Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Following the Obama Express

Aired January 17, 2009 - 13:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: That is the second speech of the day for Barack Obama, the president-elect of the United States and Joe Biden, the vice president-elect of the United States and their wives. You see them there in Wilmington, Delaware.
This is the stop following Philadelphia where they picked up Joe Biden and Jill Biden and now they will all get back onboard the Obama express and continue on to the next stop which will be Baltimore, Maryland when they will do something very similar and they will stop the train, the Obama express and deliver a couple of more speeches and eventually wind up here at Union Station in Washington, D.C., where this long day will wrap up and they've got some more events, but we do not expect the president-elect to be speaking at Union Station in Washington once he's here.

This is the kickoff of this four-day inaugural period leading up to Tuesday, noon Eastern on Capitol Hill when Barack Obama will be sworn in it as the 44th president of the United States, and Joe Biden will be sworn in as the vice president of the United States. It's chilly in Wilmington, Delaware. It's chilly here in Washington, D.C., but you know, it's warm for a lot of folks out there all over the United States and around the world.

We're watching history unfold right now. It is unfolding dramatically in Wilmington, Delaware and pretty soon in Baltimore and then in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama doing what all politicians like to do, getting into that crowd and shaking some hands. We're just starting our coverage here on CNN, the inauguration of Barack Obama will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: He's shaking hands with a lot of the folks who have gathered there in Wilmington, Delaware, who have a chance to witness history. He just spoke in Wilmington. The train stopped there to pick up Joe Biden and Joe Biden will get back onboard and continue on to Baltimore. That's the next stop.

As we watch what's going on, Soledad O'Brien is here and Roland Martin is here. Soledad, let's talk about Wilmington, Delaware, Baltimore, Maryland eventually lining up in Washington, D.C., the day starting for Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in Philadelphia. The symbolic importance of a train ride to Washington.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: He reaches back not only to the 1861 train ride that president-elect Lincoln took, but he also reaches back with his words to Martin Luther King, he reaches back to the founding fathers. He reaches back to the constitution when he talks about the not quite perfect union or perfecting the union, right back to the constitution.

He keeps hitting these same themes. Some of the themes again, we heard when they were about to jump on this train, again in this speech right here where he told the Joe Biden story. We've heard it so many times and then went back to press it out as a story of all of us.

The Joe Biden story is the story of a guy who wants to be a great dad, who wants to do his job well and who wants to be rewarded because he's a hard worker and wants to succeed. That's the American dream, the American story and you'll notice that he starts highlighting some of the issues.

The nation is at war, the economy and people feel like the dreams might be slipping away and talks about specific people and over and over again, we hear the same themes being hit which is there is so much opportunity here in this nation, but it is a large, but, we have some serious challenges ahead. Serious economic challenges, serious political challenges and there's a lot to overcome, and I'm not sure if people counted the leaves rolling, it is not about him is the theme he comes back to.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I guess I'll channel Michael J. Fox for a moment in "Back to the Future." There was a saying growing up, if you don't know where you came from, you don't know where you're going. What he's trying to remind America is that, yes, we have this history. We have this history that is imperfect.

We have one that frankly, people enslaved them, and I think that's also where the hope comes, Wolf, and that is that we have endured the great depression. We have endured slavery. We have endured World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the reality is every negative thing and every difficult situation that America has been faced with; we have still come out of it, so a lot of folks have to be reminded of it.

I remember during the campaign people kept saying what all this hope stuff is talked about. Reality is when you're broke, when you don't have a job and when you don't have food bottom line is you have two things left, you have faith and you have hope. The Bible says faith is a thing hoped for, not seen. People recognize that they don't necessarily see what he may do, they don't see what he's calling us to do, but they're simply hopeful and have faith that things are going to change and things will be better in this country.

O'BRIEN: If you remember, Wolf, where Reverend Wright in the race speech where Barack Obama really said he was most disappointed in Reverend Wright. What really angered him at the end of day most of all was he tells America could not change? Reverend Wright's vision, regardless of where his history was and all the things they shared together, what angered him the most was he has the vision of America where America cannot change. That is the opposite of hope.

