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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Inauguration Coverage; Interview with Valerie Jarrett; Update on Algeria
Aired January 20, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Candy, and good morning from the National Mall. I'm John King, as Candy noted, with my colleague, Gloria Borger. Welcome to CNN's continuing coverage -- our special coverage of the 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
If you tuned in to watch Fareed Zakaria, Fareed and GPS have the weekend off. He'll be back at his regular time next week.
And, Gloria, not a crowd behind us, the crowd a little south behind us.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Not yet.
KING: The crowd will be here tomorrow for the ceremony, but today is really the date that matters if you read the Constitution.
BORGER: That's right. Today's the day. The vice president was sworn in earlier today. The president's get sworn in just before noon, and what a great seat with have, John, smack dab in the middle of the Mall.
And, as you said, last night we had some crowds here. Today, it's a little bit early still I think.
KING: We'll get some people as the day goes on ...
BORGER: (inaudible) partying.
KING: The smart people in Washington know they're going to have to get up very early tomorrow to get the prime locations so they're resting a bit and maybe just watching at home, watching in their hotels.
And, as they watch, we at CNN have reporters and resources stationed all around the nation's capitol today, from Capitol Hill to the White House, two full days of coverage and we being this hour, of course, at the most central location; that's the White House.
Our correspondent, Brianna Keilar is there. Just before noon, Bri, the president will take the official oath of office. It's a brief ceremony today, but an important ceremony. He begins his second four years.
And, earlier, the vice president took his oath at the Naval Observatory. Take us through today.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was fascinating, John. Because inauguration day falls on a Sunday, we were able to see this very intimate ceremony at the vice president's official residence, the Naval Observatory. He took the oath before just 120 people, mostly just friends and family.
And the oath was given by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and the fourth female justice to deliver the oath. Here's a taste of it:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do solemnly swear.
SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT: That I take this obligation this freely
BIDEN: That I take this obligation freely.
SOTOMAYOR: Without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.
BIDEN: Without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.
SOTOMAYOR: And that I will well and faithfully discharge.
BIDEN: And that I will well and faithfully discharge.
SOTOMAYOR: The duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
BIDEN: The duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
SOTOMAYOR: So help me, God.
BIDEN: So help me, God.
BIDEN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now, you probably noticed the bible that the vice president had his hand on is huge. It is a five-inch thick bible that is the Biden family bible. It was -- has been in the family since the late 1800s.
And it is the bible that the vice president has used for his swearings in while he was in the Senate. And, also, his son, Beau Biden, used it to be sworn in as the attorney general of Delaware.
We, of course, John, are still awaiting the ceremony here at the White House in the blue room, which will take place just before noon. President Obama will be sworn in, we are told, using the Robinson family bible; the bible from his wife's family.
BORGER: Hi, Brianna, it's Gloria. So tell me why are we having two inaugurations this time, today and tomorrow?
KEILAR: This is sort of strange and I think fascinating because we do get to see both of these very different ceremonies; one very intimate before just dozens and one before hundreds of thousands of people.
It's because it falls on Sunday. And the last time that we saw this 1985 with Ronald Reagan where if the inauguration day, as said in the Constitution falls on a Sunday, then the big public ceremony, traditionally, has then been held on the Monday.
What this means though, and this is something that I find very fascinating, is that President Obama, as of tomorrow, after he's been sworn in, will have been sworn in four times because of that flub back in 2009 and because of the fact that inauguration day falls on a Sunday.
The last time that happened, FDR, he was sworn in four times simply because he served four terms not because of these interesting circumstances, Gloria.
KING: And, Bri, you mentioned that infamous flub four years ago where the chief justice and the president were on the, shall we says, different pages as the oath played out.
What are they doing to prevent that from happening again?
KEILAR: We don't know exactly, John, but I think it's fair to say that they will be on the same page this time. As we heard from our Jeffrey Toobin, there was a big of a miscommunication.
The chief justice had it planned out where he was going to pause. That information as sent to the inaugural committee, didn't make it to the Obama transition folks for the then president-elect to know where he would pause.
So he ended up interrupting the chief justice, which seemed to throw Chief Justice John Roberts off and sort of he threw in faithfully, the word in the oath, but in the wrong place and that's why it was redone, as the White House said, out of an abundance of caution a couple days later at the White House.
I think they'll be on the same page this time.
BORGER: Thanks, Bri. That was kind of interesting to watch if I recall because we were all sort of waiting to see what was going to happen next.
And let's move on to CNN's Jim Acosta who's at the parade staging area and he's going to have one of the great inaugural broadcast locations during Monday's festivities.
