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Bush Administration Accused of Not disclosing Cost of War by Congressional Republicans; Health Concerns Over Democratic Presidential Candidates

Aired February 28, 2003 - 16:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Shouldering the burden of a war with Iraq. Can the administration answer the, "How much will it cost?" question.

REP. JIM MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: I think you are deliberately keeping us in the dark.

ANNOUNCER: The president versus fellow Republicans. We'll examine the finger pointing over the homeland security budget.

A campaign 2004 checkup. Are these Democrats healthy enough to be president?

It's a blockbuster movie, but it's also a theme in the "Political Play of the Week."


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

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

We begin with a story breaking in San Francisco, and that is the indictment of the police chief in that city, an assistant police chief and eight other police officers. All because of a brawl that took place last fall. Let's turn now to CNN's Rusty Dornin who is in San Francisco -- Rusty.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, this is a case that's been really brewing in the headlines here in San Francisco for the past couple of months. And, literally, exploded today with the announcement of these indictments. As you said, Police Chief Earl Saunders, his Assistant Police Chief Alex Fagan and a Deputy Police Chief David Robinson, along with seven other officers, have been indicted and arrest warrants have been issued.

Now, this all stems from a brawl that occurred outside a San Francisco bar last November, where, apparently, three off-duty police officers encountered two men. The two men say that the police officers allegedly attacked them and stole some food from them. It turned into a street brawl, where the victims say that they suffered a broken nose and some other injuries from that incident.

Now, following that, apparently there has been criticism of the investigation and how it was handled. That the victims were not asked to identify the officers, that no blood samples were taken, or the officers' clothes were not examined for blood samples, and that sort of thing. This has been going on for the past three months.

Now, also, the police chief, Earl Saunders, also is an African- American and members of the NAACP already in San Francisco are alleging that this whole thing has been politically motivated by the district attorney Terrance Hallinan on the eve of the election. They say they are going to fight this.

But the interesting thing is, they were going to have a press conference this afternoon where the district attorney was going to announce these indictments. That was abruptly canceled. And the Hall of Justice has been locked up tighter than a drum. We went up and tried to talk to the police chief, and several of the people there in those offices are just locked up. Nobody's talking -- Judy.

JUDY: All right, Rusty Dornin, keeping us up to date on these indictments just handed down today in San Francisco. Thank you, Rusty.

Well, we turn now to the U.S. and key allies finding more room for disagreement about Iraq. In this "NewsCycle," France is welcoming Iraq's apparent promise to destroy its Al Samoud 2 missiles, saying that it shows that Saddam Hussein can be disarmed without war. The chief U.N. weapons inspector says that Iraq is expected to begin that process tomorrow, as demanded.

But Baghdad says it needs to be told how to do that. The White House says it is all part of Saddam Hussein's game of deception.

For the first time, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council has, specifically, addressed the idea of vetoing a new resolution on Iraq. Speaking in China, Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that Moscow is prepared to use its veto if it is necessary in order to maintain international stability. Just yesterday, a Western diplomat indicated to CNN that Russia was not expected to use its Security Council veto.

Now, let's turn to CNN's Chris Burns at the White House. Chris, how are they handling with this threat of a possible veto because by the Russians and, altogether, dealing with the need to line up votes in the Security Council?

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely, Judy. This measure that the U.S. would like to push through in the Security Council only has four of the nine votes that it needs to get through this resolution establishing that Iraq is in material breach of the weapons-stripping Resolution 1441.

And this news from Igor Ivanov, that Russia holds the right to veto does not come as good news. However, the White House is taking this and saying -- trying to take the edge off of it and saying, well, any country, even the United states, among the five permanent members of the Security Council, could say the same thing. That, yes, they could have the right to veto if they wanted to.

Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman today, reading some past history talking about the previous efforts to get through resolutions that did go through, even though there was a lot of doubtful headlines and doubtful stories. And he says from all these stories, you can reach this message.


ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You're covering the process as if it was a baseball game. You're looking at every step that is taken -- every hit, every pitch, every strike -- ignoring the fact that history has shown that during this consultative process, you'll be able to write any type of story you want about any of these types of statements. But the focus is on the outcome for President Bush.


BURNS: Meanwhile, so the message is it's not over until it's over.

Also, the Commerce Secretary Don Evans traveling through Eastern Europe, going to Bulgaria, that is one of the countries that is pro- U.S., sitting on the Security Council, also going to Slovenia and Romania. One message from Don Evans saying, "We will remember our friends once this is all over." Of course, talking about the reconstruction of Iraq, and that a lot of people could benefit from that if they do join on with the U.S. at this time -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Chris, we also know that today, the president visited the new Department of Homeland Security and, among other things, he addressed all these questions that have been raised lately about whether homeland security is being adequately funded. And some remarks he's been making over the last few days, it sounds like he's being critical of his own party in the Congress.

BURNS: Well, Judy, this apparently looked like a bit of damage control today, because in the last few days, last few days President Bush meeting with the National Governor's Association, getting a lot of grief from them for not getting the money that was promised to them for homeland security, some $1 billion short just for the expense of local police and fire. President Bush coming back saying that he'd like to work with Congress, and here's what he had to say, sort of throwing out an olive branch to the Congress.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I signed the Appropriations Bill to make sure that we can finally begin to distribute funding to the states. The leaders in the House and Senate are aware of my concerns, and they share them.


BURNS: But this very much becoming a political football. The Democrats would like to use this as some kind of campaign fodder for 2004, saying that even President Bush is complaining about Republicans leading the Congress and not coming through with the money that was promised --Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, a little dust-up there between the White House and the Hill, once again. All right, Chris, thank you very much.

Well, members of the Bush administration and other officials here in Washington have been openly squabbling this week over the cost of a war with Iraq. CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr investigates the bottom line.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says nobody knows how much a war with Iraq will cost.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: the people who have tried to estimate those things for the Gulf War were flat wrong by an enormous amount. And it makes no sense to try to do it.

STARR: Congress may insist on an answer.

MORAN: We have to provide the money. We're being told now that there's no way that we're going to be told what it's going to cost until after you have begun military action. If you were on this side of the podium, you would be asking the same questions.

STARR: The cost of this war to the U.S. will be different than operation Desert Storm. That war cost $61 billion, but the U.S. was reimbursed $50 billion by Kuwait and other allies. This time, allies are clearly more reluctant to participate. The White House is reportedly preparing to ask Congress for up to $95 billion for the war. But there are a number of unknowns.

STEVE KOSIAK, CTR. FOR STRATEGIC ASSESSMENTS: There's a lot of uncertainty involved in how many troops will be required, the duration of the conflict, level of hostility. So with that level of uncertainty, you really can only can only give kind of ballpark guesses.

STARR: A one-month war, involving a minimum of 175,000 troops, might cost $18 billion. A more likely scenario, 250,000 troops in a two-month war could cost $35 billion. But if it drags on for six months and required 350,000 troops, the cost could skyrocket to $85 billion. Many of the costs for running the military would occur even in peacetime. An aircraft carrier conducting routine flight operations costs $1.3 million a day. Five carriers are now devoted to possible combat.

Peace in Iraq will also be costly. U.S. military occupation of Iraq for five years could range from $25 billion for 20,000 troops, to $105 billion if 90,000 U.S. troops were kept in Iraq.


STARR: Senior Pentagon officials, Judy, now estimate "a short, violent war," in their words, could cost as much as half a billion dollars a day to run. But if there is stiff Iraqi resistance and the war drags on, nobody can say how much it's all going to cost in the end -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Barbara, thanks very much.

With me now to talk more about the looming showdown with Iraq and the diplomatic challenges the U.S. faces with its European allies is Zbigniew Brzezinski, is the former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter.

Dr. Brzezinski, first of all, today you have Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, saying this concession by the Iraqis, that they are going to dismantle the Al Samoud 2 missiles, he says is a very significant piece of real disarmament. Meantime, the Bush White House says this is another example of deception. Who's right?

