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Interview With Howard Dean

Aired January 23, 2004 - 15:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: The big chill. Are New Hampshire Democrats freezing out Howard Dean? Judy talks to Dean about his scramble to make a comeback.

HOWARD DEAN (D), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we're starting to get the momentum back. Starting to today. And anyway, we closed the gap. Whether we can close it all the way or not I don't know. That's up to the people of New Hampshire.

ANNOUNCER: From underdog to top dog, can John Kerry keep the momentum going through Tuesday's pivotal primary?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, I applaud you, because you are the next President of the United States.

ANNOUNCER: We'll have live reports from our correspondents covering the candidates as they crisscross New Hampshire. But there's a New generation of reporters on the trail, too.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I usually don't get a chance to do this but, you know, Judy Woodruff...


ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: What did you think about that? Well, thank you for joining us here in Portsmouth, the nation's third oldest city on the Piscataqua River, dividing New Hampshire and Maine. Heading into the final weekend before the lead-off presidential primary, let's begin with the big picture.

Our daily tracking poll shows John Kerry now leading Howard Dean by 12 points, 34 percent to 22 percent. Wesley Clark has 17 percent, John Edwards 12. This poll was taken Tuesday through Thursday after the Iowa caucuses, but before last night's Democratic debate.

Our trend line shows Kerry has gained nine points in New Hampshire just this past week, while Dean has lost 10 points. Clark's support has inched downward, while Edwards numbers have crept up. This all helps explain the shift.

Eighty-six percent of likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire say that Kerry has a kind of personality that a president should have. About three-quarters say that about Clark and about Edwards. But only 50 percent say they think that Dean's personality is presidential. I sat down with Howard Dean at a restaurant in Nashua today, and I asked him if his campaign can survive a loss here in New Hampshire.


HOWARD DEAN (D), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We'll be in South Carolina the 29th of January for the debate down there, and then we're going to be going to New Mexico and Arizona. I haven't figured out the itinerary yet. That's what we're doing.

WOODRUFF: So even after -- in other words, after two significant losses, you think the voters would take a third look at Howard Dean? Is that really what we're talking about here?

DEAN: You know, this is not just about Howard Dean going to the White House. This is about the American people taking their country back. And you know, I like all the people I'm running against, but they're all Washington insiders. This is about ordinary people getting rid of the special interests and having a real opportunity to take their country back.


WOODRUFF: More of my interview with Howard Dean just ahead on INSIDE POLITICS.

Our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, has been following Dean on the trail today. She's with us now from Manchester -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Judy, as you know, it was a devastating third in Iowa and then, of course, that controversial concession speech in Des Moines. Yesterday, Howard Dean was in full damage control mode.

He first put in a very sedate debate performance, no harm, no foul, stay on policy. Then there was that hand-holding, sweater- wearing interview with his wife on network TV, where Howard Dean showed his deliberative, his softer side. And then he capped off the night with an appearance on "David Letterman," giving the top 10 ways he can turn his campaign around.

Today, it was back on the trail looking very much like business as usual. And what Dean found is that there are still some true believers who still believe.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Governor Dean. My name is Cheryl Whitney (ph). I'm from Derry. And just for the record, I really enjoyed your speech in Iowa.


CROWLEY: End of that, "Well, take that, CNN." So we will take that and tell you that what Howard Dean is trying to do at the moment is stick to his roots, talk policy, talk about his successes in Vermont; try to make no mistakes. And he believes it's working.

This was Dean along the campaign trail.


DEAN: I believe we've turned this around in New Hampshire. We've got a long way to go to catch up from the loss in Iowa, but I think we have turned it around. We're seeing some indications of that. And I think we can win it, too. In the last four days -- New Hampshire is a state that, one, likes underdogs, and two, it likes -- New Hampshire likes people who stand up and say what they think.


CROWLEY: Certainly, as you know, Judy, Dean has the money to go on. The question is, will he have the support Tuesday in the primary?

He seemed determined not to make any news in these closing days. Although I know, as you know, he had some remarks about the Federal Reserve board chairman. I know he talked to you about those, Judy, in your interview. So we will see if he can go the next couple of days without making any news but good news -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: That's the question for the weekend to come until Tuesday. All right. Candy, thanks very much.

Well back when Howard Dean was the front-runner, new endorsements seemed to come his way almost every day. Now that John Kerry is leading the pack, though, big names are suddenly rushing to his side.

A Kerry campaign source tells CNN's Kelly Wallace that former vice President Walter Mondale is set to endorse Kerry. A statement expected later today.

