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Judy Woodruff's Final Show

Aired June 3, 2005 - 15:30   ET


HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, Republicans, I guess, can do that, because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.

ANNOUNCER: Howard Dean blasts away, again, at Republicans. But is the chairman of the Democratic party going too far? Judy sat down with Dean recently and asked him about his rousing rhetoric.

DEAN: I don't worry about it. I say what I think.

ANNOUNCER: The end of an era here at CNN. Judy anchors her last edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We'll look back at one amazing career.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. Perot, let me be very blunt. Bob Dole might be able to sit back tonight and say that you cost him the presidency.


WOODRUFF: Our long national election nightmare finally is over.

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


WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Today's show is going to be a little different than most of them. This is my last day as the anchor of INSIDE POLITICS. We are going to have the day's top political news, of course, but we're also going to take a little time this hour to celebrate this program and some of the memorable moments we've all been a part of.

But first, the news of the day, and the latest comments by Democratic party chairman Howard Dean. Once again, he is using some strong language to go after Republicans. The latest evidence, the G.O.P. says, that Dean values angry rhetoric over real debate.


DEAN: The Republicans have abused their power. I don't like what they're doing to America.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): There's no doubt about it, Howard Dean speaks his mind. But is the Democratic Party Chairman shooting himself in the foot? Dean is trying to reach out to all voters to strengthen his party. But is he turning off potential Republican converts with all his trash talk about the G.O.P.?

Yesterday, he did it again. At a meeting of liberals here in Washington, Dean recalled the crowded conditions at polling places in Ohio, on election day last November. He wondered who could work all day and then stick around for hours to vote at night. He went on to say...

DEAN: Well in Republicans I guess can do that, because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.

WOODRUFF: The Republican National Committee was quick to respond. Saying that Dean's comment illustrates that the Democratic Party not only lacks leadership, but is overflowing with anger.

I sat down with Dean recently.

(on camera): Some of the language you've used from time to time as chairman of the party, even earlier. At one point you said you hate Republicans. People ask me, why did he use that word? Why did you use the word hate?

DEAN: I hate what Republicans are doing to this country. I clearly don't hate individuals.

WOODRUFF: Well, you said you hate Republicans.

DEAN: Well, that's, you know -- that was -- as you know, the print media sometimes picks things out of context. I don't worry about it. I say what I think.

WOODRUFF: So, you don't acknowledge that sometimes your rhetoric was -- your words were ill chosen?

DEAN: You know what, Harry Truman in 1948 was told by one of his supporters, give them hell, Harry. And what he said was, I don't give them hell, I just tell the truth. And the Republicans think it's hell.


WOODRUFF: Well, we will hear more about Howard Dean in about 90 minutes. He's on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The Democrat's leader in the U.S. Senate is also using some tough talk. Minority leader Harry Reid was asked about President Bush in an interview "Rolling Stone" including his recent comment that Mr. Bush was, quote, "a loser."

When reminded he once used that word to describe Mr. Bush, Reid added quote, "and a liar." The reporter then stated, quote, "you apologized for the loser comment." And the magazine reports that Reid responded, but never for the liar, have I? WOODRUFF: To New England now, where the top political adviser to Massachusetts governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is taking back his comments about Romney's stand on abortion. Romney has always pledged not to change state abortion laws, although he recently told an interviewer that his views on abortion are now in a quote, "different place from where when he first ran for office."

In the new addition of "National Review," Republican strategist mike Murphy says of Romney, quote, "he has been a pro-life Mormon making it as a pro-choice friendly."

Well, after word of the comment spread Murphy issued a statement. In his words, quote, "the quote in the National Review article was not what I meant to communicate. I was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use. I regret the quote and any confusion that it may have caused" end quote.

That's our "Political Bytes."

Well as we promised, this show today is a little bit different. It is my last day as anchor of INSIDE POLITICS. And joining me is somebody who is a dear colleague, somebody who was my co-anchor for eight years here at CNN. And Bernie Shaw, you are back with me to celebrate and to do a little looking back on this day.

BERNARD SHAW, FRM. CNN ANCHOR: Well, it's certainly good to pull up a chair to your table.

WOODRUFF: You know, you and I...

SHAW: And a CNN table.

WOODRUFF: We were side by side for eight years from mid 1993 till 2000. And here you are.

