tv PBS News Hour PBS June 23, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: good evening, i'm gwen isle. president obama fires the top u.s. commandener afghanistan today after general stanley mcchrystal made disparaging remarks about administration officials. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, general david petraeus, and mcchrystal's boss will replace him. we weigh the effect on u.s.
strategy in afghanistan and the political consequences at home. >> ifill: then from the gulf coast, betty ann bowser reports on the new health worry s arising from the continuing oil spill. >> woodruff: we update the political drama in south carolina after two conservative republicans , one indian american the other african american, post primary wins. >> ifill: and jeffrey brown tells the story of nashville rising, after last month's record floods stunned the city, its citizens and music industry. >> it was really, really bad, and a lot of -- a lot of great musicians, famous and non-famous working every day musicians work out of here, and it was devastating. the instrument loss here. i've literally seen 1,000-plus guitars thrown in dumpsters. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: command of the war in afghanistan will pass into new hands after u.s. general stanley mcchrystal was abruptly relieved of command. general mcchrystal left the white house this morning before a scheduled strategy meeting on the war in afghanistan even began. that was the first sign that he would not have his job by the end of the day. and he didn't. >> today, i accepted general stanley mcchrystal's resignation as commander of the international security assistance force in afghanistan." i did so with considerable regret, but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in afghanistan, for our military, and for our
country. >> ifill: mcchrystal's dismissal comes after a scathing "rolling stone" magazine profile in which the general and several of his aides criticized president obama and members of his national security team. >> the conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. it undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. and it erhodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in afghanistan." i've just told my national security team that now is the time for all of us to come together . doing so is not an option but an obligation. i welcome debate among my team , but i won't tolerate division. >> ifill: the president nominated general david petraeus to replace mcchrystal.
he currently commands u.s. forces across the middle east, and previously led american troops in iraq. lawmakers from both parties applauded the choice of petraeus and predicted swift confirmation. >> if there's ever been an example of somebody putting national interest ahead of personal interest , it is general david petraeus' willingness to accept a command of our forces in afghanistan. >> ifill: but some said the mcchrystal firing raised questions about overall administration war policy. >> the issue that will be raised in general petraeus' confirmation hearings is exactly what is meant by withdrawal in the middle of the 2011, whether that is-- quote-- etched in stone as the president's spokesperson, mr. gibbs, stated, or whether it will be conditions-based. obviously, we feel very strongly that it needs to be condition-based. >> ifill: mcchrystal, who has been on the
job only a year, had been entrusted with crafting a counter-insurgency policy designed to reduce the u.s. footprint in afghanistan but there has been periodic friction. last fall, the president berated mcchrystal for being too blunt in his requests for more troops, a period mcchrystal told the "rolling stone" reporter was painful for him. the president eventually gave mcchrystal the troops he asked for, and if confirmed by the senate, petraeus will now command them at a critical moment in the eight-year war. the president's self-imposed deadline to draw down forces is just a year away, and the expuz its allies are preparing a major campaign in afghanistan 's kandahar province to flush out an entrenched insurgency. mcchrystal had formed a good relationship with one key player afghanistan president hamid karzai, who said today he respects the u.s. president's decision. mcchrystal apologized yesterday for using poor judgment and in a statement today said he submitted his rezination out of a desire to see the mission succeed. the upheaval comes during a
month that is now the war's deadliest. as of today, 76 international troops have died in june, including 46 americans. mcchrystal removal raised questions about the general, but also about overall administration policy in afghanistan. here to sort that through are jessica matthews, president of the carnegie endowment for international peace. she served in the carter and clinton administrations. elliot cohen, a professor at the johns hopkins school of advanced international studies. he served in the bush administration. and david ignatius, a columnist with the "washington post", who has covered the conflict extensively. let's start with all of you by talking about this eventful day. what was your first reaction, jessica matthews, not only to stanley mcchrystal's firing but also david petraeus' return? >> i thought the president had no choice. he did exactly the right thing and what had to be done. and if there was a way for this to happen with a minimal consequences for the war, he found it in the appointment of
petraeus, that this was to make a personnel change without a hint of policy change , this was the only person. and petraeus was willing to do it, and i thought the president hit every note right today. >> ifill: elliot cohen? >> well, as someone who has been very critical of the president, i have to say i agree with jessica, i thought the speech the president gave was pitch-perfect. he really outlined the key issues. there was a fundamental question of civil military relations at stake and he did the right thing. i think going forward, the thing he has to think about is the larger context, which he created. it doesn't excuse what mcchrystal did. that larger context say team at the top that does not work it's commander, the ambassador , his personal-- special representative of the president. the strategy review that they went through, the state. a deadline, which has had really unnerving consequences for everybody in the theater, our troops, the afghans. so i think he really has to use
