The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
TRANSCRIPTS


 

Return to Transcripts main page

JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

President Bush's To-Do List; Usual, Unusual Suspects For 2008;

Aired November 5, 2004 - 15:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: No rest for the winner. The president may be kicking back at Camp David, but he's got a whopping to-do list to work on.

It's never too early to think about 2008. We'll consider the usual and unusual suspects and whether their denials ring true.

GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: I'm not running for president in 2008.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: I'm having the best time being the senator from New York.

ANNOUNCER: A system review of e-voting. Did high-tech get high marks?

MICHAEL ALVAREZ, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: I think I would give it sort of a good passing grade, maybe something like a B.

BRUCE SCHNEIDER, SECURITY EXPERT: E-voting didn't pass any sort of test.

ANNOUNCER: Lattes or lawnmowers, cappuccinos or car seats? We'll get the final check on Starbucks and Wal-Mart voters.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us on this Friday after the election. Many of us are looking forward to a weekend of winding down and catching up a little on our sleep.

No doubt President Bush feels the same way, as he enjoys some down time at Camp David. But even amid all the R&R, Mr. Bush is well aware that he has a long list of things to do for his second term.

We begin with our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.

Hi, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello, Judy.

President Bush is spending a long weekend at Camp David. We're told that he received his regular briefings, intelligence briefings, a National Security Council team meeting, of course. And also the president got about eight phone calls from leaders around the world congratulating him on his win, including from the NATO secretary- general, also, leaders from Germany, from South Korea, from Pakistan and the list just continues.

Now, what we were told is that the president is going to be spending his weekend really looking forward at the second-term agenda, his priorities that he is laying out for the nation. We heard a couple of those yesterday in his press conference. The first one he talked about is changing Social Security, allowing young people to basically invest part of their withholdings in the stock market. That is something that's he pushing forward.

A lot of Democrats believe it is privatization, but he is determined to make that happen. Secondly, overhauling the intelligence community. Again, there will be some controversy over that, as there has been before, how to best achieve that, as well as reforming the tax code, making it much simpler. That is something that is expected perhaps to be a little bit easier in pushing through in Congress.

And then of course perhaps the most ambitious is cutting the federal deficit in half. We're talking about $413 billion. Democrats are wondering just what type of cuts, deep cuts are going to have to happen to make that actually push through -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Suzanne, thank you very much.

Well, the jobs picture will be a factor for the president as he pursues his economic agenda. Coming up, I'll talk about a new jobs report and much more with White House Budget Director Josh Bolten.

It appears that we can add Iowa to the Bush camp's win column after three days of that state being too close to call. As of today, the Associated Press reports Bush has 745,980 votes to 732,764 for John Kerry, with too few uncounted absentee ballots left to change the outcome.

Watching another blue state turn red certainly isn't going to help the mood of the Democrats. Privately, they are grappling with what went wrong on Election Day, and a little bit publicly as well, while they're trying to put the best possible face on what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Democrats are united. We have our -- we're united around core principles of a secure and growing middle class. We are prepared to go into this next Congress with an initiative and not just a complaint. We are, again, united. We know what the election was about. It wasn't about the social issues only. It was about our domestic agenda and how we protect and defend the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: So, the question is, what do Democrats do now? I'm joined by Steve Rosenthal of the pro-Democratic 527 independent group America Coming Together.

Steve Rosenthal, what did you and other organizations working for John Kerry do right and I guess, more importantly, since he lost, what went wrong?

STEVE ROSENTHAL, AMERICA COMING TOGETHER: Well, what went right is an awful lot of things. We were organized in the battleground states like never before. We mobilized voters like never before.

I actually think, between the Democratic Party and our organization, America Coming Together, and the various pro-choice, civil rights, environmental groups, that we were as organized as we've ever been. And, frankly, the numbers show a huge turnout. John Kerry got 547,000 more votes in Florida than George Bush did, 472,000 more votes -- excuse me -- than Al Gore did.

WOODRUFF: Than Al Gore did, right.

ROSENTHAL: Four hundred, seventy-two thousand more votes in Ohio than Gore did four years before. We mobilized voters like never before. It was pretty extraordinary.

WOODRUFF: And what went wrong, then?

ROSENTHAL: I think we're going to have to take some time and look at this and study exactly what happened. I think the Republican Party deserves a lot of credit for turning out votes.

Clearly, they had a program going on that reached a lot of people. And I think, frankly, the best thing the party can do at this point, the Democratic Party, can do is take a step back and analyze what happened. Let's remember that, when all was said and done, George Bush actually won this election by about 140,000 votes in Ohio. That's what separated John Kerry from the White House, if it had just been a switch of about 70,000 votes. So not all is bad here.

But typical of Democrats, there will be an awful lot of finger- pointing and soul-searching.

WOODRUFF: Well, a number of Democrats are already saying that your party has got to figure out a way to reach out to those Americans who just are not comfortable with some of the values represented in the Democratic Party, among other things, people who are uncomfortable with the idea of either abortion rights or gay rights or a number of other social positions, if you will, that just these people -- these people who voted for George Bush don't feel like they can pull the Democratic lever.

ROSENTHAL: Right. I think there is some element of truth to that. And I do think, to some extent, the national Democratic Party has built something of a values wall between voters and that we -- and the Republicans have helped add some bricks to the wall. We need to now figure out how to take that down. At the state and local level, Democrats are winning elections all around the country in the red, as well as the blue states. And I think, when we talk about values, we need to talk about things like health care as a value and some of the other things that our party stands for.

But we do really need to begin to reassess that and take a look and see if there aren't ways to begin to communicate with more voters, because, frankly, in this election, the Republicans did a better job.

WOODRUFF: How urgent is it, because today we are reading, among other places, in "The New York Times," reminding us Karl Rove, the architect of the president's political victories, wants to, in so many words, consolidate a broad Republican governing coalition for the next generation or longer.

ROSENTHAL: I think that the Republicans really saw this election -- a few years ago, their goal was to try to nail down the White House quickly and then be able to move down into federal, state and local offices and use the resources that they had to really push through a big Republican majority. They were not successful in doing that in this election.

They won. There's no question about it. But the country is fairly evenly divided. It was 51/49. There is no huge mandate for George Bush. And, as I said, 140,000 votes in the state of Ohio would have changed the outcome of this election entirely.

