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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Interview With Arianna Huffington; Interview With Senator John Edwards

Aired October 3, 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: Four days to go, and the Schwarzenegger campaign is fighting off another allegation about his past. Did he mean what he said about Hitler, or is he getting smeared by his political opponents?
The future of Donald Rumsfeld: On top during the war in Iraq, now, with continuing casualties and no exit in sight, will he be able to quiet his critics?

And he's a master of political mimicry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

DARRELL HAMMOND, COMEDIAN: The lockbox would also be camouflaged.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Tonight, "Saturday Night Live"'s Darrell Hammond joins us live.

Good evening and welcome. Thanks for wrapping up the week with us here.

Also ahead tonight: Rush Limbaugh was back on the air on his radio show, defending himself and offering no apologies. Will he be able to recover from this controversial week?

And an intimate interview with Democrat John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, on marriage, family and life as a presidential candidate.

And our British connection, Richard Quest, on a mission to find out what Americans really think of Brits.

First, here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

The State Department has issued a memo asking senior staff not to destroy any documents related to possible media leaks. The memo comes as the Justice Department launches an investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative to the media.

An appeals court has ruled that families of victims of the September 11 attacks will not be able to tap into Iraqi funds frozen by the U.S. The decision upholds a ruling last month that that money is needed to rebuild Iraq. Back in May, a judge ruled that the families had shown a link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden in the World Trade Center attacks.

And NASA has set a target date of next September for the next space shuttle launch. The agency originally said it was aiming for a spring launch.

Now on to the California recall and what Arnold Schwarzenegger did or did not say about Hitler. "In Focus" tonight: the filmmaker who interviewed Schwarzenegger more than 25 years ago and heard those comments firsthand.

Peter Davis joins us from Maine tonight.

Welcome, sir. Good of you to join us.

PETER DAVIS, FILMMAKER: Good to be with us, Paula.

ZAHN: So, Peter, let's review what Arnold Schwarzenegger is alleged to have said to you in an interview as you were preparing for the filming of the documentary "Pumping Iron."

On the screen right now, the quote you're looking at comes from the producer George Butler -- I guess your co-producer. He used them in a book proposal. The first part: "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."

It goes on to say -- well, let me make this clear. George Butler has now told "The New York Times" that he found another transcript of that interview, which quotes him as saying this: "I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for his way of getting to the people and so on, but I didn't admire him for what he did with it."

Which one of those matches your recollection?

DAVIS: Well, to the best of my recollection, Paula -- and the interview was over 27 years ago, when Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was about 27 -- he said to me during the interview that his first hero had been Hitler.

And he almost was shaking his head at himself at the time, and essentially went on to say -- and I say essentially, because I don't have a transcript -- that: As soon as I woke up, as soon as I came to my senses, my hero was John F. Kennedy. Well, he was only 13 years old when Kennedy was elected, so I think we could easily conclude that Hitler had been a hero to him when he was perhaps 8 or 9, and following the lead of his own father, who was a police chief and a very strict man in Graz, Austria, and had himself been a member of the Nazi Party once.

So I don't think that, of all the 37 reasons not to elect Arnold Schwarzenegger governor of California, that this is one of them.

ZAHN: Let me ask you if you remember this. According to ABC News, Arnold also said, during that interview, that he wished that he could have an experience like -- quote -- "like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium and have all those people scream at you and just be in total agreement with what you have to say."

Do you remember him saying that?

DAVIS: I don't remember anything as specific as that, and yet I don't doubt, if it appeared in George Butler's book proposal, that he said it.

ZAHN: And I know you described to us tonight the perspective and how these quotes came out. At any point when you were listening to him, did you cringe?

DAVIS: Well, I winced when he said that about Hitler. But, as I say, he followed it -- very quickly, he followed it up by saying that his next hero, the person he most admired was John F. Kennedy. And he, at that time, knew no one in the Kennedy family, much less the woman he would one day marry, Maria Shriver.

He hadn't met any of them, and yet he had already, early in teen age, long before he talked to me, conceived quite an admiration for John F. Kennedy.

ZAHN: Final question for you. There was a sizable advance for this book. The book never got written. The outtakes are gone. Do you have an explanation for either one of those things?

DAVIS: I don't have an explanation, but I think that's the best question.

The real question for candidate Schwarzenegger, I think, is, why did you pay over $1 million for a no longer marketable film and all its outtakes? Why did you do that? And is there any connection between an author getting a half million dollar advance, or signing a contract for a half million dollar advance, and then dropping that advance, giving up an advance on a book that he himself had promoted and hoped to get an advance on, any connection between that and your political career?

