tv The Situation Room CNN January 21, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
blitzer. >> barriton/saxophone. >> really bad. >> it's okay. >> maybe you wouldn't be sitting here with us right now had you turned out to be a great saxophone player. >> i was a really bad barritone/saxophone player. >> this was in the summertime. >> that's actually senator max baucus and governor will be joining with them to march in this inaugural parade. max baucus, a very important member. he'll be very important this coming term if we move towards any tax reform measures. senator john tester since 2007, just looking at all of the
members of the delegation that are here and there we are seeing more of the some 200 animals that we've been hearing so much about. >> you can mark four off the list. >> exactly. >> senator tester is glad to be in this parade. he got re-elected. >> after a tough battle, that's for sure. >> this is the wind river dancers, the wind river reservation all the way from wyoming. they are here to honor all of us with their performance. $6,000 short of their scaled-down fundraising. they are marching anyway and doing an excellent, excellent job. right now i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer here in washington, d.c. we're right across from the president of the united states on the reviewing stand. there it is, the reviewing stand on the north lawn of the white house. kate bolduan is here, jim acosta
is here and we're in "the situation room," a special edition of the situation room watching the wind river dancers from the wind river reservation in wyoming performing for the president of the united states. he's still there. he's still in the reviewing stand. the first lady, sasha and malia have gone inside. i suspect they have to get ready for the balls for tonight. >> it's a very special day, obviously, but a very long day for the president and first lady. up next, they will get ready and head to the balls and greet all of their supporters. as we see, up next here, on our parade root is the canine companions for independence out of virginia. >> you want to see animals, you see animals. >> it's finally all happening for me. >> these are special animals. they help wounded veterans. >> it's a special nonprofit we should take a second to honor. >> excellent work for them. brian todd is joining us right
now. brian, tell us where you are because you had a unique opportunity to see a side of this inauguration that a lot of folks don't often see. >> we did, wolf. i'm down here on the mall right now which is is where we were earlier today. we were packed in tight with hundreds and thousands of people. the atmosphere was completely electric. it was grade to be among so many people. you couldn't move there in a lot of places because it was a lot -- let's just say it was more dense than this crowd behind us here. and a lot of people here had to endure hardship just to get here on the mall. they had to come a long way to get here. one of them, an incredible story. 85-year-old juanita smith, she came here for her first ever inauguration. she brought her grandchildren here. she had a great time and was visibly overcome with emotion when she saw president obama getting introduced and she spoke to us a couple of moments after that. >> i feel just like crying and
saying, it's great to be an american and i'm great to be -- glad to be here. >> reporter: she was glad to be here. a lot of people we saw, as we said, endured a lot of hardship. we saw people in wheelchairs who had been waiting since 5:00 in the morning. one woman tore her knee over the weekend and walked on crutches. there is juanita who is overcome with emotion as she saw the president being introduced. some of the crowd is still behind me. did you guys have a good time today? did you have a good time today? these are people taking in the moment. a lot of people want to linger here and soak up the moment. >> brian, are they opening up the city where you are or is it still pretty much plugged up? >> reporter: a lot of the venues
are opening up here. a lot of the gates have opened up. people can walk around the mall. traffic is restricted but it's a lot more open than it was hours ago. >> was there a moment, brian, in your reporting today -- and i know you spent a lot of time out there with folks. was there a moment that really jumped out at you that you'll never forget? >> reporter: you know, it had to be the moment with juanita smith. she's 85 years old. she told me in one of the clips that we did with her, in her lifetime she had endured a lot of hatred, hatred between the races, tension between the races. she was so proud to be here. she waited all hr life for a moment like this. there you see her again. she was incredibly overcome with emotion when the president was introduced and i don't think any of us who witnessed that will soon forget it. >> i think you're absolutely right. brian todd with a rare moment indeed.
