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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Obama Promises New Direction in Politics; World Celebrates Obama Win; Gay Marriage Bans Passed in Three States

Aired November 5, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: At this defining moment, change has come to America.

JANE VELEZ MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the world is a different place, and people around the globe are in ecstasy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

VELEZ MITCHELL: Why Oprah and so many others think this is a turning point in history.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: This was the moment.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Now, can Obama`s wild popularity overseas help polish America`s tarnished image? Can we now say racism dead? Or is that a dangerous assumption?

Plus, the war on women. The latest on the mysterious murder of TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly. Police have new evidence, but no suspects.

And shocking ads aimed at curbing violence against women causing an uproar. Should these be torn down to protect America`s kids?

All these issues and lots more tonight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ MITCHELL: Good evening. The whole world is celebrating the election of Barack Obama. Why are millions of people so happy? Maybe it`s because, starting now, peace is no longer a dirty word.

Here`s my issue. You know how we say peace out? From now on, it`s peace in. Obama`s message is clear: peacefulness doesn`t have to mean weakness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: To those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security, we support you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ MITCHELL: Barack Obama`s victory speech last night provides the clues to a whole new vocabulary for the future. One of the first things Obama did and said, he included everybody. What a concept.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It`s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans who sent a message to the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ MITCHELL: The president-elect also doesn`t view life as a zero sum game where there are winners and losers and cartoonish good guys and bad guys. Gone is that old us-versus-them mentality in the Bush administration. Gone is the bring-it-on arrogance. Gone is that shock- and-awe attitude that`s all about showing them a thing or two.

Enter stage right, a new political moral code. One that involves not what we can take, but what we can give.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It can`t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ MITCHELL: No, this is not a dream. It`s actually happening. This is a new world order, in a good way. Peace in. We hope.

Joining me now, my fabulous panel: Princella Smith, chief advocate at American Solutions; Liz Chadderdon, Democratic strategist from the Chadderdon Group; and Gavin Polone, Libertarian commentator and producer at "The Pariah."

Liz, it seems clear to me anyway that this is a fundamental shift in values, more than policy or politics. Isn`t this a totally different mentality than the one we`ve been dealing with for the past eight years?

LIZ CHADDERDON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It is a different mentality. And in many ways it is a brand-new day. But I think one of the really big changes that`s happened is that the last eight years were very much about the politics of fear, and we just entered into an era of the politics of hope.

Now, hope is really tough, man, because it takes trust, which means we`ve really got to trust Barack Obama to do all the things that he says he`s going to do. Right now we do. We`re hoping that everything he said is real. If it is, I think America is just on its way to having its best days still be very much in front of it.

But it`s also a little bit of a catch-22. If he doesn`t come up with the right solutions, the politics of hope could fall pretty flat. But right now the politics of hope are really, really hopeful.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Yes, Princella Smith, this could be a short honeymoon. I mean, we`ve got the foreclosures. The stock market went down a lot today. We`ve got the whole financial crisis. If it continues to plummet, and accelerates, we could see the honeymoon end very quickly.

PRINCELLA SMITH, CHIEF ADVOCATE, AMERICAN SOLUTIONS: Yes. You know, I think that this is a realistic opportunity for America to see the advantages.

The truth of the matter is, on some of the things that Barack Obama ran on, he won`t be able to implement because they`re so far to the left. But what he does have an opportunity to do is to govern over a centrist type majority. And if he does something like, you know, govern more to the center, which he looks like he`s starting to move that way with those last two ads that he ran, that he has an extreme opportunity to do exactly what he`s talking about, which is to bring in Republicans, Democrats, and people of all stripes.

And guess what? He`s going to have to do it. If you pay attention to that map and look at some of those seats the Democrats picked up, they`re in very moderate places. So Senator Obama`s definitely got his hands full.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Yes. And you know what? We`ve got the maps here. And I`m going to bring them up in a second. There, take a look. That`s 2004. And you can see obviously, blue, Democrats, reds, Republicans. Now take a look at 2008. He has really redrawn the map. It`s not just, you know, the two crazy coasts anymore. We have a new mandate.

And I want to ask Gavin Polone, Libertarian commentator about this. I mean, he crushed, when it came to women voters, voters under 30, African- American voters, Latino voters, first-time voters and those crucial voters making less than $100,000 a year, the blue-collar voters that McCain was so desperate to get. This is truly a mandate. This isn`t just, oh, you know, squeaking by.

