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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Truth in Advertising?; Showdown States

Aired July 16, 2004 - 15:30   ET

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


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Martha Stewart's ex-stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, gets sentenced to five months in prison, five months home confinement, and two years probation. It is the same sentence that Stewart got this morning. Bacanovic was also fined $4,000, Stewart fined $30,000.
The only difference in the sentence is that Martha Stewart, as I just mentioned, is $30,000. And just after her sentencing, Stewart called it a "shameful day" for herself and her family, and plugged her products, saying she will be back. Her sentence is on hold pending appeal.

And the fast-moving wildfire continues to threaten about 1,000 homes near Carson City, Nevada. Firefighters say erratic winds haven't helped them either. So far, 14 homes have been destroyed.

Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.

Now it's on to JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: All over the map. The presidential contenders and their running mates head in different directions, across the country and on the issues.

AD ANNOUNCER: John Kerry has his priorities. The question is, are they yours?

ANNOUNCER: The Bush ad team takes on Kerry's family values. Does the spot tell it like it is?

A Senate campaign dropout speaks out. Why is Illinois Republican Jack Ryan in Washington? We'll ask him if he's mulling a return to the race.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.

A short while ago, as you've been hearing, Martha Stewart's former stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, was ordered to serve five months in prison for lying about a stock sale. The same federal judge had given Stewart a similar sentence hours earlier. We are expecting Peter Bacanovic -- in fact, there he is, coming out of the courthouse now. We're going to stop and see whether he stops before the cameras. It looks like he may be going on and not stopping. But let's look.

Again, Peter Bacanovic, who was just ordered to serve five months in prison for lying about a stock sale has just left the courthouse. When we have more information, we'll share it with you.

Turning now to the presidential race, it is sort of a Friday free-for-all on the campaign trail today. The candidates literally are all over the place in terms of their location and their messages. This hour, John Kerry is in Washington to accept an endorsement by the American Federation of Teachers and to criticize the president's education policy in the process. Earlier, the soon to be Democratic nominee held a news conference to call for reform of the U.S. intelligence operations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In short, as president, I will provide the leadership necessary to strengthen our intelligence capability with genuine bipartisan cooperation so that we can more effectively prevent and not just respond to another terrorist attack. This, I think, is imperative and long overdue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Kerry's running mate, John Edwards, is on the opposite coast of the country. He attends a fundraiser and a Latino vote event in Los Angeles this evening.

Over on the Republican side, President Bush has a rally in West Virginia the next hour, after stopping in another showdown state, Florida, this morning. In Tampa, Mr. Bush urged aggressive law enforcement to combat the crime of human trafficking, an important issue for evangelical Christians, a big part of his political base.

Vice President Cheney stumped today in Lansing, Michigan, along with Senator John McCain. In a familiar line of attack, Cheney accused John Kerry of being a flip-flopper and unprepared to be commander-in-chief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are not times for leaders who shift with the political winds...

(APPLAUSE)

CHENEY: ... saying one thing one day and another the next. And that brings to mind our opponents in this campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Cheney's next stop today, Waterloo, Iowa. Well, the Bush-Cheney campaign's newest ad takes aim at John Kerry's priorities. Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" has been looking at the spot's divisive themes and ask whether they ring true.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The senator is out of step with the mainstream values that are so important to our country.

HOWARD KURTZ, "RELIABLE SOURCES": The president was talking about the South, but the "V" word is his current campaign theme against John Kerry, which is why the new Bush ad tries to make Kerry seem too liberal for parents, especially those with young daughters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When it comes to issues that affect our families, are John Kerry's priorities the same as yours? Kerry voted against parental notification for teenage abortions.

KURTZ: That's accurate, but it's more complicated than that. In 1981, Kerry voted against a Republican amendment to force clinics to notify parents when a young woman seeks an abortion, but he voted for a Democratic amendment to allow exceptions, with the consent of other relatives and a doctor, when a pregnant girl might face abuse or be forced to carry an unwanted child. What the ad doesn't say is that the overall bill would have overturned a gag order that prevented clinics from offering abortion counseling and was vetoed by the first President Bush.

The ad also deals with contraception.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kerry even voted to allow schools to hand out the morning after pill without parents' knowledge.

KURTZ: That's true. Kerry says schools should be allowed to provide contraception to girls who are victims of rape or incest or lack health insurance. Kerry adviser Tad Devine dismisses the ad.

TAD DEVINE, KERRY ADVISER: I didn't think I with would live long enough to see a presidential campaign ad that talked about birth control. But we finally have arrived at this stage. I mean, the Bush campaign is getting more desperate.