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, CTR. FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, if they defied that request, they would say it's a sign of material breach. If they meet the request, it's deception. You really can't have it both ways. We are facing the point at which the United States will have to define very clearly to the rest of the world whether it's really interested in disarmament, or whether it is primarily interested in regime change. We can't keep on sending these conflicting signals.

I think if we want disarmament, there's still a possibility. Perhaps not much more than that, but there's still a possibility that we can get it without a war. If we want regime change, it will have to be war.

WOODRUFF: How is the former accomplished?

BRZEZINSKI: It is accomplished, I think, by making very precise demands with very precise deadlines. Not general statements about being proactive inspections and verification, but very specific demands. Such as the one that Blix made. Rockets destroyed by such and such a date. Anthrax identified or accounted for by such and such a date. Other requests, similarly, by specific dates.

This way, I think we can establish credibility for the process. We can establish more clearly whether the process is being defied, or whether it is being satisfied.

WOODRUFF: But wouldn't that require a U-turn on the part of the Bush White House, which basically has dismissed the results of any inspections process?

BRZEZINSKI: Well, it dismissed them even before they started. And that's part of the dilemma. And that's why I say, the issue increasingly for the international community as a whole -- and it affects the credibility of American leadership -- is whether we really want disarmament, or whether disarmament is essentially a charade for the goal of regime change.

WOODRUFF: Just, quickly, do you think the U.S. can get U.N. Security Council support if it moves on the path that it's now on?

BRZEZINSKI: If the U.S. really wants disarmament, yes. If the U.S. wants regime change masquerading as disarmament, then my answer is, probably not.

WOODRUFF: Dr. Brzezinski, I want to turn you quickly to North Korea, because there's a concerning development out of there. It now appears they are starting the North Korean's activity at a nuclear reprocessing plant. A few days ago, they conducted a missile test, this is right after Secretary of State Colin Powell had been in South Korea. Should this administration be ramping up its reaction to what the North Koreans are doing?

BRZEZINSKI: I think the common sense judgment is that North Korea's posing a much more imminent threat to the international security, to the international system than Iraq. They are already in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons. They're acting with utter contempt for the international system. They're going to have a number of nuclear weapons by the end of the summer.

I think we can't afford to wait in dealing with the North Korean problem. And we're diverted. We Are so preoccupied with Iraq, that we're actually slighting a much more serious threat that's emanating in northeast Asia.

WOODRUFF: What should the U.S. do with regard to North Korea right now?

BRZEZINSKI: I think we ought to go on an urgent basis to the countries concerned, and try to fashion with them a policy of carrots and sticks and, ultimately, if necessary, consult our most immediate friends, the Japanese, the South Koreans, on what course of action we should follow alone (ph), if needed. I'm going to quickly read to you a quote from perform

WOODRUFF: I am going to quickly read to you a quote for the former secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger, just a part of it. He said, "The fact remains the world must be free of these two murderous regimes" -- he was talking about Iraq and North Korea -- "and that no diplomatic solution short of elimination will save us from the deadly danger we will certainly face if we continue down the path of appeasement."

BRZEZINSKI: You know, appeasement is a word that is easy to throw around. But one has to ask oneself, how does one obtain these objectives. These are good objectives to disarms countries that can be threatening. But unless we get the international community to work with us, we're going to be on a crusade all by ourselves against an increasing number of countries. And that's not a very promising prospect.

I think if we can mobilize international support, both in Iraq and on North Korea, we will be in a much better position to create the kind of world you want your children to grow up in or grandchildren go grow up in. Doing it all by ourselves on our terms, ignoring the rest of the world, shouting loudly that, "If you're not with us, you are against us," is not going to be a very successful policy.

WOODRUFF: But what you're describing would require a change in view on the part of the Bush administration. How confident are you that that is going to take place?

BRZEZINSKI: I think we haven't had a real serious national debate in this country as to what this issue is about. And we're dealing with kind of general slogans and images, a great deal of fear and panic. But I think that the Democrats are very much at fault in not generating a genuine debate. And I think the administration has been disingenuous in its argumentation.

