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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Analysis of Iowa Caucus Results

Aired January 19, 2004 - 21:00   ET

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

LARRY KING, HOST: We're about 90 minutes into the Iowa caucuses. Democratic voters are finally having their say on who their party's presidential pick should be. We're going to do two shows tonight, we'll be back live at midnight Eastern, 9 o'clock Pacific.
Ahead in this hour, we'll be hearing from the Democratic presidential hopefuls in Iowa and New Hampshire. We'll be getting perspective from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, Bob Woodward of "The Washington Post." Plus Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996 who won the GOP Iowa caucuses in both 1988 and 1996. And of course, our guy in Des Moines, CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

We understand, though, we can start right with Howard Dean, one of the candidates in the Des Moines election going on right now. There is Mr. Dean. We have early results in that, Howard, that has you third. Is that too early?

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think Senator Kerry is doing very well and so is Senator Edwards. I want to congratulate them both, but we're determined to win. We're determined in the end to win the nomination. We have got a 50-state organization and we're going to go on. I'm delighted to finish in the top three, which is so -- so -- I guess, you know, they say that if you're in the top three, you get winnowed in, so I guess we got winnowed in. And certainly we would have liked to have done better, but we worked hard, we got a lot of great people working for us, and on to New Hampshire.

KING: Are you saying, Howard, that you are going to finish third?

DEAN: I can't tell where we're going to finish yet, but the early numbers look like Senator Kerry will win it. And I certainly want to congratulate him and Senator Edwards for great campaigns, and now by 2:00 this morning we'll be in New Hampshire and we'll be trying to win the New Hampshire primary.

KING: If Congressman Gephardt finishes fourth, do you think he will leave the race?

DEAN: Well, I don't know. You'll be talking to him a little later, and I'm sure you can ask...

KING: Hopefully.

DEAN: ... him that one yourself. You know, we're just glad to get our ticket punched from Iowa. I think the people of Iowa are great. It was a terrific experience for us. I hope to be back in the general election trying to beat George Bush.

KING: Governor, has to be asked. What went wrong? Based on the polls, you were way ahead for a time. What happened?

DEAN: Well, that was the problem, we were way ahead, and when you're way ahead people decide you're the target, and we were pretty much the target of everybody for a long time, and it was hard to sustain that. But we did sustain it, and we got our ticket punched in New Hampshire and that's what matters.

KING: OK, because the early, I think we have about 37 percent in, Kerry gets 37 percent, 33 percent, 18 percent for you, and 11 percent for Gephardt. If it stays that low, you would be very disappointed, wouldn't you?

DEAN: No, we're happy to get our -- we're happy to be on our way to New Hampshire, and then down to South Carolina, Oklahoma and New Mexico. We got a huge base, we've raised a lot of money in small donations. That's the way campaigns should be run in this country, and we're still going to stand up, and we believe that Democrats will want to be Democrats again and that's why we're running.

KING: Will tactics change in New Hampshire with a week to go?

DEAN: Oh, I can't tell you that. I can't tell you that. We'll find out when we get there.

KING: Wolf Blitzer has a question, Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Governor Dean, thanks very much. What do you make of the surge, apparent surge that General Wesley Clark is making in New Hampshire, the next stop on your road?

DEAN: Well, I think when we get there, which I'm going to do in about four hours, things will be mixed up quite a lot. And we don't know who will be surging and who won't. I think things will shift around some as a result of all of this, but you know, I'm looking forward to the primary. You know, it's a new day, a new state. We want health insurance for every single American, we want to stand up and be proud to be Democrats again, that's what we're going to do and we're going to try to win New Hampshire.

KING: So you're not using the word "disappointed" tonight?

DEAN: No. Look, if you had told me a year ago that I was going to finish third in Iowa, I would have been delighted. And it's been a tough campaign. We've taken a lot of punches, not only from our opponents but from the media. And we've stood up to them. We came in third. I think it's great. On to New Hampshire.

KING: Thanks very much, Governor. We'll be seeing you next week in New Hampshire, same time, same place.

DEAN: Yes, you will. KING: Good luck.

DEAN: Thanks, Larry.

KING: Governor Howard Dean, pretty much accepting the fact that he's going to finish third. And before we talk with Bob Woodward, Senator Dole, first our condolences on the death of your mother-in- law. She had a long life.

BOB DOLE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She was a great lady, lived almost to be 103. She would have been 103 on May 22, but she's in a great place now and she'll make a lot of friends.

KING: Bob Woodward, by the way, how's your new book coming?

