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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Myanmar Death Toll Could Top 100,000; Game Over For Hillary Clinton?
Aired May 7, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of politics ahead tonight, but we begin with breaking news on a disaster that is simply hard to imagine. The death toll once believed to be 10,000 in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is now estimated to be 100,000 -- 100,000 men, women and children swept away by a massive cyclone.
This is new video tonight of the cyclone as it came through. The new death toll comes from a U.S. diplomat inside Burma. Tonight, a massive global relief effort is under way, but the paranoid and reclusive military government appears to be denying visas to relief agencies, reportedly taking in a limited amount of food and supplies, but trying to keep aid workers out.
While that unfolds, as many as a million Burmese now have no place to live.
We do have a correspondent on the ground tonight inside Burma. We're trying to establish contact with him. When we do, we will go to him live.
Now Hillary Clinton and the question: Is it game over? She failed to win big in Indiana and got hammed in North Carolina. Now she's got a bigger delegate problem than ever, a growing superdelegate problem, a money problem, and she's quickly running out of viable solutions.
We have got new details tonight on all of it, including the one commodity she doesn't have a problem with, the will to keep going.
The "Raw Politics" now from CNN's Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton is gutsy, tireless and in West Virginia.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: West Virginia is one of those so-called swing states. Democrats need to win it in the fall. I want to start by winning it in the spring.
CROWLEY: She wasn't supposed to go to West Virginia today. But then last night the punditry pronounced her toast, and she needed to rewrite the headline. This one reads, not yet.
H. CLINTON: So, it's a new day. It's new state. It's a new election. CROWLEY: She leads in West Virginia, so it's not a problem. Most everything else is.
Clinton had to lend her campaign more than $6 million recently. And a new e-mail urgently asks for donations. "We have never campaigned with the stakes as high or the time as short -- maybe shorter than she wants.
George McGovern, whose ties to the Clintons date back to McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, has switched his support to Barack Obama. It's worse than that. He called on Clinton to get out of the race.
GEORGE MCGOVERN, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It seems that now is the time for us to think seriously about unifying the party behind a single candidate.
CROWLEY: McGovern says he talked to Bill Clinton about this, and there was no yelling. She put on her game face.
H. CLINTON: Well, I respect him, and he has a right to make whatever decision he makes. I was pleased today to get Heath Shuler's endorsement.
CROWLEY: McGovern is a psychological blow, but he is not a superdelegate.
Senator Dianne Feinstein is, and she is a Clinton supporter. She told reporters today:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think the race is reaching a point where there are negative dividends from it in terms of strife within the party.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CROWLEY: It is a simple sentence and an ominous sign for Clinton. Clinton wants to try to close the delegate gap with Obama. She needs more time while she argues other equations...
H. CLINTON: Look, if we had the rules that the Republicans have, I would already be the nominee.
CROWLEY: ... and other criteria.
H. CLINTON: We should stay focused on nominating the stronger candidate against Senator McCain and who would be the best president.
CROWLEY: She met privately today with a group of superdelegates, pushing her case, asking for more time.
Though not in that group, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on board with that. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I believe that the races must continue. The people should all have the opportunity to speak as long as two candidates wish to compete.
CROWLEY: By this evening, Clinton was at a fund-raiser in Washington. Headline? Still standing.
H. CLINTON: I am staying in this race, because I believe...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
H. CLINTON: I believe that I would be the best president and that I'm the stronger candidate against John McCain. Do you know how difficult it is for women to stand up and say we are the best at anything?
CROWLEY: Barack Obama picked up another four superdelegates today. His campaign is beginning to put together a fall strategy.
COOPER: And, Candy, what are you hearing from superdelegates about what they want Clinton to do?
CROWLEY: It's really interesting. They want to give her some space, Anderson.
I talked to 10 or so superdelegates, some of them pledged to her, most of them unpledged at this point, who said, listen, she's run this race for a year-and-a-half. We need to give her some space here. If she wants to continue this campaign, we're talking, what, three weeks.
I didn't find anyone saying -- I did find one person saying, you know what? It's time. Let's get this done.
But most of them said, play it out. We're talking June 3. Let her add up those pledged delegates and then decide. So, I didn't see any major rush to push her out.
COOPER: Interesting. Candy, thanks.
Now some new answers to the question of: Why? Why won't Senator Clinton quit? What keeps her going? What's in it for her, both in the primary and perhaps in the general election as a running mate?
With that, CNN's Tom Foreman up close.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the odds of beating Obama looking so bad, with other Democrats wanting her out, with her money running low, why won't Clinton quit?
Her husband has offered one answer.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My family is not big on quitting.
FOREMAN: But there are plenty of reasons to keep running. One, she could catch a break. The uproar over Pastor Jeremiah Wright hurt Obama. If a worse problem emerged, and poisoned his campaign, the superdelegates would almost certainly give her the nomination, especially if she's the last candidate standing.
