Return to Transcripts main page


Obama's Transition to Power; Making History

Aired November 5, 2008 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from the CNN Election Center in New York. You are watching a special edition of "360" with the presidential transition in full swing. We got new details on how an Obama administration may look, what its priorities will be. Those are the nuts and bolts.
There's also across the country and around the world the heart and soul of this incredible story; reaction to the election.

For more on Obama's transition to power and America's raw jubilation here is Candy Crowley.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He was born when much of the country was still segregated; son of a white woman and a black man. And there he stood, the next president of the United States.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

CROWLEY: It was awesome. A moment captured most powerfully in the silence of those who remember when.

He was different last night in word and demeanor, no longer a candidate, a president-elect, about to take on the weight of the world.

OBAMA: From parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared. A new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those -- to those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you.

CROWLEY: Now it gets real. The man who daily brought out tens of thousands of people to hear him talk was silent Wednesday; a brief wave, but all the rest behind closed doors. There will be daily top secret briefings beginning tomorrow and 76 days to put together a cabinet, a government and an inauguration.

Then he has to stand up and deliver. A war in Iraq he wants to stop. A war in Afghanistan he wants to reinforce. A huge budget deficit and all those hopes he raised.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he can start those wheels moving so we can get to where our troops are home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to see the health care reform really happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The biggest thing that is important to me is probably the economic situation.

CROWLEY: There is no bigger burden than great expectations. Obama tried for perspective in cadence and words reminiscent of Martin Luther King.

OBAMA: The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term, but, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people, will get there.

CROWLEY: The candidate who said he ran because of the fierce urgency of now needs time. Given the depth and breadth of his win, he's likely to get it.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Chicago.


COOPER: There were some surprises last night. The record turnout never really materialized in part because so many Republicans stayed home, also in Indiana and to a lesser extent, North Carolina.

How did Senator Obama do it? Let's look across the board to the Magic Wall. John King is here to break it down -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- keeping them honest in this program. Barack Obama said he would stretch the map; he would turn red states blue. And look, he kept that promise.

He said he would campaign here in Florida. He said he would campaign in the south. He said he would go right here to the anchor of the Republican electoral strategy for the past quarter century. And he said he would go out there to the emerging southwest and compete for the Latino population.

I'm going to step across the map. Remember these circles, look at all the blue; Obama wins, Obama wins, Obama wins and Obama wins.

Let's go back in time. That is four years ago. That is George W. Bush. Let's go back eight years ago; almost all of it still George W. Bush.

So Barack Obama promised to change the red states blue and he did. Among them, Colorado, the Latino vote and Independents, a big part of Obama's coalition there. Same thing here in New Mexico, more than two to one he beat John McCain among Latinos.

A point worth making, though Anderson, as Obama changed the map and changed so many of these red states blue, change did not come cheap. Let's look just at the state of Florida here; $36 million Barack Obama spent on television ads; $12.6 million combined for John McCain and the Republican Party. Obama wins the state by three percentage points. That's one example.

Let's come further up to the north. Out here in Indiana it is remarkable. Indiana is a blue state this year. That is a huge development but look at this. The margin is tiny; 26,000 votes, the tiny margin in Indiana. If you move this up and see, $11.1 million in Democratic ads spending, only $2.6 million for McCain and the Republicans.

So he did succeed, Anderson. He changed not only many states but many conservative communities within those states but it came at a price for Barack Obama. And the challenge now is to keep it by governing in a way that does not alienate these states that, not too long ago, were red and are now blue.

COOPER: There had been so much talk about what would help him govern in the days ahead would be a mandate in terms of election result. Did he get a mandate from the numbers we're seeing?

KING: He gets a mandate to change Washington; he gets a mandate to deal with the economy. He does not get a mandate to be a liberal. Now he says he doesn't want to be but let me show you why we can say that. And again I'm going to step across the map.

Look at the county by -- this is by full county across the United States of America. Barack Obama did not do very well in the south. He did remarkably well in other Republican strongholds.

