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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
U.S. Officially in Recessions; Wall Street Tanks; Obama's National Security Team; Planet in Peril; Terror India
Aired December 1, 2008 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: Breaking news on the economy, reaction to President-elect Obama's new team, and Hillary Clinton's new job, and a stunning admission from President Bush. He says he was unprepared for war.
First, the economy and the breaking news.
Overseas markets reacting right now to a dismal day on Wall Street; stocks hammered. Investors shaving nearly 700 points from the DOW bombarded with a rash of bad news, including Thanksgiving sales that petered out over the weekend, record declines in manufacturing. And, finally, it's official: word today that we are in a recession and have been since last December.
As always to help make sense of it, we're joined now by CNN chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi. So why did the stocks plunge today? A couple of analysts were talking about this confirmation that we're in a recession.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, take a look at this map. It's the same pattern that we've seen it was already down right from the beginning but it was that last 45 minutes of the last hour of trading where it really, really plunged down 680 points on the broader S&P 500, down close to nine percent.
Here's what it is Anderson. So many people have lost so much money in the stock market and they can't get access to credit. So when we see surges like we did last week. Last week we saw one of the best weeks in the DOW in 75 years.
So people take the money that they had in the market and they take it out, they look for those opportunities when the market is up. And days like this when there's bad news, bad manufacturing news and bad construction news, we saw people selling out the stocks.
Now Anderson, the issue here, you mentioned it earlier. The National Bureau of Economic Research is the group that is charged with deciding when recessions start and end in this country. It's kind of almost quaint because most Americans knew we were in a recession.
But here is a thing, they said our recession started in December of 2007. We're in the 12th month of it already. Take a look of this, there have been 11 recessions in American history. Only two of them until now have lasted more than a year.
Now, the first one was November '73 to March of 1975. The second one, July of 1981 to November of 1982. This one, number three, we're already at the 12-month mark. These two recessions were global recessions. The average U.S. recession lasts eight to ten months. The average global recession lasts 16 to 18 months. We know this one is global.
The question is where does it is end? That's relevant because after you live through this much doom and gloom, at least you deserve to see it on the other side when things start to look better. And when you come out of a recession like this, it often can -- Anderson.
COOPER: How bad are the shopping numbers?
VELSHI: Well, listen they are not terrible off. At first blush actually we're up three percent over the last Thanksgiving. But let me compare last year at this time to this year at this time. This is black Friday weekend.
This year sales were up three percent compared to last year. Last year they were up eight percent compared to the year before. This is pretty dismal.
Then the average shopper they spent $372 this year versus $347 last year. But that's actually up. Why is that not good news? Because a record number of shoppers are telling us they are done for the season. They are finished shopping.
Here's the other thing. The number of shopping days between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas, this year it's 27, last year it was 32. Now, why is that relevant? Because in this 27, it's nearly a week shorter and it contains one fewer weekend which means you might have seen a front heavy, a front end loaded Thanksgiving weekend sale. Maybe a lot of people got out there. Those sales were remarkable Anderson.
And part of the problem here, is that it's unclear whether a lot of retailers can do better than they did this weekend. As one of my analysts friends told me. This was paradise for the shopper, but it was a disaster for retailers -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Ali Velshi, thanks very much. Watching these Asian numbers, the overseas markets responding to this dismal day on Wall Street.
Now, team Obama. Best frenemies edition or fradversaries, freponents if you like whatever you call it. The National Security team he unveil today, includes President Bush's current Defense Secretary and Senator Hillary Clinton whose foreign policy experience Barack Obama once belittled. Big names, potential for big clash of ideas which appears to be that something that President-elect is actually looking forward to. It's a transition to power unlike anything we've seen before.
The latest from Candy Crowley.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They are the people who will advise the president on keeping the country safe; on balancing liberty and security; whether to go to war, when to come home and how to win friends and contain enemies. It is a powerhouse collection of high intellect, diverse opinion and big ego; exactly.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions. I think that's how the best decisions are made. One of the dangers in a White House based on my reading of history is that you get wrapped up in group think.
CROWLEY: Not a wallflower in the bunch, promise.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK: After all, new Yorkers aren't afraid to speak their minds and do so in every language.
CROWLEY: Nominated to be Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will be the public face of diplomacy; a key slot as Obama looks for a holistic approach.
