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Pre-Inaugural Celebrations

Aired January 19, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: It's the eve of a swearing in unlike any other with Washington D.C. under the tightest inaugural security ever. The night before President Bush officially begins his second term, we're live all over the nation's Capitol with James Baker, secretary of state under the first President Bush and chief legal adviser to the current president in the 2000 election. Nancy O'Dell of "Access Hollywood" at the Black Tie and Boots ball, the hottest ticket in town. Plus, exclusive Liz Cheney, daughter of vice president Dick and Lynn Cheney and a lot more. Inauguration eve live in Washington is next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We're in frigid Washington, D.C. tonight on the eve of the inauguration, the second inauguration of President George W. Bush. It's a pleasure to begin with an old friend, Jim Baker, James was the 61st United States Secretary of State, chief legal adviser to George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 2000 Florida election, named a special presidential envoy on reconstruction of postwar Iraq's and sought reduction of Iraq's massive international debt. He's been a major figure on the American scene for a long time.

This town looks like a town under siege, and they've been doing specials all day on security. What do you make of this?

JAMES BAKER, SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER PRES. GEORGE H.W. BUSH: What I make of it is that, Larry, this is the first inaugural we had since 9/11. And they're going to take every precaution, and I think that's only proper and understandable.

KING: Are you concerned?

BAKER: No, I'm not concerned. I think they're taking many, many precautions. And you're quite right about the security out there. It was easy to get to the studio tonight.

KING: It's not easy to get almost anywhere.

BAKER: That's correct.

KING: Even if you're Jim Baker, right?

BAKER: But I think everybody understands that.

KING: You've been involved in many, right, you're chief of state -- in fact, the inaugural that wasn't held.

BAKER: The inaugural that wasn't held -- well, it was held in the Capitol rotunda in 1985. It's cold here in Washington tonight, but it was a heck of a lot colder that day. And we canceled -- I was chief of staff of the White House at the time, we canceled the parade and moved the inaugural -- the swearing in from the Capitol to the inside in the rotunda.

KING: How do you think Condi Rice is going to do in your old job?

BAKER: I think she's going to do very well, Larry. She's got the experience and knowledge. She's after all been national security adviser now for 4 years and she had the knowledge of the issues even before she took that job. She did an extraordinarily good job for us in the national security counsel when I was secretary of state under the first President Bush.

KING: There were 2 no votes, Boxer and Kerry. Were you surprised?

BAKER: I don't think I was surprised after hearing some of the questions that they propounded to her. But 2 no votes is not many no votes on the foreign relations committee. She's going to be confirmed, in my opinion, overwhelmingly, and she'll do a great job as secretary of state.

KING: Haven't you called for a phase withdrawal from Iraq?

BAKER: That's not really accurate, Larry. What I said was after the security situation improves and as the Iraqi people and government are able to pick up the responsibilities, then we should begin thinking about a phase withdrawal. And many people interpreted that, picked out the phase withdrawal part of that and said that I was calling for a phase withdrawal as if I was calling for it unconditionally, and I certainly am not.

I also said in that speech that it would be a terrible mistake for us to cut and run in Iraq.

KING: Were you surprised, though, at postwar occurrences in Iraq?

BAKER: I think a lot of people were surprised at the difficulty of winning the peace. We did a marvelous job of winning the war, winning the peace has been more difficult than most people anticipated. And many in the administration acknowledged that fact. That's not a secret.

But, you know, that doesn't mean you quit. That doesn't mean you leave. That doesn't mean you give up. Because this is an extraordinarily important undertaking. And it has a great benefit for not only the Middle East, but other areas of the world as well.

KING: You knew these people pretty well. You negotiated with them.

BAKER: Well, I negotiated with Tarik Aziz. I never went to Baghdad. I never went to -- I never sat down with Saddam Hussein, although that was in the cards at one time. I did spend 7 hours with Tarik Aziz.

KING: Do you remember that very well?

BAKER: They were hard.

KING: Since they didn't have the weapons, why didn't they open it up and let you see?

