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Money Meltdown; Can McCain Win?

Aired October 24, 2008 - 20:00   ET


CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody.
Hang on tight. The markets had another monster loss today, $400 billion in value wiped out, but some say that's actually good news. We're going to explain. Our Ali Velshi will be here to guide us through exactly what happened coming up in just a moment.

With the campaigns, John McCain rallying his crowds by telling them Democrats are already measuring the drapes for the White House. And he says, not so fast. In fact, McCain could still prevail. We're going to show you how he can put together a winning combination.

As for Barack Obama, as we have been reporting, is in Hawaii. He's off the political radar to visit one of the most important people in his life, his ailing grandmother.

Also, Sarah Palin finally makes her first major policy speech. It was heartfelt, promising parents of special needs children more money for education.

In today's no bull test, we are going to compare her promises to her record as governor of Alaska.

And, finally, our no bias, no bull rogues gallery. Tonight, we induct a congressman caught with $90,000 of FBI sting money wrapped in his home freezer. He said he could explain. That, of course, though, was more than a year ago. We will explain all of that to you.

First, though, cutting through the bull. There is a story that's getting a ton of attention here in New York. And we thought we would share it with the rest of the country tonight. It is perhaps the most creative, most ridiculous and, yes, most full-of-bull excuse for not paying taxes that I have ever heard.

The governor of New York, well, his chief of staff is a man by the name of Charles O'Byrne. Mr. O'Byrne went to an Ivy League school. He makes about $100,000 a year. And, for five years, he didn't pay taxes or bother to file returns. When he got busted, he initially blamed his lapse on depression, but now his lawyer has come forward and offered more specifics.

The lawyer says Mr. O'Byrne has late-filing syndrome. What, you have never heard of late-filing syndrome? Well, again, according to Mr. O'Byrne's lawyer, it's a condition that made it difficult for him to fill out his tax returns. He just couldn't quite bring himself to undertake the task. Well, now, according to "The New York Times," late filing syndrome, sometimes known as non-filing syndrome, or failure to file syndrome, is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I know you're shocked.

The paper goes on to say that a spokeswoman for the American Psychiatric Association said that the group does not recognize it as a psychiatric condition, important information for those of you who may have been inspired by his defense.

Seriously, though, Charles O'Byrne may have in fact suffered from depression, but his ridiculous, full-of-bull defense totally makes light of a very real disease that 17 million Americans suffer from each year.

So, note to this loony lawyer: You have come up with a truly lame excuse for a politician in the hot seat. And to all those suffering from late-filing syndrome, get a grip.

Now we're going to turn to today's great disappearing act on Wall Street. Because of today's sell-off $400 billion worth of market value simply vanished.

But wait. Look again. For the week, stocks have lost -- it gets worse -- $800 billion in value. Think about it this way. That is your money, your investments, your retirements and your 401(k)s. As bad as things were today, it could have been a lot worse. Markets across Asia to Europe were falling so steeply that this morning special curbs on early trading kicked in before Wall Street even opened for business.

We want to go now to senior business correspondent Ali Velshi to explain to us what is going on.

Ali, another bumpy, bumpy week. Walk us through what is happening out there.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I woke up this morning to something called limit down on the Dow. I had to look it up to remember what this was.

And that meant that futures -- we talked about futures a lot. Futures are the bet on how the markets are going to do. They go on all the time.

Futures, you couldn't trade them down anymore. It had hit the limit of how far down it could go on the Dow and the S&P 500. So the feeling was this was going to be the day. We had people talking about 1,000- or 2,000- point loss on the Dow. It seemed extreme this morning, even with everything we have seen in the last month.

And it didn't turn out to be the case. And that's why a nearly more than 300 point loss on the Dow didn't seem like that big a deal. I just want to take you back to the beginning of the week, OK? We were at 8995. We have been talking about range in this market between about 8500 and 9000. OK? So, we were up above 9000. Tuesday wasn't all that bad. Wednesday, we finished down again. You notice it's always that last hour of the day where something crazy happens. Thursday, we had a gain in the last hour. And, then, today, closing down at 8378, not too far off of the that range we were talking about. Again, it's continued concerns about where this economy is going and whether it's going to get any better for us.

