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New Poll Shows Obama Maintaining His Lead Over Clinton; Presidential Candidates Advertising in Game Shows; McCain's Roots; Doctors in Rehab Still Practicing Medicine

Aired March 31, 2008 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, a new Gallup poll shows Barack Obama maintaining his lead nationally over Hillary Clinton. It is the longest stretch either candidate has had as front-runner.
But on the trail, Hillary Clinton is digging in, ignoring pressure to drop out of the race and holding out hope that her party will find a way to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates.

Just ahead, we'll take you on the campaign trail and show you all the "Raw Politics" of it all.

Also ahead why all three candidates are spending big bucks to advertise on "The Wheel of Fortune" and other game shows. Who exactly are they trying to reach right now and how did couch potatoes become the new demographic darling of election 2008? We'll talk to the best political potatoes on television. No screaming surrogates just smart observers of what's really going on.

Plus tonight, another story, doctors in rehab, they're getting treatment in secret for drug addictions. What might surprise you is that they're still operating on unsuspecting patients. Is that right? Is it even legal? We'll look at the controversial program that keeps the information under wraps. We're keeping them on it.

We begin on the trail with that new Gallup daily tracking poll, it shows Barack Obama with an eight-point national lead over Hillary Clinton; 51 percent of Democratic and Democratic leaning voters polled said they support Senator Obama versus 43 percent who back Senator Clinton.

Meantime, Clinton is facing increasing pressure within her own party to end her run for president but she is not backing down. Not by a long shot.

CNN's Candy Crowley has the "Raw Politics."


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Who loves an underdog more than the American voter? Hillary Clinton is counting on it.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D-NY) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that a lot of Senator Obama's supporters have tried to stop this election before people get a chance to vote, and I just don't agree with that. CROWLEY: Post the Florida re-count in 2000, there is nothing more incendiary in the Democratic Party than suggesting votes won't count. It is a way to galvanize the faithful into the outraged and the Clinton campaign is working it.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No matter how many of those folks in the Washington elite tell you your vote doesn't count, it does count. Any time they're telling you your vote doesn't count it's because they're afraid it will.

CROWLEY: And there is the fund-raising, this e-mail asking for money before the March books are closed. It reads in part "this is our last chance to show our strength in the midst of the onslaught from our opponent who wants this race to end before millions of Americans have their say."

No matter what happens, of course, all the primaries would take place. The names Clinton and Obama would still be on the ballot. And while two of his high profile supporters did publicly call for her to get out of the race, Barack Obama has not.

BARACK OBAMA, (D-IL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants. Her name is on the ballot and she is a fierce and formidable competitor.

CROWLEY: Still, as Republican John McCain sails unimpeded through the country side on his bio tour, Democratic Party angst is palpable. Party big wigs are trying to figure out how to seat Michigan and Florida delegates and pondering various scenarios to end this thing before the August convention, preferably in June.

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo penned an op-ed on the Boston globe warning that if this battle goes to the convention, disaster looms. A significant portion of the constituency supporting the loser will refuse to vote Democratic in November; that could cost the Democrats this election.

Cuomo suggests a permutation of the dream-team scenario, both candidates should pledge right now that the other would be on their ticket. That's a big no-go for both Obama and Clinton. So Clinton is forging ahead in Pennsylvania where she wants a double digit win on the 22nd to relieve the pressure and Obama wants to show surprising strength to keep it on.


COOPER: Candy Crowley joins us now to dig a little deeper with some of the other members of the best political team on television; John King, CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen.

Candy, Clinton turned these calls to withdraw into her advantage? Clearly both her and Former President Bill Clinton are trying to do that.

CROWLEY: Well, sure. I mean again, when you say to, particularly a Democratic voter, anything about disenfranchisement, anything about were your votes are going to count, that is the red flag there that gets some hopping. And it really does take the faithful, those who are going to vote for Hillary Clinton, and it makes them angry.

You just have to talk to people in a Clinton crowd and they say, "What is this? Who do they think they are?" The race is still going." So it certainly can give you a lot of passion and passion, of course, brings people out to the voting booth; whether or not that's enough, probably not, because the math is still the math -- Anderson.

COOPER: David, in Pennsylvania, Clinton's lead has held steady; low double digits. How does Obama narrow her lead and try to court those key working class voters in Pennsylvania?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well he is trying to do that with Bob Casey, the Senator and I think he did a pretty good job over the weekend. You know a lot of the bowling alley, even though his score was abysmal. I don't think he is heading for the all-star thing.

But being sort of folksy, blue collar, and I think that's worked.

But I think the most important thing he did over the weekend was to avoid falling into the trap of telling Hillary Clinton to get out of the race. I mean, the one thing that would help her win in Pennsylvania big and help her in other states is if she appears that she's being bullied by a bunch of guys.

COOPER: So that's why it's a trap, if he would appear to be a bully?

GERGEN: Yes, and he will be joining this chorus of what looks like a bullying. And yes, there are a lot of states that still have a vote. I think there's a terrific argument for her to stay in the race. She should stay in the race now through these primaries. Bill Clinton is right about that.

