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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Protesters Greet Bush in Pittsburgh; Howard Dean's Trail Mix: Flaps and Coattails

Aired December 2, 2003 - 15:30   ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: Howard Dean on the record.

HOWARD DEAN (D), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I frankly don't know what's in there.

ANNOUNCER: Has the flap over closed files in Vermont trailed him all the way to Iowa?

Gentlemen, start your engines. Why do some presidential candidates put so much stock in NASCAR fans who are not who they used to be?

A matter of faith. While President Bush often quotes the gospel, '04 Democrats are struggling with the spiritual and with the religious gap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats have a religious wing and a secular wing. And the Democratic candidates have to speak to both.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.

President Bush went to Pittsburgh today for a fundraising lunch and some 300 protesters turned out to greet him, including steel workers who fear Mr. Bush is about to let them down. The steel workers contend it would be "bad economics and bad politics" for the president to lift tariffs on imported steel, like he is widely expected to do. The union's president is accusing Mr. Bush of caving in to blackmail from overseas.

Well, right now, the president is back in Washington at the White House at this hour. That's where we find our Suzanne Malveaux.

Suzanne, what are they saying at the White House about these protests?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, of course the president is in the middle of steel city, but also in the middle of that controversy over whether or not he's going to lift tariffs on steel imports. The White House saying that the president has yet to make up his mind on this issue. But administration sources telling us that it is all but a done deal, that they believe he will lift those tariffs.

And of course that did not go over well in Pittsburgh. That, of course, where the president was raising money for his reelection campaign.

One of the co-hosts of that fundraiser, the CEO and chairman of U.S. Steel, the largest steel corporation in this country. But administration sources again saying it just is not worth the alternative. The alternative being a $2.2 billion in sanctions slapped by the European Union and other countries. And, of course, the opening of a trade war. They know, however, that President Bush may actually take a hit in his campaign because, of course, those steel-producing states object very highly to lifting those tariffs -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Suzanne, while you're fighting the wind there at the White House -- it's whipping all around Washington today -- let me turn you to what the president was doing just a few minutes ago. And that is greeting at the White House NASCAR drivers, talking about the NASCAR industry, if you will.

What is all that about? What's the political calculus there?

MALVEAUX: Well, certainly, Judy, it was just moments ago that you had the champs, both former and current champs of NASCAR, including Matt Kenseth. He's going to be on the Web site for "Ask the White House" this afternoon answering some questions. But the political calculus here is that the hot group of voters in the last election season, of course, was the soccer moms.

Now, you're talking about the NASCAR dads. And they're largely considered a swing group of voters. Broadly described as male, southern, rural, blue collar workers. But also Republican.

Some of those workers, however, probably those who lost their jobs in the Bush term. But, of course, President Bush hoping that he invigorates that group, hopes to get their support and, of course, extended that personal invitation to the White House.

WOODRUFF: We noticed that he mentioned that some of them were from his home state of Texas. All right, Suzanne, thank you very much.

MALVEAUX: Sure.

WOODRUFF: Well, now we turn to what you might say are the two sides of the Howard Dean campaign. In Iowa today, the Democratic presidential contender seems to be trying to sport coattails, even as he works to quiet the controversy over some files from his days as governor of Vermont.

Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has been following the Dean campaign. She's in Grinnell, Iowa right now. And, Candy, I guess, first of all, he talked about those files that he sealed as he was leaving office.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're talking about here, Judy, is about 40 percent of the files and the records from the Dean governorship in Vermont, 60 percent, according to the campaign, is already out there. About 40 percent under seal for 10 years.

Now, they are very unhappy, as you might imagine, that this issue is resurfacing. They obviously believe what with the Republican Party chairman going up to Vermont to talk about this, and with his Democratic rivals criticizing Dean for keeping these records secret, they believe this is all pretty much a political play, something that he believes is really a legal issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: I just want to comply with the law, Candy. The law -- you can go look up the Vermont law. We will do whatever it takes to comply with the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Now, Judy, basically, what the Dean campaign feels is that this is a non-issue. However, for a man who has said much about President Bush and his secrecy, it certainly creates a public relations problem.

In his conversation with us, Dean did seem to kind of intimate that there might be some flexibility there. Pretty difficult, however, to tell how much flexibility. It's not uncommon for people to seal their records.

