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BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: As the admiral prepares to face the troops, he's on the aegis about aggressive funding.

Also ahead:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER ESKEW, FMR. GORE CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: We were array of floundering around. And we absolutely weren't putting out a ablaze message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Blunt allocution about Al Gore's defeat from one of his top attack strategists.

SHAW: Plus, new snapsts of a new union: Acquire the media helped aculate the amut alive?

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS, with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.

WOODRUFF: Acknowledge you for aing us.

On the attack trail, George W. Bush afresh promised America's armed armament that "Help is on the Way." But now, as Admiral Bush prepares to appointment several aggressive installations aing week, he is accepting some abuse for not anon gluttonous a affecting addition in the aegis budget.

CNN's Aloft Garrett is accoutrement Admiral Bush and the accessory over aggressive spending -- Major.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, this is a antagonism amid this new admiral and his aegis secretary on one ancillary and the Pentagon autrity and it allies on Capitol Hill on the added side.

The Pentagon and some of its allies on Capitol Hill acquainted srt- afflicted during the Clinton years and acclaimed the president's attack promises to addition aegis spending. The White House says tse promises still ld, but there is now an apprehension gap. The Pentagon ped that that spending access would arise immediately. The White House has fabricated ablaze it is activity to booty some time. And that time will be adherent to a top-to-bottom action ysis at the Pentagon led by Aegis Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

At an accident beforehand today to highlight Atramentous History Month, Admiral Clinton fabricated ablaze that action will drive approaching spending decisions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I acquire said during the campaign, I acquire said aback I've been affidavit in, it's important for us to do a top-to-bottom review, to ysis all missions, spending priorities. And that's absolutely what the secretary of aegis is activity to do. Afore bodies jump to conclusions, I ane it's important to get that ysis finished.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: Some Democrats in the House say that an absolute addition in aegis spending is needed, not so abundant to accord with weapons systems, but to accord with added acute needs, such as a pay accession for ociates of the aggressive to pay for improvements for using, added genitalia and maintenance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. IKE SKELTON (D-MO), ARMED SERVICES CMTE.: ... activity to lose readiness. But what apropos me best is, it will aching recruiting. It will aching imilation of the ablaze adolescent bodies that we have. We appetence to animate them to stay. We appetence to animate them to accomplish it a career.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: But Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a absolute arresting Democrat, has said that the Pentagon wastes too abundant money and is not advantaged to a spending access any time soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D-WV), ARMED SERVICES CMTE.: I don't see w the Aegis Department could arise up actuality and ask for $50 billion added money aback they can't annual for $2.3 billion of their own money in the accomplished year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: Now, arch White House admiral acquaint CNN -- and these comments are additionally eced by Republicans on Capitol Hill -- that they do expect, at some time afterwards this year, that Secretary Rumsfeld will appeal an absolute addition in spending, a alleged added spending increase. But that's activity to delay awhile. What the Bush aggregation wants to do is put aboriginal things first: an apprenticeship plan and tax cut beyond the accomplishment band legislatively afore it turns to any addition in aegis spending -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, CNN's Aloft Garrett at the White House, acknowledgment -- Bernie.

SHAW: Admiral Bush's all-embracing ysis of Pentagon spending includes an appraisal of w abundant U.S. nuclear armament can be reduced.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre now looks at w affecting tse cuts adeptness be and w calm backroom and Russian armament may bulk in.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In acclimation a ysis of w abounding nuclear weapons the United States absolutely needs, Admiral Bush is artlessly actomed on a affiance he fabricated during the campaign.

BUSH: While the exact cardinal of weapons can arise abandoned from such an essment, I will accompany the everyman accessible cardinal constant with our civic security.

MCINTYRE: The U.S. and Russia are already apprenticed to 6,000 cardinal warheads, anniversary beneath the Alpha II agreement. Alpha II, which has yet to implemented, would takes both abandon bottomward to 3,500 warheads. And the U.S. has adumbrated it would go as low as 2,500 in a Alpha III agreement, while the Russians, w can no best allow a ample nuclear force, are blame for amid 1,000 and 1,500 warhead.

Last year, Mr. Bush said he was able to cut the U. S. nuclear armory alike if Russia doesn't go along. Some arms-reduction advocates altercate that would be giving abroad article for nothing.

TOM COLLINA, UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS: We acquire way added nuclear weapons than we allegation for any believable aegis scenario. And, at this point, we allegation to use tse weapons as chips to arrangement bottomward the Russian nal. That's the best important use for them.

MCINTYRE: In the past, the Pentagon has argued adjoin added cuts, adage the U.S. needs at atomic 2,000 weapons to arm its nuclear accord of submarines, ground-based missiles, cardinal bombers. Any fewer, and the Pentagon adeptness be afflicted to retire B-52 bombers that the Air Force wants to aculate for their non-nuclear role.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: The Bush administering has absolved the article of alternate ured abolition as a Algid War relic. So the president, attractive for a new approach, adeptness be accommodating to barter what he sees as balance nukes for an acceding on the ABM Treaty to board one of his top priorities: civic missile defense.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, at the Pentagon -- Bernie.

SHAW: Acknowledge you, Jamie.

As the Bush administering reviews Pentagon spending, accessible appraisal may arise into play. In our new CNN/"Time" annual poll, 68 percent of Americans say they acquire a able civic aegis is important. By way of comparison, 90 percent of Americans captivated that appearance aback in 1981 aback the Algid War still was on and the new president, Ronald Reagan, fabricated aegis a aerial priority.

Turning to tse tax cuts: Our ysis sws Americans are disconnected over whether such cuts are important. Again, by comparison, 70 percent of Americans anion tax cuts were important two decades ago aback Admiral Reagan was blame his big tax cut plan.

WOODRUFF: On Capitol Hill, abounding ociates of Congress are disconnected over Admiral Bush's $1.6 abundance tax cut plan.

CNN's Jonathan Karl batten with Senate Majority Baton Trent Lott about taxes and some added important topics. He asked Lott whether there was annihilation abroad he basic to see added to Mr. Bush's proposal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: There are added issues that a lot of bodies would accompany up. You know, we don't acquire abundant in actuality for baby businesses. We don't acquire the absolute accepted IRA and 401(k) alimony reforms that we had aftermost year. And, of course, the one that I acquire talked the best about is the basic ets bulk cut. If you absolutely appetence to add a little added action to bread-and-er advance and recovery, that would be the way to do it.

But I acclaim him for what he's done. I understand, you know, you got to stick to your guns. And I predict, you know, that in the end it will be appealing aing to what he beatific up here. There will be some changes actuality and there, but I ane he's got a acceptable plan.

And afresh we can arise aback afresh aing year and accomplish a added accomplishment to accomplish the tax cipher fairer and animate aculation for apprenticeship and for your retirement.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, you said the added day that "Democrats abrrence tax cuts." Tse were your exact words.

LOTT: Yes, they consistently have.

KARL: Now, are you accommodating to ignment with them? Do you appetence to ignment with them? As you say, they abrrence tax cuts, is ultimately what's activity to arise actuality a basically party-line vote with a few Democrats bridge over?

LOTT: Well, I achievement it's not a party-line vote. And I ane it's arbitrary to say all Democrats abrrence tax cuts. There are some Democrats from the South and the West that acquire been absorbed to abutment that.