OBAMA: We must pursue a new strategy that skillfully uses, balances and integrates all elements of American power; our military and diplomacy; our intelligence and law enforcements; our economy and the power of our moral example.
CROWLEY: Their story would have been jaw-dropping nine months ago when she said his foreign policy experience was one speech and he suggested hers amounted to having tea with ambassadors, bygones.
OBAMA: This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign.
CROWLEY: Clinton is part of the pragmatic centrist core of the team, more hawkish than Obama has seemed. It includes current Defense Secretary Robert Gates with ties to the Bush family; the man in charge of prosecuting the war who will now help end it.
OBAMA: I believe that 16 months is the right time frame, but, as I've said consistently, I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders.
CROWLEY: Retired Marine General Jim Jones whose position as National Security Adviser puts him inside the West Wing of the White House, close to the ear of the president. Jones once said timetables for withdrawal from Iraq were likely not in the U.S. interest.
Also nominated, Eric Holder, a top justice department official in the Clinton years, who, if confirmed, would be the first African- American attorney general. Susan Rice, another Clinton administration official who signed up with the Obama campaign, now nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Governor and former U.S. attorney in Arizona, Janet Napolitano to head Homeland Security. She is the only one of the six not from the Washington or military establishment.
They are seasoned hands and along with the well-credentialed Vice President Joe Biden will advise a young President who campaigned against the old ways of Washington.
OBAMA: But understand, I will be setting policy as President. I will be responsible for the vision that this team carries out, and I expect them to implement.
CROWLEY: Whatever else, these are the choices of a President- elect secure in his own position of power.
Still, it's not a team without some risk. It could all work as brilliantly as Obama plans, or it could eventually dissolve into a clash of egos.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Chicago.
COOPER: Food fight or partnership, animal house or Casablanca. Either way plenty of drama ahead on top of plenty of drama just to get here.
We wanted to know what deals were actually made to get the Clintons on board. Joe Johns has the inside story and the "Raw Politics".
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've known it was headed this way.
OBAMA: My dear friend Hillary Clinton.
JOHNS: For the last couple of weeks, we've seen a weirdly public, sometimes private dance between the two former Democratic rivals.
But how they got here is an exercise in diplomacy that can only be described as remarkable. It was managed by some of the most trusted advisers to the President-elect and the Clintons.
The most extraordinary part of the negotiation involved former president Bill Clinton whose complex web of business deals, fund- raising and charitable donations had to be untangled.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't let the Americans --
JOHNS: Bill Clinton agreed to nine conditions. And most for more than the law requires, including saying he would publish the names of more than 200,000 donors to his presidential library and foundation. Saying he would distance himself from his Clinton Global Initiative, agreeing that the initiative set up to battle things like poverty and global warming will refuse money from foreign governments and stop holding meetings outside the U.S.
Bill Clinton also said he would allow the Obama administration to review his speeches for which he's gotten as much as $425,000 an hour. What he got was assurance that his wife would finally get her turn on the world stage. And for both of them, it means the Clinton power couple is back.
STEPHEN HESS, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: In some ways, this is a marvelous thing for Bill Clinton as well as for Obama. Bill Clinton is a major force in the world.
JOHNS: And so what did Barack Obama have to give up to get Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? Well, he had to agree to share the domestic and international spotlight with America's reigning queen and king of political drama. He even agreed to allow Hillary Clinton to bring in her own people, which is a significant departure from the way presidents generally handle their appointments.
For her part, Hillary Clinton gave up a safe seat in the senate; no small concession. But what she got is much bigger; a place in the inner circle at a critical time. A place in history.
HESS: She could do things there that she couldn't do as one of 100 people in the United States Senate. That's the bargaining in her own mind that she must have gone through.
JOHNS: It is sure to be a very different experience from when the Clintons were in the White House. Her challenge will be to maneuver the country's foreign policy during war and work with a president she campaigned against.
COOPER: All right, we're going to have more with Joe in just a second. Let us know what you think about the Hillary Clinton factor or the Bill Clinton factor.
Whatever you want to talk about just go to Ac360.com. The live chat is happening now. You can also check out Erica Hill's live web cast during the break. I'll be online throughout the hour.
We're also going to be talking strategy with Joe and David Gergen and Hilary Rosen.
And later a remarkable admission from President Bush who has always said he has no regrets. Tonight Mr. Bush saying in so many words, he wasn't ready to be commander-in-chief.
