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Veteran's Day Politics: How Much Does Military Service Matter?; The Union Label and Election 2004

Aired November 11, 2003 - 15:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: Veterans Day, 2003. President Bush honors service, past and present, with Iraq war wounds still fresh.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your loved ones served in a good and just cause.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who can take on George Bush and change the direction of the nation? John Kerry.

ANNOUNCER: On the airwaves and on the stump, '04 Democrats challenge the commander-in-chief. Will their own military service matter?

What makes them run? We'll hear from the least likely to succeed in the ultimate political reality show.

DENNIS KUCINICH (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this sounds like a run-up to a version of "Survivor." This could be really interesting.



JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Well, thank you for joining us. You don't have to be a highly paid political strategist to figure out that on Veterans Day it makes sense for presidential candidates to reach out to those who have served, whether it be at Iwo Jima or in Iraq. And if you can tout your own military credentials, all the better.

Four of the nine Democratic contenders are appearing with veterans today, mindful that the conflict in Iraq and the war on terror have made national security a top election issue. And it's no coincidence that John Kerry's campaign chose this day to launch a New ad aimed at using the president's now famous aircraft carrier speech and "Mission Accomplished" banner against him. More on that ahead.

It took a while in office for President Bush's predecessor to appear comfortable at Veterans Day events, but a lack of military service didn't stop Bill Clinton from getting elected. Times, however, have changed. Here's our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): For 10 years after the Cold War ended in 1991, military service no longer seemed to matter much politically. George Bush the elder, Bob Dole and John McCain all had heroic war records. But Americans elected two presidents who never served in a war. September 11 changed all that.

National security is back on the agenda, and military service counts. For two Democratic contenders, it's the essence of their campaigns.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... the best lessons that I learned about being an American came in a place far away from America, on that gun boat that Max referred to in the Mecon Delta.

WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fought in Vietnam as a company commander. I came home on a stretcher. I stayed with the United States Army when other people left the service.

SCHNEIDER: Other candidates are defensive about not having served.

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have as much foreign policy experience as George W. Bush did when he got in the office.

SCHNEIDER: John Kerry has started running an ad contrasting his war experience with Bush's photo op.

ANNOUNCER: Who can take on George Bush and change the direction of the nation? John Kerry, a leader on national security, a decorated combat veteran.

SCHNEIDER: But there's a problem. The issue energizing Democrats right now isn't pro-military. It's anti-war. So candidates who tout their veteran credentials have to somehow jujitsu that into criticism of Iraq.

KERRY: The lesson of Vietnam is that you need to be able to look a parent in the eye if you send their kids to war and be able to say to them, "We tried to do everything possible not to lose your son and daughter."

CLARK: I know that you don't start a military operation if you know what you're doing unless you know how you want it to end.

SCHNEIDER: President Bush does look vulnerable on Iraq. His ratings on Iraq have been dropping. But his ratings on handling terrorism are much higher.

Even though he's not a war veteran, the public trusts President Bush on national security issues. He's had on-the-job training. It's what the U.S. is doing in Iraq now that worries people.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SCHNEIDER: The Democrats can make this a campaign about Iraq. But they have to start out with a candidate who has credibility on national security. It's not the '90s anymore -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.

Well, Mr. Bush used his traditional Veterans Day duties to once again defend his decision to go to war in Iraq and to recognize the price that U.S. servicemen and women have paid. Let's bring in our senior White House correspondent, John King.

John, the president saw this as an opportunity today, didn't he?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: An opportunity, Judy, but more evidence as this day unfolds that urgency is certainly competing with tradition on this Veterans Day. Mr. Bush, as so many of his predecessors, making the short trip from the White House to Arlington National Cemetery, participating, of course, in a tradition of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

In his remarks there, Mr. Bush paid tribute not only to veterans who served in wars past, but also to those serving now in Iraq and Afghanistan and other overseas deployments involving the U.S. military. The president also voiced his condolences to those who will not return, saying that they had died in a good and just cause.

Interesting on this day, though, the president added a second speech here in Washington to the conservative Heritage Foundation, a more political setting, if you will, in which the president offered a much more detailed and much more pointed defense of his policy in post-war Iraq. The president saying Iraq remains a dangerous place, but also insisting that the United States must succeed both in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of the price.


BUSH: The United States will complete our work in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Democracy in those two countries will succeed. And that success will be a great milestone in the history of liberty. The democratic revolution that has reached across the globe will finally take root in the Middle East.


