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Bush Lays Out Second Term Agenda; Reshaped Congress Leads to Challenges;

Aired November 4, 2004 - 15:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Will he be a uniter?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am fully prepared to work with both Republican and Democrat leadership.

ANNOUNCER: Or a divider?

BUSH: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital. And now I intend to spend it.

ANNOUNCER: How will President Bush govern in his second term?

Can they get along?

SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: The message to Democrats is stop the obstructions.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I am very concerned about the radical right wing agenda.

ANNOUNCER: Will next Congress be able to get things done?

Why did George Bush make major gains among Latino voters?

SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R), NEW MEXICO: Values, values, values. That's what happened.

ANNOUNCER: Now, live from Washington, Judy Woodruff's INSIDE POLITICS.


JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.

Inauguration day isn't until January, but in many ways today is the first day of President Bush's second term. And he began it by talking with reporters about his agenda, how he'll try to carry it out and the meaning of his election victory.

Our senior White House correspondent, John king, was at the Bush news conference.

Hi, John.


The president clearly confident after his victory, a spring in his step, a great deal of enthusiasm and energy in his voice. The president says he anticipates a period of bipartisan good will after the election.

But he also made crystal clear that he believes he has a mandate and that he will go ahead with a domestic legislative agenda that will immediately test that bipartisan spirit the president says he certainly hopes for.

Mr. Bush talking about tax simplification, a flatter tax system that he says should not contain any hidden tax increase. Democrats don't like that.

He said he would push ahead with private accounts in Social Security for younger Americans. Democrats don't like that.

Mr. Bush also talking about slicing the deficit, which will, of course, force cuts in popular spending programs.

The president says he will go to Congress in high spirits that he can get things done because he believes the American people gave him a clear mandate.


BUSH: I made it clear what I intend to do as the president. Now let's work -- and the people made it clear what they wanted. Now let's work together.

It's one of the wonderful -- one of the -- it's like earning capital. You asked if I feel free, let me put it this way. I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.


KING: Confident, but the president was also cautious. He sidestepped several questions about issues that could perhaps spoil his post-election mood: will there be more troops needed in Iraq? What is the goal of the pending offensive against the insurgencies? Mr. Bush would not answer those question.

He was asked about what he would look for in a new Supreme Court justice. He says there's no vacancy at the moment. Most believe there soon will be, but the president not wanting to dive into the delicate politics of the Supreme Court.

At a cabinet meeting this morning, the president thanked the members of his team. He also acknowledged at that news conference that there is -- it is inevitable that there will be some changes.

Now, Mr. Bush says he will think about those changes up at Camp David this weekend. He left for a long weekend with the first lady a short time ago. Senior aides insist that yes, there will be significant turnover, both in the cabinet and in the senior Bush staff but they say that turnover will be gradual, that there will not be any mass resignations.

So Judy, the president up at Camp David this weekend. He is thinking about the staff, thinking about his second term agenda. As a reflection of just how eager he is, I'm told that on his way out of the cabinet room today, after meeting with the cabinet, he pulled aside his top speechwriter said, "We need to talk. I have some ideas for the inaugural address" -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So sounds like he's not wasting any time.

KING: Not at all.

WOODRUFF: OK. John King, thanks very much. We'll let you get out of that rain.

Well, for many Americans the election results still are sinking in after the long and often contentious campaign.

Our poll taken on the day after the vote shows 51 percent of Americans say they are pleased by the outcome. That's the same percentage of the vote that Bush won. As you would suspect, most of those people are Republicans.

And most of the 38 percent who say they are upset by the outcome are Democrats.

Eighty percent of those surveyed say they agree with John Kerry's decision to concede the election.

As for Mr. Bush's promise to try to bring the nation together, 57 percent say they believe the president will be a uniter in his second term. More than a third, however, believe he will be a divider.

The president will have a stronger hand in his effort to reach out to the Congress. In the Senate, Republicans had a net gain of four seats, further weakening the Democrats' ranks. The new balance of power in the Senate will be 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and one independent.

Our congressional correspondent, Ed Henry, has more on the prospect of bipartisanship in Bush's second term.

What's it looking like?

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, yesterday the president actually picked up the telephone and called Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. He's now in line to replace Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader. Obviously Daschle went down to defeat in South Dakota.

And the president pledged to work with Reid. And Reid now looks like he's going to be the leader, because Chris Dodd, who was looking at the race, dropped out last night. He did not have the votes to take on Harry Reid. And this is a little bit of a clue of how Democrats are going to deal with this president. A big style difference there. If Chris Dodd had become the leader, he would have been more liberal. He would have been, perhaps, more combative.

Harry Reid, on the other hand, he has the respect of his Democratic colleagues, but he also has the respect of many Republican colleagues. He's known as somebody who works together. He can cut deals, the kind of respect that Tom Daschle, frankly, did not have with a lot of Republican leaders.

So this is somebody that Bill Frist, the majority leader, can work with, so we can expect some deals because Democrats are now going to have to reach across the aisle. They cannot get a lot of what they want done done.

And in fact, Harry Reid yesterday said he is going to work closely with President Bush. Here's what he said.


SEN. HARRY REID (D), NEVADA: The president called me this morning. We had a private discussion. It was a nice discussion. And as you know, yesterday I was working against him. Today I'm working with him. That's part of my responsibilities.


HENRY: Now the president today at his press conference said he is going to work with Democratic leaders like Harry Reid.

But he was also asked by a reporter about the criticism that some Democrats have had. The president really only picks off a few Democrats here and there on issues like tax cuts and really does not reach across the aisle and get broad consensus.

Here's how the president responded.


BUSH: I laid out an agenda for reforming our public schools. I worked with both Republicans and Democrats to get that bill passed. In a new term, I we'll continue to make sure we do not weaken the accountability standards that are making a huge difference in people's lives, in these kids' lives. But that's the model I'd look at, if I were you.


HENRY: So the president there saying that the No Child Left Behind Act, that's the kind of model he will use in this upcoming session of Congress.

Democrats complained that he ended up not funding that bill enough, and they don't like it now. And they also say that issues that are on the table, like Social Security reform, there was a bitter divide in this campaign over those issues. It will be hard to bridge that divide.

What Republicans on the Hill are saying now is they have a mandate. They believe not just because of the president's re-election but because of those 55 seats in the Senate, they have a mandate to try to get these things done and that Democrats are going to have to cooperate.

