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Democratic National Convention Coverage Continues; Security In Boston; Heart Attack Risk For Vacationers

Aired July 26, 2004 - 08:30   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Just about 8:30 now. We want to check in with Jack and the "Question of the Day," sticking with that convention theme, right?
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Convention theme, indeed. Thanks, Heidi.

Time was that these conventions were the stuff of high drama -- the political bosses doing late-night deals, deciding on who the candidates were going to be. But television and the primaries have kind of taken the mystery out of this thing, and there is not much left now except a week-long public relations bash -- sort of like a Democratic or Republican infomercial, if you will.

In addition, the threat of terrorism is costing the host cities tons of money in extra security, so there's a chorus of voices in the land that suggest these things are no longer necessary -- the conventions. That's the question: How important are the conventions?

Timothy in Minneapolis writes: "Let us not forget the balloon and confetti manufacturers. They struggle for four years, scraping by on birthday parties for six-year-olds, anxiously awaiting these four- day infomercials."

Michael in Huron, South Dakota: "The conventions seems to do more -- no more," pardon me, "than rubber-stamp a done deal. Why don't the Democrats save the convention money, use it to buy votes or something?"

John -- well, they have money for that. John in Bay Shore, New York: "I think these conventions are more important today than ever. It's rare that a presidential candidate gets an opportunity to reach out to so many people at once and know that Americans are actually listening and watching."

And Appio in Coral Springs, Florida writes: "Yawn! Excuse me? What were you saying about political conventions?"

Nice hat that Schneider was wearing up there.

COLLINS: They have one coming for you. Just right out there.

CAFFERTY: Yes. That's -- I wonder -- did he check a mirror, do you think, before...

COLLINS: I'm not sure. I like Bill, though. CAFFERTY: I like Bill a lot; it's the hat I don't care for. Love Bill. Hate the hat.

COLLINS: Just to be clear. All right. Thanks so much Jack.

Still ahead this morning: The hunt for Osama bin Laden. The U.S. has new high-tech weapons to find him. But we'll tell you why it's not all that different from following a trail of breadcrumbs.

Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: That's the FleetCenter outside. It's a beautiful day here in the Northeast. Welcome back everyone.

Our special coverage of the Democratic convention continues live now inside the FleetCenter here in Boston.

I'm Bill Hemmer. Day One today. We'll be here throughout the entire week covering everything that happens on the political circuit today and throughout the week in Boston.

Heidi Collins back in New York. Heidi, good morning to you.

COLLINS: Good morning to you once again, Bill.

Hey, we are following this story that we brought to you just a few seconds ago in case you missed it. This is on US-1 Florida Keys; it's the road to -- through Fiesta Key, Florida.

You're looking at just the trailer of a semi truck. We have since learned -- the last time we brought this to you, you can see it there just hanging by one rear tire, but -- the cab of that tractor- trailer did not go over the side. It is still on that road there.

Again, US-1 to the Florida Keys, so we're going to be watching that, Bill.

Back to you now in Boston.

HEMMER: OK Heidi thanks. Want to see something cool? The stage that is set up this year in Boston is quite dramatic and large, too. Come back behind the platform we're working on here for CNN throughout the week.

The only network to have its own setup, and its own stage right here on the floor of the convention center. What that will give for the viewer at nighttime is this more intimate perspective with the delegates -- thousands will be scattered throughout the floor here on the FleetCenter.

One of the items getting a lot of attention is this giant video screen that you see, America 2004 Democratic convention. Panoramic video screen -- get this, 90 feet long by 17 feet -- that will bring in Democrats from all over the country, enabling them to come here through live remotes and live images all across the country here.

Took six weeks to get this entire stage set up. Kept under wraps pretty much the entire time, until about yesterday, when we started seeing our first look inside here at any given time up to 200 people can be on that platform for the main stage here in Boston.

Now getting inside can be a tall order. It is a maze of security. We are warned about this before we arrived and indeed that is the case.

Trying to get in yesterday, trying to get in today. Everyone is quite cooperative. It works pretty well, but there are more hurdles this year than we have seen at any convention in the past.

That's on the inside. On the outside, you have the issue of high, cutting-edge technology trying to help security officers do their job here in Boston not only today, but to keep things safe throughout the entire week.

Jeanne Meserve is looking into that. Here's Jeanne this morning.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the thicket of security surrounding the parade of protesters in Boston, officers of the Federal Protective Service, some of them getting an assist from new technology.

Hand held computers allow them to access 75 cameras arrayed on federal buildings around the city and, in some circumstances, even control them.

CNN was given exclusive access to the Federal Protective Service command center, which monitors, records, and in most cases pans, tilts, and zooms the cameras to see what and whom it wants.