KING: This picture this afternoon at the White House, another reflection of the urgency on what is a federal holiday. Paul Bremer, Ambassador Paul Bremer, the president's point man, the head of the Civilian Coalition Authority in Iraq here at the White House. You see him here emerging from the West Wing.

He was attending a full meeting of the Principals Committee. That is, the senior members of the president's national security team. A senior administration official telling me just a few moments ago the top item on the agenda was the looming December 15 deadline for the Iraqi Governing Council to go to the United Nations Security Council with a deadline and a timetable for not only writing a constitution, but also having democratic elections in Iraq.

But officials here at the White House also conceding another urgent item on the agenda, as Ambassador Bremer makes this hasty trip back to Washington, the security situation in Iraq. What should be done with U.S. forces on the ground? What should be done to accelerate the training of Iraqi forces? One of the questions, of course, whether Ambassador Bremer should reverse, at least in part, one of his earliest decisions, which was to disband the 400,000 member Iraqi army -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Some quick decisions having to be made. All right, John, thank you very much.

Well, let's switch gears now from veterans to another key voting group, organized labor. Tomorrow, Howard Dean is set to formally receive two major endorsements from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers, and from the Service Employees International Union. Just a short while ago, I spoke with SEIU president, Andy Stern, and I asked him why his union waited to present its endorsement to Dean at the same time as AFSCME.


ANDY STERN, PRESIDENT SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION: I think the opportunity to bring some unity to the pro-Dean forces is something worth waiting for. And we're hopeful that Gerry McEntee and his union will join with us in this act of solidarity and, more importantly, to push the Dean campaign forward.

WOODRUFF: Meantime, you've got the leaders of something like 18 other unions that have endorsed Dick Gephardt, Congressman Gephardt, saying he's the one who has been good for labor, he's the one who has been fighting the good fight against NAFTA, that it's Howard Dean who has been a big problem. What do you say to your friends on the other side of labor here?

STERN: I say to them that Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt and many others made their cases to our members. And the good news is the members of SEIU feel very comfortable with Dr. Dean.

We're a healthcare union. He's a doctor. He's delivered healthcare at the bedside, delivered to as governor of the state. And our people feel he's the right person for our union.

WOODRUFF: So when an official who is close to these other unions say literally that Howard Dean has been horrible on trade, what do you say to that?

STERN: Well, I say that Howard Dean actually has a fairly good record on trade. He said that he believes we need to renegotiate the trade agreements. I think he understands what it's like to work every day. He's from a state where people are hard-working. And I think he appreciates we need good American jobs to stay in this country, and he's ready to work for.

WOODRUFF: What about, though, Andy Stern, the split that this represents in organized labor? You have, on the one hand, 18 to 20 unions that have endorsed Dick Gephardt, representing something like five million members. Now, assuming the AFSCME announcement comes, as everyone expects, along with your SEIU -- you have three million members of your unions on the other side. Does this dilute the impact of organized labor?

STERN: Well, I think it somewhat looks like the Democratic Party. I mean, that's what primaries are for, that people come at the issues from different perspectives. But there is one thing I know is true. After this primary, there will be complete unity in this labor movement to defeat George Bush in 2004.

WOODRUFF: So it doesn't bother you at this crucial moment, labor is divided right down the middle?

STERN: Well, I think we'd all like to speak with one voice, but sometimes our members look at these issues very differently. And I think we just accept those consequence.

WOODRUFF: We -- there was a quote today from someone working with Dick Gephardt who said, "Right now, the teamsters have something like 50,000 members ready to go to work for him and have already been working for him in the state of Iowa." AFSCME, SEIU don't have anything like that. Is that a problem for Howard Dean in Iowa?

STERN: I think Howard Dean is going to run his own campaign, has obviously done incredibly well without either of our unions' organized support. But I think having the second largest union in Iowa, the largest union in New Hampshire, which is SEIU, pulling together in a united front, along with the painters union, I think is going to be a big push for Howard Dean in both states.

WOODRUFF: You're very familiar with the criticisms of Howard Dean, that he's too far left, that he's too -- from a small state, not representative, that he's too northeastern or whatever that represents culturally. What do you say to those critics?

STERN: Well, I say to those critics that our union is really all of America. We're a union that has 30 percent people of color. We are in almost every major state in this country. And the good news is that all of our members, from coast to coast and border to border, have said that Howard Dean is the right candidate for them.

I think he has that kind of reach. I think he has that kind of record. And I think he has the kind of ability to be a very good president of the United States.

