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CNN NEWSROOM

Campaigning Before the Caucuses; Pakistan Has Another Bhutto;

Aired December 30, 2007 - 16:00   ET

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


ISHA SESAY,CNN, ANCHOR: Straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, from Iowa to New Hampshire, candidates are on the stump. Just four days now until the crucial first caucuses, we're live on the campaign trail. Also...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

My mother always said democracy is the best revenge.

SESAY: Pakistan pins their hopes of democracy on a teenager. While some startling new video raises even more questions about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Hello, everyone. I'm Isha Sesay in for Fredricka Whitfield. We'll get to that in just a moment.

Four days left until the Iowa caucuses, nine days left until the New Hampshire primaries and no odds-on favorite in either party in either state. The presidential candidates are completing a very busy weekend indeed. They're trying to line up last-minute support before the first two major contests of the 2008 campaign. Well, the stakes are high and the margins are closed. Some of the rhetoric is getting personal and pointed. The best political team on television is out in full force. We have reports coming up from Suzanne Malveaux and Dana Bash in Iowa and Jim Acosta in New Hampshire.

Well, the Iowa caucuses come first so let's start there. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is covering the democrats in Iowa with CNN's election express. She's on the phone from Newton. And Suzanne, I know you've been following the Barack Obama campaign. What is the strategy there as the clock ticks down?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX (on the phone): Well, hi, Isah. They're really trying to hit as many events as possible, at least for today and we have heard from Senator Obama, really an aggressive, sometimes punch through, and even using some humor to deliver a very simple message, a message with a simple case.

The strategy is all about proving to voters that he is electable here. He is distinguishing himself from the two leading opponents. He makes the case that Senator Clinton's negatives are too high nationally and then he also makes the case that Senator Edwards is not electable either because for someone whose running for change, that he believes he's not tough enough or hasn't been in the past on fighting special interests. So they are really pushing for the idea that Obama has the judgment. It's not about longevity but judgment that really counts.

I spoke to some Obama aides yesterday who say that Friday, this is really about getting out the voters on caucus night. So Friday they had a state wide conference call to organize their precinct heads. They mobilized their 37 campaign offices. They're calling voters, going door to door visits. And interestingly enough, while the campaign folks on Clinton's side, as they have, they told me that they've purchased some 600 snow shovels in the case of bad, snowy icy weather to dig out some of the people who support her. That is the elderly women, a lot of elderly women.

The Obama folks say they are now providing babysitting services about 90 minutes or so for folks to get out there and that reflects the people who really support him. They got a stronger showing when it comes to people under 45 years old of age and men in particular. So you can see how they're actually working to get those folks out on caucus night.

SESAY: And Suzanne, shovels, baby sitters, I read somewhere that the Clinton campaign will even be sending trays of sandwiches. I mean, have you ever seen the get out to vote campaign so intense?

MALVEAUX: It really is extraordinary. And they don't think any bones about it. I mean, they're pretty forthcoming about. I spoke with Clinton aides as well who say yes, we've got a decoration committee, we have a food committee. We will be providing rides for people that evening. I mean, it really is all about head count, getting folks out there to line up and to show the kind of support that they have for their candidate.

And interestingly enough, we heard some real poignant messages coming from Obama today just following him from place to place. There are overflowing crowds and he's made this message of hope, this idea of hope, the central part of his campaign. We're starting to hear details how he defines hope. He's talking about Americans doing what they never thought was possible. He brings up the notion of abolishing slavery at the civil rights marches at Montgomery and Selma. But he also says, and I'm going to quote here because I thought it was so interesting. He says "when you are a black guy running for president named Barack Obama, you got to have hope." And the audience just burst out in laughter. It really seemed like they got it, they got the message here, that this is someone who is taking a chance and he's trying to convince them that he's worth it.

SESAY: Very interesting stuff. Suzanne Malveaux, many thanks for joining us. Well, coming up in out next hour, senior political correspondent Candy Crowley's one and one interview with democrat John Edwards.

