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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

George W. Bush: The Road Ahead

Aired January 20, 2005 - 19:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CO-HOST: And good evening from Washington, D.C. I'm Anderson Cooper.
PAULA ZAHN, CO-HOST: And I'm Paula Zahn. We're here at Union Station tonight as a night of celebration begins.

It doesn't look like the same place we came into yesterday, does it?

COOPER: It certainly doesn't.

Tonight, we bring you a CNN Special Report, George W. Bush, the Road Ahead.

Ceremony and celebration of freedom in the nation's capital. President George Walker Bush takes his second oath of office under unprecedented post-9/11 security.

Tonight, the road ahead to four more years.

President Bush's trusted confidante, Condoleezza Rice, about to become the first African-American woman to be secretary of state. Tonight, how she rose through the ranks to become one of the most powerful women in the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: My friends and I were raised to believe that we could do or become anything, that the only limits to our aspirations came from within. We were taught not to listen to those who said, No, you can't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He embodies the American dream, from rags to riches, fame, and fortune, the body-builder turned actor, turned governor of the Golden State.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: I wanted to get out of here and wanted to, you know, kind of be part of something big, and for me, America symbolized that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Tonight, a candid interview with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Four more years for the Bush twins, putting behind four years of not-so-flattering press attention. Tonight, will their second term be better than their first?

ANNOUNCER: This is a CNN Special Report, George W. Bush, the Road Ahead. Live from the nation's capital, here are Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn.

COOPER: And welcome back to Union Station in Washington, D.C. On any other night, this would be a busy train station at rush hour. But as you can see, this is inauguration day, and tonight it is home to the freedom ball, where a little later tonight, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush are expected to make an appearance to thank their friends and supporters, maybe even take a whirl around the dance floor. Not sure about that.

ZAHN: I don't know. If they're going to do it, they need some endurance, because the president's going to hit nine of these inaugural balls in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in all, which he did during the last inauguration festivities. They're all beginning at this hour.

We'll be taking you live to some of the others as well.

First, we want to take a look at the transformation of Union Station for tonight's festivities. It really looks spectacular. This building opened in 1907. And in those days, when train travel was the mode of transportation even for U.S. presidents, there was a presidential suite inside the station. The suite no longer exists for tonight, but I think the president will probably be pretty pleased with what he sees here.

COOPER: Absolutely. An enchanted evening for the president and first lady.

It is, well, over the next two hours, we are going to be taking a look back and a look forward, back at what you might have missed today, the president's inauguration, the pomp and pageantry, the parade, the protests, and tonight's parties.

We'll also be looking forward, examining who the key members of the Bush team are right now, from Karl Rove, the man who, some say, got Mr. Bush to the White House, to the president's personal team of Laura Bush and Jenna and Barbara.

We begin with his day of history, change and continuity. We saw both today, the president stepping out of his first term and into his second.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, George walker Bush...

WILLIAM REHNQUIST, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: ... do solemnly swear... BUSH: ... do solemnly swear...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): Just before noon, with his hand on the Bible, America's ailing chief justice administering the oath, George W. Bush was sworn in for the second time to the office of president of the United States.

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

REHNQUIST: ... preserve, protect, and defend...

BUSH: ... preserve, protect, and defend...

REHNQUIST: ... the Constitution of the United States.

BUSH: ... the Constitution of the United States...

REHNQUIST: ... so help me God.

BUSH: ... so help me God.

REHNQUIST: Congratulations.

COOPER: Then, before a throng of fellow Americans, prominent and not, he delivered his second inaugural address, promising to seek freedom around the world.

BUSH: We are led by events and common sense to one conclusion. The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

COOPER: This dramatic day began before dawn. At the White House, an early breakfast for the president. Then he, the first lady, and their family left for the traditional inaugural morning service in a church just a few blocks away.

A few hours later, the 16-block journey along Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, where Mr. Bush had taken the oath of office for the first time.

The weather was cold, the security tight, the crowds enthusiastic.

(on camera): A lot of people came here very early in the morning. I have a couple of people here who've been watching.

Amy, you're from Ohio, and Laura?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lori. From Ohio also.

COOPER: What, why did you want to come here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we just really supported President Bush, and Ohio was such an important state, and we just thought it was historical, and we're, you know, best friends, and we thought it would be a fun road trip.

COOPER: And you knitted these scarves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, yes, so I sewed them, yes. So this is W. for George W. and Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, nobody thought it was Wisconsin, but we educated them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we educated them.

COOPER (voice-over): But not everyone gathered to celebrate. Some were there to protest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what democracy looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what democracy looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is what democracy looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what democracy looks like.

COOPER: More than 5,000 demonstrators converged on downtown Washington. Some chanted, "This is what democracy looks like." And elsewhere, some staged a die-in, what they said was a symbol of Americans and Iraqis killed in the war.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... so help me God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.

CHENEY: Thank you.

COOPER: Vice President Cheney took the oath of office for his second term just moments before the president.

Following the formalities, it was lunch at the Capitol, and then the traditional inaugural parade along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Quite a day it was. It was interesting, I was all the way back with a lot of people out on the Mall. You couldn't even see President Bush, but everyone was so excited. And there were a lot of Democrats there who said, you know, it's a bittersweet day for them, but it, but they wanted to be there to witness history, and history was made today.

ZAHN: And I saw that from where I was too, on that platform overlooking where the president spoke. And you would occasionally see flashes of partisanship when people were filtering through the speeches.

But I'll tell you, there is nothing more unifying than being a part of that celebration. We weren't a part of it, obviously, but observing it.

COOPER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), yes.

ZAHN: To be an American, to hear "The Star-Spangled Banner," and then...

COOPER: And here's the National Anthem.

ZAHN: And speaking of it, we get to hear another version of it now.

COOPER: Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glade, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

ZAHN: Doesn't get any better than that, does it, Anderson?

COOPER: Certainly does not. We're here live at Union Station, where one of the many inaugural balls is being held, getting under way. President Bush and first lady expected to be here a little bit later on.

ZAHN: Yes, and he ran ahead of schedule today at some points, starting his speech two minutes ahead of schedule. So he's expected here at 8:14, they're telling me now.

COOPER: Right.

ZAHN: He might fool us. It may be 8:12 (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COOPER: We'll go set our watch by it.

ZAHN: Tonight, we're going to talk a lot about the people who make up the president's cabinet, or could potentially be in that cabinet.

Secretary of state nominee Condoleezza Rice attended the inauguration ceremony, of course. But she won't be taking over the State Department today. Senate Democrats delayed the final vote on her confirmation. Still, there is no doubt she will get the job.

And here is a close look now at the woman who will be making history.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH: She displays a commitment to excellence in every aspect of her life, from shaping our strategy on the war on terror, to coordinating national security policy across the government, to performing classical music on stage.

ZAHN (voice-over): The name "Condoleezza" comes from a musical term that means "with sweetness." To that, she's added a lifetime of knowledge and experience.

RICE: My friends and I were raised to believe that we could do or become anything, that the only limits to our aspirations came from within. We were taught not to listen to those who said, No, you can't.

ZAHN: Her friends call her Condi. She was born 50 years ago in Birmingham, Alabama.

BUSH: As a girl in the segregated South, Dr. Rice saw the promise of America violated by racial discrimination and by the violence that comes from hate.

ZAHN: In 1963, four girls from Rice's neighborhood, including a kindergarten classmate, were killed in the infamous bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church.

Rice entered college at the age of 15 and earned a doctorate in international affairs by 26. In 1981, she began teaching political science at Stanford University, building a reputation as an expert on the Soviet Union. She then served on the staff of the National Security Council during the administration of the first President Bush.

RICE: This is a president who has good judgment and has demonstrated leadership.

ZAHN: With the coming of the Clinton administration, Rice returned to Stanford, rising at age 38 to provost, second only to the university president.

In 1998, her old boss invited her to talk to his son, then governor of Texas.

RICE: Let's go out and elect George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

ZAHN: She became George W. Bush's tutor in international affairs, the coordinator of his foreign policy team during the 2000 campaign, and, after the election, his national security adviser.

Throughout President Bush's first term, Rice worked just down the hall from the Oval Office.

