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Inauguration's Best Moments; Washington Celebrates the President; Algerian Hostage Crisis Aftermath; Hillary Clinton on Benghazi; Prince Harry Takes on The Taliban; World Economic Forum Kicks Off Today in Davos

Aired January 22, 2013 - 06:00   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, 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 was war stories to tell.

ROMANS: And winter weather alert. A big chill, and a big snowstorm forming that could mess up travel in a huge way this morning. Look how cold in the country.

BERMAN: It's 49 below with the wind chill in Minnesota, which is very cold. Good morning, a cold morning. Welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Zoraida is on assignment at the Sundance Film Festival. We're going to talk to her a bit. It's 6:00 on the nose in the east.

BERMAN: A lot of people up all night partying in Washington. So many stories to tell about this inauguration, President Obama and the First Lady, and the Bidens will attend the national prayer service at the National Cathedral, carrying out a tradition going back to President George Washington and revived by President Roosevelt.

Yesterday, on Martin Luther King Day, newly inaugurated President Obama channeled civil rights history, making mention of Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall. It was truly historic while laying out his vision for the future.

White House correspondent, Dan Lothian was in Washington, watching it all go down. Good morning, Dan.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDET: Good morning. Well, you know, some people believe that speech yesterday by the president was a bold speech. It was one that he been working on since mid-December.

He delivered it in a much different climate than he faced four years ago when he had two wars. He also dealing with the financial crisis this time, the president used history to help define his progressive agenda for the next four years.


JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE: Please raise your right hand.

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

OBAMA: My fellow Americans, we were made for this moment and we will seize it so long as we seize it together.

LOTHIAN: The speech was rooted in history and 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 and touted a recovering economy and touted the challenges still ahead.

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

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

OBAMA: They don't make us a nation of takers.

LOTHIAN: Filling the air with patriotism, the voices of Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce. There was a poem and prayers. As he left the west front of the capital, a nostalgic president turned back toward the Lincoln Memorial.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE) LOTHIAN: There were certainly shades of the 2012 campaign during the president's remarks when he talked about the fact that success can't mean that a few are doing well and a growing number are barely making it. The president acknowledging the partisanship here in Washington, but saying everyone needs to work together for the good of the country -- John.

BERMAN: And it really was so astounding to watch him take that moment. Those 23 seconds to pause and gaze out and wonder about what he was witnessing for the last time at his last inauguration there. Dan, what is on his schedule for today?

LOTHIAN: Well, the president heads over to Washington National Cathedral. This is tradition for presidents to go there after their inauguration for an interfaith service where there are prayers offered up not only for the country, but for the second term of the president and the vice president.

Most recent presidents have gone there although President Bill Clinton -- former President Bill Clinton did not. He went to an African- American church here in Washington -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Dan Lothian in Washington. Great to see you this morning. Thanks very much, Dan Lothian.

Not everyone happy to hear what President Obama had to say in his inaugural address. Some high-profile Senate Republicans say the president failed to extend an olive branch to the GOP.

Senator John McCain who lost to President Obama in 2008 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 the president wasn't doing the kind of outreach that he needs to do if he wants to get things accomplished in the second term. And Susan Collins of Maine said I had hoped it would be a little less partisan than it was at times.

ROMANS: The nation's capital was in full party mode last night with celebrations all around the city. The Obamas not only looked amazing, they really seemed to have a great time taking it in the second time around.

The number of parties was scaled back from ten -- ten parties four years ago. There were two last night. There was definitely no shortage of big stars, big moments, 21 acts, including Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder performing at the two official inaugural balls Monday night.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has more.


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 dance their first dance of the new term. Mrs. Obama revealing she'd chosen 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 started in 2009 to open up exclusive events to every-day Americans. A ticket cost as little as $60 and got people access to an amazing line-up of entertainers.

(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 the winners of multiple Grammies and multiple Latin Grammys. So Alex, let me ask you, have you supported President Obama in his re-election this year. So many Hispanic- Americans came out for him. Why do you think it happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very easy. Obama and the Democrats had the best option for Latinos, immigration reform on the table. The Dream Act, the Latino -- the Latinos here in the United States are so powerful and their voice notices to be heard. They need to be treated as first-class citizens.

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

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

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

KEILAR: And these are all done by hand?


KEILAR: A lot of work behind them and still ahead of them if they're to help President Obama deliver in his second term. But tonight it was just time for a good party.


ROMANS: That looks like it was a pretty good party. Brianna Keilar, thanks for that.

BERMAN: Great party. It's 8 minutes after the hour. Some other news to look at right now, three Americans killed in the hostage standoff that happened in Algeria last week. The family of one of them has decided to hold a news conference this morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time at a relative's home in Texas. Relatives of Victor Lovelady say he felt 100 percent safe working at the gas facility over in Algeria.


ERIN LOVELADY, VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: Nothing has happened in so long and my friend has been doing it for so long, and it's so safe, we have protection and he really truly felt safe there.


BERMAN: Lovelady's daughter, Erin, says she wants everyone to know what a great dad Victor was and how much he will be missed. Thirty six others have been confirmed dead from the standoff in Algeria.