SHAW: Well, the staff has worked up some superb goodies. And when we come back, INSIDE POLITICS and this special tribute to Judy Woodruff, Woodruff in color, 1993 to 2005.

WOODRUFF: Look at the hair. Oh, my gosh.

SHAW: Yes.


SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK: Judy, I am so grateful for this opportunity to thank you for your rich body of work and the infectious spirit you brought everyday to your job. Your commitment, dedication, and drive are marched only by your grace and sense of fairness.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I can think of no person that I admire more in the media business. A loving mother, a devoted wife and a person who has been able to balance extremely well, the demands of a professional career and that of a mother and wife and partner.

So I think that these characteristics make Judy one of the really wonderful people that I've had the opportunity to know.




REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) MINORITY LEADER: You are a consummate journalist that is a moderator. You have raised the level of dignity of these political issues that you lead the discussion on. And as a woman, I want to say thank you for being a pioneer and a trailblazer in a very difficult field. I can identify with that. And I really do wish you well in your future endeavors.


WOODRUFF: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, thank you very much. I'm blushing here.

Bernie Shaw, my former colleague, is here with me to help me blush...

SHAW: Well, I'm wondering how you're feeling getting all this attention.

WOODRUFF: Well, you know, it's exciting to think about launching the next chapter of my life. But I confess, I'm today, a wave of nostalgia has swept over me, because I'm looking at all these wonderful people at CNN who meant so much. And this is the last time we're going to work together exactly like this. So, it's a big change.

SHAW: They are, indeed, a very extraordinary group of professionals.

Margaret Thatcher was Britain's former prime minister, known as the Iron Lady.

Television journalism has its iron lady from 1999 to 2005. Let's look back.


ANNOUNCER: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff in Washington.

WOODRUFF: Thanks for joining us for a special hour-long edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

With all due respect to what you said, if North Korea wants to go ahead and develop a nuclear weapon, what is to stop them from doing so? You're not saying that the United States is prepared to go to war if they continue with this program that they've begun.

BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, at a minimum, North Korea will be much more isolated and in a much more tenuous position.

WOODRUFF: Here we come.


WOODRUFF: Names that we've called tonight. We've called Dole followed by Buchanan and then Alexander. That other name we haven't heard is Steve Forbes. It's the name that has spent more money than anyone has spent in Iowa in a Republican caucus race.

At the 1980 convention, I was working for another television network at that time and it was such a great story to be working on whether Ronald Reagan was going to pick former president Gerald Ford as his running mate.

It sent shockwaves around the world, and the repercussions are certain to be felt for years to come. Twenty one hours ago, a bomb rocked the city of Atlanta and the site of the Olympic Games, killing at least one person and shattering hopes for a fortnight free of terror.

Mr. Perot, let me be very blunt. Bob Dole might be able to sit back tonight and say that you cost him the presidency. If you add up what he got in terms of a vote and what you got, and he asked you to get out of the race, he might have been the winner. What would you say to Bob Dole if he were to -- I mean, what do you say to that?

ROSS PEROT, REFORM PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say what I have said since 1992. Now, Republicans are taught at birth to make that statement.

WOODRUFF: Well, there may not be a war room, per se, but White House officials certainly seem in full battle mode as they keep struggling with subpoenas and questions about the president's relationship with the former White House intern.

We want to welcome international viewers to our coverage as we at CNN follow two extraordinary stories this Friday, December the 18th -- one here in Washington, the nation's capital. The Capitol of the United States, where members of the House of Representatives continue to debate four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. The other story being the series of attacks under way between -- by the United States and Great Britain against Iraq.

Governor Bush, while we are considering America's place in the world, you volunteered at last week's debate that you are now reading the biography of Dean Acheson. And my question is, what lessons do you take from the successes and the failures of Acheson and George Marshall during that critical period in U.S. history? And how would you apply that to a Bush international policy?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The lessons learned are that the United States must not retreat within our borders.

WOODRUFF: A big call to make, CNN announces that we call Florida in the Al Gore column. This is a state both campaigns desperately wanted to win. The state of Florida fought over very hard, the state with the Republican governor named Bush, the brother of the Republican nominee.

CNN has called the winner George W. Bush, that he will be the 43rd president of the United States. This is what the popular vote, the raw vote total looks like with 90 percent of the precincts reporting. It is still a very close election.

Under a clear blue sky, the Florida Supreme Court tries to clear up the cloudy presidential election. Seldom in history have the stakes been higher. Our long national election nightmare finally is over.