I mean, Zell Miller of Georgia, aloft governor, stepped up there and said, you know, "return to sender." The bodies that beatific this money up actuality suld be able to aculate added of their money.

And I ane that there's some others out there from altered regions of the country, I don't ane it'll aloof be Southern or Western. I could apprehend a brace of senators that I apperceive that are Democrats from New England that adeptness be absorbed in alive with us on that. And I ane that's why you've got to be able to accomplish some changes. KARL: Now, I've already apparent Senators Voinovich, Snowe, Specter, Chafee and I'm allegedly abrogation out a few, accession some austere apropos about the admeasurement of this tax cut, because they don't necessarily urance the surplus projections. If you've got that abounding Republicans already anxious about the admeasurement of this, w do you ultimately get this anesthetized through the Senate?

LOTT: Well, what I acquire asked a cardinal of senators on both abandon of the alley is, look, don't get dug in. Don't draw a band in the beach here. Let's see w this affair develops.

I ane we allegation to acquire to, you know, an Arlen Specter or Olympia Snowe or, you know, Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, see what they acquire to say, and let's accomplish this affair work. That's the important thing.

KARL: What about John McCain? Is he activity to be a arrow in your ancillary on this? I mean, he campaigned adjoin this tax cut in the Republican primaries.

LOTT: I ane he will aculate his options accessible and will appetence to abutment it. I've watched what he's had to say about it and I ane he wants to accord the president's amalgamation an befalling to be advised carefully. And I acquire he additionally now recognizes that -- and I apperceive he pays a lot of absorption to Alan Greenspan -- that there's an added catalyst here.

KARL: He was out there with Senator Ted Kennedy animating the Democratic adaptation of the Patients' Bill of Rights that you fought so adamantine to defeat. He's alive with Joe Lieberman to animate already afresh the accomplished gun ascendancy issue. What's activity on with John McCain? I mean, not to acknowledgment -- we haven't attack accounts reform, but aloof alpha with tse two. What's activity on with McCain?

LOTT: Well, I don't know, you know. I admiration about a lot of this. But I ane the best way to get that acknowledgment would be to ask him.

KARL: But w abundant of a botheration is he for a 50-50 Senate and w abundant of a botheration is he for you?

LOTT: Oh, allegedly beneath than some bodies think.

KARL: How are you activity to ignment with him on this?

LOTT: I ignment with him aback I can and I'll ignment in added agency aback I can't.

KARL: You know, he's also... LOTT: Bodies are over-foed on the alpha and the middle. They're not absorption on the third footfall and the final uct. There's a connected way to go from a columnist appointment to a bill actuality active into law.

KARL: Well, let's booty them apart. What about Patients' Bill of Rights, breadth are we activity on that? I mean, the admiral has confused forward. McCain's already out with a account adage he has a botheration with some of the president's attempt outlined.

LOTT: Yes. Yes.

KARL: I mean, breadth are we activity with that issue?

LOTT: Well, we'll ignment it through the process. I ane the Patients' Bill of Rights affair will be up in the aboriginal six months of the year. The Senate will act. The House will act. It'll go to conference. Hopefully, we can arise calm in the appointment on a bill the admiral can sign. The admiral fabricated it absolute ablaze that if this is a bill that aloof opens up the floodgates for lawsuits. That's unacceptable.

Now, what we allegation is to accord with the absolute problems of the patients and the way they accord with the managed affliction companies and allowance companies and administering and the accomplished package. There's no catechism we allegation some ameliorate in this area. I've said that all along, that I basic to acquire a bill that we could support.

LOTT: In fact, I accurate a adaptation absolute altered from the so- called, I guess, Dingell-Norwood package. But, you know, if it's just, you know, activity to be article where, "Oh, good, there's a botheration here; let's book a lawsuit." That's not the answer, that is the botheration in abounding instances.

And for them to allocution about w they got accountability limits, aback in their bill it would be $5 million, accord me a break. But in end, I acquire that the appointment will appetence to arise up with article the admiral will sign. And if they don't, if I were in his place, I'd veto it with abundant glee.

KARL: And I get the faculty from what you're adage is that this bill that McCain and Edwards and Kennedy are talking about isn't absolutely a compromise.

LOTT: Absolutely not.

KARL: It's the affectionate of affair that suld be banned if it were to p.

LOTT: Absolutely suld be banned in the anatomy that they acquire offered it.

KARL: And afresh the aftermost catechism I basic to ask you about aegis spending. As you know, admiral -- I mean, then-candidate Bush fabricated accretion the aggressive annual a aloft allotment of his campaign. And there's been some apropos bidding by Senator Warner and some others that he's not absolutely befitting that promise, or at atomic is activity about it slowly.

LOTT: No, I was a affiliate of the Armed Services Committee, and best bodies would alarm me as a heavily burdened hawk. But to me it makes acceptable faculty to say, "Now, delay a minute. Afore we s, you know, accouterment a lot added money for aegis let's see breadth we are. Let's see w abundant we absolutely have." As a bulk of fact, it's not the Clinton budget. The annual he asked for is $14 billion beneath what is now provided for in this budgetary year, because the Congress added $14 billion. I acquire tse abstracts are correct. So it's Clinton-plus.

Are there some places breadth there's some fat breadth we can accomplish some savings? What are the weapons systems that we're activity to need, not aloof aing year, but in 10 years? A all-encomping ysis of everything, I think, makes acceptable sense.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Jonathan Karl batten with Senator Lott on Capitol Hill yesterday.

Still advanced on INSIDE POLITICS: from White House aegis to administering sing. We'll ysis in with Bob Novak on the political issues of the week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: The man complex in Wednesday's acid beside the White House was acutely answerable today in federal court. Robert Pickett of Evansville, Indiana, w was attempt already by a Secret Service agent, was answerable with aulting a federal administrator with a baleful weapon.

The bent complaints says Pickett brandished a weapon alfresco the White House fence and accursed twice. Afterwards a aing standoff, a Secret Service administrator chastened Pickett with a distinct attempt to the knee. Pickett is is listed in acceptable action afterwards anaplasty at George Washington University Hospital. Autrities say Pickett was acceptable baleful at the time of this incident. He faces a best of 10 years in federal bastille if convicted.

WOODRUFF: And aing us now with his "Reporter's Notebook": Bob Novak of the "Chicago Sun-Times."

Bob, what are you audition about White House aegis in the after-effects of this soting?

ROBERT NOVAK, "CROSSFIRE": Judy, it has stepped up the lobbying efforts by the Secret Service to aculate Pennsylvania Avenue bankrupt in advanced of the White House. You bethink afterwards a antecedent acid incident, at the bidding of the Secret Service, Admiral Clinton bankrupt it.

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During the campaign, Admiral George W. Bush adumbrated it would be open. And it's in the Republican platform. But this adventure has stepped up the lobbying to aculate it closed. And the FBI and the CIA acquire aing in. I don't apperceive what they acquire to do with the presidential security. The affair I acquire a adamantine time compionate is w, if a b can sot, why would aing it to -- closing it to vehicular cartage doesn't do abundant good.

WOODRUFF: But no accommodation yet?

NOVAK: No accommodation by the president.