Two, she could trade her exit from the race for a share of the power. It's risky, but some Democratic insiders believe that is in play right now.
CNN contributor Carl Bernstein.
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They think that she will seek the vice presidency and that -- perhaps force Obama to take her, because she will still have some bragging rights, and Obama might have no choice.
FOREMAN: And, three, raising money to pay off mounting campaign debts is hard for a wannabe president, but harder for a used-to-be candidate.
And as long as she is running:
JEANNE CUMMINGS, LOBBYING AND MONEY CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO.COM: It's also possible Barack Obama would help her do that, and that would allow her to exit the scene a little quicker, which might be something he would like to encourage.
FOREMAN (on camera): Clinton supporters want her to stay in the race, because she promised she would, and they still believe in her. For the candidate herself, however, the motivation may be much more complex.
H. CLINTON: Thank you all.
FOREMAN: remember, she fought for health care reform years ago, long after many others said the battle was lost. And she clearly thought, somehow, she could still win.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: And her supporters say, keep on going.
As always, I'm blogging along throughout the hour, along with a lot of sleepy people, who stayed up with us all last night.
To join the conversation, go to CNN.com/360.
Up next, we're digging deeper with our panel, David Gergen, Joe Klein, and radio talk show host Joe Madison.
And, later, John King maps out the options for each candidate at the magic map. And more on our breaking news: the cyclone crisis in Burma -- the death toll now believed to be 100,000 people. So, the question is, how come the government there isn't opening up its borders for relief agencies? We have a reporter inside. We're trying to establish contact him. We will take you there live -- when 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. CLINTON: I'm staying in this race until there's a nominee, and I obviously am going to work as hard as I can to become that nominee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hillary Clinton on the trail today in West Virginia, where she's the heavy favorite in next week's primary.
That's true. As a North Vietnamese general famously once said about American military victories in his country, true, he said, but also irrelevant. So, is that the case this time? And, if it is, what are Senator Clinton's options?
Digging deeper tonight, CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, radio talk show host Joe Madison, and "TIME" magazine's Joe Klein. His piece inside the upcoming issue is titled "The Game- Changer."
David, let's start with you.
Clinton met with undeclared superdelegates this afternoon in Washington. She's loaned her campaign more than $6 million, we have learned. Is it over for her?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, she declared last night that, you know, she wanted -- full steam ahead. And her problem is, she's run out of track. It's just hard to know what path she can pursue that -- that would get her there.
There was an interesting shift, I thought, last night in the commentary, Anderson, as -- at -- early in the evening, it appeared she had won Indiana by a fairly substantial margin, and was moving badly in North Carolina. But, as Indiana really tightened up last night, late night, the commentary shift, and there was a real -- there's been a real sense in the last 20 -- or 18 hours or so that it is basically over, that he is the presumptive nominee, and the only issue for her is whether she is going to find ways to -- you know, is it -- whether somebody is going to turn against him, the bottom is going to drop out unexpectedly, which we have no indications of that whatsoever. So...
COOPER: Joe Klein, is that what they're hoping for, that something else comes up? JOE KLEIN, COLUMNIST, "TIME": Yes.
I mean, in talking to some Clinton supporters, people close to the campaign, they believe that there's more stuff out there, perhaps about the relationship with Reverend Wright.
But I remember, in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running, the entire press corps was waiting for the story about Bill Clinton's cocaine use that was going to come out in "The L.A. Times," and it never happened.
So, there are always rumors. And, aside from those rumors, I don't see what else she has going for her.
COOPER: That's really what it boils down to, unless there's some sort of train wreck in the Obama campaign?
I mean, that's what all the math says. That's what everything says. I don't see her winning West Virginia 93-5.
COOPER: So, you think it's effectively over for her?
KLEIN: I'm not -- it looks that way, but, as people said in the earlier block, it's only three weeks to go. Sooner or later, it will be over.
And I think that you can't -- in these sort of situations, remember how adamant John Edwards was about staying in this race until the convention, until the convention, the day before he dropped out? I mean, politicians, until it's certain, are going to give the appearance of certainty.
COOPER: We heard, Joe Madison, from Dianne Feinstein today, who expressed -- questioned whether Clinton should remain in the race, even -- when there's an ardent supporter like Dianne Feinstein raising these questions, what does that say?
JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, she was very cautious in her statement. And it was a very measured statement.
But I think what it says is that these superdelegates, most are -- have constituents. They know that their constituencies are weary. They're tired of this.
COOPER: What are you hearing from your own constituency, from your listeners?
MADISON: Well, let me tell you. Let me you what I'm hearing from my listeners.
One is that, if these superdelegates, somehow, by hook or crook, take this away from Obama, they're going to sit out. They're going to politically disengage. Now, I don't think that's the wise thing to do, but that's exactly what I'm hearing. I'm also hearing... COOPER: Are your -- the people you're hearing this, are you hearing from African-Americans? Are you hearing from...
