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Barack Obama Celebrates Mississippi Victory; Will New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Resign?

Aired March 11, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: One politician who would ordinarily be watching the returns tonight is not. Eliot Spitzer, New York's governor, and a superdelegate, by the way, is instead in the worst squeeze imaginable for a public figure, facing intense pressure to resign, while his lawyers are believed to be trying to cut a deal to keep him out of jail.
There are new developments tonight and a bombshell revelation about how much money Governor Spitzer reportedly spent on sex with prostitutes.

More from CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Governor Eliot Spitzer remained secluded in his Upper East Side apartment, no sign of the embattled governor since his public apology yesterday for being involved with a prostitute -- the Associated Press reporting the governor may have spent as much a $80,000 on illicit encounters.

A key question, whose money was it? Was it from his personal account, or were they actually public funds? While Spitzer has remained quiet, some of his critics have not.

JAMES TEDISCO (R), NEW YORK ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER: We have asked the governor to resign. It's a nightmare that is not going away that has became a reality for this state.

CARROLL: New York State Minority Leader Jim Tedisco gave the governor a deadline, saying, Spitzer has 48 hours to resign, or he would begin impeachment proceedings -- harsh words against a man who acquired many enemies during his political career. Spitzer spent eight years as attorney general, known as the sheriff of Wall Street for the way he went after corruption cases -- some in the financial community encouraged by news he may resign in disgrace.

ANDREW SABIN, PRESIDENT, SABIN COMMODITIES: He overreached himself, too overzealous, in my opinion. I think that's the way Wall Street feels. And I got a call from a couple of big -- very, very big houses on Wall Street today telling me about the celebrations inside their offices when they got the news.

CARROLL: A top legislative staffer tells CNN Spitzer's aides met with Lieutenant Governor David Paterson's staff today to talk about the transition. Paterson would become governor if Spitzer were to resign.

The source also says Paterson has been meeting with his political consultant. And while some politicians are adamant about Spitzer's resignation, others are more diplomatic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The governor is a very intelligent man. He will make the right decision on his own.

CARROLL: Jim Tedisco says there is only one decision Spitzer can make that is best for the state.

TEDISCO: His whole concept was based on new ethics, a new day, immediate change here, really illustrates that he has lost the total support of the people of this state and the leadership here, and he really can't continue.


COOPER: Jason, there's speculation the governor hasn't stepped down yet because he's using that move as -- as kind of a bargaining chip to try to strike a better deal with prosecutors. Do we have any word on that?

CARROLL: Well, Anderson, that is exactly right.

Most legal analysts and actually a few politicians here in the state of New York are saying that's exactly what's going on, that the governor is in the process of trying to work out some sort of a deal, perhaps his resignation in exchange for some sort of a lighter punishment.

Remember, Anderson, this is a governor. Before he was governor, he was attorney general here for eight years. So, if anyone knows how to work out a deal, it's him.

COOPER: Jason Carroll reporting the latest. We will keep checking in with you over the course of this next two-hour program.

We have more now with our panel, Lisa Bloom, anchor and commentator for "In Session" on truTV, Alan Dershowitz, Governor Spitzer's former law professor at Harvard and author of many books, including his latest, "Finding Jefferson," and, by hotel Webcam from Hawaii, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, I'm not even going to ask.

Professor Dershowitz, you called...




COOPER: Yes. Aloha. Yes. You have called this matter, professor Dershowitz, private sexual misconduct. Governor Spitzer, though, is a public official, a man who prosecuted prostitution rings in the past. Do you think he should resign as governor?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, AUTHOR, "PREEMPTION: A KNIFE THAT CUTS BOTH WAYS": No, I don't. I think he should fight this. I think this is essentially private. The victims are essentially his family.

Past public officials, from Thomas Jefferson, to Franklin Roosevelt, to John Kennedy, to Lyndon Johnson, to Bill Clinton, have all been public figures who have avoided leaving office and done great jobs, despite their private sexual predilections.

John Kennedy saved us from conflict with the Cuban Missile Crisis by day, and, at night, he was behaving like a juvenile adolescent. We have to learn in this country to distinguish this kind of private sexual behavior.

Now, if he used public funds, that's completely different. That's theft. But, unless there's some financial improprieties -- and I'm not talking about these phony money-laundering laws that are designed for drug dealers and terrorists -- if there's real financial wrongdoing, that's very, very different. But, up to now, no. I think he should stick it out and fight.

COOPER: Lisa Bloom, your opinion. A, is it a victimless crime, prostitution? And, B, it seems like Eliot Spitzer, according to allegations, was spending a fair amount of time on his job figuring out ways to hire hookers.

LISA BLOOM, TRUTV ANCHOR: Well, it is, in my opinion, a victimless crime. But this is different. The issues here are hypocrisy and judgment.

As you say, this is a man who aggressively prosecuted prostitution rings a couple of times. Now he's the very target in a similar investigation. And this is a man who apparently repeatedly, I would say probably compulsively, engaged in illegal behavior while governor of a major state over and over again, spending large amounts of money that he had to hide in order to do that.

I mean, this is unacceptable behavior.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, you're a prosecutor. How does this whole deal-making work? I mean, at this point, what do you think is going on behind closed doors between his attorneys, or himself, and prosecutors?