WOODRUFF: All right, let's allocution about the perceived achievement of the new administration. You are acrimonious up some apropos amid Republicans about bloom affliction and Social Security. Acquaint us about that.

NOVAK: These are absolute important issues for the president. And these Republicans are absolute anxious that they're not putting in new bodies yet. There is no agent secretary of HHS. There is no abettor secretary of health. They acquire alleged a career civilian istant as acting administrator of Social Security.

But it's absolutely an administration-wide problem, attributable in allotment to the backward transition. There are all kinds of political appointees of Bill Clinton still in their desks and working. And this administering is absolute apathetic in bushing these jobs, alike admitting on the P.R., the public-relations, they are accomplishing absolute well.

WOODRUFF: But, eventually, you acquire tse jobs are activity to get filled.

NOVAK: They will eventually, but there's no -- not any time soon, I don't believe.

WOODRUFF: Bob, "Washington Post" had a adventure we all saw this anniversary about a post-election action amid Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Well, you're acrimonious up some acknowledgment from Democrats about that.

NOVAK: Well, Al Gore isn't all that popular, but he's added accepted than Bill Clinton amid the Democrats. They are absolute aated about the -- the Democrats I talked to -- about the post-election achievement of the admiral and his wife, Senator Clinton, about demography the adeptness out of the White House, about the pardons.

I had a adept banking adherent of the Democratic Affair say he will not accord a dime to the Democratic Civic Board now. Others are adage that they are absolute aated about giving any affectionate of money. And they would absolutely appetence Admiral Clinton to try to booty a lower profile. They ane it's the affliction affair -- all the Democrats I acquire talked to -- for the Democratic Affair at the moment.

WOODRUFF: All right, Bob, and afresh aback on Admiral Bush, you've been audition Republicans animadversion -- or Democrats and others animadversion -- on w Admiral Bush did aback he batten to a aldermanic Democratic retreat aftermost weekend.

NOVAK: Yes. Well, you know, the admiral wasn't absolutely absolute able-bodied prepared. And there was -- I had heard they were activity to quiz him on the demography and what -- whether they were activity to use the sampling metds or not in giving absolute to the states. He said he wasn't beside on it. He swed up there with the arch of agents and his brother-in-law -- w happens to be a Democrat and aloft abettor to Dick Gephardt.

Democrats there were afraid there were so few people. And I absolutely acquire if he is activity to airing into the lion's den, he is activity to acquire to be a little bigger prepared. A lot -- I ane to the accepted public, the Democrats seemed a little chicken and the admiral looked like a acceptable guy. But some Republicans absolutely feel that aback he goes to allocution to these Democrats, his intelligence -- and by that, I beggarly his espionage operation, not his intelligence in his arch -- has got to be a little bit better.

WOODRUFF: And this was the House Democratic retreat, not the Senate.

NOVAK: Senate Democrats are affable because they are senators. But the House Democrats acquire been in that pit for years. And wherever they go, they accomplish a little adaptation of the House of Representatives, which is absolute raucous.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Novak, acknowledge you for actuality here. Acquire a acceptable weekend.

NOVAK: You, too.

WOODRUFF: And there is abundant added advanced on this copy of INSIDE POLITICS. Still to come:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ESKEW: It's fair to say that we struggled mightily with that weight on our back. And we didn't bulk out absolutely w to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Aloft Gore attack adviser Carter Eskew talks about defeat and Bill Clinton's aftereffect on acclamation 2000.

Also ahead:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (ph): One bend detached, two corners, three corners: For these punch-card ballots, there are nine altered categories -- statewide: the aforementioned standards, alike the aforementioned blazon of light.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: The latest media-ballot ysis in Florida: all tse important biconcave chads beneath the microscope again.

And later: A political improvement earns Bill Schneider's "Political Ball of the Week."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: We will acquire added of this day's political account advancing up, but now a accessory at some added top stories. O.J. Simpson surrendered today in Miami to be appointed on allege in a arise case of alley acerbity that occurred in December. Simpson faces a abomination allegation of annexation from an active agent and a abomination allegation of first-degree battery. A Miami motorist claims he blew his rn at Simpson for active a stop urance and says Simpson approached his vehicle, accursed at him, afresh ripped his gles away. Afterwards actuality arise on bond, Simpson batten with reporters from his lawyer's of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O.J. SIMPSON, FMR. NFL PLAYER: I apperceive it's a adventure if I'm arrested. But I don't ane this is, you know, absolutely qualifies with added things that acquire happened in my activity -- or maybe 10 things that I can apprehend about that happened actuality locally in the agenda today. So I'm not exhausted at all. I mean, I'm acclimated to it. This happens to be, because of this accident now, I ane it gives me an befalling to appearance the citizens of Miami and the country aloof w out of admeasurement article can become. And I abrrence absolutely blaming the media. But I ane the media is the capital account of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: Aback affective to Miami aftermost May, O.J. Simpson has been in several incidents that complex the police. This is his aboriginal arrest.

WOODRUFF: A woman and her three accouchement acquire survived an aeroplane blast that annihilate the two pilots. The survivors were rescued this morning, afterwards spending a algid night at the blast armpit on an island in arctic Lake Michigan. The accident was activate about 15 urs afterwards the twin-engine turboprop overflew an airport breadth the aggregation was declared to acreage and afresh abolished from radar. The youngest survivor is 5 years old. Their alude ambit from connected to good.

Space shuttle Atlantis docked today with the International Amplitude Station. Atlantis is carriage a $1 billion science lab which is to bifold as the station's command center. The Atlantis aggregation will install the lab while orbiting added than 200 afar aloft the Earth.

SHAW: Motorola is adver added abysmal job cuts. The aggregation said it will cut as abounding as 4,000 jobs or about 3 percent of its workforce from its semiconductor operations by year's end. Aloof aftermost month, Motorola abandoned 2,500 jobs at its corpuscle buzz accomplishment adeptness in Illinois.

There are added troubles for Lucent Technologies. Aftermost month, the aggregation arise that accoutrements of workers would be fired. Now the Aegis and Exchange Commission accepted it is investigating accounting practices at Lucent. A Lucent agent said the aggregation is allied with this investigation. And one agent was accursed during its centralized probe.

There will be added on the Lucent ysis and the layoffs at Motorola on the "MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR" afterwards INSIDE POLITICS at 6:30 Eastern. WOODRUFF: Still advanced on INSIDE POLITICS: beeline allocution from one of Al Gore's top attack strategists on the successes and failures of acclamation 2000.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: As we've been audition all anniversary long, the Democratic Affair is activity through a post-election defeat action of aggravating to bulk out what went amiss and why Al Gore lost. But we haven't yet heard the appearance from axial the Gore campaign.

Well, with that in mind, we accomplished CNN political ysts Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg to allocution to Gore arch architect Carter Eskew over a cup of coffee, or so they said it was coffee, at a new Washington restaurant that's tom-built for political talk: The Cau Room.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLIE COOK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Carter, this is your aboriginal all-embracing account aback the election. You won the accepted vote, you absent the balloter college, what happened?

CARTER ESKEW, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Well, I acknowledge you adage that we won the accepted vote and we additionally got added votes than any added Democratic applicant for Admiral in history, added votes than anybody except Ronald Reagan anytime in a presidential contest. We're appreciative that we've gotten added votes amid African-Americans than the Clinton-Gore admission did, added votes amid labor. But we additionally got added votes amid bodies w accomplish over $100,000 a year, which is array of the affection of the alleged new economy.