BOB WOODWARD, WASHINGTON POST: Be out in the spring, about the Iraq war, and Bush, and the team, and what really happened.

KING: You're going to appear here, I hope, with all that inside stuff?

WOODWARD: Yes, sir.

KING: What happened here tonight, if early indications are, I think Howard Dean's pretty much conceding already, congratulating Kerry and Edwards, and saying he's going to finish third.

WOODWARD: Yeah, it's amazing. There were lots of reporters in the last two or three weeks kind of pointing fingers and saying, who's going to write the obituary for the John Kerry campaign, because it looked like it had fallen, certainly it stumbled, and this is an amazing victory.

You know, again, I would be careful about the numbers and premature judgments until everything is in, but if that holds up, that is -- that is astonishing, and we'll be not only -- it will be a boost to everything he has stood for and the effort he made.

KING: And Bob Dole, a veteran of these wars, a victor in Iowa twice, what do you make of this?

DOLE: Well, I remember...

KING: They're over a third in.

DOLE: I know. I think it's probably -- I think he knows what the numbers are going to be, and of course it's -- I feel bad for Dick Gephardt. I think probably his campaign is probably over, but I remember 1988, when I defeated Vice President Bush by a margin of 2-1 in Iowa. He finished third, he came back to not only win the -- he won the nomination, he won the White House. So, you know, I think Dean still has a short straw, but it's going to be tough for him.

KING: You got any late figures, Wolf Blitzer?

BLITZER: We're getting some new numbers in, Larry. These are official numbers from the State Democratic Party. We'll put them up on our screen. These are percentages of the delegates that will be going to the state convention. Take a look at this, with 44 percent of the official numbers now in, John Kerry still retaining his lead at 37 percent, Senator John Edwards at 33 percent, Howard Dean down at 18 percent, Dick Gephardt way down at 11 percent. Almost half of the official numbers are now in, these are delegates to the state convention. John Kerry retaining his lead, but John Edwards not very far behind.

We'll continue, Larry, to watch all of these numbers.

KING: Amazing. Bob Woodward, what happened to Gephardt?

WOODWARD: You know, he had this small base, union supporters, anti-free trade, very committed. If, you know, they could all vote six times he would have won and they would have walked across the state probably to do that, but you need a much broader base, obviously. What's really interesting is the polling showing about three-quarters of the people opposed the war in Iraq, and then here is Kerry, who voted for the resolution, winning.

Now, of course his argument was, "I had to support the president, and I don't -- what I don't like about the war is what happened afterwards and the way it's been managed." So maybe people bought that.

KING: We'll take a break. When we come back, we'll talk with Senator Edwards, who is obviously at this point, with 44 percent in, enjoying a terrific evening, a strong second. We'll go to him in Adair, Iowa. Again, Messers. Blitzer, Woodward and Dole will be with us throughout the hour. Later on, we'll be talking with General Clark and Joe Lieberman in New Hampshire. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: You're watching the special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, part of America Votes 2004, part of this whole CNN incredible coverage all day long and into New Hampshire next week. Senator Edwards will be with us in a short while. Wolf, we got another update?

BLITZER: We certainly do, Larry. The numbers are coming into the state party headquarters here in Des Moines. Let's put them up on the screen now. Take a look at this. With more than half of the caucus sites reporting, Senator John Kerry still on top with 37 percent. Senator Edwards close behind, remaining at 33 percent. 18 percent for Howard Dean, 11 percent for Dick Gephardt.

Remember, these are percentages of the delegates that will be going to the state convention. 51 percent of the 1,993 caucus sites now officially reporting. These are not estimates. These are not unofficial numbers. Larry, these are official state Democratic party numbers.

KING: Wolf, isn't this faster than they expected? They were forecasting we wouldn't know anything until like 11:00 p.m. Eastern time. BLITZER: No, I think what they said that we wouldn't know the final results until close to then, maybe a little bit earlier. The smaller caucus sites can wrap up their business much more rapidly than the bigger caucus sites and presumably, the first half of these numbers that are coming in are coming in from the relatively smaller caucus sites but it will still be awhile before we get the final number and we know for sure who wins the Iowa caucuses.

KING: How does -- Senator Dole, how does Dean know then if these are the smaller caucuses, he's going to finish third?

DOLE: They've got people almost in every precinct and they've got a pretty good fix on what's happening and they've heard the informal discussions and people separating into the Dean group and whatever group. It will be interesting to know, maybe Wolf knows what the turnout was. They were talking about record turnouts, over 100,000-some people, Democrats, about one-fifth, maybe one-fourth the total registered number of Democrats in Iowa. But it is really fascinating...