At one point, Howard Dean said if President Bush will open up his records as governor of Texas, I'll open up mine. President Bush, in fact, there are ways to go in and get most of those records through the archival person in the state.

So an ongoing issue for Howard Dean. Obviously, when things are going really well, you don't like this sort of thing coming up. But they'll battle the storm. In the meantime, what they're talking about b today is the economy.

WOODRUFF: Candy, I don't know if you can hear me. We know you're having some IFP problems.

CROWLEY: I can hear you.

WOODRUFF: You can hear me. All right. Let's talk a little bit about -- my apologies there. Let's talk a little bit about Dean trying to help a congressional candidate in Iowa. What is that all about?

CROWLEY: Well, interesting. Yes, he has put up for the Iowa congressional candidate a mention on his Web site about giving contributions. We asked the governor about this, and he said, "It's always been my intention to target 10 to 20 to 25 hot congressional races, particularly where they have been targeted by Republicans." To try to help, using his network, obviously, in the Internet and elsewhere of raising funds.

He said, "Look, I want to be president. But I also want to be president with a Democratic Congress, because I want to get something done."

So they are walking with various DNC and DCCC officials to kind of identify who those candidates might be. Interesting that one of them is in Iowa. I asked if there would be some in New Hampshire and South Carolina, but I didn't get any further than the one in Iowa.

But they intend to kind of do this all along, try to help these candidates, because Dean says that obviously he doesn't want to be a president with two Republican Houses. So he's gotten a lot of pushback about that, Judy, as well, as you know. A lot of democrats have said, boy, if Dean wins, we're going to lose the House and Senate. This is a good way for him to go out there and raise some money for some of these candidates and try to counter that reaction.

WOODRUFF: Right. That has been some of the comment about Dean that we've been hearing. All right. Candy Crowley, following the Dean campaign today in Grinnell. And as you saw, Candy had an interview with the candidate a little bit earlier. Thanks, Candy.

Well, there's a little more Howard Dean news in our "Campaign News Daily." A survey of the print news media finds Dean leading the race for public visibility. According to factiva.com, Dean was mentioned 2,906 times by the print media during the month of November.

John Kerry was second, followed by Wesley Clark. Carol Moseley- Braun came in last, with just 343 mentions.

Republican National Committee chairman, Ed Gillespie, is spending this day in Dean territory. Gillespie is speaking tonight in Essex Junction, Vermont. In an advance copy of his remarks, he criticizes Dean over those sealed documents Candy was talking about, among other issues. Ed Gillespie will be our guest here on INSIDE POLITICS on Thursday.

Democratic hopefuls abiding by the rules for public financing will receive their first checks one month from today. Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt are all expected to receive between $3 and $4 million in matching funds. Howard Dean and John Kerry, as you know, have both opted out of the system, as has President Bush. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) candidate Lyndon LaRouche, along with Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, will all receive less than $1 million. Carol Moseley-Braun is not expected to receive any matching funds in this first payout.

We'll have more on NASCAR and politics coming up ahead. Our Bill Schneider is revved up to tell us why candidates are so eager to court stock car fans.

Also ahead, Bob Novak has the inside buzz on the president's trip to Baghdad. Were U.S. officials more worried than they let on? Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): God may love all the presidential wannabes equally. But the voters, that's another story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Bruce Morton on religion and the '04 campaign.

And later, Governor Schwarzenegger hits the road to sell his recovery plan. Is he threatening lawmakers in the process?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Bob Novak joins us now from the "CROSSFIRE" set at George Washington University just with some "Inside Buzz."

All right. Bob, first of all, I understand you have some more reaction to President Bush's trip to Baghdad on Thanksgiving Day, both reaction over there and back here?

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, yes. I was talking to some of the people out in Iraq, and they feel that the reaction of the Iraqis was really very, very good to the president's visit. They were glad he came.

But the interesting thing I found is that the U.S. officials were worried that the president was going to put on a tank helmet, get in a -- ride around in a fighting vehicle for a photo op. They were just scared to death. But I think they learned their lesson from putting on the jump suit on the Abraham Lincoln and all of the bad publicity. So the president behaved himself in that respect.

