengage from this process without fracturing the international support that the process was supposed to instill in the first place. WOODRUFF: Finally, Ron, on Turkey. You now have a situation where the administration is practically seen as -- in a situation where they are bargaining with Turkey. They've had to say, no, we're not going to give anymore, but Turkey's saying, we want more money or you're not going to be able to use our country as a base for your aircraft.

BROWNSTEIN: I think it's very unfortunate for the administration to have all that's happening so clearly in public view. I think it's just a matter of time until some of the opponents of the war in the U.S. will argue that here we are sending $6 billion or more, in terms of loans to Turkey, grants and loans to Turkey, and we don't have the money for improvements in homeland security.

That's a hanging curveball for some of the critics to argue that resources that should be being focused on -- our fight against terror and al Qaeda -- are being diverted to Iraq. So I think, its is very unfortunate to have all this going on so publicly. It's not really something the administration wants to be happening in front of the curtain.

WOODRUFF: All right. Ron Brownstein, thanks very much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Well, Ron mentioned the loud opposition to the war, and after a weekend of global demonstrations, anti-war activists are planning another protest, a virtual march on Washington. Martin Sheen, Anjelica Huston and other Hollywood celebrities are part of the Win Without War Coalition. They are urging Americans to call, fax or e-mail their U.S. senators and the White House on February 26, to register their opposition to war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: Don't invade Iraq. Inspections work. War won't. The virtual March on Washington will allow every American opposed to the war to stand up and be counted by calling, faxing and e-mailing the U.S. Senate and the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: That ad promoting the virtual march on Washington begins airing tomorrow on cable networks in Washington and in Los Angeles.

Well, President Bush has said that he won't be swayed by anti-war protests. But some Arab leaders are feeling pressured by demonstrations in their own countries. CNN's Ben Wedeman looks at their dilemma.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): University students in Egypt let it be known what they think about a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq. Arab leaders wake up, they chant. Who is next after Iraq? But the anger on the streets often gets muddled in the palaces of power in the Arab world, where many pro-American authoritarian governments like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are being pulled in opposite directions.

They can't ignore widespread opposition to war; at the same time, unable or unwilling to openly oppose their American benefactors. Their compromise is to tell their people they are against war, but then do little to prevent it.

With some like some like Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait openly hosting U.S. forces, which could well be involved in an attack on Iraq.

It's a balancing act by Arab rulers few of their people appear to believe.

ASHRAF BAYOUMI, EGYPTIAN INTELLECTUAL: They don't respect the people. They think that the people are fools. That's the arrogance of power. The arrogance of power puts a shield, puts a blindfold on the policymakers.

WEDEMAN: It's an open secret that many Arab leaders would like to see Saddam Hussein vanish. But regime change advocated by the Bush administration sparks profound worries.

IMAD AD-DIN ADIB, COMMENTATOR: Well, we don't know how to handle the American policy. If I help him to get rid of Saddam, would this mean that tomorrow he is going to get rid of me? What is the guarantee that when he gets rid of Saddam, he will not get rid of me?

WEDEMAN: Arab leaders are discussing whether to hold a summit to discuss a list of not very attractive options regarding Iraq.

(on camera): But an emergency Arab summit may amount to little more than a last-minute face-saving measure. An attempt by Arab leaders to show their people they are doing all they can, which is very little, to stave off war with Iraq.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: There's much more ahead on INSIDE POLITICS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEPHARDT: I'm proud of my support of working families and labor unions. Labor unions, to me, are where I come from.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: I'll talk to Congressman Dick Gephardt about his political routes and the support for his presidential campaign.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm Bill Schneider in Washington. Gephardt proudly wears the union label, but should he count on getting Labor's endorsement.