Campaigning here in New Hampshire today, Kerry kept trying to stay above the fray, talking about health care, and continuing to court fellow veterans.


KERRY: We have the money for tax cuts for people who earn more than $200,000 a year, but we don't have the money for our veterans. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this campaign is about making it clear not just to veterans, but to everybody in this country, that we're not going to take any lessons in patriotism from those who don't understand that the first definition of patriotism is keeping faith with those who wore the uniform of our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: You can see more of Senator Kerry in just under an hour when he steps into the "CROSSFIRE" with Paul Begala and Robert Novak. That's at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

We check in on other White House hopefuls in today's "Campaign News Daily." Wesley Clark is accusing the sponsors of the latest Democratic debate of emphasizing issues that do not matter much to voters. Clark was questioned last night about his past votes for Republican presidents. On the trail today he said he believed voters understand that he's a Democrat.

John Edwards is denouncing what he calls "war profiteers" winning contracts to rebuild Iraq. Edwards told factory workers in Concord that companies appear to be winning contracts in Iraq in part because of their political contributions to the president. Edwards is stumping in South Carolina this afternoon, hoping to beef up support before the February 3 primary there.

Joe Lieberman is again defending his support for the Iraq war, saying that Saddam Hussein himself was a weapon of mass destruction. And Lieberman told reporters in Manchester today that he thought he was at his best in last night's debate.

Guess who's coming to New Hampshire next? President Bush. He's scheduled to come here on Thursday, two days after the Democratic primary. So his would-be rivals should have cleared out of the state by then.

We're going to have live reports on the Clark and the Edwards campaign later on INSIDE POLITICS.

Also just ahead, my interview with Howard Dean. Would he try to get rid of Fed chairman Alan Greenspan? Find out what Dean is saying.

Plus, inside Kerry campaign headquarters. I'll take you along for a sneak peek.

And New Hampshire is set to become "Comedy Central." We'll talk to a "Daily Show" correspondent who's playing the campaign for laughs.

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.


WOODRUFF: INSIDE POLITICS coming to you from beautiful Portsmouth, New Hampshire today.

Well, at his campaign stops, Howard Dean is reminding Granite State voters today that New Hampshire likes to undo what Iowa does. And Dean says he has a feeling that his situation in New Hampshire will improve before next Tuesday's primary. In an exclusive interview today, we sat down this afternoon at the popular Martha's Exchange Restaurant in Nashua to talk about the state of his campaign.


WOODRUFF: Governor, thank you very much for taking time here in Nashua.

DEAN: Happy to do it.

WOODRUFF: The analysts are looking at the polls and they're saying the momentum has left your campaign, it shifted to John Kerry. They're saying you could come in a distant second in New Hampshire, maybe even third. What do you believe?

DEAN: I think we're starting to get the momentum back. Starting today. I think we're going to close the gap. Whether we can close it all the way or not, I don't know. That's up to the people of New Hampshire.

WOODRUFF: Do you have evidence that things are turning around? I mean, is there...

DEAN: It's just a feeling that I have when I'm going to groups. They're really wanting to hear the message. There are a lot of undecideds coming. There are undecideds telling people they were nervous about it, but now they're with us.

WOODRUFF: You have embarked on, some would say, a rehabilitation campaign. You went on an ABC program last night. In the debate you were more restrained than people were accustomed to seeing. You were on "David Letterman" last night. Is this working for you, do you think?

DEAN: Well, I think there's two things going on. First is, yes, it's working. And I think a little ability to laugh at yourself is always a good thing. And that's what you need when you're not the front-runner anymore.

And the other thing is that I think the American people have seen that tape so many times they actually don't think it's as bad as the inside-the-Beltway people think it is. Some of them like it. So, you know, I can't explain it, but I think it's a little overplay.

WOODRUFF: But if it happens -- this primary is only four days away. I mean, obviously every minute counts at this point. If you're not able to turn it around, if you do end up coming back a distant second or worse, can you keep going? I mean, do you have the resources?

DEAN: Yes. We'll be in South Carolina on the 29th of January for the debate down there. And then we're going to be going to New Mexico and Arizona. I haven't figured out the itinerary yet. That's what we're doing.

WOODRUFF: So even after -- in other words, after two significant losses, you think the voters would take a third look at Howard Dean? Is that really what we're talking about here?

