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Special Event

Bush Fills Cabinet, Travels to Washington

Aired December 17, 2000 - 8:00 p.m. ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER-DESIGNATE: I am absolutely delighted and indeed honored, and in fact, humbled that President-elect Bush has asked me to serve as his National Security Adviser.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect George W. Bush adds a few more names to his White House staff.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: He leaves Texas and is expected in Washington any minute. We'll take a look at what he hopes to accomplish.

NELSON: And how does America feel about its new president? The opinions are in and we will show you the results.

HALL: From the CNN Center in Atlanta, welcome to this Election 2000 special. I'm Andria Hall.

NELSON: And I'm Brian Nelson. Again, thank you for joining us.

Well, President-elect George W. Bush is traveling to Washington at this hour. The trip comes after Bush announced his choices for three key staff positions, insuring that some of his closest campaign advisers will also serve in his administration.

CNN's Kelly Wallace joins us now from Austin, Texas with the details on that -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brian, just as mentioned, George W. Bush at this very hour, headed to Washington, an experience he said will be a unique moment. It will be his first visit to the nation's capital since becoming president-elect and a few hours ago he and his wife Laura departed the governor's mansion here in Austin, waving to a crowd of onlookers from their new presidential limo. Mr. Bush has a very packed schedule ahead when he gets to the District of Columbia but, of course, before departing Austin, he announced the names of a few people who will play key roles in his White House, Mr. Bush apparently trying to keep his promise of building a diverse Cabinet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Not a surprise, but another historic move. President-elect Bush names Condoleezza Rice, his top international policy adviser during the campaign, to be his National Security Adviser, the first woman and only the second African-American chosen for the post.

BUSH: I trust her judgment. America will find that she is a wise person.

WALLACE: Rice, like Secretary of State nominee Colin Powell, served in Mr. Bush's father's administration as a top Russian Affairs Adviser on the National Security Council. The 46-year-old former Stanford University professor, talked about growing up in segregated Alabama, a message perhaps aimed at African-Americans who overwhelmingly voted for Al Gore.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER-DESIGNATE: ...that he will have an administration that is inclusive, an administration that is bipartisan and perhaps most importantly, an administration that affirms that united we stand and divided we fall.

WALLACE: In addition to Rice, Mr. Bush announced key White House roles for two long-time loyalists. Texas Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales becomes White House Counsel, and one of his top three advisers during the campaign, Karen Hughes, becomes a senior adviser, counselor to the president.

Naming minorities and women early on, the president-elect appears to be touting his goal of building a diverse cabinet. He described the message behind Sunday's announcements this way.

BUSH: That people that work hard and make the right decisions in life can achieve anything they want in America.

WALLACE: Before leaving for his first trip to Washington as president-elect, Mr. Bush said he has no plans to abandon a $1.3 trillion tax cut, even though Democrats say that's the wrong approach with the nation so divided after the postelection battle.

BUSH: It doesn't seem to make much sense for people to be drawing lines in the sands until we've had a chance to discuss things.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And Mr. Bush will have plenty of time to discuss taxes and other legislative matters when he meets with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill Monday. He'll also meet with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and on Tuesday, he sits down with Vice President Al Gore and President Clinton at the White House -- Brian.

NELSON: Kelly, now that the president-elect has made his first few appointments, I think people will start wondering if there is a Democrat on the horizon for his cabinet as -- at least speculation, has been talked about. Any signs of one? WALLACE: Well, the word today from Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, is there will definitely be a Democrat in Mr. Bush's Cabinet. Of course, so far, we haven't seen one named. Mr. Cheney was asked if the Bush team is having difficulty attracting Democrats. He said, no. He said there will definitely be a Democrat there.

We know earlier this week, Mr. Bush sat down with Democratic Senator John Breaux, fueling speculation that he would be offered a job. Mr. Bush never admitted or conceded if he, in fact, extended an offer, but Senator Breaux said he wanted to remain in the Senate. So no job for Senator Breaux, but Mr. Cheney saying a Democrat will definitely be on the Bush team -- Brian.

NELSON: Kelly Wallace in Austin, thank you -- Andria.

HALL: Now let's take a closer look at the woman hand picked to serve as the next National Security Adviser.