On the republican side, it's getting increasingly testy between the parties two Iowa frontrunners Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. With that part of the story, from Des Moines, CNN's Dana Bash. Dana, always good to see you. You know, as we are saying, things really taking a turn, I don't want to say for the worst but certainly intensified between Huckabee and Romney. What's being said?

DANA BASH, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: You're right, testy is a very good word to describe what's going on with the two men vying for the number one spot in these caucuses in just four days but it's interesting, Isha, if you watch what Mitt Romney is doing, and he is really trying to hit pretty much all parts of the state of Iowa over this weekend and tomorrow he's going from stop to stop and you don't hear what he's really doing behind the scenes on the stump. He's trying instead to have kind of a positive closing argument, if you will. Listen to what he said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No one votes for yesterday. We vote for tomorrow. And elections are about the future and the country faces extraordinary challenges right now and you know them from radical jihad to overwhelming energy challenges to competition for good jobs, health care alluding a lot of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: There you hear Mitt Romney kind of speaking in platitude, talking about optimism. That is how he's trying to close this as he heads towards the caucuses. But behind the scenes or even if you turn on the television, a very different message from Mitt Romney. He is really going after Mike Huckabee. His latest ad goes after him on issues like immigration, on taxes, on spending, on crime. And that has really rubbed Mike Huckabee the wrong to say the least. He's certainly been taking this kind of criticism for the last couple of weeks as Huckabee has been doing better. But in the last 24 hours to 36 hours, Mike Huckabee has really tried to counterattack in a way that we haven't seen him before. Listen to what Mike Huckabee said this morning about Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am a pro lifer and a pro second amendment guy. And I think my record of consistency on those issues that matter to conservatives and republicans in this state and around the nation is far stronger than Mr. Romney's. That's why he's trying to dodge his own record. Not only with me but with Senator McCain as well.

BASH: Now, I am a pro lifer, I am a second amendment guy. That is not so subtle dig at Mitt Romney who of course has changed his position on the issue of abortion. He got into a little bit of trouble last week by saying he was endorsed by the NRA but he wasn't. That is kind of the theme that you see Mike Huckabee going after Mitt Romney on in these closing days and it is going to be very interesting to tell if it works for him. As we speak, we are told that Mike Huckabee is cutting his own new ads perhaps to go after Mitt Romney. So, whether or not the Iowa voters, the republicans who really have been drawn to Mike Huckabee because they think he's authentic and because they think he's running a positive campaign, whether or not they are going to sort of turn on Mike Huckabee a little bit or whether or not they're going to say, you know what, he's standing up for himself, that's a good thing. That is going to be the interesting thing to watch in the next few days. Isha.

BASH: We shall be watching closely. Dana Bash in Des Moines, Iowa. Many thanks. Well, after the last-minute campaigning, it will be the people's turn. CNN's special coverage of the Iowa caucuses begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday night. It's an unpredictable election year so you don't want to miss a minute of coverage from the CNN election center. The Iowa caucuses Thursday night beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Well, five days after the Iowa caucuses, the first primary of the season comes up in New Hampshire. Two of the top republican contenders are campaigning in the granite state. Our Jim Acosta is there too and he joins us live from Breton Woods, New Hampshire. And Jim, how is it playing out where you are?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rudy Giuliani will be here in a few moments and his campaign has long shrugged off the individual state poll numbers that have come out throughout this campaign, pointing instead to his impressive showing in national polls. But now polls are starting to matter in states like New Hampshire and Iowa. And in New Hampshire, Giuliani had been doing quite well, finishing a strong second in some polls. Apparently, that may not be the case anymore and if he is concerned about that, he is certainly not showing it.