ROMANS: Certainly a terrifying situation in that oil field.

It's the testimony that some Americans have been waiting for months to hear. Tomorrow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear on Capitol Hill to testify about the attack on the U.S. Consulate on Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

Secretary Clinton had been scheduled to testify last month if you recall, but it was delayed after first suffering a concussion and later a blood clot that sent her to the hospital.

BERMAN: So the world's most eligible bachelor is back home today and he is revealing some new details about killing members of the Taliban. We'll explain when we come back.


ROMANS: Prince Harry home today from his second tour of duty serving in 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, quote, "out of the game" during his 20-week tour in Afghanistan.

Now that Prince Harry is finally home, several of his interviews from that tour are just now making news. CNN's Max Foster has more.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call this VHR, very high readiness. It might look like downtime, but the call to fly can come at any time. It happened once in the middle of an interview.

It wasn't just being able to do his job that made Harry value his deployment to Afghanistan so highly. It was the simplicity of his life out here.

(on camera): Prince Harry stayed in these simple containers when he was here in Camp Bastion. It's a far cry from the palaces he grew up in.

(voice-over): And when he was working overnights, things were even more basic.

PRINCE HARRY: This is my bed. I will make it when it's done here, it's a joy, made. This is as much privacy as one would get. FOSTER: It was while he was out here that Harry received news his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting a baby.

PRINCE HARRY: Can't wait to be an uncle. Very unfortunate they were forced to publicize it when they were, but that's the media for you. I hope she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother to be to enjoy the privacy that comes with.

FOSTER: Harry's own privacy is clearly a concern for the prince as well and he made little attempt to hide it.

PRINCE HARRY: I never wanted you guys to be out here, but there was an agreement made to invite you out on the deal that you -- that the media didn't speculate before the deployment. That's the only reason you guys are out here.

FOSTER: Back home, the media glare will inevitably be brighter and the pressure is back on to find a partner.

PRINCE HARRY: Find the right person, everything feels right it takes time, especially for myself and my brother. You will never find someone who will jump into the position that it would hold, simple as that.

FOSTER: Perhaps Harry's main interests himself will be getting back out to the front line as soon as he can.

Max Foster, CNN, Camp Bastian, Afghanistan.


ROMANS: It looks like and it sounds like Prince Harry is in no rush to settle down. We'll have to see what happens now that he's back home.

We should point out the reason why he's wearing a Christmas tree and Santa hat, is because, you know, the agreement is, of course, we don't -- for the safety of his whole team, that, you know, all of those interviews were aired once he's back. So --

BERMAN: Always a treat to hear from the world's most eligible bachelor, wearing anything -- wearing anything. Leave it at that.

Fifteen minutes after the hour. We'll bring you up to speed on the top stories.

Poet Richard Blanco read his stirring poem "One Today" at President Obama's inauguration. Appearing last night with Anderson Cooper, Blanco explained that he was inspired to write "One Today" after hearing then-Senator Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.


RICHARD BLANCO, POET: I always wanted to write a poem and, well, I finally got an assignment and there were echoes of that in my mind, and something I've always believed, especially since I moved to a small town, that idea of unity, not only unity, but the fact that we're all so necessary, and everybody -- every little piece is what makes this puzzle in America work.


BERMAN: Later on "STARTING POINT," Soledad is going to sit down with poet Richard Blanco.

ROMANS: The mountains of Park City, Utah, starting to look an awful like Hollywood this morning. Right now, the movie business, focusing on the 35th Annual Sundance Film Festival. Along with the celebrities, and celebrity sightings and the parties. There'll be plenty of movies to see.

Some high profile documentary is getting attention this morning, including "Linsanity", which traces the meteoric rise of NBA star Jeremy Lin. Coming up later this hour, we're going to take you to Park City for a live report from our very own Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: Very own movie star.

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: Sixteen minutes after the hour. Time for "Early Read" -- your local news that's making national headlines.

We begin with "Honolulu Star Advertiser", which reported not one but two Hawaii bands at the parade. One features a hula troop. Hawaii was the only state to have two bands perform. It's fitting, of course, that Hawaii would get extra play since it's where the president was born. The birth certificate says so.

ROMANS: And "The Los Angeles Times" details about sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Newly released records show Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahoney and a top adviser conspired to conceal incidents of child molestation involving priests from law enforcement. The memos were written in 1986 and 1987, 15 years before the priests sex abuse scandal was uncovered.

For an expanded look at all of our top stories, head to our blog, You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Just search for EarlyStartCNN.

BERMAN: So, whether it's a hot breakfast, a workout room with the right price, every traveler has things they look for when booking a hotel. Thanks to a new trend, guests are finding more options under one roof.

And Romans has today's "Road Warriors."

ROMANS: "Road Warriors" -- all right, get to ready to see more and more of these. One hotel with two names on it. Some big chains like Hilton, Marriott, Choice Hotels, are combining their different brands in the very same building. For instance, Hilton Garden Inn, a midrange brand, sharing space with Hilton's stay hotel, Homewood Suites. The industry calls it dual branding.