this is the pearl river community marching band from mississippi. they are moving along together. they are not done yet, kate. >> if you want parade, we've got quite a ways to go and a lot of special performances ahead. >> john king, you've had an opportunity to take a close look at this special, special day in american history. >> wolf, this is a time when everybody, all americans, whether they are here in d.c., watching at home, democrats, republicans, independents, somewhere in between, everybody can and should enjoy this. this is a celebration of our democracy. it's nonpartisan parade. obviously the president and vice president are at the parade. let's get a perspective on where we are because the parade i think we can all love. if you look at the commentary out about the president's speech, there's a wide ranging opinion about whether it was a good start to the second term or whether it was too partisan. let's get around our group here
and i'm joined by cornell belcher, ari fleischer, chief political analyst gloria borger and jessica yellin. let me start with you, cornell. at the beginning of a second term, a speech with groundbreaking on gay rights laid out an agenda via to change immigration, gun control. some of those things he could have tackled in the first term but shied away from. your reaction, where do you think we are at this moment? >> i think what is big about this speech -- look, budget battles come and budget battles go. what is big about this is the gay rights talk. i don't think we've ever seen a founding father bridge the way he did. it's the moral of our founding fathers. it's interesting because he didn't use that to pivot and put
stonewall in the same space and fail without controversy. understand, a lot of civil rights leaders from that era resist putting the gay rights movement within the civil rights movement. so i think when a lot of this has gone to pass, we will remember the bigness of the gay rights. >> was it a big speech? was it a partisan speech? >> well, it was both. it had elements of boat. let me agree with what cornell said. i couldn't help but notice the man who signed the defensive marriage act, bill clinton, opposed to gay marriage changed his position during the course of his presidency. >> every speech before 2004, looking for a constitution to ban gay marriage. >> i welcome it. what i didn't welcome was the
most polarizing president that we had became more polarized. this was a speech for the 51% who voted for him. there wasn't much more for the 49% who did not. it was a speech that talked about collective action by the government and when you look at the biggest issue that we face of this era, it's the deficit. it's the trillion dollars of debt and the president didn't really talk about that. he talked about, we're not a nation of takers but that we've become a nation of debtors. >> the president clearly is a smart man, a smart politician. he's also a writer, a thoughtful person. if that is the speech, if the speech as ari described, why would he decide to give that speech? what's the political goal? >> this is the last time he's getting sworn in as president of the united states. that's why. i think it's martin luther king day. martin luther king was courageous. martin made this point earlier
that perhaps the president had some sense of guilt about not doing gun control and that it took newtown to get him to do that and so this is the speech you get to give once and i think there may have been a sense he wanted to be aggressive because he could and because he had to set out what he believes he said, i'm not going to get all of it, don't let the perfect -- nothing can be perfect. but i do believe he decided, why not, be essentially? >> you should make note that we're watching the presidential parade. it's dark but the president is still in the reviewing booth. he's enjoying the parade. you can see his smiles and he's been engaged with the groups and dancing at some points. he's going to go to the balls tonight and party. you know full well from your service in the white house, a second-term president has a
window. it could be a year, could be two years, but he laid out those goals. now what? >> well, i think we'll wait and see but in my judgment, this was one of the most important speeches of his political career because it was the clearest samt of his political philosophy, his principles. i think he argued basically in the first term he inherited economic crisis and here's where i want to go and the opportunity i see for us. if this were a foreign policy speech, i think we'd call it the obama doctrine. it was the firmest commitment we've seen to a progressive agenda and that's why the liberal community is singing hosanas and there are views coming in from the liberals that were holding back and saying, he almost declared war. this was not about unity. this is what i want to pursue. >> but jessica, if this is about
