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Inaugural Parade Rolls Toward White HouseAired January 20, 2001 - 2:30 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: They're getting closer and closer -- "they" meaning the president and the motorcade there as they're rounding -- they're passing the treasury building and moving along Pennsylvania Avenue, the stretch going in front of the White House and rolling right along as our man Jonathan Karl in the flash car.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bernie, we're coming by the Willard Hotel here, a place where four different presidents lived and the place where Martin Luther King stayed when he wrote his "I have a dream" speech in 1963.
But what's been significant along this parade are the protests. I mean, all along the way, from the moment we got out of the capitol, this has been a gauntlet of protests. This is the first time where the park service has given permits for protests to protest along the parade route.
And everywhere along the way George W. Bush has seen reminders of just how controversial this election was, with people protesting the legitimacy of his victory. Signs and things that said reelect Gore in '04. It's been very difficult; the protesters wanting to rain on his parade as much as the actual rain is raining on his parade and providing, again, the reminders of this difficult election.
George W. Bush has still not gotten out of his limousine. Part of that weather, no doubt, but also part of it because there has not been a very friendly parade route.
It must be said that the supporters of Bush clearly seem to be outnumbering the actual protesters here, and they're also louder, but the protesters are more visible because they have huge signs. And because they're making their presence known in every way possible.
Passing the Hotel Washington now, here. This is the oldest continually operating hotel in Washington, D.C.; and we're, again, on -- we're on 15th Street, just making the jog up here for the final run down Pennsylvania Avenue and on to the White House.
Bernie, Judy, back to you.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: It may well be that the people who were upset over the election have made more of an effort to get out today -- at least some of them. I know there were folks who were happy about the election. JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, I think that's a very good point because, while President Clinton certainly had his adversaries, there was no question that he had won those two elections. And I think the questions is whether or not what we're seeing today is a kind of last-gasp -- a last call of protest.
But whether or not the fact that this election was so contested is going to underlie a lot of the political debate, you know -- but whenever Bush puts something on table, somebody will say, you know, you didn't exactly win a mandate.
WOODRUFF: Well, Eddie Bernice Johnson, the congresswoman from Texas, started out a moment ago by saying there were positive notes in his speech. But then she went on to say there's a lot that we have yet to see once he is president. My sense is that this is not the end.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think it will not be the end. I've already seen bumper stickers that say re- elect Gore in 2004. Every time Bush does something that's controversial a lot of people are going say, wait a minute. He didn't really win the election. He won on a technicality.
GREENFIELD: He does have one huge advantage that the three 19th century presidents who lost the popular vote and still won did not have, and that's this. He has television. He has an ability to command the stage in a way that presidents of an earlier era never did, and at least he has potential to lay down his case and his personality and his message even if the election was not a mandate.
SCHNEIDER: Am I correct that those three 19th century presidents who lost the popular vote and won the Electoral College all served only one term?
GREENFIELD: Why yes, you are.
SCHNEIDER: I thought so.
WOODRUFF: We're told that our international viewer have joined us for this parade that has been under way for what now? Fifteen minutes? West on Pennsylvania Avenue, drawing every closer to the Treasury Building and then the White House. And we were told by our John Karl a moment ago in the riding in the flatbed truck, they're calling it the flash...
SCHNEIDER: Flash car.
WOODRUFF: ... car at this time, that he may well get out and walk that last block or so.
SCHNEIDER: Well, he's got to be careful that he not walk in an area where he's going to get booed. That's going to be -- because there are so many protesters out there, that would make very poor television; very poor viewing and newspaper pictures. SHAW: But in terms of security, the closer you inch to the White House, the more intense the security, and you leave off from the $10 to $100 apiece bleacher seats such as these. People paid hard money for that. But when you get on the street in front of the White House, the security is very, very tight.
WOODRUFF: This is Pennsylvania Avenue as you approach the White House. This picture you are looking at here.
SHAW: Our live coverage of this inaugural parade in Washington, D.C. will continue in a moment.
WOODRUFF: The car has stopped. Look, just as we -- the car has stopped. We think he may get out. We're back on the picture at the parade and this is the president's car.
SHAW: Well, with the agent opening the door, that's it. John King had told us this was going to happen, and it's happening.
The weather in Washington has been raw all day long. It's been cold. It's been rainy, drizzling, and the new president stayed in the limousine coming down from Capitol Hill, down the parade route, Constitution, Pennsylvania Avenue. But now he's out, and we're told that this is going to be the final hike to the presidential reviewing stand in front of the White House.
GREENFIELD: It would have taken a sleet storm, I think, to keep President Bush and his wife from taking this last chunk of the journey because as I say, starting with Jimmy Carter, the anti-imperial president; every president has walked at least a part of the parade route and it's too just tempting for a new president.
WOODRUFF: Jon Karl? Jon Karl? Are you somewhere up there in front of the president?
John King, you are at the White House.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, you see -- if you can look in the reviewing stand, you'd see former President Bush, Barbara Bush, the Bush family, the new Bush administration, Cabinet all watching as well as many supporters filling the bleachers here on the final stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue.
It's not raining at the moment. The new president actually has been lucky given the forecast. It's cold. It's raw. It has been raining throughout the day, but it's not raining at the moment, and this crowd, very well-bundled crowd, putting all that aside now, watching the new president and his wife walk down the final stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue.
A reminder that one of the debates early in the administration will be whether to reopen this stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue. It has been closed because of security concerns for much of the Clinton administration. Many want it reopened. They believe the public should be able to pass close by the White House.