He's going to be on a flatbed truck in the parade just right ahead of the president's limousine. Imagine that. I mean, Jim, tell us what's going where you are this morning as they all prepare for the big parade.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I hate to brag, Gloria, but I'm going to have the best view in town. I'm going to be on the back of that flatbed truck just in front of the president's motorcade.
And just in case people aren't aware of how this works, you know the president's sworn in, he goes inside the Capitol, has lunch, then he exits the Capitol, gets in his motorcade and, then, that motorcade sort of leads the parade route to the White House.
And, then, following him will be this huge symphony of sights and sounds, eight different official parade floats and we're in the parade float staging area right now. You can see them behind me.
One parade float over here honoring the president's home state of Hawaii, his second home state of Illinois. There are two other floats for the vice president's home states of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
And there's a civil rights theme that is running through this parade, Gloria. There will be three floats. There will be three floats honoring the civil rights movement.
One for the civil rights movements itself, one honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, obviously because inauguration day is happening on MLK day and, then one honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, those very first military aviators -- African-American military aviators of World War II.
So it's going to be a lot of fun to watch and, you know, all of this is going happen so quickly unfortunately. I hope I have some time to take pictures, but it's going to be an amazing ride.
KING: We will all be jealous, Jim. I'll of jealous of Jim Acosta tomorrow on that flatbed truck live from the parade route. We'll talk to Jim throughout the day today and also tomorrow through the festivities.
Security always a concern around such a big national event and CNN's Chris Lawrence is covering the security angle this morning. He's several blocks away from us on the National Mall.
Chris, the president's ceremony will be private today. The big public even is tomorrow, the ceremony at the Capitol, the parade. What are officials most concerned about at this moment?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everywhere really, John. I mean, in a sense, this inauguration and parade is really the truest definition of national security.
Because just a couple minutes after the president, today, takes the oath of office, the D.C. police will be deputizing thousands -- two to three thousand other police officers from around the country who have come here to help them over the next couple days. They've also pulled in about 6,000 National Guard troops from other states to help as well. But, really, they've got the responsibility not only for the area around here in the Mall, near the Capitol grounds, but also that entire parade route leading into the area around the White House.
The Secret Service, obviously, is heading up security and they've got a joint command base set up out in the suburbs where they are basically pulling in life feeds of thousands of surveillance cameras.
There is literally almost nowhere you can walk anywhere down here near the Mall, from down here to the White House where you are not being seen by some camera.
Just about every agency has committed those cameras and they are watching those feeds continuously, John.
BORGER: Thanks, Chris.
People need to remember whatever you're doing, Big Brother or someone is watching. Thanks a lot, Chris.
And, in less than two hours, President Obama will be sworn in for a second term, but up next, once the inauguration ends, then what? President Obama's second term agenda faces a very uncertain future, especially when it comes to Congress.
We'll be joined by two members who just stepped down, but probably have some ideas on how to get it all done; funny how that happens when you leave the Congress.
Barney Frank and Steve LaTourette are here with us next so stay with us.
KING: Inaugurations are a celebration of our democracy and, as always, there's a festive atmosphere for this one, it would be for a Republican president. The country should have that, a festive atmosphere as we swear in our president, in this case, for four more years.
But the celebration, in this case, may be the calm before the storm as President Obama beings his second term. He is at loggerheads with Republican Party on so many issues, taxes, spendings, deficits, gun control, immigration.
A lot to do and not a great environment to get it done, but with us now two men who may not have to worry too much about that, but who may give us some great insights on how, if possible, to get some things done in the second Obama term.
With us now is Barney Frank, the former Democratic congressman for Massachusetts, Steve LaTourette, Republican of Ohio.
Let me start this conversation by asking you, first, to you, Congressman, as the Democrat, what does the president have to do differently in the second term to have a more cooperative, working environment?
And, then, to you sir, what does the Republican Party need to do to try to get some things done?
BARNEY FRANK, FORMER CONGRESSMAN, MASSACHUSETTS: I have to differ with the premise, John.
KING: I thought you might.
FRANK: I think Barack Obama ...
FRANK: Barack Obama -- look, this notion that partisanship has taken over, it began when Barack Obama became president. I was chairman of the Financial Services Committee in 2007 in the Bush administration.
And I worked very closely with Hank Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury. We worked on putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship to stop the losses.
George W. Bush went to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in December of 2007 and said the economy's slipping, I need a stimulus. And they worked with him to give him the kind that he could sign.