KURTZ: Bush strategist Matthew Dowd disagrees.

MATTHEW DOWD, BUSH STRATEGIST: It's just giving parents some right to know and involvement in what their kids are doing in school.

KURTZ: The values attack, which began with a spot accusing Kerry of failing to protect women by opposing the so-called Laci Peterson Law, is likely to continue.

(on camera): Why is Bush raising the volatile issue of abortion, which divides not only the country, but Republican voters? By framing the debate around parents' rights, the president hopes to fire up his supporters who don't like abortion and make Kerry look unacceptably liberal to families worried about sexually active teenagers. Kerry has logical explanations for these votes, but they're hard to fit into 30 seconds.

Howard Kurtz, CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: New showdown state polls grab the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily." John Kerry's small lead is holding in three battleground states, including the biggest prize, Florida. Kerry gets 49 percent to Bush's 45 percent in a head-to-head mash-up among likely Florida voters.

In Iowa, it is Kerry over Bush, 50 percent to 46 percent among registered voters. And Kerry has a 49 to 46 percent advantage in a Minnesota survey of registered voters. And we should note, the Humphey Survey of Minnesota and Iowa were conducted over three weeks ago, half of it before John Edwards was tapped for the Democratic ticket.

Well, two new Wisconsin polls offer dueling snapshots of the race in that state. The extended Humphrey Survey of registered voters shows Bush two points ahead of Kerry in Wisconsin. And an American Research Group poll of likely Wisconsin voters taken this week shows Kerry five points ahead of Bush. Take your pick.

Well, now, snapshots from another showdown state, Ohio. And for that, let's go to Chuck Todd, editor-in-chief of "The Hotline," an insiders' political briefing produced every day by the "National Journal."

All right. Give us a little lay of the land, Chuck. We know Ohio is clearly the showdown state on everybody's mind. Where are things right now?

CHUCK TODD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE HOTLINE": Well, it's very tight. Every poll we've seen is very tight. The amount of money getting poured into this state is very tight.

Democrats view Ohio as the way to stop President Bush from winning reelection. No Republican has ever won the presidency without Ohio. Both -- both candidates know this, and they've both already been to the state 14 times each. They're going to move there. John Kerry's first stop after naming John Edwards was in Ohio. So it's -- it's the whole enchilada.

WOODRUFF: Now, you were there this week with a Peter Hart (ph). He's, of course, the Democratic pollster doing a focus group. And you watched as he talked to voters. Tell us what you found.

TODD: It was in Dayton, Ohio, Montgomery County, Ohio, to be specific, as swing of a county as you can find in the country, 50 percent voted for Gore, 48 percent Bush. This panel, seven -- there were 12 members. Seven of them were Bush voters in 2000, five of them were Gore voters. Sort of the beginning of this panel, they broke out into five leaning to Kerry, four leaning to Bush, and three undecided. Two of them were truly pure undecideds. One was probably moving Kerry. But it was fascinating watching this because probably the big thing that came out of it was how enormously popular the John Edwards pick was.

They were universally favorable towards John Edwards. They liked him. You never heard the word "trial lawyer" once either. That hasn't penetrated these folks.

Go ahead. I'm sorry.

WOODRUFF: I was just going to say, what -- what -- what were the issues? What were the themes that are coming through?

TODD: It was interesting. If you asked them what their number one issue was, it's the economy, it's the fact that healthcare us squeezing them, they don't feel like the recovery is there. And yet the conversation always went back to Iraq.

And there was probably one overriding issue more than any, and that is the weapons of mass destruction. To all of them, including the Bush supporters, they want to know why there wasn't any weapons of mass destruction. And they seem to be upset that President Bush isn't upset that he hasn't found weapons of mass destruction.

They want -- they're not mad at Bush, they're mad that he's not mad at somebody. They'd like to see him hold somebody accountable. And I think that -- that seems to be, you know, as much bad news as there was for President Bush among these very swing voters.

There was opportunity, and that is, if he would hold somebody accountable, you'd think that they'd want to forgive him, because they still believe President Bush can keep them more secure than John Kerry. And that's -- that's the biggest hurdle John Kerry has with these folks.

WOODRUFF: And what about Kerry in terms of making the sale with these folks?

TODD: He is talking about the issue they want to talk about. But when they see video of him talking about the issues, they think, oh, he just conducted a focus group and he knows what they want to hear.