But if you go back in time; here is Bill Clinton in the south when he won in 1996. Obviously, Bill Clinton was from the south but he was also perceived as a centrist Democrat. He was embraced in communities that Barack Obama simply was not.

In fact, you can go back and make the case that even John Kerry four years ago and Al Gore eight years ago performed at least as strongly in most of the south as Barack Obama did in the south. So one reason Barack Obama wants to -- can't govern too far to the left is because he still has much of the conservative country not with him.

One other way I think you can demonstrate this, Anderson, let's go the state of Virginia. This is remarkable, again, Barack Obama wins the state of Virginia with 52 percent of the vote. Mark Warner won a senate seat there last night with 65 percent of the vote. Mark Warner won in conservative areas like this, Barack Obama, if you come over to the president race, did not carry those areas.

Let's go to border North Carolina, again, here is Barack Obama. He is winning in this state. We haven't called it yet; it is so close. But look at this, an impressive job for Barack Obama, yet the Senate candidate in that state, Kay Hagan won in many areas where Barack Obama did not.

Democrats are coming to Barack Obama, coming with him to Washington but those Democrats are up in six years and if Barack Obama tries to go too far to the left, Anderson, they will say don't do that. That will put my seat at risk.

COOPER: Interesting. John King thanks very much.

Join the conversations happening right now at, the live chat going on.

Up next, a conversation with our political panel and an awful lot to cover including Oprah Winfrey's emotional outpouring today and the talk show queen talks about Obama's victory.

Also, Sarah Palin talking about her controversial stint as a running mate and her plans for 2012.

A lot of cover. Stay tuned.



OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: I made a vow at the beginning that I would not use my show as a platform so I kept my mouth shut and supported Barack Obama as a private citizen. And today, though, the election is over. And I'm unleashed.


COOPER: Oprah Winfrey born in rural Mississippi in 1954 in a town not far from where just a year later, 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered for simply talking to a white woman.

Here to talk about how far the country has come since then and where things go from here, "Digging Deeper" with CNN political analyst, Roland Martin; Faye Wattleton in the Center for the Advancement of Women; CNN's senior political analyst, David Gergen; CNN's senior political contributor, Ed Rollins; and CNN political contributor, Alex Castellanos.

Mr. Rollins and Castellanos supported John McCain in the election; Roland Martin and Faye Wattleton supported Obama and David Gergen supported us, which we are appreciative of.


COOPER: Just looking back a little bit to last night and where we are today, I mean, what changed? What has already changed in your mind as you look at America waking up today?

FAYE WATTLETON, CENTER FOR ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: Well, I think that the tone of the country has changed. David and I were speaking during the break we all seemed to have walked a little straighter, a little better. I think that the pulpit of the presidency really does emanate a tremendous power to make us think better of ourselves.

But I think also there is a great anticipation that we should really kind of look at as possibly being more than we can expect of Mr. Obama. He is, after all, a human being. We have seen the enormity of the campaign and how it has worn him and he really needs to take a break. And I think that it really is an opportunity for us to, sort of take, all of us, to take a collective deep breath and look at the enormity of this --

COOPER: It is incredible. You talked to people on the street today. I was talking to everyone I ran into because everyone came out and wanted to talk about what happened, where were you last night and wasn't that incredible.

Everybody sees something different in Barack Obama. Everybody comes to it with their own -- I want health care to change --

WATTLETON: Yes, everything's going to be expected of him.

COOPER: I want -- he can't all -- that's always been the criticism that it's fancy rhetoric, but the reality is going to be different.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What is interesting is when you say that he is all things to all people. Look, I have folks who e- mail me and they say Roland, why are you calling him the first black president? He is also half white.

So you have people who identify with him being white, also identifying him with being black, was identifying with him living overseas, being in this country. He does in many ways represent so many different American stories. And so whatever your comfort zone is, that is the one that you gravitate to and one you appreciate.