WOODRUFF: After Michael Dukakis, we may never see another candidate again with one of those helmets on. All right, Bob, separately, reaction of the business community to the session of Congress.

NOVAK: Yes. You remember the Republican leaders, Judy, were so happy about all they accomplished at the end. But not the business community. They don't like the Medicare bill.

They think it's a huge spending bill. What kind of Republican bill is this? And the interesting -- and the nuclear and natural gas interests are very unhappy that the natural -- that the energy bill didn't pass. There was so much pork and junk in it, they couldn't get cloture in the Senate. So I think the Republicans got some fences to mend in the business community, as this session is all but over.

WOODRUFF: OK. Now, you have done some reporting on a tiny little lobbying firm with some mega wattage clout here.

NOVAK: Yes. Northpoint Technology is a company. It's not a lobbying firm. It's an energy company that has five employees, and they, for some time, have been trying to get a bill or a ruling from the FCC, whereby they would get -- have access to high-speed wireless service without paying for it. And not getting a license.

They have a massive lobbying thing underway. Bob Livingston, former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, works for them. But the new development is that Barbara Comstock -- you remember her? She was Attorney General John Ashcroft's spokesman, been around a long time. She has just registered as a new lobbyist for Northpoint Technology.

WOODRUFF: So we'll have to see what happens. All right. Finally, the state of Kentucky. You've pointed out at one point it was always Democratic. But what about now?

NOVAK: Yes. When I first came here a long time ago, it was one of the most dependable Democratic states in the country. They have one House member left, Ken Lucas, who is a Democrat. He has announced he's not running.

And I learned that the Democrats out in Kentucky want Ben Chandler -- who just got defeated for governor by the Republican, Ernie Fletcher -- they want Mr. Chandler to run for the House seat. See, they think he's the only guy who could possibly win it.

He'd have an uphill race. That would mean there would be an all- Republican delegation from Kentucky and a Republican governor. How things do change, Judy.

WOODRUFF: I wonder where that leaves George Clooney's father, Nick Clooney, who said last week he was thinking about running as a Democrat.

NOVAK: He's running -- that's a different district. He's running for the Ernie Fletcher seat. Fletcher's elected governor. But he will be an underdog as well. Maybe they can get George clooney to run, and he would -- maybe he'd have a lot of name I.D., wouldn't he?

WOODRUFF: All right. Bob Novak. And we'll be watching you in a little while on "CROSSFIRE" at 4:30 Eastern. Thanks very much.

NOVAK: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: A big religious gap dividing Americans politically. And it could have an impact on who wins the White House next year. When we return, Bruce Morton will take a closer look at religion in the '04 race.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Three years after President Bush was elected, polls still show a deep political divide in the United States. Religion is one area that reflects that divide. Our Bruce Morton takes a closer look at the issue and its possible effect on the election.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe, as a matter of faith, that all of us are created in the image of god and that all of us are children of the same god, and that god loves us all.

MORTON (voice-over): God may love all the presidential wannabes equally, but the voters, that's another story. A Pew Research Center poll this past fall shows that 63 percent of Americans who are frequent church-goers favor George Bush. Sixty-two percent f those who don't attend services favor a Democrat. It's the biggest the gap has been since they first asked the question.

ANDREW KOHUT, PEW RESEARCH CENTER: There's a big religion gap these days, and it's really to the advantage of the Republican Party, because the Republicans are unified along religious lines, and the Democrats have a religious wing and secular wing. And they -- the Democratic candidates have to speak to both.

MORTON: President Bush is a born again Christian, as he made clear answering a question during the debate in the 2000 campaign.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you accept Christ as a savior, it changes your heart and changes your life. That's what happened to me.

MORTON: He often speaks in religious terms. Conservative Christians against abortion, against homosexuality, are an important part of his base. Of the Democrats, Lieberman often mentions religion, so does Al Sharpton, ordained a minister when he was 10. The others don't much. Dick Gephardt often mentions his son, who survived a childhood bout with a rare form of cancer.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's 32 years old, he's married, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He's a gift of god.

MORTON: But that's about it. The Democrats, when they do mention faith, tend to stress compassion, feed the hungry, help the poor. Unlike conservative Christians, they are for abortion rights. Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich support gay marriage. The others favor some form of civil contracts.