ZAHN: Well, in asking those two questions, if one were to read between the lines, it sounds like you believe there's a dicey answer to those questions.

DAVIS: I don't know what the answer is, but those are the questions I would be asking the candidate.

ZAHN: Peter Davis, appreciate your dropping by this evening to share your part of the story with us.

DAVIS: Thank you very much, Paula.

ZAHN: Now for Arnold Schwarzenegger's other problem, published allegations from six women accusing him of groping them or making unwanted sexual advances. Today, a number of women took their stories before television cameras, among them E. Laine Stockton, who describes something she says happened in a gym in 1975 when she was just 19 years old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

E. LAINE STOCKTON, SCHWARZENEGGER ACCUSER: Why should a woman get violated? It was a violation. I didn't know him personally. And even if I knew you personally, I wouldn't expect you to fondle me like that, to handle my person like that.

I personally do not accept his apology, because he did this to each of us, person to person, in a public place. Therefore, I feel personally that he should either write or speak to me personally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So, of course, when you hear any of these charges about groping, you wonder how this is all playing with California voters.

Joining me from Los Angeles tonight is political commentator Arianna Huffington. She pulled out of the governor's race this week, urging voters to say no to the recall. Also in Los Angeles is Julie Vandermost, president of the California Women's Leadership Association.

Welcome to you both.

Julie, hearing these very specific allegations coming from some of the women who claim they were victimized by Arnold Schwarzenegger, has it softened your support of his candidacy?

JULIE VANDERMOST, CALIFORNIA WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP ASSOCIATION: Absolutely not.

And this is something that happened years and years ago. We -- I don't think it has anything to do with the kind of governor this man is going to become. I've been out all week helping the campaign on a leave from my office. And there are thousands of people -- there were thousands of people at an Orange County rally yesterday, for example. Arnold has been able to energize the state of California like no other politician I ever remember.

ZAHN: All right, but let me ask you this. Some of the allegations weren't so recent. Some went back just several years. Would you agree, Julie, that no woman should be touched anywhere on her body without consent?

VANDERMOST: Absolutely.

But I still don't think it means anything to Arnold's governorship. I think he's going to be an excellent governor. I think that there have been mistakes made in the past. He's come out and apologized. That's all you can when you make a mistake. That's what I do when I make a mistake. And I think we have to focus on what's really at hand here, Paula, which is, the state of California is hemorrhaging.

We are getting barraged by regulations out of Sacramento on what seems to be a daily basis. And the tripling of the car tax by Governor Gray Davis is really the last straw for us Californians. And we're not going to take it anymore.

ZAHN: Arianna, come back to the first part of what Julie said, that people can change. Do you buy that?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FORMER CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, absolutely people can change.

But, Paula, what we have here is a pattern that goes much beyond the relationships with women. It really affects everything that has been said by Schwarzenegger. And there's this contradiction between the image, the multimillion-dollar image that has been built, and the reality, not just on women, on the environment, when he came out as an environmentalist and then suggested that we should perhaps abolish the California Environmental Protection Agency, or special interests, when he said he would not take any money from special interests and in fact has taken millions from big polluters, big developers, all sorts of interests that will want a payback when he gets to Sacramento, if he gets to Sacramento.

ZAHN: All right.

HUFFINGTON: And one more thing, Paula, which is the fact that he talks about balancing the budget, but promises not to increase taxes and has given us no idea how he's going to do it. So there's a lot of fantasy here.

ZAHN: Let's talk, though, about the latest allegations that have been raised. And Mr. Schwarzenegger's supporters are saying that you can't ignore the timing of this.

Are you convinced that none of the folks challenging Schwarzenegger had anything to do with this, the timing of this? We acknowledge "The Los Angeles Times" was working on this story for seven weeks, but even the latest Hitler allegations?

HUFFINGTON: Well, actually, Paula, it's not whether I'm convinced or not. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who led the investigation for "The L.A. Times" said in his story that he had had no contact with any of the other campaigns and that none of these women came to him, that he sought them out. So that's pretty unequivocal.

ZAHN: Julie, the final word tonight on how you think this is all going to play with players? I know you talked about the turnout, but, obviously, you have heard outrage from a lot of women in California about these charges.

VANDERMOST: Actually, I personally have heard from a lot of women who are outraged that this kind of thing is happening in the last four of five days of the campaign.

We expect to more of it coming out of Gray Davis, as he is desperate, as we lead up into Tuesday. And my friends are very upset and are even more entrenched in endorsing Arnold. And, in fact, some of those who were undecided are now saying they're going to support him because they're tired of what Gray Davis is trying to do here. ZAHN: We're going to have to leave it there this evening.

