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Sneak Peek at Hillary Clinton's New Book; Should Democrats Turn Left or Right?

Aired June 4, 2003 - 16:00   ET


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: This is the story about an extraordinary time in my life and the life of our country.

ANNOUNCER: It's one of the most anticipated books of the year, this hour, a sneak peek at Hillary Clinton's memoirs.

A major milestone on the Mideast road map.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The journey we're taking is difficult, but there is no other choice.

ANNOUNCER: But will President Bush's push for peace overseas hurt him politically back home?

Has the military victory in Iraq led to a defeat in world opinion? Global suspicion of America is growing. How low can the U.S. go?



JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: At the height -- thank you for joining us.

At the height of the Clinton impeachment controversy and the scandal over Monica Lewinsky, one question that went unanswered was, what was then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton thinking? Well, now, of course, she is an elected member of the United States Senate and she's decided to reveal at least some of her personal thoughts about that difficult time.

Here's CNN's Jonathan Karl.


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the time, her body language seemed to tell the story, but, until now, she hasn't.

As the Clintons left for vacation in Martha's Vineyard in August 1998, after President Clinton admitted betraying his wife, their dog Buddy was the only member of the family willing to keep the president company. If the excepts obtained by the Associated Press are any indication, she vividly recounts how, during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the president woke her up one morning in the White House to tell her the truth about his affair only 48 hours before testifying about it and telling the rest of the world.

"I could hardly breathe," she writes. "Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him, 'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me? ' I was furious and getting more so by the second. He just stood there saying over and over again: 'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I was trying to protect you and Chelsea.'"

On vacation in Martha's Vineyard, she said she felt profound sadness and unresolved anger: "I could barely speak to Bill. And when I did, it was a tirade. I read. I walked on the beach. He slept downstairs. I slept upstairs."


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.


KARL: Months earlier, when he made his famous public denial, he was also lying to his wife in private. Mrs. Clinton believed him and, famously, went on national television, unwittingly repeating his lies and denouncing the reports about Lewinsky as the product of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

After learning the truth, she said she confronted one of the most difficult decisions of her life, whether to stay married to Bill Clinton. Remarkably, Hillary Clinton has been mum about this for five years, even avoiding the subject during an intense campaign for Senate in New York in the year 2000.

HOWARD WOLFSON, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: She is a private person. I think people do know that about her. And this was something that she wrestled with while she was writing the book. But she decided that this was part of the public record, through no fault of her own, and that it had to be dealt with in the book.

KARL: The book won't be out until next week. Until then, she's not saying much about it.

H. CLINTON: I am a private person. And it was difficult to write the book. But I wanted to give a complete accounting of my eight years in the White House with my husband. And it was an extraordinary privilege to have that opportunity. And so I had to, I thought, write about the very many high points and good times, as well as the more difficult ones.


KARL: As for Bill Clinton, he will have ample time to tell his story. But today, his spokesman says he is at home at their house, the Clintons' house, in Westchester County and has no comment on this. Bill Clinton's memoirs, however, are expected out. They are expected out this year, although no publication date has been set for those yet -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jonathan Karl reporting for us on this much-awaited book, thanks very much.

Well, the publisher, Simon & Schuster, apparently has high hopes for "Living History." There are one million copies that were ordered for its first printing. It is not Senator Clinton's first book, of course. "It Takes a Village" was published in 1996. It was a best- seller, but the royalties went to charity. Senator Clinton is keeping the more than $2 million advance for "Living History."

Meantime, a source at "TIME" magazine says that Simon & Schuster may seek damages from the Associated Press, which overnight broke the excerpts from Hillary Clinton's book. Simon & Schuster is the publisher of the memoirs. And "TIME" magazine, which had bought the magazine rights, is now indicating it may pull out of the deal, nothing confirmed on that.

Well, with me now to talk more about Senator Clinton's book is Vince Morris. He's a Washington correspondent for "The New York Post."

Now, Vince Morris, any idea how the Associated Press got hold of this book that everybody else would have liked to have gotten hold of?

VINCE MORRIS, "THE NEW YORK POST": I think someone dropped it in their laps. I think someone who is allied with Senator Clinton and felt that titillating the public with one small part of the book five days before it's published would be a great way to gin up interest and maybe get people to go out and buy it and certainly for people in the media to write about it.