who he is, i assume -- does he, i guess let me pose it as a question. is it more important to be successful or lay out those principles where they are talking about gun control, immigration perhaps would have common ground, gay rights. he's picking some fights with the conservative republicans who still control the house. >> he -- obviously he wants to succeed. i think this was an action speech and what he was doing was going -- building on what david was saying, he was calling on his supporters to what we've heard lobby congress from the outside and picking up on what we were talking about earlier with this message about equality and the gay rights movement, that is his legacy to date he has done more than any other president on gay rights. he expanded martin luther king's vision not just to gay citizens but immigration reform. we could read into that that his
next message is to fight for a broad effort on immigration. now, the question is will that succeed and the problem, again, is where will he prioritize? >> he's where republicans are going to criticize. this speech was good for the slices that make up america but it wasn't good for all of america and that's what republicans are going to point out. >> we'll continue our conversation in a moment but let's get back to the parade. you see the transportation secretary there. i believe this is the coast guard band. let's listen. ♪ >> this is the coast guard band. they have been honoring earlier the navy, marine corps, and now the u.s. coast guard. you can see him there with the president of the united states. this is a nice tribute to the coast guard. they help us in so many ways
that a lot of people don't even appreciate that they are there almost all of the time for us. they've done a remarkable job in all sorts of disasters and we are so, so happy to be able to salute the united states coast guard for the terrific work that they do. you see the president saluting the coast guard as well. let's take a quick break and resume our coverage right after this. so...how'd it go? well, dad, i spent my childhood living with monks learning the art of dealmaking. you've mastered monkey-style kung fu? no. priceline is different now. you don't even have to bid. master hahn taught you all that? oh, and he says to say (translated from cantonese) "you still owe him five bucks." your accent needs a little work.
states. kate? >> i'm telling you, i've never been a judge of marching bands but all of the marching bands that we've seen throughout the afternoon and this keeps going and going. we're not even done yet. >> these folks are all the way from south dakota. the amount of prep that goes into this, the amount of travel, being away from their families, the cost that's involved. they raised money through bake sales and what not, i imagine. it's a true american parade. >> and it happens quickly. >> it does. >> if you think about the time between the election and now, they don't have a ton of time for preparation to get ready and get here and get going. >> it's a good thing they are playing a lot of parade favorites. that helps, i'm sure. >> yeah. >> these are the military spouses of michigan from detroit, michigan. it's a group of military spouses building support and services.
>> look at those kids. >> they are adorable. military families, some of them black families, they make them available to family members and they have been doing a great, great job. that's why they were involved to march here on this inaugural parade day. >> clearly an issue close to the first lady and second lady's hearts, one of the major causes. it will be interesting to see what both of these women do in their -- in the second term. i'm very interested to see what michelle obama does. >> and as a reminder as these wars wind down and the aircrafts in high school gymnasiums, mothers and fathers waiting for them after long duties overseas. >> this is londonderry high
school marching band from new hampshire. they are well known. they have performed at the parade in pasadena and the new york city st. patrick's day parade and they have performed overseas in the 2008 olympic games in beijing. by the way, on the left side of the screen, that's the commander-in-chief ball. kate, are you ready to go? >> i am ready to go. when are you picking me up? >> my tux is pressed and ready. >> that's beautiful. >> that's a beautiful shot of the washington convention center where the balls will be taking place. this is the commander-in-chief ball. fewer balls than previous years. >> we'll have special coverage
later tonight of all of the balls. anderson cooper, erin burnett, piers morgan, they are spread out across this town and are watching what is going on. i think our viewers right after "the situation room" will want to see our coverage of the balls. i assume the first lady, the second lady, they are inside the white house now. they are getting ready. >> oh, they have to. that's right. >> some amazing musical acts. alicia keys, katy perry, soundgarden. >> some of the same artists actually performed over the weekend for the kids' inaugural concert will be performing again this evening. >> and our own piers morgan has an interview with stevie wonder today as well. >> we saw him at the ceremony on