After the September 11 terrorist attack, she was constantly at the president's side, and she stepped forward to help reassure the country. RICE: Well, there's no doubt that Americans need to be vigilant. They need to be patient about the security measures that are there at airports, at borders. We are in a very active campaign. The FBI has thousands of agents out hunting down the perpetrators of this crime.

ZAHN: More than two years later, questions over the terrorist attacks continued to plague the administration.

Last spring, after resigning as White House counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke accused the administration of reducing his role and took direct aim at Rice, accusing her of downplaying the warnings of possible terror attacks.

RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNTERTERRORISM CHIEF: I believe the Bush administration in the first eight months considered terrorism an important issue, but not an urgent issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and nothing but the truth.

RICE: I do.

ZAHN: But in her own testimony before the 9/11 commission, Rice defended herself and the administration.

RICE: We had a very good...

TIM ROEMER, 9/11 COMMISSION: I'd appreciate it...

RICE: ... relationship...

ROEMER: ... if you could be very concise here...

RICE: ... but all that he needed...

ROEMER: ... so I can get to some...

RICE: ... all that he needed...

ROEMER: ... more issues.

RICE: ... to do was to say, I need time to brief the president on something.

ROEMER: I think he did say that, Dr. Rice...

RICE: To, to my...

ROEMER: ... in a private interview to us, he said he...

RICE: Well...

ROEMER: ... asked to brief...

RICE: I have to say...

ROEMER: ... the president (UNINTELLIGIBLE)... RICE: ... I have to say, Mr. Roemer, to my recollection...

ROEMER: You say he didn't.

RICE: ... Dick Clarke never asked me to brief the president on counterterrorism.

ZAHN: Rice's loyal White House service has raised concerns from critics about her future performance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not believe you should have in the secretary of state someone who has spent their last four years in the White House next to the president. I do believe you need some tension between the secretary -- I mean, between the State Department, the Defense Department, and the national Security Council.

ZAHN: Earlier this week, during her confirmation hearings, Condi Rice once again stood up to tough questions.

RICE: No one was saying that he would have to have a weapon within a year for it to be worth it to go to war.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, if you can't admit to this mistake, I hope that you'll (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

RICE: Senator, we can have this discussion in any way that you would like, but I really hope that you will refrain from impugning my integrity. Thank you very much.

BOXER: I'm not. I'm just quoting what you said. You contradicted the president, and you contradicted yourself.

RICE: Senator, I'm happy to continue the discussion, but I really hope that you will not imply that I take the truth lightly.

ZAHN: Condoleezza Rice will be the first black woman and only the second woman to head the State Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And we've learned the vote on Rice's confirmation now will fall on next Wednesday.

COOPER: And we will certainly bring that to you.

Washington's other power couple was also on hand to kick off the second term today. We are talking, of course, about Dick and Lynne Cheney, the vice president and his wife, a man in the shadows, and a woman who knows what she wants. Find out how we, how he went from manual labor to perhaps the most powerful vice president in American history.

Stay with us.

BUSH: This is my solemn pledge. I will work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity. My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people from further attacks and emerging threats.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And there you have Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, on their way to being sworn in this afternoon, with the vice president being sworn in as well.

Dick Cheney is said to be one of the most influential vice presidents in American history. What you may not know about him, however, is that he was accustomed of dealing with power even as a young man.

ZAHN: That power, however, was the 120-volt variety, and he was handling it with insulated gloves. An explanation now from senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH: I'm grateful to the vice president and Lynne and their daughters who have worked so hard and been such a vital part of our team. The vice president serves America with wisdom and honor, and I'm proud to serve beside him.

MARY MATALIN, CHENEY ADVISER: They call him the sphinx, because he doesn't talk, he doesn't say, and even those on his staff who are close to him didn't know the, all of the parts of the conversations that took place between him and the president.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 63, Dick Cheney is a whisper away from the leader of the Western world. At 21, he was a cry for help. He had washed out at Yale, been arrested twice for DWI. Cheney found work laying power lines in Wyoming.

LYNNE CHENEY, DICK CHENEY's WIFE: I've had a lot of mothers come up to me over the years, and take comfort from the fact that it, you know, Dick was -- how shall I say this? -- a slow blossomer. So I'm...

CROWLEY: Lynne Vincent, the state baton champion, and Richard Cheney, co-captain of the football team, grew up together in Casper, Wyoming. He was born in Nebraska. But when Eisenhower was elected and reorganized the government, Cheney's father, a federal employee, was transferred to Wyoming.

CHENEY: I explained to a group the other night that if it hadn't been for Eisenhower's election victory, Lynne would have married somebody else. And she said, Right, and now he'd be vice president of the United States. And there's no doubt in my mind.

CROWLEY: It is classic Cheney, dry, wry truth. Friends say if Cheney was slow to blossom, it was Lynne who forced the bloom.

(on camera): They think you're the power behind the throne, that you're...

LYNNE CHENEY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I love it. Let's keep this going.

CROWLEY (voice-over): She made it clear, Dick Cheney once said, that she was not interested in marrying a linemen for the county.

CHENEY: I count it the highest honor of my life to serve beside our 43rd president.

CROWLEY: In between working on power lines in Wyoming and becoming vice president, Dick Cheney got a master's in political science and became a Washington power player, a member of Richard Nixon's White House staff, the youngest-ever White House chief of staff under Gerald Ford, six-term congressman from Wyoming, defense secretary for George H.W. Bush, CEO, Halliburton, vice president of the United States.

SEN. BEN NELSON (D), NEBRASKA: He doesn't just cave in on something. He'll stand firm, but he's rational. And people who are rational, I think you can work with.

He's a driven person. It's a matter of a bottom line that he wants to see accomplished in whatever he sets out to do.

CROWLEY: But driven can come out harsh, and Cheney has become a lightning rod for critics of everything from energy policy to Iraq. The man who began his career in the shadows of power is in full sunlight now, and it has been scorching.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Vice President Cheney called the Iraq war "a remarkable success story." Ladies and gentlemen, they don't see it. They don't get it, and they can't fix it.

CROWLEY: He gives as good as he gets.

CHENEY: Senator Kerry has given every indication that he lacks the conviction necessary to prevail on the war on terror.

CROWLEY: Though a fixture on the campaign trail, Lynne Cheney had her own career, Ph.d. in British literature, teacher, educator, head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, author. Friends think, in a different era, she would have gone into politics.

CROWLEY (on camera): Is there any politician envy in the Cheney family, and...

LYNNE CHENEY: No, not at all, but it's been a great mutual experience.

CROWLEY (voice-over): She says they rarely talk politics at home, but they live it on the trail.

MATALIN: We would convey, here is where we need to go today. And she would put it in Cheneyesque, if you will. And he didn't trust anyone else to do that, and no one else does it quite as good as she does do it.

LYNNE CHENEY: Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, the love of my life, Dick Cheney, the vice president of the United States.

CROWLEY: Over four decade, 1962's underachiever has become arguably the most powerful vice president in history.

CHENEY: I, Richard Cheney, do solemnly swear...

CROWLEY: Not bad for a linemen from the county.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Well, it might have been George W. Bush's day, but California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is also drawing a big crowd wherever he goes. We'll look at his political power and his future coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: That was the Marine Corps Band. So many bands, so many parades today. It was quite an extraordinary day. And the party, the festivities continue here.

We are live right now here in Union Station at what they are calling the freedom ball. People from Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Alaska, Louisiana, Michigan. From every ball has groups from different states. There are about nine inaugural balls tonight. The president and the first lady plan to attend each one, spending about 20 minutes, which is really hardly enough time to even get a dance in. So far no one has asked me to dance, but we'll see how the evening goes, Paula.

ZAHN: Got a lot of time before (UNINTELLIGIBLE) off the air here, Anderson, it might happen.

Among some of the many heavy hitters at President Bush's inauguration, someone whose political future has become a very hot topic, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he took office, he said that only in America could a man from Austria have the opportunity to be elected to lead the largest state in the Union. Well, today, he talked with our John King about the importance of this inauguration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think this is a very special moment, and especially for an immigrant like myself, who has watched every inauguration since they can came to America, who watched this live here and to be at this great spot and to represent the state of California.

So I am very excited, and I think this is a new beginning, it's like another four years is starting. So I think it's going to be great. I am very optimistic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And our own Carlos Watson recently had a chance to sit down with the governor, and Carlos joins us now from Columbus, Ohio, from where he reported earlier today as he watched the speech with a bunch of Stark County residents.