But Anderson, it becomes a very different proposition when the primaries are over. At that point, if he still has his delegate lead and still ahead in votes, there is going to be a push to resolve this. At that point, she's going to need to have a very dignified way to say let's get the superdelegates to vote and vote soon a dignified exit. I think that's going to be very, very important for her at that point but not now.

COOPER: John, it seems like in the last couple of weeks and you had a lot of pressure on Obama supporters to come forward and say that Senator Clinton should drop out. Are they now telling these supporters scale back and don't say that kind of stuff?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They don't mind if some of their high profile supporters say it, but Candy and David have emphasized the fault line just right in that Obama supporters can say, what's the point, the math doesn't add up she should get out of the race, this is starting to hurt the party. Obama himself says she has every right to stay, she could stay as long as she wants, he sounds like John McCain, saying Mike Huckabee can stay as long as he wants.

Anderson, the question is, and we have had this conversation for awhile, what happens in Pennsylvania and what does Pennsylvania do to what comes next? You've noticed a slowing in the rush of the superdelegates, a trickle to Obama, one here, one there, including one today but not a rush anymore because they want to see what happens in Pennsylvania.

The question for the Democrats is, what if Senator Clinton can pull off and win five or six of the final ten and Obama would still have a lead in the delegates but Clinton would not all that far behind and she could claim momentum at the end. That is the dilemma, the train wreck many Democrats are worried about.

COOPER: So David, what is the key for Pennsylvania for Barack Obama, that -- I mean besides a clear-cut win that Senator Clinton wins by only what -- small double digits?

GERGEN: I think the key -- there are two keys, Anderson. One is Pennsylvania, the other is North Carolina. He needs to hold her win down to lower than expectations. If she goes in 15 points ahead, he needs to make it less than 15. I think ultimately he wants to bring it down into single digits if he can.

But the other key, very importantly, is North Carolina. And he has to win North Carolina and there it should be pointed out he's actually increased his lead in the last few days. He's about up 12 points. Same thing she's been leading in Pennsylvania by.

So if he can win North Carolina, I think you go to John King's point, he can prevent her from having a string of victories right at the end. He's got a very good shot in Oregon, although it will be close later on. But I think North Carolina -- if he loses North Carolina; that would be a bad blow for him.

COOPER: Candy, in your piece you mentioned this notion of a dream ticket that both are being urged to say that they would have the other person on the ticket as Vice President but they're holding back from that. Why?

CROWLEY: I don't think either one of them wants to have the other on the ticket, frankly. I think it's really as simple as that. It just is -- I think Nancy Pelosi was right, you know, and I have sort of said consistently, so perhaps I'll be consistently wrong, I just don't see the two of them ending up on the same ticket. Not just because there's a little bit of oil and water going on here, but because neither one of them brings to the ticket what the other one lacks.

And generally you want to kind of round out your ticket and I don't think either one of them brings balance to the others.

COOPER: It's interesting. Hillary Clinton said this thing about women voting for her. I think we have that on tape. Let's just play that. Oh, it's a full screen.

She said, "You cannot as a Democrat win the White House without a very big women's vote. What I believe is that women will turn out for me."

Is there proof of that, John, at this point? I mean all along she's been saying women shouldn't vote for her because she's a woman. Seems now she's saying that women are going to be voting for her and she doesn't seem to give her any other reason other than she's a woman.

GERGEN: There has been an ebb and a flow in that -- Anderson. Remember when Barack Obama was winning that stretch of states; he did cut into her support among women. But when she has been backed against the wall and threatened with being forced out of the race women have been part of the constituency that seems to rally to her when she pulls the alarm, if you will.

Now, but that is the question Governor Cuomo was getting at, to the point Candy made in her piece about he is worried that there's a sense among the women, especially the established political groups, Emily's List, the National Organization for Women that this is their turn and that she is their candidate.

And will they have resentment if Obama wins and a small percentage, doesn't have to be a lot of women or a lot of African- Americans in the converse, if a small percentage of one candidate's base sits it out or goes to the Republican Party in another competitive election like we had in 2000, a relatively competitive election in 2004, that could make the difference. That is the fear of Governor Cuomo and many other leading Democrats.

COOPER: All right we are going to have more from our panel ahead.

I'm also blogging during the broadcast. You can join in the conversation. Tonight, we debut a new way to take part in the 360 live blog. We have a Web camera right here in the studio. You can link to it from our Web page at and you can see what's happening in the studio, even during commercial breaks. And, oh, man, a lot going on during commercial breaks, let me tell you that.

And, just ahead, our own 360 daily double question: Why are all the major presidential candidates buying up ad time on game shows? That's right. Come on down and figure that one out, "Jeopardy," "Wheel of Fortune," a whole host of them. Who are they trying to reach? We will explain.

Plus, doctors whose addictions are kept secret while they receive treatment, even as they continue operating on patients, sometimes with devastating results -- a shocking investigation ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She told me several times that she could smell alcohol on his breath. Until the day I die, I have got to live with that. And that hurts pretty good because I didn't believe my wife.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that your wife would be alive today if she hadn't been treated by a doctor who was an addict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she would have had a better shot at surviving.



