CNN BREAKING NEWS
California Recall Election Results
Aired October 8, 2003 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: five years and I am secure in the knowledge that whatever its challenges, California remains the greatest place on earth.
Thank you. God bless you and God bless this great state. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And there he is, the Governor of California Gray Davis, conceding. I think it's fair to say, graciously conceding to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the next governor of California. Governor Gray Davis saying it's time for someone else to serve right now. He's also asking the people of California to put chaos and division, he said, behind us and do what's best for California.
Jeff Greenfield, you've heard a lot of concession speeches, he was pretty gracious.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: No doubt. This was a gracious concession speech, but it's going to raise a new question and one that's been around almost for all of Davis' career, which is that he is a man without a base and he is a man without strong personal loyalties. The liberal Democrats saw him as too centrist, too tough on crime, too parsimonious. The centrists didn't trust him because he seemed to spend most of his time raising money and building his own campaign.
And in fact, I heard more than one top Democrat say in the week it's amazing that a man with those interpersonal skills, or lack of them, could have risen to the governorship of the biggest state. But that was part of the reason, I think, why when things turned bad in -- with the recession, with the brownouts, with the gridlock in Sacramento, Gray Davis did not have a base to fall on. You think of Ronald Reagan, you think of Bill Clinton, you think of politicians whose supporters would have gone to the wall for them, would have taken a bullet for them, Gray Davis never had that.
BLITZER: All right.
Judy Woodruff is over at Arnold Schwarzenegger headquarters. She's been there all night. We're all getting very excited, Judy. We're anticipating hearing from the next governor of California fairly soon now that Gray Davis has conceded. Take us a little bit behind the scenes, Judy, give us a little flavor, what's it like to be at Arnold Schwarzenegger headquarters right now?
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty much out in the open, Wolf. This room is waiting. They've been waiting. They were listening very carefully to what Gray Davis had to say. This -- they listened. There was some booing initially, but after that, they listened. And there was even some applause as Davis thanked the people of California and went on to say California remains, no matter what the challenges, the greatest state in the country. This was a -- you said it was a gracious speech by Governor Davis. I would say this was a gracious Republican crowd at Arnold Schwarzenegger's headquarters.
BLITZER: I think that's a fair point, Judy. Everyone wants to see -- I guess everyone wants to see over there where you are a very smooth transition. Certainly the governor of California, the outgoing governor, as we can now call him, Gray Davis, saying there should be this smooth transition. But there are other Democrats, as our Paul Begala said based on conversations he's had, who want anything but. There could be some political payback. Judy, where you are right now, it does look like we should be hearing from Arnold Schwarzenegger fairly soon now.
WOODRUFF: It does, Wolf. We are told that he was going to come down very shortly after Governor Davis conceded. We've heard now from Lieutenant Governor Bustamante. We've heard from Tom McClintock. So I think it's just a matter of moments now before we are going to hear from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And, Wolf, on this point about cooperation, I mentioned this earlier and I'll repeat it, I think that you will see more cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in this state. I think you're going to see Arnold Schwarzenegger reaching out. And I think you're going to see Democrats, based on what you just heard from Gray Davis, there's going to be hands across what has been a very bitter divide. And perhaps these wounds that we've seen over the last few weeks will begin to heal faster than anyone predicted.
BLITZER: And, Judy, are we still anticipating that Jay Leno will introduce the governor-elect tonight once he emerges where you are?
WOODRUFF: Well, it was Jay Leno that Arnold Schwarzenegger broke the news to that he was going to run, so it's going to be Jay Leno tonight. We are told that the star of "The Tonight Show" is going to be here in just a minute and he is going to introduce Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was spotted, by the way, in an elevator here a few minutes ago. We tried to get an interview with him. He said I'm not here in any political capacity. But he is here, and I think that speaks volumes.
BLITZER: All right, we should be anticipating Jay Leno and then the next Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. We'll be going back there live. In fact, we'll show a live picture to our viewers to make sure we don't miss a second of what either Jay Leno or Arnold Schwarzenegger might be saying.
Let's, in fact, I want to bring in two guests who are here with me in the studio to get some analysis on what's going on. Carlos Watson is a democratic analyst. Julie Vandermost, she's the President of the California Women's Leadership Association, a strong supporter of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Before we talk, let's listen to what the governor-elect said only a few months ago to Jay Leno when he made that announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis.
JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": OK.
SCHWARZENEGGER: He is failing them terribly and this is why he needs to be recalled. And this is why I am going to run for governor of the state of California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And we will be hearing from Jay Leno and Arnold Schwarzenegger coming up very soon.
Carlos, when he made that announcement on "The Tonight Show," did you think he would really become the next governor of California?
CARLOS WATSON, POLITICAL ANALYST: Anything could happen in California. Remember Ronald Reagan got elected and wasn't the first actor in California to get elected to high office. George Murphy before him, a couple of years before, got elected to the U.S. Senate.
Here's what I think is interesting going forward, Wolf. I think you will see him govern as a moderate. I think you'll see very soon after the election is certified reach out to Democrats in the State Assembly where Democrats hold a 48 to 32 lead and in the State Senate where Democrats hold a 25 to 15 lead, you'll very quickly see him try and build, not Reagan Democrats, but Schwarzenegger Democrats.
BLITZER: Julie, what about you, did you think he would really in your heart of hearts, and you can be honest with us, did you really think Arnold Schwarzenegger could make this happen?
JULIE VANDERMOST, CALIFORNIA WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP: We were going to make it happen one way or another. And the people of California came together and we did make it happen. And a lot of us who aren't being paid by the campaign were volunteers were out there. We had all kinds of people. So it's a great day in California.
BLITZER: All right.
The Secretary of State of California is in Sacramento, so is our Rusty Dornin. She's trying to understand and help us understand what happens next.