GAVIN POLONE, LIBERTARIAN COMMENTATOR: I sort of disagree. I think you`re over-dramatizing the situation. The fact is that I`m a life-long Republican, and I didn`t vote for John McCain, nor did I vote for Barack Obama. I voted Libertarian this year, because the Republicans have completely screwed everything up. McCain ran a terrible campaign.

VELEZ MITCHELL: I agree with you there.

POLONE: He ran away from his own values. George Bush has been a terrible president. They`ve gone away from their core values of fiscal restraint, of managing the military properly and -- and being more the party of reason. So I would say that it`s not so much that there was a mandate for Obama, but there was a mandate against the Republicans.

VELEZ MITCHELL: I know you`re a Libertarian. And I used to be a Libertarian years ago. And so when I heard that word "service," because I`m no longer a Libertarian, I was like, wow, yes, we have a new attitude here. Instead of "Oh, give me more. Give me more. I want Iraq`s oil. The rich are getting richer on Wall Street," we`re going to change the mentality.

But I know that Libertarians think that self-interest is really what`s going to get the nation ahead. My problem with that theory is that there`s enlightened self-interest and there`s unenlightened self-interest. And what we`ve seen in the last eight years is a lot of unenlightened self- interest.

POLONE: There`s no question about it. But that extends from the very top all the way to the very bottom. And capitalism is really a great functioning system. And if you allow capitalism to work, with some management on either side. I`m not saying that the Treasury Department shouldn`t have stepped in during the economic crisis. They absolutely should have.

But if you allow people who cannot afford their homes to lose their homes, and it`s a tough thing to do, and you don`t mess with the system too much, eventually we`ll cycle out of it.

What we learned from the Great Depression is over-management and over- taxation and overregulation creates a depression situation.

VELEZ MITCHELL: And...

POLONE: And that`s how both the Hoover and the Roosevelt governments mismanaged it, and that`s why we had a ten-year depression.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Liz, I want to get back to the whole issue of Obama`s style. I mean, we had such ideology in the last eight years, where people were given positions. Not because of their competence, like Brownie -- "heck of a job, Brownie" -- but because of their ideology and the fact that they were loyal to their administration. Are we going to see a complete undoing of that mentality with the appointments that are coming up now?

CHADDERDON: I don`t know if we`re going to see a complete undoing, but I definitely think we`re going to see a different change in that direction. I think we`re already starting to see it. It`s on the wires out today that Senator Obama is saying that he`s going to ask Congressman Rahm Emmanuel from Illinois to be his chief of staff. That`s huge. Rahm Emmanuel was the architect of the 2006 takeover of the Democrats in Congress.

VELEZ MITCHELL: But he`s a tough guy.

CHADDERDON: He is tough. He is brilliant. He is no -- take no prisoners. And he`s moderate. I think that`s something that`s actually really important.

And that, I think, shows us that Barack Obama`s not just going to put his friends in there. He`s not just going to put people in there he can give nicknames. He`s going to put people in there that are actually going to get things done, and they`re going to make America better.

VELEZ MITCHELL: I see him as sort of a corporate CEO style, as opposed to an ideological style. And I hope I`m right. I hope that he has that cool, calm, collected corporate approach. Fabulous panel. Stay right there. We`re going to be back with you in just a second.

More than 63 million Americans were thrilled with the election results, and millions more around the globe were overjoyed. Can America be once again a beacon of light for the world?

And I`m going to show you some very provocative, controversial new ads aimed at stopping domestic violence before it starts. Parents, you need to see this, and you may get angry.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ MITCHELL: Those watching tonight from beyond our shores, 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ MITCHELL: After eight years of the most unpopular U.S. president in recorded history, if you believe the polls, the international community was elated -- elated -- to hear Barack Obama won last night.

The party started instantly everywhere, from Kenya, to Japan, to Greece, to Australia. It seems the world is ready for a kinder, gentler America.

I, for one, am beyond ready to have a president who is globally respected instead of universally detested. We have been the world`s outcasts for far too long, and it`s time to win back the admiration and respect that this country deserves.

The international press, of course, chimed in on this historic election. Germany`s "Der Spiegel" called Obama`s rise astonishing. Israel`s "Ha`aretz" called the election an example of democracy at its best. And China`s "Daily" wrote, "We have every reason to anticipate a more cooperative and talk-savvy new America."

With me now to talk more about the global reaction to this historic American election, Richard Quest, CNN international correspondent.