WOODRUFF: But that's speculation, right, on your part? You don't know that for sure?

MORRIS: Not at all. Not at all. And I've asked the AP. I've asked Simon & Schuster. And I asked Senator Clinton. And so far, no one is saying how the book excerpt ended up at AP.

WOODRUFF: You're covering Senator Clinton. You have been covering her for some time. Is this -- her version of this that she didn't know until August of 1998 what was going on, is that going to be believable, do you think?

MORRIS: It depends how gullible you are.

Absent again else, I think people will probably take her at her word. She describes pretty vividly how she felt the morning she learned what had happened. And some people may read that account and say, it doesn't sound believable. But now we know, in her own words, how she felt that moment that she learned that it was true.

WOODRUFF: And is that -- a woman wronged, a woman who was kept in the dark, does that affect her political image? MORRIS: Oh, completely. And, in fact, that's one of the most amazing things is -- will be to see how this book affects her image, whether it makes her more of a victim.

People have alternated over the years in terms of how they perceive Senator Clinton, the wronged spouse or the power-hungry spouse. And, certainly, this portion of the book makes it out to be someone who is a loyal, devoted wife, who wanted to believe the best in her husband and was shocked when she found out that he had betrayed her.

WOODRUFF: We should point out, the most recent CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll shows, while opinion is split on Hillary Clinton, on whether people think favorably of her or not, 50 percent of the people say, yes, she is qualified to be president, even though 44 percent say she's not.

Vince Morris, one other thing. Is there anything else that you know of that is going to come out in this book that is going to supersede what we've been hearing today, in terms of blockbuster news?

MORRIS: I don't know of anything yet, Judy.

But she has said over and over again that it's more than 500 pages, it covers eight years of her life, and will include references and then some discussion of all the major events that happened while she was in the White House. And the list of major events that happened during the Clinton White House is pretty long. So I, along with a lot of other people, are looking to see how she treats those other areas, those other controversies, and those other important events that happened to her while she lived there.

WOODRUFF: All right, and the book is formally due out on Monday.

OK, Vince Morris, once again, he is a Washington correspondent for "The New York Post." Thank you very much for talking to us.

MORRIS: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Well, Hillary Clinton will be a guest on "LARRY KING LIVE" next Tuesday. That is at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

Checking in now on the Democratic hopefuls for president in our "Campaign News Daily": Howard Dean's monthly gatherings known as meet-ups resume tonight at about 250 sites around the country. The Dean campaign says more than 30,000 people have registered for the meetings online. His nearest competitor in this race for virtual support is John Kerry, with about 1,200 people registered to attend meet-ups for him.

Senator Edward Kennedy says that he thinks Senator Kerry, not Dick Gephardt, will eventually win the backing of most Democratic House members. Now, Kennedy has already endorsed his fellow Bay State senator. In an interview with "Roll Call," Kennedy said House Democrats feel a sense of loyalty to Gephardt for his tenure as the House party leader. But Senator Kennedy says he thinks Gephardt's campaign will fall short and that those endorsements will eventually go to Kerry. In his words -- quote -- "After Gephardt moves on out, I think John is going to be in a strong position."

One more note on Senator Kerry: A spokesman for the Kerry campaign is disputing an Associated Press report that the senator has concluded that federal regulations will not allow him to use any of his wife's fortune in his campaign for president. Teresa Heinz Kerry has an estimated net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The campaign tells CNN that no conclusions have been drawn about the use of the money.

Still ahead: a historic summit on the Red Sea. President Bush sits down with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers. We'll find out their plans for advancing the peace process.

The United States has a big image problem, especially in the Muslim world. We'll find out what a new poll shows.

And John Kerry went up against some celebrities at a charity auction. We'll find out how he did.

INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.


WOODRUFF: John Hickenlooper is trading in his bar stool for the Denver mayor's office. The brew pub owner scored an overwhelming victory in yesterday's runoff election, trouncing his opponent, City Auditor Don Mares, 64 percent to 35 percent. Hickenlooper is a political novice who won the hearts of Denver voters with his quirky campaign commercials and laid-back regular-Joe style.

INSIDE POLITICS back in 90 seconds.


WOODRUFF: After his summit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, President Bush says he knows that peace can finally come to the Middle East.