TOOBIN: Well, his lawyers, led by Michele Hirshman, who was actually one of his top deputies when he was attorney general, they're saying to the prosecutors, look, if you want to get this case, if you want to win this case, if you want to have this thing behind me, behind all of us, he will resign, but he's going to take a plea only to very modest crimes. The prosecutors are saying, wait a second. Slow down. We're in no hurry to resolve this. And, before we take any plea, we want to know the full extent of his behavior. How many times did he hire prostitutes? Where did he get the money? Whose money did he use? All of that, it's incumbent upon the prosecutors to get before they agree to any plea deal.

So, the -- this is not a simple thing to wrap up. But both sides have some leverage. And I assume both sides have a strong interest in getting this thing resolved. But it's very complicated.

COOPER: Professor Dershowitz, do politics play a role in this negotiation, in your opinion?


DERSHOWITZ: Well, unfortunately, they may. You do have a Republican administration notorious for targeting Democrats, the Seligman (ph) case in the South, other cases. There are hearings in front of Congress about whether or not Democrats were targeted.

I think the story of how they came upon him serendipitously doesn't pass the giggle test. I think I want to see investigations on both sides, not only investigations of Spitzer, but investigations of how the federal government came upon this and why they didn't drop the investigation once they found out that this money movement had nothing to do with this kind of terrorist or other kind of activities.

You know, it's interesting to note that the law firm that is representing Eliot in this is the same law firm that represented Spiro Agnew and made the deal to have him leave office as vice president in exchange for having all the prosecutions dropped against him without having a full investigation of how extensive these corruptions that he engaged in actually were.

COOPER: Lisa, the way this case came to life, which professor Dershowitz is referring to, basically, a bank -- according to a story, a bank had got suspicious of money transfers that were being made in Governor Spitzer's account and notified the IRS.

BLOOM: Which apparently is routinely done. And that's one of the potential charges against Spitzer is structuring, trying to avoid mandatory bank reporting laws, where $10,000 or more has to be reported.

Now, I don't know whether he was transferring more than that or close to that. Apparently, this investigation started, according to reports, because they were concerned that there was some bribery going on, some money-laundering, some campaign finance irregularities, which does happen very commonly. And those investigations begin the way this one did.

This one just veered off in another direction when it turns out that Spitzer apparently was hiring prostitutes with the money.

COOPER: And, Jeffrey, there's also the Mann Act involved, which is, what, bringing people across state lines for prostitution?

TOOBIN: Yes, that is theoretically possible to be charged. But that is a very old law that is almost never used for consensual sexual activity involving prostitutes.

There may have been some use of the Mann Act for prosecutions like that, but that would be extremely unlikely to have a -- to have a case like that brought against Spitzer.

COOPER: We're going to have more with our panel, professor Alan Dershowitz, Lisa Bloom, Jeffrey Toobin, coming up.

Between this and Mississippi, the blog is really jumping tonight -- a lot of discussion about Governor Spitzer, what he should be doing. I'm about to start blogging right now, throughout the night. Join in on the conversation. Go to

Up next: the big business of selling sex.


COOPER (voice-over): The Eliot Spitzer sex scandal, it sure didn't isn't like "Pretty Woman(r)MD-BOŻ" -- the true face of high- priced escort services, how they work, who plays, and who gets hurt, online and -- chances are -- right where you live.

Later, it's Mississippi tonight, then Pennsylvania, and beyond. We will show you why Mississippians voted the way they did and why the Obama camp is getting tense about Florida -- tonight on this special edition of 360.




JOSEPH BRUNO (R), NEW YORK SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I feel very badly for the governor's wife, for his children. The important thing for the people of New York State is that people in office do the right thing.


COOPER: New York State Majority Leader Republican Joe Bruno.

He's not yet calling for Eliot Spitzer to step down, but Governor Spitzer is facing intense pressure on the political and legal fronts right now, in addition to what must obviously be a terrible family crisis.

Tonight, we have got a much better picture of what the accusations are and how it all came to this. You get there by following the money.

Digging deeper, here's CNN's Tom Foreman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This story starts last year on Long Island, where IRS investigators are looking into bank reports of odd money transfers. It is routine work that often exposes tax cheats or drug dealers. But some of this money belongs to Governor Eliot Spitzer, sources say. And it is going to companies that seemingly make nothing, nor provide any service.

And for former agent Walter Pagano, that's anything but routine.

WALTER PAGANO, FORMER IRS AGENT: Well, I think that IRS agents generally view these type of transactions, that do not have a stated purpose and are not easily identifiable, as being red flags, and that the government agents pursue with vigor these particular transactions.

FOREMAN (on camera): According to this affidavit, FBI agents soon find out it is a high-priced prostitution ring, the Emperors Club. They call for wiretaps and start listening to the club's calls.

(voice-over): February 11, Valentine's week, and the affidavit says client number nine, identified by sources knowledgeable about the investigation as Spitzer, wants a woman in Washington in two days.

GOV. ELIOT SPITZER (D), NEW YORK: What we are doing today is...