And, then, in 2008, the terrible crisis and it was a very bipartisan thing in which the Bush administration got more support from Democrats than from Republicans in the final vote.
Then comes the election of Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell's announcement that his number one agenda item is to defeat President Obama. We had, I think, a productive 2009 and 2010.
And, then, in 2010 a group gets elected in the House, in particular, that really don't believe in governance. But it's not totally pessimistic.
I think the way to go is we've seen, in the last three major issues in the House, a split within the Republican Party where mainstream conservatives of the Bob Dole variety have aligned with the majority of Democrats.
They've been opposed by a majority of Republicans in the House, but not of the whole House and Speaker Boehner, to his credit, has been allowing a coalition comes together. And I hope what happens is that the mainstream conservatives in the Republican Party continue to fight back.
BORGER: So he hopes the Republican Party remain divided so Democrats can get something done ...
FRANK: No, I hope that the conservatives in the Republican Party assert themselves the way they have in the last three votes and work with us and marginalize their extreme wing.
STEVEN LATOURETTE, FORMER CONGRESSMAN, OHIO:: Well, I got to tell you ...
BORGER: I think ...
LATOURETTE: With Congressman Frank.
LATOURETTE: I know. It is a shock. And I happen to be one of those mainstream Republicans that come from the great State of Ohio, which is the epicenter of the political universe.
From my perspective of what happened, I was there for TARP. I thought it was a horrible idea, by the way. But, then, secondly, Ms. Pelosi becomes the speaker with President Obama and there wasn't any bipartisanship .
There was ramming through of the stimulus, there was ramming through of cap and trade, there was ramming through of the health care bill. No amendments, no discussions. Now Boehner, to his credit, has reopened that up.
This is a new beginning, the president's second term, and if both sides take the view -- sort of take a deep breath and say let's do the doable rather than setting ourselves up for 2014 and figuring out how we can divide the country.
BORGER: But how long does he have? How long does the president have ...
FRANK: I'm going to have to disagree with that total misreading. I was chairman of the Financial Services Committee, this notion that we ran things through. We put through a major financial reform bill. I had worked very closely with the Republicans ...
LATOURETTE: That's true.
FRANK: With Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson and Sheila Bair, all Republican Bush appointees. We tried very hard to have an open ...
KING: Let's look forward though, OK? Can people put these different opinions aside? I respect your opinion. I respect you disagree with his take on how things went on, but that's one of the problems.
Everybody in Washington's been dug in. Can they put this aside going forward? Let's start, gun control, doable?
FRANK: No, I reject that. We're not dug in. I'm serious here. You've got to -- this deterioration started in 2010 with Tea Party domination.
And what I'm saying now is it's promising, the last three votes, on the fiscal cliff, on the hurricane bill and, now, apparently coming (inaudible) we have a coming together, but the major dynamic right is the mainstream, conservative, responsible Republicans against the extremists who had dominated that party and against whom there appears to be some movement.
BORGER: So let me ask the Republican here, I mean do you believe that there are now enough Republicans, and we saw Speaker Boehner bring up something without a majority of the majority on the fiscal cliff, which was a big move for him.
BORGER: So, now, is that the beginning of something where, you know, you can actually see a way where the president ...
FRANK: (inaudible) hurricane. Give him double credit, he did it on the hurricane too.
BORGER: And he did -- so is there a way now that he can -- that the president can work the speaker and Republicans on this?
LATOURETTE: Well, of course, but two things; one Barney's definition of coming together is when 30 of us peel off and agree with their position.
KING: That's not coming together.
BORGER: That's true. That is ...
LATOURETTE: Coming together is finding common ground and common ground means that both sides have to say you know what, I'm not getting 100 percent of what I want. This scenario is you get most of what you want and a few Republicans are shamed into crossing the line.
Let's take the debt limit discussion, for instance. The president won the election. It was all about taxes. He got his taxes, $60 billion a year, runs the government for five days. He has to challenge his party on spending, which he has not been willing to do.
FRANK: I mean, first of all, we're not talking about 30. We had 85 votes. See if it doesn't help if you caricature. When we talked about the fiscal cliff, first of all, it was a deal 50/50 between McConnell, who's still a Republican leader and Joe Biden.
We got less than we wanted. I would liked to have raised taxes on people making $300,000, but we had 85 Republicans for that. On the hurricane, that was a very bipartisan deal win the Senate and the notion that we were just trying to peel off a few, that was -- that shouldn't have been partisan at all.