SHAW: Thirty-six days later, it's over.

WOODRUFF: Five weeks and a day, but who's counting?

General Clark saying earlier, in his estimation, there is likely to be more trouble given the coordination and the scale of these devastating attacks. This morning, September the 11th, 2001, on New York City and on Washington, D.C., and at least four commercial jetliners involved in these different attacks.

So, the pieces of this story continue to come together. I have to say in my 30 years as a journalist, I have never seen anything like this, never covered a story of the dimensions of this.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Judy Woodruff joins us now. She is at the National Cathedral in Washington and she's got the story for us from there.

Good morning, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Good morning, Leon.

I think you can tell by the scene behind me, the weather here in Washington very much matches the mood in the nation's capital and across the country.

Hello, I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. This is "America Strikes Back," CNN's continuing coverage of the anti-terrorism coalition strikes inside Afghanistan. The United States and British military attack against the al Qaeda network and Taliban militia began just after nightfall Sunday in Afghanistan.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Today in Manchester, New Hampshire, we had come here today because we were going to report, give you an inside look at the tight Senate race in this state, but instead, as we have been reporting all afternoon, we received word, just a few hours ago, the sad news of the death of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone in a plane crash in his home state. It's so hard to believe that it was only about 49 miles overhead, 49 miles over the surface of the Earth. You think about the distance from one place to another on Earth. That's how far up the shuttle was when it apparently exploded and fell apart.

ANNOUNCER: A special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, "The War in Iraq," starts right now.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.

You heard live on CNN a short time ago, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the president is happy and proud about the rescue in Iraq of missing soldier Jessica Lynch.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Los Angeles, a special edition of JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS, "The Road to Recall."

WOODRUFF: I'm in Los Angeles for the program today in a state where literally this has been a political earthquake. Arnold Schwarzenegger, surprising not only the political world today, but the people very close to him, who would assume that he would not be a candidate.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Most Americans haven't voted. You're talking, Judy, like George Bush won. He didn't win.

WOODRUFF: No, I'm saying...


WOODRUFF: My question is -- that's not my -- my question was, is Washington a liability? Senator Kerry, is it a liability?

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It depends what vision you're offering to the country.

WOODRUFF: Senator Miller, the Democrats are pointing out that John Kerry voted for 16 of 19 defense budgets that came through Congress while he was in the Senate. And many of these votes that you cited, Dick Cheney also voted against, they were specific weapon systems.

SEN. ZELL MILLER (D), GEORGIA: What I was talking about was a period of 19 years in the Senate. I've been in the Senate for four years. There's quite a few years difference there.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the president of the United States.


WOODRUFF: He spent a good bit of time thanking all the people who worked with him, but you're right, he did begin the process of reaching out. And he said specifically to "those people who did not vote for me, I want to let you know that I want to earn your trust," and he said, "I will work hard to do that."

It is today's word that former FBI official W. Mark Felt has publicly identified himself as the mysterious Watergate source known as Deep Throat that has this city abuzz.


WOODRUFF: So, Bernie, some things come full circle.

We watched so many of those stories you and I covered together from every election night we saw there, save this last one in 2004, the Columbia disaster. I mean, it's been -- and Watergate. I mean, you were in Washington during Watergate.

SHAW: Yes, but the good thing on your watch is that we now have Deep Throat revealed.

WOODRUFF: That's right, that's right. What a story that has been. And we've been talking about it all week.

And I wasn't in Washington when Watergate was happening. I was in Atlanta working at a local CBS affiliate, but just hanging on every word coming out of this city, because you could tell that it was the likes of which a political moment we'd never seen before. And, you know, we'd never seen a newspaper go right to the heart like the "Washington Post," go right to the heart of our federal government the way they did.

SHAW: This town was just charged with electricity.

Every hour, I remember we were young reporters -- Lesley Stahl, Connie Chung and I, we were at CBS with the stakeouts, Jeb Magruder's house 5:30 in the morning -- all those stakeouts, Bruce Morton, all of them.


SHAW: But it was quite a time.

WOODRUFF: It was, it was.

As I said, I wasn't here then, but I watched it all -- hung on every word, every piece of that story.

I did finally get to Washington in 1977 during the later presidency, after Jimmy Carter had been elected. The city was already changing...

SHAW: Indeed it was.

WOODRUFF: ... by then.

And now it has changed a whole lot more.

