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Cory Booker's Future Plans; Interview with Actor Frankie Muniz; Chuck Leavell's Epic Tour; Women in Corporate America; Battling Back from Anorexia

Aired December 11, 2012 - 08:30   ET



SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching STARTING POINT. We begin with John Berman and a look at the day's top stories.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Authorities in Iowa positively identified the bodies of two young cousins who have been missing since July. The hunters found the remains of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins last week. No word on the cause of death. Police say they do not have a suspect.

Oklahoma City police are looking for whoever put two pipe bombs on a truck. The driver found them attached to his fuel tank after he got back from a 400-mile trip. The truck was reportedly hauling rock. A bomb squad had to come in and destroy the explosives.

George Zimmerman will be back in court in Florida in just a half an hour from now for a pretrial hearing. He's charged with murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin back in February. The judge will listen to a handful of motions, including a request of Zimmerman to be informed of everyone who can allegedly identify his voice and Trayvon Martin's voice in the phone calls.

Monday night football, the team with the best record in the AFC goes into Tom Brady's house and gets steamrolled. Brady tossed four touchdown passes, that one to Donte Stallworth. It was a 42-14 rout of the Houston Texans. The Patriots have won 20 straight home games in the month of December. Thank you, Tom Brady.

Cory Booker, the popular mayor of Newark, New Jersey, may have tipped his hand on the job he may want next. Here's what he told "The Huffington Post."


MAYOR CORY BOOKER, (D) NEWARK: When I campaign for myself next year as a gubernatorial candidate or for another gubernatorial candidate should I decide not to run.


BERMAN: I guess he hedged it a little bit. Here's what Mayor Booker said yesterday on STARTING POINT about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who already said he's running for re-election. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOOKER: Christie is vulnerable, and I think as it should be because there's a lot of issues in our state he is not falling in line with, from women's issues, environmental issues.


BERMAN: Booker also said he may consider a run for the Senate. He set about a two-week deadline.

O'BRIEN: Oh for god's sakes he's running for something. He's running for governor or maybe not.

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think he's going to run for the Senate.

O'BRIEN: Really?

SHRUM: If you look at the polls there, he wins the primary hands down, even against Frank Lautenberg, who I like, and he wins the Senate seat. Why would he take on Chris Christie? The guy did a spectacular job during the storm. I disagree with him on a whole set of issues. But he put the state ahead of politics, presidential politics, stood there with the president and did the right thing. I'm not endorsing him.

BERMAN: Democrats are going to turn on Bob Shrum like Republicans turned on Chris Christie.

SHRUM: All I can say is the guy is in a very, very, very strong position. I wouldn't vote for him but I think he's going to get elected.

O'BRIEN: I agree with you on that Democratic strategist, on any front I agree.

Let's talk about this interesting medical case. Here is a man, he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, doesn't do drugs, works out regularly, in good health until the actor Frankie Muniz had a mini stroke at the age of 26. He's here to talk about that with us this morning. You look fine. Are you feeling fine?

FRANKIE MUNIZ, ACTOR/MUSICIAN: I am, I'm feeling better every day that goes on. The first couple days after I still felt just extremely lethargic and just kind of discombobulated, didn't feel like I was in my own body.

O'BRIEN: You're 27 years old. How did you know something bad was happening?

MUNIZ: To be honest, I worked out in the morning, I felt fine, I got on my motorcycle to go on a ride, literally made it a mile, and started -- just my right eye started like feeling weird, like I couldn't see properly. And as I kept going, I lost all peripheral vision and my body started feeling uncomfortable. I got back home and laid down, got to the point to where I thought I was talking normal and my fiancee was looking at me like I was speaking a foreign language and I knew I was saying the words properly, and she's like those aren't words, and just headaches and just my whole body went numb on the right side. And like it was just weird. Being my age and being healthy, I didn't expect anything as serious to be happening. I just thought like, what's going on?

O'BRIEN: Doctors diagnosed a transient eschemic attack, temporary loss of blood flow to the brain no permanent damage. But one in three people who have this what they call a mini-stroke, eventually 33 percent of them will go on to have a stroke which must be terrifying information for you.