COOPER: Well, he's definitely got the form down. Senator Obama was at the lanes in Altoona, Pennsylvania, over the weekend bowling with the photo-op. Thankfully, it is not pins he's gunning for, because he's not very good at that.

It's votes, of course, a lot of votes. And, to get them, all three candidates are paying for an endless stream of campaign ads on TV. But ever wonder what is their favorite program to run these spots on? Well, the answer can be summed up in three words.

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman with the "Raw Politics."


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Those are some of the most important words in politics these days, because all three presidential contenders are spending big to advertise on the "Wheel."

OBAMA: This is not like "Price Is Right." You are not going to get a big prize.

FOREMAN: Obama has dropped more than $1 million on "Wheel," Clinton almost $815,000, McCain more than $167,000. And CNN media consultant Evan Tracey has a clue why.

EVAN TRACEY, CNN MEDIA CONSULTANT: It's a very good way to reach average American voters. This is when they're winding down. They have either had dinner or they're eating in front of the TV. They have got their kids are off to bed. They're getting ready to start their evening of television watching.

FOREMAN: Like real estate, the issue is location.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... joins us with a check of your forecast.

What a difference in today.

FOREMAN: What campaigns want most is ads during local newscasts. They have spent collectively almost $37 million there to reach audiences loaded with likely voters.

TRACEY: It's like oceanfront real estate. If you can afford it, you buy it. FOREMAN: But, in key states during primary season, that ad time sells out. So candidates buy the next best thing, ads in talk shows, game shows and sitcoms that air near the news.

For Clinton and Obama, that means big buys in "Oprah." Yes, Oprah endorsed Obama, but millions of women watch, and not all will follow her lead politically.

FOREMAN: And, for McCain, "Jeopardy" is the answer to the question: After "Oprah," where do I spend my campaign cash?

(on camera): You may wonder why they're not all duking it out in prime time. Well, even for big-time politicos, that's expensive.

(voice-over): So, perhaps it is no wonder that, right now, Obama, with by far the most money, is outspending Clinton in prime time well over 2-1.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: It's interesting. Prime time is actually just part of it. Overall, what exactly are the spending numbers for the candidates?

e wanted to find out. Erica Hill joins us with the "Raw Data" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I can tell you, there is a lot of spending going on. So just how much?

Well, we took a look at the latest figures. These are from the end of last month. If we start off with Senator Barack Obama, you can see, he has raised in that period $193 million, more than that, actually, spent $158.5 million. So, he's got about $38 million, almost $39 million left. So, it works out. Pretty easy to see where all the money is going.

But when we look at Senator Hillary Clinton, things get a little bit more complicated. As you can see, she brought in over $155 million. And then she spent about $141 million. So, how is it that she's left with $33 million? That seems like a little bit of fuzzy math. Well, it's not, because it's not just the money she raised we're looking at here. This is also millions of transfers received and also a loan.

Taking a look at Senator John McCain, he's actually way behind the Democrats in terms of what he's raised, just $60 million in the same period, spent almost all of it, $58.5 basically, but he's still got $8 million in cash on hand. So, how do those numbers work out? Again, loans received and transfers, Anderson, help to bring that total up. So, he has got a little more left in the bank.

COOPER: Interesting. Interesting the difference between Democrats and Republicans on there. Erica, thanks.

Up next, the best political team on television is back with more on the campaign cash, and the question Chelsea Clinton cannot seem to get away from on the campaign trail. See what she said when another student asked her about Monica Lewinsky.

Also a little later tonight, a story that will probably surprise you: a doctor and an admitted alcoholic. His former patients say he's performed surgeries with horrifying results. Why was he allowed in the operating room?

Randi Kaye is "Keeping Them Honest" -- next.



CHELSEA CLINTON, DAUGHTER OF BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON: Well, sir, I respectfully disagree. I think that is something that is personal to my family. I'm sure there are things that are personal to your family that you don't think are anyone else's business either.

On a larger point, I don't think you should vote for or against my mother because of my father.


COOPER: The question she refuses to answer, one that doesn't seem to be going away, Chelsea Clinton again being asked about Monica Lewinsky and the impact the affair had on her mom. This latest exchange was on the campus of North Carolina State University.

As much as candidates and their surrogates don't like to talk about personal matters, the issues are certainly not disappearing. The campaigns, of course, want to stay on message.

Now, earlier, we talked about how all three candidate are running a lot of ads on "Wheel of Fortune" and other game shows. It's not about the game show itself. It's about money and strategy and votes.

Joining us again are CNN's Candy Crowley, John King, and David Gergen.

Candy, Obama has bought ads really throughout Pennsylvania; spending a lot of money, outspending Senator Clinton in the state. Who exactly is he targeting in the ads?

CROWLEY: Well, the working class, the working class, and the working class.

