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Bush Wins; Republicans Maintain Control of SenateAired November 8, 2000 - 2:18 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: George Bush, Governor of Texas will become the 43rd President of the United States, at 18 minutes past two o'clock Eastern time, CNN declares that George Walker Bush has won Florida's 25 electoral votes and this should put him over the top.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN ANALYST: With Florida, he gets 271 electoral votes, one more than he needs. What happens in Oregon and Wisconsin now becomes irrelevant unless by some remarkable miracle -- some state changes course. This was the closest election electorally, it looks like in this, perhaps, in this century. But George Bush has been declared by CNN the next President of the United States.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN ANALYST: And if Al Gore takes Wisconsin and Oregon, he will win by one electoral vote. That's only happened once that I know of and that was 1876.
WOODRUFF: George Walker ...
SCHNEIDER: One electoral vote.
WOODRUFF: George Walker Bush, the second son of a President to be elected -- to be elected President in his own right coming after John Quincy Adams who ran what -- almost 200 years ago.
SHAW: And one person in the Bush family who's taking this hardest -- this cliffhanger atmosphere has been George Herbert Walker Bush. He has been just so uptight these past couple of weeks --- in these past few days, these last few hours.
WOODRUFF: You could see it earlier tonight, you know, when we'd run up to the hotel suite and he was sitting there -- Governor Bush was sitting there with his wife and with his mother Barbara and his father, the President -- the President George Bush looked very worried at that moment.
GREENFIELD: I think anybody who's a parent knows that you suffer more with the prevails of your children than you do for your own. In 1992, George Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton. There are those who believe that that defeat rankled. How could the man who led us to the Gulf War be ousted by a Governor of Arkansas and in this sense George Walker Bush may represent a kind of restoration. He has defeated the man Bill Clinton wanted to be his heir in the White House.
Once again, a Vice President of the United States failed an election, but once again, just as with Nixon in '60 -- in '68 by the closest of margins.
SCHNEIDER: What's interesting about this victory is, of course, that the times in the country are good. We've got peace. We've got prosperity. The crime rate is down. People very strongly approve the job the incumbent Democratic President is doing and on the forecasting model, said it should have been an easy win for Al Gore. Bush has won by a very narrow margin, but yet he beat very serious odds to win this election, and I think Bill Clinton's problems have a lot to do with that.
SHAW: No question about this. This is absolute redemption for the former President Bush. Remember this summer, he talked about the fact that if the Democrats and Clinton got too personal in their criticism, he -- former President Bush, would come out and start saying things and very so subtly, early on in the campaign, Governor Bush talked about restoring dignity and -- to the White House and in the last 72 hours, you've heard that theme again Jeff.
GREENFIELD: Pause ...
GREENFIELD: ... for one other second. Think of the two men who've run tonight on their 40th birthday. Al Gore, United States Senator having run for President. George Bush, a businessman who woke up on his 40th birthday and decided to give up drinking. Al Gore, 24 years in Washington -- George Walker Bush, the son who was not supposed to even be in public life, but he is tonight elected President.
WOODRUFF: Just five years ago, he was the managing partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and then he was elected Governor of the State of Texas, and he gave up running a baseball team in order to run a state, and you know, much has been made of the fact that Texas has a weak governor system. This is not a governor with a great deal of power in his own right.
That well may be, but it's a state with a lot of people. He turned out to be a very popular governor in that state and the Republican eyes across this country have been on him literally since the day he was elected Governor -- took office I should say in 1995.
SCHNEIDER: That's right and he's going to go to Washington with a Republican House of Representatives. Right now, the Senate has not been decided, but the Republican -- he may have a Republican Senate, which means that for the first time in almost 50 years, we could have a situation where the Republicans controlled the Senate, The House of Representatives, and the White House. Let's just be careful about that because you're rational exuberance could take over.
SHAW: Candy Crowley is in Victory City, Austin, Texas.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, I've got to tell you that this crowd outside the Austin State House -- you are looking at the die hards here. This crowd was about twice as big earlier in the evening. I have to tell you it has been pouring rain. It is cold enough to see your breath in Austin, Texas. I was in Green Bay yesterday and it was warmer there than it is here this evening. This crowd has been rained on. They have cheered every state that went for Bush. They have gone through every emotion known to man.
