PAULA ZAHN NOW
Wesley Clark Nears Announcement; Court to Review California Recall Delay
Aired September 16, 2003 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening and welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Tonight: a close-up look at retired General Wesley Clark the night before he is expected to announce his campaign for president.
The family that went into hiding to keep their son from having chemotherapy. We'll talk with the boy at the center of the controversy.
On patrol with American troops on Korea's demilitarized zone, an exclusive look inside one of the world's most dangerous places.
And the new fitness report card: Should children get F's for being fat?
Also ahead this evening, we're going to take you into the eye of Hurricane Isabel, on course to slam into North Carolina's Outer Banks on Thursday; 100,000 people are being urged to get out of the way of the most powerful storm in four years to take aim at the mid-Atlantic.
Also, the next step in the battle over the California recall may not be at the U.S. Supreme Court after all. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says it may reconsider yesterday's ruling by a three-judge panel ordering the election postponed.
First, though, here are some of the Other headlines you need to know About Right now.
The U.S. has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Israel ends its threats to deport Yasser Arafat. The U.S. says the resolution failed to include a strong enough condemnation of terrorism.
Police all over the country will soon have access to a single federal anti-terrorist watch list containing more than 100,000 names. The FBI says the new list could have helped catch two of the 9/11 hijackers before the attacks two years ago.
And former '60s radical Kathy Boudin could be out of prison as early as tomorrow. A judge in New York has turned down an attempt to block her parole. The onetime member of the Weather Underground was convicted of murder in a 1981 Brinks robbery.
We start with presidential politics tonight. Sources tell CNN that retired General and former NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark will announce his candidacy tomorrow. That would make him the 10th Democrat seeking the White House. And polls show most Americans are just beginning to focus on the race.
If you're asking "Wesley who?" here are some of the answers. Judy Woodruff talked with Clark today about where he comes from and what he sees as the country's problems.
RET. GENERAL WESLEY CLARK, U.S. ARMY: Well, everybody comes from somewhere. This is where I come from. This is Little Rock, Arkansas. I grew up here. This is right where my family was. And this is where all my friends were.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The general took us to Pulaski Heights Elementary School, recalling what he described as a happy, simple high school.
CLARK: This is the sixth grade softball field right here and football. That was home plate, obviously.
WOODRUFF: And explaining how it shaped a life of public service.
CLARK: It's a sense of people that respect each other, trust each other, believe in each other. It's a sense of ordinary people. Everybody's parents worked hard. The kids were expected to study hard. They were expected to play in the sports, get along with people.
WOODRUFF: For Clark, today's America has changed. The good people remain, but they are haunted by a certain uneasiness.
CLARK: I came back home three years ago and looked around and began to get feelings about our country; 9/11 happened. It drew me out and back into public service.
WOODRUFF: Balancing on the cusp of a presidential run, Clark says he is propelled by a groundswell of grassroots support.
CLARK: As I began to look at it, I realized this was serious. And people told me, they said, Wes, America wants to you present yourself.
WOODRUFF (on camera): Why turn to someone who has never done politics?
CLARK: The most important issue in America today is our security at home and abroad. And that's what Americans seek. And they're seeking leadership to provide it. I'm the best among any of the prospective candidates in terms of being able to work for America's security.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): And then, taking us around the corner to see the house where he grew up...
CLARK: I used to remember coming out on cold spring mornings on Sundays after church and playing around on these rocks, because the rocks would absorb the sunlight and be warm. You could lay on them and get warm.
WOODRUFF: Clark painted his own picture of traditional values instilled in the South, nurtured in the military, and ready for the White House.
Judy Woodruff, CNN, Little Rock, Arkansas.
WOODRUFF: And to discuss whether Wesley Clark has what it takes to do the job, I am joined from Washington by "Atlanta Monthly" senior editor Joshua Green. With me here in New York tonight, former Clinton and Gore adviser Elaine Kamarck. She is now with Harvard University's John F. Kennedy's School of Government; also, "TIME" columnist Joe Klein.
Welcome to all of you.
Joshua, I'm going to start with you this evening. You have spent a lot of time trailing Mr. Clark. What makes him tick?
JOSHUA GREEN, SENIOR EDITOR, "ATLANTIC MONTHLY": I think he's animated by a burning desire to be the president of the United States. And he's thought all along he can do the job. I think he wants it really badly. And it took him a while to get around to announcing for it, but it looks like that's what he's going to do tomorrow.
ZAHN: It strikes me, from everything I've heard today, Elaine, he's going to take heat from both sides of the aisle.
Well, I think he will.
ELAINE KAMARCK, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: But I think a lot of Democrats are so sick and tired of George Bush and Tom DeLay, Dick Cheney, people who never served, were certainly never in combat, we're so sick and tired of having our patriotism challenged that we're pretty happy to see a general in the race.