Finally, as for spending, I very much agree, but here's the problem. Spending -- the biggest increment -- the biggest increase in spending in the last -- in this century has been the military spending, an unpaid for war in Iraq and an unnecessary war, Afghanistan, military spending elsewhere.
I very much want to cut spending, but people who want to exempt the military from spending cuts will distort this society.
BORGER: OK, you're going to have to have the last word on that, sorry, Congressman.
LATOURETTE: Well, I'm going to tell you you could eliminate every penny to the Pentagon, every penny the government spends, we'd still be borrowing $300 billion a year and his party has to come to grips with that.
KING: Well, gentleman, as you step aside, we might see you temporarily in the United States Senate ...
KING: (inaudible) place out of Massachusetts ...
BORGER: We'll see.
KING: Step aside. Hopefully in the spirit of ...
BORGER: Senator Frank, that'd be kind of interesting.
FRANK: No comment.
KING: No comment, he says. All right then.
BORGER: That's a yes then.
FRANK: No, that's very un-Senatorial, isn't it?
KING: That was very -- that was not a filibuster.
After the break, an update on the very serious situation playing out in Algeria; joining us the head of the House Committee on Intelligence, Mike Rogers.
BORGER: And welcome back. Algerian troops have ended a hostage crisis at a gas facility after three days of chaos, during which dozens of hostages and hostage takers have reportedly been killed.
The State Department says at least one American is among the dead. However, hundreds of Algerian workers and foreigners were freed as the stand-off ended.
Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers is chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He's here with us this morning this morning. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.
REP. MIKE ROGERS (R), CHAIRMAN, PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: It's good to be here.
BORGER: Can you update us on this? We know that one American is killed, but there are Americans unaccounted for.
ROGERS: Yes, there are a number of Americans that are unaccounted for and it's going to some time for all this to filter out to get the exact information.
You know it is a very remote place ...
ROGERS: It's in the middle of the desert. It's closer to the Libyan border than it is the city of Algiers. And because of that and because the Algerians wanted to handle this by themselves, we just haven't had good information.
That's why you have information and numbers all over the place. It's going to take probably 2, 3, 4, 5 days for the full picture to come out and an accurate account of all the individuals that was at the facility.
KING: Part of early picture has been of a bloodbath. We'll see if that changes as it goes forward. Based on what you know so far, and I understand information change, did the Algerian government, in your view, do the right thing here or should they have waited and negotiated.
ROGERS: Well, the Algerians are a very proud nation. It is a police state and the one thing that they were worried about is that something like this get away from them.
This is about 20 percent of their revenue is the natural gas production -- excuse me, for the Europeans, it's 20 percent of their net take of natural gas. This was a huge problem for them.
They believed if they got into the international negotiation on how to end the crisis, you would have had to talk to London and Paris and Tokyo and Washington, D.C.
They decided they were going to handle it their way and they have a different standard. We would have been probably more aggressive at protecting the hostages at the end of the day. That's not the standard they went into. They went in to end this and end it quickly.
BORGER: So are you saying we were effectively forced to take a back seat here when, in fact, we might not have wanted to?
ROGERS: You know obviously we have different sets of capabilities. We would have -- and we did offer some of those capabilities. They weren't welcomed by the Algerians. Again, they didn't want other folks meddling in it.
BORGER: So that's a yes?
ROGERS: You know, clearly, they did not want us or the other hostage nation states involved in the decision-making.
KING: So then what's the challenge going forward? If the new al-Qaeda isn't a big corporate entity that can launch 9/11-style size attacked, but is all these al-Qaeda wannabes and affiliates around North Africa, in example, at the moment, what is your sense of the quality of U.S. intelligence as to how they are and what they're planning?
ROGERS: Well, here's the thing and that's where I'm going to disagree a little bit. I know the administration is saying well, this is -- there not really targeted against the United States. Certainly, that was the State Department's view in June.
That does not comport with what we know. Zawahiri, the new Osama bin Laden, has been saying for years, really since '06, and since he has taken the reins of being in charge, he's more encouraged them to find Western targets.
So you have a very capable source. They're now living off of all of those weapon systems that were in Libya. So while the United States are trying to figure out should we do more to get the weapons, should we not, all of those weapons left those armories and were the hands of extremists, which is what I think Mali's the first victim of that.
So they're getting stronger. They have battle-hardened folks. They have great weapons systems now. I argue they are more dangerous to both the United States and our allies.
And every time they get a victory -- every time -- to them, this hostage taking event, even though they lost everybody, was a victory for them, northern Mali, a victory, holding some territory in Yemen, a victory, and it helps recruiting.
