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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama Makes Sweeping Changes with Executive Orders; Caroline Kennedy Drops Out of Senate Bid; On Board Air Force One
Aired January 22, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
Tonight: President Obama making sweeping changes when it comes to torture and fighting terror in the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Also tonight, the economy in crisis, worst than we thought: mass layoff for the first time ever at Microsoft. Some of the worst employment figures in decades; massive new challenges for the Obama administration. The question tonight, can they deliver?
Also a political shocker, Caroline Kennedy says she doesn't want to be senator. The mystery is why. We've got some possibilities
And a perk of being President: tonight Barack Obama goes on board the plane the world knows as Air Force One. We'll give you an inside look at his maiden voyage.
First though, President Obama, who today began unraveling nearly eight years of policies since the 9/11 attacks. Un-writing with the stroke of a pen eight years of controversial procedures for handling terror suspects and keeping them locked up initially beyond the reach of the law trying -- he believes to undo some of the damage done to America's standing in the world.
Now, others disagree about both the diagnosis and the new treatment. Tonight you can decide for yourself.
The facts from Ed Henry.
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Day three, and President Barack Obama is staying on message signing three Executive Orders striking right at the heart of Former President Bush's approach to the war on terror.
Including a ban on the use of torture, and a demand the U.S. Military Prison Camp at Guantanamo Bay be closed within one year.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The message that we are sending around the world is that the United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism, and we are going to do so vigilantly. We are going to do so effectively and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals.
HENRY: But Mr. Obama did not take any questions from reporters about what will happen to the prison's 245 terror suspects.
OBAMA: No comment. We're not doing a Q and A.
HENRY: He left that task to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs who in his first White House briefing said the administration is still working on a plan.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: One of the things that the Executive Order does is begin the process whereby the current administration can examine what exactly is going on and who exactly is there.
HENRY (on camera): And so these are terror suspects and the American people are hearing Washington is going to study it. They're going to find out for a few more months what do we do with the detainees?
(voice-over): Actually, it's day three for an administration anxious to show it's also all over the financial crisis. Gibbs revealing the President is now getting an economic daily briefing prepared with the same care as the President's vaunted daily intelligence briefing.
GIBBS: The President asked that this be added each day to his schedule as the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and an economic emergency.
HENRY: There are other tough questions, such as whether the President is violating the spirit of one of his own executive orders.
OBAMA: If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on.
HENRY: But the President recently nominated William Lynn, a lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon, to be Deputy Defense Secretary. With some fellow Democrats suggesting the nomination maybe in trouble, Gibbs said the White House wants to make an exception.
GIBBS: The President believes that -- as these experts do -- there are a very limited number of waivers --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not (INAUDIBLE) a revolving door, though.
HENRY: The president paying an unannounced visit to the White House briefing room later on was pleased with his spokesman's first day.
OBAMA: I'm very proud of him today. And he got a fist bump from me.
HENRY: Gibbs is from Alabama, so he can side-step tough questions with southern charm, which may be exactly what the President wants.
COOPER: Ed, President Obama really on pretty much of a whirl wind unraveling previous Bush administration policies. What happens tomorrow?
HENRY: Tomorrow he's going to bring Republicans in here for the first time as President, meeting with Congressional leadership in both parties and really try to push that economic recovery plan through the Congress.
The Republicans have been raising a lot of objections to the price tag and some of the details. But it's slowly making progress on the Hill and starting to get through to some committees.
So they're confident that while he's been pushing through these executive orders, largely on national security, that meanwhile on the Hill he's getting slowly but surely what he wants on this recovery package. And he hopes to give it a push here tomorrow at this meeting -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Ed Henry at the White House. Thanks, Ed, on that.
Now we learned this afternoon that the Senate plans a Monday vote on Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary. Now, the Senate Finance Committee today, voting 18 to 5 to recommend confirmation. If, as the Obama's administration says, the economy is riding on his confirmation, it can't happen too soon.
Today brought another waive of deeply troubling news, including mass layoffs for the first time ever at Microsoft. We're talking about "Your Money and Your Future" big worries.
And as always Ali Velshi is with us; Ali, we learned today that the number of people filing for unemployment hit a 26-year high last week. Any indication that things are getting any better?
ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, there were some suspicions that January would be tough Anderson, as companies sort of do their laying off ahead of the fiscal year.
But look at that number, 589,000 people lining up last week as President Obama was getting ready to take his new job, these folks were filing for unemployment claims for the first time. And can you imagine that almost 600,000 a week. That's up 62,000 from the week before.
But let's talk about these layoffs. Microsoft has had layoffs before but never this kind of layoffs, never this size. Microsoft is like the electrical company or the water company, it sells something everybody needs.