Mr. Bush met today in Aqaba, Jordan, with Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas. Concessions and commitments came from both sides. While the Israeli prime minister vowed to remove Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas, the Palestinian prime minister promised to end terrorist attacks on Israelis.

Mr. Bush said peace is the only way forward.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The journey we're taking is difficult. But there is no other choice. No leader of conscience can accept more months and years of humiliation, killing and mourning. And these leaders of conscience have made their declarations today in the cause of peace. The United States is committed to that cause. If all sides fulfill their obligation, I know that peace can finally come.


WOODRUFF: CNN's Candy Crowley is with us now to talk more about this new push for peace and a budding relationship between evangelical Christians and American Jews.

Candy, to what extent is what the president is doing in the Middle East going to affect his political fortunes, do you think?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is one of those things we're going to have to wait and see. And it may affect his political fortunes in ways that aren't immediately obvious.

Mostly, the conventional wisdom is that Middle East issues are not a driving force when Americans go in to cast a vote. But there is a particular group of voters -- and that is evangelical Christians, largely conservative, largely Republicans -- who have quite an interest in the outcome of what happens in the Middle East. They are particularly interested in the subject of Jerusalem, which they believe, Biblically, belongs to Israel and all of it should remain with Israel. They are, many of them, opposed to this road map for peace that the president has laid out there.

I want you to listen a little to a man named Mike Evans.


MIKE EVANS, PRAYERS FOR JERUSALEM: We happen to be very strong supporters of President Bush. We like him. We believe in him. But we're deeply concerned that, if he makes us choose between the Bible land, the Jewish people, Jerusalem and him, we will not choose him.


CROWLEY: This obviously a very strong group for President Bush in the last election.

There's a flip side of this as well, Judy. And that is American Jews. Largely, Jews -- a very small portion of voters, about 3 percent, are very Democratic. But there are some signs that the president's position on terrorism and what he's doing in the Middle East is beginning to clip away at some of that Democratic support, although Yechiel Eckstein, who is with Stand For Israel, says there are ways the president can blow that.


RABBI YECHIEL ECKSTEIN, STAND FOR ISRAEL: Were President Bush, for example, to pressure Israel on the road map in an inordinate way, I think you could see a political swing of the Jewish community right back to the Democratic Party. So it's not entrenched yet.


CROWLEY: So the bottom line here, Judy, seems to be that it might not help him politically, but if things go against what evangelical Christians and some American Jews think should happen in Israel, it could hurt him.

WOODRUFF: But, Candy, these conservatives voters who you're describing here, if they don't support George Bush, where else would they go?

CROWLEY: Well, the problem isn't that they'll vote for somebody else. It's that they'll stay home. And, more importantly, really, than just the vote is the fact that a lot of the foot soldiers come out of the evangelical Christian community, passing out the leaflets, getting other people to vote. So what you lose is the enthusiasm of conservatives, many of whom, by the way, did not turn out for President Bush's father, who, of course, lost his election.

WOODRUFF: And we know, in a close election, every enthusiastic vote counts.


WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, thanks very much.

Coming up: the fight for the heart of the Democratic Party. Plus, the Dow goes where it hasn't gone in months. We'll go live to Wall Street for a look at your money.




WOODRUFF: Most of the 2004 presidential -- Democratic presidential hopefuls will address a conference of self-styled political progressives tomorrow here in Washington.

Bob Borosage is the co-director of the Campaign For America's Future, the group that's hosting the event.

I talked with him earlier. And I started by asking him about Democratic moderates who ask about -- who say moving to the left is a bad idea if Democrats hope to win elections.



We have a president who is following a very hard-right policy in this country. And you have got health care that's broken. You've got wages down, unemployment up. This is a conference about bread-and- butter issues with activists from across the country that are concerned about the fate of the country. And for the party, you have to have a politics of passion if you want to rouse the American people and offer them a choice in any election.

WOODRUFF: Politics of passion. Let me quickly read to you from a memo that Al From and Bruce Reed of the DLC put out.

He said: "What activists like Howard Dean call the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is an aberration." They say, "The McGovern-Mondale wing, that's the wing that lost 49 states in two elections and transformed Democrats from a strong party into a much weaker regional one."

BOROSAGE: Well, I actually don't know what they're talking about.