MADISON: Basically African-Americans...
COOPER: African-Americans, OK.
MADISON: ... who are -- and these are new excited young voters, many for the first time who have registered.
COOPER: So, they would sit out -- they would sit out if it was Hillary Clinton?
MADISON: And I have also heard some older African-Americans say, look, we survived eight years of George Bush. Maybe we can survive four years of McCain, because they're tired of being taken for granted. This is being talked about a lot in barbershops, beauty shops, and around the community.
KLEIN: But you hear similar things from older white voters, who are vastly disappointed that Barack Obama has won the nomination, often for the most ridiculous and scurrilous reasons.
Obama is going to have some real repair work to do. And the fact that he treated Hillary Clinton and this race with so much respect last night is an important indication of how he's going to go about doing it.
GERGEN: Yes, I think that's absolutely right.
I -- we knew in the exit polls yesterday from both Indiana and North Carolina, basically a quarter of the people who were supporting each candidate are saying, if my candidate doesn't win, I'm either going to sit out or vote for John McCain.
To get those people back, a couple things have to happen. The rest of the race has to be very positive. And Hillary Clinton was very positive today. She didn't go after Barack Obama personally.
And then the exit by the loser, likely Hillary Clinton, has to be very gracious. It has to be one that unites. I do not think they have to form a unity ticket in order to bring people back, but I do think it's critical that there be -- that whoever loses do so graciously.
MADISON: And there's a long time between the end of -- I mean, June and August, the end of August.
COOPER: It's a lifetime.
MADISON: And someone -- a politician once told me overnight can be a lifetime in politics.
And I'll tell you what. I used to play football. I used to be a running back. All 11 people on the other side have one goal: Get the guy with the ball.
Obama has the ball now. And I think that Hillary Clinton is waiting for him to fumble at some point in time, and she will still be in the game.
KLEIN: But to torture the metaphor completely, the clock is running down. There are only a...
MADISON: The band is almost there.
KLEIN: That's right.
MADISON: And the money is running out.
KLEIN: The band is marching off the field at this point.
KLEIN: I don't know how much worse it can get.
COOPER: Well, we hope the crowds are still staying in the stands, at least, to watch us.
MADISON: I hope so.
COOPER: We're done with this metaphor. We will try to come up with a new metaphor.
Coming up, we have more from our panel, digging deeper, later on.
Still to come, though, in this hour, we will have more also on the breaking news out of Burma. We're working to establish contact with CNN's Dan Rivers, one of the few reporters on the ground there. We hope to get a live report -- Their death toll, now according to one American diplomat in the capital, 100,000 people. Just unbelievable.
First, let's get caught up some of tonight's other headlines with Erica Hill and a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the U.S. military says a former Guantanamo detainee from Kuwait carried out a suicide attack on Iraqi police last month. Six people were killed. That man was released from Gitmo in 2005.
Six fraternities at San Diego State University suspended after the arrest of nearly 100 people, most of them students, in a drug bust this week. Investigators say some fraternity members openly dealt drugs. That sting operation was prompted by the cocaine overdose death of a sorority member last year.
And shocking video of a 2-year-old smoking pot. Cops in Wisconsin just released the cell phone video of the incident. It happened last fall. The boy's mother and two of her friends all pleaded guilty to charges. They were in the room when it apparently happened. Mom, by the way, still has custody of the little boy, Anderson, but she's taking parenting classes.
Erica, here's tonight's -- on a far lighter subject, here's tonight's "Beat 360." You can play along at home.
Senator Obama is in the photo chatting and eating breakfast with union members in Evansville, Indiana, earlier this week.
So, here is the caption from our staff winner, our executive producer Kathleen: "What do you mean, this is not an arugula omelet?"
HILL: Apparently, that does not get the approval from...
COOPER: Yes. His face is sort of incredulous in the photo. It's hard to see. You can check it out on our Web site.
COOPER: If you can do better, go to CNN.com/360. Send us your entry. We will announce the winner at the end of the program.
Coming up next: a closer look at Clinton's slim chances. John King actually breaks it down for us on his magic map.
And later, startling revelations about life inside the Warren Jeffs' polygamist empire. A new secret document reveals who really is related to whom. We have new details on the marriages, the kids and the tangled web within the FLDS sect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. CLINTON: Tonight, we have come from behind. We have broken the tide. And, thanks to you, it's full speed onto the White House.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Full speed ahead, that's what Senator Clinton said last night, refusing to give up, sounding convinced and confident she will be the next president. You have to wonder why. Clinton may have lost the momentum last night. She's already running out of money and will never have enough numbers to win the nomination.
So, let's look at the math with John King at the magic wall.
What is the delegate count now? What's the math on it?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The math point you just made, Anderson, is the critical point right now.
We can show you here the delegate count, Clinton 1,686, Obama 1,842. I want to switch over, though, this way in a way that is much more understandable to people. If you look at where we are so far, this is where we start today. This is the finish line out here in red.