CNN's David Ensor has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: You can hear it when she plays Brahms. Condoleezza Rice exudes confidence and control in everything she does, from music to national security policy. She always has.

Growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, at the height of the civil rights movement, she was taught by her parents never to allow racism to hold her back. Among the four little girls killed in 1963 when a white racist's bomb destroyed a church was a onetime playmate of Condi Rice. If there are scars from that upbringing, they do not show.

BRENT SCOWCROFT, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I see no distortions from the kinds of things she endured and suffered as she was growing up. I don't see it reflected unless it is the drive to succeed.

ENSOR: Under President Bush, Brent Scowcroft was her boss on the National Security staff. As the Soviet Union was disintegrating, Rice was the top exert on that at the White House.

Forty-six, single, a professor at Stanford University, Rice shares George W. Bush's view: The Clinton administration has stretched America's military too far.

At the Republican Convention that chose him, she was a star.

RICE: He recognizes that the magnificent men and woman of America's armed forces are not a global police force. They are not the world's 911.

ENSOR: If she has a weakness, it may be, that up to now her career has focused somewhat narrowly on the former Soviet Union.

(on camera): On other issues: Iran, Iraq, bin Laden, Rice and for that matter Governor Bush, have remained deliberately vague.

(voice-over): And unlike the music she loves, national security teams are not always harmonious. Rice must now help a new president choose between sometimes unattractive options in a murky, undependable world.

David Ensor, CNN Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NELSON: The inauguration of the new president of course is still a month away, and many cabinet positions still have to be filled.

But as CNN's Christy Feig tells us now, the agenda of the next president is already under discussion from Capitol Hill to the talk show circuit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTY FEIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President-elect Bush's Chief of Staff made the talk show rounds Sunday, laying out his boss's legislative agenda.

ANDREW CARD, BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We think education reform should be the first issue addressed by Congress, and we'll be working hard to make sure that happens. We also want to start the process of social security reform, Medicare reform with prescription drug element to it.

FEIG: With the Republicans holding a slim majority in the House and the Senate split down the middle, moving the Bush agenda through Congress will take skillful negotiating. Item one: education, with Democrats and Republicans divided over vouchers for private schools.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: The media keeps using that word voucher, because it perhaps has some negative connotation. Maybe the word should be scholarship.

FEIG: Social security is also an issue for the early days, especially Mr. Bush's pledge to privatize part of the system. Another piece of unfinished business on the Hill: prescription drug coverage for seniors. Among other things Mr. Bush would let each state work out its own coverage plan.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: We can't set up 50 individual systems as the original Bush campaign proposal would have us do.

LOTT: We'll have to, again, work through the best way to do that. Different states have different needs.

FEIG: Perhaps the most controversial task: what to do with Mr. Bush's massive across the board tax cut package. The Democratic leadership favors targeted tax relief.

DASCHLE: Child tax credits, tuition tax credits for college, marriage penalty, even estate tax. But to take a tax cut of that magnitude would really destroy the fiscal responsibility that we've seen so ably demonstrated over the last several years.

FEIG: Even Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has suggested tax reform should be gradual, as a way to make a bipartisan appeal.

But Lott says Mr. Bush should push his agenda.

LOTT: Certainly, when you have a new president, you give him a chance to make his case; you see if you can find a middle ground.

FEIG: Mr. Bush has often referred to himself as a unifier, a Texas Governor who brought Democrats and Republicans together. Now as president. he has to try to do that in one of the toughest Congressional environments ever.

Christy Feig, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALL: Just ahead on this election 2000 special:

NELSON: Two members of Congress will look at the Bush agenda, from both sides of the aisle, and we'll talk with them next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NELSON: President-elect Bush won the race for the White House. Now he faces a battle in Congress, namely getting his legislative agenda through a split Senate and a House with a very slim Republican majority.

To better understand the dynamics now, we're joined first by Democratic Representative Nita Lowey in New York.

Rep. Lowey, thanks for being with us.

REP. NITA LOWEY (D), NEW YORK: My pleasure.

NELSON: Over the weekend, Vice President-elect Cheney says that he and the president-elect will pursue the GOP agenda aggressively. President-elect Bush says that he's going to pursue his tax cut, a large tax cut. So neither man seems to be interested in going slow. How are you, as a Democrat in Congress, going to react to that? Are you going to be willing to compromise and go along and cooperate?