WOODRUFF: I understand that something like almost 40 percent of SEIU's membership are people of color and minorities. What do you and what do they say about Howard Dean's comments in the last weeks about the Confederate flag and wanting to appeal to Americans who have a Confederate flag on their pickup trucks?

STERN: Well, I think we all agree that there could have been a better choice of words. But the truth is, if you look at what happened in the last election, just last week in the South, the strategy of trying to walk the middle of the road is not a viable strategy for Democrats. And I think Howard Dean is right. We have to go to people and say, you have to vote your economic issues, you have to vote about healthcare, you have to vote about your kids' jobs and education.

You just can't just vote on the flags or on guns or on other issues. So I think Howard Dean is saying the right thing, and he probably could have used some better words.


WOODRUFF: Now, that was -- and again, that was Andy Stern, who is the president of the Service Employees International Union.

Now, checking the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily," '04 Democrat John Edwards is trying to get some traction with a new ad that portrays him as a man with a plan.


SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You deserve to know what my ideas are, what my vision for the country is, and how it is I plan to get there.


WOODRUFF: The spot highlights Edwards' proposals for healthcare, jobs and education. It's now running in Iowa and New Hampshire, where Edwards is stuck in single digits in the recent polls.

Political activists held a "Run Hillary Run" rally here in Washington today, urging Senator Clinton to seek the presidency in 2004. The head of the Draft Clinton Movement says the former first lady is the only Democrat who can beat President Bush.


BOB KUNST, PRESIDENT, HILLARYNOW.COM: The question of Hillary is she's the strongest Democrat. She is the strongest candidate. She's already had eight years in the White House. She knows everybody on the planet.


WOODRUFF: Meantime, our new poll gauges Vice President Cheney's political standing heading into the '04 election. When asked if President Bush should keep Cheney as his running mate, 51 percent said yes, 42 percent said no. And 55 percent of those surveyed say they have a favorable opinion of the vice president.

In presidential politics, being stuck at the back of the pack isn't fun, or is it? Coming up, what drives the '04 underdogs to keep on running?

Plus, women at war. Veterans Day reflections on often unsung heroes. And later...


SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: We're spending 30 hours debating judges when we ought to be passing appropriations bills. There is a great deal of work undone.


WOODRUFF: ... is Congress being paralyzed bipartisan battles?


WOODRUFF: With nine candidates crowding the Democratic field for president, polls show there isn't a great difference, numbers-wise, between some of the leaders and those at the back of the pack. Still, there is a distinct group that make up the so-called bottom-tier candidates.

CNN's Maria Hinojosa looks at what and who they bring to the presidential race.


MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN URBAN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They get the same grand entrances, the same applause, and media limelight. But the question keeps coming up.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS, ABC: Democrats worry that every vote for you in the primaries and caucuses is going to cost the Democratic nominee votes in November.

HINOJOSA: Do the Democratic presidential candidates at the bottom of the polls help or hurt beat president George Bush?

CHUCK TODD, EDITOR, "THE HOTLINE": The other campaigns of the major candidates would say it does hurt the stature, it creates this stature gap that somehow these guys aren't looking presidential. It sort of muddles the entire message of what the National Democratic Party is trying to project.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN "360": Which of you are ready to admit to having used marijuana ?

KUCINICH: No, but I think it ought to be decriminalized.

HINOJOSA: Representative Dennis Kucinich, dead last in a CNN- "USA Today" Gallup poll, says campaigns like his attract and even register voters outside the mainstream, whether they win or not.

KUCINICH: My campaign reaches out and embraces brains (ph), natural law party members, reform party members, libertarians.

AL SHARPTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're in a Vietnam in Iraq. It's wrong. HINOJOSA: That same poll rates Reverend Al Sharpton near the bottom.

SHARPTON: I think my presence makes it a lot more difficult for many of the candidates to move to the right and continue this trend that they call to the cynic, because they know that we're going to unabashedly argue against that.

AMB. CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the clearest alternative to George Bush. I don't look like him. I don't talk like him. I don't act like him.

HINOJOSA: Former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, low in the polls, still landed the endorsement of the National Organization for Women.

BRAUN: ... single parent healthcare reform. I was the first of the candidates to raise the Patriot Act as an issue in the campaign. I think it's helped to -- I've raised issues having to deal with women.

HINOJOSA (on camera): But polling at the bottom doesn't necessarily mean the candidate doesn't affect the outcome. Some smaller polls have Reverend Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun tying or even beating better known candidates. So what effect does that have?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're pulling votes from the candidates in the lead, and in such a way that makes it unclear who truly is the front-runner and ultimately may influence who eventually ends up the nominee.