this as a way of not rethinking the whole venture, but really taking ownership of it and redirecting it, balls a lot of the chaos he created. >> ifill: david, i'm curious of what you think about the overall change of command but also respond to elliot cohen's question, which is there's more than just the changing at the head here. >> i think obama did take ownership today of what has been a troubled afghanistan policy, and by appointing general petraeus, a man who knows what it is to be coming in, in a campaign that looks like it's failing-- which was the case for him in iraq-- and turn it around by his own leadership, by a very creative strategy, by really thinking outside the box-- it was , i think, doubling down by president obama on his own bet that he can somehow come up with an acceptable measure of success by next year in afghanistan. petraeus would not have taken this job
unless he thought he could succeed. >> ifill: but the president said today-- one of the things he said was we have a clear goal. is the goal as clear as jessica matthews says? is the policy intact? >> well, i think there continues to be some straddle between the counter-terrorism goal of stopping the al qaeda safe havens in afghanistan, but the president did say our goals is to reverse the momentum of the taliban. he said that today. general petraeus' dilemma will be how to do that. i think we all would say, looking at what's happened to date, that the strategy is not going as well as people had hoped. the offensive in hel munprovince and marjah has had very little success. those are the kinds of things that general petraeus is going to have to sort out. hopefully he will be able-- speaking to elliot's point-- to be able to get a greater degree of cooperation and concert among this group. >> i think the real danger here
is that the -- general petraeus, of course, is the primary author of the counter-insurgency, the coin strategy, that mcchrystal was carrying out. and what this whole incident does is it kind of obsecures the in fact, as david says, it's not going well. and the core reason it's not going well is that we don't have a domestic part ener in president karzai. >> ifill: does change the american commander make that more likely? >> no. but it obscures the fact that it's not going well and may have to be rethought. in a way, by appointing general petraeus, you're making another, say, six-month commitment to pursuing this strategy at a while timewhen maybe we should be rethinking it. >> i don't know, when i was in the bush administration in 2007, our view in iraq we didn't have a partner, anded this goodness we had hamid karzai in afghanistan. these things come and go. i think the biggest problem to
be pfectly frank has been the president's ambivalence . he's not given a major speech on afghanistan--. >> ifill: about what? >> about the war. >> lehrer: about winning the war being there at all. >> i would say winning the war. >> i would-- >> let me finish. you can't say it's a war of necessity on one hand and on the other hand say we're going to begin getting out by a date certain. i don't know, the question is really going to be what's his level of personal engagement. fwe look at iraq, what turned things around. putting in david petraeus was critical, and resource were critical. he has done both things in afghanistan. the other part that was critical which people don't pay allegation much attention to was the quality of civilian leadership. ambassador croaker was absolutely critical to the success, and the president's own personal commitment-- that's commitment of time, commitment of energy, and commitment of will. and that is part of what he has to do. >> ifill: you can respond to that. >> i was just going to say i think he has made the commitment.
he shaved the goal down to a manageable, potentially achieveable level from a while -- a fanneddacy of democratic afghanistan, and he's tripled the forces which is huge commitment. i certainly don't disagree there's dysfunction , also. but i think his commitment to is-- can't--. >> ifill: david, let's talk about this deadline, the july 11 beginning to pull outta date. i don't think he exactly called it a pull-out date. but there is still some discontent, especially on capitol hill, about whether that's even something we should be aiming for. the president didn't send any signals today that he is backing away from that. >> it's been very clear, that general petraeus himself is very uncertain about this timetable. he was asked last week in his congressional testimony whether he supported the president's july 2011 timetable, and he in effect said, "yes, but." he then framed a very careful statement that talked about this
being conditions-based. in other words, if it's not going well, he wants us to reserve the right to pull out very slowly. if--. >> ifill: which is what john mccain and others said. >> it's what the republicans want. i'd love to know-- and don't-- whether general petraeus, in accepting this job from the president today or last night-- or whenever-- asked for a commitment of the time needed to make this work. and who would take a job thinking that the -- there wasn't enough time to be successful? i fear that's what he may think about the july deadline. >> knowing david petraeus, i think, like stan mcchrystal, in this respect, he's just a good soldier. and if the president looks him square in the eye and says, "i need to take this job" you don't set conditions. >> ifill: but he looks the president straight in the eye and says, "i believe in your counter-insurgency strategy. i just don't think you're allowing enough time for it." >> that's exactly what he would say to him and the question is what's going on inside the head of president obama's. >> ifill: do you think it can work the counter-insurgency strategy?
