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Whirlwind Day For Barack Obama; Inauguration Day to be Packed with Events; Snipers on Alert for Inauguration; Movers Ready for White House Swap

Aired January 19, 2009 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, all around us, Washington is glowing, not just from the floodlights and flashbulbs, the thousands of people already here to watch history, but seemingly lit from within, from the Capitol step, where, in just 14 hours, Barack Obama will take the oath of office, to the White House, each built by slaves, each within sight of the Lincoln Memorial, where Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once spoke of a moment just like this.
Tomorrow, at noon, that moment will arrive. The Obamas and Bidens have been riding a whirlwind all day and night, painting houses, meeting with troops, dining with former rival John McCain, and wrapped up just moments ago at Union Station with a dinner honoring Joe Biden.

President-elect Obama returning tonight to Blair House just across Pennsylvania Avenue from what will be his new home.

Some breaking news about the transition and Vice President Cheney -- we will tell you about why he will be attending ceremonies tomorrow in a wheelchair, a very busy night on the eve of a history-making day that will be seen by millions here and billions around the world.

Our coverage tonight over the next two hours begins with Candy Crowley.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As inauguration-goers began to clog the streets and subway stations in the nation's capital, the president-elect was painting.

BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Good practice (INAUDIBLE) I'm moving into a new house tomorrow.


CROWLEY: Amidst the celebration, Barack Obama took a kind of time-out to begin work on one of his oft-stated goal, changing the culture.

From a private visit with wounded troops to this teen homeless shelter and a visit with volunteers writing letters to soldiers, Barack Obama paid tribute to Martin Luther King, wrapping the King legacy into the high ambitions of the Obama era, the remaking of America. OBAMA: And, on a day where we remember not just a dreamer, but a doer, an actor, somebody who dedicated his life to working at the grassroots level on behalf of change, on behalf of making communities better.

CROWLEY: A former community organizer, Obama made community service a corner stone of his campaign. And he intends to turn that into a kind of economic call to arms after he moves into the White House.

OBAMA: Given the crisis that we're in and hardships that so many people are going through, we can't allow any idle hands.

CROWLEY: Also turning campaign rhetoric into reality, for now, the president-elect hosted a salute to John McCain, a bipartisan gesture designed to cool the tone of Washington and dissolve the aftertaste of an often bitter election.

OBAMA: It's not been the need to compromise for politics' sake that has shaped his distinguished career. It is, rather, a pure and deeply felt love of his country that comes from the painful knowledge of what life is like without it.

CROWLEY: On the eve of the inauguration, there is nary a discouraging word to be heard in the corridors of power or the streets of Washington. It will not always be like this. It may not ever be like this again. But, for this moment, this is a city teeming with people, history and hope.


COOPER: Certainly a lot of hope on the Mall tonight. Candy now joins us live.

Candy, you know, a lot of the president-elect's talk about changing the tone in Washington, tonight, we had Barack Obama at a dinner for John McCain. He met previously with conservative bloggers and writers and liberal bloggers and writers.

Can he really do it? I mean, what is different about the way he is approaching this?

CROWLEY: I'm not so sure it's the way he's approaching it, as much as it is the times.

He -- he can -- has made this argument and will continue to make it, and that is, there are too many things going on here. There are two wars. There's this economy in a mess. And we cannot afford to be bickering.

The other thing that he has going for him is, right now, all that goodwill out there and, in fact, the agreement of the American people that there is too much bickering. So, if the bickering begins, he is least likely to be the one that's blamed for it.

So, it is a new era. He does have a lot of goodwill. But I think what makes this different at this point is that, not just the country, but the circumstances, sort of call for this bipartisanship.

COOPER: All right. Candy Crowley, thanks very much.

As you heard in Candy's piece tonight, with Senator McCain, Mr. Obama underscored the notion of reconciliation. He's expected to do the same tomorrow in his inaugural address, one tall skinny lawyer from Illinois paying homage to another tall skinny lawyer from Illinois, his hero, Abe Lincoln, who promised in his second inaugural to bind up the nation's wounds.

He's also expected to borrow from John F. Kennedy's theme of sacrifice.

For more on what we know about the address and what comes after, let's go now to Ed Henry -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, senior officials are saying that, in this inaugural address, the incoming, the new president will talk about an age of new responsibility, trying to rebuild trust on Wall Street and Washington because of this financial crisis, but also try to bring the country together to deal, not only with the economic problems, but also two wars overseas.

And it's also such an urgent task, that we're learning this evening that there are going to be a couple special vans at the Capitol, so that, as soon as Barack Obama is sworn in, some of his senior aides are going to head from the Capitol right over here to the White House behind me and get to work right away.

