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Back to Work in Washington; Harry: Taliban Hunter; Winter Weather Alert

Aired January 22, 2013 - 05:00   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You and I as citizens have the power to set this country's course.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A nod to the past, a message of moving forward. President Obama gets to work today on his second term agenda.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Harry, Taliban hunter. The prince home from Afghanistan and he has war stories to tell.

ROMANS: And winter weather alert. A big chill and a big snowstorm forming. It could mess up travel in a huge way this morning.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans. Zoraida Sambolin is on assignment at the Sundance Film Festival. We're going to talk to her in just a minute.

BERMAN: Yes. I'm John Berman, barely.

ROMANS: He's back.

BERMAN: It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. We're in the beginning of the second term, Jason Wu's second term. Not just Jason Wu's second term.

Over the span of 18 minutes, President Obama made his vision of his second term crystal clear, making mentions of past civil rights struggles on that Martin Luther King Day, Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall, while laying out his vision for the future -- advancing gay rights, tolerance toward illegal immigrants, preserving social welfare programs and stopping climate change.

White House correspondent Dan Lothian was there watching it all with us. Dan, friend and foe alike have been calling this a muscular speech.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It really was according to those who got a chance to witness the speech. The president delivering his remarks in a much more different climate than he faced four years ago when you had two wars, there was the economic crisis. This time, the president laid out a progressive agenda for the next four years.


JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE: Please raise your right hand --

LOTHIAN (voice-over): And so it began, the second inaugural ceremony of President Obama, part campaign speech, part pragmatic lecture, a confident Mr. Obama appeared comfortable in his presidential skin.

OBAMA: My fellow Americans, we're made for this moment and we'll seize it as long as we seize it together.


LOTHIAN: The speech was rooted in history and fittingly on this holiday, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.

OBAMA: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

LOTHIAN: The past made modern with first time references to climate change, immigration reform and sexual equality.

OBAMA: Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

LOTHIAN: Foreign policy was noticeably absent from his address though he heralded the end of a decade of war, touted a recovering economy, but acknowledged the challenges still ahead.

OBAMA: The commitments we make to each other, through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.

LOTHIAN: The president mostly refrained from partisan jobs, but appeared to single out his former GOP opponent Mitt Romney with this line.

OBAMA: They do not make us a nation of takers.


LOTHIAN: Filling the air what patriotism, the voices of Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce.

There was a poem and prayers.

As he left the west front of the Capitol, a nostalgic president turned back toward the Lincoln Memorial.

OBAMA: I want to take a look out one more time. I'm not going to see this again.


LOTHIAN: Now, there were shades of the campaign the president pointing out that success can't mean that a few people are making it and a growing number are barely scratching by. The president acknowledging that bipartisan -- or the lack of bipartisanship here in Washington but noted that everyone needs to work together for the good of the country -- John.

BERMAN: Dan, that moment at the end of your piece there, where the president turned around and looked, that was astounding -- 23 seconds he stood there and he gazed out at the National Mall to let it all sink in. It must have been an extraordinary day for him.

What does today hold for the president after that full night of dancing he had?

LOTHIAN: Well, he heads to the National Cathedral. As you know, the day after inauguration, the presidents always get a chance to go sit down at an interfaith service, a prayer and prayers are given not only for the president but also the vice president for their second terms. This is historic event that dates back to FDR.

BERMAN: Dan Lothian in Washington, so great to see you this morning. It was good to see new person in Washington.

LOTHIAN: That's right, it was.

ROMANS: Big weekend.

All right. Some leading Republicans weren't impressed with President Obama's inaugural address. Several senators expressed concerns that the president failed to extend an olive branch to the GOP.

Senator John McCain of Arizona who lost, of course, to President Obama in 2008, he said, "I would have liked to have seen some outreach."

Senator John Thune of South Dakota agreed, saying the speech was, quote, "Mostly 30,000-foot stuff" and that President Obama "wasn't doing the kind of outreach that he needs to do if he wants to get things accomplished in a second term. We'll see how it's received."

Susan Collins of Maine agreed, saying, "I had hoped it would have been a little less partisan than it was at times."

Of course, after the swearing in ceremonies came the parties. And let's say D.C. was rocking into the wee hours last night.

