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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Kerry Wins Iowa Caucuses

Aired January 19, 2004 - 23:00   ET

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

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Congressman Dick Gephardt all but confirming that he will in fact drop out of this race. He's going to be leaving Iowa to head off to Missouri. He'll be speaking to his constituents tomorrow in St. Louis, making it official. Clearly, making it clear today that his bid for the White House is over, a very sad statement from this congressman who really thought he would win this state, a state he captured in 1988.
He's hugging his supporters as we take a look at another picture, a very different picture on the other side of the screen, the John Kerry campaign headquarters. We're standing by to hear from John Kerry. We think John Kerry, the winner of these Iowa caucuses, will, in fact, speak, although that's in somewhat of a doubt because of the laryngitis that he's suffering for. John Kerry earlier in today had to cancel a few events because he could barely speak.

In Iowa, John Kerry suffering from some bad laryngitis, although we are told he's getting ready to walk to the microphone right now to speak to his supporters. He'll be declaring victory, as he should be declaring victory, here in the Iowa caucuses, a big night for John Kerry, the clear winner in these Iowa caucuses. John Kerry, the senator from Massachusetts, surging over these past few days to emerge as the winner.

We're going to listen to John Kerry once he gets into that room.

Judy, I thought it was pretty sad to hear, to hear Dick Gephardt make that statement, knowing how much time and effort and work he put into this battle.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: He has poured his heart and soul into this. He's had -- we keep talking about how much the organized labor's been with him. Well, particularly the manufacturing industrial sector unions. But he has a longstanding friendship, relationship, with a number of important figures in the Democratic Party. The fact is, though, he ran in 1988. He won in Iowa. But he did not go on to win the Democratic nomination that year.

And Wolf, it has been the sense, I think, of many watching this campaign that it was going to be very difficult indeed for Dick Gephardt, not so much to win here in Iowa. What was he going to do after Iowa? He was struggling in New Hampshire.

But I'll concede, Wolf, you know, invoking his son, who fought a courageous battle with cancer and came back, and Dick Gephardt's been talking about that on the campaign trail. Very hard to listen to that.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Wolf, Dick Gephardt might have been a much stronger candidate in a different Democratic Party, a Democratic Party where industrial unions represented a much bigger part of the workforce, a less-college educated, less reform-minded Democratic Party. He supported President Bush on the war and on the reconstruction. That clearly cost him some support. And it cost him support in a way it didn't cost John Kerry, who made his reputation as the anti-war guy back in Vietnam.

But for a guy who's spent 27 years in the House, I don't think there was a breath of personal scandal, probably the man of the most modest means. It's just another one of those cases where somebody who rises to great prominence in the Congress finds the transition as a presidential candidate very tough.

BLITZER: Jeff, stand by, I want to, I just remind our viewers, we're standing by to hear from John Kerry, the winner of the Iowa caucuses. He's about to come into his campaign headquarters and address his supporters in advance of his taking off for New Hampshire.

We'll go there live as we await to hear from the winner of the Iowa caucuses. Let's bring in a guest, Ed Gillespie is the chairman of the Republican Party. He's here in Des Moines with other Republicans, surrogates of the president. They've been spending the past day or so here.

What do you make of this John Kerry win, Ed, here in Iowa?

ED GILLESPIE, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN PARTY: Well, he clearly had a big night, John. Edwards had a good note. It was clear from Howard Dean's comments he's going on. Three of them come out of Iowa, which is ordinarily, I think, the case out of Iowa. It's clear from Mr. Gephardt's comments that he won't.

And there's two people waiting for them in New Hampshire. And this is going to be a very spirited contest. We've said for some time it looks wide open to us, and it's fascinating to watch from where we sit, I have to say.

BLITZER: Were you surprised that John Kerry and John Edwards surged over these past few days, clearly at the expense of Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean?

GILLESPIE: Well, I tell you, I saw the ads that Gephardt and Dean were running against each other, and it occurred to me at that time, as soon as I saw them, traditionally in politics, or historically, the beneficiaries of those kind of ads are the people who aren't running the negative ads. And I think that's what we saw here in Iowa.

BLITZER: What kind of opponent would John Kerry hypothetically be against President George W. Bush?

GILLESPIE: Look, any one of these, and let's -- John Kerry had a great night, but the Iowa caucus winner doesn't always -- isn't always the nominee. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) should understand that. But regardless if he's the nominee, he'll be a strong and viable nominee. Anyone who emerges from this contest will be a strong and viable nominee. We're preparing for a close contest in November.