That everybody else has to have a vision of America that can get better whether it's the guys who are, you know, from the get go hammering out the Declaration of Independence or the people who are working on the constitution, a law document that will have to be amended over time or the folks marching in Selma or the folks who are out there today in the cold trying to see the president-elect and the vice president-elect just for a little bit of time as they head to Washington, D.C., America, what makes the nation great is that we can change. We can be better.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I did find that to be interesting because in those controversial sermons that he gave, Reverend Wright, he actually, in one of those sermons outlined how America did change. He did talk about how it was America that approved slavery when Abraham Lincoln came along. Harry Truman came along. America did give women the right to vote and then all of a sudden America did change. I understand his point that he was making, but even that somebody who listened to the sermon, Reverend Wright did lay out how America changed.

BLITZER: David Gergen, it was so long ago that we were all obsessed with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. We've come so far.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Isn't that a pleasure. We left behind Joe the plumber and a lot of other things.

COOPER: Joe the plumber seems to rear his head.

BLITZER: He does. He's now a war correspondent.

COOPER: OK.

GERGEN: I like this last stop here in Wilmington. It was nice, I think, and Roland was talking about this earlier to give Joe Biden a chance to speak and to hear from him. It recalls an old tradition. Vice presidents used to take the oath and then give a speech before the president gave a speech.

BLITZER: When did that change?

GERGEN: Well, that changed after 1865 when Andrew Johnson became the vice president for Abraham Lincoln. He woke up that morning and he had a bad cold and started drinking brandy, and he got up and gave his acceptance and he was totally drunk. And he talked on and on and on and finally Lincoln had to shut him down and said don't let that man speak again in public.

BLITZER: I read a quote from someone who was there who said it was the most embarrassing thing to happen to the country or the worst thing to happen to the country.

MARTIN: We've come a long way since then.

COOPER: Everybody else is, like say? He messed it up for the rest of us. It's always good to hear from Joe Biden.

BLITZER: After Joe Biden dropped out because he was running for the presidential nomination, all of a sudden Barack Obama gets the Democratic presidential nomination and Joe Biden is on the short list to become the vice presidential running mate and we see something, Anderson, very differently from Joe Biden. He's quiet.

COOPER: There were a few moments when he was far more laid-back.

It is interesting to see them all together. There is a -- there is a relationship there and that is important moving forward. It is essential that the vice president have the ear of the president.

MARTIN: People forget that Obama joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Biden was the chair of that committee and that's where the relationship started between those two and so for them to go to the White House together is very interesting because Biden saw the person that he was.

COOPER: They were running against each other. I think Joe Biden was always pretty kind to Barack Obama.

GERGEN: Pretty respectful to Barack Obama. And he seems to be moving into a role now, not quite an older brother, but a counselor who wants to be at the table and I think that's what Barack Obama wants. He wants him to be at the table as he makes decisions.

BLITZER: He's 20 years older than Barack Obama so he is someone that I think Barack Obama looks up to to a certain degree, a guy with a lot of experience.

GERGEN: Right. With a lot of experience, but a different relationship with Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, when he was really almost relied on him and it seemed as times as if Cheney was running things. I think George W. Bush would make the decisions, but Cheney had this outsized role as vice president.

I think Obama clearly wants to -- Biden clearly wants to step back and play a very important counselor role, but not a decisive role, and I think he's going to be -- he's been sort of a step behind everywhere, you know?

COOPER: It was interesting to see him take this international trip. What was that about?

GERGEN: I haven't quite figured it out. I assume it was a listening tour because they realize Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, that that triangle of countries --

BLITZER: After that massacre in Mumbai, they realized that Pakistan is a nuclear-armed country, India is a nuclear-armed country, there are a lot of tensions going on and they wanted to get an eyewitness, first hand account of what was going on and they also realized that it was important for the vice president to go to Afghanistan, to Iraq and check the situation out there and bring a first hand account back to the president-elect.

COOPER: Isn't that Hillary Clinton's role? Do we know is there tension between the role that Hillary Clinton will play and Joe Biden clearly has long experience with foreign policy?