ZAHN: But he is controversial even within the Pentagon community.
JOE KLEIN, "TIME": Oh, yes.
He raised a lot of hackles when he was running the show in Kosovo, because he wanted a more aggressive prosecution of the war. But you want to know -- I'll tell you Wes Clark's story. You want to know how competitive he is? He once told me that, when he was a junior officer in the Pentagon, he knew the cholesterol level of everybody he was competing against to get his general's star.
ZAHN: Joshua, that comes as no surprise to you, does it? GREEN: No, not at all. He's a highly competitive guy. He's smart. He's a Rhodes Scholar. He's from Arkansas. He's on top of things.
ZAHN: But he's also known as a man who is particularly thin- skinned. Did you see that in him, Joshua?
GREEN: Yes, there were definitely traces of that.
I think Clark felt and feels particularly upset about things like the politicization of the military in the '90s. I think he felt that he was unfairly subjected to attacks both by some people in the Clinton administration, but especially by Republicans who were trying to get at Clinton during the time that Clark was a general.
And he has a reputation -- and he has throughout his military career, I think -- for being a little bit thin-skinned. And he's certainly never been subjected to the scrutiny of an election, and not a presidential election either. So I think it remains to be seen how he's going to react to the attacks that are certainly going to start soon.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about the scrutiny he's going to endure with specific issues, the issue of gun control, the issue of taxes. Quickly walk through, as quickly as you can
KAMARCK: There's a huge litany that we don't know what he thinks about these issues. And I'm not sure he knows what he thinks about these issues: Medicare prescription funds, how we fund it, future of Social Security, what do we do about it, aid to education.
When you get out on the trail in New Hampshire -- and this has happened to me many times when I was traveling with Gore and Clinton -- people come up to you and they want to know about full funding for education for the handicapped, a very obscure issue. But people out there feel passionately about it.
There's an entire range of issues that people care about, they ask you about on the campaign trail. I don't know, A, what he thinks about them. And I think he's going to have to come up with some positions pretty quickly.
ZAHN: Well, let's talk about where he's coming from. Is he a real Democrat or would he be running as a Republican if there were an incumbent Democratic president in office right now?
KLEIN: Well, in the areas of his expertise, in foreign policy and national security policy, he is a Democrat. He's a multilateralist.
He wrote a book arguing that all wars should be prosecuted in a multilateral fashion. And he's very squarely in the mainstream of the Democratic Party. And he has the additional advantage with the Democratic base of having been against this war, which none of the senators who are in this race were.
KAMARCK: Except for Bob Graham.
KLEIN: Except for Bob Graham. How quickly we forget.
He's going to have a honeymoon for the next couple of weeks because of what Elaine said. People -- Democrats have been feeling kind of at wit's end over the last two or three weeks, because nobody has really emerged as the main man. And Howard Dean, who had been showing signs of that, has had a rough two or three weeks. And so everybody's looking for a guy on a white charger. And here he comes.
ZAHN: Well, is that, Joshua, part of his impetus for getting in, that he's seen Howard Dean struggle over the last couple of weeks?
GREEN: I don't think he thinks a whole lot about Howard Dean. He's really focused on himself.
But I would say, also, he has an appeal far beyond the Democratic Party. He's not a very partisan guy. Or, at least, he hasn't been to date. So I think he holds a lot of appeal for centrists, for independents. And there are a lot of people out there who would like to vote for a military hero and who don't consider George Bush in a flight suit to really be somebody who fits that bill. So...
ZAHN: Elaine, I want you to analyze some numbers for us. A new CNN/"USA Today" poll out just last week showed Clark getting the support of about 10 percent of registered Democrats. What does that mean?
KAMARCK: Nothing right now.
He hasn't announced -- he didn't announce when the poll was taken. And going back to what Joshua just said, his appeal is also a problem, OK? Yes, he can probably attract independents and Republicans. That would be very good. But the first thing you have to do, we always have to remind ourselves, is, you have to win the Democratic nomination. And you have to win it in Iowa and New Hampshire.
So, only two weeks ago did he say he was a Democrat. So we've got to see how he does as a Democrat first.
ZAHN: But isn't it also true he's counting on the McCain vote in New Hampshire?
KLEIN: Oh, absolutely.
But I think that there is some significance in this 10 percent in the vote in the poll. The significance is that this guy can come out of absolutely nowhere and hit double-digits, when someone like John Edwards has been working and working and working and he's at a measly 5 percent.
ZAHN: He was sort of relegated to "What about me?" today, right?
KLEIN: He announced his candidacy today, and we're not talking about that at all. So Clark has that.