Earlier today, we caught up with the former mayor of New York City and we asked him, Mr. Mayor, are you concerned about how your campaign is doing here in New Hampshire? And he said no, we had a good turnout here today and that was about it. He was off to his next stop. But a new American research group poll shows Giuliani finishing far behind the two front-runners here, Mitt Romney and John McCain. Both of those two candidates tied at 30%. Giuliani is now showing a distant fourth at this point, behind Fred Thompson who hasn't spent much time campaigning here lately. However, Giuliani is staying on message consistently, telling a town hall meeting earlier today that his legacy defined by his handling of 9/11 shows that he is the right commander in chief at this moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIATE: I had the safety and security of millions of people on my shoulders for quite sometime and have had good results in making things safer, more secure. Something I know about, something I've done before. I've dealt with crisis. I've dealt with problems and I've gotten results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Now, Giuliani's slide may be tagged to the increasingly better performance by Arizona Senator John McCain who picked up the endorsements of "The Concord Monitor" yesterday, picked up another endorsement in another newspaper today, making for a total of, according to one newspaper, of some 26 different endorsements across New England. Isha.

SESAY: Jim Acosta there in Breton Woods, New Hampshire. Many thanks.

Now, this startling new video today showing the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNSHOTS ARE HEARD)

SESAY: Does this video prove Bhutto was killed by an assassin's bullet? We'll take you live to Karachi to dig for some answers. That's next in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: We have dramatic new video to show you of Benazir Bhutto's assassination. You hear shots ring out, then an explosion. For the first time, you can see the opposition leader as she ducks back into her car amid the gunfire. Take a look.

(GUNSHOTS)

Here it is in slow motion with Bhutto highlighted. You can see that on your screen. Here she is reacting to the gunfire. There were other major developments out of Pakistan today, also one involving Bhutto's teenage son. So, let's get right to it and go live to Karachi and CNN's Zane Verjee is there for us. And Zain, these new pictures that are emerging today, going some way to contradict the government's version of how Bhutto died.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: The opposition parties here and her supporters are definitely going to seize on it and say yes, this contradicts the government's version that she died from a fractured skull. But this video is dramatic, it's new and we've just obtained it. Benazir Bhutto's last moments and we've been seeing pictures from all different angles. And this is the newest one. I want us to take another closer look at it and just walk through it. We see her standing in her We car. Then we hear three gunshots ring out. We don't actually see the gunman in this new latest video. Her head scarf, that's called a dupatta, flops up on the left side of her head, as she slumps forward and slides into the car. We've been trying to contact the Bhutto camp to see what reaction they have. So far they have not commented on this, but certainly, Isha, this is going to continue to stir up a huge amount of controversy in this country. But I would also add that this video, as compelling and controversial as it may be, does not necessarily offer definitive proof that she was killed by a bullet wound. Isha.

SESAY: Good point to bring out there, Zain. And Zain, on this Sunday, Benazir Bhutto's son, her 19-year-old son, has been named as her successor. Is this a surprising move to people there on the ground?

VERJEE: No, it wasn't a big surprise. Everyone was anticipating it. What was a little bit of a surprised in the way it happened. What happened was is that her will was read out to the party leadership and in the will, she said she wants her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, to take over for her. After the will was read out, he then said I want to transfer the party chairmanship to my son, Bilawal, and the party gave it the stamp of approval and they endorsed it. In the will, Benazir Bhutto, we understand, also said that when her son comes to power that she wants him to finish school first. He is only 19 years old. He's studying political science. It's his first term at Oxford University. He's young. He's inexperienced and he definitely doesn't know the ropes and has to navigate a very turbulent terrain here in Pakistan. So his father is actually going to run things along with the other party officials. Isha.

SESAY: Zain Verjee there in Karachi, Pakistan. Many thanks.

Well, Benazir Bhutto's former advisor, upset with the U.S. government for not doing more to prevent Bhutto's assassination. He'll tell us why and give us his opinion of that new video we've just shown you from the scene of the attack. All of that coming up in the next hour in the NEWSROOM.

Under the streets of New York, snakes and massive network of ageing steam pipes. After a fatal explosion a few months back, many worry the system is a ticking time bomb. NEWSROOM goes underground to investigate next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Arizona police have identified a suspect in last night's shooting spree in a Phoenix neighborhood. Police are searching for a 24-year-old Jose Francisco Mendoza also known as "Psycho." Mendoza is accused of shooting six people in what was apparently a long-standing dispute. Police exchanged gunfire with the suspect when they arrived. He then fled on foot. All six of the shooting victims were listed in stable condition.