WOODRUFF: Steve Rosenthal, how down are you?

ROSENTHAL: Not happy, but we're looking forward to getting on to the next one and going out and beginning to talk to people right now and mobilize them to fight what will amount to radical changes from this administration.

WOODRUFF: But, first, you've got to get some rest, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

ROSENTHAL: Good idea.

WOODRUFF: Steve Rosenthal, longtime strategist in the American labor movement, now -- just recently up until now, I guess, the head of the America Coming Together. Appreciate it very much.

ROSENTHAL: Thank you. Thanks.

WOODRUFF: Thank you.

Well, president Bush still has his job. But what about the rest of America? Up next, I'll talk about employment and the Bush economic agenda with the White House budget director, Josh Bolten.

After John Kerry's loss, who will become the Democrats' standard- bearer? We're already handicapping the '08 race.

And the results are in for the big decision of the week. Who gets "The Political Play"?

This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Some mixed economic news from the Labor Department. The agency says 337,000 people were added to employers' payrolls for the month of October. That is the fastest hiring pace in seven months. But, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.5 percent.

So what are we to make of those figures and everything else on the president's economic agenda?

Let's turn to Josh Bolten, who is the White House budget director.

Josh Bolten, is this good news on the hiring front or not?

JOSH BOLTEN, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: Sure, very good news.

You don't want to look at any individual month, but this adds to the trend. It's not just the 337,000 new jobs that were created in October, but the revisions of the previous months bring the total new jobs to 450,000 just in this one update. And what it shows overall is more than two million new jobs created in this economy in -- just since the beginning of the year. I think it's unmixed good news, Judy. And the especially good news is that the signs are good to keep that kind of momentum going forward.

WOODRUFF: What are the president's priorities in terms of the American economy right now?

BOLTEN: Well, the most important thing -- and he's been focused on it ever since he got into office when he inherited a recession -- the most important thing is to keep the growth going in the economy. That's the best thing you can do for job creation. It's also the best thing you can do for the focus of my job, which is a strong fiscal position, because, when the economy is growing, people are paying taxes. Revenues are coming in.

And that's the best thing we can do to make sure that we're in good budget shape.

WOODRUFF: At the same time, you have a record high budget deficit. There's a lot of talk now about how much the war in -- wars, I should say, in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue to cost. We're told that there are still billions of dollars coming due for those. What's the strategy for getting the deficit down?

BOLTEN: We laid out a very detailed strategy in the budget I presented on the president's behalf in February. It's got line items, thousands of items, that show how we're going to take what has been a large budget deficit, cut it in half over the next five years.

Since we put that budget out, the situation has improved. We're now ahead of pace to cut the deficit in half over the next five years. I'm very optimistic that if we keep strong economic growth going, which means continuing the president's tax cuts in particular, and we exercise the kind of fiscal restraint that the president suggested in the budget he sent up to Congress this past February, then I'm very confident that we're going to remain on that good clear path to cut the deficit in half over the next five years.

WOODRUFF: But you still have the Congressional Budget Office forecasting that, even with the cuts that the president is proposing, with the tax cuts that are going to limit revenue, they project a deficit of nearly $260 billion in five years. That's not half.

BOLTEN: It is actually nominally roughly half. And more important, it's much better than half if you measure the deficit the right way, which is as a percent of GDP.

If in 2009, five years from now, we have a $260 billion deficit, that will be below 2 percent of our GDP. You want it down to zero, but below 2 percent of GDP, most economists will tell you, is a good number. That's where you want to be for the economy. That's the kind of situation where, in fact, the country's long-term debt, its debt- to-GDP ratio, which is you measure our health, is shrinking. I think we're well on the kind of path that you described, and I think it's a good place to be for this economy.

WOODRUFF: The president has talked, we know, repeatedly, about simplifying the tax code. We keep hearing that he's interested in replacing the federal income tax, either in part or in whole, with some sort of national sales tax. How serious are those discussions?

BOLTEN: Well, they're very serious, but they're in very early stages. And I wouldn't say sales tax or any other kind of fundamental tax reform is definitely in the wind.

What the president said several months ago is that we have a tax code that is too complicated and is a burden on our economy. We need to make it fairer. We need to make it simpler. There are a lot of ways to do that and a lot of ideas to do that. What the president will do is follow up on his commitment to name a bipartisan advisory group promptly, so that early in a second term we'll get advice coming in. We'll get the public debate going and then move on to some sort of fundamental tax reform, for which I believe there is a lot of support in the country and the Congress.

WOODRUFF: And what's the timing of this again? You said early in the second term?

BOLTEN: Early in the second term we'll have this advisory group collecting advice and giving advice to the secretary of the treasury, who ultimately needs to put together a plan for the president. Exactly when we might go forward with the Congress, I don't know.

A lot of that will depend on other issues and what the leadership in the Congress wants to do.

WOODRUFF: So that would be ahead of Social Security? BOLTEN: No, I don't know exactly how they'll work it out. Social Security in a sense is actually farther along in the public debate. We've had a report from a presidential commission that suggested some paths forward. That may be an issue that in fact is easier to tee up earlier in the Congress. But that's a judgment that needs to be made between the president and the congressional leadership.

WOODRUFF: Josh Bolten, the president's budget director, we thank you very much for talking to us.

BOLTEN: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thanks a lot. Good to see you.

Well, the Senate Budget Committee appears set to get a new top gun to help fight for the president's economic agenda in the Congress. Senior GOP congressional sources are telling CNN that Judd Gregg, the senator from New Hampshire, is leaving his chairmanship of the Health, Welfare and Education Committee so that he can take over the top job on the budget panel.

Some other leadership news from the Hill, a source in Dick Durbin's office says the senator from Illinois has locked up enough votes now to become the Democratic whip. That is the No. 2 position in the party's caucus. An announcement is expected later this hour.

The campaigns went all out to increase voter turnout, and the voters responded. Up next, a look at how many did go to the polls in the best showing by voters in more than three decades.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Tuesday's long lines at the polls were the result of the best voter turnout in this country in 36 years. The Center For the Study of the American Electorate estimates that more than 120 million people voted on Election Day. That's a turnout of about 59.6 percent of all the eligible voters.