COOPER: How do you think, David, folks in Washington are viewing the coming of Barack Obama into Washington and his team? From the Republican perspective, do you look to figure out ways to work together or do you look to sharpen the knives and figure out ways filibuster? What happens?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think initially you look for something of a honeymoon. He is bringing a reservoir of enormous goodwill from the country. If you are a Republican you want to take that into account. You have to realize as a Republican he has reached out to the young people in ways that you need to respond to as well. You cannot become the party of whites and older people in this country and evangelicals and make it to lose majority. So I think that Republicans unlike what we saw with Bill Clinton when there was no honeymoon and like what we saw with George W. Bush when there was virtually no honeymoon.

I think this time there will be a honeymoon. And I think they will try to meet him halfway on some issues, not on all. The problems are so immense it is going to be hard to keep that very long. And that's the reason, that's the argument for going quickly.

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: This is a long, tough campaign. But there is not the animosity towards him. If this would have been Hillary and she was the winner today, which I think she probably would have been, it would have been great polarization and there would have been a lot hate. There's no hate here. The bottom line is --

COOPER: You think it would have been very different?

ROLLINS: Very different. I think there'd be great joy among women and what have you and great pride. But I think the concern we have is the uncertainty.

We know he is disciplined. We know he can run a great campaign. We don't know what the substance of his programs are; and we don't know what kind of leader.

We're now in a point where, "Okay, let's take a step back. We are all very proud that America made a gigantic step. Let's just see."

I don't think there is an opposition building. I think we are so damaged ourselves we are kind of licking our own wounds. And I think we're going to basically give him a honeymoon period.

COOPER: So you don't think folks on Capitol Hill are sharpening their knives, ready for battles ahead?

ROLLINS: I have watched the change -- I have been in Washington since '72. I have watched the change of many administrations. There is always a fear of the unknown, but I think to a certain extent there's going to be --

CASTELLANOS: I think you are going to have a few Republicans. The Republican Party is a little lost right now. You will have a few Republicans who would want to vindicate their purity almost irrationally by posting up against the incoming administration. I think that will be the minority. I think everybody wants Barack Obama to succeed.

My big fear though, is that we are in this debate about I'm going to take money out of your pocket and give a tax cut to these people, et cetera, when the only way to grow this economy is at the new global economic frontier and right now where is the plan to do that?

COOPER: Is the economic crisis, David, an opportunity for Barack Obama?


COOPER: In that 9/11 was an opportunity for George Bush to try to bridge divides. Is this economic crisis the same?

GERGEN: The problems are so immense and they could so easily engulf him. But the opportunity he has is to flip it and to make it a national crusade to take all of you along.

But let me just say one thing about the Republicans. I think that he has to do his part, too. He has talked about a new politics. He has to live up to that in the transition and demonstrate that through his appointments and through other things. One of the concerns I have today in looking at the list of names that are coming about people who may come into his administration. There are some very fine names on that list but there isn't a great sense of new politics about it.

COOPER: Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff.

GERGEN: I only saw two Republicans on there. Bill Gates, current secretary --

COOPER: Bob Gates.

GERGEN: Bob Gates, sorry -- important change. He could take care of our deficit. Bob Gates and the other was Richard Lugar, possibly for Secretary of State. But he would not come in if Gates stayed so that means what they're talking about is maybe one Republican.

I think some of us had envisioned a new politics would be more like a national unity government; that it would have several Republicans woven into to fold.

WATTLETON: I think that we should also -- we can make a comparison with, again, the Reagan administration. He comes to office with a groundswell of goodwill; in fact, a mandate of goodwill. I think that Congress will be somewhat circumspect in getting out the knives for the first two years. You remember, the first two years of the Reagan administration they were very, very reluctant to cross swords with the President for fear of being turned out of office for the next two years.

MARTIN: We're seeing all these different lists but here's what we did see. We saw a campaign that was very tight lipped. I'm not fully trusting of a lot of these lists that we are seeing because he has kept stuff close to the vest. His transition team is doing the exact same thing here.

GERGEN: Let's sit it out.

COOPER: Believe me we'll be watching, we'll be talking about it. The outpouring lasts -- we'll have more from our panel throughout this hour.

The outpouring last night, well into the morning was not limited to this country. Up next, a sampling of remarkable reaction around the world.

