The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
TRANSCRIPTS
Return to Transcripts main page

JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Court Delays California Recall Election; Candidates, California Representatives React to Postponement

Aired September 15, 2003 - 15:00   ET

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us. We are in Los Angeles for this special 90-minute edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
Well, it was the last of about a dozen legal challenges to the California recall, and this one got results. Less than two hours ago, a federal appeals court here in California postponed the election, raising all sorts of legal and political questions. We're going to try to sort through them all and have reactions from key players.

First, let's turn to CNN's Bob Franken. He's here in the Los Angeles CNN bureau with more on the ruling.

Bob, this one did what a number of other rulings were trying to do.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is to say it has called for a delay in the election, a delay until next March, when the next regular election was scheduled. This being a special election for the propositions that were on the ballot, as well as the recall.

Now, I just got off the phone with one of the principal attorneys on the losing side of this ruling who says he has no earthly idea how it is that he's going to appeal this ruling. There will be an appeal, but it will either go through the normal appellate process, which would keep it in the 9th Circuit, or there might be an effort to get the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite its procedures and hear it immediately. This is one that very definitely will get to the court.

This was a ruling that overturns a lower court decision. This is a ruling in which the three-judge panel that heard the arguments last week decided -- quoting from their opinion -- "The secretary of state is enjoined from conducting an election on any issue on October 7, 2003. In view of the pendency of the election, we direct the clerk of court to issue the mandate forthwith, but stay our order for seven days to allow the parties to seek further relief from this decision if they so desire." And believe me, they so desire.

So there is a seven-day stay on this issue to stop the election in its place. The reasoning was very clearly spelled, Judy, spelled out in the ruling. This is a classic voting rights equal protection claim, they said, adopting the arguments of the American Civil Liberties Union that 14th Amendment guaranteeing freedom to -- of everybody to have an equal vote had been violated by the fact that 44 percent of the voters would have to use the voting rights machines in the six most populous counties of California, the punch card machines that had been so discredited in the Florida election with their hanging chads.

The judges went on to say the effect of using punch card voting systems in some, but not all counties, is to discriminate on the basis of geographic residence. So they adopted the argument, as I said, of those who were trying to delay the election and overturned a rule big the judge on the lower level who had said that the rights of California under their laws, in effect, trumped the concerns that were raised by these appellate judges.

It's interesting to point out the orientation of the judges. The lower court judge who had said that states rights dominate is somebody who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, who of course was oriented, as so many Republicans are, towards states rights.

The three judges that heard this one were two Clinton appointees and one Jimmy Carter appointee, Democrats. They are more often the federalist one who believe that the federal constitution is the first concern. They are the ones who -- that was the one whose decision dominated today. And, of course, its irony that former President Clinton, who was here in the state today, appointed two of these judges -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Bob, another part of this decision, though, was the fact that something like 25 percent of the polling places in California in the last election would not have been available for this October 7 special election. The judges were concerned about that as well.

FRANKEN: Well, that was part of the expedience that was necessary to make sure that this election could possibly be held. This was something of a nightmare for the different officials, election officials in the state. As a matter of fact, among those who was reacting is the chief election officer of the secretary of state, who basically said he had no idea what he was going to do next.

WOODRUFF: All right. And Bob...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN SHELLEY, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: This process has been litigated on numerous levels throughout, and some have said it goes forward, some have said it doesn't go forward. And we just need to take a look at it. And I can't really comment on how it's going to proceed. I mean, the court has basically told us to stop at this juncture, and so I need to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and see where we go from there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKEN: Well, one of the things that was so interesting, Judy, about the hearing the other day was the sense of humor that the judges showed. And it ended up in their ruling. I just wanted to quote to you one passage.

They say, "Just as the black and white fava bean voting system of revolutionary times was replaced by paper balloting, and the paper balloting replaced by mechanical leaver machines, newer technologies have emerged to replace the punch card, including digital scanning and touch screen voting."

We only can wonder, Judy, if back in the fava bean time they had hanging pods.

WOODRUFF: I'm sure everybody could use a little sense of humor with all this going on. All right. Bob Franken, thanks very much.

One of the groups that brought this case to the courts was the California ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. They are holding a news conference at this hour. We're going to dip in and listen to a little of what they're saying.

RAMONA RIPSTON, PRESIDENT, LOS ANGELES ACLU: ... with us. And here to talk to you about the details of the decision will be Mark Rosenbaum.

MARK ROSENBAUM, ACLU ATTORNEY: Good morning. I'm sorry that Erwin Shimerinsky (ph) and Lawrence Tribe (ph), Peter Eliasberg (ph), Katherine Lehman (ph) -- am I missing anybody -- are not present with us, but they were all part of this effort. I just have a few comments and the lawyers are welcome to comment. Then we'll be glad to take any questions.

The decision issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this morning is a masterpiece. Its insistence that every vote, every vote must count, every vote must be counted, and every voter and every group of voters must have the same opportunity to have their votes counted is the American dream. The machines that were sought to be utilized, the punch card machines, decertified by the secretary of state as unacceptable for use, would, if the election were to go forward in October, disenfranchise 40,000 voters.

In this country, we don't have such a thing as disposable votes. If the punch card machines were to be utilized for the October 7 election, it would mean that voters of color and low-income voters would have their chances of having their votes counted be only one half or one third the same as white affluent voters. We don't do that in this country. We don't have elections where we discount voters based on where they live, or the color of the skin or the amount of income that they have.

To those who say that this will upset things, I suppose one answer is, in fact, this is going to give the voters of California more time to consider the issues and the character and substance of the candidates. But even were that not the case, what this decision does is to ratify the most basic principle in the Constitution, and that is that the democracy that we operate under must be one that is of, by, and for all the people, with no distinctions being made.

I hope that...

WOODRUFF: We are listening to Mark Rosenbaum, an attorney for the California ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. You heard him; he started out by saying that in this country every vote must count. And he called the decision by the 9th Circuit Court a masterpiece of a decision in that it reflects the belief in the United States that every voter's will is reflected in an election.