The other interesting thing about the poll is where he got the 10 percent from. He got two points from practically everybody, from Kerry, from Edwards, from Lieberman. He draws from each of these guys.
ZAHN: Joe Klein, Elaine Kamarck, Joshua Green, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Appreciate all of your perspectives.
Still ahead: more on the expected entry of General Clark in the race. We're going to debate whether President Bush can be beaten in 2004.
Meanwhile, we turn our attention to another big story tonight: people all along the East Coast hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.
Hurricane Isabel is slowly moving up the East Coast, with top winds near 105 miles an hour. That is weaker than it was yesterday, but forecasters say it may pick up steam before making landfall on Thursday. The U.S. Navy isn't taking any chances, however. This morning, about 45 of the 70 warships in the immediate mid-Atlantic area headed out to sea.
So what kind of threat does Isabel pose? Meteorologist James McFadden of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joins me tonight. He has flown into the eye of Hurricane Isabel.
I guess you did that once yesterday and again today. What did you find?
JAMES MCFADDEN, METEOROLOGIST, NOAA: Well, Paula, first of all, I'm happy to be here.
ZAHN: Thank you.
MCFADDEN: It's been a long five days.
But I tell you, when we flew into Hurricane Isabel on Friday and Saturday and Sunday, of course, it was Category 5. Today, we left Saint Croix at 5:30 this morning and flew into Hurricane Isabel. It was only a Category 2 and really only a shadow of her former self.
ZAHN: But that doesn't mean that the storm will stay weak, right? It could very easily gain strength as it heads closer to shore?
And people along the coastline and in the Carolinas and Virginia and inland have to be vigilant, have to be wary of this storm, because the one thing that we did see while we were in there all four days was that it was a very wet storm, a lot of rain. And it looks like there is going to be a lot of flooding. So, if the wind won't get you, the water will.
ZAHN: And based on what you saw once you were inside the hurricane, how would you say it compared to the strength of Hurricane Andrew?
MCFADDEN: Well, Hurricane Andrew, of course, intensified just before it made landfall in Miami. And, of course, I was unfortunate enough to be in Miami when that happened.
But this storm was a Category 5 storm for three straight days. And that is so unusual for hurricanes. It's something that none of the scientists aboard our aircraft have ever seen.
ZAHN: And when you look at the course you expect this storm to take, do you think it would hit any major U.S. cities?
MCFADDEN: Well, that's a question that I really can't answer. We're out there flying the storms. And we're sending the information back to the forecasters in Miami. And they're the ones that issue the official forecasts.
ZAHN: Well, we wish everybody along the East Coast luck.
And continued good luck as you go on this very dangerous mission, as you do, to find out more about the science of these storms, Dr. James McFadden.
MCFADDEN: Thank you very much.
ZAHN: Still ahead this evening: a 12-year-old boy whose parents took him into hiding rather than have him undergo chemotherapy. We're going to talk to the boy and his parents.
And our debate tonight: Can George W. Bush be beating in 2004?
And some new report cards could be giving kids failing grades just because of their weight. Is that fair?
We'll be right back.
ZAHN: Just when you thought things were getting messy, they got even messier today in the California recall. The full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals signaled it may get into the argument over delaying the election. A three-judge panel of the same court has already said California can't do the recall with punch card voting machines.
Let's turn to legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He's here to explain what's next.
ZAHN: So what are the chances that we're going to see a recall election October 7?
TOOBIN: Well, they went up a little bit today.
ZAHN: Like how much?
TOOBIN: Well, I would say 5 percent, because the entire court of the 9th Circuit requested briefs tomorrow on the question of whether they should take the case en banc, whether they should reverse their colleagues who decided the case yesterday.
What's interesting is, they did this without being asked by anyone involved in the case. So that means there are at least some of those 26 judges on the full court who are very angry about this opinion and want to overturn it.
ZAHN: Or does that mean they just got tired listening to the radio call-in shows yesterday afternoon for blasting the court as the most liberal in the country?
TOOBIN: And it is true that there are many liberals among those 26 judges, but they are by no means all liberal. In fact, there are some very conservative judges there. So you can be sure there are some judges who object violently to what their colleagues did yesterday.
ZAHN: So walk us through the process.
ZAHN: What happens tomorrow?
TOOBIN: Tomorrow, they'll file briefs.
The 26 judges will vote on whether to review the case. A majority have to say yes. A majority have to say, we want to review the case en banc.
TOOBIN: What that means is, then, a randomly selected 11 of the 26 will then decide the case, will then revisit the case all over again.
Whoever wins, under either scenario, whether the en banc goes forward or it doesn't, will go to the Supreme Court, at least ask the Supreme Court to hear it. So the time is clicking, time is passing, but all this stuff has to happen. ZAHN: So, if you're one of these candidates, you're sort of banking on the fact that there is going to be a delay at least until March?