Also some shocking new information that India had detailed intelligence warning of last weeks attacks; the latest on the investigation just ahead.
And chilling video from inside the Wal-Mart where shoppers trampled a worker to death. What happened? Who is to blame? A lot of people continue to shop. "Crime and Punishment" tonight on "360."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I'm wondering whether you could talk about the evolution of your view of her credentials since the spring.
OBAMA: I think this is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, there were a lot of quotes. The President-elect having a little fun of his own with the press, seemingly enjoying the give and take.
We're talking "Strategy" now and his new National Security team with Joe Johns, CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen and CNN political contributor and editor at large with "The Huffington Post," Hilary Rosen.
So David, Obama said today that he was a, quote, "strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions." What kind of issues do you think might arise when one of those personalities is Hillary Clinton who he, without a doubt, no matter what he said today to that reporter, strongly questioned her foreign policy chops in the primaries.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think they're going to have some robust conversations, Anderson, in the Situation Room as well as in Cabinet Room. They're going to be full of a lot of give and take.
But the truth is they are much closer together. This is -- George W. Bush appointed a heavyweight group of people and they never became a team because they were so far apart on policy.
And Barack Obama's appointed a heavyweight group of people but they are much closer together on their policy vision. And I think that's likely to produce a much more coherence in policy. You don't have the Cheney/Powell kind of split for example.
And from Hillary's point of view, just to finish it up quickly, the scholar Joe Nye talks a lot about the need of taking not just hard power from the Pentagon, but joining it up with soft power from the State Department and producing what he calls smart power. And I think that's exactly what's going on here. Hillary sees the opportunity to really beef up the soft power part.
COOPER: Hillary, a couple of Obama's major appointments are considered I guess centrist, including Bob Gates, General Jim Jones and as far as National Security goes, even I guess Hillary Clinton, you could say, in terms of foreign policy. Does he risk alienating the hard left of the Democratic Party?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think President-elect Obama today said two or three or maybe four or five times he was in charge. He was going to make the policy, and he expected ultimately these leaders to implement his policy. So I think for the most part, progressives are giving President-elect Obama the benefit of the doubt on that.
I think that from Senator Clinton's standpoint, she has, as David said, very closely aligned views with President-elect Obama.
Frankly, from my perspective, Admiral Jones and Secretary Gates are maybe a little more in question and, you know, the jury may be out there. But I think that, you know, President-elect Obama is to be commended that he wants somebody to sort of bounce off the potential opposing views there. And that ultimately, I think, will make better policy.
COOPER: Joe, there's been so much talk about Bill Clinton, what he was going to give up or might give up or might not give up. Are you surprised at how much he did give up in terms of donor names, vetting of speeches, pulling back from the Clinton Global Initiative?
JOHNS: These are both really good lawyers. And certainly, Bill Clinton is one of those guys who understands the way the disclosure game works in Washington. The more information he gives up, the more can be used against him. So it's opened him and Hillary Clinton up to questions about transparency.
On the other hand, he's made it very clear that now is Hillary Clinton's turn and that he's willing to put his legacy on the line to make sure that she gets that opportunity to go out on the world stage.
So that's what it said. Work here. We saw it happening in the primaries. I think we're just seeing it happen again.
COOPER: David, what happens to Joe Biden in all of this? I mean, it would seem just on the face of it that he's kind of knocked down a couple of pegs.
GERGEN: Well, on the face of it, it would appear Joe Biden is not inheriting the earth here. But my bet is, Anderson, there are so many problems in the world. It's just inevitable that he's going to take on responsibilities now. You know, it was just so striking today to watch that national security team being introduced.
At the same time on CNN, a place down on the bottom right-hand part of the screen where you watch the stock market and you had this great team being announced and the market is just taking a nosedive.
That's the world in which Barack Obama is coming. There's going to be a huge amount to do. And Joe Biden is clearly going to have his plate full I think pretty darn quick.
ROSEN: It's also very clear, I know directly, that Joe Biden was all for this team, in particular Hillary Clinton, to be Secretary of State. He enthusiastically embraced it. And I think that the point that David makes is the correct one, which is, it's really important that there are a bunch of people in the Obama administration who can operate independently while the President focuses so laser-like on the economy.