The Obamas not only looked amazing, they really seemed like they were having a great time, taking it all in. Second inaugural now, with the number of parties were scaled back from the 10 four years ago, two last night. There was definitely no shortage of big stars, big moments.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) OBAMA: Ladies and gentlemen, my better half and my dance partner, Michelle Obama.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the commander in chief's ball, Jennifer Hudson sang "Let's Stay Together" as the first couple danced their first dance of the new term. Mrs. Obama revealing she chose Jason Wu yet again to design her inaugural gown.

Next, the Obamas appeared at the inaugural ball where 30,000 people were expected to attend.

(on camera): This inaugural ball falls on a tradition that started in 2009 to open up these once exclusive events to every day Americans, a ticket cost as little as $60 and got people access to an amazing lineup of entertainer.

ALICIA KEYS, MUSICIAN (singing): Obama's on fire --

KEILAR (voice-over): Alicia Keys tweaked a rendition of her popular song.

Brad Paisley brought the country.

And Stevie Wonder brought down the house, while Jamie Foxx serenaded the Bidens.

There was also a special performance by Mexico's hottest rock band.

(on camera): I'm here with Mana, winners of multiple Grammys and multiple Latin Grammys.

So, Alex, let me ask you, you have supported President Obama in his re-election this year. So many Hispanic-Americans came out for him. Why do you think that happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's very easy. You know, Obama and the Democrats have the best option for the Latinos. You know, immigration reform is on the table, the DREAM Act. So, you know, the Latinos here in the United States are so powerful, and their voice needs to be heard. You know, they need to be treated as first class citizens.

KEILAR (voice-over): In addition to celebrities, campaign volunteers came from around the country. Kelly Jacobs (ph) traveled from Mississippi, literally, wearing her support.

(on camera): How many sequins are on your dress?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four thousand totals, 2,000 each side.

KEILAR: And these are all done by hand?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're antique shield sequins like through the hands. KEILAR (voice-over): A lot of work behind them and still ahead of them if they are to help President Obama deliver in the second term. But tonight, it was just time for a good party.


ROMANS: It looks like a good party. Brianna Keilar, thank you.

BERMAN: Everyone talking about the Jason Wu dress.

ROMANS: Twice.

BERMAN: Twice in a row.

All right. Moving on to some other news, eight minutes after the hour.

It is the testimony that many Americans have been waiting to hear. Tomorrow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear on Capitol Hill to testify about attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. Secretary Clinton had been scheduled to testify last month but was delayed after first suffering a concussion and later a blood clot that sent her to the hospital.

ROMANS: The family of one of the three Americans killed in the Algerian hostage crisis last week will hold a press conference this morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time at a relative's home in Texas. Heart broken family members say Victor Lovelady felt 100 percent safe working at that gas facility in Algeria.


ERIN LOVELADY, VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: Nothing happened there IN so long and my friends have been doing it for so long. It's fine, Erin. It's so safe. We have protection.

And he really truly felt safe there.


ROMANS: His daughter Erin says she wants everyone to know what a great dad Victor was and how much he'll be missed. Thirty-six others have been confirmed dead from the standoff including two other Americans.

BERMAN: New poll numbers on issues that may dominate the headlines early this year. A new CNN/ORC poll finds that 48 percent of Americans believe that the Senate should confirm Chuck Hagel to become the next secretary of defense. Twenty-two percent oppose Hagel. He is a former senator from Nebraska. Well, 30 percent say they're unsure about Hagel.

When asked what should be the main focus of U.S. government in dealing with immigration? Fifty-three percent say there should be a plan to allow undocumented immigrants to become legal U.S. residents, while 43 percent say the priority should be deporting them and stopping more from coming to the U.S.

So, an arctic blast and a winter storm could make for a messy and dangerous commute all over New England this morning.

Jennifer Delgado was tracking that storm. Hey, Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey there, John. You know, you thought it was cold yesterday in Washington, D.C., look at the temperatures and what it feels like through parts of the Upper Midwest, the Plains, and as well as into the Ohio Valley, well below freezing. Look at those wind chill values -- minus 39 in Duluth, minus 22 in Minneapolis.

Of course, these temperatures are barely making it above the freezing mark. And this cold air has invaded parts of the U.S. It's not going anywhere.

You can see for yourself, anywhere in blue, we do have a wind chill advisory. That means wind chill values today and even some locations through tomorrow, they're going to be down to minus 35. That includes parts of West Virginia and areas like Pennsylvania as well as into New York.