GERGEN: I think it's more of potential tension than actual at this point. I think what you're going to see with Hillary Clinton is that she will have special envoys and they're likely to go out very quickly. There's been talk about Dick Holbrook, for example, who in a Kerry administration, had John Kerry been elected would have been secretary of state. Now coming in as an envoy and going into Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, he knows a lot about it.

COOPER: And Richard Haas and Dennis Ross coming in.

GERGEN: Dennis Ross spent a lot of time in the Middle East. Hillary Clinton is building an excellent team, and we haven't heard a lot about it yet. I think as soon as she gets confirmed we'll hear a great deal more.

BLITZER: He will be the former deputy national security adviser to President Clinton, but I want to point out one of the important things that Joe Biden did on this trip was he asked Lindsay Graham, another member -- a Republican member of the Armed Services Committee, who in the Senate is closer to John McCain than Lindsay Graham? Maybe Joe Lieberman, but maybe not.

MARTIN: Also keep in mind that there was also Joe Biden, the farewell tour as head of the foreign relations committee and you talk about the tension between Biden and Hillary Clinton when she becomes secretary of state, but the relationship, though, that the one to watch in a very positive way will be between Clinton and Bob Gates because you look at a lot of the things that the Pentagon has been doing in return of that, they want to return back to the state department. That will be the key relationship to watch.

O'BRIEN: I'm curious your thoughts on this. Again the Lincoln comparison team of rivals.

GERGEN: Sure.

O'BRIEN: Do you think that's a fair comparison when you look at his team which is the Joe Biden's and the Hillary Clinton's; I mean literally those are rivals.

GERGEN: I think it is true with Hillary Clinton. When Lincoln came in. Who was his most important rival? It was Seward of New York State and a critically important player and he asked him to be secretary of state and Seward when they got to Washington essentially tried to take over and tried to become the president and Lincoln firmly put him in his place and after that, they struck up a relationship and Seward became his most important adviser, his most trusted adviser.

COOPER: And if I'm not mistaken, I read this book "Man Hunt," which is an excellent account of Lincoln's assassination. He was wounded. He was badly wounded and he wrestled with the -- there was this conspiracy to hit it at one time.

CROWLEY: One of those things where you see a lot of where Barack Obama makes comparisons and specific and literal comparisons back to Lincoln, there's also the comparison of navigating a tricky time, navigating a union that's framed, navigating your rivals who you need to have close to you, doing that successfully also as a comparison for Barack Obama not just, well, the bible and we're going to do it on these steps and we're going to use these words that we reiterate and emphasize in my speech x number of years later.

MARTIN: He also saw what happened when you just push folks aside the last eight years of George W. Bush and Cheney. So his whole deal is, look, we have to recognize conservative commentators and writers and Republicans and Democrats, the little dog Democrats. You recognize that I have to deal with all of these folks and I don't have a relationship with them.

BLITZER: He has a big challenge ahead of him. All right. The train is getting ready to hear those words all aboard, the conductor will be saying that and everyone will be aboard the train in Wilmington, Delaware. They're about to get rolling once again, moving on, next stop, Baltimore, Maryland. Our coverage will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: All right. These are live pictures of the Obama express. There are ten cars there getting ready to leave Wilmington, Delaware. Next stop is Baltimore, Maryland. President-elect Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Joe Biden and Jill Biden.

We heard from the president-elect in Philadelphia and now we just heard as you were probably watching live on CNN from both the vice president-elect and the president-elect in Wilmington. They'll be speaking in Baltimore and that's coming up in a little while as well. Anderson, you know, there's a lot of excitement about what's happening in Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore, but Tuesday it's all going to be happening where we are right here in Washington.

COOPER: The city is excited, but there really is a palpable sense of excitement. You see people in the street, there are vendors out on the street both registered and freelancers. The folks have made up their own t-shirts.

BLITZER: Everyone's toying to make a buck.

COOPER: You know, but it's rare you see the entire city mobilized in this way.