Rusty, join us and fill us in on the process as we wait to hear from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, the next governor of California.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as you know, Governor Gray Davis is still governor and will be until the Secretary of State Kevin Shelley certifies this election, and that's not expected to be for probably about three weeks from now.
And what will happen is we've spoken to the Schwarzenegger people who have said that they will set up an interim headquarters, sort of a transition headquarters. They'll get the phones and the faxes and all those things running so that they set up their administration. They just won't be moving into the Capitol until he is inaugurated sometime in mid-November.
Meantime, of course Governor Davis' staff, there is some 3,000 people that he appointed. They could all be losing their jobs. I spoke to some of his staff members yesterday who said, you know in the event of this recall, a lot of them aren't sure what to do. They thought they were going to be here for at least four years. Many of them purchased homes, things like that, now they are losing their jobs and their future is very uncertain -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. So we'll be standing by for that transition to move forward in the next few weeks.
Dan Lothian is also in Sacramento. He's at the headquarters of the Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.
It's interesting, Dan, we heard Cruz Bustamante speak a little while ago, but he spoke in favor of the rejection of Proposition 54. He didn't concede yet, but we do anticipate, what, that he will be conceding shortly?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is correct. I am told by his campaign manager that he will be conceding in the next 20 or 25 minutes or so. He said that he wanted to come out and talk about Proposition 54. That was something that was very positive for him for Democrats. He wanted to come out, get the crowd excited about that, take a break and then come back out and concede. So as I mentioned, he is expected to come out here between the next 20 to 25 minutes.
Now his campaign manager told me that there is some disappointment, obviously, in this campaign. But he said he will move forward. He plans to be back in the office tomorrow morning at 9:00. In fact, he has a staff meeting scheduled for 9:00.
The key, though, his campaign managers say, is that he has to find a civil balance with this new administration. He says Cruz Bustamante still feels very strongly about a lot of issues. And he says he has to be able to take care of those issues without poking the new -- in his words -- "poking the new governor in the eye with a stick."
Back to you.
BLITZER: All right. Dan Lothian, thanks very much. And for our viewers who may not be familiar with Proposition 54, which went down to defeat, Proposition 54 would prevent race, ethnicity, color and national origin being used as a means of classifying individuals in the state. But that goes down to defeat rather decisively here in California.
Phil Bronstein is the editor of the "San Francisco Chronicle." He is joining us now. He's actually the publisher of the "San Francisco Chronicle." He's joining us from San Francisco right now.
Phil, how surprised are you by this turn of events, dramatic turn of events, in California?
PHIL BRONSTEIN, "SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE": Well you know, Wolf, I can't say we're shocked, because the polls were leaning in this direction. You had a little shift over the weekend, perhaps in part because of the stories, although those aren't turning out to be very resonate with voters, if you believe the exit polling. So I can't say we're shocked. But it is a -- it is a kind of monumental event in a way. It's a voter revolt. It's a lot of anger out there that was expressed very specifically.
We're looking -- to give you some sense of how big an event it is for us, you know this is a mock up, if I can do this, if this works, this is sort of one of the covers we are considering for our front page tomorrow. It's -- that's how big an event we think it is.
BLITZER: Well that's quite a headline, Governor Schwarzenegger. When he made that announcement a few months ago, just what 8, 10 weeks or so ago,...
BLITZER: ... did you really think this was going to happen?
BRONSTEIN: Well, we knew there was a lot of anger out there and we knew that the initiative process itself was an indication that people in California, voters in California, really wanted to sort of be at the forefront of some change, of forcing some change. A lot of people felt that the recall was not the way to go and so it was really unclear. No one wanted to think that Gray Davis really was somebody who could be defeated this handily because he is a pretty shrewd politician and he generally has been pretty successful. So I think no one wanted to -- we were all hedging our bets. I think you and I talked about it a little bit about that a couple of weeks ago.
BLITZER: The whole notion of the allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger that appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," not your newspaper, but an important newspaper, obviously, here in California, do you think that that's history now or will those allegations still continue to snowball, if you will, and plague Arnold Schwarzenegger as he makes the transition from private citizen to governor?
BRONSTEIN: Well I think, Wolf, that one of the things that people are concerned about is the style of politics, the personal politics, things that get into people's personal lives. And while a lot of folks thought over the weekend that this was fairly relevant to this race, clearly most voters didn't. So I think people who want to pursue this after he is elected and after he takes offices you know will do so at their own peril. But this is California, people will pursue what they want to pursue.
BLITZER: All right. Phil Bronstein of the "San Francisco Chronicle" giving us an advanced peek at what's likely to be the front page of that newspaper in the morning. Phil, thanks very much for joining us.
Let's bring our viewers up to date on the actual hard numbers we're getting from San Francisco right now with about 36 percent of the vote now in. More than a third, 55 percent supporting the recall of Governor Gray Davis, more than a million-and-a-half votes as opposed to 45 percent voting against the recall.
As far as the successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger the clear, decisive winner, with about 36 percent of the vote in, clearly way ahead of the Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. We're still awaiting Cruz Bustamante's formal concession. That's anticipated fairly soon.
You're looking at a live picture, though, of the Arnold Schwarzenegger headquarters. We anticipate he'll be walking into that room fairly soon now that Governor Gray Davis has conceded. He will be joined by his wife, Maria. He'll be speaking to the people of California. CNN, of course, will have live coverage.
Bill Schneider, the allegations that surfaced by the "Los Angeles Times" over the past few days, can we tell how decisive, if at all, what kind of impact that had in voters making up their minds in the final days?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It had a slight impact on people who made up their minds in the last week, but that was only a small number of voters. The problem was those allegations, those accusations, really, came very late in the game when 85 percent of the voters had already decided. So they had a limited impact. And a lot of people suspected those accusations came out for political reasons. Why, because of the timing and because the "Los Angeles Times" had just endorsed Gray Davis for governor. So if they came from the same newspaper, there is good reason for people to be suspicious and to say this isn't journalism, this is politics.