DEAN: You know, this is not just about Howard Dean going to the White House. This is about the American people taking their country back. And you know I like all the people I'm running against, but they're all Washington insiders. This is about ordinary people getting rid of the special interests and having a real opportunity to take their country back. And that is what this is for. That's what the whole campaign is for. So that message never goes away.

WOODRUFF: So those analysts who were saying those impressions from earlier this week are the kind of impressions that never go away, your answer is?

DEAN: You know, my test is, if you turn off the tape, turn off the sound, the times that I've done badly on television I turn off the sound and I looked really grumpy. And this time I didn't. I was joyful. I was -- you know, I had a big smile on my face.

Some people have said it wasn't presidential, and it certainly wasn't. But it was pumping up 3,500 kids waving American flags that worked their heart out for me. I can't make an apology for that. You know, all I'm going to do is go out and do what I know how to do best, which is stand up for ordinary people again, which is not happening in Washington.

Look, what's not happening in this race is you have the Republican, George Bush, promising a trillion-dollar tax cut when he already has a half a trillion deficit. You have all the Democrats promising middle class tax cuts, health insurance, everything else. I think we ought to balance the budget. I'd like to hear somebody talk about that, because we're not going to have jobs in this country again unless we balance the budget.

WOODRUFF: Speaking of the economy, just a few minutes ago to this crowd -- well, earlier this morning you were talking about Alan Greenspan, and you said you think he's making decisions that are too political. And you think the fact that he went along with the Bush tax cuts means that he ought to be replaced.

Does that mean if you're elected you would remove him before his term is up?

DEAN: No, of course not.

WOODRUFF: So then what are you saying?

DEAN: What I'm saying is what I'm looking for in the chairman of the Federal Reserve is Paul Volcker, who I think was the most significant figure in America during the '80s. He's the person who finally pushed us back into a position where we could get rid of inflation and grow the economy by making some very courageous decisions, and Alan Greenspan, who has done a fine job.

Except the two times I question his judgment are his support about the Bush tax cuts, which has driven us into deficit, and then not coming out and standing strongly about the danger that these kind of deficits pose to us. That's a concern of mine.

I think you've got to be above politics to be chairman of the Federal Reserve. And I think Chairman Greenspan has not made it clear in the last year or so that he's truly above politics.

WOODRUFF: Governor, another thing. Last night in the debate you tied the votes of your opponents, John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, to the deaths of 500 U.S. servicemen in Iraq and thousands of service people wounded in Iraq. Are you saying that they bear some of the responsibility for those casualties?

DEAN: Sure, sure. If you vote to send people to war, you bear responsibility for the casualties.

WOODRUFF: That's a pretty heavy thing to lay on them, isn't it?

DEAN: I think it's a pretty heavy thing to vote to go to war. It's the most awesome and difficult decision that any chief executive ever has. If I become president, I'll have to make that decision. It's a very difficult decision.

I've had to make that kind of decision before on a patient-by- patient basis, and it's not easy. If you vote to go to war, or if you're the president and you send people to war, you have a responsibility for the deaths of the people that you've sent. And I think that ways heavily on everybody who ever sent anybody to war.


WOODRUFF: Talking to Howard Dean today in Nashua, New Hampshire. We'll have a little more of that interview at the top of the hour.

We're going to go also inside the campaign of the Democrat on top in the Granite State. Coming up, an insider's guide to the headquarters of Senator John Kerry.


WOODRUFF: Again, we are in Portsmouth, New Hampshire today. You could say, to the victor go the spoils, New Hampshire style. The Kerry campaign has taken over the Manchester office that was being used by the Dick Gephardt staff before he dropped out of the race. After his big win in Iowa, Senator Kerry has continued on a roll here in New Hampshire.

So what's behind the surge? I went looking for answers in a visit to the campaign headquarters, at least the old one in Manchester.


WOODRUFF: The way it works here in New Hampshire is, right across from the CNN workspace is none other than the workspace for the John Kerry for President Headquarters. And with me is the chairman of the Kerry campaign here in New Hampshire, Bill Shaheen.


WOODRUFF: Great to see you. Is the activity level any different here from what it was like before Iowa? SHAHEEN: Yes. It's about double now. It was pretty intense before Iowa. But now it's double. Easily double.

Nick's (ph) on the computer.


SHAHEEN: Hey, Nick (ph), say hi.

WOODRUFF: Hi, Nick (ph).


SHAHEEN: Nick (ph) is the field director.

WOODRUFF: Is it just down to get out the vote at this point?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out the vote.



SHAHEEN: To identify our voters and make sure our voters go to the polls. And Ken is the campaign director for New Hampshire.