Very pivotal group in the election, wasn't it?

CARLOS WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paul, a number of them said to say hello to you.

It was a very good conversation with those folks there, and certainly lots of names came up, including Arnold, and tried to give a little bit of a preview of the interview that I had with Arnold, which will air on Sunday.

And one of the first things that we talked about when I sat down with the governor, who's been so successful in different arenas, sports, politics, business, entertainment, was how we got started, and kind of some of the early worries that maybe his mother had.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHWARZENEGGER: I had, you know, big visions. I mean, when I was a kid, I had the visions of coming to America and being a body- building champion and making millions of dollars (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

WATSON: You, you really...

SCHWARZENEGGER: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

WATSON: ... you, you really...

SCHWARZENEGGER: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

WATSON: ... had that vision?

SCHWARZENEGGER: ... successful (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Oh, yes, no, absolutely.

WATSON: Now, where did all this ambition come from?

SCHWARZENEGGER: The hunger and the desire, and this burning desire inside, that I wanted to be somebody, and I wanted to make it, and I wanted to be the best. I think that came from growing up in the little village and wanting to get out of there and wanting to be a kind of, be part of something big. And for me, America symbolized that.

WATSON: Have you ever had a major failure, something that to this day you still regret?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, you know, I've had failures. I mean, I've been in competitions that I didn't win. I considered it a major failure. I've done movies that I thought that are going to be a huge hit, and they went in the toilet.

WATSON: Which one?

SCHWARZENEGGER: "Last Action Hero." We thought this a great concept and it is a movie that is going to go through the roof.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LAST ACTION HERO")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a bomb.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHWARZENEGGER: And it didn't. You know, so you have to just look at this and say, Well, that didn't work, and then just move on. You can't dwell on it.

But, you know, there are sometimes things that you want to make happen, and it doesn't happen. See, it's all about risks, because otherwise, you don't know how far you can go. So you take risks, and more risks and more risks, and eventually you're going to fail, and then it sets you back, and then you start all over again, and you take risks and risks.

So that's what I do.

WATSON: Your next risk, assuming that everything goes well here in California, you know there's a lot of speculation about if there is a change in the Constitution, would you run for president?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't even want to think about it.

WATSON: Not at all?

SCHWARZENEGGER: No. I'm just thinking of one thing, and this is fixing this. Because it's like a movie, that you don't have to worry about your next movie and the movie after that. Make your movie that you're doing right now perfect. Make it a 10. If it's a 10, and it goes through the roof in the box office, then everything will be laid out for you anyway. So why worry about it?

So the same is with this, this has to work. I am totally committed to California, and totally committed to turn the state around.

WATSON: And when you look for inspiration in politics, what politicians, either current or in the past do you admire, do you draw inspiration from in thinking about how to govern?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Nelson Mandela, he's one of the persons. Miguel Gorbachev, he's another one, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. So those were people that really make things happen.

WATSON: Why do you admire Nelson Mandela? What about these people stand out to you as figures to admire? SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, I think Nelson Mandela, he's a guy that's never involved in politics or in running anything and then all of a sudden he's running the country and the reason why he could really run it is because it was a time for an outsider to come in and to bring people together. And Mikhail Gorbachev is another one. He was brought up during the communist system, worked his way up step by step to become the mayor of Moscow. Then he became the head of the party and then there he was, President Gorbachev. And then, to look at this system, the communist system and say this is wrong. It's a dictatorship. It is no democracy. We are not here for the people. We're not representing the people the right way and to dismantle slowly but surely communism. I mean that man is a huge hero for me and (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Very rarely you see. So those are the people that we have that I admire and that everyone ought to admire.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So, Carlos I have to admit I was kind of amused by the governor's reaction to your question about whether he is considering a potential run for the presidency, if the constitution is changed, which would allow for him to run. And he says, I don't even want to think about it. It strikes me. He has been thinking about, hasn't he Carlos?

WATSON: He has, Paula. I walked into that interview with him, where I spent maybe close to two hours thinking, pretty much a skeptic about whether or not a constitutional amendment would happen. I walked out of that Paula, while I don't think it's guaranteed and I wouldn't even say it's likely, I, for the first time, could understand how someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger, while not committing to it, could believe it could happen. Again, here is a guy who was a mediocre soccer player who a few years later became Mr. Universe. Then after doing well in body building, everyone told him change your name. Close the gap in your teeth before you become an actor. He ignored it, still did well. People told him he couldn't be successful in business but he built a fortune of a couple hundred million and then they told him there's no way you will become governor, never having served in office. So this is a guy who dreams big, who believes the seemingly impossible can happen and when he tells you that his heroes are someone like Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev, you could see how he'd been interested in being a head of state.

ZAHN: I was also fascinated what he said about failure, because in my last interview with Maria Shriver, she paraphrased Eleanor Roosevelt and she's trying to teach young women and men for that matter, that they should try to do something difficult everyday and that we all learn so much from failure. It's nice to hear a public official talk about some of these failings, even if it was a movie that I really liked.

WATSON: He was candid not only about that, but about raising his kids, about the struggles and keeping together a healthy marriage and his relationship with the Kennedy's, a really good conversation obviously coming up this Sunday at 10:00.

ZAHN: Carlos Watson, we look forward to it. Tell my friends in Stark County I said hello.

WATSON: You know, they actually said hello to you, Paula. We had a great group today and more on that tomorrow morning.

ZAHN: We practically as you know camped out there during the election. We made multiple trips to Ohio.

WATSON: I am still stunned that you liked "Last Action Hero," but I'm going to let that...

ZAHN: I did.

WATSON: It doesn't stand - it doesn't stand the test of time.

ZAHN: I never go with what the critics say is good, all right.

WATSON: All right. We'll be back live from Union Station bringing you to all these inaugural events, nine parties tonight and the president and first lady going to all of them. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Beautiful night in the nation's capital. The snow is gone. The 30 mile-an-hour biting wind is gone and Anderson's and my long underwear is gone. We join you from inside tonight from Union Station, where the freedom ball is getting under way. The president, as you know, runs a very tight ship and he's expected to visit nine inaugural balls in all tonight and we're told that he is now actually moving ahead of schedule and could be here sometime within the next 15 minutes or so.

COOPER: The shot you are seeing now of course Union Station. It looks extraordinarily lovely tonight. They have lit it up. This, a group of several hundred presidential supporters from states all across the union from Alaska, from Alabama from Illinois, from Louisiana, from Michigan, from many states. Each of these balls has various groups attending them from the different states. There's a way to thank supporters, thank lobbyists, a lot of business probably being done here as well. But it is a night of celebration. We want to show you, too, something we don't see very often, vice president and Mrs. Cheney dancing I'm told.

ZAHN: Let's check it out.

COOPER: This is the Texas Wyoming ball at the convention center here in Washington. This happened a short time ago. We are told though also that the vice president is speaking right now at the liberty ball, and let's take you there live.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're grateful to every man and woman who stepped forward to wear the uniform to serve this great nation. Our second term is off to a good start. This has been a terrific day here in the nation's capital with events that we'll always remember and a superb inaugural address by the president. The president and I have now taken our oaths of office and renewed our responsibilities and we're ready for the work of the next four years. Tonight is an opportunity to give our thanks to all of you for your hard work, for your generosity and for your loyalty to the cause we all believe in. Lynne and I wish we could stay here this evening but we are expected at a few more events. And then I've got to get home because the president expects me to show up bright and early tomorrow morning. Now, if you don't mind, I would like to ask the orchestra for a little music so that I can dance with my date. Thank you, all, very much.

ZAHN: He's got his dancing shoes on tonight. He probably has intention of doing this at all nine balls.

COOPER: It is certainly something that -- enjoy watching. This is the liberty ball which is one of the nine sanctioned inaugural ball events here. This also at the convention center, where they will have a number of bands performing. Each of these balls usually has a number of performances. Here at Union Station, the actor Rick Schroeder is emceeing the event here.