WOODRUFF: Ed, what do you make of the fact that the entrance polls that CNN and other news organizations did showed that most of the caucus goers tonight viscerally against the decision by the Bush administration to go to war in Iraq? Now, they obviously split different ways. John Kerry voted with the president on the war. But it -- so it wasn't always their deciding -- the deciding factor in their vote.

But what does that say to you?

GILLESPIE: Well, obviously a majority of the Democratic Party I've seen in polling data, those who self-identify as Democrats, oppose the war. It's not surprising to me that an even higher number of those who participate in the caucuses would be opposed to the war, activists, obviously.

But I think it also shows it wasn't the determining factor tonight.

BLITZER: Hold on one second, Ed. I want to listen, I want to listen to what's happening over at the John Kerry headquarters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... John Kerry!

BLITZER: John Kerry is in the room now. He's with his supporters, very enthusiastic supporters, as they justifiably should be, John Kerry, the clear, decisive winner here in these Iowa caucuses. He's preparing to speak to his supporters. He's surrounded by so many of them.

We see the senior senator from Massachusetts, Senator Ted Kennedy, up on the stage with him. Senator Kennedy had strongly endorsed his fellow Massachusetts senator, John Kerry, went out and campaigned for him here in Iowa, strongly, strongly making the case that John Kerry should be the next president of the United States.

Jeff, as we await to hear directly from John Kerry, what goes through your mind?

GREENFIELD: I saw Senator Kennedy last night at one of the hangouts that politicians and operatives go to here in Des Moines, and he flatly said, Something's happening here. John Kerry's going to win this thing.

The other person that John Kerry shook hands with, you may see him, a blond man, this is a fellow -- Glassman (ph), I believe his name -- his -- he saved his life 35 years ago. And three days ago, this gentleman called the Kerry campaign, said, Can I help? He -- they flew him out to Des Moines. There was a very emotional reunion the other day.

And that event, combined with that ad we've been seeing all over Iowa and New Hampshire, of Mr. Sandusky, who's another person whose life John Kerry saved, is the kind of message that began to penetrate, that this guy who had a number of combat decorations Vietnam -- in Vietnam was not some aloof, patrician rich guy, but a guy who had actually saved lives.

It was the kind of thing that John -- that helped John Kennedy overcome the idea of a rich man's son by sacrifice.

BLITZER: All right, all right, hold on a second. Let's listen in to see what's happening, the next step before John Kerry speaks. He's once again going to be introduced to his crowd. They're getting very excited.

I think Kelly Wallace is there as well, our reporter on the scene. Kelly, give us a little sense of what you're seeing. Hold on one second, Kelly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) (audio interrupt) here in the state of Iowa...

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ... in this room...

(INTERRUPTED FOR LIVE EVENT)

BLITZER: John Kerry speaking to his supporters, a tumultuous victory for the Massachusetts senator here in Iowa in these caucuses tonight, a come-from-behind, only a few days ago he did not look like he was going to emerge the winner, but he did certainly surge over these past several days, clearly the winner in Iowa.

Jeff Greenfield has been watching along with all of us. Jeff, as you watch Senator Kerry go on and thank his supporters for what has happened today, what goes through your mind?

GREENFIELD: Well, basically what we heard was John Kerry's speech and his argument. What occurs to me is that in Iowa, John Kerry managed to overcome a reputation that back in Massachusetts that haunted him, that there was something not quite authentic about him. One of his nicknames in New Hampshire -- in Massachusetts was Live Shot Kerry, for an eagerness to be on television.

The advertising, the speeches in Iowa refashioned John Kerry in a -- as a much more authentic person. And now the question is, as he goes back to New Hampshire, a neighboring state of Massachusetts, do the people of New Hampshire, who have been often affected by the coverage from across the border, are they going to see John Kerry less as a patrician kind of elitist liberal and more as the Vietnam war hero who's a working-class tribune?

I think that's really the central question over the next eight days for him.

BLITZER: And Judy, as we see, Senator Kerry wrapping up his remarks, we also see his wife, Theresa Heinz. They spent a lot of money getting to where they are right now, including a lot of their own money. WOODRUFF: They are spending a lot of their own money. They put the mortgage on -- they mortgaged their own house to keep this campaign going. He has opted out of federal financing.