Look at these companies, this wall is not big enough for the list of companies that have announced worldwide layoffs this week alone. Three working days this week: Intel, 6,000 people; Microsoft 5,000 people; Ericsson 5,000 people; Williams Sonoma, 1,400 people; they're closing stores. So many of these, you know what the total is for three days so far Anderson? More than 30,000 layoffs have been announced this week alone and we're not done with the week yet, Anderson.
COOPER: The job losses put even more pressure on the President to pass the stimulus package. He's already getting political roadblocks in pushing it through. You say it's all centered on this decades-old debate. How so?
VELSHI: Yes, and it's really is the oldest debate in the book about what you do. Everybody understands that money can ultimately solve an economic problem, but where does the money go? There are two sorts of ways of looking at it -- I'll tell you to our viewers out there it's a massive oversimplification.
But let me tell you, the one way is that money comes from the top. You cut taxes on the wealthy, you cut taxes on major corporations, people who saved the money that they would otherwise be paying on taxes or companies that save that money reinvest it in the system. They create factories, they create jobs, they create employment opportunities and that's how the economy ultimately gets repaired.
The other way of looking at things is that you take that money from the bottom up. You've seen the e-mails from our viewers saying, why don't they just divide up that $800 billion and give everybody a check. And you put that money into the hands of consumers. Maybe it's a check, maybe its tax cut, maybe it's a jobs program and maybe its employment benefits that are extended or cobra benefits and people then have a little more money and they start spending it. And that's how the economy gets fixed.
Do you do it from the top, or do you do it from the bottom? This administration is actually looking like it's coming up with a recovery plan that's going to do a bit of each. Probably a little bit more bottom up than top down, maybe about 60/30 or something like that, but that looks like what they're going to try.
It's never been tried that way before, Anderson, and we're just hoping that that's not $800 billion that starts to dissipate through the system.
COOPER: All right, Ali Velshi, thanks very much.
We're talking about "Your Money and Your Future." Let us know what you think about it all. What's on your mind tonight, join the live chat happening now at ac360.com. And check out Erica Hill's live Webcast also during the break.
Up next, though "Digging Deeper" on the economic storm clouds President Obama must now face with our panel: David Gergen, John Ridley and Ed Rollins.
Also, tonight the mystery of why Caroline Kennedy decided she didn't want to be Senator. And the conflicting reports about whether New York's governor even planned to offer the job to her.
Then Mr. Obama onboard Air Force One for the first time. What it was like for him on board the plane that will be his for the next four years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I've to say you're out of central casting. You're exactly what I want the pilot of Air Force One to look like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: President Obama on inauguration day. New photos we saw today for the first time from "Time" magazine. Behind the scenes: a few quiet moments before the event that someone called "Woodstock" without the mud. The family scenes and time with daughters Malia and Sasha, the only two daughters in the land who can bring a note from dad into school and excusing them from just about anything. Practicing the oath for the soon to be First Lady for all the good it did a short time later, though -- we're told that Chief Justice Roberts also practiced for weeks.
We'll be showing you more of these remarkable photos shortly. And the photographer who took them gives us a rare behind the scenes account of what the Obamas are really like. That's later on tonight.
But first the actual hard work, a lot to talk about. Let's "Dig Deeper" with senior political analyst, David Gergen; National Public Radio commentator and founding editor of That Minority Thing.com, John Ridley; and GOP strategist, Ed Rollins.
David, you heard in Ed Henry's report that President Obama is going to be getting a daily economic briefing similar to the daily intelligence briefing that Presidents always get. You've worked in four White Houses. Is this unprecedented? I mean, do Presidents normally get a daily economic briefing?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Never happened before, to my knowledge. And I think it's a very good move. But he'll also get from Larry Summers who is going to be conducting these briefings, a written summary of the events he gets from the CIA is unclear. But that daily briefing will focus him on economic issues at a time when many around him think, Anderson, that amidst all this joy that the clouds are darkening very rapidly on the economy.
They're worried that the unemployment numbers, the number of jobless is actually going to increase over what it was the last three months; 500,000 a month loss over the last three months. They worry it's going to go up higher than that.
They had a bad report from the Congressional Budget Office yesterday that said their stimulus plan for spending on infrastructure actually less than half of that money will be spent in the next couple of years or so. But most of it will go out pretty late. COOPER: A lot of these projects aren't shovel-ready and may not be shovel-ready until 2010.
GERGEN: Right, and that's one of the things Republicans are going to press in that meeting tomorrow with him and early next week. They think we ought to go for more tax cuts and fewer of these infrastructure projects. The Democrats don't think that's a wise way to go. So he's in -- and beyond that, there is this -- we're in this grip of an international set of questions about banks both in the United Kingdom and United States are growing questions. Whether the banks are weakening so rapidly that they might have to be nationalized.