But I can tell you, Democrats are insisting privately as they try to pick up the pieces from this election that while someone like Harry Reid will reach across the aisle, they're still going to fight back against the president. They're not just going to lay down and let him get whatever he wants.

And they say, in fact, that they believe this election was about the messenger being rejected, John Kerry, but not the message. And Democrats on the Hill say they will stick to their core message of jobs, the economy, health care. They still think is can be a winning message. They just have to figure out how to sell it a little better, and they have to figure out how to fix their turnout operation, frankly.

WOODRUFF: So the Democrats plan to play hardball and use the filibuster when they need to?

HENRY: They say they're going to use the filibuster when they need to. But they realize the reality of the situation now is that obstructionism also may have been on the ballot here, and Tom Daschle went down to defeat in South Dakota because Republicans complained he was obstructing too much.

So they have to be careful not to use the filibuster too much. They're going to keep it in reserve for when they really, really need it on a big nomination or on a big piece of legislation.

WOODRUFF: A lot to watch out for. All right. Ed Henry, reporting on the Capitol Hill situation on two days after this election. Ed, thanks very much.

Coming up, I'll talk with a Republican who toppled Democratic leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Senator-elect John Thune.

Now, checking the headlines in our "Campaigns News Daily," the campaign is over but the nation's focus has turned to President Bush's second term. And now there is just one state left to call in the presidential election.

The Associated Press has projected Bush the winner in New Mexico, where just a few votes remain to be counted. Currently, Bush has about 50 percent of the vote; John Kerry, 49. Bush lost this state four years ago by only 366 votes.

In Iowa, though, the winner remains unclear, with some provisional and absentee ballots still to count. Bush has 50 percent, Kerry 49 percent. You can see just how close it is.

Arizona Senator John McCain says his campaign finance reform measures worked as planned in the election, but he says more changes are needed. In "USA Today," McCain writes that so-called 527 groups should be required to register as political action committees.

And he also has tough criticism for the Federal Election Commission. He writes, quote, "In January the new Congress will convene, and we will initiate a new round of necessary reforms, beginning with a new enforcement agency to replace the FEC."

Well, President Bush didn't give anything away today about the future of his cabinet. But John Ashcroft is the prime subject of the "who will leave" speculation. Coming up, we'll tell you what we know and what we don't know about Ashcroft's plans.

Also ahead, the president is promising to bring the nation together. But can he close the divide between Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazile?

And next, my interview with John Thune. He'll head to the Senate without seniority, but with a lot of chips to cash in as the man who brought down Tom Daschle.

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this week in history, in 1994, anti- abortion activist Paul Hill was convicted of murdering a Florida abortion doctor and his escort.

SUSAN SMITH, CONVICTED MURDERER: Please bring them home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Susan Smith was charged with drowning her two sons in a lake in 1994.

On November 6, 1998, Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave up his post and resigned from Congress all together.

That is this week in history.



WOODRUFF: We learned today that Senator John Edwards' wife is facing a new battle against breast cancer.

Fifty-five-year-old Elizabeth Edwards got the diagnosis just yesterday, the day her husband and John Kerry conceded. A family spokesman says Mrs. Edwards has a common but invasive form of breast cancer that can spread from the milk ducts to other parts of the body.

Tests are being done to determine the appropriate treatment.

We all wish her well. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: One surprise for the Democrats from Tuesday's election was the increased Latino support for President Bush.

CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a look at how that vote went in New Mexico and elsewhere around the country.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As ballots were counted on election night, a disturbing trend for Democrats emerged. More and more Hispanic votes falling in the Republican column.

Like David Quintanilla's vote. He used to support Democrats but now volunteers with the Bush campaign in New Mexico.

DAVID QUINTANILLA, BUSH SUPPORTER: It is because of family values, faith, honor, respect, integrity.

LAVANDERA: CNN exit poll numbers show President Bush made a significant gain among Latino voters nationwide, from 35 percent in the 2000 election to 44 percent this year.

In Texas and Florida, he won a majority of the Hispanic vote.

Even in states where Bush lost the Hispanic vote, he still made gains. If New Mexico, Bush improved 12 points. In Arizona, nine. In California, plus four among Latinos. And in New York, plus six.

Republicans say a conservative social agenda is winning over Hispanic voters.

DOMENICI: Values, values, values. That's what happened. I mean -- by values, I mean the things I've been talking about. Marriage. Family. They became issues.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Many Hispanic Democrats across the southwest grumbled quietly during this campaign that John Kerry simply had a hard time connecting with Hispanic voters, as compared to George Bush, who's often perceived as a good old boy from Texas.

(voice-over) Raymond Sanchez is a veteran of New Mexico politics. He served as the Democratic speaker of house in the state legislature for 18 years. He says these poll numbers should serve as a wakeup call to his party.

RAYMOND SANCHEZ, NEW MEXICO DEMOCRAT: Do not take this group of people for granted. Their values are the same as everyone else's values. So start talking about the values that we have.

LAVANDERA: The Latino Republican battle cry on the campaign trail has been "viva Bush." That motto appears to have taken a little bit of life out of the Democratic Party this year.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: The people of San Diego may have elected a write-in candidate for mayor.

City council member Donna Frye, a Democrat in the historically Republican-leaning city, ran as write-in against incumbent Republican Dick Murphy. The votes are still being counted, but Frye appears to hold a slim lead.

She says she would like to improve the image of people in public service.


DONNA FRYE (D), SAN DIEGO MAYORAL CANDIDATE: When you say the word "politician" or "elected official," you know, they -- they have, like, this immediate sort of visceral reaction, like, "Ew!" You know, they're dishonest, or it's not a noble profession. That bothers me, because I think it is.


WOODRUFF: Donna Frye, the Democrat running for mayor. And officials say it could take until the end of the month to declare a winner in the race for San Diego mayor.

Coming up next, the man who beat Tom Daschle. We'll talk with North Dakota's John Thune -- South Dakota. South Dakota!


WOODRUFF: John Thune's victory over Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle was probably the Republicans' second biggest win on Tuesday, behind only President Bush. Daschle was seeking a fourth term, and Republicans made him a top target in the nation's most expensive Senate race.

We're joined now by Republican senator-elect John Thune.


JOHN THUNE (R), SENATOR-ELECT, SOUTH DAKOTA: Thank you very much, Judy.

WOODRUFF: So what's it feel like to be a giant killer?