COOPER: Joe, it's up to New York's Governor to appoint someone to fill Hillary Clinton's seat. Is it possible Bill Clinton -- there was speculation Bill Clinton might -- I find that impossible to believe. JOHNS: It's really fascinating because it looks like they are having a hard time finding takers. You look at Nita Lowey. Actually, no, it's going to be very easy to find a taker.
COOPER: But not Bill Clinton.
JOHNS: Right. I mean, who knows. It would be pretty incredible. I think there's a precedent out there -- David knows better than me -- I think there's a precedent out there for Presidents who have served to come back into the government and do other things.
So it's not out of the question by any means. Nonetheless, it would be highly unusual.
ROSEN: I don't think Bill Clinton wants to be Senator from New York.
GERGEN: I don't think you go from being number one in the world to being number 100 in the senate.
COOPER: Also the amount you make per speech I think drops dramatically.
David, finally, President Bush had this interview on ABC at "World News Tonight." He was asked what he was most unprepared for. I want to play for our viewers what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS: Let's talk a little bit about eight years as being President. What were you most unprepared for?
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think I was unprepared for war. In other words, I didn't campaign and say, please vote for me. I'll be able to handle an attack. In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What do you make of that? I mean, it's interesting to see him being kind of reflective because in the past he'd always kind of bat away those questions and say, oh, that's for history books or I don't think about that kind of stuff.
GERGEN: Well, I think that skeptics will say Anderson, that I was unprepared for war. Hey, wait a minute. It's just the start of the list. It's a much longer list than that.
GERGEN: But I sense that because he's been so graceful about this hand-off and the transition, he's handled it so well, that there's a warming feeling toward George W. Bush. And I think that there are people are going to be more understanding toward him in these closing weeks. There's no question the country wants a change, but I think he personally is going to experience something of a warming sense.
ROSEN: I think that, you know, in his -- in an artful way, he told the truth, which is -- he wasn't prepared. He didn't think about it and then we just went from one thing after another.
You know, potentially in five or six years when some of the problems and the messes that he has made have gotten cleaned up. But I think over the next two years as this country really suffers some dramatic economic downturns and further problems here and around the world, I'm not sure there's going to be a whole lot of love and sympathy for George Bush as he leaves office.
COOPER: We'll see. David, Hilary, Joe, thanks very much.
Just ahead, a "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines" investigation; neighbors battling each other in a place where the simple act of breathing is poisoning hundreds of kids. Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates.
COOPER: It's an unsettling reality. People around the world forced to live at conditions that are hazardous to their health, to drink contaminated water, to breathe poisonous air.
But what if a company knew that it was harming people, knew that it could fix the problem but simply chose not to. That's the allegation Dr. Sanjay Gupta went to Peru to investigate. It's part of our "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines" investigation.
Here's a preview.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The first thing you notice are the smiling faces. The giggles. The second is that something here is not quite right. It's called the Casaraca School; it's located in the town of LaRoya, a town nestled high in the Andes Mountains of Peru.
There are no entrance exams to get into this school. No interviews. The criteria for enrollment is poisoned blood. Every one of these children has severe lead poisoning.
What you are looking at looks like just a childhood game. But, remember, all these children have lead poisoning. What happens a lot of times they develop neurological problems which make their motor skills difficult to develop. So simply climbing up these stairs, being able to walk along a little path like this really helps them in the long run.
But these kids are the lucky ones. That's because the school only takes 100 students. And it's miles from the town. This is the reality for the rest of the children of LaRoya; schools in the shadows of smoke stacks where poison air is inescapable. It's no secret where all the lead is coming from; the Doe Run Peru smelter. The smelter's operators know about the children with the lead poisoning. In fact, Doe Run funds the Casaraca School.
How is it possible then that a company can poison children? Some say even kill them and get away with it. Well, it's complicated. And it's touched off a battle pitting neighbors against each other and against Doe Run.
They already knew around the world how to make people safer, but they weren't doing it here in Peru. Why not?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You can see Sanjay's full report in "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines" airing just 10 days from now, December 11th. You can also go to CNN.com/"planet in peril" to see dispatches from the field, some amazing still photography from our photographer Jeff Hutchins and a behind the scenes look at the making of the documentary.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As we learned so painfully on 9/11, terror cannot be contained by borders nor safely provided by oceans alone. Last week we were reminded of this threat once again when terrorists took the lives of six Americans among nearly 200 hundred victims in Mumbai. In the world we seek, there is no place for those who kill innocent civilians to advance hateful extremism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Obama announcing his national security team on a day with fear and outrage over terrorism are fresh on everyone's minds.