And we're also hearing that the new president is going to jump right in, too.


HENRY (voice-over): After the inaugural address is over and he's made his way to the White House, CNN has learned new President Barack Obama is planning to head right into the Oval Office, before even sitting down in the reviewing stand to watch the rest of the parade.

Aides say he wants to get right down to business. As soon as Tuesday, he plans to name at least one special envoy to deal with the Mideast crisis.

DAVID AXELROD, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: The president-elect has said repeatedly that he intends to engage early and aggressively with diplomacy all over the world, and using the men and women, the professionals who are in place, who are great, and, where appropriate, special envoys.

HENRY: Then, aides say, on Wednesday, the new president will bring in his senior economic advisers to immediately suggest he's on top of the financial crisis and to show he believes the nation is up to the monumental challenges ahead, a key theme of his inaugural address that he's been previewing.

OBAMA: Despite the enormity of the task that lies ahead, I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure, that it will prevail, that the dream of our founders will live on in our time.

HENRY: Another big moment Wednesday, the new commander in chief will huddle with military leaders and tell them to withdraw all U.S. combat troops within 16 months.

What's really going on is, he's trying to reassure nervous liberals he will fulfill his signature campaign promise. And aides say there will be other dramatic moves to show a clean break from President Bush's approach to the war on terror with multiple executive orders.

ROBERT GIBBS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have talked about banning torture and closing Guantanamo Bay, the process by which that will happen. I think those are probably the big things that could happen as early as the first week.

HENRY: He also may flex his muscles this week with other executive orders on the home front that will have a huge impact on millions of Americans, starting with an executive order that would reverse a Bush administration policy that banned taxpayer money from funding international family planning groups that promote abortion as an option.

Another move under consideration would raise fuel efficiency on automobiles, which would please environmentalists, but put more pressure on the struggling car industry.


COOPER: Ed, we're just getting information tonight, breaking news that Vice President Dick Cheney is going to be in a wheelchair for tomorrow's inauguration. What -- what happened?

HENRY: That's right, Anderson.

Outgoing White House Press Secretary Dana Perino says that the vice president was trying to move some boxes himself that had been here at the White House. He was trying to move them back into his home. And he wrenched his back, they say. He will be in a wheelchair at the inaugural.

You wouldn't want to be that staffer who allowed him to carry those boxes, instead of doing it for him. One reason why there may not have been staffers to help out is, I can tell you, most of the White House staffers have already cleared out their offices. They had as another part of that transition their BlackBerrys are essentially dead at midnight. They're turning over their passes. They can't get back into the White House gates.

I will tell you who is here tonight. That's the president, first lady Laura Bush. And, in fact, they had dinner this evening with his parents, the former President Bush and the former first lady.

I ran into the former president briefly here in the briefing room. He was taking a look around. And he said he was a little wistful, because he's been around this White House for at least a couple decades now, as vice president, president, now as father of the president. And he said that he's going to miss being around here.

But even he, as a Republican, said, "I'm going to be very excited about being at the inaugural tomorrow" -- Anderson.

COOPER: No doubt about that.

Ed Henry, thanks.

You are watching history. We are all on the cusp of history tonight. We want to know what you think about it. Join the live chat happening now at Check out Erica Hill's live Webcasts during our breaks as well.

Up next, our panel on the challenges facing Mr. Obama. David Gergen, Alex Castellanos, and Jamal Simmons join us.

Also tonight, damage control after the Bidens go on "Oprah Winfrey" -- what Joe Biden's wife said about the jobs -- jobs, plural -- she says Mr. Obama offered her husband.

And, later, the inside story of what goes into moving one first family out and the next first family in -- all that and more when our coverage continues live from the Mall in Washington.

And, first, Bruce Springsteen from a concert here on the Mall yesterday, courtesy of our friends at HBO.



COOPER: And welcome back.

We are live on the Mall less than 14 hours after the inauguration -- before the inauguration of Barack Obama. We have a crowd assembled here.

You guys excited...



COOPER: A lot of people here on the Mall. This is -- everyone has been coming to the Mall all throughout the day to try to get a sense of where they want to position themselves tomorrow to get as -- a best picture as they can of Barack Obama as he takes that oath of office.

I want to show you where we are. There's the west front of the Capitol all the way in the distance there. We are between that and the Washington Monument. That's about a mile-and-a-half between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: From, it's about another -- another half-mile to the Lincoln Memorial, where yesterday we saw that concert with hundreds of thousands of people.

As many as two million people are expected here tomorrow. Somebody ran the numbers earlier tonight. That is one man, woman or child, approximately, for every two square feet of grass, dirt or concrete.