It's really interesting to see the difference between the ads we saw earlier on and the ads that Obama now has running in Pennsylvania. Earlier on, we saw huge, kind of panoramic pictures of the huge crowds and this very inspirational language. And it was Barack Obama on a stage with just adoring people. Now we have in these ads that you see constantly running here in Pennsylvania are much smaller venues. It's Barack Obama with a pair of safety goggles on, going through a factory. He's sitting in a diner talking to people one on one.

So, there is a huge effort by the Obama people to somehow reach out to working-class voters, where he has -- that has been a weakness of his and a strength of Hillary Clinton's. And it's really where this Pennsylvania primary is going to settle in, is the working-class voters. So, that is exactly where his ads -- and her ads, for that matter -- are directed.

COOPER: John, maybe it's just that I have been watching too much cable news over the last couple months, but it seems like this campaign has been going on forever. Can advertising now, during these last couple of weeks before the Pennsylvania primary, actually change voters' minds?

KING: Yes, if -- yes, if, in the sense that, if the dynamic of the campaign changes in any way, one of the candidates makes a misstep or one of the candidates sees an opening, you can change your message on television.

It's a better question to be asked maybe a week or so from now, because what you see right now are largely positive ads from both campaigns. Hillary Clinton believes she not only has a lead in the Pennsylvania polls, but that she has the advantage on the ground, because she has the governor's support, she has the mayor of Philadelphia's support.

So she sees no reason in Pennsylvania to go negative. So, she's running positive ads focused on the economy, as Candy noted. Barack Obama running positive ads focused on the economy. So, essentially, what they're doing right now is reaching out to what they have. Hillary Clinton is trying to keep it. Barack Obama is trying to gain more.

Expect anything to be a huge breakthrough, a huge difference? No, not on the television advertising unless something happens first in the day-to-day campaigning. That is what changes what ends up on TV.

COOPER: You know, David, there's all this talk about unifying the party after the primary, whenever this becomes -- whenever the nominee becomes clear. How difficult a process do you really think that is going to be?

Do you buy these polls that say, you know, a certain percentage of the Obama supporters or Clinton supporter will vote for McCain if their candidate doesn't win?

GERGEN: I think if they settle it in June, it's going to be a lot easier to heal the party than if they settle it at the convention.

To leave this and have a big whoop-de-whoop fight at the convention about 10 weeks before the general election, that is a guarantee for a very, very tough election, and probably a losing election, because, you know, you remember, the biggest analogy is 1968, when the Democrats had a knockdown, drag-out in Chicago, blood in the streets. And it left Hubert Humphrey way behind Nixon.

He almost caught Nixon. Had the election been maybe two weeks later, people think Humphrey might have won. But it was -- he just didn't have enough time to close the gap. So, if you wait until the convention to settle this, it becomes a very dangerous game for the Democrats.

It's better to heal wounds, just as John McCain -- you know, four weeks ago, we were talking about all the people who were discontented in the Republican Party. He's done a pretty good job starting to heal those wounds now, and people are starting to unite behind him. He's in better shape now than he was six weeks ago.

COOPER: Candy, how much on the campaign trail are Clinton and Obama talking about John McCain, and how much are they talking about each other?

CROWLEY: You know, today, interestingly, it was about John McCain. There seems to be some sort of semi-truce going on. It's not that they don't hint at each other, but, really, the big blows are kind of at John McCain.

Today, Hillary Clinton talking about John McCain's economic plan was to have no plan, that kind of thing. So, they're very much taking out after him.

This does a couple of things. First of all, it settles down the party insiders who think that they have gotten too bitter toward one another. And it also sort of levitates you beyond this fight in the primary and puts you into the general election.

So, there's a couple of reasons to go after John McCain, which they both have been doing.

COOPER: And, John, what comes next? I mean, obviously, Pennsylvania, three weeks away. What is the next primary immediately after that? Is it North Carolina?

KING: You go and you have North Carolina. You have Kentucky. You have West Virginia. You have Indiana. You have Puerto Rico sitting out there. You have Oregon out West and some of the -- a couple of Mountain states left, 10 contests left, Anderson.

What comes next in terms of the tone will depend on the margin in Pennsylvania. If Senator Clinton can keep her lead there, then there will be a sense of nervousness in the Obama campaign. Then, in West Virginia, in Kentucky, they are very similar states. If she can close the gap in Indiana and North Carolina, then you will have a sense of nervousness, not only in the party, but in the Obama campaign.

But the first test -- and it's three weeks from tomorrow -- is that Hillary Clinton must win, and must win significantly in Pennsylvania. That gives her the credibility to say: I'm not going anywhere, because I think I can close with the momentum.

COOPER: David... Go ahead, David.

GERGEN: I was going to add, Anderson, that goes back to the whole point of his advertising and trying to reach out to blue-collar workers, because he's not only going to be and the party is not only going to be concerned what the margin is in Pennsylvania, but also whether a narrative begins to take hold that he can't win white working class.

That is not where he wants to be. The Democratic Party needs to bring back what were called at one time Reagan Democrats, people who could go to McCain. But he needs to demonstrate now, as he has in several other states, but he lost them in Ohio.