THUNE: Well, I don't know about that, but it felt good. We had a tough election. It was -- we knew it was going to be close, and we were fortunate. It was one of those races that could go either way, but we had a good ground operation.

And I think a lot of elections that were close this year really came down to turning out the vote. And the vote turned out big in South Dakota this year. And I think that benefited us, and we were able to eke out a narrow win, but a win that's important not only for South Dakota but for the country and hopefully for the functioning of the United States Senate. WOODRUFF: You are -- have identify yourself -- aligned yourself closely with President Bush. What do you expect to see him push, and what do you expect to support him on early in his second term?

THUNE: Well, I think there -- you know, there were a lot things that were stalled out in the United States Senate prior to the last -- prior to this election, you know, whether a judicial nominations, I think, probably making the tax relief permanent, trying to get the energy policy jumpstarted again, a number of health care reforms, medical malpractice reform, welfare reform has stalled out in the Senate.

I think there are a number of initiatives that the president will likely want to get moving again and hopefully through the Senate.

And maybe look at some of the bigger issues, tackling tax reform, looking at some improvements in Social Security. I think there are a number of issues out there on the agenda.

But my guess is the immediate business will be taking up some of the issues that have been stalled out in the Senate up until now and trying to get that agenda moving again.

WOODRUFF: Let me quote to you what a couple of your colleagues to be have been saying.

Republican Lindsey Graham, South Carolina, he's saying, "My concern is that a lot of Republicans will not boldly embrace the president's plan for tax reform and Social Security." He said, "We have six months to give the president a legacy."

What do -- what do you think the big challenges are going to be?

THUNE: Well, you know, I think that there -- this is a very obviously, a diverse country. And as the elections have shown all across the country, many of these races were too close to call right until to the end.

But I do think the president comes in with a fairly strong mandate. I think he's got good majorities now in now both the House and Senate. And I think, you know, the immediate business is going to be to deal with some of things I just mentioned.

But I do believe that some of these bigger issues that have been looming out there for a long time, this is an opportunity -- we have a window here to address some of those things.

And I think there are a lot of people around the country who want to see, you know, something done with the tax code to make it simpler and more fair, something done to prolong the longevity of Social Security. And so it will be interesting, I think, to see.

I suspect that the Democrats in the Senate will dig in on some of these issues, but I think after the elections this year, they're not going to be in the same position they were prior to it. I think that there was a clear message sent about the need for constructive forward-looking leadership and a willingness to work on moving the agenda forward, rather than blocking and stopping and obstructing it.

WOODRUFF: Well, another one of your colleagues to be, Senator Olympia Snowe, who's seen as a moderate Republican from the state of Maine, she said regrettably, she said, "We've seen an erosion in the state Senate of centrists on both sides of the aisle."

Is that -- is that going to be a problem?

THUNE: Well, you know, I think that we're going to have to find that obviously, in order -- in a legislative body, you have to find that middle ground, Judy. And I think we will do that.

But I do think this is a center right coalition. This is a governing coalition with the president and the House and the Senate that is going to be right of center. I know there are going to be a lot of, you know, liberals in the House and the Senate who aren't going to like that or around the country, but that's what this election was about.

And I think it's created an opportunity to build coalitions, and there are a number of people who, I think, will find that ground in the middle and try and -- and try and move toward solutions and instead, you know, of the legislative gridlock I think that's characterized the Senate of late.

But bearing in mind that this is a -- you know, these are going to be center right-type solutions. And I think that's the kind of coalition that exists today in the Congress. That's the kind of agenda the president is going to push.

And I would hope that we'll have success in luring, you know, Democrats and Republicans from all sides of the political spectrum to work together to try and accomplish it.

WOODRUFF: Senator-elect John Thune from the state of South Dakota, again congratulations.

THUNE: Thank you very much, Judy.

WOODRUFF: And we appreciate it. And we hope to see you here in Washington. Thank you.

THUNE: We're looking forward to it. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Coming up, the guessing game. Will John Ashcroft step down? And if so, when?

Plus, who will replace him as attorney general? We'll try to answer some of these questions when we return.

And later, they lost the race for the White House and they lost seats in Congress. So how does the Democratic Party rebound from this week's election? I'll ask Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan.

But first let's go live to Wall Street and our Rhonda Schaffler.

Hi, Rhonda.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

Coming up in about 90 minutes, 5 p.m. Eastern, officials at a French hospital are denying reports the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, is dead. But among senior Palestinian officials, there's growing concern about his deteriorating condition.

One day after John Edwards conceded defeat in his race for the vice presidency, his wife faces a major health challenge. Elizabeth Edwards has breast cancer.

And more airstrikes hit targets in Falluja as U.S. Marines trained in urban warfare prepare for a final assault on that Iraqi stronghold.

All those stories and much more coming up later on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."


WOODRUFF: President Bush meets with his cabinet. How many of them will be back for the second term?

Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington.

Changes are always expected after a president gets reelected. In the wake of this Bush victory, Attorney General John Ashcroft's name is being mentioned as possibly the first cabinet member who may leave. With me now for more on all this, CNN Justice correspondent Kelli Arena.

So Kelli, what is going on?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Well, sources close to the attorney general tell CNN that John Ashcroft is expected to soon let the president know that he will be resigning from his post. But they caution that nothing official has taken place and that any announcement would be handled by the White House.

Now, the attorney general has had some health issues which sources say is a factor. And he certainly has served as a lightning rod for this administration. But it's interesting. Some of his aides say that Ashcroft was energized by the election results and feels somewhat vindicated by them.

Now, that's not to say that they believe he'll stay for another four years. And, of course, the betting on who will replace him as already begun. The president today in his press conference said that he warned his cabinet members about this period of speculation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But let me just help you out with the speculation right now. I haven't thought about it. I'm going to start thinking about it.

I'm going to Camp David this afternoon with -- with Laura, and I'll begin the process of thinking about the cabinet and the White House staff. And we'll let you know at the appropriate time.


ARENA: Among the names -- among the names that are being battered around, former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. Now, he's very well liked and an odds-on favorite, but he just took a job with PepsiCo. So some question whether he'd take the job.

The second most mentioned name seems to be White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez. The chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, Marc Racicot, has also come up. His name surfaced four years ago as well. And Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor, also comes up as a possible replacement.

Again, Judy, this is all speculation. And Ashcroft will probably be not alone in his decision to leave government and perhaps go back to his private life.