For the first time in the campaign, there are more superdelegates left outstanding, those unpledged party leaders and activists, than there are delegates that can be received in the primaries. And Senator Clinton enters these final contests at a huge deficit.
Why? Her magic number to clinch the nomination is 339. For Senator Obama, he needs only 183. So, he has a much smaller universe of delegates that he needs. So, even if they split the remaining delegates, which would be something along the lines of this -- and I'm giving Senator Clinton even more than half in this analysis so far -- she gets more than half, he gets a little less than half, he crosses the finish line. That is why the math is so daunting for Senator Clinton at this point.
COOPER: Six primary contests -- or six contests ahead, what do they look like for Senator Clinton?
KING: Well, the next one up is West Virginia. And one of the reasons she is staying in this race, Anderson, is that this is a state that you would say is built for Senator Clinton.
It is on the whitest states in the country. It is 95 percent white. Senator Obama has done well in states where he at least has a modest African-American base -- very small cities, not a big urban state at all, most of the people located along here, Huntington, Parkersburg, Wheeling, down here in Charleston, along the Ohio River.
It is one of the oldest states in the country. She has done well with older voters. It is one of the lowest education standards and graduate rates in the country. She's done better with downscale blue- collar workers.
If you look at some of the other states on the map, you knew -- even in a place like, say, Indiana you knew Obama had a base in Indianapolis, he had a base up in the Gary area. There was some place for him to start. Even over in a tougher state like Ohio, there are African-Americans in Cleveland and in Columbus.
But when you look at West Virginia instead, there is no place on this map -- a couple college towns, where he would have a smallish base -- but there's no place on the map of West Virginia where you would say, aha, there is an Obama base.
So, this is a state that is structurally built for Senator Clinton, one of the reasons, despite the obstacles, she's staying in the race for at least another week, and she says beyond.
From there, you would go out to these other contests, Kentucky a good state for her as well, Puerto Rico, a state where she believes she would do well because of the Latino vote. But you can see the Obama blue up here when you get into the Plains, and out into the West, Oregon the big prize left out West, that's built for Obama at the moment.
So, the math, even if she splits them, that's not good enough in the delegates. She has to do much better than that.
COOPER: So, if the map is not in her favor and the math is not in her favor, the argument then goes to the superdelegates, trying to convince them. And what is her argument to the superdelegates?
KING: Her argument to the superdelegates is, you want me to go st John McCain, not Barack Obama.
This is a map that defaults back to the last election. McCain is in the place of George W. Bush. He won 286 electoral votes, Bush did, against John Kerry.
What Clinton wants to say is this, that: Look, I won Pennsylvania in the primary. I can turn Ohio back into the Democratic column and deny the Republicans. I can probably get you West Virginia. I will keep you Florida. I might be able to get you Arkansas. Remember, I used to be the first lady there. And I will put Missouri in play.
Clinton says she's a much more competitive general election candidate.
What Obama would say is, that's not true. The Obama's counterargument is: Look, I won Pennsylvania. Maybe I won't win Ohio. Maybe Senator Clinton is right. But with a large African- American turnout, I can put Virginia in play.
He is confident he can keep Florida. He says he will put Nevada in place, bring all those new young voters out in Colorado. He won the Missouri primary. He thinks he can do well there. So, if you're looking at the argument, if you're a Democratic superdelegate, this is what you're hearing, Senator Clinton saying, look at all the states and the numbers I have put in there, Obama saying, maybe my math at the beginning isn't quite as good as hers, but it's competitive, and I can make it even better.
COOPER: It's fascinating stuff, John. Thanks very much. Up next, we're digging deeper with Obama supporter Senator Claire McCaskill and Clinton supporter Congressman Charlie Rangel.
All ahead, new information from inside Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. And the numbers are simply staggering, now more than 100,000 feared dead -- a report from CNN's reporter on the ground inside Burma -- coming up.
COOPER: Well, Barack Obama widened his lead in delegates last night, while cutting into Hillary Clinton's lead in superdelegates. He's now just 180 delegates short of clinching the nomination. She needs 339 to do the same. Senator Clinton vowing to fight on.
And, as Candy Crowley reported earlier, the Obama campaign has already begun to plan their fall strategy against John McCain. We are not there yet, however.
Joining me now, Senator Claire McCaskill, co-chair of the Obama national campaign, along with Representative Charles Rangel of New York, a Clinton supporter.
Senator McCaskill, you said today that it should Hillary Clinton's decision, and only her decision, to decide when it's time for this race to be over.
Do you think, though, she has any chance now of winning the nomination?
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: Well, I think it's -- the math is kind of hard to get around at this point.
I think we have won the most pledged delegates. We are significantly ahead in the popular vote. We have won the most contests. And there is very little real estate left. So, I think we're in a very good position to win this nomination, but we all have tremendous respect for Hillary Clinton, as a leader, as a campaigner. So, until she says it's over, it's not over.