BAKER: I don't think anybody understands that. And I don't know that anybody does understand it. It was foolish. It was crazy.

I think that Saddam Hussein really did not believe that we were going to go in there. And that's almost unbelievable that he didn't believe that.

KING: What do you expect in the second term?

BAKER: Well, the president's got a number of challenges out there, both on the domestic front and international front. He's spoken to many of them. Of course, he put Social Security reform at the top of the agenda domestically, along with tort reform and tax reform. So, that's a pretty fully domestic agenda.

KING: Most second terms, though, aren't at the level of the first, right? Isn't that historically pretty true?

BAKER: Well, a lot of them are more difficult. But I will remind you that in Ronald Reagan's second term, we for the first time in a hundred years, we got fundamental reform of the tax code, something that had never been done before, reducing the top margin, natural rate from 70 down to 28 or 50 to 28, depending on how you look at it. And so good things can happen in the second term.

On the foreign policy side, we have a different situation than we've ever had before, because we are engaged in a war on terror. And fighting international terrorism and conquering international terrorism has pretty much got to be the top priority.

We've got a job to do in Iraq, as you indicated and as the administration has indicated. We've got to deal with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And that's going to bring us into conflict, not only military conflict, but conflict with North Korea and Iran.

KING: What do you make of the Iran story?

BAKER: When what I make of it is, many of us in 1994, when the so-called framework agreement was entered into where we agreed to give North Korea a lot of free oil other economic goodies, if they would freeze their nuclear program, they said they were going to freeze it and then they didn't freeze it. Well, we have the same problem, I think, with Iran. It's pretty hard to believe what they say.

KING: So you can understand covert operations there?

BAKER: Well, I saw a story not long ago that I don't know whether it's true or not, that said we were -- I think the thrust of the story is we're spying in Iran. Well, I hope we would be. If we want to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, stem nuclear proliferation than we better be doing something.

KING: You're not going to the boots ball in.

BAKER: No, I'm not going to the boots ball.

KING: You, a Texan, are not going to the boots ball?

BAKER: I have to acknowledge to you that I'm not going. I went in year -- I mean, last in 2000. It was a great, big extravaganza, and I'm 4 years older this year, Larry, and I'm going to go to bed.

KING: One other thing you told me about before we went on that I didn't know occurred. I knew that President George W. Bush the first celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with Barbara. But you told me they were given a reception in the White House.

BAKER: We had a wonderful evening in the White House on the 6 of June. As I think I mentioned to you, this will never happen, I don't think, in the history of the nation, where you have a former president of the United States celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary in the state dining room of a party given by his son, the current president of the United States. It was a warm evening. Everybody loved it. And it was something special.

KING: Always great seeing you, Jim.

BAKER: Glad to see you, Larry.

KING: Stay well. Sit one second.

Let's check in with Nancy O'Dell, the co-anchor of "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD." Nancy is on scene at the Black tie and Boots ball where Jim Baker will not be going, looking lovely as ever. What's that like?

NANCY O'DELL, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: I'm sorry, I'm going to tell you, it's a little bit loud. We have Sara (ph) Evans performing behind me, but if you've ever wondered where the beef is, it's literally right here. They brought in 2,500 pounds of beef for the umpteen thousand guests. They're arriving here.

You know what, you know what they say about Texas and everything is bigger, I definitely believe it by being here. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the president and first lady are supposed to be here at about 10:00 so we'll wait for them.

KING: We'll be checking back with you. Nancy O'Dell, the co- anchor of "Access Hollywood." That's the way to do it in Texas, Jim.

BAKER: 2,500 pounds of beef. Woo!

KING: Woo.

Glad you're not going, or...

BAKER: When I went in 2000, Larry, I couldn't get anything to eat, there were so many people there. Tonight, I'm going to bed.

KING: Good seeing you as always.

BAKER: Nice to see you.

KING: We'll be right back with more on this pre-inaugural edition of LARRY KING LIVE from the nation's capital. Don't go away.











GEORGE W. BUSH: George Walker Bush do solemnly swear.