RON LIBBY, FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE: It will be useful, it will allow us to see, for example, if the crowd is being dispersed, and you had a leader, and he decided to run around the corner here -- we'd be able to see where he went.

MESERVE: The command center can feed these pictures not just to its street officers, but to other law enforcement agencies -- the Department of Homeland Security and to its own mobile command post.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Demonstrators are on the outside of the perimeter.

PAUL CHOCHREK, FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE: This is very new for us, and it's probably the first time that we're rally going to put it through its paces.

MESERVE: In 1995, tapes from surveillance cameras at the Murrah Federal Building were destroyed when the building collapsed. If there were a similar tragedy in Boston now, images and possible clues would be captured elsewhere. Officials dismiss privacy advocates concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're not doing anything wrong, these cameras should be no threat to you. If you're committing a criminal act, then I would probably be concerned because there's a camera watching you.

MESERVE (on camera): There wasn't much criminal activity for the cameras to capture on Sunday; only one protester was arrested. But demonstrations at the FleetCenter aren't the only thing that requires security. There are also events like free concerts like the one held here.

That's why the total tab for security is expected to exceed $50 million. Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Boston.


HEMMER: Jeanne thanks for that. Inside the FleetCenter again here, the countdown continues. Later today the start of that convention prime time you'll see it live here on CNN.

You're also going to see a whole lot of the following two guys throughout the week -- James Carville, Bob Novak, co-hosts of CNN's "CROSSFIRE," with us this morning here.

Gentlemen, good morning to both of you.


HEMMER: Look at this "TIME" poll, James -- take a shot at this. Asked whether or not you know a great deal about the candidate: Kerry has 29 percent; George Bush has 67 percent.

Is that your greatest challenge in the next four days?

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, CNN'S "CROSSFIRE": Well, yes, I think that what John Kerry has got to do is tell people more about him, let people find out more about his life, more about what he wants to do as president and that generally is the case going into a challenger's convention.

That they get a chance to tell their story, and he'll get a chance to tell his story. And I think he'll do a good job, and I'm very excited about it.

HEMMER: Do you think the American people know his story well enough yet, Bob, and do they know his story well enough to say that he could be the next leader of this country?

NOVAK: No, they don't know it. What they're going to be given is, of course, the kind of pre-fab hype that they -- that James gave to Bill Clinton in 1992 very successfully, but Bill was a very engaging character and John Kerry is not.

The question is as they get to know him will they be very friendly to him? I don't know the answer to that. It could be that they're turned off by that hauteur and aristocratic bearing.

CARVILLE: Aristocratic -- oh my goodness hauteur -- I -- I don't know -- we talking -- we sucker punching early.

HEMMER: He mentions, though, it was 1992, the "man from Hope" and that gave Bill Clinton a 16-point bounce coming out of that convention that year.

NOVAK: Yes, I was watching that and I was just nauseated by it because I know -- I knew a lot about Governor Clinton, what kind of person he was and I -- I knew -- I had covered him very closely and he comes out with that phony man from Hope stuff. He was not from Hope; he was from Hot Springs.


But you can sell it to the American people and -- American people can be fooled.

CARVILLE: All right. I don't know what to say. I got -- I mean -- he can attack Kerry -- hauteur -- now Clinton's not from Hope, he's from Hot Springs. This is the kind of -- I think that John Kerry is a very, very intelligent man. He's won his party's nomination easier than anybody's ever won a contested nomination. I think he's going to do a brilliant job this year.

I've never seen Democrats in such a good mood, so united. Sometimes I feel like I'm not at a Democratic convention here. Nobody's whining, nobody's complaining, everybody's upbeat.

HEMMER: What, you think you need a little more of that?

CARVILLE: I don't -- I -- look, I'll take it. I'll never forget 2004, what it felt like to be a Democrat in Boston.

NOVAK: If I could control my emotions as I hear all this garbage I can tell you, Bill, that this is a very -- this party is united only on one issue, and that's they want to get rid of George W. Bush because on -- this party -- these delegates are going to -- sitting back unless -- they're going to be very left-wing -- far to the left of John Kerry.

HEMMER: Thank you guys. Great to see you. Enjoy it later today.

NOVAK: Thank you.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

HEMMER: Convention kicks off at 4:00 Eastern time. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe opens with a call to order.

James and Bob later today back with us. A special edition of "CROSSFIRE" starting at the regular time, 4:30 Eastern from Boston.

Our live coverage later tonight includes former President Bill Clinton's speech beginning at 10:00 Eastern followed by special convention editions of "NEWSNIGHT WITH AARON BROWN" at 11:00, "LARRY KING LIVE," a special edition at midnight tonight.

So, we'll have it all for you. Thank you guys.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

NOVAK: Nice to see you, Bill.

