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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Black Smoke This Morning; Interview with Cardinal McCarrick; Teacher Missing In New Orleans; Interview with Toni Enclade

Aired March 13, 2013 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Howie Kurtz is with us. He's the host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" and Washington bureau chief of "Newsweek/Daily Beast."

Lauren Ashburn is with us. She's a contributor for "The Daily Beast" and editor-in-chief" of "The Daily-Download".

Bruce Feiler is the author of "The Secrets of Happy Families."

Nice to have you guys this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.

O'BRIEN: Our STARTING POINT is that black smoke we saw this morning rising from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel. It happened just over an hour ago. It was the signal from 115 cardinal electors, that they still had not settled on the new spiritual leader.

This morning session ended with two unsuccessful votes. And that means cardinals will return in just about 3 1/2 hours for the afternoon vote, 12:30 Eastern is the next time we could see a smoke signal. If they fail to choose a pontiff, voting will conclude for the day at 2:00 p.m.

We begin this morning in Rome and with CNN's Chris Cuomo.

Hey, Chris. Good morning.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Soledad. How are you?

So, these are our headlines: three votes, no pope, OK? That was somewhat anticipated, you know, that our John Allen has been saying that today is somewhat like the Super Tuesday of presidential politics when it comes to the conclave. This is a day that a leader will have to show that they could get 77 votes or they either show or they go. And then maybe they start discussing new names altogether.

We are in right now what could be the most important period of the day, not just because they get to eat lunch and may have a little proposal or a little rest. But this is when they can meet. This is when they can talk. This is when they can have the types of hard discussions they need to have to then clarify the voting, because once they re-enter the conclave, that's not a time to politic. It's really a prayerful proceeding. Another headline from here is that one of the reasons we know why the smoke was a little bit ahead of schedule today, is because the Vatican actually came out and gave a statement about it. They confirmed that the voting went a little bit more quickly than anticipated because the cardinals were more used to the procedure.

They're also having a press conference at 1:00 p.m. local time, just about now. And that is also unusual during the conclave.

So, are these signs of change in the way the Vatican handles its matters? We don't know. But it's unusual, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Chris Cuomo, watching it all for us -- thanks, Chris.

Let's get right to Monsignor Richard Hilgartner. He's the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, secretariat on divine worship.

And from Rome, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick joins us. He's a retired archbishop of Washington. And he participated in that 2005 conclave that elected Benedict XVI.

It's nice to have both of you, gentlemen, with me this morning.

So, we head into the full day of multiple rounds of voting. Give me a sense if you will, Cardinal McCarrick, of what the feel is like inside the room. Is it conversational and relaxed? Are people tense? Is there a sense of urgency? What does it feel like?

CARDINAL THEODORE MCCARRICK, RETIRED ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON: Well, I think I'd have to be a real fortune teller to know what is going on in those rooms now. It's a different conclave, Soledad.

The one that I was in that was after the death of a great, beloved extraordinary pontiff, John Paul II. So, it was always the spirit of John Paul was in there, and we were desperately trying to find the man that would take his place in those times.

So it was a different kind of atmosphere. Here now, this is unusual where we're saying farewell to a dear friend, to one man who served so well the last seven, eight years, our upon tiff, Benedict XVI, but there are differences. There are concerns in the world today -- concerns within the system of the church, as we've heard so often from the media during the last few weeks, but also concerns in the world.

We -- they need to find someone who will be the moral voice in the world today. They need to find someone who will remind the world that the poor are getting poorer, remind the world of the fact that violence and wars are multiplying in our society and our world today. Someone who will also look at the -- at the difficulty that many Christians are having throughout the world.

So, they need this kind of a man.

O'BRIEN: OK.

(CROSSTALK) MCCARRICK: -- the man who will tend (ph) the church.

O'BRIEN: Then, sir, I'll bite. Who is that man? You have given us the list of requirements of the next pope and nobody knows better than you, those who are in the running. Who is the man that fulfills those things you ticked off?

MCCARRICK: It's the one who God wants. That's what they say when they go to vote. They say I want to vote -- I want to vote for the man who God wants.

That's the one we have -- we find out who that is. They have to discern what God wants. That's the whole job of the conclave. That's why it takes time.

I was interested in talking about what they are doing now. They are also praying. They want to do this right. And they are -- they are talking to each other, sure.

They're having a little silence. They're chatting about different people who might be good. But they're also in their own private prayer.

The conclave itself when it gets to the Sistine Chapel is a public prayer. It's a wonderful time, they can all pray together.

But then there is time for private prayer. I think that's what's happening now too, besides those other things.

O'BRIEN: Cardinal McCarrick, thank you very much. Nice to talk to you, sir. We appreciate your time.