BLITZER: And, Jeff Greenfield, a lot of people don't understand that at the "Los Angeles Times," like other major newspapers, there's a difference between the editorial page writers and the reporters on the front page and they just blur everything together.
GREENFIELD: Well not only that, but it is an article of faith among a lot of conservatives that that line in fact has been deliberately breached. And a lot of conservatives on the West Coast think of the "L.A. Times" the way conservatives in the East Coast think of the "New York Times," that it is not -- that wall of separation no longer exists. I absolutely think it is true. And some Republicans told me this, that had these allegations, some of which Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged, broken when he was announcing, before the Republican Party had rallied around Schwarzenegger, when that conservative Republican base was still making up its mind, it would have been a much tougher go. So people who think the "L.A. Times" held the story for political impact, what they don't understand is that this political impact was hurt by when this story broke, as Bill told us, not helped.
BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in the co-hosts of CNN's "CROSSFIRE." They are watching all of these dramatic, historic developments themselves. Tucker Carlson is over at Arnold Schwarzenegger headquarters, and Paul Begala, he is over at the headquarters of Governor Gray Davis.
Tucker, first to you, what are you hearing from your fellow Republicans over there?
TUCKER CARLSON, CNN "CROSSFIRE" CO-HOST: Well first, I agree with Jeff Greenfield completely that the fact that this story broke in the last week, well actually broke a couple of years ago in "Premiere" magazine, but that it reappeared in the "L.A. Times" in the last week absolutely helped the Schwarzenegger campaign.
I think the story is how united the Republican Party of California is. People who -- the most interesting statistic I've seen all night is the fact that voters who are against abortion, pro-life voters, still voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger, even though he is adamantly pro-choice. He's, you know, essentially has the same position as Gray Davis. And they voted for him anyway. That's usually a deal killer for social conservatives, they're not going to vote for a pro-choice candidate, but they did. People who like McClintock, again, still voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
CARLSON: It was amazing how he was able to command the loyalty.
BLITZER: Tucker, hold on one second, I want to bring our viewers who may not be familiar with Rob Lowe. We just saw him. There he is in the back there. The actor Rob Lowe, someone who had supported Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is in the ballroom right now himself. He's like a lot of us, getting ready to hear what Arnold Schwarzenegger has to say. There he is, the actor, Rob Lowe.
Tucker Carlson, a lot of actors have emerged recently as Republicans, even though there is this widespread suspicion that Hollywood is a bastion of liberal Democrats. What's going on in this state?
CARLSON: Well, it's not as if they are coming out and you know endorsing Jerry Falwell. It is, after all, Arnold Schwarzenegger who is, you know, a Bloomberg Republican. He's not any kind of right winger. Dee Snider, it turns out, the heavy metal guy from the '80s, is a Republican. Amazing. Who knew? Who knows, Arnold could just change it all. I mean Gary Coleman might come out as a conservative Republican. One never knows. It's a new era here in California -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's bring out your colleague, Paul Begala. He's over at Gray Davis headquarters.
Paul, you told us a little while ago that some angry Democrats may be anxious for a political payback sooner rather than later. Although the governor, the outgoing Governor Gray Davis, very gracious in his comments, asking the people of California to move smoothly in this transition.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN "CROSSFIRE" CO-HOST: Yes, in fact, Wolf, I asked one of the senior strategist for Democrats here in California about the governor's very gracious remarks. And he said, you know these people, he actually didn't use the noun people, and you can imagine, these people on the right changed the rules. And they changed the rules for us, and now we're going to play by the same rules against them. So the governor, I thought, was very gracious. It was a very poignant moment.
But I have to say among at least the most activist members of the Democratic Party, it fell on deaf ears. I think you will find at least some element of this party well funded going right at Schwarzenegger with the same kind of recall tactics that you saw used against Gray Davis. It may be wise, it may be unwise, but I think it's coming.
BLITZER: And you don't think that the leadership of the Democratic Party, the state Democratic Party, we heard Art Torres tell us a little while ago he would support this right now. Gray Davis, the outgoing governor, saying he doesn't want any problems, he doesn't want any continued chaos in this state. Can those disgruntled Democrats do this on their own?
BEGALA: Well in fact I raised that point with some of these activists. That just fuels their anger even more. They say yes, the professional crowd in Sacramento may not want us to do this, but we are going to do it. It's a little bit of the same kind of animating anger that motivated Schwarzenegger's followers to give him this very, very impressive victory. I think that that's not going to be able to stop them.
This is a state of 35 million people. All you got to do is get a few more than 850,000 of them to sign a piece of paper and you've got a recall on your hands. That's a very low bar for this big a state. And believe me, despite this enormous victory for Schwarzenegger, there's at least 850,000 very angry liberals. And if they have the money, and they do, they'll be able to get this on the ballot -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, we'll see soon enough. Paul Begala, thanks very much, Tucker Carlson. We'll be getting back to both of you sooner rather than later.
Let's bring in our Jeff Greenfield. Celebrity politicians, there's a widespread history here in California, and indeed a few other places, where they have actually taken hold.
GREENFIELD: And what a curious twist. Hollywood is a liberal bastion. That is true.
But now take a look at California, and at least one other state, and look at the history. George Murphy, the song and dance man who was elected United States senator in 1964, a Republican. Ronald Reagan elected governor in 1966 after a movie career of some length on his way to the presidency, obviously a Republican. Sonny Bono, one half of Sonny and Cher, elected to the Congress, Republican. Fred Grandy, Gopher of "The Love Boat," elected to the Congress from Iowa, Republican. Clint Eastwood ran and won for mayor as an Independent, but certainly "Dirty Harry" was a Republican. And now we have Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Terminator," the man who became famous as the avenging android, going back to save the world from a terrible fate, a Republican.
So what's up with this? In this bastion of liberalism that is Hollywood, the people who run for office are Democrats.