LOWEY: Well, I would hope that President-elect Bush would meet with the Democrats, meet with the Republicans, and work together in a bipartisan way and unite us in a compromise plan. Because there are tax cuts that could pass. For example, about 90 Democrats support reducing the estate tax, getting rid of the marriage tax penalty.

There are issues in education we can work together on, such as modernization of schools, continuing to reduce class size, to continue to invest in head start and child care. But if we're coming in there and say my way or the highway, we're not going to get much done. And that would be very tragic for the people who elected us.

NELSON: Well given the tightness of the election and need to show some comity and cooperation, isn't there an obligation on the part of all in Congress, and Democrats, to give the president-elect at least a decent chance to get part of his agenda through the House, through the Senate and at least to convince the American people that it's worthwhile?

LOWEY: Well I certainly look forward to working with the president-elect on targeted tax cuts. We could pass a reduced estate tax now. We could get rid of the marital tax penalty in a fair way. We can pass education programs that really benefit all of the people. We can begin working on Social Security and Medicare. And let's pass a prescription drug benefit that really helps people. We can sit down and do it in a bipartisan way, but it would be unfortunate if President-elect Bush came in and said, this is our plan, take it or leave it.

That's not the bipartisanship that he's called for. That's not way to unite all of us. I hope we can work together.

NELSON: Since you raised education, let's talk about that for a minute. And one of the cornerstones of Mr. Bush's campaign platform on education has been the need for vouchers. Now are you willing to go along with that, and is rest of the Democratic caucus in Congress willing to accept that?

LOWEY: When I heard Colin Powell talk yesterday and today, in fact, I think he sent a very strong message. We have an obligation to invest in all of our children. To take a handful of our kids and say, here is a voucher, go forth and leave the rest behind isn't to me a real educational program. That's why I'm against the vouchers.

If the private sector wants to support vouchers programs, if there are foundations and individual groups that want to support voucher programs, that's fine. But the federal government should be investing in modernization of our schools, smaller class sizes and make sure that every youngster has the opportunity to be a Colin Powell or be what they want to be someday. And vouchers is not the way in my judgment.

NELSON: I asked this question last night and I want to ask it to you tonight. Knowing that the 2002 elections are just around the corner, how much of this cooperation, spirit of cooperation, that all parties might be willing to embrace right now will stay in place over the next six to 12 months, knowing that, you know, there is an advantage to be had. And, of course, Democrats realize that they have a shot at winning back both the Senate and the House.

LOWEY: Well most importantly, we have an obligation to the people who elected us. And there are people that desperately need a prescription drug benefit, who want to make sure we preserve Social Security and Medicare. There are children in schools where the ceilings are crumbling, where they don't have adequate computers, they don't have adequate books.

I hope that we can put aside the politics for a while and focus on a bipartisan agenda and get some real work done. That's why I came to Congress.

NELSON: That's a very positive spirit. Thank you very much.

LOWEY: Thank you.

NELSON: Representative Nita Lowey in New York -- Andria.

HALL: Now it's time to go to the Republican side.

We now welcome California Representative David Dreier, who joins us live from Washington.

Representative Dreier, you are chairman of the House Rules Committee, encouraging bipartisan solutions. Why should George W. Bush, as some suggest, make his first moves in Congress be moves that actually assuage Democrats.

REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CALIFORNIA: Well, I will tell you, the closing remarks from Nita are ones with which I totally agree. I will say that President-elect Bush is very enthused about coming here to Washington. And we look very forward to greeting him tomorrow morning. And he is committed to pursuing these issues in a bipartisan way.

If you look at the four major issues that were raised throughout this campaign: improving education, bringing about tax relief for working families, saving Social Security and Medicare and rebuilding our nation's defense capability, there actually that was quite a bit of agreement. In fact, I remember the ad when Vice President Gore said he agreed with Governor Bush in the call to have decision making for education handled at the local level.

We, I believe, can, as was evidenced by the meeting that Governor Bush had just this past week, move ahead with the bipartisan Breaux Medicare commission findings, which will in fact allow for a component that -- which will deal with making sure that seniors have access to prescription drugs in an affordable way.