We had more news today. Chrysler, another company, it's going to cut about 5,000 salaried jobs, bringing this week's total announced mass layoffs to -- just doing the rough math in head -- about 13,000 -- Campbell.

BROWN: And, Ali, home prices are down, but it's Friday, and you do actually have some good news for us as we head into the weekend.

VELSHI: A little light at the end of the tunnel. As you sometimes point out, Campbell, you have got to be careful to make sure that light at the end of the tunnel is not a train, but here it is. It's good news wrapped in bad news.

The bad news is that the median price for a single-family home -- median means the price at which half of all homes are sold for lower than that, half are all -- are sold higher than that -- the median price is down 8.6 percent in one year to $190,600, almost $191,000.

Where's the good news there? The good news is, if you have do good credit and you can get a mortgage, a 30-year fixed mortgage is still running about 6 percent, a little more than that, maybe 6.33, depending on where you are, the more people are buying homes. We have seen a 1.4 percent increase over the same time last year to annual rate of 5.18 million homes.

Now, what that means is that there are some people who are trying to get into homes. They thought it was too expensive. They couldn't afford it. And now they're starting to think, maybe I can afford a home. I can still lock in a mortgage at a good rate. And there's a little hope there.

If people start buying all these extra homes that are on the market, that's going to help us get this economy back.

BROWN: Opportunity out there.


BROWN: Ali Velshi for us tonight -- Ali, thanks. Have a good weekend.

Later tonight, our no bias, no bull rogues gallery. Our latest inductee has the distinction of still serving in Congress, despite the fact that the FBI found $90,000 of its own sting money wrapped in his home freezer. Could he be your representative?

John McCain has a rally this hour in Colorado, a key state in his comeback strategy. That's right. I did say comeback. Yes, there are those out there who think he can still pull this off. When we come back, we're going to show you how.

And Joe the plumber, his 15 minutes are not up. And while the clock is ticking, there is talk that he actually may switch careers. We will explain.


BROWN: Among those voting early this election, President Bush. He filled out his absentee ballot today at the White House. So, who did the president vote for? Well, according to Press Secretary Dana Perino, John McCain.

So, John McCain has been distancing himself from George Bush, but, when it comes to votes, he does need every one he could possibly get. Just take a look at today's CNN national poll of polls. Barack Obama has an eight-point lead over McCain, 50-42.

But, again, the growing course of "McCain is in trouble" stories -- amid that growing course today, a lot of very smart political analysts are saying, not so fast; this isn't over yet. In fact, they are working out ways that McCain could still pull this off, could still win it.

And our Ed Henry is here to break it all down for us.

And, Ed, as we walk through some of these variables here, some of the possible scenarios, start at the map, and let's talk about Pennsylvania. Numbers seem to be in Obama's favor, but Republicans believe there are possibilities there, an equation to get McCain where he needs to be.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Campbell. John McCain can still win, but it's a very daunting electoral map.

If you look at CNN's projections, right now, we have John McCain at 174 electoral votes, about 100 short of the magic number of 270. So, what does he need to do? First of all, he needs to carry what we will call big reds. He needs to carry Florida, Ohio. The big red states George W. Bush had in 2004, he needs to hold those, as well as Missouri and North Carolina.

Then you get him up to 247 electoral votes, still short. That's where, as you noted, Pennsylvania looms large. Call it big blue. It's the largest blue state still on the map where John McCain is trying to make a big charge. But, even if he gets it, it's only 21 electoral votes. So, then he is still too short. He's at 268.

So, then he needs to carry something like Colorado, which you mentioned before, Nevada or Virginia. So, he can do it, but there are so many layers, as you can see, for him to get to 270. It's going to be very, very daunting -- Campbell.

BROWN: And, Ed, the other variable here, or the other possibility, an October surprise. No denying the power of an external event. The economic crisis certainly has lifted Obama in the polls. So, talk us through possibilities that might help John McCain. HENRY: We don't know what it could be, but anything on the international stage, any sort of national security crisis, that plays right into John McCain's wheelhouse.

Think back to mid-August, when the whole crisis in Georgia with Russia popped up. John McCain pounced. He was all over it. Barack Obama not so much. He was on vacation in Hawaii. It looked like he was slow to react. That was really the last time where John McCain was really at least ahead by a little bit. It's been mostly downhill since that point.