That would come at enormous cost and would be an enormous intervention by the U.S. government. So there is an awful lot just piling up for him right now.
COOPER: Ed, how hard are Republicans is going to be pushing back on the stimulus plan?
ED ROLLINS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think they're going to push very hard. I think obviously, they're not in a position to where they can control any part of this process. But I think at this point in time there are certain things they believe very deeply, and tax cuts is one of the them.
They want to make sure the public's money is not being wasted. And I think he biggest problem now is we're not sure, there's a -- obviously there's a lot of smart people in the White House the President has brought in there. There's a lot of different plans and there's not one plan. And I think to a certain extent people are worried about do we spend all this money and it doesn't work.
COOPER: John, that's what's so scary for so many of people out there. No one really seems to know what to do and no one seems to really have a grip on what has already been done, where the money that's been spent, where it went and why.
JOHN RIDLEY, NPR COMMENTATOR: Well, I think you bring up a really good point, Anderson. What people don't know. I mean, remember, it wasn't that long ago President Bush famously admitted he didn't know the price of a gallon of gasoline had gone up to nearly $4 a gallon.
So the fact that Barack Obama is going to be briefed obviously as David point out on a lot of the big issues but sometimes a little bread and butter issues. Part of this is communicating to the folks -- again things are probably going to get worse before they get better, but you want to know that the leader of the country understands that they're getting worse and exactly where they're getting worse.
COOPER: David, let's talk about the banks. Because you know while a lot of us were focusing on the inauguration, you suddenly look at the Bank of America stock, which was -- I think it had a high this year sort of like 45 or so. It's now down to five and change. JP Morgan Chase, all these banks which were supposedly the safe banks suddenly seems to be almost in penny stock territory.
GERGEN: That's the worry, Anderson. And they do need more capital, and the question is where do you get it? The credit markets are really -- it's very hard to raise that money now with the stock down so much. It's very hard to go to investors and ask them to pour more money into equities or any kind of stock like that.
And so the government becomes the case of last resort. Well, the government already has a lot of money into this, but if they have to go and nationalize it, what that would mean is the government would completely run the banks like Bank of America and Citi. That's a big, huge step.
Other countries have done this, gotten in, and then sort of denationalized. But if you nationalize two banks, as one expert told me that if you nationalized two of the main banks, how do the other banks compete against a government-owned bank, which is offering money at one percent? How does JP Morgan Chase compete against that?
It puts a lot of pressure on for the government then to nationalize a number of big banks. And that's very expensive and has its own perils. So when Paul Volcker said yesterday we may be looking at trillions of dollars in government spending, grants, loans, guarantees, there are a lot of people now waking up and say, this could get a lot more expensive than we ever thought, and we don't know if it will work.
That's the real fear.
COOPER: Let's talk about Guantanamo Bay briefly. Ed, Republican lawmakers pushing back on the notion of not just closing down Guantanamo and bringing those detainees to be housed somewhere in the United States, saying essentially it's a national security issue.
ROLLINS: Well, listen, there's plenty of places we could house 250 people. There are lots of prisons and there's lots of isolated places. I think that's a moot issue. This President promised he was going to do it, and he did it. He got 9.5 million votes than John McCain. So he's entitled to do what he said he is going to do.
I think it's a red herring. I think there's other issues that are far more significant than to shutting that thing down.
COOPER: John, when you hear people say it's a national security issue, do you buy that?
RIDLEY: No, I don't. I think you've already got an individual like Ramzi Yousef, who is locked up in Florence, Colorado. Obviously, we're talking about more people here, but we've gone from 775 prisoners down to about 260-some in the last eight years.
I think more importantly as Ed pointed out, Barack Obama is doing something. He's forcing everybody to deal with this issue. So in a year from now we'll get rid of hopefully the rest of these individuals, let's not pretend they're not bad actors but already as Bob Gates said today you've got Europe that's willing to pitch in and try to repatriate or in some way deal with these individuals.
And that's what we need now is international cooperation. This move is helping to do that.
COOPER: We're going to have from John Ridley, Ed --
COOPER: David, yes go ahead.
GERGEN: I just want to add, briefly, this connects actually to the economic issue. Barack Obama has been making a point there's a lack of confidence in the country. If he can -- by following through on his campaign promises, create confidence in the government, maybe it can make people more confident about the economic future and help to get the economic wheels moving again.
COOPER: And confidence is the key to a lot of this.
David Gergen, Ed Rollins and John Ridley, we're going to have more from you throughout this hour.
