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AMERICAN MORNING

"Gimmie a Minute"; Fla. Election Workers Working Hard To Prevent an Election 2000 Repeat; Eyelifts Are All the Rage; "Minding Your Business"

Aired October 29, 2004 - 08:30   ET

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


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. 8:30 here in New York. Welcome to Friday.
In a moment here, four years later, the nation still watching Florida, waiting to see what's being done there now to make sure the voting problems of four years ago are not repeated this year. In a few moments, we'll talk to one of the county election supervisors now on the job to see how things are going so far.

They're talking about millions already casting ballots down in Florida.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also this morning, we're going to look at a plastic surgery procedure that's really taking off. It's not quite as drastic as facelift, but it's just enough to get that tired look out of your eyes. We will see for ourselves when Bill Hemmer undergoes that very procedure -- I'm kidding about that! But we're going to talk about that just ahead.

HEMMER: (INAUDIBLE) 4:00 in the morning, couldn't we? Some days you need it.

O'BRIEN: Yeah.

Top stories now first, though. Let's go right to Heidi Collins at the newsdesk. Hello. Good morning, again.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, again, you guys. And good morning to you, everyone.

On the campaign trail now, President Bush is set to leave for New Hampshire in just about a half hour. The president will rally with supporters in Manchester. He'll be joined by Boston Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling.

Senator John Kerry in Florida this morning. There is word Bruce Springsteen has volunteered to join Kerry for a second day on the trail.

New numbers this half hour on the state of the economy. Third quarter growth numbers came out just moments ago show a 3.7 percent increase. That is compared with 3.3 percent in the last quarter. So, what does this mean for your pocketbook? Well, Andy Serwer will talking about that, "Minding Your Business" in a few minutes. Jurors in the Scott Peterson first degree murder trial may be able to consider a lesser charge now. The judge will decide today if the jury is given instructions for a second degree murder. Experts say the defense will argue against that option. Closing arguments in the double murder trial will begin on Monday.

And you're going to get an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning, in case you didn't know. Daylight Savings Time will end early Sunday at 2:00 a.m., and that is when clocks are set back one hour. Just in case you're wondering, Ben Franklin first thought of Daylight Savings Time in 1784, and we worship that man because of it.

HEMMER: Amen! Here's to Ben!

O'BRIEN: It doesn't mean...

COLLINS: Why not on a weekday when we could really benefit from it, right?

O'BRIEN: It doesn't mean your kids aren't going to get up, which means you're still going to get up early.

COLLINS: Thanks for reminding me.

O'BRIEN: I know. Exactly. Thanks, Heidi.

Well, every Friday at this time, we turn to our "Gimmie a Minute" panel for their take on three of the week's big stories. In New York this morning, we're talking with Mark Simone of WABC Radio. Nice to see you.

MARK SIMONE, WABC RADIO: Good to see you.

O'BRIEN: Also, Air America radio host Sam Seder is joining us, as well. Hello.

SAM SEDER, AIR AMERICA: Nice to be here.

O'BRIEN: And -- thank you. And in Detroit, Andy Borowitz is the chief cook and bottle washer and owner of borowitzreport.com. Nice to see you guys.

Let's get right into it. Mark, we're going to begin with you. Let me throw out the names of some celebrities -- Bill Clinton, Bruce Springsteen, Caroline Kennedy, Rudy Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Franks. Do these celebrity endorsements help really?

SIMONE: Well, I don't know. You know, why be guided by General Tommy Franks and Rudy Giuliani when you can listen to a real genius like Bruce Springsteen? If I wanted to know what kind of guitar pick to use, I would want Bruce's opinion. But foreign policy, steel tariffs, I really don't want his thinking on it.

O'BRIEN: Sam, I left off Curt Schilling, who made it very clear where he threw his support. What do you think about these? SEDER: Well, I mean, you got John Kerry being introduced by Bill Clinton, which I think obviously helps John Kerry, because it reminds most Americans of how much happier they were four years ago. And then you got people like Dennis Miller introducing George Bush who I think only reminds people of how much funnier Dennis Miller was about 14 years ago.

O'BRIEN: Andy Borowitz, who are you throwing your support to? Where are you giving your celebrity endorsement this election?

ANDY BOROWITZ, BOROWITZREPORT.COM: You know, I'm undecided. I'm still waiting to see who Duran Duran is for.

O'BRIEN: All right. Let's turn to a very serious topic. Sam, we're going to let you start this one -- the missing explosives in Iraq. First, it looked like they were missing at a certain time. Then, it seemed as if no -- actually nobody knew exactly when they were missing. Now a new videotape that's giving better indications about when maybe they went missing. Still all very murky and unclear.