SHAW: Well, speaking of change, there's a song whose lyrics begin, "the first time ever I saw her." When we come back, Bob Novak will fill in the words.

And memories about Judy.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Judy Woodruff, to me you have been more than just a journalist, you've been a trusted friend and a great compatriate in this wonderful battle that goes on everyday in the world of news.

We will surely miss you.

Don't really go away, Judy.

We love you.



JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've always managed to be one of the nicest people with some of the toughest questions in the business.

Come on admit it, you knew who "Deep Throat" was all along.


SHAW: Indeed, we'll have to check that.

WOODRUFF: We know that's not true.

SHAW: Well, over at George Washington University, look at this man.

Fine american.

Robert Novak, on the "CROSSFIRE" set.

Bob, you and Judy have known each other for a long, long time. When did you first meet?

NOVAK: In 1976, if you will believe it. I was at -- on a Sunday in Sioux City, Iowa, covering the Democratic fight for the nomi -- presidential nomination and Jimmy Carter was coming into town.

I was 45 years old, and this really good looking, young blonde comes up to me. I thought, boy, oh boy, they just can't stay away from me, but it is all business.

It was Judy Woodruff and she was out covering Jimmy Carter for CBS because she was out of Atlanta, I believe, and we talked a little politics.

Then later in the -- in that cycle, a few weeks later, we had dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago, and I said, she knows her politics, and I predict she is going to be a big-time anchor and for once I was right.

WOODRUFF: Well, you know -- you know Bernie, while Bob is listening, I gravitated to him not only because he's the handsome devil that we know him to be, but also because he knew more about what was going on in that campaign in 1976 and beyond than anybody else, and so the more time I figured I could spend with Bob Novak, the more i'd learn about what was going on, you know?

SHAW: Indeed.

NOVAK: And we have covered a lot of things since then and she is -- she's a great journalist and we hate to see her leave CNN.

SHAW: We certainly do.

WOODRUFF: Well, I'll be around watching you, Mr. Novak.

SHAW: Mr. Novak, also a fellow Illinoisan, which makes him very special.

When we continue this tribute to Judy Woodruff, sitting at this desk, Carol Craty -- I'm sorry, Candy Crowley, Bruce Morton and John King.

I have Carol Craty on my mind.


ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Ed Henry reporting from Capitol Hill that I'll miss tossing back to Judy Woodruff, one of the true giants of our profession, a role model as a journalist, and a human being.

After all, last July when my daughter was born late one Saturday night, one of the first e-mails I received, early sunday morning, was from none other than Judy Woodruff. It's a gesture I'll never forget.

Judy, good luck.



WOODRUFF: Whoa. That's a surprise. Nobody told me about that.

Welcome back.

I am joined now by three very familiar faces to you INSIDE POLITICS viewers. They are Chief National Correspondent John King, political correspondent, Senior Political Correspondent...



WOODRUFF: ... Candy Crowley, and National Correspondent Bruce Morton.

I'm a blubbering mess. So, I don't know what to talk about here.


WOODRUFF: What do you all want to -- want to talk about?

Candy, let's start with you, because you and I...

CROWLEY: Well, we thought we would ask you for your most embarrassing moment on the air.


CROWLEY: How is that?

WOODRUFF: Well, would you like to know about the time I fell asleep during an interview?


CROWLEY: Who were you interviewing?

WOODRUFF: Well, I am not going to share that with you. You're going to have to go back and look at all the tapes and figure out.

I thought we would talk a little bit about how...

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm envious. I never was able to do that.


WOODRUFF: You know, I thought we'd talk a little bit how this town has evolved and changed since we started covering politics. I came in '77.

Candy, what year did you come to Washington?

CROWLEY: I was later than that. You -- you had left the White House by the time I got to the White House. I know that.

WOODRUFF: Early '80s.



WOODRUFF: Early '80s, '83, '84.

What about you, John? What year did you come to Washington?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I came because Michael Dukakis lost and somebody from Massachusetts had to come to Washington, 1988.


WOODRUFF: Eighty-eight.

Bruce, you were here during Watergate.

MORTON: I was here during Watergate. I started in '68 with an obscure candidate, later a well-known fellow named Spiro Agnew.


WOODRUFF: And what is different about this place?

MORTON: Well, one of the things that is most different is, there are so many of us now, you know.