And we are very, very committed to these issues, and we are so excited about the appointments of Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell. We all knew it was going to happen, but I'll tell you, it was a thrilling moment for all of us yesterday when we saw that.

Condoleezza Rice, who is just a phenomenal person, I've worked with both of these people for the past couple of decades since they were in the Reagan White House, and it's going to be a great day when we see them take the leadership role in our nation's foreign policy along with President Bush.

HALL: Sir, let's talk about the leadership. You are actually going to be a part of the leadership meeting tomorrow with President- elect Bush. What will be on that agenda? And will you talk at all about tactics for actually getting work done in Congress with this heavily split Congress, the 50-50?

DREIER: Well, my point is that while there is obviously this divide, it's the first time in nearly a half a century that we've had a Republican president and a Republican Congress. But we really do have a divide. With a 50-50 United States Senate it's going to be challenging. And that's why the situation that we face today is almost tailor-made for George W. Bush's style of governance. And he's going to work in a bipartisan way. He's done it effectively in Texas, and I'm convinced he's going to be able to do it for the nation as well.

And we'll be talking about these things tomorrow. And I know a number of specific issues, some of the things we can do early on. And I know some of the issues that were just discussed of repeal of the marriage tax penalty and the death tax are going to be high priorities. But the statement that was made today by Dick Cheney underscores the fact that we're facing economic challenges for the future.

We must have a growth-oriented tax cut, which is going to be a marginal rate reduction. And I strongly support that and believe that the Bush plan would be very, very important for us as we look at the economic challenges that are on the horizon for this year.

HALL: And, sir, very quickly, last question: If, as Representative Lowey suggests, President-elect Bush goes slowly in trying to achieve his tax cuts, how and when and what will he do to stay true to his constituents? He did platform on a very heavy tax cut.

DREIER: Well, Andria, we're going to move ahead with this tax cut. And I believe that a bold tax cut is necessary to ensure economic growth. And I think there's going to be strong bipartisan support for it.

The mandate of the election was for incremental, sensible, responsible conservative governance, and I think included in that is a broad-based tax cut, which we need to stimulate economic growth.

HALL: Thank you very much, Representative Dreier.

DREIER: Great to be with you and happy holidays.

HALL: And happy holidays to you, too, thanks.

NELSON: And coming up, what are Americans thinking about the pending exchange of power?

HALL: The latest polling figures are out, and of course our senior political analyst Bill Schneider will have them for you straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HALL: As President-elect George W. Bush moves forward with his transition, what are Americans thinking about the turn of events? NELSON: Well, we have the latest CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll numbers. And joining us now with more on it is CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider. He joins us from our Washington bureau.

Bill, nice to see you.

HALL: Hey, Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to see you.

NELSON: First question is, given the tightness and the fractiousness of this election, does the new president come in with any less good will than any of his predecessors?

SCHNEIDER: Well actually no. He actually comes in with a lot of good will. Take a look at this.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of President-elect Bush, 36 percent unfavorable. That is almost exactly the same numbers Bill Clinton came in with just after he got elected in 1992.

Most Americans are telling us they think Bush's statements and actions over the last week make them feel more confident in his ability to serve as president, but by two to one they think the country is more deeply divided than it has been for the past several years. The election and the recount were a divisive force, but Americans see President-elect Bush as a healing force.

HALL: Bill, of course, Vice President Gore won the popular vote. President-elect Bush won the electoral vote. Do people believe he actually won this election fair and square, though?

SCHNEIDER: Well, you know, Americans are actually split over that. Take a look at this. Just about half of the country thinks that Bush won fair and square. A third say he won but on a technicality. And 18 percent, that's about one in six, believe Bush stole the election.

You know, we're seeing that same split on several questions. Half the voters tell us they accept and support Bush. About half say they accept him as the legitimate president but they don't support him, and about one in six say they do not accept Bush as the legitimate president.

NELSON: Next question is what do people think about the Supreme Court?

SCHNEIDER: Well, we're seeing exactly the same split. Half say they accept the court's ruling on the election and they agree with it. A third take Gore's position, which is they accept the court's decision but they don't agree with it. And one in six say they really don't accept the ruling at all. But we are not seeing any evidence that this has damaged the court's reputation. The percentage of Americans expressing a high level of confidence in the Supreme Court is about the same now as it has been for many years.