HINOJOSA (voice-over): But this is a democracy.

KUCINICH: This sounds like a run-up to a version of "Survivor." This could be really interesting.

HINOJOSA: That it will be. Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: All right. Well, coming up on this Veterans Day, a story of courage under some very tough conditions. When we return, we'll speak with the author of "Women at War: The Story of 50 Military Nurses who Served in Vietnam."


WOODRUFF: The thousands of women who have served in the U.S. military are among the veterans being honored by their country today. Author Elizabeth Norman is an expert on some of these women in uniform. Among her works, "Women At War: The Story of 50 Military Nurses who Served in Vietnam." She's with me to talk more about these women who have served their country in a time of war.

Elizabeth Norman, what should people know about these women? ELIZABETH NORMAN, AUTHOR, "WOMEN AT WAR": These women were able to function, survive and thrive in what is essentially a very -- up until recently, a very masculine world. They did their job. They stayed on their posts, and they served as well as men. But because combat's always been a man's world, the women were disregarded and dismissed, and very invisible until most recently.

WOODRUFF: Well -- and I wanted to ask you about that. Most of them were nurses, is that right, from Vietnam?

NORMAN: Yes, in Vietnam, the vast majority of women were nurses, but there were also women in other service sectors and civilian women over there too.

WOODRUFF: You mentioned their story wasn't -- they weren't really known about, talked about. Is that because they were in a service position? They were unseen, unappreciated, or what?

NORMAN: Well, women had been much -- it's more than that. It's that the military has always been a man's world. And women didn't fit the picture. So they were really disregarded. And it was felt by people, not the men who were in war, but other people that their service wasn't as important nor as dangerous nor as significant as the men, when, in fact, you talk to any man who has been in a war zone, particularly those who have been injured, and they would certainly disagree.

WOODRUFF: What kind of women are they?

NORMAN: The women who have served in war, what's amazing about them, are a true cross-section of America. They're not much different than you and me. Many of the nurses of course came from Middle class homes, but they really represented every geographic, every ethnic, every religious group in this country. There's a myth going around that they were a little harder and stronger than the average woman, but they're really not.

WOODRUFF: How did their serving in a time of war affect them? Did they remain in the nursing profession after the war? Did they just want to get out and do something different? What happened?

NORMAN: The war, for these women, was very much like men. It was the focal point of their lives. Nothing was the same after because they'd seen really the best and worst of human kind.

And it's a mixed bag. When they got home, many of them stayed in nursing with the confidence that they'd seen the worst that they could see and nothing could come in. And they were fine nurses.

Others had seen too much and preferred to find other aspects of supporting themselves. But the majority stayed nurses. Some in the military and some became civilians.

WOODRUFF: Why did you want to write about them?

NORMAN: I'm a nurse. I was very interested in the inner section of nursing. And our main code is to save lives in a war, where the main code is to kill. I was very interested in how they came together.

I'm also the daughter of a female veteran. My mother served in World War II, and I was very affected as a young girl growing up, hearing her stories in the service.

WOODRUFF: Was she a nurse as well?

NORMAN: She was in the Coast Guard. So that's where my own personal interest came.

WOODRUFF: You must have heard many stories from her.


WOODRUFF: Elizabeth Norman, and the book is "Women At War: The Story of 50 Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam." Thank you very much for coming by this Veterans Day.

NORMAN: Thank you for having me.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

NORMAN: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

Well, from Medicare to energy to judicial nominees to Iraq, the temperature is rising on Capitol Hill. Will partisan politics bring Congress to a standstill?

Plus, Granite State voters talk about getting rid of the primaries. Could it be? We'll have the latest score out of New Hampshire.



ANNOUNCER: A bitter battle under the dome. Will a partisan fight over the president's judicial nominees bring the Senate to a standstill?

SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: Unfortunately, we were able to make no progress on that bill.

ANNOUNCER: She hopes to become Louisiana's first female governor. He hopes to become the nation's first governor of Indian descent. Either way, history will be made in the battle in the Bayou.

Is Tom DeLay cruising for another controversy? Will New York's mayor try to sink the House majority leader's plans? We've got our eyes on a Big Apple battle.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said today he's trying to stay above some very personal attacks on his leadership. But steering clear of the partisan fray has become quite a challenge on Capitol Hill. Some contend that Senate business has taken a back seat to bickering.