And, according to some recent polling, the vast majority of the people here and around the country support Mr. Obama and express hope for the future, while acknowledging the difficulties, huge difficulties, that lie ahead.

More on those challenges now with senior political analyst David Gergen, also, from the right, Alex Castellanos, and, from the left tonight, Jamal Simmons.

David, have you ever seen Washington like it is now? There is a vibrancy here that's almost palpable.


It's -- Anderson, this far exceeds any inauguration any of us can remember. Lyndon Johnson, back in 1965, had about 1,300,000 here at his inauguration. It's pretty clear this one is going to beat all the records.

And you just hear those cries behind you. Can you imagine the roar tomorrow when Barack Obama speaks, where the million people roar -- you know, roaring, and thunderous applause? That's going to send a powerful message to Democrats, as well as Republicans, sitting up there on the platform with him about the will of the people and what they want to see from Barack Obama.

COOPER: Alex, it's interesting.

When you're out here on the Mall, people, I mean, they're -- they're -- people are talking with such rhetoric. And there is so much hope and so much anticipation.

Let's -- let's take a reality check here. I mean, there are huge problems facing this country. Some 48 percent of the population did not vote for Barack Obama. What are Republicans going to do over the next couple of weeks? How is this going to play out? How are the next couple of months going to play out?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, it's -- it's great that we're seeing less partisan bickering than we have had these past few years. Clearly, that's something the American people are tired of.

We do have some huge problems, and we want to get something done. But, you know, I think there are many Republicans who are concerned that there are still important choices to make. And there are still important differences on how we achieve some big goals. And, yes, we want to be respectful. And, yes, it would be nice to see Washington return to civil debate.

But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't -- as a matter of fact, you know, we're talking about the biggest expansion of government in American history. We're talking about obligating generations to pay debt that we're going to incur today. And we're not talking about those things. We're not talking about those choices.

So, I think you're going to see Republicans step up as the loyal opposition and try to get some of those issues on the front burner. It's great that we all feel good, but it shouldn't blind us to important choices we have to make.

COOPER: Jamal Simmons, does it surprise you to hear Republicans now talking about deficits and concerns that we're spending, after spending eight years basically unregulated?



When George Bush took office, he was handed a surplus. And that surplus has been turned into a deficit, a long time before we had this particular economic crisis. In fact, perhaps if we had not spent as much money as we spent before, we would be better equipped to deal with the crisis that we face today.

But, you know, these are all issues for -- for Thursday -- for Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Barack Obama's going to have a full plate. He's going to be sort of like a diner at an all-you- can-eat buffet. He will have a full plate to deal with when he gets into the Oval Office.

So, you know, we can enjoy ourselves for the next 14 or 18 hours, and then we will all get back to work.

CASTELLANOS: But if we all agree, Anderson...


COOPER: David Gergen...


COOPER: Go ahead.

CASTELLANOS: No, I was just going to say, Anderson, but if we all agree that George Washington -- that George Bush, not Washington -- I am blinded here by all the -- by the capital, a beautiful evening we have here this evening.

But if we all agree that Republicans got kicked out of office for spending too much for -- and for mismanaging government, then the answer -- you know, is the answer going to be to spend even more? I think that's something you're going to see Republicans talk about in the next few weeks.

COOPER: David Gergen, I want to show our viewers something that happened on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" today with Joe Biden's wife, Jill.

Let's take a look.


JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN: Joe had the choice to be secretary of state or vice president. And I said, "Joe..."



JILL BIDEN: Oh. Well, OK. He did. So...




WINFREY: It's OK. It's OK.


SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: That's right. No, go ahead.

WINFREY: Go ahead.

JILL BIDEN: So I said: "Joe, if you're secretary of state, you will be away. We will never see you. I will see you at a state dinner once in a while."


COOPER: Now, David, as you know, the transition team has already put out a statement essentially saying, you know, what she meant to say was not that he got offered two jobs.

What do you make of this? A, was this just a big mistake that she said it, or do you think it's actually true?



GERGEN: I think both.

(LAUGHTER) GERGEN: You know, sometimes, things that are true are mistakes to say out in public.

And she -- you know, she didn't get the talking points. The talking points got stuck in traffic. The -- the -- and it's -- I think it's an innocent mistake. She has a Ph.D. for goodness' sakes.

But I think it humanizes them. And, you know, maybe Hillary Clinton will take -- will enjoy this, because she can sort of give a little ribbing to Joe Biden if he gets too much in her territory.


GERGEN: But I want to go back to one serious point, Anderson, and that is about, yes, there are going to -- as Alex said, there are going to be points of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats, no question about it.