KING: Hold on, Bob. Wolf, do you know the turnout today?

BLITZER: We don't know the official number but we do know, Larry, that the numbers are very large by all accounts, and we're hearing, we're getting estimates that it will be double what happened four years ago,

61,000 Democrats showed up four years ago in the contest between Al Gore and Bill Bradley. This time, we're hearing maybe 120, if it would be more than 125,000 Democrats that, in fact would be a record. Gordon Fisher of the Democratic Party is predicting a huge number tonight and all of the major information we're getting from these various caucus sites show a huge number of Democrats participating in this process tonight.

KING: Senator Dole, you were saying?

DOLE: All week the story's been it's going to be organization, which was Dean and Gephardt, versus these late surgers, Kerry and Edwards, and I thought organization would win because it's all a matter of turnout in a caucus state. It's not like any other, you know, any other process. You got to show up, you've got to go out in zero weather, you've got to be there, and I thought, my own view was that Dick Gephardt had the organization. Dean had been there for well over a year. Kerry and Edwards were working hard but coming on a little late but it shows what I know about politics.

WOODWARD: Larry, I thought that the scramble tonight and tomorrow is going to be between Kerry and Edwards for the title or mantle of comeback kid because they really came from very low to winning this, and if those numbers are, in fact, true, Kerry will beat Dean two-to-one. And I think if you could have got 1,000 to one odds a couple of weeks ago, the prospect of that happening.

DOLE: It's a "love thy neighbor" campaign, because Dick Gephardt is from Missouri. It's a great process. KING: I start with you, Senator Dole, what did Kerry do, if this holds, what did he do right?

DOLE: Well, he just kept on working when people counted him out, when they said the prostate cancer was going to reemerge and all these different terrible stories that were circulating. We kept on working and he had Ted Kennedy out there, which had to be a big boost, he had the governor's wife, the governor is very popular, his wife endorsed Kerry.

He had a lot of good things going but, I think, above all, he just had -- and he was a veteran. I think he had a lot of veteran support from different veterans groups, and I know it's a very fine line you walk when you're a veteran but I think in this case, it certainly paid off for John Kerry.

KING: If he is the nominee, will he be formidable?

DOLE: Oh, he's going to be tough. He's experienced. That's another thing they voted for was experience. Dick Gephardt had the most, Howard Dean didn't have any, Edwards had some and Kerry had quite a bit. I think, people when they get in, even though they may be against the war, they like to think somebody understands the Senate and understands the process and when John Kerry brings Ted Kennedy out who has been there, is a very liberal, loyal Democrat and stands up and talks about John Kerry, that's a big plus among Democrats.

KING: Bob Woodward, Jim Carville said today, earlier in the afternoon on CNN, that John Edwards is the best campaigner he has seen. Better than Clinton, does that surprise you?

WOODWARD: I don't know. Will Carville say the same thing tomorrow? Sometimes he changes his opinions very quickly.

KING: The question is, what did Edwards do right?

WOODWARD: Well, clearly he reached out to people, all of the stories in the last couple of weeks have noted that he was running a positive campaign. There was a lot of negative advertising, a lot of mud was being thrown around in the last days of this election, and, as you know, lots of people particularly people who live out there in the center of the country look at the mud and the slickness, and they don't like it, and Edwards was able to present himself as the embodiment of kind of the decent "let's be positive" guy.

DOLE: I think the one thing, Larry, we need to focus on now is Joe Lieberman and General Clark. They weren't in Iowa but they're still in the race and both very formidable candidates.

KING: Not kidding.

DOLE: You probably can give us a fix on that or maybe Wolf but tonight the dynamics move to New Hampshire and everything can change there in eight days. Believe me, I was nine or ten points ahead and I had my chief of staff whistling "Hail to the Chief," but it wasn't me. He thought it was going to be me. KING: Dole does not lose his sense of humor. We're going to go to break and as we go to break, we'll show you the latest figures. They're coming in pretty quickly. And when we come back, we'll go to Adair, Iowa and talk with what must be a very happy Senator John Edwards. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back and joining us from Aiken, Iowa, Senator John Edwards, he was endorsed by the "Des Moines Register", must be a very happy man tonight. In fact, I can tell you John, that minutes ago, Howard Dean pretty much conceded that he's going to finish third and congratulated both you and Senator Kerry.

What went right?

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think what went right, Larry, is this incredible response to a message that's finally getting through, my message of hope and optimism, and trying to build one America where everyone gets a chance to do what they're capable of doing. The problem early on was there was so many negative attacks, it was hard to get that message through and for people to hear it. But finally here at the end, caucuses goers in Iowa heard it and that's the reason for this momentum, for the surge.