That's the problem we're having here. Their success means that they're recruiting more people.
BORGER: So the takeaway from this is?
ROGERS: They're growing more dangerous. They'll be growing in numbers. And we have to have an overarching policy. We can't keep saying well, it's just Yemen, it's just Mali, it's just Benghazi, it's just Tunisia. We can't do that.
We have to have an overarching policy that puts pressure on all of these groups, (inaudible) and the United Movement of Jihad that's also there and al-Qaeda and all of its affiliates all at the same time.
BORGER: Thanks very much.
KING: Yes, overtake ...
KING: The chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence, Mike Rogers. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
ROGERS: Thank you. (inaudible). KING: When we come back after the break, back to the inauguration and a couple of political veterans offer their perspective on how to navigate the potential perils of a second presidential term, Tom Davis, a Republican, Joe Lockhart, a Democratic with us next.
KING: James Buchanan, 1857. There is your answer, keep going on the trivia here. Presidential second-terms are often characterized by what you might call the unique issues that surround them. Here for some perspective, two veterans of second terms. Joe Lockhart was the former press secretary for President Bill Clinton, and Tom Davis, the Republican congressman from the state of Virginia who was in the Congress during the second Clinton term and the second term of President George W. Bush. Gentlemen, let's start with a simple question. Joe, to you, is there a second-term curse that all second- term presidents face - or is that mythology?
JOE LOCKHART, FMR. PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRES. BILL CLINTON: That's mythology. I think it's just circumstances. I actually think this second term is starting with a little wind at his back. Remember, the president came in in a terrible economic crisis. You know, if you listen to a lot of the economists, things are turning around. So I think that's a significant difference and, you know, it's - in politics, you face head winds and you have sometimes the wind behind your back. It really feels like this could be a very positive time.
TOM DAVIS, FMR. REPUBLICAN U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I don't think it's a myth. Second terms have been tough, traditionally, but there's no magic to it. Getting the economy under control will be very, very important. The president faces one problem, though, and we become almost a parliamentary system in the actions of legislative bodies and he's got a Republican House that he's got to find a rhythm to work with him. President Clinton did that, Joe, in his second term, at least we were able to balance the budget for four years, but it's difficult and they have not found a rhythm yet and until they do that, I think it limits what he can get done.
BORGER: It was interesting to me because in an early press conference after he was re-elected, the president said he was well aware of what had happened to many other presidents in their second terms and he was clearly referring to an overreach that you have with second-term presidents who were thinking about their legacy. Joe, as you look at, as you look at President Obama and you look at his agenda, gun control, immigration reform, climate change, got to get through all the fiscal problems first. I mean, is that overreach?
LOCKHART: I don't think so. There are things that he has to do. I mean climate change is a really difficult issue. There is not a consensus here in town, but there's -- it's in our national interest. But I think on some of the other things. Immigration is an interesting one because it's now - in my view, Republicans need it more than Democrats need it. If you look at the elections without being able to reach out to Hispanics, Republicans will become a permanent minority party. It's just the demographics tell you that. So there is - there are - there are circumstances here that I think should lead to optimism and I don't - you know, I don't see President Obama as someone who does overreach. So, I don't see that as a problem.
KING: Is there a point in the second term where a president's own party stops listening to -- I might want to ask you as the Republican here. You know, George W. Bush won reelection, but narrowly, in 2004, the opposition to the Iraq war was on the rise, he survived it to win re-election. Then you had Katrina and the competence questions of the federal government. And late in the term they rallied maybe, around the fiscal - at the very end, around the fiscal crisis. But does a president lose his own party's attention as they worry about a difficult mid-term yeah, six-year itch. And then the next campaign begins.
DAVIS: Well, not really - but as you get closer to these mid-term elections, which traditionally the president's party takes a loss, I think members start scurrying and looking after number one. So that's what happened traditionally. With President Bush, it started with Katrina and I had been campaign chairman, you could see it kind of going downhill. You still had believers going into '06 but when we got shellacked the last two years - the members were just hoping he'd go away and we could move on.
BORGER: Katrina was one of those unanticipated events. There was a piece in "The New York Times" today where one of President Obama's aides called them locusts. These sort of unanticipated events. Monica Lewinsky, unanticipated event for the Clinton administration. So, you put that on top of what he's got to do, it becomes difficult.