Back then, even fairly close to a New Hampshire primary or an Iowa caucus, you could sit with the candidate and get to know him a little. There might be three or four reporters. But now you have do that, what, a year ahead of time, two years ahead of time?

CROWLEY: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

We were talking in the makeup room and said the first time that John Kerry as declared candidate went to Iowa was in January before the caucus, so a full year. And they said, would you like to have sort a breakfast get-together with the candidate? And I said, sure. And I went. We went in. And there was this huge long table, about 25 of us, all sitting around table.

So, you can't -- it's very hard to get that one-on-one time. I mean, you just -- you have to start now if you want to actually get in and kind of get some up-close time.

KING: Let me just say this. You and Bernie should take a bow today, as you take a bow today, because one of the things that has changed about politics is the impact of our business and the cable news cycle, but also that program, which is the reason I came to this network eight years ago, after covering politics, because they told me, look, here is a platform that covers politics in a serious way, likes to break news. And look at the people in the chair.

So, this -- this program has done a lot to change how politics is covered.

WOODRUFF: Yes. There's no question about that.

MORTON: Another thing, I think, is, CNN and all of the old news networks have changed the cycling. There used to be a.m.s and p.m.s.


MORTON: And if the candidate put his foot in his mouth, you had 12 hours to figure out how to get it out. Now it's, hey, we're live, something now, something now, something now. WOODRUFF: When I worked for the local CBS affiliate in Atlanta, it was the 6:00 newscast. And I could come back from covering the state legislature and put on a five-minute piece on the debate on a highway bill.


WOODRUFF: And then...

CROWLEY: OK. Try that now.


WOODRUFF: Now we're not quite there.

But, at NBC, it was a little bit different, but, still, it was the evening deadline and the morning deadline. The "MacNeil" -- what was then the "MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour" on PBS, one deadline, 6:00 or 7:00. But you come to CNN, the deadlines are everlasting all day long, around the clock.

CROWLEY: Yes. The other thing -- and I want to pay tribute to you for all of the women that I have talked to. And we -- I sort of feel like we should say, OK, Judy is not dying. She's actually staying in journalism. So...

WOODRUFF: She's not retiring.

CROWLEY: Not retiring, none of that, just doing a different, longer form of journalism.

But, you know, so many of the people that I have talked to said, Judy, that was -- you and a small handful of women were in the White House doing it first. And you made it easier for those of us who came, you know, a couple of years later and easier still for those who come now. I mean, you -- you broke that path.

WOODRUFF: Well, I have to say, when I came there, my role models were Helen Thomas with UPI. But, in television, it was Ann Compton with ABC, who is still around, still covering the White House, Lesley Stahl with CBS, who came on board very soon there after, and then Andrea Mitchell. And then there were a whole slew of us.

CROWLEY: All of a sudden, there were a lot of girls.

WOODRUFF: And now you see a lot of girls.

KING: And even the young ones still there, including ours here at CNN, remember Judy Woodruff and what she meant to the beat.

And I can tell you, as a boy at the White House, you just showed a clip a moment ago of the day they were debating impeachment and there also were bombs feeling in Iraq. When you're a White House correspondent on a day like that, they're impeaching the guy who lives in the building and he is ordering bomb attacks around the world, that's a crazy day in the life of a White House correspondent. And one of the best things at this network is knowing that there was someone in the chair here who understands how crazy it can be over there.

MORTON: I also remember Jack Germond, the old political reporter, saying, the first time he ever met Judy, he said -- I can't remember which campaign it was, but, you know, television people always try to pretend they know everything. She didn't. She came in and said, tell me about it.


KING: Well, she probably...

MORTON: And I think you brought a...



WOODRUFF: We won't go there right now.

MORTON: Thirst for knowledge and a grace to this business that maybe it didn't have before.

WOODRUFF: Well, you know, that's very generous.

But I just have to say this. And it's almost become a cliche, but, in television, unlike newspapers, it is really a team effort. I mean, we are -- all of us are on the air and we do our jobs. But if it weren't for the producers and the editors and the people behind that camera that's pointed at us right now and the floor directors and the writers and all the other people -- look at -- look at this shot around the newsroom, the people in the control room.

If it weren't for all of them and all the people who support us day in and day out, we'd have a hard time...


CROWLEY: We'd be talking to ourselves.


WOODRUFF: Or we'd be going door-to-door, as Sam Donaldson used to say -- they used to say about Sam Donaldson. But it's a business that, really, it's a team effort.