is it the the right strategy? >> i don't think the time is simply the issue. i think the core of the counter-insurgency strategy is you have a domestic partner, and i don't think this is at all like iraq. and, you know, in a way the oil spill has obscured how important and how badly things are going there-- which not to mean that you quit. but there is not the same kind of preexisting institutional base, governmental base, or anything, in afghanistan that there was in iraq. so that's the core of the problem with the strategy. >> ifill: david first. >> one thing that general petraeus is very good at is the political side of political military. he's good at using emissaries, backchannels, and one thing i think he understands is that in terms of winning, this may be really the pack-aft strategy. in other words, if pakistan will close the safe havens in the tribal areas so the taliban oxygen supply, if you will, is
cut off, it matter s a whole lot liz what happens in kandahar or helmund province. i think he understands that. he's a good military diplomat, if you will, and that's going to be part of his job. >> look, i think one of the things that sometimes happens with us, is we talk to ourselves. we don't realize we're talking to other people. no matter what nuance was teached to the idea of beginning to withdraw in july 2011, the way everybody in the region read it the americans are leaving. you just had to read the pakistani newspapers to see that. one of the things we have to remind ourselves is we intent vise some of the behavior in, among others, president karzai that drives us crazy because if you're president karzai and you think the americans are leaving, well, you're going to cut the deals that you think you need to cut in order to be able to survive. so our own kind of baring, if you will, will be profoundly important. the other thing i have to say, as somebody who spent a lot of time in both iraq and
afghanistan, both places are a complete mess. both places have some institutions which are functional or quasi-functional. there are some people if government you really want to work with and others who are really putting their lives on the line for their people. it's a very complicated situation. and i really do reject the idea this is unwinable. it will be difficult. it will be hard. it requires persistence, but above all trequires determination. >> ifill: we'll have to leave it there for tonight. jessica matthews, elliot cohen, david ignatius, thank you all very much. when president obama stepped into the rose garden today he faced more than a simple personnel situation. >> a war-time general's relationship with his top generals can be as much as military issue. we go to brett mcgurk an official in the bush and obama administration, where he focused on iraq and afghanistan policy. he's now a fellow at the council on foreign relations.
and michael desch, a professor of political science at the university of notre dame, author of "civilian role of the military: the changing security environment." brett mcgurk, it was done swiftly and decisively by the president with support from both democrats and republicans but does the removal of stanley mcchrystal also create an occasion for opening a political debate over the prosecution of the war in afghanistan? >> its had that potential this morning at 9:00 or 10:00. following up from the other panel which had it very well analyzed, i think the president put a real mark. he took ownership again of this policy. he said the policy's not changing. and by putting dave petraeus in chand, that sends a resounding message throughout the military chain command, throughout the civilian ranks, the afghan partners and to the pakistanies. again, the president today, really an extraordinary day. but, again, it's what will happen on day two. those relationships are
critical, and in iraq, some things we change when the surge started going, president bush met with his national security team, with general petraeus ambassador crocker every monday morning, and i was in those meetings. they were small meetings, but it was a time to say, dave petraeus madam secretary, secretary of defense chairman, what do you see this week? what's going to happen this week? what do you see in the theater? and it kind of diminished surprises. it was very effective to keep everything going on an even keel, and it takes a lot of time presidential time, and it's something we'll have to see if they make changes going forward on that point. again, it's presidential leadership week to week. there are so many surprises in these sorts of operations, given the complexities, and i think that can make a real difference. >> was it significant that it was not a conflict over policy, that the two men publicly and privately agree on the policy? >> that's the irony. and the fact that general mcchrystal's replacement is
general petraeus means there will be almost no change in policy, and, of course, the problem is, if the original counter-insurgency strategy was not working before, if you bring in a smoother version of general mcchrystal in general petraeus, but someone who is committed to the same basic policy , it's not clear that the underlying problems that i think have caused this disarray in the obama administration's national security team are going to go away. the problem is , as the old saying goes, failure is an orphan. success has many fathers. and afghanistan now is a failure and that's causing a lot of friction in the national security team. >> suarez: well, professor, allegation we saw today, the commander of u.s. forces and nato forces in afghanistan serves at the pleasure of the president . but doesn't that person also have many
other constituencies? is there repair work that now has to be done with nato, with the countries that were derisively talked of in the "rolling stone" article? >> well, you bet. the nato coalition is frag, and the intemperate remarks about some of our nato partners that were attributed to general mcchrystal's staff certainly aren't helpful. the other question is the one person in the af-pak account that had a decent relationship with president karzai was, in fact, general mcchrystal. and it will be interesting to see what approach general petraeus takes to dealing with karzai. one could argue that karzai's been more of a problem than the solution. and so it seems to me that what we ought to hope for is not a continuation
or better implementation of the counter-insurgency strategy but, rather, some fundamental changes. and i think one of them has to do with our relationship with the karzai government. >> suarez: gurg, you just heard professor desch, can things happen quickly? you were on the inside in both this and the last administration. were there very high-profile personnel changes, but changing one person's portfolio sometimes means months of adjustment after that, doesn't it. >> again, potentially, and that was a potential here. first, can things happen quickly? the answer is a resounding no. nothing is going to happen quickly. some weeks guilty well. some weeks will go poorly. and the one thing dave petraeus said when he testified last week was it's a bit of a roller coaster ride, and you want to keep things more or less on an upward trajectory, but this is going to take time. and this is the toughest, toughest period .