WOODRUFF: We are going to have to leave it at that. Dr. Brzezinski, former national security adviser, it's always good to see you.

BRZEZINSKI: Nice to see you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for coming by.

BRZEZINSKI: All the best.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.

Much more ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, when it comes to an attack on Iraq, are Americans firmly behind the president? We'll gauge the pulse of the people.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. I'll tell you how a town with a legacy of war is struggling with another.

WOODRUFF: Also ahead, wrestling with the pros and cons of Title IX. We will hear from a coach who says changes should be made in federal mandates for women's sports.



WOODRUFF (voice-over): Historians are not completely sure how the character Uncle Sam was created. But many believe in one prevailing theory. That the original model for Uncle Sam was a man named Sam Wilson. What was Wilson's occupation? Was it A: meat packer, B: historian or C: politician? We'll tell you the answer later on INSIDE POLITICS.



WOODRUFF: Now, to the anti-war voices being raised today on the streets and in show business. Tens of thousands of Filipinos marched against war in a rare show of solidarity among the nations Christians, Muslims and rival political groups. In Bahrain, at least 3,000 protesters showed their opposition to war by chanting anti-American slogans and burning American flags.

Rock star Bono spoke out against attacking Iraq after being honored in Paris by French President Jacques Chirac. Echoing Chirac's view, the U2 lead singer says it would be a mistake to use force against Saddam Hussein.

Well, many celebrities here in the U.S. have demonstrated against war with Iraq, including "West Wing" star Martin sheen. Well, now an actor on another NBC drama stars in an ad supporting President Bush on Iraq. He's former senator Fred Thompson.


FRED THOMPSON, FMR. SENATOR: Can we afford to appease Saddam, kick the can down the road? Thank goodness, we have a president with the courage to protect our country. And when people ask what has Saddam done to us, I ask what have the 9/11 hijackers done to us? Before 9/11.


WOODRUFF: Former senator and "Law & Order" star Fred Thompson will talk about that ad and the threat of war in the next hour on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

To get a better sense of public opinion about war, our Bill Schneider has been crunching a variety of poll numbers.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Simple question. Do Americans favor war with Iraq? Is there a simple answer? There appears to be.

Three polls taken during the last two weeks asked Americans if they favor U.S. military action in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Between 63 and 69 percent of the public says, yes, loud and clear.

Enough said? Not quite. Because that number can vary quite a bit if you add a few details, like ground troops. What happens if you ask people if they favor sending U.S. ground troops into Iraq? You get a slightly smaller majority, in the 50s, not the 60s.

The most important consideration, Americans do not want to do this on their own. They want the United Nations behind it. Every question shows a solid majority of Americans saying, don't go into Iraq without U.N. support.

Like the CBS News poll, does Iraq present such a clear danger that the U.S. needs to act now, even without the support of the U.N. Or should the U.S. wait for U.N. approval? Sixty-four percent say wait. CNN-"TIME" poll. Who should make the final decision on Iraq, the U.N. Security Council or the U.S. President and Congress. Fifty- seven percent say the U.N. How about that?

And the ABC News-"Washington Post" poll, should the U.S. move quickly against Iraq, even if that means acting without the support of the U.N.? Or, keep trying to win support from the U.N. Security Council? Fifty-six percent say keep trying. Americans are worried that the rest of the world is not with the U.S. on this.

That may explain why only a small majority supports President Bush's handling of Iraq. On the average, 56 percent approve of the job Bush is doing as president. But a slightly smaller number, 53 percent, support his handling of Iraq.

(on camera): Americans are willing to go to war as long as it's not the U.S. versus Iraq. They want it to be the world versus Iraq.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Meantime, the White House has some harsh words today about the unprecedented decision by AFL-CIO leaders to oppose war in Iraq for now. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says it shows that some of the union's members are becoming, quote, "attachments of the Democratic party," and its, quote, "liberal wing." No immediate response from the union.