Now the family of the teen killed by an escaped tiger on Christmas day will bury their son in the New Year. A funeral has been set for January 8th. About 100 people attended a vigil for Carlos Sousa, Jr., last night outside his grandmother's house. Sousa's father showed pictures of his son and tearfully paid tribute. The 17- year-old was mauled to death by the tiger as he tried to distract to it away from his friends. Those two brothers were released from a San Francisco hospital yesterday. Both suffered severe bite and claw wounds.

Well, all weekend, we're looking at the stories that shaped 2007. This one puts new focus on a nation's aging infrastructure. CNN's Allan Chernoff reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Under the streets of New York City, blistering hot steam raises through a network of pipes. Some of which are a century old. One of them, 83 years old, exploded in July, critically burning two people and another person died of a heart attack trying to escape. Civil engineer Anil Agrawal warned it could happen again.

PROF. ANIL AGRAWAL, CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK: As the pipes are getting older, the risk of failure of it is increasing, you know, continuously. These are very old pipes. They have much higher risk of failure compared to relatively well maintained or newer pipes.

CHERNOFF: Still, ConEdison maintains it's old pipes that have been providing heat from Manhattan since the 1880s are safe.

RICHARD BOSCARINO, CONEDISON: They're all steel pipes and there's no reason to believe that that steel pipe can't go another hundred years.

CHERNOFF: So age is not a problem here at all?

BOSCARINO: Should not be a problem.

CHERNOFF: But the utility concedes there is another more serious risk, which CNN explored underground. We're in the deepest part of New York City's steam tunnel, 125 feet below ground, below the subway, inside of this three-foot wide pipe, which is very well insulated, the steam is heated to 413 degrees Fahrenheit and it's traveling at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Here, utility workers make sure accumulated water gets out of the pipe to prevent sizzling steam from crashing into pools of much cooler water that could ignite a sudden surge in pressure known as water hammer.

BOSCARINO: An explosion in the system could be caused by water hammer.

CHERNOFF: That caused the blast in 1989 which killed three people. None of this is very comforting for the millions of New Yorkers who are often blissfully ignorant of what lurks beneath. Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Well, the clock ticking down to 2008. Let's get the latest on weather conditions with our very own Reynolds Wolf who's in the weather center. Over to you, Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: Hey, no pressure at all on the weather guy this week. I mean, it sound like we (inaudible) playing outdoors or anything, do they. I kind of think they do and I'll tell you if they happen to be in parts of the southeast, they're going to be dealing with a good chance of showers, a few storms out there. Certainly, not bad news because we are parched for rainfall in the southeast. The rain will continue to fall for a good part of the evening hour. By tomorrow, there are dryer conditions as we make our way up the eastern seaboard from Raleigh northward to Washington, D.C., primarily a rain event. Look at what's happening as we get a little bit north of New York City, back up into Portland, Maine. We got watches and warnings popping up across the landscape for much of the extreme northeast.

Good chance of snow falling from 7:00 p.m. this evening to 10:00 a.m. on Monday, could see 4 to 7 inches of snowfall near Boston, 5 to 9 inches on parts of 95 and even 3 to 5 to the north of Danbury, Connecticut. Now, back on the other side of the nation. Back in the Pacific northwest, Seattle, the high elevations, the Olympic mountains look for anywhere from a foot to maybe up to 30 inches of snowfall. Same goes for parts of the cascades in the northern Rockies, and Spokane, looks like anywhere from 6 to 12.

Southward, just north of Idaho Falls, blizzard conditions possible. And near Salt Lake City, anywhere from 9 to 16 inches of snow. Not bad at all for the people up in snow bird. So nice it should just be fantastic with that nice powder. Now, coming up in just a little bit, we're going to give you a better idea of what you can anticipate as we start off the, I guess you would say the end, the farewell to 2007 and say hello to 2008. That's coming up straight ahead. Back to you.

SESAY: Reynolds, thank you.

WOLF: You bet.