You think the story's going to stick for a while, Sam?

SEDER: Yeah, I do actually. I don't think it's that unclear. The video that actually played on CNN last night shows definitively that the weapons were there under seal after the war. And I think the last thing that the Bush administration wanted in its final days of the campaign was to become synonymous with Qaqaa.

O'BRIEN: Mark, let's lead right into that.

SIMONE: Well, I think what they need to do is to put it into perspective. We captured 400,000 tons of weapons. So, if 380 are missing, that's less than one-tenth of one percent. So, in other words, they got 99.9 percent of the weapons. It's a pretty good track record.

O'BRIEN: Little bit of fuzzy math, there, if I may. Andy Borowitz, what do you think?

BOROWITZ: Well, President Bush is furious about this because the looting of Iraq was supposed to be handled by Halliburton.

O'BRIEN: All right. We're going to move on right from there. Mark, you're going to start this one. Let's talk about Bill O'Reilly and the sexual harassment suit that he faced from his producer, Andrea Mackris. Suddenly, guess what, it's all settled. Never happened. But millions of dollars have changed hands. Clarify all this for me, please.

SIMONE: Well, I am so glad this is over, because if we had a contest for topics I'm the least interested in, Bill O'Reilly's sex top would always make the top five. She says he did nothing wrong, he says she did nothing wrong. It was apparently just a telephone malfunction.

O'BRIEN: Apparently so. And yet, I remember something, Sam, about a loofah, something, something?

SEDER: Yeah, I mean, I'm not one of those people who actually think it's going to hurt his ratings. It only depends on whether or not FOX viewers are willing to hear their news from a philanderer who has a really dirty, nasty potty mouth.

O'BRIEN: Andy?

BOROWITZ: You know, I think the scandal is bad for O'Reilly but really great for the loofah industry. It really is.

O'BRIEN: Then let's finally talk about the undercover stories of the week. Sam, I'll let you take the first stab at this. What did we miss?

SEDER: Well, actually Mark and I were talking about this on the way in. I think the real story is that -- and I think you probably know it and most news people know it -- it's what the professional pollsters say. There is absolutely no way that George Bush can win this election, because his numbers haven't gone over 48. And there is no way a presidential incumbent can ever win with those numbers. It's over. John Kerry is all but won.

O'BRIEN: What are you talking about? That's not what the professionals have been saying. I haven't heard that quoted on our air. Sam, let me...

SEDER: No, no. You cannot find a professional pollster in this country who will tell you that the incumbent president can win when he is polling an average of 48 points. He's not at 50. This is over.

O'BRIEN: ... Bush's number was at 51 percent...

SEDER: This is what I'm talking about.

O'BRIEN: ... and we will see. Plus, you have all these voters who are newly registered, and that throws lots of this into contention. But before we do more on that, I'll get Mark to answer some of that -- Mark?

SIMONE: You want me to answer that, or do the...

O'BRIEN: You know, either one.

SIMONE: Well, I think we all have fuzzy math. It's early in the morning. You can't help it at this time in the morning. But I thought the great story this week was Kerry and the Boston Red Sox. He's campaigning all day long with a Red Sox hat on. And it turns out he said he was at the famous game six of the 1986 series. Turns out he lied about that. He was in another city at the time.

And he was asked this week who his favorite Red Sox player of all time was. He said Eddie Yost. Turns out he never played for the Red Sox. So, I've formed a new group called "Season Ticket Holders For Truth," and we're going to fight this. O'BRIEN: You're going to start running ads soon, right? We're going to give Andy Borowitz the final word this morning. Andy, what do you think we missed this morning?

BOROWITZ: Well, Soledad, get ready for an October surprise. On Election Eve, President Bush will announce that the U.S. has captured Cat Stevens.

O'BRIEN: Officially, that would be a November surprise.

BOROWITZ: That's true. I lied, too!

O'BRIEN: That's OK. We forgive you. Mark Simone, Sam Seder, and Andy Borowitz joining us this morning. Thanks, you guys.

SIMONE: Thanks.

SEDER: Thank you.

BOROWITZ: Thanks, Soledad.

HEMMER: All right, 23 minutes now before the hour. Election workers in the swing state of Florida working hard to prevent a repeat of four years ago. Kurt Browning, supervisor of elections in Pasco County, right along the area of Tampa/St. Pete. And he's in Tampa today.

Kurt, good morning to you. What to know how are things going so far in your county with this early voting?

KURT BROWNING, ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR, PASCO CO., FLA.: Things are going very well. As a matter of fact, being the first year out, we've just seen record numbers. We're pushing -- we have already had 20,000 people vote in Pasco County alone.