Well, moving on to the politics of this earthshattering ruling by the 9th Circuit Court, aides are saying that the Governor Gray Davis anti-recall campaign is going to keep move forward until the legal challenge over this ruling is settled and the political roller coaster slows down. CNN's Kelly Wallace is in Compton, California, where former President Bill Clinton has been trying to help rally some voters behind Davis.

Kelly, it turns out the former president is here on a history- making day, as far as this election goes.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is, Judy. He was here. His original reason for being here, the formal dedication and naming of this elementary school in Compton, California after William Jefferson Clinton.

The former president spoke very briefly and finished up a short time ago. He did not mention anything about this ruling, but behind me you can't really see the former president and Governor Gray Davis, as well as Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, the major Democrat on the replacement part of the ballot, they are all here shaking hands. And a pack of reporters behind me trying to get some comment from the former president and Governor Davis.

Davis' aides, though, Judy, as you said, calling this a roller coaster ride, saying they don't know how this will all shake out. They are continuing to move forward, but they say they are supporting anything that will lead to greater enfranchisement of California's voters. It's no secret that Governor Davis and his team had wanted to see a postponement of this election until March of next year, the date of the Democratic primary, thinking that would be a time for all the precincts to be up and running, and also to allow more Democratic voters who normally turn out in a presidential election to be out there and to try and defeat this recall.

Now, some reaction is coming in from the Republicans in this race. The Republican frontrunner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in Chicago on this day taping an interview with his wife, Maria Shriver, on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," his campaign office has issued a statement on behalf of Mr. Schwarzenegger.

Mr. Schwarzenegger saying that 1.6 million California voters supported this petition, that the secretary of state's office upheld this recall, that the California Supreme Court also upheld this, and that he believes the federal courts will do the same thing. He is calling on the secretary of state to appeal this decision. The statement saying -- I'm reading from my little blackberry (ph) -- "Historically, the courts have upheld the rights of the voters, and I expect that the court will do so again in this case."

Tom McClintock, the Republican state senator, the other major Republican in this race, also issuing a statement calling this, "simply a distraction" and saying it will have no bearing on this election. He went a little further and called the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, "a laughing stock," saying it's one of the most liberal federal courts. And he expects the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn this decision -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kelly Wallace, who's covering Governor Davis and covering his appearance at an event with former President Bill Clinton here in Compton, California, in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

Well, as Kelly just mentioned, Arnold Schwarzenegger was on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" today. He had a very brief comment on his effort on the show. When Oprah Winfrey asked him about his image, the perception of him among women voters, he had a comment on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It will be a lot of work, a huge challenge, and so the movie career, I have to put aside. But this is much more important for me. I've done the movies now for 25 years. I don't even think about it.

You have no idea, Oprah, how wonderful it is when you go out there and do the after school programs, work with special Olympians to help people with mental disabilities, to go out there and work with the president's council on fitness, and to do all those things, reach out and have an impact on people and help people. This now -- becoming governor, I can help 36 million people in California. That's what I'm thinking about. I am so excited about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: And basically, when Arnold was asked about -- Schwarzenegger was asked about his past, comments decades ago, he said that was part of building up his bodybuilding career. Schwarzenegger will join Larry King Wednesday night right here on CNN. You can hear what he has to say at 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Pacific.

Well, joining me from Sacramento, the capital of the state of California, Republican gubernatorial candidate, Tom McClintock.

State Senator Tom McClintock, what does it this mean for your campaign?

TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this is an outrageous decision by an outrageous court, and I've got every confidence that it will be overturned. This is the most reversed court in the United States, and for good reason.

WOODRUFF: Well, are you saying then that you have every confidence that the United States Supreme Court is going to overturn what they've said?

MCCLINTOCK: Oh, yes, I do. I think it would be a very dangerous precedent for a federal court to delay a constitutionally-called election. We've had elections with punch card ballots for years. In fact, in 1969, in the Los Angeles Community College district board of trustees election, there were 133 candidates; it was done by punch card voting, it went off without a hitch. In fact, one of the winners of that election was Jerry Brown, who went on to become governor of California.

WOODRUFF: So what about the court's 66-page ruling? And, among other things, they are saying that for these punch card ballots to be used, it's going to amount to disenfranchisement, particularly of low income and other voters. I mean, they're looking across the board and saying it is not possible for there to be a fair election under present circumstances.

MCCLINTOCK: You know that is an utterly ludicrous statement to make. We had been holding punch card ballot elections for years in this state, and nobody has made the claim that that's disenfranchised anyone. Remember, we actually went through with regularly scheduled elections even in the middle of a civil war.

WOODRUFF: You mean in the United States?

MCCLINTOCK: Yes.

WOODRUFF: You're talking about many years ago, though.

MCCLINTOCK: Well, that's exactly right. I mean, the point is that, even in the middle of a civil war, this nation went on with regularly scheduled elections. For a court to suddenly decide to delay an election for five or six months simply on the pretext that they don't like the punch card ballot that has been used for many, many decades in this state, is simply outrageous.

WOODRUFF: But you would acknowledge the punch cards caused problems, at the very least, in the state of Florida in the presidential election of 2000.

MCCLINTOCK: And have been used in California without incident for several decades.

WOODRUFF: And, Mr. McClintock, what about the other issue here? And that is, that a quarter of the polling places were not going to be open in this special election on October the 7th because they simply couldn't get the personnel to man the polling places?

MCCLINTOCK: Well, but that, again, is something that goes on in elections all the time. They call them consolidated elections, whether the number of polling places is consolidated, is fewer. That's not unprecedented. In fact, that's very routine.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me -- assuming this election is going forward, and we won't know until we know how the Supreme Court weighs in -- the United States Supreme Court, if it does -- at this point, you know you and Arnold Schwarzenegger both appeared before the state Republican Party convention over the weekend. Mr. Schwarzenegger made it clear once again that, mathematically speaking, it would be better if you were not in the race.

Are you clearly going to stay in until the end? MCCLINTOCK: Well, absolutely. The reason why he feels it would be better if I was out is because I've had all the momentum. I've gone from an asterisk to a solid third place position at 18 points in the span of just four weeks. Meanwhile, he has been stuck absolutely dead in the water in the mid to low 20s.