Minnesota had the highest turnout of all the states at more than 76 percent. Arizona, we are told, was the lowest, at about 42 percent. Nationwide, about 15 million more people voted this year than just four years ago. The group also estimates that five million provisional, absentee and mail ballots still are waiting to be counted.

Well, voters in many precincts on Tuesday got their first chance to use electronic voting machines. The electronic ballots are designed to be reliable and user-friendly, but they've also been dogged by critics who say the machines are not completely secure.

Here now, CNN technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The voters turned out in record numbers and delivered an historic victory.

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was close, but this year, voters didn't have to wait 36 days before getting their next commander in chief, no suffering through endless hanging or pregnant chads, thanks in part to electronic voting. So did the high-tech voting machines get a passing grade?

ALVAREZ: You know, I think I'd give it sort of a good passing grade. Maybe something like a B.

SIEBERG: Cal Tech and MIT have been jointly studying e-voting since the problems of 2000. This time around, Alvarez said the glitches were minimal, many human errors.

ALVAREZ: The problems were procedural. There were long lines. There were problems checking voters in. Many voters had problems with voter registration. Now, again, we just didn't see meltdowns using any type of voting technology.

SIEBERG: But some observers say it is still very early in the post-election analysis.

BRUCE SCHNEIDER, SECURITY EXPERT: E-voting didn't pass any sort of test. What we have here is anecdotal evidence. A medical procedure might be safe or dangerous, and just because a patient didn't die doesn't mean that the procedure is safe.

SIEBERG: While there were no major meltdowns, e-voting watchdogs say they received thousands of complaints, though it's nearly impossible to independently verify all of them. In Florida and a handful of other states, several voters said the touch-screen machines incorrectly recorded their choices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I came to the last page, which was the review screen, I was horrified when that I saw every choice I made had come up incorrect and just the opposite.

SIEBERG: The maker of those machines say they may not have been calibrated properly by the poll workers. In Louisiana, some voters were reportedly turned away, since the machines wouldn't boot up.

SCHNEIDER: In New Orleans, the machines just crashed. They didn't work. And there was no backup plan. They were no paper ballots.

SIEBERG: Even with hundreds or thousands of problems, it was a relatively small figure, considering one-third of the record 120 million voters used some type of e-voting machine.

(on camera): And makers of the machines, like this one from Hart Intercivic, claimed a success. They are one of several companies who put the machines out there. But critics say there is still a lot of work to be done, like adding a voter verified paper trail and further review of the software code.

MARK RADKE, DIEBOLD ELECTION SYSTEMS: Actually, the machines performed extremely well. Considering the size of the voter turnout, I believe it was a record turnout, we were extremely pleased with the reliability and accuracy of all the equipment.

SIEBERG (voice over): Without an electronic meltdown, or any legal challenges, some observers are worried that the lack of follow- up scrutiny will leave e-voting problems unchecked as we move toward the elimination of other systems.

RADKE: The Help America Vote Act will require all punch-card and lever systems to be eliminated before the first federal election in 2006.

SIEBERG: All eyes were on e-voting this year. Much of the extra attention has to do with instilling confidence in the voter. That may take time, says one of the judges who inspected the Florida ballots in 2000.

JUDGE CHARLES BURTON, PALM BEACH COUNTY: People talk about going back to a paper ballot, but you know in 2000 we used paper and that didn't really do a lot to instill voter confidence. I stood in line this morning to vote, and as they were handing out the little plastic cards that you insert, some lady said to me, Judge, are you sure this isn't preprogrammed? So people still have their doubts.

SIEBERG: Two thousand and four's presidential election is history. Now it is a matter of securing e-voting's future.

Daniel Sieberg, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: And one footnote to that report. Columbus, Ohio, is one place that did have trouble with its electronics ballots. Election officials in suburban Franklin County tell "The Columbus Dispatch" that a machine there gave George W. Bush more than 3,800 extra votes. So far, the problem is limited to one machine in one precinct. Bush won Ohio overall by more than 136,000 votes.

We are just three days past the 2004 presidential election, but it's never too early to talk about possible '08 contenders in the race for the White House. Our first look is just ahead.

Plus, what's on the top of the president's agenda as he gets ready for his second term? We'll take a look at his priorities.

(STOCK MARKET UPDATE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Coming up at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, about 90 minutes from now, Iraq's interim prime minister warns insurgents that the window is closing for a peaceful settlement in Falluja. But U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says a U.S.-led attack could jeopardize upcoming elections. Doctors say Yasser Arafat's condition has not changed today, but a U.S. official says no one expects the Palestinian leader to survive.

And U.S. employers added 337,000 jobs last month. So why did the unemployment rate go up? We'll explain.

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

Now back to JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

WOODRUFF: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it's President Bush's address for another four years. But we are already thinking about the next race for the White House.

Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. Don't put your hands over your ears. I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington.

The campaigning, as many people know, rarely stops here in the nation's capital. Trying to guess who is up, who is down and who is looking ahead is a popular pastime already. And just three days after the election, you don't have to look far to see the jockeying that believe it or not is already underway.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Meet the kings of denial.

GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: I'm not running for president in 2008.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: We've get to get out of 2004 first.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I've given only thought to my reelection efforts in the state of Arizona.

WOODRUFF: And the queen.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Oh, I'm having the best time being the senator from New York.

WOODRUFF: But in our parallel universe, where the campaigning never stops, we're already waxing and wagering on 2008. And all of the above are in the hypothetical running.

AUDIENCE: Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Hillary Clinton occupies a Democratic top tier of one. She has spent the past four years accumulating political chips, developing a reputation for diligence, and building a moderate voting record on Capitol Hill. But her potential candidacy is fraught with complications. For one, she's, well, Hillary Clinton. Need we say more? For another, she has a 2006 reelection hurdle to vault, which could pit her against New York's governor or America's mayor...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From New York City, the honorable Rudolph Giuliani.

WOODRUFF: ... who seems raring for a rematch.

GIULIANI: Hillary Clinton and I are probably going to vote for the same candidate, George Bush. But -- because, you know, she may be thinking about 2008. But I'm not.

WOODRUFF: Many think Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki may be, too. Are they too moderate for the Bush Republican Party?