KOHUT: Democrats speak to choice and social liberalism. And what they have to appeal to are the voters in the middle who are concerned about having their choices cut off.

MORTON: Such voters exist. Al Gore narrowly carried the Catholic vote in 2000, and President Bush's efforts to win black Christians haven't had much effect. But religion is an area where the two parties face very different challenges.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: And with me now to talk more about religion and this race for the White House, Jim Vandehei of "The Washington Post." He recently wrote an article focusing on the nine Democratic candidates and how religion could affect their chances.

Jim, first of all, do you agree with Bruce Morton -- actually with Andy Kohut of the Pew Center, who told him that the Republicans really have an advantage going in on all of this?

JIM VANDEHEI, "WASHINGTON POST": They really do. And I relied a lot on the research of Pew for the story that I wrote. There really is a divide in this nation, and Bush has done really well with white evangelicals and really well with people who go to church on a regular basis.

And Democrats who don't control Congress and don't control the White House really need to make inroads in a bunch of different areas. And there are many Democrats who think that people of faith is one area where Democrats can make up some of the difference.

WOODRUFF: How do they go about doing that? Because right now, as you wrote in your piece on Thanksgiving, Jim, many of these Democrats either don't seem comfortable or just are not, for whatever reason, bringing up their faith very often in public.

VANDEHEI: Right. They're not comfortable talk talking about the it. But one way is that if you start from the fact that all of them do consider themselves religious -- and when I talked to them, all of them really talked pretty freely about their own beliefs and their faith in god. And what a lot of strategists think they need to do is start communicating that to voters, particularly in the Midwest and the South, which are the battleground regions for the 2004 election, where a lot of folks consider themselves people of faith.

That's an area where they can start talking about it. Though they really haven't yet.

WOODRUFF: How much fertile territory is there, though, out there among voters who would be voting -- likely to vote Democratic this year?

VANDEHEI: I don't think that we're talking about a dramatic shift. But if you look at states like Florida or Tennessee, where a few thousand votes can make a big difference, a lot of strategists think that is fertile ground. They think that if -- especially if you look at those religious voters who don't use abortion or gay rights as litmus test, that that's a group people that Democrats can speak to. And if they can pull some of those into their column, that can really make a big difference.

WOODRUFF: Which -- are we talking about some candidates in particular who are maybe more comfortable than others who you could see -- or we should expect to start talking about this at some point soon?

VANDEHEI: I mean, two candidates who when I was talking to them really liked to talk about their faith and really clearly put a lot of thought into it were John Edwards and Wesley Clark, both of whom went on at great length about how often they pray and read the bible and the role that it's played in shaping their own views. And they're both from the South in a region that a lot of people think is fertile ground for Democrats to make inroads.

Sol I wouldn't be surprised to see those two candidates talking more about it. You know, Howard Dean, the frontrunner, also considers himself very religious. Says he's read the bible from cover to cover. But we have not seen him sort of reach out and try to talk more to evangelical Christians and people of faith.

And, in fact, in Florida now you hear him using this line about how we've got to quit voting on guns, god and gays. Well, in the South, a lot of voters find that offensive, because those are issues that they do take to heart when they go to the polls.

WOODRUFF: It's interesting you mentioned Dean, because some have written that he may the most secular of the candidates, at least in his public presentation.

VANDEHEI: Yes. I don't know that that's necessarily true, but I think in the public perception, maybe he's looked at as the most secular of the candidates, particularly because he's to so closely affiliated with gay rights, because he signed the civil unions bill when he was in Vermont.

But he actually really does talk a lot about his faith in his conversation with me. And it will be interesting to see if he actually starts to talk more about that on the campaign trail.

WOODRUFF: So Jim, as we look out at the landscape in terms of the states that are truly going to be in play next year in this campaign, you're saying that there are blocks of voters out there who these Democrats might be able to pick off if they choose their words correctly?

VANDEHEI: Certainly people who study this for a living certainly think that is the case. Especially in the Midwest and the South. If you look at those 15 states that people consider up for grabs, almost all of them are in the Midwest and the South. And yu're not talking about big swings that you need from 2000 to 2004 that would put that in the Democratic column.