Richard, great to have you here. Give us a rundown. London, Paris, Milan, what are your friends across the pond telling you? I mean, is this euphoria in Europe as intense as it seems to be?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is absolutely no question about that. It`s very rare you`ll get a CNN correspondent coming off the fence. But let me come down hard and fast on that particular point.

There is just about unanimity on the election of Barack Obama, from London to Berlin to Paris down to Rome. Take any city you want, all the way down to Sydney into Canberra. There was pretty much the same view.

And it`s for one simple reason, Jane. You cannot -- cannot -- keep offending your allies and not expect them to retaliate or be miffed or to be huffed and not to do what you want. And that is effectively what has happened over many years of the Bush administration. Now, that`s not a party political point that I`m making, Jane. It`s a simple fact, whether it`s Kyoto environment, Afghanistan, Iraq, rendition, Guantanamo, whether it`s been economic or political or even military.

VELEZ MITCHELL: You know, and even just the insults. I mean, the attitude that we had where we had to call French fries "freedom fries," because the French were not with us in the war in Iraq.

Now the American people overwhelmingly believe that that war should be wrapped up. And so now we`re back to French fries. I mean, is that kind of...

QUEST: But hang on, hang on. Don`t forget, all that support by the rest of the world for Barack Obama, I`m telling you, yes, it`s very deep at the moment. But it will go down the plug hole like a sieve, and very fast, too, if things don`t go according to plan.

Let`s just take, for example, some previous presidents. I mean, Carter was quite well liked in the rest of the world. But not here back at home. Ronald Reagan, well, no one really thought very much of him, in large part of the rest of the world. But loved in the United States.

So you pays your money, you takes your choice with this international sort of popularity contest. The one popularity poll I can say, the one shot (ph) I can say is that, if the rest of the world had been voting, well, we`d have all been home and in bed by 7 p.m., because it would have been over.

VELEZ MITCHELL: OK. Good point. But I want to ask you one quick question. One top priority for Barack Obama with the rest of the world. Is it ending the war? Is it doing something about global warming since Kyoto just was let to wither and die?

QUEST: No, it`s very simple. It`s very easy, and he does it from day one: he listens.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Yes.

QUEST: He knows that the people around...

VELEZ MITCHELL: Bravo!

QUEST: Well, it will be -- no, you`re taking me to political waters here. And they`re getting deep and choppy. But we`ll get a good example of this at the G-20 which takes place in Washington on November the 15th. First of all, is Barack Obama actually going to turn up and go to that as the sidekick to George W. Bush?

VELEZ MITCHELL: All right. You know what? You are a fascinating guest. We want to have you back again and again to discuss the many global ramifications of this entire election.

Thank you so much, Richard.

Now, let`s bring in our fantastic panel. Princella Smith, chief advocate at American Solutions, an organization founded, by the way, by Newt Gingrich; Liz Chadderdon, Democratic strategist from the Chadderdon Group; and Gavin Polone, our Libertarian commentator and producer from "Pariah."

Liz, you know, to me, the rest of the world was just tired more than anything else. This is our theme tonight of our attitude as expressed by the Bush administration. You know, you`re either against us or you`re for us, bring it on, shock and awe. It was kind of a cowboy western that turned into a horror movie for much of the world.

CHADDERDON: You`re absolutely right. I just want to first say that I hope you bring Richard Quest back, because I have a big crush right now on his accent. I mean, he is fabulous.

VELEZ MITCHELL: It kind of went from British to Irish there and back to British. But we won`t talk about that.

CHADDERDON: I want to learn how to say Barack Obama the way he does.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Barack Obama.

CHADDERDON: But I think, going back to, I think that the world is -- has really been looking for America to be the America that it`s been. A leader. Someone they can turn to and say, yes, I want to be like you.

And let`s be honest, particularly the last four years, arguably the last eight years, we haven`t been that country. We haven`t been a country that has inspired our former allies. We haven`t been a country that`s inspired anybody.

But now we have turned a massive cultural corner in America. We have elected the first African-American. We have thrown away the politics of fear for the politics of hope. And I think the world is looking at us saying, "Whew, about time. Hallelujah. It`s a brand new day."

VELEZ MITCHELL: I want to move forward to the U.N., which symbolizes, in many respects, the rest of the world. Listen to how the secretary- general of the U.N. responded to the news of Barack`s election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Today Barack Obama is America`s choice. As secretary-general of the United Nations, I look forward to working with a new administration, to further our common cause and enormously important objectives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ MITCHELL: Gavin Polone, let`s face it, President Bush was not the darling as the U.N. Can you say Hans Blix and weapons of mass destruction? If we had listened to the United Nations when they said -- and Hans Blix was the leader of that weapons investigation -- there were no weapons that they could find, we wouldn`t have had to have gone to war.