we're still getting our forces in place. we're starting to go into areas that were uncontested. fighting is increasing. our casualties are up. it's the middle of the fighting season. this is the toughest period and it takes the president to say this is my strategy. we're going forward. and that's exactly what he did today which was a good thing. on the personnel, and the continuity, there are eerie similarities here to an unfortunate magazine profile with admiral fallon, a fin-comcommander in the spring of 2008, in which the perception created in the article is he was the only thing holding back war with iran which of course was not true. he resigned and that was an unfortunate episode. but the white house and secretary gates used that episode to put general petraeus in charge of central command and put general odierno in charge of command in iraq which served the nation very well. out of these types of episodes can come some positives, and i think the president again today said this strategy is mine.
we're going forward. dave petraeus is taking charge of it. i don't think people expected to hear that today. and it's quite a moment. i think we'll see what happens in the weeks ahead, but i think presidential ownership really matters. the president did a great thing today. and we have to watch it going forward. but saying that my team has to come together was critical. but the only person who can make the whole team come together is the president because he's the only one that everybody answers to. >> suarez: professor, you heard brett mcgurk talk about other high-profile dismissals, but is that a moment that's tougher for democrats because of this-- there's such a constant rumble about their more-difficult relations with the military? >> well, it is. part of it is the legacy of vietnam where the democratic party had the , you know, basically was tarred with the label of being the party of defeat. and then in recent years , an issue that's arisen is we've had fewer and fewer of our high-level political leaders with real military experience.
and barack obama is not only a democrat but a democrat that's never served in uniform. so you can imagine the thoughts that were going through his head beyond just the question of whether mcchrystal had stepped too far over the line and whether change horses in midstream in afghanistan would be a problem for the strategy. but there's the larger perception in obama's case , and, you know, i think it's reinforced by the concern about his leadership in the gulf oil spill, that this could be a really tough decision and one fathere was a great burden on him to make the right way. >> suarez: and do you agree with brett mcgurk, this is also, maybe, an opportunity? >> i wish it were an opportunity but, again, what's happening is paradoxically, it wasn't really a debate about policy.
you know, the president has basically, after the afghan strategy review of last fall, gave , you know, general mcchrystal and general petraeus almost everything they wanted. >> suarez: professor desch, brett mcgurk, gentlemen, thank you both. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, health worries on the gulf. south carolina politics. and nashville makes a comeback. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: b.p. ran into new trouble today with that damaged well in the gulf of mexico, an accident forcing crews to remove the cap that's been collecting the crude. newshour correspondent kwame holman reports. >> reporter: apparently, the trouble began when a robert submarine like this one bumped a vent on the well-containment system. it carries warm water to prevent icy crystals from forming in the machinery.
in washington, coast guard admiral thad allen said shortly after that crews spotted trouble. >> the discovery enterprise removed the container cap with the riser pipe and moved away until they could acess the condition. >> reporter: removing the cap allowed oil to gush freely into the gulf again. the system had collected 700,000 in gallons in the previous 24 hours. the news came amid reports that pools of heavy oil hit miles of pensacola beach in florida overnight and there was more on that federal judge's ruling that a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling went too far. at a senate hearing, interior secretary ken salazar said the obama administration still plans to appeal but he said he'll issue a new order to address the judge's concern. >> it is important that this moratorium stay in place until we can assure that deep water drilling can be done in a safe way. >> reporter: and steny hoyer
wrote to the president seek a summit with east coast governors and local officials, citing fears oil from the gulf spill eventually could reach the atlantic ocean and move north. >> the federal reserve will hold interest rates at record lows. policy makers pledged today to keep them there for an extended period. they cited corporates about the effects of europe's debt crisis. the fed statement on europe undercut with any moment oum wall street .the dow jones gained just under five points to close at 10298. the nasdaq fell seven points to close at 2254. the crews fighting a huge wildfire in arizona reported some progress today. the blaze near flagstaff was 20% contained after scorching 22 square miles. about one thon people were allowed to return to their homes inspect jamaica police appealed for calm an arresting christopher coke.