Julie Vandermost, Arianna Huffington, thank you for spending a little time with us this evening.

HUFFINGTON: Thank you.

VANDERMOST: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: And more ahead on Arnold Schwarzenegger and what this will all mean to his campaign, with just four days to go.

Also: Should the secretary of defense be on the defensive?

And the man who does Rumsfeld better than Rumsfeld himself, "Saturday Night Live"'s Darrell Hammond.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA SHRIVER, WIFE OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: So, in the end, in these final 48, 72 hours, you can make a decision. You can listen to all the negativity and you can listen to people who have never met Arnold or who met him to five seconds 30 years ago, or you can listen to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Maria Shriver fiercely defending her husband earlier today.

We want to talk about all the controversy swirling around Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"TIME" columnist and regular contributor Joe Klein joins us for more.

Good evening.

JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi.

ZAHN: How much do you think Maria helped the gubernatorial candidate today?

KLEIN: Some.

It wouldn't be a campaign with these sort of accusations if there wasn't some sort of Kennedy around somewhere. Isn't that the case? This is an amazing end to this campaign, which, thank God, will end in only four or five days.

ZAHN: Do you see any of this as being politically inspired? We know "The L.A. Times" has been working on this investigation for many, many weeks now. Many of the allegations that surfaced in its piece are things we have heard before in "Vanity Fair" pieces. Even some of this Hitler information has been hinted at before.

KLEIN: Right.

Well, the timing really is pretty suspicious. And this can go one of two ways. Either Arnold's supporters will be more likely to vote for him, because they see a conspiracy against him, or it will cause them to pause when they go into the voting booth and say, do we really want this rowdy, muscle-bound actor to solve our problems in the state of California?

But I don't know which way it is going to go. And I don't think anybody does. You see the changes in the polls. And they're all within the margin of error. We don't know who's going to come out and vote.

ZAHN: We had sound of Arnold Schwarzenegger fiercely defending himself last night, of course, denying saying anything of these specific things about Hitler. Do you buy into the accounts that we've heard this evening from the co-author of what would have been a book proposal and who ended up doing the treatment for "Pumping Iron"?

KLEIN: Well, here's what we know about Arnold Schwarzenegger.

His father was a Nazi sympathizer. He hated his father. I think it's entirely unlikely that Arnold was a Hitler admirer. I think that it's true that he would say all these outrageous things to be part of this outrageous bodybuilding community. And, by the way, when you see pictures of him back then, it's kind of grotesque, isn't it?

ZAHN: Well, I don't know, Joe.

KLEIN: What is that about?

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: ... thinks he looked pretty good.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: American politics has come to this? My God.

The interesting thing about this, though, is the transition. If Davis loses, and if Schwarzenegger or anybody else is elected, but especially Schwarzenegger, it is going to be a very quick transition. He is going to be governor on Wednesday. He is not going to have the traditional two months that a governor has to put together an administration, to start developing policies.

ZAHN: I want to close off tonight with Rush Limbaugh. He went back on the air today, offered no apology and very little in the way of explanation in responding to some of the allegations against him. Where do you think that story is going to play out?

KLEIN: Well, I guess this is my night to defend the needy.

Rush Limbaugh had an ear problem. He was in a lot of pain. I wouldn't be surprised if this drug addiction came as a result of that.

ZAHN: In fact, he talked openly on the air shortly after that surgery, saying that he was pumped full of pills because of what he was going through.

KLEIN: Right.

But I would hope that this guy, who jumped on every -- every time a liberal had a hangnail, this guy would jump on it. I would hope that he would be a lot more tolerant of people's foibles in the future.

ZAHN: I know you're going to be a very busy man this weekend as you get ready for the California recall. Thanks for dropping by. And we'll be checking in with you a lot next week, Joe Klein.

Suicide, drug abuse and despair. We're going to look at how one author was able to overcome his family's demons and realize his own dreams of happiness.

Plus, my conversation with Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth. Find out what he says is the hardest thing about running for president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: From the depths of despair to the heights of personal redemption, in short, is the story of novelist James Brown. His new memoir, "The Los Angeles Diaries," follows the twists and turns of the tragic life he left behind.

Charles Feldman has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a ghost story, and James Brown should be dead. That he is not is a remarkable tale of perseverance in the face of staggering loss and tragedy. In his soul-searching memoir, "The Los Angeles Diaries," the novelist recounts his life story, a story that begins with the memory when he was 5 of his mother setting a fire to a building in San Jose, California.

(on camera): What was that like, that experience with your mother?