But the mood of reform is in the air in Washington tonight and all day today. I was over at a big rally for education reform, K-12 reform, today. Here, Al Sharpton, and Arne Duncan being embraced by Newt Gingrich and also by John McCain on the need to reform public education.

We're having CEOs now sit down with environmentalists on the need to deal with global warming. And some CEOs these last few days have been asking for more government regulation. The same thing is happening on health care, where CEOs are asking, let's reform the health care system.

So, I think this is very different from the Bill Clinton inauguration in many, many ways. But one of them is that the need for reform is so palpable, to use the word you used a few moments ago, that I think Republicans are going to join with Democrats if it's sensible reform that conforms with some of their principles. Then, I think there will be a -- a basis for it.

COOPER: Well, we are certainly in unchartered waters in many respects, economically perhaps foremost of all, in terms of the crisis that we are in now. No one alive has seen the crisis that we are in now, and perhaps new solutions are warranted.

We will have more from our panel throughout this two hours that we're on the air tonight.

Up next, though, Dr. King's remarkable prediction of when he thought we would elect our first African-American president. You might be surprised by what he said -- also, how people marked this holiday at his home church in Atlanta.

And, later tonight, Mr. Obama's day in full, from the crowds, to the cold weather, to security, to the celebrations tonight.

And beefed-up security, new preparations, after law enforcement picks up more chatter from white supremacist groups, we will have that later on in our broadcast -- as our coverage continues live from the Washington Mall.



MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Frankly, I have seen certain changes in the United States over the last two years that surprise me. I have seen levels of compliance with the civil rights bill and changes that have been most surprising.

So, on the basis of this, I think we may be able to get a Negro president in less than 40 years. I would think that this could come in 25 years or less.


COOPER: Simply remarkable. That is a rare 1964 interview with Martin Luther King Jr.

As you just heard, the civil rights leader said he believed there would be an African-American president in 25 years or less. Now, that clip comes to us from BBC World News America.

Today, as we honor Dr. King, we look at how his enduring spirit shaped Barack Obama's achievement.

Joe Johns has more.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the eve of history, a day of tribute, and a defining one. In sermons and services across the country, Americans celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the nation reaching back to the past and looking ahead to what will happen on the Capitol steps tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a new president, everybody. We're about to make a change. And, you know, America is going to be different from now on.

JOHNS: It is indisputable that King paved the road Obama will take to the White House.

General Colin Powell sees an inseparable link between the two men.

COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It's a tribute to the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, because this is what it was all about, as far as he was concerned, that people should be judged on the content of their character, and not the color of their skin.

OBAMA: Dr. King used to say, if you sweep floors for a living, then make sure you're the best floor-sweeper there has ever been, all right?

JOHNS: The first African-American elected president of the United States honored the civil rights leader by rolling up his sleeves and helping to paint a teen shelter in Washington, following through on King's pledge for national service and promising to carry the torch.

At King's Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, fulfilling his dream will not end when Obama puts his hand on the Lincoln Bible.

ISAAC NEWTON FARRIS, DIRECTOR, KING CENTER: This great and historic election of Barack Obama is not -- and I will repeat -- is not the realization of the dream of Martin Luther King. The dream was not about an individual or any race of people attaining power.


FARRIS: It is a human dream.


JOHNS: King's hopes taking hold in Obama, and look how far it's come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That gives one insight that, oh, I can really do something with my life; oh, I can dream of becoming president.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: More on Dr. King in the hour ahead.

And despite the security and the cold and the crowds, the crowds just keep on coming. By tomorrow at noon, some two million people may be here to witness history. The exact number, frankly, no one knows at this point.

With them, our Gary Tuchman, who is on the Mall tonight with me.

You have been out here all day talking to people. It's amazing how many people have come literally just from all around the world.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what this reminds me of? This reminds me of -- and I don't mean to be disrespectful to the political process, but it reminds me of New Year's Eve in Times Square, minus the large quantity of alcohol, a lot of anticipation. People are celebrating. People are having a good time.

And it's very refreshing, because, on the campaign trail for months, we were at Obama rallies and Biden rallies and McCain rallies and Palin rallies. And we saw so much venom. And, here, you not only have Obama supporters who are having a great time. You have McCain supporters here, too.

COOPER: Right.

TUCHMAN: Everyone is here to have a good time.

COOPER: It's interesting. You don't hear people talk about politics here. You -- you hear people talk about community. You hear people talk about, you know, the -- the challenges ahead. But it doesn't seem politicized.

TUCHMAN: This is such a celebratory day.