EISENHOWER: That I will faithfully execute...

KENNEDY: ...the office of president of the United States...

JOHNSON: ...and will to the best of my ability...

NIXON: ...preserve...

FORD: ...protect...

CARTER: ...and defend...

REAGAN: the Constitution...

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: ...of the United States...

CLINTON: help me, God... GEORGE W. BUSH: help me, God.





KING: That was Gerald Ford, the one president who did not have an inauguration. Let's meet some presidential and vice presidential children. At the National Building Museum in Washington is Liz Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick and Lynn Cheney. Was adviser to the reelection campaign, former deputy assistant secretary of state. She's attending the inauguration eve candlelight dinner being held at the National Building Museum.

In Atlanta is Chip Carter, son of Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, business and political consultant.

And in Reno, Nevada is Steve Ford, son of Betty and Gerald Ford, actor and public speaker.

Liz Cheney, does it ever get old hat?

LIZ CHENEY, DAUGHTER OF VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: It just doesn't, Larry. It's such an amazing historical event. To be able to go through it as a family, you really have to constantly pinch yourself and think about the significance of these events, and you feel so honored and really find yourself being moved very frequently over the course of the several days of activities. Very special things.

KING: What do you make of all the security?

CHENEY: You know, I think it's to be expected. It's not surprising, and it's not really something that you think about because I think everybody has such confidence in the men and women who are responsible for it. So we're very focused on the president's inauguration tomorrow and on the themes of freedom and service that he's going to be talking about and that this inauguration really is about.

KING: Chip Carter, what was it like for you when your father was inaugurated?

CHIP CARTER, SON OF PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: It was great. We started off with a walk down Pennsylvania Avenue which is something that obviously could never be done today. The only thing we had to do was make sure the public didn't find out. The Secret Service said we could do it as long as nobody found out. They didn't think we could keep a secret, but we did, and I thought it was a great moment.

KING: Your father and mother are here for this tomorrow, are they not? CARTER: Yes, they are. The inauguration is the time when the whole country will pull together and support our president on his administration and wish him all the best. We'll be picking at him a little bit later because we are Democrats, but here's a time that we cherish who we are that we're a democracy, that we know what's going on and the people of America hopefully wish him the best.

KING: What was the toughest part about being a son of a president?

CARTER: I think the scrutiny that you get when you go out. I was single in the White House and there was a lot of good things that happened, for instance, a bottle of wine in the red room was all you needed for a date. I think the bad things were the scrutiny that you went through, treating you like you're special, it takes a long time to get over that when you get out too.

KING: Steve Ford, first, how is your dad doing? I know they won't let him travel.

STEVE FORD, SON OF PRESIDENT GERALD FORD: I think he looked at the weather back there and all the security and decided he didn't want to travel. I'm headed down to Palm Springs to see mom and dad in three or four days and plan on playing golf with them. Both are doing well in good health.

KING: He is doing well? Because there were reports that he was not.

FORD: He went in for an annual physical, and you know how rumors spread, Larry, and, no, he's doing well. I spent Christmas with him, down there about nine days, and I think five of the nine days he and I went out and teed it up and played great golf. He only played seven or eight holes but at 91 years old that's pretty good.

KING: How do you view inaugurals? Your father didn't have one.

FORD: No. We were in such a unique situation because dad stepped into the office of president without going through a general election. The first time it happened in history and thank God we have this great free country and there weren't troops in the streets. We had a smooth transition of power from Nixon. After the swearing in that took place in the East Room of the White House, very somber event. There were no smiling faces. There was a great cloud that hung over America and the White House at that time because of the Nixon situation. The interesting thing is we didn't get to move into the White House. We had to go back to our home in Alexandria, Virginia because the Nixons had not packed up their belongings.

For the next six days, we lived in Alexandria, Virginia where we'd grown up. I can remember going home that night and we had a family meal just like we always did. I can remember mom was cooking or doing something and she said, Gerry, something is wrong here. You just became president and I'm still cooking. It was a very different transition, very middle America.

