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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Clinton Wins West Virginia Primary; Over 12,000 Dead in China's Deadliest Earthquake
Aired May 13, 2008 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An impressive and a sweeping victory across the state. Against 66 to 27 percent with almost 70 percent of the vote in. What does it mean for the democratic race?
There are only five contests left and the key question now is how does she do in the delegate math? But we will give Senator Clinton a big victory in West Virginia 65/35 and assign that over.
But still as you notice, she remains behind Barack Obama. The finish line is out here as it goes. Perhaps a better way to look at this, Anderson, is to go to this graph and we will map in here to bring her the delegates she will get tonight.
Still a few more delegates to allocate based on West Virginia. But if you look at this map now, the white goes line is away here is the finish line. Barack Obama -- Clinton up here, Barack Obama here. She still needs to get 70 something percent of the delegates on the way out, 71/72 percent on the way out.
So put it the other way, five contests left. If Barack Obama wins three of every ten delegates, he is the Democratic nominee despite the big Clinton win tonight.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: May 31st there is the DNC rules meeting where the Clinton campaign is clearly going to try to get this number of delegates is actually get to a 2,209 trying to get Michigan and Florida delegates seated.
If Barack Obama wins 2,025 delegates before that, he would be the nominee and they would not even have that meeting.
KING: No, they would have that meeting because he can claim the nomination if he gets to that number in terms of pledged delegates and committed superdelegates. But those superdelegates can commit to him with a public endorsement or with the letter of endorsement or anything else, but they do not get to cast their votes until you are at the convention and they are allowed to change their mind. Even if they make a public endorsement.
COOPER: Is it impossible for him to get to 2,025 before that May 31st meeting?
KING: Not in pledged delegates it would -- adding in the superdelegates yes he can. If he gets a tide of superdelegates over the course of the next couple of weeks, he can get to that number in terms of his pledged delegates that he has won on primary and caucus days plus his superdelegates where he now leads Senator Clinton.
As you see 282 and 273 and that number - that is a close number. He can get across the line in terms of commitments but the superdelegates do not actually cast their votes until the convention. So Senator Clinton does not have to say I can see if she can say those votes do not count until they are cast? I'm fighting on.
COOPER: All right. John King thanks very much we will have more of John throughout this hour.
Right now President Clinton -- former President Clinton - Bill Clinton is speaking in Montana where we are looking at a live pictures right there. Let us listen in.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were in the negative savings this year for the first time in 70 years because of this. So if you do not do something like this, we will lose another million, a million and half homes. You can wait a couple years.
Then instead of $30 billion, you will spend three or $400 billion to fix a mess we should have stopped in the first place. You hire Presidents to stop these things so you can make good things happen. It is another reason you ought to vote for her.
The fourth reason you ought to vote for her I think is over education. And I just want to mention two things because it is raining. Number one, she thinks "no child left behind" would not work, can not work, will never work and should be banned. The stated purpose of that law was to close the learning gap between American students and other kids in countries that we are competing with.
COOPER: Watching our former President Clinton campaigning for his wife in Montana.
More now on who voted tonight for the candidates why and what it could mean come November. For that we turn to CNN's Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson thanks. No surprise of course that the economic issue was front and center in this race. And so we want to take a closer look at the degree to which it actually helped Hillary Clinton. One of the questions was the recession, how has it affected you?
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the more it affected you, the bigger the vote for Hillary Clinton.
Take a look here. Almost half the voters said they had been a great deal affected by the recession. They voted 73 percent almost three quarters for Hillary Clinton. Another nearly half said somewhat affected by the recession. They voted nearly 60 percent for Clinton. And those small number of Democrats who said they are not much affected by the recession, well they are just about split their vote. The bigger the effect of the recession, the better Hillary Clinton did. O'BRIEN: And when you dig a little bit deeper and take look at where she did best in these categories, and she did well in a lot of the categories, that's why she won. How did she do along among low- income voters?
SCHNEIDER: Well, as you might expect low-income voters, badly affected by the recession and they delivered big time for Hillary Clinton. Voters under $30,000 in income voted three quarters for Hillary Clinton. Thirty to 75,000 over 60 percent; wealthier voters over 75,000, they were more divided.
So clearly it was the voters in economic distress, lower income voters, voters seriously affected by the recession who voted the biggest for Hillary Clinton.
O'BRIEN: And there was a smidge of good news as you pointed out for Barack Obama in the news today.
SCHNEIDER: The news said tonight you have some good news for Obama when she says to the superdelegates he can not win those swing states I can not do much better, he is going to go back to the superdelegates and say, I was not a problem for the Democrats in a special election in Mississippi or last week in Louisiana.
They both won, even though the Republicans tried to make an issue of Barack Obama. So he will say to the superdelegates we won those elections, the Republicans could not run against me and turn it into a serious issue. So now he has an argument to use with the superdelegates.