He needs apparently -- you know, Peter Hart (ph) put it this way, Kerry needs a moment unscripted, where it looks like he's in control of a situation. Think Reagan saying, this is my microphone in New Hampshire, think Michael Dukakis blowing the opportunity in the debate when -- when your former colleague, Bernard Shaw, asked him that question about Kitty Dukakis.

But he needs that moment where these voters who are very worried about terrorism get the opportunity to see that Kerry is a strong leader. And they don't -- they don't know that he's strong yet.

WOODRUFF: So they haven't seen that yet?

TODD: They haven't seen it.

WOODRUFF: One more reason why the Democratic convention is important.

TODD: Very.

WOODRUFF: Which we already knew.

TODD: Yes.

WOODRUFF: OK. Chuck Todd, thanks very much.

TODD: Thanks.

WOODRUFF: And we will see you again next week. Of course, "The Hotline," an insiders' political briefing, produced daily by the "National Journal."

Thank you.

We'll try to get it straight now. On a gay marriage ban -- a Senate vote on a gay marriage ban is passed, but the arguing may not be over yet. Up next, Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan revisit that debate and how it played out politically.

Also ahead, comparing the consultants. Democrat Bob Shrum versus Republican Karl Rove.

And four years later, many blacks remain bitter about the 2000 election outcome. We'll tell you how that emotion spilled over.

With 109 days until the next election, this is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: With us now, former Gore campaign manager, Donna Brazile, and Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause.

All right. Today, we watched the vice president, Dick Cheney, out on the campaign trail with none other than John McCain. Donna, do you feel like the Republicans are rubbing John McCain in the face of the Democrats?

DONNA BRAZILE, FMR. GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No. I think they need John McCain. They need a straight-talking, blunt, no nonsense type of guy to get out there to help clarify what they believe in. That's why I think McCain is out on the campaign trail for them.

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Well, this is a period of time, Judy, that obviously Republicans are bringing everyone together, trying to unify that base as much as they can before the convention so they can go to the swing voters and bring in some of those Democrats over in the general. So it's a smart move, get as many Republicans together, bring the whole team together, and get across this country so you energize the base.

BRAZILE: It must have really pained them to go back and get the guy that they tried to smear in 2000.

BUCHANAN: Smear is hardly correct. They ran against him, OK?

BRAZILE: Ran, and they ran him down. Ran down his record, Bay.

(CROSSTALK)

WOODRUFF: Let's talk about a couple of big topics this week, the speech by Kerry before the NAACP, underlying again the president's decision not to go to the NAACP. Donna, you know, John Kerry was there yesterday but he's still being criticized by members of the black -- the Congressional Black Caucus for running ads that they say are not very exciting, ads that they weren't give a chance to look at. I mean, is he letting his black supporters down?

BRAZILE: Well, let me just say this, absolutely not. George Bush made a huge mistake in not showing up. He should have showed up, because perhaps he could go back out and get that eight percent that he captured in 2000.

The John Kerry campaign has decided to run ads this primary season to remind African-Americans of why this election so important. Unfortunately members of the Black Caucus thought that the ad needed a little bit more spice.

Bay, you will love this. They want more red meat. That's what they didn't -- they said it's lackluster, put some more spice. You're not going to like the final product...

BUCHANAN: Listen...

BRAZILE: ... but the product I saw yesterday could use a little bit of pepper in it. And then it's going to be a great spot. A great spot.

BUCHANAN: Donna, you are a campaign manager. The last thing you need is a campaign by committee. You've got to have a lot of people in here making comments. No one is ever going to be happy. And it's just foolhardy for them to allow all of this discussion for this -- these ads. They've got to do what they think is best and move ahead.

But as for the president...

BRAZILE: The Black Caucus are partners with the John Kerry campaign, as are black mayors and others.

BUCHANAN: But they...

WOODRUFF: They're critical...

BRAZILE: Of course. I don't know one African-American -- when they're upset with a Democrat, they will speak up.

BUCHANAN: Exactly, and...

BRAZILE: Unlike Republicans. You all take that tape off your mouth.

BUCHANAN: Oh, right, right. We had -- I saw a poll the other day. I was talking to my good friend here -- 21 percent of blacks approve of George Bush today. Now, that's an enormously high number.

NAACP does not represent those -- those Americans at all. They have -- they reside in the far left corner of the Democratic Party.

BRAZILE: They...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: He did exactly the right thing not to show up...

BRAZILE: They reside in the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

BUCHANAN: Oh, hardly.