KING: Liz, how are your folks feeling tonight?

CHENEY: They're feeling just terrific. We had this afternoon a celebration at the Ellipse and then the dinner tonight. I think there is a tremendous focus on the event tomorrow. We just decided which Bible my dad is going to be sworn in with, and it's the family Bible that belongs to his grandparents, actually, so we had a lot of discussions this evening about who's responsible for getting the Bible to the Capitol tomorrow, which is a key thing.

KING: How is his health?

CHENEY: He's doing very well, thank you for asking. He's taking good care of himself, and exercising a lot and eating right. I think also being in a job where you feel like you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, you're making a real contribution, it's an honor for him, and it helps to keep him young and in good shape.

KING: Chip, your dad recently turned 80. How is he doing?

CARTER: Doing fantastic. He's been traveling a good bit. He observed presidential elections in Mozambique in December and Palestine this month. I went with him. He just doesn't stop. He's an amazing human being.

KING: Steve, how would is Gerald now?

FORD: Dad is 91 and mom is 86. We've been blessed to have them this long and hope to have many more years.

KING: We hope to have all three of you many more years. Thank you so much. Liz Cheney, Chip Carter and Steve Ford on pre-inaugural night. The inauguration, of course, is tomorrow. You'll be watching it all day on CNN. When we come back, we'll check with Cindy Adams, the syndicated columnist of the "New York Post." Carl Anthony, the presidential historian with a special expertise in inaugurations, Georgette Mosbacher the CEO of the internationally famed beauty company Burgese (ph) and a major GOP fundraiser and one of the top experts, pundits, former adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford and Clinton, our old friend David Gergen. That's all ahead. Don't go away.


KING: We're back, and before we meet our panel, let's go to the black tie and boots ball, spend a couple of moments with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, author of recently published book, "American Heroines, The Spirit of Women Who Shaped Our Country." Why is that ball so special?

SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: It's special because there's so much to do here. They have everything from a live longhorn to mariachi bands, Mexican food, a sports bar. There's so much to do. It's just fun. People are having a great time.

KING: When is the president and Mrs. Bush due there? HUTCHISON: They are already here. That's why we had to move me because they're here, and, of course, everybody is so excited to see them. They are doing all of their rounds, but they never miss this ball. The president loves this black tie and boots ball.

KING: Senator Hutchison was supposed to be with us in our next segment but we moved her up because I guess they have conflicting problems when the president steps up. Does he speak at the ball?

HUTCHISON: Yes, he will say a few words of welcome. Everybody wants to see him more than anything else. They come here because they feel like he is their president. These are Texans from all over Texas who have come here. It's their favorite inaugural event besides the inauguration itself and it's very packed. Everybody's having a great time.

KING: What's the security like?

HUTCHISON: It's huge. We had to walk from the corner because it was just gridlock out there. There are protesters, so there's a little bit of everything here. Security is very heavy. Of course, that's what we want.

KING: Thanks very much for giving us your time.

HUTCHISON: Thank you very much.

KING: We'll check back at the black tie and boots ball, we'll spend a couple of moments with the panel then go back again and then spend the rest of the way with the panel. Cindy Adams, to a real New Yorker, what's it like to come here for this?

CINDY ADAMS, "NEW YORK POST": You know, presidents may come and campaign promises may go, but the inaugural stays the same forever. It's always the same paper plates that are so thin, the mayonnaise on the tuna fish leaks through. I mean, it's warm coke. They always run out of ice and you have to pay for it in a plastic glass.

KING: So you don't enjoy it?

ADAMS: Not really. It's just packed. And the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) must be from some clerk from 7-11 stores. It's is a screw top. God knows I wouldn't mock the inaugural.

KING: You like it, David?

DAVID GERGEN, FMR. WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: It's fun, but as you were talking to Jim Baker, in fact, he was not going to go to the black tie and boots ball, I remember what Reagan used to say. He said he'd reached the age when he was faced with two temptations. He always chose the one that got him home by 9:30.