O'BRIEN: An argument but it is her night tonight, because she won big - Anderson.
COOPER: Soledad thanks.
No doubt about that, when Hillary Clinton kicked off her campaign, she said I am in it to win it. Back then she was the overwhelming favorite of course.
Tonight, with the odds overwhelmingly against her, she gave a passionate speech in Charleston. She said in so many words, I am still in it until the end. Here is a substantial piece of her speech tonight. In-depth Senator Clinton tonight in her own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON,(D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We know from the Bible that faith can move mountains. And my friends, the faith of the Mountain State has moved me. I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign.
And tonight, in light of our overwhelming victory here in West Virginia, I want to send a message to everyone still making up their mind. I am in this race because I believe I am the strongest candidate. The strongest candidate to lead our party in November of 2008, and the strongest president to lead our nation starting in January 2009.
I can win this nomination if you decide I should. And I can lead this party to victory in the general election if you lead me to victory now. The choice falls to all of you, and I do not envy you.
I deeply admire Senator Obama, but I believe our case, a case West Virginia has helped to make; our case is stronger. Together, we have won millions and millions of votes by the time tonight is over, probably 17 million, close to it.
We have won them in states that we must be prepared and ready to win in November. Pennsylvania and Ohio. Arkansas and New Hampshire. New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada. Michigan, Florida, and now West Virginia.
It is a fact that no Democrat has won the White House since 1916 without winning West Virginia. The bottom line is this -- the White House is won in the swing states and I am winning the swing states.
And we have done it by standing up for the deepest principles of our party. With a vision for an America that rewards hard work again; that values the middle class and helps to make it stronger. With your help, I am ready to go head to head with John McCain to put our vision for America up against the one he shares with President Bush.
Now, I believe our party is strong enough for this challenge I am strong enough for it. You know I never give up. I will keep coming back and I will stand with you as long as you stand with me.
I am in this race for the millions of Americans who know that we can do better in our country, for the nurse on her second shift, for the worker on the line, for the waitress on her feet, for the small business owner, the farmer, the teacher, the coal miner, the trucker, the soldier, the veterans, the college students.
I am asking the people to think hard about where we are in this election. About how we will win in November, because this is not an abstract exercise. This is for a solemn, crucial purpose; to elect a president to turn our country around, to meet the challenges we face and seize the opportunity.
It has been a long campaign, but it is just an instant in time when compared with the lasting consequences of the choice we will make in November. That is why I am carrying on. And if you give me a chance, Democrats, I will come back to West Virginia in the general election and we will win this state and we will win the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Digging deeper now with our panel, John King, CNN analyst Gloria Borger, and Suzanne Malveaux as well.
There is really this parallel universe between these two candidates. I mean they are using different numbers, they see things clearly differently, or is that just a brave front that Hillary Clinton is putting on? KING: It is a brave front, but it is also -- she has a compelling argument to say she is winning in the swing states. She is right about that. She is winning in states she needs to win to become president of the United States, states Democrats need to win, like West Virginia, like Ohio, Pennsylvania. That is a part of a good argument.
She is doing well with white working class voters. That is always a problem for Democrats in general elections. And she is doing well with older voters who are the most reliable part of the electorate and a group with which Republicans made some gains in the 1990s that have now receded of some of the. That is a compelling argument.
Her problem is Barack Obama has an equally compelling argument, I have won more states, I have won more pledge delegates, I am a better fund raiser, I am bringing new voters into the process and I am turning out more African-Americans. So they are both have a very compelling arguments. At the moment his is better.
COOPER: I'm sorry. Go ahead.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is fine to the Obama folks because what they figure is that he is already going after her supporters. I mean he is already turned the page. He is already in his rhetoric. He is not putting her down, he is not criticizing her in anyway. They would not even doing it privately.
What they are doing now and saying you know she is smart, she is intelligent, she is a capable opponent. He is really just trying to reach out and of woo the Clinton supporters. It does not really even matter almost that they are in these two different universes here. He is already has his works cut out and he knows what he needs to do. So it is almost like he has moved beyond.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know he is turning to the general election. McCain is turning to the general election. Tonight you saw Hillary Clinton turning to the general election to a certain degree, but she still has got to catch him. He can not knock her out and she can not catch him. And that is the problem --
COOPER: Does it go past June 4th? I mean you know?
BORGER: No. Well, I don't --
COOPER: Could it still go to the convention?
BORGER: I do not think so. You know when you talk to Hillary Clinton people privately, they say to you this is not going to the convention. Do not even think about that. This is not going to convention.
Hillary Clinton would not do that. She is not somebody who kids herself. She understands what the stakes are here for the Democratic Party. And she has to have a political future. I mean taking this to the convention and losing would kill her politically for the future because it would hurt the party so tremendously. So people understand and they believe that she is not going to do that.