the west front. he was right below us. >> he was really getting into it. he loves politics. i've met him myself on a few occasions and he's been so supportive of this president. he wanted to be here for the inauguration. he'll be performing and piers has a good interview with him. >> we have to mention this, this is from my home state of indiana. >> did you know she was from indiana? >> i know it now. >> dates back 100 years to woodrow wilson when culver's black force troop served as an escort. >> we are directly across from the reviewing stand where the president and vice president -- they are still there. although, there are some empty seats there. a lot of folks probably are
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the president is still there. you can see ray lahood with the vice president, the transportation secretary, the former congressman from illinois. you know, jim acosta, you see the president has been chewing a lot of gum there. what's going on? >> i have e-mailed the white house for some explanation of this. we do know that the president occasionally chews nicorette gum. don't want to speculate. could be a cough drop. >> it could be regular gum. >> that's right. >> they are all enjoying themselves and will enjoy themselves as we see the great entertainers who are getting ready to entertain the president and first lady. >> so much going on. two major balls tonight and you can guess, as we've been talking about fashion throughout the day, it will be very big news whatever the first lady wears because that is what many eyes are waiting to see, the next outfit. >> those are live pictures from
the convention center on the left side of the screen. some people are starting to come in but it's still very, very early. these balls don't get going for a while. >> they don't get going for a while and they go for a long time. if you get there early, you should pace yourself. maybe they are getting very good positioning. they are very fun and as jim pointed out, big name performers coming out for the president and vice president. >> probably not a bad idea to get out there early considering who is going to be playing tonight. >> could be jam-packed and probably busier. >> yeah. and we're going to have extensive coverage. in the meantime, we're watching the parade going past the reviewing stand where the president and vice president are standing there and they are appreciating what's going on. i want to see which band this is. is it the frankfort marching
band from west virginia? >> yes. >> and there's going to be dancers coming from las vegas. i think it's almost over. >> comparsa morelense. >> they have come all the way from las vegas to be part of this parade. i think the president is going to stay until the very, very end. >> as he should. >> as he should. they have all come very far. this group from las vegas, to come for this moment to walk in front of the president. i always enjoy turning around to try to catch the glimpse because even if you're dancing and even if they are trying to keep a very serious face, they always give one little glimpse to the left right as they are passing by the reviewing stage. >> i know we've seen colorful outfits but my goodness, this
may be the most colorful group. >> this is a dance group from las vegas. i know your spanish is very good. but go ahead, kate. >> comparza morelense. i don't know if i pronounced that right. >> they are very excited to participate in this inauguration parade. this is the central marching band from kentucky. they have come all the way from rural ap palaicha. >> and if you're the president, you've been re-elected, this is your second inaugural, you're going to see it to the end. you are going to soak it up to the very last second. >> that's one thing that we have noticed and noted throughout the day, is how the president and vice president loves every moment but the president seems to really be trying to soak up every minute because he knows
this is his last, obviously. ♪ >> all right. let's go over to the national mall. john king is watching what is going on. john, pick it up a little bit. >> wolf, we had a great crowd behind us earlier today. they have mostly gone away. let's continue our conversation about the challenges in the second term and this moment, including the celebration we're watching tonight, ari fleischer, cornell belcher, jessica yellin, gloria borger. this is part of our democracy, part of the great ritual, an example to the world of how we do things. this president began so let him celebrate tonight. what happens tomorrow?