FOREMAN: February 12, that's Spitzer publicly pushing higher education funding. But, in private, the affidavit says, he is allegedly pulling together cash for the prostitute, at least $2,600, plus all of her travel, food and hotel costs.

February 13, Spitzer is in Buffalo in the morning.

SPITZER: From the first moment that I have had the privilege of serving as governor, education has been the touchstone of what I want to do for the state of New York.

FOREMAN: And, as he speaks, the affidavit says, an envelope allegedly containing a portion of his payment is rushing into the hands of an Emperors Club boss. A petite brunette called Kristen boards a train at New York's Penn Station, arrives in Washington at 9:00 p.m., and heads to the Mayflower Hotel, room 871, to await her client's imminent arrival.

(on camera): Shortly after midnight, according to the FBI, Kristen calls New York to say the appointment went well. She has $4,300, payment for this night, and a down payment for the future.

(voice-over): Next morning, Eliot Spitzer testifies to Congress about bond fraud, even as, the FBI says, Kristen heads home.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Heading home on the train. In a moment, some words Eliot Spitzer said that are coming back to haunt him. We will talk about and more with our panel, Lisa Bloom, professor Alan Dershowitz, and Jeffrey Toobin.

We will also take you inside the hidden world of high-priced sex, how these outfits work and why they're a growing business.

That and the latest on the Mississippi primary, a victory for Barack Obama, and new information about a new Florida primary that -- that story is developing right now, as we speak, and may solve the whole Florida mess -- details when 360 continues.



TEDISCO: But his whole concept was based on new ethics, a new day, immediate change here, really illustrates that he has lost the total support of the people of this state and the leadership here, and he really can't continue.


COOPER: New York Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco. He wants Governor Spitzer to resign, as the details of his alleged involvement with prostitutes are coming to light, $80,000 worth of sex for hire, according to the Associated Press, or as much as $80,000, an alleged scheme for financing it, according to our sources.

We're talking about that and how Governor Spitzer went from crusading crime-fighter and political reformer to where he is now, how he got here, and what could or should happen next. That last part is for our panel members to say, if they care to, and not really for this program.

Our panel is back, Lisa bloom, Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Toobin.

You know, professor Dershowitz, it's interesting. I'm reading our live blog right now at A lot of folks are taking issue with what you said about this just being a private matter between, you know, Governor Spitzer and his family.

They point out, look, I mean, this guy was the governor of a state. He had prosecuted prostitutes. And why should only the prostitutes get arrested and busted in a crime like this? Why shouldn't the so-called johns pay for their crime?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, first of all, I don't know that he prosecuted prostitutes, as distinguished from prosecuting large prostitution rings and the pimps and the people who organize it.

But there's an enormous difference between prosecuting people who are professional criminals -- and prostitutes like these, who make $5,000, are professional criminals -- and their customers. We don't prosecute customers, gamblers. We prosecute the people who run the gambling operations. We certainly prosecute more harshly people who sell drugs than people who simply buy and consumer drugs. That's been an historic way that we distinguish between the consumers and the purveyors of illegal products.

And if people don't like Spitzer's hypocrisy, that's fine. They should vote against him when he runs for office. That's exactly what elections are for. That's an improper use, however, of the criminal justice system.

And I have further proof that they targeted Spitzer. Let me give you my proof that they targeted Spitzer. Once they discovered through the money-laundering -- let's assume hypothetically they really picked him up through this serendipitous audit -- and they then went after -- then they then discovered that there was this prostitution operation, if they really wanted to get the prostitution operation, it would be simple.

All they have to do is send one agent to the operation, have him ask for somebody, have her cross state lines. And then they could bust the whole thing. You didn't need 5,000 wiretaps. They put in those wiretaps to get Eliot Spitzer, not to get the call girl operation. That is clear.

COOPER: Lisa Bloom, do you agree with that?

BLOOM: Well, that may be the case, but, look, Spitzer is the one who apparently engaged in illegal behavior, not just once or twice, but repeatedly, over a period months, potentially, even years. He's my governor. I'm, frankly, glad he was caught by law enforcement, instead of blackmailed by somebody in connection with this prostitution ring.

He has brought this on himself. He can blame law enforcement and say others in a similarly situated position would not have been prosecuted, the feds should not have followed the trail to him, but he's the one that made the choice, apparently over and over again, to engage in illegal behavior. As a governor, that's just not acceptable.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, it's interesting. As attorney general, here's some advice that Spitzer gave to people who break the law.

He said -- and I quote -- "Never talk when you can nod. Never nod when you can wink. And never write an e-mail, because it's death. You're giving prosecutors all the evidence we need."

It seems as though he ignored his own advice. Do you take professor Dershowitz's side on this?


I mean, I can't believe Alan is really making that argument. I mean, it's one thing to argue that prostitution should be decriminalized or legal. Lots of civilized countries have prostitution, Holland, Spain, whatever. But, if a prostitution is going to be illegal, as it is illegal in this country, how can you argue that it's OK to prosecute the prostitutes, but not the johns? I mean, that's just -- yes, that may be what we do, but it's just as illegal for both.

And I don't why you would support giving one -- one side a pass.

DERSHOWITZ: It's not just as illegal to both. It's not just as illegal to both.