I have no doubts that he would like me to leave the race. If my momentum continues in the first half of this race into the second half, I'll be ins first place in a matter of just a few weeks. That's why we call it a race.

WOODRUFF: And his appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," have you had a chance to either watch it or hear about it? Any comment on that?

MCCLINTOCK: No, I haven't. I'm sure I'll see it on "Entertainment Tonight."

WOODRUFF: All right. Tom McClintock, Republican candidate for governor, here in the state of California. Thank you, Senator. We appreciate you joining us again.

MCCLINTOCK: Thanks for having me, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thanks.

Well, stay right here for much more on the court ruling on the recall and what happens next. We're going to bring you reaction as we get it.

Coming up: what do the candidates do now? We're going to talk political strategy and more with two California reporters.

And, is all this headed to the U.S. Supreme court? Our legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, will help us figure out what might happen next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The political world turned upside down in California today with a federal circuit court of appeals ruling that the election -- recall election that has been scheduled for October 7 should not take place on that date. It should be postponed until next spring, because the judges ruled that California voters would not have their votes counted fairly and accurately.

Just now, reaction coming in from the campaign of Arnold Schwarzenegger. They're putting out this statement. I'm going to read part of it.

And it says, "Today, I call upon the secretary of state of California to immediately appeal this decision on behalf of the citizens who have exercised their constitutional right to recall Gray Davis and who expect an election on October 7." "Historically, the courts" -- and I'm continuing to read Arnold Schwarzenegger's statement -- "the courts have upheld the rights of voters, and I expect that the court will do so again in this case."

"I will continue to vigorously campaign for governor. The people have spoken, and their words should and will prevail." So the word of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming in a statement from his campaign.

Well, for more now on the court decision and its effect, let's bring in our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider. Bill, I think it's pretty clear from the fact that the Republicans are denouncing this ruling and the Democrats are saying let the voters prevail here, that this is something that is going to benefit the Democrats. Certainly Governor Gray Davis must look at it that way.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Gray Davis certainly does. They always wanted the election to be postponed until March for several reasons. One, is that the controversy over the budget this summer would then be long forgotten. Davis was very unpopular in that controversy, but they now have a budget deal now.

Second of all, March is a primary, but Bush is unopposed in the presidential primary. There's a hot race for the Democratic presidential nomination. So they expect a lot of Democrats to turn out in march.

A higher turnout should bring more Democratic voters, more voters they hope against the recall. So the Democrats are just delighted by this postponement. It becomes, instead of a six weeks campaign, it becomes a six-month campaign, if we can endure it and if the voters of California can endure it.

WOODRUFF: Well, that's just what I was going say. The question is, do the people of California really want six months of what they've been through for the last few weeks?

Bill, what about the Davis campaign today? Bill Clinton has been in the state, former President Clinton campaigning for him. Is that something that's likely to help him? And, of course, the date of the campaign is going to matter more than anything here.

SCHNEIDER: Well, it's certainly likely to happen because, look, Gray Davis is not a very popular figure here in California, even among his fellow Democrats. Nor, for that matter, Cruz Bustamante, his lieutenant governor who is running to replace him. He also has gotten involved in some controversies over his campaign contributions and his youthful association with certain radical groups.

Bill Clinton coming to California, where he is a political rock star, very, very popular, the Clinton era was very prosperous here in California and he paid a lot of attention to California as president. It instantly nationalizes this campaign, which is what the Democrats want to do.

They want to say it's not about Gray Davis or Cruz Bustamante, it's about George Bush, it's about Tom DeLay. And what Clinton makes the argument, the recall is impeachment. They're trying -- the same people who tried to bring me down during the impeachment episode of 1998 are trying to bring down Gray Davis for the same reason. The Democratic line is: Republicans who can't win a fair election are trying to break or bend the rules. They tried to impeach Clinton after 1996, they're trying to get rid of Gray Davis, who won fair and square in 2002. If they can nationalize this election and make the target the National Republican Party, they may have a chance of saving Gray Davis.

WOODRUFF: Now, Bill, let's talk specifically about the Republicans. We just heard a statement from the Schwarzenegger campaign. They're saying the voters have spoken, they've expressed their constitutional right to recall the governor, to try to recall the governor. They're going to take -- I mean, everybody at this point really has to hope that the legal route works for them.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that's right. And, of course, it's a little bit embarrassing for Republicans because the court refused to allow the Florida recount of the ballots because they said you didn't have the same voting system in the whole state of Florida, so therefore there was no fair way to count those ballots. And now in California the Democrats are making that same argument.

They're saying because there are three different voting systems in California, and over 40 percent of the voters are in places that use punch card ballots that have a high error rate, the ballots will not be counted by equal procedures in different parts of the state. So they're implying the ruling in Bush v. Gore to California, and they're saying, as the appeals court decided today, by applying that standard to California, the vote must be postponed until they can replace those punch card ballot systems and everyone in California votes by the same procedure.

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider -- Bill, stay with us.

We're going to skip over to Compton, California, where we just heard from former President Bill Clinton, because California Governor Gray Davis talking now.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I have not seen the pleadings. I have not seen the decision.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

DAVIS: You know there have been so many -- the question is whether I expect this decision to stick. All I can tell you is that this recall has been like a roller coaster. There are more surprises than you can possibly imagine, and I'm just going to keep focused, keep telling people why I think this recall is bad for them.

It's $70 million of expenses. It will breed another recall, meaning elected officials will spend almost all their time campaigning and not enough time doing the public's business. So whenever they have the election, my message is this recall is not good for Californians.

Put me aside. This is not about me. This is more about the future of this state, the future of the children that we saw today when they commemorated this new school in President Clinton's honor.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

DAVIS: You know I have -- first of all, I have -- we don't know what the final word from the courts are, so let's withhold judgment as to whether it's good, bad, or indifferent until the courts have made a final judgment. All I can do is control what I do, and I am going to focus on being governor.