COOPER: Representative Rangel, you say Hillary Clinton has the ability to take a punch and the ability to fight back, and that she should continue to fight on.
Why? At this point, what do you see as a possible path to victory for her?
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D-NY), HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The fact that mathematically that she can win.
I have never heard of any contest that, just because you're behind and it looks bad, but you still have a possibility of winning, that you quit. You know, both Senator Clinton and I are from New York. And if the Giants felt that way in going to the Super Bowl, they would be...
COOPER: Well, how do you see her possibility of winning, though? Is it inclusive of Florida and Michigan? Is it -- I mean, how do you see the path?
RANGEL: I don't know. I don't play those kind of cards.
All I'm saying is that, clearly, if she couldn't win at all, she would not be in. And this contest has been so exciting for our country, to have an African-American, to have a woman, a senator from New York. It's inspired our country and the world that this can happen.
I don't see any benefits of asking somebody that is used to a rough-and-tumble fight, especially as a Democrat, that they should win. Now, if indeed Senator Obama is on a roll, how is this going to stop anything? But I think we should be able to say that Democrats who want to participate in these states should have the opportunity to say, at this historic time in our nation's history, that they were given the opportunity to participate.
It just makes a lot of good sense to me.
COOPER: Senator McCaskill, I mean, is there any downside, though? I mean, you say, look, Hillary Clinton has the right to stay in this and you respect her decision. Right now, I mean, there are polls who show roughly half of those who voted for Clinton yesterday in Indiana said they're not going to vote for Obama. There are folks who are voting for Obama who say no way they're going to vote for Clinton. There's a lot of bad blood at this point.
Do you have any concerns that, the longer this goes on, the deeper that division goes?
MCCASKILL: Well, I think of that depends on the tone of the campaign.
And there's no question, Anderson, that there's a lot of passion on both sides right now. But I know one thing. I know the people who feel strongly about Hillary Clinton, they feel even more strongly about the prospect of four more years of George Bush. And, so, I feel comfortable that we will be able to unite.
And I think that whoever comes out number two will take that as a very important role to make sure that their supporters gather in, and so we can unify and go forward.
COOPER: Do you believe that the tone that we have seen over the last couple weeks in this campaign is going to continue, in terms of the rhetoric between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?
MCCASKILL: I think that it would be difficult for the tone to turn very negative at this point. I think Senator Clinton knows that it's a very fine line you walk between...
COOPER: Do you not think it's been negative thus far? MCCASKILL: I think it has been too negative so far, but I do think that the superdelegates are watching very carefully.
And the one thing I think that would get a lot of superdelegates across the line quickly is if the tone of this campaign turned destructive and very negative. So, I think it's important, going forward, that the kind of tone, frankly, they both struck last night -- I thought they were both terrific last night. And I think, if they continue that tone, we will be fine.
COOPER: Congressman Rangel, Hillary Clinton we've learned that she has loaned her campaign again more money, more than $6 million this time around. Does she have the money to keep on going?
RANGEL: When you put in $6 million, that's the depth of your commitment. Hey, that's what New York is all about, that's what Democrats are all about. At the end of the day, Republicans have to find out what we're all about.
COOPER: So you're making it a positive that she's giving $6 million, or half a million -- $6 million of her own money to her campaign?
RANGEL: Well, you can't believe she lacks -- she lacks confidence if she's putting $6 million in the campaign, can you?
COOPER: Well, I'll leave it for viewers to decide. Congressman Rangel, thank you. Senator McCaskill, as well. Thank you very much for your time.
Senator Clinton's already loaned her campaign millions, as we've talked about. The question is, can she raise enough cash to stay in the race? Our panel weighs in. We're digging deeper next.
Plus breaking news. The top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar says the situation is more and more horrendous. That's their words. The death toll now expected to top 100,000 people. We have a first-hand report from our reporter on the ground.
And later new secret polygamy documents reveal the bizarre family ties inside the Texas compound, and what it may mean for the investigation. Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Plenty of the pundits have suggested that this party is inalterably divided, that Senator Clinton's supporters will not support me, and that my supporters would not support her. Well, I am here tonight to tell you that I don't believe it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator Barack Obama last night, clearly looking ahead after winning big in North Carolina, a victory that many believed changed the game.
Tonight Senator Clinton, while hanging tough, is under growing pressure to end her fight for the nomination. She is refusing to at this point, saying this thing's going on, full steam ahead.
We're digging deeper. Joining us again, CNN political analyst and former presidential advisor, David Gergen; radio talk show host Joe Madison; and "TIME" magazine columnist and author Joe Klein.
David, Clinton campaign adviser Harold Ickes is apparently warning super delegates that Obama is still an unknown quantity and may be the target of an October surprise if he's the nominee. Joe talked about this a little bit earlier. Do you think the Clintons have something on Barack Obama? Or is this just some sort of a desperate plea?