A reminder, David is also blogging for us. You can see his latest post -- that's a good one and it's on the economic crisis that's right now on the Web site ac360.com.
Up next: why Caroline Kennedy took herself out of consideration for Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat. Conflicting reports. We'll try to sort the facts from the fiction.
Also Mrs. Clinton takes charge of the State Department, and the President comes calling.
And later, more from that remarkable behind the scenes photo essay, the Obama's Inauguration Day almost as they saw it, tonight on "360."
COOPER: Big news out of New York tomorrow. That's when the Governor will reveal his choice to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat. And we now know it will not be Caroline Kennedy, she abruptly ended her bid just after midnight this morning.
The question reporters have been trying to figure out is why did she do this and exactly what happened? Was it her idea or the governor's?
There are conflicting reports -- Candy Crowley has all the latest "Raw Politics."
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: December's intention...
CAROLINE KENNEDY, DAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: I feel this commitment. This is a time when nobody can afford to sit out.
CROWLEY: ... has turned into January's circus, as Caroline Kennedy makes a messy exit from the pool of people who want Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The chaos around her withdrawal is consistent with the chaos around the way she pursued her perspective candidacy.
CROWLEY: As late as yesterday afternoon Caroline, the daughter of Camelot, was said to be asking aides for briefing papers. By early evening, sources revealed she didn't want the senate seat anymore. Some close aides and friends were startled. An aide to New York Governor David Paterson who will make the selection said he hadn't spoken with her.
By late evening there were reports it was all a misunderstanding and Kennedy still wanted the job. Shortly after midnight Caroline Kennedy issued a written statement pulling out.
ZIMMERMAN: I think her campaign was severely undercut by aides who really were more enablers than they were advisers.
CROWLEY: But the next chapter in bizarro world is nasty. A source close to the New York governor's office suggests Kennedy backed off because of a nanny and tax problem. We do know, said the source, she is mired in some potentially embarrassing issues."
The 51-year-old Kennedy previously denied any nanny or tax problems but even worse rumors keep New York's political elite abuzz. Trying to silence the speculation, a Kennedy spokesperson said she withdrew for personal reasons and called any other suggestions mudslinging.
Governor Paterson's office backed that up with a statement saying, no information has surfaced to disqualify any candidate, and speculation to the contrary is both inaccurate and inappropriate.
But it doesn't end. A source close to Paterson says the governor was not going to pick Kennedy anyway because her debut on the political scene was often naive and incoherent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caroline, why did you decide after decades of very private life to know going to the public spotlight?
KENNEDY: Well, you know, I --
CROWLEY: Why would he pick her, said the source, given how badly she handled herself in recent weeks? Kennedy's popularity among New Yorkers faded over time, but team Caroline insists there wasn't a hint the governor wasn't going to pick her.
There is one clear thing now. Caroline Kennedy will not step into the U.S. Senate seat once held by her uncle Bobby Kennedy. New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is said to be the current fave. Governor Paterson holds a news conference tomorrow. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Candy, you and I were e-mailing a lot about this last night, trying to figure out what was going on. How did this become such a mess?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, first of all, there's sort of the New York element to this. New York politics is combat sport mixed with Broadway musical. It's just sort of crazy up there.
And there's also the fact -- I think Caroline Kennedy, remember just as she was being raised by her mother, the whole point of the way the mother took them away from the spotlight and made it very private was she wanted private lives for them. And that's how Caroline has conducted her life.
Suddenly she was thrown into -- from a very private person into a very public spotlight. It really hurt her, I think, that there weren't people around her. She never -- that really helped her. She didn't seem prepared.
You have the governor's office. He was not well-served, I think, by some of those who are around him.
So you have two communications departments that really, I think, fell short for their principals, but in the end it's always about the people in charge, and that would be Governor Paterson and Caroline Kennedy, both of whom seem to have made mistakes that certainly made this a lot more of a circus than it needed to be.
COOPER: And we'll be hearing more tomorrow. Candy thanks.
Next, Hillary Clinton's first full day as Secretary of State. We'll show you the reception she received at the State Department and what new message she is sending to the world. That is coming up.
And later, jetting with the president. Climb aboard Air Force One as Barack Obama meets the crew and orders up some food for the first time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Do you have like salad or vegetables --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes sir, no fries or anything like that?
OBAMA: I'll still take the fries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There isn't anything that I can get done from the seventh floor or the President can get done from the Oval Office unless we make clear we are all on the American team.
We are not any longer going to tolerate the kind of divisiveness that has paralyzed and undermined our ability to get things done for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Strong words from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the nation's chief diplomat now on her first day at work taking a shot at the old regime. Secretary Clinton promised to -- in her words -- use defense, diplomacy and development for America's foreign policy and foreign security.