POLONE: The United Nations has proven itself to be an ineffective body, and I don`t really judge who I want to be president of the United States by what other people like Hugo Chavez decide in the rest of the world. I think we should have a president that does what`s best for the United States.

The reason why people hate George Bush is because they screwed up the war, not because they prosecuted the war. If Donald Rumsfeld had handled it properly, Paul Bremer had handled it differently, and we had gotten in there with the right number of troops and then got out, everybody would have thought we were those leaders. In World War II, we got in, we took control, we acted properly, we conducted the war properly, and that`s why they loved us.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Princella, I think the point that Richard made about listen, we didn`t listen to the U.N. Hans Blix told us over and over again, we can`t find any of those WMDs, and we didn`t listen. We knew everything, we were right, we were, it turns out, operating on our gut, and we were wrong.

SMITH: Well, look, I think he`s exactly right. I don`t think I`d necessarily want the U.N. deciding who I want to be president.

Now, with that said, it is absolutely fabulous that we have this great opportunity that we have -- a great opportunity of people who are joyous and happy that we`ve got a new leader. And I just hope that President- elect Obama takes advantage of this opportunity.

One of the things that he can do with regards to foreign relations is to solve this energy crisis. It is directly related to the national security crisis that we`re in right now. So if he puts together a comprehensive energy plan that releases us from dependence on foreign oil, I think that that will say a lot for his standing.

VELEZ MITCHELL: And you know what?

SMITH: And exactly right, he does need to listen.

VELEZ MITCHELL: I wholly agree with you. We`re going to have to leave it there. I agree with you: energy needs to be priority No. 1. But we can`t divorce it from global warming. We can`t drill our way out of this mess.

Liz, Princella, Gavin, thank you so much. We need alternatives.

California has been at the forefront of gay rights. Many stunned today over the likely passage of a gay marriage ban. We`ll have that controversy in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ MITCHELL: A furious battle underway at this hour over whether gays in California can get married. Even though California went overwhelmingly for Obama, Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage, is leading in a very tight race. CNN hasn`t called it yet, although A.P. has said it passed.

California usually leads the way when it comes to gay rights. So when a gay marriage ban passes in that state, what does it mean for the rest of the country? And who are these people who are so interested in stopping other people from getting married?

Joining me now, Kerry Eleveld, senior political reporter and news editor at "The Advocate."

Thank you for joining us, Kerry. Your magazine has fought Prop 2 all the way. Are you shocked at the support for Prop 2 in a state that`s considered the bluest of the blue states?

KERRY ELEVELD, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER/NEWS EDITOR, "THE ADVOCATE": Well, yes. It`s hard to say shocked. This has been an issue that has come up in 2004 that was used again in 2006.

But yes, California has generally been a friend to gays and lesbians. And I will say it hasn`t just been California that -- that waged this war. There were -- there`s $20 million worth of Mormon money in this particular campaign, to stop gays and lesbians from getting married.

Overall, it was a $73 million campaign between both sides. And $20 million of that came from the other side, from individual Mormon donors. I think that`s fascinating.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Yes. So people from out of state, essentially Mormons, probably from Utah, donating to ban gay marriage in California. That is fascinating. Now how about Hollywood money? I mean, Hollywood gay community, lots of money, how much did they put in, and did they drop the ball?

ELEVELD: Well, I don`t have an exact figure for how much they came in. But no, I don`t think that Hollywood dropped the ball at all. I mean, you know, you saw Steven Spielberg, you saw people like Mary J. Blige, you know, do fund-raisers, and Melissa Etheridge. A whole bunch of people stepped up to the plate to try to raise enough money.

I mean, when it comes down to money, we actually ended up raising around $36 million, $38 million.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Let me jump in here, because we`ve got so much to cover in a short time. Prop 8, exit polls. Unbelievable. African- Americans supported this ban by 69 percent over 31 percent. Weekly churchgoers, 83 percent. That`s no surprise.

But college graduates opposed it. Latinos opposed it 52 to 48. Exit polls showed whites opposed it, 55 to 45. And young voters opposed it 66 to 34.

So essentially, people are concluding since African-Americans, 69 percent supported this ban, that essentially their coming out in huge numbers for Obama is what put this over the top.