As our congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl explains, it may be a federal holiday, but the slowdown has nothing to do with Veterans Day commemorations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate will observe a moment of silence.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silent senators. Now, that's a rare sight these days. As Congress tries to wrap up its work, insults are flying. In one particularly colorful outburst, John Dingell, considered the dean the House, said, Democrats are like mushrooms. We're kept in the dark and fed horse(blank)." Of the Republicans, he said, "There's no end to the rascality of these flinty hearted bastards."

His big complaint is Democrats have been frozen out of Medicare and energy negotiations. Republicans are angry too.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Callow, petulant characterizations have been direct the at our leader.

KARL: He's complaining about No. 2 Democrat Harry Reid who called Republican Leader Bill Frist "a rank amateur who has turned the Senate floor into a carnival."

Reid later apologized for the rank amateur comment but was so upset by Frist's leadership that he brought the Senate to a halt Monday by speaking for nearly nine hours straight.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY WHIP: Don't think that we can just be pushed around with no say in what goes on around here because we have say in what goes on around here.

KARL: And the work of the Senate will ground to halt on Wednesday as Republicans set aside 30 straight hours to complain that Democrats have stymied the president's judicial nominations.

SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: It is unwise and unconstitutional and we're going to try to point that out.

KARL: And this comes after the Senate Intelligence Committee has been paralyzed by a furor over a Democratic memo that outlined a political strategy for the investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq. FRIST: Those responsible for this memo appear to be more focused on winning the White House for their party than on winning the war against terror.


KARL: Now, as all the name calling goes on in front of the cameras, behind closed doors there are negotiations going on, final negotiations going on on big bills regarding Medicare and energy. If those bills ultimately pass this year, this Congress will be seen most likely as one that accomplished quite a bit.

But if they don't, Judy, you can be guaranteed there will be more finger pointing about who is to blame for the inaction. So a lot at stake in those closed-door negotiations that are going on right now -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: What we see going on on the surface doesn't always spell what's going on behind the scenes. But it's still been very difficult. All right, Jon Karl, thanks very much.

Well now let's talk about the Senate sparring, including the feuds over judicial nominees. I'm joined now by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Orrin Hatch.

Senator, what about this comment from Senator Harry Reid that -- about your colleague, Bill Frist? In effect, he said -- Senator Reid said, "The Senate has been turned into a carnival filled with rampant mismanagement." And He talked with rank amateur leadership.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN: Of course, that was injudicious language by Harry Reid and it shouldn't have been said. And I think he's apologized for part of it. He didn't apologize for the carnival.

But the people who are turning it into a carnival happen to be the Democrats. For instance, they have slowed down judges like you can't believe. They -- now I can name about 15 nominees, almost all Circuit Court of Appeals nominees, that they are basically filibustering for the first time in history.

It's gotten so vicious that -- and of course, when they do come to conference committees, they don't come to participate and really contribute. And that's one reason why, you know, the ones who really want to contribute and get things done get together. There's no reason why they can't contribute, but they don't.

WOODRUFF: But, Senator, haven't they approved something like 168 judges? We're really talking about a very small number, relatively, here.

HATCH: That's just total bullcorn, Judy. We did have 168, but that isn't because they wanted to approve them. They fought us every step of the way. I've been working like a dog to try and get those through. But I just mention that they mentioned there are only four that they've been against. I can name 15 that they're trying to stop. And frankly -- remember, this is the first time in history that we've had judgeship nominees smeared like this and filibustered at the same time. Never has it happened before. Not even in Abe Fortis' case because there was a majority of senators who would have voted him down at the time.

WOODRUFF: But, Senator, is this really different from what you had during the Clinton administration...

HATCH: Of course it is.

WOODRUFF: ... where Republican senators stalled on approving the judges that -- a number of the judges that President Clinton had nominated?

HATCH: Judy, you ought to know better than that. You're one of the real authorities around here. We put through 377 judges for President Clinton. That's five less than the all-time champion Ronald Reagan who got 382.

By the way, the last time the Democrats held the committee, when Bush I was in office, they left 54 hanging over without any -- not even a chance for a hearing. We left 41, but nine of them were put up so late nobody could have gotten them through. Really about, effectively, 32.

We didn't cry when there were 54 held over. But all we've heard is whining and crying from the Democrats.


HATCH: Look, let's be fair about it. They've been treated very, very well, in all honesty. But they -- they're captives of these inside the Beltway vicious groups who have conducted smear campaigns against these nominees, like Miguel Estrada. Treated completely differently from other judgeship nominees for the same position.