MCCARRICK: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Monsignor, since the cardinal dodged a little bit --

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: But I'm interested in what said, which is, sort of, the tone. They are praying in addition to what Chris talked about.

I'm curious to know in the time when they can speak in between the rounds of voting, what are those conversations like? Are they conversations that are pitches? Are they conservations -- give us a sense of what that is like?

MSGR. RICK HILGARTNER, U.S. CONF. OF CATHOLIC CHURCH: It's hard to know, because even when they emerge from the conclave whenever it ends, they won't talk about it, won't say a whole lot about it because they are under this oath of secrecy. That's not just pertaining to what goes on in the Sistine Chapel while they are voting, but it's the entire time.

My sense is some of them are probably trying to wrestle in their own hearts with where they think the church needs to go and how it will all work, and there is a balancing, because we have been talking about this whole political piece of it and the campaigning or the camps and voting blocs, and at the same time, as Cardinal McCarrick just said, it's a deeply spiritual thing. So, there's probably a lot of internal wrestling about how to balance these influences and the movement, the currents within the voting and that process that is what political.

LAUREN ASHBURN, THE DAILY BEAST: But, Monsignor, isn't it true there are more Catholics in South America and in Africa? And shouldn't there be a pope that is now outside of Europe and reflects the broader world view?

HILGARTNER: I think that seems to be one of the big issues right now and perhaps the fact that we don't have a resolution yet, it really seems it's probably not the obvious candidate rising to the surface quickly, because they've got a much more broad base to choose from.

Because they are looking at South America. They're looking at Africa. They might be looking at the Philippines. They might be looking at the United States and North America.

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR: Here's my question. I mean, I think there is a political analogy here. People at the Republican Party, you've got a changing demographic of the United States and you've got a conservative base in elected officials in Washington.

Everybody outside the cardinals are talking about change, and yet these cardinals are very conservative by and large, appointed largely by conservative administrations in the Vatican. Can this group pick somebody who will be a change agent?

HILGARTNER: I think the challenge for us as Americans is this perspective is we want to look at it as liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, those kinds of lenses. The church in the third world, the church in other parts of the world has a bit of a different perspective.

And I -- certainly, there might be an American mindset in some places that would say that the hierarchy and leadership of the church is perhaps out of step with the broad base of the faithful in the United States, and the church.

In other countries, they might see it very, very differently about the liberal/conservative label.

O'BRIEN: We've got to move on to get to other stories, but we are going to continue to talk about the white smoke, the black smoke throughout the morning.

Monsignor, thank you. Appreciate it.

HILGARTNER: My pleasure.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And everything in between.

O'BRIEN: And everything -- the gray smoke that looked like it was billowing out this morning.

John Berman has got a look at some other stories for us.

BERMAN: Thanks, Soledad.

A manhunt under way after an apparent home invasion that turned into a hostage situation in Maryland. Police ION Jessup, Maryland, which is about 30 minutes outside of Baltimore, say five people, three adults, two children, were inside the home at the time. Police managed to gain entry, made sure everyone home was safe. They are still looking for the suspect right now.

A volunteer fireman from Long Island, New York, got a huge surprise when he was called to his own home to battle the raging fire. A man slammed his pickup truck into the house and hit a gas line, sparking an explosion. Suffolk County police say the driver appeared to be on drugs. He refused to breathalyzer test before he was arrested.

Firefighter Michael Cosgrove (ph) answered the call and got right to work. His wife and two young children escaped flames unharmed, thankfully.

The Boy Scouts of America looking to lift the longstanding ban on gays. It sent out a survey to parents and members, asking them questions about the issue. It's more that the simple should gays be allowed or not. These questions take it further, asking if gay and straight scouts should be allowed to share the same tent, or should an Eagle Scout who comes out of the closet be banned?

So, Boeing 787 Dreamliner is now a step closer to flying again. The FAA has approved Boeing's plan to redesign the plane's lithium ion batteries. The Dreamliners were grounded after batteries overheated on two jets and one of them caught fire. Extensive tests still need to be done before the Dreamliner can return to the sky.

"Rhoda" star Valerie Harper says she is determined to live life to the fullest after being diagnosed with a rare and terminal form of cancer that affects the brain. Appearing last night on CNN's "PIERS MORGAN LIVE," Harper had this message for her fans and well-wishers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VALERIE HARPER, ACTRESS: I just want folks to see me, that I'm OK. That I'm not suffering, so far and there may be pain. There may be a lot of things ahead.

But whatever they are, they are ahead. They are not now, and I want folks to know where I am now, and how much I have just been touched to the bone marrow by their concern, their love, their offers of care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: She's now looking great, (INAUDIBLE) just being great.