However, she is also playing this for everything that it is worth, moving the goal post, trying to change the numbers, trying to change the rules. And she -- look, she is doing everything she can to win this race because she believes that she could beat John McCain and that perhaps Barack Obama cannot. Although she stopped saying he can't.
COOPER: And in terms of the money, where is she? I mean does she have enough to keep going how deeply in debt is she, do we know?
J. KING: We just got a note from Jessica Yellin who is with the Clinton campaign tonight saying they are having a good night since she went on television. The most - it tells you everything about the raise.
She has begun every speech, knowing she is on live cable television saying I need your help, I need your money. So they are saying we have a good night tonight we do not have a dollar figure yet. And she does have meetings tomorrow with fund raisers.
So the next 24 hours will give you a big sense of can she raise more money and I was told by three people close to her today that she is prepared to write herself another check, if necessary, and loan herself more money.
COOPER: How much has she loaned herself at this point?
BORGER: $11 million.
MALVEAUX: Awful a lot of money. The other thing now too is the Obama folks they do not think this is going to go beyond three weeks any way. I mean they believe, I mean you do not see it publicly, but they believe that they have the superdelegates, the numbers necessary to put them over the top before June.
COOPER: All right we have a lot more with our panel in just a moment.
Also tonight, Barack Obama in his own words today, already campaigning against John McCain. Nowhere near West Virginia. The question, will his early general election strategy work or could it backfire?
And later the options ahead for Hillary Clinton, including a spot on the ticket with Barack Obama. Is that a national option? When this special edition of "360" continues.
COOPER: Hillary Clinton winning West Virginia tonight by more than a 2-1 margin; 73 percent of the votes are in right now. She has 66 percent and Barack Obama 27 percent. John Edwards, who was still on the ballot although he is not on the race of course, with 7 percent.
We are back with our panel, digging deeper John King, Gloria Borger and Suzanne Malveaux and Jessica Yellin who is with the Clinton campaign tonight. Let us go to her in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jessica, has the hall cleared out yet? Hillary Clinton was certainly in there a long time after her speech.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was clearly relishing this evening, Anderson. She spent about 40 minutes in here shaking hands. And the folks here are the most enthusiastic of Hillary supporters I have seen to date. I mean this is the kind of crowd she wishes she has been having for months no doubt.
And Clinton, after she made it clear tonight that she is staying in this race, she is not getting out, the rumors are not true, she is headed back to D.C. to meet with supporters and tell them the same. And her -- the spirit of her aides right now seems a little bit buoyed, they are feeling good tonight.
And they say that they are raising a lot of money. We will see what they give us for a figure tomorrow. But clearly this is the kind of good night and the good mood they hope to sustain and somehow turn around the minds of the superdelegates in the days to come.
COOPER: That is certainly the strategy; turning around the minds of the superdelegates and also is trying to get Florida and Michigan seated. As we talked to Harold Wilson in the last hour of 360, John king is at the magic map.
John the Obama folks want to quickly say look, this is a one-off, this is an isolated incident, it's such a big blowout. Is that accurate?
J. KING: No, in short, no. Let me show you why, looking at it county by county.
Now as we said earlier Barack Obama has certainly has a very compelling case for why he should be the Democratic nominee. He has significant advantages significant attributes.
But here is Senator Clinton's argument right now. Let us look at the neighborhood here I'm going to stretch this out a little bit. This is West Virginia tonight, right here in the middle. And I am going to sort draw a circle like this for you encompassing some of Virginia, some of Ohio, some of North Carolina, some of Kentucky, some of Tennessee. Rural America right here in this area.
Now, what Senator Clinton wants to tell superdelegates is I am winning in these areas. I won in the Pennsylvania primaries, I won in Ohio, she bets she will win next week in Kentucky. Even though Obama won Virginia, Senator Clinton won out here. You see her both in North Carolina and in Tennessee winning in these rural areas. Now, she will say superdelegates, that matters. And let me show why, because when George Bush became president of the United States, that is where he crushed the Democrats in these states, and particularly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. If we could put those in the Democratic column, then we could be very competitive if not victorious in November.
That is the argument Senator Clinton will make. And there is a wakeup call Anderson, to the Obama campaign, again coming back to the '08 map and going to the Democratic race in the fact that he clearly has struggles in rural America.
Now people will say this is a primary. What I just showed you was the general election those are apples and oranges. Republicans do better in those areas in general elections and that is true.
But what Senator Clinton would argue is if I am running stronger in these areas in the primaries, I can run stronger in those areas come November. So that is her case to superdelegates. Is it enough? Probably not.