So I think wherever they can make inroads, whether it's with people of faith or Independent voters, that makes a huge difference. Because the country is still a 50-50 country, and you need to take these things piece by piece and block by block to put together a winning coalition.

WOODRUFF: And no doubt that's the way the campaign managers are looking at it too.

VANDEHEI: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: OK. Jim Vandehei with "The Washington Post." Good to see you, Jim.

VANDEHEI: Good to be here.

WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.

Well, the race is on to capture not only what we've been talking about, bit NASCAR voters, as they're called. Will Democrats or Republicans finish first?

And from Baghdad to Burbank? Did President Bush make another surprise visit?

Stay with us. INSIDE POLITICS returns in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Arnold Schwarzenegger takes his plans directly to the people.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: The people of California, the voters, are very smart.

ANNOUNCER: Is the Golden State governor trying to outmuscle lawmakers?

The political powers in Washington have their eyes on a courtroom in South Dakota, as a congressman and former governor goes on trial for manslaughter.

Where's the beef? That's what some people attending this candidate's fundraiser may be asking.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: Welcome back. Hosting winning sports figures at the White House may be one of President Bush's favorite ceremonial duties. But his appearance with NASCAR drivers just a short while ago has special significance politically, as Mr. Bush tries to energize his supporters in places where stock car racing is close to a religion.

Mr. Bush, among other things, mentioned Bubba's (ph). But the NASCAR crowd isn't quite what it used to be.

Here now, our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Stock car racing is a populist sport. That's the whole point. Stock cars are standard issue cars. Your Fords, your Pontiacs, modified for racing. No Lamborghinis. The stereotype of the NASCAR fan is male, Southern, rural, blue collar and Republican. The National Rifle Association advertises at NASCAR speedways for a reason: NASCAR nation is NRA nation, they say.

CELINDA LAKE, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: If you're targeting the NASCAR dads, you're going to be a lot more likely to buy ESPN and certain kinds of -- and country-Western radio stations than you are to buy classical music or A&E.

SCHNEIDER: Well guess who's targeting NASCAR those dads? George W. Bush and -- Howard Dean?

DEAN: White folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flag decals in the back ought to be voting with us and not them.

SCHNEIDER: Are NASCAR fans really swing voters? Maybe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you reach out and talk to them they're very likely to say, You know, we thought we were Republican, but we're going to go with this guy now because he's talking our language, he's talking our culture.

SCHNEIDER: NASCAR claims 75 million fans. It's big in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, not just Darlington, South Carolina. NASCAR fans aren't downscale, they're middle America, with an obsession. They often describe NASCAR as a way of life, even a lifestyle.

JIM HUNTER, NASCAR COMMUNICATIONS VP: So it becomes a lifestyle because they're very loyal to whoever their favorite driver and team is. They're very loyal to the sponsors of the cars. And they live it week in and week out. They can't get enough.

SCHNEIDER: Which is why politicians like to link themselves up with NASCAR fans.

RONALD REAGAN, FRM. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Gentlemen, start your engines.

SCHNEIDER: Ronald Reagan was the first president to attend a NASCAR race. The first President Bush attended one too. Any Democrats? Mark Warner sponsored a NASCAR vehicle when he ran for governor of Virginia in 2001.

GOV. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: We were the first gubernatorial candidate or statewide Democratic candidate in a generation to carry rural Virginia.

SCHNEIDER: On the other hand, when Bill Clinton showed up at a NASCAR race during the 1992 campaign, he got booed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: Democrats say they have an economic message for NASCAR fans, many of whom suffered from job losses during the Bush presidency. But to get those NASCAR fans to listen, you have to show that you respect their values, particularly their No. 1 value: patriotism -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: There was Bob Graham too, but he got out of the race.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. He had a NASCAR in competition...

WOODRUFF: That's right. Had a car, sponsored.

SCHNEIDER: Some would say he never got into the race.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: You could say that. All right, Bill Schneider, thanks.

Turning to our second edition today of "Campaign News Daily," Ralph Nader apparently hasn't made up his mind. But an exploratory Web site is ready for launch. NaderExplore04.org has been registered now by Nader's 2000 campaign manager. Theresa Amato tell CNN that Nader will make a decision on the '04 presidential race by the beginning of the year.