You know, when we asked Americans to pick a word that described the way they feel about George Bush's victory, most Americans did not say that they were thrilled and angry or bitter, and in fact most didn't even say they were pleased. The word that fits this situation best is "relieved." That's the way they feel.

HALL: That's probably because they're just so glad it's over, Bill.

NELSON: True.

SCHNEIDER: That's right.

HALL: Can we get back to that 18 percent figure of those Americans who believe that he stole the election? Were you able to qualify that in any way, who those people are? That's a pretty high figure.

SCHNEIDER: Well, they most likely include a lot of minority voters, very hard-core partisan Democrats, some liberals. Those are people who feel as if, you know -- the one in six we see at the bottom there -- that he stole the election. Those are the ones he has to reach out to. And they probably do include -- I would say two major constituencies would be African-Americans and hard-core partisan Democrats. And, of course, a lot of African-Americans are strongly partisan Democrats who voted for Al Gore. And they are still not reconciled to having Bush as president.

NELSON: The president and vice president-elect said over the weekend that they are going to pursue the GOP agenda very aggressively now. Now in the poll findings that you've just given us, is there any evidence that the country is willing to support that?

SCHNEIDER: Well, we don't have any direct evidence concerning the GOP agenda, but we do see evidence that people feel as if President Bush can reach out to the other side, that both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress, that they can reach out to other side. Americans feel as if bipartisanship is possible. On the other hand, they're not sure it's likely. They've learned over the years that bipartisan in Washington is a very tough call. So I would say they're hopeful about it, but not entirely optimistic or confident that it's going to happen.

NELSON: In short, they're going to give the vice -- president- elect the benefit of the doubt and see what happens.

SCHNEIDER: Right. That's the most important thing. At this point, they see him as a healing force, not as a divisive force. They see the election and the recount as causes for division in the country.

HALL: Bill, you know how you said that most Americans are relieved? I think they should take a poll among news journalists.

SCHNEIDER: Oh, I'm sure that would be 100 percent relieved. HALL: Oh, yes.

NELSON: Well, that would be a long one.

HALL: Let us have a collective sigh.

NELSON: All right, thank you. Bill Schneider in Washington. Thanks a lot.

And coming up now, how electors in Florida, Arizona and elsewhere are preparing for their big day in the political spotlight tomorrow.

HALL: Plus, does the electoral process work or should it be reformed? We'll talk about it when this election 2000 special continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NELSON: Tomorrow, in meetings across the country, each state's electors will follow the obscure process created by the Founding Fathers and cast the official votes for the President of the United States. And if all goes as expected, George W. Bush will win with 271 electoral votes. Given the unusual circumstances of election 2000, Florida's electors have been the focus of a great deal of attention.

Joining us now with more on this from Tallahassee, CNN's Susan Candiotti -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Brian.

Noon Monday, that is when Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who is now a household name, will reside over a ceremony at which Florida's 25 electors will meet and presumably cast their ballots for Governor George Bush. Now joining us tonight one of the electors, who will be a part of that process, Carol Jean Jordan, she is from Florida. Now, tell us first of all, you have done work for the Republican National Committee. How is it that were you chosen?

CAROLE JEAN JORDAN (R), FLORIDA ELECTOR: I'm a 30 year volunteer in the Republican party and I believe that's about trust and loyalty and a passion to elect Governor Jeb's brother George W. Bush, President of the United States.

CANDIOTTI: Now, when you were nominated back in August, of course it was honor to be nominated for this position, but no one knew what would have transpired this month -- in November, rather, during the election. What did you think when all the fury arose?

JORDAN: Well, it's been an interesting process but it was a process that our forefathers apparently realized was going to happen. They understood that large states or large cities could not elect a president, that it took the entire United States and I find the elector college part of an awesome document that survived for 200-plus years.

CANDIOTTI: A number of electors have told us they have been contacted to try to get them to change their minds. What about you?

JORDAN: We have. Our family, our phones, our business phone, our e-mails have just been overrun with people calling both pro and con. We've had an awful lot of people calling and saying, just hang in there. We're for George W. Bush.

CANDIOTTI: Any chance will you change were your mind?

JORDAN: No ma'am. I'm just proud to be supporting George W. Bush for President.