a preacher said he arranged if are coke to surrendered to u.s. marshals yesterday when the police caught him. the u.s. soccer team advanced in the world cup today with a stung finish. they scored a late goal to win 1-nil. the scoreless tie would have been sent the american team packing. it is the first u.s. victory in world cup play in eight years. those are some of the day's major stories. now back to gwen. >> ifill: next, what's behind the growing concerns along the gulf coast about health problems connected to the oil spill. betty ann bowser filed this story from louisiana. the health unit is a partnership with the robert wood johnson foundation. >> reporter: like most of the commercial fishermen here at the southern tip of louisiana, a.c. cooper has had to go to work for b.p. on cleanup operations. the third-generation shrimper says it's the only way to feed his family now that the oil spill has shut down most of the fishing grounds in the gulf. >> if we don't have no way to
make any money, what are we going to do to pay our bills? we won't have no money to pay our bills. we have kids, small kids and families. >> reporter: but cooper and some of his fellow shrimpers say the work is making them sick. >> they came in with sickns and a couple of unconfirmed cases of chemical poison, nose-- runny nose, sore throat, nausea, shortness of breath, things of that nature. >> reporter: how serious are these problems? >> it's very serious. we fought tooth and nail to get jobs but we didn't get jobs to kill anybody. >> reporter: 49-year-old cooper, who is vice president of the louisiana shrimpers' association is one of the few cleanup workers who would talk on camera about the health issues involved. most said they were afraid if they spoke to us, they would be fired by b.p. >> we have some out there four miles from the site, the burn team. and yet
, the sickness, but yet they will still go, no matter what. we're between a rock and a hard place. >> reporter: no one really knows how many people are getting sick. but here in the louisiana, 143 cases blamed on exposure to oil have been reported to the state health department. 108 of those have involved cleanup workers, the rest members of the public. some of the people have been brought here to the west jefferson medical center near new orleans, where doctors report many of the complaints have involved heat and respiratory-related issues. >> how you doing? good. >> reporter: jessica dannus has been concerned about what the cleanup work is doing to his husband's health. >> you know, we do worry about that they're so close and they're breathing it in all day long. >> some days it might smell a little bad, but nobody got sick. >> reporter: what the couple is really worried about is their six-year-old daughter, josie. >> they say, you know, in years to come, our children could be affected health-wise, and that's
really scary. >> reporter: and, jessica says, she's frustrate bide the lack of information from local officials and elsewhere. >> and that's also scary, too, like, you kind of feel like they're hiding, something, you know. if there's nothing to hide just come out and say everything is okay. >> there's nothing like uncertainty to make people anxious. whether you're nine years old or 90 years old. >> reporter: so earlier this week, she and about 50 other fishing families went to a middle school near venice to talk to three doctors from the children's health fund in new york city who were there to listen to their concerns. >> there's literally a haze as far as you can see all the way to the ground. when you come out, the smell of petroleum hits you in the face. >> reporter: dr. redletter is president of the group and also heads colombia university's national center for disaster preparedness.
he said a lack of information only exaggerates people's worrieds about their health. >> there are people that live in lowery plaque min parish who have dimpt accessing health services. there are people who are not insured, not well insured, yet there are costs to getting health care, which a lot of people can't afford. there's an ongoing series of challenges. >> reporter: people here have been frightened by stories they've heard in the media about the possibilities of dealing with cancer and other illnesses in the years to come. >> our lives are down here. our kids are down here. my biggest fear is 10 years from now is my child going to be in a wheelchair, mentally able to sit and speak and hold a conversation because of this? >> reporter: currently, there are few long-term studies that examine oil spill impact on human health." kendraed fisherman husband was sick for six weeks with respiratory problems.