Tonight a U.S. counterterrorism official tells CNN that India was warned. At least a month before last Wednesday's attacks the United States and at least one other intelligence service passed along information that a group might come in via water and target Mumbai.
Indian police now say 179 people were killed in the attacks on ten targets.
CNN's Nic Robertson has a "360 Dispatch" on the investigation that is just getting under way.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The biggest lead in India's investigation, this man; one of the alleged gunmen. The only one of at least ten attackers taken alive. Police say he is a Pakistani and was trained in Pakistan by an outlaw terror group. CNN's sister network, CNN-IBN, says its sources claim all the gunmen were from Pakistan. Police have produced more evidence they say ties the terror plot to Pakistan.
A phone, they say, was used by gunmen to make calls to Pakistan during their 60-hour rampage. Indian investigators also say that a ship's captain found dead in his boat and a hand-held global positioning device show the gunmen snuck into Mumbai by sea after sailing from Pakistan.
The fishermen here say they saw one group of gunmen land their boat here, come up the causeway and then get off into the busy traffic in the city that Wednesday night.
In the carnage that followed, at least 180 people were killed. Among them, 28 foreigners, mostly gunned down in the city's two top hotels, the Oberoi and the Taj Mahal.
RATAN TATA, TAJ MAHAL HOTEL OWNER: They knew their way around the hotel.
ROBERTSON: The only claim of responsibility was this e-mail from a previously unknown group called the Deccan Mujahideen. But investigators now tell CNN's sister network CNN-IBN this was a cover; yet another link to Pakistan. They say it was written from a Russian internet server by a Pakistani.
India's foreign minister has called in Pakistan's top diplomat here formally telling him elements from Pakistan were involved. Pakistan's government denies any wrongdoing and has offered to help investigators.
Indian security experts tell us from their experience, even if a lot of the evidence does point towards Pakistan, they say an attack of this scale couldn't be mounted without local knowledge. And that means, they say, that some Indians had to be involved.
As tensions over the attack between the two nuclear neighbors rise, FBI agents have been making their own assessments visiting at least one of the attack sites. But as they are switching into high gear, evidence gathering by Indian investigators appears to be easing off.
Outside Chabad House, where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife were gunned down, police sit guard, no longer combing through the rubble-strewn remains of the building; the critical test now for Indian authorities, a swift and credible investigation.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Mumbai, India.
COOPER: Let's dig deeper on the terror in Mumbai.
Earlier, I sat down with Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA: GPS" for some insights into the location of the attacks and the repercussions.
COOPER: You have very personal connections not only to the city, even to this hotel. What was going through your mind when you saw those pictures?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA: GPS": Oh, very personal. My mother works at the hotel. She's the editor of the Taj Magazine. The hotel group has a magazine that comes out. She has offices there. Luckily, she just didn't happen to be there that day.
But the Taj occupies a place in most Bombayans (ph) memories that are sort of like the Plaza in the 1950s in New York; the one big hotel. So everyone that -- even middle class people had gone there for a cup of tea. So you felt like this was a central institution. This was a part of my life.
COOPER: And moving forward, Indian government has been pointing to foreigners as being involved in this. There must have been some -- in all likelihood there was some local involvement as well.
ZAKARIA: There has to be some local connection. We don't know much about it, but the Indian Muslims in general have been prey to the same radicalization that's been taking place all over the world. They have specific issues there.
They are underrepresented in almost every aspect of power in India. Their unemployment rates are two or three times the population in general. They're politically and economically disempowered which produces enough alienation that you can find a couple dozen who you can radicalize.
COOPER: So what is the lesson of these attacks?
ZAKARIA: The main lesson for India, I think, is that they have got to get their house in order. India is an amazingly dynamic society with a very weak state. Everybody who has been to India, Anderson, has the same experience, which is the private sector functions fantastically and every contact you have with the government is awful. And you saw it in this tragic case exactly the same way.
COOPER: In terms of Pakistan, what does this now mean for relations between Pakistan and India? They are on the brink.