BRAZILE: These are people who really just believe in justice and freedom and equality for all. Those are the -- the staples of the Constitution that you just celebrated a couple weeks ago, Bay, with the Fourth of July.

WOODRUFF: Speaking of the Constitution, before the Senate this week was an effort to amend the Constitution, essentially, to ban same-sex marriage. Bay, is this a big defeat for the president, for the Republican Party, the fact that they couldn't even get a majority?

BUCHANAN: No, it wasn't. It was -- the key here is that we have to keep on this battle. We knew that was going to be uphill. We knew it was a long shot. But we are willing now as a party to step forward and say these are the principles we believe in, we're going to go for a vote, and if we lose, we're going to go for a vote again and again, so the American can see that we need their support and their pressure against these congressmen and senators that do not support these issues.

BRAZILE: Bay, you lost -- you lost six Republicans.

BUCHANAN: And we picked up three Democrats.

BRAZILE: On a procedural motion only.

BUCHANAN: Exactly.

BRAZILE: You lost six Republicans, you overreach. It's a divisive, unnecessary amendment. It's going nowhere.

And now, the House is trying, Judy, to revive it next week, what's another type of procedural motion to strip the courts of having any jurisdiction on this issue. Look, this amendment should just die the way it died in the Senate, go away, go away.

And Bay, focus on jobs, Iraq, the economy, healthcare. That's what the American people care about.

BUCHANAN: You know -- you know what they do. The Democrats -- the Democrats would like us to listen to them on to what issues that we should debate. They want to decide all of a sudden which ones are appropriate and which ones are not. Two to one, Americans believe that marriage should be reserved as a -- as a union between a man and woman.

(CROSSTALK)

WOODRUFF: Then why don't you get -- can't you get a majority in the United States Senate?

BUCHANAN: Because, Judy, if you took a look, that body up there does not represent Americans on most issues. They are not representative of the U.S.

BRAZILE: Because they don't want to legislate hate, because they don't want to set the country back.

BUCHANAN: There's no hatred.

BRAZILE: Yes, it's hatred toward individuals...

BUCHANAN: It is not.

BRAZILE: ... who decide that they want to spend life -- their life together. Why not allow them...

BUCHANAN: They can.

BRAZILE: ... to have that? But they need -- Bay, they don't enjoy the legal benefits of marriage, they pay more taxes than most Americans, they get no Social Security and survivor benefits, they can't visit their partners when they're sick. Why not give them the rights?

BUCHANAN: Donna, the issue is the sanctity of marriage. We are not...

BRAZILE: That's a church...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: ... for some special interest group. We are not about to throw that out.

WOODRUFF: We must leave it here. We will continue.

BUCHANAN: Any time you would like to continue.

WOODRUFF: We will.

BRAZILE: Until death do us part, huh?

(LAUGHTER) WOODRUFF: Bay, Donna, thank you both.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Till death do us part.

BRAZILE: Part, yes.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

Well, they may not be the most recognizable people in a presidential campaign, but they are among the most important. Coming up, the Washington wordsmith versus the Texas numbers cruncher. Whose candidate is going to win?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: You might state that a presidential campaign is like a giant political machine, and near the top are the political wizards, you might call them, who have the candidate's ear. Well, this year, both John Kerry and George W. Bush have such advisers at their ear.

Right now, our Bruce Morton profiles Bob Shrum and Karl Rove.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KERRY: Thank you.

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just about the most important thing in a campaign is making sure you define yourself for the voters instead of letting your opponent define you. Campaign consultants are the people who are good at that, and this campaign has two of the best, Bob Shrum and Karl Rove.

Shrum is the Democrats' alpha consultant. He's helped elect dozens of senators and governors and congressmen, but he has never ever worked for a winning presidential candidate. Lost with Ed Muskie and George McGovern in 1972, with Edward Kennedy in '80, Walter Mondale in '84, Dick Gephardt in '88, Bob Kerrey in '92, Al Gore in 2000. John Kerry may be his last chance.

Shrum started as a speechwriter, perhaps best remembered for these lines he wrote at the end of Edward Kennedy's unsuccessful effort to unsuccessfully unseat President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

(APPLAUSE)

MORTON: Shrum's messages (UNINTELLIGIBLE) candidates who use the verb "fight" a lot, as in Al Gore's "stay and fight." Some say that message is outdated now, and it remains to be seen how far Kerry will go down the populist road. Karl Rove came to prominence through the College Republicans, though he's not a college graduate. Then Republican national chairman, George Herbert Walker Bush, ruled that Rove was the proper president of the College Republicans. And the link between Rove and the Bushes has flourished ever since.