GERGEN: That's exactly right and it's interesting, in the last 24 hours the city has begun to fill up, the traffic has begun to fill up and by Monday afternoon they're going to basically restrict vehicular traffic all around Washington. You won't be able to get a car in here unless you've got a taxi or bus or something special arranged. You won't be able to drive around this city.

O'BRIEN: They were profiling people who were trying to get into the city.

GERGEN: Including CNN correspondents.

O'BRIEN: Kayakers and people who thought they'd be able to kayak across the Potomac. So not going to happen.

GERGEN: You could ice skate.

O'BRIEN: You can rollerblade around if you want. That's doable. You can skateboard also. They're allowing that. But if you have a bike, you have to valet it.

GERGEN: I do not make this up.

O'BRIEN: I am just reporting for you. You have to valet your bike and you're not allowed to park it or bring it with you.

COOPER: If you're not living in the city it is hard. For viewers at home who are maybe thinking about coming or trying to decide whether or not you should, we want to give you a sense over the next couple of hours of the lay of the land on the mall and also on the parade route. You sort of have to pick one or the other.

If you have to go to the parade route, you will have to get there early and there are spaces for 300 or 350,000 people along the parade route. It's not ticketed and you have to get there early for that. And of course along the mall, Dana Bash is down on the mall right now and she can kind of give us the sense of how much space there is and how much room there is for people.

Dana, tell us where you are, what you're seeing and kind of where everyone will be able to stand.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Anderson, you asked me this question earlier and we're very lucky because we now have a techno crane which goes 50 feet in the air so we can really illustrate for our viewers of what the space is and the depth is here for people who want to come to the mall.

First of all, where I am right now, I'm at 12th Street in the mall and this is the area from here to the west front of the capital that has only traditionally been the place that has been allowed for people to come and to witness the inauguration of a president firsthand, but this area in particular does hold about 640,000 people, if it's really in a packed area, but it's going to be expanded. About a mile long and it will be expanded more than double.

This year, if the techno crane can turn around and show the other side of the mall. People will be allowed to come and go as far down as the Lincoln Memorial, past the Washington monument to the Lincoln Memorial which again is about two miles total.

It is, get this, 4.4 million square feet of space that people are going to be allowed to come here and be in in order to try to experience this first hand. You know, if you want to have another interesting figure, 1.7 million people can fit in that space packed because it's not just along this mall, and it also goes south to the Potomac River.

That is the space where people will be able to come and maybe depending how far back people get, maybe they can actually hear the president at that point giving his inaugural address, but more than likely they are just going to be able to get the experience to be here because if you go back two miles, it is certainly not going to be much of a sight to see.

But people, they get here early and they'll be able to go this way to the west front of the capital. They'll be able to get potentially as close as those of us who are going to be in the media, but they will certainly have to come very, very early, and it is certainly an experience for people and it is something that Americans, people from all over the world have been able to experience since 1981.

That is the first time that a president at that point President Reagan decided to have his inaugural on this side, the west side of the capitol so that people could come and experience it on the national mall here. So it is going to be quite a scene. Right now it sort of feels like it is a heavy tourist day in Washington. You definitely are starting to feel the excitement and boy; it is going to be quite a different feel even this 24 hours from now on this mall and people start to trickle in here -- Anderson.

COOPER: Dana, once folks are on the mall they're not going to be able -- after the inauguration, quickly run to the parade route. They'll stay there and watch the parade if they want. They can watch it on the jumbo trons which will stay up.

BASH: Yes.

COOPER: But it is going to be so crowded probably that you will not be able to move from one to the other.

BASH: That's a great point. You have to pick which site you want to be on, and if you come to the mall, they need to be ready to be here for quite a long time because they'll have to get here very early and once parade starts people will have to stay here probably until the parade is over. So it is going to be hours and hours and hours waiting here. You know, I think the body heat of people packed here will be not a bad thing if it is going to be as cold as it is today, Anderson.

COOPER: David Gergen, you were probably at Ronald Reagan's second inauguration which was so cold, actually they had to move it indoors.