I mean, unlike most democracies, which have parliamentary system, where you never know when a new president or prime minister will be elected, we know that, on January 20, every four years, there will be a party in Washington. And this will be a big party.

COOPER: Just want to talk to some of the folks who are in the crowd with us tonight.

Where -- where -- where have you come from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I come from California.

COOPER: Why did you want to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I love Obama, and I supported him from the beginning, and it was a long road, but we made it.



COOPER: Where are you -- where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from Saint Louis, Missouri.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we live in Chicago. And we have always supported Obama and all the things he represents.

COOPER: What's it like being here? Is it what you expected?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's insane. The crowd, everyone is united. Everyone is just going nuts. They're just happy to be here.

COOPER: It does seem like this real sense of community. And kind of all throughout the day, like, strangers are just talking to each another.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody is helping. We're all together. It's all one. It's going to be a change. You know, we believe in change. Yes, we can!



COOPER: Why did you want to be here? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just for the historical part of it, really, to come out and share and -- with everyone.

COOPER: What -- what does it mean that -- that this comes just the day after the celebration of Dr. King's anniversary, his birth...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's definitely ironic that it did happen around that same time. It means a lot. It's definitely historical. And I'm happy to be here.

COOPER: All right.


COOPER: All right. A lot of people.

How many people are from somewhere else?


COOPER: Just about everybody.

Very few people, it seems, actually from -- a lot of the folks from Washington, D.C., are not out tonight. They're probably at some parties or friends' houses. But these are people who have come from all around the country who just want to be here, and they're trying to spot -- get their best spot on the Mall that they can find.

Coming up, around the clock with Barack Obama -- your handy guide to tomorrow's inaugural events, the minute-by-minute breakdown of what he will be doing and where. That's next.

Also, from the brilliant minds at CNN who brought you the hologram, something new, kind of wild, for the inauguration. We will introduce you to the Photosynth. That is coming up.

And, later, on edge and on alert -- watch as snipers prepare to protect Barack Obama and his family tomorrow.

We will be right back.


COOPER: And welcome back to Washington, D.C., on the cusp of history. Less than 14 hours from the moment when Barack Obama is going to take the oath of office as the 44th president of the United States. There, the scene. The Washington monument. The Capitol behind it. We are in between those two -- two structures. Right here live on the Mall. A crowd of -- maybe about 100 or so people braving these late-night temperatures just to be here. A lot of people still trying to scout out their space on the Mall for tomorrow.

There's actually going to be a security sweep of the Mall later on tonight. So everybody is going to actually have to leave at some point as Secret Service sweeps the entire Mall. It's a two-mile stretch. And then in the morning, early in the morning, it'll be opened up again. The subways will start depositing people here, and it is going to fill up very quickly indeed.

It's going to happen, of course, at noon on the west front of the Capitol. Mr. Obama's historic day, from sunrise and the parade to the last party of the night will be scheduled down to the minute. Tom Foreman got to hold the briefing book. Here's his look at all the details tomorrow.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anderson, inauguration day for thousands of visitors will start at 4 a.m. in the morning. That's when the Mall will open for a land rush from all those people without inaugural tickets, trying to secure spots to watch the swearing in.

For Barack Obama, though, over near the White House, it will start at the much more civilized hour of 11:30. That's when he will go over to St. John's Episcopal Church for a traditional inaugural service.

After that, it's back to the White House for another tradition that's been around for quite some time. He and George Bush will sit down for coffee with their vice presidents and families, again, a tradition that goes back many years.

All this time people will be gathering along the parade route. They may have already filled it up. There will be dignitaries, foreign visitors, that sort of thing, all gathering here at the Capitol, VIPs getting ready for the big moment. And that big moment will be very close when we see this happen.

When Barack Obama and George Bush come out of the White House together and get into a car to ride to the Capitol.

At 11:25 George Bush will be introduced on the podium for the last time as the president. Rick Warren will then give the invocation. Aretha Franklin will sing. And then Joe Biden will be sworn in as the vice president. There will be more music then, by Yo- Yo Ma, among others.

Then the Lincoln Bible will be brought out, and Barack Obama, at high noon, will place his hand on that Bible. He will raise his hand. He will face the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, and he will take the oath and become president. His inaugural address follows. After that a benediction by Joseph Lowry.

And shortly thereafter George Bush will leave. He and his wife, Laura, will get on a helicopter and get out of town while Barack Obama and Joe Biden will go to Statuary Hall to meet with the inaugural committee of Congress, talk over a few things, exchange gifts, talk about the state of the day. That sort of thing.