BLOOM: And no one is above the law in this country. That's a fundamental principle. No one is above the law.


COOPER: I want professor Dershowitz to have a chance to respond.

DERSHOWITZ: It's not just as illegal to both. It is a felony to engage -- to be a prostitute and to get money for sex, and it's a minor misdemeanor to be a john. And that's the law, not only all over the United States, wherever prostitution is illegal, wherever gambling is illegal, wherever any of these crimes are illegal.

BLOOM: Well, how many misdemeanor counts are acceptable for a governor of a major state? Are 12? Is that too many? What if it's 20 times? I mean, at a certain point, even if it's a misdemeanor, if this is compulsive behavior that has been engaged in over a long period of time, it's got to be too much.

DERSHOWITZ: So, you think that if a person speeds a couple of times and jaywalks a few times -- come on. Be frank. You're talking about sex. And that's why you're going after him. If this were misdemeanors of a different nature, 12, 15, 20.


BLOOM: We're talking about a lot of money and we're talking about potentially felonies...


BLOOM: ... if he did have women cross state lines.

DERSHOWITZ: Yes, but those felonies are never prosecuted.

BLOOM: Well, they might be this time.


COOPER: Jeff Toobin.


COOPER: Final thought from Jeff.

TOOBIN: Well, I think it is unfair to lump Eliot Spitzer with Bill Clinton and Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, people who may have had -- who may have had extramarital affairs, but there was never any allegation that any of them broke the laws in their relationships with these women. This, unfortunately, is very different.

DERSHOWITZ: They all did. Adultery was a crime in those days.


DERSHOWITZ: Adultery was a crime in those days.


BLOOM: I want Jeff Toobin's beat, by the way, in Maui.

COOPER: Yes, in Maui.


COOPER: Listen, we're going to have more from our panel coming up. We're going to be discussing this. This is a two-hour program tonight, live.

Professor Dershowitz, thank you, Jeff Toobin, Lisa Bloom, as well. We will talk to you all ahead.

Up next: an inside look at the exclusive escort service Spitzer allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to.

Also ahead, new developments -- a deal apparently shaping up to redo the Florida primary -- new developments tonight. CNN's Dana Bash is getting the lowdown. You won't see these details anywhere else. We will check in with her shortly, dramatic developments.

And here's tonight's "Beat 360," on the lighter note, Iggy Pop, Madonna, and Justin Timberlake in the press room after last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

There's the picture. Here's the caption from our staff winner, Matt: "For the second time in his career, artist Justin Timberlake finds himself on stage during a wardrobe malfunction."


COOPER: If you think you can do better -- Lisa Bloom seemed to like it -- go to Send us your submission. We will announce the winner at the end of the program.


COOPER: Now a look at prostitution rings. Of course, when they're charging $4,300 an hour, they're called escort services.

Even after all we have learned, it is hard to imagine the governor of New York picking up a magazine or browsing an Internet site offering companionship, girlfriends, and then actually making the call over and over and over again.

Here's Drew Griffin with a "Special Investigations Unit" report on how these services work.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His bills, according to the Associated Press, could be in the tens of thousands of dollars. And Eliot Spitzer allegedly paid at least some of that in cash. For what? For what the Emperors Club called the most preferred international social introduction service for those accustomed to excellence.

And Eliot Spitzer, client number nine in the affidavit, was meeting a woman known as Kristen. According to the federal documents, he just couldn't remember exactly what she looked like. Reminded of the American brunette, he booked the rendezvous for room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. He had already arranged to pay her train fare from New York and all related expenses, routine service, apparently, for a company that advertised, "We specialize in introduction of fashion models, pageant winners, and exquisite students, graduates, and women of successful careers, to gentlemen of exceptional standards."

Federal prosecutors call it simply prostitution, not on the streets, but in the high-priced hotels of cities across the world, where discrete young women knocked on private doors. Payment is predetermined, prepaid, usually by credit card, check, or by wire transfer, at a rate as high as $5,500 an hour, price determined by a rating given to each girl, from one to seven diamonds.

The final payment, though, from Eliot Spitzer in the Mayflower's room 871 was made in cash, with a little extra for a down payment on a future encounter. He was a regular. Federal prosecutors tell CNN, Spitzer's bills at the Emperors Club could exceed $15,000. Other reports say, it could be much more, and may have gone on for years.


COOPER: Drew, was the governor that much of a regular customer, that this could actually be called a long-term relationship?

GRIFFIN: You know, that was the idea.

In fact, according to the Web site of this club, the idea is to have these long-term relationships and -- listen to this, Anderson -- to make life more peaceful, balanced, beautiful, and meaningful for its customers. That's the mission statement. I doubt client number nine is feeling peaceful tonight.

COOPER: Certainly not his family.

Drew, thanks.

Still to come: much more on the Spitzer scandal, that, plus today's presidential politics and today's face-off in Mississippi. But, first, Erica Hill joins us with some of the other stories we're following in a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia has resigned. Admiral William Fallon says a recent profile in "Esquire" magazine inaccurately created a public perception that he is at odds with the Bush administration when it comes to Iran. Fallon says he is stepping down because that article had become a distraction.