And the work got under way in a hurry with President Obama on hand to make two big announcements.
Jill Dougherty reports.
STEVE KASHKETT, AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION: We are thrilled to have you here.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rock star excitement hits the buttoned-down State Department as Hillary Clinton starts her first day as secretary telling staff America's new smart-power policy needs smart people.
CLINTON: I want you to give me the best advice you can. I want you to understand there is nothing that I welcome more than a good debate. And the kind of dialogue that will make us better.
DOUGHERTY: Even President Obama showed up to welcome her...
OBAMA: I've given you an early gift. Hillary Clinton.
DOUGHERTY: ... letting his secretary of state announce they're drafting two foreign policy heavyweights, Former Senator George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East...
GEORGE MITCHELL, SPECIAL ENVOY FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE: There is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended.
DOUGHERTY: ... and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The message was unmistakable: U.S. diplomacy is back.
OBAMA: We can no longer afford drift and we can no longer afford delay nor can we cede ground to those who seek destruction.
DOUGHERTY: The president wasted no time diving into volatile issues pointing to what he called a new era of American leadership.
OBAMA: The United States will not torture.
DOUGHERTY: Alongside the president a snapshot of his foreign policy brain trust, including the vice president; each with strong ideas and big egos.
DOUGHERTY: Hillary Clinton has her own strong ideas and her challenge will be getting them heard by the man who has the last word, President Barack Obama.
Jill Dougherty, CNN, the State Department.
COOPER: Some big names with long resumes in dealing with the hotspots were appointed today by President Obama. Special diplomatic envoys, as you just heard. George Mitchell, the former senator is going to be tackling the Middle East; Richard Holbrooke will be the special U.S. envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Joining me again, David Gergen, John Ridley and Ed Rollins.
Ed, we have George Mitchell, you have Richard Holbrooke and Hillary Clinton; a lot of big egos. How does that all balance out?
ROLLINS: Well, Mitchell's no conflicts that can't be resolved. The first conflicts are all right there.
COOPER: Really? You think so?
ROLLINS: Well, it's because they are big -- David and I lived in a White House that was pretty well divided, and at the end of the day, the president was forced to make decisions because of different viewpoints and it worked.
Here you have a lot of talent, but you've got a lot of world carved up. You have now two very powerful men: one used to be the majority leader of the United States senate and one basically the U.N. Ambassador and was an assistant secretary. They have a separate access to the president.
The secretary of state is going to have scramble pretty hard and the national security adviser, Commandant Jones, is going to have a very tough job of being the referee.
COOPER: I want David to be able to weigh in on this. He's worked in the White House and also John. But we want to do that after the break.
When we come back, we'll talk more about that and also talk about what hotspots are going to be on the agenda first and what's going to be the test for the president right away.
Imagine what it's like to fly on Air Force One. A new documentary shows you all the perks plus what it was like the day Obama was first welcomed on board shortly before taking office.
Fresh pictures tonight from that harrowing landing in the Hudson River last week of US Airways Flight 1549.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The inheritance of our young century demands a new era of American leadership. We must recognize America's strength comes not just from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth but from our enduring values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Those values are going to be put to the test in short order by multiple foreign crises, many in perennial hotspots like the Middle East. Let's dig deeper with David Gergen, John Ridley and Ed Rollins.
David, where do you think priority number one is: Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, the list goes on and on.
GERGEN: I think -- it is. I think they're having a very hard time sorting that out. But in appointing these two envoys today, I think they made ideal appointments.
George Mitchell has a record of listening closely and finding common ground and helping people mediate what appear to be irreconcilable conflicts as he did in helping to bring peace in Northern Ireland. Dick Holbrooke is known as the guy who can knock heads together, very tough, very and forceful but can bring peace that way as he did in Bosnia.
You have two different kind of personalities but I think well situated for the tasks at hand. Mitchell in the Middle East, where impartiality is going to be very important, so that the Arab world respects the negotiator from the U.S. Holbrooke in Afghanistan and Pakistan, an issue he's long been concerned about, he's been calling it Af-Pak -- the Af-Pak problem.
I think these are two strong personalities but they illustrate that you can't choose one or the other as a party. You have to hit them both quickly. To do that today to get Barack Obama to come over to the state department and have Hillary Clinton embrace the Foreign Service which has felt neglected and marginalized over the last few years.
This gets them off to a strong start. Are the problems almost impossible to fix? Probably so, but they have the best people working on them.