JAMES BROWN, AUTHOR, "THE LOS ANGELES DIARIES": Well, that act that was committed ultimately set into motion a series of events that fractured and, in many ways, destroyed our family.

FELDMAN (voice-over): Brown writes, his mother goes to prison on tax evasion charges. His father, brother and sister are left drowning in debt. When Brown's mother is released, she leaves her husband, taking her children to Los Angeles and to their destruction.

J. BROWN: This is where I've gotten into a lot of trouble and where I developed drug habits and drinking habits. It ultimately led to addiction.

FELDMAN: By age 9, Brown was already hooked.

(on camera): Los Angeles and Hollywood Boulevard in particular were really negative influences in your life. Why?

J. BROWN: I found myself getting in trouble. I was initially, I think, attracted to the kind of so-called glamour that you're supposed to find here. In my experience, there wasn't too much glamour to find. I found the darker side here.

FELDMAN (voice-over): For a while, Brown's older brother, Barry, found success as an actor, even starring alongside Cybill Shepherd in the 1974 movie "Daisy Miller."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "DAISY MILLER")

BARRY BROWN, ACTOR: Forgive me, but would you care to sit down?

CYBILL SHEPHERD, ACTRESS: Oh, I like just hanging around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FELDMAN: But the curse of alcoholism also afflicted Barry Brown. And at the age of 27, he shot himself to death.

J. BROWN: This is where I reclaimed my brother's last personal belongings.

FELDMAN (on camera): And what did it do to your life?

J. BROWN: From this point on, it set me on a more destructive course.

FELDMAN (voice-over): Although James Brown somehow managed to pull together enough to write four novels, marry and raise three boys, his personal demons were unrelenting, made worse still by the suicide of his sister, who flung herself into the concrete bed that once was the Los Angeles River, a scene he imagines in his new book.

J. BROWN: "And you squeeze my hand and let go. And I watch you fall again and again. In my dreams, you are suspended in midair, the wind rushing up around, captured in a moment of flight."

Well, it comes from the genre of nature writing.

FELDMAN: Brown is now a university professor. "The Los Angeles Diaries" is getting rave reviews. He's happy. What turned things around? It happened in South Dakota one day, when he ran out of drugs and faced painful withdrawal.

J. BROWN: I had a moment -- what they call in A.A. a moment of clarity. And I came to realize that there was a possibility of change and it was going to be a hard road, but I was going to start.

FELDMAN: Brown divorced and remarried. He moved to a bucolic setting, miles from L.A. He became more spiritual, although not religious.

And by writing his memoir, he perhaps has finally extinguished the flames he says his mother ignited so many years ago.

J. BROWN: Offer the possibility of change, of hope, that you can have some tough things happen to you in life, and sometimes life can look very dark, but that doesn't mean that you can't rise above and continue on and that tomorrow isn't going to be a little better.

FELDMAN: Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We can all learn from his story.

Is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld feeling the heat? We're going to look at the man and his critics.

And Richard Quest, our man who is usually in London, comes across the pond to investigate American attitudes towards the British.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, we are almost trans- Atlantic cousins. Our governments could hardly be closer. But what do you really think of us? And I'll also have to show you what you should be serving at tea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back to this Friday night.

Here's a story you need to know about and also see. CNN has obtained new pictures from the night former Private 1st Class Jessica Lynch was saved from her Iraqi captors. Just after she was carried out of an Iraqi hospital, a camera recorded the first conversation between Lynch and her rescuers.

Here's an exclusive look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smile for the family?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. You're doing great, Jessica. You're doing wonderful, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just like I told you, OK? We're on a plane now and we're going to go to Kuwait, OK? It's about an hour-and-15- minute flight time, OK? All these doctors are going to be in here the whole time, and I'm not leaving you.

OK. They're going to cut the dressing off your legs, OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Oh, that tugs at your heart, Jessica Lynch the night she was rescued. The former soldier has been honorably discharged from the Army.

A new poll out today has some sobering news for the president. The "New York Times" and CBS News found the public's confidence in his ability to handle a foreign crisis has declined sharply over the last five months. And only 41 percent think the war in Iraq was actually worth the loss of life and expense.

All that puts new focus on the war's architect, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. And as Jamie McIntyre reports, there have been calls for his resignation, and not all of them from the critics you might expect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the wake of September 11, Donald Rumsfeld was riding a tsunami of popularity. His "take no prisoners" handling of the Pentagon press corps made the televised briefings must-see TV.

But now the tough job of imposing order in Iraq, and the failure of the U.S. to find weapons of mass destruction have tarnished Rumsfeld's reputation and emboldened his critics.

Among them a father with four sons in the military, two in Iraq.