KING: Are you surprised at the amount?

You're only four percentage points at this point behind Kerry.

EDWARDS: Yes, I think we're right in the middle of it. To be honest with you, three weeks ago, yes, I would have been surprised. Yesterday, today, the day before, the last three or four days, we would go to events, there would be crowds of sometimes 1,000 plus people, people standing in the streets who couldn't get in. So it became pretty obvious that there was something going on. Now, I didn't know how that would show itself tonight in the caucuses but the response has been extraordinary, overwhelming particularly when you put it in the context of all of the other candidates spend much more money. Some of them had union organizations working for them. So basicly, we were sort of the little engine that could. We made this work. The reason it worked, I think was the message.

KING: I remember seeing you eight months ago in Beverly Hills walking around Nate 'n Als restaurant introducing yourself to people. It's a long way since.

EDWARDS: It is, but I'm still introducing myself to people. There are a lot of people in this country that don't have any idea who John Edwards is. Hopefully starting tonight they'll get some notion of what I'm about and why I'm running for president.

KING: Did you have an arrangement for Dennis Kucinich to give his votes over to you?

EDWARDS: Not exactly the way you just said it. Dennis and I are friends. I think a lot of Dennis Kucinich. I think he's also running a campaign based on hope and optimism. And we talked a few days ago, if there were precincts he didn't meet the viability standard and I don't know if you've talked about that but the 15 percent in order to be counted that he would be willing to send his supporters over to me, and to so that was basically the discussion. And we had opportunities to help him, we would also do that.

KING: Do you go to the State of the Union tomorrow and then to New Hampshire or right to New Hampshire in

EDWARDS: I'm going straight to New Hampshire. In fact, I'm going to New Hampshire later tonight. We'll get there about the middle of the night and have a big rally. I'm having so much fun, I can't begin to tell you.

KING: So you won't attend the State of the Union.

Will you watch it in New Hampshire?

EDWARDS: I'm sure I will, because I do want to hear what the president has to say.

KING: All right, how aggressive -- now you know we have got two Clark and Lieberman that did not run in Iowa, that are in New Hampshire, and have been strong there for a week.

How do you expect to do there?

EDWARDS: Well, I think Iowa tradition traditionally has a big impact on what's going on in New Hampshire. Those of us who have been here myself, Senator Kerry, Governor Dean, Congressman Gephardt, I mean, we've been here battling it out here in Iowa, and at least my view is that, we're, I'm running, I know, a national campaign. I don't think you get to choose and pick where you want to run. And so I think we approached this differently. Joe Lieberman and General Clark chose to withdraw for whatever reason from Iowa. And my view is if I want to be the Democratic nominee I have to run everywhere in this country. So I'm going to straight to New Hampshire with the same message and same strength and same momentum.

KING: Congressman Gephardt, do you think he will leave the race?

EDWARDS: You know, I don't know. I got to tell you, Larry, he is such a good and decent man. I got a very high opinion of Dick Gephardt, and have for a long time. I don't know. That's a decision that he'll have to make, but whatever decision he makes about that, he's somebody who has been an extraordinary public server.

KING: Senator Edwards, Wolf Blitzer and senator Bob Dole and Bob Woodward of the "The Washington Post" are all with us tonight and I understand Wolf has a question -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Larry.

Senator Edwards, there had been speculation even if you did relatively here in Iowa, you might skip New Hampshire and go right to South Carolina in the south and make a big push there the week after New Hampshire. As you know, South Carolina, some six other contests.

Will you devote all of this coming week strictly to New Hampshire?

EDWARDS: It's a good question, Wolf. The answer is, as I said earlier I'm running a national campaign. I'm going to run everywhere in this country. So, most of this week will be spent in New Hampshire. I will go to South Carolina, as I know you're aware, I was born in South Carolina, I have strong contacts there and it's a place where I expect to do very well. And I want to make sure I reinforce those roots, but I will spend most of the week in New Hampshire.

KING: Senator Dole, as a veteran of the Senate is there anything you'd like to say to the young man from the senate?

DOLE: I want to say congratulations. And really I think Edwards will get the bounce in New Hampshire. I mean, the way it works, John Kerry, of course, is from Massachusetts, and he's long time a frontrunner in Iowa, at least in many people's minds. And the fact that he won is very exciting and I congratulate him, but the fact that John Edwards finished second, I think is going to be the big story. It happened in '88 when I won, Pat Robertson finished second, and he was the big story. It wasn't the fact I won. I think John Edwards is going to get a lot of -- he's going to be a player in New Hampshire.