So we're going to be cold as we go through the next couple days. We are going to see a little bit of warm up, but still, there's potential for some areas to deal with hypothermia, as well as frostbite. So, you want to make sure you're really bundling up outside.

The other story, we're dealing with snow. Some of that coming down through parts of eastern Massachusetts. You can see Cape Cod as well as into areas, really just north of Boston. We are going to look at potential between one and three inches of snowfall as we go through about 1:00 this afternoon.

But, of course, the real action is the lake effect that's stirring up right along Lake Michigan, as well as Lake Erie and Ontario. We're talking some of these locations we could see one to three feet of snow when all is said and done. And as we go through today, we're talking four to six inches, and right along those eastern shores for areas including Cleveland, Lake Erie, we're going to be talking about some of these locations roughly about 10 to 20 inches of snowfall as we go through the day.

And look at some of the totals already. In 24 hours, in Erie, Pennsylvania, they picked up 24 inches of snow. Now that cold air, as I said, is in place across the East. Imagine if the inauguration was today where the temperature is only going to be 25 for the average high should be 43. We're talking 30 degrees below average.

Actually Zoraida, and I think she's -- where is she right now?

BERMAN: Sundance.


BERMAN: No, Wyoming. DELGADO: It's warmer in Utah. I remember she was bragging about going to Sundance.

BERMAN: She's inside I don't know where I am let alone her. She's out there somewhere and it's cold, right?

DELGADO: Very cold. Stay warm.

ROMANS: Thanks, Jennifer. This is New York, yesterday was Washington.

BERMAN: And I'm John.

ROMANS: Your name is John. I'm Christine.

The world's most eligible bachelor is back home today. It's not John Berman. He's very -- he's revealing new details about killing members of the Taliban. We're going to sit down with him after this quick break.


ROMANS: Quarter past the hour. Let's get you up-to-date now.

A former pastor with a long history of anti-abortion protests reportedly shouted his message throughout President Obama's ceremony while up in an ever green tree. There he is. Rives Grogan was arrested once he came down.

BERMAN: Exactly 40 years after Roe versus Wade protected abortion rights, the landmark ruling is still the law of the land. And recent survey found it's likely to stay that way. The Pew Survey found that although most religious groups think it's morally wrong, only white evangelicals support overturning it.

ROMANS: The sound of gunfire heard last night at a Wisconsin hospital. The hospital says a fire arm discharged during an incident involving a county deputy and a prisoner who was currently a patient at the Aurora Lakeland Medical Center. A hospital spokesman says it was an isolated incident, not an active shooter situation. An investigation now underway.

BERMAN: An American pastor jailed in Iran for his religious beliefs appeared in an Iranian court on Monday. He's been in custody there since September. The state run news agency reported he would soon be released on bail but his wife said the court had rejected the family's attempt to pay. She and her lawyer said the bail was $116,000. The court apparently rejected it on a technicality.

ROMANS: Prince Harry is home today from his second tour of duty serving the British army in Afghanistan where he admits he killed some members of the Taliban. The 28-year-old British Royal said he took enemy fighters out of the game during his 20-week tour in Afghanistan.

BERMAN: Interesting.

So the mountains of Park City, Utah -- Park City, Utah --

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: -- are starting to look an awful like Hollywood. Right now, the movie business is focusing on the 35th annual Sundance Film Festival. Along with the parties and celebrity sightings, there are plenty of movies to see. Some high profile documentaries are getting tons of attention including "Linsanity", which traces the meteoric rise of NBA star Jeremy Lin.

And coming up later this hour, we are going to go to Park City for a live report. The luckiest person alive, EARLY START's own, Zoraida Sambolin.

ROMANS: All right. Seventeen, 18 minutes past the hour in the morning. Time for your "Early Reads" -- your local news making national headlines this morning.

Beginning with "New Orleans Times Picayune", which, of course, five teens were shot in an apparent drive-by shooting. Police say a white two-door sedan targeted a group of teens standing outside a grocery store yesterday, just a half hour after an MLK Day parade passed nearby. The boys' injuries are not life threatening. Police say they're hoping to use surveillance camera footage to catch the shooter.

BERMAN: So, it was a dream come true for Minnesota soldier and his wife on Monday. Dan Westby and his wife Kari received an invitation to the president's inaugural ball but they couldn't afford the trip. So thanks to local affiliate WCCO's coverage of the story, donations from the community began to pour in. And Sun County Airline agreed to fly the couple to Washington for free.

Westby called it the opportunity a gift from God.