LOCKHART: But I think - I think the real lesson is even with, as John will remember, we had a fund-raising issue in 1997, we've had the Lewinsky investigation. What drove things was, we had a strong economy and that gave the president remained popular because people felt that their lives were getting better every day and every year. And I think if this - if the economy turns around the way some people think it will, I think that will be a bigger force than any, you know, unanticipated things and that's why a president remains relevant, as long as he remains popular. And his ability and the most interesting thing, I think, you'll see tomorrow and you saw already, is a president's change is he is going to spend less time here talking to members and more times out in the country saying I want you to talk to your members and I think he's learned that very important lesson.
DAVIS: To that point, had the economy turned around and had been good going into the elections this year, this wouldn't have been a close election.
KING: And that creates long term ...
BORGER: But he is right.
DAVIS: Long-term problems for Republicans demographically to give them incentives to work with the president on some issues. Probably not the gun issues.
KING: But how does he - how does a Democrat get his fellow Republicans who say the president didn't care if you're a House Republican. The president carried my district, I don't need to listen to him in the second term. How does he do that?
LOCKHART: Well, I mean, that's - that's the bigger problem, which is we redistrict our selves into an extreme Congress, but one of the ways is to look at every issue and then this is what President Clinton did, I think successfully. Look at every issue and say, I'm going to create my own coalition for this issue. We used to get more Republican votes on trade issues than Democrats, and we got more done on trade than any recent president. So, it's really sort of building a coalition per each issue that comes up.
BORGER: Let's see. Let's see.
KING: We'll be optimist at the beginning, right?
LOCKHART: Yes, absolutely.
BORGER: Thanks, guys.
BORGER: A day for optimism.
KING: In the next hour, the big hour, the president will be inaugurated for a second term. We'll go to the White House right after this break to speak to the president senior advisor Valerie Garrett.
BORGER: And in the West Wing, there may be no closer ally to the president than Valerie Jarrett. She stood with the president during the highs and lows of his political career. And she is with us now. Senior adviser, of course. And she joins us live from the White House. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.
VALERIE JARRETT, SR. ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: My pleasure.
BORGER: I have to ask you, so, what's the mood inside that house behind you? Have you spoken with the president? First lady? About to be sworn in.
JARRETT: I have (ph) spoken to them this morning. Yes, well, he's so excited. They both are. It's just a wonderful, wonderful moment, and we're enjoying the moment, and then get right back to work.
BORGER: I just have to ask you, since you're such a close friend of the president's, can you share with us how he's changed over these last four years?
JARRETT: You know, I think in the convention speech, the first lady made this point very well. She said, he hasn't changed as a president. It is really revealed who he is. He's been tested, as you said, good times and bad. I think he's proven that he has been able to keep his focus on what's in the best interest of the American people and move his agenda forward.
I think he's more confident now after four years in the job. I think he understands the challenges and the opportunities, and he is as energized as I've ever seen him about moving our country forward over the next four years.
KING: Valerie, it's John King.
JARRETT: Hey, John.
KING: Congratulations on this important morning. What are you doing and what is the president doing to deal with something that happens to all second-term presidents, which is a burnout factor. You lose your A team, if you will. A lot of your cabinet members move on. A lot of the senior staff in the White House either moves on, or those who stay, and you're being kind to the president and staying on, I assume you're pretty tired. What do you do to deal with the burnout question?
JARRETT: Well, first of all, I think you're right. Some people for a wide range of issues decided to move on, but I also have been participating in the recruitment of new people, and I think he will have a combination of some cabinet members that will stay on. For example, Secretary Sebelius, who will be shepherding through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; Janet Napolitano, responsible for our homeland security. And then he will have new people as he's already announced his national security team.
So I think, together, everybody will be energized. He's basically said, look, if you're not in for it, if you're running out of energy, then you should move on, because he is as energetic as I've ever seen him and ready to move forward with the next term. So I don't think burnout is going to be a problem.
BORGER: So, you just mentioned two key women in the president's cabinet, but you know the president has been under fire lately for not having enough women in top positions. There's that famous picture, Valerie, where your leg was showing, but that was about the only female part we saw in that photograph. Can you tell us a little bit about the president's concern about promoting more women to key jobs?
JARRETT: Look, the president has been surrounded by strong women throughout his entire life. Raised by a single mom, lived for a while with his grandmother, who was a great role model for him. Obviously married to a very competent wife, and his first cabinet reflected the diversity of our country, and he put women in charge of key initiatives, such as Nancy Ann DeParle, his deputy chief of staff, who helped craft the Affordable Care Act, and now Kathleen Sebelius is implementing it. His cabinet, when he's finished -- and he's far from finished -- will have diversity, including women, including people of color.