BLITZER: And we're showing some pictures from "The Terminator,"...
BLITZER: ... Arnold Schwarzenegger. Clearly that film had some impact.
GREENFIELD: And remarkably, unlike a lot of celebrities who try to distance themselves from their acting past and say no I'm a serious policy guy, in this campaign, Arnold Schwarzenegger almost, in so many words, said remember what I did to the bad guys in the movies, that's what I'm going to do in Sacramento. And that's a fairly ambitious strategy, but it sure -- it sure had political potency.
BLITZER: He wasn't shy in finding all sorts of ways to use the word 'terminate.'
GREENFIELD: Absolutely. And you sort of wonder all the conservatives who tell Barbara Streisand and Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon to go home and act and keep their mouth shut, when the celebrities turn out to be Republicans, they don't mind, especially when they now won a governorship that they thought was far beyond their reach.
BLITZER: Bill Schneider, what's happening out here in California, all these Hollywood stars emerging as Republicans and winning office?
SCHNEIDER: Well that's -- they are a minority, and you've got to figure that a minority in a community like Hollywood is going to fight harder. They stand out, and that's probably why just about every one who has run for office from the Hollywood community has been a Republican. It's quite amazing.
BLITZER: But there are one or two democratic actors/actresses out there who must have found a place in elected city halls or wherever, aren't there?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, there's the guy from "The Dukes of Hazard," Cooter, who was elected to -- as a member of Congress for a couple of terms. I forget his name -- Ben Jones. And there was also Sheila Kuehl, who is an Assembly woman here in California, she was on "Gilligan's Island." So there are a couple of people, a couple of Democrats who have made it. But for the most part, the big time players, like Murphy and Reagan and Clint Eastwood and Sonny Bono, they've all been Republicans, as Jeff said.
BLITZER: And as Arnold Schwarzenegger will soon learn, the road from Hollywood to elected office is a difficult road. We know that Jesse Ventura, who co-starred in some of those movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger, became governor of Minnesota, he had no picnic. And the stakes here in California, the situation here in California, Bill Schneider, seems to be a lot more dire than it was in Minnesota.
SCHNEIDER: And remember Ronald Reagan got elected here in California under similar circumstances in the 1960s. The economy was good, but the voters were furious. They were desperate for change after Pat Brown, the Berkeley disorders, the Watts rioting of the 1960s. The voters were angry then, just as they are angry now. And what did they want, they wanted an outsider, someone who wasn't a professional politician.
Enter Ronald Reagan, the actor. An actor is a good definition of an outsider, someone who is -- who is good at presenting himself but who has not been contaminated by politics. And an actor also has name recognition. Politicians spend an awful lot of money trying to buy name recognition, but actors and movie stars, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan, they have got it to begin with.
BLITZER: And as we look at those, the live pictures of the ballroom at that hotel here in Los Angeles where Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting ready to address his supporters, let's bring back Judy Woodruff who is over there.
Judy, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been speaking in the last several days of what he is going to do during his first hundred days as governor of this state. He seems to have a game plan and he seems to have surrounded himself with some veteran politicians.
WOODRUFF: Well throughout the campaign, Wolf, Pete Wilson, the former Republican governor of California for eight years, has been a principal advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. George Shultz, who I believe is still up on the stage behind me, former Secretary of State, a Republican, a resident of the state of California, very prominent in Republican circles, has been an advisor.
Warren Buffett, I haven't seen him here tonight. He, of course, is a very well known investor who, frankly, we haven't seen him in public since he made a comment about maybe having Mr. Schwarzenegger undo part of Proposition 13, the property tax cut from some years ago. So we're -- you know there are, as you point out, Wolf, there are a number of very well known comforting figures, if you will, who have stood behind Arnold Schwarzenegger. I am assuming he is getting close, the crowd is getting anxious. I don't think you could get any more people on the stage than there are right now. I'm going to turn around and see. We were told he would be down here at 1:00 Eastern, and yet I was just told a moment ago he is still upstairs talking to family, friends, supporters, receiving phone calls, congratulations and so forth. So we are waiting, just like you are -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And, Judy, there seems to be a wide range of his supporters in that ballroom where you are. You mentioned George Shultz, the former Treasury Secretary, the former Secretary of State, ranging all the way to Rob Lowe, one of the former stars of "The West Wing." It's a pretty eclectic group. What does it say about the support for Arnold Schwarzenegger?
WOODRUFF: Well I think, as I think the point you are trying to make, is that yes, the Hollywood community is supporting him. Gary Busey, the actor, is here. Ivan Wrightman, the director who directed the movie "Twins," and I think one or two of Schwarzenegger's other movies, is here. So the Hollywood community is represented. Perhaps not in as large a number as I guess I might have expected, considering the fact that he is of Hollywood and he's got many, many friends in the Hollywood community. We know many of his friends happen to be Democrats. They probably didn't vote for him, but you know they weren't talking very publicly about it. You know with the practical realization that he might be elected and they didn't want to be in a situation where they had opposed him out in the open.
BLITZER: Well, we...
WOODRUFF: But others -- go ahead.
BLITZER: I was saying, Judy, we don't want to break away from you because it looks like they are getting mighty close to Arnold Schwarzenegger walking in to that ballroom with his wife, Maria Shriver. We don't want to leave that picture because a lot of our viewers around the country, indeed around the world, are anxious to hear what the next governor of California has to say. We're told, Judy, and maybe you know this firsthand, that he and his staff have been preparing this speech, this acceptance speech, this winning victory speech, for some time. Do we know anything specific what he might say?
WOODRUFF: We don't know, Wolf. We've been asking the people around him and they have been keeping it very much under wraps. As again, I think, and I mentioned this I think the last time you and I spoke, I think you are going to see him reaching out, not only saying a few gracious words about Gray Davis, but reaching out to all Californians. The one bit of evidence, information, if you will, that I was able to get tonight is that this is going to be a speech that reach out -- reaches out to Californians across the board, Democrats, Republicans, Independents. He wants to bring the state together, picking up on the theme that Gray Davis started (UNINTELLIGIBLE) years ago.
