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Norquist's Anti-Tax Pledge; Hollywood's Biggest Stars: Boomers; Cyber Monday Deals; Hottest Gadgets This Season

Aired November 23, 2012 - 10:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: With me now, Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona and Republican strategist, Ana Navarro. Good morning.

Good morning. On to our first topic, is Grover over, Ana?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it sure has a nice ring to it now, doesn't? Look, I salute and commend Saxby Chambliss. I think that's how all people that are elected to represent a constituent should feel.

There should be no pledges. Your pledge should be to your country, to your God, to your spouse. You know, that's what it is. I come, Carol, at this from the Jeb Bush school of thought.

Couple of months ago he was being asked about this in Congress and he said you don't outsource your convictions. That's exactly the right thing to say and the right thing to think.

You should act because that's how you want to act. Not because you are being held bound by some pledge.

COSTELLO: And Maria, what does this mean for talks on the fiscal cliff?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I actually think it's positive because it gives Republicans a lot more lee way to do the right thing. And Chambliss was right on in basically saying that he cares more about his country.

Carol I was at the DNC the Democratic National Committee in the early '90s. And when Bush won basically and promised no new taxes, "Read my lips, no new taxes." It was the biggest gift to the Democrats because when he actually end up having to raise taxes it wasn't the raising of the taxes that got him into trouble. It was breaking that pledge.

So the pledge that politicians should be taking is to take no pledges and to focus on what needs to be done. And when you have Ben Stein and Bill Kristol, two big Republicans basically saying that new taxes and new revenue should be on the table, I think that the puppet master days of Grover Norquist for Republicans are over.

COSTELLO: (inaudible)

Ok on to our second topic. Are second terms always abysmal failures for presidents -- Maria? CARDONA: No, they're not. And in fact if you look at history, Carol, there are really no great presidents that didn't have a second term. Are they difficult? Will -- will there be enormous challenges? Yes, of course. But this is what also brings out the character in the President and focuses on doing the right thing from a bipartisan standpoint.

You look at FDR. You look at Lincoln. You look even at Reagan in terms of what he did with the Soviet Union. All of those things happened in the second term. So though there's turmoil now for President Obama, these are external things that really he doesn't have a lot of control over. It will all focus on how he handles it, how he focuses on solutions, how he works with Republicans in order to do the right thing for this country.

COSTELLO: Yes but Anna, this is major turmoil. We're not talking about little things here.

NAVARRO: No, we're not talking about little things. And it's a lot of turmoil and it all happen one right after the other right after re- election. Look I tell you first terms are about getting re-elected. Second terms should be about building a legacy and leaving something behind.

I think we should be watching very closely, all of us, what happens with the fiscal cliff. Because if they are able -- if Republicans in Congress and the President are able to get together and actually do something, I think it's a good omen for what's ahead.

If they are not then I think we're in for a very tough four years. I think President Obama is going to have a very hard time passing his agenda. As Americans we should all be rooting for him because we're all in this together. And there are some big hairy problems that we need to tackle.

And I think it's a good thing what we're hearing right now out of the Republican leadership and also out of the White House where everybody seems to be holding hands at least for the time being and singing Kumbaya and saying we're ready to work together and get something done. I say we pray for that and say now in Christmas and see if it actually happens.

COSTELLO: I'm with you. I'm going to drop to my knees right now.

Third topic, we have to talk about Black Friday because I wanted to ask both of you, how long do you think it will be until stores open at midnight on Christmas Day -- Anna?

NAVARRO: Listen, one Black Friday is enough. Black Friday followed by turkey Thursday and I'm wearing green today in honor of Black Friday because it's all about the money. It's a -- it's a great moneymaker for you know for -- for the stores. I've got relatives here from Central America who are here to go fight over a $4 toaster they probably don't even need.

You know, I -- I actually am not a fan of these -- of these commercial holidays, if you like, because I think it takes away a little bit from the thought of you know just yesterday we were all about family and friends and giving thanks. And you know now we're all fighting with each other, duking it out over "Tickle Me Elmo".

So I think we need to put the focus back where it is. That being said, we're in a tough economy. And so if this helps gets people out there spending the money and getting the economy churning, you know it's all good. To each his own.