Dennis Kucinich plans to raise cash this weekend while staying true to his no-meat diet. The menu for the New York fund raiser on Sunday will include organic wine and beer, along with French lentil loaf, breaded mushrooms and other items. Tasty.

Democratic Party officials preparing for next year's convention in Boston may position their nominee in the round. Convention organizers tell "The Boston Globe" the stage may be placed in the middle of the Fleet Center, which would allow delegates on the floor to completely surrounded stage.

Tearful testimony in the trial of a U.S. congressman. Up next, the latest on the second degree manslaughter case being made against Bill Janklow of South Dakota.

And move over Arnold. Another famous political face appears to be having a laugh with Jay Leno.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Word now that President Bush is to sign the new Medicare bill into law on Monday. That word comes today from White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. The major Medicare overhaul includes a prescription drug benefit for seniors. It is expected to be a major theme in the president's reelection campaign.

The controversial legislation won final approval in the Senate last week after surviving a marathon three-hour vote in the House of Representatives.

INSIDE POLITICS back in 90 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: In California today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to rally San Diego residents behind his plan to repair the state's finances. Schwarzenegger is working though against the clock and against Democratic opponents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF (voice-over): If Arnold Schwarzenegger learned anything from his days in body building and in Hollywood, it's the value of marketing. So he has launched a PR offensive to promote his recovery plan. It includes a proposal to sell $15 billion worth of bonds to pay off the state's budget deficit. And a spending cap to avoid future financial crises.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think it is to inform the people and to let them know the call to legislators and to write to them and let them know, vote by December 5 for the recovery plan.

WOODRUFF: The California legislature has until midnight Friday to approve measures to be on the ballot. Some Democratic lawmakers suspect the Republican governor is trying to publicly muscle them into submission, rather than negotiate with them privately.

CHRISTINE KEHOE (D), CALIF. STATE ASSEMBLY: Let's see if you know if it's going to be working together message or we're going to come after you message.

DEDE ALPERT (D), CALIF. STATE SENATE: Governing is a lot more difficult than campaigning, but I think his time would be better spent this week actually sitting down and trying to get this thing figured out, because we are short of time.

WOODRUFF: Schwarzenegger told reporters yesterday he's trying to work with lawmakers, not against them.

SCHWARZENEGGER: The most important thing is that you, A, work internally and negotiate internally and work with the lawmakers. But at the same time, you have to go out to the people, not to put the pressure on the lawmakers but to let the people know what we're doing.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) the voters are very smart. And if they see someone creates a load rode block towards recovery for California, then when they go out to vote the next time, they'll think twice about voting for the politician.

WOODRUFF: Those words of warning aren't stopping state treasurer, Phil Angelides, for coming out today against Schwarzenegger's bond proposal. A democratic potential gubernatorial candidate in 2006, Angelides says new borrowing will prolong the state's debt and force future generations of Californians to pay for it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Michael Finnegan of "The Los Angeles Times" is covering Arnold Schwarzenegger's rally in San Diego. He joins us on the telephone. Michael, first of all, from your perspective, what are the chances that the governor -- the new governor is going to be able to get the bond issue passed?

MICHAEL FINNEGAN, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": Fairly good, but this is the first test of how well he's going to be able to work with the legislature and we'll no on Friday whether or not it turned out. But they look fairly good.

The legislature has shown fondness for borrowing in the past to get out of budget troubles and there's no indication that they're not leaning towards doing that again just as the governor has requested.

WOODRUFF: So this attempt by Phil Angelides and others to put a stop to this probably not going anywhere?

FINNEGAN: Probably not, but anything is possible. The political climate in Sacramento is very bad. There's a partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans is quite bitter.

But this governor is unique, and power that he derives from the media attention that he commands is significant and a lot of members of the legislature are quite nervous about what could happen to them if they get in his way and obstruct his will.

WOODRUFF: But a majority of the state, the state legislature is Democrats. If they think it's the wrong way to go, you're saying they're just not united in that view?

FINNEGAN: Well, I wouldn't necessarily conclude that they think it's the wrong way to go. Like I said, borrowing is quite popular with members of the legislature who don't want to suffer the political consequences of raising taxes. That goes for Democrats and Republicans.

On the conservative Republican side of the legislature, there's a little bit of more reluctance to borrow this heavily to pay for what essentially amounts to state operations.