WOODRUFF: Hi there. What is this cot-like thing on the floor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's for a quick rest every now and then.

SHAHEEN: This is going to be a wall.


SHAHEEN: Actually, we're constructing as we talk. This just went up about 10 minutes ago.

WOODRUFF: Why do you need a wall?

SHAHEEN: We need some more privacy back here.


SHAHEEN: Well, because these are the people who are going to be evaluating the polling results, et cetera. And you just have to have it quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We were trying to stop at New London, and then Newport and Claremont (ph).

WOODRUFF: It looks like you've erased some things and then changed it. Is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, every five minutes.

SHAHEEN: And the people are coming in from all over. And I think that it's what John Kerry did in Iowa. People are saying they're curious. They're saying, you did it.


WOODRUFF: That man I'm talking to, Bill Shaheen, he's running the Kerry campaign here in New Hampshire. His wife, former Governor Jeanne Shaheen, also deeply involved.

As you can see, this is the building, the converted mill where CNN has its work space while we're in New Hampshire. Both we and the Kerry campaign using different ends of that big building.

Well now this news hot off the campaign trail. "Comedy Central" is hosting a panel discussion in Manchester tomorrow with Jon Stewart as mediator. Here to tell us all about that and more, "The Daily Show's" senior political analyst, Stephen Colbert.

All right, Stephen Colbert, what about this panel? Why are you all heading up here to New Hampshire?

STEPHEN COLBERT, SR. POLITICAL ANALYST, "THE DAILY SHOW": Well, first of all, Judy, I'm heading up there tomorrow. How cold is it? Do I need to bring my woolies?

WOODRUFF: I think you should bring your woolies. It's cold.

COLBERT: We're going up there to -- you know, like any sales meeting, we're going up there to schmooze, to glad hand, to pour free liquor for the candidates and for the press. Just so that they'll let us into the party for the next year.

We did the same thing in 2000. We just showed up and said, please let us play. We'll throw you a party in New Hampshire if you'll let us come to the conventions.

WOODRUFF: Of course you know the press has turned completely teetotaling since then. Stephen, let me ask you about some of the candidates. Let me ask you about some of the candidates in this race.

COLBERT: Go right ahead.

WOODRUFF: John Kerry, now that he's -- what do you make of John Kerry and his surge to the front of the pack?

COLBERT: Well, if I can paraphrase Senator Kerry himself, he has energy, he has excitement, he can feel it. He is surging. He is unstoppable. He is -- someone stop me.

WOODRUFF: All right. I'll stop you. Howard Dean, the man who was supposed to win Iowa. He didn't. Now he's trying to recover from that speech on Monday.

Can he recover?

COLBERT: I think he did win Iowa. I think he won Iowa by getting the most attention. I think it was his plan all the time. Come in third, have a crazy freak-out, and then just dominate the press for the next week.

This is all part of his plan. No one is stupid enough to scream like Girl Scout on national television. These people are no fools, Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. What about John Edwards, the other winner out of Iowa?

COLBERT: I think John Edwards -- I loved his response to Brit Hume last night when Hume was pressing him in the debate on the Defense of Marriage Act. He said, now I don't claim to be an expert on the defense of marriage. I wasn't there. I wasn't there when it was voted on.

I'm not exactly sure what it says, or why it says it, or when it said it, or where I am or who you are. What was the question?

WOODRUFF: And a very quick take on Wesley Clark.

COLBERT: Wesley Clark, I think that answer to -- about Michael Moore last night in the debate, he should have just said no, Michael Moore shouldn't have said the president is a deserter, whether the president is a deserter or not, which I'm not sure of. What have you heard, Peter Jennings?

WOODRUFF: I don't know why the candidates didn't listen to you before they went out on that debate stage. Stephen Colbert, with "The Daily Show, "Comedy Central," bringing its stars, Stephen and Jon Stewart, to Manchester, New Hampshire this weekend.

Great to talk to you.

COLBERT: And we'll be covering it on Tuesday night.

WOODRUFF: Great. And we'll be watching. Thanks very much. Good to see you.


WOODRUFF: Thanks a lot.

In just a minute, we're going to head back out on the campaign trail, where we'll get a view from farther back in the Democratic pack. I'll also convene a roundtable of reporters and get their assessments of why this race has changed so dramatically.



WESLEY CLARK (D), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm happy with the momentum that we have in New Hampshire.