The people here are workers from unions. They are environmentalists. They are women. They are civil rights activists. These are all majority opinions. These are all majority positions in this country. This is kind of mainstream opinion, with activists rallying because they are all under assault by this administration. And so, in some ways, I think the DLC memo is sort of a distraction. The real question for Democrats, for progressives, is that we have to build a movement that takes back America from the self-described movement conservatives that are now running this government.

WOODRUFF: But if you look at the poll -- this is a CNN poll, again, just done -- you ask people who are Democrats, identified as Democrats, just 33 percent of them say they're liberal. Isn't that who you're representing anyway?

BOROSAGE: Well, I think the labels are very misleading.

There are a lot of workers who consider themselves to be conservatives who are for full employment and for a national health care plan and for raising the minimum wage. Those are all our issues. I think, when you take the labels off and look at issue after issue after issue, there's a majority of Americans that are with us on commonsense, kitchen-table issues. And the problem is, we have an administration that's going the wrong way on those issues.

WOODRUFF: If you look at the Democrats who are out there running right now for president, which ones are addressing the issues that you and other progressives care about?

BOROSAGE: Well, I think what's interesting about this year is that more and more of these candidates are starting to vie on basic, bread-and-butter issues. We have got a number of candidates that have put forth a plan on health care.

WOODRUFF: But let's name some names. Who is addressing?

BOROSAGE: John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry have all put out plans on health care. All of them are talking about working families.

WOODRUFF: Does one of those plans look more attractive to you at this point?

BOROSAGE: I think it's very premature to start evaluating these. We -- at the conference, we're not taking a position on one candidate or another. We're asking them to come and present their ideas to activists drawn from around the country, so that we can get a good look at them. So we're a year and a half away from an election. So it is time to have an ideas primary rather than a candidate primary.

WOODRUFF: Joe Lieberman is not there, though, right?

BOROSAGE: Joe Lieberman was invited. And I think he probably made a mistake in deciding not to come.


WOODRUFF: Bob Borosage is co-director of the Campaign for America's Future. Almost all the Democratic candidates will be talking to his group tomorrow.

To the Middle East and whether Israelis and Palestinians can coexist. That's part of the focus of a new poll of global attitudes.

Our Bill Schneider is with us now from Boston to talk a little more about the survey.

Bill, is there any optimism about the current Middle East process, peace process?


The Pew Research Center polled people in 15 countries after the Iraq war, including people living under the Palestinian Authority. Now, in four of them, most people said U.S. policies made the Middle East or are making the Middle East less stable. Only four? That doesn't sound too bad, except that those four countries where most people felt that way were Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, in other words, places where it matters. Kuwaitis were split. Only Israelis and Americans thought U.S. policies in the Middle East do more good than harm.

Now, in all five Muslim countries, including Kuwait, the prevailing view was, it's impossible for the rights and needs of the Palestinian people to be taken care of as long as Israel exists, a chilling view endorsed by 80 percent of Palestinians. And here's something else even more chilling: 55 percent of Jordanians and 71 percent of Palestinians say they have confidence in Osama bin Laden to do the right thing in world affairs. I think that shows the depth of Palestinian anger at the U.S., since Jordan is majority Palestinian.

WOODRUFF: And, Bill, what do the polls show in terms of various countries' favorable and unfavorable views of the United States?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Judy, here's a list of the countries where majorities expressed unfavorable opinions of the U.S.: all the Muslim countries polled, except Kuwait, Germany, France and Russia, which opposed the war in Iraq, Spain, whose government supported the war, and South Korea, which has experienced a wave of anti-Americanism in recent months.

Now, people in 10 countries had been asked their opinion of the U.S. a year ago. And in every single country, favorable opinion of the U.S. has declined. When those with a negative view of the United States were asked, is it mostly because of President Bush or is it a more general problem with America, people in almost every one of those countries said, it's because of President Bush -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Sobering returns in that poll.

All right, Bill Schneider from Boston today -- thanks, Bill.


WOODRUFF: When we return: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and his bicycle were in the spotlight last night here in Washington. Stick around to find out how much money Kerry's bike brought in at a celebrity auction.


WOODRUFF: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry stacked up pretty well last night against some celebrity competition. Kerry's autographed bicycle brought in $2,000 at the charity celebrity bicycle auction here in Washington. Sounds pretty good, but not as much as actor Christopher Reeve. His bike went for $7,800. The event benefits the nonprofit charity group called World TEAM Sports.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.


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