WOODRUFF: Senator, you're aware that what the Democrats are saying is the judges that they've -- again, they've approved 168 judges. They're saying the ones that are having problems are a very small number that they describe as having extremist views.

HATCH: Nobody should filibuster any Supreme Court -- any judicial nominee. Nobody ever has in history. I don't care how many there are. And I can name 15 that they indicated they will filibuster. And some of them are, of course, people who are minorities, who are destined to the Supreme Court or at least had a shot at the Supreme Court.

They just want minorities to be in a monolithic, philosophical mode so that they can control them. And that's just not right. I mean when you take Miguel Estrada, this fellow is the success story of the American dream. And yet, had the highest rating from the American Bar Association. Yet, was treated just like dirt. John Roberts, who was put up for the same position on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, he wasn't treated that way. Estrada, of course, is Hispanic, Roberts, of course, is an Anglo.

The fact of the matter is there is a difference and they are -- what it all comes down to, Judy, I hate to tell you, is abortion.

WOODRUFF: All right.

HATCH: When they see somebody headed for the Supreme Court or a particularly great candidate for one of the Circuit Courts of Appeals and -- that they think is pro-life...

WOODRUFF: All right.

HATCH: ... they're going to try and defeat that person by a filibuster, which is absolutely dead wrong.

WOODRUFF: Senator, we're going to have to leave it there. Senator Orrin Hatch, thank you very much for talking with us.

And I want to tell our viewers, tomorrow we're going to be interviewing one of your colleagues, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. He is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senator, thanks again.

Well on this Veterans Day, presidential candidate John Kerry is trying to gain some needed political ground by touting his record as a Vietnam War hero. Kerry is personally making his pitch to Democrats in Arizona today. And he's making it in a newly unveiled ad set to air in Iowa and New Hampshire. It is the first spot to feature President Bush's controversial aircraft carrier speech, declaring an end to major combat in Iraq.


ANNOUNCER: Who can take on George Bush and change the direction of the nation? John Kerry.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): A controversial image makes its campaign debut.

ANITA DUNN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: This is an image of President Bush that in many ways encapsulates what many Democrats feel is the problem with the president and the Bush administration. A very cynical use of symbols that should be above politics.

WOODRUFF: In the ad, Senator Kerry never actually says anything about the president's landing on the USS Lincoln. Strategist Anita Dunn says he doesn't have to, that Democrats get the message.

DUNN: John Kerry doesn't need to say anything about it. Because they've already come to their opinion and their conclusions about what that moment meant.

WOODRUFF: A moment Dunn predicts other Democrats will use in ads of their own.


WOODRUFF: Let's talk more about the Kerry ad and the Democratic presidential race. I'm joined Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times." Ron, what about this ad and how much -- what does really it do for John Kerry?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "L.A. TIMES": As Alanis Morissette would say, "Isn't it ironic?" When Bush landed on the aircraft carrier to begin with, Democrats charged that it was a photo op engineered by Karl Rove to create a campaign ad for George Bush. And instead, because of the developments in Iraq, here we are seven months later and it is a Democrat using the image first in an ad.

Look, I think this aimed at Howard Dean not George Bush. As Anita Dunn pointed out in the spot, he doesn't really go back and talk about Bush's record in Iraq. What he's doing is trying to make the case that he will be as aggressive as any Democrat in taking the argument against George Bush. And as visual evidence of that, he is waving this red flag in front of Democrats, because that's what that image is. For Democratic partisans, that is clearly a very incendiary image and Kerry is trying to show that he will fight fire, and fight as hard as he can. And really, I think that's aimed more at Dean than it is at Bush.

WOODRUFF: Talking about Kerry -- Ron, let's talk about changes in the Kerry campaign. We just learned here at INSIDE POLITICS that not only Jim Jordan, the campaign manager, is out, but now the press secretary, Robert Gibbs, has left the campaign and also a deputy national finance director.

What's going on inside the Kerry campaign?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean, you know they say in baseball if a team's playing badly, you can't fire the team, you fire the manager. This is the way it goes in presidential politics. It's a hardball sport.

Kerry has a floundering campaign lately. He's behind in Iowa. He's certainly behind in New Hampshire, which is even more important for him. And he just saw the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is likely tomorrow to join the SEIU in endorsing Howard Dean.

He had to send a signal to the key powers in the Democratic Party and to his own supporters that he understood that he's in trouble, that he wants to shake things up. And unfortunately for Jim Jordan, the easiest way to do that is to remove the campaign manager.