But that will be her case to the superdelegates right now saying we have five more contests to go. She expects to duplicate what she did in West Virginia over here in Kentucky next Tuesday. And she is hoping that the superdelegates look at this county by county, look at her strength out in rural America and at least wait before joining the Obama bandwagon. Give her at least the gift of time to try to win in Kentucky and elsewhere and make her case, try to deal with the Michigan and Florida question.
So the math is still daunting but Senator Clinton does have a case to make that she runs better in areas that are critical come a November general election.
COOPER: Can you look at the states using the map, look at what comes down - and what comes next, Kentucky, Oregon, the road ahead.
KING: Absolutely, when we come back, I want you take away from the county function because it is easier to see this way. The states that are filled in are the states that have voted so far. So what is left Kentucky, you have out here two small contests in North Dakota and Montana and then you have Oregon.
There is not that many delegates left. That is the biggest problem for Senator Clinton. There is not a larger pool of delegates left, Puerto Rico down here will wrap it up. So if you look at what is left, you do not have -- Kentucky jumped out on me.
We have to go to the delegate's map to show what is left in terms of the delegates, I mean here is the 4,048 total, a very small number. Only 60 in Kentucky. There were only 39 at stake tonight out here. It is a relatively small amount, 65 available in Oregon.
So the problem for Senator Clinton is she is up against this larger math, even if she keeps winning, that we are getting closer and closer to the finish line and Barack Obama is way out ahead here and a very small pool of delegates.
These are the pledged delegates, these are the superdelegates left available to her. And we have been saying this all night long, Barack Obama has to win just three in ten between now and the finish line to get to the finish line unless the Clintons can convince the Democratic Party to change the rules and move the finish line.
So three in ten is all Barack Obama needs from here on out and Anderson, he is doing better than that.
COOPER: So Suzanne, in terms of campaigning, does Barack Obama spend a lot of time in Oregon, in Kentucky, in North Dakota, or is he now looking general election and looking to states that are important for that?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is doing a bit of both. I mean obviously he is going to go to the remaining states for those contests. But then he is also looking at the general election. And he will be in Missouri tomorrow and he is not just going to be broad, he is going to be focusing on the independents, he is going to be focused on trying to win over some of the Republicans in those states.
And he is also reaching out to Clinton's supporters, to Hillary Clinton's base, there because he is no longer going on the attack. He is talking about how there are few differences between them. More differences with McCain. He is almost ignoring Hillary Clinton, if not flattering her at this point, because they have moved beyond the game that Hillary Clinton is playing tonight despite the win.
COOPER: If to run a general election campaign just logistically, how much bigger of an operation is it? I mean how much more staff does one need?
BORGER: It is huge. It is huge. You know one of the side benefits for Obama in having run this long race through these many states is that they have organizations in place now in all of these states. They have registered hundreds of thousands of voters.
COOPER: Which is one of the remarkable things about how well he has done and they have created this from whole cloth.
BORGER: Right, so what is interesting is that because he has had to compete, he has people in place to do this. And the McCain campaign, for example, has started with regional campaign managers. They have a strategy to kind of have their campaign managed by different people throughout the country. We are going to have to see if that works.
But McCain essentially has to start from whole cloth were as Obama has people already in place.
One thing I keep thinking about though, Anderson, is John talks about that map. And we look at what happened to Hillary Clinton this evening, is the timing is everything. If she had changed her strategy, if she had had a different strategy early on, if she had been Hillary Clinton the populist, the one who cares about you, who understands you, rather than Hillary Clinton ready to be commander in chief on day one?
If that had started earlier in this campaign, she might not be where she is right now. This is of something good happened for her this evening tonight, but it may be too late for her.
COOPER: Jessica Yellin is with the Clinton campaign. Is there an acknowledgement of that within the campaign?
YELLIN: Well, not publicly. But when you talk to these folks, and I talk to them all the time, Anderson, they will say to me things like, gee, it never occurred as the caucus states mattered. Which we have figured that out sooner, I mean they are a sort of cynical about it at this point. And you know I guess you have to use humor to deflate these kinds of stressful situations.
But they also talk about the fact that the campaign is a little disorganized and I am not going to make any friends over there by saying this, but the responsiveness of the Obama campaign, how efficient they are, how organized they are is in such stark contrast to the Clinton campaign, which is sort of sometimes really runs well, and sometimes seems so disorganized and that is always been the case.
Much better now than it was say back in Iowa, but there is just a tale of two different campaigns and two different strategies. And part of this, as we said before, is just the marvel of how well Obama's campaign has run. I mean they put together a magnificent organization that runs as well as like some management consultant would say a place should.
So the Clinton folks know this, and there is a sense of sadness because if they had started this, as Gloria says, earlier and paid attention to those caucus states, they feel that she could be the nominee at this point and that they would not be fighting the fight they are having right now.
MALVEAUX: And they never thought they would have to fight this long. I mean they really thought they would wrap it up on the Super Tuesday.