In Pakistan, 20 people killed, 175 injured in separate suicide attacks. The bombers targeted two sites here, the Pakistani federal investigation agency in Lahore and a home which was being used by an advertising agency.

And a near flawless blastoff early today for the space shuttle Endeavour. The seven crew members are on a 16-day mission to deliver a Japanese science module and a robot made in Canada up to the International Space Station.

COOPER: Wow. Great pictures there. Erica, thanks very much.

We're getting some new information about what may be going on in the state of Florida in terms of another primary or some sort of redo of the primary that did occur in Florida. Dana Bash is going to be here with the latest developments. There have been conflicting reports for the last several hours about whether or not a deal is close. We will have the latest from Dana on that.

And we will also have more on Eliot Spitzer, how he allegedly did this, by the clock, and the latest from the state of Mississippi, where Barack Obama is celebrating a victory tonight.



SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm grateful to the people of Mississippi for the wonderful support, and, you know, what we've tried to do is steadily make sure that in each state we are making the case about the need for change in this country. And obviously, the people of Mississippi responded.


COOPER: Well, they certainly did. Barack Obama celebrating a win tonight in Mississippi and getting ready for a big challenge in Pennsylvania, of course.

We are getting new details, however, tonight on the big wild card, which is Florida. You'll remember Florida broke party rules by holding its primary early. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote there, though neither candidate campaigned and no delegates were awarded.

The question now, what to do about the delegates, while being fair to both candidates and not cheating millions of voters out of having their say. The Republican governor of Florida says, "Hey, seat the delegates." The DNC, Howard Dean, says, "No way, and we're not paying for a revote."

CNN's Dana Bash is getting the low-down and joins us now with what's happening.

There's talk of a deal. What's going on?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is talk of a deal. There is -- there was a meeting -- a couple of meetings today with all of the members, the Democrats who represent Florida in Washington.

Now, this is something -- there's an idea that's being pushed by the Democratic Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson.

COOPER: Bill Nelson.

BASH: Right. What he is pushing is this idea of a re-vote, but not just a re-vote, a re-vote by mail. This is something that he's been intensely pushing.

But he had a meeting with House Democrats tonight, we're told, and there was no consensus. He has been putting out there tonight -- in fact, his spokesman told "The New York Times" that there is a deal. But we are told by a couple of House Democrats who were actually in that meeting today, that there is no such deal. In fact, we have a statement that the House Democratic delegation put out tonight, and I'll read it. They said, basically, "Our House delegation is opposed to a mail-in campaign or any redo of any kind."

So Anderson, I mean, this is really, really fascinating. Because what they are trying to do, obviously, is come up with some kind of consensus in order to figure out how to deal with this. And consensus really is the key. We're told by Democrats who are close to this and Democrats who understand this process, in order to have anything that is sanctioned by the Democratic Party, they have to first come up with a compromise on the ground in the state of Florida.

And even though Bill Nelson is really pushing this idea of a mail-in because he says it's the easiest way to do it, it's the cheapest way to do it, you see there are Democrats who are also from the state of Florida who say, "We don't think it's a good idea." And I'm told these are not just Democrats who support Hillary Clinton, as Bill Nelson does.

COOPER: Why is it not a good deal -- not a good idea because why? Do we know what their opposition is?

BASH: There's are lots of -- there are lots of politics at play here. Shocker.

COOPER: Shocking.

BASH: Shocker. If you are a supporter of Barack Obama, for example, many of them say, you know what? Even though they won't say this publicly, many of them behind the scenes don't necessarily want to have a re-vote because they're concerned that they could actually go for Hillary Clinton.

Others, you know, are upset with the national party, that this was sanctioned at all, perhaps upset with some of their colleagues in Florida. Basically, there is so much infighting going on right now and internal politicking going on right now, that there are all sorts of reasons each of these members and each of these politicians in Florida have.

But the bottom line is tonight, there is definitely a push for consensus. They know that they need to find some kind of consensus, but right now there isn't one.

And in the statement from the House Democrats, they do say that they are committed to working with the DNC. But right now, at least many of the House Democrats say that they are opposed to not only a mail-in redo, but any redo of any kind.

COOPER: "The New York Times" is reporting now that they're close to a deal. Your sources saying, not so close.

BASH: Apparently, not so close. But you know what?

COOPER: Could change quickly.

BASH: Could change quickly. Exactly.

COOPER: Fascinating. Dana Bash, a lot of politics. Thanks for cutting through the spin.

We want to return to Mississippi where Barack Obama won tonight, won big. He was expected to clinch the last remaining contest of the Deep South, and he did that.

CNN's Candy Crowley is in Chicago with all the details on that and some other remarks, a controversial remark.

Candy, what's going on?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, 18 percent, a pretty good win. What we have now is Barack Obama winning both Wyoming over the weekend and Mississippi, gaining back some mini-mo, perhaps, but frankly, we now have about 40 days, six weeks between now and the Pennsylvania primary.

What happened when Hillary Clinton won Ohio and won Texas is that Barack Obama's momentum -- remember the Teamster union was endorsing him. John Lewis, the congressman from Georgia, left the Clinton campaign, went over to the Barack campaign.