CANDIOTTI: Were you offended by these calls, or did you understand why people were calling?

JORDAN: I understand why people believe in their candidates, and they believe in those beliefs but I was offended that they would think that this was about choice. George Bush is what I believe in. I believe in his values, that no child is left behind, that every child in this country needs a first class education, and that's the man I want to see in the White House.

CANDIOTTI: Given the controversy in the state of Florida after November the 7th, what changes if any do you think should be made to the election process and balloting progress in the state of Florida?

JORDAN: I think we will see a more centralized system and I think more important than that everybody now realizes that one vote does count, so everybody should register to vote and everybody should go out and vote in every election.

CANDIOTTI: What would you say to those that still have hard feelings about what happened? Democrats, in particular, that feel as though all the ballots weren't counted? Who feel put upon; some would even charge that the election was stolen?

JORDAN: Well, it will never be a perfect process because individuals are involved in it and the ballots were difficult but I just feel that George W. Bush is a uniter and we will all get together and work together for the betterment of the country.

CANDIOTTI: Carol Jean Jordan, thank you very much for joining us this night. One of 25 Florida electors she that he thrilled to be part of historic process which begins at noon on Monday. Back to you, Brian.

NELSON: Susan, one question. Is there any sign in Florida that one of voters in Florida -- one of the electoral voters might not vote for George W. Bush? I thought we should clear that up, just in case.

CANDIOTTI: Of course. Naturally, anything is possible. However, in the state of Florida are you obligated to sign a loyalty pledge, and so that is why most observers think it's unlikely there will be any defectors here.

NELSON: All right. Thank you, CNN's Susan Candiotti and just a reminder, CNN will be providing live coverage at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning Eastern time on -- the voting, actually in the elector colleges. Thanks Susan.

HALL: Of course not just in Florida on this eve of the electoral college vote, electors in every state are preparing to do their constitutional duty. Our Jennifer Auther is in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the states that will award its votes, presumably, to George W. Bush -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER AUTHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Andria. Yo

won't find anything on state penal code that says an elector from Arizona has to vote for the candidate. But, in this state, it's important to note that next to the candidates's name are the names of the 8 electors that will be seated in these chairs on Monday. 2:00 Arizona time and 4:00 Eastern time. Electors here will be getting a certificate of vote. They will do that after they were sworn in and the person delivering the oath of office is Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless.

Thank you so much for joining us. First off, I wanted to give our viewers just a peak at what the eight electors will be signing, if you can explain why there are two of them.

BETSEY BAYLESS, ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: This a certificate of vote. You can see this is for George W. Bush. All electors sign the same certificate. This certificate of vote is for Dick Cheney. Again, all the electors sign the same certificate and it is witnessed by myself.

AUTHER: And once you've witnessed, you sign off on it, you place the seal of Arizona on it...

BAYLESS: That's correct..

AUTHER: And then what happens?

BAYLESS: Well, then, at that point, we adjourn the meeting and we send the certificates to the United States Senate.

AUTHER: You will have this open to the public. I wanted to ask you specifically, some of the 'what ifs'. If we don't see anything in the penal code that would say that an elector that defected would be fined or would in some other way be penalized, what happens? Is it in your view, this elector's -- is he legally bound to cast the vote for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?

BAYLESS: Well, electors are selected by political parties to be on the ballot, to represent the candidate of that particular party, so the winning candidate -- those electors come together and they vote for the party's candidate. Now as can you see, on the certificate of vote, we only have one elector.

AUTHER: There's only George W. Bush's name here, and you can even write in, if you wanted to, a second name. Let's just say, one of the electors and I have talked to many of the electors here in Arizona and at this point, there is no reason to expect any surprises here in this state. This state has been typically Republican from 1952 through '92; solid Republican candidates running for President.

BAYLESS: Still Republican.

AUTHER: Still Republican. So we are not expecting surprises here but let's just say if one of those people came here and did not sign; what happens?

BAYLESS: Essentially what we're talking about is an elector has a job description to vote for -- the candidate of their particular party. Now if an elector chooses not to do that, they may resign their office. They have to take an oath of office when they come tomorrow, and they may resign and the governor will appoint a replacement for them.