GERGEN: It was January 20th that year in 1985. It fell on a Sunday. He took the oath on a Sunday and he intended to have the inaugural parade that Monday and take the oath outdoors on the west side again, but when he woke up that morning it was absolutely frigid and Ron Walker who was the inaugural chairman conferred with people and he thought it would actually be dangerous for a lot of the people coming. They would have a lot of people who would freeze.

COOPER: It was frigid and icy.

GERGEN: They called it off and had it indoors. They moved a lot of the marching bands especially the kids and moved them over to the coliseum and the president went over to see them in the afternoon, but to go back to this, as Dana reported, Ronald Reagan was the first to move it to the west side of the capitol. It was always on the east side of the capitol. He wanted to be facing California. He wanted to be looking toward his home state.

COOPER: I didn't know that.

GERGEN: Yes. That was why it was symbolic for him, but it was so fortunate. He held this one on the east side.

COOPER: Which we're looking at the east side that we're looking at.

GERGEN: People used to hang in the trees on the east side.

BLITZER: So having it on the west side it allows for greater viewer ship from different angles. You can use the whole mall.

GERGEN: And traditionally, the area west of the Washington monument over to the Lincoln memorial has been used for parade floats and that sort of thing. It's been a parking area and now they're moving them out this time because Barack Obama will bring this along. This will be the biggest crowd we've had on the mall.

O'BRIEN: This is why I would think it is so wonderful if it was 1,700,000. When you think of the march on Washington, what do you think? You think about 250,000 people and seeing that shot where they have Martin Luther King and then the people. Those are those iconic moments. So I hope if it's good weather and it's not unsafe for people that they come out and show how many people wanted to be on the mall even as Dana pointed out, two miles back and they can't really see very much.

BLITZER: I want to point out you'll be anchoring our coverage it's Martin Luther King Day on Monday and at noon Eastern we have permission to replay the entire "I Have a Dream" speech. Is it 17 minutes?

O'BRIEN: Remarkable. So excited because I think people, all of us here can quickly do the I have a dream part. But before that the first two-thirds as Roland pointed out, had nothing really to do with the dream as people I think remember it today. It had to do with the economics.

MARTIN: Marching for jobs and freedom. It wasn't the march on Washington; it was the point to the march.

BLITZER: Talk about this amazing coincidence or whatever that the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Day. The first African American is sworn is as president of the United States.

MARTIN: First of all, the federal holiday is on Monday. His actual birthday, January 15th which was Friday. So the folks who you give credit to for that is Stevie Wonder and Coretta Scott King because they were the ones who led that effort to pressure Congress to pass it and pressured Ronald Reagan who was against the national holiday to actually sign it.

And so it is interesting when you think about Obama being sworn in, the day after King's birthday, but also the fact that five years prior to him getting the nomination, the Democrats chose August 28th as the day for the nominee to accept the party's nomination. August 28th was the 45th anniversary of King's speech on Washington, D.C.

Not only that, 2009 marks the 100 anniversary of the NAACP. Next month the NAACP will celebrate the centennial and the NAACP was started as a result of a race riot in Springfield, Illinois. Here you have a guy who served in Springfield, Illinois.

O'BRIEN: And supported Rosa Parks as they battling for her, her legal -- it was the NAACP lawyers. It is amazing to me to see at this moment in time these lines that are drawn. I got a note from the family of Muhammad Ali that wanted to point out that his birthday is today, too. He is 67. But getting back to those lines being drawn. Muhammad Ali's birthday on the same day as Michelle Obama's birthday and people connected to these stories that all eventually had this ending and this moment that we will all experience.

MARTIN: And the King Memorial which was supposed to open this year, they're going to actually open it next year, Harry Johnson and they started the whole deal, King's fraternity, I don't remember the fraternity. You will have Obama. He's going to be, in essence, cutting the ribbon for this memorial, the only non-president to have a memorial on this mall. And so all of these different connections are amazing some say it's all simply divine. It's divine.

GERGEN: As we watch the speech tomorrow --

BLITZER: Monday.

GERGEN: Monday, I'm sorry.

MARTIN: You want to get it over with? Is that cold?

GERGEN: That's true.