SESAY: Well, everybody knows how elections work. Secret ballot, you have to be 18, you can vote pretty much all day. But that's not how the Iowa democratic caucuses work. They're so different, so dare we say, weird, that voters have to practice. We'll show you how different in just a bit. But first, if you're plagued by the seasonal sniffles, check out today's "Health for Her" segment. We have some tips on battling the cold and flu bugs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JUDY FORTIN, CNN, MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is the season for giving and receiving. Germs, that is. All around us, those tiny battleships of disease drifters, float in land, bringing with them all sorts of aches and pains and illness. In fact, those germs are the culprit behind the six to eight colds kid will generally get each year and the two to four cases adults will have to deal with. But it could be worse.

DR. JULIAN MELAMED, INTERNIST: If you look at the CDC statistics, last year there was over 200,000 hospitalizations for the flu. And over 30,000 deaths secondary to the flu in individuals who usually had some other condition. So this is not a trivial thing.

FORTIN: But given that germs are so common. It's not easy to fight them off. Whether they're the kind that cause colds or the flu.

MELAMED: So I think one of the key issues is learning how to cough, coughing into the sleeve and then washing the hands frequently and trying to prevent the hand-eye or hand-nose type of contact that occurs almost automatically where we just sort of touch our nose or it's a little itchy and you might touch the eye.

FORTIN: But don't give in. Start with hand-to-hand combat. Lots of hand washing, coupled with hand sanitizer helps sometimes, but stay clear of some of the home remedies, like Echinacea or high doses of vitamin C. Studies indicate they do little to cure the common cold or the flu.

If the germs do hit and you do get sick, do what the experts say. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and eat that chicken soup. Which sounds exactly like what your mother used to tell you. Doesn't it? Judy Fortin, CNN, Atlanta.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDNET: We're keeping an eye on a busy weekend of campaigning as candidates crisscross Iowa and New Hampshire ahead of the caucuses and the primaries. You're looking at Rudy Giuliani to the right of your screen; he is campaigning in New Hampshire. And Barack Obama also addressing the crowd in Iowa. We're keeping an eye on the various candidates as they get last-minute campaigning in before voters go to the polls, hoping to become the party's presidential hopeful.

You've heard a lot about the Iowa caucuses but you might not have heard all the complicated rules. It's not as simple as dropping a ballot into the box. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin explains how it works and why it matters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Imagine an election with no secret ballot, no all-day voting, the age requirement only 17 and finally you can vote for more than one candidate. If that sounds un-American, it's how the Iowa Democratic caucuses operate and listen up; you care because those folks in Iowa may actually choose your next president.

In fact, the rules here are so strange that the campaigns in Iowa run training sessions on how to vote. Step one, stand up and be counted.

CHELSEA WALISER, MOCK CAUCIS ORGANIZER: What you'll do is you'll get out of your seat and go walk to the corner or space by the wall designated for the candidate of your choice. Ready, go.

TOOBIN: At Obama's Iowa rehearsal caucus, they practiced without candidates. Instead, they used winter activities, we've got ice skating here, drinking hot cocoa, snowboarding, building snowmen and, of course, snowball fights. After the first round, anyone who is standing for a candidate -- well, activity in this case, that doesn't meet the threshold of 15 percent of the room, is out of luck.

On this night, not enough snowboarders, very sad. What happens now? If they want their votes to count at all, they have to pick a new candidate before the second and final tally.

WALISER: Each group that is viable gets to send one ambassador over to the snowboarding group and try to persuade them to join your group.

TOOBIN: Now it's let's making a deal. The other groups send someone over to the snowboarders to say, come on, join our side. A little arm twisting.

The snowboarders decide ice skating is their second choice and they all make the switch. Understanding that the persuasion period and how to win over second-choice voters is so important, candidates have Web videos to explain it.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Don't just go to the caucus, bring your friends.

TOOBIN: And even highlighted on the stump.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): And you hit that floor and work it and try to get them and it's like a fun game. It's like Monopoly. You say your man isn't going to make it, come over here.

TOOBIN: Because the rules are so complicated, organization is key. You need to get your supporters to the caucus locations by 7:00 sharp or they can't vote. And this is Iowa in the wintertime. Sometimes the weather is a factor. By comparison, the Republican caucuses are pretty simple. Though the campaigns here Fred Thompson's, are also training their supporters. It's a secret ballot. Every vote counts. The complicated rules make for one sure thing that the results here are very hard to predict.