And he can't let -- he can't let Pennsylvania be another Ohio in the sense of -- and especially after the Wright affair, because then there will be a sense, not only is he too liberal, but perhaps there are some racial overtones here.

So, that's why he's reaching out. And I think he's right to reach out. And that's why the Bob Casey endorsement turned out to be such a gift to him here three weeks out.

COOPER: Interesting thing to watch.

David Gergen, John King, Candy Crowley, thanks.

Still to come: John McCain's special mission, Democrats trying to define him as a creature of Washington who will bring some more of the same. Today, he's trying to project a much different image.

But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is stepping down amid allegations of political favoritism and several ethics investigations. Alphonso Jackson has denied any wrongdoing. No charges have been filed against him. He says he's resigning to focus on personal and family matters.

Federal safety officials negligently approved a risky technique known as retreat mining at the Utah coal mine that collapsed last year, leaving nine people dead. That is according to a new report from the Department of Labor's inspector general. The report, though, does not say what actually caused the disaster at the Crandall Canyon Mine.

And, in Orlando, Florida, at least 40 people injured when fireworks and cables landed on a crowd at a WWE WrestleMania event. Officials say all the injuries were minor -- Anderson.

COOPER: You ever been to one of those WrestleMania events?

HILL: No. Have you, Cooper?

COOPER: No, I haven't. But now, you know, I'm tempted. HILL: Now you're going to have to go.

COOPER: Yes. Exactly.

HILL: Maybe you should do a story on one.

COOPER: Was this -- do we know, was this the big pay-per-view one with the boxer Mayweather against the...

HILL: Well, I think there's -- there are a lot of the big pay- per-view ones, aren't there? I mean, it's kind of a regular event.

COOPER: They were all on "LARRY KING" last week trying to pitch...

HILL: I noticed that.

COOPER: Yes. I don't know. I didn't catch it.

"What Were They Thinking?" is next. A high school kegger party busted by the police. It turns out it's the cops who kind of get embarrassed. It's a party, well, a lot of people, I guess, will never forget. We will explain.

And here's tonight's "Beat 360."

Director Martin Scorsese poses with the Rolling Stones over the weekend at the premiere of "Shine a Light," which is a documentary about the Stones.

Here's the caption from our staff winner, Gabe: "Martin Scorsese and the cast of his new film, 'Jurassic Park 4.'"

Whoa. That's just not right. That's just mean.

If you think you can do better go to, send us your submission. We will announce the winner at the end of the program.

And you can also check out our new Webcam right here in the studio. See what's happening even during the commercial breaks. Man, you should have seen the last commercial break. We went wild in here. It was a whole Sharks vs. Jets dance-off.

You can link to it from our Web page at

We will be right back.


COOPER: All right, Erica, time for our segment "What Were They Thinking?"

A group of high school students in Wisconsin were angry that their school suspended some kids when they were seen drinking at a party from red cups. So, they came up with a plan. They staged what appeared to be a keg party. And, then, when the police arrived, they gave nearly 90 underage attendants Breathalyzer tests and other drills to see if the kids were intoxicated.

HILL: Uh-uh.

COOPER: It turns out they weren't. The kids had been drinking root beer. See how clever they are?

The teenager who threw the non-alcoholic fed did it to show teens don't always drink booze, and, in the process, wasted the police officers' time. How clever.

And, of course, it's big on YouTube.

HILL: But I got to say, you know, the red cup is sometimes synonymous with a keg.

COOPER: Sure. Right.

HILL: But, if you don't know what is in the cup, how could you prove they had been drinking beer?

COOPER: Yes. But in -- first of all, there was, like, traffic jams at this kid's party, so the police came.

HILL: That part is a bad part of the story, yes.

COOPER: And, then, had the police not tested these kids and somebody, God forbid, had been drinking, and went off and crashed...

HILL: Catch-22...

COOPER: ... then everyone would have said to the police, well, how come you didn't test everybody at the party? So, you know...

HILL: I agree. I agree.

COOPER: It's a tough job being a police officer. I feel for them on this one.

COOPER: And here's John Roberts with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."



Wake up to the most news in the morning including a call to stall for America's truckers. Imagine filling up your tank for $200 or more. The price of diesel is heading through the roof.

Now there is a movement to have all truckers take the next three days off to protest those high prices and the expensive fallout for all of us. What would happen to your food and everything else that we depend on truckers to move?

Check in with us first thing in the morning. It all begins at 6 a.m. Eastern -- Anderson. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: John, thanks. Erica says I've become a crotchety old man. Those darn kids!

HILL: Just calling them as I see them. Let the kids have some fun.

COOPER: All right.

Coming up, marketing John McCain while his Democratic opponents continue to fight it out. He is reintroducing himself to the public. Will playing up his past help him win? We'll take a look at that.

Also ahead, a story tens of thousands of you saw on, a doctor who abuses alcohol and operates on patients, and he's not the only one. Randi Kaye has the shocking details coming up.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A fundamental misunderstanding of history and how we've maintained national security and what we need to do in the future to maintain our security in the face of a transcendent challenge, radical Islamic extremism. And I understand that, because he has no experience or background in any of it.