He believes he makes his best decisions when he is surrounded by people who have different perspectives and give him their best ideas. And so, one picture does not speak a thousand words in this instance. I spent a lot of time in the Oval Office, and I'm in there with a great number of women who he listens to, and whose counsel and advice he trusts greatly.
KING: Valerie, one thing that carries over to the second term is divided government. And we have the president at loggerheads with the House Republicans over so many issues. Perhaps in recent days a bit of progress or detente. I wouldn't call it peace, but what does he think that he needs to do to have things different in the second term? Is it to try to find some new way to build a relationship with the Republicans in Washington, or is it to get outside of Washington and try to get the American people to push the Republicans?
JARRETT: Well, it's both. It's both. And as he has said often, I think he regrets early on in the first term, he was really focusing on the policy, and he missed being out and about and talking directly to the American people. When he has done that, it has put an enormous amount of pressure, on particularly the Republicans in Congress to do the right thing.
So, he's going to both continue to work with them and seek common ground. And I think you'll hear a bit of that in his speech tomorrow about how we may not agree on everything, but there have got to be ways that we can come together and solve some of the challenges we have, because he believes in his heart that we have such a great country, we have so much potential. And if people would just put their short-term political interests aside and focus on the American people and engage the American people in the process, as he intends to do, then we are still capable of great things, big things.
BORGER: Valerie Jarrett, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us this morning.
JARRETT: My pleasure. My pleasure.
BORGER: It's kind of a busy day for you.
JARRETT: It's a great day. Thank you, all. Take care.
BORGER: Thank you.
KING: Kind of a busy day.
BORGER: Kind of. Just a little busy.
And next, what can we expect from Vice President Biden in the second term? That's always a big question, right? And we're joined by Van Jones, Alex Castellanos and Candy Crowley.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BORGER: The most popular man in Washington this weekend may not actually be the president, but it may be his Vice President Joe Biden. A recent poll conducted by CNN/"Time" magazine and ORC International found that Joe Biden's approval rating is a huge 59 percent. That's up 12 points from where he was this time last year and it's four points higher than the president's, which, by the way, is pretty high for the president. Joining us to discuss this and more are Van Jones, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor and we have got Alex Castellanos, the Republican, also a contributor and host of the State of the Union Candy Crowley. Let me ask you folks. Let me start with you, Candy, Joe Biden 59 percent? That's as good as it gets!
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, and he's been visible. I mean I think sometimes you look at those polls and Joe Biden has been out there, right? He saved the day with Mitch McConnell up on Capitol Hill ...
CROWLEY: ... with the budget deal or at least not going off the fiscal cliff. He was out front with the guns proposal, which was probably for him more show than actual work there. I mean, they had an end they wanted to get to and he got there with, you know, various meetings. So, he's been out there. People are now really comfortable with him and he's always been, as you know, a very comfortable politician.
BORGER: Boy, too comfortable.
KING: Before you join the conversation, let's play for our audience what I'm going to call the paging Dr. Freud moment so far of our inaugural weekend. This is the vice president of the United States. Last night he just happened to be at the Iowa state inaugural ball, curious. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I'm proud to be president of the United States. But I am prouder to be ...
BIDEN: ... President Barack Obama -- President Barack Obama's vice president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: God bless Joe Biden. He's now - he makes politics so entertaining. I think he should not be taken as lightly as I think some Republicans ... BORGER: Right.
CASTELLANOS: ... do take him for president of the United States. When do vice presidents get elected president? When they run as a sequel. George W. Bush ran as Reagan 2. When they found out he wasn't, he lost. Al Gore ran against Clinton. Left Clinton at home, and he lost. One of Joe Biden's great strengths is his loyalty. And he's respected, I think, on both sides of the aisle for one if he tells you something, he's going to do it. He keeps his word. But two, the loyalty to the president. So, he gets all the benefits of the good things that Obama's done, but he almost gets a pass on the negatives because while he's the vice president, he has to be loyal. So, if Hillary Clinton for health reasons or otherwise decides not to go, he's going to be, I think, by far the strongest contender in a weak Democratic field.
BORGER: Ben, do you think he can take on Hillary Clinton?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think anybody could take on ...
BORGER: I want to cover that. I want to cover that, by the way.
JONES: Well, I don't think anybody can take on Hillary Clinton. I think she's - right now she is a presumptive favorite. But Democrats need Joe Biden. They need him now, because he's the best politician in this town. He understands there are three branches of government and you've got to sit down, you've got to reach across, you've got to reach across, you've figure out a deal and he loves - he's good at it. But we need him later because if Hillary Clinton does not run, there is no alternative. He is, he then becomes the inheritor of the Obama era and we need him.