Wolf, I don't think you can underestimate or overstate, I should say, how much the personal story of John Kerry has come into play in this campaign in the last few weeks. Jeff just talked about it. He has talked about his experience in Vietnam. We've met not one but two men whose lives John Kerry saved during the war in Vietnam.

This, and the fact that he's so much more comfortable now talking about his experiences in Vietnam, his life, all of that, I think, has helped bring a shape, a human, and obviously a successful shape to this campaign that had been considered all but dead just a few weeks ago.

BLITZER: He's calling himself the comeback Kerry, not the comeback kid, but comeback Kerry.

Bill Schneider's watching along with all of us as well. He's also got the added advantage at looking at the numbers, the polling numbers of how John Kerry did all this. Bill?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: ... experience, that was a quality that voters saw in John Kerry. It was not a quality they saw in Howard Dean. You just heard John Kerry call attention to his military experience and his ability to stand side by side with George Bush.

For that matter, John Edwards we heard from was positive and optimistic, also not a quality the voters saw in Howard Dean, certainly not one we saw tonight.

Final point, John Kerry is a very formidable debater. He had a series of debates with Bill Weld when he's faced reelection for the Senate. It was one of the great series of debates in American history. You just wait until George Bush gets into a debate with John Kerry, if John Kerry's the nominee.

BLITZER: All right, Bill, we're taking a look at John Kerry wrapping up his remarks, thanking his supporters. Just to point out to our viewers, the young women standing next to him on his right, his daughters, Judy, daughters who have been very actively involved in this campaign, together with his wife.

WOODRUFF: They've been out there campaigning for him, his wife, Theresa Heinz, who we just mentioned a minute ago. She's the one standing to his right with the green scarf around her suit.

The family has been very important. And as Jeff mentioned, she was married to the late John Heinz, the Republican senator from the state of Pennsylvania. She's now married to a Democratic senator. And look how far he's come.

BLITZER: And look at this, he's thanking a Vietnam veteran, a very well-known Vietnam veteran, Jeff Green... WOODRUFF: Max Cleland.

BLITZER: ... Jeff Greenfield, who is there to support him, very familiar to our viewers.

GREENFIELD: That is former Georgia Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee, a Vietnam war hero who lost his seat in 2002 in a very -- I guess you would say contentious Senate race in which the images of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were linked to Max Cleland's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) or position on homeland security.

I have a feeling you're going to see Max Cleland on the campaign trail for John Kerry a lot. There's a not-so-subtle message here about the generation that John Kerry is from, not a generation that went to college and protested the war, which he later did, but a generation that fought in that war and often suffered a great deal.

BLITZER: All right. I want everybody to stand by, because we have much more coverage coming up of the Iowa caucuses. In many respects, we're only just beginning.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll regroup. All of our correspondents, our analysts, our guests are standing by to see what happens next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: A stunning turn. A man whose campaign was written off three weeks ago, four weeks ago, five weeks ago, now the Democratic winner in Iowa, Senator John Kerry, on his way to victory ahead of an unlikely but surging second-place finisher, John Edwards.

And look at this, Howard Dean, the front runner for months, a surprising distant third, now facing a serious question, is his campaign in trouble?

And Dick Gephardt's campaign is past that after an extremely disappointing turnout.

Caucus goers in Iowa dominating the American political scene tonight. Live from Des Moines, where political fortunes are being made and lost as we speak.

Stand by for the surprising story unfolding right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like the Kerry people to go to the Adult Center, which is back by the...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Iowa's adults, on the march for Senator John Kerry. Tonight, a big story and a big surprise in Iowa's caucuses, a strong one-two showing by Senators John Kerry and John Edwards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're right in the middle of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: It's the end of the line for Congressman Richard Gephardt. But Howard Dean says he isn't done yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We came in third. I think it's great. On to New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Now, a CNN special report, America votes 2004, the results from the Iowa caucuses.

BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer at CNN's Iowa headquarters here in Des Moines.

Tonight, John Kerry's supporters here in Iowa and across the nation have something to cheer about. Senator Kerry, the Vietnam veteran whose campaign was an early favorite, then faltered, has roared back to life. Tonight Senator Kerry wins the Iowa caucuses.

But there's also reason to cheer at Senator John Edwards' campaign headquarters. He's not a second-tier candidate by any shot, he's the second-place finisher whose campaign has a new lease on political life.