ZAKARIA: The Indian government is going to face enormous pressure to respond in some way. You want to try and use this crisis to forge a real cooperative antiterrorism approach and finally get the Pakistanis to understand that it is not in their interest to have these kinds of groups running around their country being assisted covertly, overtly, informally, by elements of the Pakistani military. That this is a cancer not just on the region but for Pakistan, it will bring Pakistan down.
COOPER: President-elect Obama I think today said that South Asia is now the epicenter of the greatest threat against the United States in terms of this global war that we are fighting.
ZAKARIA: I think that's broadly true. I think that it still remains centered in the Afghan/Pakistan border and it's still largely for Americans about Al Qaeda and the Taliban groups that are sympathetic to Al Qaeda. But this group is a kind of up and coming Al Qaeda.
So far, its ambitions have been largely local; that is to say about Kashmir and India. But these groups are -- these groups are turning into kind of existential terrorist groups. They exist in a culture of jihad in which they take on causes. They move around. They feed on one another. So it's bad news for the United States that these guys are around.
COOPER: I'm glad your mom was not in the hotel. Thanks for being with us.
ZAKARIA: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Coming up, Sarah Palin back on the campaign trail in Georgia attending political rallies all day. We'll tell you what she's up to in just a minute.
Later, new details about what happened when Wal-Mart holiday shoppers actually trampled a man to death, and then kept on shopping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R) ALASKA: The stakes are so high and, America, we're counting on you. Tell your folks, your friends, your neighbors, tell them that we are rebuilding the party. We recognize that there was frustration; there was some disappointment in the party. We're rebuilding the party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sarah Palin saying we are rebuilding the party. Not clear what she is actually doing to rebuild the party. She certainly has been spending a lot of time giving interviews trying to rebuild her reputation. Palin was greeted like a rock star while out campaigning for Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss who is trying to hold on to his seat in a run-off race that's going to be held tomorrow.
It's a hotly contested race, pitting Chambliss who's the incumbent against the Democrat Jim Martin. No doubt thought, it was Sarah Palin who was stealing the spotlight from both men today.
CNN's Gary Tuchman takes us up close.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Saxby Chambliss took the stage in the senate re-election rally in Savannah, Georgia, his supporters were happy to see him. But when a certain campaign surrogate took the stage --
SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS, (R) GEORGIA: Would you please help me welcome Governor Sarah Palin.
TUCHMAN: -- you might have forgotten whose rally this was supposed to be.
PALIN: Georgia, we're counting on you. The rest of the United States of America is counting on you to send Saxby back to the United States senate. We're counting on you.
TUCHMAN: Alaska's governor and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made stops across the state of Georgia on behalf of Senator Saxby Chambliss. Her star power bringing out much larger crowds than the low-key Chambliss could ever have gotten on his own.
PALIN: If the majority party seeks to limit our rights under the second amendment, we need Saxby to remind them, "No, those rights will not be infringed upon."
TUCHMAN: Most Americans either never heard of or knew very little about Sarah Palin just a few months ago. Now many people are attending Georgia's senate rallies because of her.
How come you decided to come here today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To see Sarah Palin. That's the only reason.
TUCHMAN: What do you think about Sarah Palin?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she's great. I hope she'll run in 2012.
TUCHMAN: What is it about Sarah Palin that attracts you so much?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah Palin? Well, I mean, she's hot.
TUCHMAN: Governor, are you missing the campaign trail?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No interviews.
TUCHMAN: Are you missing the campaign trail?
PALIN: No, I'm enjoying doing my work.
TUCHMAN: Palin spoke on stage for about ten minutes at the Savannah rally. But Chambliss only spoke for two minutes; an implicit acknowledgment who the star was here.
PALIN: Thank you. Thank you so much. I am so happy to get to be here with you guys. TUCHMAN: We were curious if Chambliss will be paying a political IOU.
Senator, will you support Palin for president?
CHAMBLISS: Hey, wherever she wants to go.
TUCHMAN: For now, she goes back to Alaska; her fame still definitely intact.
COOPER: Gary, what are the Democrats in Georgia doing in response to Palin being there?
TUCHMAN: They are definitely doing something tonight. This is funny, whether you are a Democrat or Republican or political agnostic. As most of our viewers know, Anderson, Sarah Palin came in second place in the Miss Alaska pageant in 1984.