EDWARDS: We feel very good about what's happening here in New Hampshire. ANNOUNCER: Do Wesley Clark and John Edwards have good reason to sound so chipper? We'll check in on their campaigns to steal the spotlight from Kerry and Dean.

AL SHARPTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I had spent the money you did and got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa.

ANNOUNCER: New Hampshire debate highlights. Which candidate did himself the most good? Were there any serious stumbles?

DEAN: And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House. Yeah!

ANNOUNCER: You don't have to be a pundit to figure out that was not the "Political Play of the Week."


ANNOUNCER: Now live from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: Welcome back to Portsmouth and to our countdown to Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

In the past week, the Democratic presidential campaign here has become a compelling story of political fortunes suddenly rising and falling. John Kerry and Howard Dean have been the central figures of that drama. But the campaigns of Wesley Clark and John Edwards have also been in flux.

Right now, let's check in on the Clark campaign that once seemed to have much higher hopes here in New Hampshire.

Our correspondent, Dan Lothian, is in Manchester -- Dan.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Judy. Well, Wesley Clark says that he feels pretty good about his performance at last night's debate. He feels that he was able to make a clear case to the American people that he is electable.

But he is still having to deal with a question that was dogging him when he first got into the race, and that is his credentials as a Democrat, because he had supported Republicans in the past. The question came up at last night's debate. Today Clark told me it is just not an issue.


CLARK: I think the voters understand I am a Democrat. And I think that the Republican Party understands that as well. And if you refer to Richard Cohen's latest column in "The Washington Post," he said I'm the one Democrat that Karl Rove has to fear.

And I looked at who asked the questions, and, you know, I think that that's part of a Republican Party agenda in the debate.


LOTHIAN: That last comment, of course, referring to a Fox News anchor who asked that question last night. That's a comment that perhaps may become controversial. Now he began on the trail this morning by singing. He was meeting with some young children who were taking part in a kindergarten program at a nearby college in Nashua, New Hampshire. Let's listen in.

Clark told reporters at a later gathering that as president he will focus on education, universal health care, and making America safer. Now an aide tells me that they do expect to get some key endorsements over the next couple of days. They expect to get endorsed by the former attorney general of Florida, Bob Butterworth -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: I'm not sure Wesley Clark can carry a tune but I guess you don't have to do that to run for president. Thank you, Dan. Appreciate it.

While John Edwards has been making gains here in New Hampshire, he's also been having to watch his back in South Carolina where he had hoped to have the edge. As Jeanne Meserve is also in Manchester, she's been following the Edwards campaign -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, John Edwards has moved up in the polls here in New Hampshire since his strong performance in Iowa. But not a lot. He is still in fourth place. The senator in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer says he is noticing a lot of people coming to his events who were Howard Dean supporters. And he thinks he's beginning to see in New Hampshire what he saw in Iowa. A late surge.


SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What's happening here in New Hampshire the last few days is what I saw in the last week in Iowa. The events I go to I'm expecting 100 or 150. We had an Portsmouth there were over 600 people, 100 more outside who couldn't get in. Had the same thing in Dartmouth yesterday. 400 or so and another couple hundred who couldn't get in. This is the same kind of momentum I saw there. I just have to keep it going, keep moving.


MESERVE: And you'll see more of that interview on "Wolf Blitzer Reports" next hour and on "Late Edition" on Sunday. Edwards made only one campaign appearance in New Hampshire today. And last night's debate may well have been his last chance to make a big splash with the voters. Interestingly, when Edwards was asked about his vote against an $87 billion expenditure for Iraq he aligned himself with a man who was currently leading the pack here.


EDWARDS: There are two of us on this stage, Senator Kerry and myself, both voted against it. And I know that both of us felt we need to say loud and clear to President Bush that what he was doing was wrong, and we thought he needed to change course.


MESERVE: Now one of the hallmarks of Edwards' campaign has been his refusal to snipe at other candidates. He stuck to that successful strategy last night. But so did virtually everyone else, which could make it harder for Edwards to stand out -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jeanne Meserve following the John Edwards campaign. Jeanne, thank you very much.

We honestly hate to dwell too much on polls, but let's face it, they help us and the candidates get a sense of where this race stands. So in case you missed these numbers earlier, our New Hampshire tracking poll shows John Kerry widening his lead over Howard Dean to 12 points. We should note that some other tracking polls show Kerry ahead by a slightly wider margin. And at least one survey shows Wesley Clark moving into second place ahead of Dean.