It's been a divided campaign. They wanted to bring someone in who really had entree to all the different power centers that have emerged in that camp.

WOODRUFF: Well, is this going to do for him? Is this going to gain the ground that he would -- that he's lost behind Dean? BROWNSTEIN: No. Short answer, no. I mean, replacing the campaign manager is not going to reverse things by itself. John Kerry has to figure out a sharper argument, a clearer way to present himself. If you believe that Jim Jordan was the reason why he couldn't do that, then perhaps it will.

But the fact is, is that Kerry has, as I said, three different centers of power -- old advisers in Boston, outside consultants, the Washington campaign staff. And he's had a certain amount of difficulty, Judy. establishing his niche in this race.

Perhaps this will give him better coordination. They're hoping it will allow him to make decisions faster. But ultimately, it comes down to the candidate.

WOODRUFF: Very quick question about Dick Gephardt. He's the one who most people had said was hurt the greatest by these union endorsements coming tomorrow. At the same time, he's moved up in one Iowa poll. Is he now going to have time to consolidate and maybe pick up lost ground in Iowa?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, two things.

First, these were endorsements, I think, Dick Gephardt was unlikely to get. The head of AFCSME, Gerry McEntee, was always dubious of him as a general election candidate.

Howard Dean is a good fit for the SEIU, both on his healthcare emphasis and this overall liberal platform.

But Gephardt has shown in Iowa that he is having some success with a very pointed argument against Dean. He is making the case against him that he was for Medicare cuts in the '90s and that he is not as staunch a hawk on trade as he's portraying himself. That has a particular demographic target -- lower income, blue collar workers, seniors.

The question is whether AFSCME, which is a big power in Iowa, can now give Dean a lift. That's certainly going to help them down the road.

So Gephardt is making some ground up, but he's got his work cut out for him beyond Iowa.

WOODRUFF: And we heard earlier in the program when I interviewed Andy Stern, the head of the SEIU, defending Dean on that very point that you were just making, that he's become vulnerable in Iowa.

All right. Ron Brownstein, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

One way or another, Louisiana voters are about to make history. They will either elect the state's first woman governor or the nation's first Indian-American governor. Stay with us for a look at the Bayou runoff.

Also ahead, a look back at two of the master politicians of the last century.

And is the Love Boat coming to the GOP convention? We'll explain in a minute.


WOODRUFF: The 2003 election season isn't quite over. Louisiana voters go to the polls on Saturday to pick a new governor in a runoff.

As our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, discovered, the race is hot and more surprising than you might expect.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To the beat of the Storyland Stompers of New Orleans, Kathleen Babineaux (ph) Blanco is hosting a ladies' lunch. She is a 60-year-old grandmother, a former stay-at-home mom of six who got elected as a state rep, served two terms as lieutenant governor.


CROWLEY: She could become Louisiana's first woman governor.

BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA GOV. CANDIDATE: God bless and thank you for coming tonight.

CROWLEY: The son of immigrants from India, Bobby Jindal is a 32- year-old Rhoades scholar, head of Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals, president of the state university system, assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services.

JINDAL: Electing Bobby Jindal is an opportunity to turn away from the politics of old to elect a problem-solver, not a career politician.

CROWLEY: He could become the country's first Indian-American governor.

Louisiana has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the 50 states, the second highest rate of poverty. The issue is jobs.

(on camera): Tell me what you think the major policy difference is between you and your opponent.

BLANCO: I think that many of our policies look alike, but in the essence, mine are going to actually be more workable. We have a different style.

CROWLEY: Tell me what you think is the major policy difference between you and your opponent.

JINDAL: I think overall and then specifically. Overall, I think we've offered more details. CROWLEY (voice-over): He's a conservative Republican. She's a moderate Democrat. In contrast to Louisiana's colorful and sometimes criminal political history, neither has a whiff of scandal.

With so little policy difference between them, the advantage would be Blanco's in a state that is registered 57 percent Democrat, if it weren't for this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a black American family, we're excited about your candidacy.

WAYNE PARENT, LOUISIANA STATE UNIV.: Bobby Jindal went after the African-American vote and got key endorsements from some key -- key political groups. And the jewel in his crown and the strategy was the endorsement from the Democratic African-American mayor of New Orleans, which was quite a coup.

CROWLEY: She'll still win the vast majority of minority Democratic votes, but he could siphon off enough to cobble together a Republican victory.

In one way, it all misses the big picture. Twelve years ago, Louisiana's governor's race featured Edwin Edwards and Ku Klux Klan member David Duke. Both are now in the slammer. Figuratively and literally, the face of Louisiana is changing.