LARRY SYVERSON, "WIN WITHOUT WAR": They have failed them, they have failed us all. It is time for them to go starting with Donald Rumsfeld.

MCINTYRE: His critics, including Democrats in Congress and running for president, fault him for inadequate planning for post-war Iraq.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: It's utter nonsense that no plan. There's been very good planning done here.

MCINTYRE: Rumsfeld alienated allies France and Germany Old Europe and has antagonized Congress by stubbornly refusing to even guess how much the war in Iraq would cost.

But under fire, he maintains a confident, even cocky public persona.

(on camera): A while back there you were enjoying rock-star popularity. Now you've got critics taking pot shots at you left and right. Some even calling...

RUMSFELD: It's the season.

MCINTYRE: ...for your resignation. How do you account for that?

RUMSFELD: Well, that's life, isn't it, Jamie? MCINTYRE: At 71, Rumsfeld is well aware the vissicitudes of public life. Once when he was being lionized in the news media, I asked him how it felt. "Those who the gods would destroy," he said, "they must first build up."

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So how much of the heat is Secretary Rumsfeld really taking seriously these days? How much of it is deserved?

Joining me is Leslie Gelb, a former "New York Times" reporter and president emeritus at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Welcome, Les. Good to see you.

I wanted to start off tonight by talking about some of the Democratic candidates who have called for Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation.

Let's start off with an interview I did just a short time ago with John Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Do you think Donald Rumsfeld should be asked to resign?

RUMSFELD: Yes. Absolutely. He did not do the planning. He rushed this to war. He has not listened to the military personnel. Our military is weaker today. They're overextended. He and Mr. Wolfowitz proceeded with false assumptions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Is this a presidential candidate searching for votes, as a number of them have used out at the campaign stump, or is there truth to their criticisms?

LESLIE GELB, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, When Senator Kerry is president, he can fire Don Rumsfeld.

Some of the things he says I agree with. Other things, I think, where Secretary Rumsfeld deserves credit, they don't get mentioned anymore.

ZAHN: And where would those areas be?

GELB: Well I think there are two areas where he's done well have been, first and foremost, putting a little steel in U.S. foreign policy, and convincing the terrorists and other countries that would help terrorists that they have got to watch out for American military retaliation. I think they take that seriously and I think they're afraid, and I think that's good.

ZAHN: How about the post war plan in Iraq, which...

GELB: Terrible.

ZAHN: ...many of his critics have described as disastrous.

GELB: Just terrible.

ZAHN: What could have been done differently?

GELB: Well, you didn't need God-like future goggles to do a better job than the Pentagon did in planning what to do after that war would be over.

They knew they would win a relatively easy military victory. They knew that the post-war would be far more difficult. And yet they did a bad job of thinking ahead.

Let me give you three concrete examples.

ZAHN: Please.

GELB: First of all, they thought they would be greeted like conquering heroes, not occupiers. They were greeted like occupiers. Instead of taking the cautious assumption that an Arab country was not going to like us very much, at least for a while, no matter what we did to them, they took an incredibly optimistic assumption, especially after we told the Shiites 10 years ago to rebel against Saddam after the Kuwait war, and they did, and Saddam crushed them, and we did nothing about it. They never forgot. So they made a terribly optimistic assumption way beyond reason.

Secondly, they thought oil revenues were going to pay for a lot of this war. If they had talked to our own oil executives, who knew exactly what was going on in that country, they would have known we have to put a lot more money into repairing a decrepit system before we got any decent amount of revenues.

And finally, you depose an absolute dictator like Saddam, there's going to be a security vacuum, and we had to be ready on day one to see that people's lives would not be total anarchy.

ZAHN: Who would you have had standing by in the wings? What could the U.S. government have done?

GELB: Well, I think you needed more U.S. troops on the scene to deal with security, and you needed not to disband the Iraqi police. You needed to keep them in being, as we did with the Germans or the Japanese, we kept enough of their soldiers in place to see that there was not a security vacuum, and that there was no anarchy. We needed to do the same thing there.

ZAHN: We're going to have to leave it there. Les Gelb, thank you for your insights.

GELB: Sure.

ZAHN: And we're going to move down to hear another side of the story, to someone who has been one of Donald Rumsfeld's most vocal supporters, Victoria Clarke, of course -- Tori -- who served as spokeswoman at the Pentagon, where the defense secretary was her boss. She's also a regular contributor, joins us from Washington tonight.

Hi, Tori.

VICTORIA CLARKE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi.

ZAHN: First of all, react to some of what Mr. Gelb just said, that Mr. Rumsfeld and his department made some very optimistic assumptions about what they would find post-war in Iraq.