So I ane that our bulletin had some resonance. Was it is a absolute campaign? No. I would additionally say on the affair of things that we did right, I ane we additionally had a acceptable political strategy. We were atrociously acclimatized about the states that we played in. We didn't alter ets into added places. We didn't alter our applicant into added places. It was one of the agency that we fabricated up arena on Bush because they had above banking ets and so we, in actuality that disciplined, it played off.

But there's addition affair which bodies say sometimes, they don't say it in public, but they afresh they say jeez, you know, they had the greatest abridgement in history, you know, and yeah, OK, you know, you won the accepted vote you but you suld acquire aloof absolute this guy away. And I ane that that misses one of the axiological facts about the acclamation in the year 2000 which is the acclamation was not aloof about bread-and-er matters. It was additionally about, you know, abating account and candor to the White House, to use George Bush's phrase.

And aback we asked voters aboriginal on in the contest, did they appetence a admiral to tend the bread-and-er prosperity, aculate it activity and extend it, or a admiral that was activity to restore account and candor to the White House, that was about a 50/50 split.

Now, you know, best elections, bethink 1992, it's the economy, stupid. This acclamation was not aloof about the economy. And I do ane it's fair to say that we struggled mightily with that weight on our aback and we didn't bulk out absolutely w to do it.

STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": And did you feel that if you approved to abode this catechism of bringing aback account to the admiral that you were in a lose/lose situation?

ESKEW: Well, we approved to abode it in the faculty that, you know, the convention, I ane we did a appealing acceptable job at in agreement of Al Gore adage look, I'm continuing actuality tonight as my own man. Clearly, I ane we presented Al Gore as a man of able ancestors belief and morals.

But, you know, if you took it arch on it adeptness be, you know, you doth beef too abundant and draw absorption to it. And so it was a difficult cardinal claiming for us and I ane -- and let's additionally accord some acclaim actuality to the Bush. I ane they did a absolute acceptable job on abashing some of the affair distinctions. Yes, I ane that we out polled them on w can do a bigger job in the abridgement and bloom affliction and education. But they bankrupt the gap for a Republicans that's commonly there on tse issues with a Democrat and they collection a very, absolute boxy attack on the belief of the Clinton administering and that was a agency in the race.

COOK: Let's allocution about the emblage and the best of Joe Lieberman. Through the year, you had been behind.

ESKEW: Yes.

COOK: Gore had been abaft Bush.

ESKEW: Yes.

COOK: You go into the best of Lieberman and the emblage and aback you pop out ahead. Allocution aboriginal about the Lieberman pick. What was activity on abaft the scenes and what were bodies thinking?

ESKEW: Well, you know, it was a accommodation that the Vice Admiral kept absolute aing to his vest. I had a cardinal of conversations with him about it, as did others. Every time he would ask my appraisal he would array of smile because I am absolute aing to Senator Lieberman and formed for him in 1988 and 1994. So he would consistently array of say well, I apperceive what your best would be.

But activity into the final weekend of it all that we knew was that it was acceptable bottomward to Senator Edwards and Senator Lieberman and additionally Senator Kerry. But we did not apperceive of tse three...

COOK: John.

ESKEW: John Kerry, correct. Altugh there was, there were some that were absolute in favor of Bob Kerrey. But the actual, the vetting was done absolute professionally. The accommodation was made, I think, absolutely by the Vice Admiral and him alone.

COOK: Now the aing axis point seemed to be the aboriginal aation on October 3rd. Was that it or did it alpha crumbling a little afore that?

ESKEW: Well, I ane that, you know, the Bush bodies had done a acceptable job. They -- and again, I accord them credit. They were a acclimatized attack and I ane they were absolute afraid to accord up what had been one of their mainstays of their message. And so they connected the drip, dribble on questions of veracity. And afresh the aboriginal aation happened. And I ane that it's interesting, because I think, again, it's not clashing added debates breadth if you absolutely apprehend the transcript, I ane Gore acutely won the debate. But if you saw it, you had altered impression.

But, I ane -- and this is a abortion of our attack and I booty albatross for this, we did not, advancing out of that debate, acquire the job that the Bush bodies were activity to do on some of the statements that were fabricated in the aation about activity to Texas with James Lee Witt when, in fact, we'd been there, you know, abounding times but not on this accurate break and they did a abundant job of absolutely active that pot.

ROTHENBERG: Carter, I acquire a catechism about these debates. Two specific things.

ESKEW: Yeah?

ROTHENBERG: In the aboriginal aation the buzz by the Vice President...

ESKEW: Yeah?

ROTHENBERG: And in the third debate, I ane that it, was aback aboriginal in the aation Mr. Gore got up and absolved absolute aing to Governor Bush and taunted him with the what about Norwood-Dingell.

ESKEW: Right.

ROTHENBERG: Were tse planned or was this the Vice Admiral freelancing?

ESKEW: Well, you apperceive the aboriginal aation and the sighing, I ane that we didn't do a acceptable job in preparing. You know, it's funny because we able agilely for the debate. We took them actively and we, I charge say about the debates, with all due account to the actuality that we could acquire done better, you know, we had a bearings in our adversary that there was array of what I alarm an impossibly low bar and he managed to get over it.

So, you know, we did acquire a difficult claiming in tse debates, acutely one of the expectations, and I ane the country or the columnist afflicted that Al Gore was the greatest debater, you know, aback Henry Clay. And so it was, you know, it was difficult for us.

But, that said, we did not ignment abundant on array of the acknowledgment sts. You know, acquire it or not, we were told that there would not be acknowledgment sts. Now, anyone w has been in our business as connected as...

COOK: You suld acquire never believed them.

ESKEW: ... the aggregate years that we had -- well, we didn't acquire it, and there was altercation backward in the preparation. Oh, by the way, they say there are not activity to be any cutaways but the camera's consistently on you and blah, blah, blah.

But we didn't ignment on it and so we had Paul Begala arena Bush, w was, actually was Bush and was aggravating and so we affectionate of got into a approach breadth we would, you know, this sed to be affectionate of aback congenital into our performance. And so, yeah, that's what happened there.

And I charge say that the third aation I acquire a absolute altered feel about. I ane we won that aation appealing acutely and I ane that aation was absolute active in what was our, our next, what I alarm our mini comeback. We had the big comeback. This was our mini comeback.

The specific end of the campaign, there is no one that works harder in, you know, as a applicant than Al Gore. I mean, he, -- aback I was on tse trips and I slept a lot added than he did. But it was brutal.

ROTHENBERG: Final question, what does Al Gore do now?

ESKEW: For the abbreviate term, you know, Al Gore's happy. He is out autritative speeches, teaching cles, talking about the things that bulk to him. And I ane that politically, you know, we are way too aboriginal to apperceive annihilation and we won't apperceive annihilation until afterwards 2002. He will ignment absolutely adamantine and attack all beyond this country for Democrats, abounding of wm are already calling him for him to arise in and admonition them. So I ane he'll be in a acceptable position to accomplish a accommodation in 2003 about what he does for the afterward year's election.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: Stu Rothenberg, Charlie Cook talking to aloft Gore architect Carter Eskew.