WOODRUFF: Is it your sense, Kelli, that some of these other names out there are already lobbying quietly? Has it advanced that far or not?

ARENA: You know, I don't think so, Judy. These names have been surfacing for months now, especially when John Ashcroft was ill with pancreatitis.

That was when sort of this -- this sort of started, and said, well, will he -- even if Bush wins a second term, would he be up for it. He has been putting in, as you know, very long hours, intelligence briefings are early in the morning. You know, since September 11 has been non-stop action.

So it was expected. No surprise. But I think -- I think with what the president said today says it all.

He said, "Look, I haven't even thought about it yet." This is going to go on. It's a Washington pastime. I've got to go and get down to business." I think he's been a little busy lately.

WOODRUFF: That's right. That's a job where you don't get a day off.

ARENA: That's right.

WOODRUFF: Kelli Arena, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Well, how might President Bush's reelection affect the future makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court? National correspondent Bob Franken takes a look at that. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: While it is premature to assume Chief Justice Rehnquist would not be there to swear in President Bush...

BUSH: I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear...

CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM REHNQUIST, U.S. SUPREME COURT: That I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States.

FRANKEN: Given Rehnquist's illness and absence from this week's arguments, the president was asked whether to bring the nation together he would seek a consensus candidate if there was an opening.

BUSH: Look at their record. I've sent up a lot of judges, well- qualified people who know the law, who represent a judicial temperament that I agree with and who are qualified to hold the bench.

FRANKEN: That record will show 10 of his judicial nominees were blocked by Senate Democrats as too conservative. The president resorted to temporary recess appointments for two of the judges. The incoming judiciary committee chairman, a Republican, who supports abortion rights, warns of another Democratic effort to block a nomination.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: And you can expect them to filibuster if the nominees are not within the broad range of acceptability. And I think there is a very broad range of presidential discretion. But there is a range.

FRANKEN: But many of Specter's more conservative Republican colleagues in this more Republican Senate might not settle for anything less than fellow conservatives. Liberal groups are already preparing for a fight.

RALPH NEAS, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: And my guess is there will be long confrontation that will be really at the highest levels in terms of the issues at stake.

FRANKEN: If Rehnquist were to step down, Bush would almost certainly nominate another conservative to replace him. But the oldest justice, John Paul Stevens, is the court's leading liberal.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also considered liberal, has had health problems. As has Sandra Day O'Connor, the powerful so-called swing vote. There is speculation she might retire, but also speculation she'd be a consensus candidate for chief justice. Expect a court tilt in any case to the right.

THOMAS GOLDMAN, SUPREME COURT APPELLATE ATTORNEY: There is likely to be more restriction on abortion, there's likely to be less affirmative action, there's likely to be more involvement with the government in religion.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FRANKEN: So any nomination battle could drag on for months because judicial appointments, Judy, are considered to be a president's most lasting legacy.

WOODRUFF: There is no shortage of speculation about these jobs.

FRANKEN: Not at all.

WOODRUFF: OK. Bob, thank you very much.

Republicans solidify their control at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. So where do the Democrats go from here? I'll ask Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan when INSIDE POLITICS returns.


WOODRUFF: With me now here in Washington, former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile. And in Kansas City, Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause.

Great to see both of you.

We did a poll -- or exit polls, you're very aware of. In that, 87 percent of people who were asked said they are confident the votes were counted accurately.

Donna Brazile, you were just telling me there's some -- maybe some issues?

DONNA BRAZILE, FMR. GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I may be part of that 12 or 13 percent that still believe that there are outstanding votes, provisional votes, absentee ballots that should be counted. We should go back and look at the machinery, make sure that everything worked properly. I think after this election we should, you know, put aside any partisanship that we have, but go back, count all those provisional ballots and reassure the American people that this election was fair and transparent.

WOODRUFF: Is that necessary, Bay?

BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Well, you know, I think all votes should be counted. I don't have a problem with that. But I think it's quite clear that George Bush has won this, and it's time to move forward.

We can let the states do the counting and come up with a final tally. But it's no -- no question. I think this was a terrific election. And I talked to Donna the afternoon of the election and she agreed there didn't seem to be any problems out there across this country. So I feel very good about the -- obviously the outcome, but also very good about the process itself.

BRAZILE: I'm not disputing the outcome. And things did run quite smoothly compared to four years ago.

But there are still a number of provisional ballots in many states that have not been counted that should be counted. And absentee ballots, overseas ballots, military ballots, it should be part of the total.

And Bay, I just want to let you know, congratulations. The outcome is not in doubt this time. This president was reelected this time -- or I should say elected for the first time.

WOODRUFF: All right.


WOODRUFF: Bay Buchanan, the president said today -- he said he has some political capital. He picked that up in this election and he plans to spend it. What is that capital and how should he spend it?

BUCHANAN: You know, Judy, this is one of the most exciting victories since Ronald Reagan. The capital is incredible.

The silent majority in this country has found its voice. It came together and expressed it without question that they want this country going in a certain direction. And I think it's emboldened the president and emboldened Congress, hopefully.

I have never been so excited literally since 1980, when Ronald Reagan won. I think that the president does have enormous clout now, and we will see real movement toward traditionalism in this country.

BRAZILE: Well, Bay, I hope that the values and fear tactics that were used to get the vote will not be the agenda that the Republicans put in office. Look, this president should use his political capital to really fix the economy, to stabilize the situation in Iraq, to ensure that we don't increase the deficits, to bring back jobs and get the economy moving. If he uses political capital in that way, he will find Democrats eager to work with him and Democrats eager to help approve bipartisan legislation.

WOODRUFF: Bay, you're shaking your head.

BUCHANAN: I'll tell you what, this is -- this is -- this election is basically a complete rejection, a complete defeat of liberalism. They are gone.

And what the American people said is, listen, we want to get back to values in this country. We're sick and tired of the Hollywood values and the media really putting down religious people in their values. And we want it back. And I think the president is just the person to do it.

BRAZILE: Well, Bay, most liberals find their values in the book of Matthew, Luke and John, they don't find it in the book of Tom DeLay. And that's the difference that you'll find in working with Democrats in the future.

And liberals are not dead. You see one right here. I know you're in Kansas City, but there are a lot of liberals who are going to continue to... BUCHANAN: Politically.