For now, the 73-year-old Harper says she will continue living her life, includes exercising and also going out on a book tour.

O'BRIEN: I love that she's doing that, you know, because I think, often, when people have a terrible disease, you know a lot about this. You did a similar thing. I mean, you opened up your life as opposed to sort of hiding behind. I'm not going to talk to anybody. You suddenly opened up the world.

FEILER: And cancer can be a passport to intimacy and you can open yourself up to these conversations and people do rush in. I think that's what she is expressing there. It's great to see.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I love that. And she looks so good. Everybody is rooting for her.

So, we're going to tell you about a frantic search for a missing second grade teacher. She's vanished in New Orleans. Up next, we're going to talk to her mom. Her name is Terrilynn Monette and she is still missing. That story is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: A desperate search is under way right now for a missing school teacher. She's 26 years old. Her name is Terrilynn Monette and she's from Long Beach, California. She vanished nearly two weeks ago in New Orleans.

She was at a bar with some friends and she was celebrating having just being nominated for a teacher of the year award. She told friends that she was going to take a nap in her car before she drove home, and she hasn't been seen or heard from since.

Terrilynn's mother, Toni Enclade, joins us this morning.

Thank you for talking with us. We appreciate it.

What have investigators told you about what they know about what happened that night?

TONI ENCLADE, MOTHER OF TEACHER MISSING IN NEW ORLEANS: So far, I haven't received any information. I just know that they are requested Equusearch to come out and assist with the search for her. They should be arriving this morning so they can search of bodies of water out here, to check, to see if there is any sign possibly of her, or her car.

O'BRIEN: We should mention, Equusearch, for those who don't know. Those are those mounted search teams that go through, and I know that this particular bar is very close to city parks and that's why they're focused on sort of going through this massive park, trying to see if they can find any signs of her.

Tell me a little bit about Terrilynn. I know it's unusual for her to be out of touch. I know it's unusual for her not to be close to her sister. Her sister just had a baby.

ENCLADE: Yes, that's correct. Terrilynn and I, mother/daughter, we're really close. Terrilynn, we talked to Terrilynn every day. Terrilynn was supposed to be the baby's godmother. And I know she wouldn't have just left on her own like that. There's no way possible that she would have done that.

O'BRIEN: What do you think has happened to her?

ENCLADE: I honestly think someone has taken her against her will. That's what I truly believe. There's no way she would have slept in her car, first of all. I find that very odd. Terrilynn doesn't sleep in her car. Terrilynn is not comfortable, unless, she's at home in her own bed. There's no way she would have got in her car and went to sleep. And I truly believe someone has her.

O'BRIEN: So, if let's say that is the case, if someone, in fact, has grabbed your daughter, do you have a message for that person? What would you want them to know?

ENCLADE: I just want them to know to please bring my baby back home to me. Please. It's very hard. It's very hard. Can you -- I can't sleep at night. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. I keep thinking about my child and where she could be. I just want her back. So please, if you're listening and you're watching this, please bring Terrilynn home. Please, that's all I want. I want her home.

O'BRIEN: Oh, my goodness. Toni Enclade, I hope that someone is listening to you and I hope that they're going to bring your daughter back to you. I hope that the police can give you some information and clue about where she is. Thank you for talking with us this morning. Our hearts absolutely go out to you.

ENCLADE: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: We're going to keep in touch and find out how this story is going for her. That is -- this was heartbreaker.

We got to take a break. We're going to talk about the budget battle straight ahead in Washington, D.C. That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Trending this morning, country superstar, Taylor Swift, has found herself in the middle of a fan mail flap. National TV station, WKRN, says a woman found hundreds of unopened fan letters addressed to Swift in a dumpster. The station contacted Swift's management. They claimed every piece of fan mail sent to the singer is open and then read and then recycled.

This thing (ph) was oversight that resulted in the fans' letter, many covered in glitter, of course. My daughters, themselves, have sent many a letter to Taylor Swift with a lot of glitter.

BERMAN: Can you imagine how much fan mail she must get?

O'BRIEN: A lot.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

ASHBURN: And how much does she actually read, the question?

BERMAN: I bet she reads.

O'BRIEN: I bet she reads some.

ASHBURN: Some. Right, but if she gets all of that mail, how much time --

O'BRIEN: She has people for that. I mean, if she gets another fan mail, then she has a person and then there's someone who calls goes through it and picks out. You know what, I'm not going to be a hater on Taylor Swift, because everybody is piling on that bandwagon. And I just want to say, I love her.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, CNN'S RELIABLE SOURCES: I just want to get through my e-mail.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

ASHBURN: Forget the fan mail. Just start my e-mail.

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR, "THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES": Howard knows media cycles, but you know, there is an up cycle. She is really in a down cycle.