They had, you know, a time when it looked like they had lost Florida and you know, it seemed to swing sort of towards the Vice President. The crowd got very quiet. Florida was put back into play and from then on, every single state that went, they cheered. So, you are looking at die--hard Bush fans. It's good to come home when this sort of thing happens because you've got a crowd like this that'll still wait up for you.
We are told that as of yet, George Bush has no reaction. We do know that he has been spending this evening in the Governor's mansion with his brother, Jeb, his father, his mother, while they have been watching the events unfold. We were told at one point the atmosphere was nervous. But, we have been told all along that George Bush was feeling serene about the race he ran -- that whatever happened, he felt that his campaign gave it a good go.
Tonight, again, you are looking at Austin -- some of them who have been waiting here literally for nine and 10 hours to see their favorite son make good and it looks like they have. You see that sign, thanks Jeb. I have to tell you Jeb was in the -- as I said, in the Governor's mansion with Governor Bush tonight -- the two Governors Bush, George Bush had been saying along the campaign trail for the last couple of weeks, well, if I don't win Florida, that Thanksgiving turkey is going to be pretty cold. So, Thanksgiving dinner, apparently, is safe now for Jeb Bush. He can join the family in Kennebunkport no doubt. This has got to be an incredible moment for that family.
WOODRUFF: Well, and what may make it even sweeter Candy, is that we can report to you that it's a trifecta tonight. The Republicans, CNN is calling, that the Republicans do retain control of the United States Senate based on victory we're calling in Montana for the incumbent Republican Senator Conrad Burns The challenger Brian Schweitzer, he has set back the Democrats.
This is, as Bill Schneider has been pointing out throughout the evening, the last time when the Republicans ended up in control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, Dwight Eisenhower was in ...
SCHNEIDER: That's right.
WOODRUFF: The White House. It was 1952. They, then, subsequently lost control of the House and the Senate two years later. But, for two years, they had all three.
SCHNEIDER: And now they control the House and Senate since the election of 1994. They came to power 1995 and they've kept it ever since then, which is quite remarkable. GREENFIELD: One thing we should point out, just to do the Arithmetic, the reason why we know the Republicans will control the Senate is the best the Democrats can do is to get to 50--50 and with the election of George Walker Bush, it means the Dick Cheney, the Vice President breaks any tie in the Senate. So, that's where we are now.
WOODRUFF: That's in the -- go ahead.
GREENFIELD: No, I just wanted to say the Mr. Schneider is going to be using the words irrational, exuberance as a warning to the Republicans...
GREENFIELD: I have a feeling. I think what we heard from Speaker Hastert and Trent Lott were some words of restraint -- that even if the Republicans control all three of these -- of these institutions, there may be a certain degree of rational non exuberance because of the narrowness.
SCHNEIDER: Imagine the religious right -- imagine the gun owners. They're waiting for the Republicans to deliver and for years, they've been saying, but we need the White House -- we need the White House. Now, they have no excuse.
WOODRUFF: We have a race to call. The Senate Race in the state of Nebraska goes to Ben Nelson, the Democrat. He defeats the Republican Don Stenberg. This means the Democrats hold on. This is the state of retiring Senator Bob Carey. It is a whole -- a retention, if you will, for the Democrats. We now have a Bill Nelson in the Senate from Florida and a Ben Nelson from Nebraska. You got that?
GREENFIELD: Yes and it means that the Democrats have at least 49 seats in the Senate and if Debbie Stabenow beats Spencer Abraham in Michigan, the Senate will break 50-50 and Vice President Cheney will break...
GREENFIELD: The tie.
WOODRUFF: And we should say, we haven't mentioned Dick Cheney's name in the last few minutes. He is -- we are projecting, estimating, calling the next Vice President of the United States -- 59-year-old Richard Bruce Cheney, born in the state of Nebraska, but grew up and hails now from the state of Wyoming and he's been Secretary of Defense. He's been White House Chief of Staff. He knows Washington.
SCHNEIDER: Which is why he's on the ticket because George Bush doesn't -- has never worked in Washington except through association with his father.
WOODRUFF: With his father. SHAW: Let's go out to Nashville, Tennessee. Our man -- our Senior White House Correspondent John King is there beneath an umbrella. Bush, 271 -- the magic number John.