Howard Dean has been working hard to recover lost ground here in New Hampshire. He continues to try to show what you might call his kinder, gentler side on the trail, and on television, an antidote he apparently hopes to his now infamous concession speech in Iowa. In a new television ad running in the Granite state, Dean veers away from the kind of attacks that seemed to hurt him in Iowa.

Among other things, the spot highlights Dean's opposition to the war in Iraq. In my interview with Dean earlier today I asked him about the war as a political issue since it apparently was not a major factor for caucus goers in Iowa.


DEAN: My campaign has never been about the war in Iraq. You all made it that way because I was the only guy who stood up against the war in Iraq. My campaign was about health insurance for all Americans and balancing the budget and telling the truth about what's going on in this country so that ordinary people would get their share of the goodies that we create in this country.

Right now we have a president who signed a pharmaceutical bill where the money goes to insurance companies and drug companies. An agriculture bill where the money goes to corporate farms. An energy bill where the money goes to gas and oil revenues. Where are the American people getting anything back from this government?


WOODRUFF: Again, part of that interview today with Howard Dean in Nashua.

John Kerry's Senate vote to authorize the Iraq war is not mentioned in his latest campaign ad in New Hampshire. The Kerry spot portrays him as a fighter for the people, who can stand up to big oil, to the insurance industry, and to President Bush. Now that Kerry is leading the Democratic pack, the Bush camp is turning its big guns on him.


ED GILLESPIE, RNC CHAIRMAN: Whether its economic policy, national security policy, or social issues, John Kerry is out of sync with most voters. Americans for Democratic Action, the premier liberal rating organization has given John Kerry a lifetime rating of 93 percent. Ted Kennedy has a lifetime rating of 88 percent, five points less. Who would have guessed it, Ted Kennedy is the conservative senator from Massachusetts.


WOODRUFF: Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie making those comments during a speech today in Washington. As we reported earlier, former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale is expected to endorse John Kerry today. The senator's bandwagon is getting pretty crowded these days. Let's bring in our senior political analyst Bill Schneider in Manchester -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, everybody's talking about the Kerry miracle. The Kerry surge. But you know, for us, it's the Kerry play of the week.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): John Kerry has a theme, overcoming adversity. It goes back to the Vietnam war, where he served courageously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He could have been shot and killed at any time and so could i. So I figure I owe this man my life.

SCHNEIDER: And courageously opposed the war when he returned home.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We wish that a missile from God could wipe away our own memories of that service.

SCHNEIDER: Last year Kerry survived cancer.

KERRY: I feel fantastic. Ready to roll. Back on the trail.

SCHNEIDER: When Kerry got in to the presidential race he looked like the Washington insider. His campaign was tanking in New Hampshire, a state he had to win. Just last month Kerry was politically flat on his back. But determined.

KERRY: I'm very confident that the next days are going to prove this election is only starting.

SCHNEIDER: So he went to Iowa to jump-start his campaign. It worked brilliantly.

KERRY: Thank you Iowa for making me the comeback Kerry.

SCHNEIDER: Sort of like another popular come-from-behind story.

PAUL BEGALA, COHOST, "CROSSFIRE": All of a sudden John Kerry who at the beginning of the race looked like the front-runner and the establishment figure was transformed into being Seabiscuit, the come- from-behind horse.

SCHNEIDER: New Hampshire voters took another look at him. Especially women, who are powering Kerry's surge in the Granite state. Democratic men in New Hampshire favor Kerry by eight points. Women give Kerry a 16-point lead. What do women see in Kerry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's dashing. And he's a former military hero. So, it has a, you know, kind of the Sean Connery, James Bond type of feel. Officer and a gentleman appeal.

SCHNEIDER: Kerry offers security, like President Bush.

BEGALA: He talks about his Vietnam experience. He relates his stories of remarkable heroism, and the implied message in all that is, I'll keep you safe.

SCHNEIDER: So if Kerry is Seabiscuit, what does that make President Bush?

BEGALA: Bush is war admiral. Bush has all of the advantages.

SCHNEIDER: But it's Kerry who has the political play of the week.


SCHNEIDER: Democrats want to run on domestic issues, jobs, and health care. But first, they have to match President Bush on national security. And that's what they believe Kerry can do -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider and the play of the week, thanks.

Was there a clear-cut winner during last night's Democratic debate? Coming up I'll ask a couple of veteran political reporters what they saw.

Also, did the news media really miss the boat in Iowa? I'll ask Stu Rothenberg if the results should have been such a surprise.

And since there's been so much to absorb this week, you are sure to have missed some of the highlights but you can catch up in our weekend review. Stay with us.