KING: Why is this so important? You're the social -- well, you head a major company.

GEORGETTE MOSBACHER, GOP FUNDRAISER: It's a celebration. It's an opportunity for us to all celebrate our great democracy. While I'm not at that age, I still like a good party, and I think that you can feel, you can just feel the excitement in the air here. I landed when I came in from New York today, and there was fireworks going on at four of the major monuments at the same time. It was thrilling.

KING: Carl Anthony, your middle name is Sferrazza, right?


KING: Why do you specialize in inaugurals? Why are you so interested in them particularly?

ANTHONY: It's because it's a real reflection on the administration. You can sometimes find a lot out beyond just the inaugural speech that the president gives, but the tone and some of the issues, for example, that are going to be coming up. You know, all this talk about security and protesters, I think back, you know, to Woodrow Wilson. His first inauguration, there were suffrages protesting that they didn't have the vote and at his second inaugural right before we got into World War I, there were sharpshooters on the roof and people were afraid they were going to throw a bomb in his and Mrs. Wilson's carriage. So there's an ongoing story with this.

KING: We are looking back at the black tie and boots ball where the president and his daughters and wife are on the stage. Let's see if we can pick up any sound. He will say a few words, we understand. This is the black tie and boots ball on the eve of the inaugural. It's an event every four years. Texas put this on, Georgette?

MOSBACHER: Yes. It's their state, their party.

KING: It's their event. Now I think they're going to introduce the president and he'll say a few words. As soon as they're ready, we'll pick up what he has to say. How much money has all this cost?

MOSBACHER: It's costing a lot, but it's all raised through donations, and I think people who want to celebrate this great democracy who want to give money to have a fabulous party, and there are so many people that are participating in it that aren't paying for anything. I think it's great.

ADAMS: The first Bush ball, the first Bush inaugural was even more expensive, about $5 million or $9 million more than this. The most expensive in history.

KING: Do you think they should have given it to the tsunami relief?

ADAMS: I'm not smart enough to know what they should do. It's our country and we love our country and we want to celebrate it but it does seem a little, with all the tragedies we've had, with the tsunami and with the mudslides in California, it just seems a little over the top.

KING: David? GERGEN: Well, we have had examples in the past, especially when there's been a major serious -- Second World War. Franklin Roosevelt, '44, that was the big example. You know, he did it out of the South portico, they did it so frugally that they served cold chicken salad for all the guests.

KING: Either call would be right, right?

GERGEN: Either call is right. I don't think we should take it against the president for having a big party.

KING: Let's go back to the Black Tie and Boots Ball before the president speak.

Let's check in with our old friend, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York. Do you enjoy this?

RUDY GIULIANI, FRM. NEW YORK MAYOR: Sure, absolutely. I enjoy celebrating the wonderful things in life. This is a country that's passed on freedom and democracy longer than any other country in the history of the world, looking to celebrate that. In life, you have to celebrate and you have to mourn. And you have to learn how to do both.

And celebration is appropriate.

KING: If you're president 4 years from now, what will replace the Black Tie and Boots Ball? Will we have Nathan's hot dogs and the Yankees?

GIULIANI: Larry, they just made me an honorary Texan here. They gave me boots, a hat. And I told them that sometime I am going to take them all to Brooklyn and make them honorary Brooklynite. So, don't know what would ever happen if somebody from Brooklyn ever became president, not suggesting I would be the one. Better be a heck of a thing, Larry, right?

KING: The best, man.

GIULIANI: Hey, what do you think?

KING: Hey, baby!

Here's the vice president at the Black Tie and Boots Ball. Here's Cheney

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we'd be happy to claim Texas as our home state, but we had a little constitutional problem we had to get around. But we're delighted to be here. I want to thank Kay Granger, she's done a superb job. It's great to see so many of our friends from Texas. And it's good to be wearing boots again.