It's interesting to watch when Dr. King, he's reading from a text and it is the prepared speech he stayed up half the night writing and what is very clear is it's not working very well. It's not moving the audience and Gary Wills has written about this that while Dr. King was reading it Mahalia Jackson was standing behind him and Mahalia whispers out in a very loud voice and says tell him about the dream, Martin.

And she says tell them about the dream, Martin and then he looks up and that's when he takes a flight of fancy away from the text and you can see him look up and then -- that's what makes that speech soar.

MARTIN: He had done that several times before. Clarence Jones said there were moments when he talked about the dream and it was in your special, Soledad, when he grabbed that podium and then he said he's about to do it. O'BRIEN: People said oh, lord, here he goes. They hadn't heard him deliver it as a sermon. So a handful of people knew about it.

BLITZER: We like to say in our business that turned out to be the money bite. That was the sound bite of the day and for decades to come. All right, guys. Let's take a quick break. We'll continue our coverage. The Obama express getting ready to leave Wilmington, Delaware, next stop, Baltimore with continuing service to Washington, D.C.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: You're looking at the Washington Mall and the U.S. Capitol. It's pretty empty right now. By Tuesday it will be jam- packed. We don't know if there will be a million people, 2 million people, some people think as many as 3 or 4 million people could be here. Wow! It could be an amazing, amazing sight Anderson.

This is the train station, it is in Delaware. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden and Jill Biden, they haven't yet boarded the train to take the train to the next stop of Baltimore and then on to Washington, D.C. But we're watching every step of the way.

COOPER: What you're seeing really is the end, the last car on the train.

BLITZER: Would that be the caboose?

COOPER: Is that the very end of the car? I'm not sure.

BLITZER: All right. So, yes, the caboose. The technical term, I learned it in second grade.

COOPER: Which is where at the end of the caboose, if you will, is where Barack Obama has waved to crowds that we saw a little bit earlier. Candy Crowley, actually is several cars up, we think about six cars up in this ten-car train and we've been talking to her in this journey and we will again as the train pulls out again. It is supposed to arrive at Union Station at 7:00 or 7:30 and we'll be covering that live as well.

MARTIN: And Baltimore folks would appreciate the colors and supporting the Ravens. The football playoff game is this weekend, so they say thank you for your support.

BLITZER: There is a football game, in addition to everything else there is a playoff game. Life goes on in these, the United States.

MARTIN: The Philadelphia folks were excited because again, you could have an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl.

BLITZER: The moment that we've been talking about will be at noon on Tuesday, David Gergen. The moment and we have all sorts of new technology we'll be showcasing. We've told our viewers once and we'll tell them about it once again, but when some people think about that moment they already start to get goose bumps because as exciting as it was for so many of Barack Obama's supporters, so many Americans when he won the Democratic presidential nomination, you know what? It will hit home, he's the president of the United States.

GERGEN: That's right. This moment has always had a special significance for democracy. It's what distinguishes democracies from what has lasted thousands and thousands of years is that we have peaceful transfers of power that one group of people lead and that we turn the power over to a new group who have been elected by the people.

So this moment at 12:00 noon on the day of the inauguration has had significance, but this particular year has so much more because race has been such a burden for this society for so long. The question of how we live with each other and to have an African-American now taking that oath on that moment makes it -- just doubles, triples, and quadruples the significance.

MARTIN: I wish we could play that of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, the first African-American woman from the south, elected to congress, when she had the constitution, when it was written it didn't have me in mind. My faith in the constitution, it is whole and it is complete.

When you think about the speech with Dr. King talking we came here to make America live up to its actual promise and so on that day when he's sworn in, there are many people -- you think about the Frederick Douglas speech and what it means for a slave on the fourth of July, they say wait a minute, here you have finally this belief that absolutely we have attained that feeling of being an absolute 100 percent American when he is sworn in as president.

COOPER: It's worth pointing out though his hand is on a bible, what he is swearing is to protect to uphold the constitution of the United States, the constitution, a document written by our founding fathers.

GERGEN: That is in the constitution. The oath is in the constitution.