I have about 600 measures that the legislature just passed I have to sign within the next 30 days. And I will continue to make my case to the people that a recall is not good for them. It will discourage investments that could create new jobs. It will almost certainly breed another recall, meaning elected officials will spend all their time campaigning and very little doing the public's business.

So I'm going to communicate my message. And whenever they tell me the election is, we'll have the election.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

DAVIS: You know what, my wife, my wonderful wife, in 1998, when we came from behind to win, I kind of withheld my joy and my excitement until the vote was counted. And she kept saying, "Just get with it, enjoy the moment." But that's my nature.

Let's wait until the court's decide. I mean, have we seen a few surprises in this election? I mean, the guy who put this on the ballot, somehow he doesn't run. Bill Simon doesn't run. Peter Ueberroth doesn't run. Who knows how long McClintock will stay in.

We've had a lot of courts say no. Now we have one court say yes. Let's wait until the courts reach a final determination.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

DAVIS: I am prepared to conduct this election whenever the courts tell me the election is going to occur. I mean, a lot of people signed petitions to have this election. And they have a right to have an election. But the people I'm appealing to in this state have a right to say no to the recall in that election. And I will make my case up and down this state until they tell me we're going to have the election.

Thank you.

WOODRUFF: California Governor Gray Davis answering reporters' questions there in -- he's back at the microphone. Let's listen.

DAVIS: As I understand it, the federal court of appeals is reacting to an earlier decision by the federal courts outlawing punch card ballots. And they are saying an agreement was made there would be no more punch card ballots starting January 1 of next year, and that agreement was made well before people knew there would be a recall election. So as I understand it, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was following an earlier federal decision, banning punch card balloting in counties that amount to 44 percent of the electorate of this state.

Now whether the full panel of the 9th Circuit will agree, whether the U.S. Supreme Court will agree, we'll see.

In the meantime I'm going to make my case that the recall is bad for people. It's expensive. Politicians will do nothing but campaign if this recall passes, and it will discourage investment, which is important to create jobs in this state.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GRAY: I am so grateful that President Clinton is here. He is the best spokesperson for our party, and it's given, I think, our campaign a boost. It's caused people to think anew about this recall. And it seems to me the more people who think about the recall, the more that decide to oppose it, so I'm grateful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

DAVIS: Well, the courts will decide. I'm not making the decision. The courts will decide when this recall election will occur. And we have a constitutional system in this country and I will abide by whatever the courts say. Right now I am assuming the election will be on October 7, and I'm going to continue assuming that until we get a final determination from the courts.

But I have another meeting, guys. I've got to go.

Thank you.

WOODRUFF: California Governor Gray Davis, repeating the mantra he's really had from the beginning of this process, and that is that this recall is bad for the state; it's bad for its voters; it distracts elected officials from doing their jobs and makes them -- forces them to get on the campaign trail and campaign, which he says he has to continue to do.

He assumes the election will still be on October 7 until this ruling is finalized. Again Governor Gray Davis.

We'll have much more just ahead. We're going to take a short break. Much more on the legal ramifications. What can we look for from the courts? Might the full 9th Circuit court of appeals overturn what this three-judge panel has done? And after that what might the U.S. Supreme Court do? We'll try to answer some of those questions, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

WOODRUFF: Once again the legal world intersects with the political world.

Recapping now, there has been a shakeup in the California recall today as a federal appeals court has put the October 7 election on hold. If this ruling stands, the vote could be postponed until next March on the date of the Democratic presidential primary.

The court ruled that the state needs more time to eliminate inadequate voting machines, but at least one pro-recall group is vowing that it will appeal.

Governor Gray Davis has long called for the postponement of the recall. His spokesman said that Davis is going to keep on campaigning.

Leading Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger also is vowing to stay the course, but he's calling on the California secretary of state to appeal today's ruling immediately.

We are going to turn right now -- is it to John King we want to go to? I'm sorry. We're going to stick with the California recall story and turn to my colleague, Bob Franken, who is also out here in Los Angeles.

Bob, what are the legal options at this point? We know there is going to be an appeal to this ruling by the appeals court, and what course is this likely to take?

FRANKEN: Well, that's a good question, and it's a question that we can't answer at this point because the lawyers can't answer it.

They have a couple of options here. No. 1, the normal procedure would be to go to the same court of appeals that has put this delay on the election and ask for what's called an enbar hearing (ph). That is to say a larger panel of judges. They really have seven days in which the smaller panel has granted a stay to decide this, or they could go right to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask for an expedited hearing.

Given the fact that election is only three days (sic) away, they are going to explore that and look at that closely. And of course, the Supreme Court has not shied away from political cases. Need we mention Bush versus Gore? Need we mention campaign finance?

But normally the court would not be back in session until October, after this recall had been scheduled. So it all becomes moot very quickly. A decision is going to be made during the seven days that are pending. A decision that the lawyers haven't really begun to figure out what their road is going to be yet -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So many legal questions to unravel here, Bob. And in the next hour we're going to be talking with someone who watches the Supreme Court closely. She is Jan Crawford Greenburg, a reporter who covers the Supreme Court for the "Chicago Tribune." We'll be talking to her in the next hour in a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

Meantime, we want to turn away from the California recall to another developing story in Washington, D.C., and that is from the White House, where our senior correspondent John King joins us.

John, some developments on the Israel loan front?

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy. This is a confusing issue. I will try to sort it out.

But you might remember just a few weeks back the Bush administration, officials were telling us privately the president was prepared to sanction Israel by reducing the amount of loan guarantees it gets from the United States government for building that controversial fence, the barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian territories.

Well, CNN is now told that president has just decided to put that decision off just a bit. The administration will announce today that it is withholding some loan guarantees from Israel, a dollar for dollar deduction in the loan guarantees Israel can get for the amount Israel is spending on the settlements, the Jewish settlements, in the occupied territories.

Now, that is U.S. administration policy going back to the previous Bush administration. Israel would prefer that policy not be in place, but it is not surprised by the decision that will come out today. The administration reducing the loan guarantees Israel can get from the United States of America, dollar for dollar, on the amount the Israeli government spends on what the administration views as illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

What the president will not do today that many had anticipated he would when he made this threshold decision on loan guarantees, is to further sanction Israel and deduct even more of that money for the building of that fence. The president calls it a problem. He says it is an obstacle to revitalizing the peace process.