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bernie, the glum faces here in this crowd, much like Austin, Texas, the hardy here waiting in the rain and the cheers started to go up when we showed the gap closing in Florida, but then on the big screen behind us where they have been showing some of the network broadcasts tonight including our own from time to time, when the election was called for Governor Bush, there were gasps of no and screams of no -- their faces quite glum. The organizers of this event quickly turned off the news broadcast and put the music back on and just a moment ago, they announced that Al and Tipper Gore will be here about 15 minutes from now. No word from the Gore campaign yet. We tried making a few phone calls on exactly what they plan to say, but we will hear from the Vice President, we're told in about 15 minutes here.
The atmosphere, obviously, quite depressing here. The Vice President, himself, had said this morning at five a.m. in Tampa that he thought it would come down to the state of Florida. As the results came in, a bit of a roller coaster, much like this entire night, the Vice President originally projected to win Florida, then obviously, the state slipped away in the results and borrowing some sort of legal challenge, it appears Al Gore has fallen just short of something many of his advisers worried about in the final few days -- a man, the son of a legendary Senator of this state, served eight years in the House, eight years in the Senate, eight years as Vice President, was seemingly ready to step out of the shadow of not only his father, but also of Bill Clinton.
Within the Gore campaign, already complaints that he was hurt on the left from Ralph Nader and on the right, if you will, among conservative Democrats, conservative elderly voters, by Bill Clinton's character problem -- others already questioning the Gore campaign strategy. You can see the faces here in Nashville tonight, quite a depressing crowd as they wait to hear from the Vice President and the mood here has gone up and down all night. Right now, these people seem to be in shock as they sit in a very cold rain waiting to hear from Al Gore.
GREENFIELD: John, it's Jeff Greenfield. You know, it occurs to me that 30 years ago tonight on election night, Al Gore, Sr. lost the seat that he had held in Tennessee and that apparently for much of Al Gore's life, maybe from birth, it was the parents' dream that he would ascend to the job that Al Gore, Sr. had wanted and never, never could get to.
From your own sense, losing this close, coming this far, after all the years that Al Gore had wanted to be president, my own suspicion is that this would be much worse a night than if it had been a sizable, you know, early predictable loss. What's your sense of that?
KING: Well, certainly on a night to question why the Vice President could not do what the President has done. For all the criticism of Bill Clinton, he was able to carry some states in the south, this state, Tennessee, twice, Arkansas twice, Louisiana, Kentucky. Al Gore, painted by George W. Bush as a traditional liberal, not even able to carry all of the Dukakis states, with Oregon going to Governor Bush, or at least being in Governor -- a lead for Governor Bush right now. Remarkable that a son of the south, a Tennessee senator who was a member of the Democratic Leadership Council being painted as a liberal by Governor Bush and losing this election, losing his own state in the process, his own home state.
SCHNEIDER: John, I wanted to ask you, it's Bill Schneider, are you hearing from any of the Gore supporters down there if only he had used Bill Clinton more he might have won this race?
KING: Within the Gore campaign, very few people say that. They had unified around a strategy based largely on polling and focus groups done by their pollsters that Bill Clinton hurt them among swing voters in places like Michigan and in places like Pennsylvania. But we did hear from Ed Rendell, the Democratic National Committee Chairman tonight. He was furious. He said they should have sent Bill Clinton at least home to Arkansas for several days. They lost those six electoral votes and they perhaps, Mr. Rendell said, should have sent him somewhere else.
There was a lot of criticism of Al Gore throughout this campaign dating all the way back to the early primaries. People thought he over reacted to the Bill Bradley challenge by moving left. Then his comments about Elian Gonzalez drew criticism. His performance in the debates drew criticism. Of course, his convention was praised, as was the selection of Senator Joseph Lieberman.
There is great disappointment in the Democratic ranks tonight that a Vice President running on an enormously popular economic agenda of this President, anyway, 22 million new jobs, four percent unemployment, enormous frustration in the party, if these results hold up, that the Vice President could not hold the White House for the Democrats on such a remarkable economic record.
WOODRUFF: John, we've been talking about Ralph Nader through at least part of this evening. Will there be fingers pointed in that direction or is it clear looking at at least what looks like this result is going to be, that there were forces bigger than the Green Party at work here?
KING: Well, I don't think you can singularly blame Ralph Nader, but already within the Gore campaign they are pointing the finger at Ralph Nader. If you look at the results in Oregon, the results in Florida, if he got -- if, say, the Vice President received half of the Nader votes in Florida, we would have perhaps a different result, or at least the chance of a different result.