Well, tonight at a Jim Martin rally -- he's the man running against Saxby Chambliss -- he had a woman named Maryline Blackburn sing the national anthem. Just so happens Miss Blackburn beat Sarah Palin in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest. You have the top two finishers in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest as the two main surrogates in Georgia for the senate race tomorrow.
COOPER: Kind of surreal. Gary, thanks.
Tonight, there are new details about an outrageous tragedy. Next, from a cell phone camera, we showed you a bit of it before. There it is. Rescuers frantically trying to save the life of a man crushed under a stampede of Wal-Mart holiday shoppers. They were too late. He died. We have the latest from the investigation.
Also tonight an important development in the killings of singer/actress Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and young nephew. Finally there's been an arrest. We'll tell you the details.
COOPER: It is hard to watch a man dying before our eyes. In this cell phone video, emergency workers try to save a Wal-Mart employee's life. He was trampled -- trampled to death during a rush of shoppers at a megastore in suburban New York.
Hundreds poured into the store to try to get some good deals paying no attention to this guy. Not even when he collapsed on the floor. Why did none of the shoppers stop to help him and was a crime actually committed?
We're going to talk to Jeffrey Toobin about that in a moment.
But first, the latest on this story from "360'" Randi Kaye.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nothing was going to get in the way of their bargains. Not even this Wal-Mart worker, trampled to death by a mob of crazed shoppers before dawn Friday as he tried to unlock the doors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought everybody said it was fun to come out on Black Friday and shop. I was looking for fun. Not for this.
KAYE: 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour was a temporary worker at this Wal-Mart store on long island. He was a big guy; 6'5", 270 pounds.
This cell phone video shows emergency responders trying to save his life. But even with a man dying on the floor, shoppers just kept bargain hunting.
LT. MICHAEL FLEMMING, NASSAU CO. POLICE DEPARTMENT: It was several minutes before they were able to get the crowd pushed back enough to be able to render some aid.
KAYE: Police say hundreds of people stepped on the victim; a dozen others were knocked down, including a woman 8 months pregnant. It got so out of control, workers jumped to safety on top of vending machines.
Even when shoppers were told someone was dead, they refused to go.
KIMBERLY GIBBS, SHOPPER: When they were saying that they had to leave that somebody's employee got killed, people said, I've been in line since yesterday morning.
KAYE: Police are examining the store's surveillance tape and considering charges against those who stepped on the employee. Investigators say they can make out faces on the tapes.
In a statement, Wal-Mart called the death unfortunate and offered prayers to the family. It also acknowledged it had expected large crowds and had brought in more security and more employees. The retail giant says nothing is more important than a safe and secure shopping environment.
But now police are calling the store security inadequate saying that combined with the sale promotion was a recipe for disaster.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, who is to blame? Was the employee a victim of a crime? CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us now. Someone was killed; legally, where does it stand?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It is possible there could be criminal charges. But, frankly, it does seem unlikely because most crimes require some sort of intent to do wrong. And it's going to be very hard to identify someone who really took responsibility for trampling this person. Certainly, you're going to hear people say I was pushed in. That this was the sort of crowd, swarm. Identifying it in a criminal way is going to be very hard.
COOPER: What about a civil suit against Wal-Mart by the family of this man for saying there wasn't adequate security or crowd control?
TOOBIN: That seems like an absolute certainty because crowd control is something that can be done. If you had enough security guards outside, if you had enough fences, sawhorses --
COOPER: There's no reason this had to happen.
TOOBIN: There's just no reason. If you had organized people in a single file line, there is simply no way they would have broken down this door. And that's something that can be done. The New York City Police Department does it all the time with much bigger crowds. So Wal-Mart's financial responsibility in a civil case seems like it is almost certainly going to be tested.
COOPER: Jeff, stick around. We're going to have more with Jeff right after the break.
We'll talk about today's arrest in the triple slayings that shattered Jennifer Hudson's family. Hudson's mom and brother and 7- year-old nephew were found shot to death. Police have made an arrest. We'll take a look at him and what evidence may link him to the crime.
COOPER: It has been just more than a month now since Oscar- winning actress Jennifer Hudson got the news that shattered her world. Her mom and brother had been shot to death at their Chicago home. Her young nephew was missing, and three days later the body of 7-year-old Julian King was found in an SUV. He'd also been shot to death.
Shortly after the killings, police named the boy's stepfather, the estranged husband of Hudson's sister, a person of interest. They arrested him for a parole violation. Today, they have charged him with the murders.
CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, joins me now.
This guy William Balfour, he's been a person of interest now for quite some time. Why do you think it took so long to actually make this arrest?
TOOBIN: Well, there was really no rush, because he was in custody. They didn't have to worry about him fleeing. They had him on the parole violation. So they had the time to do all the forensic evidence, do all the eyewitness testimony that they needed to collect and then make the decision whether to arrest him.
COOPER: They found a .45 caliber gun near the body of this little boy. TOOBIN: Correct. And the question is, how will they link it to the guy who was arrested? He is -- there is apparently some eyewitness testimony suggesting he had it. There's some suggestion that he may have stolen it. We'll see what the evidence says.
COOPER: Is there any alibi that he has? I mean, what is his story? Do we know?
TOOBIN: Well, his mother gave an interview to Nancy Grace today on Headline News, and she said that he was with a girlfriend. It sounded like a pretty thin alibi.
And, you know, the sad truth in these cases is, it's almost always someone the victim knows. We all fear stranger crime, but the fact is, it's usually some sort of crime of passion, anger, revenge, family member.
COOPER: I love that you were watching "Nancy Grace," which you do every day.
TOOBIN: You know what? She's part of -- she's part of our team.
COOPER: She's totally part of our team.
TOOBIN: And in a case like this...
COOPER: She got the interviews.
TOOBIN: She got them, yes.
COOPER: So a jury doesn't, though, take all that seriously, the testimony of a mom talking about her son, do they?
TOOBIN: No, certainly not. And he's going to need something -- something better than that. But, you know, in fairness, he was just arrested today. We have to see whether the eyewitness testimony pans out. Eyewitness testimony is -- is often unreliable. Is there forensic evidence linking him to the gun?
COOPER: We don't know that.
TOOBIN: Is there some sort of DNA?
COOPER: We don't know much about that.
TOOBIN: That stuff hasn't come out yet. But the government has plenty of time to make the case. This guy had been in prison for seven years previously for attempted murder. So he has a record. You know, he is, obviously, someone the police would be looking at from the beginning. Now they think they have enough to charge him.
COOPER: Jennifer Hudson, I mean, she wasn't there. She wasn't even in the city. Would she be called to testify?
TOOBIN: It's very unlikely. She doesn't seem to have seen anything that's relevant. And... COOPER: Unless she had information about their relationship or prior threats or anything like that.
TOOBIN: Right. She might be some sort of motive witness, but in terms of what we know now and how they would try the case, probably not.
COOPER: All right. Jeff Toobin, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
Up next, tonight's "Shot;" What do these two very famous and very different women have in common: Beyonce and Sarah Palin. Yes, there is a connection. Yes, it's a bizarre connection. We'll tell you about it.
COOPER: All right, time for "The Shot." Question: just what do Beyonce and Governor Sarah Palin have in common? No, not their star power, their acting, their singing or their politics. It's, well, it's a tenuous connection. It's Alaska.
Take a look. There amidst the snow and pine trees, inspiration for Beyonce impersonator and a pretty scantily clad one at that, with a steamy rendition of frozen Alaska "Single Lady." Take a look.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Man, that's got to be cold. I got to tell you. I see your Alaska...
COOPER: Oh, this guy again.
HILL: Yes. Somewhere in the lower 48, this man who, frankly, does a Beyonce better than almost Beyonce. Not quite, of course, but certainly not as endearing as some of the other folks we've seen.
COOPER: There's that other guy then. This guy.
HILL: Oh, this guy.
HILL: Yes, who doesn't love a boy in a leotard shaking what his mama gave him for Beyonce?
Single ladies, I hope you're ready for him.
COOPER: Shaking what his mama gave him?
COOPER: I think that guy works for some radio station.
HILL: Also known as shake your moneymaker. You know, come on. A boy's got to do what a boy's got to do.
COOPER: Remember the Numa-Numa guy? That reminds me of the Numa-Numa guy. OK. That's enough.
HILL: That reminds me of when I was pregnant. Sorry. True.
COOPER: I see. I think that's about all the time we have.
HILL: Time for us to go now.
COOPER: I'm glad we were able to fit in a little Beyonce, though.
You can check out all the most recent "Shots" at AC360.com. We really fulfill all your needs at the AC360.com site.
That does it for this edition of "360." Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.
I'll see you tomorrow night.