Now the race, the Democratic race is kind of frozen in time, as everybody kind of waits to see what's coming next.

So we have a good win for him. He's going to pick up some delegates. He will be further ahead, as he was, more than 100 delegates. This will bump him up some more. Hillary Clinton will take some, but he's going to have a net gain here. So, as we say, it's delegate by delegate. So you -- you have to say, for -- in Wyoming and in Mississippi, Barack Obama has picked up again.

COOPER: And now the focus turns to Pennsylvania, and, of course, whatever happens in Florida and Michigan.

Let's talk about these controversial comments. Geraldine Ferraro, former vice presidential candidate, made them. Barack Obama has responded. For those who haven't been following, what's the back and forth?

CROWLEY: Well, the back and forth began when Geraldine Ferraro was asked in an interview, you know, why are people so attracted to Barack Obama? What's so exciting about that campaign? And she said basically he wouldn't be where he is, if it weren't for his race, that people are excited because he's black.

This, first of all, sent the Obama campaign out going, OK. Geraldine Ferraro is a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. She's a supporter of Hillary Clinton's, and they ought to get rid of her in the campaign.

Hillary Clinton came out and said, you know, "We don't agree with this. As Barack Obama has said, sometimes our surrogates get carried away."

Geraldine Ferraro has since come back, saying, "Listen, I was taken out of context." So it's a back and forth.

But the bottom line here is, Anderson, you know, this country is going through something it's never gone through before, which is the first woman with a real chance to become president. The first African-American with a real chance to become president. And there are these lines that are sort of constantly being crossed as people kind of work this out.

And the Obama campaign, which really doesn't want the discussion to be about race. He has run as a transformational candidate, as someone who wants to be beyond race, beyond partisanship. So they don't like the conversation turning to race.

But what happens when these things sort of pop up is that each candidate kind of pushes back against the other, the campaigns, at any rate, saying, "You brought up race"; "No, you played the race card." So it's a sensitive issue that has yet to kind of come to any sort of fruition. They don't quite know how to handle it. So it has really set off some very harsh back and forth.

COOPER: All right. Candy Crowley, appreciate it. From Chicago with the Obama campaign tonight.

Now, the Clinton campaign, the New York Senator and her troops have been hitting the trail hard in Pennsylvania, of course, after downplaying expectations in Mississippi in recent days. Today's loss, not a surprise for them. Their battle hinges on winning big in Pennsylvania's primary, which is now some six weeks away.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux joins me from Philadelphia -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Maggie Williams, the campaign manager of the Clinton camp, put out a statement, and it really kind of summarizes where they're heading next. She has simply said, "We congratulate Barack Obama on his win in Mississippi. We thank all of our supporters, our volunteers in that state." And then she says, "We are looking forward to moving on to Pennsylvania, to campaigning there, and across the country."

They didn't even wait until the result came out. She launched her campaign in Pennsylvania yesterday in Scranton. That is where she has a history of family that are from that area. Clearly, they are looking ahead. It really has a very similar profile to Ohio.

So what you're going to see tomorrow when Hillary Clinton returns to Washington, she has a closed fundraiser. We're going to see Bill Clinton back here tomorrow. He's going to be crisscrossing the state. We're going to see Chelsea. Six weeks, we are going to see this family simply move forward in the areas which they really think that they can improve on, which they believe they're strong. Those are white voters, older voters, female voters, rural voters. That is the focus.

We also mentioned, as well, that talk about Florida and Michigan, whether or not those delegates are going to count. A lot of behind- the-scenes pushing here from the Clinton campaign. Either let those delegates count as they are, or push for either a mail-in, or some sort of real primary do over in those states.

They believe that Hillary Clinton has the momentum and perhaps even more momentum to do better in those contests if they're do-overs. So that is something they believe will work in their favor.

And finally I want to mention as well, all this talk and back and forth about Geraldine Ferraro and race. There really is a debate within the campaign, some supporters who feel like she should not give up on the African-American vote. We saw today here in Philadelphia, the mayor, Nutter, African-American, predominantly African-American city here, that there is a push to make some inroads with that group -- Anderson.

COOPER: Interesting stuff. Suzanne Malveaux, thanks very much. No doubt a lot of back-room arm-twisting and a lot of arguments behind the scenes going on. Mississippi played out pretty much as many predicted. A closer look at how the vote broke down, John King at the big board -- John.

KING: Anderson, about as expected. As you note, Barack Obama winning big in areas where the African-American vote is big for him. Winning here, interesting split down here along the Gulf Coast, an area we're quite familiar with. Barack Obama winning in Gulfport and Biloxi. Senator Clinton winning over here but Obama sweeping pretty much of the state, powered by huge support among the African-American community. I want to show you one thing that's quite interesting. Then I'll move on to the big delegate map. Let me clear those out and look at this. These are Senator Clinton's areas of support. I'm circling them in blue. Senator Clinton's strongest support came here. Now, remember, this is the map tonight. I'm going to turn the telestrator -- I'm going to bring those back real quick before I turn that off.

This is Senator Clinton's best areas of support tonight. Take that off. Let's go back and look at the 2004 general election in Mississippi. Those are Republican areas. Senator Clinton winning big in the more conservative Republican areas of Mississippi. Something the Obama and the Clinton campaigns will debate about, who can draw Republican votes in the time ahead.