It started as a way to cater to a wider variety of guests in the single spot. If you're the kind of person who likes to stick to your room, you're not going to notice a difference. Check-in areas are separate for each hotel, and the rooms and prices are on par with other locations. But if you want to explore all the hotel, you may find some nice upgrades with no extra costs, like more dining options, including room service, better workout rooms, bigger pool areas, upgraded lounges and conferences rooms.

They hotels share the common spaces and some services but they still then offer the distinct touches that they are known for the brand that you are going for. Defending on their hotel choice, this gives guests more options and more bang for their buck if they know how to take advantage of it.

BERMAN: I haven't seen that. This is really interesting.

ROMANS: Yes, isn't it?

All right. Coming up, a ticket more exclusive than the inaugural ball in D.C. We're talking about Davos, where it's not the 1 percent, it's not the one-tenth of 1 percent, this is the .01 percent of 1 percent. There he is. Our --


ROMANS: Indiana Jones coming to you live from Davos, Switzerland, taping Indy part four.

BERMAN: Kojack (ph)!


BERMAN: We're minding your business this morning.

U.S. stock futures mixed. Another big week for corporate earnings. And we'll get some fresh home sales numbers at 10:00 Eastern Time.

ROMANS: But the big story for business leaders is the World Economic Forum. It kicks today in Davos, Switzerland.

And our chief business correspondent Ali Velshi has been sent there to report for us. He's -- there he is.

Ali, it's a beautiful. And theme -- every year, Davos has a theme. This year's theme is resilient dynamism. What in the world does that mean, resilient dynamism?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: No idea. I guess it's better than saying this year it's not Europe's fault, it will be America's fault if things don't work. I guess it's better than saying through the financial crisis and the European debt crisis, we're still standing.

It doesn't scream ideas about the future, which is actually what Davos is about. This forum was started in 1971 by a professor at Geneva University. It's the highest city in Europe, Davos. It's very hard to get to.

From Zurich, you either drive for a couple of hours, or you take three different trains. This isn't a back drop, this isn't fake, this is real. In fact, normally, it's snowing. It's where you come for ideas.

It's the world's business leaders, it's political leaders, it's a lot of journalists, it's academics, it's intellectuals. And they are supposed to come together for lots of plenary sessions and idea generating.

But the theme this year doesn't seem to be around a central issue. It seems to be more broadly about the fact that the world is resilient. I don't really know what dynamic resilience means, but some way of moving forward in the midst of all political problems in the United States or Europe.

And the sense that the founder gave us was that there really are ideas. There really are things moving forward. There really is this renaissance on the horizon that you and I talk about, particularly in the United States. There seems to be a bottoming out of problems in Europe. But still real issues, governments are a big part of it.

So, that's the kind of discussion we'll have all week with global leaders, political and business, Christine.

ROMANS: They'll be talking about austerity. They'll be talking about austerity and whether it's gone too far -- I mean, spending cuts, higher taxes in U.S. stopping growth at a time when you're desperately starving for growth. They are talking about this.

VELSHI: Right. So, we are three years into the discussion about Europe and its debt crisis, and, of course, austerity. And now, we're back to this U.S. conversation about spending cuts in order to get the deficit under control and there are a lot of people, including the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, who say look at Europe's example to say America, don't go too far, you could slow growth down to the point that it doubles down on itself. It starts to make things worse because more people are out of work, they're not paying taxes, they become recipients of government aid and you're not generating economic growth, the kind that creates jobs.

So I think that's going to be one focus. The other focus that I'm paying attention to this week is trust. Does anybody trust anybody anymore? Do we trust our governments to make the right decisions? Do we trust our employers and our companies to make the right decision?

So, that's the sort of the theme we'll be talking about all week and hopefully I get a chance to talk to you a lot more about it in between the soirees and socials that we'll be attending.

ROMANS: Trust but verify. Isn't that what they taught in j. school? Trust and verify.

VELSHI: Right, trust but verify.

ROMANS: That's what I feel about government these days.

All right. Ali Velshi, nice to see you. We'll see you again very, very soon.

BERMAN: I trust Ali. And I trust you.

So, what's the one thing I need to know about my money?

ROMANS: Housing. We're going to get a read on existing home sales later this morning at 10:00 Eastern. And here's what you need to know. Home sales and home prices are forecast to rise this year. Deutsche Bank's chief economist says 2013 will be the year of the house.

BERMAN: Really?

ROMANS: Yes. Real estate tracker Zillow says that home prices -- home values, rather, will rise more than 3 percent this year -- the year of the house.

BERMAN: Is that between like the year of the rat and the year of the dragon?

ROMANS: The year of the house, that's right.

BERMAN: I'm not as familiar with that one.

ROMANS: I'm going to throw a party for my house.

BERMAN: Twenty-five minutes after the hour right now.

With the official public swearing in of President Barack Obama, the next moment of the day, the gargantuan moment, the epic, historical moment -- the red dress worn by the First Lady. We're going to have that story and so much more, coming up.