CHUCK TODD, EDITOR, "HOTLINE": Pataki and Giuliani would have a hard time winning in a Republican primary. But if they sleighed the dragon, the Democrat conservatives hate the most, Hillary Clinton, then suddenly they would get a pass on all those social issues.

MCCAIN: Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our president and fight.

WOODRUFF: John McCain is no right wing firebrand either, but he does have proven political star power and genuine crossover appeal. And he did do his part for the president this year.

Will he take the plunge again? He's heading to New Hampshire next week.

McCain's fellow Vietnam vet, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, is also making presidential rumblings. But he, too, may be singing off key in the current GOP climate.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: Believe it or not, I've actually been called a moderate. What a terrible thing.

WOODRUFF: On the more conservative side of the spectrum, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Republican senatorial campaign committee chairman George Allen both notched big wins on Tuesday, wins they're trying to parlay into '08 capital. But enough about the Republicans.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), NORTH CAROLINA: But the battle for you and the hard-working Americans who built this country rages on.

WOODRUFF: John Edwards fended off charges that his 2004 campaign was a dress rehearsal for the next go-around. Come January, he'll find himself back in the private sector without a Senate seat. But with a higher profile and lots of time to build up goodwill in his party.

Several other contenders in John Kerry's VP sweepstakes are being whispered about, like Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, with his clear caucus advantage; Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, with his new Democrat credentials; and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, outspoken, from a swing state, and a member of a rapidly-expanding group of voters, Latinos.

HOWARD DEAN (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And Washington and Michigan...

WOODRUFF: Howard Dean stayed in the spotlight after his campaign exploded. So did retired General Wesley Clark.

Seasoned by one White House campaign, perhaps they'll try another. Politics, after all, is a hard habit to break.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: So we're not the only ones looking ahead to 2008. Some of the late-night comedians are jumping in as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Here's the hot rumor. The rumor is that Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2008. Yep. And here's why people think that. today she was in Ohio duck hunting.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: That's a sure sign.

Well, let's get some more thoughts from some smart people on who might run for president in 2008 and how much of President Bush's second-term agenda might be passed by the Congress.

Joining me are Jonah Goldberg, of "The National Review"; Anne Korblut, of the "Boston Globe"; and Michelle Cottle, of "The New Republic."

Great to see all of you. Thanks very much.

Let's talk about the Democrats first, since we finished up. Just how bad a shape are they in and who are the likelies for '08 -- Anne.

ANNE KORNBLUT, "BOSTON GLOBE": Well, every Democrat I have heard from in the last 48 hours is already talking about '08 like your piece. They're so despondent, all they can do is think about laying the groundwork for 2008, and also working on the House and the Senate.

So I think -- I think they're -- I think they're licking their wounds, I think they're going into retreat. But I think they really are already looking ahead.

I think they're very excited to have Barack Obama in the Senate. Very charismatic, extremely popular at the convention. He's 43 years old. Not sure he could actually run for president at age 48, but I think they're rally looking forward to having that be one of the few things they're looking forward to when it starts again.

WOODRUFF: So, Jonah, is there any Democrat the Republicans are afraid of at this point?

JONAH GOLDBERG, "NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE": Well, I think there are Democrats that they respect and then there are Democrats that they're not worried about. I think everyone respects Hillary Clinton. I mean, the one thing we know about the Clintons is that they really do like to win elections and they're pretty good at it.

But I think generally -- I mean, first of all, the Republicans are too busy figuring out what jobs people are going to get and all that kind of thing right now because they won. But I think -- I think Hillary has got to be -- your piece had it right. She's the top tier one.

I think everyone -- it's amazing how much the media, the liberal journalist elite loves John Edwards and seems to think that he has this great shot. And I don't know -- I don't' know many Republicans or conservatives who think that's actually the case.

Edwards did not get a single percentage point better on his ticket -- for his ticket in North Carolina this year. How in -- and all the conventional wisdom says Democrats have to be moderate, have to put the South into play. Edwards couldn't bump one point on his home state and he has no job now.

WOODRUFF: So, Michelle Cottle, what do the Democrats have?

MICHELLE COTTLE, "NEW REPUBLIC": The Democrats have a problem they need to work on, their farm (ph) team some. I mean, I think what you're really going to have is everybody is going to assume Hillary is the person to beat. But I think the issue is Hillary is exactly the kind of person who is going to electrify the conservative base one more time. So if you have Hillary in 2008, if you thought they came out in droves this year, you just wait till the right gets, you know, the scent of Hillary.

GOLDBERG: The prospect of calling Bill Clinton the first gentleman is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the RNC.

WOODRUFF: OK. All right. How clear a picture can you paint for us?

All right. Let's talk about the Republicans. Obviously, George Bush has himself a job for the next few years. But what -- what about the -- I mean, you heard some of the names that we throw out.

What do you hear? What do you think? I mean, we assume Dick Cheney is not going to run for president. Is that right?

KORNBLUT: I think that's a pretty fair assumption at this point. I think, you know, long before you even have to worry about that -- well, I think on the interest of who is going to run for president, you have got certainly Bill Frist. And I would watch very closely how he handles what comes to the Senate over the next few years.

Bill Owens of Colorado is another one. I think an interesting person to watch maybe not for '08, but maybe is Rob Portman, congressman from Ohio, played John Edwards in the vice presidential...

WOODRUFF: We know about that state.

KORBLUT: Yes. And we -- we've heard of Ohio as a big important state. So he's one I would watch. And I think because they control Congress, you'll actually get to see them jockeying a lot more publicly than some of the Democrats who are out in the states and not in power.

WOODRUFF: Jonah.

GOLDBERG: I think Frist is definitely thinking about running. I also think he's got a very hard job ahead of him because Senate majority leader right now is the toughest job in Washington. He's going to have to show results.

He's going to have to please the base. He's got this Arlen Specter backlash that is really blooming among the grassroots on the right. And -- so he's got to really -- he's got to show some real results in a way that a lot of these other guys just have to preen and posture.

The only other person I would add would be Tom Ridge, who for some bizarre reason thinks he can be president.

WOODRUFF: John McCain or any other names you want to throw out there, Michelle?

COTTLE: I mean, I think the question is who is not going to run in 2008? I mean, at the convention in New York, you saw the Republicans out. All of them jockeying, kissing up to the New Hampshire and Iowa delegations. I mea, everybody is talking about this.