ELEVELD: Well, I don`t think the analysis is quite that simple. You know, there`s no doubt that a solid majority of African-Americans approved of this ban. And I would say that -- that, in terms of what pushed this over the edge, I wouldn`t give the edge just necessarily to African- Americans.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Very quickly, what happens to Ellen and Portia and all the other thousands who got married after the Supreme Court said it was OK?

ELEVELD: Eighteen thousand, actually. And it`s not exactly clear, but Attorney General Jerry Brown has already said that he`s going to let the marriages stand, and I think it remains to be seen whether or not these end up in court -- in the courts.

VELEZ MITCHELL: All right. Thank you so much. A lot to cover in a short period of time. And we`re going to stay on top of that story for sure.

Now that we`ve elected our first African-American president, does that mean America has gone totally color-blind? Is racism dead? More on the president-elect and race relations in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST OF "OPRAH": It feels like hope won. It feels like it`s not just victory for, obviously Barack Obama, it feels like America did the right thing. It feels like there`s a shift in consciousness. It feels like something really big and bold has happened here. Like nothing ever in our lifetime did we expect this to happen.

Something big just happened. It feels like -- it feels like anything is now possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You go, Oprah. Amen to that, with all the talk of how race would play out in this election. It`s now obvious it was just that, talk. In fact President-elect Obama won more white votes than either John Kerry or Al Gore.

So does that suggest we`re now living in a post-racial America? And could that very attitude actually do more harm than good with people saying, hey, we elected a black president, racism is dead, even though racial inequality still lingers and do need to be addressed.

Joining me now to talk about the implications of Obama`s victory for race relations in America and a whole lot more is the Reverend Al Sharpton, civil rights activist, President of the National Action Network; and a former candidate for president himself.

Reverend Al, great to see you. I covered you years ago when I was a reporter in New York City. And we had many conversations. So it brings me back. Some people saw history being made last night. And they concluded one less thing to worry about. Racism is kaput. Is it dangerous to draw that conclusion?

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Well, I think it`s dangerous if we`re not going to use this overwhelming example of America`s growth to, therefore, change and bring about a closing of the race gap. I think what we saw is that most Americans can get beyond race.

I was at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.`s crypt last night and we had our watch night service with his children and his sister and thousands came out with the National Action Network to remember this was only a dream with Dr. King.

But it doesn`t mean when we look now, Jane, at the education achievement gap, based on race, or look at what`s happening in the criminal justice system, we don`t need to now close the gap in those areas just like many Americans closed the gap last night by voting for someone based on the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Reverend now, you took the words out of my mouth. Believe it or not, in Nebraska, they just passed a proposition which basically put an end to affirmative action. When they did the same thing in California, the attendance levels at the state colleges for African- Americans, Latinos, plummeted.

SHARPTON: And that`s the problem. The problem is we`ve been in an education initiative. When you look at only 31 percent of black men in Detroit have even graduated from high school and compare that to white numbers, yes, we have still racial inequality.

I think what America showed us last night is that we can get beyond it. We got beyond it by voting for a president. The leader of the free world, which means that we should use that to affirm the faith we can get beyond it in other areas.

But to say that we`re already there is a disservice to those that grew and made Obama`s victory what it was last night. So I don`t think that we use it as an excuse not to deal with the problem. I think we do what Senator Obama said, now President-elect Obama, we have a serious discussion, and finish the task. I think his election proves that we can finish it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you know, Obama, of course, President-elect Obama, has always had a post-racial approach, a color-blind approach. But given that African-Americans and Latinos, minorities in general, turned out for him in droves; does he owe those demographics something? In terms of dealing with education, in terms of dealing with the prison system? We house more people in prison in America than any other country in the world.

SHARPTON: Sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Overwhelmingly African-American and Latino. Does he need to say, hey, I`m going to tackle that because you were there for me?

SHARPTON: No, I think he should tackle these issues because he knows it`s good for America. From my conversations down through the campaign months, from time to time with Senator Obama, I think he operates on what he believes is good for the country, not some patronage that he owes who voted for him.

I think he owes to America to do what he said. And that is, and I believe he will, and that is to stand up for what`s right. It is just wrong to have a system that`s unfair and unequal. I think it is just not in the interests of the country.