And later, Sarah Palin speaking out today on her responsibility, if any, for last night's defeat and her advice for Americans going forward.

You're watching "360."


COOPER: The reaction, the home church of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; you're looking at the reaction from the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where thousands rejoice Barack Obama's victory. Remarkable images as history made last night, a defining moment. All the cliches apply for the country and beyond.


COOPER: We saw the reaction here at home, the cries, the tears, the shouts of joy. But around the world they watched as well.

PUBLIC: Obama. Obama.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN "SITUATION ROOM" ANCHOR: And CNN can now project that Barack Obama, 47 years old, will become the President- elect of the United States.

COOPER: In the streets of Sydney, Australians cheered, in France the champagne flowed, in Thailand too for a few moments it seemed change had come. In quiet corners they watched as well, Manila, Athens, Paris. In this one man, Barack Obama, they seemed to see so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has a quality that will unite not just America but just the whole world. And he seems to be able to relate to everybody, you know, rich, poor, black, white, intelligent, humble.

COOPER: Citizens and statesmen welcomed the news.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is a moment that will live in history as long as history books are written. I've talked to Senator Obama on many occasions and I know that he is a true friend of Britain.

COOPER: In South Africa, former President Nelson Mandela wrote to Obama quote, "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place."

In the places of Obama's past, a special kind of happiness.

In his old school in Indonesia, a child held up his picture. And in Kenya where Obama's father was born, the picture tells the story. The country is declaring a National Holiday in Obama's honor.


COOPER: Well, the election is over, the exit polls continue to pour in. The results are surprising and in some cases are stunning, in who voted for Obama and why.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Soledad O'Brien -- Soledad.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Anderson, I always think parsing that out is really the most interesting part post-election. We want to drill down on some of those factors that provided Obama the win. And as we well know the economy was the number one issue. But we asked this question in the exit polls -- I'm going to stand on my apple box here -- and the question was your family finances are they worse than they were four years ago.

And if you look at that answer -- there we'll go to the United States -- you can see that for people who said yes, their family finances were worse than four years ago, 71 percent of those folks voted for Barack Obama.

Another question and this is a big question was the role of President Bush in this election, for people who disapproved of President Bush, take a look at this. Open up the United States, disapproval of Bush, 67 percent of people who disapproved of that President Bush voted for Barack Obama.

And keep in mind that that number is 72 percent. So you're talking about three quarters of -- I'm sorry, two-thirds of the three quarters of the people in the electorate who do not like, who disapprove of President Bush voted for Barack Obama.

And finally, let's take a look at some of the groups that actually broke very heavily for Barack Obama, we'll go to candidate and we take a look at Latino voters. Sorry about that. Latino voters, right here you can see 67 percent of Latino voters who make up nine percent of the electorate.

But it's not only the Latino voters, take a look here, African- American voters, we knew they were going to break very big for Barack Obama. 95 percent of African-American voters voted for Barack Obama. They make up about 15 percent of the electorate.

Take a look at the young voters, people under 30 years old, 66 percent voted for Barack Obama. And they make up 18 percent of the electorate. New voters make up 11 percent of the electorate. And they voted for Barack Obama 69 percent to 30 percent for John McCain.

And not on this map here, but white voters, he got 43 percent of the white vote, that's 74 percent of the electorate went for Barack Obama. So you can see the economy, the role of President Bush and then finally these groups that were very energized with the message of Barack Obama and went to the polls strongly for him is clearly the reason he won.

COOPER: All right, Soledad thanks, Soledad I've been impressed with John King in the magic wall. I'm actually more impressed with you on that other wall. That was the most confusing wall I've ever seen, I can't even read all those things that you were able to pull.

O'BRIEN: It's confusing, never. It's so easy and I get a little apple box to climb on. Does John King do this? No. He does not.

COOPER: All right, Soledad thanks.

Up next, Sarah Palin one-on-one talking to CNN's Dana Bash about her future and what her plans for 2012 may be; the Governor in her own words. Also tonight, tears of joy, celebrations around the world, welcoming in an era.

We'll be right back.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't know -- I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes and I'm sure I made my share of them, but I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.