But that's where Schwarzenegger's political base is. So even on the conservative side, apart from Tom McClintock who ran for governor in the recall race, there doesn't appear to be a very large group of Republicans who will challenge him either.

WOODRUFF: So it sounds like you're saying the governor is maybe helping himself by showing up in some of these districts where there are moderate Democrats, people he can -- who are possibly persuadable?

FINNEGAN: He could be helping himself, yes. I mean it's a reminder, if you look at this rally in San Diego, of the kind of media attention that he's getting here is wildly out of proportion with the kind of media attention that any member of the legislature from around here would ever get.

So there's a great big imbalance between his power and their power. And you're seeing that this week. WOODRUFF: And, meantime, Michael, quickly, we know that Schwarzenegger today announced a federal grant putting some, I guess, job money into the high tech sector. That's also, I guess, good news, you have to say, in terms of his -- when you think how short he's been in office. How short a time.

FINNEGAN: Yes, the state's going to need an awful lot of money in order to get out of its budget troubles. You're looking at, you know, 10, 15, 20 billion dollars in the next year or two.

WOODRUFF: But it's a start.

FINNEGAN: Yes, yes.

WOODRUFF: OK. Michael Finnegan, covering the rally in San Diego, Governor Schwarzenegger drumming up support for his proposal to raise $15 billion of bond money to pay down California's state budget deficit.

All the way over to New York now. Democrats are coming down hard on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's idea to charter a cruise ship as a base for House Republicans during the Republican convention next summer.

His proposal has angered union leaders, among others, who say that it would mean less business for the city's hospitality industry. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is among the critics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Republican conventioneers will be floating on the Hudson skirting U.S. labor, wage, tax laws a aboard a foreign ship while we in the city are left footing the bill.

Along with six of my colleagues, we have written the governor and asked him to help scuttle this idea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Representative DeLay has said that the ship would allow members of Congress and their guests to stay in a central location with good security.

Their roots are in the Middle East. And now they're getting a lot of attention from both Republicans and Democrats. When we come back, Arab-Americans in Dearborn, Michigan, sound off on their new status as a growing voting block.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: An update now on the story we've been telling you about over the last few days. The realization that over the last seven months, there have been a string of 12 shootings near Columbus, Ohio along Interstate 270, including one as recently as November 11.

Authorities are now saying that ballistics evidence is tying four bullets, four bullets from four different shooting incidents matched all to the same gun. Here is a comment made just moments ago by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office official Steve Martin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF DEPUTY STEVE MARTIN, FRANKLIN CO., SHERIFF'S DEPT.: The investigators working this case learned of two new ballistic matches related to the shooting cases.

First, another one of the existing 11 cases has now been positively linked to the weapon used to kill Mrs. Knisley. In addition, a recently submitted bullet fragment taken from a shooting incident at Hamilton Township Central Elementary School (ph), 1105 Rathmill (ph) Road, Columbus, on November 11, 2003, has now been positively linked to the weapon used to kill Mrs. Knisley.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Again, four bullets from four different shootings now connected to the same gun. There have been a total of 12 shootings that area over a seven-month period. One person died in these incidents. Again, this information just coming in to us from Columbus, Ohio from Franklin County.

There was a emotional testimony today at the manslaughter trial in South Dakota of Congressman Bill Janklow. A man who was riding motorcycles with the man who was killed when Janklow ran a stop sign broke down on the witness stand.

A different witness testified that a car matching Janklow's sped past her just a few miles before she came upon the accident. CNN's Bob Franken has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Throughout his career as state attorney general, governor and now Congressman, Bill Janklow's persona has been marked by a political swagger.

But on August 16, Janklow sped through a stop sign and smashed into Randy Scott's motorcycle, killing Scott.

He's charged with second degree manslaughter, speeding, going 71 miles per hour in a 55 mile zone, reckless driving.

REP. BILL JANKLOW (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: I'm 64-years-old. And I've never dealt with anything -- you can't prepare in life to deal with the enormity of what I'm dealing with and what I've put other people through.