TOOBIN: I don't think so.
I think you have to operate on the assumption, you have to campaign as if there is going to be an election in October. But I think the 9th Circuit decision yesterday is more likely than not to stand. I think we are more likely than not looking at a March decision. En banc overrule is unlikely. Supreme Court review is unlikely. Both may happen. But I would say the odds at this point favor March, as opposed to October.
ZAHN: And if there were a Supreme Court review, how would that work?
TOOBIN: Well, they would have to decide -- they would have to get briefs, hear a case, and hear argument and decide some time to give the state enough notice to stop the election by October. I mean, that's one of the reasons why I think it's so unlikely, is because the court doesn't like to be rushed. And the calendar is rushing them.
ZAHN: And how much irony do you find in the whole fallout over the Bush vs. Gore set of circumstances and this?
TOOBIN: A lot, a lot, because here you have the Bush vs. Gore, the Republicans' favorite decision perhaps of all time. And here you have these Democratic judges saying: You want Bush vs. Gore? We'll give you Bush vs. Gore. I'm going to cite Bush vs. Gore to give the Democrat in the California governor's race the biggest victory he could ask for.
ZAHN: And one was a Clinton appointee. One was a Carter appointee.
TOOBIN: Two Clinton, one Carter, right. So this is definitely a Democratic panel and it's a decision that benefited the Democrat a lot, citing the Republicans' favorite decision.
ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, thank you so much for helping us better understand that this evening.
We're going to take a short break.
It is the most heavily fortified border in the world. And CNN is there. Coming up: an exclusive look at the dangers facing U.S. troops along the Korean DMZ.
And then a little bit later on: The Utah parents accused of kidnapping their own son are speaking out. In an exclusive interview, I'll be talking with the boy and his family.
Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ZAHN: Welcome back.
The area dividing North and South Korea, the DMZ, is one of the most heavily guarded strips of land on Earth. Journalists are rarely given much access to it, at least until now.
And tonight, Martin Savidge and CNN cameras give us an exclusive access to this very dangerous divide.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These soldiers are about to go hunting for North Korean infiltrators in the DMZ. I'm about to take you where no television camera has ever followed.
U.S. forces guard only four miles of the 151-mile-long demilitarized zone, but their sector has seen some of the most violent confrontations with North Korea. The patrols are regular, but never considered routine. Since the Korean War ended 50 years ago, 1,300 soldiers have died along the DMZ, 90 of them American.
The men move out into a steady rain. Their route will intentionally take them past two North Korean observation posts. The soldiers want to be seen flexing U.S. military muscle. Silence is critical. The only communication is by hand. Out here, the soldiers have a whole laundry list of things to think about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taking mortar fire, taking small-arms fire, getting ambushed.
SAVIDGE: An ambush would be easy here.
As the patrol moves into the tree line, the underbrush is so thick, it threatens to swallow them. The men will tell you they don't worry, but that their families back home do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife, my daughter and my mother.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Do they know you're going on a patrol?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not right now, sir.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The soldiers edge within a few feet of the military demarcation line. But with no fence and only a few old signs, it's hard to tell. And one step in the wrong direction would put them in North Korea, tempting an international incident that could quickly escalate.
This is said to be peak season for North Korean soldiers trying to sneak south. And this is the area they would most likely cross. The men settle in to watch and listen. In the end, no one is found. And, in a sense, that may be the clearest indication these patrols work, silently sending a very loud message to the 1.1 million North Korean soldiers watching from the other side, a message that has prevented war for 50 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a show of force. You stay on your line and we'll stay on ours, not to provoke anything, but just to keep that line solid. But they know their place and we know ours.
SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, along the DMZ, South Korea.
ZAHN: Some amazing pictures there.
Coming up: No matter how many Democrats challenge him, is President Bush unbeatable in 2004? We will debate that.
And later on, in an exclusive interview, I'll be talking with the Utah boy at the center of a fight over chemotherapy, after his parents took him across state lines to avoid treatment. It's a fight that could send his parents to jail.
ZAHN: Welcome back.
Here's what you need to know right now.
Hurricane Isabel grinding its way toward the U.S. East Coast; 100,000 people have been warned to flee North Carolina's Outer Banks. The storm could come ashore on Thursday.
The New York Stock Exchange's $140 million man is facing more pressure to resign. The managers of three state pensions funds totaling nearly $500 billion made it clear they would welcome the departure of New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso, under fire for the size of that pay package.
And actor John Ritter's sitcom will go on despite his death. ABC says Ritter's character on "Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter" (sic) will not be replaced.