The one thing about the vulnerability the Obama folks do have is Florida and Michigan. They have not really established as you know they completely ignored those states for the last nine months of because of the rules.
They need to build a base and they need to build an operation there. And that is why you are seeing Obama in the days to come really focusing on those two states.
COOPER: All right Jessica Yellin, if you listen closely, I think I can hear the Clinton campaign bus leaving and you are not on it. So I think you can find on the way home tonight, thanks, Jessica, thanks very much of course just kidding.
We will have much more ahead on Hillary Clinton's huge victory in West Virginia, no doubt about it. Just a massive victory for her and what it means for the race ahead. Plus Barack Obama the candidate in his own words, what he said in Missouri and why many see it as a clear signal that he has shifted gears in the presidential battle.
Also the latest from China where the death toll from that massive earthquake is climbing as rescue workers struggle to reach victims. All that and more ahead on "360."
COOPER: Welcome back to "360." While West Virginia was holding its primary today, Senator Barack Obama was signaling that he believes the general election has already begun. He spent much of the day campaigning in Missouri, a state that he won by a sliver back in February.
It is no doubt going to be a key battle ground in November and Obama focused his attacks on the candidate he expects to run against, Senator John McCain. He also dismissed the idea that the long and bitter primary election has damaged the party beyond repair.
Here's Senator Obama in his own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There's a lot of talk these days about how the Democratic Party is divided. But I have to tell you I am not worried. I've been campaigning in 46 states over the last 15 months, all across America. And I'm not worried about the Democratic Party being divided come November.
And the reason is that there's too much that unites us as Democrats. There's too much that's at stake as a country. And there is going to be a clear choice when it comes to the election on November 4th.
When I decided to run this race, it was based on the idea that the American people were desperate for change. Because part of the problem we have is not just that our policies aren't working, it's also that the American people have lost faith that Washington can or will do anything about it.
They don't really have confidence that anybody is listening to them. Because the troubling statistics only begin to tell the story of what's going on around the kitchen table.
This is a story of the American dream slipping away, and what the American people need right now in this defining moment of leadership is a president who will restore the fundamental American belief that if you try hard in this country, you can make it. That your dreams matter more than the demands of special interests or the convenience of political posture.
You know, that's what our government should be about. Not about who's high in the polls or who is saying what about who. But rather who's helping you make sure you can achieve your American dream. That's what is at stake in this election.
So that's why I'm running for president and that's why I think the Democrats are going to be united in November. Because Washington has failed the American people and this election is our chance to turn the page.
Now, just very briefly we want to talk about John McCain, because he served his country with honor and I respect that service. He's a genuine American hero.
But for two decades, he has supported policies that have shifted the burden away from special interests and on to working families. And his only answer to the problems created by George Bush's policies is give them another four years to fail. Just look at where he stands and you'll see that a vote for John McCain is a vote for George Bush's third term.
Four more years of Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans who don't need them and weren't even asking for them. Four more years of a health care plan that works for the healthy and the wealthy but doesn't work for ordinary Americans who are struggling with rising costs. Four more years of a president who supports privatizing social security.
Four more years of a war that has cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions, soon trillions of dollars while we're running up a mountain of debt that is mortgaging the future of our children. Four more years of a White House that's run by the kind of lobbyists who run John McCain's campaign. While Washington tells the American people you are on your own.
Now, we know that the American people cannot afford four more years of those policies, the Bush-McCain program. Not this time. Not when the stakes are so high. Not when the opportunities are so great.
We need a new direction in Washington and that's what we've been offering throughout this campaign. You know, it's too early; Senator Clinton is still competing. We haven't resolved this nomination. I haven't won the nomination yet. So what I've said is I'm not going to talk about vice president this or vice president that until I've actually won.
It would be presumptuous of me to pretend like I've already won and start talking about who my vice president is going to be. I've still got more work to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator Obama still giving lip service that the Democratic nomination remains in play. His actions seem to be sending a different message. Is he getting ahead of himself?
We'll dig deeper with our panel. Republican strategist, Alex Castellanos; CNN contributor and radio and talk show host, Roland Martin and Democratic strategist and Clinton supporter Hillary Rosen. Do you think he is getting ahead of himself, Hillary? HILLARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think he has to be out there beating up on John McCain and we heard him. Hillary Clinton speaks tonight that she really took on John McCain and the issues that separate Democrats from Republicans.
I think they both are exhausted with this primary. They want to prove to the remaining superdelegates that they've got the stuff to go after John McCain.
COOPER: Can she -- you believe she can still win. For those who believe she can still win, can she do it without knocking down Barack Obama?
ROSEN: Well, the people she has to convince really and I think she tried to do that in her speech tonight, are the superdelegates. She can't beat him in the pledged delegates in the states that are remaining. There just are not enough.