AUTHER: So that is why the governor is present for this -- Governor Jeanne Shaeen, and we should say she supported George W. Bush even in the primaries when Arizona Senator John McCain was really giving George Bush some worries -- George W. Bush some worries, so, she's here specifically to fill a vacancy should that happen or...?

BAYLESS: Let me put it this way. If necessary she could fill a vacancy. I think she's here to participate and to observe the ceremony actually.

AUTHER: Well, Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless, thank you so much for joining us on a Sunday evening when you could be home having dinner with family.

I'm Jennifer Auther reporting like from Phoenix, Arizona.

Andria, back to you.

HALL: Thank you, Jennifer.

Well the recount battles in Florida, combined with the differing outcomes of the Electoral College vote and the popular vote, have some Americans questioning whether the system still works.

NELSON: For more on the electoral process and the lessons of election 2000, we're joined now by Mark Seigel of American University in Washington.

Mr. Siegel, thanks for being with us.

MARK SEIGEL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Hi.

NELSON: Well, we have an election now where the losing candidate actually won the popular vote. We've had an election marred by hanging and pregnant chads, legal mud wrestling, and we have an election that is finally in a sense settled by the Supreme Court. In your opinion, does the U.S. election process and machinery, is it in need of major overhaul?

SEIGEL: Well it's obviously that it is. We are concerned about the legitimacy of our government. The last time we had a debacle like this was in 1876, when Samuel J. Tilden was elected president of the United States and the -- basically the election was stolen from him.

And at the time, Tilden said, "I did not get robbed, the people got robbed, robbed of dearest rights of American citizens. Such a usurpation must never occur again."

Well, a lot of people in America think that a usurpation just like that has occurred. So it is time during this time of crisis to look at two aspects of elections in America: one, the act of voting, to make sure that people aren't disenfranchised as they possibly were in Florida, in Palm Beach County and other places, and also the concept of the Electoral College itself, to see if the predicates of the 18th century apply to the 21st century or whether possibly we might consider some change in the Electoral College system.

HALL: Mr. Seigel, I was doing homework with my 12-year-old daughter, and she was doing social studies. And she learned that the system in this country is where power checks power. The Supreme Court checks Congress, the Congress checks the president. Is this a case where power checks power has run out of steam?

SEIGEL: Well, the Supreme Court was not supposed to be involved in the selection of the president of the United States. If that was the case, we should have known a lot about the political preferences and the partisan preferences of the members of the Supreme Court.

But we have to remember that in 1876 exactly the same thing happened. It was one Republican justice on the Supreme Court that tipped an election to Hayes against Tilden.

I think we have look at the system and determine whether there should be change. Now we did have the winner of the popular vote, the people's vote of the United States, is not going to be inaugurated. That is the law of the land, but it is troublesome to a lot of people.

Some people have suggested that we change the system. And there are a number of ways to possibly change the system, between keeping it as it is, the status quo, and moving to the opposite end of the continuum, which is the direct election of the president.

One alternative is keeping the Electoral College vote but eliminating the electors, these people that may or may not vote properly tomorrow.

There's an interesting concept of keeping the Electoral College system but adding 50 Electoral College bonus votes to the winner of the popular vote, which will introduce the one person-one vote concept to the system but not shake up the small states.

There are other alternatives, the proportional representation, the Maine-Nebraska model, which is winner take all by congressional district. There are a number of things that we should be looking at to make this system more responsive and representative, but above all more legitimate in the eyes of the people of America.

NELSON: Mr. Seigel, I want to ask you a question. We just had a new CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll announced a few minute ago by Bill Schneider. One of the questions revealed that 18 percent of those questioned in that poll felt that George W. Bush stole the election. Now that was a pretty specific question, so I don't want to ask to you to address that. But given that, do you sense that there is a real mood in this country for overhauling the election machinery, given that there does not seem to be any outrage that I sensed in that poll?

SEIGEL: Well, the only time that we'll ever change the system is after it's been -- after a crisis. Now certainly we had a sense of crisis. Just because we didn't have civil war in the streets, I think we were really quite fortunate that it never came to that. But we were certainly bitterly divided.

Now there are a number of questions that were not resolved because of the action of the Supreme Court. We, for instance, don't know what would have happened if two slates of electors would have been sent up from Tallahassee. We don't know what the constitutional majority would have been in the Electoral College if Florida wasn't voting. We don't know if under the Bush versus Gore decision of the Supreme Court the Maine-Nebraska allocation for the allocation of electors from those two states is even constitutional.