GERGEN: I don't think they have it. They would have played that card by now. And but -- and I think that's -- if they keep pushing these kinds of things, I think that's what's going to make the next few weeks more negative, to go back to Claire McCaskill's point.
If they take that tone, there's going to be a lot of anger among Democrats. And I think there would be more pressure for her to drop out. They do not need to go there. They do not need to be sowing doubts about Barack Obama as a human being or, you know, in terms of what he stands for, in terms of what he's all about.
They can take him on on the issues. And they can take him on about who has the best chance to win. Perfectly legitimate arguments, perfectly decent reason why she should stay in the race. But they should not go after him personally. I think most Democrats would say that part of the campaign ought to be over.
COOPER: Should know is different from would know. Given what you know, Joe Klein, about the way the Clintons run a campaign, the way this campaign has been run on all sides, what do you think is going to happen in terms of the message of Hillary Clinton moving forward?
KLEIN: Well, the -- going after Obama on substance is a problem. Because I think she tried with this silly gas tax holiday idea and...
COOPER: You wrote about that in "TIME" this week. You think it didn't work for her?
KLEIN: No, in fact I think it hurt her. I'll tell you why. The group that wobbly on Obama in Pennsylvania were upper income suburbanites. High-minded, National Public Radio listeners, those sort of people. And they disdain that kind of populists nonsense that Hillary was peddling with this gas tax holiday.
And if you look at the results from last night, they came back in areas like the research triangle in North Carolina and in the suburbs of Indianapolis. He solidified his vote. She didn't -- she had the white working-class vote that wants, you know, a gas tax holiday, if indeed they want it. And she wasn't going to win any more votes that way.
COOPER: So it came off as pandering?
KLEIN: Yes, it came off as pandering, and it made Obama look more solid, more high-minded, more responsible.
COOPER: It's interesting, Joe Madison, to hear Charlie Rangel in our last segment saying that, you know, the fact that Senator Clinton had to donate or loan more than $6 million this time around to her campaign, that's a sign of her commitment and her confidence.
MADISON: I love Charlie Rangel, but I've got to tell you -- but I've got to tell you, he's right. It does show she's got confidence in herself.
But what it doesn't show is that people don't have confidence in her to make that contribution so that she doesn't have to loan herself $6 million. I mean, that -- good try, Charlie. And, you know, he's fun to listen to.
But I got to tell you, they ought to -- they ought to pay David for his advice that he just gave the Clintons. I -- the Clintons have tried a lot of things that have upset a lot of people, so I don't put it past them to have an October surprise in May.
They shouldn't do it, but I'm not certain they will yield to temptation. I think they -- I'm saying they will yield to temptation. I think they would do it in order to win this. I -- this is the attitude most people have.
COOPER: David Gergen said he doesn't think they have anything; otherwise they would have.
MADISON: I think most people think, and you'll hear this often, that the Clintons would do anything to win.
COOPER: Well, a lot of Clinton supporters would clearly disagree with you on that.
But David Gergen, for Barack Obama moving forward, does his message change? I mean, we heard a new speech last night; we heard new emphasis on things. We heard -- I think you said last night, he found his voice. How does that -- what does that mean moving forward?
GERGEN: It means very much that he -- I think he now has the luxury of starting to look past Hillary Clinton. If there is this sense of inevitability now, the aura of inevitability that hung around her very early in this campaign has now moved to him. And he now can look forward to the fall and get organized for the fall, which is very -- something he very, very much needs to do.
I mean, after all, John McCain is moving for the fall. He's giving these very foundational speeches, whether it's about health care...
COOPER: Right. GERGEN: ... or about judges. John McCain is putting in the building blocks of a fall campaign. Barack Obama needs to start moving toward that, too. Because the amount of time he's going to have between June and the convention is going to be so brief.
MADISON: And maybe he should start talking about a vice- presidential candidate to fulfill that move towards...
CLINTON: Very quickly, any chance Hillary Clinton would be a vice-presidential candidate with Barack Obama? Any chance that Barack Obama would want her?
KLEIN: I think that -- I don't think it's impossible. I mean, I think that she adds a lot of domestic policy expertise and a historic rush of women to vote for her.
COOPER: David Gergen? Do you agree with that?
GERGEN: I think people around him think he will need a food taster if he does that.
KLEIN: Two great points.
MADISON: ... for the American people at one time.
COOPER: Got to leave it there. Joe Madison, David Gergen, Joe Klein, always good to have you on. Thank you.
We should mention, Barack Obama will have his first post-primary interview with Wolf Blitzer tomorrow on "THE SITUATION ROOM." Watch that.
Up next, breaking news out of Burma. The death tolls rises tonight. Reports of chaos, violence as survivors fight for food. CNN's Dan Rivers, one of the few reporters inside the devastated country. It looks like we've established contact with him. He will join us live next from inside Burma.