HEMMER: And here's Daryn Kagan now at the CNN Center, watching the rest of the news today.

Daryn, good morning again to you.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And Bill, good morning to you.

We begin the headlines in Indonesia. A small explosion delayed the final vote count in the country's presidential elections. Authorities evacuated the general election commission office shortly before the commission was going to announce the first round winner.

No reports of any major injuries. It seems the election is now headed to a run off.

Saddam Hussein is said to be tending to his garden and writing poetry while waiting to be tried for war crimes and genocide. Iraq's foreign minister tells "The Guardian" newspaper of Britain that the former dictator also snacks on muffins and cookies in the 10 by 12 foot air-conditioned cell.

Here in the U.S., some frightening pictures out of the Florida Keys. Let's update you on the truck trailer that is hanging off US-1, the main road through the Keys.

Several vehicles were apparently involved in an accident that sent the trailer over the guardrail. The cab we should tell you did not go over the side. Traffic, though, is expected to be tied up in the Keys for hours.

And finally, Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9/11" is now the first documentary ever to take in more than $100 million. The movie had a weekend haul of about $5 million, which put it up over the $100 million mark. The previous best domestic performance for a feature length documentary was another movie by Moore, "Bowling For Columbine."

And we'll be talking with Michael Moore coming up in the next hour. He's always interesting.


COLLINS: Still to come this morning, we'll go back to Bill in Boston, plus, "The Cafferty Files." The women of one country say men? Who needs them?

Also ahead, Andy Serwer is back and he's "Minding Your Business." He'll read the tea leaves on Wall Street to predict our new president.

Plus, take it easy when your on vacation, you could be priming yourself for a heart attack.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains coming up on AMERICAN MORNING.


COLLINS: If you're at risk of a heart attack, a new study suggests taking an extra dose of caution when you go on vacation.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now from the CNN Center with details on this. Good morning, Sanjay.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Vacations and heart attacks aren't two things you normally put together, but it turns out people really tend to overdo it on their vacations.

All the good food, all the attractions, they want to ride all the rides, making heart attacks actually the number one cause of vacation related deaths.

Now, there was a poll, a Harris Interactive Poll trying to pinpoint what some of the reasons are for that. Some of them won't surprise you. Take a look at some of the results.

Fifty-three percent of people who sort of go on vacations have vacation excesses -- they get too stressed out trying to catch flights, trying to pack too much in, for example.

Thirty-four percent overeat -- and I'll add overdrink alcohol to that, as well. Fifty-nine percent overexert, meaning that they sometimes will try and keep up with their kids, try and do activities that they probably have no business doing.

So, if you take a look at the vacations and heart attacks, you'll find that people who are at high risk for heart attacks because of family history, previous history of heart attacks, or have high blood pressure or cholesterol, really need to take it easy especially as vacation season rolls around, Heidi.

COLLINS: Wild that you have to remind people to vacation on vacation, huh?

GUPTA: Exactly. I mean, there's a lot of reasons people probably are at risks for these sorts of heart attacks trying to pack too much in is a big one for sure.

COLLINS: All right, what about some of the activities, specifically that could be worse than other activities when you're vacationing?

GUPTA: Yes, you know, they actually broke this down as well, and this is probably a less intuitive in terms of when your highest risk periods are. Take a look at the list. The first couple of days are going to be the worst days, the highest risk days in terms of potentially having a heart attack.

I think that's the stress of finally getting on vacation, packing it all in, getting the trip ready, catching your flight, stuff like that.

Also, road trips -- people are at more risk on road trips than they are on airplane trips and in tent or mobile homes people believe sort of loss of privacy may be a contributing factor there, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, well, give us some pointers then, Sanjay. How do we stay relaxed when we're on vacation? Certain things we should be thinking about and not be thinking about, right?

GUPTA: Yes, I think part of the problem is people tend to go to extremes when they go on vacation. And a lot of people like you and I probably haven't had a vacation in a long time so you try to pack it all in.

A couple of things to keep in mind when you're doing this: don't overexert yourself. You know, the vacation is supposed to be a vacation.

Also, minimize stress and that's also a lot easier to say than to do sometimes but leave padding at the beginning and at the end of your vacation.

And follow a routine. This is really important. Follow a routine in terms of what time you wake up and in terms of taking your medications, all those sorts of things.

Also if you are at high risk you may want to talk to your doctor ahead of time about the area that you're going to and specific or health concerns in that area as well, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta this morning a great reminder. Appreciate it.

GUPTA: Stay healthy. Thanks.

COLLINS: Bill, going to send it back to you in Boston now.

HEMMER: All right Heidi, thanks. Boston, we know, home to the Democratic convention kicking off later today.

Fenway Park is here and lots and lots of doughnuts. What does this mean? Andy explains. He stops by to mind your business in a moment. Back after this.