COOPER: John, it's interesting. Obama spoke on the situation in Gaza today, really for the first time since taking office, and he called on Palestinians to halt rocket attacks for Israelis to complete the -- to pull out their ground forces. He seems to be kind of keeping in line with the strategy and trying to play things pretty much down the middle. In a situation like Israel and Palestinian situation, is that going to work?
RIDLEY: That's going to be tough to try to play that down the middle and try to get some kind of consensus. I think for a large part of the Palestinian population, they felt that they have not been listened to. It's one thing to prove that you're listening to individuals but you have got to get some payback for that.
You've seen the rocket attacks continue despite the fact that Israel years ago had moved back from those territories. So we have got to know that -- if we're going to listen to them -- I was going to say appear to listen to them, but we're trying to do -- what are they going to do for us? It's not enough to seem as though you're impartial. But if you're impartial, what are you getting for your efforts?
COOPER: And where does Joe Biden fit into all this? He went on that whirlwind tour of some of the hotspots. He certainly has a ton of foreign policy experience.
ROLLINS: He certainly does. He is going to have the toughest role of all because he's not second in command. He doesn't have a portfolio. What he has is a lot of experience, and when his voice is heard, which means he has to do a lot of listening, but when his voice is heard, it has to be an important voice and it has to be one that adds something new to the talent.
The other part, I think, is the secretary of state who is obviously very, very powerful has two very powerful players who report to the White House; they don't report to her. She has to be very careful of the turf battles.
And they have to somehow work together as a team. If they can, they'll be a very powerful team. If they can't, they'll create great chaos.
COOPER: David, do personalities and personality clashes really play such a big role? If they have different portfolios, Holbrooke and Mitchell, what does it matter that they have big personalities?
GERGEN: Well, because they can get into conflicts. We've seen famous conflicts in the past often between the state department, say, and the White House. Al Hague at the state department under Ronald Reagan had huge conflicts with the White House, and eventually he resigned under a lot of pressure. Colin Powell, as much as he was admired by the American people because he embraced the Foreign Service. There was a sense in the Bush White House that he was not one of them. That he was running a separate government, and they didn't listen to him in the way they should have.
You see this through a variety of administrations. I think Ed Rollins is right. Trying to get these personalities straight is important. There is a closeness here, Biden, Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell, and Dick Holbrooke, all of them are close to each other. They all have a lot of respect for each other. Barack Obama is one who's new to this team, but he's bringing them in to be around him. It's a very fascinating thing. Whether it will work I don't think -- I think, Ed, that Mitchell and Holbrooke have to be reporting into the state department, too. It won't work otherwise.
ROLLINS: It won't work, I agree with that totally, David. I think in fairness -- equally as important, the president has to show the secretary of state -- they have to have a common ground together, and they had some conflict in the course of the campaign, and I think that's a very important -- that may be a great, long weekend at Camp David that they come out of there unified and obviously here's where we go without Bill Clinton.
COOPER: We're going to leave it there. Ed Rollins, David Gergen, John Ridley, good to have you on the program. Thank you very much.
Still a lot to cover tonight. New pictures of the Obamas private moments. These are really great pictures; insights into the president and the first lady's relationship from the photographer who took the pictures. Sasha and Malia as the new first daughters and the family's first hours in the White House: all of it captured in a series of photos.
That's coming up.
But first, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Really some incredible pictures there, Anderson.
Also, some new pictures tonight: equally amazing but in their own way, showing US Airways flight 1549 just moments after its emergency landing in the Hudson River one week ago today. A camera at a local power company captured this video. Now, you can see at one point an inflatable ramp and raft deploy from the Airbus 320. Passengers are also shown climbing out. Everyone on board, of course, did make it out safely. That forced landing apparently the result of what is known as a bird strike.
Merrill Jessup, a top member of a polygamist sect in Texas, subpoenaed along with the group's spokesman. Jessup was indicted on charges related to underage marriages after a raid last spring on a Texas ranch he oversees. More than 400 children were removed. They were later returned under a court ruling.
Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is leaving Bank of America just weeks after helping to close the deal combining those two companies. CNBC reporting today he spent more than $1 million redecorating his office last year at Merrill -- Anderson.
COOPER: More than a million dollars just to redecorate one office?
HILL: I think in one account -- again this is a reporting from CNBC, an $85,000 rug.
COOPER: I also saw an account that his driver earned more than $200,000 a year.
HILL: I think I may be applying for that job if it was still available.
COOPER: That's amazing. That's incredible.
HILL: It is insane.
COOPER: It just makes you think.
All right. And that's one of the companies we're bailing out. It's unbelievable.
HILL: Makes you feel good.