COOPER: New images of complete destruction, it doesn't EVEN begin to describe the magnitude of THE horror now unfolding in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Simply put, the news keeps getting worse.
When we first heard about the cyclone, we were given initial reports of 350 people were killed. The death toll climbed, first into thousands, then the tens of thousands. Tonight a USS diplomat fears the number of victims could reach 100,000; 100,000 men, women and children.
The natural disaster, the humanitarian crisis, the combined tragedy is only growing by the military junta that controls the country. These military men want the international money, but not the help. Incredibly, shamefully, they're refusing to grant visas to relief workers. It's the same road block for journalists. I've been trying to get a visa to go there for the last couple of days. So far no luck. Fortunately, CNN's Dan Rivers is inside the country, one of just a handful of western journalists to cover the catastrophe. He arrived a short time after the cyclone. What he is seeing is hard to imagine. Take a look.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A land where funerals and death are at every turn. Some are buried, but many bodies are still lying amid the rubble. And everywhere those haunting hollow faces, the drowned world that feels beyond hope.
(on camera) But it's not just people's homes that have been destroyed here. The very infrastructure of Myanmar has taken a severe battering. This is all that remains of a school science laboratory, completely flattened by Cyclone Nargis. The school says it doesn't know what it's going to do. And it still hasn't heard anything from the authorities.
(voice-over) This is the school yard. The water was three feet deep, and it's miles from the river.
Save the Children estimate that 40 percent of those who have died are children.
The classrooms have no roofs. It will be a long time before the lessons can be taught again here.
State television has shown aid being distributed by the army, but the need here is immense. So far many foreign aid agencies haven't been able to get their staff and equipment into Myanmar. They say the red tape of this reclusive country is preventing progress.
Another crippling problem right now is fuel. This is the line of cars waiting for gas.
(on camera) It just goes on and on and on for miles, really, just this never-ending queue, all the way down here. And I guess the people at the back are going to be waiting God knows how long. Hours and hours, you'd think.
(voice-over) Here the gas is $1.50 for a gallon, or for four liters, but if you don't want to wait for hours, you can pay the black-market rate of ten times that amount.
But it's here in the Irrawaddy River Delta that the real misery and suffering is happening. These people are reaching breaking point. How much longer will they be made to wait before the help they desperately need arrives?
COOPER: Dan joins us now. And if it's true that as many as 100,000 people have lost their lives, I mean, have their bodies been collected? Is there -- what kind of relief on the ground in terms of heavy earth-moving equipment or help actually on the ground is there?
RIVERS: Well, Anderson, we just haven't seen any evidence of that kind of equipment being used yet. The soldiers are deployed, that's for sure. We've seen them out clearing the roads and so on, but I mean, they are just really lacking the basic equipment here. We haven't seen any sort of evidence of earth-moving equipment, no helicopters from international aid agencies.
But what's frustrating is all that stuff is sitting over the border in Thailand ready to go. The U.S. military has got two battleships in the area, in the Gulf of Thailand. They've got helicopters flown into Thai air bases, all ready to come in.
But we understand that the Myanmar military junta here just won't allow them to come in. They won't give them the visas.
COOPER: And are you seeing the death toll? I mean, are you seeing bodies in the streets still?
RIVERS: We've seen, some, yes. I mean, we're sort of pushing through into the -- further on into delta where we're getting reports where we are now, further down the road, of you know, hundreds of body lying, decomposing. It's a pretty terrible situation here.
Frankly, these -- a lot of towns, it appears, just are completely on their own. The monasteries are doing a lot. The monks are giving out the small amounts of rice that they have.
But because of all this water that's come in with the storm surge, the rice harvest is ruined. A lot of the milling plants to mill the rice and made it edible are without power. So they're in a pretty desperate situation. Water is also in extremely short supply: clean, safe drinking water. There's just not much around here.
COOPER: Is there any way to get an accurate death toll at this point?
RIVERS: Well, the U.S. senior diplomat, the charge d'affairs here, Charlie De La Rosa (ph), has said that she thinks that it could be as many as 100,000 people that have died.
Now at the moment, the official death toll is -- is sort of in the tens of thousands, still. But I mean, frankly, I think the regime here still hasn't got a firm grip on the situation on how many people have died. There are still areas which are pretty inaccessible, so I think it may still be some days before we know, finally and definitively, how many people have perished.
COOPER: Dan Rivers, stay safe. Thank you for your reporting.
If you want to take action to help the victims in Burma, go to CNN.com/impact. We've got links to news and recoveries and humanitarian efforts. There are also links to organizations that are helping in Burma right now.
Next on 360, justified or out of control? Police in Philadelphia caught on tape. We'll let you decide if they're using excessive force or not.
Plus a new bombshell from the polygamist compound: a secret document, a list that allegedly details the number of wives and kids of sect members. What it might mean for investigators trying to figure out if any abuse has occurred.