COOPER: The oath for vice president is not in the constitution. The oath for the constitution is the same oath that senators take, but for the president it is written in the constitution word for word although he adds in the last few words, so help me god.

BLITZER: That moment for some, some of his most ardent supporters, though, David will be marred to a certain degree by his decision, rather controversial to ask Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural sermon, if you will, given his views on gay rights.

GERGEN: I believe he made a gutsy decision to ask Rick Warren to do that because he knew it would arouse passions against him. He knew about his views about gay rights and the gay rights community and think what he said in Philadelphia this morning and what he said in Wilmington, that he is trying to appeal to what we all have in common, to our common values and what we believe together. And Rick Warren does hold in common with Barack Obama and his followers a very strong belief about combating poverty and about combating discrimination, and about combating HIV/Aids and the discourages of our time, and so I think what Obama is trying to symbolize here is that on certain things we should be able to come together. That's why I thought it was gutsy knowing what he knew. He's asked some additional people to come in.

MARTIN: I do hope folks realize that and again, from a church standpoint, to the invocation, is extremely important but within the faith context, there have been benediction is considered to be even greater because that's the prayer sending folks forth. Reverend Joseph Lowry (ph) is giving that. Just so folks understand that one is more important over the other.

BLITZER: All right. Guys stand by. That train is getting ready to leave the station in Wilmington, Delaware, and move on to Baltimore. When we come back we're going to go Tom Foreman and he's going to explain to us what CNN is going to be doing at that moment and what many of you, thousands of you, potentially will be doing to help us and all of our viewers around the world. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: There it is. The Obama express, as it's called, I don't think that's the official name, but that's what we're calling it. The president-elect and Mrs. Obama have not yet reboarded the train to continue from Wilmington, Delaware, where it is right now and head on to Baltimore which is the next stop.

Anderson, we've been talking a lot about the moment and we at CNN, we have an opportunity to share that moment in a unique way with a lot of our viewers and you and Tom Foreman are going to explain exactly what's going on.

COOPER: You can go to CNN.com/themoment, one word, right now to find out all of the information, but Tom is going to give us a little bit of a primer, if you will, on exactly how you can participate in this moment -- Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a great, great opportunity, Anderson and Wolf. Look at the wall over here. This is Pennsylvania Avenue where he will walk down after his inaugural speech, but look at this; we're looking at it through a unique technology called photo send. Look at how it's turning down here and showing us the avenue.

This is a series of still photos taken with a digital camera, fed into this program which then stitches them all together and finds common points between them so you are able to actually move along and explore a 3D environment showing you precisely where he's going to come down the road and all these plazas along the way that he might be stopping at, windows that people might be watching out of, that sort of thing is all put together electronically and this will allow you to be at this event like never before. He'll go down Pennsylvania Avenue; this is a statue of General Meade who led at Gettysburg for the Civil War an important place.

BLITZER: Hold on a second, Tom. There they are, the four of them. Let's listen.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT-ELECT: He's been at this stop for a long time.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: I haven't had this car all of the time.

OBAMA: All right, guys. Thanks.

J. BIDEN: Thank you!

BLITZER: All right. Let's get back to Tom Foreman. Tom, go ahead. We interrupted. You were explaining the new technology. We want to share with our viewers when that moment, at noon Eastern on Tuesday when Barack Obama becomes president of the United States after he's sworn in, what our viewers out there can do to share this historic moment with everyone else.

FOREMAN: Exactly, Wolf. And this technology we're talking about, I want to show you how it's put together. What this is is a series of individual photographs. Look at this. You take all these photographs.

I walked down Pennsylvania Avenue the entire length this week and took the pictures and the computer looks for common elements between them and maybe it's a post over here, a part of a road or a lamppost or a flag and it joins them together and finds the common elements and makes this mosaic, three dimensional that allows you to move through it and that's where you get to join in.

At the moment on Tuesday when Barack Obama raises his hand, we want all of you who are there, who have any view of the mall and of this historic event to use your cell phone camera, to use your digital camera, to use any camera you have with a digital signal of it, take a photograph and e-mail it to us at the moment@CNN.com, themoment@CNN.com and we will take all of those pictures, hundreds, thousands, however many you send us, we will feed them into this program and allow photo cynth (ph) to put them all together and create a 3-d environment that all of you will be able to see this one of a kind moment in American history through.