And you close these gaps to make one true America, and you unite America by meaning there is no difference based on gender and race. And not by leaving things as they are, and just talking about it rhetorically. I think that`s what his administration will attempt to bring us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want you to hear what Condi Rice had to say today, this is fascinating, let`s roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: As an African-American, I`m especially proud, because this is a country that`s been through a long journey in terms of overcoming rules, and making race not The Factor in our lives. That work is not done. But yesterday was obviously an extraordinary step forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Reverend Sharpton, in the last eight years, the African-Americans we`ve seen come to promise politically have been conservative, and that doesn`t represent the vast majority of the African- Americans. Are we going to see something new now, hopefully?

SHARPTON: Well, I would hope that we see some that are not conservative or liberal, but at least honest. I was glad to hear Condoleezza rice even say that we`re not there yet, but it`s a tremendous step forward.

And again, I don`t think we must forget, Barack Obama has just been elected president, not the leader of black America, or white America, but America. I think those of us that advocate civil rights will continue to do that, just as labor leaders will do what they do in labor, and women leaders will do what they do for women. I think all of us will have to continue to advocate, and he will respond.

But I think that it will be the ultimate measure of discrimination if we try to just make him a black leader. There are those of us that will do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

SHARPTON: We want him to respond.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent. It`s all about the middle way, finding balance.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I thank you, Reverend Sharpton and great to see again and you look marvelous if I must say.

SHARPTON: Good to see you again, thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You look marvelous.

SHARPTON: You look better than even years ago in New York.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re both complimenting each other. And you look fantastic. You`re fit. And I really compliment you and congratulate you on that.

SHARPTON: Thank you, thank you.

VELEZ MITCHELL: Great, great seeing you.

With me now, Mayor Douglas Wilder of Richmond, Virginia, also the former Governor of Virginia. Mayor, your state went blue for Obama. This is the first time Virginia has gone Democratic in a Presidential Election since 1968.

What does your state and they`re electing an African-American Democratic candidate reveal about how America as a whole is changing?

MAYOR DOUGLAS WILDER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: Since 1964, really. And that was the first time since 1948. I`m not surprised that Virginia went for Obama. I said that several times during the course of this campaign. Democratic candidates had not campaigned here.

Bill Clinton didn`t, Al Gore didn`t, and John Kerry didn`t. And they gave their various reasons. I think money hampered some of them from doing what they said they would be trying to do.

Now, having said that, what I have found, and what I have seen with Barack Obama, he has gone everywhere. He has gone to the hinterlands; he`s gone to the suburbs. And you look at the vote, for instance, in Florida, in those suburban areas; you had a reverse Bradley effect that took place.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Yes, everybody was worried about the Bradley effect. And we had the opposite of it actually take place.

WILDER: It was a reverse and I predicted that that may be the case. This would be the worst litmus test to apply to him in terms of whether in fact he`s representative of African-American problems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I jump in, sir?

WILDER: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just want to ask you about a cultural issue because we`ve talk so much about politics. But you know, I often see a similarity between Barack Obama and Tiger Woods. And I`m a huge fan of Tiger Woods. And he won all these trophies. And all these golf clubs.

But there`s still what I would call country club racism. They love Tiger Woods but they don`t want necessarily to open their doors to a slew of African-Americans or Latinos. How do you think that Obama`s election is going to change the culture in America, particularly that country club racism?

WILDER: Well, two things. You`ve got to remember the two are not equitable. Tiger Woods is a golfer and he is the best golfer in the world. I think Barack Obama, lays some claim he plays basketball. But he`s not a professional athlete.

We`re talking about government. We`re talking about the out of impossible. We`re talking about -- and I have one word definition for politics -- money. You`re going to find out where the money is spent, how it`s spent, on whom is it`s spent.

Are we going to revitalize our cities? Are we going to grow the infrastructure? Are we going to repair many of the problems that we`ve seen in terms of the deterioration of our cities?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But do you think this is going to change the culture?

WILDER: Yes, it will, because --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How people behave on a daily basis?

WILDER: Yes. When you say to a youngster, if you want to go to college, if you want an education, if you prepare yourself by giving service to the community, or prepare yourself by giving service to the military, I can guarantee you a scholarship.

I can guarantee you an opportunity to go to school. Education has always been the key in terms of civil rights advancement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I have only a couple of seconds, but I know that sometimes Obama sounds a little bit like Bill Cosby. You know, take responsibility, African-American fathers. Do you think that he can get in the same trouble Cosby got into and I only got a couple of seconds?

WILDER: Cosby is not in any trouble. Obama is delivering the same message. He said to youngsters the other day, I can provide help for you. But he said to those fathers, I can`t be the father to your child. Bill Cosby is saying exactly what should be said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

WILDER: Let`s not make any excuses for lack of performance. And fathers tend to your families and be there for them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, great message. Mayor, thank you so much. I hope you come back and join us again.