COSTELLO: Maria, I really think that one day soon that retailers will just remain open 24/7 even on holidays because they need to get people into the stores to buy, buy, buy.

CARDONA: I guess that might be the case, Carol, but God I hope not. I mean I guess in this recession and this sluggish recovery it is a good thing. And it is good for retailers, it's not so good for family unity.

But I got to tell you. Coming off of a political campaign where people were so sick of all the political ads, how long did it take me to get sick of the door buster ads for Macy's and Wal-Mart and Target. I was sick of it, Carol.

So God forbid that Black Friday come along for Christmas. Because then the one thing we're going to be seeing is Santa Claus at the end of the commercials for Black Friday saying I'm St. Nick and I approve this message.

COSTELLO: It's not long, I'm telling you. Maria Cardona, Anna Navarro thank you so much for being with us on this Black Friday.

CARDONA: Thank you so much Carol.

COSTELLO: Some things get better with age -- wine, cheese, and Hollywood stars. We'll examine the latter in our series "Age Against the Machine."


COSTELLO: Today celebrities are a little older, a little wiser. And when it comes to the box office, they're certainly no worse for wear. In our series "Age Against the Machine" CNN's Nischelle Turner takes a look at Hollywood's booming stars.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just try counting the stars born between 1946 and 1964. That's Hollywood, baby. Booming with entertainers who decades after they debuted are still delivering the goods to the 80 million Americans aged 48 to 66 who first made them famous.

LESLEY JANE SEYMOUR, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MORE: The baby boomers did change everything. They created the me generation, the youth generation. But guess what? When you hold on to that power economically and in the press, you don't let go just because you're 60. You keep it going.

TURNER: Witness the Rolling Stones. The Brits first rocked Bobby Sox's kids when they hid the stage in the mid-60s. Now those kids are in their mid 60s. The band members, pushing 70 and when they announced their new tour last month, they sold out American arenas in minutes.

KEITH RICHARDS, ROLLING STONES: Who calls it quits will be the public, not us. When they say we've had enough, we'll disappear gracefully.

TURNER: The idea that Hollywood glamour equals youth, that's old thinking. Just ask Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora. He's 53, filling stadiums and feeling fine.

RICHIE SAMBORA, BON JOVI: I feel younger and better now I think than I did in my 20s believe it or not. You know I feel more in touch, more present, more involved in life.

TURNER: Being of a certain age is no longer bad for business says "More" magazine's editor-in-chief.

SEYMOUR: Right now you've got, you know a serious financial problem with Millennials. You now have to wake up and say let's see who's got the money to go to the movies. It's people who have some economic power. And it's not going to be just the 20-somethings.

TURNER: Proving that -- Cruise, Keaton, Weaver, Field, the Bruces -- Springsteen and Willis; Meryl, Mirren, Beth, Baldwin -- been around for decades with the fan base still paying to see their new projects.

SEYMOUR: They're still doing the top movies, they're still doing the top Broadway shows. They're creating new series. They are reinventing themselves at the top of their game.

TURNER: And inspiring their cohorts.

SAMBORA: Look at the Rolling Stones. If they're any benchmark, damn.

MICK JAGGER, ROLLING STONES: Yes 50 years is when we started. There was a fan that have been 50 years. But now if you're a band you go like, well we could be like that. There's already a role model for that. Good or bad role model, I can't tell you.

TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.


COSTELLO: Thanks Nischelle.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday. All shoppers want is to find the best deals. So how are retailers standing out in the age of the Internet? And what do you need to do to spend less?


COSTELLO: 44 minutes past the hour.

Thousands of people across the United States are out in full force today to try to save some cash on this Black Friday. But a lot of people are staying home looking forward to shopping from their desktop on Cyber Monday. But with 24/7 Internet access, does Cyber Monday even matter anymore? Or are there still deals to be had?

Joining me now is Casey Carl, he's the president of Multichannel at Target. Good morning, Casey.

CASEY CARL, MULTICHANNEL AT TARGET: Good morning. Happy Black Friday to you.

COSTELLO: Right back at you. So I'll just ask you that first question right off the top. Does Cyber Monday matter anymore? Because people can shop online, like, today.