Tomorrow's top political story's likely to be Retired General Wesley Clark's entry into the 2004 presidential race. Sources tell CNN he will jump in, becoming the 10th Democratic candidate to do so.
Is President Bush unbeatable? To debate that, I'm joined by "Washington Post" columnist E.J. Dionne. He joins us from Washington bureau this night.
And in New York, Kellyanne Conway. She is president of the Polling Company.
E.J. DIONNE JR., "WASHINGTON POST" COLUMNIST: Greetings.
ZAHN: Greetings! E.J., let's start off with some polling that I would love for you to analyze. And in a recent CNN/"TIME" poll, here's what the numbers showed: If the election were held today -- these are the numbers for President Bush over Kerry, Bush over Dean, the president over Gephardt, and finally Mr. Bush over Hillary Clinton. The candidate that comes closest, of course, has repeatedly says she is not running. So is Wesley Clark the Democrat's best hope to beat President Bush?
DIONNE: Well, right now Wesley Clark is like a dream date or a dream job. A lot of people are reading into him all the things they want to read into him, and he has some benefits that some -- he combines things that other candidates don't.
Like John Edwards, he is Southern. Like Howard Dean, he was against the war. Like John Kerry, he has military experience. And in his case, he was a general. These are all great potential assets, and we're going to see, I think, fairly quickly, if those assets are matched by a kind of political scale.
But to go to the question of the show, I think those numbers do show President Bush as vulnerable. Hillary Clinton is really the only of one of these Democrats who has a well-known name; 50-46 looks like a pretty close race to me.
ZAHN: Kellyanne, can anybody currently in the pack among the Democrats beat President Bush?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, PRES., THE POLLING COMPANY: Well, certainly someone can beat President Bush. And thank God the White House runs as if that President Bush is vulnerable. We recognize that three times in a row now, we as a country have elected our president with less than 50 percent of the vote. That's even twice for Bill Clinton, 43 percent and then 48 percent in 1996.
So we are a polarized country. I, for one, am glad the president's approval ratings have calmed down to a less inflated level, because it just puts a more realistic perspective on things.
The fact is, though, Paula, as each Democrat jumps into the race, it actually shouts the weakness of the Democratic Party, because a party's strengths is not the sum of all its parts. Unless you're making some kind of patchwork quilt, then what 's the point of having all these candidates in the race. You can't add them all together and then make a candidate out of them. You can't play Mr. Potato Head and Play Dough with these folks.
And the other thing I would mention is that Bush is above the 50 percent mark against all of these candidates. That is a very important insight. And the other thing I would say that he is doing poorest when he is faced with a -- quote -- "unnamed generic Democrat." But eventually, the Democrats are going to have to fill in that blank with a name and a face.
ZAHN: Well, E.J., how much of a problem is that for the Democrat? They seem to be more passionate in their opposition of President Bush than they are passionate in favor of a single candidate at this point. Is that a problem?
DIONNE: Well, you know, and sometimes the power of negative thinking works better than the power of positive thinking. One of the most successful slogans always "Throw the bums out." And I think if you look at the Republican Party, President Bush did as well as he did in the 200 election in part because he had a nice personality and all of that
But it was also because the Republicans revved up their base against Bill Clinton. There was an intense dislike on the part of the Republican base, not the whole country, against Bill Clinton. I think what you're seeing now is almost exactly that same phenomenon on the Democratic side. There was a very broad section of Democrats, not just liberals, but also moderate, really dislike the president. That creates some energy. It's why Howard Dean Was able to raise all that money on the Internet. You can't raise that kind of money without energy. And sometimes energy is negative energy.
ZAHN: Kellyanne, I still --- I can't understand why you're happy the approval ratings have come down to what you said is a more realistic level.
But let me throw this one out to you. I want you to react a little bit of what the vice-president had to say about how much is at stake for the president with his war on terrorism. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This president is betting his presidency on the importance of fighting the war on terror, of recognizing that 9/11 changed everything, of adopting a strategy that's going to make this nation safer and more secure for our kids and grandkids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: In your judgment, how risky of a bet was that to make? Kellyanne?
CONWAY: It's a very consistent statement with the way that this administration is viewed and what policies seem to be most important to them and most closely tied.
I would say that anyone who believes that the American people bifurcate in their minds economic security from international homeland security is probably a little bit wrong-headed. And, so many of the political elite Well say, gee, why in the world is Vice-President Cheney only talking about the war on terror when people are losing their jobs and economic security is woeful?
I do agree with that assessment, because we have to talk about security in terms of both kitchen table financial security and also keeping our homeland and our borders secure, but...
ZAHN: All right. CONWAY: ... the vice-president's -- I think his language matches what the president has said about what his -- what the main centerpiece of his presidency is about.