Senator Brownback from Kansas has been talked about. I mean, this is -- you know, we're talking about social conservatives here. But also with everybody talking about how social conservatives pushed Bush through in this election, you're going to have people like Santorum and folks like that who otherwise might be considered too conservative, thinking "This is my time to go."

WOODRUFF: Is there anybody we should be paying more attention to, some name that we haven't heard here? I mean, we -- you know, we mentioned McCain. We mentioned Hagel. I mean, are these people with a serious...

GOLDBERG: A general rule, when in doubt, assume Orrin Hatch wants to be president. But other than that, it was a pretty long list you offered. And we added a few more names.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNBLUT: Well, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Mitt Romney, who's the governor of Massachusetts, who certainly got out there during, you know, both conventions.

I think Alan Keyes is probably one of the ones that the party is not going to bank on after his performance in Illinois.

COTTLE: That doesn't mean he won't run, though.

KORNBLUT: That's true.

WOODRUFF: All right. Let's talk about -- about George Bush, his agenda, and what he -- what the prospects are that he faces, Jonah. I mean, what realistically?

GOLDBERG: Well, I think the tax reform thing, which I know he actually believes in, and you talk to people in the administration and they say he really wants to do, that's just too hard. I mean, that gets every single lobbyist, every single interest group just riled up right away.

In a perverse sense -- I think because of my cynicism, maybe -- I think Social Security is easier. And I think he's really going to hit the ground running, because really he only has one year before we start getting into these midterm elections. And then after that, you're into real lame duck session. And I think they're really going to hit the ground moving on that.

COTTLE: My question, though, is where is the money going to come from? I mean, essentially we're looking at a huge deficit, and it is extremely expensive to do what he wants to do with Social Security. So while I think that that probably is the easier -- easier maneuver -- because you could even find some moderate Democrats who might back that -- there is no money to do it with.

KORNBLUT: And at the same time, though, they have to look ahead to the next midterms, two years from now. And I know that Social Security is an issue they would like to be able to run on. So do it now, or do you wait another year until it's right before the elections?

WOODRUFF: But with tax -- with tax reform, I mean, that's something you can start to play around with, right?

GOLDBERG: You can, but, I mean, once -- I mean, serious tax reform is much harder than tax reform. And serious tax reform means conceivably -- and he says he wants to make it revenue-neutral, but that's very hard once you start talking about tax loopholes and all that kind of stuff. And he's got a huge base he needs to please.

I just think there are a lot of people who think it's going to be reversed, that he's going to go tax reform first. I just think that's the harder one to actually get anything for, and I don't think you win as many votes on it.

WOODRUFF: Very quickly, the war in Iraq, how much pressure is there on the president to bring it to some sooner conclusion than later? Or what's the sense? I mean, are people talking about it?

KORNBLUT: Oh, I think it's going to be an extraordinary test for him. I mean, when people talk about all he really has to do for the next four years is cement his legacy. And this needs to be a success. The elections at the end of January in Iraq could not be more important to the administration. So for all the people who are taking vacation now, after the election I think those folks really are not.

COTTLE: On some level Kerry should I guess be glad this is not something -- the one bright spot is he's not going to have to deal with Iraq. I mean, George Bush got us into this. He's got to figure out how to -- how to make this better.

GOLDBERG: Yes. On the outside -- I mean, the only people who are more probably upset by the poll results were the insurgents in Falluja. You know, they were even more upset than the Kerry campaign, because they're going to get flattened probably this week.

And I think one of most ironic things is we just saw, what, 375,000 new jobs added to the payrolls.

WOODRUFF: Right.

GOLDBERG: If Bush takes care of Iraq pretty well, if it comes out after four years with something like democracy, and you've got what looks like a big economic boom, there's going to be -- it could -- this really could seal the realignment for the Republican Party.

WOODRUFF: Which Mr. Karl Rove is -- can take some credit for.

GOLDBERG: Indeed he can.

WOODRUFF: All right. Great to see all of you, Jonah Goldberg, Michelle Cottle, Anne Kornblut. Thank you all. Get some sleep this weekend.

Thank you very much.

Well, first he called them "girlie man." Now he has a different putdown for his political opponents. Up next, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has some choice words for the idea of a new tax hike in California.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Checking the Friday headlines now in our "Campaign News Daily," they are still counting votes in the race for governor of Washington State. Democrat Christine Gregoire recently -- or rather currently leads Republican Dino Rossi by about 18,000 votes. But more than 600,000 ballots still haven't been counted.

Illinois Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes says there's a good reason he did not call opponent Barack Obama and offer his congratulations on election night. He said that congratulating Obama would have been a "false gesture" because Obama supports abortion rights. He has also blamed his 43 percentage point loss to Obama on the news media, which he described as having a stranglehold on defining the issues in the campaign.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took a swipe at his state Democratic rivals yesterday. When asked if he would consider tax increases proposed by state Democrats, Schwarzenegger said, "Why would I listen to losers?" A spokeswoman said the governor was talking about various tax hike proposals and not about individual Democrats.

Abortion controversy on the Hill. Up next, why some conservatives are outraged over recent remarks by Republican Senator Arlen Specter. That and much more in Bob Novak's notebook.

INSIDE POLITICS continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Bob Novak joins me now with some "Inside Buzz."

Bob, first of all, what is all the fuss over Senator Arlen Specter's comments on abortion?

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": After he was reelected Tuesday, he was exuberant, he has a press conference the next day. He says that any appointment, any nominee by President Bush to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist or anybody on the Supreme Court will have to support Roe v. Wade.

It's a litmus test, and he warned the president about filibusters if that didn't happen. Well, there has been a firestorm of pro-life people who supported President Bush, of course, sending thousands and thousands of emails and phone calls to Senator Majority Leader Frist saying Senator Specter cannot be named chairman of the Judiciary Committee as is scheduled.

Senator Hatch is now the chairman, but he's -- gets off on term limits. And the person who is next in line is Senator Grassley, but he doesn't want to leave the Finance Committee.

So there's a lot of pressure to either get Senator Specter to completely renege on what he said. He put out a little clarifying statement; it didn't do the trick. Or else to get a majority of the Republicans and the majority leader to balance seniority and get somebody like Senator Kyl up there.