COOPER: No regrets from Senator John McCain last night, in his concession speech. He pledged to support Obama saying quote, "Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans."

Governor Sarah Palin did not speak on that stage in Phoenix last night. And today however, she did talk to CNN's Dana Bash. Governor Palin was candid about the campaign, on why some blame her for McCain's lost and whether she intends to run for President in '012.

Here's Sarah Palin in her own words.


DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're notably not ruling out 2012?

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN, (R) ALASKA: Well, you know right now I cannot even imagine running for National Office in 2012. And I say that though of course, coming on the heels of an outcome that I certainly did not anticipate and had not hoped for. But this being a chapter now that is closed and realizing it is time to unite; all Americans need to get together and help with this new administration being ushered. We have got to help this nation and keep it secure. It is a time for all of us to work together.


BASH: And now that this is over, when you think back and you hear words like diva or going rogue?

PALIN: It is absolutely false that there has been any tension and certainly from my part of my family's part. In fact my family who is surrounding me here, they know me. They know my values. What I stand for. They know my work ethic. They know that certainly there's absolutely no diva in me. In fact, we laugh about that criticism.

And if only people come on up and travel with us to Alaska and see this diva lifestyle that I supposedly live or would demand. Because this is just false, but again, I'm not going to participate in any of the negativity.

Some people will choose to go there but it will be based on false allegations that is a criticism but if ever there were demands on my part of my family or my supporters part that were unreasonable or whatever or hurt the campaign, it's false.


COOPER: Sarah Palin speaking this morning with CNN's Dana Bash.

Still ahead, incredible outpouring of emotion that erupted in this country when history was made last night.

Plus, the road to victory was hard but, the work ahead will be even harder. President-elect Obama has 76 days to put together his cabinet. Our panel weighs in on "Strategy" next.



CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: One of the great things about representing this country is that it continues to surprise. It continues to renew itself. It continues to beat all odds and expectations. You just know that Americans are not going to be satisfied until they really do form that perfect union.


COOPER: Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, talking about President-elect Obama during a news conference today, a news briefing. She called this election an extraordinary step forward for the nation. The emotion in Rice's voice was part of a much bigger wave of emotion and elation that swept the country among supporters of Barack Obama in the last 24 hours.

Tom Foreman joins us with more -- Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks Anderson, and you know it's not just the supporters of Barack Obama. I think a great many people beyond him and certainly an awful a lot of people who watch politics closely have said what has happened transcends politics because it says something about our culture.

Listen to how people reacted.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! This is the best the day of my life! We have waited so long for this day! God bless America! God bless us!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what to say, I mean, this is amazing to me, this is amazing to me.

FOREMAN: From the middle of the country outward to the coasts and over the oceans beyond, the celebration flows.

PUBLIC: Yes, we can! Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

FOREMAN: In front of the White House in Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a new world, this is a new possibility, it's the beginning of something, the beginning of something great. And we're really excited about it.

FOREMAN: In a Harlem school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like I might want to run president, I mean, that sounds kind of crazy, because I feel like I could speak to a change that's going to happen and I think I can change people's lives.

FOREMAN: In a California restaurant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: King would say my dream has come true.

FOREMAN: And back in Chicago where it all began.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very excited I feel like our country is going to move towards something greater and bigger and brighter than others thought possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel so elated and I can't believe that he won. He spoke at our high school graduation and I'm so excited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He spoke at your high school graduation?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I grew up from that neighborhood, I'm so -- oh my God I'm thanking God.

FOREMAN: Barack Obama ran on a promise of change. And although great challenges lie ahead because of this one night, for many he has already delivered.


FOREMAN: I was out in Times Square with people last night. And it was so clear that so many of them whether of not they even supported him saw this as this transcendent moment that really went so far beyond politics.

And I want to let you hear one more tribute to this election. You may have seen the video we've been showing of the kids from Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, rapping about the vote, it's very popular.

But listen to what one of these young men has to say now about how Obama's victory makes him feel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Barack Obama can become the first African- American president that means I can do -- (END VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: That's it, Anderson. Hope for a different generation. To see the world and this nation a little bit differently than the world we grew up in and certainly from the world our parents grow.