And listen, he didn't ask for this. 9/11 was visited upon him and the rest of us. He sort of inherited this very early in his presidency.
ZAHN: E.J., let me come back to the issue of Wesley Clark, and what so many Democrats have told me tonight -- that he gives the Democrats some sort of inoculation against this charge that they're weak on national security.
DIONNE: Well, I think that the Democrats have faced that charge off and on going back to the early '70s. And so I think if you're going to have 10 guys on the stage, even if Wesley Clark is not the nominee, it's awfully good for one of those people on the state -- for the Democrats -- to be a general. And also because he opposed the war, he has a stronger ground on which to do that in the eyes of a lot of people because of his military experience.
And I just want to agree with Kellyanne on one thing. I think she's right that you really can't just say cleanly Americans vote either on homeland security or on the kitchen table security. I agree with her entirely that the winner of this race is going to have somehow figure out how to pull the two together.
CONWAY: And Wesley Clark has no political experience, though. And I can't wait to dust off all of the people who are saying Schwarzenegger shouldn't be governor, because he's not specific. He has no political experience. I can't wait to then ask them why they're so then excited about Wesley Clark.
DIONNE: Being a general and leading troops and having to deal with the U.S. government, I think, is a little different from dealing with Hollywood producers.
CONWAY: It worked for Eisenhower, but he was a Republican.
DIONNE: He was a great president.
ZAHN: All right you two, we're going to have to leave it there. E.J. Dionne and Kellyanne Conway...
CONWAY: Thank you.
ZAHN: Thank you very much for your time.
Coming up, parents under fire for refusing to give their 12-year- old son chemotherapy. We're going to be talking live with the family, including an exclusive with their son.
And do schools have any place grading your kids on their weight? Well, it's happening in Arkansas. And Dr. Drew Pinsky will join us for that.
And tomorrow, Oscar winner Michael Caine joins us to talk about his celebrated film career and new movie he has out.
We'll be right back.
ZAHN: The parents of 12-year-old Parker Jensen just don't believe their son has cancer, like doctors say, but it's a belief that could land them in jail. In a moment, we'll speak with the boy's family and even an exclusive with Parker himself, but first here's how we got to this point.
ZAHN (voice-over): Last May, a doctor at Primary Children's Medical Center in Utah diagnosed 12-year-old Parker Jensen with Ewing's Sarcoma a deadly and extremely rare form of cancer. The doctor wanted to start parker on chemotherapy, but the boy's parents, concerned about possible side effects, wanted more tests.
DAREN JENSEN, PARKER'S FATHER: We just want to know, for sure, that we're making the right decision as parents. That shouldn't be taken away from us.
ZAHN: The doctor eventually called child services to filed a neglect form, because the family refused treatment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to the doctors, this cancer acts like a time bomb in his body. It can metastasize at any time.
ZAHN: But the Jensen's say the hospital got in the way of their attempts to get a unbiased second opinion. They ignored a court order to place Parker in state custody and took their family to Idaho where Parkers grandparents lived. That's when authorities charged the parents with kidnapping.
KENT MORGAN, SALT LAKE CO. DEPUTY D.A.: We do this, because if we don't do it, if we don't take control and custody of that child, the child will be facing severe danger and may die.
ZAHN: Last week the Jensen's returned to Utah and agreed to take parker to another doctor and follow that physicians recommendation.
ZAHN: Well, that doctor has already said Parker likely needs chemotherapy, but a final recommendation is yet to come. If the Jensen's don't follow his advice, they risk losing their son to the state.
From Salt Lake City tonight I'm joined now by Parker's parents, Barbara and Daren, Jensen.
And in an exclusive I'm joined by Parker himself.
And Utah representative LaVar Christianson also joins us. He represents the families district Welcome to you all. Glad to see all of you.
Mr. Jensen, first of all, what decision will your family make if these latest test indicate that your son should have chemotherapy?
What will you do?
D. JENSEN: That's been the question all along, and again we want to find out what our son really has. And this is an issue of really knowing. It's a lifelong decision we have to live with. So, we have to know for sure.
ZAHN: But if they tests come back and confirm there is indeed active cancer, what do you think you'll end up doing?
D. JENSEN: I think that's something that because cancer is of a personal nature, that's something we need to work with the doctor and determine what's best for our son.
ZAHN: Parker, how are you getting through all of this, physically and emotionally?
PARKER JENSEN, DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER: Well, I feel really good, but I also feel frustrated. The state has torn us apart and they have -- they're making us do stuff that we don't agree to, and that we don't want to do.
ZAHN: But throughout this whole challenge, Parker, you've had to face the possibility that you would lose your family. If a doctor comes and says he believes you really do need -- on a second opinion -- to have chemotherapy, would it be worth it to do the chemotherapy to keep your family together?