>> this is an interesting question for this white house because this is not where they thought they'd be. you know, when he was re-elected, the expectation was he would begin with some sort of negotiation over the tax cuts, the tax -- bush tax cuts and they would have a plan to negotiate tax reform this year and we'd be well into deficit deal and tax reform right now and then he could move on to the next agenda item. well, it didn't quite work out that way. now they have to figure out what is the first agenda item? is it immigration? is it going to be guns? so we have to figure out what are they going to move on right away? >> wait one second because we're at an important juncture. i want to go back to wolf for a second. i believe we're nearing the end of our inaugural parade. >> this is the last band. this is the second to the last band. go ahead. >> these are the firefighters of idaho performing together for the first time for the inaugural
parade from idaho, as i mentioned, comprised of fire departments across the state. 20 bagpipers, seven drummers and the bagpipers are dressed in kilts, as you can see, while the other marchers are wearing color guard attire. the firefighters of idaho, we're excited for the opportunity as everyone is to come and perform and represent their state in this 57th inauguration. >> and just behind them, the virginia military institute, lexington, virginia. >> and that's the last group that will be going forward, virginia military institute. they are marching now for the president and that will wrap up this parade. this inaugural parade here in washington, d.c., recognizing the 44th president of the united states who was sworn in today for a second term and a public
♪ ♪ >> and that's it. the virginia military institute marching band and now the president and the vice president, they will leave the reviewing stand. they are saying good-bye to some friends, v.i.p.s that were invited. the president will leave, go back inside the white house and put on a tuxedo and get ready to go to some of those inaugural
balls. i'm sure he and the vice president and their wives will look very, very dapper, distinguished for such an occasion. >> speaking of dapper -- >> our own piers morgan is over at the inaugural ball. where are you, piers? >> i'm in the middle of the inaugural ball and it is surprisingly very, very loud. deafening noise behind me. it's the most extraordinary party. they expect at least 30,000 people galavanting in this very room. i'm here with erin who is here with me tonight. we will bring you all of the latest action as it happens. >> you look extremely distinguished, piers. we're looking at the president. can you share the designer,
which tuxedo you have on tonight? >> it's one of many. >> you look very good. >> the sweet life. >> fix the collar a little bit because it's over your jacket a little bit. i want you to fix your jacket so -- >> here we are. >> the other side. that's right. now you look great. >> as you two continue talking about suits, we continue to watch the president and the vice president matalking to the tuskogee airmen. >> let's listen in to the president for a second. >> thank you. appreciate it. thank you. all right. they are putting their coats on. they are going to go back inside the white house. i wonder if the white house is
going to drive over to the observatory air to change, get ready for the inaugural balls. there he is, the president of the united states going back towards the white house. very, very happy man, as he should be on this very special day. let's go back to piers for a moment. as we watch the president and vice president leave the reviewing stand, head back towards the white house, give us a little preview of what you expect to see tonight. >> well, there's two main balls. the inaugural ball is above us and the commander-in-chief ball. you may remember the whole etta james propaganda last time. this time we're not sure what that will be. that will take place upstairs and they are expected to come back down to the ball here and dance a few feet behind me. i had a great interview with stevie wonder who is performing at both the balls tonight and he was really great, actually. he's one of the main i
instigators. he was thrilled that the president was being inaugurated on this day today. he was delighted with the president's speech. he thought it was a powerful and rousing speech invoking the memory of martin luther king. he loved what he said about equality and the safety of children. he was very big on that and said to me, we've got to do something now about gun control in america and raised a really powerful point. he said, look, i can go to a store, i, stevie wonder, and buy a gun tomorrow. how safe do you think it would be in my hands? it was a powerful thing to say. he's a fascinating guy, stevie wonder. it's an amazing moment to have a black president being re-elected, reinaugurated on martin luther king day. he was with the first couple
last night and their favorite songs is superstition and a few more. we may hear that tonight. >> "isn't she lovely," don't you think we'll hear that tonight? >> "isn't she lovely as well." he was harrowing down. but the performers is terrific, alicia keys, john legend, marc anthony, stevie wonder. it took two days to walk from one end to the other and there is vast amounts of alcohol. you'd love it here, wolf. >> i would love it. maybe i'll show up. you never know. >> jack daniels waiting in your name. >> great. piers, we're going to be watching you, erin burnett,