>> they're finally starting to subside. my daughter has broke out in four rashs-- four rashes. she has no skin problems whatsoever before this. now she's clear. i've had her locked up in the house for the past two weeks. >> reporter: the health interest of people in the gulf was on the minds of several hundred doctors and sciences gathered this week. it was aimed at assessing the human health effects of the spill. there was widespread agreement that the problem is what science knows about the problem but what it does not. dr. nicole laurie is the department of health and human services assistant secretary for preparedness and response. >> the experience that we've had with dealing with so many other disasters prepares us to some extent but not, maybe, as well as we would like for what to expect in either the short- or
long-term health consequences. >> reporter: dr. bernard goldsteen from the university of pittsburgh says he's most concerned about those involved in the cleanup operations. >> the kind of organization ans we worry about are the respiratory tract-- people inhaling the-- and they affect the nose and eyes and upper respiratory track so they'll develop a cough. some people have skin reactions when you put certain types of petroleum hydrocarbons on their skin. so, again, skin contact should be voided. >> reporter: louisiana's state university's edward oberson is also worried about cleanup workers. but he said the dangerous chemicals in the spill dissipate before they reach shore, and the general population, including people in plaquimines have little to worry about. >> it can make you feel light-headed and some people are more susceptible to that exposure than others , but it's
not acutely toxic chemical. gasoline is much more dangerous than this oil, much more dangerous. it's explosive. it contains human carcinogen benzene, and we use gasoline every day. >> reporter: shrimper a.j. cooper and many others we spoke to don't buy this stuff. >> there's no telling what will happen to you after four, five years. we don't know how long-- maybe a long time. >> reporter: and they're worried about the future holds. >> i have my son out there working. i have my dad out there working. i'm working. my son-in-law. i have grand kids. what happens if they sick five, six years down the line. i have a bunch of running around with no daddy. we have to think about this. to not think about it doesn't make sense. >> osha has launched the most robust monitoring system of oil spill workers to date. as of last week, more than
13,000 workers had volunteered to be part of a long-term tracking system. >> woodruff: four states held primaries and runoffs yesterday, and the oit come foreshad -- outcome foreshadowed a scene to come. the new republican nominee for governor in south carolina walked on to the stage. the crowd chanted her name. nikki haley, an indian american , easily won tuesday's runoff with the backing of tea party activists. >> this is a story about determination and a story about a movement. this is the movement about the idea of government being open and accountable to the people. ( cheers and applause ) this is the story where we push the idea
that the taxpayer should get ahead of the special interest every day of the week. >> woodruff: hail senow favored to become south carolina's first female governor . she won easily, despite allegations of marital infidelity and ethnic slurs. state republicans also nominated tim scott for a u.s. house seat. he would be the state's first black g.o.p. congressman in more than a century. scott defeated fall thurmon, son of the late senator and former segregationist strom thurmond. and prosecutor tryerks gouldy won the republican nomination for another congressional seat. he attack sitting congressman bob inglis for voting to bail out the financial industry. inglis was the fifth incumbent turned out of office this year. and in utah, another new republican face emerged, attorney mike leigh, winning the
nomination for u.s. senate. >> we face a federal government that thinks they can be all things to all people but it solves all the world's problems just by giving more money. money that hasn't yet been earned. because the people who will one day earn it have not yet been born and in some cases their parents haven't even met. >> reporter: utah republicans ousted bob bennett at a state convention last month. for more on the primary and the historical results in south carolina, we're joined by amy walter, editor and chief of the hotline, national journal's political daley. and adolphus belk jr., a professor of political science and african american studies at winthrop university in rock hill south carolina. he joins us now from charlotte, north carolina. thank you, both, for being with us. amy walter, to you first, and focusing on south carolina. an african american being nominated fair congressional seat, an indian american woman for governor.
so was this about race, gender, or about the tea party movement that was endorsing both of them? >> well, i think there are a lot of things going on here, and it's never as simple as it seems on paper. i mean, in some ways, tim scott, the man who now is more than likely to come to congress. he is in a very republican district. he was essentially part of the establishment, a sitting statement legislator. he was very well liked by the folks in the republican establishment, the business community. he got support both from conservatives on the social end of the spectrum, as well as conservatives on the fiscal end. nikki haley, of course, started off as the total underdog, which she mentions in the setup peegs, and yet, in the end, she also got the support from folks mitt romney, the current first lady, as well as sarah palin. but i think the most important thing for south carolina is after what has been a year and a half or so of pretty embarrassing situations , whether it was the appalachian trail-- we certainly had the stories
then in this primary -- they finally now, the south carolina republican party, hoping to get its reputation back. >> woodruff: adolphus belk, how much was gender an issue in the nikki haley story? >> i think if you look at the races that involved both state representative hailly and state representative scott, both candidates really de-emphasized race and ethnicity. they did not run campaigns that drew attention to the historic nature of what they were trying to do. rather, they ran on some pretty conservative lines, talking about shrinking the size of government, making government more accountable to the people through transparency, and really reempsigz a number of standard republican talking points rather than talking about their race or ethnicity or religious background. >> woodruff: adolphus belk, staying with you, what do these results say, if anything, about attitudes towards race and gender in your state? >> i think there are some ways that race , gender, ethnicity,
religion, still matter and influence politics a great deal. i think there are some instance where's those things matter a little bit less. the victories by haley and scott are significant because they were-- they had a lot of advantages-- or they had a lot of things that they had to overcome, rather. if we look at representative haley, she was probably the fourth candidate in the field. she was not well known across the oen tire state, while the others have been elected to statewide office, and she had difficulty raising money. we look at representative scott, he knocked off two huge names in south carolina politics facing, one, the son of a former governor in campbell, and the son of son of a former governor and u.s. senator in strom thurmond. >> woodruff: amy walter, what are the prospects of both of these candidates in november? >> they're very good. south carolina has-- it's been a while,-- but the last time they had a democratic governor was in 2002. i think that the question for nikki haley and the problem for nikki haley, of course, is you're looking forward. people are already projecting on to her what, is she going to be in 2012?