ZAHN: We move to the Constitution ball, where we are told the president has just arrived. Let's listen to some of his remarks.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... my wife Laura and I'm looking forward to dancing with her, maybe the first time in four years. And I'm really proud of Barbara and Jenna. They are great women and I am proud to call them daughters. Vice President Cheney and Lynne will be coming here shortly. He is a great vice president. I'm proud to have him by my side. I want to thank the governors who have joined us. You know I'm a member of the ex- governor's club and I always feel comfortable being around our nation's governors. First, I want to say thanks to the governor of the great state of Mississippi Haley Barbour and his watch Marcia (ph), the governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue and Meredith, my friend, the governor of American Samoa, Governor Tulafono is with us. Thank you governor. And thank you for bringing Maryann (ph). I appreciate Governor Vila from the commonwealth of Puerto Rico y su esposa Luisa (ph). Thank you all for being here.

We're also up here with my friends Bill and Kathy Dewitt and Mercer and Gabby Reynolds (ph). They're the national co-chairman of the inauguration -- inaugural committee and they have done a fantastic job in making sure this inauguration goes well. We're having the time of our life. It's such a fantastic moment in our country to celebrate democracy (AUDIO GAP). As we celebrate democracy at home, we want others to celebrate democracy around the world. Freedom means the world to be more peaceful. So thanks for coming. Thanks for celebrating with us. Thanks for being great Americans. Thanks for helping me be able to serve our great nation for four more years.

ZAHN: The president echoing a theme we've heard in a strong and some people -- some of the pundits described as almost a militant speech today when he was talking about the best hope for peace in the world is the expansion of freedom.

COOPER: And yet, a speech -- the area I was in in the mall, which was really a group of several hundred sort of select guests, people who just citizens who had canvassed for the president and let's watch them dance.

ZAHN: The president making a joke about this being the first time they've actually danced in the last four years.

Well, someone I would describe (UNINTELLIGIBLE) longer dances in history but it's really hard I think to look like you are spontaneous.

COOPER: Can you imagine dancing in front of an entire room full of thousands of people watching? It's not the most intimate of moments but they're doing --

ZAHN: A lot of it has been made of Laura Bush in a very important role she plays in the president's life and she looks elegant tonight.

COOPER: She certainly does. A little bit later tonight, in this two-hour special CNN is bringing you, "George W. Bush: the Road Ahead," we're going to look at Laura Bush, her influence on the president, her role in the White House and in the Bush family as well, and an important role it is as Paula was saying.

ZAHN: She is clearly one of the most popular first ladies this country has ever seen. It's sort of interesting to me when you read a lot of what has been written about her. The idea is that she's sort of this blank pallet that people can assign a lot of different things to. And as comfortable as the president is with people and glad handling crowds, she exudes the same kind of warmth.

COOPER: And certainly played a big role in the campaign, though when - as everyone knows the story by now, when they originally got married, she had said the deal was that she would never have to make a campaign speech. Certainly that is one promise that was not kept. She made many campaign speeches this year and very effective by all accounts on the campaign trail.

ZAHN: The campaign actually allowing her to take a more aggressive tone towards the end of the campaign, a role that in the beginning I don't think she was so comfortable with.

A lightening rod with a silver tongue. Donald Rumsfeld, critics wanted him out. He's staying firm. We'll look at the man behind the podium.

Plus, first daughters, the Bush twins. They're all grown up now, and oh how far they've come. Their story coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom and make their own way.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: And welcome to our special coverage "George W. Bush: the Road Ahead." You are watching right now a live shot here in Union Station, normally a busy bustling train station. At this hour, it is now busy and bustling and it is a party celebrating the inauguration of George Bush. In this hour and in the next hour as well, we are having discussion report (ph), looking at the life of George W. Bush as well as the road ahead, as well as his key members of the Bush team.

ZAHN: And I guess there's a sense that the president is just around the corner. We just saw someone put an actual presidential sticker on the podium. Here he comes.

COOPER: He's on his way.

ZAHN: Let's see how long the dance lasts in this venue. We saw Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld throughout the day. He sat at the same table as Jimmy Carter, the former president during the inaugural luncheon at the capitol. Mr. Rumsfeld is one of the few cabinet holdovers from the president's second term and he is very much worth a closer look. I can hope you can hear me and if you can't, at least --

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH: You're doing a superb job. You are a strong secretary of defense and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Throughout the war, there has been no greater lightening rod than Donald Rumsfeld.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I take full responsibility.

FOREMAN: His opinions, frank talk.

RUMSFELD: You go to the war with the army you have.

FOREMAN: An unyielding confidence have drawn condemnation and praise.

RUMSFELD: Thank you very much.

FOREMAN: At 72, he is the oldest defense secretary, and 30 years ago, he was the youngest. Always plainspoken, determined.

RUMSFELD: If do you something, somebody's not going to like it. Therefore you've got a choice. You can go do nothing or you can go do something and live with the fact that somebody's not going to like it.

FOREMAN: Rumsfeld was born middle class in Chicago in the great depression. He went to the same high school as Ann Margaret and Charlton Heston. At Princeton University, he was a star athlete and student of politics. In the Navy, he became a pilot. Out of it, a congressman, eventually joining Richard Nixon's White House, where his tenacity prompted the president to consider firing and promoting him. FORMER PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: ... At least Rummy is tough enough. He's a ruthless little bastard to be sure of that, I think. He's tough enough that if he knows what I want, he isn't going to come in and try to sell me something.

FOREMAN: Nixon fell but Rumsfeld rose. Gerald Ford made him chief of staff and then secretary of defense.

FORMER PRESIDENT GERALD FORD: I picked him because I knew Don was a great person on integrity, who was a well-organized, highly disciplined person.

FOREMAN: In the Carter years, Rumsfeld made a fortune running the pharmaceutical company that made Nutrasweet but Ronald Reagan kept him involved in politicians as a presidential envoy, sending them to meet Saddam Hussein among others and when Reagan was leaving in the late 1980s, Rumsfeld ran for the presidency himself, with an unusual platform.

MIDGE DECTER, AUTHOR, "RUMSFELD: A PERSONAL PORTRAIT": One of the things he kept dwelling on was terrorism and how terrorism is around and we mustn't let it come and get us here. We have to get the terrorists where they are.

FOREMAN: The public was not interested and Rumsfeld dropped out. But the younger President Bush brought him back once again as secretary of defense. Immediately Rumsfeld's forceful personality and efforts to cut defense spending brought a firestorm of criticism.

DAVID HUME KENNERLY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER: But Rumsfeld didn't care. The president told him to cut back and he was going to cut back.

DECTER: He did it very quickly and made himself extremely unpopular with a lot of people in the Pentagon who spread the rumor that he was going to be fired at any minute.

FOREMAN: The critics stopped on 9/11. Rumsfeld rose in prominence, first, by helping the wounded from the wreckage of the Pentagon, then by attacking Afghanistan and Iraq.

RUMSFELD: The only thing that the coalition will discuss with this regime is their unconditional surrender.

FOREMAN: But since then, Rumsfeld's management of everything from the war strategy to military supplies to the prisoner abuse scandal has again come into question.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R) NEBRASKA: I think Don Rumsfeld, this administration, civilian leadership in the Pentagon, have to be held responsible.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D) DELAWARE: For God's sake, don't listen to Rumsfeld. He doesn't know what in the hell here's talking about on this. DECTER: On the other hand, there are all these people who think he's absolutely great. So the country is very split about Iraq and the country is very split about Donald Rumsfeld.

FOREMAN: Rumsfeld has outwitted and outworked his enemies for years. However, political analysts say now the war in Iraq, for good or bad, will likely determine his legacy. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And we are live in Union Station, anticipating the arrival of President Bush any moment now. Coming up next, we'll bring you his arrival. Also, we'll take a look at one of the most compelling figures in the Bush administration who's not even on payroll, talking of course about Laura Bush, the librarian, turned first lady. Many say she is one of her husband's best political assets. The woman behind the man coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And welcome back to our special report "George W. Bush: The Road Ahead." We join you once again from a very noisy Union Station, site of the Freedom ball, just one of the many celebrations across D.C. tonight. The president and the first lady are expected here shortly and among the guests waiting to greet the president here is Richard Shelby, the senior senator from Alabama. Good of you to join us tonight. Welcome. I hope you can hear me.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R) ALABAMA: Thank you. It's a great night. It's been a great day for the president and look at the night. It's just starting.

ZAHN: spectacular. We've never seen this station look so good.

