SCHIEFFER: Well, Governor, you've got a hard job ahead of you and I know all of us wish you the best of luck with this. Thank you so much for taking time to join us. I'll be back in a minute with some personal thoughts about Helen Thomas. Stay with us.
SCHIEFFER: Helen Thomas died this weekend. She covered 10 presidents, beginning with John Kennedy. She was the first reporter I met when I came to Washington and the first woman to cover a president. Until she came, the women in the White House Press Corps -- and there weren't many of them -- covered the president's wife. Helen wasn't very complicated. She started every day at the White House asking the same questions, "Where is the president? What is he doing? Who is he talking to? And why can't I be in the room with them?" -- which is exactly what wire service reporters are supposed to do. She had great respect for the presidency and the institutions of government, no patience with the self-important and the pompous. They all looked alike to her. During Gerald Ford's presidency, those of us who covered the White House were herded into the press room for a briefing from national security adviser Henry Kissinger one day. The press secretary told us Kissinger was so busy he could only speak for 20 minutes and not a second more, just too busy. Kissinger took the podium and said, "Well, being a college professor, my lectures are timed to 40 minutes. I don't know if I could do it in 20 minutes." Without missing a beat, Helen shot back, "Well, just start at the end." Even the old professor got a laugh out of that. Helen was 92. Back in a minute.
SCHIEFFER: Welcome back to "Face the Nation" Page Two, analysis in this half hour. Susan Page from USA Today is with us, Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal, and the new bureau chief for Time magazine, Michael Scherer. He's also the author of this week's cover story on Trayvon Martin. On my left here, Gwen Ifill of the PBS "Newshour" and moderator of "Washington Week," columnist David Ignatius of The Washington Post and our CBS News political director John Dickerson. Susan, I just want to start with John Boehner and what he talked to me about. We are seeing a very different kind of speaker, are we not? This is not Tip O'Neill, who had an agenda. This is not Jim Wright. Is not even Dennis Hastert. This is not Bob Dole when he was the leader of the Senate Republicans. He seems to see his job more as sort of a lawyer that has been hired by the majority to sort of represent them and then carry out their wishes.
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: Well, he kind of described the job as he was the concierge for the Republican House Caucus. And, you know, the thing that that says to me is that the immigration bill, not going to become law this year because to do big, hard things that divide the country, like the civil rights legislation in the 1960s, it required congressional leaders who were willing to take big steps to push their caucus around sometimes, to get things through. It does not sound like that's going to happen on immigration.
SCHIEFFER: I tend to agree with you, because Boehner has made a rule that he will not put anything on the House floor unless a majority of House Republicans agree with it. And I do not believe there's a majority of among House Republicans right now for a bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are here illegally.
PAGE: I think you're exactly right. And the problem with that is Senate Democrats have made it clear they will not pass an immigration bill that does not include a pathway to citizenship. Who blinks? Will it be Senate Democrats, or House Republicans? I'm inclined to think neither one will.
SCHIEFFER: I think nothing. John, does Speaker Boehner really have a choice here?
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, he doesn't. I think that's what he basically says. It's he has got to take this kind of theater usher role, trying to kind of get everybody to the exit in the same way, because he has got no other choice. We're on plan C here on the immigration. The elections didn't change things. There are some Republicans who say we have to court Latino voters because we saw in the election we need them. That didn't change the minds of a lot of members of the House. Success in the Senate didn't change the minds of a lot of members in the House. So John Boehner is trying to deal with these members of his caucus who are very suspicious of the process. He kept saying, I want to be remembered as the person who facilitates a process. Imagine that on a statute: "He facilitated a process." But that's best he can do, which is let them come to yes on their own time, find a way to get these recalcitrant members to get to this immigration on their own. He has an agenda. He wants them to get there but the only way he's going to do it, with so much mistrust, is if he can kind of gently guide them. It's a tough thing to do.
SCHIEFFER: I really think John Boehner in many ways -- I have considerable sympathy for him. I mean, I think he's an old-style legislator. I think he's likes to legislate. I think he's not afraid to compromise. But he -- it's like when I used to be a kid hanging around rodeos. They had what they called Roman-style riders. And they were guys, there would be two horses, and they would put one foot on one horse and one foot on the other, and, you know, they would ride around the arena. Well, the two horses he's trying to ride here, one goes this way and one goes that way.
DICKERSON: And when he says he doesn't want to touch the -- doesn't want to say what his opinion is, it's because some of his members distrust him. And it's very similar to what the president says. The president says, if I back something, that will ruin it because the Republicans will be against it. Both the president and John Boehner have faced with a problem. Washington has changed. They have certain powers but those powers are very limited. Are they going to be remembered by the limits on their powers or will they be remember by the creative way they got around the limitations of their day? Both men face the same thing.
SCHIEFFER: One of the unexpected events of the week was on Friday when President Obama went to the Press Room in the White House and said he decided he wanted to make a few comments on the Trayvon Martin case. Here's just a little bit of what he said.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African- American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.