But we are told here that while the administration is prepared down the road to impose that additional sanction on Israel, it wants to continue some conversations with the Israeli government about the fence project. That decision will not be made today.

Judy, had the president made that next decision, to sanction Israel further for building that barrier, there would have been disappointment in the Israeli government, perhaps a strain in the U.S.-Israel relationship relations and there would have been a fire storm of criticism from pro-Israel lawmakers in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, who had urged the president not to take that second step. The administration will wait a little bit longer before making a final decision -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. I'm sure there would have been that sort of reaction. John King.

And of course, all of us watching every element in the relationship between the United States and Israel at this very delicate period in the peace process. John King, our White House correspondent. When we come back much more on the California recall. We're going to be talking with two California reporters. We're going to be talking with the California congressman who started the recall process. Much more just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We continue to follow today's federal court decision postponing the California recall. Joining me now is political reporter David Lauter with the "Los Angeles Times."

David, at least a temporary victory for Gray Davis?

DAVID LAUTER, "L.A. TIMES": This is a huge help for Davis, because the first rule of politics is when you've got the votes, vote. And the Republicans thought they had the votes.

Now there's the potential that the election gets put off for five months. In five months Davis might look better. The economy might be in better shape, all sorts of things can change. So it adds another element of difficulty for the Republican campaign.

The other advantage for Davis is if the courts now step in, if the Supreme Court steps in and says let's go ahead with this election, Davis has a whole other argument to advantage to motivate Democratic voters. He can say, "Look, the courts are stepping in again to give the Republicans an advantage."

So it plays into the whole argument that Democrats have been making that this is an illegitimate election, that the Republicans are trying exactly the same things that they did with Florida, with impeachment, et cetera. So for Davis this is a major advantage.

WOODRUFF: What would it mean, David, for the voters of California to have this election, which everyone thought was going to be compressed into just a few weeks, stretch out until next March?

LAUTER: Well, it's a good question, Judy. I mean, people have been deluged with information about this recall. It's been the prime topic of conversation. We have folks who never talk about politics in California all of a sudden paying attention to politics. It's been at a fever pitch. You can't keep that up for five months.

So it's hard to know what the reaction would be, whether people just sort of drop it all and pick it up again in February, or whether by February and March they've completely lost interest.

The other possibility is, we don't know what impact this has on the ballot. The candidates who are on this ballot were placed on the ballot because you had to certify the ballot within a certain number of the days of the election. If you change the election to March do you get to reopen the ballot, add candidates, take candidates off? We don't know how that might happen.

WOODRUFF: David Lauter with the "Los Angeles Times," thank you very much. And I want to quick also bring in Carla Marinucci, who covers politics for the "San Francisco Chronicle."

Carla, very quickly to you, I mean politics in California cannot get any stranger than this, can it?

CARLA MARINUCCI, "SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE": Someone was telling me today is it possible for Gray Davis to have more than nine lives? I guess so, Judy.

There's not enough talent all in the world to take us through the next five months if this goes forward.

WOODRUFF: Well, at this point, you agree with David Lauter's premise, though, that this is a boost for Davis?

MARINUCCI: Absolutely a boost for Davis and a problem for Arnold Schwarzenegger. There's no question about it.

With the Democratic presidential primary coming up, Davis -- and recall fatigue already setting in among voters, this is a win-win for him even if the courts overturn it.

For Schwarzenegger, a five-week campaign plan has to be stretched over five months. That's very costly, and it requires a whole new script. I'm not sure he's got it right now.

WOODRUFF: All right. A lot of questions left to be answered by this. Carla Marinucci with the "San Francisco Chronicle." Carla, thank you very much for talking to us.

David Lauter with the "L.A. Times."

And joining us now from -- I believe, she's in Los Angeles -- Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who has long time been a representative of the Los Angeles area.

Congresswoman, we just heard from Tom McClintock, who's the other Republican running in this campaign. He said this is an outrageous decision from an outrageous court. What do you say to that?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I think it was an outrageous election day to begin with, and I'm very pleased about the circuit court decision. I think that they got it right.

What they basically said was, you know, elections are so fundamental, so important, to a democracy, that you have to make sure that everybody's got the right to have their votes counted. And to tell you the truth, out here in California, we have six counties where you use this punch card voting system, and they've already determined that over 40,000 people absolutely lose their right to vote because their votes are not counted.

As you know, it was a Republican secretary of state, who decertified this system and said that it was wrong. And so now we have an equal protection argument. I like the way the courts decided on this. And I would like to see it go straight to the Supreme Court and give the Supreme Court an opportunity to try and correct itself, based on what it did in the Florida elections.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me quickly read you what Schwarzenegger campaign, what Schwarzenegger himself is saying about this. He's pointing out that 1.6 million Californians, he says of all political persuasions, have signed petitions to recall Governor Davis.

He's calling on the secretary of state to appeal this decision on behalf of those people, who he says have exercised their constitutional right to recall the governor and who expect this election on October 7.

WATERS: Well, actually I don't see that way. First of all, they paid people to go out and get the signatures, and they were out in front of supermarkets misrepresenting what they were asking for. They told some people it was about education. Many people signed without knowing what they had signed.

So this paid operation that they had, that misled a lot of people, cannot be looked at as if it's some constitutional right that's being denied. That's No. 1.

Secondly, I'm sure Arnold Schwarzenegger does not want it to go on any longer because we're going to find out a lot more about him, his history, who he is, what he really stands for. He would love to quickly get this over with, where he's given sound bites instead of dealing with the issues. And of course, we really do want to know more about him.

WOODRUFF: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a voice for the people in the -- the district in Los Angeles that she represents.

Congresswoman, thank you very much for talking with us.

WATERS: You're welcome.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Also with us is another member of the California congressional delegation. He is Darrell Issa.

He is the man who is largely responsible for getting this recall effort on the ballot in the first place. He is with us. He spent more than a million dollars of his own money to get this recall going.

And Congressman, you initially were going to run yourself. You obviously did drop out. You're joining us from Washington.