HEMMER: Well, what do you say to those who say these electronic voting machines don't give a paper trail and, therefore, in the event of a recount, it will not be considered legitimate by many. Your response to that is what?

BROWNING: We've known all along that these systems provide the paper backup. There was a federal court that ruled last week in south Florida that there is sufficient paper backup on touchscreen voting systems that allow us to do a manual recount if ordered to do so.

HEMMER: So, the issue is dead in your mind?

BROWNING: Well, it's always never dead, but certainly it's one of those things that it kind of puts it at rest for this election.

HEMMER: Talk about the election oversight. You're going to get about a thousand, many more come out of Washington, D.C. A lot of people monitoring different polling stations.

What is the impact in Florida, do you believe, given the hangover of 2000? BROWNING: Well,certainly Florida's being watched. And we've heard about all the folks that are going to be at our polling places on Tuesday observing from both political parties. And we've tried to prepare our poll workers as best we can to deal with the challenges. So, we'll deal with it...

HEMMER: We really don't know until Tuesday, then, do we?

BROWNING: That's correct. That's absolutely correct.

HEMMER: There's another option here that if you continue to serve in the current office that you have down there, you're going to push for a super polling place. Explain that to our viewers what you mean by that.

BROWNING: Well, I think super polling place concept is one where you would take -- where we have 152 precincts and you collapse them into, let's say, 30 sites. With technology that's there today, you would allow voters to go to any of the sites within Pasco County and cast a ballot.

It just eliminates some ADA concerns with disability access to polling places. Less equipment would need to be used. Poll worker numbers would be able to come down. And I think the training would be able to be better served.

HEMMER: Ultimately, how does that help in the final tally in making sure people get to vote in a better way?

BROWNING: Well, I'm not sure that it helps in that regard other than just the -- having to deal with smaller numbers. It's so much easier to deal with that. And as Florida grows, we just tend to get larger and larger at our polling places. And I think there is more room for error. By having smaller -- fewer polling places, I believe you're able to control that environment a little more closely.

HEMMER: Interesting. So, what do you think is going to happen Tuesday?

BROWNING: Oh, man.

HEMMER: Come on! You follow this stuff a lot!

BROWNING: All I've said is that I pray every Election Day I don't care who wins, just let them win big. And we've worked hard, and we're going to have a good election in Florida on Tuesday.

HEMMER: All right. Good luck to you. Kurt Browning, thanks.

BROWNING: ... thank you.

HEMMER: You got it -- Pasco County in Florida.

Trust CNN -- our Election Night coverage starts at 7:00 Eastern time. We're live in Times Square, Nasdaq marketing site there. We'll have it all for you, 7:00 Eastern Tuesday night here -- Soledad? O'BRIEN: Let's look at the weather. Rob Marciano in for Chad Myers at the CNN Center for us -- easy for me to say. Hey, Rob. Good morning, again.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HEMMER: Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show," poking some fun last night, Campaign 2004. This time, Senator Kerry was in the crosshairs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": The senator had words for the vice president, as well.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Vice president Cheney, who is become being the chief minister of disinformation...

STEWART: That is a nice Orwell reference, my friend. That should definitely push a view Oberlin British Lit. professors off the fence. You hit him with a little Huxley and, boom, Ohio is yours.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEMMER: What are these guys going to do after this election?

O'BRIEN: What are they going to talk about? That's so funny.

HEMMER: Jon Stewart from last night.

Break here. In a moment, Steven Spielberg -- we saw him and the crew on Wall Street yesterday. Were investors buying what he was selling? Andy has answer in a moment on that.

O'BRIEN: Plus, a popular alternative to a facelift is bringing in the dough, but is it encouraging too many people to undergo cosmetic surgery too early? That's ahead AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Sanjay is off today. In this morning's medical segment, though, the eyes have it. Cosmetic eyelifts are all the rage, believe it or not, these days.

Elizabeth Cohen joins us from the CNN Center with more on this procedure. Hey, Elizabeth, good morning.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad.

Soledad, eyelifts, as you said, have become all the rage for men and for women. People are hoping to get a lot of mileage out of just a little lift.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Forty-five-year-old Laura Coco wasn't quite ready for a facelift, but she was ready for an eyelift.

LAURA COCO, PATIENT: I felt it was time. I was getting to a point where'd I'd look in the mirror and I'm like I look tired, even though I wasn't.

DR. Z. PAUL LORENC, PLASTIC SURGEON: Open your eyes. Look at your nose.

COHEN: Tightening up sagging skin above and below the eyes is now one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries. Eyelifts are being marketed as a pick-me-up for body and soul that's less invasive than doing the whole face.