So after all this, who wins? Well, that's not simple either. The party keeps the popular vote totals of the caucuses a secret. They only announce a percentage of delegates each candidate will receive at the state party convention later in 2008. And the caucus rules are 72 pages long.

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: There will be a test later. Catch our own extravaganza; we are calling it "The Ballot Bowl" where the presidential candidates get their chance to discuss the issues important to you in their own words. Our coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Here's a look at other stories happening now. [ gunfire ]

Gunfire and an explosion marked the last moments of Benazir Bhutto's life. This is new video of the assassination just obtained by CNN. This is unlikely to resolve any questions about how Pakistan's former prime minister was killed. Bhutto's 19-year-old son was named today to succeed her as leader of the PPP opposition party.

Kenya's government has pulled all live television broadcasts off the air. Violence broke out in the capital. Fighting broke out in Nairobi after the president was re-elected. A top executive tells CNN the ban set the Democratic process back 15 years.

And Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he is still hopeful to retrieve three hostages held by rebels. Two helicopters are standing by in Colombia, awaiting contact from the rebel group.

Now is it a new jihad call from Osama Bin Laden? A message purportedly from him urges followers to thwart America's mission in Iraq. The violence had been down lately. Part of the reason the rise of civilian militias. And our Harris Whitbeck explains they're becoming more defiant against al Qaeda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A civilian militia practices detention techniques in an orchard, where just the day before a gun battle resulted in the arrest of two suspected al Qaeda insurgents. A local sheikh supervises militia members on the job on a cold winter's night. These are the groups known as the awakening councils that have been widely credited with being a key factor in bringing violence down in Iraq and the subject of Osama Bin Laden's latest Internet message.

OSAMA BIN LADEN, (via translator): Our duty is to foil these dangerous conspiracies which seek to prevent the establishment of an Islamic state. So be an aid in victory in thwarting America's mission in dividing Iraq.

WHITBECK: Attacks on the council were stepped up even before the latest Bin Laden posting. This funeral for the leader of a council was targeted by a suicide bomber last week, resulting in the deaths of nine people. And attacks like this bombing of the council member's house are becoming more frequent.

The U.S. says the awakening councils are continuing to grow. About 72,000 men have joined so far. And with each attack, council members are becoming more defiant.

This man was at the funeral for his son and five other militia members killed in that attack.

MAJID WAISS KHODAIR AL DULAIMI, FATHER OF DEAD MILITIA MEMBER (via translator): We are ready to sacrifice our last drop of blood. We are defending our homes and honor.

WHITBECK: The U.S. says the attacks are a signal al Qaeda fears the awakening councils. Al Qaeda's leaders say they are traitors and must die.

Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Popping a bottle of bubbly is a New Year's Eve tradition. Unfortunately, so is drinking and driving. But up next, how the government is trying to help you ring in 2008 safely.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Are you ready for 2008? Our Anderson Cooper will be in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve and you can help make the party better. Go to CNN.com and send us your photos or tell us your memories from 2007. Maybes yours will be shown on New Years Eve. Our live coverage begins at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

If you're going out to celebrate New Year's, cops nationwide have a message for you, don't drink and drive. And the government has a big ad campaign. Our Gary Nuremberg explains.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY NUREMBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She was 20 years old.

JOANN GILOIN, MOTHER: She was an incredible kid.

NUREMBERG: A big sister.

GILOIN: She had a lot of -- a lot of goals.

NUREMBERG: Loved motorcycles.

JEFFREY VETTER, FATHER: Anything that was loud and fast.

NUREMBERG: And working on cars.

VETTER: She was my grease monkey. She was a tomboy.

NUREMBERG: Jeffrey Vetter's daughter Jesse was killed in a traffic accident caused by a man accused of drunk driving. It's the family's first holiday season without her.

GOLOIN: Missing someone that you love so much is -- it's a feeling that never goes away.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Sir, have you been drinking tonight?