WOODRUFF: Also, ahead, the campaign announcements that keep on coming. Is it smart politics or overkill? Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), NEW YORK: Dude, the snowboarding has been righteous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: New York Mayor Bloomberg counts down the benefits of the blizzard.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Opposition to a war in Iraq almost cost one Dearborn, Michigan teenager the shirt off his back. Sixteen-year-old Bretton Barber showed up at school Monday wearing a shirt with President Bush's picture on it and the words, "international terrorist." School officials told him to take it off, turn it inside out or go home. Barber chose to go home, saying he said the right of freedom to expression.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETTON BARBER, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Just like someone should have the right to wear the American flag on their shirt when they go to school, just like someone should have the right to wear a "God Bless America" shirt when they go to school, I should have the right to wear this shirt to school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: School officials say they were worried about inflaming passions at his school where a majority of the students are Arab- American.

Coming up, war worries put a damper on your stocks. We'll go live to Wall Street for the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF (voice-over): It's time to check your I.P. I.Q. Representative Dick Gephardt launched his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president today. Aside from Gephardt, who was the last Missouri native to run for president. Was it, A: Harry Truman, B: Tom Eagleton or, C: Bill Bradley? We'll tell you the answer later on INSIDE POLITICS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Congressman Dick Gephardt is the only announced Democratic presidential contender who has previous experience running for the White House. When I spoke with him last hour I began by asking him if he was discouraged by a Republican party press release which describes him as a candidate whose ideas have been "tried, tested and rejected."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEPHARDT: No, but it's more of the claptrap that they try to put out. I'm excited about this campaign. I think I've got a great chance to win. But it's not about me, it's about the American people. It's about the people like my parents that I talked about today in my announcement speech. We need a president in this country who remembers the working families of this country that are the real heroes of this country. They are the people that have made this country great.

And they have some real challenges in their lives every day now -- education, a good job, health care coverage, a pension over and above their social security. Those are the kind of issues that people worry about every day. And I'll be a president who will talk to those concerns with innovative, bold new ideas that are built on my experience of 25 years in the Congress.

WOODRUFF: You are talking about your experience and, yet, Republicans and some Democrats are saying, well, part of his experience is that it was he who tried to lead the Democrats back to victory in the House of Representatives four times, and failed four times. Is this an albatross that's going to be with you forever?

GEPHARDT: I don't think so. I see it a little bit differently. We won three of those four elections. We picked up seats in the house, and I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the leadership, and I'm proud of the members, and what we were able to accomplish.

I now want to run for the presidency because I learn a lot from all of that experience, and I can now bring bold, innovative new ideas that come from my experience. For instance, I work hard on the Clinton health care plan in 1993 and 1994. I learned from that experience, and so now I'm coming with what I believe is a bold, innovative idea that I could pass when I'm president.

WOODRUFF: You are talking clearly about new ideas, but, you know, you had organized labor on your side. You certainly had them with you in '88. But since then, in this race for president, we hear organized labor leaders questioning whether you have the new stuff, whatever that is, to be elected. Jerry McIntee (ph), who is head of AFSCME, the Municipal Employees Union, even came out and said he thought John Kerry was going to be better able to break through. What do you do about this new questioning, and staying out of it, staying neutral, as far as your candidacy is concerned?

GEPHARDT: Well, Judy, I think when everything is finally considered I'm going to have a lot of support, strong support, from not only labor unions, but most importantly from working people and working families. I'm proud of my support of working families and labor unions. Labor unions to me are where I come from. My dad was a Teamster and a milk truck driver. He told me many times at the dinner table, there's food on the table, Dick, because I'm represented by a collective bargaining union that gives me fair wages for my hard work. Those are the kind of people I grew up with. I'm proud of that association, and I think I'm going to get heart- felt, strong, convicted support from a lot of members of labor unions, and workers who aren't in labor unions, who want a president that will fight for working families.

WOODRUFF: But a number of them are saying, practically, that they want to make sure they're with somebody who can win, and they don't know that yet about you.

GEPHARDT: Well, they're going to know it about me in the next few months. As we go forward, we're going to win in Iowa. We're going to do well in New Hampshire. I'm going to win in the primary states, and I'm going to beat George Bush.

I'm going to win the presidency in 2004. And I think I'm going to have a lot of workers, a lot of working families, a lot of labor unions on my side because that's where I come from. I'm proud to represent working families. I've always done that in the Congress. And I think a lot of people think it's about time we had a president who had that in his heart and mind every day.