Checking the Friday headlines in our "Campaign News Daily," Senator Joe Lieberman is on the trail in New Hampshire this afternoon, a day after his remarks to the 100 Club Democratic dinner were disrupted by an anti-war heckler. The activist had his say and Senator Lieberman kept his cool.


SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to work together -- folks. I said Earlier, and I'll say it again, I respect your position. Let's disagree respectfully, let me finish my remarks.


WOODRUFF: We have an update now on what seems like daily changes to the calendar in next year's presidential primary season. As we reported, the Michigan Democrats want to move their caucuses to the same tentative date as the normally first in the nation New Hampshire primary. Well, if that happens, New Hampshire Democrats may ask the candidates to promise not to campaign in Michigan.

Senator Carl Levin and Michigan DNC member Debbie Dingell, the wife of long-time Congressman John Dingell, are leading the Michigan effort. They sent letters to all nine Democratic candidates, urging them not to go along with any requests that they stay away from Michigan. Debbie Dingell tells me that Iowa and New Hampshire officials are furious with her.

But she says Michigan Democrats are determined to challenge the overwhelming influence of two states that are small in population and, she says, not representative of most Democratic voters.

Coming up, a presidential prognosis. How healthy does a candidate need to be to make it to the White House?



WOODRUFF (voice-over): Time again to check your "I.P. I.Q." Many believe that the original model for Uncle Sam was a man named Sam Wilson. Earlier we asked, what was Wilson's occupation? Was it A: meat packer, B: historian or C: politician?

The correct answer is A. During the War of 1812, Wilson provided large shipments of meat to the U.S. Army, barrels stamped with the initials, U.S. Someone who saw the barrels suggested that the initials stood for Uncle Sam Wilson, leading to the idea that Uncle Sam symbolized the federal government.



WOODRUFF: Israel's new government tops our look "Inside Their Politics." Prime Minister Sharon's hard-line coalition took office today and laid it tough terms for resuming negotiations with the Palestinians.

Opposition candidate Vaclav Klaus is the new president of the Czech Republic. A vote today by the country's parliament broke two earlier deadlocks. Klaus succeeds his archrival, former President Vaclav Havel, who was barred from seeking a third term.

More INSIDE POLITICS in 90 seconds.


WOODRUFF: Well, the next presidential campaign is just getting under way, of course, but already two Democratic hopefuls have been sidelined, at least temporarily, by medical problems. Their troubles raise a serious question: Is there a balance between the public's right to know and a candidate's right to medical privacy?

Here's CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator John Kerry looked energetic, even sporty, when he left the hospital after his prostate surgery. Senator Bob Graham reinforced his vitality just before having heart surgery.

SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I feel very strong and vigorous.

GUPTA: Perhaps. But just how strong and vigorous do you have to be to be president?

For a start, mental and physical stamina is vital. The job requires long meetings, extensive traveling and lots and lots of stairs. If there is an illness, Dr. Jerrold Post, a presidential health historian, thinks it's the type of illness that matters most.

DR. JERROLD POST, MEDICAL HISTORIAN: Particularly troubling to the political followers are illnesses which seem to affect the judgment, thinking and decision-making of the leader. So, for example, when President Eisenhower had a heart attack, people understood. When he had a stroke, however, which initially affected his ability to speak clearly and seemed to reflect confusion, this was of much greater distress.

GUPTA: Senator Graham had a more extensive operation than he initially disclosed, raising questions about how forthcoming he and others might be about their health.

POST: One of the most interesting cases occurred with President Grover Cleveland, who, while brushing his teeth one morning, found an erosion on the roof of his mouth, checked it out with his dentist, who became alarmed. This was cancer of the roof of the mouth. At this point, a major cover-up occurred.

GUPTA: And there were others as well: Franklin Roosevelt with polio; Lyndon Johnson with his heart troubles. Kennedy's Camelot was perhaps the most famous. He was sometimes on eight medications at once, including hormones and anti-psychotics. His cholesterol was a staggering 410. But it didn't seem to affect his ability to navigate the Cuban Missile Crisis.

ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: He made a bet that he could carry it off effectively. And I think, ultimately, the most important thing is that he was absolutely right.

GUPTA: Today, in part because medical care is more sophisticated and people are living longer, the playing field has changed.

POST: Some illnesses which would have been disqualifying probably as recently as a decade ago now have become much more routinely treated.

GUPTA: And that may be good news for presidents and candidates alike.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


WOODRUFF: And we clearly wish Senators Kerry and Graham full recoveries.

Still ahead: the town the bomb built. Los Alamos, New Mexico, provides a historic backdrop for debating war with Iraq.


WOODRUFF: While U.S. troops prepare for a possible attack on Iraq, the American people are engaged in a different kind of struggle, debating whether war is necessary now.

Our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, has been listening to the voices of dissent for a piece that's going to air on "CNN PRESENTS" this weekend. And you're here to give us a preview.

CROWLEY: You know, Judy, often, the question is asked, where is the debate? Well, there is a debate going on. It's happening around the water coolers, the dinner tables and one place that particularly intrigued us. That is Los Alamos, New Mexico, the town the bomb build.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: War equals death and destruction. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm a man of peace and I cannot begin to understand why we should or ever have gone to war.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Questioning the use of force is a time- honored Los Alamos tradition. J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, opposed development of the more powerful hydrogen bomb. Just because you build weapons doesn't mean you want them used.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spent most of my career here working on nuclear weapons, making the ground shake in Nevada, making the ground shake out here in Los Alamos. I don't apologize for that. But I think that gives me and you a special responsibility, because we know what those weapons can do.

CROWLEY: At first, the Los Alamos County Council wondered whether war in Iraq was something they should even take up. But a lot of people seemed to need to talk it out, so they did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For all of those of you that are still trying to find reasons why we shouldn't go to this war, why we shouldn't prosecute Saddam Hussein as the war criminal and the murderer that he is, I stand outraged. That's all I have to say.

CROWLEY: Across the country, more than 100 local councils have debated and voted on anti-war resolutions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The truth is, I don't think anyone knows what the right thing to do is, even though both sides say that it's simple.


CROWLEY: According to an anti-war group, as of today, 123 U.S. cities and counties have passed resolutions opposing the war. So have the Maine state legislature and the Hawaii House of Representatives. But, Judy, Los Alamos isn't one of them. WOODRUFF: They rejected a war resolution.

CROWLEY: They did, indeed.

WOODRUFF: Candy, you've covered the anti-war movement, so to speak, there, but you've also been to Iowa. How are they different?

CROWLEY: Well, they're different in that Iowa at this time is an intensely political place, because the caucuses are coming up. It's very easy to tell the Republicans from the Democrats. And the debate over war is inevitably brought into that, as the Democratic candidates go through Iowa.

In Los Alamos, you ask them, well, is this a political thing? And they say, well, I really don't know who is a Republican and who is a Democrat. It may break out that way, but that is not the framework around which they did this debate.

WOODRUFF: So interesting. All right, Candy, thanks very much.

And we look forward to Candy's report. It's going to air tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

And, Candy, I think it airs again on Sunday.

CROWLEY: I think so.

WOODRUFF: All right, thanks again.

Republicans refuse to give up on Miguel Estrada. Straight ahead: "Inside Buzz" from Bob Novak on how Senate leader Bill Frist hopes to get the embattled judicial nominee confirmed.


WOODRUFF: Bob Novak here with us now with some "Inside Buzz."

Bob, what's the latest on Miguel Estrada, the nominee to the federal circuit court?

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, a lot of people, particularly Democrats, thought that the new Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, would give up on this fight, not keep the Senate's feet to the fire.

He's doing just the opposite. He really surprised everybody when we kept the Senate in session until 2:00 in the morning on Wednesday night. Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader, came up to him and said, what's the use of this? And he said, you'll wait and see. He's going to do a lot of things to keep the pressure on, maybe even have weekend sessions.