We just heard Congresswoman Maxine Waters say that this -- that what you did was a paid effort, that people didn't really know what they were signing, in other words that this -- suggesting that perhaps it wasn't a legitimate petition.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Well, Maxine's self-serving statements are just that. First of all, the total number that came in was over 2.1 million signatures. Once you get more than twice the amount required by law, in the case the election has been certified, you sort of quit counting.

But of those 2.1 million signatures, more than half came from people who downloaded from the Internet or responded to direct mail and clearly had to read. There was no one talking to them.

But the amazing thing is Maxine Waters is a little confused because the fact was that Gray Davis spent more money than we spent, several million dollars with a false petition, and I'm not using that word lightly. We're talking about a petition that was supposedly going to protect schools that he went out and paid gatherers to do. It was never on the ballot. It was never certified. It was never real. And he put those next to every one of ours in hopes of being able to confuse the voters and it failed.

Gray Davis all along, and Bustamante, have tried to prevent the will of the people. Huge amounts, more than 25 percent of the electorate, have signed saying they want an election.

Now a three-judge panel, all Democrats, all appointed by Democratic presidents, want to overturn the will of the people in advance and to compare this to Florida is so inappropriate.

WOODRUFF: So you're saying this is a politically motivated decision?

ISSA: Absolutely. Look the 9th Circuit is the most overturned circuit in America, under Republican presidents under Democrat presidents.

This bears no common sense at all. The ACLU brought this along -- you know, this is our 14th, I think, case that's been brought. It's first one that anyone even considered and they considered it wrong on the merits.

Understand, Judy, that less than a year ago we voted for and re- elected Gray Davis based on this system of voting. And now what was good enough to re-elect him, is not good enough to consider throwing him out of office. Why? Because they don't like the odds of him being removed from office by a constitutional effort.

WOODRUFF: So you're saying the punch card ballots, which these judges are saying have enormous flaws as we saw in Florida and in other elections, you're saying that argument, in your mind, doesn't hold any water?

ISSA: Of course. They're saying something more than that. They're saying that one tenth of 1 percent, or one half of 1 percent, that might be in doubt -- because in Florida you had such a razor close election that less than one percent of the ballot became important. And that's all we're talking about in the ones that were not 100 percent machine-readable and totally in place. And they're saying that the difference between people who were in one area and another could be significant.

Well, you know, if you look at six areas and you look at one tenth and you gave all one tenth or I should say .001, one percent, and you said, "Look, we're going to take the sampling of the rest of the ballots." Let's say it goes 70 percent to save Gray and 30 percent to overturn him and we apply the same numbers, the chances that would be vote determinate are so close to zero that for this court to in advance, in direct opposition of what other courts have said, prevent an election. Here it's different to say an election might not have come off close, but to disenfranchise the people of California in advance is outrageous.

WOODRUFF: All right. Well, we are going to leave it there with Representative Darrell Issa, repeating, in fact, what congressman -- or State Senator Tom McClintock said and called it an outrageous decision as well.

Darrell Issa, really the father of this recall in that he bank rolled much of the effort to get those signatures on the petition that got this recall on the ballot in the first place.

Much more of our special coverage of this memorable day in California political history. We'll be back with a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Hold it! A federal appeals court postpones the California recall election. Can this race get any wilder?

It was supposed to be Arnold's big day on "Oprah."

SCHWARZENEGGER: I am so excited about this election and what we can do.

ANNOUNCER: How's his enthusiasm level now that he recall has been delayed?

Florida flashbacks. The recall ruling harkens back to Election 2000. Will the Supreme Court Have the final say again?

Now, live from Los Angeles, JUDY WOODRUFF'S "INSIDE POLITICS."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Our special coverage of the California recall on hold continues from Los Angeles.

If you are just joining us, fasten your seat belt. Recall candidates and election officials were thrown for a loop just a few hours ago when a federal appeals court postponed the October 7 vote. The court ruled that the election should not proceed as scheduled because some voters would be -- votes would be cast using punch cards like those that caused all the havoc in Florida in 2000. At least one of the groups that worked to put the recall on the ballot is vowing to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meantime, California Governor Gray Davis says he's going to keep moving forward with his anti-recall campaign until this matter is settled by the courts. A short while ago, he appeared with President Bill Clinton and with the only major Democrat running for governor, Cruz Bustamante.

The ruling came down after Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with his wife, Maria Shriver. The actor says he's going to continue his campaign for governor despite the ruling. He's urging the California secretary of state to file an appeal immediately.

Schwarzenegger's leading GOP rival, Tom McClintock, told me last hour he expects the ruling to be overturned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCLINTOCK: Well, this is an outrageous decision by an outrageous court and I've got every confidence that it will be overturned. This is the most reversed court in the United States, and for good reason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: The recall ruling obviously raises all sorts of legal and political questions.

Let's talk first about the politics with our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.

Candy, I hardly know where to begin. But why don't we begin with the man there that a lot of people are trying to remove from office, Gray Davis. What does this mean for him?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This can't be as a number of people said, anything but good news for Gray Davis. From the beginning, they had asked this be pushed forward into next year, for a number of reasons.

You know, number one, Gray Davis may look better to voters come next year; the economy may get better; also they thought because there's a primary -- Democratic primary that's quite contested, more Democrats would show up and keep him in. So, you know, the risk is, OK, that the economy continues to tank, then he might be careful what he wishes for.

But absolutely it is a plus for Gray Davis because the longer this goes on, the better he looks to California voters.

WOODRUFF: What about the name on everyone's lips out here, Arnold Schwarzenegger? What does it mean for his campaign? CROWLEY: Well, it's just not the -- I mean, if it goes on, it's just not the campaign he planned. I mean, there's a difference between a two-month campaign and a six-month campaign. It takes a lot of money. So it's just not the one he planned on. It doesn't mean that he does anything different substantively, but he's going to need a lot more money and it's going to take a lot more time should it go into next year.

WOODRUFF: And last but not least, what about those nine and maybe 10, this week if Wesley Clark Gets in, Democrats thinking about running for president? If this race goes on and all the media attention, what effect is that going to have on those -- on those people?