WOODRUFF: You are in the state of Iowa, just quickly. You won Iowa in 1988. Do you have to win Iowa again in order to be a credible candidate?

GEPHARDT: Well, obviously, you have got to win primaries. You got to do well. I don't know the answer to that question technically. I've got to do well here. I've got to do well in New Hampshire. I've got to get the delegates, win enough primaries to get the nomination. I think I'm going to do that.

I think it helps to have done this before, but I mostly think that I'm going to be helped by who I am, what I represent, my experience and the message and the bold ideas that I'm going to bring, based on that experience. And I think people really want that kind of a president. They realize that the economic program of this president has been a total failure. This economy is in a bad way. We can do better than this. And with me as president, we will do better than this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Congressman Dick Gephardt.

Tom Ridge wants Americans to be ready for any possible terrorist attack. But is a new Web site and an ad campaign enough to help citizens prepare for the worst? Our guests from the left and the right take issue.

(MARKET UPDATE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF (voice-over): It's time again to check your "I.P. I.Q." Representative Dick Gephardt launched his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president today. Earlier we asked, aside from Gephardt, who was the last Missouri native to run for president? Was it, A: Harry Truman, B: Tom Eagleton, or C: Bill Bradley. The correct answer is C: Bill Bradley was born in Crystal City, Missouri. Although he served as a U.S. senator from New Jersey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: When it comes to the run for the White House, which state plays a bigger role? Iowa or New Hampshire? Coming up, we'll get the take from Des Moines. But first, this "News Alert".

(NEWSBREAK)

WOODRUFF: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today unveiled a new government public relations campaign, urging Americans to be ready for the worst. Ridge said families should stock an emergency supply kit and plan a strategy for staying in touch during a crisis. He said the measures are designed to avoid fear and prevent panic in case of a terrorist attack.

RIDGE: The threat of terrorism forces us to make a choice. We can be afraid, or we can be ready. And, today, America's families declare, we will not be afraid. And we will be ready.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Ridge also unveiled a new government Web site filled with tips on how to prepare for an emergency. And he premiered a new ad campaign to raise public awareness about the potential for a terror attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's irrelevant where you live or how many people live in your community. It's America. America is the target, not just New York. It's everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Joining us now: Margaret Carlson of "TIME" magazine and Tucker Carlson of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."

Margaret is everybody going to be reassured now that we have a public relations campaign, we have an ad campaign that's rolled out, and we have this recommendation: You get a kit, you make a plan, and you stay informed?

MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME": I think it's crossed the line into like pure P.R. This is just a bit too much. And it makes you wonder, how many people sitting around a table did it take to come up with the various slogans, including correcting the duct tape mistake, which, the slogan now for that is, stash it, don't trash it? So, it's just a bit too much on the be-ready side , when people know you can't really be ready for something like a terrorist attack.

WOODRUFF: Tucker?

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, the problem is not with any of the specific recommendations. If you go to Ready.gov, it's all pretty sensible stuff: save some water, put some pasta aside, etcetera.

The larger problem, in my opinion, is, the government doesn't do P.R. very well, doesn't do propaganda very well. The anti-drug ads, if anything, make you want to do drugs. And the effect of all of this, I think, could be to make people more cynical or, at the very least, desensitized. And that's a shame. So, again, there's nothing sinister about it, but I'm not sure it's going to have the desired effect.

WOODRUFF: Well, wait a minute. On the duct tape, you say -- he said put it away. Margaret, you said stash it. But if you go to this Ready.gov Web site, it says, get duct tape, among other things.

M. CARLSON: Get more duct tape to stash, I guess.

I disagree with Tucker on one point. The drugs ads were quite effective. The egg frying on the cement to be your brain on drugs, I thought that was very effective, those ads.

This is, I think, a distraction, at best, which is -- listen, only the Bush administration can do something about keeping you safe from a terrorist attack. That's their job. And this gets your mind off the fact that they haven't found Osama bin Laden and there are al Qaeda cells and the FBI director said there are some in the United States, he fears, because he doesn't even know where they are or what they consist of.

