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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Seattle Eager to Promote Marijuana Tourism; Sheryl Sandberg Tells Women, "Lean In"; Interview with J.R. Martinez; War in Iraq: Ten Years Later; Yoga Pants Recalled

Aired March 19, 2013 - 08:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Huge wildfire in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, mostly out, thanks to heavy rains which helped firefighters douse those flames. Unfortunately, the destruction was already done and fairly extensive. More than 60 buildings damaged or destroyed. Many are just charred shells. 200,000 acres of the mountain resort community was burned.

There will be a public memorial service tonight near Tampa for Jeffrey Bush, he is the man who vanished into a giant sinkhole that opened up under his bedroom. The home has torn down, the hole filled, Bush's body was never recovered.

So, entrepreneurs in Washington state are looking at the prospect of mixing tourism and marijuana, with the possibility of dinner cruises, jazz festivals, social clubs. Pot is now legal there, but that does not mean it's an easy way to make a living as far as the federal government is concerned. Marijuana is still an illegal drug. Seattle's tourism board thinks pot would be a good fit for the city, eventually.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM NORWALK, PRESIDENT AND CEO, VISIT SEATTLE: I think we're a little cautious and conservative with now in terms of what the federal approach will be, but without a doubt it plays a role and has a part in the future of tourism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The state's liquor control board is drawing up plans for growing, processing, and selling marijuana and marijuana-based products that could take place next year. So, Seattle has coffee and marijuana.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: That's so interesting. Because he's from visit Seattle, right? That's the tourism board there. Have to wonder if doing that, marketing that, also drives away some people too. I would certainly not bring my children to Seattle on that marketing campaign.

BERMAN: You wouldn't want to go on the pot dinner cruise with your children, probably.

O'BRIEN: Right, but I wonder if it would make people think twice about visiting the -- are there implications that bleed into other parts of that.

BERMAN: It'll be interesting to see. What, to me, is so interesting is that the government are intertwined so closely with the sale of marijuana. They want to make tax dollars off of this.

O'BRIEN: Right, right.

Well, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says women need to be called to action. She's got a new book called "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead." And it takes a hard look at what is holding women back from leadership roles in the workplace. It sparked lots of debate.

I recently sat down with Sheryl and we talked about some of the obstacles women face when getting ahead, including likability.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHERYL SANDBERG, COO, FACEBOOK: Until literally a few years ago, I never said the word woman in the workforce, right?

O'BRIEN: But now with her new book, "Lean In," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is not only talking and writing about women in the workforce, you could say she's preaching about it, and the barriers that women face.

SANDBERG: Women are held back by lots of things. Women are held back by institutional barriers, lack of flexibility, terrible public policy. Our country trails most others, sexism, discrimination. But we're also held back by things that exist within us. You know, we are taught as children that girls behave one way, and boys behave another.

O'BRIEN: You talk a little bit about -- you use a word relentlessly pleasant. You should be relentlessly pleasant or delicately honest is that just another way of saying worry about your likability without saying likability?

SANDBERG: You know, I want the likability penalty to go away for women. I think the way it goes away, is if you get more female leaders, because we assume men will lead and women will nurture, because it turns out 86 percent of the men are leading. The leaders are men and women are nurturing. If we can change those numbers, we change it I don't want to tell women to be relentlessly pleasant and I don't want to tell women you don't need to use "we" in negotiation instead of "I."

O'BRIEN: You tell (ph) that. That's exactly what you tell them to do.

SANDBERG: In the book I say I want to change all of this. We have to work together to change this. But if you're negotiating for a raise today? Use "we," not "I: because it will work. It's practical. It's not advice I want to perpetuate in the workforce which is why I wrote the book.

O'BRIEN: Right, but realistically, don't you have to have -- I mean, you talk about it in the book, you give tips on how to have an engaging personality to realistically be successful. I don't know that people give men tips on an engaging personality.

SANDBERG: Yeah. The cards are stacked against women and I'm clear on that in the book. What "Lean In" is trying to do is open people's eyes to the way cards are stacked. If we stop calling our little girls bossy. If when we say bossy, we say my daughter has executive leadership skills, we're going to stop telling women in the workforce that they are too aggressive, when they do things that men do all the time. It's not that every behavior a woman does is fine. And I'm not telling women to be like men. I'm telling us to evaluate what men and women do in the workforce and at home, without that gender bias.

O'BRIEN: Sandberg says one of the reasons she wrote the book was to bring gender bias out of the shadows.

SANDBERG: Men get to be both successful and likable. Powerful and likable. Women have to pick. We can change that if we change the numbers. We're holding people to stereotypes. If more women start leading, that will become part of our understanding of women. I said publicly, I cry at work. It's not a best practice. I'm not suggesting if you want to get promoted today, go sob to your boss. But it's happened to me, and I've admitted it publicly because I know it's happening to other women, and I don't want the to spend the two weeks worrying about it like I did.