So certainly they will point fingers at Ralph Nader. There has been a pointing of fingers, if you will, at Bill Clinton the entire time of the Gore campaign, people saying that had it not been for the President's personal failings, that this would have been a shoe in from the beginning because of the economic record. As you were just mentioning, somewhat remarkable that we will have a Republican president and a Republican Congress. If you look through the polling, the voters in this country say that they tend to favor the Democrats, in some cases by substantial margins, when you rattle through the big issues in this election.
So the Republicans facing a challenge here as well and already there will be speculation about who will lead the Democrats. We haven't spoken much about this because it's in bad taste, but in this past week, many Democrats have already begun talking among their own consultants about the next presidential election should Al Gore lose.
We're told by Democratic sources Senator Lieberman has had conversations about it, Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, obviously one man who looks right now to be the Democrats' leader would be Dick Gephardt of Missouri. He leads a minority in the House. He's run for president before, thought about challenging Al Gore and decided not to. He must be thinking again tonight he's a very lonely man in Washington.
SCHNEIDER: John, has anyone mentioned the name Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is now the United States Senator from New York and probably the Democrat with the widest national following now that Al Gore is not going to be president?
KING: People in our business mention it quite a lot, Bill, because obviously the attention she would draw as the candidate. She herself has said she has no plans to do that but obviously if these results hold in the days that follow, Democrats will be looking around for a standard bearer. I think Mrs. Clinton would be quick to try to dampen such speculation and make the case that she wants to be New York's Senator.
Perhaps a year or two from now, people will come and make a run at her, but I view that as pretty unlikely right now.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King there under the umbrella in Nashville, where the rain is certainly symbolizing the mood, more than symbolizing the mood of so many people. And as we heard him say, in maybe 10 minutes we'll hear from Al Gore.
Back to Austin, Texas quickly to Candy Crowley. Candy, the crowd seems to be getting bigger again.
CROWLEY: Yes. The crowd is thinner now. It's been raining here but here the weather doesn't match the mood. Let me give you what little I know about what's gone on in the Governor's mansion in the past couple of minutes.
The Governor is there with his brother, the other Governor Bush from Florida, as well as father -- as well as with his father, the former President, and there are a variety of spouses. We are told by an aide everyone is very excited, as you might imagine, that Governor Bush is going around thanking his staff. "It's a very happy moment." You bet it is for the Bush family, and, of course, for these Austin residents and those from surrounding towns who have been -- come here, have been here about nine hours waiting for a moment just like this.
WOODRUFF: Candy, in talking with Karl Rove earlier today, I know I was struck, I said, you know, if Governor Bush wins, what is this a testament to, to thinking he would say something about the kind of campaign that was run? And he said it would be an extraordinary testament to a guy with amazing powers of persuasion and somebody who shouldn't have won given peace, given prosperity and the fact that the Democrats should have been reaping the rewards of that.
CROWLEY: Look, it is a testament to something, first of all, a very well run campaign which admits to making some mistakes, but on the whole was very steady about the issues that this Governor wanted to talk about, was very steady in their strategy, which they put into play 17 months ago, which they then carried out over the last two weeks exactly as they planned it 17 months ago.
Having said all that, with peace and prosperity, this is an amazing outcome that a six year Governor from the State of Texas has been able to grasp the presidency for the Republicans, something they've been waiting for now for almost eight years.
Yes, what has been said about George Bush all along, what is apparent on the trail and in some of these election results is that this is a man who prides himself on being able to bring both sides together. If we heard I'm a uniter, not a divider once we heard it a million times along this campaign trail. It was one of his major themes, that is, you know, you don't like the bickering, I can end it, look what I've done in Texas.
So obviously that is one of the themes that had appeal.
GREENFIELD: Candy, this is -- it's Jeff Greenfield. Once again, an outsider has beaten an insider. Every time since John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, except for Michael Dukakis, it's always happened. Do they now think or have they been thinking for a while that the fresh start theme, the independence theme, not just the fact that I'm not from Washington, but that I can redo the climate of Washington, was what may have made the difference in terms of his appeal?
CROWLEY: They absolutely think they can change things. I mean if there's one thing we also know about this campaign, this is a Governor that is very comfortable with his own skills at being able to get along with people. This is also a man who is quite competent. So they go into this really believing they can genuinely change the atmosphere in Washington. And while he may be an outsider, he is no stranger to Washington, as you well know.