He came to Texas, worked mostly on Texas campaigns -- Governor Bill Clement's, for instance -- and just about always won. He's an expert on direct mail, on how much it will cost to do what in a campaign. He planned George W. Bush's successful races for governor, and, of course, his successful run for the presidency four years ago, winning on his first try, the one prize Bob Shrum still yearns for.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Karl Rove and Bob Shrum.

Illinois Republicans still need a candidate for U.S. Senate. Coming up, I'll ask the party's original nominee, Jack Ryan, if he's having second thoughts about dropping out.

But next, memories and grudges in Florida, and how African- American leaders intend, they say, to make sure things are different this time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Welcome back.

Here is what's happening now. Martha Stewart's ex-stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, is sentenced to five months in prison, five months home confinement, and two years probation. It is the same sentence that Stewart herself got this morning. Bacanovic was also fined $4,000.

Now, back to INSIDE POLITICS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: It's been four years but passions from the 2000 election remain high.

REP. CORRINE BROWN (D), FLORIDA: I come from Florida where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

ANNOUNCER: We'll take a look at what's being done.

A picture truly worth a thousand words. Does today's teaming up of Dick Cheney and John McCain put speculation on a change of running mates to rest?

Look who's the late add as a primetime speaker in Boston. Get ready for our convention countdown. Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Welcome back. With the new poll showing a still very tight presidential race in Florida, many voters there are bracing for a possible repeat of the 2000 standoff. African-American Democrats are especially on edge, fearing that blacks will be disenfranchised again as they claim they were four years ago. CNN's Ed Henry explains how the anxiety has been on display.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH: I want your vote.

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some Democrats still believe Republicans stole the 2000 election and that bitterness boiled over Thursday on the House floor.

BROWN: I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said, get over it.

REP. STEVE BUYER (R), INDIANA: The words that were taken down, she said you stole an election. I believe that those were not...

[GAVEL POUNDING]

HENRY: The House did vote along party lines to strike Brown's words from the record. The dispute was sparked by demands from some Democrats that the United Nations monitor the legitimacy of this year's presidential election. But House Republicans passed an amendment blocking U.N. involvement in the American election.

BUYER: For over 200 years this nation has conducted elections fairly, impartially and ensuring that each person's vote will count. When problems have arisen over the years, by constitution, authority was granted to Congress in the states to address them, and we have.

HENRY: But Democratic critics are not satisfied as Florida grapples with questions about its new touch-screen voting machines and faces controversy over a list used to remove felons from the voting rolls. Jesse Jackson has announced a new initiative to protect black voters in November.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: A million African- American voters, a million, a million were disenfranchised. A million in the year 2000. And that must not happen again.

HENRY: John Kerry also weighed in as he addressed the NAACP.

KERRY: We're not only going to make sure that every vote counts, we're going to make sure that every single vote is counted.

HENRY: NAACP officials continue to charge that black votes were stolen in 2000. But the president's education secretary believes the NAACP is trying to stoke the black vote for Democrats.

ROD PAIGE, EDUCATION SECRETARY: Any objective person who looks at this and listens at the rhetoric could draw the right conclusion.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: Judy, Republicans say that the United Nations' time would be much better spent setting up a framework for free and fair elections in nations like Iraq rather than here in America but Democrats, 160 Democrats voted yesterday to let the U.N. have some role overseeing the U.S. election in November. So obviously, there's still a lot of concern, a lot of resentment on the Democratic side of the aisle about this upcoming election -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: It will be interesting to see if that's the end of it. Ed Henry, thank you very much.

Well, President Bush is in West Virginia this hour for a reelection rally in Beckley. A recent poll suggests John Kerry has edged ahead in that showdown state. His opponent has a rally in Arlington, Virginia this evening after accepting the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers. Running mate John Edwards is campaigning solo in Los Angeles. Would he consider running against Kerry in 2008 if they don't win this November?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am completely loyal to John Kerry period. And that includes now, it includes in the future. And I am 110 percent, Elizabeth and I, my wife and I both, about making sure he's the next president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: That was from our own Kelly Wallace, his one-on-one interview with Edwards yesterday.

As for the current vice president, he was on the trail today with a man some Republicans envisioned as a would-be Cheney replacement, Senator John McCain. That photo-op leads us to our senior political analyst Bill Schneider -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, with all the economic uncertainty, it can be a struggle to keep your job. In fact, it can even be the political play of the week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Kerry picks Edwards, Republicans look at the polls. Edwards is a hit, 55 percent favorable. And their guy, Dick Cheney, 46 percent favorable. Uh-oh.