COLLINS: Welcome back, everybody. Glad you're still...

CAFFERTY: Convention delegates up in Boston enjoying one of that city's favorite foods and it's not what you think -- we're not talking clam chowder -- we're not talking lobsters -- Andy Serwer's here "Minding Your Business." What, pray tell, are they eating?

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: We're not talking baked beans, either.

CAFFERTY: No, right.

SERWER: Or parking your car, all the rest of that stuff up there.

Boston, as it turns out, has a love affair with doughnuts. You may not know this and the facts are staggering. Boston has more than 1,000 doughnut shops. That's one for every 5,750 residents -- eight times the national average.

Factoids: Dunkin' Donuts was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts. They've got other chains there like Honey Dew Donuts -- so all those conventioneers, Jack, are eating healthy, healthy doughnuts day after day after day and if they go home and see their spouses and they weigh about 30 pounds more, blame it on the doughnuts.

CAFFERTY: If that's the worst thing that happens to them is they overeat on doughnuts, then all the spouses will be very happy, I'm sure.


CAFFERTY: The stock market may in fact have already told us the outcome of the election, huh?

SERWER: Yes, here's a little quiz for you. What do Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush have in common?

Well, all of the above -- excluding the current president -- were one-term presidents, and all of them had the stock market decline during their first term.

So, in other words, W. joins the company with those other guys, the stock market declined during their first terms. They were all one-term presidents.

Now, if you want to bet the ranch on this happening with W., you're probably making a big mistake because, you know, looking in the rearview mirror like that doesn't make sense.

But it does speak to the point that the economy is not so strong nationwide. That was very interesting what Bill Schneider had showing the economy weak in places like Ohio and John Kerry doing well. The economy strong in places like Florida, showing the president doing better.

So, I think that's really interesting stuff. And the market's down 19 percent since the president was inaugurated. So, that's pretty significant. Exactly.

CAFFERTY: Thanks, Andy. SERWER: You're welcome.

CAFFERTY: Time to head over to the file. A lot of my colleagues in the news media are world-class whiners. And sometimes it's even valid.

The long security lines at the Democratic National Convention in Boston are necessary. There's one there. The long lines at the potties are not.

There are 20 restrooms for 1,200 reporters.

SERWER: They're torturing them.

CAFFERTY: That comes out to about 60 journalists per toilet. Now reporters drink a lot of coffee. Actually, reporters drink a lot of almost anything. Potty lines and deadlines. After a week, it could get ugly.

We'll count on Hemmer for a closer look at this developing problem as the week goes on.

Men, who needs them? According to a survey in Germany, men are irrelevant, unnecessary. Get -- don't have to have them around the house. Eighty percent -- eight-zero -- of single German women perfectly happy without a man in their lives.

Thirty-six percent of these ladies say that staying single is more fun. Almost half of them say their homes are cleaner and a lot of them say they don't have to endure watching sports on television.

SERWER: What do they watch?

CAFFERTY: I don't know. The cooking shows. QVC. In my house they watch QVC, HSN and whatever the third one is. That's all that's on.

SERWER: That's not better than sports, necessarily.

CAFFERTY: Every day they deliver stuff to my house and once a month the credit card bill comes. Last week the -- this is serious stuff -- last week the 9/11 Commission issued its report along with a list of recommendations for fighting terrorism. Congress promptly went on vacation for a month.

But not before they said we can't do anything about this till next year. We're much too busy. This is right before they left town for a month. We're much too busy. Legislative agenda all filled up. Too busy with things like debating a constitutional amendment for gay marriage.

So, we've decided here on "The Cafferty File" to see how long it takes for them to get around to doing something. Periodically we're going to look at this little chart. Number of days since the Commission report came out? Five.

Number of recommendations adopted by Congress? None. And we're going to keep track until they get off their cans and do something.

And if you're interested in helping them, you should call your senator and representative and suggest they maybe go back to work because the nation is at war and we've got this terrorism situation going on. If you're interested. That's all I have to say.

Bill, are you up there?

SERWER: He's in line.

HEMMER: I'm here; what's up?

SERWER: He's in line probably.

CAFFERTY: Yes, Bill's live on the Porta-Pottie line.

SERWER: Don't go to the next shot. We don't want to see where he is right now.

HEMMER: I took care of that earlier.

SERWER: Thank you for sharing.

HEMMER: It is a three-hour show. Thank you everybody.

Back here in Boston, more from the convention as we continue our coverage here on Day One including a conversation -- Donna Brazile is with us in a moment.

Jeff Greenfield is here, and more with Michael Moore. His film over the weekend crossed the $100 million mark. Back in a moment.

A whole lot to talk about in the next hour as our coverage continues after this.



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