what is she going to be in 2011? is she going to be the face of the republican party? we've already heard her mention could she be a vice presidential pick? will she be the keynote speaker at the 2012 republican convention. she has to be very careful, take it one step at a time and not look like she's already going for the next big job and focus on what she needs to focus on, which is the state of south carolina. >> woodruff: adolphus belk, we are watching here the thread of the story that has to do with rejecting anybody connected to washington, anybody connected in a couple of these instances in the haley contest, she was running against a congressman who had voted for the bank bailout. and has happened nay couple of other races around the country. to what extent do you feel in south carolina the role of the tea party movement? >> south carolina is a small state benefit 4.5 million people.ñ- nd so in a state like south carolina that is conservative to
begin with, the tea party has had a greater influence than it has in other parts of our country where politics are a little bit different. i'm say this about representative haley-- there are a lot of questions about how she's going to govern. there are some republicans in the state that had a rather acrimonious relationship with governor sanford, even though they were of the same party, and they spent eight years fighting and going over vete expose overriding vete expose things of that sort. governor haley would inherit a state looking at a projected $1.3 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2011, a state that has an 11% unemployment rate, which is higher than the national average of 9.7%, and a state where, according to a winthrop university poll, one in five residents is worried about running out of food before being able to buy more. so those are some serious problems that the next governor will have to address. >> woodruff: that will be on the mipdz of voters as they go to the polls in november. >> absolutely. and they are going to be looking very closely at that. south carolina, taking it from a national perspective, south carolina, obviously, very
important to-- look forward to 2012 for rrngz it has been traditionally the place where presidential candidates, if they make it here they can sort of make it anywhere. you can break through in south carolina. mitt romney-- it's funny, we hear a lot about sarah palin that she was sort of the boost here for nikki haley. and at the same time, mitt romney was the one who came out early when she was fourpth in the polls, endorsed her, raised money for her. he was the person in the last weekend before the election campaigning with her. certainly he's, i'm sure, going to be look to remind her of that in 2012. a lot of people are going to be coming into that state in the next couple of years-- republicans coming in there, looking for support, and certainly somebody like romney hoping that he can cash in there. >> woodruff: adolphus belk, at a time like this, how much awareness, consciousness is there in south carolina among the electorate about the fact your state is so early in the presidential picks? coming around every four years, and was that a factor?
>> well, south carolina has been particularly impactful when we look at the role the state has played in the republican presidential primary. the person who has won the primary in south carolina has gone on to win the republican nomination going all the way back to ronald reagan. so south carolina na lot of ways has been a king maker. so i think there's going to be a lot of interest in south carolina particularly if state representative hail seable to beat state senator shaheen to see who she might back going into a republican presidential primary in 2012. >> woodruff: all right, we're going to leave it there. adolphus belk, with winthrop university, and amy walter, with the hotline. thank you, both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: finally tonight, six weeks after a devastating flood, nashville looks to make a comeback. jeffrey brown has the story. 7 ♪ >> brown: if it's nashville and
there's a need to rouse the community what, better way than music? last night, the capital of country music staged a special benefit concert dubbed, "nashville rising," to aid victims of the floodinging that hit this city and early tennessee in early may. in a 24-hour stretch, beginning may 1, nashville and the surrounding area got drenched in 13 inches of rain, causing the bank of the cumberland river to overflow. more than 30 people died in the region. at least 12,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. parts of downtown nashville were inundated with water. and landmarks, including the grand ole opry, were hit. weeks later, with a benefit concert about to get under way, we found a mix-- continuing loss and worries about the future alongside a steady rebuilding effort and a strong determination to show that nashville is well on its way back. even as the rain was falling, officials
with hands on nashville, a local volunteer group, were localizing thousands of people to organize aid and rescue efforts. >> are you the host church? >> brown: earlier this week we found director brian williams still tat in the engelwood area, one of the hardest hit areas. >> i would say the need hasn't lessened. the need has changed and it's been a constant change from day one. you have the immediates of shter and food distribution and water distribution, and then you're cleaning up neighborhoods and then you focus on roads and homes. and new we're starting to move slowly into rebuilding efforts. >> brown: tennessee is, of course, the volunteer state. everyone we spoke to took great pride in the way people in this community came together. >> it was very emotional. there were certainly times that i would go out to a site, and it would choke you up. it would bring tears to your eyes. not only because you see the need of the homeowner and the distress that they're feeling.