Then the story gets out that Cheney has dismissed his personal physician who was found to have abused prescription drugs. The "New York Times" runs a front page story reporting rumors that Cheney's new physician will advise him not to run. How convenient. Do the voters want Cheney off the ticket? No. Nearly 60 percent say keep him. No pressure from Republicans either. 71 percent of them want to keep him. So where's the pressure coming from? The editor of the "National Review" writes it's not going to happen but the media and the Democrats want it to happen so it will be a topic of intense political conversation. Do the Democrats want it to happen? Only 19 percent of Democrats like Cheney. But most Democrats want Bush to keep Cheney on the ticket. What's that about?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, DNC CHAIRMAN: He is our new Newt Gingrich.

SCHNEIDER: Oh, but Republicans know what would happen if they dumped Cheney. Kerry told them.

KERRY: It will mean that the president's word once again doesn't mean anything. That he's the biggest -- that he himself is the flip- flopper of all flip-floppers.

SCHNEIDER: The word from the president is...

BUSH: I'm running with a great American in Dick Cheney. A solid, solid citizen.

SCHNEIDER: Asked how she feels about the Kerry-Edwards combination, the first lady says...

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: Well, I like the Bush-Cheney combination.

SCHNEIDER: Asked if the president wants him to step aside, the vice president says...

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's been very clear he doesn't want to break up the team.

SCHNEIDER: Asked what the chances are that her husband will deliver an acceptance speech at the New York convention, Cheney's wife says...

LYNNE CHENEY, DICK CHENEY'S WIFE: It will happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No question?

L. CHENEY: No question.

SCHNEIDER: Four sources. That nail it down? Well, here's one more. John McCain campaigning with Cheney.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Vice President Cheney is not just another pretty face.

SCHNEIDER: No. He's the political play of the week.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: As a person who has sometimes been mistaken for Dick Cheney, let me state this for the record. The vice president is a pretty face.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Vice President and Mr. Schneider, thank you very much.

SCHNEIDER: My pleasure.

WOODRUFF: We both agree on that. Thanks very much.

Now, we turn to our convention countdown with just ten days until the Democrat's party in Boston. The DNC announced today that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will address the convention on Thursday. A DNC spokesman says the exact time slot has yet to be worked out.

Meantime, fans of Senator Hillary Clinton can rest easier. She has been give an primetime role on the opening night of the convention introducing her husband just as she did four years ago. After some questioned Senator Clinton's absence from the original major speakers list, John Kerry called Clinton yesterday and asked her to speak.

Well, Jack Ryan's departure from the U.S. Senate race created a vacancy that Illinois Republicans have yet to fill. In a minute, he joins me to talk about the media firestorm that preceded his decision to quit and what he's thinking about now.

Later, new developments in the controversy surrounding one of the most powerful Republicans on Capitol Hill. Plus, the inside buzz about pressure to add one more primetime speaker at the GOP convention.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Since Jack Ryan dropped out of the Illinois Senate race three weeks ago, state Republicans have been scrambling to find a new candidate. Ryan's decision followed public disclosure of some divorce documents containing embarrassing information about his marital life. Jack Ryan joins me now.

JACK RYAN (R), FMR. SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for being here, we appreciate it.

RYAN: Thanks for having me, thank you.

WOODRUFF: Are you thinking about getting back in the race?

RYAN: No. The situation hasn't changed much since three weeks ago when I decided to get out of the race, which is I lost the support, as you know, of the Illinois GOP. And you can't really win a race fighting a two-front war, one with the very creditable Democrat opponent and also the Illinois GOP. So I decided I can't win this race.

WOODRUFF: So you're absolutely ruling it out, under no circumstances?

RYAN: I can't envision a circumstance under which I get back in the race.

WOODRUFF: Do you know -- have you heard of anybody who may get in?

RYAN: No I haven't. For three weeks, after Torricelli dropped out in New Jersey, they had a new candidate within 24 hours. And in Minnesota when Senator Wellstone sadly died, they had a new candidate within 72 hours. And throughout three weeks later, I had thought when they said, why don't you step down, they some had plan B in the wings ready to go right away. And here we are two weeks later with no candidate.

WOODRUFF: And you've watched what has happened to Mike Ditka. You talked to him, right?

RYAN: Well, very briefly. The situation is what I talked about after I dropped out. I said this cannot be a new standard for politics in America. This is a bad development for American democracy because, as you know, "The Tribune" went into our sealed custody documents and sued us...