EDWARDS: Bob, let me also say to you if I can interject here, I hope you'll tell Elizabeth again for me how sorry we were about the loss of her extraordinary mother.

DOLE: Thank you very much, I will.

KING: And before again, Senator Edwards leaves us, Bob Woodward, do you have a word for the senator?

WOODWARD: What's the message if you think about running against President Bush, what's going to be the core of candidacy, either by you or whoever wins the Democratic nomination to oppose Bush, what's kind of the bottom line?

Why would you or a Democrat beat Bush?

EDWARDS: Because we live in a country, Bob, where there's really still two Americas, two public school systems, one more the more affluent and one for everybody else. Two health care systems, ones that can afford the best healthcare and one for everybody else. Two governments in Washington, one for the insiders and lobbyists and one for everybody else. Two different images Americas had around the world over the last 30 years. And what -- speaking for myself, what my entire campaign about is building one America that allows everybody to get a chance to do what they're capable of doing, and to go back to the place that Americans believed that anything is possible. We've been there before and we can go there again.

KING: Senator, thank you so much. Again, congratulations on the numbers so far. A formidable showing tonight.

EDWARDS: Thank you, Larry, very much.

KING: Senator John Edwards.

Let's go to Wolf for the latest update on the count and then we'll take a break and with lots more to go.

Wolf, what's the latest?

BLITZER: Not a huge surprise here, Larry, one campaign operative close to Congressman Dick Gephardt telling CNN that the Congressman right now in the words of this one campaign operative considering pulling out of the Democratic presidential race following a poor showing in Iowa. We'll continue to monitor that.

Let's take a look at latest official numbers coming into the Democratic State Party headquarters here in Des Moines. Look at this, with 71 percent of the caucus sites now reporting, 38 percent for John Kerry, that's up one percentage point since the last time we checked, 32 percent for John Edwards, Howard Dean down at 18 percent, Dick Gephardt way behind, number four with only 11 percent, Dennis Kucinich with 1 percent of the delegates to the state convention. 71 percent of the precincts, 71 percent of the caucus sites now official, making their numbers known to the state party headquarters.

Very interesting numbers, Larry. We're also standing by for this. Look at this, Larry.

CNN is now ready to project a winner, a winner in the Iowa caucuses.

CNN projecting that Senator John Kerry, the senator from Massachusets will eventually go on to win the Iowa caucus. We saw the offical numbers with 71 percent, but based on other information we're getting from caucus sites around the state, it looks like John Kerry, coming from behind, making a dramatic comeback. A lot of Democrats in this state clearly, clearly, clearly influenced by his dramatic appeal to them over these past several days, and John Kerry will go on and win the Iowa caucuses.

We're also ready to project that John Edwards, when all of the dust is settled, will come in second in the Iowa caucuses, and Howard Dean will come in third. Dick Gephardt will come in fourth.

Larry, very dramatic developments, but John Kerry is going to go on and win these Iowa caucuses.

KING: Quite a night, and a half hour ago, just about a half hour ago, Senator -- Governor Dean on this program conceded that fact, he congratulated both Kerry and Edwards and conceded that he would finish third.

And also, it might interest you to know, Bob Woodward, that Dick Gephardt was scheduled on the show tonight, and two minutes before we went on the air told our people that he would not go on. Do you gather he's going to pull out? WOODWARD: If those numbers hold, and he made it pretty clear that he had to win. He won back in 1988 the Iowa caucuses, and to come in so many years later and have a fourth place finish -- one thing he is is a realist.

KING: Yeah, do you agree, Senator Dole?

DOLE: He's a very fine person. I mean, he's a genuine good guy, and you know, I'm disappointed. I thought Gephardt would do better, and I'm certain he thought he would do better. But the reality is, there's no place to go. He doesn't have a real campaign in New Hampshire, and I think he probably will not be in this race. Maybe tomorrow morning it will be over.

KING: Bob Woodward, did Kerry -- did John Kerry get better as this race got better, got a war on?

WOODWARD: He clearly did, and he worked hard, didn't -- didn't give up, stuck to the message that he had framed for himself. There's going to be a lot of in-depth reporting on exactly how he carried this off and how he won, but it is -- you can't call it a shocker, but it's really a surprise, and it is a giant victory.