But as we've heard throughout the day, security obviously a concern. You see the new president, the new first lady walking down the street. They're being announced here to the crowd as they come. This, part of the ritual of the transfer of power. Mr. Bush will come just these final few feet now. He's past the Treasury Department. He's now in front of his new home, or the far stretches of his new home.
And as he gets to the reviewing stand, quite a poignant moment. His family waiting there, including his mom and dad; the father who was moved out of the White House just eight years ago; his brother Jeb, the governor of Florida; other members of the Bush family; members of former President Bush's cabinet as well. Jim Baker, who was a key adviser in the Florida recount; Jack Kemp; a reminder as we watch the parade and the festivities a significant change in the balance of power here in Washington.
There's the 43rd president of the United States, a Republican. There's his brother, Jeb, and his parents cheering him on. They're Reviewing stand. The Republicans run Washington now. They run the White House. They also, by a very narrow majorities, run the Congress as well.
WOODRUFF: Jon Karl, are you down there as well? We're watching a pretty extraordinary picture. The former president watching his son, the current president, walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, and we watched the brother, the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, making a funny face and waving animatedly to brother.
SHAW: And there are two other Bush brothers, Neil and Marvin; it's just that we haven't seen them in our pictures here. But you can believe they and their wives, their children are at also there at the presidential reviewing stand. How must these proud parents feel now, Jeff? Judy?
GREENFIELD: Well, it occurs that, you know, you can watch your son or daughter in a school play or, you know, scoring the winning run in high school baseball game and feel proud. I think when your son's been elected president of the United States it has to ratchet it up a bit. It also occurs to me that...
WOODRUFF: I don't know, some parents aren't very proud of it.
GREENFIELD: Judy is a proud parent as well. But one of the interesting thing about the Bushes is, you know, one of the reasons why there have been far fewer books written about the Bush dynasty than the Kennedy dynasty is that the Bush legacy has come relatively unaccompanied by tragedy. You know, Prescott Bush was a senator, and his son became a president, and two of his sons became governors. Now, one is the president. But they haven't had the darker side. They haven't had tragedies, assassinations, plane crashes. They haven't had self-inflicted wounds. It's a different dynasty.
WOODRUFF: George W. Bush did have a sibling, a sister who died of leukemia at the age of three. So, that family has seen tragedy, but not of the sort I think you're referring to.
GREENFIELD: You think of the Kennedys and it's three generations of triumph and disasters. And also they have -- there have been some self-inflicted wounds, as I said, in the Kennedy dynasty. The Bushes seem to be a less -- I guess I'd have to say it's less dramatic. But they've had a heck of a record. This is the third generation to occupy major office, and from what I see of the next generation, there is political comers in that mix.
SHAW: They also have been a very restrained and a very disciplined family.
GREENFIELD: Which may account for the lack of some self- inflicted wounds.
WOODRUFF: Certainly, for the last 14, 15 years of his life George W. Bush has been a disciplined man.
Bob Dallek, you're back with us now.
BOB DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, well, I think Jeff is quite right. The Kennedys, it's a saga; an extraordinary saga going back to the immigrants coming over, the Irish immigrants. Of course, Joe Kennedy -- we were talking before about fathers and sons and how they kept Joe Kennedy in the background during that 1960 campaign. Of course, he was a very controversial because of the way he had performed as ambassador to Great Britain, and they wanted to keep him in the background.
GREENFIELD: And just -- I'm sorry. Just to show what fate can play, when George Bush before he 21 and he was combat pilot; there's actually home movie footage of this. During World War II, his plane ditched. He was fished out of the ocean and taken aboard an American naval vessel. A slight twist fate and there would have been no Bush dynasty.
SHAW: I just want to point out what you're seeing. If you're wondering where the Bushes are going; they're supposed to review the parade. They have gone past the reviewing stand. They are on foot. Now, protectively, the Secret Service is putting them back into this limousine. They are going to into the White House, and then they will pop back out.
WOODRUFF: Now this is a very, as you can see, sparsely populated part of the reviewing area there. This is the end of 1600 street that includes the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, and I guess they're just going to make a U-turn.
SHAW: This is 17th and Pennsylvania now. Let's see whether -- they are going west, now. If they turn left, they're going south on the west side of the old executive office building and that appears. Maybe there are word that people on that side on 17th Street and they're just going to go past to give them a chance to see them.
WOODRUFF: And then come in the White House from that side.
SHAW: But Bob Dallek -- well, just a second. These Bushes do not like to be referred to as dynastic.
DALLEK: No, and the Kennedys did and there is something else that, Jeff, we were talking about. The Kennedys, beginning with Joe, were masters of public relations. Joe consciously cultivated the press, creating an image. All his children, when they went off to England, was a storied family. In a sense, they created their own myth. They created this saga. And they were very effective at doing it.
And my impression is the Bushes have not worked at that. It's not been the same kind of self-conscious effort to create a dynasty. And I think you're quite right, Bernie, they don't want to be thought of as dynastic group. The Kennedys, I think it's quite different.
WOODRUFF: And yet there has been -- there is some evidence that in raising the children, Barbara Bush and George Bush, the father, were conscious of politics in their lives. It's not as if they set out to create another president.
DALLEK: And conscious of noblesse oblige. But you know, the same was true of Lyndon Johnson. He came from a storied background as well, and his mother came from a kind of Texas elite and they taught them the idea that he deserved to be in public affairs and take a kind of position of leadership. So, there are all these different family styles that have impact.
SHAW: In Washington, the Bushes have center stage now that their son, the 43rd president, has been sworn in and in New York, the man who left center stage has arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport; former President Clinton and his wife, Hillary.
CNN's live coverage of this historic day in the United States of America will continue in a moment.
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