COOPER: Yes, time now for our "Beat 360" winners; our daily challenge to viewers to write a caption for a photo that we put on our blog each day. Tonight's picture: actually taken by producer Leah Smith, CNN's Gary Tuchman with Kanye West capping off the inauguration at the Youth Balance on Tuesday.
HILL: One of our best pictures ever.
COOPER: Leah took a very good picture right there.
Chuck is our staff winner tonight. His caption, "Psst, control room, I'm going to need some guidance on what a 'shorty' is."
Viewer winner is Kevin from Toronto. He's what he captioned: "Tuchman's impromptu magic show falls flat when a dove does not appear out the hanky placed in Kanye's pocket."
HILL: I like it.
COOPER: It's good. Kevin, your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way. Congratulations.
When we come back, an exclusive look inside the ultimate flying machine; what it was like for Barack Obama when he stepped aboard Air Force One for the first time.
Also ahead we'll take you behind the scenes backstage with the Obamas on the biggest day of their lives; pretty big one for the country as well. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Cruising the menu aboard what is now Air Force One. The extraordinary image from inside the flying White House, taken the very day Barack Obama boarded the jet for the very first time when he was president-elect. What did he order and what did -- what did he say that had everyone laughing? You'll see that in a second. The video of Mr. Obama inside the 4,000-square-foot cabin is from a National Geographic Channel special. And when he's on the 747, the leader of the free world sounds very much down to earth.
Up close tonight, here's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's as tall as a six-story building and longer than a hockey rink. It's also President Barack Obama's newest means of transportation: Air Force One.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon. Nice to meet you.
OBAMA: Good to see you. You're the pilot of Air Force One?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. It'll be my pleasure to serve you.
OBAMA: You know, I got to say, you're out of Central Casting. You're exactly what I want the pilot of Air Force One to look like.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.
OBAMA: You look like you know how to fly. You look like Sam Shepherd in "The Right" -- "The Right Stuff."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, sir.
KAYE: That's Mr. Obama stepping inside the plane for the first time. He was flying from Chicago to Washington before the inauguration. National Geographic's documentary about Air Force One captured the moment.
PETER SCHNALL, PRODUCER: He was as excited as his staff, who had already boarded the plane, and were sort of like kids in a candy shop in a sense.
KAYE (on camera): The documentary focuses on Air Force One: who and what it takes to move the president around the world. Obama's flight took place in the final days of shooting, so the film crew witnessed the on-board transition, too. Every new president gets a new pilot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Air Force One.
KAYE (voice-over): Colonel Mark Tillman flew President Bush on Air Force One for eight years.
COL. MARK TILLMAN, FORMER AIR FORCE ONE PILOT: He has an ability to run the country from Air Force One. So he has everything that's available in the White House, is available to him at 45,000 feet.
KAYE: Including a gourmet meal, though Obama stuck with the basics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to be serving dinner tonight? Unless you had dinner already. This is a menu we have available for you.
OBAMA: I'd like to see how you guys do a burger. I take it medium well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By all means.
OBAMA: And cheddar cheese, if you've got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you know I got it.
OBAMA: Cheddar cheese?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheddar cheese, we have it.
OBAMA: And I'll take Dijon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dijon or the Grey Poupon?
OBAMA: That's fine and lettuce and tomatoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
OBAMA: Do you have, like, salad or vegetables?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No fries or anything like that?
OBAMA: I'll still take the fries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
KAYE (on camera): Will President Obama be able to exercise on board?
TILLMAN: The president has the capability to exercise on the aircraft; he can watch football games and sporting events. He's big on watching sporting events. We've got that capability.
KAYE: No basketball court, though?
TILLMAN: No basketball court. But he'll have the ability to ride a bike or something. Something small, up in his office, for sure.
KAYE (voice-over): An hour and a half later, when Obama touched down at Andrews Air Force Base, he said his good-byes to the crew, told them he'd see them in a couple of weeks after he was sworn in.
SCHNALL: You could sort of feel this sort of air of awe, I think even in him, because he was very quiet as he walked out, and his face kind of got very quiet.
KAYE: A rare moment of peace, perhaps, to soak up the wonder of it all.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Fascinating stuff. Don't you wish you were on a flight that had personal chefs?
"On Board Air Force One" airs this Sunday, January 25, at 8 p.m. Eastern on the National Geographic Channel.
When we come back, some remarkable behind-the-scenes images of the inauguration from a photographer who had extraordinary access to the Obama family throughout the day. The pictures she took speak volumes. She'll also narrate them herself.
Plus, perhaps they were separated at birth. We'll show you a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to, well, you know who.
And at the top of the hour, Caroline Kennedy takes her name out of consideration for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. The "Raw Politics" behind her decision, coming up.