Senator Dole has made the point that you can't say, OK, you win in Iowa, so you win in New Hampshire, or you win the nomination. There's all kinds of evidence of that, but there is what George Bush Sr. used to talk about, the big momentum, the big mo, and certainly, Kerry seems to have it or will for the next week.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. Our regular guests with us are Bob Woodward, Senator Bob Dole and Wolf Blitzer. We're talking with candidates as well. More to come. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: You're watching a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, part of CNN's coverage of "America Votes 2004." We'll be back again live at midnight, 9:00 Eastern, for the second portion of the program. We'll be live.

Let's go to Manchester, New Hampshire, and General Wesley Clark, United States Army, retired, candidate as well. He is -- he was not in the Iowa race. What do you make of what happened tonight? CNN is calling Kerry the winner and they're saying that Edwards will finish second, Gephardt third, and Dean on this program earlier already conceded that fact. What do you think, General?

WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it shows that the voters make the decisions, and, you know, I think -- I congratulate John Kerry and John Edwards, and you know, I'm really excited to be up here in New Hampshire. We're having a great time here. I was down in South Carolina today. And let's get going.

KING: Were you surprised at Iowa?

CLARK: No, I think all the polls were pretty much playing it that way, and I think it reinforce the point that we've understood from the beginning, that this is a race about how to make America better. The election has to be about the future, it has to be positive. You've got to give the voters a real message that gives them hope and it shows how we can pull this country together. And that's why I've been talking about bringing a higher standard of leadership to America, leadership that's not captive to special interests, that it's looking for the good of the country, and leadership that looks beyond the next election cycle to what's good for the next generation.

KING: Are you glad you stayed out of Iowa?

CLARK: Well, there really wasn't any choice in my case.

You know, Larry, when I entered the race in September, I had 50,000 to 70,000 people asking me to get in, I had a lot of top people asking me to do it. I felt the country was at risk. I still believe it is at risk, and I made the decision to come in, but like I said, it was the four no's. No money, no staff, no position papers, and I had never run for elective office. So it took us a while to assemble things, and it just wasn't feasible to do Iowa.

KING: Now, the strategy is, give me how would you like -- is Dean ahead in the current polls, right?

CLARK: Well, that's what it looks like up here, but I'm not really watching these polls, Larry, to be honest with you. What I'm doing is going out, meeting the voters. I'm dealing with the issues as they come up, I'm looking in people's eyes, I'm shaking hands, I'm making phone calls, and we're just looking at connecting to the people of New Hampshire.

KING: Are you surprised at Congressman Gephardt's poor showing?

CLARK: Well, I like Dick Gephardt. I think he's terrific guy. I think he's done terrific things for the race, but I wasn't watching Iowa. So I really don't have anything I can say constructively about Iowa. I mean, all I'm trying to do is really work the voters in New Hampshire on the issues, show them how we can help this country, and let them get to know me.

KING: Are you enjoying running?

CLARK: It's the best experience I ever had in my life. It is absolutely...

KING: Really?

CLARK: ... a thrill. It is unbelievable to go out and say what you really believe, to talk about all of the things that are important to Americans, to offer a promise of a way to bring this country forward, to give hope, to look in people's eyes and connect with them. It is -- it is a thrill. It's the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me in my life, other than having a family and a child, and a grandson.

KING: You couldn't say what you believed when in the Army?

CLARK: Well, you were only dealing with a certain small range of issues, and in fact, there were a lot of times when I had to watch what I said. You may know about some of those, if you remember our discussions on Kosovo.

KING: How true. General Clark was a frequent guest on this show. Do you have a question, Wolf Blitzer?

BLITZER: I certainly do. Thanks very much, Larry. General Clark, the widespread assumption was that if Kerry did not do well here, it would be between you and Howard Dean in New Hampshire, but with Kerry doing very well here, in fact, winning the Iowa caucuses, he's presumably going to get a bounce. This presumably could turn out to be very bad news for you in New Hampshire.

CLARK: Well, I haven't looked at those kinds of issues. What I am doing, Wolf, is going out and working with the people in New Hampshire. I was down in South Carolina today. We had a very good day in South Carolina. We have got a very strong campaign all the way across the nation. We're strong in South Carolina, in Tennessee, in Oklahoma, and Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia. We're strong all the way across this country, and I'm looking forward to the full chance to meet all the voters, all over the country as we move through these primary elections.

KING: General Clark, we have another veteran with us tonight, Senator Robert Dole. You may know Senator Dole.

CLARK: Hello, Senator.

KING: Bob, do you have a question for the General?

DOLE: No, I think, you know, it's a tough -- you indicated it's a tough business you're in. Looking at it from my perspective, it seemed to me that John Kerry is a big winner tonight, not just in Iowa but also New Hampshire. I know you can't worry about Kerry's campaign but just as an observer I think he's going to benefit a great deal in New Hampshire. Somebody has to lose. Now, of course, you don't want it to be you but I think it may be you.