COOPER: I actually had not seen that video yet, very moving. Tom thanks.

President-elect Obama gets his first top secret intelligence briefing tomorrow. He has just 76 days to put together a cabinet.

Let's talk "Strategy" with our panel. Joining me again, Ed Rollins, Faye Wattleton, David Gergen, Roland Martin and Alex Castellanos.

It is interesting seeing that young man's reaction though because when you sort of heard similar things and saw similar things all throughout and not that night last night but even throughout the day today.

MARTIN: Even still, I mean all throughout the day it was difficult to see any video like that not to start crying. I mean, I got a text message from my mom this morning and she said, I woke up, I meditated and I prayed and she said, in everything was still the same as it was last night.

And literally people are like, OK, did anything change. Did it actually happen? I mean it was interesting the whole reaction from adult and kids.

COOPER: Barack Obama, oh sorry are you going to say --

WATTLETON: Yes, I was just going to say that also yesterday watching the people making their way to the polls, older people on walkers, in wheelchairs, alongside young people and parents taking their children to the polls.

It was something that I have never seen in my life time. It was really quite the same --

COOPER: I had the privilege of being in -- and I'm standing with a young man voting for the first time. And it was -- I can understand that the parallels that a lot of people make to that.

Barack Obama though, is a politician. I mean, people attach to him many things but you guys, you think probably know him more than a lot of people. You spend probably, you've interviewed him more than a lot of other folks. I mean, he is a politician.


COOPER: This is not some sort of pie in the sky.


COOPER: There a bare-knuckle side to him. Is there?

MARTIN: Absolutely. You can't survive Chicago politics, you can't survive in Springfield without knowing how to fight and play the game. And that is why it's interesting in terms of the choices that he makes in terms of how you govern. He understands even with a Democratic Senate and Democratic House that he is going to have to even play hardball with his own party because he has a vision.

That may be different from some other Congressional leaders. He wants to make sure that his vision is the one that is enacted. He is not, again, he is not thinking short term. They are thinking more along the lines of Reagan, something that's a lot more broader.

COOPER: Does he need to rein in his party now? I mean, they could very well sort of result -- feel jubilation over this victory and feel like they have a free rein to do whatever they want?

GERGEN: Well, I think one of the smart things he did Anderson, as far as I can tell, is he made very, very few promises so that he is not beholden in a way that we've seen some other presidents come in and makes it very awkward.

But already you can hear the cacophony of voices within the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill. He has to go this way. No, no, no. He has to go that way.

Should he go big and bold early? Should he go spend a lot of money early which is one side is arguing and the other side is arguing, no, no, no. We can't do that. You've got to be cautious. We've a $1 trillion deficit coming out and you've got to hold back.

I think he's going to be under a lot of conflicting pressure.

Roland's point is well taken. And before he makes his appointments, he really needs to know what his own priorities are and what his strategy is and then find people who are consistent with what he is trying to do and not the other way around.

MARTIN: I talked to an Obama adviser who said that, every decision he's made in the campaign, he was deliberate, he was thoughtful and when he moved, he moved.

COOPER: That was actually my next question, is there a lesson in how he ran his campaign, how he set up his campaign and how he's going to govern?

WATTLETON: Absolutely. He has run a campaign like nothing that we have seen before. He is by all measure an icon to popular culture, also.

So the groundwork on which he will be able to carry out his mandate is very different. It's not the same old-fashioned politics. I think that the people are much more engaged in this process. And so that while he will certainly have to make certain compromises and take certain positions with Congress, the people are going to hold him accountable. COOPER: Interest because I remember during the campaign I actually asked him at some interview about criticism that he didn't have executive experience. And he said well, look, I've set up this campaign, I've run this campaign -- does that, what is the lesson of the campaign?

ROLLINS: The lesson is that he basically can keep his cool, run a very disciplined campaign, drive a message and stay consistent on the message. The danger that I think he faces is he can't overreach and the dilemma that's there, fixing this economy will make him a great president.