P. JENSEN: Well, it should be my choice. It's my life, obviously, and so I should get to choose whether I want chemotherapy or not.
ZAHN: Are you mad about the situation you're in?
P. JENSEN: I'm very mad at this.
ZAHN: And who are you angry with?
P. JENSEN: The state and the doctor that got us into all this, and then he just left. And so I'm really mad at him, and...
ZAHN: Are you scared?
P. JENSEN: A little bit.
ZAHN: Mrs. Jensen, I know you have a lot of fears on your plate as well. You've had several medical institutions and doctors agreeing that chemotherapy is probably the best way to treat your son.
Why do you so strongly disagree with what they're telling you? BARBARA JENSEN, PARKER'S MOTHER: Well, it's really not about the treatment that they're telling us, it's that they refuse to give us any options whatsoever. That's wrong. They want to go from a to z, and nothing in between, and that's what's frustrating to me.
ZAHN: And what do you think is behind that?
B. JENSEN: You know, I really don't know what's behind it. I don't know why they won't help me, because it's about Parker. I wish they would take that into consideration. They can't find any cancer in Parker's body. That's what's the frustrating thing. They want to give him chemotherapy for something that's not there.
ZAHN: I have heard, Mr. Jensen, that at certain points in this battle, you've gone as far as to say there might be a conspiracy among these doctors.
Do you still feel that way?
D. JENSEN: I wouldn't call it a conspiracy, but I know that every time we've attempted to get a second opinion, events have unfolded that have impeded that progress. All we want to do is find out what our son has, and have confirmation on that where we're comfortable to decide to go forward.
ZAHN: Mr. Christensen, where does this case go from here?
LAVAR CHRISTENSEN, UTAH STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I'm concerned about what the Jensen's are going there. I support them. As you can see, they're a wonderful family, a caring set of parents that have exhausted this matter, but I intend here in Utah to present new legislation in form of a clean up bill, that will correct many of the deficiencies in the child welfare statutory system, that creates this type of potential for injustice. Sadly the statutes in other states are very similar, so their situation is not uncommon throughout America.
ZAHN: Well, this has certainly been a fascinating story to watch. And we are keep our attention focused on it.
Representative Christensen, and Barbara, Daren and Parker Jensen, thank you all for coming in tonight. And good luck to you.
And when we come back, trying to do something about the problem of overweight kids.
Can a controversial program help or will it only make some kind more aware they are different?
Also trying to be fashionable. We are going to look at some fashion statements -- after this.
ZAHN: Now on to one state's controversial strategy to battle the epidemic of obesity among American children. Arkansas is testing every school age child and sending home report cards on weight to make parents aware of the problem.
Joining me now is the diction expert is Doctor Drew Pinsky. He's the medical director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at Las Encinas in Pasadena and author of "Cracked, Putting Broken Lives Together Again, a Doctor's Story." Always good to see you, Dr. Drew.
DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Thank you, Paula. Thanks for having me.
ZAHN: Thank you. First all, what business does the state have in getting involved with grading kids on their weight?
PINSKY: Well, I think we have to form a partnership. Listen, one of the fundamental philosophies that I adhere to is that the rights, the fundamental right that a child has to expect that they're going to be taken care of. The big people need to take care of little people. And we need to form partnerships between states, school, parents to do the things that kids need to live and become healthy.
Now, we all know that obesity has become a very, very issue, so why shouldn't we have, why shouldn't we have ways of screening for alerting parents, alerting even kids that they may have a problem?
ZAHN: Well, what you hear from a lot of parents, who think this is a nutty idea, is that this has a potential of really eroding a kid's self-esteem and part of the problem of their being overweight has to deal with self-esteem issues.
PINSKY: Right. Of course.
ZAHN: ... and I know the American Academy of Pediatrics has not come out with an official statement on this, but we did get to Dr. Nancy Krebs, who is co-chair of their task force, on obesity, and this is what she had to say: "You're setting up kids to feel bad about how they are, and you don't want kids feel that their self-worth is based on their weight, or their body mass index." Doesn't she have a point there?
PINSKY: Of course she has a point. And we absolutely do not want kids to feel bad about this, but think of the things we do with children. We subject them to sort of public displays of their athletic prowess with the president's physical fitness. I mean, my kids talk all year about how many pullups they could or couldn't do. Well, I'll tell you, the overweight kids are the most discouraged about that test, and they -- it's done publicly.
Now, the body mass index is thought to be something that they are going to send to the parents to alert them. I don't know of any objective evidence that this has a deleterious effect on kids. In fact, the only study I've heard of had a positive effect. It tended to alert parents. They need to encourage their kids to eat more appropriately, to engage in some exercise. I don't understand why we shouldn't be doing this. It's like...