CLARKE: Oh, I think they were very realistic assumptions. And if you go back to what the secretary and others said in the weeks and months leading up to the war, and the many testimonies and briefings they did up there, very often the answer was, Well, we can make some estimates. We can make some estimates based on what we know, and we don't know a lot because we're not on the ground there. We can make some guesses on past behavior was 12 years ago, but you're not always certain they'll act the same.

So I think they were very realistic estimates. And I think there were some aspects of the post-war planning that were handled very well.

One of the most important things was to preserve those oil reserves, not let Saddam Hussein do what he did 12 years ago, which was torch them, not let him blow the dams.

ZAHN: All right.

CLARKE: That was very important post-war planning.

I do think we underestimated, and to a large extent, in some circumstances, just how devastated the infrastructure was there in some ways. We did underestimate the ability of those remaining Baathist elements and other foreigners who were in there trying to sabotage things. I think we underestimated what their abilities might be and their persistence might be.

ZAHN: But that's something Mr. Gelb said that should have been taken more seriously, the prospect of all that, particularly when it came to resistance in the Shia population.

CLARKE: I think he is right about the resentment of the Shia population, the hesitancy on their part to rise up against Saddam Hussein regime this time because of what happened to them. I think he is absolutely right about that.

But there were many parts of the country in which the coalition forces were greeted very, very warmly. There are many parts of the country right now -- in fact, the majority of it, I think about two thirds of it -- in which the Iraqis are working closely with the U.S. and the coalition forces and doing very well in terms of getting that country up and running again.

Not to put a rosy glow on it, but some things are going well, some things are not. And if you take the broad perspective, most of the estimates were pretty realistic.

ZAHN: Finally, to a point you made earlier and I think it was the last point that Les made, and that is the issue, you said, of not being able to fully understand how degraded the infrastructure was in Iraq. Yet Mr. Gelb just basically said that a bunch of oil company executives told the administration that the whole system in place was in terrible shape and you couldn't expect the oil industry in Iraq to ever sort of absorb the cost of reconstruction in Iraq.

CLARKE: I think there were decent estimates about that, but there weren't that many independent eyes and ears on the ground in Iraq. There just weren't.

ZAHN: Tori, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you for joining us tonight.

CLARKE: Good to see you.

ZAHN: Good to see you. Have a good weekend. And I hope to see you next week.

Presidential politics straight ahead. We're going to hear from a current candidate for the White House.

And in fun from someone who's known for playing politicians on TV. Darrell Hammond will be joining us live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. As part of our campaign 2004 coverage we have provided the presidential candidates and their spouses to join us so you can get to know them.

Well, yesterday I spoke with Democratic Senator John Edwards of North Carolina and his wife Elizabeth. I began by asking the Senator what is the hardest thing about running for president?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The hardest part about it has been very clear, which is being away from Elizabeth some of the time and particularly being away from my younger children. My older daughter Kate is in college, and so she and I are used to being apart part of the time, but Emma Clair is five, and Jack is three. The only thing they know is whether you're there. I miss them desperately, I love them very much, and being gone from them is clearly the hardest part.

ZAHN: Have they coined some interesting campaign phrases for you yet?

J. EDWARDS: Actually the funniest thing they do is when they campaign with me, they go out with my John Edwards signs and run around me while I'm speaking. The problem is they hold the signs upside down most of the time. They haven't quite got the sign part down quite yet, but they're having a great time. ZAHN: Senator, I couldn't help but notice that you wear an outward-bound pin everyday. What's the significant of that?

J. EDWARDS: This is my son Wade's outward bound pin. Wade was our oldest child, Elizabeth and I have had 4 children. I mentioned earlier, Kate, who is a senior in college, Emma Clair and Jack, who are 5 and 3 and my oldest son Wade died in an automobile accident 7 years ago and this is his pin, so I wear it.

ZAHN: Do you see your run for presidency as any kind of linkage to your son Wade's legacy?

J. EDWARDS: Wade and I were very, very close. We were attached like this, and we did everything together. We climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro together I coached his basketball team, his soccer team. He worked in my office part time. So he and I were very close.

ZAHN: Let's talk about the dynamics of political marriages. We've seen the gamut run where the candidate's wives have been very involved, others less so. How would you characterize, Elizabeth, your involvement in the campaign and the way you see you fitting into this long term.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, JOHN EDWARDS' WIFE: We always have been completely honest with one another, so I consider my role to be a sounding board for him, and to make sure that the buses run on time at home, that the kids get where they need to be, and everybody's needs are taken care of. That that's my first responsibility.

