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Hillary Clinton's Last Week in Office; Police Chiefs, Sheriffs at White House to Discuss Guns; Start of Super Bowl Week; SAG Crowns Hollywood Winners; Less May Be More in Breast Cancer.

Aired January 28, 2013 - 11:30   ET



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton is beginning her last week on the job. She is leaving the State Department after four years as secretary of state. And last night, she gave -- I think you could call it an exit interview of sorts. It was on CBS "60 Minutes." And guess who showed up? Her boss.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Part of our bond is we've been through a lot of the same stuff. And part of being through the same stuff is getting whacked around in political campaigns.


OBAMA: Being criticized in the press.

CLINTON: I think there's a sense of understanding that, you know, sometimes doesn't even take words because we have similar views, we have similar experiences, that I think provide a bond that may seem unlikely to some.


BANFIELD: Yes, like unlikely to those of us who watched the 2008 political campaign between the two of you. Here's a quick reminder.


OBAMA: While I was working on those streets you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart.

CLINTON: You were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.


BANFIELD: They clearly buried that hatchet, didn't they? She ultimately joined his team and explained last night why she ultimately took the job of secretary of state.

CLINTON: I thought, you know, if the roles had been reversed and I had ended up winning, I would have desperately wanted him to be in my cabinet. So if I'm saying I would have wanted him to say yes to me, how am I going to justify saying no to my president?


BANFIELD: Wolf Blitzer is here, anchor of "The Situation Room."

Wolf, clearly they've had a good working relationship for the last four years. There's been no reports of acrimony between the two, and yet, I found that to be riveting television last night. I'm not sure I understand why. Why is it that that seems to remarkable to watch?

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: Probably because both of them are political superstars in their own right, and when you put them both together it doubles the power, if you will. The president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, and Hillary Clinton, the secondary of state, someone who has even has greater favorability ratings in the United States right now than he has. So it's just a very strong powerful combination. And all of us, you know, who are political news junkies, we can't help ourselves. They're both absolutely right, we can't help but think down the road in 2016, is she going to try to be the Democratic presidential nominee, will she try to be the first woman president of the United States? You know, we are incorrigible as the president has said.

BANFIELD: Wait right there because you and Steve Croft think alike. Let me play that answer.


OBAMA: You guys in the press are incorrigible.


And it was literally inaugurated four days ago.


And you're talking about elections four years from now.

CLINTON: Yes, and I am -- as you know, Steve, I'm still secretary of state, so I'm out of politics. And I'm forbidden from even hearing these questions.


BANFIELD: Forbidden, no. OK, that's what you call the skirt in politics. After skirting the question, they did, Wolf, give a bit of an answer. Here it is.


CLINTON: I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year.


BANFIELD: So, what kind of an answer is that, Wolf Blitzer? BLITZER: It's a diplomatic skirt, as you say. And you know, when you say four years, it's not really four years. When you think about it, the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, those are exactly three years from right now. And if you're serious about running in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, you've got to announce a year before that. So we're really talking two years. And if you're really, really serious, you've got to start thinking about staffs and organization. These things go very, very quickly. She's not going to have a lot of time to rest.

One thing she does have going for her is she's got the 100 percent name recognition and she's got a huge following out there. I've always suspected she does passionately want to be the first woman president of the United States.

The only thing that's given me a little bit of cause over the past few weeks is her health. If she's not healthy, then obviously she's not going to run. She did have a concussion. She did have a blood clot between her brain and her ear in her head. She's wearing those thick glasses now to prevent double vision because of the concussion. I hope her doctors are right and they tell her she's going to be just fine.

But that's the slight -- if I have a little bit of slight hesitation in thinking whether or not she's going to throw her hat in the ring, that would be the only factor in my mind, having known Hillary Clinton and watched her over these past 20 years.

BANFIELD: Yes, thank you, Wolf Blitzer. And, of course, she said last night that her health was great.

Wolf, thank you. You're on at 4:00 again today with "The Situation Room." We won't miss it.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was nominated to take Mrs. Clinton's place as secretary of state. The confirmation hearing was last week. The vote though on his confirmation could come as early as tomorrow.

I want to update you on another story about health. Doctors now saying they're encouraged by new tests performed on former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. He has been in a coma since suffering a massive stroke seven years ago. When doctors showed him pictures of his family or when he heard his son's voice, his brain showed appropriate activity. They are still not optimistic about his prognosis, but it was nice to know that his family is getting through to him.


BANFIELD: Earlier this hour, Brianna Keilar, at the White House, told you about a meeting, a very important meeting at the White House. This is the Roosevelt Room. The president flanked by members of a group of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and also the Major County Sheriffs Association.