WOODRUFF: Still to be the sorted out. All right. The George Bush agenda, I talked a little bit with Josh Bolten, the budget director, about their hopes for tax reform and Social Security. What are you hearing about all of that?

NOVAK: They are ready to go on Social Security. They've got a plan that, of course, they have to be amended for private accounts. They don't know -- they aren't even beginning on tax reform. They're just about to name an outside commission.

Some sources tell me they can be ready by the middle of the year. I don't believe that -- next year. I think they've got a year to go.

Now, the problem, Judy, is that the people on the Hill are anxious to do tax reform but they're not so anxious on Social Security reform, which is kind of a scary thing. It frightens a lot of people. By the way, the president...

WOODRUFF: Not to mention expensive.

NOVAK: Right. And the president, I am told, is very interested in the most radical tax reform plan which would eliminate the income tax completely and substitute a national sales tax. A long way from buying into it, but he's interested in it.

WOODRUFF: Well, we're going to be asking a lot of questions about that in the days to come.

New democratic Senate leader. We've been hearing about him.

NOVAK: Harry Reid of Nevada. He got a phone call from the president Wednesday morning, very early, after it became clear that Senator Kerry had conceded. And I am told by sources very close to Senator Reid that he was flattered that the president would call him. Senator Reid was a loyal lieutenant of Tom Daschle in the Senate. But he's going to succeed Daschle. But he has not -- he has made clear to people that he is not going to be a Tom Daschle. He's going to be -- try to work much more closely with President Bush. Maybe a new era of congeniality.

By the way, Senator Chris Dodd, very charismatic guy, was talked about as the successor to Daschle until it was learned that Harry Reid, who is very fastidious, had lined up 32 of the 44 Democratic senators.

WOODRUFF: No room for anybody else. Very quickly, Bob, the exit polls, both sides apparently misread in all the panic on Election Day.

NOVAK: A fleeting Kerry operative, when the exit polls came out Tuesday afternoon, was calling Republican lobbyists saying that if they got $100,000 contributions for the Kerry transition they could still get in on the train. On the other side, there was one Republican White House aide who called somebody I know and asked, as these exit polls are coming up, if there was a possibility of getting a job in Major League Baseball.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: So it wasn't just the Democrats.

NOVAK: And they were panicking all over the lot.

WOODRUFF: OK. Bob Novak, thank you very much.

NOVAK: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Have a great weekend. We appreciate it.

Bob, by the way, is going to be back tomorrow for a -- he works on Saturdays and Sundays and every day. He's going to be back with a complete post-election analysis. Be sure to join him for "THE NOVAK ZONE" at 9:30 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Thank you, Bob.

NOVAK: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Now, another way of looking at the cultural and the demographic divide in the '04 election, the Starbucks versus Wal-Mart voters. Based on our exit polling, the more urban and upscale voters who live near Starbucks coffee houses around the country favored John Kerry by a five-point margin over Bush. The more typically blue collar voters, who live in the rural and suburban areas dotted with Wal-Marts favored Bush over Kerry by a 15 point margin.

Hmm, think about that.

So after a rock 'em, sock 'em campaign, what does President Bush do for an encore? We're tracking his victory lap and the hurdles ahead.

And what a week. When INSIDE POLITICS continues, photographs and memories of election 2004.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: It is just after 4:00 on the East Coast and as the markets close on Wall Street it is time now for "The Dobbs Report." I'm joined by none other than Lou Dobbs. Hi, Lou.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Hi, Judy Woodruff. The Bush rally continues as investors cheered what's nothing less than a great jobs report today. The economy added 337,000 new jobs last month. That's double what most economists had expected. But the unemployment rate edged up to 5.5 percent but that's good news, too, because it means a lot of unemployed workers who had previously given up their job searches are now back in the labor market. Nearly two million new jobs have been created over the past year. Still, more than eight million of us remain unemployed.

That strong employment report pushing stock prices higher on Wall Street as the final trades are now being counted on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrials are up just about 78 points pushing the gain on the week to more than 360 points. The Nasdaq adding 15 points today. The S&P 500 up 4. The S&P is now at the highest level in 2 1/2 years. That strong employment report all but guarantees that the Federal Reserve will again raise interest rates. They meet next year.

The rising record trade deficit pushed the dollar today to an all-time low against the euro. The sinking dollar sent gold prices up by more than $3 an ounce to another 16-year high.

Crude oil settling at $49.61 a barrel.

Tonight coming up on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" on CNN here at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, we'll be reporting on a failure of the federal government to protect our borders forcing many states to take on the issue of illegal immigration. Tonight we report on federal prosecutors in California who are telling officials in California not to crack down on illegal aliens because the feds have such a heavy, heavy case load.

We'll also have live coverage as American troops and Iraqi troops prepare to take Falluja. I'll talk with a former ambassador Peter Galbraith who describes the situation in Iraq as a catastrophe.

And tonight we focus on the man that international law experts now say is meddling in U.S. foreign policy. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan who is apparently calling on President Bush not to launch an assault. We'll have the full report.

And in "Heroes" tonight the story of Army Staff Sergeant Brent Ray (ph) who earned two medals for his bravery in Iraq and he's determined fight again despite his severe wounds. All that coming up tonight. Judy, back to you now.

WOODRUFF: Lou, you talked about the jobs report out today. Clearly the economy was one of the main issues of this campaign. Does this news vindicate the president?

DOBBS: Well, it vindicates him at least for the month. Even the Bush officials are the first to say that one month does not make a trend. We had terrific news on employment last fall as you recall. But it is certainly a reversal of the trend. It's the best in seven months. We can just keep our fingers crossed and hope that we continue to see this kind of job growth and if we do, then this economy is going to have better prospects than many of us would have assumed.

WOODRUFF: I know a lot of people are hoping for that.

DOBBS: Absolutely.

WOODRUFF: Lou Dobbs, thank you very much. We'll see you at 6:00. INSIDE POLITICS continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to win. We'll win Florida and Ohio.

ANNOUNCER: And Karl Rove was right. But what else has the president's political guru won?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm George W. Bush. I approve this message.