So, it's become a distraction and it's just a little too much of it so that it -- you now recognize it as a distraction. And I think, this week, they're going to have to lower the alert level, because we can't live on orange all the time. So, we're going to go back to yellow. And it's going to become a late-night comedian's joke.

T. CARLSON: Well, here's the problem, quickly, with the terror alert system. I don't think it was ever meant for the public in the first place. The system was meant to alert local and state governments and certain industries, the nuclear industry, oil refineries, that they ought to beef up their security for a specific period of time.

But the idea was, the calculation was, the public is going to find about it anyway, so we have to make it public. But the problem there is, there's not much you can tell the public that they can do. And so I think government has sort of been and the Department of Homeland Security has sort of been forced to come up with these recommendations, which aren't necessarily all that helpful.

M. CARLSON: And that's how you fall into Ready.gov.

But the other thing is that this orange alert cost millions of dollars. And it was based on bad information from somebody in custody who lied to people and they put out a whole orange alert based on it.

T. CARLSON: Well, I think it was from a variety of sources, I think, in the end.

WOODRUFF: I was just going to say, plus the fact that a lot of people don't have computers, don't have access to the Internet to go to this Web site.

All right, much more on this to come. Margaret Carlson, Tucker Carlson, thank you both.

T. CARLSON: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Great to see you. We appreciate it.

Up next: insights from Iowa. We'll get the lay of the political landscape in the lead-off presidential caucus state from our own Candy Crowley and "The Des Moines Register"'s David Yepsen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The Democratic presidential race is already more crowded this year than it was back in 1988, when Dick Gephardt ran for president the first time and won the Iowa caucuses.

Let's talk more about the 2004 campaign and Iowa's importance with our own Candy Crowley -- she's back with this -- and David Yepsen of "The Des Moines Register."

David, we talked to Dick Gephardt a little while ago. You obviously have talked to him. Candy has. What shape is he in right now in Iowa?

DAVID YEPSEN, "THE DES MOINES REGISTER": Well, he's in tough shape here in Iowa, Judy.

I think, as he told you, he's got to win Iowa. He said he's going to win Iowa. He won Iowa before. If he doesn't, it's going to hurt his candidacy. It's going to be interpreted that he's been rejected.

And right now, wherever you go, there's affection for Dick Gephardt. There's just not a lot of enthusiasm for him. I thought we saw it today when he was at the Iowa Building and Trades Council, talking to those people: affectionate applause, respectful applause, but not a lot of, "Go get 'em, Dick" enthusiasm that we saw in 1988.

And then, on top of that, he has got Iraq. It's just crowding out everything. And the first question he got at the Building Trades today wasn't about pension reform. It wasn't about health care. It was about Iraq.

WOODRUFF: Candy, is his campaign -- is he prepared for this very different political landscape this go-around?

CROWLEY: Well, he says he is. And it's why you are hearing this talk about new and bold initiatives.

And he's trying to sort of walk this line between, yes, I've been around a long time -- which, by his detractors, is translated as old face -- and he switches it into, I've got a lot of experience. So, he's trying to do that, as well as say, but I have bold and new initiatives for this next generation.

So, it's a tough line for him. And it's hard -- and I agree with David that it's hard for any of them to get out there with a big agenda, because -- I haven't been to a news conference yet, except for in Grenell, that didn't start out with an Iraq question. And Grenell, if you want to know, was an agriculture question.

WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of Iraq, obviously, we are going to -- we presumably will know how that turned out by the time of these caucuses every next year, David. How much of a factor is that right now among the potential Democratic voters there?

YEPSEN: Iraq is a huge factor. It's talked about. It's on their minds. The activist Democrat is fairly left of center. They do not like all this talk about war.

And so, if you talk to the candidates who have supported President Bush on this issue, like Dick Gephardt or Joe Lieberman or John Kerry, what they will tell you is, hopefully, this thing will be over with soon. And we all pray that it will be. And once that happens, then perhaps they can punch through this clutter. That's certainly their hope. We'll see if it happens.