CASTELLANOS: But you do get a sense, though, that you're watching a reality show of some kind. That he is ...
BORGER: You know what?
CASTELLANOS: He's walking this high wire and at any moment there could be a long call for very hard times, but it helps him.
BORGER: There is actually a petition, there is actually a real petition on the White House Website asking for Joe Biden reality show. It's got 2,000 signatures.
CASTELLANOS: I'd watch.
CROWLEY: Let me - let me just put just a tiny bit of reality into this. And that is, you do have some folks. Martin O'Malley comes to mind.
CROWLEY: It is hard for me to see in the progression of history when Bill Clinton became president, a generation had passed that World War II group had moved and were no longer going to be presidents. It seems to me we are now past the Vietnam stage with President Obama. It is difficult for me to - I think Joe Biden wants to be president, I think he'll run for president at this very moment, but I think it's a tough sell for both Vice President Biden and Hillary Clinton because you were going back a generation. Part of this president's appeal has been to young people.
CASTELLANOS: It is. My experience in all of this is the same that once America moves forward a generation, it almost never moves back and that was a problem for the McCains and even the Romneys of this world. However -- when you're the V.P., you get one shot to extend.
CASTELLANOS: You are defined by the guy above you. So, you get to ride on the previous generation.
BORGER: He gets younger. He gets younger.
JONES: He's the youngest guy in this town, too.
BORGER: Benjamin Button.
KING: I talked to - I talked to a veteran Democratic activist, strategist who has been involved in a lot of presidential campaign, she told me within 48 hours she got a call from both Joe Biden and Martin O'Malley talking about where are you in 2016. Is it real - do you sense - do you get the sense - one of the questions Dick Cheney was not going to run, we knew he was not going to run. You saw his influence in the second Bush term go onto decline. Is Joe Biden, is he doing this? He is not a young man. Is he saying he is going to run, preparing to run so to keep his influence or is he running?
JONES: You know, I think it's hard to know that. I think - I think people forget how important it is in this town, the personal relationships. People talked often enough that Obama sometimes can be aloof, he doesn't work the personal side of the thing. I think people are going to really appreciate over the next two years in particular what a good retail politician this man is. And I don't think anything gets done in this administration without Joe Biden either in front of it or behind the scenes making it work, and ask if that mean something to Democrats.
CROWLEY: However, we should add he turned 70 this year, I believe. He tells you all the time how healthy he is. But in response to your question, he really does want to run.
JONES: Oh, yeah.
CROWLEY: It is very clear he wants to run
CASTELLANOS: You know, one thing that helps, too, is that it's going to hurt, I think, the other contenders and help Biden is that nothing new grows under the shade of a big tree. And when Bush was president, we missed a generation of young leaders. You know, they're only coming right now. The Rubios and all that. Eight years of Obama in that shadow, we're not going to see a lot of new faces get air time, get that kind of publicity. So, people who have brands like Biden and Hillary ...
BORGER: OK, we've got to cut you off. I've got to make a plug here. Because tomorrow after inauguration I have an interview with none other than Joe Biden, we should be seeing on CNN.
JONES: Oh, my goodness. Anything can happen.
BORGER: And after the break, we bring a poet's touch to this hour's coverage. Stay with us.
KING: Before we turn our coverage over to Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, we want to show you what may now be considered an inaugural tradition. Presidents are free to tailor the inaugural ceremony to their own personal taste and interests, and three presidents chose to do that with poetry at four different inaugurations. The recitation of an original work of poetry during the public ceremony started with Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy back in 1961. Now, bright sunlight prevented Mr. Frost from reading what he had written, but he did recite another of his poems for memory. Tomorrow, poet Richard Blanco will attempt to close the door on the contentious campaign season of 2012 and if he follows the path of poets before him, his words will look forward to the new term with anticipation and optimism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYA ANGELOU, AUTHOR, "ON THE PULSE OF MORNING" Here on the path of this new day, you may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister's eyes. And into your brother's face. Your country and say simply, very simply, with hope. Good morning.
MILLER WILLIAMS, AUTHOR, "OF HISTORY AND HOPE": We know what we have done and what we have said. How we have grown degree by slow degree, believing ourselves towards all we have tried to become. Just and compassionate, equal, able and free.
ELIZABETH ALEXANDER, AUTHOR, "PRAISE SONG FOR THE DAY": In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air. Anything can be made. Any sentence begun. On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp, praise song for walking forward in that light.