MUNIZ: It is. It's one of those things as a person, I mean me personally I felt invincible. You know what I mean? You get in a car you don't think you're going to get in a car accident. When you get on a plane you don't think things are going to happen to you. They can. It's the same with health. Until something happens you really don't expect it.

O'BRIEN: What do the doctors tell you caused it?

MUNIZ: We're still trying to find out. I had to leave because I play drums in a band, we're on tour so I'm going back home.

O'BRIEN: So you had a mini stroke. The doctor on our panel, Dr. Hayworth is like you're a bad patient.

REP. NAN HAYWORTH, (R) NEW YORK: It's not a bad idea to get the tests done.

MUNIZ: We've started the process and everything we've done so far we haven't found the exact thing that they can say well that caused it.

O'BRIEN: You literally have never had a drink.

MUNIZ: I've never had a drink of alcohol.

O'BRIEN: You don't do drugs.

MUNIZ: I've never been near them.


O'BRIEN: Chuck Leavell is saying we have to share some information. He's been around a little bit.


O'BRIEN: What do you think it is, the stress? What did the doctors lay out as a potential?

MUNIZ: I can say that is the one thing in my life that I do need to work on. I'm an extremely high stress person.

O'BRIEN: Tell us about that. MUNIZ: Well, my whole life since he was eight years old I was working as an actor, always had to be somewhere and do something, stepping away from the acting. I still have that mentality, like I can't just sit and relax. Like I always constantly have to be doing something, I worry and want everything to be perfect and you know, my band, we released an album a few weeks ago and did it all ourselves so there was a lot of stress with that and touring.

O'BRIEN: Dr. Hayworth, is there a correlation between the typical type a personality that wants perfection, et cetera, et cetera, and stroke?

HAYWORTH: You know, there probably is some, because there is between being type a and being hypertensive, you tend to drive for yourself. The one question I have for you Frankie, but are you on aspirin right now?

MUNIZ: Baby aspirin, yes.

HAYWORTH: At the very least baby aspirin a day. Every household should have aspirin available, because if there are symptoms like that that seem very distinctive and there's no reason that someone can't take an aspirin.

O'BRIEN: Because it's a blood thinner.

HAYWORTH: If there's a clot that's stopping circulation, that will provide some immediate help while you do more.

O'BRIEN: So your band's on tour.

MUNIZ: Yes, on tour.

O'BRIEN: When you're done with your tour which I'm not sure I fully support --

MUNIZ: The show must go on.

O'BRIEN: I'm teasing you. What are you going to do when you're back home and you can focus on your health.

MUNIZ: I'm going in, having an echo test done, and a few other tests and trying to figure it out. For me like I said with the stress that's something I'm trying to relax.

O'BRIEN: Yoga, transcendental meditation, stress releasing?

MUNIZ: I do eat like a 12-year-old kid.


MUNIZ: So I'm going to start -- I'm starting to order vegetables instead of French fries and stuff. So now that this has happened, like I said, it is a wake-up call. I want to do anything I can to be healthier, to try to prevent anything I can in happening again.

O'BRIEN: You're 27. We need you around a little while. Frankie Muniz, nice to have you. Seriously, take care of yourself.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, he's a man who played with the Rolling Stones the past 30 years. Now the legendary band is celebrating their 50th anniversary, and they have a new tour. You're watching STARTING POINT.


O'BRIEN: It's only rock 'n' roll and they like it. The Stones have been playing for 50 years and counting. Chuck Leavell has been with the band for 30 years, often called the fifth Rolling Stone. Nice to have you with us.


O'BRIEN: Are you excited about this? Is it just amazing this tour?

LEAVELL: It's incredibly excited. We were in Paris six weeks rehearsing, two shows in London that went well and we're ready to conquer New York City. We had the show at Barclays in Brooklyn.

O'BRIEN: New York City is ready to be conquered. Everybody is really excited about this.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: One of the music writers at "The New Yorker" said the stones were sounding the best they've sounded in years.

SHRUM: Why is that? Why are they so eternally fresh or you guys so eternally fresh, why the appeal goes across generations?

LEAVELL: Rock n roll keeps you young.

BERMAN: Why is it the high point they're play so long well?