That said, I was a lawyer for 17 years, and all these issues that he talks about are of tremendous interest and concern to me, just like they are to a lot of mothers all across the country. So I have opinions on these things and I'll express them. He's the guy that gets to decide though, in the end.

ZAHN: And Senator, is Elizabeth the one in your life that you can turn to for absolute, raw candor?

J. EDWARDS: Oh...

E. EDWARDS: How can he answer this with me sitting next to him?

J. EDWARDS: I love her and trust her. She has one of the most extraordinary senses of what's right and what's wrong, and she will always tell me the truth, and just to cut to the bottom line, there's no way I could trust anybody else the way I trust Elizabeth. We are and have been through a lot in the last 26 years. I want her. I could never imagine going through something like this without having her involved in every minute of it.

Even when I'm gone, we talk on the phone 8, 10, 12 times a day sometimes; about the kids, what's happening at home, what's happening on the campaign. No, it's obvious to anybody who knows both of us how incredibly close they are.

ZAHN: He passed that test. Let's share with us what Elizabeth had to say after, as you describe it, a weak performance after you hit the Sunday talk shows for the first time.

J. EDWARDS: Yes, she said, you have to get better. She had very simple advice, you're going to get better, and she was exactly right. That's what I've done.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: If we're smart, we'll all listen to what our spouses say, from time to time.

The sun may never set on the British empire, but what does the averages American think about our British cousins? Well we sent our man Richard Quest to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When an American says to you shove off, you know where he's coming from. When an English person says, would you be so good as to shove off, it almost sounds like a compliment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Clint Eastwood, how you have changed. That was not Clint Eastwood, that was a British citizen.

On Monday, my interview with Oscar winner Clint Eastwood.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Mention Britain, and some people think James Bond, others think mushy peas and curious dental practices, but these days when our minds turn to England we think of our British colleague Richard Quest. So we gave Richard a task with so many British people making their homes in America these days, we asked him to find out what Americans really think about their British cousins. Good evening.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Love.

ZAHN: Welcome to this side of the pond.

QUEST: Winston Churchill, you can never go wrong if you start with Winston Churchill I found in life. He always said there was a special relationship between the Brits and the Americans, no one can hardly deny that our 2 governments have not been closer over the issue of Iraq, but I've been curious about what Americans really think about it.

Most everybody thinks we go around say tally-ho, cheerio, what- ho, words I've never used. So instead, I went to figure out what they think about us.

ZAHN: We'll go with you. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST (voice-over): All right, so being an Englishman in New York is by no means unique. There are plenty of symbols just about everywhere in the city, but the relationship needs analyzing, and that's what we're going to do. Let's first of all look at it from what the Americans think of the British.

A Salt & Battery: here you can buy very acceptable British fish and chips.

(on camera): Yes, regular size, please.

Let's see if she'll take one of these. What you mean? Has got the queen's face on it? Goodbye, your majesty. Hello, Lincoln.

(voice-over): My British money may not work, but at least I will get to find out what Americans think about the British.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans are basically jealous that they don't have the same sort of accent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is accent envy that we have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the accent.

QUEST: In the end, this is all about etiquette.

(on camera): Now, that is good.

(voice-over): The British know Americans often feel on the wrong side of the right way to do things, and play on the stiff upper lip.

Freddy Ross Hancock (ph) is British, and has lived in America for 30 years. She was recently made an MBE, member of the British Empire, by Queen Elizabeth, for her work fostering transatlantic relations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We constantly talk about them as upstarts, because they're only 220 odd years old, and we're the mother country, and the mothers are always tolerant of the young children.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Now, I think the key point about this whole thing is that Americans think we Brits know how to do it properly. Whenever I visit friends, their parents are always wanting to offer (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tea, or some sort of weird and wonderful, all I want is a cup of Lipton's, hot and wet, but I'm sure you, Mrs. Zahn, keep a very good table.

ZAHN: My very favorite. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) chocolate digestives. This used to be a food group for me when I was in England. I paid people to bring these across the border to me. This is so nice of you.

QUEST: Well, I hope you'll be serving those at your table. ZAHN: See, you guys have really good taste in Great Britain. So glad to have you with us in the studio tonight. Enjoy your trip. Richard Quest.

He's not ready for prime time, but tonight Darrell Hammond makes an exception. The "SNL" star joins us to talk about everything from Arnold to Rummy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" kicks off its 29th season tomorrow night. At the same time, comedian Darrell Hammond enters his ninth year on the show. He has had plenty of targets over the years, from President Clinton to Donald Rumsfeld and his famous Pentagon briefings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

DARRELL HAMMOND, ACTOR (as Donald Rumsfeld): Do we plan to cease bombing during Ramadan? I suppose my answer to that would be, I'm not going to tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And Darrell Hammond joins me now.