CROWLEY: Yes. Absolutely. The California sunshine has shown pretty bridely out here and pretty much put the '04s into darker shadows.

But let me just put one thing out there and that is that when you listen to some of the rhetoric already out there about this court decision, about this appeals panel decision. You're hearing almost the exact same phrases we heard in Florida. And one could argue that that's very good for the '04 candidates to, at this point, coming into a presidential election year, be reminding their party base of Florida, and insofar as the rhetoric has now let every vote count from the one side, the other side talking about the rule of law, that brings up Florida. It not only helps Gray Davis but it also put it into the dialogue for the '04s just as they're starting out the year.

WOODRUFF: Hmm. Very interesting take on all that. All right. Candy Crowley, who's our chief political correspondent -- Candy, of course, with me here in Los Angeles. We wouldn't be anywhere else this week, would we?

With me now on the telephone is someone who's organization has played a very -- a key role in following this campaign. He is Art Pulaski. He is he executive director of the California state AFL-CIO.

Mr. Pulaski, we just heard not only Congressman Darrell Issa, who started this whole thing, but Tom McClintock say this is an outrageous ruling, an outrageous court and they fully expect it to be overturned.

What do you -- what do you think?

ART PULASKI, CEO, CALIF. AFL-CIO: Well, elections are about democracy and the court decided, and correctly so, that 44 percent of California's elect trait right now are subject to these hanging chad ballots. We are trying to get rid of those, but simply haven't had the time to do it in time for this special election.

The court itself said it could be 40,000 voters or more whose votes could be invalidated and they want a valid election and we vigorously support that. And so, by holding off this election until our March primary, we'll be able to get rid of a lot of these hanging chad ballots, these punch card ballots and have more updated and modern ballots so everybody's vote can be counted. WOODRUFF: But what about Darrell Issa -- Congressman Darrell Issa's point just a moment ago that it was using these very same ballots that Gray Davis himself was elected -- re-elected governor last November. Why have they suddenly become a problem when he got elect into office using these same type ballots?

PULASKI: Well, I didn't hear those comments at the time. But, you know, that election was not in dispute. He won by sufficient votes that there wasn't a question and nobody challenged it in the courts. He won by enough of a victory that the invalid votes didn't make a difference. It's very well possible that in this case, it could because as everybody sees by the tightening of the race -- "The L.A. Times" poll said this race is becoming very, very tight and a few thousand votes could, in fact, make the difference and let's not have another Florida. Let's at least have an election that we're confident everybody has had a chance to have their say.

WOODRUFF: Art Pulaski is the chief executive officer of the California AFL-CIO. Mr. Pulaski, thank you very much for talking with us on the phone. We appreciate it.

And as we continue to -- thank you. And as we continue to sort through the recall ruling and what may happen in the days ahead, let's bring in our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

Now, Bill, in its ruling the appeals court cited concerns, as we've been saying, about the punch card ballots. Is recall 2003 likely to be another Florida 2000?

SCHNEIDER: Well, of course, that's exactly the question that's put before the courts because the Supreme Court is going have to decide do they apply the same standard they used in the Bush v. Gore decision of 2000 not to allow the recount in Florida because there were unequal voting procedures? If they apply it to California, they're going to say you have to postpone the vote in California. Only in Florida, the Republicans wanted the court to decide that and in California they don't want the court to decide that.

We did a little research on this and what we found out is according to two very important institutions, the California Institute of Technology and MIT, the error rate in a punch card ballot system is 3 percent. The other two systems used here in California are optical scan voting, which has an error rate of 1.2 percent, and touch screen voting, which has an error rate of 1.6 percent. So the basic problem is, that when you use punch cards, the error rate is about twice as high as the error rate in the other systems. And punch cards are used, as we've said many times, in -- with 44 percent of the electorate in California, where there are high concentrates of minority voters. And the court ruled today that if that's the case, it is discriminatory. And it's now going to be appealed, of course, potentially to the Supreme Court.

WOODRUFF: Bill, if either the entire ninth circuit -- we know that it was just three judges who issued this ruling -- if the entire circuit were to come back and in some way overturn this or change it or if it were changed by the Supreme Court of the United States, what effect would that have on this state right now, given the issues that have been raised?

SCHNEIDER: Well, of course, if they were to overturn this decision, that means we're right back to where we were this morning and the election would be held on October 7, which is by -- you know, just says, "Nevermind" and the election goes on. But, of course, that would -- it would instantly ratchet up the intensity of partisanship here.

Look, what's happened in California is that the word "Florida" is being used. You heard Candy use it. You heard everybody use it. They say this is the same thing that's in Florida. That's what Democrats want to say. They say this is a replay of the outrage they felt in Florida. And Bill Clinton is here in California today and he's here to say this is impeachment. Recall equals impeachment. The same people who tried to bring me down are trying to bring down Gray Davis without cause. That's the point that the Democrats are trying to make.

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider, our political analyst, again, he's out here in Los Angeles on this week that's brought much more news than any of us expected.

Still ahead on this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, much more on the California recall. The ruling today by the court, postponing the election.

And Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean likened himself to a pin cushion. Is he being wounded by all the needling from his rivals?

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Now more legal analysis on this landscape-changing recall ruling and where it goes from here.

With me on the phone is Jan Crawford Greenburg. She's law correspondent for "The Chicago Tribune."

First of all, Jan, help us understand. This was -- this decision today to put off the recall was done by three judges who are part of a 12-judge circuit court of appeals. The full court, in other words, appeals court, could change this. Is that right? How would that work?

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG, "CHICAGO TRIBUNE": That's right. And lawyers that I spoke with this afternoon who are involved in this case have not decided whether or not they're going to ask the full court to step in here and take a look at this issue. They have that option.

They also could go straight to the Supreme Court and ask it to get involved and reverse this ruling by the three-judge panel.