but you see perfect strangers who are walking up and saying, "how can i help?" >> brown: on this day, one person in great need was jeanette harris, whose home was being gutted. he's happy for the volunteer help, she says , but frustrated by the pace of government aid. the city is in the process of offering buyouts to over 300 homeowners. harris is hoping to be one of them. >> i'm just at a standstill. i can't move on. i don't have the money to move on. i don't have the money to pay for the outside living because you have to live somewhere else. you can't live in the home with the mold . >> brown: and when it got that high, had you ever seen anything like that? >> no. i've seen the river high but nothing like this. >> brown: nashville mayor carl dean joined us on the shelby street bridge over the cumberland. >> we had homes that were flooded, in the floodway, and some suffered more than 50% damage. and we'll be worked with people to determine whether those buildings will be bought out.
other people have had extensive damage, whether in the flood plain or further we from the river. and their damage is such that the money they're getting from fema is not enough to totally restore those buildings, and we're going to work with nonprofits and banks to try to find ways to help them. >> brown: in fact, signs of that movement abound. in the bellview neighborhood repairs are well along with workmen painting and adding final touches. fema checks, up to $29,000, have helped many though huge gaps remain. >> we still need more money, obviously. and i will say this-- fema responded quickly, and i think appropriately , and they put a lot of people on the ground very very quickly. >> brown: in many parts of nash, including the famous downtown, life seems largely back to normal. but downtown also holds the home of the nashville symphony, a classical-style building but actually quite new. several feet of water got into its basement knocking out its
electrical and other systems. symphony president alan valentine but the damage at $42 million. >> frankly, the cost of this problem is going to leave us with a gap that's going to have to be met, where we had about $10 million worth of flood insurance. we have some assistance from fema, but in the end, there will be a gap. >> brown: several miles away, we came across this amazing scene showing the impact of the flood on country and rock music. a warehouse of instruments and equipment, mold, rather than melodies, were in the air. a broken piano, a bin of damaged guitars, including some jintage les pauls. everything in various states of disrepair and some serious repair work ongoing. we watched murph blanka as he labored to bring a hammond d-3 organ back to life. and ed beeber doing the same for guitars and other string
instruments. beeb ewaunka, and all these instruments used to be housed at sound check, an enormous facility just off the rirch that offered nashville musician a place to practice their music and store instruments. sound check owner ben jumper. >> it was really, really bad, and a lot of great musicians, famous and nonfamous, work ing, everyday musician, work out of here, and it was devastating, the instrument loss here. i've literally 1,000-plus guitars thrown in dumpsters--. >> brown: troen thrown in the dump sterz? >> thrown in the dump sterz beyond repair. >> instruments for superstars like brad paisley and vince gill but also hundreds of musician like dave row, who has worked with the likes of johnny cash. row loss tonight bass gi tarz he
stored at sound check. >> having insurance on that many instruments is kind of-- it's a big nut to crack. it could end up being a couple of house payments for you. so you put them in there and feel safe. obviously i-- we did. we all felt safe against theft and flood. keeping that many guitars around the house is a real liability. people see you coming in and out with that kind of stuff it's an easy target for thieves. but nobody thought about the river, you know. >> brown: ben jumper is now, of course, thinking about the river but he's rebuilding sound check anyway, and expects to open the first of his nine rehearsal rooms by the end of summer. >> it was a really tough decision, but we're committed . we love our business. it's family here. we've got s.b.a. disaster funds that are going to help us get back open. i'll be paying on them for the next 30 years, but that's okay. >> brown: for his part, mayor dean is also looking to the long-term future but he has a more immediate message. >> we need to get the world out
to all of america and all the world that nashville downtown is wide open. >> brown: last night, certainly, the stars were out in nashville. organizers estimated the concert would raise $2 million to $3 million to help the city continue to move forward. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. president obama removed general stanley mcchrystal as commander of the afghan war and replaced him with general david petraeus. and an underwater accident forced crews to remove the cap from the damaged well in the gulf of mexico. it temporarily increase the the flow of oil into the sea. the newshour is always online. hari sreenivasan in our newsroom previews what's there. harry. >> sreenivasan: the mcchrystal story, watch all of president obama's announcement and read about past divisions between military and civilian officials. npr's mike pesca
describes the mood in the stadium for u.s.a. win today. all that and more is on our web site newshourpbsorg. gwen. >> ifill: that is the newshour for postpone. i'm gwen ifill . >> woodruff: i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you tomorrow night here and online. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...