BLITZER: And, Judy, Eunice Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger's mother-in-law, has just walked into the hall. We see other members...
BLITZER: ... of the Kennedy family walking in as well.
WOODRUFF: All right.
BLITZER: We saw the cousins, the Shriver brothers, walking in as well. This is a Kennedy family walking in to quite an event. Jeff Greenfield, did you ever think that Kennedy's would be celebrating the election of a Republican to the governor of California?
GREENFIELD: You know this is one of those days when you have to say that we almost have left the gravitational pull of the earth. The Kennedy's have been Democrats from the time that Honey Fitz was the mayor of Boston. The -- that's what they do, they bleed Democratic.
But this is a case where in this case blood, family blood, is thicker than water. And Maria Shriver was a powerful asset. We discussed that earlier. When you -- when you look at what was hitting Arnold Schwarzenegger in the last days, the fact that she, to use that phrase, stood by her man and said this is a man that I know and campaigned for him, really took a lot of the sting, I think, out of those allegations.
But you are absolutely right, anybody who calls this political science doesn't know what he or she is talking about. To predict that a Kennedy family would march on the stage behind the new Republican governor of California, now I've seen everything.
BLITZER: Arnold Schwarzenegger being supported by his mother-in- law, Eunice Shriver, and so many other of his Kennedy in-laws. I've spoken to several of those Kennedy's in recent weeks. They may all be Democrats, but they clearly are very fond of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Bill Schneider, this is a rather, rather amazing development, isn't it?
SCHNEIDER: It is utterly amazing. But you've got to remember something, I am a political scientist by training, and political scientists know something about history and the Kennedy family, and Jeff was quite right about this, among the Kennedy's, family is a primary value. It may even be more important than political party. How about that? That's what we are discovering tonight, family is crucial to the Kennedy's. They see the world as us and them. And for the Kennedy's, us and them is often the Kennedy's more than the Democratic Party.
BLITZER: And we're seeing what's happening. You see two pictures in the screen. Let's bring both of those pictures back. There's the ballroom of Arnold Schwarzenegger headquarters on the right of your screen. On the left, Cruz Bustamante. There he is. He's about to make his formal concession speech. As we await Arnold Schwarzenegger, let's listen to Cruz Bustamante.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CRUZ BUSTAMANTE, CALIFORNIA: Let me start by first thanking the most important people in my life, my family.
BUSTAMANTE: My wife, Arcelia, my daughters, Sonia and Leticia. Marisa, who is upstairs who fell asleep. My parents, Cruz and Dominga Bustamante.
My daughter's, Sonia and Leticia, Marisa, who's upstairs, who fell asleep; my parent's, Cruz and Dominga Bustamante. You guys have only had to put up with me for a few years; they had to put up with me my whole life. Let me also make sure and thank all of the people who have been apart of this campaign: my supporters, volunteers, and all the staff who've made this campaign what it is. Thank you for being here. Thank you for all your help.
You know, there was some -- some kids in our headquarters. Interns, first time ever in a campaign. They absolutely worked their hearts out. I want to say, thank you...
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: I want to break away briefly from Cruz Bustamante. There, you see on the right, Jay Leno. He is going to be introducing Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jay Leno, the host of "The Tonight Show." That's where Arnold Schwarzenegger made his announcement that he will be running for Governor of California. Let's listen to Jay Leno.
JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Thank you very much. Tonight is a testament of just how important one appearance on "The Tonight Show" can be, ladies and gentlemen. You know, the critics said, well Arnold can't be an administrator; he's an actor. Oh, Arnold can't be an environmentalist; he's an actor. Oh, Arnold can't be governor; he's an actor. And of course, Arnold was thrilled. For the first time in his career, the critics are calling him an actor, ladies and gentlemen. This is a historic night. Apparently, we have all been wrong. It is pronounced, Cal-i-forn-ia.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Governor of the great state of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a great celebration. Thank you all for being here today. Thank you. Thank you.
You know, there are so many people that I want to thank. But I want to start first, with my wife, Maria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maria.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I want to thank her. I want to thank her for the love and the strength that she's given me. I want to thank her so much for being the greatest wife, and the most spectacular partner. And I know how many votes I got today because of you.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
I also want to thank my parent-in-laws, Eunice and Sargent Shriver, right over here, and also, all my brother-in-laws and extended family. As a matter of fact, all the people behind me are the Shriver's, OK. So, you know. I want to thank them also for coming out here. I want to thank them all from for coming out here from Washington and I really appreciate their support.
And I want to thank also our children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick, and Christopher, so much. Yes. I want to thank them for being so understanding, even though they ask me everyday, when is this campaign going to be over?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I know. That's what I --that's what I tell them, that it's over. And I really appreciate their understanding.
And I want to thank also all the people on this campaign, all the people that volunteered, the hard work they have put in, all of you people here. I want to thank them for manning the phones, for stuffing the envelopes, for handing out the flyers, handing out the yard signs, handing out the bumper stickers, raising the money. The fantastic job they have done, working around the clock, all of them, on my behalf. I wouldn't be standing up here today if it wouldn't be for you all. I want to thank all of the volunteers, all of you for the great work.
I want to also thank the people of California. From the time I came over to this country: you have opened up your arms to me, you've received me, you've given me opportunities, endless amount of opportunities. Everything that I have is because of California. I can only -- I came here with absolutely nothing. And California has given me absolutely everything. And today, and today California has given me the greatest gift of all: you have given me your trust, by voting for me. Thank you very much to all the people of California for giving me the great trust. And let me tell you something, I will do everything I can to live up to that trust. I will not fail you, I will not disappoint you, and I will not let you down.