CROWLEY: What are you going to miss most about day-to-day journalism? Anything?

WOODRUFF: Gosh. What am I going to miss?

CROWLEY: And don't say the people. That's a cop-out.

(LAUGHTER) WOODRUFF: You know what? Both the dead -- I love and I hate the deadline. I love the deadline, because I'm a creature of deadlines. I love knowing that, at 3:30 or at 4:00 or whenever time it was, I had to be there in the chair.

I also hate the deadline, because it's looming over you and it's both the -- it's both something good and it's also that demon hanging out there. But I'm going to miss the people. That's the thing I am going to miss the most.

I mean, and, you guys, I am going to miss each and every one you and all the other people you are going to see on camera, I hope, before the end of this program. It's -- this business brings together some of the most amazing, hardworking, principled, dedicated people. It may have been said 100 times, but you can't say it enough. The people who do this day in and day out are just -- I mean, the friendships, the professionalism, there's nothing like it.

That's what I'm really going to miss. But, as you said, I'm not dying and I'm not retiring.

CROWLEY: Exactly. And I feel this urge to tell people about the Judy Woodruff minute, as in, I'll be there in a minute, and everybody in the control room is going, where's Judy?


CROWLEY: And, to this day, today, you were running down the hall to make your own departure.

WOODRUFF: I was running down the hall to get here. Very true.


WOODRUFF: Candy Crowley, John King, Bruce Morton, I love you all.

CROWLEY: Back at you.

WOODWARD: And I'll see you all three on television next week from this -- at this time slot.

Well, we are doing a lot of things different today, but one thing we're not passing on is the "Political Play of the Week." Our Bill Schneider will be with us with all that when we come back.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, we are going to miss you tremendously. I admire you greatly. It was wonderful to work with you.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Judy, we at the White House are going to miss you very much.

MALVEAUX: You at the White House? We at the White House? Bob, I don't think so.

FRANKEN: Excuse me.


MALVEAUX: Oh, maybe so.





KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I remember having a front-row seat, watching you in action at the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing, your instincts, your passion, your drive, and, of course, your grace. And, maybe more than anything, that's what I've cherished most, getting to work with you.


WOODRUFF: Kelly Wallace, thank you very much.

Well, this has not been -- isn't a typical edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but we're not going to let the show end without bring you one of our mainstays.

Here with that, as always, Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, as you know, politics is supposed to be a bad word. When you ask people why government can't solve problems, they'll say, too much politics. If you can give politics a good name, you have really accomplished something, like maybe the "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Judy Woodruff brings something to politics that's becoming all too rare. Call it a touch of class. You can see it when she interviews presidents.

WOODRUFF: You're saying U.S. troops on the ground, what would be their mission if they were to go there?

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, let me say what our policy is. Our policy -- and we have not decided to use force. All I have said is, we can't rule it out any longer.

SCHNEIDER: And presidential impersonators.

WOODRUFF: All right, now, tell us about your Middle East policy. You and I were just discussing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Judy, I've been criticized about some inconsistencies. And I want to clear that up. I want to clear it up right here and clear it up right now. But, before I do, I just want to ask you, do you have any ideas?


SCHNEIDER: In Judy Woodruff's political world, women are empowered and respected for their personal skills.

WOODRUFF: You describe yourself as a good listener, but he listens to you, I assume.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: Sure. Of course. He does, absolutely. I mean, I can't give you any examples. I won't even tell you what we actually discuss. But I know I have influence on him, just like he has influence on me.

SCHNEIDER: And their determination to make their own way.

WOODRUFF: It's you and John Edwards spoiling for whatever in 2008, if this ticket doesn't make it this year?

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: You know, Judy, I just don't see politics as a zero-sum game like that.

SCHNEIDER: Judy has dealt with some of the political foremost times of our time, including this 8-year-old.

WOODRUFF: What you would like to be when you grow up? Do you any idea yet, Praveen?


WOODRUFF: You want to be president?

POLAMRAJU: And then a dentist.

WOODRUFF: And then a dentist. I see. Now, why president first?

POLAMRAJU: Because I can get more money.

SCHNEIDER: Well, they say politics is crass, but Judy Woodruff is class, classy enough to merit the "Political Play of the Week."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Release batteries.


SCHNEIDER: ... used to say, Judy, Judy, Judy. That's from one class-act to another.