WILDER: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is still no suspect. Police say they do have new evidence, however, in the brutal beating death of anchor woman Ann Presley. I will have a report from the front lines of the "War on Women."

And a controversial ad campaign "Targeting Domestic Violence," is actually provoking anger.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are continuing to take a hard line and a hard look at the "War on Women." It`s been almost two weeks since the beating death of Ann Presley, and still, can you believe it, no arrests.

New information just in, it appears the slaying TV anchor woman from Little Rock, Arkansas, never fully regained consciousness after she was beaten.

Her devastated parents still have no idea at all why somebody would take their daughter`s life; especially in this horrific manner. The Little Rock Police Department is accepting anonymous tips and now there is a $50,000 reward fund that has been set up. No suspect, however, has been named.

Again, we will not let this story go until somebody has been brought to justice. This is an obscenity, and this kind of sadistic, senseless violence against women has to stop. It is simply unacceptable, and we women have to get together with our supportive men and say, no more. We are going to do something to stop this from happening again.

Dana Bradley is a reporter at KARN news radio. What is the very latest in this case?

DANA BRADLEY, KARN NEWS RADIO: Well, you know, the very latest, Little Rock Police Department are asking for all tips, any kind of comments, any kind of things they have that they think can lead to justice in this case.

Just yesterday they set up an Internet Website for people to anonymously give tips on the Ann Presley murder investigation. And then again today, they came out with their own phone number. Because they`re getting so many tips overloaded at Little Rock Police Department that they had to make their own phone number for her, they have 24-hour around the clock investigators working on this case.

They`re looking for answers, they`re following all the leads. But I don`t know how it`s looking right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But we`re not getting a lot of information in terms of where they might be going. And either there`s two reasons, either they don`t have any, or they`re keeping a very tight lip because they want to catch whoever`s responsible. They don`t want to tip that person off.

I had heard something about a credit card being used, possibly at a gas station or an ATM. Do we know anything about video from that? So what do we know about that?

BRADLEY: Now well, this has not been confirmed by the Little Rock Police, but it was printed in the paper here in Arkansas. They did say that someone used the credit card that was stolen from the house. And they said they searched the surveillance camera video, but when we asked the Little Rock Police what they saw, if they found anything, they wouldn`t tell us.

I mean, they`re not telling us anything. And I`ve talk to them if not every day, every other day, and they just continue to tell us, we have no new leads. Nothing, it`s all or they`re just keeping their tight lips.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`re a reporter. I mean, this has got to terrify all the females, especially the female reporters out there.

BRADLEY: You know what, it really has. A lot of the reporters are, some of the single reporters who live by themselves, they`re sleeping at a friend`s house. They`ve got security systems on their homes. Some of them have bought weapons. I don`t want to put people into a fear, but this is a serious issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, listen, stay safe. I was a reporter all across the country, in smaller towns. And I know, you really can be followed from the station.

BRADLEY: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s scary. It`s scary. Dana, thank you so much. You should come back for an update real soon. And we`re going to stay on top of this story; we`re not letting it go. That is a promise. That is a vow.

Now, a related kind of story because it concerns crime; take a look at these public bus ads causing a total uproar in Dallas. The ads are trying to open up a dialog about domestic violence. And the consequences it can have on kids who are exposed to it.

But for some bus riders, the ads themselves are cringe worthy. And there`s a growing group of fathers who want to have these ads pulled down. They say these ads are bad news.

Glenn Sacks, the spokesperson for "Fathers and Family." Now, Glen, let me ask, these ads are designed to get our attention. They have gotten our attention. That`s why we`re talking about the issue of domestic violence right now. I would kind of call that a successful ad campaign because it`s achieved its goal. Why do you disagree?

GLENN SACKS, SPOKESPERSON, FATHERS AND FAMILIES: Well, you could always put out something outrageous just to get attention. That doesn`t make it right. That doesn`t make it accurate. These ads are tremendously misleading. The one that we`re really upset about is the one that you didn`t show on there, it`s a picture of a smiling little boy and he says, when I grow up, I`m going to beat my wife.

What they`re basically doing is stereotyping fathers as child abusers, and wife beaters. And this is a very false view of child abuse and of domestic violence. And some of the leading domestic violence authorities in the world have endorsed our campaign because these ads are so stilted and they`re so inaccurate. The vast majority --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have a couple of things to say in response to that. So we`re going to have a little debate about this. Number one, I do think there is gender that has to be considered when you talk about violence. Because the stats show that a leading cause of death, if not the leading cause of death, for example, of pregnant women, is murder at the hands of the man who impregnated them.