He came in in the final months of his father's last campaign. He has grown up around politics. So while he is an outsider in the elected area, he is certainly not an outsider to the ways of Washington. Has he got a job cut out for him? Absolutely. But they believe he can make some changes in the town. WOODRUFF: Candy, two questions. One,if this election, well, it is, as not if it's close, it has been an extremely close election. Any concern on their part about having less than, I hate this word, a mandate? And second of all, in terms of who he will bring to office, there have been all sorts of hints dropped about Colin Powell. Are there any other names that come to mind?
CROWLEY: Well, Condoleezza Rice, who has been one of his foreign policy advisers along the way. I think you'll see some familiar names here. They have surrounded him in the campaign. Those are the advisers on both domestic and international policy. So you'll recognize some of those people. There will be some new people, as well. But while there has been some talk of that, they have been focused on winning this election. I think they want to leave this whole transition and who they're going to pick to a later day.
But it's got to start tomorrow and as far as whether they believe that he'll have any problem with a mandate, one of the things he's also said going around the country is I want to go before Congress and say, you know, I represent the people and here's what the people want. Is that more difficult to do now? Absolutely. But again, this is a Governor that is very confident in his skills of bringing people together.
Will he get what he wants? No. I think everybody knew all along that neither Al Gore nor George Bush could go into Washington and say give me this and Congress would do it. We've watched Washington too long. That's, of course, why they call it the balance of power. There are three branches of government and George Bush knows full well they'll have a say in a lot of this.
WOODRUFF: Candy, a lot of people have said Governor Bush underestimates just how hard it is to deal with a city with two parties as entrenched as they are. You know the Congress as well as anybody we know. You've covered it for a number of years. Does he underestimate it or does he get it?
CROWLEY: I think he gets it, yes. He's watched Congress. He's watched his father in office. He certainly has watched Washington politics over the years. Let me sort of flip that on its ear. Governor Bush is also fond of saying that people underestimate him. So I think, you know, going into this they're not going to give any ground on I can bring them together, but, you know, Washington, as you know, is a whole another world and he's aware that it's there, but being aware it's there and actually experiencing it and trying to get these two sides together, particularly if there is such a close margin in the House and the Senate, that's going to be tough.
But they believe he can do it and you're not going to dissuade them from that tonight.
WOODRUFF: Candy, do you know when we are going to hear from the Governor tonight? Any hints?
CROWLEY: We all hope soon, Judy, but I...
WOODRUFF: I mean we could keep talking for...
CROWLEY: I've been told nothing...
WOODRUFF: We can...
CROWLEY: I'm now being told by our producer, Mike Roselli (ph), maybe in about 15 minutes. So, you know...
GREENFIELD: Would you give him our earnest wishes for a speedy victory, please?
WOODRUFF: Not that we don't love the sound of our own voices.
CROWLEY: But enough already.
WOODRUFF: You're being a real trooper, Candy, I have to say, because I know you've been there, oh, goodness, is it 12 or 13 hours now?
CROWLEY: Oh, who's counting?
WOODRUFF: Who's counting when you're having fun? Absolutely. One has to assume that there may be phone calls coming the Governor's way from all sorts of people, including the Vice President of the United States right now, that may be holding up public statements and so forth.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. I'm sure that, you know, as is standard, that you have to wait for some sort of speech from the opposition before you come out here. So there's that. And there's, you know, just getting it together, you know, to go from here to there. When you've got all these people surrounding you it takes some time.
SHAW: Bob Novak, you're watching this scene of joy from our Washington bureau. I'm just thinking listening to Judy and Candy, on this ticket with this successful Governor, former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and because cross -- Florida was so crucial and because there are many retired veterans down there, I'm just wondering how much the Schwarzkopf Tampa, Florida connection and the Cheney connection and their hammering on national defense and the deteriorating armed forces might have been a factor?
NOVAK: That might have been a factor, Bernie. I think also there's a lot of little ironies there that at the very end, as the Democrats and the Gore campaign were desperately watching the vote count, the slow vote count in south Florida, in Dade County, hoping that, in vain, that Vice President Gore could overtake the lead by Governor Bush, they lost out in Dade County and it's quite clear that the vote that put George W. Bush over in Florida, and, indeed, into the White House, was the Cuban-American vote in Dade County.
Now the irony of that is that Al Gore got in such trouble with his own party by coming out against the President's position on the Elian Gonzalez case. But it obviously did not do him any good with the Cuban-American voters, who I really do think, in some way, we have to look at the results as they come in, may have decided the next President of the United States.