SHELBY: And think of the view you have here. The president coming here first, I guess.

ZAHN: Exactly. The president used some very harsh language today. He talked about the American policy as that of supporting democracy and aiming to end tyranny. Do you think the president is prepared to use military force to do that?

SHELBY: Well, the president didn't rule out anything, but what he was talking about is the continuing fight for freedom, for democracy around the world. And we will aid those people that will help themselves. The president's words were very strong, but I thought he was measured, too.

ZAHN: Did you think they were too strong?

SHELBY: No, I didn't. I thought in a sense that he was also laying the groundwork for perhaps a lot of diplomatic initiatives.

ZAHN: That's what I'm curious about, because everybody polled basically shows that this president's credibility because of the war in Iraq is at an all-time low.

SHELBY: You have to remember, he's just come off of a big election victory in this country. We all were and we're very proud of him.

ZAHN: So what do you think the diplomatic challenges are that are ahead for this administration?

SHELBY: Well, the diplomatic challenges around the world is to try to bring our allies into sync with us where we can. That's been lacking, but for a lot of reasons, try to reform the United Nations. That should be one of the top priorities.

ZAHN: It was clear that the bulk of -- well, I should say half of the speech really was talking to this international audience and then the rest was about the domestic front, but not too many specifics. Do you think the president is really going to push Social Security reform and tax reform and how ugly is it going to get?

SHELBY: Well, we need to see all the details. The president realizes that Social Security is in trouble down the road. It's a question, do you recognize it now or do we recognize it late, when it's too late perhaps?

ZAHN: Ari Fleischer was a guest on the air today as we covered the president's speech. And he said something that I thought was really fascinating, when you look at how divided this nation is between Republicans and Democrats. And he basically said this president will not be a uniter because of that divisiveness. What do you see over the next four years?

SHELBY: Well, we've always had a divided nation. At times, we come together or seem to come together.

But I believe President Bush, he sees his place in history. He sees opportunities for freedom in the world. And he believes what he believes. And a lot of people respect him for that.

ZAHN: Well, it's great of you to stop by.

SHELBY: Thank you, Paula.

Well, I don't want to have you get upstaged by the Alabama governor. I know...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: ... got to get down there to introduce us to the president.

(CROSSTALK)

SHELBY: Bye.

ZAHN: Really appreciate you dropping by -- Anderson. COOPER: Well, the American people have known a couple of generations of Presidents Bush now. And they and theirs have, all of them, been decorous people, from the admirable, no-nonsense Barbara, the proper first President Bush, the elegantly unassuming current first lady, and President Bush II, direct and plainspoken.

Those are the senior members of the first family. The junior members at times go their own way. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH: There's no better way to come down the stretch with two women I love, our twins, Barbara and Jenna.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER (voice-over): We've seen them watching the election returns with their dad, gracing "Vogue," and making more than one not- so-flattering tabloid appearance. The public just loves to read the dirt on any president's kids. And let's face it, the Bush twins have given the public a lot to read about.

ANN GERHART, "THE WASHINGTON POST": The initial impression was that they were party hearty girls. And the press was always looking for that to happen again. They've had their turn in the tabloids.

COOPER: There's no denying Jenna and Barbara Bush have a distinctive style, even when they were given a more responsible role speaking at last year's Republican Convention. It was their giggly delivery that got the press' attention.

JENNA BUSH, DAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. G.W. BUSH: You know all those times when you're growing up and your parents embarrassed you? Well, this is payback time on live TV.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Needless to say, their critics were not kind.

KATRINA SZISH, STYLE EDITOR, "US": And I think the press is very -- loves to be hard on people who are in the public eye, especially young kids. But, then again, I think it's also important for people who are in this public eye, even if they are younger and a little bit less mature than their parents, to realize that everything they do is going to be scrutinized.

COOPER: OK, so maybe they are just a couple of young women behaving badly. But has the press taken the twin bashing a bit too far? Who hasn't had the occasional college night out we would prefer to forgot? And if you can't party when you're 23, then, well, when can you?

Although, let's be real. When your Secret Service detail nicknames you Twinkle and Turquoise, they're begging you to expose your most precocious side. GERHART: They have a pretty active social life and I people think they're two young women who have graduated from college and on their way to adulthood and out having a good time. I don't think anybody necessarily expects that they'll go into the family business.

COOPER: They may not join the family firm, but the twins were born to be in the spotlight just one minute apart in 1981. They were 6 when their grandfather was elected president, 12 when their dad became governor of Texas, 18 when he won the White House. This week, they're preparing for their father's final inauguration.

SZISH: Barbara and Jenna have enlisted a major team of American fashion designers.

COOPER: And planning for their own future.

GERHART: They didn't spend lot of time at the White House and now that they are graduates and they've gone through this campaign, they seem to be getting on with their lives. Jenna is going to teach here in Washington at a poor school, following her mother's footsteps, who did the same thing when she graduated from college. Barbara has talked about trying to help AIDS victims in Africa.

COOPER: Their mom is doing what so many moms do, looking farther into the future, to the day when they might lose that inner wild child and maybe settle down.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: I'd love to be grandfolks. Don't worry. They're not about to get married. Neither one of them have somebody they're going to marry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And President and Mrs. Bush have just arrived here at Union Station. And the crowd loves it.

ZAHN: Let's listen in, since we can't hear each other talk right now.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: Thank you all for coming. Thanks for celebrating this fantastic festival of democracy with us.

I am a lucky man to have married Laura Bush. She is a great first lady for our country. I'm proud to be with her.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I know the vice president's going to come here. And let me just tell you about the man. He is a solid citizen of the United States. He is steady under fire. And he has consistently given me good advice. I look forward to working with the vice president for four more years.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) G.W. BUSH: I appreciate the good folks from Alaska who have come so far.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: And I'm proud to call your governor, Frank Murkowski, friend. I appreciate the good folks from Alabama who are here.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: Thank you for coming.

And I'm proud to call your governor, Bob Riley, and his wife, Patsy, friends.

I want to thank the good folks from Kansas who have joined us today right out of the heartland.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I want to thank the good folks from Illinois who are here today. Thank you for coming.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I can't tell you what a fine man the speaker of the house, Denny Hastert, is from the great state of Illinois. Laura and I are proud to call Denny and Jean friends. I'm looking forward to working with him on behalf of all Americans.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I'm really proud of the good folks from Michigan who have joined us today. Thank you for coming.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: Finally, it's good to have our Texas neighbors with us, people from the great state of Louisiana.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I want to thank my friends, Rich and Nancy Kinder, who are the finance chairman, the national finance chairman of this inauguration. I want to thank my friend, Greg Jenkins, who is the executive director. That means he did all the work to make sure this inauguration went well. And he did a heck of a good job.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I appreciate the members of the United States Congress who are with us today. I'm looking forward to working with you. I appreciate the members of the diplomatic corps who are with us today, too.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) G.W. BUSH: I see some ambassador friends of mine. Thank you for being here. I meant what I said in my speech. We believe that everybody should be free. And we know that, when they are, the world will be a peaceful place for our children and our grandchildren.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I want to thank you all for giving me and Laura a chance to serve our great country for four more years. I want to thank...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: And I'm looking forward it to. I'm looking forward to putting my heart and soul to make this country as promising a place it can be and the world as peaceful a place it can possibly be.

Thanks for coming again to celebrate with us here in our nation's capital.

And now, if you will allow me, I'd like to ask the first lady for an inaugural dance.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(MUSIC)

COOPER: One of the things also that perhaps you can't see on the TV screen is, there are so many people, hundreds of people holding up their cell phones, taking pictures with their cell phone cameras. It's definitely -- there you see some of it.

ZAHN: One of the things that struck me today from where we were on our platform, you got a bird's-eye view of the Bush family as they watched President Bush during his inaugural address. And at one point, Jeb grabbed a camera and was shooting all his family members. It reminded me how we all get. We want to record a special moment.

COOPER: This is obviously a very public moment for the first family, but also a very private moment.

ZAHN: I've lost count by now. What is it, three down and six to go?

COOPER: I'm not sure.

ZAHN: Or four down and...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: They're trying to make it to all nine inaugural balls. I think this is two or three.

ZAHN: We've been there for three of them so far.