NUREMBERG: Reporter: the federal government is spending $7 million on an ad campaign whose theme is over the limit, under arrest. And thousands of local law enforcement agencies are beefing up enforcement over the holidays.

DAVID KELLY, NATL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMIN: When people see the message and see it on television and see the message with the checkpoints and the lights and the extra police officers out there, they're going to know we're serious.

NUREMBERG: But even if drunk drivers are caught --

CHUCK HURLEY, M.A.D.D: M.A.D.D. estimates that more than 2.8 million drivers will be sharing the roads with the rest of us this holiday season. With three or more convictions.

NUREMBERG: M.A.D.D., Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants to require that everyone convicted of drunk driving have a breath tester installed in their cars.

HURLEY: If they try to start the car after drinking and the breath tester will detect that, the car won't start.

NUREMBERG: Hurley expects several state legislatures to pass the requirement in 2008. Four already have.

VETTER: I just want anyone to think about drinking and getting behind the wheel, think twice. Because it takes innocent lives and it's not fair.

NUREMBERG: Gary Nuremberg, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: A heart broken family there don't drink and drive this holiday season.

All right, we're going to shift gears now and go to Reynolds Wolf he is in the Weather Center keeping an eye on weather conditions for us.

Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We certainly are. The big story that we're dealing with in parts of the northeast is going to be the possibility of some snowfall. Not just the possibility, it is imminent. We are going to be dealing with some snow, and in some places it may be especially heavy. Now take a look at the map behind me, many places you'll see green or you will see red popping up back over to say Portland, Burlington, Vermont. All areas that could see some significant snowfall, especially near Boston 4 to 7 inches of snowfall possible. Tapering off around 10:00 a.m. Monday.

As we get into places along I-90 back into Springfield, heavy snowfall there. Meanwhile, out west snow maybe in several feet in parts of the Olympic Mountains as well as the Cascades near Seattle and back in the northern Rockys, could see a foot of snowfall, blizzard like conditions north of Idaho Falls.

One thing to keep in mind in terms of the snowfall for the northeast, much of it should be over. New York, you may get some snow fall for this evening, but as we get into tomorrow, it should clear out in time for the celebrations. But then around 2:00, you may have a light dusting of snow. Scattered showers in parts of central Florida and cloudy skies for much of the Pacific Northwest. And snow in Chicago. That's your forecast. Let's go back to the news desk.

SESAY: Reynolds, thank you.

Check this out, a United Airlines plane was headed towards the runway at the Kansas City Airport, getting ready to head to Denver. But the pilot made a wrong turn in the fog, got onto a service road by mistake and the jet got stuck in mud. About 180 passengers had to get off the plane. All are OK and the plane had to be pulled out of the mud. Dear, oh dear.

Coming up, we've got a real-life scene straight out of the movie "Titanic" and who could forget this video?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Don't taze me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: The shock herald around the world.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: It's been a very busy weekend as presidential hopefuls crisscross to Iowa and New Hampshire getting last-minute campaigning in ahead of the caucuses and the primaries. You're looking at Rudy Giuliani in New Hampshire addressing the crowds there. And we just wanted to bring you these pictures and show you we are across all the events, across the campaign trail and we have the best political team on television keeping you abreast of all the developments.

All right, then. A cruise ship had a Titanic experience. Fortunately with a much happier ending. No injuries were reported aboard the MS-Fram after it hit a glassier Friday. The ships engines were off and when it was time to go, there was trouble restarting them and the boat drifted into the ice. A lifeboat was crushed and the ship itself had some slight damage. A passenger reports the crew calmed everyone down with lots of free drinks.

As we close out 2007, there are a few new phrases that change the way we talk. Our favorite is I-report. Because you help us bring breaking news to our viewers faster than ever. Who can forget this one? Don't taze me, bro. An I-report classic. CNN's Rick Sanchez visits the shock heard around the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It begins as an ordinary town hall forum at the University of Florida. The guest -- Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Then student Andrew Myer comes to the mike.

He launches into a rambling series of questions, even making reference to a sex act. The microphone was cut and I-reporters go to work.