DEAN: I think a lot of people have had a lot of fun at my expense over the Iowa hooting and hollering and that's justified. The one thing I can tell you is I'm not kidding about what I say.

REV. AL SHARPTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Governor Dean don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. If I spent the money you spent and got 18 percent I'd still be hollering in Iowa.

KERRY: I think 32 percent of Iowans decided that it was not too early. That they wanted me to be their president.

WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm in this party now and I'll bring a lot of other people into this party, too. And that's what we need to do to win in November.


WOODRUFF: Some highlights from last night's debate here in New Hampshire. Joining me now for their take on that debate and on the New Hampshire primary overall, Patrick Healy of the "Boston Globe" and CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times." Ron, first of all, overall was there a winner? Was there a clear loser coming out of this debate?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I didn't think the debate was likely to significant change the dynamic we've seen in the last few days. But I thought, overall, it was one of John Kerry's strongest performances. It was striking that as the new front-runner, maybe because of the post- Iowa concern about seeming negative, he really was the subject of very few criticisms or attack.

I thought he was firm and forceful in his answers. Particularly on the one where he got to talk about his experience returning home from Vietnam and throwing those medals over the wall. He was able to make a very strong case that he would be as commander-in-chief very circumspect about using American force and only using it in the last resort.

WOODRUFF: Patrick Healy, what's your take on the debate? You've been covering this New Hampshire contest pretty steadily all along. Did it change anything?

PATRICK HEALY, "BOSTON GLOBE": Kerry did a very strong job in coming out and talking about his positions on national security. His positions on taxes, and tried to keep a positive tone compared to what we saw in Iowa between Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt that really debilitated the two of them as front-runners. It allowed him to further get across his message that he will be the best candidate to beat President Bush and that he has credentials, as Ron said, like his service in Vietnam. Actual time having to make decisions for troops that -- that would make him a stronger president.

WOODRUFF: Ron, Howard Dean, has he been able to stop the slide as he told me in my interview with him today? Do you think?

BROWNSTEIN: I don't know. I thought he was enormously conflicted in the debate and in the campaign appearance yesterday. On the one hand, he clearly has been told to turn it down, voters in Iowa recoiled against attacks on fellow Democrats. On the other hand in his new ad that he has up on television, he's saying that he stood up against President Bush on the war and the economy when the Democrats did not.

I thought last night he had one of his most personal formulations on the criticism on Iraq. He said we have 500 dead, 2,000 casualties and those people are there because of the vote of Senators Kerry and Edwards and Lieberman. So on the one hand, he's being advised to strike a more temperate tone. On the other he clearly seems drawn toward this very polarizing argument about the war and it's taken him this far and perhaps he'll live and die with it in New Hampshire.

WOODRUFF: Patrick Healy, what's your sense of New Hampshire voters take on John Edwards. Here you have a southerner who did much better than expected coming out of Iowa. What's your sense of how he's being perceived here in New Hampshire?

HEALY: When voters meet John Edwards they by and large come away saying that they like him. That he's either a first choice, a strong second choice, certainly in the running for them. They like the fact that they feel he can run a national campaign that includes the south includes victories in states that Al Gore wasn't able to carry in 2000.

John Edwards' problem since he came here from Iowa Tuesday morning, is that the news coverage and what voters have been talking about, has been dominated by Kerry's surge and Dean's decline. Especially over Dean's speech Monday night in Iowa, that left a lot of voters scratching their heads look being elsewhere. They are looking to Edwards. But it hasn't created the kind of momentum, the kind of energy that has him climbing up in the "Boston Globe's" poll or most of the other ones out there.

WOODRUFF: And Ron Brownstein, a quick word about Wesley Clark. What's your sense of how he's doing?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it's interesting. He's probably the one who varies the most in these half dozen tracking polls that are going on. Some of them have him declining, some stabilizing. I actually thought he had a rough night at the debate. The questioning of him could have been lifted from an opposition research from any of the other campaigns. From Michael Moore to lobbying to whether he was a real democrat, to his views about the war, they were tough questions one after the other.

I thought he had sort of an uneven performance in responding to them. Having said that, there are still a lot of voters who think he scores well on what looks increasingly important to voters. As we get closer to the actual voting, experience, ready to step in as president, I think he has a solid base here. Whether he can get the kind of growth to threaten Kerry is another question.

WOODRUFF: Ron Brownstein of the "Los Angeles Times," Patrick Healy of the "Boston Globe," great to see you both. Thank you very much.