O'BRIEN: But the reality is that you'll be penalized. You're not penalized because you're Sheryl Sandberg and you're crying on the shoulder of your boss who you're close to who said let me give you a hug.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDBERG: Except the women -- the women who came before me could never have said that. Think about the way the women dressed in the 1970s in corporate America.

O'BRIEN: A fluffy bow.

SANDBERG: And look at what you and I are wearing, right? Things are changing. Are you allowed to be a woman in the workforce now. That's because we're not first.

O'BRIEN: We asked Sandberg about another famous female CEO. Yahoo!'s Marissa Meyer and her decision to end telecommuting, something many women to do to balance work and child care. Is she helping or hurting the revolution?

SANDBERG: I don't know exactly what happened Iahoo!. I haven't seen statements from her. I don't thin anyone quite knows. I think she's proving the point that there are too few female leaders. Try to stereotype of extrapolate from a male leader to all men CEOs. Not possible. There are so many. So, men are allowed to be individuals. Women need that freedom to be individuals as well.

That looks amazing.

O'BRIEN: This week, Sandberg celebrates her five-year anniversary with Facebook with the stock from last year's infamous IPO launch still not reaching the original price, she says there is still much work to do at the company. But she won't rule out that there may be a time when she leans back.

What does your future look like? You dodge this question every time. Have you been asked so many times and every time you dodge. What do you think down the road? When? When your children are preteen? What do you want to do?

SANDBERG: I really love my job. We're in the Facebook office. Look at this place. It doesn't get better.

O'BRIEN: So you're going to have to say. Five years down the road, what will you be doing?

SANDBERG: I think I'll still be at Facebook. My five-year anniversary at Facebook is next week. And Mark and I do long-run planning together.

O'BRIEN: Ten years down the road?

SANDBERG: Yeah. We'll see. I really love my job and really love being a parent. I love being a parent. I'm not running for office. I don't know how many times to say that, but, no, look, I love my job. I would like to always have the following: I would like to always make sure I'm doing something I believe in. I really believe in Facebook, I will work there if I believe in it, work here, here in the office, if I believe in it. I really believe in "Lean In." I'm passionate about doing this and I'm a really passionate mother. I love being with my kids. I don't do it all perfectly as a mother. I don't think we ever quite know what we're doing. I feel guilty sometimes, but I love my time with my children.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'BRIEN: And there it is, the ultimate debate. She has said that she hopes this book will start a conversation and help the revolution. Certainly started a conversation, maybe debate is a better word.

BERMAN: Mission accomplished if that's what she was after.

O'BRIEN: Number one on Amazon and I think it's because people are really trying to figure it out. Really struggling to figure out, how do you have success in the workplace and make sure your family is not falling apart.

CHRIS JOHN FARLEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: The comment she made about "bossy" that I though very interesting. I hear people around my 7- year-old daughter say all the time about other little girls. She's bossy. I never heard my 10-year-old son describe anyone as bossy. Because bossy seems to be a good among his peers.

O'BRIEN: You know, and one of the challenges I think is that she'll say let's call that great leadership skills. Not bossy. Tell that little girl she's got a great CEO executive skill. The problem when she's 28, 29 or 30, up for a promotion, everyone's going to be like yes, you're bossy, and you won't get the promotion. I think that that's the rub. That's the challenge. I'm not bossy. I look at you, see what you are thinking. I'm a little bit bossy.

BERMAN: I would tell each kid that you are annoying. Don't tell the girls, great leadership skills, don't tell the boys great leadership skills, tell them they are being bossy in the preschool classroom, they're pains in the neck.

FARLEY: I think we want to encourage people being bossy. In fact, next time my daughter's being bossy I'm going to give her a corner office in my house, just so she realizes later on it will pay off.

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You never had nuns, did you?

O'BRIEN: Oh.

FARLEY: Speaking of bossy.

O'BRIEN: Father, carry on.

BECK: Well, I'm just saying the untold secret is that laywomen and nuns do a lot of leadership in our church, they run parishes. Now, again they're not in leadership positions that we see, but there is a lot of strength of women in the church. I know this is a big issue, like women's ordination is a big issue. Let's not underestimate the power and persuasion of women in the church right now. It's huge.

O'BRIEN: But part of that debate is exactly that, right? Which is they are already in leadership positions but to get to the ultimate leadership position, it's not open to them. And I --

BECK: If you see priesthood as that - as the ultimate leadership position.

O'BRIEN: Maybe that's part of the answer too. What is the ultimate goal? Maybe for everyone the top leadership position is not leaning into something you don't particularly want, is not necessarily a victory.