Also, pictures from the top of the world, as an Olympic torch boldly goes where no Olympic torch has ever gone before: Mt. Everest. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight new developments as the story continues to unfold, the custody battle between Texas and the FLDS polygamist sect. Now, the kids are in foster care, but figuring out their real ages and who their parents are has been tough.
On May 19, the first of hundreds of cases head to court. Tomorrow night the attorney generals of Utah and Arizona are going to hold a town hall meeting to reach out to polygamist communities in their states. The kids now in custody are just the ones from that Texas compound.
But we have new information tonight about a secret document found at the Texas ranch. It's a polygamist family tree, and it may help investigators untangle the very complex web of relationships inside the sect.
The latest from CNN's David Mattingly.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Called a bishop's list, this 43-page document was seized in the April law enforcement raid on the Texas FLDS compound and just made public this week. It reveals the reason why child welfare officials say they demanded the removal of 464 children and teens.
And here it is: 16-year-old girls listed in black and white as wives to adult men. We showed the list details: names, ages and polygamist relationships to author John Llewellyn, a former polygamist and former investigator for the Salt Lake County sheriff.
JOHN LLEWELLYN, AUTHOR, "POLYGAMY'S RAPE OF RACHAEL STRONG": That's probable cause for -- to get a complaint for bigamy. And it will be interesting to see whether Texas does file, eventually, some complaints for bigamy, along with the various child abuse complaints.
MATTINGLY: The 2007 list shows heads of 37 households. Twenty- four were polygamist families; 13 were monogamous, husbands with just one wife.
The largest family belonged to a 67-year-old man with 21 wives and 36 children. His oldest wife was 79, the youngest just 24.
(on camera) But the list is obviously far from a complete accounting of what authorities found at the Texas compound. Five names of underage wives was just the beginning.
Texas child welfare officials say out of the 53 girls possibly aged 4 to 17 now in foster care, almost 60 percent of them, 31 girls in all, are either pregnant or already have children.
(voice-over) The list also shows where family members lived in 2007. Strangely, a few wives were listed as living in hiding.
LLEWELLYN: That means that they have something to hide. And all that's going to do is give more incentive to the authorities to find out why she's in hiding, how old she is.
MATTINGLY (on camera): We contacted an attorney acting as spokesman for the Texas sect for our story but did not get a reply. Previously he disputed some of the state's claims that some girls who say they're over 18 are actually younger.
In most cases, the bishop's list does not settle this dispute, because it does not clearly match all mothers to all of their children. Many of those answers will have to wait for results of DNA tests and continued questions.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Fascinating. We'll continue to follow that.
Erica Hill joins us now with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, in Philadelphia, a police sergeant and five officers pulled from street duty as city officials investigate the beatings of three suspects during a traffic spot.
TV news crews shot more than a dozen officers kicking and punching the men. Two of those men were struck at least 20 times.
And so much for Econ 101. Despite growing inventories, oil prices hitting another record high today, more than $123 a barrel.
The Olympic torch reached the top of the world today. The flame was carried to the summit of Mt. Everest earlier by climbers carrying oxygen masks. That's to help them breathe, of course, in the thin air at the earth's highest point. The climbers removed their masks for the cameras before heading back down. And not an easy feat, of course.
COOPER: That's unbelievable. Still ahead tonight, "Beat 360," the winner.
Plus Senator Hillary Clinton is short on delegates, money and time. Is the fight really over, or could Florida and Michigan still factor in? The "Raw Politics" when "360" continues.
COOPER: I was just doing some blogging. Now on 360, our daily contest -- I hate it when blog -- when TV interferes with the blogging.
HILL: It makes it really rough.
COOPER: It really does. It's tough.
HILL: What's our primary job here? The blog.
COOPER: Exactly. So "Beat 360," you know how it works. We -- it's a contest. It's a daily contest. We pit you against our staff to see who -- to see who can come up with the best caption. I'm a little discombobulated. For the picture we post on our blog.
HILL: Deep breath. And...
COOPER: Tonight's picture shows Senator Obama chatting with union members over breakfast in Evansville, Indiana, on the eve of yesterday's primary. Our staff winner, 360 executive producer Kathleen Friery. Her entry: "What do you mean this is not an arugula omelet?"
HILL: Ba-dum ching.
COOPER: Tonight viewer winner is Mike. His caption: "Wednesday's breakfast was the first Barack has enjoyed since Pennsylvania. The eggs tasted great, and Hillary was toast."
See, a little -- that was actually the headline on the "New York Post" today.
To check out the competition it squashed, go to CNN.com/360 and click on the link.
Coming up at the top of the hour, the latest from Burma and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Is it over? And if so, what will the end game look like? We've got the "Raw Politics" ahead.
COOPER: A lot of politics ahead tonight, but we begin with breaking news on a disaster that is simply hard to imagine. The death toll, once believed to be 10,000 in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is now estimated to be 100,000; 100,000 men, women and children swept away by a massive cyclone.