BRAZILE: Thank you very much. They're going to roll up their sleeves and they're going to get out there and they're going to do the hard work that will produce victories in the future.

BUCHANAN: Donna, I think you should keep being a liberal and let Hollywood represent you all, because you're going to become more and more insignificant in this process.

BRAZILE: Well, Bay, my documentary will be a little bit different than Michael Moore's. Put it that way.


BUCHANAN: And we're looking forward to some terrific judges, Judy. Some terrific judges.

BRAZILE: Ooh, Bay, don't scare me. Halloween is over. Don't scare me, Bay.

WOODRUFF: Bay -- so you're saying, Bay, that even though John Kerry got over 55, almost 56 million votes, you're saying that the other side was whomped and destroyed, in effect?

BUCHANAN: This is a clean sweep. We won the White House by 3.5 million. It's a majority for the first time in dozens and dozens of years.

We have -- we have captured the Senate, picked up -- the Democrats haven't had so few senators in a long, long time. And we firmed up in the Congress.

And I think what's really interesting is the major issue out there was values, was people in America coming together, Catholics and Protestants and Born Agains saying we're sick and tired of it. That marriage, basically, the marriage issue, it put us -- it put the simmering that's been going on to a boil, and it gave us a voice. And we came together with one single voice which says it's time not only to preserve marriage, but to get back to the traditional values that this country was based on.

BRAZILE: Bay, as you'll recall, the president said earlier this year that anger was not an agenda for change. Fear is not an agenda for change.

I think by putting fear tactics out there, it really divided the American people, which the president now wants to unite the American people, wants to bring the American people together. I think that should be his focus.

Look, Democrats exceeded expectations in the areas where they competed. Republicans exceed their expectations.

You all had more states where you were competitive, and there is no question you got out your vote. I congratulate you on finally figuring out how Democrats have won elections. Now, if truth be told, if truth be told, Bay, the next two years Democrats will regroup, rebuild and live to fight the next battle.

BUCHANAN: You know, Donna, I hope you regroup behind the idea of liberalism. But take a look at the map.

Middle America belongs to those people who feel strongly about values. And they want -- they want this Hollywood stuff put aside. And they want to get back to basics, where their kids are taught what's good and wholesome in this country.

BRAZILE: Well, if they want the Hollywood stuff put aside, then cut off their TV. Don't cut off CNN, but cut off the other channels and let mainstream values, shared opportunities, shared responsibilities be the hallmark of what the future looks like.

WOODRUFF: Donna, whether you agree with what Bay is saying or not, you must agree that the Democrats have got to come up with a new formula. Is it -- do they have to come up with new ideas or just a new candidate that's going to win?

BRAZILE: Well, there is no question that we can no longer go forward by just tuning up the car. We need a whole new wagon in order to get our message across. Democrats did very well in those states where we're very competitive.

WOODRUFF: We heard that. When you say "wagon," do you mean a different kind of candidate? Or do you mean -- what do you mean?

BRAZILE: I mean a different -- a different party organization that focuses on all 50 states. Democrats picked up gubernatorial seats in Montana, Democrats picked up and retained the seat in West Virginia.

Look, Democrats can compete across the country, whether it's red states or blue states. It's just that Democrats need a wagon, a cart that can carry the message in all 50 states.

We don't communicate with Christian conservatives. We write them off. We don't communicate with, you know, s-called value voters. We write them off.

We should communicate with them. When we will, we'll be more competitive in those states.

WOODRUFF: All right.

BUCHANAN: In order to communicate with them, you have to have a message that they'll respond to, Donna. And your message is a flawed one. It doesn't work anymore.

BRAZILE: I told you, liberals -- our book is the book of Luke, Matthew and John. We just have to tell people that now.

WOODRUFF: All right.

BUCHANAN: OK. Well, go tell Hollywood that. They're fouling things up for you.

WOODRUFF: All right. We got the red view and we got the blue view right here. Thank you both. Bay and Donna, great to see you two days after the election.

BUCHANAN: Thank you.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Still ahead, how religion helped the Republicans win the election. We were just hearing about that.

And as Democrats lick their wounds from Tuesday's losses, what must they do to win the next time? More of what we were just talking about. More insights when we come back.


WOODRUFF: Here are two questions. What does President Bush need to do to be successful in a second term? And what do Democrats need to do to have a prayer of winning the White House back in 2008?

Joining me now with his take on all of this and more, Jack Valenti, a CNN contributor and a former aide to President Lyndon Johnson.

Let's start with President Bush first, Jack Valenti. He said today he got some political capital out of this election and he plans to spend it. Is that going to work for him?

JACK VALENTI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it can. I think that President Bush, my home state of Texas -- so it can't be all bad if he's from Texas -- I think he's surrounded by good people, and particularly Karl Rove, who is a -- who is a real genius, a political genius. And Karl Rove understands, and I think President Bush does that nothing lasts in politics.

I'll tell you that in 1964, Lyndon Johnson won a sweeping victory with 62 percent of the vote, the largest percentage ever. He had a 50- plus margin in the Senate and 150-plus margin in the House. And I remember "TIME" Magazine after the election saying that the Democrats are dead for a generation.

Well, guess what? Four years later Nixon was president. So nothing lasts in politics. And nobody knows that better than Karl Rove.

I think the president, if he reaches out like Lyndon Johnson did, even with huge majorities, to Senator Dirksen, the Republican leader of the Senate, to Charlie Halleck and Gerald Ford, leaders of the House, and LBJ would have them to the mansion, talk to them as friends. And he was able to govern even though he had these huge majorities because he did reach out to the opposition. And I think President Bush is going to be smart enough to do that.

WOODRUFF: Well, he had huge majorities today, we're told. The polls tell us we have a deeply divided country. In fact, the election results tell us we have a deeply divided country.

VALENTI: Well, we do. This country is polarized, there's no question. It was 51-48, which is three points separating President Bush and John Kerry. Huge disparity of views.

But I'll tell you this: in all my long years in national politics, I've learned one thing about elections for president. Most Americans and presidential elections vote viscerally and not intellectually. They vote with their heart and not their head. And that's what this election was all about.

I remember Al Gore trying to be too technical with lock boxes and Dingle Norwood, and people lost him because he wasn't speaking to them the way people want to be talked to. And I think maybe President Bush did more of that than John Kerry did.

But we cannot ever forget. When you forget that people vote with their heart and not their head, they vote for a president the same way they choose a spouse or a friend. And when you lose track of that, then you snap the bonds that connect you to those people.