The superdelegates hold all the cards. She's trying to make the case to the superdelegates that she has the best chance in swing districts with her big showings in districts where Democrats are vulnerable, districts that President Bush won. The superdelegates have the ability actually to put her over the edge if they wanted to.
COOPER: Why, Alex, on a day in which Barack Obama could have had lots of free air time on cable television if he gave a big speech. People would have run it just as they ran Hillary Clinton's speech tonight. Even if he didn't mention West Virginia, why not make use of that opportunity?
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It's interesting he chose to play defense instead of offense. This is a time he could have gone out there and given a big vision -- economic vision for America; done something with a little more sizzle.
And instead it's almost as if they wanted to say the four corners. Won the election, this doesn't count, let's go home. Basically this was the Nixon strategy in Vietnam, declare victory and go home. And that's what Barack Obama is doing now. He doesn't want a big day, he just wants this to go away.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But it's also an issue of respect. And that is do you want to be in a position to antagonize her supporters? She wins today, big victory for her. Give her the space.
Bottom line is the numbers are still on your side. That has to factor into their equation as well because you don't want to be in a sort of tit for tat. That's why his camp, even her camp said let's dial back the attacks on one another. Give them some space. Let them win with dignity versus step on that person's day.
CASTELLANOS: Some of it is respect, but a lot of it sounds like the funeral when everyone gets together to say nice things about the dearly departed. That's what is happening to Hillary Clinton today. Everybody is saying wasn't she a great candidate? I always admired her fortitude.
ROSEN: For him tonight it was alternate scheduling. I don't think it was about respect, I think it was about trying to avoid Hillary Clinton.
And I think that he could have given a more energetic embrace of the Clinton voter as he was talking about the economy. I think that that might have gone over better. But he's doing -- he's skating until June 3rd because he knows he's got the pledged delegate.
MARTIN: Missouri also is with a different purpose. Senator John McCain is not strong among evangelicals. He's having issues in Missouri and Iowa as well.
You begin to play around with the math. You can say Ok fine, West Virginia, you might win that state. But there are other states in play as well. So I think it also plays a part in it too. In terms of that is a swing state that could be in play for the Democrats.
So you can say you know what? I'll concede West Virginia to John McCain, if you want to say that. But there are other places I can pick off as well. That's how the math is changing in this campaign; three or four western states, three or four states in the middle. Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's going to be a different kind of campaign which traditionally we have seen with Democrats and Republicans red and blue.
COOPER: Hillary Clinton says no doubt she's in it to win it. If she is not, if there is another strategy involved, what is it, is it vice president? Is it another role in the administration?
CASTELLANOS: They're going to have to pry the gun from her cold dead fingers. There is no strategy. He's not going to let a little thing like losing the Democratic nomination stop her from being President of the United States. She's in this until the end.
ROSEN: It hurt. Look, I think that she hasn't yet come to terms with where the superdelegates are going. She's having a lot of private conversations and they are talking to her. She must be hearing something that is giving her some enthusiasm.
And every single day she campaigns in these states, voters are coming up to her and saying, keep going. You're talking for me. Stick with it.
ABC news, Washington post poll today, 65 percent of Democratic voters don't want this to be over yet. They want her to stay in the race. So the numbers are clearly with her in that regard.
COOPER: And 95 percent of cable television executives.
CASTELLANOS: And 100 percent of Republicans.
MARTIN: But it's also -- it's her shot. Folks talk about well, she could blow the Obama. If he loses, she wins in 2012. There're no guarantees. If you're Hillary Clinton, you play this out to the end because you simply don't know. This is your shot.
That's what Ted Kennedy told Obama when Obama said I may not run. Ted Kennedy said there is no guarantee you're going to have a shot four years from now. You take it when you can. I think she plays it out. You never know what happens. But if she pulls out -- if something does indeed happen, she could regret that.
ROSEN: One thing I am certain of is that Hillary Clinton is not doing anything in her mind, in her campaign to try and hurt the Democratic nominee in the fall. That she's absolutely determined to support the Democratic nominee.
COOPER: That's something we heard from her tonight in her speech.
ROSEN: -- tonight. We should take her at her word. So all of these conspiracy theories that she's dragging it out because she wants to hurt Obama and the like; I just don't buy that.
COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.
Republican strategist Alex Castellanos; Hillary Rosen, Democratic strategist and Clinton supporter; and Roland Martin, thanks very much.
A lot more coming up. At the top of the hour, special edition of "Larry King Live." Larry is here with a preview -- Larry.
LARRY KING, HOST: Thank you, my man, Anderson. Yes, we'll have a continuation of what you've been doing. We'll have guests like John King and Lanny Davis and Ed Schultz and a whole bunch of others.