WOODRUFF: You're talking about the divorce documents.

RYAN: Right. Exactly. And sued my former wife and me to open those documents up. And of course, you mentioned the allegations that are in those documents. But that can't be the new standard. Even people as strong as Iron Mike -- he's referred to as "Iron Mike" in Chicago, so after having something to happen to Jack Ryan, they don't want to get into this. So I think it's a bad standard now for U.S. democracy. I hope we back off of it.

WOODRUFF: But haven't we gotten to a point -- I mean, there are just countless examples out there, I think people think, where people, once you put yourself up for public life, people do think your life is practically an open book and they deserve to know many if not all things about you.

RYAN: Well, this is the first time in U.S. history when a media organization has tried to open sealed divorce and custody documents. Remember, there's no allegation of breaking any laws or infidelity or breaking marriage vows, they just went in to see what was in those documents. And if that's the new standard, half of the population will say, I don't want to run for office because I might be divorced, I don't want those documents being released to the public against my will.

WOODRUFF: You don't think that what came out said something about Jack Ryan's character?

RYAN: I don't think so. As you know, there was a statement made in those papers, and I disagreed with the statement. But there was -- it was called I think by one organization, "the sexless sex scandal." There was no sex involved and the person involved was my wife. And so I think it doesn't reflect on someone's character to be a U.S. Senator. WOODRUFF: You also said at the beginning, the other problem is the Republican Party in Illinois, that they wanted you out. They say that you lied to them, that you led them to believe -- you told them there was nothing embarrassing in those documents. And then they turn around and find out that there was information in there about these sex clubs.

RYAN: Well, one person said that, the head of the Illinois GOP. Everybody else said, Jack was completely forthright with us as to what he could say. Remember, the documents were under seal. So I wasn't at liberty to talk about it in any detail at all other than vague references.

WOODRUFF: But they say you misled them.

RYAN: I said the same thing to everybody I spoke to, which is there's nothing in there that prevents me from being a U.S. senator. And with respect to the more I guess vicious rumors, there was no allegation of infidelity or breaking marriage vows or breaking any laws. And that's all I could really say because the documents were under court seal. I couldn't break the court seal on my own.

WOODRUFF: But I guess on an embarrassment scale, they were saying, tell us if there is anything that could embarrass you and could embarrass the party. They were saying you didn't level with them about that.

RYAN: Well, one person said that. If the press would ask me that question, I would say, something slightly embarrassing in there, of course, it was a divorce custody dispute, but there's nothing that prevents me from being a great U.S. senator.

WOODRUFF: Jack Ryan, why have you decided to come out and do interviews? This has to have been an incredibly painful thing to have gone through.

RYAN: It was. But after it all happened it really made me realize that I was in it for the right reasons. I know I entered into it to help the poorest of the poor. You know, I left Goldman Sachs as partner to start teaching high school on the Southside of Chicago. And so I ran this very unique Republican primary campaign, how do we help the least fortunate in this country?

But sometimes, you know, even when you think you're doing something for the right reasons, you kind of question yourself. Are you really doing it for the right reasons? But after the campaign ended, I really didn't feel bad or angry or bitter about it, I know I took my best chance at helping those I really wanted to help. And because it was never about me, I never felt like, oh, I lost something about me to this process. So it really re-confirmed the reasons why I had run this race, which is to help those who have been most left behind.

WOODRUFF: Do you think you'll get into politics again?

RYAN: I'd like to. I really would like to. I really think it's a great way...

WOODRUFF: Do you have your eye on a particular race?

RYAN: No. But I think the great thing about this campaign is we try to re-ignite the idealism of the '60s. I don't think we've had a debate since the late '60s about how to help the least fortunate since probably the Nixon-Johnson or Nixon-Humphrey debates. And I think it was going to be the first campaign in 30 or 40 years where both the Democrat and Republican said, we have got better ways to help the poorest of poor. My opponent is saying, the status quo, Great Society programs, small changes; and me saying, dramatically change the Great Society programs.

WOODRUFF: Do you assume that Barack Obama is going to win?

RYAN: No, because, we've had...

WOODRUFF: He doesn't have an opponent.

RYAN: Well, if we have no opponent, he will win, I guarantee you that. For the last 26 years -- we had 224 years of Republican governors in Illinois. So Republicans can win statewide in Illinois with the right candidate, with the right ideas, with the right character.

WOODRUFF: But you have to figure out who it is.