LEAVELL: We all feel, man, how fortunate are we, we can still do this, we're healthy, the energy is there, the fans want to come and see the band and that just gives you the wherewithal to give it 150 percent.

O'BRIEN: What are the rehearsals like? Everyone is off doing their projects and you came together to do rehearsals.

LEAVELL: The rehearsals for me the most fun part of the process we get to play all of the songs that we never really bring to the stage. So we rehearsed something like 75 to 80 songs in Paris. When you go on stage you'll cut that down to 22, 23 songs.

O'BRIEN: You're the guy who does the song list. You really pick the playlist.

LEAVELL: Well, I help with it. It's not all.

O'BRIEN: I think you're being a little modest on that.

LEAVELL: No, it's not all me, but it's fun to work with the guys on that. And I also --

O'BRIEN: How do you pick when you have 400 songs in your potential playlist?

LEAVELL: Not easy, I'll tell you, but you know you're going to have iconic songs that you're going to do that the fans want to hear but the fun part for me is trying to bring in the odd ones, you know, the ones that are a little obscure that people, the hard core fans really want to hear.


LEAVELL: You know so it's something like "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" or "She Smiled Sweetly." Or you know some really strange ones, that's a lot of fun. We did "Lady Jane" in London, that's kind of a rare one to do.

O'BRIEN: Do you have a favorite? I mean, I know some people will say they can't answer that question because it's like picking their children but is there a song you like to always perform?

LEAVELL: Well I tell people that "Honkytonk Woman" is kind of a favorite. I remember where I was, I was very young, I was living in Nashville, I had just recorded my first LP, some of us might remember. You remember that, don't you.

O'BRIEN: I remember those.

LEAVELL: The turntable, yes and so is the guitars.

O'BRIEN: My parents had that.

LEAVELL: The guitar player -- the guitar player of the band that I was working with ran in the house and he said I've got it, I've got it. What have you got? And he said I've got the new Stones record. I was driving down the road, I heard it, I couldn't believed it, I pulled over and I went straight to the record stores I got it and here it is and it was "Honkytonk Woman" and we put that thing on and I listened to it about 150 times. It was great.

LIZZA: You're from Macon, Georgia.


LIZZA: Most of the other band members are not.

LEAVELL: Have you noticed?

LIZZA: What is that like being the guy from Georgia in the Rolling Stones?

LEAVELL: Well you know it's interesting because I think a lot of British bands, you know, and I've worked with Eric Clapton and I've worked with George Harrison and that was a real privilege, they're very interested in southern music.


LEAVELL: They look to the south, the interest in blues, Delta Blues and the interest in, you know, New Orleans kind of music.


LEAVELL: And so I think there's a particular interest there in southern musicians.

BERMAN: Do you have to be a Mick guy or -- or Keith guy or can you be both.

LEAVELL: Huh? Say what?

HAYWORTH: Yes exactly. The amazing thing is Keith Richards has not changed in 50 years. Because he looked that old about years ago.

O'BRIEN: Do you think this is really the final tour? You know because thing build is a final tour which is why everybody I think --

LEAVELL: No, no its 50 years and counting.

SHRUM: It's like Frank Sinatra's farewell tour -- there's many more to come.

O'BRIEN: Oh got it, got it. Because I heard some people saying farewell but it's only farewell for now.

LEAVELL: Fifty years and counting.

O'BRIEN: I love it. I love it. Chuck Leavell, nice to have you with us.

LEAVELL: Oh it's great to be with you. Thanks Soledad.

O'BRIEN: We really appreciate it.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT the era of Western dominance could be coming to an end. We'll take a look at a report that says China is going to soon top the United States and what it means for us. It's coming up next.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans minding your business this morning.

AIG is off life support from the American government. The Treasury is selling the last of its now 234 million shares of the insurer. The Treasury Department says it made a $22.7 billion profit on a bailout that at one point ballooned to $182 billion and probably the most heated bailout in American history.

A world where Asia is on the rise and an era of Western dominance is over. That's the prediction from the National Intelligence Council. It predicts it will be a far different world by 2030. They say quote, "Tectonic shifts will have China surpassing the United States economically by 2030 and Asia gaining the power it last saw during the Middle Ages."

Expect food and water demand to soar 35 percent and middle classes in the West to see even more competition from new rising workforces around the globe.