LORENC: I think the eyes are the window of the soul. And it's true, (AUDIO GAP). When you meet someone, when you shake their hand, you look at their eyes.

COHEN: In addition to the eyelift, Laura plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Lorenc, did laser resurfacing under her eyes to help get rid of wrinkles. The procedures took an hour-and-a-half in Dr. Lorenc's office. And then, Laura spent another hour in the office recovering, and then she went home. She visited the doctor four days later.

LORENC: You're still a little swollen...

COHEN: Right.

LORENC: ... which is normal on day four.

COHEN: The pink under her eyes is from the laser. Some wonder why are people in their 40s, or even younger, having plastic surgery?

LYNNE LUCIANO, SOCIAL HISTORIAN: And if we're targeting people to start worrying in their 20s about their faces and their frown lines, where is this going to go in 10 or 20 years? Where does it stop?

COHEN: Laura doesn't know when her plastic surgery will stop and says she's considering other procedures for the future.

COCO: I'm not looking to change myself, just take a few years off.

COHEN: And she hopes that a bit of scalpel work around her eyes was a step in that direction.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(on camera): It takes about six weeks to recover from an eyelift. We're told that Laura has fully recovered and looking good -- Soledad?

O'BRIEN: What are the risks? I mean, you have to start wondering. If you start getting little bits of plastic surgery when you're in your mid 40s, by the time you're 70 or even 80, what's your face look like? COHEN: Well, it depends on how much you have done. But that really is a concern that people start young and they do a little thing here, a little thing there. And 30 years later, there's nothing natural left of them. And that's a relatively new phenomenon.

People used to just go in once, and now they're doing little bits at a time. And people often forget about the risks of plastic surgery. They think, oh, it's not a big deal, but there are serious risks. You can have an infection. There can be bruising under the skin called a hematoma. And also, the laser that we saw, if it's done properly, if it's done too deep, there could be burning.

So, overall, the risks are pretty small, but they are there.

O'BRIEN: What did it cost, Elizabeth, before I let you go?

COHEN: These procedures cost somewhere in $2,000, $3,000 range -- somewhere in there. It varies depending upon which surgeon you're going to.

O'BRIEN: Looked a little painful. Elizabeth Cohen for us this morning. Thanks, Elizabeth. Appreciate it.

If you want to improve your overall health, you might want to join Dr. Sanjay Gupta in this year's "New You Resolution." We're going to focus on breaking bad health habits. If you'd like to be part of CNN's "New You Revolution," go to cnn.com/am. We're looking for men, women, families, singles -- anybody, really, who is ready to step up to the challenge.

And you can watch AMERICAN MORNING during November to see just who is going to be selected for the eight-week get-fit journey with Sanjay. The series is going to air every Tuesday beginning in January.

O'BRIEN: Still to come this morning, why your name could be worth 50 bucks if you're heading to Vegas anytime soon. "The Cafferty File" is coming up just ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: All right, welcome back.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: New economic numbers just out. And a big day for DreamWorks, another IPO into the stratosphere.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: They're coming back. The ogre hit -- the ogre hit Wall Street yesterday. It was a good thing.

CAFFERTY: Andy Serwer.

SERWER: Let's talk a little bit -- thank you, Jack. Let's talk a little bit about the new GDP numbers that came out. That's how fast did the economy grow in the third quarter.

Good news/bad news here. The good news is the number was 3.7 percent. That's higher than the second quarter, which is 3.3 percent. The bad news is economists were looking for 4.3 percent. Now, how are the presidential campaigns going to read this? You can predict it. The president is going to say the economy is growing. Senator Kerry is going to say it's not growing fast enough. I don't really think anyone's going to make a lot of hay out of this.

This is the last big economic number before the election four days from now. Only two trading days until the election.

Let's talk about what happened on the Street yesterday. Market up a couple points -- the Dow, that is. You can see here to 10,004. That's Bush country, according to Wall Street. Above 10,000 means the president gets elected. However, as Bill Hemmer and I were discussing before the program, that's probably within the margin of error.

HEMMER: Too close to call.

SERWER: Too close to call.

CAFFERTY: Plus, we've got two days to go, today and Monday, right?

SERWER: That's right. And nobody knows.

CAFFERTY: Something we don't know yet.

SERWER: Let's talk a little bit about those IPOs. Yesterday a great day...

CAFFERTY: How come you can't get us like shares of this stuff before they come out so we can all make -- I mean, you've got connections.

SERWER: We'd get thrown in jail.

CAFFERTY: Well, you'd get thrown in jail. The rest of us would get rich. You'd get...