ANNOUNCER: How much did the president's campaign commercials contribute to his reelection victory? Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Welcome back. President Bush acknowledges that self- reflection is not really his thing. But as he headed off to Camp David for a long weekend, the joy of his election victory may have been tempered by the weight of what lies ahead. There is still the war on terror to be fought, the conflict in Iraq and American people divided. During his news conference yesterday Mr. Bush seemed mindful of the many challenges he faces.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: In terms of feeling free, I don't think you'll let me be too free. There is the accountability and constraints on the presidency as there should be in any system. I feel -- I feel it is necessary to move an agenda that I told the American people I would move.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Serious reflections aside, the president's team still has plenty of reasons to celebrate. Some more than others. Here now our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Winning the election is nice. But winning the political play of the week, now that's really special.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): He's the toast of the town.

BUSH: The architect Karl Rove.

SCHNEIDER: Rove mobilized evangelical Christians. Some Democrats saw a stealth army of evangelical voters organized below the media radar that pulled a surprise attack on election day and overwhelmed them at the polls. Evangelicals did vote for Bush in large numbers. But that is not the whole story of this election. Most voters on Tuesday said they support abortion rights about the same as in 2000. 60 percent favored some form of legal recognition of same-sex relationships. The voters this year were no more religious than before.

Were religious voters more for Bush? In 2000 Bush carried 59 percent of the vote among churchgoers. This year 61 percent. A two- point gain. Look at nonchurchgoers. Their vote for Bush went up by three points. President Bush had something going for him besides religion. When asked what mattered most to them in deciding how to vote, Bush voters put strong leadership and clear stands on the issues, not religion at the top of the list. That was Rove's doing, too. For eight months the Bush campaign kept up a relentless attack on John Kerry as a flip-flopper.

BUSH: And then he entered the flip-flop hall of fame. As he entered that hall of fame, he said I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.

SCHNEIDER: In order to win this election, Kerry worked to sell himself as a uniter.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be a president who unites our country. SCHNEIDER: That's difficult to do if people see you as wavering and inconsistent. The image that Rove worked hard to create in full view of the media's radar screen. So now in full view of CNN's radar screen...

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Karl Rove! Here he is right here. See, Karl Rove. Is he proud as a peacock? That was a peacock look right there.

SCHNEIDER: Karl Rove wins the "Political Play of the Week."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: Think of candidates who are known uniters. John McCain who got reelected Tuesday with a huge majority in Arizona. Arnold Schwarzenegger who got a 69 percent approval rating from the same California voters who went solidly for John Kerry. And nobody has ever called McCain or Schwarzenegger a flip-flopper.

WOODRUFF: OK. So what are the lessons for the next Democrat who runs for president, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: The most important lesson is straight talk, John McCain's lesson. It is all right to be a moderate, it's all right to take positions some Republicans like and some they don't or Democrats like but the most important thing is straight talk not wavering and inconsistency.

WOODRUFF: We won't catch many of them saying, well, I voted for that before I voted against it.

SCHNEIDER: That's right.

WOODRUFF: OK. Bill Schneider, thank you very much. As for the Democrats who came out on the losing end of this election, senior Democrats are telling our Ed Henry they expect John Kerry to use his Senate post to continue to prod President Bush on Iraq and on the economy. There is also talk on the Hill about John Edwards and not only about his prospects in 2008. We're told that the retiring senator's name is popping up as a possible chairman of the Democratic party. Stay tuned.

Well some news from the Bush administration. President Bush's point man for international counterterrorism policy is leaving the administration. For the very latest let's go to our Andrea Koppel at the State Department -- Andrea.

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Judy, this is the first Bush administration official to leave since Mr. Bush won reelection this week. Cofer Black who has been the head of the counterterrorism effort here at the State Department is going to be leaving next week. He told his bosses here at the State Department, Secretary of State Powell and others several weeks ago. This was during the Bush campaign that whether or not President Bush was reelected, he wanted to leave government. He's a longtime CIA agent -- not agent but he'd been working for the CIA for much of his career. He came over to the State Department a couple years ago and headed up really the new post-9/11 effort to bring diplomacy and use diplomacy to try to get cooperation among countries around the world to fight not just al Qaeda but the terrorist networks that are affiliated with al Qaeda.

And he's tired, Judy. It has been a yeoman's effort that he has put in here, according to his colleagues. And he just needs a break from government, a break from the pressure of 24/7 of dealing with terrorism.

Adam Ereli, the deputy spokesman here at the State Department telling CNN that no replacement has been picked as yet. They're working on it but Cofer Black will be the first administration official to leave government next week -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Andrea Koppel confirming the story. The first major departure from the Bush administration. Andrea, thanks very much.

Well, many things stand out about this election cycle, including the ad war. We're going to take a final look at those costly, often negative and hard to avoid commercials.

Plus, the final unforgettable week of a campaign to remember.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The White House race between candidates Bush and Kerry featured, as we know, millions of dollars in TV ads. And some of the toughest weren't even paid for by the parties of the campaigns.

Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" brings down the curtain on the 2004 political ad wars.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES" (voice-over): How much did President Bush's advertising assault contribute to his victory? Consider this: The usual political rule is that no matter how negative you get, and this was an unrelentingly negative campaign, close on a positive note. In the final days it looked like Bush was doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Bush and congressional allies, strong leadership to protect America.

KURTZ: But even that spot turned into an attack ad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Kerry and liberal allies, higher taxes, voting to tax Social Security benefits, government-run health care.

KURTZ: Kerry threw a last punch after a "New York Times" story on missing Iraqi ammunition.

KERRY: In Iraq, George Bush has overextended our troops and now failed to secure 380 tons of deadly explosives.

KURTZ: That was pretty much the story all year in the most expensive and most negative airwaves battle in presidential campaign history. Kerry as the windsurfer who changes direction with the breeze. Bush as the man behind the mess in Iraq who just won't admit a mistake. Both candidates also stretched the facts and worse in trying to paint the other guy as unfit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrorism a nuisance? How can Kerry protect us when he doesn't understand the threat?

KURTZ: But the Massachusetts senator never said terrorism is a nuisance now, only that his goal is to reduce it to a nuisance level. Kerry's ads didn't mention that he voted to support the war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mess in Iraq created by George Bush. Over 1,000 U.S. soldiers killed. Kidnappings. Americans held hostage. Bush sees nothing wrong.