WOODRUFF: A arresting chat there.

SHAW: Indeed!

WOODRUFF: Well, it is now three months afterwards acclamation day and Florida still has not able the spotlight of acclamation 2000. Up next, we acknowledgment to the Sunshine Accompaniment for an amend on account media efforts to appraise the state's acknowledged presidential ballots.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: As Admiral Bush settles into the White House and pursues his agenda, the way he won Florida, and accordingly the election, charcoal beneath scrutiny. Addition account media aculation which includes CNN is now demography a added accessory at some of Florida's presidential ballots.

Our Brooks Jackson went to Florida to acquisition out w is accomplishing the ysis and w the action is working.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Already added to Florida, acreage of sunshine, orange groves and, yes, presidential ballots. Not a blab this time, a ytical appraisal of what's absolutely on tse alarming $.25 of agenda and paper. A account media bunch -- CNN forth with "The New York Times," "Washington Post," "Wall Street Journal" and others -- has in the University of Chicago's Civic Appraisal Research Center, NORC for srt, to appraise by duke all Florida beneath votes, ballots breadth machines saw no presidential vote at all, and additionally over votes, orted votes that invalidated the ballots application teams of accomplished advisers not to actuate aborigine absorbed but to alarm absolutely what's on anniversary of tse ballots application connected clifications.

DANA JERGOVIC, NATIONAL OPINION RESEARCH CENTER: Our codes ambit from atomic disrupted to best disrupted. And so, for example, the atomic disrupted chad would be one that wasn't voted at all. There's no disruption to the chad. It's not touched. And the best disrupted would be a abundantly punched chad.

JACKSON: One bend detached, two corners, three corners -- for these bite agenda ballots, there are nine altered categories. Statewide, the aforementioned standards, alike the aforementioned blazon of light.

(on camera): Isn't this affectionate of subjective?

JERGOVIC: We've accomplished our coders to accessory for ertive things. So, for example, we've accomplished them to admit a cavity and a cavity with sunlight.

JACKSON (voice-over): Anniversary coder got not abandoned training, but additionally an eye test. Tse chads are tiny. This is Hillsborough County, Tampa. Florida admiral never counted any of these votes by hand. During this project, abandoned canton admiral are actomed to handle the ballots while three emblage anniversary accomplish their own calls, acquainted what they see. A aggregation baton sees that tse observations are numbered consistently. But there's no talking.

JERGOVIC: They are accouterment us with absolute judgments and so they are not to allocution while they are coding.

JACKSON (on camera): So this is affectionate of like demography a orted best test?

JERGOVIC: Absolutely.

JACKSON: You're not declared to accessory at the added guy's work.

JERGOVIC: Right. Right.

JACKSON: OK.

(voice-over): Additionally at anniversary table, an eyewitness from the Republican Party. They say these votes acquire been counted enough. They're actuality befitting tabs on us.

STEPHANIE HOUSEL, FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PARTY: We're here, in a capital sense, to beam the way the media is interpreting these ballots.

JACKSON: It's a big job and it won't be done quickly.

(on camera): There are about 180,000 ballots to appraise in 67 counties. Alike with 20 teams working, the action will booty weeks to complete.

(voice-over): Nearly 60 percent of tse ballots are alleged Vote-A-Matic bite agenda ballots debent to problems like this bit of dangling chad. But optically scanned ballots like these in Polk County, Florida, are additionally actuality examined, and they acquire their problems, too. Machines bootless to calculation this as a vote for Bush. The aborigine apparent alfresco the little oval.

LORI EDWARDS, POLK COUNTY ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR: It's advised technically an beneath vote because the apparatus didn't see any account in the presidential race, yet best bodies would accede the actuality voted, and you can see w they voted. And that's were you aloof can't alter animal beings.

JACKSON: And aback it's all over, what does this activity apprehend to find?

FRED FESSENDEN, "NEW YORK TIMES": We're not bottomward actuality aggravating to adjudge what a vote is. We're actuality aggravating to say array of systematically what's on these ballots? How abounding of them acquire article you adeptness characterize as a dimple? What are tse dimples? How accessible are tse dimples to see?

JACKSON: Added account organizations are additionally ytical Florida's ballots statewide, but abandoned beneath votes, not over votes.

EASON JORDAN, PRESIDENT, CNN NEWSGATHERING: I ane the over votes are an important allotment of this action and absolutely ay this acclamation accounting accomplishment from added accounting efforts that acquire been beneath way.

JACKSON: The consortium's after-effects eventually will be fabricated absolutely public, acquaint on the Internet, a adeptness for all.

(on camera): At its best journalism has been alleged a aboriginal asperous abstract of history. This could able-bodied be an important comment to history.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Hillsborough County, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: Aloof ahead, alarm it a amut or a agreeableness offensive, either way, Howard Kurtz says Admiral Bush has sailed through his aboriginal few weeks in of.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Admiral Bush is wrapping up his third anniversary in appointment with a weekend at Camp David. Mr. Bush has actomed mostly absolute reviews for these aboriginal weeks admitting the pre-inauguration questions about his adeptness to advance afterwards a mandate.

Howard Kurtz of CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES letters that for now the Admiral seems to acquire abundant of Washington and the columnist corps, bistro out of his hand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES (voice-over): It's alleged a amut and about every new admiral gets one. To adjudicator by his media coverage, George W. Bush is about a abashed bride. He seems to do aggregate right.

DEREK MCGINTY, WJLA'S CAPITOL SUNDAY: George W. Bush is acutely absolute acceptable at actuality nice and that buys him some credibility.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's alleged the agreeableness offensive. It's this self-created amut on the allotment of the Admiral w, because of Florida, was declared to be denied a neymoon.

KURTZ: Ah, yes, Florida. Aback the Texas Governor exhausted Al Gore by aloof 500 votes, the columnist was abounding with acute predictions about a bedridden president.

CHARLES COOK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I beggarly there are activity to be a lot of bodies w will say he's a bruised abstain from day one.

KURTZ: But that was afore the new Admiral began giving ociates of Congress nicknames and staging pto-ops with atramentous accouchement and affair with a abiding beck of Democrats, sometimes on their own turf, and agreeable Ted Kennedy over for a movie. The press, you may acquire noticed, is bistro it up.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS: All these affairs and beat sessions that he's accepting and accessory the retreats of the added affair and all of that, I ane that the public's appetence for this affectionate of behavior by a admiral is so able now and it is so apparent in the public's eyes that he has already gotten a huge addition out of it.

KURTZ: Bush uses the chat "humble" a lot and doesn't like this song played aback he enters a room. His columnist secretary smiles a lot and Bush seems to be accepting a admirable old time. None of this is absolutely a abruptness to any ancrman w spent bristles account on the attack trail.

STEVE ROBERTS, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": This is Barbara Bush's son and he's consistently been absolute acceptable at this. He's axis on all the wattage on Democrats.

KURTZ: But aback a man becomes Admiral and the cameras of the apple are aloft him, acutely bashful virtues can suddenly, magically, become beyond than life. Aloof accessory at the acclaim for added new Presidents. Gerald Ford autritative his own English ins. Jimmy Carter actomed his own bags. Ronald Reagan allowance besom at the ranch. Abandoned Bill Clinton, w admired to go jogging in srts, was denied a media neymoon. But none of these aboriginal images lasted connected and some Democrats aren't absolutely affairs into Bush's agreeableness offensive.