GREENFIELD: Bob, I want to, you know, since recrimination is also a blood sport in Washington...
NOVAK: You bet.
GREENFIELD: ... I've already started drawing up a list of what the Democrats are going to say is why Gore lost. And the nine nominees are personality, the debates, both the Clinton scandals casting a shadow over him and not using Clinton enough, going left at the convention -- I know that'll be one of your favorites -- and another one that the fact that the country's been so prosperous for so long, many people believe that they could take the risk with an outsider.
Any additions you want to make or subtractions from that list of what Democrats will say about this?
NOVAK: All of the above and one other addition, which I've heard from a lot of Democrats just in the last couple of days before one single vote was counted, and that is the allegation that Al Gore did not stick to a decided track, to a steady course.
One thing about George W. Bush, he wasn't the greatest candidate I've ever seen, but he was steady. He had an agenda that he pursued with a great steadfastness. Al Gore, and this is the criticism by Democrats, he would zig one way this day and another the other day, talk about how bad it was, Bush was in Texas. The next day he was on Social Security. It was not a steady course.
That would not be my criticism. My criticism is that it's very hard, Jeff, for these politicians to get it straight that the American people, given a choice by somebody who is not part of Washington and somebody who is, almost always will take the outsider. The exception, as we know, was in 1988 when Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts was rejected in favor of Vice President Bush but Dukakis was a really terrible candidate, maybe the worst candidate I've seen.
And if political parties are going to be putting up insiders like George, like Al Gore and Bob Dole, they are going to lose because they must get the message some way that the American people, when all other things were in favor of the Democrats this year and all these silly models by the political scientists said it was a sure Democratic win, they still voted no because they don't like the insider.
SCHNEIDER: I wanted to ask Bob Novak a question. Your fellow, your conservatives, the most remarkable thing is that they stayed on board with George Bush. They didn't waver. They didn't give him any trouble. Pat Buchanan disappeared from the entire campaign. Do you find that remarkable?
NOVAK: I think Pat finds it remarkable because he thought he was going to get a tremendous vote from the conservatives who would reject another Bush. I don't believe George W. Bush had to work very hard. He did have, as long as he didn't do something silly like saying gee, I really am pro-choice on abortion and really alienate a whole block of his vote. But they were just saying we had to get rid, we being the Republicans, they were saying they had to get rid of the Clinton- Gore family, get them out of there completely. And there was very little, there was, they had, they gave George W. Bush a lot of leeway. And of course he did come up with -- he always talked about tax cuts in every single speech. Every single speech he talked about cutting down the size of government and he, that helped secure the base.
You know, Bill, a lot of people I've heard tonight saying how hard it's going to be with this closely divided Congress and a narrowly elected president to get anything done. But I will make you a little prediction that one of the first things that will get done is a repeal of the estate tax because there's a lot of Democrats whop are opposed to that who voted against the President. It passed both houses easily last time and President Clinton vetoed it.
So that is one issue that may not be of great importance to most Americans, but to a minority of Americans it is, it was one of the most attractive things in the Bush agenda and I think it's one of the things you're going to find become law very early in this new administration.
WOODRUFF: The estate tax, known in Bush circles as the death...
NOVAK: The death tax, yes.
WOODRUFF: ... the death tax. Bob, you know Washington very well. How much, how awkward, how difficult will this Governor's transition be to power in Washington?
NOVAK: Well, I think it'll be less awkward than Jimmy Carter's was, less awkward than Bill Clinton's was, in some ways less awkward than Ronald Reagan's was because there are a lot of people coming in who have been around the track quite often, including a guy named Dick Cheney.
We introduced, we interviewed Dick Cheney on EVANS, NOVAK, HUNT AND SHIELDS a couple weeks ago and asked him if he was going to be a, if he was going to have special duties in national security as Vice President. And I thought he would say well, it wouldn't be proper for me to speculate on that. And instead, he said yes, I'm going to have special duties.
He, I think he's going to be a very major figure in this administration in, as a Vice President unlike Dan Quayle and unlike Spiro Agnew, who, in the course of the campaign, became an embarrassment. I think Dick Cheney became more and more of an asset.