And the president, along with Joe Biden, gave some remarks, allowed us to record them, and we want to play them for you right away.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- our deep concern about issues of gun safe did and how we can protect our communities and keep our kids safe.

You know, a couple weeks ago, I appeared along with Joe to present the administration's ideas in terms of steps that we have to take. And I issued a number of executive actions that could be taken unilaterally in order to improve our collection of data, to make sure that we're coordinated more effectively with state and local governments, and to do everything that we could to improve the issue of gun safety and to make our communities safer. But as we've indicated before, the only way that we're going to be able to do everything that needs to be done is with the cooperation of Congress. And that means passing serious laws that restrict the access and availability of assault weapons and magazine clips that are not necessary for hunters and sportsmen, those responsible gun owners who are out there. It means that we are serious about universal background checks. It means that we take seriously issues of mental health and school safety.

We recognize that this is an issue that elicits a lot of passion all across the country. And Joe and my cabinet members who have been involved in this have been on a listening session over the last several months. No group is more important for us to listen to than our law enforcement officials. They're where the rubber hits the road. So I welcome this opportunity to work with them, to hear their views in terms of what will make the biggest difference to prevent something like Newtown or Oak Creek from happening again.

But many of them also recognize that it's not only the high-profile mass shootings that are of concern here. It's also what happens on a day in and day out basis in places like Chicago or Philadelphia, where young people are victims of gun violence every single day. That's why part of the conversation that we're going to be having today relates not only to the issue of new laws or better enforcement of our gun laws. It also means, what are we doing to make sure that we have the strongest possible law enforcement teams on the ground. What are we doing to hire more cops? What are we doing to make sure they're getting the training that they need, what are we doing to make sure our sheriffs offices in rural counties have access to some of the resources that some of the big cities do in order to deal with some of these emergencies?

So I'm looking forward to a robust conversation. I know that this is not a shy group, mainly because they're dealing with life-and-death situations every single day. But I'm very grateful to them for their participation.

This is a representative group. It comes from a wide cross section of communities across the country. And hopefully, if law enforcement officials who are dealing with this stuff every single day can come to some basic consensus in terms of steps that we need to take, Congress is going to be paying attention to them and will be able to make progress. All right?

Thank you very much, everybody.



BANFIELD: Some remarks from the president. And among those who are represented today at the White House with the president, the vice president, officials from not only Newtown, but you heard the president mention Oak Creek and also Aurora. Those are places that have been vastly affected by gun violence in the last year.

And then, just last to add to that, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, in New York City, today, bringing up the issue that handguns are his biggest problem, representing 60 percent of the deaths in this city's major gun violence. So there's also that issue on the burner with the conversations today.

As the president just mentioned -- he outlined it, saying that he wants to restrict assault style weapons, magazines that are unnecessary, talk about universal background checks, and also school safety.

We have a lot more ahead. We're back after this.






BANFIELD: For those of you who aren't sports fans, who don't recognize the graphics, this is a big week for football. It's Super Bowl week. Come Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens are going to go head to head with the San Francisco 49ers. Two brothers are coaching the teams. It'll be so cool. And the winner of the game is going to lay claim to the Lombardi trophy, as the champions of the National Football League. And right now, Baltimore fans are giving a sendoff to their Ravens. There you go. Some live pictures out of Baltimore, where it's cold.

They are headed to the heat of New Orleans where Mark McKay joins us live.

This must be a fun assignment for you, my friend. I don't know how you got this lucky ticket. It might be because you know a lot more about sports than I do.

(LAUGHTER) MARK MCKAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, we will update you, Ashleigh. We will bring you up to speed. Everybody can get involved in Super Bowl week. Hello from, yes, warm, muggy New Orleans, Louisiana, where the Ravens can shed those fur coats or whatever they're wearing today after that big send off up on Baltimore. It's quite warm. at least early in the week here at the Super Bowl city. The San Francisco 49ers, Ashleigh, arrived on Sunday. The Niners, like everyone else who arrived in the Super Bowl city, media members like myself, ran smack-dab into Mardi Gras. We're talking parades, beads tossing, drinking, dancing, you know, just an ordinary January weekend here in New Orleans.

Now, this year the Super Bowl collides with Mardi Gras. And it's not that anybody's complaining.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Next weekend, we can't wait. It's going to be a great time in the city. Everybody is going to be having a lot of fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: NFL, we're excited, the Super Bowl is here. Can't wait. It's going to be a great thing for the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The city is electric right now. Between, you know, Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras had to be pushed up a week. So we've got a pretty much entire month of partying which we're used to. New Orleannians can handle it.



MCKAY: Hey, if anyone has serious concerns about the traffic in an already challenging city when it comes to big events, well, they need not worry, at least in terms of the terms of the Mardi Gras parades, Ashleigh. Those have been put on hold for this week. They resume the Mardi Gras parades after the game is played Sunday.