CLARK: Senator, let's be honest about this thing. The American people want a change in leadership. They're looking for a candidate that can lead on all of the issues. I'm the only person in this race who has ever done foreign policy and I know all of the domestic issues, too. It's one thing to talk about it, but if you think of foreign policy it's like major league baseball. I'm the only person who has ever played it and I pitch a 95 mile an hour fastball. I've negotiated peace agreements, I've won a war. I'm prepared to help the country that's why I'm running. I'm not worried about John Kerry or anybody else.

DOLE: We're not -- we're discussing here as friends but I think just politically you just became a colonel instead of a general...

CLARK: Well, I don't think that's at all -- Senator, with all due respect, he's a lieutenant and I'm a general. You got to get your facts on this. He was a lieutenant in Vietnam. I've done all of the big leadership. I respect John Kerry and I like him but what I'm going to say it's up to the voters of New Hampshire, South Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, all across this country, and that's what democracy is about. It's your job to handicap the race. It's my job to go out here and do the best thing I can do for the United States of America and that's what I'm going to do.

DOLE: And I certainly wish you luck. I'm not being critical. I'm just being realistic. I've been there and I lost, of course, which is a lot more fun winning but...

CLARK: Well, I'll tell you what, I've been in a lot of tough positions in my life, one of them was leading the operation in Kosovo where I not only had to hold alliance but I had to worry about the Pentagon behind me. I'm looking forward to New Hampshire.

KING: General Clark, we'll see you next week. And Senator Dole just announced his support for you.

DOLE: In Kosovo, he had my support in Kosovo.

CLARK: I know I did and I'm grateful to you, Senator, for that.

KING: As we go to break, here's the Kerry headquarters in Iowa. A very happy group of people, look at them tonight as John Kerry has been declared the winner by CNN, already conceded by Howard Dean. John Edwards will finish second. We'll be back with more and get Bob Woodward's thoughts on the exchange we just heard right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before Mr. Woodward comments on the exchange between Senator Dole and General Clark, Wolf Blitzer has an update on what's the latest -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Well, with John Kerry clearly winning the Iowa caucuses, CNN has now learned that Dick Gephardt, the Congressman from Missouri, will not, repeat not, be heading over to New Hampshire tonight as previously scheduled. Instead, he's going to go back to Missouri, his homestate, presumably, presumably to drop out of this race, coming in a distant fourth by all of our projections, not a huge surprise a severe disappointment, though, for Dick Gephardt. He's on the way from Iowa to Missouri, not, not New Hampshire.

KING: Not a surprise. Bob Woodward, what did you make of our exchange here between the old Senator Dole and General Clark?

WOODWARD: Well, I think the battlefield demotion that Senator Dole gave General Clark taking him down to colonel, you know, that was the old Dole that we used to see back in the '80s, who would, you know, really slip it to you, and, you know, whether it was fair or not, just analytically, I think you have to agree that it is realistic, because for days now, people are rightly going to be microscopically examining the Kerry campaign and him and saying, how did he pull this unexpected win off? And it's wonderful as Senator Dole was saying, to have somebody examine in detail how you won. Normally, the examination and excavation is about something that went wrong or about a loss, but in this case, Senator Kerry's going to have that benefit.

DOLE: I do think, Larry, I certainly wouldn't want to argue with General Clark. He does a great service and a great record. Politically, this is a big win for John Kerry, and it's going to show in New Hampshire.

KING: All right, we're going to talk with Senator Lieberman in a moment but Wolf Blitzer, you want to give us the latest results and I want to go right to Joe Lieberman in New Hampshire. What's the latest, Wolf?

BLITZER: Yes, these numbers will be of interest to Senator Lieberman and all of our viewers. In fact, let's put them up on the screen right now. Here are the latest official percentages coming into the state Democratic party headquarters here in Des Moines with 83 percent of the caucus sites reporting, 38 percent for John Kerry. He will win this contest. 32 percent for John Edwards. 18 percent for Howard Dean. Only 11 percent for dick Gephardt. One percent for Dennis Kucinich. A clear win, a clear win for John Kerry -- Larry.

KING: Thank you, Wolf. Now let's go up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Senator Joe Lieberman standing by. We understand he has just gotten the endorsement of the Manchester Union Leader. Congratulations. What does that mean?