CHENEY: This is a special night -- knock it off. (LAUGHTER)

CHENEY: This is a special night for all Texans and for those of us pleased to call your state home sometimes. Your part of the country has produced tremendous Americans from Sam Houston to Admiral Nemets to Maudy Murphy to Tom Landry and from George Strait to Nolan Ryan. And tomorrow at noon, a rancher from Crawford and a two-term governor will become a two-term president of the United States.

An inauguration, as you know, is not a political event, but it's an official occasion observed by citizens from both parties in all regions of the country. And this year the occasion honors a man who has already become one of the most consequential presidents in our history.

The president himself once said our measure is taken not just by what we use and take away, but what we build and leave behind. As the leader of our nation, George W. Bush is building a safer world and a more just society. He will leave behind a nation that is stronger, better, more secure for our children and grandchildren. He's made us proud to be Americans. And we are very proud of him.

Far into the future it will be said that our generation lived in a period of tremendous challenge and of rising hopes for freedom and peace in the world. It will be said that in these times some of the toughest decisions of history came to our American president. And it will be said the people of the United States chose the right man for the job. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, from the great state of Texas, the president of the United States.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Thank you all. Thank you all. Thank you.

It's nice to be home. Well, as close to home as you can get in Washington.

I was going to start off these remarks by saying behave yourselves, but then I remembered I was at the Texas Black Tie and Boots Party.

Thank you for coming. Thank you for having us here.

The smartest decision I ever made was asking Laura to marry me. I'm not so sure it's the smartest decision she ever made was to say yes. I love her a lot and so does Texas and so does America.

And we are really proud of Barbara and Jenna. Dallas-born, Texas educated.

You know, the job of the president is to make decisions, and I make a lot of them. Sometimes I get to make them in relative calm, sometimes I make them when there's a lot of action going on. And in order to make good decisions, you have to have good people around you, people who are steady in the face of the storm, and, you know, I picked the right man to be the vice president. He is a -- his advice has been great. His demeanor is sound. And Laura and I have come to really, really appreciate Lynn and Dick Cheney. I want to thank Kay Granger, Madame president of the Texas State Society. I'm proud of our two United States senators from Texas, the senior Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. She does a great job for our great state. And the junior senator is making quite a hand himself, and that would be Senator John Cornan.

I'm proud to be on stage with my successor, who is doing a fine job, Governor Rick Perry. I want to thank Bill and Zelda Schute for being the chairman of this party. It's not very hard to sell the tickets to this party, I understand.

I want to thank all the members of the Texas Congressional Delegation who are here. I appreciate -- we've got a great group of folks from Texas serving in the House of Representatives. I don't know if Delay is here or not, but I appreciate working with him, Tommy Delay. If he is, he didn't get a very good seat.

I want to thank all the legislators that are here. Just do what the governor tells you to do, and all will be well. I understand Rudy Giuliani is here. He's not exactly a Texan. If he's not, he's like that guy that told me one of the things you can do is have someone page you in an airport, whether or not you're there. At least they'll hear your name.

I want to thank all the entertainers. Seems like the Texas ball has some fine entertainers, Clay Walker, Neil McCoy, Sara Evans, Fighting Texas A&M Agie Lyle Lovitt. And how about our friend Yolanda Adams.

What a special -- I see that the Kilgore (ph) Rangerettes are here. Appreciate you all coming. Thanks for coming.

And thank you all for coming. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. And if you get to bed early enough, you'll be looking forward to it too.

I'm looking forward to talking to the country and really speaking to the world. Here's what I'm going to say, we love freedom in America, and everybody deserves to be free! And I know that when this world becomes more free, the world will become more peaceful.

And so -- I'm not going to give you the speech now. You'll be happy to hear.

But I do want to leave you with this thought, I've never forgotten where I came from, I've never forgotten the values of our great state of Texas. And after I give it my all for 4 more years, I'm coming home.


BUSH: God bless you all! God bless Texas and God bless the United States of America! Thank you all.

KING: President Bush preceded by Vice President Cheney at the Black Tie and Boots Ball here in Washington on the eve of the second inaugural.

We'll be back with our panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this. Don't go away.


KING: One more moment with Rudy Giuliani.