O'BRIEN: Right. That's what I'm talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: I'm not feeling it. I like -- and Anne Hathaway. I like them both.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Taylor Swift does not have Anne Hathaway's --

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: They're both great. What is the deal? Stop the hating.

ASHBURN: We need people to bring down --

O'BRIEN: No. No. I'm not bringing down the sisterhood. I'm all for the sisterhood. I've been reading Sheryl Sanders. I'm supporting the sisterhood from now on.

ASHBURN: I'm with you.

O'BRIEN: I'm leaning in to help out my sisters.

Let the good times roll. The classic -- I don't know if this is a good idea. The classic 1970s TV sitcom is going to go to the big screen.

(CROSSTALK) O'BRIEN: According to the Hollywood reporter, Sony Pictures plans to produce a film version. "Good Times" aired back in 1974 and 1979 on CBS. It made a star of Jimmie Walker (ph). Remember, he was on the show not too long ago. And of course, this catch phrase, dyno-mite. I think (INAUDIBLE) also starred, if you remember, a young Janet Jackson. Do you remember that?

BERMAN: It's going to be so hard to replicate. That cast was iconic. I just feel --

O'BRIEN: And very of the times.

BERMAN: Very 1970s.

O'BRIEN: How do you do that.

ASHBURN: What sequel has done well? Right?

(CROSSTALK)

FEILER: Because kids in America are clamoring for just back more "Good Times."

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: So, a Twitter troll (ph) picked the wrong person to mess with. Boxer and ex-soccer player, Curtis Woodhouse literally tracked down a guy who wouldn't stop pestering him on Twitter like a flea after he lost his English lightweight title in a controversial bout last weekend.

One of the tweets the troll said was this, "What's funny, you put so much effort in sacrificed to all that time and failed to defend your Mickey Mouse title." (INAUDIBLE) that's not so --

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: So, apparently, Woodhouse tracked the guy down to his address, tweeted the picture of the street signs, threatened to knock on every single door to the guy came out, then of course, predictably, because he's a troll, this is what they do, he apologized and said it was all a joke.

BERMAN: Well, in fact, because that guy was a troll, so the guy tracking him down was a boxer. I think that's why.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTZ: How many people wanted to do that? They've just been totally harassed them to just punch somebody in the nose.

O'BRIEN: Go to their house. You have something to say to me? Come out here and say to me.

(LAUGHTER)

FEILER: Incredibly mean on social networks. It's really -- I can't tell if it's because these people are really mean in general and the anonymity.

ASHBURN: We just did a story on this on Daily Download. No, we just did a story of the Pew Research fund says that Twitter is much more negative than public opinion is.

KURTZ: But it's also bitingly personal as you have experienced when people are coming after you --

ASHBURN: After an appearance here, I got death threats. You get those, too.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: twitter account, because it's that bad. It's like, ah, can't read that. Yes. I get bad people on Twitter often, but some nice people, too.

Moving on, the president meeting with Republicans on Capitol Hill today. Will his outreach help settle the budget battle? Congressman Tom Price is going to be in that meeting. We're going to talk to the congressman coming up.

And then, let's take another live look at the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. Black smoke was flowing out of that chimney just a couple of hours ago and that signaled, of course, no decision on a new pope. Will it be different when they have the afternoon vote? We'll take a look at that, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Three votes, but no decision, so far, in the pope. With just 90 minutes ago, we saw some thick, black smoke coming out from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. That is a sign, of course, that the 115 cardinal electors have not chosen a new pope. You're taking a look at that chimney right now. That's a live picture now.

The next time that we could see smoke coming from that chimney will be sometime this afternoon. The cardinals will return for another round of balloting at 12:30 this afternoon. If the cardinals cannot agree, voting will end for the day at 2:00 p.m. eastern. It's been fascinating to watch.

BERMAN: It's been so fascinating to watch, and I just think in this day and age with Twitter and social media, we're not accustomed to waiting for things the way that we might have to wait for this, and I just wonder if that's seeped into the cardinals before they went into that conclave, if they're more anxious.

KURTZ: Custom, too, is that things leak as here is just encased in secrecy and we don't know what to do.

BERMAN: It only makes it that much more interesting. It makes you want to know more.

O'BRIEN: And of course, we have that floor in the Sistine Chapel that blocks out any technology so you couldn't, even if you were able to sneak in some kind of technology, they have, you know --

ASHBURN: Can you imagine a cardinal, 79 years old, sneaking in a little video camera, leaking it on Twitter?

(LAUGHTER)

FEILER: For centuries, the Catholic Church defined culture. The fact it is now (ph) counterculture by being so old-fashioned, turns out to be a great advantage in this hyper quick age.