Now let's go ahead to the big important question we face here. Where do we go from here? We've given Mississippi to Senator Obama tonight. Want to play out a delegate hypothetical for you to show you why the stakes in Pennsylvania are so big.

Senator Obama is favored out here. So let's bring this up. Let's give Senator Obama these states out here and you'll see what happens here. He pulls ahead like this. This is why these states are so critical to Senator Clinton over here.

And Anderson, I'm going to hit this twice. That means she wins 65-35 under this scenario. Look where we start: Obama ahead of Senator Clinton right here. She has to win these states and she has to win them big if she's going to make this -- her scenario work. Because there's Pennsylvania. There's -- we come down here, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina. No assuredness that she would do this, but if she won them all 65-35, she catches up, which then puts Florida...

CLINTON: Which is a huge spread.

KING: Huge spread and it has not happened. But she has to start winning big. Because then, even if you give her Florida, Michigan and Puerto Rico, then she will have pulled ahead. She will have pulled ahead under such a scenario. But only if she gets huge margins.

If I gave her all those states at 55-45, guess what? At the end, Obama is still ahead among pledged delegates.

So yes, Senator Clinton is still in the game. Pennsylvania is huge. She needs to win it, but she needs to win it by a big margin. Not only to change the delegate math, but to change the psychology of the Democratic race.

COOPER: Fascinating. We're going to be checking in with John King throughout the evening. Again, a two-hour program tonight. We've got another hour and 20 minutes to go.

Just ahead, our political panel is standing by, ready to weigh in on the Geraldine Ferraro remarks. Is what she said racist? And does it hurt actually help Hillary Clinton? All that, next on 360.


COOPER: A flashback moment, 1984, Geraldine Ferraro becoming the first woman, the only woman to date, to run on a major party ticket as a vice presidential contender.

Now fast forward. As we reported a moment ago, Ms. Ferraro, an advisor to Hillary Clinton, is in the center of a firestorm, I guess you could say, over comments she made about Barack Obama. Perhaps a good place to start with our panel.

CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen; former Clinton attorney Lanny Davis; and Democratic strategist and Obama supporter Jamal Simmons.

Lanny, what about it? Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro told the newspaper that, quote, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position and he happened to be very lucky -- and happens to be very lucky who he is."

Obama said about the comments, he called them patently absurd and said, quote, "I don't think that Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any place in our politics or the Democratic Party. I think they were divisive. I would expect that the same way those comments don't have a place in my campaign, they shouldn't have a place in Senator Clinton's."

Was she out of line with the comments?

LANNY DAVIS, FORMER CLINTON ATTORNEY: Absolutely, and I disagree with the comment. I think Senator Clinton has said the same thing.

I grant Senator Obama his point. If he had the capabilities and oratory skills and political savvy and all the political -- qualities and all the other inspirational qualities and he were white, he would be doing very well. He has benefited from great support from the African-American community, and lots of white people love him, too. So I think race has no place to be discussed in that context.

I'm sorry. Geraldine's a great liberal Democrat, pro-civil rights. No one could ever accuse her of having a bad heart, but I think the judgment on the words she chose was unhappy -- unfortunate.

COOPER: Jamal, Clinton responded, saying Ferraro's comments were, quote, "regrettable" and personal comments should be avoided. Is -- I mean, is this discussion over? Does this have any lasting ramifications?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I guess what I'm nervous about, and I'll say it. I think it's pretty unfortunate the first campaign I ever worked on, presidential campaign, I was 13 years old when she was vice president. And I delivered literature door to door. So it's kind of heartbreaking to hear that kind of comment from her. And I hope she just misspoke.

But the problem here with the pattern of behavior from the Clinton campaign, there's been a certain amount of recklessness and looseness in their talk, going all the way back to Bill Shaheen, who was the chairman of the campaign in New Hampshire, who talked about Barack Obama's drug use and went beyond that, to Senator Bob Kerry, who tried to imply some things about his religious affiliation. Through Senator Clinton last week saying something which is really out of bounds, that John McCain is actually the one who is more likely to be -- he's more qualified to be commander in chief than Barack Obama.

So the campaign has got a lot of loose talk going on. And it's pretty reckless in regards to how it's treated someone who may be our nominee for president.

COOPER: David, is this just the kind of thing that happens in campaigns? You have a lot of people out there talking for all their candidates, and they say -- say things that they then, you know, regret or the campaigns disavow.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It is true of national campaigns. But we haven't had as much race and gender as we have had in this one. Good for Lanny Davis for being very upfront about it.

Plus, it would be highly offensive if someone said the only reason Hillary Clinton is where she is, is because she's a woman and because she was the first lady married to a president. She clearly has much more to offer, and I think it's highly offensive.

The comments from Geraldine Ferraro are highly offensive, inappropriate, and should be ruled out of bounds. But what I do think but I don't disagree with Jamal that this is only coming from one side. After all, we just had a resignation on -- out of the Obama campaign just a few days ago. We ought to be a little careful about -- I think there have been comments from both sides.