And then -- then it becomes pure celebration time, because it's time for the parade right down this route. Let's look at our Photosynth over here. We'll give you an idea what that's going to look like. It's going to start at 3:45 in the afternoon. And it's a little more than a mile and a half from the Capitol, where everything's been happening down to the White House. But this could easily take two hours. The new president and his family possibly walking part of the way. Many people expect them to.

Just a point of interest. By the time the Obamas reach the White House, there's a good chance the Bushes will be all the way back in Texas. They can relax, but not the Obamas.

By 7 the inaugural balls will begin. I'm going to walk you back over to the map to take a look at where they are, because they're all over town. The Obamas and the Bidens will go to at least ten of them, where they will dance and they will speak, and the parties could go on quite a long time into the night.

They're at the convention center, Union Station, at the Hilton Hotel, various places. Many, many parties going on. They will have a great time celebrating with many celebrities who are also in town. But there will be no celebrity bigger than Barack Obama who sometime, very late, will go to sleep in his new hometown of Washington, D.C., as the 44th president of the United States -- Anderson.


COOPER: What a day it is going to be. And for folks who are trying to figure out where they want to go, you either stay here at the Mall or you pick the parade route. You're not going to be able to run from one to the other.

For tonight, the National Mall is still swarming with people. A lot of people walking around, a lot of people here with me right now as they await this historic event. It is also an unprecedented security situation, perhaps the greatest show of force for an inauguration. We're up close with a sniper team, coming up next.

And later, trading places. As the families swap, the frantic dance at the White House, as the Bushes move out and the Obamas move in.

Now more from the concert on the Mall that happened here yesterday. Here's, Herbie Hancock and Sheryl Crow with "One Love," thanks to our friends at HBO.





COOPER: A view of the west front of the Capitol here in Washington, D.C. An extraordinary night. Literally on the cusp of history. Tomorrow's inauguration is going to include, of course, speeches and bands, an army of law enforcement officials, and what is considered the largest security presence for any event ever in the United States. There's going to be 10,000 National Guardsman, 8,000 cops patrolling the festivities; 58 federal, state and local agencies are also going to be on guard.

And consider this. The FBI is deploying four times the resources it did for the last inauguration. Their mission, of course, is simple. Their assignment immense, especially for the snipers.

Jeanne Meserve has more.



JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They shoot with great accuracy at great distances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hit! Right on! Hit!

MESERVE: And call it a blend of art and science. They are the counter snipers of the U.S. Secret Service.

MARK SULLIVAN, DIRECTOR, U.S. SECRET SERVICE: They're very good. And I would put them among the best in the world at what they -- what they do.

MESERVE: The counter snipers consider themselves the most elite unit in the uniformed Secret Service. Nine weeks of intense training turns them into Olympic quality shooters. They have to requalify monthly. Standards are so high, half of the officers accepted for training wash out.


MESERVE: Each counter sniper uses a rifle customized for his height and arm length. They work in two-man teams. Though both are expert marksman. Only one shoots at a time. The other gauges the wind which can change a bullet's trajectory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hit. Right in the forehead.

LT. BERNARD HALL, COUNTER SNIPER UNIT: There are different methods. Smoke from chimneys, undulations and the mirage from heat, from trees, flag poles.

MESERVE: When a president is going to move along a public route, the counter snipers scout it out to assess the threat and find good vantage points for themselves.

On inauguration day some will position themselves on rooftops with a view of the parade route, the crowd and other buildings where snipers could be hiding. The cold will be biting. But the counter snipers can wear lightweight gloves, and they have tricks for keeping mental focus no matter what the weather.

HALL: When it's hot in the summer we think about the cold days in January. And then in January we're thinking about what's happening in august.


COOPER: Jeanne, there's also reports about increased chatter from white supremacist groups. What are you hearing about that?

MESERVE: Well, you don't have to have a Phi Beta Kappa key to know white supremacists are not going to be happy with the election or the inauguration of Barack Obama. And they have picked up more chatter, more talk on white supremacist Web sites.

But what the FBI is really looking for is action: either people doing something or people with the capability. They have not seen that. However, in the same breath, they'll tell you what they're worried about most is a lone wolf or a small group that's very hard to detect.

COOPER: A lone wolf, a single individual going out there?

MESERVE: That's right. Or a very small group of people. It's hard to pick up anything in that instance. That's what officials say they're most afraid of here.

COOPER: All right. Well, it is -- it's a massive outlay of security. And the city has never been safer. So let's hope for the best.

MESERVE: Absolutely.

COOPER: Jeanne, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

While millions of Americans are watching the inauguration, behind the scenes of the White House, a stressed-out moving team is actually going to be racing against the clock to get the White House ready for the new first family. It's basically a logistical nightmare.