BECK: Maybe the pope will make appointments that will symbolically and really speak to that.

O'BRIEN: I love the way we circle us back around to the big story of the morning. Well done, Father. Well done.

Up next, talk about the ten-year anniversary of invasion of Iraq. We'll talk to actor and motivational speak J.R. Martinez who served in the army in the war. He was severely injured by a road side bomb. He's our guest ahead.

And of course, you want to be sure to watch "The Lead." It's hosted by Jake Tapper, that's today at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Today marks ten years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq which led to the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. And it's been more than a year since the last company of troops left that country. Approximately 32,000 American servicemen and women suffered injuries in the war. J.R. Martinez served in the U.S. army, was in Iraq, was severely injured in the first weeks of the war when the humvee he was riding in hit a road side bomb.

He has since gone on to become a motivational speaker and an actor and of course a "Dancing with the Stars" champion and author, and a memoir out. It's called "Full of Heart."

J.R. Martinez joins us this morning. It's nice to see you. Thank you for talking with us. Walk me back if you will to 2002. You enlisted in the Army right out of high school, you were deployed to Iraq in the first wave. What was it like when you first got to Iraq way back then when it was all just beginning?

J.R. MARTINEZ,IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Well, I was 19 years old when I deployed. And to me, the war was a possibility, when I joined the military, but in my mind it wasn't necessarily a reality, even though there was a lot of rumors of us going over to Iraq. But getting Iraq at 19 years old, I remember asking a lot of superiors, a lot of my sergeants in charge of me, what exactly are we doing here? The message wasn't necessarily clear to me. Granted, I was 19. But the message was not clear.

And, of course, when we saw the speech by the president back then, President Bush, saying we were going in for weapons of mass destruction, okay, that's our mission, that's our goal. We're here ultimately to try to protect this country from the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11 and try to find the answers to, you know, all the questions that every single American had ever since 9/11 happened.

O'BRIEN: In your memoir, you talk about April 5th as your alive day. I thought that was surprising, because in a lot of people's minds, it would be the day you were so badly injured, the end of something, you really think of it as a re-launch of something. Explain that to me.

MARTINEZ: Well, you know, it's one of the things where it comes down in life. All of go through things, but it comes down to you making a choice. Dependent on what choices you make, whether you want to go in a positive way or negative way, it can turn out to be something great or turn out to be something horrible.

For me, whoever put the roadside bomb there that allowed me to be injured, and the rest of our guys to be injured, I in a lot of ways applaud that individual, because it gave me the challenge to find out a lot about myself. And ultimately, I made the choice to try to survive and not allow that bomb that day on the fifth of April of 2003 to ultimately affect my life for the rest of my life. And it was going to control my life for the moment, but not forever.

And that's why it's easy for me to look at that day as it's -- it's my Alive Day, it's my rebirth. Because it essentially launched me into doing the things that I'm doing today with my life.

O'BRIEN: Do you look back often or occasionally or maybe it's just rarely or never and say was it worth it -- I mean, considering the injuries that you suffered, do you -- is that a -- is that a constant, you know, thought in your head?

MARTINEZ: Not necessarily because of me. I don't find myself looking for example at my injuries or even still having to go through the surgery from time to time as a burn survivor and asking that question. I mainly kind of asked myself that question probably no different than any other American when you hear a story of you know one more soldier, sailor, marine, airman, Coast Guardsman, whatever -- whatever branch of the service was killed. One more service member was injured; one more family is getting a call right now. One more service member not necessarily getting the benefit or the treatment that they deserve when they come back home and fighting that new battle.

Or one more service member has returned home from deployment and survived five deployments overseas, but then ultimately lost the battle once they came home because there was mentally and emotional too much to deal with. That's when I ask myself the question.

And you know I've got to tell you, Soledad, that when I was 19 years old, when I raised my right hand to join the United States Army, I -- my -- my belief was support whatever the Commander-in-Chief says and separate your political views from the whole thing.

However, as I've gotten older, I've kind of said to myself, was -- was -- it was worth it, but not for the same reasons that our political leaders and our government necessarily said that was going to be the reasons why we invaded Iraq. Our reasons as service members is we love to join the military and a lot of us joined the military, either during 9/11 or right after 9/11, because we wanted to help. Because we wanted to help people. We wanted to be part of freedom, we wanted to be a part of what we enjoy every single day in this country.

And -- and -- we are -- we are overseas I mean -- and it's more about trying to help the Iraqi people. That -- that -- what really helped us is more about we were there for the Iraqi people, not necessarily because of weapons of mass destruction so to speak.

FARLEY: When you see the state of Iraq now, you see bombs going off in Baghdad, how does that make you feel? And what do you think you contributed to help stabilize the country there? Stabilize the present democracy?