What's really happening is the race is turning more rancid. And it -- these -- both sides are going after each other in ways that are benefiting John McCain, not helping their campaigns.


COOPER: Go ahead, Lanny.

DAVIS: Very quickly, I agree with David, and thank you for the comment, David. But I still go back to Jamal and I have had our disagreements on this show. If you ask us how we stand on issues and how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stand on the top ten issues facing America, they agree on every one of them. The Republicans are split philosophically more than we are.

Whatever this rancid kind of behavior and conversation that we're hearing from supporters, the two candidates, I think, need to stay and debate issues and remember they can come together on the great issues people care about. That's why I think, David, we're going to survive this and be a unified party.

COOPER: Does it threaten -- I mean, David's called it rancid. The tenor of the debate, does it threaten to have lasting ramifications once the nominee is selected? I mean, you talk about coming together. There's a lot of bad blood here.

DAVIS: History tells us -- and maybe Jamal and David will agree with this -- that when the Democrats have been divided on issues, we've had a hard time coming together. When we're divided on hard- fought campaigns where some of our supporters get out of control, and even the candidates, using personal characterizations, they put their arms around each other at that moment at the national convention. That's going to happen this time.

COOPER: We're going to -- we're going to hear more from Jamal and from David and more from Lanny had and also want to talk more about what they see out of their candidates, at least out of the results from tonight's primary in Mississippi.

Still ahead, new revelations in the sex scandal involving New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.

Plus, did a reporter covering a crime also become a victim? More of this dramatic video of a reporter getting attacked, coming up.


COOPER: Coming up, "The Shot of the Day." Actually we've got two shots tonight. One, a near miss you kind of have to see to believe; that, plus more highway mania. But first, Erica Hill joins us again with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, euphoria on Wall Street, the words many have been waiting for. The long downturn in stock prices actually stopped today at the Fed's plan to bump $200 billion into the tight credit markets. The Dow closed up 416 points, its best day in over five years, and the NASDAQ and the S&P also posting big gains.

In L.A., an arrest in the killing of a high school football star. Police charged a 19-year-old reputed gang member with Jamiel Shaw's murder today. Shaw's mother has returned home from her second tour in Iraq to bury her young son.

And a reporter in South Carolina beaten while covering a crime scene. Three women were arrested after being caught on camera attacking Charmayne Brown. Two of the alleged attackers were related to a man found -- found dead at the scene and to the grandson charged with murdering him, Anderson.

Just so disturbing.

COOPER: Yes. To see that is just unbelievable. And I guess they were upset that this news crew was reporting on the arrest of their relative? I mean, it just -- the whole thing doesn't make sense.

HILL: Apparently, that was the reasoning. Yes.

COOPER: Just ridiculous.

Time now to check our "Beat 360" picture. A little levity here. You know how it works. We put a picture on the 360 blog. We ask viewers to come up with a caption for it that's better than one of ours. Erica kind of shimmies her head.

Rocker -- here's the picture. Rocker Iggy Pop, Madonna and Justin Timberlake backstage in an induction ceremony at the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame last night. Here's the staff pic from that: "For the second time in his career, artist Justin Timberlake finds himself on stage during a wardrobe malfunction."

I kind of like that.

HILL: I think it's very clever. Nice work, Matt.

COOPER: Our viewer winner, this is from Mary: "A look of shock from Iggy when he realized he is the only one of the group that hasn't made out with Britney Spears."

Uh-oh. And I'm not even sure that's not true, though.

HILL: ... showing tonight.

COOPER: For all we know, that's not true.

Check out the other ideas at Maybe even hang out in a Kwikie-Mart. Feel free to play along.

"The Shot of the Day" is next. High-speed danger, a car zooming through an intersection. We're going to freeze it right there and play the rest of the video for you right after the break.


COOPER: Time now for our "Shot." In this case, "Shots of the Day." First up, watch the right side of this busy -- very busy intersection. It is a car barreling from out of nowhere, narrowly missing traffic. Look -- unbelievable.

HILL: That's amazing to me.

COOPER: The crazy scene caught by a traffic camera in British Columbia. Look at it again, and whoosh. Just inches there.

Part two, follow the bouncing tire. It spins off a tanker truck, out of control. There's the tire.


COOPER: Flies over the median into oncoming traffic. Then it crashes right there into a car, shatters the windshield of a van. The driver of the van was taken to a hospital near Milwaukee. We hear the guy is OK.

Two signs of the dangers out in the road.

HILL: Wild stuff. COOPER: Yes. If you see some remarkable video, tell us about it: I've got to say, these "Shots" more than make up for last night's "Shot."

HILL: You think that's why we got two tonight?

COOPER: I think so, yes. I think -- I think -- yes. Absolutely.

You can go there to see all the most recent "Shots" and other -- I was going to call out the producer, but I didn't want to, you know, make feel bad. Anyway, a great job.

HILL: A little late for that, isn't it?

COOPER: She did a great job tonight.

You can read the blog. You can check out the "Beat 360" pictures. The address again,

Up next, "Raw Politics," Mississippi and beyond.

Also, new allegations about what Governor Eliot Spitzer allegedly did, when he did it and the staggering amount he reportedly paid for it. That and more live in our second hour of this special primary edition of 360.