But is there so much reason to cheer at Howard Dean's campaign headquarters? He was the front runner, but he finished a weak third. Still, he's reminding people it's a national campaign, and Iowa, Iowa is only the first step.

For Congressman Dick Gephardt, it was a last step. At his campaign headquarters, it's the last hurrah. He needed to win. He finished a distant fourth. CNN has learned tomorrow he will drop out of this presidential race.

Here are the results of the Iowa caucuses as of right now, with, look at this, with 98 percent, 98 percent of the caucus results in, Senator Kerry has captured 38 percent of the state convention delegates, Senator Edwards has a very impressive 32 percent. In third place, far behind, though, with only 18 percent, is Howard Dean. Dick Gephardt finishing fourth with 11 percent.

With me here in Des Moines is Judy Woodruff, the host of CNN's "INSIDE POLITICS." Judy, as we take a look at what has happened, it's pretty remarkable.

WOODRUFF: Wolf, it is a whole new ball game in the Democratic race for president. We've just suggested it to our viewers. But frankly, what was just two weeks ago a contest between the insurgent, a formerly little-known governor, former governor from Vermont, Howard Dean, between him and Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt, turned out to be a very different contest altogether.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Iowa, for making me the comeback Kerry.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): A come-from-behind victory that will send John Kerry roaring toward his New England home turf.

KERRY: And now you send me on to New Hampshire and to the other contests ahead in this country, and I make you this pledge. I have only just begun to fight. In the months and years ahead...

WOODRUFF: Trailing for months after a strong start, the senator from Massachusetts snatches victory from the jaws of defeat in the Hawkeye State.

But the caucuses delivered a death blow to Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt, who plans to drop out of the race tomorrow.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Life will go on, because this campaign was never about me. It was about all of us. It was about our future, and it was about our children and the America ahead of us.

WOODRUFF: Gephardt, who won the caucuses here in 1988, has said he would have to win them this year to stay in the game. But despite a massive organization of labor supporters, the candidate's effort fell far short.

Kerry wasn't the only candidate crowing tonight. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina powered to a strong second-place finish, likely to bring new momentum to his campaign.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I came here a year ago with a belief that we could change this country, with a belief that the politics of what was possible, the politics of hope, could overcome the politics of cynicism.

WOODRUFF: Sounding anything but humbled, one-time front runner Howard Dean, who, despite shattering fund-raising records and flying thousands of volunteers into Iowa, placed a disappointing third, far behind Kerry and Edwards.

DEAN: We will not quit now or ever. We want our country back for ordinary Americans.

WOODRUFF: It's a whole new ball game.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: So Howard Dean saying he won't quit. But, as we pointed out, a disappointing third. Wolf, if you look at Howard Dean's numbers, they are half of what the winner, John Kerry, did in Iowa. This is a very tough defeat for Howard Dean.

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

WOODRUFF: And it raises all sorts of questions about what he does and where he goes.

BLITZER: And Judy, I think you and all of our analysts and our reporters will agree, we expected drama tonight. We certainly got it.

WOODRUFF: We got it.

BLITZER: All right, let's go over to the John Kerry campaign headquarters. Our correspondent there, Kelly Wallace, has been watching and listening, trying to assess what happens next. First of all, set the scene for us, Kelly. What's happening right now?

WALLACE: Well, Wolf, John Kerry's closing song is "Beautiful Day" by Bono. And campaign aides say this is a beautiful finish. Right now, John Kerry, the man who said he wanted to meet every voter he possibly could in Iowa, appears to be trying to shake every person's hand in this room right now.

He ended his speech a short time ago with this, "It's on to New Hampshire."

Let me give you a little bit of behind-the-scenes. Because campaign aides saw those early numbers, they said they were encouraged. But they say the mood was very, very serious until 8:30 p.m., when Senator Ted Kennedy, the senior senator from Massachusetts, walked in and said congratulations to Senator John Kerry.

Kerry's wife, Theresa, is here, of course, and his two daughters, Vanessa and Alex. I talked to them both earlier. Vanessa telling me this is the most nerve-wracking night of her entire life. Advisers say what they think happened here is that Iowa voters went to the caucuses to elect a president. They believe that the more people looked at John Kerry, the more they liked what they were seeing.

They believe the issues of national security and health care also proved crucial, but they're taking this, Wolf, one state at a time. They say on now to New Hampshire, Wolf.

BLITZER: They'll be leaving very, very quickly. Kelly Wallace at John Kerry's campaign headquarters here in Des Moines.