He has no plans to pull this nomination back. It's going to go on for a long time. They're going to do other business in the meantime, but the Estrada fight is a long way from being over. WOODRUFF: A very different story we reported this week: Labor Secretary Elaine Chao made some organized labor leaders very unhappy with some comments she made. Now it turns out some people in Washington are unhappy.

NOVAK: People in the White House were not happy when the president of the machinists union complained about the reporting requirements she's putting on labor, that she got out her notebook and talked about corrupt machinist officials. They thought that wasn't the proper place to do that.

But she's very tough. She's insisting that the labor leaders must obey a 45-year-old law, the Landrum-Griffin Bill, on reporting. And the White House wants to conciliate with the Teamsters and other conservative labor unions. So they're a little bit at odds.

WOODRUFF: Very quickly, two other things: One is the budget chief an the defense secretary at odds.

NOVAK: Mitch Daniels, Don Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld wants more money for defense. Daniels is drawing the line. These are about the two toughest guys in the Cabinet, millionaire politicians. Interesting to see how it comes out.

WOODRUFF: And last but not least, the Army chief of staff in a little hot water.

NOVAK: General Shinseki told -- said at a hearing it would take hundreds of thousands of troops to occupy Iraq. Others generals say there is no basis for that. They think Shinseki, who is going to retire in June, is just trying to get back at Rumsfeld, who he doesn't like very much.

One source in the Pentagon, a high source, told me that Shinseki ought to quit right now, though there's a rumor that General Shinseki may run on the Democratic ticket in Hawaii in the Senate to replace Senator Inouye, who is his political mentor.

WOODRUFF: All right, we've got it all right here.

Bob Novak, thank you very much.

NOVAK: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Good to see you. Have a good weekend.

We revisit the Title IX debate next. A federal commission has turned in its report, but the debate is far from over. Why some college coaches think the law has gone too far -- when INSIDE POLITICS returns.


WOODRUFF: Earlier this week, we told you about some proposed changes to Title IX. That is the federal law banning discrimination against women in higher education. U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige has announced that he'll act only on the changes that receive unanimous support from the members of a federal commission.

While almost no one disputes that Title IX has had a dramatic and positive effect on women's athletics, some say it has gone too far. The National Wrestling Coaches Association and other groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court. The executive director of that association, Mike Moyer, joins us now from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Moyer, why are any changes necessary to Title IX at all?

MIKE MOYER, EXEC. DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WRESTLING COACHES ASSN.: Well, it's very important to be right up front that we completely support the original spirit and intent of Title IX, which is to prevent any intentional gender-based discrimination in academic programs that receive federal funds.

And we don't dispute for a moment that women were seriously discriminated against 30 years ago. It was horrible and it needed to be corrected. But a lot has changed over 30 years, as evidenced by the fact that, today, there's over 600 more teams for the women in the NCAA than there is for men.

What we are challenging is the interpretation of Title IX, which requires many universities to comply with a very strict quota system. And this has led to the wholesale elimination of many of traditional Olympic men's sports, like track, swimming, and wrestling. By the way, those three sports represent the three largest medal count sports for the United States in the last Olympics. We're looking for more...

WOODRUFF: If I could just step in here, you mentioned 600 more teams, women's teams. But when you look at the number of slots available, they're still, what, 60 percent men and 40 percent women overall. Isn't that correct?

MOYER: That's correct.

There's about 60,000 more male athletes participating in college sports than there are female athletes. But our lawsuit is specifically challenging the notion that undergraduate enrollment is an appropriate measuring stick of interest.

For example, let's take two sports like softball and baseball and let's say the roster limit for both sports is 40. If 20 girls go out for the softball team and 40 boys go out for the baseball team, under this current application of Title IX, the baseball coach is forced to eliminate 20 boys from its team. This is a phenomenon called roster management. We'd rather see the women's softball coach expand her roster by 20.

WOODRUFF: But how do you do that, how do you achieve that and still get at the original goal of Title IX, which was, supposedly, equal rights, no discrimination against women?