WOODRUFF: Candy, you've, of course, covered Iowa for a while. What about this question of organized labor? Much is being made now that Gephardt doesn't have that support that he had in '88. Is that a concern for him?

CROWLEY: He certainly doesn't have it for the asking; that's for sure.

Of course it is, particularly here in Iowa, where organization is everything, because you have got to have some sort of structure that can get people out in freezing temperatures to go to a caucus. And that's what he has mostly relied on in the past, which has been his good support among unions.

We are now talking about a union leadership that is different than it was in 1988 and union leadership that is a little standoffish at this point. Can he still get it? Yes. Is it going to be a gimme? Absolutely not. So, that is of great concern to the Gephardt campaign. (CROSSTALK)

WOODRUFF: Go ahead, David.

YEPSEN: I think it's just important to add to what Candy said that the Iowa Democratic Party tracks where caucus-goers are. And they will tell you that only 30 percent of Dick Gephardt's 1988 supporters are still active in the party today. There are a lot of new people who have come into the Democratic Party. There are people who have left.

And, as Candy said, the labor movement has changed. It's not the industrial UAW-type unions that dominated in the past. It's more the ask-me unions and the teachers unions, the pink-collar unions. And so it's so a different game, and inside the labor movement, even.

WOODRUFF: And, presumably, that's what gives people like Howard Dean and John Kerry and all these other contenders some notion that they might be able to win in Iowa.

All right, we're going to have to leave it at that. David Yepsen, Candy Crowley, great to see you both. Thanks very much.

YEPSEN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: The newest Democratic candidates lead the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily." Democratic -- or, rather, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun filed the official paperwork today forming their presidential exploratory committees. The two have already hit the campaign trail, of course, but their filings allow them to start raising campaign cash.

President Bush is expected to do more than talk about the economy tomorrow at a Georgia appearance featuring retiring Democratic Senator Zell Miller. The "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" reports that Miller will introduce the president to the Atlanta audience and that Mr. Bush will offer Miller a very strong, very public thank you for his willingness to cross party lines and vote with the president.

Well, organized labor, which we've been talking about, has one requirement for the next Democratic presidential nominee: Defeat President Bush. Up next: Bill Schneider on why the race for labor support is wide open, regardless of past service to the cause.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Labor unions, of course, are crucial to any Democratic presidential candidate. And union money can mean the difference in success or failure.

Our Bill Schneider reports that, this time around, no Democrat has a direct line to labor support, because labor has just one important goal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN SWEENEY, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO: Brothers and sisters, the next president of the United States: Al Gore.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Well, almost. That was in 1999, when organized labor's endorsements saved the Gore campaign from a potentially serious challenge by Bill Bradley.

STEVE ROSENTHAL, FORMER AFL-CIO POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Al Gore was in real trouble in Iowa at the time that the AFL-CIO endorsed him and put together an incredible organization there and helped to bring him across the finish, same in New Hampshire.

SCHNEIDER: In the past, labor's endorsement has been a mixed blessing. It created problems for Walter Mondale in 1984.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1984)

GARY HART (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Can you cite one major domestic issue in the last three or four years where you have disagreed with AFL-CIO or organized labor?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: In the end, however, labor saved Mondale's nomination.

In the current crowded Democratic field, labor's endorsement could be a big advantage. One candidate would seem to have the edge.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My dad was a milk truck driver, a proud member of the Teamsters union.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GEPHARDT: And he always told me, his union's bargaining power made it possible for him to put food on our table.

SCHNEIDER: Gephardt stood with labor even when Bill Clinton and Al Gore did not.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No more Fast Track, no more NAFTA! No more Fast Track, no more NAFTA!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: But this year, with the president and Congress opposed to virtually everything labor stands for, labor can't afford to look for purity.

ROSENTHAL: You're going to see a lot of union leaders asking one very basic question of any of these candidates: How are you going to win?