SCHWARZENEGGER: For two months, I've been speaking out about the need of bringing back fiscal responsibility to this state, bringing back the positive business atmosphere, bringing back businesses, bringing back jobs, and bringing back our education. It's very important that we need to bring back the trust in the government, itself. For two months, I went up and down this state, listened the people. I mean good, honest, and hardworking people. People who want to raise their families here. People who want to do business here, who want to have jobs here, who want to educate their kids here. People that want to enjoy the clean air and the clean water. And I have heard your voice. I have heard your voices, loud and clear. We have to now -- we have tough choices ahead.
The first choice that we must make is the one that will determine our success. Shall we rebuild our state together? Or shall we fight amongst ourselves? Create even a deeper division of people and fail all the people of California? Well, let me tell you something: The answer is clear. For the people to win, politics as usual must lose.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I will reach out to Republicans, to Democrats, and Independents, to those who supported the recall, and those who did not, those who supported me today, and those who did not. I want to reach out to everybody: the young and old, rich and poor, people of all religions, all colors, and all nationalities. I want to be the governor for the people. I want to represent everybody.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I just received a gracious phone call from Governor Davis.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes. A very gracious phone call from Governor Davis who promised me that he would...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SCHWARZENEGGER: No, no. No, no. Gracious phone fall -- phone call from Governor Davis, OK. I really appreciated that call, because he promised me that he would work hard to make this transition smooth. And I really appreciated that phone call. Yes. And I believe -- I believe very strongly that a smooth transition is very important for the people of California. And this is why I instructed my transition team to treat their counterparts with the utmost respect.
I will call, tomorrow, the leaders of the legislators, both Democrats and Republicans. And I will let them know that my door will always be open, that I want to work with them together, for the good of California. And the same goes also for the members of the legislators. It doesn't matter if you're to the left or to the right, or to the center. I extend my hand to them. I want to work with you. I need your help. And to the other candidates for governor, I also extend to you the olive branch of political reconciliation, so that we can move California forward.
Tonight, we are all here, celebrating. And we all have our reasons to celebrate. But tomorrow, the hard work will begin.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Oh, yes. And in closing, I want to say something to you that I've been saying for the last two months, traveling up and down the state. I want to be the people's governor. I want to represent everybody. I believe in the people of California. And I know that together, we can do great things. I know that together, we can make this again the greatest state of the greatest country in the world! Thank you very much. Thank you. And God bless all of you. Thank you.
BLITZER: And so there he is, the next Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's kissing his mother-in-law, right there, Eunice Shriver, one of the Kennedy's. There's his father-in-law, Sargent Shriver. Jeff Greenfield, Sargent Shriver not that long ago, what, about thirty years ago, was what?
GREENFIELD: Well, in 1972, the vice presidential nominee of the Democratic Party on the same stage as George Shultz, Ronald Reagan, Secretary of State. In a speech in which he continued the themes of his campaign, for the people to win politics as usual, must loose. But there was one line there that could suggest the trouble he could face. I want to represent anybody -- everybody. I want to represent everybody, he said twice. Politics is about choices.
And when Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to Sacramento, in his attempt to represent everybody, he's going to find some people so divergent, so in conflict with each other on the most basic issues, that representing everybody may be a much harder than anything he ever tried to do in his movies.
BLITZER: Judy Woodruff, if you could hear me, you're there, where we're seeing a very, very tumultuous moment: Arnold Schwarzenegger, his wife, Maria Shriver, basking in this glory. Judy, you and I've been covering politics for a long time. Did you ever think we'd see a Kennedy, a Kennedy family, the entire family almost, of the Shriver family, the clan over there, coming out in favor of this Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger. What an amazing site.
I don't know if Judy Woodruff can hear me. It's very, very loud, over there, at that ballroom. We'll try to bring her in to this conversation.
Bill Schneider, as you see, these images unfold before our viewers in the United States. Indeed, around the world. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 56 years old, who came to this country, as he said, penniless as a bodybuilder from his native Austria. And now, he's going to be the governor of the largest state in the United States. He's holding the hand of his mother-in-law, Eunice Shriver. His father-in-law, there he is, Sargent Shriver. Clearly they're very excited. This Kennedy family, at least, most Kennedys who are there in Los Angeles, with us right now, they are obviously -- they obviously love their in-law. They love Arnold Schwarzenegger.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. You may remember that Sargent Shriver was briefly on a Democratic presidential ticket as a George McGovern's vice-presidential choice. After he got rid of Tom Eagleton, he picked Sargent Shriver. This man ran for vice president of the United States in 1972 and here he is celebrating with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You know the Democrats have had a stranglehold on California. All since 1988, every Democratic presidential ticket has carried California. Every statewide official is a Democrat in California. How did Arnold break that stranglehold? With the M word, not movie star. Moderate, he did very well with moderates today in California. He was competitive with abortion rights supporters; he was very different from other Republicans who are too conservative for California.
And you know what, Wolf? I don't think you'd see these Kennedys on that stage in support of a conservative Republican. But a moderate Republican, like Schwarzenegger, that's very different.
BLITZER: How important, Bill, was it for Maria Shriver, formerly with NBC News -- still, technically with NBC News, although we don't know what her future is going to be at NBC News now that she's going to be the First Lady of California. How important was it for her, Bill, to stand by her man during this final days of the campaign?
SCHNEIDER: It was obviously crucial. And it reminded a lot of people of the way Hillary Rodham Clinton stood by her husband at the very beginning of the 1992 campaign, when he was faced with accusations of infidelity from, remember this name, Jennifer Flowers. She went on "60 Minutes" with her husband, then Governor Bill Clinton, and said she stood by him. That was crucial because a lot of people said it's a private affair. And if she doesn't mind, why should we mind?
Well, Maria Shriver has basically communicated the same message that she doesn't mind these accusations. She may believe them or not believe them but she's standing by her husband. And for a lot of voters in California that was all the evidence they needed.