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tested for four, long hard years renew's his oath to a nation still struggling and divided. in the shadow of the capitol where so many political battles have been fought, a gala and a promise of better days ahead. >> my fellow americans, we are made for this moment and we will seize it together. >> a live look at the united states capitol where this historic day started. the first family is starting the next four years with a night of balls, gowns, and dancing. once again, we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer along with kate bolduan and you're in the situation room. >> it's been a very fun situation room unlike four years ago where they attended four,
there are only two balls, the commander in chief along with stars alicia keys, jennifer hudson and the inaugural ball, a long list of artists will perform, including john legend, katy perry, smokey robinson and stevie wonder. >> first, a speech that caught all by surprise. cnn's john berman has the details. >> reporter: cloaked in history, shrouded in expectations. >> we will seize it as long as we seize it together. >> reporter: the re-elected president retook the stage where he first stood four years ago to renew the mission of his office. >> now more than ever we must do
these things together as one nation and one people. >> reporter: the day began with prayer and then revelation of the fashion variety. the answer to the epic question, what or who is she wearing? a navy thom browne dress and necklace which cathy waterman, the crowd was smaller than last time but with one million people, by no means small. with daughters dancing political friend and foe looked on to witness the oath for the second time in two days, for the fourth time in two terms. >> i barack hussein obama, do solemnly swear. >> this time, the perilous moment was his. >> the office of the president of the united states. >> the office of the president of the -- >> it was the inaugural address
that took many by surprise. >> we, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. >> 19 minutes, making history, invoking the words of the founding fathers on this martin luther king jr. day to relay the fight 50 years ago to the right for women and gay rights today. >> we, the people, declared today that the most evidence of truths, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides our forebearers through selma and stonewall. >> his words and kelly clarkson's voice and america singing. ♪ from every mountaintop, let
freedom ring ♪ >> reporter: wow. beyonce didn't disappoint either. ♪ and the rockets >> reporter: from american. the poet, robert blanco. >> here the doors we open each day for each other saying hello, shalom, bon jour, howdy, namaste or buwaynon buenos dias. in every language, spoken in one wind, carried in our lives without prejudice as these words break from my lips. >> it was a day that even a president had to pause to take in. >> not a long look, though,
because there was one last inaugural parade. the flags, the floats, the fans. and then one last inaugural walk. now, nothing but inaugural balls and four more years ahead. john berman, cnn, washington. >> and beyonce did in fact do an amazing star-spangled banner. >> quite a moment. >> the national anthem once again from beyonce.
♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night
mr. president. >> mr. president. how are you doing? hey, mr. president. mrs. obama. i don't know if they see me. >> i don't think they saw me. maybe they did. i don't know. >> there were a lot of people. >> they were standing there. we stood up. there you were. you were down on the other side. >> i was down on the rolling flatbed truck with the rest of the media watching you and saying i thought i was making a ham out of myself. >> he wasn't saying anything to us at all. >> it goes to show you we'll stop at nothing, wolf, to get the story. >> exactly what wolf was thinking. >> it was great. >> historic day. a presidential inaugural is a highly, ly coreographed and
well planned event. >> it is. >> reporter: it was a day that got off with a bang. not that bang, the bangs on michelle obama. >> and the bangs. let's not forget the bangs. >> reporter: it was also a day of odd couples. beyonce and jay-z rubbing shoulders with newt gingrich and calis calista. audio problems forced beyonce to pull out her ear piece, but she still nailed "the star-spangled banner." the president, oernd, blew one word. and no stumbling by sasha as she skipped and ran from place to play. sasha gyrated, malia danced as they waited for the festivities to begin. sasha kept wiping something off her coat, when the brooklyn tabarnacle choir sang the president may or may not have
wiped a tear from his face. a second later, he definitely winked. to hear kelly clarkson's version of "my country 'tis of thee" got a one word review from senator chuck schumer. >> wow. >> reporter: of course, there were a lot of media flubs. >> it continued. i stopped, but it continued. welcome back to our continuing coverage. >> reporter: and boy, did it continue. from famous faces -- >> hello. hey, how are you all? >> reporter: to the unknown anti-abortion protester in a tree. >> whether or not to get an abortion, i listen to men in trees. >> reporter: when he finally climbed down a police ladder, the crowd cheered his arrest. >> go to jail! >> reporter: there were plenty of solemn moments, for instance, when the president paused after mang