RYAN: That's right, that's right. Thanks a lot.

WOODRUFF: OK. Jack Ryan, we appreciate your coming by.

RYAN: Thanks for having me, appreciate it.

WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.

RYAN: Thank you, thank you.

WOODRUFF: And there is more fallout from a House Ethics Committee investigation of Majority Leader Tom DeLay. A political watchdog group, Common Cause, has disclosed that four of the five Republican members of the Ethics Committee have received money from DeLay's political action committee. As a result, it is asking that the Ethics Committee appoint an independent counsel to investigate DeLay.

DeLay and committee chairman Joel Hefley say the independent counsel is unnecessary. And DeLay denies and wrongdoing. An aide to DeLay says the complaint against him is just, quote, "politics of personal destruction in an election year."

The allegations against DeLay include charges that he accepted a corporate contribution in return for legislative favors, and that he abused his office by using the FBI to track down Texas Democratic legislators who had left the state to prevent Republicans from casting a redistricting bill. Well, they seem to be breaking the eleventh commandment in Oklahoma. Coming up, "Bob Novak's Inside Buzz" about a race where at least one Republican is speaking ill of his GOP opponent.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Bob Novak joins us now with "Inside Buzz." All right, I hear some conservatives are not happy with the speakers list at the Republican convention.

BOB NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": It's full of pro-choice Republicans. No conservatives. So Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has written a letter to the president suggesting a speaker for primetime some (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He's gotten over 100 fellow Republican House members to sign it. And they're suggestion is Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois, who's chairman of the international relations committee, he was the chief prosecutor in the Clinton impeachment, but most important he is a leader in the pro-life movement on abortion. He would satisfy the conservatives in one blow. It's something they might consider.

WOODRUFF: You think they'd put him in primetime?

NOVAK: They might do it.

WOODRUFF: In Oklahoma, usually Republicans don't say bad things about each other. What's happened?

NOVAK: There was a tough primary battle between former Congressman Tom Coburn, he has the character of a populist and the former mayor of Oklahoma City, Kirk Humphreys, who was the establishment candidate. And they had made an agreement they would not criticize each other because it is going to be a close race in November.

But the problem is that Coburn, the populist is leading in his own polls 2-1 over Humphreys, so Humphreys has a commercial out, an ad out which attacks Coburn for voting against defense and intelligence appropriations because it included a lot of pork barrel stuff and saying you can't count on Tom Coburn in time of war. So the Club for Growth Steve Moore who is supporting Coburn went to Senator Giming Hauf (ph), said this broke the pact. And Hauf said, no, it's just telling the truth. The establishment really doesn't want Tom Coburn in the Senate.

WOODRUFF: So we haven't heard the end of that one.

What is this about a conservative check card? A plastic card?

NOVAK: This is the plastic card and the Republican study committee is handing out to all House Republican members. And it's got six points. Less government, lower taxes, personal responsibility, individual freedoms, stronger families and domestic tranquility and national defense.

Those things, you're supposed to read the card as you vote, Judy. And if the bill goes for all those things, you can vote yes. Not many bills do. Now I think they're going to, in the next generation, they're going to have something you just stick in the thing and decide whether the bill is any good or not. It's something you could even consider yourself when you do to a story. Does it follow all these things?

WOODRUFF: Does it pass the smell? Does it pass the six-point test. Finally, you love to follow fundraising. What's the example this week?

NOVAK: This is wonderful and something I think will appeal to you. Congressman Hal Rogers, who is a leading appropriator. Remember the House sitting member, the House appropriations committee from Kentucky has invited lobbyists, he sent this out to all the big lobbyists in Washington for a weekend in Las Vegas, September 17 through September 20. Golf, cocktails, a showing of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), brunch, a fundraising breakfast and its only $1,500 a person. Of course, you have to pay for your own hotel room and transportation, but I'm sure you'd want to be with Congressman Hal Rogers for that whole weekend. He's a big appropriator, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Appropriations committee, we're all for it. Bob Novak, thanks very much. We'll see you next week.

All the candidates are on the road, so why not INSIDE POLITICS? Stay tuned and find out where the CNN Election Express will be heading.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The Democratic convention just over a week away. But CNN's Election Express can't wait. Starting next week, INSIDE POLITICS goes on the road. Monday, our special election bus will be in Concord, New Hampshire. As the week goes on the Election Express takes a grand tour of Boston. We'll be stopping in Dorchester, Charlestown and even Fenway Park. We can't wait.

That's it for today's edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff. Here's "CROSSFIRE."


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