BLITZER: Jeff Greenfield, just as we said that Gray Davis was gracious in his concession speech. It's fair to say Arnold Schwarzenegger, very gracious to the man he defeated, Gray Davis.
GREENFIELD: When you are an outsider, and you come into office, and you suddenly sweep in as a non-politician, you do have the luxury of being able to cast a wide net. And when he says I want to reach out to Democrats, Republicans and Independents, there's no party history to say you don't really mean that. You're a partisan.
My question, the question that his people must be asking is the same question Robert Redford asks at the end of the "Candidate" when he looks up and he says, "What do I do now?"
He's told us what he wants to do in the first 100 days. There's an $8 billion structural deficit. If he repels the car tax, he's got to make up $4billion. There are state and localities -- rather local governments all over California hurting desperately for money in their schools, in their fire departments, in their police departments. That's where the choices get hard and that's where you make some people angry depending on who you benefit, who you tax, who you cut.
And so this may be the high point for the next few months until and unless he can figure out how to solve some of these bedeviling issues.
BLITZER: Arnold Schwarzenegger was born 56 years ago in Graz, Austria. CNN's Walter Rodgers is there; he's in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown. It's already daylight over there.
Walter, there must a lot of excited Austrians where you are.
WALT RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, there is, Wolf. And remember, nothing succeeds like success and everybody likes a winner. Very few people here know Arnold Schwarzenegger stands for but that's not all that important. He's successfully. He's wealthy. And he's got glitter. And the Austrians like that, he's their favorite son made good.
I should say that we went to a party last night that went till 5:00 in the morning. A Schwarzenegger victory, celebration party well before the votes were all tallied. Having said that, when I talked to people at the party, and these were Schwarzenegger supporters, I asked them politically what does this man stands for. They didn't have a clue. They were more in love with the Schwarzenegger myth, the Schwarzenegger folklore. But again, people here are just basically happy and very, very proud no matter where they are on the political spectrum. That favorite son, hometown boy has made good -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Walter, I know you've been speaking to a lot of people there in Austria. In recent days, there was this suggestion that Arnold Schwarzenegger may have once said that he admired Adolf Hitler. He of course, insisted that was no way true, that he despised everything about Adolf Hitler, despised everything about the Nazi movement.
What are you hearing from Jewish people there and others in Austria?
RODGERS: I worked that issue very, very hard over the past two or three days that we've been here, Wolf. And it's pretty much an unfair hit. I spoke with Albert Kaufman, a leading Jewish business leader here; he's known Schwarzenegger for 20 years. He became incensed when anyone suggested that Schwarzenegger had ever admired Hitler. He said Schwarzenegger is always working with the -- with the Austrian equivalent of the Anti-Defamation League. He is violently opposed to anything which smacks of the Fascism, which was of course was rampant in Austria in the 19 -- late 30s and 1940s.
Having said that, it does seem a very unfair hit against Austria, at least from everyone with whom we spoke. The reason being, you can't work in Hollywood and survive and be anti-Semitic. It just isn't possible. And that was probably the lowest of blows that Schwarzenegger took. At least according to the public here in his hometown -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Walter, before I let you go, very, very briefly, we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger with his Maria Shriver. It was where you are right now where they -- where Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed marriage to Maria. Briefly tell our viewers how that happened.
RODGERS: It's a cute story. And there's a lot of folklore and myth but this is actually true. Schwarzenegger took his wife out to a lake where he -- a muscle beach where he used to lift weights as a young man; put her into a rowboat, rode her out in the middle of the lake, popped the question. We were in the same boat yesterday. It was very romantic, very cute. The guy is an interesting fellow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I think that's fair enough.
Walter Rodgers, on the scene for us in Graz, Austria, the hometown, the birth place of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the next governor of California.
Judy Woodruff is in the ballroom now.
Judy we tried to come to you after the governor elect spoke. It was simply too loud, you obviously couldn't hear me. Can you hear me now? And if you can, give us a little flavor. What's going on there?
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it's pure excitement here. Schwarzenegger, if he's not out the door, he's almost out the door. This crowd is beyond happy. They are thrilled.
And you know, when you tried to talk to me a minute ago, you were asking about Shriver family. You're right. They are Democrats. And I was watching their faces as Schwarzenegger was speaking. They were grinning ear to ear. Bobby Shriver was standing just to the right of Schwarzenegger as we faced him and as we listened to him. He helps Eunice Shriver, his mother, run the Special Olympics. And I could see on his face a look of pure disbelief; the idea that he as a Democrat was standing on the stage with a Republican, celebrating his victory as governor of California.
BLITZER: All right. Judy, we'll be getting back to you.
Judy Woodruff over there at a very, very excited Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign headquarters.
We have two guests I want to bring in right now here in our Los Angeles studio. Dayna Devon, she's the co-host of the popular program "Extra" on television. And Ron Silver, he's the well-known actor, the Democratic Party activist as well.
Dana, you know Maria Shriver rather well. You know that she is now about to become the First Lady of California. How is she going to do it?
DAYNA DEVON, CO-HOST, "EXTRA": You know, I think, she's going to do it very well. I think, you know, obviously very media savvy; she's been a journalist for 26 years. She knows what, you know, involved in getting a story. She knows what sells; I think she's going to be doing that very well. Obviously, a Kennedy, she grew up around it. She's been in the spotlight since she was a little girl. I think she's going to handle it incredibly well. She's poised. She's intelligent. She's well spoken. I think it's going to be a good role for her.
BLITZER: She was clearly one of the great assets that he had. I don't know if he would be the governor of California without her.
DEVON: I agree. And you know, it's interesting too; in the beginning she was kind of the veto card. She didn't want him to do this. And as she started realizing, I think, that this was his passion, she got behind him and she really immersed herself in this.
And I really think that she resonated with women. She -- although she's famous and powerful and rich, for some reason, women see to think that she's in every woman as well.