At the start of this caucus night, we had some big questions about the Iowa race, and how the candidates and the issues were playing here. Let's try to answer some of those questions, as we always do, with the help of our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield. Jeff?

GREENFIELD: Wolf, we asked some questions, and I think now we have the answer to some of them.

The first question we wanted answered tonight, was there a late surge, and if so, who did it benefit? Obviously John Kerry, John Edwards. The exit poll says those who made up their minds in the last few weeks went overwhelmingly for those two candidates. Second, the Iraq war, how did people feel about it and how did it affect their vote? Three-quarters of the caucus attendees opposed the Iraq war, but they did not vote for the antiwar candidate who made his claim to fame on that issue, Howard Dean. They chose John Kerry, and the apparent reason is, they liked the fact that he could have a national security message with his Vietnam War service and experience.

Third, we wanted to ask about turnout, whether or not there was going to be a mass of first-time caucus goers who would go for Howard Dean. The answer to that question is as obvious as the numbers. As Judy told us, he won half of the state convention delegates that Howard, that John Kerry did, and he lost in places where he could most expect to win, in college towns, big cities.

Last, we looked behind the vote. What were people looking for in a candidate? And the fact that they embraced the two senators who most talked about electability, that is, John Kerry, I can be the national security guy to stand up to George Bush, John Edwards, I have a life story and a message that is linked and separates myself from a kind of an elitist and aristocratic Bush, that's what happened tonight.

Two quick questions, New Hampshire, will there be a bounce? And did Wes Clark and Joe Lieberman make a mistake by staying out? We don't know yet.

BLITZER: Well, we'll assess that as we go through the night.

Let's take a look at the numbers behind the numbers. Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, been crunching those numbers, trying to assess how exactly did John Kerry and John Edwards do it?

SCHNEIDER: Well, let's take a look at the cornerstone of the Kerry victory. It was seniors. They were supposed to be Gephardt supporters. But take a look at how they voted. Forty-three percent for John Kerry, a smashing finish. This is what you would call the Greatest Generation, a lot of veterans in this generation, and those people came out in large numbers and gave Kerry tremendous support, Gephardt lagging very badly.

They say -- the unions like to say their motto is solidarity forever, but look at the union vote. Kerry came in first. Unions were split in their endorsements between Gephardt and Dean, but Gephardt and Dean did not do very well. Kerry did have firefighters, but the union vote, there was no solidarity there.

What were voters looking for here in Iowa? They were looking for a president, somebody who could beat George Bush. That they saw in John Kerry, who topped the voters who said they were looking for a winner, with Edwards a close second. Others didn't even show up. Dean did very poorly in that category.

Clearly today in Iowa, tonight, the voters looked at Howard Dean, and they didn't see a president, Wolf.

BLITZER: Bill Schneider, we'll be getting back to you as well. Thank you very much.

Let's get a little bit more perspective from a man who's covered so many of these presidential contests, Joe Klein of "TIME" magazine is joining us...

JOE KLEIN, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, not all that many.

BLITZER: ... at -- You've covered a lot of these races, Joe. A few weeks ago, and a lot of our viewers will acknowledge this, I think it's fair to say the pundits had basically written off both John Kerry and John Edwards, yet they did so remarkably well here in Iowa.

KLEIN: Well, they were the best candidates for the last month, which is one reason why. But John Kerry made a really interesting choice, and the turning point, in my mind, happened a couple of months ago right here in Des Moines at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

Kerry decided to spend a lot of money bringing all of his supporters in and buying tickets for them. Dick Gephardt didn't at all. And the Kerry people looked at each other and they said, Wow, there are an awful lot of us. And it really buoyed that campaign. It's the kind of decision that I'd often think, Well, that would be a waste of money.

In this case, it wasn't.

BLITZER: What about the bounce, the Iowa bounce going into New Hampshire?

KLEIN: I think that the Iowa clunk on the head to Howard Dean is going to be more significant. You know, you think about -- I've been to those MeetUps, and I know other people (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you know, here have as well.

And the Dean campaign thought that they were invincible. And then you look at places like Johnson County, the -- which is the home of the University of Iowa. Dean didn't win there. Storey (ph) County, the home of Iowa State University, Dean didn't win there.

You got to wonder what all of these Deaniacs, these people who've created this incredible community, are going to be feeling now.