ZAHN: But here's a question, Drew. You know when your kid comes home over a period of months if they're 20 or 30 pounds overweight. I mean, isn't that something a parent should know? And shouldn't a parent be doing something about that?
PINSKY: Paula, I couldn't agree with you more, and certainly the kids know when they're overweight. They absolutely do. But this is a way of objectifying and maybe capturing kids who may not understand they have a problem, and again, waking parents up. It's a monitor just like grades. I mean, to say that we might make kids feel bad by giving them an objective monitor, the logic of that says we ought to eliminate all the objective monitors we offer to parents as a way of alerting them their kid may have trouble, and it's not meant to make them feel bad.
The real problem I think the pediatric community has, though, and I think they have a point, is what do you do when you screen. Is there an ethical implication of follow-through when you have discovered somebody with a problem through screening? And I think you're right, you absolutely have an obligation to follow through, and my understanding is Arkansas plans to do so.
ZAHN: And then it leads me to my last question, and that is, what makes you think simply sending this report card home is going to make any difference in the lifestyles of these children and their parents?
PINSKY: Well, that's what needs to be studied. The small study I did see showed that parents who were notified were more apt, in fact by several -- two or three times more likely to intervene on their children's behalf and to encourage them to eat more appropriately. They really, parents, listen, we all have a certainly amount of denial when it comes to our kids, and we may not really have noticed what had happened to them. So this is a way of trying to tackle that problem.
It may not be the best way. Obviously we have kids who worry too much about their weight, and it could inflame some of those issues, but these things need to be studied, and I applaud Arkansas for making an attempts to do so.
They're worried about overloading the system, with having detected too many kids with problems. I think that's the least of their worries. If they actually detect that many problems, they should go after them.
ZAHN: Dr. Drew Pinsky, it's always good to see you. Thanks for dropping by tonight.
PINSKY: Thank you. My pleasure.
ZAHN: When it comes to the world of fashion, it's time to take off the kid gloves. Jeanne Moos takes a look at the new look in handware right after the break.
ZAHN: For the fashionistas of the world, this is one of two very special weeks each year, fashion week in New York, and the top designers are showing off their latest creations with very splashy runway shows, and this fall gloves are the hottest fashion accessory. Jeanne Moos reports that the ultra-stylish are about to be elbow deep in gloves.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This fall, gloves are rising faster than hem lines. From prada gloves in crocodile, to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) stretch limo of driving gloves, to these studded gloves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are from Gucci, and they are huge splurge, they're $500.
MOOS: Eat your heart out, Audrey Hepburn.
They say gloves can perk up any outfit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Glamo-rama-rizing it, you know.
MOOS (on camera): Glamo-rama-rizing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Glamo-rama-rizing, you bet.
MOOS (voice-over): And on top of that, gloves look good on anyone. No matter...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How wide, how thin, you got big boobs, big butt.
MOOS: Even Ellen jokingly offered her own elbow-length gloves on her new show.
ELLEN DEGENERES, TALK SHOW HOST: Anything past the elbow is just plain silly.
MOOS: Yeah, well, how about Ralph Ruchi (ph) elbow-length gloves, without fingers, but with thumbs. It takes an unusual man to elbow his way into this trend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The finest Russian sable. This is not for skiing. This is fashion.
MOOS (on camera): What do you wear it with?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) fashion shows.
MOOS (voice-over): "Vogue" editor Andre Leon Talley has taken to wearing a crocodile glove like a handkerchief.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY, VOGUE: You've got to have a glove.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In your pocket?
MOOS: J.Lo wears them in ads, and warmth obviously isn't the point if they're modeled without clothes.
The editors of the shopping magazine "Lucky" don't discriminate against short gloves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have got neopreen (ph) on the outside, leather on the in. Someone who wants to embrace the trend of fur and metallic may think these are just great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a driving glove that's race car- inspired.
MOOS: Of course, there are drawbacks to gloves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very hard to dial a cell phone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I spend too much money on my nails to want to cover them up.
MOOS: It figures that the way to wear the extra-long gloves is to make them look shorter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crunch, crunch, crunch, yes, you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) down like that.
MOOS: When it comes to the most extreme gloves, you have got to hand it to Dior, even though you'll never get your hands on your own pair on Dior latex gloves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Made just for the runway. So this is something you'll never see in the stores.
MOOS: Instead of latex, settle for playtex at $2.50 a pair.
(on camera): Sort of finished off my jacket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does. It's about the color. You beautifully try it (ph).
MOOS (voice-over): Playtex gloves even sport the designer logo.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ZAHN: I'm not caving in. Get used to these.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight. We'll be back tomorrow night. Good night.
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