BLITZER: Ron Silver, she's quite attractive as a spokeswoman for her husband, for the Kennedy family, if you will. Are you coming around to Arnold Schwarzenegger now that he's the governor elect?
RON SILVER, ACTOR, DEMOCRATIC PARTY ACTIVIST: Listen, listen. I've always like Arnold. And I did like a couple of things about this campaign. One, it was an eight week campaign, which I think is very healthy. It concentrates the electorate; it doesn't take a year and a half.
There's also something unique about this situation in that what California governor has not had presidential ambitions? And that kind of governed the politics of how he operated. He is free from that. So he can operate as a free spirit.
BLITZER: You're talking he wasn't born in the United States.
SILVER: He was not born in the United States. He cannot go any further than this, other than an appointed office. So, he is free to do something that no California governor has ever been free to do.
BLITZER: Dayna, do you have any sense if whether that Maria Shriver is going to be a full First Lady of California? Or is she going to go back to NBC News and do some projects for "Dateline NBC?"
DEVON: You know, she's been very clearly about that she wants to return to work. She says journalism is her passion and NBC has been very clear that they want her to come back. So, I think, she's going to -- you know, she's really struck a balance in her life between kids, and career and family. And I think she's going to continue to do that. And I think she's going to do a little bit of both.
BLITZER: That was a pretty, good speech she gave, a victory speech. Ron, you must admit.
SILVER: It was awfully good. It was concise, the lines, his gestures were wonderful when he reached out to somebody. He had one terrific line about the people when if the politicians loose...
BLITZER: He said, "For the people to win, politics as usual must loose." That's a line that a lot of people are going to remember.
SILVER: And there was a tremendous amount of sincerity in the speech that he gave. But I agree with Jeff. I think tomorrow morning the reality is going to hit. And if Warren Buffet is finished his 500 sit-ups, I think, he's going to call him back to find out, you know, what do we do with Prop. 13 and this and that? So.
BLITZER: Dayna, you cover Hollywood. What is this say about Hollywood and politics?
DEVON: You know, we were waiting in the green room and people were talking about Gray Davis is just not a charismatic speaker. And I think that what we are seeing, though, is we are seeing a stranger come in. He is charismatic. You can't help but like when he's speaking, whether or not you agree with his politics.
And you know, they are a couple that's made it when many others have failed before them. So, I think that people are liking what they are seeing and they voted him in, you know, based on a lot of different reasons.
BLITZER: All right. Dayna, I want you to stand by. Ron, stand by. I want to bring back our Judy Woodruff; she's over at Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign headquarters, where it's still very exciting.
Judy, I take it you have a special guest over there.
WOODRUFF: I do, Wolf. Very familiar face, Rob Lowe, the actor familiar to all of our viewers.
Rob Lowe, we saw you on stage. Big smile on your face; why support Arnold Schwarzenegger?
ROB LOWE, ACTOR: Arnold is going to bring Democrats and Republicans together, as he did indeed tonight, to stress fiscal conservatism in this state, which really needs it and bring the state back. He's an amazing leader.
WOODRUFF: You are one of the few in the Hollywood community who came out publicly to support him. Why so few publicly?
LOWE: You know, I don't know. I'm just glad that I did, because I think we realize tonight that the people wanted leadership. They wanted change. They wanted someone who has lived a full life who is not a career politician, who brings a breath of experience and a way to bring people into the process that might not otherwise be involved. And that's why I got involved with him.
WOODRUFF: All -- so much publicity the last few days when these charges, the "Los Angeles Times," women alleging that they've been sexually harassed. What did you make of all that?
LOWE: Well, you know, I think there are two great victories tonight. There's Arnold Schwarzenegger's victory and the people of California's victory. And then there's the victory against puke politics. And this is a -- hopefully the last time that kind of campaigning will be brought up because it keeps good people with something to loose involved. They say, hey, I've made my money; what do I need the hassle for? And so I'm glad that it turned out the way it did tonight.
WOODRUFF: Do you think -- you think we've heard the end of all that?
LOWE: I think that we all need to focus on what this state needs in bringing people together. And I know that's what Arnold is going to focus on.
WOODRUFF: Have you talked to him tonight before he came out? I mean what's his mood? What's he's saying to you all privately?
LOWE: I did speak to him. He's humbled. He's humbled. He can't believe what an amazing country this is that continues to give him opportunities after opportunity. And he's grateful and he knows there's hard work ahead.
WOODRUFF: A lot of questions about whether he's going to do as he said and reach across the aisles -- the partisan aisle.
WOODRUFF: What do you think?
LOWE: Well, he reached across to me and people, like Warren Buffet. And that was very early on. And I think I know he'll continue to do that.
WOODRUFF: Rob Lowe, as we said, very familiar face out here in Hollywood, came out early for Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we thank you for talking with us.
LOWE: Thanks for having me.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate.
Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: Judy, you can tell Rob Lowe that his fellow actor, Ron Silver, who's sitting right here in the studio, asked to pass along his best wishes to Rob Lowe.
And let's hear if Rob Lowe wants to respond to Ron Silver.
WOODRUFF: Ron Silver wants to ask you a question.
LOWE: Oh, I love Ron Silver, one of the smartest actors in show business, Ron Silver.
SILVER: That's the Hollywood I know.
LOWE: Where is Ron...
BLITZER: All right. A love -- a love fest between Ron Silver and Rob Lowe. We'll leave it at that.
Judy Woodruff, we'll be getting back to you. Thanks to Rob Lowe as well.
Let's take a quick look at the actual numbers that we're now getting into CNN on this election. With what -- take a look at this, 46 percent of the vote. Actually and almost half 54 percent, it's staying very steady 54 percent want they incumbent Governor Gray Davis recalled; 46 voted against recall.
As far as the successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course, elected the next governor of California. Decisive win, actual numbers coming from Sacramento show that he's the clear winner.
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