WOODRUFF: Oh, my gosh. Talk about a class act. Bill Schneider, you are a class act.

SCHNEIDER: Thank you very much.

WOODRUFF: You bring me back some great memories. That little boy who...


WOODRUFF: He memorized the names of every governor, every presidential election, and what margin every president won by.

SCHNEIDER: He's going to go someplace.

Let me remind you of a story about how -- you probably don't know this -- how Bette Davis saved your day. We were in Los Angeles, and you were anchoring the show from the L.A. bureau in Hollywood. And you may remember this about 10 years ago. And the O.J. Simpson trial was on. And I offered to give you my special O.J. tour.

We went from his home in Brentwood to the scene of the crime. And we got totally absorbed in this tour. And, suddenly, we realized you had half-an-hour to get back to the studio to make the show. What we were going to do? Sunset Boulevard, as usual, was totally clogged. Well, a reporter once asked Bette Davis, do you have advice, Ms. Davis, for aspiring young starlets in Hollywood?

SCHNEIDER: She said, take Fountain. I remembered that. Fountain runs parallel to Sunset Boulevard. It's much faster.


SCHNEIDER: We took Fountain. You made it with 15 seconds to spare. And that is how Bette Davis saved you and me and the show.


WOODRUFF: Talk about somebody who not only can do great O.J. Simpson tours, but also has an incredible understanding of American politics.

SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, I'm keeping on -- I'm watching you forever.

SCHNEIDER: My pleasure.

WOODRUFF: Thanks very much.

And more in a minute.


STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, I just wanted to say thanks so much for everything you've done for me and for INSIDE POLITICS and CNN. You've been terrific, always gracious. And -- and, for that, I'm very grateful. And it's really not goodbye. It's, until we meet again.




JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: I know that all us here are going to profoundly miss you. And we look forward to what the next stage is in this incredible career of yours. And I know that, as it goes on, you're just going to be making more friends and reminding all of us that, sometimes, nice guys do finish first. We'll miss you, honey. Bye-bye.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed, Jeff Greenfield. Amen to that.

She's known as walking perfection, but then there were those moments and moments. Here are a few.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now to take us through the next hour of political headlines is "JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS."

Hello, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Now we turn to the hillside neighborhoods of Altadena, California. CNN's Greg Lefevre is in Altadena.

GREG LAMOTTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, it's Greg LaMotte here, but who's counting?

WOODRUFF: Greg LaMotte. I've got your name right this time. Please forgive me. Thanks for joining us -- Frank.


WOODRUFF: Charles.


WOODRUFF: Ahead on "EARLY PRIME," an interview with former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

Thanks for joining us.

SHAW: Well, we got that one in.

WOODRUFF: Now to New York and to Donald Vandamar (ph).

Donald, I'm sorry.

When we return, House Speaker Newt Gingrich heads into territory where Madonna, Boyz II Men, and Hootie and the Blowfish have gone before. Stay tuned for details.

I don't know what that is. Excuse me, Bernie. I was just munching a cookie. I was sneaking a bite.

SHAW: Oh, munch on. Munch on.

WOODRUFF: We're not supposed to sneak cookies on television.

CNN's Jeff Flock is visiting that company's factory in Wisconsin. And he joins us now with a live report.

Hello, Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF: Testing, one, two. Testing.

WOODRUFF: Well, we could see that he's ready, but he didn't know that we were ready for him to talk.


JON STEWART, HOST: Well, I got to tell you, I watch the program nearly every day. I usually hit the run-up in the "TALKBACK LIVE" into your program into Blitzer. I can't stomach him for long. So, I turn that off and come down here.


WOODRUFF: You don't mean that.

STEWART: I don't mean that at all.

WOODRUFF: You love Wolf. You love Wolf.

STEWART: I do. I do have kind of a thing for Wolf.



JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Let's begin our coverage with our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, recently, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan...

WOODRUFF: We go to the White House now, as the president prepares to head out of town for the weekend. I'm sorry. Is that not where we're going?

SHAW: Are American voters listening to all this right now?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. And with it, they drove up their own prospects. If Gore can do the same things, he will put Bush in a more difficult position than it looks right now.

SHAW: OK. Nice looking back you have there, Bill.


SHAW: Judy.

WOODRUFF: That was an interesting shot there, wasn't it?

SHAW: It was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, in the Redskins owners box today, correspondent Bernard Shaw. But the Redskins, at least on that last play, are tackling like Judy Woodruff. And that may be a knock on Judy Woodruff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you just offended her.