A new catalyst census survey shows growth for pay in positions for women at the highest levels of corporate America has flatlined. In 2012, women held about 14 percent of Fortune 500 executive officer positions, basically unchanged for the third year in a row, and women held only 16 percent of corporate board seats seven years in a row of no growth for board seats and just three percent of board seats are held by women of color -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: I wonder when that's going to change.

ROMANS: I've been reporting this story since like 2000. And every year we say will it get better next year and it doesn't. You've got colleges chock-full of really smart young women.

O'BRIEN: Often way more percentage wise than the men. So why in upper management and in boards is this a problem?

ROMANS: We need sponsors, not mentors, (INAUDIBLE) mean the catalyst as I've been working on. You mentor but in sponsors where you actually actively are pushing people, your peers are getting people into your level. For a long time men have dominated so much at the higher ranks, men network with men, women network with women, and so until you can start to change to networking I think that's really important.

HAYWORTH: And I still think there are work/life issues societally and as the mother two of sons you know I've tried to raise them to socialize them to understand that when children come into the picture, you know, it really, there really does have to be a shared responsibility there, and I think still in a lot of families and women voluntarily in fact tend to make themselves responsible.

O'BRIEN: Yes but when you look at the number it's not as if there are so many women on boards who are turning them down. Right, because I would agree with that if it was sort of like every year all these women say I cannot be on the board, I'm too busy, I can't juggle it.

HAYWORTH: But they don't get to that level in the corporate world where there are you know, it means to get an invitation on the board you have to as I understand that you've got to reach a certain level of the cool --


ROMANS: Until you have more women on track for (INAUDIBLE) -- you won't have as many women qualified to sit on a board and it's the self-fulfilling -- the self-fulfilling thing. SHRUM: And I think over time this will get better. I mean, partly because of sponsorship, but partly because you do have a lot of people coming out of college, they're disproportionately women, not men, and all of the trends in society are pushing toward a greater opening up whether it's -- whether it's on women or marriage equality or whatever.

ROMANS: When companies figure out they can make money by embracing diversity, then suddenly you will see an embrace of diversity.

O'BRIEN: Oh, it's been an amazing embrace of diversity.

SHRUM: Adam Smith, thanks you for that remark.

O'BRIEN: Here is a tough story to share with you but it does have a happy ending. A 15-year-old girl, her name is Chelsea Roff, she weighed less than 60 pounds because she was fighting anorexia, she actually ended up having a stroke but has been battling back a long journey toward getting healthy and getting happy. Her recovery covered by our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his story in today's "Human Factor". Take a look.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to believe but Chelsea Roff says one day at the age of 15, part of her brain died.

CHELSEA ROFF, HAD ANOREXIA: I now know from looking at hospital records that I was 58 pounds.

GUPTA: 58 pounds and close to dying because so many parts of her body were failing. There are pictures of Roff at her sickest. This picture was taken about a year earlier but she remembers how starting a diet with her mom in the midst of a traumatic childhood spiraled into anorexia.

ROFF: Looking back, I think my body was my only way to tell the people around me that something wasn't okay.

GUPTA: Help came for Roff when she was hospitalized for 18 months following her stroke.

ROFF: I had a bed. I had nurses and doctors that showed up every day and were consistent, and I had food and I had water, and I was finally getting like digestive function back.

GUPTA: As part of her recovery her therapist suggested Roff try yoga to start listening to her body again without burning too many calories. Time on her mat helped her gain confidence, learned to interact with people and slowly change her personality. Today, she writes and she shares her story with other patients who struggle with eating disorders as well as their loved ones.

ROFF: I tell these girls I am not afraid of my fullness.

GUPTA: She's quick to point out that yoga is not a cure for anything. It's one of only many tools that when used correctly helped her rebuild her life.

ROFF: You can live in your body fully. You can have happiness and that's, for me, the biggest thing.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


O'BRIEN: Coming up tomorrow on starting point, physician and author Deepak Chopra is going to join us; former Florida governor Charlie Crist is our guest; Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings and actor Aidan Quinn all sitting down with us on STARTING POINT. Another star- studded day.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Ted Rowlands begins right now. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning. Hey Ted, good morning.