|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Inauguration Preview: 'USA Today' Political Correspondent Discusses Bush's SpeechAired January 19, 2001 - 1:33 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: By this time tomorrow, George W. Bush will be the 43rd president of the United States.
"USA Today" political correspondent Judy Keen has covered the president-elect for 10 years. She joins us from "USA Today" newsroom in Arlington, Virginia.
JUDY KEEN, "USA TODAY": Hi, Lou.
WATERS: We get the impression from the presidential campaign that George W. Bush doesn't like much giving speeches. Is that true, first off?
KEEN: I think that it's true that he gets a little bit nervous when it comes to these high-stakes, big, multi-pressure sort of speeches. But I think that he's looking forward to tomorrow's.
WATERS: What can we expect to -- from the new president of the United States in this speech? I -- we understand, first of all, it's not going to be a very lengthy speech.
KEEN: Less than 12 minutes, including the interruptions for applause, which might be a good thing for the people who are out there standing in the sleet and snow tomorrow in Washington.
We were told this morning by Ari Fleischer, the president-elect's spokesman, that his speech will not include any reference to Vice President Gore, will not include any references to the vote recount in Florida and the way that he ultimately became president-elect, but will focus on unity, on building a bipartisan approach to things here in Washington.
I don't think there are going to be a lot of surprises in it.
WATERS: Are we going to expect in the Bush presidency a minimum of speeches? Or is this something that he will gradually grow into, and we will expect to hear the rhetorical flourishes that we normally expect from a president?
KEEN: I think that he understands that it's a necessary part of his new job. We know -- for example, it's interesting that when he spoke with President Clinton soon after the election outcome was decided, they met in the Oval Office. Part of what they talked about of the mechanics of doing speeches and working with teleprompters, and how often a president should talk, as opposed to when his spokesman and Cabinet secretaries should address important issues. So, it's interesting to know that he's sort of got his mind on this subject at the moment.
We learned today, also from Mr. Fleischer, that there will not be a standard State of the Union speech by the new president later this month. He said that, instead, Bush will give an address to the -- to a joint session with the Congress. That won't be called the State of Union speech. And that is several weeks away. I think that's the next big speech after the one we will hear tomorrow.
WATERS: What we hear about George Bush is that he has great people skills, and that when he is one-on-one or in a small group, he is amazing to watch. Is this a skill that he can take to the big stage for all of us to enjoy?
KEEN: It'll be fun for all of us to sort of watch that. I mean, we are all familiar with the verbal bloopers that he made many times during the campaign.
I was on the road with him much of the campaign. Many of those mistakes occurred in the last speech of the day. As we all know, he likes to be in bed by 9:30 when he can be. When he's tired, it shows.
I would think we should probably expect his major speeches will be scheduled early in the day when he is most alert and his tongue works better.
WATERS: OK, Judy Keen, good luck covering the new president of the United States.
KEEN: Thank you.
WATERS: And Judy joins us from "USA Today"'s newsroom in Arlington, Virginia. Thanks so much.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top|