COOPER: Senator John McCain on his campaign jet today, taking aim at Barack Obama and his proposal to quickly withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, although his proposal is really one to two combat brigades over the course of 60 months. Senator McCain is playing up his own military experience in what's being called a biographical five-state tour. And McCain kicked off today.

Here's CNN's Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain opened a carefully orchestrated week-long journey through his life story with an emphasis on service, looking to turn his family history into a unique political brand.

MCCAIN: I'm the son and grandson of admirals. My grandfather was an aviator, my father a submariner. They were my first heroes.

BASH: He spoke in Meridian, Mississippi, near an airfield named for his grandfather, where the candidate himself served as a flight instructor before he headed to Vietnam and became a prisoner of war. Then his father commanded U.S. forces in the Pacific.

MCCAIN: My father seldom spoke of my captivity to anyone outside of the family and never in public. He prayed on his knees every night for my safe return. Yet when duty required it, he gave the order for B-52s to bomb Hanoi, in close proximity to the prison which I lived.

BASH: On one level, these family stories, taken from McCain's memoir, is Politics 101. Knowing a candidate's biography helps voters connect, especially when it appeals to patriotism. But it doesn't always work.

BOB DOLE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But there I was over in Italy on April 14, 1945, a young second lieutenant.

BASH: Bob Dole reluctantly played up his World War II experience and lost to someone who never served. Vietnam veteran turned protester John Kerry touted his service as he objected to Iraq but was also defeated.

But this candidate's biggest obstacle is convincing war weary Americans to vote for his message of keeping troops in Iraq, not a Democrat promising every day to take them out.

CLINTON: And of course, the next president is going to have to restore our leadership around the world, and that starts with bringing our troops home from Iraq.

OBAMA: The war in Iraq was unwise. That's why I opposed it in 2002. That's why I will bring it to an end in 2009. I will bring our troops home.

BASH: McCain advisers say they hope highlighting his deep military roots, which Democrats do not have, will encourage voters to trust his judgment.

MCCAIN: They gave their lives to their country and taught me lessons about honor, courage, duty, perseverance and leadership.

BASH (on camera): McCain made a sharp turn from talk to his family to giving his broad principles on the role of government in the lives of American families. He said government intervention should be limited to helping parents raise their children but gave no specifics.

Advisers insist he's just laying a foundation now and promised policy proposals will come later.

Dana Bash, CNN, Meridian, Mississippi.


COOPER: Well, John McCain could become the oldest man elected to a first presidential term. And one thing he doesn't talk much about while campaigning is his health. He's battled melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, four times and has had extensive facial surgery to treat it.

McCain's campaign says he's healthy today and is cancer free, but he's yet to make his full medical records public or his doctors available to the media. Tomorrow on 360, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to examine Senator McCain's history of skin cancer and what it might mean for his health in the future.

Up next, doctors in rehab still practicing medicine. One plastic surgeon was treated for alcoholism, convicted for DUI twice and still operated on patients. Patients had no idea. They say what they didn't know hurt them. The shocking details next.


COOPER: Many of us look at doctors as infallible, above questioning. But it may surprise you to learn that thousands of doctors around the country are in confidential treatment programs for alcohol and drug addictions and are still allowed to perform surgery.

Some patients we spoke to say they were left disfigured by some of these doctors. It is a shocking story and one you need to hear.

CNN's Randi Kaye is "Keeping Them Honest." But first we want to warn you that some of the video you're about to see is extremely disturbing. Take a look.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Brian West looks good on paper; a board-certified, Stanford-educated plastic surgeon. Missing from his resume: Dr. West is an alcoholic and a member of a special program in California called the Physician-Diversion Program, which allows doctors to secretly get treatment for addiction while continuing to operate on patients.

(on camera) Would you have liked to have known that your doctor had a substance abuse problem before he treated you?



KAYE (voice-over): These are some of Dr. West's former patients. And this is what they say he did to them. The results of a common procedure, where abdominal muscle is used for breast reconstruction or tummy tucks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had a hole in my abdomen that would not heal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was nothing but plastic mesh holding my wife's insides in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He took a scapula and cut me back open and said I would heal better.

KAYE: Former patients say Dr. West butchered them and that he frequently smells of alcohol and looked flushed. Dr. West declined our request to interview him, but his lawyer said there's no evidence he ever treated a patient while under the influence of alcohol.

Becky Anderson had a mastectomy after learning she had breast cancer. Dr. West used stomach muscle to perform a breast reconstruction, leaving her with a volleyball-sized pouch.

BECKY ANDERSON, VICTIM OF BOTCHED SURGERY: This is what I have now. So this is my intestines, just covered by a skin graft right here.

KAYE: That was last year. Becky had to forego cancer treatment while battling complications from the surgery, and today she is dying of cancer, too sick to be interviewed.

If only she'd known about Dr. West's two convictions for driving under the influence, one of them on the way to treat her. He later lied about the DUI, blaming the missed appointment on a car accident.