So I think that somebody like Cheney and also I expect, everybody expects Colin Powell to be Secretary of State. I'd be surprised if he isn't. There's no two greater insiders in Washington than General Powell and Mr. Cheney. And so it isn't like a bunch of boys who just got off the turnip truck coming in. I think they're going to be a little more savvy than some of the governors of both parties who have come in in the last generation.
WOODRUFF: Bob, while we're at it, while we're naming names, what about Treasury? What about White House Chief of Staff?
NOVAK: Well, the Treasury I don't, I don't really know except I think it's not going to be Lawrence Lindsey, who's the former Federal Reserve Chairman. I think he is going to have the, if they keep the job that was established in the Clinton administration as National Economic Director, I think that he'll have that.
Republicans like to have a financier or a banker in and sometimes pretty dull bulbs and I don't think they have decided who that is going to be. One of the more exotic choices is (unintelligible) youngish, multi-millionaire from California, Jerry Parsky (ph), who was a state chairman way back when, was a very young assistant secretary of the Treasury under Bill Simon in the Nixon administration. That's a possibility.
White House Chief of Staff, I hear a lot of names mentioned. I don't think they've made a selection on it. Some trial balloons have been floated for former Congressman Vin Weber, who supported John McCain against George W. Bush but then was added to his advisory staff. That is his name has been mentioned. Andy Card, who was a deputy chief of staff under John Sununu in the first Bush administration has been mentioned.
I don't think it's going to be Karl Rove. I don't think that's a job that Karl would like.
SHAW: We're going to go back to this jubilant scene here. Candy Crowley has a guest.
CROWLEY: Hi, Bernie.
Yeah, Mark McKinnon, so we call you, what, media guru, right?
MARK MCKINNON, BUSH CAMPAIGN MEDIA STRATEGIST: Media director is fine.
CROWLEY: OK. Mark, first of all, let me just talk about personally what you went through tonight. I mean we were up, we were down. What was the mood?
MCKINNON: It was like five life and death experiences. I mean I really felt like I'd been to hell and back on a number of occasions tonight, you know? When Florida went south, I know the Governor maintained his optimism, but I've got to tell you, a lot of us on the staff just -- Florida was key. We knew that from the very beginning, and when Florida went south, we all got involved in some very fuzzy math about how to try and put it together. But we knew it had to -- we knew we'd have to run the boards literally to make it happen without Florida.
So it was really devastating when Florida went south. I mean it was just, I mean the whole campaign went dark. And we really thought it was going to be tough to pull off. And so when the projection came back that they were pulling it back into the undecided column, you know, it -- we all got revived and then I can't, you just can't imagine what it was like in the headquarters literally watching the margins. You know, it was, we were at 48, 50 to 48 percent but literally we were watching 100,000 votes shrink to about a 20,000 vote margin, which I guess is what we won with.
CROWLEY: Well, what do you think did it for him? I mean if you had to like pin it down to one thing besides those marvelous ads you put out, what's the one thing that did this for him?
MCKINNON: I think it was that the Governor got a very fundamental focused message about trusting people versus Al Gore trusting big government. I think that in the end that message got through and people looked at Governor Bush and they saw a president. I think he met the, I think the debates were critical. I think the debates, when you look at the tracking and the research, the debates are when the whole thing turned around.
CROWLEY: Has anybody in this campaign been looking ahead over the last 48, 62 hours, however long, about OK, what next?
MCKINNON: If they have, it wasn't me. I have no idea. I'm going to go to bed tonight and have a stiff drink here as quickly as I can get off your set.
CROWLEY: Well, before you go do that, let me -- and they're cheering for you to go have a drink, Mark, so that's really nice. You're a, I don't know, do we call you a former Democrat now?
MCKINNON: I'm a Bush man is what I am. I am a Bush man.
CROWLEY: And what was it that got you from the other side over to Governor Bush?
MCKINNON: Well, he was a Republican that was proactive. He was for things instead of against things. You know, he had a bipartisan message and listen, I was just one of 800,000 Democrats in Texas that crossed the bridge to support him and then, you know, we saw tonight that a whole lot of other Americans came across the bridge, as well.
CROWLEY: The darkest time of the campaign?
MCKINNON: September. I call black, I call it Black September. It was the month of rats, moles and bad polls. It was a very difficult time. Of course, New Hampshire was tough. We lost South Carolina. But the Governor never wavered. He felt from the very beginning it was a long distance run. He set the pace and he -- we just followed him throughout and we never, he never, in the darkest times of the campaign he never wavered. He always felt we were going to pull it out, including tonight.