CARL: Absolutely. Cyber Monday absolutely continues to matter for our guests. But they know they can find great deals online in the stores and at Target throughout the year. You know, online yesterday we had great traffic and great sales on Then last night in our stores, I was out in many of our stores and we had tremendous turnout. But our guests know that they'll expect to find even greater deals through Cyber Monday, throughout Cyber Week and through the rest of the holiday season.

COSTELLO: So what's more important to Target? For people physically to go into the stores or to shop online?

CARL: You know, at Target we always pride ourselves on delivering the great guest experience whenever and wherever guests choose to shop. So whether that's on our Web site or on our mobile device or in our stores.

And so definitely we saw great traffic yesterday on our Web site. And we continue to see great traffic throughout the day. But we also saw a great turnout last night and we're really encouraged about what that means for the rest of the holiday season.

COSTELLO: So do you offer the same deals online that you do in the store? I mean how do you make it -- I mean, what's the difference? Is there any difference at all?

CARL: So, our guests can find many of the same deals online in that they can find in the store. But we have some extra deals they can find online. Different bundles and things like that including some deals they'll find only on Cyber Monday or throughout Cyber Week.

But our guests can also find unique and surprise deals like door busters that they found last night while they waited in line in our stores as well. so I think it's a great way to deliver a great "expect more, pay less" brand experience in every channel that our guest chooses to shop with us.

COSTELLO: Are you surprised thought that people still physically go into stores? I mean might we see a day when people will just shop online? I know it's sort of like a sport right now to, you know wait all night to get into the store to find deals. But that'll pass, don't you think?

CARL: You know, our guests I think -- what's really exciting is our guests are using many channels now to shop. And so they're not only buying online but they're also doing a lot of research online on And then they're taking their mobile device into our stores and they're using that mobile device to really amplify their in-store experience.

So whether that's using QR codes to scan our top toys for free shipping or whether it's to send electronic gift cards to their loved one, you've really seen a great convergence of all of our channels to deliver an even better guest experience.

COSTELLO: So because customers are controlling more of the shopping experience because you can also find out where you can get stuff cheaper. You're inside a Target store, you see something, you scan it. You can find out where it's cheaper someplace else. So are customers now sort of controlling the pricing in a way?

CARL: Well, you know, our guests have always loved Target because we are "expect more and pay less". Because they know where they can find great deals throughout the year in all of our channels --


COSTELLO: Well, we know. But still. I mean do I have a point?

CARL: Well, guests I think, you know, love Target because they can get great deals. Now they can use their red card to get their additional five percent and free ship their products on

And with the holiday price match they can shop with confidence knowing that we'll match all prices of our leading competitors.

COSTELLO: I know. But as far as customers going to the store and Target knows this, that I can scan a product and if I can get it cheaper someplace else, I'm probably going to leave the Target store and go get that item cheaper someplace else. So are customers sort of controlling the prices these days?

CARL: Well, customers definitely have a lot of control at their fingertips with technology. But we shot competitively a lot of our online and in-store competition to ensure that her prices are -- price-match appropriately every day. And then with policy price match -- if we ever, Mr. Price, our guest can shop with confidence. No one that will mess up. Right. So they're They're always getting the best price at Target.

COSTELLO: All right. Casey Carl from Target. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

CARL: Thank you so much. COSTELLO: No surprise some of the most coveted gifts this holiday are high-tech gadgets. We'll break down the list of the hottest items next.


COSTELLO: Some of the hottest buys this holiday season will be gadgets and there are a few fancy ones you absolutely need to know about. Joining us from New York, Mario Armstrong, HLN's digital lifestyle expert.


COSTELLO: This is awesome. That's awesome.

ARMSTRONG: I have cool stuff, Carol. Watch this. This is the Lenovo laptop called the Yoga. You would never do this with a regular laptop. Some of these Windows 8 devices do incredibly new things. So now this not only is a full keyboard that I could use to type and use for work but I can also use it as a tablet or even just place it down on the desk and be able to interact with it in a whole new way.

So Windows 8 laptops, brand new, lots of choices. Not all of them are touch though, Carol. So if you really want a touch experience, make sure you go into the store and buy the right one.

COSTELLO: I was just going to say yes but it's Windows.

ARMSTRONG: But it's much better. It's much better. It's much better.

COSTELLO: I know. That was mean. Let's talk about the WII-U gaming system because I thought WII had long ago gone away.