SCHNEIDER: Labor wants Bush out, period. And they are willing to go with any Democrat who can beat him. Nobody has labor locked up. The contest for labor has been called the first primary. It's a wide- open competition for a valuable prize, one that may not even be given.

ROSENTHAL: I think it's going to be very, very tough to get an endorsement. Remember, you need two-thirds of the unions that are part of the AFL-CIO to support an endorsement. And that's hard to do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: Next week, AFL-CIO leaders are meeting in Florida. And several Democratic contenders, including Gephardt, will be there, trying to impress them.

But these labor guys aren't into political correctness. There is only one thing that is going to impress them. And that is a victory strategy -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And that's what Dick Gephardt said to me earlier this hour he was going to do. But there are a lot of other Democrats running against him who say that's what they are going to produce.

SCHNEIDER: That's what they have to.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHNEIDER: OK.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, thanks very much.

Well, two more Democrats joined the race for the White House, but have they really announced? Straight ahead: why presidential candidates feel the need to announce their political plans over and over again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: There are already eight Democrats out there running for president right now. Several more are still thinking about it. Sometimes, it's hard to keep track of who is in and who's out, especially since candidates get as much mileage as possible from their official announcements.

Here's CNN's Bruce Morton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEPHARDT: I announce my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Richard Gephardt announced. So have others, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley-Braun, Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, or still just thinking about it, Gary Hart and Bob Graham of Florida. It's hard to remember because, for one thing, they don't just announce. They keep on announcing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")

DAN QUAYLE (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: What I'm going to announce tonight to you and to you listeners is that I, next week, will file a statement of candidacy for my presidency, my presidential run.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: Last time, Dan Quayle announced on "LARRY KING," announced in his home state of Indiana.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUAYLE: Thank you for that warm Huntington welcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: His adopted home state of Arizona.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUAYLE: ... that my campaign headquarters is here in Phoenix, Arizona.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: In Iowa, the first caucus state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUAYLE: I will win this nomination of the Republican Party. And I will beat Al Gore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: And in New Hampshire. And he was just announcing the formation of an exploratory committee. The real announcement would come later.

Once, years ago, it was simpler. John Kennedy and later his brother Robert came to this room, the Senate Caucus Room, and announced once. Now you keep announcing as long as reporters and cameras show up.

STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's much more about hype and momentum and energy and media attention. There's more media out there. And the candidates want more attention. And that means bigger announcements and more announcements and more balloons and more flags and more excitement.

MORTON: When party bosses chose the nominee, one announcement was plenty. But it's primaries now, a long season. You need a lot of money. And announcements can generate money and enthusiasm.

What's much rarer now -- and you only have to do it once -- is announcing that you're not running: Mario Cuomo in 1991, saying the demands of being New York's governor made a presidential run impossible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1991)

GOV. MARIO CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I would be less than honest if I did not admit to you my regret at not having the chance to run for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: Nobody is saying that this year. They are all running hard. After all, those Iowa caucuses are less than a year away, though not much less.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: So, eight already in and, by our count, at least five others thinking seriously about whether to run themselves. We'll see.

Well, the big Northeast snowstorm is costing New York millions, but up next, Mayor Bloomberg still can find reasons to laugh at the weather, with a little help from David Letterman.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: A quick look now at what's in the works. Rush Limbaugh is the ratings king of talk radio, but some wealthy liberals want to change that. We'll look at their plans on tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS.

Well, when the going gets tough, New York mayors have sometimes been known to go -- on "The Late Show With David Letterman." We had a good time watching Michael Bloomberg count down the top 10 good things about having so much snow in New York City.

Here are the top three.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Instead of 90 miles per hour, cabs traveling a more reasonable 60 miles per hour.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: No. 2.

BLOOMBERG: Any Broadway show can legitimately add the phrase "on ice."

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: Yes.

And the No. 1 good thing about having 19.8 inches of snow in New York City? BLOOMBERG: Yesterday, I got to run New York City from home in my robe.

LETTERMAN: There you go.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Cabbies are actually driving 75 miles an hour in the snow, but we'll talk about that later.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Thank you 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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