Domestic violence, in terms of intimate partner murder is overwhelmingly men killing women, not the other way around. So we can`t just say well, wait as second, it`s just bad people. The fact is that the majority of the violence according to statistics is perpetrated by men against women.

SACKS: But that`s not what the statistics show. One, the thing about the leading cause of death to pregnant women, and that has been debunked for a long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really happened.

SACKS: Three decades` of domestic violence research shows that women are as likely to attack men as vice versa. They use the element of surprise and then a third of the injuries are suffered by men.

So yes, women do something more from domestic violence than men do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I mean, first of all, women don`t rape. So for one thing, women don`t rape, ok?

SACKS: This is not about rape. It`s not about rape; it`s about domestic violence and child abuse. How would you feel if you had an ad where a little girl says, one day my mom will kill me.

A vast majority of murders of kids -- parental murder of kids are done by mothers, not by fathers. Is that fair? Would you like that ad?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Glenn, I`m not concerned about ads, I`m concerned about real violence. I`m more concerned about what these kids are seeing in the home.

SACKS: Are you concerned about the kids who are murdered by their mothers?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m concerned about everybody.

SACKS: Most kids who are murdered are murdered by their mothers, not their fathers. Are you concerned about that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that`s a very good point and you make a good issue. I think we need to also take a look at that, but that`s a different subject than this.

This is, what it`s saying is, essentially, that we have to look at the fact that domestic violence is a learned behavior. And if you`re beating up on your wife and little Johnnie is watching, there is a very good chance Johnnie is going to grow up and do the same. And I`m going to ask you just to hold on, I`m going to give you a chance to give your response in just a moment. We`re going to come right back in a couple of seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some of the ads causing an uproar in Dallas. We`re back with Glenn Sacks, spokesperson for Fathers and Family.

And I want you to respond to my contention that kids aren`t really looking at those ads, that`s not going to have an impact psychologically on kids. What is going to have an impact psychologically on kids is actual violence in the home; a little toddler or a young child looking up and seeing a violent argument that traumatizes them. We have to deal with that problem.

SACKS: Well, I agree with you. But there is one mistake you`re making, or one thing they`re missing. And numerous domestic violence authorities have said this, and we have it posted on our campaign page. You`re right. It`s terrible when kids are exposed to domestic violence. But it is equally bad when it is the mother`s domestic violence as it is the father`s.

Children who witness their mother attacking their father, sneaking up on him and hitting him over the head with a hammer or throwing boiling water on him or all these other kind of tactics, or just being generally violent or abusive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you a victim of --

SACKS: They have the same bad things. They get the same --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think all violence is reprehensible.

SACKS: They`re more likely to commit violence just like the fathers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All violence is reprehensible but part of the problem --

SACKS: That`s all I`m saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I know and I agree with you with that.

SACKS: That`s all we`re saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because men maybe are physically stronger, the incidents of violence that leave injury and death are higher for men perpetrating against women than women perpetrating against men.

SACKS: They`re somewhat higher. But they`re not that much higher.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Glenn, let me ask you this question. Were you a victim of domestic violence? Do you have a personal story vis-a-vis this?

SACKS: No, no, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So why you? Why are you so passionate about this?

SACKS: Because, I mean, I`m a father, and I believe in fatherhood. I was a high school teacher for many years; I saw the importance of fathers.

And as a father, I see the importance of fathers for my kids, although my teenage son might disagree. Fathers are very important. And yet fathers are continually being vilified, criticized, portrayed as monsters. It`s always woman good, man bad.

Certainly, I acknowledge that there are bad fathers, there are abusive fathers, but there are bad mothers and abusive mothers, and we don`t hear anything about it. It`s always that the men are wrong and the data or the research doesn`t support that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would agree with you.

We have to wrap it up. But I will say we do have to deal with the issue of domestic violence, one way or another.

We`re out of time. But we have to do something. And if it`s not these ads, it`s got to be something else, because it is a crisis in this country.

Glenn, thank you so much.

There are two kinds of conversations. You know, the one that usually happens on TV, and the other happens everywhere else. I`m Jane Velez- Mitchell, and I`m just trying to keep it real for you.

Thanks for being a part of this. See you tomorrow for some more real "ISSUES."

END

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