John King will be at his famous board. We call him the chairman of the board, by the way. And we'll also have some highlights of the day featuring Obama and Clinton.
This is never going to end, Anderson. I'm going to give you a quote.
Daryl Hammond (ph) entertained at the Larry King Cardiac Foundation last week. He was -- got up and he said "Larry King has spent 50 years in the business; 20 years of which covering this campaign."
COOPER: That's great.
L. KING: I'll see you at midnight.
COOPER: All right. Chairman of the board, I like that for John King. Thanks Larry.
Hillary Clinton has put out her campaign schedule through the June 3rd primary, so it doesn't look like she's getting out any time soon. But as if we needed anymore evidence than that.
If she does make an exit, what are her options and how would her decision impact the vote in November? We'll take a look at that.
And later, digging out of the rubble, literally, nearly two days after China's worth earthquake in three decades, the search and hope continues, even while the body count piles up beyond 12,000. We'll have a live report from the epicenter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: You know I never give up. I'll keep coming back, and I'll stand with you as long as you stand with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The voters of West Virginia clearly stayed with Hillary Clinton today. Joining me now is CNN political analyst, Carl Bernstein. A paperback edition of his book, "A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton" is in bookstores now and it is quite a read. It's interesting, seeing her tonight clearly she appears confident, appears full steam ahead as she said last week. What are you hearing behind the scenes?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: What you see is real. She feels buoyed by this, and at the same time underneath what's really going on is she's saying look, I've found my running game, I found it late. And you need to change the rules so I can keep running and win.
And the other thing is, that despite what Hillary Rosen just said, with all due respect, there is a huge operation going on in the Clinton campaign to try and find something in the forest that will fall hard enough on Barack Obama in terms of catastrophic information, as they call it, that will give her an opening in these three weeks to say to the superdelegates, not only that he's got some bad history that we have to look at, he can't run that strong.
COOPER: Some hope that there's some other Reverend Wright out there.
BERNSTEIN: Another Reverend Wright. You've got to look at two things going on at once. The other thing is, of course, her own anger. Earlier in the evening, you had some great clips earlier in the show, showing her in the first part of the campaign, angry as hell. Well that still comes up on most days according to people who see her because she can't understand why she's not winning.
And she thinks she deserves to win, and that the way is now clear for her to see that much daylight if she can convince those superdelegates that you must change these rules because I am now running the kind of race I should have run back then. Yes, I know I didn't do it well enough back then. But look now, Obama is not doing what he was doing back then and now I'm really running the way you want your presidential nominee to run. It's an extraordinary thing that she's claiming, but the most interesting thing I heard in a while tonight is Lisa Caputo said on the air, I listened to her. She said and I believe I got it exactly right, in her heart of hearts, Hillary's heart of hearts, she knows the math doesn't work. That's what others have told me. She and bill Clinton know the math doesn't work.
But if they can somehow change the perceptions and say look, West Virginia, this is where your weakness is, Barack Obama. And superdelegates take a look at this and watch me run through the daylight that West Virginia has given me. And watch the problems that Obama has, and meanwhile those who know her best still think that, okay, she wants the vice presidency if she can't get this on the Obama ticket.
I wrote a piece on cnn.com over the weekend, not my view but those who know her really well and with whom she has counseled through this campaign. Not people who are on her campaign staff, because she hasn't discussed this with them.
Only with Bill Clinton that she's discussed it probably, maybe Maggie Williams, her chief of staff. And also she's feeling her way through this, but what she is feeling is she's getting leverage for what she wants. She wants those delegates seated. She's going to get some kind of compromise that work more towards somewhat she wants.
She's going to say if I want the vice presidency, I've got some bragging rights here. I now have come this close and in the last part of the campaign, I've run strong and I've shown his weakness and I can make up for his weakness because I can get these women who won't vote for him, some women, and these white, working class voters, some of whom won't vote for him.
And so that's the strategy. That's leverage. That's what she's looking for.
COOPER: Right. Fascinating stuff. Carl Bernstein thanks very much.
She certainly has bragging rights tonight, just look at the big board; 84 percent of the precincts in; 67 percent for Hillary Clinton, 26 percent for Barack just 7 percent for John Edwards, whose name is still on the ballot.
Another reminder. At the top of the hour, a special edition of "Larry King Live" is coming up. Issue one, politics, of course.
But there are other important news stories out in the world right now. Cities where thousands are dead, injured and thousands more still trapped. We'll have a live report from China's earthquake zone, including news about the pandas. They were in harm's way.
Find out what is up with them now when "360" continues.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: It is Wednesday morning in China. Time running out for the more than 9,000 people -- 9,000 -- who remain trapped under the debris of Monday's huge earthquake. The number is just mind-numbing; at least 12,000 known dead. 26,000 injured. Something like 3 million to 4 million homes destroyed.