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Larry. It means I feel like a winner tonight. This is the only statewide newspaper, largest newspaper in the state. I gather it's the front page endorsement, they say, and I appreciate it, I'm a man of conviction and they also say that the folks in the Bush White House better hope I don't get the nomination because I'll give them a real tough run for their money and that's, of course, exactly what Democrats want, a candidate who can defeat George Bush in November.

KING: What's your analysis of Iowa?

LIEBERMAN: Well, the most important thing from my point of view, since I didn't participate there, is Iowa is over and we're now on to New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a whole new ball game. What I have seen from Iowa validates what I've seen here in New Hampshire. The people are going to make up their own minds. They're not going to listen to the pundits or the pollsters.

They want somebody they can trust. I have a 30-year record that they can rely on and somebody who can be as tough or tougher on security and keeping them safe on the strongest security of any of the Democrats and I'll restore prosperity and that's the winning combination and why I'm so pleased by what the union leaders said tonight.

KING: What's your read on Governor Dean's poor showing? LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, I've been saying all along that the voters were going to make up their own minds. People here in New Hampshire are taking a second look, they were uneasy about many of the things that Governor Dean said, and I think the Democrats begin to worry whether he could stand up in a race with George W. Bush, and that's again where voters here in New Hampshire historically have not been affected by what happened in Iowa, and I'm very encouraged by the support we've got here, the organization we've built up, and this endorsement tonight from the union leader, I'm very grateful for it.

KING: Are you going to attend the State of the Union, are you staying in New Hampshire?

LIEBERMAN: I am not going to attend the State of the Union, but I will be watching, like most of America.

KING: Thank you, Joe, and again...

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: ... Joe Lieberman gets the endorsement tonight of the only statewide newspaper, "The Manchester Union Leader." We'll be back with our remaining moments of this segment of LARRY KING LIVE. More with our guests and up to the minute results right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: A decisive win for John Kerry, who by the way, John Kerry will be with us in the second live edition of LARRY KING LIVE tonight, at midnight Eastern, 9:00 Pacific. It's about a little over two hours from now. John Kerry will be with us, the victorious senator, who goes on now to New Hampshire.

Remaining with us are Bob Woodward and Bob Dole. And at the top of the hour, I'll be turning things over to Wolf Blitzer and let you know later who the guests are.

OK, wrapping it up, Bob, what's the analysis of this, what's the big story, is it Kerry or Edwards?

DOLE: Bob Dole or Bob Woodward?

KING: Well, Bob Woodward first.

WOODWARD: Well, it's clearly it's both of then, and then look at Dean there in third position. If those numbers hold up, and I guess they do now, Kerry beat him by 20 percentage points. That's astonishing. Senator Dole and I were just talking about in Iowa, the caucus state where you have to get somebody to go out and spend an evening, those are hard votes. Very difficult to get, and for Kerry to do that is amazing.

KING: Hold on one second, before we get Senator Dole, Woodward, let's go to Wolf Blitzer for a quick comment -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Larry, CNN has now confirmed, CNN has learned, in fact, that Dick Gephardt, the congressman from Missouri, will drop out of this presidential race, coming in a distant fourth in these Iowa caucuses. He had said repeatedly he needs to win to go on from Iowa. He won in the state in 1988. He is going to come in a distant fourth in this particular caucus. The caucuses here. As a result, CNN has learned Dick Gephardt, after a long political career, will drop out of this presidential contest from Iowa. He's heading back to Missouri -- Larry.

KING: And Senator Dole, we have about 45 seconds, your wrap on the night.

DOLE: Well, I want to think Dick Gephardt for his public service, and secondly, you just had a very good friend of mine on, in Joe Lieberman. I mean, if you talk about a good, quality, decent guy, respected by both parties, it's a guy like Joe Lieberman. But again, the big winner tonight was -- well, almost a tie, but the big winner was John Kerry. Close second, of course, was John Edwards. The two Johns were the winners.

KING: Thank you all very much, Wolf Blitzer, Bob Dole and Bob Woodward. Hope to have them all, of course, with us next Tuesday night, all the candidates as well. And I'll come back in a couple of minutes before we turn it back over to Wolf, and tell you what's coming up later on LARRY KING LIVE part II. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Tomorrow night, we'll be on following the State of the Union address and the Democratic response will be around 10:30 Eastern time, with a full hour of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll also be back at the top of the hour, at the top of two hours from now, the top of 9:00 p.m. Pacific, midnight Eastern, our guests will be Senator John Kerry, the big winner tonight, Senators Harkin and Grassley, the two Iowa senators, and former Senator Simpson and McGovern. All two hours from now. Right now, stay tuned for CNN's continuing coverage of the Iowa caucuses.

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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