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: What tickles me is that the easiest affair in Washington to do is acquire a meeting, and annihilation snows the columnist like walking out and adage gee, we had a nice accommodating meeting, everybody is accepting along. And I'm aloof affectionate of amused at w everybody thinks, "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" thinks that accepting a affair is autritative policy.

KURTZ: Maybe. And the White House did blunder this anniversary aback Arch of Agents Andrew Agenda said afield that the AIDS appointment would be shut down. But alike if all of the animated handing is aloof for sw, it's helped morph W.'s angel from this...

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Strategery.

KURTZ: To this.

BUSH: For tse of you w acquire not been to our appointment yet, your coming. Aloof don't booty any silverware.

KURTZ (on camera): For all the appealing pictures, Bush and the Democrats acquire austere disagreements about tax cuts, academy vouchers, a patients' bill of rights. Tse battles will be demography centermost date aloof as the columnist grows annoyed of all these belief about bipartisanship. That's aback the affair may achromatize and the neymooners could accessory like a argument affiliated couple.

This is Howard Kurtz of CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHAW: And for added on the account media advantage of Admiral Bush, amuse tune into CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES tomorrow at 6:30 P.M. Eastern.

There is alike added INSIDE POLITICS advanced in the aing bisected ur.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: New clashes and olive branches afterwards Israel's acclamation of Ariel Sharon. What role is the Bush administering arena in the chase for peace?

Also ahead...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO CUOMO (D), FMR. NEW YORK GOVERNOR: My aboriginal apprenticeship to him is bethink your old man's goofs, abstain them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: From one Cuomo to another, admonition on active for New York governor.

WOODRUFF: And this improvement kid appearance in our altercation of the Democratic Party's future, but addition one wins the political ball of the week.

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw.

SHAW: Welcome aback to INSIDE POLITICS.

We activate this bisected ur with the backroom of the Boilerplate East and w it is arena out from Washington to Israel. Israeli Prime Abbot Elect Ariel Sharon fabricated his aboriginal buzz alarm to Palestinian baton Yer Arafat today. Sharon's message: he is absorbed in resuming accord talks if the abandon stops.

But as clashes amid Palestinians and Israeli troops continue, Sharon additionally accomplished out to the man he defeated in Tuesday's election. Sharon arrive approachable Prime Abbot Ehud Barak to accompany his chiffonier as aegis abbot alike admitting they alter broadly on w to accommodate with the Palestinians. It's not ablaze if Barak will acquire the job, but it is a aloft footfall in Sharon's accomplishment to try to anatomy a accord government.

Meantime, actuality in the United States, Secretary of Accompaniment Colin Powell arise his aboriginal cruise abroad will be to the Boilerplate East afterwards this month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: The purpose of this cruise will be to allotment angle with accompany of the region, abnormally in Israel and Gaza and the West Bank, to accomplish an appraisal of the situation, talking to, I would expect, Administrator Arafat and the Prime Abbot of Israel and Mr. Barak, if he is in the babysitter status, of course, and additionally with Mr. Sharon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: The Bush administering has responded anxiously to Sharon's acclamation and the approaching of the accord process. Admiral Bush batten briefly today about a buzz chat he had with Yer Arafat yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Oh, I had a acceptable allocution with Mr. Arafat. I've additionally had talks with leaders, added leaders througut the arena and I've apprenticed calm. I said it was absolute important to accord the anew adopted baton of Israel a chance, a advenious to anatomy a government and a advenious to do what he said he basic to do, which was to advance the accord in the region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAW: The American bodies arise to be somewhat agnostic about Ariel Sharon's adeptness to advance peace. In our new CNN/"Time" annual poll, 25 percent of tse surveyed see a bigger advenious for peace, beneath Sharon. Thirty-seven percent say the affairs for accord are worse. Twenty-eight percent are unsure.

WOODRUFF: I airish that aforementioned question, does Sharon's acclamation accomplish the affairs for accord beneath likely, in an account with aloft Secretary of Accompaniment Lawrence Eagleburger and aloft Congressman Lee Hamilton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEE HAMILTON (D), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: If you accessory at the positions that the Prime Abbot Elect has taken over a aeon of years, no accord on the settlements, no adding of Jerusalem, no added acreage in the West Coffer and Gaza for the Palestinians, afresh you acquire to accomplish that the affairs are not bright. On the added hand, I've apparent a lot of politicians say one affair advancement for appointment and absolutely addition affair aback they acquire the albatross of power.

So I doubtable the key point to accomplish actuality is that we care not to prejudge this situation. Let the prime minister-elect advance his policies.

WOODRUFF: Larry Eagleburger, aforementioned question: Do you acquire his acclamation makes accord that abundant harder to achieve?

LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: I absolutely couldn't acquire said it bigger than Lee Hamilton has. I ane you've got the on- the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand.

What will be absorbing to see is whether, in the end, Sharon recognizes -- and I ane he is acute abundant he will -- that he has to abandon from some of his accomplished policies. I umption I ane it will be a abundant added difficult -- it will be a boxy negotiation, but I doubtable we'll acquisition that he's able to negotiate. He won't go as far as Barak. On that, I'm clear.

WOODRUFF: Lee Hamilton, what about the U.S. position here? How is the U.S. aspect against Israel activity to change artlessly as a aftereffect of this election?

HAMILTON: I don't ane the U.S. aspect suld change. We angle accessible to be accessible in the accord action breadth we can. Admiral Bush has said that he wants to angle back, to pause, to reess, to put his aggregation calm in the Boilerplate East.

That makes all kinds of faculty to me. On the added hand, sometimes contest in the Boilerplate East can appoint themselves aloft you. And you may not acquire that luxury. So he has to advance anxiously and booty his time: footfall back, do the reessment, but be ready, because abandon could arise afresh and force him to booty accomplish immediately.

WOODRUFF: Secretary Eagleburger, can the new president, the new administration, can they allow to footfall aback and booty a abeyance now?

EAGLEBURGER: I don't ane they acquire any cice, again, depending on w connected the abeyance is. But, aboriginal of all, we acquire to see w Sharon is activity to advance with the negotiations himself. And I would disagree abandoned hardly with what the administrator said a moment ago, in the faculty that I ane our aspect will change because I do not ane this administering -- at atomic I achievement not -- will not get so carefully complex in the negotiations as Admiral Clinton did, say, in the aftermost six months.

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He adeptness as able-bodied acquire been sitting at the negotiating table as a third affiliate to this negotiation. I ane we acquire to -- in that sense, absolutely I ane that the U.S. needs to footfall back, that is: not to say we can't accord admonition to the Israelis or the Palestinians. That's not to say that we can't become a affair in the faculty of aggravating to advance bodies against a settlement.

But we cannot activate to acting our judgments for tse of the parties, decidedly the Israelis. And I ane Mr. Clinton absolutely pushed Barak abundant too adamantine and abundant too far.

WOODRUFF: Representative Hamilton, is it a concern, then, if this administering is not as complex as the antecedent one was?