WOODRUFF: We'll have more INSIDE POLITICS ahead.

And I think we're reading the wrong script?

Senator Kerry's past life in a garage band has resurfaced. Kerry played bass for the Electras while he attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire.

A good man. And to top it all off, I had to say that John Kerry played bass in a high school movie group. Of course, it's bass. I'm embarrassed.


WOODRUFF: Call them battleground or showdown states, they're already on top of the travel itinerary.



WOODRUFF: I am sorry. That scared me. We have got a boat right here in the harbor.



DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: This just in. Judy Woodruff is good- looking, isn't she?


WOODRUFF: This is great television all of a sudden.

ANNOUNCER: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.

SHAW: Thanks for joining us. Judy is off this week. I miss her. (END VIDEOTAPE)


WOODRUFF: I don't know what to say. I mean, between the boat horn that got me jumping out of my chair or the many, many times I mispronounced a word.

SHAW: Nothing like live television.

WOODRUFF: Or forgot who I was talking to. But you were always there to hold us up, hold me up. Thank you.

SHAW: Thank you. This is an absolute treat, being with you. Sad.

WOODRUFF: The only thing that's scary about it all is the changing hairstyles.


SHAW: Passages, passages.


WOODRUFF: All right.

SHAW: Well, there is more to this tribute to our lady, the iron lady, Judy Woodruff, when INSIDE POLITICS continues in a moment.


DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Judy, where I'm standing now, the north lawn of the White House, wasn't always the most welcoming place for female reporters. But you paved the way, covering Presidents Carter and Reagan with your unique combination, tough journalist and class act. And, in my 12 years at CNN, you have always been a great friend and a tremendous mentor. We all will miss you. And I salute you.




JIM LEHRER, HOST, "THE NEWSHOUR": I want you to know that, of all the nice, wonderful people I have ever worked with in television news, you are the nicest and the most wonderful of them all.


WOODRUFF: Well, that's my good friend Jim Lehrer. I worked with him 10 years before I came to CNN. I owe him a lot, because he's somebody who is, in my view, one of the giants in this business.

And, in fact, Bernie Shaw, while you are sitting here across from me, let me just continue with the mushiness.


WOODRUFF: Because I have been fortunate to work with the greats in this business, with John Chancellor, with Tom Brokaw, with Bryant Gumbel on "The Today Show," when he was there, with the man you just saw, Jim Lehrer, and his former sidekick, Robin MacNeil.

And, Bernie Shaw, you are right there with those greats. They don't come any better than you. And so, I am really touched. I don't want to get -- I don't want to fall completely apart here on the air, but I'm really touched that you're here today.


SHAW: I am touched that you would say what you have just said.

You know, in politics, they talk about the native son of Florida, of Illinois. Let's talk about the native daughter of Georgia, one of the best ever, one of the best in this business. We love you.

WOODRUFF: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Bernie and I just -- there are so many people I want to thank. I am not going to name all the names, but the entire team here at CNN, the INSIDE POLITICS team, the political unit. You know who you are. From Tom Johnson and Ted Turner, who brought me here, you have all meant the world to me.

And to you viewers, I just have two things to say, first, about this show's reason for being. It has to do with the fact that, yes, politics can sometimes be absurd. Sometimes, it's funny. Sometimes, it's bad. And, sometimes, it's good. But it's always important. It affects all of our citizens. It affects you, our viewers. And that goes to the heart of our democratic system.

I want to salute those who practice politics and public service. No matter what you hear, the vast majority want to make this country a better place for all of us to live in.

To you viewers, I also want to say, it has been a glorious 12 years. I thank you for the wonderful highs. And I hope you'll forgive me for all the lows, all the dumb questions I asked, the time I fell asleep in the middle of an interview. But you and me, we care...


WOODRUFF: We do care about politics. And even as I go off to explore other projects, I will miss you.

So, on this Friday, June 3, that's for INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff. Thank you for joining us.

SHAW: Bravo.


WOODRUFF: Thank you.

SHAW: Bravo.


WOODRUFF: I love you all.


WOODRUFF: Thank you. Wow.


WOODRUFF: Thank you.


WOODRUFF: Oh, I knew if I started naming names, it would be too many. Thank you. My gosh. This is just to fill -- this is to fill the half-hour.


WOODRUFF: Thank you.



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