All right. What did it feel like to be the only non-Texan introduced?

GIULIANI: It felt great. It was a terrific -- this is a terrific relationship that the president has with the people of Texas. You can feel the love. You can feel the affection. And particularly when he said he's going to come back here to live, you know, he was a great governor and he's been a great president. I think the people of Texas really love him. So, it's nice to be part of it.

KING: Can you identify the beautiful lady with you?

GIULIANI: The beautiful lady with me is my wife Judith. And we're looking forward to enjoying ourselves the next 2 days. And celebrating the president's victory.

KING: Go get 'em, Rudy.

Are you going chip in, help pay Randy Johnson?

GIULIANI: You know, I'm willing to try middle inning relief pitching if they need me, Larry. I'd do anything for the Yankees.

KING: Thank you. Good seeing you, Judy. Rudy Giuliani

Back to our panel of Cindy Adams, Carl Sferrazza, Georgette Mosbacher, David Gergen.

Is this at all overdone, do you think, Georgette? I mean, can it be a bit much?

MOSBACHER: No. I mean -- what we just saw is a real Texas moment. And, no, I don't think it can be overdone. After all, this is a big celebration. And this is what people want to see. The funny thing is tomorrow morning we're going to be talking about the dresses that the daughters had on and the first lady. That's all we're going to get out of this ball. So, it'll be interesting.

KING: How is it different, Cindy, from Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

ADAMS: Well, you know, you've heard it's enough already with Texas. This entire country is one of the most fabulous -- it's the most fabulous country in the world. We have the Golden Globes with these girls who are showing their Golden Globes. Then we have in Utah, you know the Sundance, where they're doing cowboy outfits and they're going in sneakers. Then we have -- you should excuse the expression, the Donald wedding in Palm Beach where it's going to be so glitzy somebody like an Anna Nicole Smith would look underdone. And here we have these masses, with these massive binds here.

I don't know what it is with the political people? But is it a concomitant to being in politics that you have to have a big behind? That's what they all seem to have. It's masses with asses.

KING: Cindy, you always have interesting observations.

ADAMS: Do you think I'm too boring for my job?

MOSBACHER: It sounds like tabloid heaven to me.

KING: We've always had them, right David?

GERGEN: Of course this is overdone. But they've all been overdone. You know, we've been having garish inaugurations for as long as we've all been alive.

KING: Bill Clinton was on this program a couple weeks ago with the the first President President Bush and they both said, it's a party, let them celebrate.

GERGEN: Yeah. It is a party. It's a once every 4 years. And I say, let em go. But let's not kid ourselves, it's overdone.

There are elements, and what would be good is to have inaugural speech tomorrow that's memorable. We haven't had --

KING: Kennedy.

GERGEN: Reagan and Kennedy were the last 2 that I think people really remember. Kennedy, particularly, in some ways, is the best address since.

KING: The best single line.

GERGEN: Probably the best inaugural since Lincoln's second.

KING: Was Lincoln's second the best?

GERGEN: I think Lincoln's second was the best.

KING: Was it true, Carl Anthony that Washington's second was only 153 words?

ANTHONY: That's right. And the guy who gave the longest was William Henry Harrison. He shattered it out into the cold and did it without an overcoat. And, of course, he died a month later.

So, you know, you give a succinct speech and make sure you wear a coat.

I just want to say, I was interested that about the remarks that President Bush made about Laura Bush. And how, you know, first ladies have become a big part of the inaugurals, and for good reason because sometimes they're the ones that sort of provoke the guy getting there. I always think of President Grant after his first inaugural after he took the solemn oath, he turned around, he looked at his wife in front of everybody there, the cabinet, the Supreme Court he said, now, my dear, I hope that you are satisfied because she really wanted to get there. So, they play a big part in it too.

ADAMS: You know that Laura Bush has done something, she's broken with tradition because this is the time that it's President and Mrs. Laura Bush invite you, possibly to delineate from Barbara Bush. Mrs. Roosevelt, the two Mrs. Roosevelts were just Mrs. Roosevelt, Harrisons, Adams, my family, my people, they Adams family, they always addressed it Mrs. Adams. But she did Laura Bush.