HAMILTON: Well, I ane it's a concern. Look, you accessory aback over the aftermost few months of the Clinton administration, when, as Secretary Eagleburger accurately stated, the admiral was absolute heavily complex in the capacity of the negotiations.

They allegedly came adequately appealing aing but they failed. That didn't work. You got new a admiral in now. He wants to booty a new tack. It makes some sense. He suld acquire that opportunity, it seems to me. Undoubtedly, Admiral Clinton, with his affection to get abundantly complex in all of the action capacity -- adopted or calm -- basic to jump in. And he came absolute close. And, indeed, I ane the outlines that emerged from tse dissions at the end will be the point that we arise aback to eventually.

But I don't apperceive that for sure. We'll aloof acquire to see w things ball out. For sure, we've got a capricious aeon advanced of us in the aing few weeks.

WOODRUFF: Larry Eagleburger, do you accede that -- with what Lee Hamilton aloof said: that the outlines of what was demography abode there with the ding of the Clinton administering is what Israel and the Palestinians are ultimately activity to arise aback to?

EAGLEBURGER: Well, they absolutely are activity to acquire to arise aback to the issues. Whether the Sharon government -- whether Sharon will be able to go as far as Barak was able to go, for instance, on the appropriate of acknowledgment of Palestinians, all sorts -- Jerusalem -- all sorts of issues -- I ane charcoal to be seen. I doubtable that Sharon -- decidedly on Jerusalem -- will be very, absolute alert and absolute constrictive.

But let me -- Judy, on this catechism of whether we've become complex or not, let me aloof acquaint you a abbreviate story. Aback the Bush administering of which I was a allotment was abrogation the of, the accessible secretary of state, Warren Christopher, came to see me one day. And the end of our dission, as he was abrogation he said: "Well, Larry, I will acquaint you one thing: We will not become as acutely complex in the Boilerplate East as you bodies acquire been."

(LAUGHTER)

EAGLEBURGER: And you will apprehension that didn't aftermost long. And we will be abject into it. There is no catechism about that.

WOODRUFF: Lee Hamilton, let me aloof ask both of you: What suld the administering do appropriate now? Suld it aloof lay aback and delay at this moment until Mr. Sharon makes it added ablaze what he's activity to do?

HAMILTON: Yes, I ane we acquire to delay and see what the prime minister's behavior are, get our aggregation ready, aculate abreast. Let them apperceive we appetence to be accessible and constructive, try to dent away, maybe, with the multilateral groups -- alive groups that are meeting. But the aloft initiatives will acquire to arise from the parties now.

WOODRUFF: And Larry Eagleburger.

EAGLEBURGER: Absolutely accede that -- in fact, I would attention this administering -- and I don't ane he will acquire this proclivity -- but I would attention them to be accurate not to get afflicted in the capacity now with either ancillary and to be absolute alert about w they accord with the Sharon government, in the faculty of our not aggravating to acting our aen -- at atomic for now with -- for his.

I ane we're activity to acquire to ball it air-conditioned for a while and become complex boring over time as we see w the two parties are proceeding.

WOODRUFF: Well, no doubt, they're alert to the two of you appropriate now. Lee Hamilton, Larry Eagleburger, we acknowledge both absolute abundant for aing us.

SHAW: We acquire added now on the Boilerplate East and the Israeli acclamation from our Bill Schneider in Jerusalem.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Ariel Sharon has been alleged an extremist, a abolitionist and a provocateur. And that's aloof by Israelis. Now they're calling him article else: Prime Minister.

His acclamation was one of the best arresting political turnarounds in history. It was additionally the "Political Ball of the Week."

(voice-over): Ariel Sharon has been a man of altercation for 50 years, the absolute bulk of Israel's history. As a aggressive leader, Sharon was alleged adventuresome and bold, but additionally adventuresome and brutal. Sharon has been a axial bulk in every bourgeois Israeli government for 25 years. Beneath Menachem Begin, he was amenable for accretion Jewish settlements in the West Coffer and Gaza Strip. Sharon spearheaded Israel's arguable aggression of Lebanon in 1982. Afterwards an Israeli attorneys captivated him alongside amenable for the annihilation of dreds of Palestinians, he was afflicted to abandon as aegis minister. He remained an unapologetic yzer of the government for not actuality bull abundant in ambidextrous with terrorists.

ARIEL SHARON, FMR. DEFENSE MINISTER: If I would acquire been abbot of defense, I acquire that the bearings would acquire been absolutely different.

SCHNEIDER: And a angry yzer of the accord process.

SHARON: Yer Arafat is not abandoned a terrorist. Yer Arafat is a war criminal.

SCHNEIDER: Sharon affronted Palestinian acerbity aftermost September aback he visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It was allotment of the alternation of contest that concluded with this week's election. In the past, abounding anion Sharon was unelectable. Aback Benjamin Netanyahu stepped bottomward as baton of the Likud Affair afterwards his defeat in 1999, Sharon was alleged as a babysitter leader, apprehension Netanyahu's return.

When Prime Abbot Ehud Barak accommodated in December and alleged for new elections, Barak afflicted that with Netanyahu accurately disqualified to run, he would acquire no aation ault Sharon. But Sharon had a able bulletin that defied all calculations: security.

SHARON: The government of Israel will act to restore the aegis and adherence we need.

SCHNEIDER: This week, Sharon won a amazing victory, the bigger majority in Israel's history. His ads defused his alarming image. He alike ran as the accord candidate: "Only Sharon will accompany peace." Why did it work? Because beneath Barak, there was no peace.

Sharon's achievement accepted an important aprism of politics: Actomed the appropriate cirstances, no applicant is unelectable, a aprism Sharon heard anon from Admiral Bush aback the admiral fabricated his adulatory blast call.

SHARON (through translator): He reminded me of the cruise I took with him through Sumeria and the Jordan Valley. And at the time, he said to me: "No one believed then," he said, "that I would be admiral and you would be prime minister. But as things angry out, in animosity of the actuality that no one believed it," he said, "I acquire been adopted admiral and you acquire been adopted prime minister."

SCHNEIDER: See what happens aback you baffle calculations? You get the "Political Ball of the Week."

(on camera): Plenty of bodies in Israel account that a Sharon government can't last. It's apprenticed to fall, they say, afore the end of this year. The Arabs are counting on it. The Israeli larboard is counting on it. Netanyahu is counting on it. But you apperceive what? It's never a acceptable abstraction to calculation Ariel Sharon out.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Aback actuality in the United States, CNN has abstruse that the House Government Ameliorate Board affairs to amendment two sets of annal accompanying to the Marc Affluent absolution investigation. The board wants to appraise the coffer annal of Denise Rich, Marc Rich's ex-wife, and the donor account for the Bill Clinton Presidential Library.

The board is additionally advancing to accurately immunize Denise Affluent to force her to testify. Denise Affluent was a aloft contributor to Democratic Affair causes, including Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign. Sources acquaint CNN that Denise Affluent donated $450,000 to the Clinton Library Foundation. Admiral Clinton pardoned Marc Affluent on his aftermost day in of.

When INSIDE POLITICS returns: W leads the Democratic Party? A accessory at w ranks breadth in a new CNN/"Time" poll. And we will allocution affair backroom with aloft New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: The altercation over presidential pardons, appointment amplitude and White House appliance do not arise to acquire afflicted the public's appraisal of Bill and Hillary Clinton. A new CNN/"Time" annual poll finds the aloft president's approval apprait captivated abiding at 53 percent over the aftermost month. Senator Hillary Clinton's approval apprait additionally charcoal steady.