It was a shocker in Iowa. Were the news media looking the wrong way? Coming up we'll talk about John Kerry's surge to victory with political analyst Stu Rothenberg.


WOODRUFF: Much of the attention here today is on Senator John Kerry's widening lead in the polls. But, before Kerry's come-from- behind victory in Iowa most of the news media focus as we all remember was on Howard Dean, the anointed front-runner. Did the media strike out in the Hawkeye state? Joining me to talk about that and more, CNN political analyst Stu Rothenberg.

Stu, as you know, Howard Kurtz, who's a media critic for the "Washington Post," he's also host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," came on INSIDE POLITICS this week to say that the news media really dropped the ball in Iowa. We anointed Howard Dean, and we were dead wrong. What's your take on that?

STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think he's dead wrong. I think he left the impression that we didn't know what we were doing. That there was no reason to anoint Dean as the front- runner. And we just liked the Dean story.

In fact, Judy, there were plenty of empirical reasons to pick Howard Dean as the front-runner as the person who's going to win Iowa. I consider myself a handicapper and I go for a check list when I evaluate candidates whether it's for the House, the Senate or the White House. And when I went through the check list it was very clear who the front-runner was. In terms of money, Dean had the most money. The broadest fund-raising potential, fund-raising base. It looked like he could raise as much money as he needed. And he did.

In terms of polls he was ahead until the final ten days in virtually every poll, a significant advantage. Kerry had dropped over an extended period. He looked to be solidifying support. In terms of message and his ability to communicate with the voters, Howard Dean's message was crisp and it was clear. The voters in Iowa were anti-war. He got on the right side of Iraq. He ran as an outsider, they like that.

Endorsements. He had Gore, he had Bradley. He had Harkin. He had Moseley Braun. He had Ann Richards. On all the measures he looked very strong. What happened was in the final week or so the race turned 180 degrees. We couldn't anticipate that.

WOODRUFF: Stu, how do we know, how does anyone know whether the news media may be making a mistake right now? As you know we're reporting the polls showing John Kerry ahead. He's picking up endorsements himself right now. How do we know that we're not making a mistake this time?

ROTHENBERG: Again you have to look at a wide variety of data of indications. I think myself I'm more cautious about predicting what's going to happen. Not just in New Hampshire, but long term. There are more question marks. In Iowa we knew that there was a Kerry surge going on but the rule of thumb was that organization carried the day in Iowa. It didn't. And this was something that violated history. You have to be prepared for changes. For one I'm prepared for a turn, 180 degree turn tomorrow. So let's be cautious.

WOODRUFF: So are we. We're trying to be prepared for anything. Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report. We thank you very much. Appreciate it.

ROTHENBERG: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: It has been, no question, quite a week. Coming up a look back at everything from Howard Dean's scream to John Kerry's comeback.


WOODRUFF: This week took us from Iowa to New Hampshire. And from a presidential race that looked like a four-way tie to one that has fewer candidates and a new leader. Here's a quick look back at a tumultuous week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Gephardt! Gephardt!

DEAN: Let's go. We're going to win!

KERRY: It's a result of a year of putting an organization together on the ground and I'm confident in that organization tonight.

DEAN: If we win tonight, it's going to be very difficult to stop us.

KERRY: Tonight, we are not just having caucuses. We in Iowa are marking the beginning of the end of the Bush presidency.

Thank you, Iowa. For making me the comeback Kerry.

The people of Iowa tonight confirmed that they believe in a positive, uplifting vision to change America.

GEPHARDT: My career in public office is coming to an end. But the fight is never over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three words, senator. Bring -- it -- on.

KERRY: You're not mocking me, are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm supporting John Edwards.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Think of what America was like back there in 2001. The Eagles are this short of winning, came this close, Pete Rose was banned from the Hall of Fame and Howard Dean was a guy with no chance of being elected president. It's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like Howard Dean.

DEAN: I, Howard Dean can turn things around.

Oh, I don't know. Maybe fewer crazy red-faced rants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President, how are you?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm hungry. And I'm going to order some ribs.

CLARK: I usually don't get a chance to do this with, you know, Judy Woodruff.


WOODRUFF: You heard that, didn't you? All right. What a week it's been. Well the campaigns are not taking the weekend off and neither are we. Join me for INSIDE POLITICS Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern and, of course, on Monday, at 3:30 Eastern, as we count down to the New Hampshire primary, I'm Judy Woodruff, my friends from "CROSSFIRE" start right now.


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