COOPER: The inauguration was full of memorable moments, certainly, including some very private moments for the first family. Some of those images are in the current issue of "TIME" magazine.
Photographer Callie Shell-Aurora had extraordinary access to the Obamas on Tuesday. The photographs she took are a rare window into a life-changing and historic day. We asked her to show us the photos and narrate what she experienced herself.
CALLIE SHELL-AURORA, PHOTOGRAPHER: It's a very special day, and it's not just a special day for the president and the first lady coming in but it's a special day for the whole country, especially this one.
I have to say, this is the most personal one because I've actually been with the person from beginning to end of starting this campaign. You know, so, you know, I just think it's an amazing process.
I know the staff. There are many of them there that have worked there since Kennedy or near that time, and I know that when I left the White House, you know, the one thing they had said was, "Someday it would be really wonderful to serve a black president."
You go through a practice. You know, he's adjusting his lapel pin, you know, to make sure it looked OK. And not to make sure he looked OK, but you know, it's -- I've got this pin. Make sure that looks good. Make sure I carry it off right. Make sure I don't block the cameras with my hand.
And I just think Michelle the whole time, it was so obvious all day long that she was looking at him with pride. You know, they're very lucky to have these two children that understand the importance of what their father's doing -- means to their generation.
Sasha is a skipper and a dancer and a run-arounder. So I think -- she had taken her shoes off, and they just sat down in the chair and fixed the shoe.
But I think having the girls there -- I think it means a lot to kids. They are these real people that -- they really do have this -- Michelle and Barack Obama have this amazing relationship as a couple, as best friends. Their support for each other is amazing. And they are just like every other parent. They're trying to balance work and balance their family.
The only way with a thousand people around you, you know, to go out and make a speech or go through the day is you just kind of close your eyes and pretend like a thousand people aren't around you.
COOPER: Such cool photographs. And remember the beautiful moment from the inaugural? Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and company performing, note perfect. Tonight "The New York Times" is reporting why it was so perfect. It turns out it was previously recorded; kind of pulled an Ashlee Simpson on this. The weather was apparently too cold for the instruments to stay in tune.
HILL: You know what's incredible, though is I have to say, I learned when I was watching the concert on Sunday. I noticed all the musicians were playing black violins or cellos. And "The New York Times" had an article about it the day before the inauguration, saying they're made of carbon because they can withstand the cold. They won't crack. And so they were actually supposed to play them, apparently, on that day so as to not ruin the instruments but decided not to.
COOPER: Well, it's interesting, because Aretha Franklin, who was on "LARRY KING" last night, was talking about how she wasn't happy with her performance because the cold affected her voice. So apparently, I guess they didn't want to risk it or something. "The New York Times" reporting, in fact, it was prerecorded.
HILL: How about that? It still sounded good, though.
HILL: Not quite the same as Ashlee Simpson.
COOPER: No. They did it much better than Ashlee Simpson.
HILL: Probably don't need as much edit.
COOPER: Yes. Ashlee Simpson, that whole Ashlee Simpson thing, it seems like, what, years ago.
HILL: It does.
COOPER: Yes. Oh, well.
Up next -- and she looks completely different now -- up next, he's not the president, but he plays one on TV. Meet the man who's cashing in on his resemblance to Barack Obama. It's our "Shot of the Day."
COOPER: Time for tonight's "Shot." A very good impression. Take a look at perhaps the best double for President Obama. This guy is from Indonesia. Maybe if you squint your eyes, it looks a little better.
HILL: Better than some I've seen. I'll tell you that.
COOPER: Well, that's true. He's a 34-year-old photographer. We're told he's a huge Obama look-alike star in Asia, making a good living at it, no doubt.
Look at this. Our Obama impersonator is starring in the commercial in the Philippines. It's for some sort of antacid. He also was reportedly on an Indonesian TV show during Mr. Obama's inauguration.
HILL: You would need an antacid if you were the president or even playing one on TV.
COOPER: That is certainly true.
I also just want to take a moment to point out something that we have all been talking about here a lot today. Today is the last day for two people, very important people on our staff: Brittany Harris (ph), a producer here, longtime producer -- well, now a long time, a couple years. She risen quickly, and she's a remarkably young woman. And she's going off to London.
And Jenny Blanco (ph), who's a line producer here, who is truly extraordinary, is going off to another company to pursue an opportunity. But we hope both of them come back, eventually finding their way back to us.
COOPER: They're truly remarkable talents.
HILL: Yes. We will miss them dearly.
COOPER: We certainly will. Both personally and professionally, they are truly great. So you can see, of course, all the most recent shots on our Web site, ac360.com.
That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching,
"LARRY KING" starts now.