There are a whole range of questions we have to look at, but above all I think we have to have a system where every American feels that their votes are properly cast and properly counted. And if you ask people that question if Florida and around the country, whether the system ensured that people cast their votes and counted their votes, certainly half of America, fully half of America, think the answer to that question is no. And that really speaks to the legitimacy of the American political process.

HALL: Mark Seigel with the American University, we appreciate your insight, thanks.

NELSON: Thank you very much.

SEIGEL: Thank you.

NELSON: And coming up after the break, the future of Vice President Gore in the Democratic Party.

HALL: Will he get another shot at the presidency in 2004? We'll find out later.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HALL: The recount battle is over, and the Democrats are already looking ahead to the 2004 presidential election. One big question in the party: Is Vice President Al Gore their best candidate?

Kathleen Koch has the answer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the silver lining in a dark cloud: that Al Gore would have another chance at the presidency in 2004. But not a week after losing the election, other potential candidates are being quizzed about running.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: And the answer is, this is -- boy, is this too early to begin that process. I'm focused on re- election in 2002.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: We just got the last election over. My single and only goal now is to solve the problems that the American people want us to solve together with this administration.

KOCH: Also looming large, President Clinton. His youth, popularity and money-raising prowess position him to dominate the Democratic Party as no other recent ex-president.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: President Clinton will certainly be an outstanding spokesperson for the Democrats. I have never met a politician in my lifetime who is able to take an issue and break it down so it's so understandable. And we need somebody like that.

KOCH: Al Gore has yet to announce his future political intentions. Aides say he has earned a top spot in the party.

CHRIS LEHANE, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Al Gore is going to be one of the major leaders in this party. He won the popular vote in this campaign.

KOCH: But there is bitterness amongst party loyalists.

DOUGLAS SCHOEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think that there's a sense among some Democrats that we should have won this year, that with a popular president, with a strong economy, that this was Al Gore's election to win.

KOCH: And on Capitol Hill, leaders won't commit to backing Gore in 2004.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: It's too early to tell. It's a long way off. We've got to govern a lot before we get into the next election.

KOCH: The buzz-word now: group leadership.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON-LEE (D), TEXAS: I believe Vice President Gore will be an articulate spokesperson, along with the rest of us to not diminish our issues and to fight for what we believe in.

KOCH (on camera): A final wild card: Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York Democratic officials are already suggesting their junior senator would make an imposing presidential candidate.

Kathleen Koch, for CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALL: Well it is time again for "TIME" magazine to name its "Person of the Year."

NELSON: We'll have more on that in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HALL: Last year, Jeff Bezos won for the work he did turning Amazon.com into a household name.

NELSON: Well this year, "TIME" magazine named the president- elect for the work that lies ahead in Washington.

Here's a look inside "TIME" magazine and its person of the year.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chin down a little bit -- that's good. Now come right in toward me with a nice -- that's good, perfect. That looks presidential.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This year it was pretty nerve wracking, because we went up to the last moment. But that also made it very exciting because we got to be very newsy.

Once the election came and then the election contest and the controversy over it, we made a pretty clear decision, which was that whichever man won would probably, almost surely, be "Person of the Year."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would be less than honest if I didn't say there were a couple of times when I thought we might end up putting both men on the cover. And we even been prepared for the possibility that in fact the vice president would prevail. But by Tuesday night of the week, we were closing. We realized, yes, we have a cover subject.

I would wake up at 3:00 in the morning, you know, in a cold sweat wondering, you know, are we spending out resources in the right place? And, you know, we ended up -- it turned out that we did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It give us the opportunity, in picking somebody who for better or worse encapsulated this year, to say whichever of these guys becomes president is a symbol not only of what our nation went through but the controversies, the dreams and also the disappointments that were all part of this year's political process.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NELSON: Once again, George W. Bush, "TIME" magazine's "Man of the Year."

HALL: That's it for this special edition of election 2000. From CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Andria Hall.

NELSON: And I'm Brian Nelson.

"CNN & TIME" is next with more on President-elect George W. Bush. Stay with us.

HALL: Have a good week.

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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