COOPER: Yes. I'm not sure if they're going to dance at each one. We've seen them dance now twice. But they seem to be certainly having a great time tonight and well-deserved.

ZAHN: As -- you were talking about pictures, some of the more memorable pictures came today when the president walked the final block of the inaugural parade route. And, at his side, as she has been throughout the day, needed throughout the last 27 years, was his wife, the first lady.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

G.W. BUSH: She speaks English a lot better than I do. I mean, people understand what she's saying. But they see a compassionate, strong, great first lady in Laura Bush.

ZAHN (voice-over): In a country that's divided, sometimes angrily divided, Laura Bush brings nearly everyone together. A CNN poll this month puts her approval rating at an astonishing 85 percent.

A recent article in "Texas Monthly" calls her our most brilliant first lady to date, explaining -- quote -- "She has intentionally made herself into a blank screen, upon which they, the American public, can project their own ideas about womanhood." That's meant as praise, yet it echoes the most common criticism of the first lady, that she hides her personality behind her smile and lives in her husband's shadow.

George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but he grew up in Midland, Texas. Laura Lane Welch was born and raised in Midland. She attended the same elementary school and, for a year, the same junior high as her future husband. Yet, they didn't meet until 1977, the year they both turned 31, at a backyard barbecue in Midland.

G.W. BUSH: When I asked Laura to marry me, she said, fine, just so long as I never have to give a speech.

(LAUGHTER)

G.W. BUSH: I said, OK, you got a deal. Fortunately, she didn't hold me to that deal.

ZAHN: From her speech at last year's Republican Convention, here's her side of the story.

L. BUSH: George and I were newlyweds and he was running for Congress. Our transportation wasn't quite as fancy back then - an Oldsmobile Cutlass, and George was behind the wheel. Even then, he was always on time and he knew exactly where he wanted to go. You learn a lot about your husband when you spend that much time in a car with him. By the end of the campaign, he had even convinced me to vote for him.

ZAHN: Nineteen-seventy-seven turned out to be a momentous year for George W. Bush. It was the year he got started in marriage, politics and business. His independent gas and exploration oil company would struggle. He won the Republican nomination for a seat in Congress, but lost the election in 1978. One thing went right. Bush credits his 1977 marriage to librarian Laura Welch with straightening out his life. They had twin girls in 1981. Barbara and Jenna are named after their grandmothers. And politics was never far away.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Standing next to me is our oldest son, George, and his wife, Laura, from Dallas.

ZAHN: Her father-in-law was elected president in 1988. Six years later, after reluctantly signing on to her husband's second campaign, she moved into the Texas governor's mansion. At the time, she told a reporter, "If I'm going to be a public figure, I might as well do what I've always liked doing, which means acting like a librarian and getting people interested in reading."

She brought those same passions to the White House in 2001.

L. BUSH: And we all know reading is the most important skill that we learn. And if we can't read, then we're at a huge disadvantage. And it's lifelong. Every child in our communities learns this very important skill.

ZAHN: We saw another aspect of her personality after September 11, 2001, a voice of compassion, urging parents to talk with their children and calm their fears.

L. BUSH: As all of us deal with our own emotions that have to do with this tragedy, we need to be very careful about our children. And we to make -- we know that our children are suffering from the same sadness and the same feelings of fear and confusion that adults are. And so I hope that parents will really pay very close attention to their children.

ZAHN: Compassion born of faith, another vital aspect of her life.

L. BUSH: Faith has a lifelong importance to both of us. Bush now, I think it has even more of an importance, because we are comforted by our faith. We are strengthened.

ZAHN: And, as we saw last year, even this most apolitical of first ladies is willing to get political.

DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS: President Bush has been criticized.

ZAHN: When a CBS report questioned her husband's National Guard service, the White House let Laura Bush hit back by questioning the authenticity of CBS's documents.

L. BUSH: You know, they probably are altered and they probably are forgeries. And I think that's terrible, really.

ZAHN: She's been a successful career woman, a successful mother, a successful wife, and, yes, a successful and gracious first lady, with four more years to go.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Laura Bush, having played a very prominent role in the last four years, no doubt will continue to over the next four years.

Also by the president's side still, the man who many credit for his big win in '04, Karl Rove. We're going to take a look at what is next for Washington's biggest power player.

That story and more as we continue our special report, "George W. Bush: The Road Ahead."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

G.W. BUSH: The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake. America remains engaged in the world by history, and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom.

We will defend our allies and our interests. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And our special report continues, "George W. Bush: The Road Ahead."

Joining us now is Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is on the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Joint Economic Committee.

Senator, thanks very much for being with us.

You just got back from Sri Lanka on Friday. It must be strange, having been there, suddenly being at a celebration like this?

SEN. SAM BROWNBACK (R), KANSAS: It is.

And it is from the standpoint of, when you're where, you wonder, why have I been so blessed to have so much? And then you, when you look at it, you say, I have got to do a lot to help them out, because this country -- we really have been extraordinarily blessed. We have a lot of difficulties, a lot of problems. The people there have lost everything, have lost family members, and we need to help.

COOPER: You are also very concerned about the decision in Sudan and are hoping that, in the next four years, there's more attention paid.

BROWNBACK: I am. And I'm hopeful that we are going to make more attention overall to Africa and to these less developed parts of the world.

You know, 90 percent of the diseases that people die from get 10 percent of the research money, because they're in the developing world countries. But we should change that. We should help in those areas. We should help here as well. But I think, when we go to see our maker, I want to go there and say, I did everything I can to help everybody, even those that are in the worst situations around the world.

COOPER: Iraq, what -- do you see progress there or do you see steps back?

BROWNBACK: I see progress after we get past the election. This election is crucial. And I was glad to see poll numbers today saying most Iraqis are going to vote.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: What do you think the election will change, though?

BROWNBACK: You'll get a legitimate government in and you'll get a buy-in from the people that say, well, OK, I may not agree on all things with him, but this is the person that's elected and you can then start to build that democratic buy-in.

Allawi, a great guy, but he was picked by outsiders and we need to have somebody that's picked by the people of Iraq.

COOPER: The importance -- why are these events important to those who supported the president, to those who have worked so hard? Why have these big celebrations, these big parties?

BROWNBACK: You have these big elections and you involve the whole country in it. And it's a fight and it's a push back and forth and then ultimately somebody wins.

And then there's a couple months time period here to kind of let everybody soothe down. And then this is kind of about the launch for the new administration. And I think that's what this is about. It's a time to celebrate, but it's also to set the tone for the next four years.

COOPER: Senator Brownback, we appreciate you being with us. Enjoy the party tonight.

BROWNBACK. I will. Thank you.

COOPER: Thanks very much.

Our coverage continues. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

G.W. BUSH: Over the next four years, we'll make sure America is as free as it possibly can be for every single citizen. We'll also work to spread freedom and peace around the world.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: I'm looking forward to the next four years. I'm looking forward to putting my heart and soul into this job. And I firmly believe that by being steadfast and strong and determined in our efforts, we'll be able to look back and say we left a better world for our children and our grandchildren.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

G.W. BUSH: And now right here, amongst our fellow Texans and some good folks from Wyoming, it's my honor to ask the first lady for an inaugural dance.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Time for some humor as well. Nice to see.

Of course, Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the background dancing as well. It's funny. President Bush started off this evening, when he first asked his wife to dance, he said, this was the first time in some four years. He's certainly made up for it tonight. This is at least I think the third time we've seen him dance now.

ZAHN: I can't think of anything tougher to do, knowing you have hundreds of cameras trained on you and suddenly you're supposed...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: ... it look spontaneous.

COOPER: With each dance, though, he's warming up to it. They're getting more into it, I think.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Well, the one thing we certainly captured today was Laura Bush's joy in her face. I intently watched her during his inaugural address. And it was quite stunning to watch.

COOPER: She really looks beautiful tonight.

We have not seen Karl Rove so far this evening, of course, a man who has gotten much credit for President Bush's reelection. There are those who love him. There are those who hate him, certainly. But you have to admit, he is a master at what he does. And, as today shows, what he does best is win.

The president's chief political adviser was not only on hand for the inauguration. He played a big hand making it all happen. Now that he's helped Mr. to another term in office, the Texan will push a presidential agenda that could shape the country for years to come.