That is super, super nice. I hope they had an awesome time.

ROMANS: I do, too.

BERMAN: So for an expanded look at our top stories, head to our blog,

Also, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Just do a search for EarlyStartCNN.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, it's a ticket that's even more exclusive than the inaugural balls in D.C. We're talking about Davos. It's not about the 1 percent. This is maybe the .01 of the 1 percent. One of those people is Ali Velshi.

BERMAN: That is exclusive. Ali riding high.

ROMANS: We'll be right back.


BERMAN: Minding your business this morning.

U.S. stock futures are mixed. Another big week for corporate earnings. We're going to get fresh home sales numbers at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

ROMANS: Yes, but the big story for business leaders is the World Economic Forum kicks off today in Davos, Switzerland.

Our chief business correspondent Ali Velshi is there. Ali Velshi, I love that hat. This year's theme ion Davos is resilient dynamism -- much like your hat. What does that mean, resilient dynamism?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Why do you have to ask me the tough questions? I have no idea what resilient dynamism means.

In fact, those of us gathered here who are covering this event discussing this ad nauseam for the couple days, what on earth could that possibly mean?

By the way, one of the producers said this looks like a fake backdrop. This isn't. This is Davos. The snow will be coming down in the little while.

It's the highest city in Europe. It's been going on, this event, the World Economic Forum, for 40 years. In fact, there are a lot of bars and restaurants. One of them Christine has a picture of you celebrating a birthday some years ago here in Davos.

But, you know, a lot of big things happened here. This was started 40 years ago by a guy named Klaus Schwab, professor of business at the University of Geneva. He wanted European companies to learn American management techniques which were much more advanced at the time.

He wanted them to sort of understand the whole concept of stakeholders, which is not just the shareholders and your customers but also your employees, the community in which you live, the country in which you operate.

So, now, this became a gathering of corporate leaders and royalty and kings and prime ministers. They're all here, about 2,500 of them, hundreds of journalists, and even some leaders who aren't, like everybody is here, Christine. This is a weird gathering.

And they come up with a theme. The last several years, the themes have been about dealing with these crises in 2008 and 2009, the big financial crisis, then the European crises in 2011 and 2012. Now, they came up with resilient dynamism.

And the founder Klaus Schwab said everybody's got to stop being so negative about everything. We are dynamic as a world. Actually, a lot of echoes from President Obama's inaugural speech yesterday.

Not entirely clear what it means. There will be hundreds of sessions through the course of the next few days and then lots and lots of informal meetings between leaders, because this is a tight, little compact town. And in theory, the leaders of the world will leave energized and thinking about the future and saying it's not all doom and gloom, stop watching the news. There are actually great things going on out there.

ROMANS: Let me ask you quickly this question, because I know they're talking about this, austerity. Has austerity gone too far?


ROMANS: Has spending cuts and higher taxes in the U.S. sapped growth at a time when you're, quite frankly, starving for growth?

VELSHI: Yes. And Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, the former French finance minister, is here. She and others said, yes, it's gone too far. It is stunted growth. While cutting debt, while cutting expenses, it has had the opposite effect, rather than creating growth and creating an environment for businesses to invest because they think governments are being responsible, things have slowed down so much there's been so much unemployment, 11.6 percent in the euro zone that, in fact, it's having the opposite effect.

We have to find a more balanced approach to how we go forward. That is going to be a key discussion around here. We are in Europe, and Europe has a disproportionate influence of this conversation.

So, there is going to be a conversation particularly vis-a-vis the United States as to how much is too much and how much austerity, how much in terms of cutting back is actually enough, Christine.

BERMAN: All right. Well, really nice to see you. When you run into Indiana Jones, he can have his hat back.

Nice to see you, Ali.


How many bars are there over the world that have pictures of you in them?

ROMANS: No, I turned 28 at a Davos -- last year -- and it was one of the best birthdays ever. First time I ever ran into kings and princes and bankers. It's really an interesting, you know, the .01 percent of the 1 percent of global leaders.

BERMAN: Pictures in a bar.

Twenty-five minutes after the hour.

With the official public swearing inform the president all done, you know that, small matter over -- the really big news of the day -- what was she wearing? Look at that lovely red dress. This is not just a big story, it is epic. We'll have it coming up.

But if you're leaving to the house right now, you can watch us any time on your desktop or mobile phone. Just got to (COMMERCIAL BREAK)