KING: Why does America like here so much?

MOSBACHER: I think that she represents how we see -- she's safe for us. I mean, she's everyone's sister, everyone's cousin, aunt. She is a tra -- traditional as we see the traditional woman and that's very comforting.

KING: She helped in the election, didn't she, David?

GERGEN: Geez, she is, I think, the most popular person in the political arena today. She has been for the last couple of years.

KING: Do you think she could run for office?

GERGEN: No. I think that's exactly why she's popular.

KING: Well put.

We'll take a break and be back with more. And our remaining moments on this pre-inaugural evening of LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Do you think she could run for office?

GERGEN: No. I think that's exactly why she's popular.

KING: Well put. We'll take a break and be back with more and our remaining moments on this pre-inaugural evening of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: By the way, the producers of the black tie and boots ball are Danny Ward (ph) and his wife Nancy Aims (ph). They've handled the event since 1989. They're party organizers extraordinaire. Famed in Texas and around the country. Let's check one more time with Nancy O'Dell. What do they do now? The president's left, the vice president's left. What do they do now at this ball?

O'DELL: I think the answer to that is easy. They're going to party big time. It was great to see the president. Laura Bush, I interviewed her yesterday. She said this was, quote, "a sweet and exciting time for them." They're really trying to soak it in. I talked to the president last night (UNINTELLIGIBLE) America Future Rocks concert last night where all the youth rallied and that is one thing (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The president was so relaxed. I think this go around he's just looking forward to everything that's happening.

KING: You look like you're dressed to party.

O'DELL: I am dressed to party. I've got to make my rounds. There are about 23 performers here tonight, Larry. I don't know if everybody can soak in everything, but I don't know if I can catch all these interviews but I'm going to try.

KING: Go get them, Nancy.

O'DELL: I'll try, Larry.

KING: Where are you going to be tomorrow, Cindy?

ADAMS: I'll tell you where I'm going right from here. There's a party at Buffy Kafritz (ph) who is one of the top, you know -- the hostest with the mostest and Vernon Jordan are giving. When I was growing up, they said the top society was 400. Well, they're going to have about 800 of the top 400 at this party tonight.

KING: Where will you be tomorrow?

ADAMS: I'm going to Governor Pataki's brunch just so I don't freeze my backside off on the inaugural parade and I will sit at the brunch and watch everybody else walk.

KING: Georgette, where will you be tomorrow?

MOSBACHER: I'll be watching it from the law offices across the street and then go to the New York ball tomorrow night.

KING: David?

GERGEN: I'll be on the west front of the Capitol up there with CNN with Paula Zahn.

KING: Outside?

GERGEN: Outside. I brought my hand warmers and toe warmers and every damn thing you can think of.

KING: Carl, will you watch it from L.A.?

ANTHONY: I will watch it from L.A. I'll be watching you, Larry, all-day coverage with CNN.

KING: What do you expect tomorrow? We have about 30 seconds, Carl?

ANTHONY: It's a crowded day. These events are very carefully timed. It will be interesting to see what goes on at that luncheon tomorrow in the Capitol. That's always a very interesting event because the leaders of Congress, the president, they come and eat in the Capitol Rotunda there before they head back to the White House. It's always interesting to take a look at who's saying what to the president at that point.

KING: Thank you all very much. Cindy Adams, next time, try to come out.

ADAMS: I'll do my best. I'm too shy, I know.

KING: The wonderful Carl Anthony, the famed historian. Nancy O'Dell with us, Georgette Mosbacher looking beautiful as ever. And David Gergen. And I'll be back in a couple of minutes and tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Before we come over here tomorrow night, I'll be proud to be one of the hosts of the National Veterans Hospice Awards ball that goes to charities helping veterans. Then we'll have a potpourri of guests here. He's outside tonight but he's from Minnesota so it doesn't matter. He's at the West Wing of the Capitol. He's Aaron Brown with "NEWSNIGHT."


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