Tonight, we shine a light on the man who works in the president's shadow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

G.W. BUSH: The architect, Karl Rove.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER (voice-over): Karl Rove told "Newsweek" he was deeply embarrassed when President Bush singled him out like that the day after the election.

At least the architect is a better nickname than boy genius or Bush's brain. He's been called both of those so often that they've become the titles of books about him. Karl Rove is the president's top political adviser. Any political consultant can tell you why he's special.

JOHN WEAVER, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: A lot of people in this business are very good at the big picture and messaging. A lot of people in this business are very good at tactics and being focused on state-by-state activities. Karl is probably the only person I know who is excellent at both of those fields, quite frankly. And couple that with the incredible discipline that he has and work ethic makes him who he is today.

COOPER: John Weaver was Senator John McCain's consultant for the 2000 presidential primaries. McCain won New Hampshire, then lost in South Carolina amid charges of a smash-mouth campaign run by Rove's guy, George W. Bush, which brings up another facet of Karl Rove. Some of his critics say he plays dirty.

WEAVER: And I think he takes a lot of hits, some of them deservedly so, and some no so. I this town, he gets a lot of credit and blame for things that he didn't do. He gets a lot of credit and blame for things he did do. It's a tough business. It's not beanbag.

COOPER: Rove started to make a name for himself in the world of politics back in the early 1970s. He dropped out of the University of Utah and got elected chairman of the College Republicans National Committee. The following year, Rove caught the eye of the Republican party's new chairman, George Herbert Walker Bush. In 1973 Bush sent Rove on an errand, deliver the car keys to his son who is coming home from Harvard Business School for Thanksgiving. George W. Bush walked into Karl Rove's life and Rove knew a winner when he saw one. It would be another ten years before the younger Bush was ready for prime-time. Rove was a successful political consultant by then and ran Bush's victorious campaigns for Texas governor in 1994 and '98. Then his 2000 race for the White House. That brings us to something else Rove's fellow consultants say we need to remember.

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: I think it's always a mistake to believe the people that who do what I do are the drivers of this, rather than the candidates. In the end, it's the candidates.

ZAHN: Democratic consultant Bob Shrum should know. His candidates Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004 got the Bush treatment as well as the Rove treatment.

SHRUM: After 2000, I think he did a very good job of coming up with a plan to mobilize Republican voters, going all the way down to the church level, the local level, building those organizations and structures, a lot of it I think through the Republican National Committee, roadtesting it in 2002, and then using it in 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats talk about how the large evangelical turnout swamped them. Really, what they need to be concerned about the fact that Republicans reached into the Catholic vote and expanded their support among Jewish voters, among women and blacks and Hispanics. That should be the real concern for Democrats and that was Karl's plan.

COOPER: Second-guessing Karl Rove is a Washington pastime for both Republicans and Democrats. Not that he's a total recluse. Look at this tape from the last days of the 2004 campaign. While his boss is giving a speech, Karl Rove is backstage talking strategy with a local reporter.

KARL ROVE, SR. WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: We're going to win. We will win Florida and Ohio and we will take at least two or three or four states that were won by Gore in the last election.

COOPER: He got it exactly right. If there were a political consultant's hall of fame, Karl Rove would be a shoo-in. When you hear that Rove will go down in history, his fellow consultants say take that with a grain of salt.

SHRUM: I honestly don't think political strategists in a campaign have a legacy except in a world where we think 10 years is history. I mean, Lewis McHenry Hale (ph) who was the mastermind of Franklin Roosevelt's campaign in 1932 is hardly remembered by anyone today except professional historians. I think presidents have legacies. I don't think political consultants do.

COOPER: After the election Karl Rove told reporters he'd run his last presidential campaign, that, quote, "2008 is going to be left to someone who has a little bit more energy and interest." He took it back a month later telling "Newsweek" he spoke in haste, and adding, who knows.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: None of us were too surprised to hear that. The past few days haven't been all pomp and circumstance. The celebrations have been going on, too. Glamorous celebrations. When we come back, we take you behind the gala rooms.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: You're just looking at one of the many bands that helped mark the president's very important day today. We may not coronate royalty in this country but the inauguration of our president comes pretty darn close. Washington society celebrates big time. The parties are glamorous and very exclusive. Judy Woodruff takes us behind the velvet rose.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The heat in here could melt the snow out there. Welcome to a top shelf Washington soiree, a fete so special it's thrown only once every four years. This is a quadrennial inauguration eve supper that well-known Washingtonian Buffy Kafritz (ph) and former Miss America Phyllis George have co- hosted since 1981. Teaming up with them, Clinton first friends Vernon and Ann Jordan and Bush buddies, Robert and Kelly Day (ph). The stars file in. Former vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp. Newsman Jim Lehrer. Inside, Colin Powell lets loose. Barbara Walters dazzles in diamonds. A Supreme Court justice trades his robe for a coat and tie and blends right in.

If there is a Washington A list, this is it. Of course, star power is all relative. Not a lot of Hollywood in the house tonight. Oh, wait. There's "American Idol's" Ryan Seacrest. See him? Kevin Chafee covers Capitol society for the "Washington Times." He knows fabulous. This party passes his test.

KEVIN CHAFEE, SR. EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": It's an extremely special type of event, almost like a wedding. The fact it happens only once every four years is extraordinary enough.

WOODRUFF: Right. So don't think every Washington night unfolds this way. Rewind. Tuesday, still freezing. But toasty inside Nathan's, a Georgetown saloon where Kevin Chafee is gnashing on mini goat cheese pizzas. Carol Ross Joynt hovers around her guest of honor, former White House photographer David Kennerly, whose pictures now grace the walls. It's a different crowd but the guest list follows the same Washington social recipe as the Kafritz gathering. There are diplomats, in this case, the Swedish ambassador. Senators. There's John Sununu of New Hampshire, the spokespeople and ex- spokespeople Tori Clarke of Pentagon fame, in one of her trademark blazers.

Many Capitol nights are filled with events like this, populated by a never off the clock crowd.

CAROL ROSS JOYNT, OWNER, NATHAN'S: I think Washington has a lot of parties where people celebrate each other and then use each other, and then make the most of it and walk away, satisfied or not, based on what they got out of each other. That's the way the city works. They work at the office and they work at the parties.

And for a short while, at least, partisan hostility dissolves. But stop, you say. Your Kafritz invite was lost in the mail. You missed Carol Ross Joynt's call. But you still want to taste the Washington highlife. We've got you covered. The kitchen of Cafe Milano, a hot spot in a cold city. It opened the day Bill Clinton won the White House. The former president has now turned loyal customer.

FRANCO NUSCHESE, OWNER, CAFE MILANO: I think he usually likes to sit right in the main dining room, in the center of attention.

WOODRUFF: Here the maitre d's mind is a Rolodex of regulars and VIP's.

LAURENT MENOUD, MAITRE D', CAFE MILANO: I know where they like to seat, what they like to eat, what they like to drink. I know who they don't want to sit next to and things like that. WOODRUFF: He knows what to do when Dick and Lynne Cheney show up unexpectedly.

MENOUD: They said, "We just need a table for two." They didn't have reservations, and that was a big problem for us, but we solved it very fast.

WOODRUFF: Cheney is a big draw but not the biggest. The man at the tippy-top of Washington's social ladder is all but invisible on the city's party scene.

SALLY QUINN, AUTHOR: Bush has had absolutely no contact with the Washington community of any kind.

WOODRUFF: From her perch in an historic Washington home in Georgetown, journalist Sally Quinn reflects on changing times.

QUINN: The administration used to set the social tone. Nixon was very stiff and very formal and people used to have those kind of formal dinner parties. And before that Lyndon Johnson and the Texans were here, and they were rowdy and had cowboy boots and barbecues. And it was, "Y'all come."

But those days are over now.

WOODRUFF: Still, way past our bedtime on the eve of another inaugural, the beat goes on.

Judy Woodruff, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So many balls, so little time, so many people to talk with. Up next, one of the more unusual folks to grace the Republican party, boxing promoter, he of the wild hair, Don King.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And we are here live with -- well, I don't even need to introduce you. You don't need an introduction. Don King. You worked very hard to see President Bush reelected.

DON KING, BOXING PROMOTER: Yes, I did. Ed Gillespie and I went around the country on an economic empowerment tour. And tonight is a celebration of the work that we put in an effort for a better America representing George Walker Bush.