MOYER: Well, correct.

The original law clearly says, let's provide equal opportunity based on interest. It was never supposed to be equal participation based on enrollment. Using undergraduate enrollment as a measuring stick for interest is completely illogical. Just imagine if this standard was applied to all other academic programs: dance, theater, band, drama, cheerleading.

There are no academic other programs that we're aware of that have demonstrated exactly equal interest between men and women on a national scale.

WOODRUFF: What is it going to mean, Mike Moyer, if the government leaves Title IX as it is now, with no changes?

MOYER: Well, as we mentioned earlier, there's still about 60,000 more male athletes than female athletes, even though there are 600 more teams for women than for men.

We're going to see the continued wholesale elimination of men's sports. For example, men's gymnastics right now has 20 intercollegiate programs left in the country. And we're going to see all these other sport groups, track, wrestling, swimming, golf, tennis, follow the same direction if we don't find a more fair and reasonable interpretation that protects women without harming men.

WOODRUFF: And, just quickly, the decision right now in the hands of the secretary of the Department of Education in Washington.

MOYER: Correct.

He's not obligated to accept any of these recommendations from the Title IX commission. Independently of this commission report, as you mentioned earlier, we do have a lawsuit filed against the Department of Education, and we feel very confident that we're going to come up with a more fair and reasonable interpretation of this well- intentioned law.

WOODRUFF: All right, Mike Moyer, who is the executive director of the College Wrestling Coaches Association, thanks very much for being with us. We appreciate you talking to us.

MOYER: Thanks for having me, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

Coming up: Oscar nominations are nice, but "Chicago" has that and much more. Our Bill Schneider will be along next with the "Political Play of the Week" and all that jazz.


WOODRUFF: Sometimes, even a widely expecting political victory can produce unexpected results.

That brings us back to our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider -- Bill.

SCHNEIDER: Well, just a third of Chicago voters showed up this week to reelect Mayor Richard M. Daley to a fifth term. Is there a story there? Indeed, there is.

There's even a "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): ... called Beirut by the lake. Racial conflict tore the city apart, starting with the tumultuous election of Harold Washington, the city's first African-American mayor in 1983.


HAROLD WASHINGTON, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: History was made tonight.


SCHNEIDER: Washington's sudden death in 1987 brought even more turmoil to a bitterly divided city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I can outshout all of you and I will do it if necessary. You do not intimidate me.

SCHNEIDER: In 1989, the great restoration occurred. Richard M. Daley, son of fabled boss Richard J. Daley, got elected mayor, over the intense opposition of the city's black voters. Then, something amazing happened. Peace. In Daley's 14 years as mayor, racial tensions have diminished.

RICHARD M. DALEY, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: Anybody can divide anybody. That's easy to do. But I've always brought people together.

SCHNEIDER: Daley has been around Chicago politics a long time.

DALEY: I've had quite an extensive political career. I ran for two elections in '79, one in '83, two in '84, two in '88, two in '99, two in '91, and two in '95, and one in '99.

SCHNEIDER: How has Daley been doing with Chicago's black voters? Better and better, from a low of 6 percent support in 1989 to more than 40 percent in 1999.

Daley's reelection this year was never in doubt. He faced three unknown, under-funded African-American challengers in a primary that got almost no news coverage. The only issue: Would Daley finally carry the African-American vote? The answer is yes. Daley got a resounding 61 percent of the black vote on Tuesday.

DALEY: I take particular pride in the fact that Chicago is united today and that our victory was built in every community.

SCHNEIDER: That it was. And it was also the "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: Now, Judy, I hear that a movie named "Chicago" is a good bet for the Academy Award this year. And I haven't seen it, but I certainly hope it's the political story of the Daley family. What do you think?

WOODRUFF: I think so.

Can you recite again all those years that he ran and how


SCHNEIDER: Well, he's been elected five times for mayor. Beyond that, I don't know.


WOODRUFF: All right -- Bill Schneider.

That is it for INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff.


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