KURTZ: The president acknowledged the mounting casualties in Iraq even while offering an optimistic outlook. On the domestic front, Bush's ads kept calling Kerry a tax-raising government-loving liberal. Kerry's spots kept hammering on lost jobs and blamed Bush for soaring health care costs and for limiting stem cell research.

As for closing positive, Kerry did manage a commercial that didn't mention Bush.

KERRY: If you believe we need a fresh start in Iraq, if you believe we can create and keep jobs here in America, join me and together we'll change America.

KURTZ: And the president recycled part of his convention speech.

BUSH: I've learned firsthand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision even when it is right.

KURTZ: But that was marred by the campaign doctoring a picture of a military crowd. And there was no respite from negativity in the final weeks with groups like the liberal MoveOn and conservative Club for Growth very much on the offensive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KURTZ: Bush's victory was based on many factors, from his campaigning as a war president to a massive get-out-the-vote effort. But particularly in the spring, when his opponent was staying positive, the Bush ad blitz helped cement an image of John Kerry as a soft on defense flip-flopper. That may have been an unfair image, but it was one that Kerry never fully erased -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So the message is, negativity rules.

KURTZ: You find that out in every campaign cycle.

WOODRUFF: We do seem to find that out. Howard, you have done some reporting on what happened on Election Day with regard to the campaigns trying to put some pressure on the news organizations. What did you find out?

KURTZ: Well, as you know, Judy, the networks all tried to avoid the fiasco of 2000 by being very cautious about making those projections in key states.

WOODRUFF: We sure did.

KURTZ: And they all repeated that, as you did, on the air just about every 10 minutes. But the campaigns were in lobbying mode. And so you had campaign officials, when Fox News and NBC called Ohio, which was the key state that the point, for President Bush, you had Kerry campaign aides getting on the phone to other networks saying don't do it. Don't follow suit. To them that was the ballgame. If everybody said Ohio was in the Bush column, then the race would be over.

You had Karl Rove on the phone making calls to Fox News, trying to get them to call New Mexico in Bush's favor, because that would have put him over 270 after the Ohio call. And you had others calling NBC saying either take back Ohio or don't switch or stick to it. So a lot of phone calls coming in during those crucial hours.

WOODRUFF: Any evidence that networks succumbed to that?

KURTZ: Every network I talked to told me that they were happy to listen to the spin and the facts and figures put out by these campaign officials, but that it didn't change their minds about their own judgments.

WOODRUFF: Howard, the people were asked in those exit polls, among other things, how good a job do they think the news media did? Republicans said 73 percent thought the press did a good job. Democrats said 85 percent. So does that -- what, vindicates the press, that we did a good job or what?

KURTZ: Well, I'd love to pat us on the back, but I have seen a lot of other polls where people feel that the press has been biased. The press is too focused on conflict and superficiality and lots of other things, you're familiar with the list of indictments. But even those exit polls ended up playing a role in my view in the coverage.

You would think we would have learned our lesson from four years ago when Florida went to Al Gore and exit polls maybe it was a factor in that. Instead this time the exit polls, the first wave, the second wave, were pro-Kerry, showed Kerry leading by a slight margin in Florida and Ohio.

And that, in my view, affected the tone of the coverage. You heard several commentators on various networks saying things like, it looked good for Kerry, it was going to be an uphill struggle in certain states for President Bush.

Well, it turns out those exit polls, or at least the interpretation of them, they were all splashed on the Internet, were wrong and I think that a lot of people then had to pull back on some of what they had been saying.

WOODRUFF: On very interesting thing, the firm that conducted those exit polls that all the networks were a part of that, sort of, consortium, Edison-Mitofsky, they are saying now, among other things, that they have a sense that maybe some Republicans more reluctant to talk to the exit poll questioners, to take the poll and actually fill it out, than some Democratic, which may have helped to skew those results.

KURTZ: And at various times in the early waves, there were more women counted than men. Women are more favorable, generally, to the Kerry campaign. So these are polls. They are samples. They are estimates. We all have to remember that these are not scientific -- but of course, on Election Day we're all sitting on the edge of our seats, who's going to win? Who's going to win? So anything that sees or smells like piece of scientific evidence sometimes gets trumpeted not only online but on television. And I think we have all learned a lesson hopefully again this time.

WOODRUFF: Well, my prediction is something will change about that process the next time. Howard Kurtz, thanks very much, from "RELIABLE SOURCES."

KURTZ: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, in this high tech age, a flip of a coin might be used to decide the outcome of an election. Find out where next.

And a look back at the most memorable moments of the week that was, at least some of them. That's ahead on INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: An old fashioned coin toss might be used to decide this election. Two people in Groveland, Florida, have tied in a race for city council, with 689 votes each.

If neither one requests a recount or if a recount is conducted and the outcome is the same, the law allows the race to be decided by a coin toss. It is possible heads or tails could be used to decide a winner next week.

I wonder if they would do that at the presidential race.

Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, some of the most memorable political moments from the week that was. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: ... Falluja, where more than 10,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines have taken up positions for an expected assault. U.S. jets, we are told, pummeling the insurgent targets this day and troops blocking key roads.

The prime minister of Iraq is warning that the, quote, "window is closing to avert an offensive." Again, these pictures just coming into CNN from Falluja where it is about eight hours later. It's a little bit after midnight in that part of Iraq. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: The week that was began with both presidential candidates doing some last minute campaigning. And it ended with President Bush going to Camp David after winning re-election and Senator Kerry conceding.

More now on the week that was.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sort of slid away slowly over the course of the evening and into the morning.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Together we will carry on and we will be with you every step of the way. You stood in line for 10 hours because you want your government to stand up for you. You stood in the rain to vote because you want to build one America.

ANDREW CARD, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: In this election President Bush received more votes than any presidential candidate in our country's history.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the election of 2004 we did more than campaign on a record. President Bush ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation's future, and the nation responded by giving him a mandate.

KERRY: I'm sorry that we got here a little bit late and a little bit short. It is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And therefore, we cannot win this election.

BUSH: America has spoken and I'm humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens.

KERRY: We are required now to work together for the good of our country. America is in need of unity.

BUSH: To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Now it's an election for the history books. That's it for INSIDE POLITICS this Friday. I'm Judy Woodruff. Have a good weekend. "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.