WOODRUFF: Jack Valenti, we just heard Donna Brazile say the Democrats have got to do a much better job of reaching out to Americans all over this country. What do you think the formula is for Democrats?

VALENTI: Well, I think she's dead on. Too many professionals -- and I include myself in that -- believe that everybody that's west of Times Square, or the Washington Monument, or east of Beverly Hills, you know, people that you can write off. Well, they aren't.

This is what America is all about. And some people look at them as the rubes and the rabble. Well, my -- I used to be part of that rabble. I understand it. And therefore, the Democrats, if they're going to make any gains at all over the next two years, in the mid- term election, they're going to have to remember that there are people out there who feel strongly.

People say moral values. Put any name you want to it. But they feel strongly about things that affect their family. And if we lose -- if Democrats lose track of that, if the Republicans lose track of it, then they're going to be in a real spot.

WOODRUFF: So do the Democrats, do they come up with new positions? I mean, how do they go about reaching out?

VALENTI: Well, they're going to have to because they've suffered two defeats. You know, how many times do you have to hit -- be hit in the forehead by a 2x4 before you finally say, well, wait a minute, nobody ever explained it to me that way before?

I think they're going to have to look at new ways to reach people out there whose views differ from their own. And I think -- I remember what brought Johnson down four years after he was elected with this huge majority. It was a war. This war is still going on. And I think it's going to be a big barrier to soothing the fevered brow of the public. And I think President Bush understands that. And I would think that one of the things he's going to be trying to do is to settle out this war, find some kind of a peace in the Middle East so he can get rid of these -- these odorous and difficult thorns that lie in the back of American people today.

WOODRUFF: We're going to leave it there. Jack Valenti, it's always a pleasure to talk to you.

VALENTI: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, former aide to President Lyndon Johnson. One of the wise men. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

A quick election item right now from North Carolina. A 91-year- old, Mildred Thomas, apparently has been reelected to another term as registrar of deeds in Onslow County.

Unofficial returns show that Thomas, who's a Democrat, defeated her 60-year-old opponent, 30 years younger. Thomas has been working in the registrar of deeds office since Franklin Roosevelt was in his second term as president. She is now serving her 15th term.

Go, Mildred Thomas.

Well, President Bush is busy making plans for his future. Coming up, we'll talk more about his news conference and how he says he wants to spend that political capital.

Plus, the Democrats battle to regroup after their election losses.



WOODRUFF: It is just before 4:00 on the East Coast. And as the financial markets get set to close on Wall Street, I'm joined by Lou Dobbs in New York with "The Dobbs Report."

Hello there, Lou.


We have a full-blown Bush rally. It's another huge rally today for the Dow Jones industrials. Oil prices are tumbling. And investors continuing to give for a second day a vote of confidence in President Bush's reelection.

As the final trades are now being counted, the Dow is up more than 175 points, near its highest level of today. And it now appears that today will be the best performance of the year for the Dow Jones industrials. All of this coming on top of yesterday's 101-point gain. The Nasdaq composite adding 17 points, up 1 percent on the day.

Oil prices today falling more than $2 a barrel. Crude oil settling below $49 for the first time since late September, nearly $7 below the record high set just last week.

Shares of Altria leading the winners in the Dow Jones Industrials up $4.30 a share. The company which owns the Philip Morris Tobacco and Kraft Foods brand issuing an upbeat profit outlook.

Retailers among the big gainers after reporting generally favorable sales for October. And worker productivity up in the third quarter but slowing somewhat. In fact, the smallest gain in nearly two years.

But some good news on the jobs front. The number of people filing for first time unemployment benefits declining more than expected last week. Jobless claims down by 19,000. The monthly jobs report for October is reported tomorrow morning.

Coming up here on CNN at 6 p.m. Eastern on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" with a historic election victory President Bush today set out a broad outline of his second term agenda which includes simplifying the tax code and reforming Social Security. We'll be taking a look at his plans for the country and the challenges facing him.

Also tonight senior aides say Attorney General John Ashcroft will be among those on the cabinet to leave his post before the beginning of the president's second term. We take a look at possible candidates in the president's second term cabinet.

We'll focus on Iraq with guests who have very different views. Lieutenant General Michael DeLong and Ambassador Peter Galbraith on Iraq and how well we're doing in Iraq.

And one of the nation's foremost political journalists "Washington Post" columnist David Broder joins me with his analysis of the elections and his outlook for the year ahead. Now back to Judy Woodruff in Washington -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Lou, one of the things the president did talk about today was using that political capital that he said he earned in this election. He talked about moving his economic agenda forward. What are the chances he'll be able to do that?

DOBBS: I think the chances are pretty good. This issue of mandates that we talked about yesterday, the fact is that with his majority, the first majority in 16 years in the popular vote, he has a compelling strength as he moves his agenda forward. In terms of Social Security reform, the plan that is laid out by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan will be the blueprint as he suggested today. Simplifying the tax code is going to be complicated rather than simple but it looks as if -- I remember the 1986 Tax Reform Act that president Reagan put forward. We're due for one. If he can succeed, Democrats and Republicans alike will be delighted. He has the big issues of an extraordinary trade deficit and budget deficit to contend with at the same time. But he does have forward a budget plan that if the growth of the economy is maintained could be workable. So that's where we are. And it looks like he has with broad support the ability to carry it forward.

WOODRUFF: I was around for that 1986 tax reform effort. And you're right. There was nothing simple about it. Lou Dobbs, see you tonight at 6:00. INSIDE POLITICS continues right now.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you win, there's a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view.

ANNOUNCER: The president reads between the lines of his election victory. But are the American people on the same page?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our country coming together after this election and I do pray...

ANNOUNCER: Tending to the flock. What do Republicans have to do to hold on to the evangelical vote?

Laboring over the vote. How one woman proved her dedication to democracy. Now live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back. President Bush has been talking for some time on the campaign trail about what he would do if he won a second term. But today his plans and promise carried a bit more weight now that we know he will serve another four years. For more on the president's news conference and his agenda, let's bring in our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Hello, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Judy. It was a 45-minute press conference when he outlined this ambitious second term agenda also presenting an air of confidence in getting it done. On the domestic side he talked about focusing on reforming Social Security, allowing young people to at least invest a portion of their withholdings in the stock market. The president also talked about the importance of reforming, overhauling the intelligence community, as well as reforming the tax code and a very ambitious goal to take that $413 billion deficit and try to have it within his administration.