We want to say -- first of all, let me thank all the troops. You know, I'm a 101st Screaming Eagle. And from General David Petraeus who I just received an e-mail from...

COOPER: David Petraeus just e-mailed you?

KING: Yes. Yes, he did. And it was just wonderful. He commended me on my things that we have done for the 101st Screaming Eagles and he said he has a wonderful bunch of guys down there that he's working with and great American soldiers, the vanguard of our nation.

COOPER: Let me ask you: there were a lot of people who were skeptical George Bush could appeal to a larger percentage of African- Americans. In 2000, he got nine percent of the African-American vote; this time around, 11 to 12 percent. Why do you think more African- Americans were listening and responding to his message?

KING: They were listening to the message. George Walker Bush demonstrated in action and deed what many presidents have been promising for over 200 years.

George Walker Bush is a man, he's bold, audacious. He's revolutionary and visionary. He had put Condoleezza Rice in as security adviser at that time, Colin Powell as the secretary of state, Rod Paige as secretary of education, Alfonso Jackson, secretary of HUD. This is symbolism, and it raises the bar of dignity. It raises the bar of pride. It raises the bar of hope and aspiration.

He's making them included into the American dream. George Bush represents one single America. This is what we all have been working for, and not a president since Abraham Lincoln that has been steadfast, bold and audacious that would take it on the chin to make America better. And that's what George Walker Bush is doing. And he's fighting for freedom. And freedom is what they call this, and that's what we're celebrating tonight, freedom.

COOPER: Well, now just a couple years ago, you were supporting Democrats, so what is it like to find yourself suddenly in a big Republican Party?

KING: I'm celebrating America. You know, it's incidental what party is in control if they're working for the betterment of the American people, black and white alike.

I'm a Republicrat, and I'm supporting George Walker Bush because he's the man with the plan now that has the message for the American people. He's speaking diversity, inclusion. He's speaking economic empowerment, No Child Left Behind in education, which is so vitally important. And we want to understand affordable prices for the aged, for medicine. So George Walker Bush is a man that is touching all hearts. And his speech today was profound. He talked about Abraham Lincoln. And as you know, Abraham Lincoln said if you don't like slavery, then you don't want to be one. You know what I mean? So you've got to do that. So he's done everything that he's supposed to do, Anderson.

This is a better America. Black and white alike, we are so very proud to be Americans tonight. God bless America and God bless the American people. God bless George Walker Bush!

COOPER: I know you worked very hard to get this president reelected. We appreciate you being with us tonight. Have a good time at this party.

KING: It's a real pleasure to be on CNN, because you're the man, Anderson. COOPER: All right. Don King...

KING: You're the man there.

COOPER: Don King, Republicrat. Paula, back to you. Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: And we have Kings from all over the place tonight, from Republicat, I don't think I've ever heard that phrased that way before. Don King to Larry King, who's in town for the inaugural.

How are you doing, Larry? What's up?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Well, I'm glad you had my brother on. He looks good tonight.

ZAHN: Yes, I think his hair is really settling down.

L. KING: He was that way as a child. He never really combed it; he just let it go.

Anyway, Paula, I saw you last night.

ZAHN: I want to ask him -- yes.

L. KING: I saw you freezing, but you were noble. And today you carried on in the true tradition of show business. The show must go on, Paula. You carried on. I was very impressed.

ZAHN: What do you think, Larry? I grew up in the Midwest. You think I'm some kind of a wimp, that I can't put on my expedition weight long underwear and survive seven hours outside?

L. KING: I relate. I grew up in New York, and the other day in New York was the coldest I've ever been in my life. So now I'm into this anti-cold freak thing.

And you look -- you look -- by the way, you look great and you all did a great job. It was great coverage today.

ZAHN: Thank you.

L. KING: We've got a big show tonight. We've got Bob Woodward. We've got Bob Woodward, Sally Quinn, Ben Bradley, Bob Schieffer, Michael Beschloss, George P. Bush, Pierce Bush, Bill Frist. We're loaded.

We'll carry on in the tradition of Paula Zahn, through rain, through snow, through sleet, through anything. We're here -- Paula.

ZAHN: I'm so happy to hear that. We've got to keep that tradition going, Lar. Have a good show. We'll be watching.

And on any inauguration day, it is hats off to the president, or is it? Hats are suddenly in this time. Jeanne Moos puts the lid on inaugural fashions right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. Our special coverage on this beautiful evening in Washington D.C. A cold one at that.

And as we've seen throughout the day, the events surrounding the presidential inauguration are solemn, formal and once in a while just plain silly, which is just fine with our Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You'd throw back your head and laugh, too, if it were your inauguration. But many in this crowd would have lost their hats if they threw back their heads. Everyone from Donald Rumsfeld to Teddy Kennedy, to Condi Rice came covered.

(MUSIC)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey, Sanford, I want a hat like that when I grow up.

MOOS: We couldn't see the hat Bill Clinton was admiring. But whoever Sanford was, he had plenty of company. And security wasn't the only thing blanketing this inauguration.

ZAHN: Let's hold it up and show them.

MOOS: When it comes to inaugural style, the first lady got first-rate reviews. "The New York Times" calls it the glamorization of Laura Bush.

Four years ago, glamour wasn't the word they used. Mrs. Bush wore a gown by a little known Texas designer.

But this time around, she's wearing Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. The fashion police are toasting her taste.

And though some have criticized the cost of the inauguration, hey, at least Mrs. Bush didn't spend what the gown of Donald Trump's wife to be reportedly cost.

The inauguration is one of those times when even a normally gruff vice president kicks off his shoes at the Texas Black Tie and Boots Ball.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good to be wearing boots again.

MOOS: And as for what protesters wore, think signs. Some turned their back as the presidential motorcade went by. The war will be back after the commercial break.

Protesters threw things at police; police sprayed back. And someone creamed the vice president's limo with a snowball. But none of this rained on the president's parade. Jeb Bush snapped photos with a disposable camera. Reviewing the parade through bulletproof glass, the president seemed to communicate via some secret code language, try decoding this.

The whole family made the Texas long horn salute as that section of the parade went by, and there's nothing like a second term to get the president in the mood to do the inaugural shuffle.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Paula, I noticed a little earlier this evening, President Bush is not wearing his boots tonight. He was last night.

ZAHN: Shiny shoes tonight.

COOPER: Very shiny.

ZAHN: Patent leather.

COOPER: That's right. Shiny shoes.

Our coverage continues in a moment. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

G.H.W. BUSH: One time, when he first took the office, the president came. In those days he was running, before his knees gave out on him. And he came and he finished his run. And they all come into our bedroom, the kids and grandkids, and we're in bed reading the papers and stuff.

And he was reading his paper, and Barbara looked over at him, "George, take your feet off my table!"

I said, "The guy is president of the United States of America. Give him a break."

"No, he knows better than that."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Once a mom, always a mom. I don't care how old they are.

COOPER: That was the...

ZAHN: It's interesting to see the dynamic between father and son. It's something that this current president isn't comfortable talking about. But there's a great deal of affection and, I think, shared experiences.

COOPER: Absolutely. President Bush and first lady Laura Bush were here in Union Station about 45 minutes ago. They -- President Bush spoke very briefly. He, of course, and the first lady also danced a little bit. This one of their -- I think it was their second or third dance of the evening.

ZAHN: It was the record one. This was the longest one, wasn't it?

COOPER: It did seem much longer.

ZAHN: They're all blurring together here.

COOPER: And we anticipate Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, arriving here in this hall, really, any moment now. The crowd has gathered downstairs. The band continues to play.

ZAHN: It's fun to watch all these photographers. Everybody's using their cell phones down there actually to take these pictures. It's a marathon night for the president, of course, trying to hit all nine of these inaugural balls and trying to look spontaneous as he dances in front of each one of these individual crowds.

COOPER: And he's spending about 20 minutes at each ball, and he is going to make all nine, according to...

ZAHN: You've been downstairs talking to the folks, as I have. They're all very grateful that, even if they're 50 yards away from the president.

COOPER: They are. And that's our coverage for this evening. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching.

ZAHN: We really appreciate your joining us tonight. Hope you had a good time. We did. Have a great night. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.

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