She sued Dr. West. He never admitted any fault but settled for more than $250,000.

(on camera) Here in California, the state medical association says there are about 200 to 400 doctors in this program on any given day. And a nationwide study found about 1 percent of all physicians in the U.S. are in confidential treatment. That's about 8,000 doctors. Eight thousand doctors whose patients have no idea they're addicts.

(voice-over) In California, five program audits since 1982 found a string of failures. Physicians appointed underlings as monitors. The medical board found Dr. West's office manager, who was also his program-appointed monitor, forged Alcoholics Anonymous sign-in logs for him. And the board also found the random testing for drugs and alcohol was anything but.

JULIE D'ANGELO FEELMETH, PERFORMED 2004 AUDIT: The drug testing was, in a word, ridiculous. They were using untrained collectors who were not collecting samples on the random date generated by the computer. Instead they were routinely doing it on days the physician could anticipate.

KAYE: California's medical board, which oversees the program, decided to abolish it come July, saying it failed to protect patients. Still, one powerful state agency is fighting to keep the program alive and keep the names of doctors enrolled confidential.

"Keeping Them Honest," we'll ask them why.

(on camera) How many people do they have to hurt or mutilate before something gets done about it?


COOPER: So is Dr. West still practicing? And what actions are the patients taking? The answers ahead as Randi Kaye continues her investigation.

Also tonight, Anna Nicole Smith, her son Daniel died mysteriously in her hospital room. Today, a jury says it knows why. That verdict coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: What if your surgeon is battling alcoholism or maybe addicted to cocaine. Shouldn't you have the right to know? In nearly every state, the answer is no. About 1 percent of all physicians in the country are in confidential treatment programs, their personal secrets not shared with their patients, some of whom now blame them for destroying their lives.

Once again, here's CNN's Randi Kaye. And first, we want to remind you that some of what you're about to see is extremely disturbing.


KAYE: Sharon had a mastectomy after learning she had breast cancer. So she went to California plastic surgeon Dr. Brian West for breast reconstruction.

Neither Sharon nor her husband were aware Dr. West was an alcoholic, had two DUI convictions and would soon secretly enroll in a state rehab program that requires outside treatment and lets him continue operating on patients while keeping the addiction confidential.

KEN MIKULECKY, WIFE SAW DR. WEST: When that person's right to privacy hurts other people, harms other people, that should not be allowed to happen.

This is the second hospital we were in.

KAYE: Ken Mikulecky says Dr. West operated, using abdominal muscle to rebuild the breast. His wife's incision became infected, leaving a gaping hole in her abdomen.

MIKULECKY: She told me several times that she could smell alcohol on his breath. Until the day I die, I got to live with that. And that hurts pretty good because I didn't believe my wife.

KAYE: Dr. West refused to be interviewed for this story, but Ken Mikulecky says his wife was so weak she had to postpone cancer treatment for about a year. In 2003, cancer killed her.

(on camera) Do you think that your wife would be alive today if she hadn't been treated by a doctor who was an addict?

MIKULECKY: I think she would have had a better shot at surviving.

KAYE: Have you forgiven him?

MIKULECKY: Yes, I have. That's between him and God. I got my own soul to look after. I just want him to stop.

KAYE: Mikulecky and some of these former patients, along with California's attorney general, are petitioning to have Dr. West's license revoked. The California medical board says Dr. West flunked out of the state diversion program, was placed on probation for five years, and could not operate for one year.

(on camera) Don't patients have a right to know if their doctor is abusing alcohol or drugs? Wouldn't you want to know? "Keeping Them Honest," we asked the head of California's Medical Association why this program must remain a secret and why he's fighting to keep it alive.

JOE DUNN, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: We believe very strongly this is the absolute best way to ensure patient safety. You need to get physicians out of the shadows.

KAYE (voice-over): Medical Association president Joe Dunn argues if this program shuts down in July, doctors will continue to feed their addiction privately and not get help.

(on camera) Why shouldn't a patient know, if they were going in for surgery or just going in for a consultation, that their doctor had a drinking or drug problem?

DUNN: Without a diversion program, no one knows. Patients don't know. Health professionals who could help don't know.

KAYE (voice-over): Nearly every state has a similar program, and a recent nationwide study found they have an 80 percent success rate.

His lawyer tells CNN Dr. West is back in the program and has been in recovery for years. But that's no comfort for his former patients and their loved ones.

MIKULECKY: I don't want to see any more people get hurt, any more innocent people go under the knife because people are hiding other people's addiction. I want to see that stopped.

KAYE: Despite the claims against him, Dr. Brian West is back in business, operating on patients in Beverly Hills.


COOPER: So is Dr. West still in a monitoring program?

KAYE: He is still in the diversion program, but he's still practicing, as I just said, in Beverly Hills. He's been sued by many. That's why a lot of people are so surprised that he's practicing; sued by many for malpractice. His lawyer tells us he's actually settled three of those cases. He won one. Most of them were thrown out.