MILES DORAN (ph): He started interrupting and the police started moving in. So I flipped it to movie mode and started rolling.

SANCHEZ: Miles Doran is there to cover Senator Kerry's visit for a campus news radio station.

DORAN (ph): Once the police brought him up to the back of the auditorium, they started pushing him down to the ground and tasering him.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Don't taze me, bro. Ou!

DORAN (ph): That's when a couple people got up and started screaming at the police telling them to stop.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Why are you doing this?

DORAN (ph): Initially, I had thought that the police had acted well within their rights. But then as it quickly escalated into a freedom of speech issue and a police brutality issue, it was like, wow, OK, this is a much bigger deal than we thought it was going to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Certainly painful. We have a ton of great I-reports from the last year. See them all on our I-Reports special "Caught on Camera" on New Year's Eve at 8:00 Eastern. And it's not too late to vote for your favorite I-report of 2007. Logon to CNN.com/yearinreview.

Nothing like election season to make you want to sing and dance? It's a little bit of politics, and a little bit of parody and a lot of fun. That's next in THE NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: All eyes are on the Iowa caucuses this week just four days from now. But in Des Moines "Caucus the Musical" is a big hit. Our CNN's Suzanne Malveaux checks out the show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Destination, Iowa, for "Caucus the Musical" following the four leading candidates determined to win.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Today I declare

MALVEAUX: The liberal Senator Holiday.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): She's a combination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

MALVEAUX: The gay Congressman Benjamin Goldman.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): This country is run by politicians whose average age is nearly 63. Do we really want our future decided by some old men who can't download mp3.

MALVEAUX: And the conservative Reverend Jesse who gets thumbs up from the lord.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I'm reminding myself more and more of Mike Huckabee.

MALVEAUX: The play centers around their fight to win the endorsement of Elden Weiss and his family. And the lengths they go through to capture it.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I remember back in '84 I went to open up my door and there stood Walter Mondale in my yard. He mowed and raked my lawn and walked and said my lazy St. Bernard.

MALVEAUX: Play right Robert Ford.

ROBERT FORD, PLAYWRITE: I remember seeing someone kissing a pig at the state fire. That's one of the things we try to convey in the play, these politician also do anything to win a vote.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): The family that votes together is one happy family.

MALVEAUX: Elden's family falls apart when they discover they've chosen different candidates for different reasons.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I'm gay!

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Oh, dear Jesus.

MALVEAUX: So the candidates decide to hold a mock caucus with the family to try to get each family member to come over to their side. It turns ugly.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): You are the bastard child impregnated by her senior prom date, Benjamin Thomas Laden for Bin Laden for short. No wonder you don't want to use your real last name.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): Not only have you lied about your last name, you're pretending to be Jewish?

MALVEAUX: Notably, Elden and his family abandon all the lead candidates to choose a French candidate with a simple message.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I believe anything is possible. Provided that we patiently take one step at a time.

MALVEAUX: And now that that's settled, the family and their neighbors are eager to see the candidates go.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): Goodbye, goodbye.

MALVEAUX: The actors share their character's sentiments.

JIM BENDA, VP, BANK OF AMERICA: They're out there at our doorsteps.

SUSAN GROZIER, HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA TEACHER: I think it hits home to a lot of people.

MALVEAUX: In the finale, the audience is left with a simple directive. Go and vote

The actors say that they do take their roles as voters seriously. So what's next? After Iowa, there's New Hampshire. And the play "Primary Primary."

Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Des Moines, Iowa.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Isha Sesay in for Fredricka Whitfield this weekend. Right now in THE NEWSROOM, campaign crunch time. We're live with the best political team on television. Also -- [ gunfire ]

Startling new video out of Pakistan. Does it prove Benazir Bhutto was killed by an assassin's bullet?

Plus, two young men who survived that tiger attack are out of the hospital now. What really happened at the San Francisco Zoo? We'll take a closer look.

It's down to the wire in Iowa. The first major contest of the 2008 presidential campaign is just four days away. And with the New Year's holiday looming between now and then, candidates are trying to make the most of this final weekend.

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