We'll have it on CNN.com hopefully within an hour or two hours after the moment occurs. You'll be able to go there and explore it. And we'll have it in our magic wall where you sift through and see views of things that you simply never seen before because this is a unique way of seeing this.

If we go further toward the White House, you'll see we actually have a view of where you guys are right now. There's the museum. If you were to lean over the side and wave, maybe we'd see you but not right now. But at the moment, everybody will be involved, everybody can wave, take a picture and it will be a spectacular thing to see online. Themoment@CNN.com.

COOPER: If you want more information now go to CNN.com/the moment. Tom thanks very much, we are going to check in with you. Tom has also been looking at the security bubble that has been following this train. We just saw the train about to leave Wilmington, Delaware going to head to Baltimore. A massive outlay of security all along in land and sea and air following the train. We'll talk about that ahead.

David Gergen, that moment which we've been talking about is not just being witnessed here in Washington and around the United States it is a moment which will literally be watched around the world. In the last month I've been to four or five different countries. Everywhere I've gone people have talked about this moment and what it means to them. We'll take a short break and talk about that when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: There it is. That's the last car on the train. There's Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They're leaving Wilmington, Delaware. The next stop, Baltimore, Maryland. Although they'll be slowing down at one point along the way. Edgemont, Maryland, I believe it is, Anderson, where they'll wave to some people who have gathered and then they will continue on to Baltimore. We have -- it's a nice shot. One astute viewer sent an e-mail --

COOPER: We're looking at the private car on the train, Wolf, mistakenly called a caboose earlier. One viewer e-mailed us to inform us. In fact, a caboose is a caboose when it's a caboose. When it's not a caboose, it's called the last car of the train, a private car.

GERGEN: What makes it a caboose?

COOPER: I don't know what makes a caboose a caboose.

BLITZER: Would it be red or something?

COOPER: I'm not sure. But this is not a caboose. It's the last car. It's a private car.

GERGEN: Is any Amtrak train carrying the president-elect of the United States Amtrak one?

BLITZER: Could be, might be. Then once -- this is a shot that we're showing our viewers from inside the train, yes.

COOPER: Right, from inside the train. We want to give you a sense of what lies ahead down the track. There's going to be a slow roll coming up in Maryland. This is the location of the slow roll. Edgewood, Maryland. Obviously, you can see looks like a couple hundred people perhaps have already gathered for the slow roll.

As we saw in the slow roll before in Delaware, Barack Obama and most likely this time vice president-elect Biden will be in the door in the last car and they will be able to wave to the crowd, then the train will pick up speed again. It will go on to Baltimore, which we can show you -- we'll show you the scene in Baltimore. Already a lot of people have gathered. President-elect Obama will be speaking again in Baltimore.

BLITZER: We're told he's going to be speaking at the Baltimore City Hall at the war memorial plaza at city hall in Baltimore. So they'll get off the train and head over to city hall and that's where they'll have their remarks for all the folks who have gathered in Baltimore. And of course they move on to Union Station from Baltimore not very far to Washington, D.C. These are live pictures from the historic Union Station right on Capitol Hill.

COOPER: It's a beautiful station.

BLITZER: Less than a mile from where we are right now. They really did a magnificent job renovating Union Station over the years.

O'BRIEN: Baltimore is such an interesting city, really, because of its history and, also, because in a lot of ways it is any American urban city. It has all the problems, all the struggles, all the challenges. When people talk about the inner city, Baltimore is that city to some degree. It's interesting to watch people within the urban centers say, OK, let's get him into office. But what is he going to do for us?

MARTIN: I think that is almost as big a question and maybe for our society and culture at large a bigger question than how he changes Washington. When you ride that train -- and you all have -- you are embarrassed, you are embarrassed sometimes at the boarded housing and inner city America.

COOPER: Let's take a quick break as we look at a view from the train. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)