Coming up, what it takes to pull it off and some past moving days that, well, had a few glitches.

And we'll also check in on one of the parties going on right now. This one at the museum known as the Newseum. It's a party, I think, from the Huffington Post. But frankly, we're having a much better party out here on the Mall.




MICHELLE OBAMA, WIFE OF BARACK OBAMA: But you don't need to wear a uniform to serve this country. You know that, right? We all have something incredible to contribute to the life of this nation. And kids, this means you, too. Right?


COOPER: Michelle Obama speaking at the Verizon Center here in Washington on the eve of her husband's inauguration.

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office at noon tomorrow less than 14 hours from now, millions are going to be watching. We all know that. Here on the Mall, there are going to be -- millions more are going to be glued to television screams around the world, billions, really, around the world.

Back to the White House, though, it's fascinating. An entirely different drama that's going to be playing out tomorrow. Tomorrow is moving day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And the people in charge have just a few hours to move the Bushes out and the new first family in. It's sort of the ultimate house swap on deadline.

Randi Kaye has a closer look.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, by 10:45 in the morning on inauguration day, President Bush will leave the White House for good. That's when the chief usher and his staff swoop in to turn the 132-room mansion into the Obamas' new home. And they have just six hours to do it.

GARY WALTERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF USHER: Have each one of the people...

KAYE (voice-over): Organized chaos is how this former White House chief usher describes moving day. Before he retired in 2007, Gary Walters helped coordinate the moves of six presidents, including Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43.

WALTERS: It's a choreograph. It's like a ballet.

KAYE: For the chief usher and a SWAT team of about 90 staffers every second counts. By the time the Obamas return from the inaugural parade, the White House has to feel like home.

WALTERS: their clothes are in their closets. Their personal effects are in the bathroom. Their favorite foods are in the kitchen. The girls' rooms have been transformed into something that they're comfortable with. We break the staff down almost minute to minute in their activities.

KAYE: Florists, art curators, carpenters all pitch in.

(on camera) The Bushes have known for years they'd be moving, so most of their belongings are already out. But still, with only two small elevators in the White House residence, getting the Obamas in won't be easy.

Walls need to be painted, carpet changed, paintings hung, books set on shelves. Staff members only eat at scheduled times so the work never ends.

(voice-over) The chief usher works closely with the first lady before the big day. Walters helped Hillary Clinton choose wallpaper.

But even a dance as well-choreographed as this one isn't always perfect. In 1993, Walters lost his voice and had to write all directions on a notepad. When Bill Clinton arrived, he welcomed him with a whisper.

That same year, Mrs. Clinton's inaugural ball gown disappeared during the move.

WALTERS: There was a rather frightful time for about 15 minutes until we located the dress.

KAYE: And on inauguration day 1989, Bush 41's granddaughter surprised the White House staff by showing up two and a half hours early, in the middle of the move.

(on camera) This year, if all goes smoothly, the Obamas will never know of the chaos that preceded their arrival at the White House. The chief usher will meet Barack Obama at the door and offer a simple greeting: "Welcome, Mr. President, to your new home."


KAYE: And Anderson, now we've moved from the White House to the Newseum, which is in downtown Washington, D.C. This is a star-studded event, the Huffington Post ball. There are about 2,000 people here.

And I can tell you, among the celebrities here, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Affleck. They're about ten feet away from me right now on that side. But very unwilling to talk on camera tonight. They just want to enjoy themselves. Sharon Stone was here. Jamie Lee Curtis is here. Larry David, Don King, a whole bunch of other celebrities. Tom Hanks is also expected.

Now, what's interesting about this, you probably see that giant computer behind me. This is the first ever interactive ball. So people can log on at home and talk to people like the rest of us who are here at this ball, actually. So that's pretty cool.

Great lineup for tonight. At midnight it's going to sound like New Year's Eve. At 11:30 Sheryl Crow will perform. And shortly after that,, who did that wonderful video for Barack Obama, he'll perform a duet with Sting. And then, at midnight Sting will perform on his own.

So much more to come here from the Newseum, Anderson. We'll see you a little bit later on in the show.

COOPER: All right. Randi -- Randi, thanks. The real party, though, is happening still on the Mall, I've got to say.

We were just -- Randi Kaye was just over at one of those fancy balls at the Huffington Post. Would you rather be at some fancy party or right here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right here with you, Cooper.

COOPER: You came -- you came all the way from California, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inglewood, California, Long Beach and Sacramento.

COOPER: All right. You guys having fun out here? Having a great time?

We're going to have a lot more from the Mall coming up.