WOODRUFF: What would influence that decision, whether to go with the circuit court first or to go directly to the Supreme Court? GREENBURG: There are many things that factor into that. It could be an issue of timing. Obviously, Supreme Court review would be much quicker to resolve the ultimate issue. They also may feel they might not necessarily get a sympathetic audience in the ninth circuit. It's considered the most liberal of all the federal circuits and it frequently is reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

WOODRUFF: And -- and, Jan, if it were to go to the Supreme Court what would the process be there?

GREENBURG: They would ask the court to get involved in this case and I think that's a pretty high bar to clear.

Now, many people -- and, of course the landmark 2000 case of Bush Vs. Gore did not think the Supreme Court would get involved in that case. That also was a matter of a state election results in Florida. So they at first have to ask the court to get involved in this case. Whether or not there's a lot of enthusiasm for taking up this issue is unclear. But people I've spoken with this afternoon say they don't believe that there would be.

WOODRUFF: And very quickly, Jan, are the similarities between this California case and the Florida as -- case are they as close as some people are jumping to the conclusion?

GREENBURG: No. No, I don't think they are. This is the first -- certainly this is an extension of Bush vs. Gore and certainly the ninth circuit in this case said that it mirrored the issue that the Bush vs. Gore Supreme Court had before it. But there are many important differences and keep in mind, you know, Bush vs. Gore was about a state wide recount and whether or not different counties could use different standards in evaluating whether or not, say, a punch ballot should count. This one involves the equipment and those are two very different things.

This is the first extension of Bush vs. Gore by any federal appeals court in any significant way. The Supreme Court was very careful in Bush vs. Gore to emphasize that that was an extraordinary case. So the ninth circuit, while it certainly has extended Bush vs. Gore -- some people say that it has gone too far.

Now, that is another question, whether or not the Supreme Court's going to step in and try to correct it or whether or not they even think it's rightly decided.

WOODRUFF: All right. We're seeing history made here, not just politically but perhaps legally as well. Jan Crawford Greenburg -- she covers the United States Supreme Court for "The Chicago Tribune."

Jan, thank you for talking with us on the phone.

Just ahead, we're going to check the day's political headlines beyond California. A former president praises Wesley Clark amid new signs the former general is ready to run for the White House.

Those and other headlines next in our "Campaign News Daily." (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: All right.

The Democratic presidential race leads the Monday headlines in our "Campaign News Daily."

Former President Clinton this weekend added to the positive statements he's already made about potential White House candidate Wesley Clark. The retired general led the U.S. war effort in Kosovo under Clinton. The two men have known each other for years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's a good man. He's a smart man, served our country well. He was fabulous in the Bosnia peace process in Kosovo (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CLINTON: Oh, I don't know. I don't know anything about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Also today, CNN has learned General Clark has invited a small group of political advisers to meet with him tomorrow in Arkansas. Clark has said he will decide on a presidential run before a scheduled speech in Iowa Friday.

John Edwards will soon become the latest candidate to hold an official campaign announcement. After an appearance on "The Daily Show," later today Edwards travels to his hometown of Robins, North Carolina tomorrow to formally kick off his campaign for the White House.

And finally, a top communications adviser to Senator John Kerry has quit the campaign. Chris Lehane released a statement saying he wished the senator the best of luck. The Associated Press quotes sources say who say that Lehane blamed his exit on philosophical differences with Senator Kerry. Chris Lehane was press secretary for Al Gore during the 2000 campaign.

Well, CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times" joins me now for more on the presidential race.

Ron, I think the first question I have is, What about Howard Dean? Every paper you pick up now says the other candidates are beating up on him. What's going on?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they are beating up on him, Judy. In the last two weeks or so, all of the four top tier candidates right now, John Edwards, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt have all launched broadsides at Dean on different issues, but a common message, really, underneath -- all of them trying to make the case that we don't -- voters don't know who Dean is. They don't know as much about him as they think. And also trying to race question about his fitness to be president.

It's the challenge that every insurgent candidate who's been successful, from Bill Bradley to Gary Hart, has faced sooner or later. And Dean needs to figure out a way to put it -- push it back.

WOODRUFF: Well, how is he doing at that so far?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think they're trying to make two arguments so far.

One is they are treating this as sort of typical Washington politics. Joe Trippi lumps together -- his campaign manager -- lumps together all other Democrats as the -- quote -- "Washington tag team." So in effect, he's using their attacks to validate his outsider status.

The other thing they're going to try to say is that even if he doesn't always speak with precision, which is what the other candidates are accusing him of, his meaning is clear. The opposite of a Washington politician who can speak with enormous precision, but often doesn't often say anything.

WOODRUFF: Ron, if Wesley Clark gets in -- and there's some signals that he will in this week -- does that effect Dean?

BROWNSTEIN: It affects all of them.

Look, I mean, they've already got the problem you see here today -- 80 minutes about California and, you know, the Democrats are really at the end of the story.

Wesley Clark is another competitor for attention. He does appeal to some of the -- possibly the same anti-war constituencies as Howard Dean. He prevents John Kerry from saying he's the only veteran in the race. He prevents John Edwards from saying he's the only viable Southerner in the race. He could be a problem for a lot of other candidates, especially because he's probably going to attract an enormous amount of attention in the next few weeks, if he gets in, right when the other candidates are trying to ramp up their campaigns for the fall.

WOODRUFF: Well, we should know more in the next few days. And believe me, we're all trying to find out there's at least one word that he has made up his mind, but he's not saying yet what it is.

BROWNSTEIN: We'll know by Friday.

WOODRUFF: That's right. Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Time," thanks again.

Still ahead, the Howard Dean phenomenon goes Hollywood.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Well, the line between politics and Hollywood has been blurry for some time. But even out here in California, some wonder if Howard Dean may have stepped right up to the line.

In case you missed it, Dean appeared as himself in last night's premiere of the new HBO Series "K Street." Now, in one scene, Dean was huddling with real life Democratic consultants and "CROSSFIRE" co- hosts James Carville and Paul Begala. Carville suggested a one-liner and Dean apparently liked it so much he used it in last week's real life Democratic presidential debate in Baltimore. Much more talk about this week.

Well, that's it for this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll be back here in Los Angeles tomorrow for the very latest on the California recall and the presidential contest. 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



California Representatives React to Postponement>


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.