So, any sort of international crisis could help McCain, could help him show his national security credentials. He still polls very well on national security issues, unlike the taxes. The latest "Washington Post"/ABC News poll has him down eight points on taxes against Obama, even though that's usually a Republican strong point -- Campbell.

BROWN: Ed, in the end, though, it all comes down to voters, and they can be very difficult to predict, even with all the polling out there.

HENRY: The two biggest unknowables right now, turnout.

Last weekend, we saw Barack Obama get 100,000 people at a rally in Saint Louis. The image is very powerful, but how many of those people are going to actually turn out? The fact is, in the last two big elections, 2000, 2004, the Republican ground game was very strong.

Barack Obama's ground game, his turnout machine still relatively untested. Let's not forget some of those primaries with Hillary Clinton. Polls showed Obama ahead. Hillary Clinton had a better closing ground game.

One big factor, race, we just don't know where it's going to come out. I will tell you a quick story. Last night, as you know, I was in Florida. And after your show, I went to a neighborhood bar. And someone recognized me and came up to me, a Florida voter. And he said, look, this is not over. John McCain is still going to win.

And I said, how?

And he said -- and I quote -- "The South will rise again." He said it several times. "The South will rise again." What he clearly was saying is that he felt that he and some of his friends down in Florida were not going to vote for Barack Obama on the issue of race.

Now, is this just some random guy in a bar with a story or is this indicative of what a lot of people in battlegrounds like Florida are going to do? The problem is, we just won't know until November 4 -- Campbell.

BROWN: All right, Ed Henry for us tonight -- Ed Henry, as we're seeing those live pictures there of John McCain and Cindy McCain down in Florida -- or, I'm sorry, not in Florida -- in Durango, Colorado, campaigning. Barack Obama, though, was officially off the campaign trail, as we reported earlier. At this hour, he is still in Hawaii visiting his critically ill grandmother. The cameras did see him out for a brief walk near the apartment building where 85-year-old Madelyn Dunham lives, Obama alone, except for one Secret Service agent. He did of course have his ever-present BlackBerry on his hip, Obama planning to return to the campaign trail tomorrow. He will be in Nevada and in New Mexico.

Coming up, the vice presidential hopeful who says the whole race would be different if he were McCain's running mate, who is it and is he right?

And out of the mouths of babes. We're going to show you one of the hottest things on YouTube right now, sixth- and seventh-graders rapping about Obama and McCain. They hit our bullseye tonight.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You know, Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich, but it's the middle class who are going to get through the wringer.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I know Halloween is coming. But John McCain as a candidate of change, whoa, come on.


BROWN: John McCain, Joe Biden trading punches today, two veteran political boxers in search of a knockout.

Here now, though, with their take on how McCain could possibly still pull out a victory, three of the sharpest political observers around, Republican strategist and McCain supporter Kevin Madden, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, and CNN political analyst and Obama supporter Roland Martin.

Hey, guys.


BROWN: Kevin, let me start with you on this.

John McCain's campaign saying they can still win this. They say that they are polling similar numbers to what Al Gore had against Bush in 2000, which may not exactly be accurate when you go back and look at the polls. But what do you think? Is there a comparison here in terms of the scenarios?


Look, I think every single campaign is unique. And the circumstances that are driving the contours of this race are unique. The economy isn't what it was like in 2000. The personalities involved, the policies aren't what they were in 2000. The contrasts are much different.

So, the McCain campaign has to continue to make the argument that they can still affect the electoral map in the right direction. All roads right now go through Pennsylvania. That's why you're seeing such an emphasis on travel and an emphasis from a lot of strategists there pointing out the fact that the race is tightening there and that they can still win it. And that's the key to their electoral math.

BROWN: Gloria, let's do that. Forget the national polls for a minute. John McCain does need Pennsylvania to win. He's still behind in pretty much every poll there, though. Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania, said today that, if McCain had chosen him, instead of Sarah Palin -- quote -- for vice president -- quote -- "I think the dynamics would be different in Pennsylvania. I think we would be foolish not to admit it publicly."


BROWN: So, the question is, is it foolish for Tom Ridge to be saying that publicly?