ARMSTRONG: Oh, no, no. WII keeps coming back with innovative new ways. Look, they're the only console maker out of xBox Microsoft and Sony PlayStation 3 that has a new console coming out this year. The main thing is this gamepad controller. It's a second screen that enables you to interact with the games in a whole new way.

So my son and I are playing. He can do one thing like maybe singing karaoke on a microphone while I can actually interact on the screen doing something else with the same game. So it's a new way to play. Game developers are really excited about this because they can really create new gaming experiences.

COSTELLO: Very cool. I need headphones. Tell me about these.

ARMSTRONG: Yes. Because they can get expensive. So look. I have a great pair, I love these. These are called SOL, S-O-L, Sounds of Life, Sol Republic. For less than a hundred bucks you can get really cool but great sounding headphones that are lightweight, virtually indestructible head bands and you can mix and match the colors on the fly. These are the first set of headphones that you can mix and match everything. The head band, the cords can change colors, whatever your style of labor is -- COSTELLO: I love that.

ARMSTRONG: The kids will love these. And they're light weight and they sound great.

COSTELLO: I can plug it into my iPod while running and I can match the head thing to my running outfit.

ARMSTRONG: Yes. Michael Phelps did that. And he's got his own pair out -- shout out Baltimore, Michael Phelps -- that's my home town so I have to give them a shout out.

COSTELLO: I lived there -- (CROSSTALK)


COSTELLO: I love that.

Ok. Let's talk about buying the right tablet for your kids.

ARMSTRONG: Getting a lot of questions from parents about this. Look, parental controls are a must. A couple of options. I like the Kindle Fire, especially the new HD. They have some great parental controls on this. Plus it's very ruggedized. I still think you should get a case, but I'll drop it and it will still work.

The other one is the Google Meta 7. I like that one too. And I also like the Nook, the new seven-inch Nook color has profilers. So each individual family member could have their own settings for their own appropriate content on one device.

So if you find yourself sharing your item with the kid or the kid in the family, that's a good way to go because everyone can get profiled.

And then get a good, fun case like this -- the iGuy. Real cute but full of rubber. Drops, it bounces. No problem. Protects that investment that you just purchased.

COSTELLO: Those are awesome. Thank you so much, Mario. That's really helpful. We appreciate it.

ARMSTRONG: I hope it helps a lot of people. I want people to shop smart. Make sure you know what you're buying. Don't buy just for the sake of buying tech. I have tips on the Web site too if they need them at we have a blog there with smart shopping tips.

COSTELLO: Ok. So I hope my husband's listening. I want those headphones for Christmas.

Mario Armstrong --

ARMSTRONG: Hubby -- hubby, you can afford these. If Carol's not wearing these in January, I'm going to be upset with you.

COSTELLO: Thank you Mario, that's why I like you. We're back in a moment.


COSTELLO: It's a sight we've all seen -- a child throwing a temper tantrum with a frustrated parent who just doesn't know what to do. In this "Daily Dose", TV's Dr. Phil shares some wisdom on the power of parenting.


DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TV HOST: People always kind of are taken aback when I say this, but if you want kids to do what you want them to do, you have to appeal to their greed. What is it that makes them tick? You've got to make them understand, if I do A, I get B.

Look, a child has to be able to predict the consequences of their actions with 100 percent accuracy. So they need to know if I set the cat on fire, I get in trouble every single time. Not some of the time, not occasionally, but every single time.

So consistency is critically important. You're their parent. And you have the power and control of what the parameters are. But you need to let them understand that they have some power. So what you're doing is letting them say I determine what I get to do today. So they feel a sense of mastery over in their environment. And that's very important for a child's self-esteem and self-worth.


COSTELLO: Thank you, Dr. Phil.

Ok. So Thanksgiving is officially over and now we have to look towards Christmas. Let's head out to Washington and the White House where at any moment the First Lady Michelle Obama will be presented with the official White House Christmas tree. This year's tree is a 19-footer from North Carolina. It was selected in October and harvested earlier this month at a prize winning farm there.

This Frazier Fir is on its -- actually already there. We actually saw a picture of it. You can see the band waiting there for the First Lady to come out to welcome the tree. And of course, we'll carry those moments for you live.

I'm Carol Costello, thank you so much for joining me today. CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with John Berman.