BLITZER: Well, John Kerry presumably, I guess we could call him the front runner, maybe the front runner, right now, but...

KLEIN: You can. I'm going to wait until (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BLITZER: I think at least for a few moments we could call him the front runner. But how vulnerable is he once the other candidates say, You know what, we got to go after John Kerry?

KLEIN: Well, we'll see. As Jeff said before, John Kerry is a very strong candidate when it comes to tight situations, when it comes to closing the deal. And what we're going to see is a series of weeks where we only have closes. These are going to be a series of four- and five-day campaigns, and those are the kind of campaigns that Kerry's been strong in.

And the other thing I would point out, I said it an hour ago, that Kerry, when he ran in Massachusetts, even though he was this aristocratic, elitist-looking guy, always won the working-class vote.

BLITZER: Joe Klein, we'll be checking back with you. Thanks very much.

The big push ahead. Next stop, New Hampshire. Some candidates are already there. We'll take a look ahead to the next big race one week from tomorrow.

The road already traveled. A behind-the-scenes look at tonight's caucuses and the candidates' campaigns.

But first, our caucus-cam, some of the action from earlier this evening.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's it, simply sign your name, you're ready to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edwards needs a few more just to get a second delegate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many people are here for John Kerry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, who is for Gephardt? Who is the Gephardt person?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to take my phone off the hook because there was being so many Bush callers.

(on phone): Because we don't like George W. Bush, and we're Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the groups that don't have 47 right now, if you can add it up to get up to 47, that would make you viable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess we'll have to do it over again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's start over. Dean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All those in favor of closing nominations, signify by saying Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aye. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All those opposed by a like sign. Nominations are closed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before we can have a glass of wine, we have to elect two people for the Popcorn Committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-seven, 28, 29, 30.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEPHARDT: This didn't come out the way we wanted. But I've been through tougher fights in my life. When I watched my 2-year-old son...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Congressman Dick Gephardt, clearly, and clearly not pleased, not very happy, coming in a distant fourth in the Iowa caucuses.

Welcome back to our continuing coverage.

Let's take a look at the official tally coming into the Iowa State Democratic Party. Take a look at this. Ninety-eight percent of the caucus sites now officially reporting, 38 percent for the winner, John Kerry, the 60-year-old senator from Massachusetts, 32 percent for John Edwards, the 50-year-old senator from North Carolina. Howard Dean trailing badly at third with only 18 percent, the former Vermont governor. And 11 percent for the congressman from Missouri, who will drop out of the race tomorrow.

Donna Brazile and Carlos Watson are joining us, two of our CNN political analysts.

Donna, you've been speaking to a lot of Democrats, as you always do. A very sad night for Dick Gephardt.

DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Yes, Congressman Gephardt is very disappointed. He thought he had a great team on the ground. They clearly locked up a number of people early on, and over the last couple of weeks, they saw their support just shrink.

Many of their supporters went to John Edwards, and we saw that tonight. When you look at the results, John Edwards won in areas where Dick Gephardt should have been strong.

BLITZER: Kerry and Edwards big winners. But Howard Dean, Carlos, is a loser tonight. Everyone thought he would do much better than a distant third. CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Wolf, actually three points to make here. He was not only beaten, but he was trounced. He recorded less than half the percentage that John Kerry, the winner, did.

And I think the key turning point was about eight or 10 days ago when the focus became on Howard Dean's character. Instead of offering a personal story that said, I'm a doctor, I'm a father, I'm a very compelling governor, instead he responded with attacks. And I think that hurt him.

The second thing is, I think a campaign shakeup may be in order. You remember in 1980 when Ronald Reagan lost in a surprise to George Bush, a day or two later he fired some of his key team and made a move.

Here, I think we're going to see something happen. Whether someone will be fired, it's unclear.

BLITZER: All right. Let's move ahead. Let's take a look ahead to New Hampshire. Our Jeanne Meserve is in Manchester, New Hampshire, getting ready for an enormously important week of politics. Jeanne, set the stage for us.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it starts tomorrow. "The Manchester Union Leader," the biggest newspaper in the state, will be endorsing Joe Lieberman tomorrow, with a front-page editorial. But the lead story is bound to be John Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE (voice-over): At John Kerry's New Hampshire headquarters, elation, and hope that his win in Iowa will turbocharge his campaign here.

WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The strategy is, eat, drink, be merry, and keep your energy level up.