BANFIELD: I hope they have the 49ers staying at a hotel a little farther away from the incoming Ravens, because that's going to be some busy getting.

All right, Mark McKay, thank you. Lucky man, have that assignment. Thank you.

On the eve of Super Bowl XLVII, CNN is live in New Orleans with out take on the biggest sporting event in this country, what it means to that city and how it became such a cultural phenomenon and more. "Kickoff in New Orleans, A CNN Bleacher Report," it's a special Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm eastern.


BANFIELD: You know, when you watch an awards show with the red carpet, and you keep waiting to get through all those technical awards to the big celebrity awards? That's what the SAG Awards is like, for every award, actors awarding actors. The SAG Awards, last night, and the big winner was "Argo." "Argo" got the award for the best cast for a motion picture. That's just as good as best picture award for the SAG Awards.

Our entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner, literally did not sleep.


She joins me now live from Los Angeles.

Girlfriend, I was watching you on the red carpet, dancing and having such a blast. And thought, are you going to be awake tomorrow when you need to report all this stuff?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Ashleigh, you're right, I have not had much sleep at all. But this is kind of -- you just talked to Mark. This is my Super Bowl season, awards season right now. I've got my game face on. I'm ready to play.

You are so right. The thing about the SAG Awards that everyone loves, it is a short awards show, 2 hours long. And they only give out 13 awards, all acting awards. That's what the actors love about that. They get in, have a little party, and get out.

Right now, the momentum, you see him on the screen, is with Ben Affleck and "Argo." Everyone thought that "Lincoln" would win the best cast ensemble for a motion picture award, but "Argo" just continues to shine. But there is one statistic is working against it going forward, Ashleigh. Ben Affleck was not nominated as best director for an Oscar. Most film critics will tell you, if the director is not nominated, the movie has very little chance of winning. This year could buck that trend. I like this. This sets up for a pretty intriguing Oscar night.

BANFIELD: All that's cool. I'm also a total sucker for fashion. So, would you just give me a bit of a --


Give me a red carpet rundown. I watched those incredible gowns. I hate to say it. I do get completely blown away, Homer Simpson-like, as I watch them strut down the red carpet.

TURNER: You know, it's fun. We do get taken in. I love to people watch. You see the celebrities strutting down the red carpet in these beautiful gowns, it's a sight to behold.

There were some people, for me, that stood out last night definitely. We're looking at pictures of, first of all, Naomi Watts in this gray lace gown. She had these Fabrace' diamond earrings on. She looked like a dream. The theme for the night was a modern twist on old Hollywood, and she personified that. She just looked gorgeous. Jennifer Lawrence had this blue Dior on last night -- that some people thought she had a wardrobe malfunction. She may have had a little one, but that fits her to a tee. She looked just looked absolutely gorgeous.

BANFIELD: Anne Hathaway could wear a garbage bag and look great. They just look -- look at that. Woo. Hello, you can see in the front of her dress.

TURNER: Fun and flirty.



BANFIELD: Flirty? Dang, that was more than flirty.

Hey, Nischelle, I think you definitely deserve some sleep. Oscars are more than a month away.

Thank for your work last night. It was a great show on CNN.

TURNER: Thank you.

BANFIELD: I watched you to the bitter end. February 24th, though. You get your beauty rest.

Because CNN will have complete coverage and Nischelle will do an all- nighter.

Back after this.


BANFIELD: You heard the saying less is more, right? That expression could take on a huge significance for women who are considering a radical procedure to treat breast cancer. New research shows removing a lump may be more effective than removing the whole breast.

Let's bring in our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

That defies what a lot of people have thought in the past. What's the significance of this research? Why is this?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Ashleigh, a lot of women and even some doctors think, hey, just take off the whole breast. A lot of doctors in the know will tell you, wait a minute. When someone's early stage breast cancer, stage one or stage two, lumpectomy plus radiation is the way to go. This study seems to support that. It suggests, it doesn't prove -- I don't want to use the "P" word. But it suggests that having a lumpectomy and radiation is just as good or perhaps even a little better than having a mastectomy.

BANFIELD: I have a million more questions for you. But I think the best thing would be for people -- you always say this -- ask your doctor first, right, Elizabeth?

COHEN: Ask your doctor what the options are. I've talked to so many women who have breast cancer, and the doctor says let's do this. I say, well, did you ask him what other things you can do? There's almost always more than one option.

So if someone says I want to take your whole breast off, ask, wait a minute, what about a lumpectomy plus radiation? Is that possible?

BANFIELD:, a good starting point as well.

Elizabeth, thanks for that news.

COHEN: Thanks.

BANFIELD: I know it's a tight fit, but it's great information,

That's all the time I have for you.