Candy Crowley, CNN, New Orleans.


WOODRUFF: Come a long way.

Well, their friendship was a close and crucial one. Just ahead, the spotlight is on two men who helped lead the Allies to victory in World War II. We'll hear from the author of "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: In today's "Page Turners," the spotlight is on two men who have been called the greatest leaders of the Greatest Generation -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. A new book focuses on these two leaders who helped secure an allied victory in World War II. Jon Meacham, the author of "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship," is with he to talk more about his new book.

It's a wonderful picture, by the way.


WOODRUFF: Jon Meacham, a lot of books out there about Roosevelt, lot of books about Churchill. Why write about their relationship?

MEACHAM: Because I think it's the most fascinating political friendship ever. It's certainly the most fascinating friendship of modern times. But these are two guys who spent 113 days together. Their correspondence equals 2,000 pieces of mail.

They spent Thanksgiving together, they spent Christmas together, they spent New Year's together. They remembered each other's birthdays. They went to the top of a tower in Marrakech and watched the sunset off the Atlas Mountains. Winston Churchill said things like, "I love that man." Franklin Roosevelt told Churchill, "It's fun to be in the same decade with you."

There was an incredible emotional bond there that was beyond the politics of the moment.

WOODRUFF: Well at one point you even say something to the effect of it was like a love story. You have an emotional Churchill chasing or courting an elusive Roosevelt.

MEACHAM: Churchill's daughter told me that she -- whenever she thought of Papa and the president, she always thought of the French proverb "In love, there is one who kisses and one who offers the cheek." And Papa was always kissing and the president was always offering the cheek.

So the elusive Franklin Roosevelt, you know, who once said of himself, "I'm a juggler. I never let my left hand know what my right hand is doing." And Churchill understood this as well. He said in moment of extraordinary candor, "No lover ever studied the whims of his mistress as I did those of President Roosevelt."

WOODRUFF: How much of their relationship was really liking, genuinely liking and respecting each other, and how much of it was pure need? Just political necessity?

MEACHAM: I think it's a compound that you can't separate out. One of the best witnesses to this, about the genuine affection, is Eleanor Roosevelt, who was one of the most honest women who ever lived, sometimes to a fault. And she called it a fortunate friendship, said that the world was lucky that the two men enjoyed being with each other.

They loved to quote Shakespeare to each other and talk about movies and they went fishing together. God knows they drank together a lot and they smoked together a great deal.

And they really enjoyed each other's company. And Mrs. Roosevelt said without that the war would not have been as easy to win as it was.

WOODRUFF: Two very different leaders today and clearly a very different time when you have George W. Bush and Tony Blair. Any lessons or any parallels between them?

MEACHAM: There are two parallels, I think. There's first, Blair is following Winston Churchill's script. Churchill's last advice to his last cabinet in 1955 was never be separated from the Americans. London saw that its post-war bet was going to be with Washington.

And I think Bush is rather like Roosevelt in that he's projecting -- he's electing to project power beyond his borders in complicated situations where sometimes the people are right with him and sometimes they aren't. So I think that's a definite parallel.

I also thing the two men, Bush and Blair, like each other. I think an important thing to remember about politicians and friendship is you don't check your emotions at the door. Politics is not a clinical business. In fact, it's the most human of endeavors.

And the emotion between Roosevelt and Churchill is probably somewhat typical of what people thrown together by the force of circumstance often feel.

WOODRUFF: Certainly see it here. Again, the book is "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate portrait of an Epic Friendship." Author Jon Meacham, thank you for coming by. Always appreciate it. A book worth reading.

MEACHAM: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, politics and baseball do not mix, at least not in one New Hampshire city. When we come back, a name change is in store for the new minor league team in Manchester. We'll tell you why.


WOODRUFF: New York City isn't exactly devoid of creature comforts. But according to news reports, Congressman Vito Fosella and Tom DeLay want to dock one another for the GOP convention next summer. A luxury cruise ship where members of Congress can stay and delegates and VIPs can relax and mingle. However opposition from Mayor Bloomberg and the city's hotel industry may yet sink the idea.

Well there will be no new -- no new primaries in New Hampshire's biggest city on the baseball diamond. The owners of Manchester's new minor league team struck out with the fans over the proposed new name for the team, the New Hampshire Primaries. Voters in an Internet survey were opposed to that name by a huge margin. And not the owners say they're going back to the drawing board.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff. "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.


Matter?; The Union Label and Election 2004>

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