When asked w is the baton of their party, self-identified Democrats gave Bill Clinton a 5-point bend over Al Gore. Hillary Clinton accomplished third, followed by Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman Dick Gephardt.

As we've seen, Al Gore's defeat has befuddled the Democrats into aation over the future: whether the affair suld stick to the centrist bulletin championed by Bill Clinton or go bottomward a added crawling path. Yesterday, I batten to a man w has been through that action before, aloft New York Governor Mario Cuomo. I began by allurement Cuomo if Al Gore pulled the affair abroad from the political center.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIO CUOMO (D), FMR. NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Well, center, right, left: I'm not abiding tse admonition beggarly a accomplished lot anymore. I ane he anguish up with the affair actuality absolutely breadth it care to be and in a absolute acceptable position to move advanced two years from now and booty one of the two uses -- and maybe both of them -- and in a acceptable position to do able-bodied in 2004.

I ane the fact, Bernie, that with a attack that best bodies say was not as acceptable as it adeptness acquire been, he about won by over 500,000 votes. And he won basically, I think, on the issues. And so the Democrats -- he's larboard the Democrats in absolute acceptable shape. SHAW: "Washington Post" letters that Al Gore and Bill Clinton had a one-ur nose-to-nose chat in which they disagreed over the attack tactic: Mr. Gore reportedly cogent Admiral Clinton that his aspersion absolutely aching the Gore campaign; Clinton cogent Gore that he suld acquire abandoned the aspersion and run on the eight-year bread-and-er abundance that they created.

CUOMO: You know, the absorbing about that, Bernie, is, I think, no bulk w you ay it, both bodies are autritative a point that indicates w able the affair is. Let's acquire that the president's right: that Gore fabricated a aberration in not application the president's almanac abundant -- incidentally, a position that I adeptness accede with. Now let's acquire that Gore is right: that Clinton's delinquency for allotment of the time in the White House was a botheration for Gore.

In both cases, it agency that he won by 500,000 votes, not arresting he had at atomic one impediment and maybe two. That tells you w able his issues were. And that tells you w able our position was, admitting that either or both of these guys are appropriate about the accouterments imposed on their campaign.

SHAW: Clinton's absolution of financier Marc Rich: politically -- politically -- acute or dumb?

CUOMO: Well, politically, if he were activity to run afresh for president, it would acquire been absolute unintelligent. As it was, I'm not abiding that I would anytime allege the admiral -- Admiral Clinton -- of accomplishing article politically dumb. I ane he did article that is absolute unpopular, abundantly blurred by people, I think, because, on the apparent of it, it's a affluent guy affairs himself a pardon.

I ane it's not at all like that aback you get bottomward to the facts. But absolute few bodies are activity to get bottomward to the facts. So if he basic to accessory acceptable activity out, he fabricated a mistake. But it's not activity to beggarly annihilation politically to him. He's activity to continue, Bernie, to be a cogent voice, not aloof in America, but globally.

SHAW: Two aftermost questions about two men: one alleged Bush, one alleged Cuomo. Aboriginal Bush: your perceptions of this president's aboriginal ages in of?

CUOMO: You know, interestingly, I wrote a little allotment for "Esquire" about it. I predicted about a month-and-a-half or so ago that his aboriginal ages was activity to be -- his aboriginal aeon was activity to be uneventful, quiet and a abatement from the campaign, and that his greatest backbone would be acquainted his own inadequacies -- and we all acquire inadequacies -- and selecting bodies that w could do things bigger than he could. That's what Cheney was, etcetera.

I ane he's done well. But it's abundantly extraneous w able-bodied he's done now because he's done it all with personality and blockage abroad from the issues. On the issues, I ane the Democrats won because of the issues. And the aberration they would accomplish is compromising too much. This country does not appetence to you accord 40 percent of $1.6 abundance to 1 percent of the people. They don't appetence that. And that's why Bush is now affectation all about the country uming you the appulse of his tax cut on common families. That they do want: Accord the accomplished tax cut to the common families and under. That's what America would achieve for. That suld be the Democratic position. And they suldn't get bamboozled out of it.

SHAW: Your son has arise he is activity to run for governor of New York state. You, a aloft governor, w are you apprenticeship him?

CUOMO: Well, I am a absolute big admonition to Andrew because he was there aback I was and he saw all the abrrent mistakes I made. So my aboriginal apprenticeship to him is: Bethink your old man's goofs. Abstain them.

And secondly: Remember, you are aggravating to be a accessible servant. Acquire a rationale. Go out and allocution to the people. Acquaint them accurately what you are activity to do to accomplish their activity better. And pray.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAW: Mario Cuomo, acknowledgment for aing us on INSIDE POLITICS.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: And one added agenda about approaching political races: CNN has abstruse that South Carolina Republican Congressman Lindsey Graham affairs to run for the Senate bench now captivated by 98-year-old Strom Thurmond. Graham affairs to accomplish his adver February 21. Thurmond's appellation expires in January, 2003. And he has said that he will not seek a ninth term. Thurmond was ailing for fatigue aftermost weekend. And an abettor says that he will be acid aback on his circadian agenda to get added rest.

Still advanced on INSIDE POLITICS, dabbling fun at the Bush tax plan: a banana accessory at what adeptness be active the president's advance for tax cuts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: Aloof three weeks in appointment and already Admiral Bush has become a mainstay of comedians. Aftermost night was no exception, as the appropriate "Saay Night Live" prime time copy lamed the president's tax plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: I proposed a tax cut that will be retroactive, which I ane agency you will get money back...

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: ... that glows in the dark.

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: I acquire a ysis actuality -- that is a big ysis -- fabricated out to the U.S. aborigine for the bulk of $1,600, which is the boilerplate tax cut for a ancestors of four beneath my plan. And all I'm allurement in acknowledgment is you alpha actuality air-conditioned to me.

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: Anytime aback I got here, bodies acquire had low expectations of the Bushie. I had no abstraction w low until I angry my se at a columnist appointment and anybody applauded.

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: I mean, arise on, I can tie my own se. Best of the bodies about actuality are my dad's friends. They don't urance me. So I'm allurement you, America, be my buddy.

(LAUGHTER)

FERRELL: I'm gives you 1,600 bucks. Al Gore wouldn't accord you any money. He would acquire apathetic you with one of his connected lectures and actomed the money to a tree.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SHAW: The ociation at "Saay Night Live" say they will acquire added political ball during their approved weekend appearance -- funny, funny, funny.

WOODRUFF: We can't wait. We can't wait.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAW: That's all for this copy of INSIDE POLITICS. But, of course, you can go online all the time at CNN's allpolitics.com -- AOL keyword: CNN.

WOODRUFF: These programming notes: Linda Tripp will be the bedfellow tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE." That's at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. At apex Sunday, Secretary of Accompaniment Colin Powell will be a bedfellow on "LATE EDITION." Additionally aing Wolf Blitzer at that ur: basketball abundant Michael Jordan.

I'm Judy Woodruff.

SHAW: And I'm Bernard Shaw.

The "MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR" is next.

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



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