The problem is, for the patients at least, is that he's never been found guilty of anything. The state and the courts have never actually connected his drinking to any of the problems that his patients are now seeing. COOPER: I was talking about this on the blog. And there's a doctor on the blog who says, "Look, you know, you don't want people living in the shadows. And doctors are people, too. And they should be able to go to rehab and continue their livelihoods just like police officers can or whomever."

KAYE: Absolutely. And that's what the California Medical Association is saying. They didn't like, and they certainly didn't approve, of the way that the medical board ran the program. So they're saying don't do away with the program. These guys are then going to go, you know, drink in their cars and drink on the corners and never get any help, and it's going to make it even worse.

COOPER: So they're saying the oversight needs to get better?

KAYE: Exactly. Get maybe an outside agency to run it or another state agency and do it the right way.

COOPER: It's shocking that it's being badly run at all when people's lives are in jeopardy.

Randi, fascinating report. Thanks.

Again, the discussion on on the blog right now. It's pretty heated. You want to join now on that.

You don't want to miss also "The Shot" tonight. Check this out. What's black and white and more than seven feet tall when he stands on his hind legs? That's right, the world's tallest dog.

First, 360's Erica Hill joins us again with a news and business bulletin -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, in the wake of the nation's mortgage crisis, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson today announcing what is being called the biggest proposed overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression. Critics say the plan does not go far enough, though, in dealing with abusive mortgage lending and securities trading.

United Airlines says faulty wiring in the landing gear of three of its planes caused two runway accidents. That announcement coming after Southwest Airlines grounded 44 of its planes following a CNN report which found the company was flying -- which said the company was flying planes without conducting mandatory safety checks.

And a jury in the Bahamas today found that Anna Nicole Smith's son died from an accidental drug overdose, as did his mother. Twenty- year-old Daniel Smith died 18 months ago. He had come to the Bahamas to visit his mother and meet his new baby sister -- Anderson.

COOPER: A sad story, that.

All right. Time to lighten things up, "Beat 360." Here's the winner. Here's how we play. We post a picture on our Web site and you try to come up with a better caption than one from our staff. All right. Tonight's picture shows director Martin Scorsese posing this weekend in New York with the Rolling Stones; the premiere of "Shine a Light," his new documentary about them.

Tonight's staff winner is Gabe. His caption: "Martin Scorsese and the cast of his new film, 'Jurassic Park 4.'"

It is mean, but clever.

Tonight's viewer winner is Robert. His entry: "McCain's advisers meet today to remember the good old times." Ouch. Mean and political.

Check out the other captions we received at our Web site:

I wonder who the Stones are supporting?

Stay right there, Erica. "The Shot of the Day" is next. We've got a dog that's worthy of the record books. Just about any dog can get on our program, it seems like.

HILL: And pretty much all of them are worthy of the record books.

COOPER: Seems that way.

Also ahead tonight, politics, Clinton versus Obama; she's facing more calls to quit. Could that actually help her campaign in Pennsylvania? We've got the "Raw Politics" coming up.


COOPER: I mentioned during commercial breaks, the crew often has a dance-off, sort of a Sharks versus Jets thing. You missed it a little bit.

HILL: Who's winning these days? The Sharks or the Jets?

COOPER: I don't know. It's hard to know. So this is our new Web cam which you can watch us during the commercial break. You'll see all the things that happen during the break. Sometimes it gets very ugly in here.

All right, stop fighting. Stop fighting. There you go.

Why can't we have peace here on the 360 set? Again, that's at You can click to the new Web cam and also, of course, to our live chat, where a lot of people are still talking about the piece about Dr. West.

Time now for "The Shot;" dog lovers, this one is for you.

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: Exactly. There's a whole lot of dog to love here; Gibson, the world's tallest dog. "The Guinness Book of World Records" has signed off on that. Gibson stands on his hind legs, which I guess he does when he's prompted, he's more than seven feet tall.

HILL: Wild.

COOPER: That's right. He's a breed of Great Dane called a Harlequin. He weighs 170 pounds, and he turns 6 next month. He's a hound with a heart. He's a licensed therapy and service dog who visits children's hospitals and senior centers.

HILL: Great Danes are great with children.

COOPER: Are they really?

HILL: Yes, well...

COOPER: Can they get to ride them?

HILL: You know, he does look like a Shetland pony, doesn't he? No, but they're so sweet. It's sort of -- I've heard that sometimes the bigger the dog, the more gentle they can be. Irish Wolfhounds are supposed to be great with kids, too.

COOPER: Really? Gentle giants.

HILL: There you are.

COOPER: Hence the term. He lives in Grass Valley, California. He's apparently been on "The Tonight Show," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Oprah."

HILL: Whoa, whoa. He's not keeping track. I think you've been on all those shows, too.

COOPER: He's got -- he's got quite the publicist right there.

If you see some amazing video, tell us about it: You can go there again to see our blog, to see the Web cam and all the other things I'm tired of promoting;

For our international viewers, "CNN Today" is next. Here in America, Larry King is coming up.

Thanks a lot for watching. I'll see you tomorrow night.