That may take the whole four years. Getting us out of Iraq and finishing Afghanistan will make him a great president.

The danger that he faces, is there's a lot of pent up frustration among the old bulls in his own party. There are people like John Dingell and Waxman and what have you who waited ten years in the minority to get the game back again. They're now chairmen of committees.

COOPER: And that's how they see it again?

ROLLINS: And it's a shared power. And these guys basically have got their own agendas and they're going to -- he's never had to share and now he's going have to share and he'd have to lead. But he's going to have to also give them something.

GERGEN: And that is why Rahm Emanuel will actually become a critical player. Because he is -- they are obviously setting up a good cop/bad cop routine in the White House. That Barack Obama can be the good guy or the transcended.

MARTIN: It was David and I, David was the bad cop.

COOPER: Very briefly, Alex.

CASTELLANOS: You can see how he'll govern and look at his campaign. His campaign has been very careful, conservative, not ideologically, but not to scare America, you ought to be very comfortable we had the Democratic advantage and be very comfortable with me. And why would he change that as President. So he's going to make America I think very comfortable.

WATTLETON: And he's very steady.

COOPER: Interesting discussion from all of you, I appreciate you joining us for these two hours.

Still ahead, four years ago Barack Obama is just a state senator. How did he come so far so fast? Coming up we'll trace his meteoric rise.

Plus a rare look behind the scenes of the Obama campaign. This is actually really cool. "Time" photographer Callie Shell has spent two years on the trail with Obama; captured some incredible moments. Her pictures and she narrates her own pictures coming up on "360."


COOPER: Barack Obama and Joe Biden sharing the stage last night with Biden's mom and Obama's mother-in-law. Just four years ago, Obama was a state senator in Illinois. His climb to the White House is nothing short of remarkable. The question is, how did he go so far so fast?

"Up Close" here's Tom Foreman.


OBAMA: Thank you so much.

FOREMAN: Obama himself is not quite sure how he was chosen to address the 2004 Democratic Convention. He was merely running for the U.S. Senate at the time but he rocked the party.

OBAMA: There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There's the United States of America.

FOREMAN: The momentum carried him into the senate and into the presidential race less than three years later.

OBAMA: I want to win that next battle for better schools and better jobs and better health care for all.

FOREMAN: At that time Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were both stronger contenders. But Obama broke with convention; instead of chasing big donors he launched an Internet campaign to collect millions of small donors.

Instead of reaching solely for the Democratic left he spoke directly to the disaffected middle, new voters, non-voters, independents. And in the corn field caucus they roared to life swelling the ranks of the party and giving him Iowa.

The caucus states were key because they allowed Obama's enthusiastic supporters to lobby other voters right at the moment of decision and it worked. One by one his opponents fell.

Against McCain his game plan barely changed. Armed with unprecedented amounts of cash, Obama attacked everywhere forcing McCain to defend in states that should have been reliably Republican and showing his strength with massive public spectacles that made Obama look like he was already the winner.


FOREMAN: Yes. Obama had help. Undeniably, the war and the economy hurt McCain quite badly. But Obama played all those issues just right always casting himself as the outsider, the agent of change which turned almost all of his weaknesses in to strengths. And of course, it rewrote the book on how you win the presidency in the process -- Anderson.

COOPER: Tom I think, you always Wolf Blitzer is the hardest working man in the news. I think you are; you've had four pieces on, I thank you very much for your help.

FOREMAN: Hard work on the campaign for all of them.

COOPER: Remarkable job for you and Katie (ph) your producer as well a great job, thanks.

Up next, too close to call and a look at the hotly contested race that we're still tracking tonight.

Plus, snapshots from the Obama campaign. Callie Shell, "Time" magazines photographer spending two years on the trail with Obama. Her favorite moments of the President-elect when "360" continues.



COOPER: Waiting in line to get a copy of history. This is what it looked like outside the offices of "The New York Times" today; hundreds wanting a copy of the paper declaring Obama as the president. Apparently it's very hard to get on newsstands. I actually threw my copy away; I didn't realize I should have kept it, I guess.