HAMMOND: You know, back in those days, we were playing him as the sort of delightful curmudgeon, you know, the guy who couldn't help saying what he was thinking. In those days, he was like someone who was trying to land a 747 aircraft and some reporter would yell out, you're not going to hit that bird, are you? He was a really heroic figure, you know, back then, so some of the reports that you are running tonight are kind of stunning to me.

ZAHN: And yet, when you did Donald Rumsfeld at the Emmys, were you kind of surprised by the reaction you got in the first couple of rows?

HAMMOND: What surprised me was the reaction I got when I did interviews with radio stations around the country, and also talked to the writers who had won Emmys, and talked to comedians and friends of mine whose comments were very positive, but standing there looking into the eyes of a Gandolfini or, you know, a David Hyde Pierce, or cast of "CSI," I thought it was stony silence. I really thought they were kind of going to turn on me.

ZAHN: Really?

HAMMOND: Yeah.

ZAHN: You could feel that on stage?

HAMMOND: I could feel it.

ZAHN: What, that your portrayal was too affectionate? HAMMOND: No, I think that the fact that you know, first of all, they're on camera, so they realize they don't want to laugh at something that, you know, the rest of the community might not laugh at. You know, like, wait, you didn't laugh at that joke about the gays, did you? No, that's not right.

And second of all, I think that Rumsfeld would refer to them as sort of lazy and immoral, maybe didn't sit really well. I don't know what it was. You know, I wanted to do well out there, but I left there thinking I probably had disgraced myself, but you talk to other people and they say it's not true.

ZAHN: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a character you have been working on. How's that's coming along? Can you share a little bit of what we might hear tomorrow night? Because we have to stay up really, really late tomorrow night to see you.

HAMMOND: Well, first of all, there's the notion that it won't be on at all and that I have a decision to make with that. So let me say that I'm happy being an employee over there, and they'll tell me what to do.

But second of all, the thing that's fascinating about Schwarzenegger, is that even though his grammar isn't correct and he wouldn't pass, say an oral interpretation class in college, he's actually a much more powerful communicator than people who speak the language, so to speak, better. So he'll string a series of impactful nouns together.

ZAHN: Bring it on, Darrell.

HAMMOND: OK. So he would say something like, I'm asking for your support in the California affair, because now there is the supreme court stopping this, the Clinton judges, remember there was the Lewinsky affair and all of that, the cigar, all of these things, Whitewater -- I mean, this can go on forever -- the last days of Pompeii, the Alien and Sedition Act.

He's actually strung together a series of really impactful nouns and made all sorts of inferences. Now, he didn't actually this, I'm exaggerating, you know, to make an example, but he is able to do that in a way -- you know, each of these nouns is so impactful, he said five paragraphs in seven seconds. It's really -- he's really clever with language.

ZAHN: What else have you picked up on his cadence that you can share with us tonight?

HAMMOND: I think that that's the main thing that I'm looking at. I mean, in the past, you know, all we knew of him and all the audience knew of him was his "Kindergarten Cop," "it's not a tumor," you know what I mean, you know what I mean? Hasta la vista, you know, that sort of monotone thing, sort of "get me out of this hole," but now we're hearing him interviewed on talk shows, and he speaks -- he's actually much more appealing. You know, he's like, where was Gray Davis when jobs were leaving the people up there up in this state and I was making jobs at the Hollywood Planet, and all of these things? Where was he?

ZAHN: You're good.

HAMMOND: You understand what I'm saying?

ZAHN: I do understand what you're saying. Do you miss Al Gore?

HAMMOND: Yes. I hope that -- I hope he likes me. I always felt that maybe he didn't like me that much, but although he's been very nice to me. Because, you know, on the show we sort of tended to play him like, we had him talk like this, you know, and it was just like, he comes up to me and goes, I don't really talk like that.

ZAHN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) everybody. Will you say thanks for joining us tonight, I'm Paula Zahn? You can talk to any camera you're at. It doesn't matter.

HAMMOND: What do you want me to say?

ZAHN: Just thanks for joining us.

HAMMOND: Thanks for joining us tonight.

ZAHN: In the Al Gore's voice.

HAMMOND: With Paula Zahn. Thank you for joining -- oh, come on.

ZAHN: Oh, come on, I tried to set you up. Have a great weekend. Good luck tomorrow night.

Thank you all for being with us. We hope you'll be back with us Monday night. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. We'll see you Monday.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

John Edwards>


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