SERWER: Here we go. There's Mr. Katzenberg. And who else is up there?

O'BRIEN: Spielberg.

SERWER: Spielberg, yes. Oh, Geffen. They're all up -- SKG -- DreamWorks SKG. Came out at $28, up $10 to $38. Good news for the ogre. IPOs are coming back. And Jack, did you check out what's going on with Google yesterday, because I know...

CAFFERTY: It was up $7 and change to $193 and change.

SERWER: And 30 cents.

CAFFERTY: Was I right -- $193.30, right?

SERWER: Yes. It kind of reminds me of the Patriots, doesn't it, the way they just -- it just keeps on going this fall? CAFFERTY: That's right, the Patriots and Google.

SERWER: They keep on going.

(CROSSTALK)

CAFFERTY: Thanks, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome.

CAFFERTY: On to the "File." Stress leads to memory loss according to a study by Yale Medical School, which explains why since I started working here I can't remember much of anything. I'm just kidding. I love it here.

Stress causes the release of an enzyme that can cause you to forget people's names or where you left your car keys or any one of a number of other things. Scientists say the effect has evolved over generations as a part of the fight or flight response to stressful situations. During those times, you don't care about remembering anything except how to make your feet do their deal.

Looking for something extra the next time you book a hotel room? The Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, Florida, offering a special $50-a- night rate for people named Chad in honor of the presidential election debacle in 2000.

Not exotic enough for you, try this: The Drake Hotel in Toronto features sex toys on its room service menu. Sex toys, massage oils, velvet restraints, and how-to videos can be purchased as easily as a pack of M&M's from the mini bar.

Why are you laughing?

O'BRIEN: Velvet restraints?

CAFFERTY: Well...

SERWER: What does that mean?

O'BRIEN: What does that mean exactly?

CAFFERTY: That's how you got those twins, remember?

O'BRIEN: No velvet restraints!

CAFFERTY: But the best one may be the...

O'BRIEN: Oh, God!

CAFFERTY: The cherry -- the best one may be the Cherry Valley Lodge near Columbus, Ohio, where you will find a menopause escape. This is true! This is complete with a fan, a cooling pillow, 30- minute massages, a bottle of wine, and a Bite-Me candy bar made from flaxseed to soothe, quote, "change-of-life symptoms."

SERWER: Too much thinking going on there.

CAFFERTY: I'm going to get into the travel agency business, because it's more interesting than it used to be.

We got two pictures to show you, just because they're good pictures. First one's a polar bear out in the San Diego Zoo doing a little Halloween celebrating. His name's Kalluk, and he weighs 735 pounds. Got him a jack-o'-lantern, and he's chillin'.

And the other one is if you see this coming up your street on Halloween, bolt the door!

SERWER: Yeah!

CAFFERTY: You know who that is?

O'BRIEN: Who is this, Jack?

SERWER: Bar the door!

O'BRIEN: Who is it?

CAFFERTY: That would be that fellow right there.

O'BRIEN: Can we do a side-by-side.

HEMMER: Did my own makeup.

CAFFERTY: I got to tell you, that's...

SERWER: That's really you, Bill? That's really you.

CAFFERTY: Was it the "Batman" movie? You look a little bit like the Joker.

HEMMER: A little bit.

SERWER: And the guitar, too.

CAFFERTY: What are you going to be this year?

HEMMER: I'm jammed for an answer actually.

CAFFERTY: Look at this. That's...

HEMMER: Well, do you like it or not?

CAFFERTY: No, I think it's great. Absolutely.

SERWER: We love it. We do.

O'BRIEN: It's good. Talented.

HEMMER: I had these shoes that were three feet long. So funny. We walked in the parade down there in Greenwich Village. A million people. CAFFERTY: You're really into Halloween...

O'BRIEN: He loves Halloween.

SERWER: I can't believe it.

HEMMER: Thank you, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Thanks for letting us show it.

HEMMER: Sure.

O'BRIEN: Yeah, that's cute.

Still to come this morning, there is nothing but confidence from President Bush on the campaign trail. But behind the scenes, some signs of worry maybe. Our live report on that ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Bruce Springsteen helping John Kerry draw tens of thousands in Wisconsin. So, now the Boss is going to Florida.

George Bush gets help from a World Series star. Curt Schilling trying to help deliver a swing state in New England.

Yasser Arafat arrives in France by helicopter and stretcher for badly needed medical treatment.

And everything is back to normal now for FOX anchor Bill O'Reilly. Both sides in his harassment suit now say there was no wrongdoing on this AMERICAN MORNING.

ANNOUNCER: From the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is AMERICAN MORNING with Soledad O'Brien and Bill Hemmer.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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