We hear some folks are seeking as much as $600 for their copies of "The Times" on eBay. We probably got a couple laying around here.

HILL: Let's make a little cash, Cooper.

COOPER: Also tonight, some new developments, a very tight senate race. Erica Hill joins us with details and the bulleting.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We'll get you the latest in this one, Anderson.

Tonight the Portland Oregonian is reporting Democrat Jeff Merkley has defeated Republican Senator Gordon Smith for the U.S. Senate but CNN will not be making a projection in this race. We, in fact are going to wait until this race has been certified or until one of the candidates concedes. But we will continue to follow that for you.

In the meantime, on Wall Street, post election nerves about the weak economy sent stocks plunging today. All the major indexes fell more than five percent. The Dow lost nearly 500 points.

Michael Crichton has died after a battle with cancer. The best- selling author of "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park" as well as a number of other novels actually trained as a doctor at Harvard Medical School. He went on to create award winning TV series "E.R." Michael Crichton was 66, Anderson.

COOPER: Very sad. Time for our "Beat 360" winners; our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a caption better than the one we can think of. Here's the picture, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin emerging from a voting booth after casting her vote in Wasilla, Alaska. Our staff winner tonight is Maureen. Her caption, "Ah, that's not funny, who put Tina Fey's name on the ballot?"

HILL: I love it.

COOPER: The viewer winner is Kevin from Toronto. His caption, "I'm not sure I have the right ballot here. I don't see Maverick, Joe the Plumber or Tina Fey listed anywhere!" Both using Tina Fey there.

HILL: I'm sensing a theme here.

COOPER: Kevin, congratulations. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way. You can check out all the entries in our blog and play along tomorrow at

Still ahead, two years on the trail with Barack Obama. The photographer Callie Shell, capturing some remarkable moments behind the scenes long before Senator Obama became President-elect. That's next.



SHERRI SHEPHERD, HOST, "THE VIEW": I remember somebody in my family said one time when I said, I want to be a comic and actress. And they said no, get a job at the post office. They don't let people like us do that. So I looked at my son and say, no limitations on you.


COOPER: A very emotional Sherri Shepherd on "The View" this morning talking about why Barack Obama's victory is so powerful for her.

President-elect Obama began his quest for the White House two years ago and "Time" photographer Callie Shell has been on the trail with him this entire time. She's had exclusive up close access. Obama actually took this photograph of Shaw. There he is turning the camera on the photographer.

Most of the time, though, it was Shell who had control of the camera; her photos can be seen in the new issue of "Time" on sale tomorrow. It's a commemorative issue. She's captured some amazing moments.

Here she is revealing them all.


OBAMA: I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady, Michelle Obama.

CALLIE SHELL, PHOTOGRAPHER, "TIME": She is, you can tell, his best friend, his biggest supporter. But at the same time, she's the one who eggs him on or gives him a hard time. Just kind of makes him laugh.

So they would actually come together at an event backstage for just a minute, and that's all they would see each other in a week. And they would just kind of lock arms around each other and just close the world out for two seconds.

OBAMA: Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House.

SHELL: And when his daughters and Michelle showed up this weekend, he was energized, he was ready to go. You know, I think the girls handle the stage really well. I think it's obvious that they know it's important to their dad. But I find his children; they've got to have done something right, because those kids are so gracious.

OBAMA: It's been a long time coming. But tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

SHELL: This man would speak at rallies and women would start crying and teenagers and college kids are jumping up and screaming, and it's not a concert, and it's not kid rock. And he empowers people.

As the rallies kept growing and the numbers didn't go down, you realize this is different. And finally, maybe in our country, we might vote for a black president. It's not to make the whole election about that. You know, it wasn't.

It's more than he's black, it was his words, it's what people believed in. There were tons of people I think at these rallies who didn't see black or white, they just felt empowered with his words.


COOPER: The piece was produced by a remarkable producer named Lisa Ort, who is actually leaving us. She's been with this program from the beginning and all of us will miss her very much indeed.

That does it for this edition of "360." Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Anderson Cooper.

"LARRY KING" is next.