FRANKEN: Janklow's lawyers will try and convince a jury he was impaired by a diabetic reaction to a day of not eating. Prosecutors insist he was fully aware that he was flouting safety limits. In fact, his disdain for traffic laws had become part of the Bill Janklow political lore. JANKLOW: Bill Janklow speeds when he drives. Shouldn't, but he does. And when he gets a ticket, he pays it. And if someone told me I was going to jail for two days for speeding, my drives habits would change. I can pay the ticket, but I don't want to go to jail.

FRANKEN: That was 1999. Now, Janklow faces up to ten years in prison.

The first witnesses for the prosecution are describing how fast they saw him drive that day. Later this week, defense testimony is expected from another powerful South Dakota political figure: the U.S. Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle.

Daschle had been with Janklow earlier on that fateful August 16.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FRANKEN: And while much of the attention focuses on Bill Janklow's efforts to rescue his political life, the trial, of course, is about the responsibility that Janklow has for causing the life of Randy Scott to end -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, Bob, what would the process be? What would the procedure be if he were found guilty in this case? What would happen, then, to his status as a member of Congress?

FRANKEN: It's not automatic, but the procedure and what we can expect to happen is that the Ethics Committee would quickly take over. You'll remember they did that in the Jim Traficant case. Then there would be a vote on the floor if there's a question about expelling him from Congress.

it's to be expected that if he is convicted, there would be pressure on him to resign. That, of course, is in the future. Right now, the question is will he be found guilty in this trial?

WOODRUFF: All right. Bob Franken, thank you very much.

To a very different story now. The terrorist attacks of 9/11, which brought new attention to a growing segment of the U.S. population, Arab-Americans. And in politics, a growing population means more votes, of course.

CNN's Dan Lothian paid a visit to Dearborn, Michigan where after years of obscurity, Arab-American voters are getting noticed by the presidential candidates.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dearborn, Michigan on the surface looks like a typical slice of suburbia, quiet streets, green lawns and American flags. But there's also, a mosque, blocks of shops with Arabic signs and a high school where every football player but one is Arab-American.

It's what political experts call a desirable voting block. RONALD STOCKTON, PROF. OF ARAB-AMERICAN STUDIES: We're having so many visitors that you would just think that we were the center of the world.

LOTHIAN: In October, most Democratic candidates showed up for an Arab-American leadership conference here. President Bush sent his energy secretary. So what's happening?

JAMES ZOGBY, PRES. ARAB-AMERICAN INSTITUTE: It's been a 20-year process of building and growing and developing first recognition as a community, that we exist and that our numbers count.

LOTHIAN: In the birthplace of Henry Ford, Arab-Americans are now looking to get into the driver's seat.

STOCKTON: According to a recent study, they vote in higher numbers than the average American.

LOTHIAN: Osama Siblani publishes a weekly Arab-American newspaper, circulation, 25,000. Politically active for the past 20 years, he sees a community that leans towards the Democratic Party but remains up for grabs.

OSAMA SIBLIANI, PUBLISHER, "ARAB-AMERICAN NEWS": We don't want to be labeled Democrats or Republicans. We want to see where is our interests and follow those interests.

LOTHIAN: Many of those interests or issues have been formed by 9/11, a community angered by stereotypes and some new laws fighting terrorism.

(on camera): Some worry politicians are pandering for votes. But one Arab-American leader tells CNN he doesn't mind that, because after being excluded from the political process, pandering is a whole lot better.

Dan Lothian, CNN, Dearborn, Michigan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Well, the surprises just keep on coming. When we return if you thought the president's trip to Baghdad was a surprise, wait until you see this. INSIDE POLITICS returns in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Well, evidently Baghdad isn't the only place where President Bush likes to make surprise visits. Mr. Bush made a special appearance last night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," or at least someone who looks a lot like him did. This president wandered on stage believing he was at a political event.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, "TONIGHT SHOW" HOST: What are you doing here? "GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES": Jay, I tell you, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to stop by and say hello to you, mingle with the folks, shake some hands. I tell you -- you know me. I love fund raisers.

LENO: Hold it. All due respect, Mr. President, this is not a fund raiser. This is the "Tonight Show" audience.

"BUSH": These folks didn't pay five grand apiece to get in here.

LENO: No, sir, they did not.

"BUSH": I'm outta here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: All right, you be the judge. And Jay will have the real Dick Gephardt on tonight.

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

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



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