The president also talking about foreign policy objectives, as well. He really wants to prove to the international community that democracy will flourish in Iraq. Those January elections right around the corner. The president also saying that every civilized country has a stake in the war on terror. Whatever disagreement we have, he said we have a common enemy. The president today trying to project a sense of confidence in working with not only Republicans who have the majority in the House and Senate but also cooperation with Democrats. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I made it clear what I intend to do as president. And the people made it clear what they wanted. Now let's work together. It's one of the wonderful -- it's like earning capital. You asked do I feel free? I earned capital in the campaign. Political capital. Now I intend to spend it.


MALVEAUX: Judy, those are confident and bold words from the president. We have yet to see how that bipartisanship will work and whether or not that spirit will last for the months to come. The president is spending a long weekend at Camp David. That's where he's going to take a second look and a third look at perhaps some changes within his own cabinet and within his administration. He refused to speculate but we do have sources that told CNN, those close to Attorney General John Ashcroft that he will be one of those who will step down after a first term, perhaps making that announcement in the weeks to come. Also President Bush when he was leaving said everyone to say happy birthday to the first lady. It is her birthday today, Laura Bush. They expect to have a relaxing weekend, as well.

WOODRUFF: I'm sure they feel like they need a little rest. Suzanne, in terms of international affairs, the illness that we now know of Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian authority, it does complicate the situation in the Middle East. What are they saying at the White House about what their options are there?

MALVEAUX: Well, it does, Judy, and President Bush was asked in the press conference about a report that Yasser Arafat had died. Of course we know that there are conflicting reports about this. The president responding, saying, I'm quoting here, "my first reaction is God bless his soul. My second reaction is that we'll continue to work for a free Palestinian state that is at peace with Israel."

But as you know of course, Judy, this is an administration that has not dealt with Yasser Arafat in several years. They essentially have ignored him. They feel that he's been blocking the road to peace. The administration says they don't have any idea whether or not he's dead or alive but quite frankly he's not been an active player, at least not according to this administration, moving forward. They also addressed some criticism that some have said that this administration not really engaged in that Middle East peace initiative including Prime Minister Tony Blair just yesterday saying, you need to refocus and make that a part of your platform. President Bush today saying that's exactly what he would do -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Suzanne Malveaux, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

The election show, if you want to call it that, is over. But the reviews of the big finale still are coming in. Here's our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: We know how Americans voted on election day. But how do they vote on election night? In 2000 election night lasted five weeks. At the end of it, fewer than half of Americans believed George W. Bush had won fair and square. A third thought he won on a technicality. Nearly one in five said Bush stole the election. This year 3/4 believe Bush won fair and scare. Democrats however are split. Fewer than half say Bush won fair and square.

REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D), WASHINGTON, D.C.: Remember Florida. When you have the kind of close vote we had the first obligation is to make sure before you can see that every vote has been counted.

SCHNEIDER: Democrats are apprehensive about a second Bush term. Half of all Democrats say they feel afraid when they think about the next four years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it will be terrible to have -- to enter four more years of this truly horrible, horrible incompetent inarticulate president. This country has been going in the wrong direction for the last four years. And it is only going to get worse.

SCHNEIDER: Some people think that because the election was so close, President Bush should emphasize a bipartisan agenda. Others feel because he won a clear majority of the vote, President Bush has a mandate to advance the Republican party's core agenda.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT: President Bush ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation's future and the nation responded by giving him a mandate.

SCHNEIDER: The public does not agree. By better than 2-1 Americans want the president to emphasize a bipartisan agenda. In fact, most Republicans prefer a bipartisan agenda over a program to advance the Republican party's cause.

How about the press coverage of election night? Seventy-eight percent said the press did a good job. This is one point where Republicans and Democrats agree, even though Democrats had a more unpleasant election night.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: CNN can now project that the president of the United States will carry the state of Florida and its 27 electoral votes.


SCHNEIDER: Republicans may not have appreciated hearing some of those early exit poll results that showed President Bush might lose. But you know, they did not hear those results on any CNN newscast.

WOODRUFF: Bill, is it your sense as somebody who watches these polls every day of the year, not just during elections, that exit polls are going to remain a fixture in terms of the news coverage of elections and just American public opinion? SCHNEIDER: I think they will remain a fixture but they're going to fix the fixture.

WOODRUFF: And how will they do that?

SCHNEIDER: That's what they're discussing right now. There are problems. Not horrendous problems, not serious problems. But you know what the worst problem is, that the exit poll results early in the day before the poll is complete get out there on the Internet. That's the big problem. That's not a real poll. That's a piece of a poll. And it is as often as not misleading.

WOODRUFF: And no way to prevent that.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that's what we're talking about.

WOODRUFF: OK. Sounds mysterious. We're going to keep an eye on this one. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.

Well, more than a few congressional Republicans are feeling downright giddy now that Tom Daschle's days as Senate minority leader are numbered. Up next, the challenges ahead for Democrats on the Hill.

Plus, keeping faith with President Bush. A closer look at the evangelical vote that helped to put him over the top.

And later, oh baby, we'll tell you about one voter's productive day at the polls.


WOODRUFF: When the new Congress convenes there will be more Republicans on Capitol Hill than there were before the election. And Senate Democrats will have to regroup behind a new leader. Joining me now for a look at what this all means on the Hill, Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report. We spent a little time together on election night.


WOODRUFF: Appreciate your being here today. Stu, first of all, so 55 Republicans in the Senate. Does this mean the president's agenda is a slam dunk?

ROTHENBERG: No, but it is a big number, a considerable number, bigger than Republicans have seen for a long time. And it means that on a number of issue areas the Republicans just need to pick off a handful of Democrats to pass particular measures. But I think it's going to be very much ad hoc, issue by issue, looking for coalitions to get up to 60 to make sure the Democrats can't stop them.

WOODRUFF: OK. Give us some examples. I mean, for example.

ROTHENBERG: Drilling in the Arctic reserve. The Republicans will be able to look for a handful of Democrats from oil and gas producing states, southerners who will join with them to stop a filibuster. Possibly on judicial appointments. On tort reform. The Republicans will look for a handful. Remember, they fell just short on class action. They'll look for Democrats, maybe they can get over that hump. So it is a big difference, Judy, being at 51 and being at 55, I think.