MARTINEZ: Well, you know I remember when it was a big thing that where women were going to be able to vote you know in Iraq a few years ago and -- and feeling proud about that moment. You know you guys are just recently talking about you know the COO of Facebook and -- and women in power and that's the thing that you know it's coming along, but it's -- it's something that's really appreciated here in this country that women have that ability, have that -- that someone of freedom that have you know that are kind of treated equally at times.

And so when I remember seeing that on television and a lot of my friends we we're talking to each other about that moment and we thought to ourselves, that's why we did it. Because we helped the Iraqi people get a little bit of a taste of what we enjoy in this country the United States of America -- freedom.

And we -- we took someone out of power, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, you know out of power, that was terrorizing his own people for so many years and making them believe such horrible things. And so for the -- for the -- I don't even know what the percentage is of Iraqi people that actually appreciate or enjoy the fact that us Americans are there to try to help that country.

But I know when I was there, there was a few that was appreciative and I know a lot of my friends have said that they have experienced a lot of Iraqi civilians that are appreciative of the fact of what we're doing there to try to help them ultimately and that's -- that's -- that's why it was worth it for me.

O'BRIEN: J.R. Martinez is an Iraq war veteran. Nice to talk to you. I could listen to you literally for hours just talking about your experiences. I certainly appreciate your time this morning, J.R. I appreciate it.

MARTINEZ: Thanks you guys, have a great day.

O'BRIEN: Thanks to you too.

Ahead this morning, a retirement crisis, the staggering number of workers who aren't confident that they have enough money for a comfortable retirement.

Plus, a recall on yoga pants? Oops some of them are see through. Oops. That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back I'm Christine Romans "Minding your Business" this morning. Brand new housing data this morning giving stocks a lift. Construction of single family home at core of the housing market surge to a nearly five year high in February. The overall construction number which in apartments is up less than one percent, building permits rose 4.6 percent. Gains on Wall Street though are expected to be limited by concerns about Cyprus. Where that government is set to vote today on what will be Europe's fourth financial bailout.

And a retirement crisis: A new study says 28 percent of Americans are not confident that they have enough money to retire. In 2007, 10 percent of Americans felt that way. And there's reason to worry most Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. They say there are too many other issues to deal with like high debt and job uncertainty to save money.

O'BRIEN: That number is shocking.

RORMANS: Yes. At 12 percent of people had at least quarter million dollar saved a pretty consistent number. There is this chunk of people who either are paranoid or rich, who are able to put enough money away, really concerned about the future socking the money away. But most people say that they can't -- they just can't meet the day- to-day needs to be able to do that.

Meantime I've got a story for you here about corporate transparency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.

ROMANS: Yoga pants are being recalled for being too see-through. Lululemon has pulled some of its yoga pants from store shelves and its Web site. The recall of all the pants using the signature fabric luon, it's a combination of nylon and lycra. This is 17 percent of all Lululemon bottoms. And only those sold after March 1st. If you bought a pair, you can get a refund. In the meantime Lululemon says there will be a pants shortage.

O'BRIEN: Oh no.

ROMANS: And the stock is actually down on this. A lot of people in yoga class tapping their friend on the shoulder saying you have the bad pants. Corporate transparency. You like that one.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: I know. Yoga just got a lot more interesting to me.

O'BRIEN: John is like I'm going to sign up for yoga after the show.

BERMAN: Can't touch my toes, but maybe go to yoga.

O'BRIEN: There you go. There you go. It could happen.

We have to take a short break. We're back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back. It's time for "End Point".

Who wants to start? What do you think Father, you want to wrap it up for us today. I know you're going to talk about the Pope.

BECK: Of course, I will. But you know that famous line from St. Francis. Preach the gospel always, but when necessary, use words, which means that your actions should tell it all. And we can see from Pope Francis, a man who hugged the cardinals instead of having them kiss his ring. He rode the bus. He paid his own bill. He eschewed the red shoes and the cape.

I mean this is a man who, by his actions, is showing us another way to power. And is through simplicity. He said it in the homily. He said the power is not in the trappings, but it's in service and protecting the weakest. So that is my takeaway from this man today.

O'BRIEN: And it's a beautiful takeaway.

Christine, I'm going to give you the last 15 seconds to talk about Sheryl Sandberg.

ROMANS: Oh, I just think this conversation about women at work and how you behave to become a leader, and the way women and men manage differently and rise up the ranks is really fascinating. I think it's opening doors for women to be more aggressive at work -- carefully aggressive, of course because sometimes women, when are you aggressive sometimes, you are called a word we don't like to say. And we look at people like Sheryl Sandberg, we say that's a good role model I would say.

O'BRIEN: She's throwing the conversation. Thanks guys. Appreciate it as always.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now.