And right after this break, we're going to show you a remarkable film made by director Antoine Fuqua. It's a look back at Dr. Martin Luther King and a look forward at Barack Obama. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Coming up only on CNN, filmmaker Antoine Fuqua's moving tribute, "From MLK to Today." But first, Erica Hill joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: ... U.S. Airways plane forced to land in the Hudson River last Thursday may have had engine problems two days earlier when flying the same route.

On Tuesday passengers aboard Flight 1549 tell CNN that they heard that day a series of loud bangs about 20 minutes after takeoff. And were told the plane would have to make an emergency landing. That did not happen. In fact, instead the plane landed safely in Charlotte, North Carolina.

U.S. Airways would not confirm that plane was the same one that crash-landed on the Hudson River but did say it is looking into the report.

On his last full day in office President Bush granted early prison releases to two former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed illegal immigrant and trying to cover it up. They were sentenced to more than ten years. They will be released now within two months.

And snow in the inauguration forecast. Scattered flurries expected in Washington with a high of 30 and a low of 19, Anderson. Nice and toasty.

COOPER: Don't wave, don't wave. Erica, thanks very much. I was just encouraging the crowd not to wave. People just look foolish when they wave.

HILL: It makes them happy.

COOPER: Erica, Barack Obama is now almost -- well, everyone's having a good time. But there's just no need to wave. Anyway, just a pet peeve of mine. Just 13 hours or so from becoming the nation's first African-American president.

Martin Luther King Day doesn't always fall the day before the presidential inauguration. The timing this year seems almost poetic, framing how far we've come as a nation.

We recently asked film director Antoine Fuqua to make a short film about that journey. We weren't sure what he would say. Luckily, he agreed. His latest action thriller, "Brooklyn's Finest," is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. But before he flew off to Utah, he wrapped up "From MLK to Today." Take a look.


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was but 26 years old when he led a bus boycott in Montgomery to mobilize the movement. It's a powerful reminder of the debt that we all owe to those who marched for us and fought for us and stood up on our behalf. The sacrifices that were made for us by those we never knew are the giants whose shoulders I stand on here today.

It is that American spirit, that American promise that pushes us forward even when the past is uncertain, that binds us together in spite of our differences, that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen. That better place around the bend. A promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west. A promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.

It is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington before Lincoln's memorial and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there, could have heard many things. They could have heard words of anger and discord. They could have been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred. What the people heard instead, people of every creed and color, from every walk of life, is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked, that together our dreams can be one.

God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.


COOPER: Inspiring words in a very inspiring place on this remarkable historic night.

Up next, "The Shot." You've probably seen the hat that goes around with our Bill Schneider attached to it. Coming up, the other hats that top it and the CNNers who wear them. A hat retrospective coming up, something to make you smile as we head toward our next hour.

At the top of the hour awaiting history, we are live on the National Mall for the latest on tomorrow's inauguration of Barack Obama and all the things that are happening right now throughout Washington tonight. We'll be right back.


COOPER: All right, Erica. Time for "The Shot." It's cold here, so we really shouldn't do this. But we've been taking a close look at some of the hats that have been worn on CNN today and throughout the weekend.

There's Don Lemon with his take on the classic fedora. Stylish, very dapper.

HILL: That's Don (ph).

COOPER: Something I frankly cannot get away with it, or any hat.

Next, we have Bill Schneider, who I believe is wearing some sort of woolly mammoth skin on top of his head. It also seems to be bunching up around his collar. As anyone knows, Bill is a serious hat man. Must have his own milliner.

Moving on to CNN analyst Roland Martin. He's got a wide brim. And as you can see, Roland has donned ear muffs for the occasion. Not sure if they actually match, though Erica.

And finally, Zain Verjee with the "I didn't look in the mirror before I went on camera" hat.

HILL: I think you're just jealous of all this head gear, because you won't wear one and you're freezing.

COOPER: That's true. I -- yes, I just can't -- I just haven't found the right hat yet.

HILL: I'm thinking a baseball hat, Cooper. You can pull it off. Just get one with ear flaps.

COOPER: Not really, no.

HILL: And by the way, I don't think...

COOPER: It interferes with my toupee. I don't want to...

HILL: That would be terrible.

I have to call you out on something, by the way. I don't think you should be a fun-squasher to the people behind you. If they want to wave to Mom, she's probably getting a kick out of it.

COOPER: OK, OK. All right.

HILL: That's my two cents. I'll leave you now.

COOPER: All right. Coming up at the top of the hour -- hey, everyone's free to wave.

In the next hour, the president-elect tonight and what happens moment by moment tomorrow as he becomes the 44th president of the United States. We'll be right back.