Our John Vause is in the disaster zone; managed to send us this update. Take a look.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are few comforts here for the badly hurt; just a sheet of plastic to protect them from the rain. They're left on the road to moan.
This woman has back injuries and cannot walk. Remarkably though, no one complains. No one speaks at all. They just wait for hours until the soldiers come and take them away. Most are dazed, confused. Like (inaudible) he slowly recalls how he received those horrific bruises.
I was on a bridge, he told me. I don't know who saved me. This is that bridge.
Gao (ph) was crossing just as the tremor struck, along with the concrete and steel, he went crashing to the river below. Everywhere here, the scale of the devastation is sweeping and amid the rubble, memories of lives before the quake, lives that will never be the same again.
The force of the earthquake was so powerful that many homes didn't simply collapse; they were destroyed, smashed into pieces. And in many cases, beneath the pile of wood and brick, are the people who once lived here. The focus say officials is not on finding the dead, but rather on trying to save the living.
But for many of the living, there is only misery, survivors with nothing and nowhere to go; they huddle together in makeshift tents.
It's horrible, there's devastation everywhere. We had no food, this one says.
13,000 people once lived in this small town. Not far from the epicenter of the quake. The local communist party secretary, who has been directing the rescue, tells me 3,000 people are still missing. As he shows me the damage to his community, I asked how many have died.
He breaks down in tears. Up to 500 have been killed, he says; including his parents, wife, and ten children. In the midst of his anguish, there's a call over his radio. He's needed again and goes back to work.
COOPER: John Vause joins us now by phone from the epicenter in Chengdu in China. John, we're hearing about military aid convoys about to go to the area. What do you know about it?
VAUSE: Well, we just came from that small village. There's now a camp there with about 1,000 survivors. It's pretty grim with no electricity or running water. The trucks arrived a short time ago bringing food, water and other supplies. What was striking though is despite just how desperate the situation is, the distribution was orderly, the mood was calm and the people just had this quiet gratitude for that much needed help -- Anderson.
COOPER: John, I mean in your piece, the images are just devastating, seeing people by the side of the road just moaning in pain, not being attended to. How common is that? How much do you see of that?
VAUSE: It's everywhere. It's everywhere. We've driven for about 100 miles and on the side of the road is just people with nowhere to go. They're living in plastic sheeting, in tarpaulins, they have food, they have nothing to do.
The weather is foul, they've lost everything and it's horrible to watch. And there's nothing really that can be done right away for them because this is just so widespread.
COOPER: You said you traveled for 100 miles and saw that along the road all along the way?
VAUSE: All the way. All the way. It starts in Chengdu, a city of 12 million people. It is pretty widespread there but the closer you get to the epicenter, the more crowded the side of the roads become.
COOPER: And what hope is there? I mean, how much aid is coming, how is it getting there?
Vause: It seems to be very mixed. It's difficult to judge, because this devastation is so widespread that we understand that there are these massive rescue operations ongoing in places where there has been total devastation, and that obviously has to be the focus.
But what we have seen is that many people are just being left to fend for themselves and there is a community spirit, there are a lot of people helping other people. But we saw a woman being dragged along on a make-shift stretcher, we saw a man wounded who couldn't move right on the side of the road.
We had people begging us to take them to a hospital, we had people begging for a food. We've done what we can but it's nothing.
COOPER: Unbelievable. John remarkable reporting tonight. Let's hope more aid gets there quickly and we'll continue to report on that tomorrow.
Now some of the day's other headlines. Erica Hill joins us with the 360 Bulletin -- Erica. ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we start off actually in San Francisco. News there -- record breaking slugger Barry Bonds is racking up the numbers again. Federal prosecutors today charging him with 14 counts of lying, one obstruction of justice. At issue here -- whether Bonds may have lied to a grand jury about receiving performance-enhancing drugs from his trainer.
And as we follow another disaster, more bad weather is on its way to Burma and an area already ravaged, of course, by that devastating cyclone last week. Up to eight inches of rain is now forecast for Yangon, that's the country's biggest city. The U.N. says as many as 100,000 people have died since that cyclone roared ashore more than a week ago.
Police in India say seven bombs exploded across the ancient city of Jaipur today killing at least 60 people, tearing apart several outdoor markets as well as a Hindu temple. The explosions are blamed on an Islamic militant group, although no one has claimed responsibility for those attacks.
And as Anderson mentioned before the break, as we hear these just horribly tragic disturbing stories out of China, there is an update on the pandas -- many people wondering about these rare pandas. Several dozen of them living in a reserve near the epicenter yesterday's powerful quake we're told are said to be unhurt, but one other person said that of course the main focus is making sure that the staff and the people are taken care of, making sure that they are okay.
COOPER: I mean, unbelievable, to hear from John Vause, this thing stretches for 100 miles where people just littered on the without being aided.