WOODRUFF: So if Harry Reid, and we're hearing he is pretty much a shoo-in, no significant challenge, to be the minority leader, what can he do to stop that, if anything?

ROTHENBERG: Well, on issue after issue he's going to have to look for particular instances where the Democrats decide that they need to confront the Republicans and Republican leadership and indeed the president, and try to hold the line.

Now events could drive this. Obviously if there's a Supreme Court vacancy in the near future, you can forget about fundamental tax reform and Social Security and tort reform and the like and everybody will focus on the Supreme Court vacancy. And it may be easier for Senator Reid to gin up Democratic opposition depending upon who the president selects.

WOODRUFF: And some of the new Republicans coming to the Senate lean even farther right than the Republicans they're replacing.

ROTHENBERG: I think there's no question that either the Republicans are replacing -- or really, in this case, it's Democrats they are replacing -- some of the Democrats they're replacing voted with the administration on some issues, someone like John Breaux is a more moderate Democrat, obviously. Zell Miller is being replaced. But you have John Edwards and Graham, Fritz Hollings who in many instances have opposed the president and the Republican agenda, and now you have Republicans there, yes.

WOODRUFF: You know, Stu, some people have a tendency to look at Republican in the White House, Republican majority in the Senate, Republican majority in the House and think they all walk in lockstep. But the reality is, for example, in the House led by Dennis Hastert and especially Tom DeLay, there are some agendas there that don't necessarily dovetail with that of the White House.

ROTHENBERG: Oh, I think there's no question. And in fact if they watched the news today and watched Arlen Specter warn the White House about the kind of judicial appointments that the president sends, there's an indication of a Republican in a key position, Senate confirmations, differences between the House and Senate, interests. No, on a range of issues, environment, for example, there could be differences of opinion between the White House, the House and the Senate. And a lot of this is a turf question, but some of it is certainly ideological.

WOODRUFF: The Democrats, in terms of what shape they're in going into the next election, I'm -- frankly, we've all got election fatigue, and nobody wants to think about 2006 or 2008, but in terms of the next congressional elections, what are Democrats going to do to strengthen their position? ROTHENBERG: Well, I think the biggest question is leadership. Senator Reid knows the Senate. He's able. He has been the number two. He has been around. He didn't just fall off a pumpkin truck. So he knows Washington. And Representative Pelosi, the Democratic leader, has been around and has been the leader for a while.

The question is whether they're going to speak for their national party and the extent to which they can drive the opposition to this president. It is unclear who the Democratic point person is going to be.

So I think the Democrats are going to have to kind of react to the short-term. What does the president propose? What kind of events give the Democrats opportunities, and how far to the Republicans push? Do they bite off more than they can chew? The Democrats in the short- term will probably have to be reactive. That's the best they can do.

WOODRUFF: Well, it's going to be a fascinating term, year, months, whatever you want to call it. Stu Rothenberg, the Rothenberg Political Report, we appreciate it.


WOODRUFF: Thanks again for election night, we appreciate it, all of us at CNN, thank you.

So politics and religion, two topics that a lot of people shy away from. But when we come back we'll look at how the two mixed on Tuesday and the effect on the election. Stay with us.


WOODRUFF: Here's another question coming out of this election: How big a factor did religion play in Tuesday's vote? Well, depending on whom you ask, a lot -- especially in the Midwest and the south.

CNN's Jonathan Freed reports from Iowa.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sharing Jesus Christ...

JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five women united in prayer for a united America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our country coming together after this election, and I do pray.

FREED: At the Evangelical Covenant Church in Des Moines, Iowa, they prayed President Bush would win a second year. And they got out the vote to help make sure that happened.

SHARON ERICKSON, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN VOTER: I think he's genuine, he's honest, and good moral values. That's important to me.

FREED: The support of evangelical Christians has become so important to the GOP that political scientist Dennis Goldford believes the party is now dependent on them.

PROF. DENNIS GOLDFORD, DRAKE UNIVERSITY: They have become the core constituency of the Republican party. By themselves, they're not enough to guarantee a win for the Republicans, but without them, that guarantees a loss.

FREED: It is not just an evangelical trend. According to Tuesday's exit polls, 58 percent of weekly churchgoers voted for George Bush, while 54 percent of people who only go a few times a year supported John Kerry.

Here in Iowa, the state's Bush campaign chair says Republican support is larger than normal this year and that religion was a big factor.

DAVE ROEDERER, IOWA BUSH CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: We believe that many of those people that turned out this time that had not voted before, had not been were not registered to vote, came from many of the churches throughout the state.

GOLDFORD: The northeast, the Great Lakes, and the far west has been the other side of that cultural fault line, as it were...

FREED: Professor Goldford says religious voters see the GOP as the party of God and the Democrats as the party of secularism. At the prayer meeting, they say that idea rings true because of things like the traditional Democratic position on abortion.

JAMIE GREGORY, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN VOTER: You listen to somebody that is for it or is thinking about passing -- you know, doing things that are going to support it, but that's really hard to listen to when you don't believe that that's right.

FREED: Still, this group insists they're willing to listen to any candidate who speaks their moral language, regardless of party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Jesus' name, amen.


FREED: Jonathan Freed, CNN, Des Moines, Iowa.


WOODRUFF: George Bush won this election, but a new resident will be moving into the White House. Up next, details on the newest member of the first family. Stay with us.


WOODRUFF: Well, just in time for President Bush's second term, a new addition to the White House. Move over Barney, a puppy is joining the Bush family. The Scottish terrier is a birthday gift from the president to Mrs. Bush, who turned 58 today. Miss Beasley (sic), named after a dinosaur in a popular children's book, is due to arrive at the White House just before Christmas. We can't wait to get a look at Mrs. Beasley.

And finally, if you think you went out of your way to vote on Tuesday, consider the story of Andrea Shaer. The pregnant Hershey, Pennsylvania, woman was in a long line at the polls when the contractions came. Luckily the polling place was also a medical center. Shaer went into the delivery room, she gave birth to a son, and then, believe it or not, she returned to vote that night, still hooked up to an intravenous drip.

Andrea Shaer says knowing how close the race was in Pennsylvania and being a mom, she just had to do what it took to cast her ballot. Some of us may not be that strong. Congratulations Mrs. Share.

Well, that's it for INSIDE POLITICS this Thursday. Thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.

"CROSSFIRE" starts right now.


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