MESERVE: General Wesley Clark didn't make a stand in Iowa, concentrating on New Hampshire instead. The strategy appears to be paying off for him, but not for Joe Lieberman, not yet, at least.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I feel like there's a rising tide happening here in New Hampshire. People are listening.

MESERVE: There are still a lot of undecided New Hampshire voters. A Monday tracking poll from the American Research Group showed Dean still the man to beat at 28 percent, Clark at 20, with Kerry on Clark's heels with 19. John Edwards, Lieberman, and Dennis Kucinich were all in the single digits.

Experts say the impact of Iowa caucuses on the New Hampshire primary is uncertain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iowa has affected New Hampshire the most when it's narrowed the field down to two. When it doesn't do that, then the results are much more mixed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE: New Hampshire residents say this is a different state with a different process, and they'll make up their own minds, thank you very much. They say what's most important to them is to find an individual who can beat George W. Bush in the general election. Has John Kerry persuaded them tonight that he's the man to do that? We'll see in eight days, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jeanne Meserve, we're heading over to New Hampshire pretty soon ourselves. Jeanne Meserve, setting the stage for the next big contest one week from tomorrow.

Earlier in the evening, we asked the co-hosts of "CROSSFIRE" to give us their predictions what would happen. Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson are standing by over at Dean headquarters.

Paul, you predicted John Kerry. Tucker, you predicted Howard Dean. First of all, to you, Tucker, what went wrong as far as your prediction was concerned?

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, my predictions, as I think you know, Wolf, are always wrong. So in some sense, you know, things were right on target. I made a prediction, and it didn't come true.

Look, it seemed by any measure a pretty smart thing to guess, even five days ago. I think everyone thought Howard Dean was going to win, in my weak defense. This -- what I'm interested in is, what happens to the literally thousands of people who came to Iowa and are in other states around the country who are not just for Howard Dean, they're really for Howard Dean?

I mean, from our perspective, it looks like, Oh, you know, it's over for Howard Dean. That's not how they feel. And I wonder where they go, and what happens at this point, which is a long way of saying, there really is a Howard Dean movement, and it's going to take a lot to make it decelerate, it seems to me.

BLITZER: All right. Paul Begala, you predicted John Kerry would win. You were right. What made you come to that conclusion?

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, he was surging at the end, Wolf. As I said at the beginning of the evening, he had a much better organization here than anybody ever gave him credit for. He didn't talk about it much, but he had it. He -- Mary Beth Cahill, his new campaign manager, Stephanie Cutters (ph), his press secretary, and then John Norris (ph) and Michael Houhle (ph), two of the best organizers around.

He also had something I picked up here talking to some of the Dean supporters. He had a secret weapon here in Des Moines where Dean was strong. And that secret weapon was Senator Edward Kennedy. Teddy Kennedy went around to all kind of caucuses here in Des Moines, all the way through the caucus voting, to try to encourage folks. And I think it did a lot of good for Kerry here in Des Moines.

BLITZER: All right, Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson, thanks very much.

Your colleagues Bob Novak and James Carville are here with me in the studio.

James, you thought John Kerry would win.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I did. I mean, I could, he obviously had momentum coming into it, as did Edwards. And, you know, in politics, you hear a lot of pontificating about organization and this and that. The truth of the matter is, there's nothing better than to have momentum going into the last weekend of the campaign. And I thought both of them had a pretty good last weekend, and I thought, you know, Governor Dean didn't have a very good last weekend.

BLITZER: James Carville, you also predicted John Edwards would come in second, very impressive.

Bob Novak, you had John Kerry.

BOB NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I had John Kerry. I thought he had the momentum, but he also had, he convinced the people that he was the person that would protect them from, in, from the -- in the war on terrorism. And I really believe that the -- that Governor Dean just didn't look presidential to the voters here. He kind of showed it tonight with his ranting and raving, his -- whatever that speech was supposed to be.

Just two things I'd like to disagree with my colleagues. Number one...

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

NOVAK: ... I don't agree, I don't think there is...

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

NOVAK: ... a Dean movement...

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

NOVAK: ... and, and -- just a second -- and number two...

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

NOVAK: ... I...

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

NOVAK: Go ahead.

BLITZER: We got to leave it right there, unfortunately. Our time is over with. But we want to thank all of our "CROSSFIRE" hosts for joining us.

Our continuing coverage of the Iowa caucuses not going away by any means. A second live edition of "LARRY KING LIVE" is up 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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