CROWLEY: Did you ever waiver?
MCKINNON: Oh, I've wavered a hundred times, are you kidding me?
CROWLEY: Mark McKinnon, thanks very much. I appreciate it.
MCKINNON: Thanks, Candy.
MCKINNON: Thank you very much.
CROWLEY: Judy? Bernie?
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley. I'm sure that Mark McKinnon was speaking for many people in the crowd when he said what his plans are in the next few minutes, after we hear from the Texas Governor, and we know he wants to talk.
We want to show you, who have been watching, of course, 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, 49 percent George W. Bush, 44,770,000 to Al Gore's 44,432,000. We are talking, what, 45,000 votes...
GREENFIELD: You're talking about 350,000 votes.
WOODRUFF: ... out of 88, 89 million.
GREENFIELD: You're talking now about a race...
WOODRUFF: And that's a small percentage.
GREENFIELD: You're talking about a popular vote margin now that is closer than Nixon and Humphrey's. Nixon won by about a half a million votes, slightly larger than Kennedy's 110,000 vote margin against Richard Nixon and I now would like to point out, depending on where this 10 percent is coming from, that it is not inconceivable that Al Gore will have more popular votes than George Bush.
WOODRUFF: Which is the opposite of what some of us were thinking going into this election.
GREENFIELD: Everybody was assuming that -- everybody was assuming Bush would win the popular vote but Gore might win the electoral...
WOODRUFF: Right. Gore could win the electoral vote.
GREENFIELD: I will say some of us pointed out it is possible that it would break the other way. I'm not predicting it will. I'm only saying that as you look at Bush's margin and the popular vote steadily shrinking and remember, you know, the Gore people were saying that we're going to play by the rules. Whatever the electoral vote says says, you may be faced here with a man with 271 electoral votes, President of the United States, getting really no more, and maybe a few votes less than the man he defeated.
WOODRUFF: That's right. Bush, yeah, what are those (unintelligible)...
SCHNEIDER: Well, to help make your case there are, we are told, approximately 11 million votes out yet to be counted. We do not believe that they will make any difference to the outcome, but we do have 11 million more votes to count, and a margin, as you see right now, of about 350,000.
WOODRUFF: So about 100 million votes will have been cast.
SCHNEIDER: About that, which is, yeah...
WOODRUFF: This adds up to about 89 million.
SCHNEIDER: That's right, about 100 million votes, which is a little, just a little more than four years ago.
GREENFIELD: So let's understand, if I may just review the bidding for a second at this late hour...
GREENFIELD: We have a president elected with, as of now, with one electoral vote more than he needs. We have a popular vote that looks like it may be one of the closest, if not the closest, and could even make the President of the United States a loser in the popular vote. We have elected a former First Lady of the United States to the United States Senate and the people of Missouri have elected a dead man to the United States Senate.
WOODRUFF: And we are in the, we are at the dawn of a new millennium. Do you think that has anything to do with all these political historic tense firsts?
GREENFIELD: I don't know if it's the harmonic convergence of the planets. I don't know what, but I must tell you, I think the historians are going to look back on this election and say we ain't seen nothing like it.
SCHNEIDER: Oh, yeah.
WOODRUFF: Maybe the swallows have come back to Capistrona (ph).
SCHNEIDER: I'll tell you one interesting thing about that election in Missouri. In our exit poll we asked people how would you have voted, the voters of Missouri, if it was a choice between Jean Carnahan on the ballot and John Ashcroft. If that were the case, the exit polls showed that John Ashcroft would have won by about three points.
As it was, Mel Carnahan, her deceased husband, won. What that clearly indicates is they were not voting for his widow, they were voting a vote of sympathy for the deceased Governor.
WOODRUFF: And yet they knew, problems, that...
SCHNEIDER: It was a statement of sympathy.
WOODRUFF: ... his widow was being, would be appointed to the seat if he won.
GREENFIELD: That's right. SCHNEIDER: What was remarkable was that George Bush carried Missouri but Jean Carnahan still won, and that's got to be very distressing for John Ashcroft to have lost this state the same day it went for George Bush.
SHAW: On that note, if you're just joining CNN's coverage, Texas Governor George Bush will be the next President of the United States. He defeated Vice President Gore with 271 electoral votes, one more than the required 270.
We are waiting for Vice President Gore. We are waiting for Governor Bush. Meanwhile, we'll be right back.
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