Tom Ridge actually had to kind of walk it back a little bit today. Look, sure, if he had been on the ticket, they would have had a better shot in Pennsylvania. I'm not sure they would have won Pennsylvania, but they sure would have had a better shot in Pennsylvania.

But this is not exactly the right moment for Tom Ridge to start talking about it. And, by the way, Tom Ridge is a pro-choice Republican, who would not have done one thing to unite the Republican base. So, I think Tom Ridge kind of feels a little bad about it, but this was not the right time to mention it.

BROWN: Roland, on the other hand, though, Ed Rendell, the current governor, has been saying that Obama shouldn't get complacent about Pennsylvania either, that the Obama people possibly are taking their lead for granted. Do you believe that?

MARTIN: No. I don't think so.

And, in fact, here's what you find with someone like Governor Ed Rendell. At this point in the stage, every governor, all these different senators and members of Congress, they want the candidate in their state driving their people to the polls.

Again, what Obama's trying to do, it goes just beyond the issue of Pennsylvania. If Obama puts North Carolina in play, or puts Missouri in play, or puts Florida in play, it lessens Pennsylvania. The McCain people are admitting they're down in Colorado. They're down in New Mexico. Obama wins those states, plus those Midwestern states, all he has to do is win Ohio or Pennsylvania to get to 270. (CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: That's the real key.

BROWN: Go ahead, Gloria.

BORGER: Obama can lose by -- on some models, Obama can lose Florida, he can lose Ohio and he can lose Pennsylvania, and he could still win the presidency.

John McCain, on the other hand, he needs Pennsylvania. But all polls show kind of a double-digit lead. And the Obama people I talk to want Governor Rendell to take a little bit of a chill pill.


BROWN: Kevin...

MARTIN: Absolutely. I thought Rendell was frankly wrong to release that publicly, because, look, you can put pressure on a campaign, but at this stage of the game, you want the campaign to run the game they need to run. And by them trying to expand the map, it lessens the importance of Pennsylvania to some extent. I think Rendell wants Pennsylvania to be heightened, for obvious reasons.

BROWN: Kevin, let me ask you about distractions here. This clothing story, the $150,000 the RNC supposedly spent on clothes for Sarah Palin, is not dying down. She got asked about it I think by "The Chicago Tribune" and told them -- quote -- "That the whole thing is bad. Oh, if people only knew how frugal we were. It's kind of painful to be criticized for something, when all the facts are not out there and are not reported."

Forget about the clothes for a minutes.

MADDEN: Right.

BROWN: How damaging is this issue, in particular as a distraction? And maybe it's just because it's not a complicated issue to explain to people. They get it, and so it may resonate in a more destructive way.

MADDEN: Look, I think the biggest problem for this story is the way it has dominated the last three or four days of news reporting and has essentially taken over the narrative of what Sarah Palin means to the ticket and who she is.

This is not why Sarah Palin was picked. She was not put on this ticket to talk about clothes and how much she spends on them. I think one of the big problems with this story was it metastasized because the RNC and the campaign didn't really get the facts out there quick enough. They didn't engage as quickly as they could with all the facts, how the clothes were bought, why they were bought, and put it to rest, rather that the story had a little bit of oxygen over the last two days, and we're still talking about it.


MADDEN: It's been a major distraction and it's soaked up any of the opportunities to talk about the issues they have that voters care about.


MARTIN: It's P.R. 101. It's simple. You come out and say, we should not have paid for the clothes with campaign funds. End of story.

But every time you try to explain this story away, you screw it up. John Edwards had to deal with the haircut for three months. Just say, we messed up. We should not have paid for her clothes with campaign funds. End of story.


MADDEN: In a story like this, when you hope it goes away as a strategy, hope isn't a strategy, and it ends up coming back to bite you.

BORGER: And it's a mixed message. When you're the hockey mom and you're portraying yourself as a hockey mom, somebody who understands so-called real America, this story is a problem.

BROWN: All right, guys, we have got to end it there. Lots more to talk about, though, tonight, more generally, from both the serious to the seriously satirical. So, stick around for that.

Governor Sarah Palin's proposals for helping special needs children and their families the focus of her first policy address as John McCain's running mate, we will give that some attention tonight as well.

And, then, state-of-the-art political satire. "Saturday Night Live" takes over the Oval Office.



GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And don't worry one bit about any crying babies. That's the sound of life. I love it. It's good.


PALIN: Don't worry at all. I say that, too, because next crying could be my own son, so...


BROWN: Sarah Palin speaking in Pittsburgh today about children with special needs. Of course, her new baby boy, Trig, has Down syndrome, so it's something she does know a lot about. It was her first real policy speech. You may not have heard much about it in the midst of all the fuss about her wardrobe.

So, we wanted to bring you some of what she had to say. Listen to this.


PALIN: One of the most wonderful experiences in this campaign has been to see all the families with children who have special needs. And they come out to the rallies. They come out to events like this. And there is a bond there. There's just an inherent and very special bond that's created right when we see each other and look into each other's eyes -- the parents of these children.

We know that children with special needs inspire such a special love. And you, you bring your sons and your daughters with you to some of these events because you are proud of them, as I am proud of my son. And my little fellow, he sleeps, usually, during most of these rallies even when they get so rowdy and noisy, he's still snoozing. But he would be amazed, I think, to realize how many folks come out to see him instead of me.


PALIN: It's kind of cool.

And the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are most vulnerable. As for our baby boy, Trig, for Todd and for me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable. And in some ways, I think that we stand to learn more from him than he'll ever learn from us. And when we hold Trig and when we care for him, we don't feel scared any more. We truly feel blessed.

As governor, what I have been able to do is to assist our families of children with special needs and secure additional funding, secure more assistance for our students with special needs.

In fact, by 2011, I will have tripled the funding available to our students. And our state school board president has proclaimed what we've done there with special needs students via funding increases as being historic. It's really changed the face of this issue in my own state.


BROWN: Palin has said that, if elected, as vice president, she would be an advocate for children with special needs.

But some critics are raising questions about her record on that issue as governor of Alaska.

And Tom Foreman is here to put that to our no bull test -- Tom.


After the speech today, Governor Palin came under attack from Democrats over what she's promising for special education. She says she will pursue full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, as it is called. She plans to exempt special ed from the discretionary freeze on federal spending that McCain wants. And she says she will get school vouchers for these kids, so they can attend whichever school their parents pick.



PALIN: In a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to put the educational choices for special needs children in the right hands -- in the hands of the parents and the good responsible caretakers. Under reforms that I will lead as vice president, the parents and caretakers of children with physical or mental disabilities will be able to send that boy or girl to the school of their choice, public or private.



FOREMAN: So, why do the Dems doubt her so much? Maybe because Palin been hounded and pounded with a claim on the Internet, even once here on CNN, that, as governor, she cut funding for special ed in Alaska 62 percent.

Heads up now, and listen closely. That is flat-out false, not true. found out and the McCain campaign confirms that funding for special needs education in Alaska just as she said has risen every year since she became governor and overall it's up 26 percent. Democratic opponents are still jumping on McCain, of course, saying that he and other Republicans have repeatedly voted against measures that could have fully funded the IDEA program at the federal level, and that appears to be somewhat true but they don't mention that a lot of Democrats have failed on that front, too. As a result, this program, the IDEA program, has never been fully funded since it was created more than 30 years ago. And there's a lot of blame to go around for that all over Washington -- Campbell.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Clear enough. A lot for us there. Tom Foreman for us tonight. Tom, as always, thanks.

Coming up, the Republican goners list. GOP, members of Congress who've been given up for dead on Election Day by their own party. House Republicans running scared over predictions they could lose 34 seats. Is this going to be a Democrat blowout? John King is going to game it all out for us.

And the latest dishonoree in our congressional Rogues Gallery." Wait until you hear what he's done.


BROWN: When it comes to political satire this season, "Saturday Night Live" is running away with the gold. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin has sent the show's ratings into the stratosphere. And last night in the show's election special, the "SNL" crew took over the Oval Office and took on George Bush and his unique relationship with John McCain. Take a look.


WILLIAM FERRELL, PLAYING GEORGE W. BUSH: Let me do this. I, George W. Bush, endorse John McCain and Sarah Palin with all my heart. John was there for me, 90 percent of the time over the last eight years.

When you think of me, when you think of John McCain, think of me, George W. Bush. Think of this face. When you're in the voting booth before you vote -- this face, right here. A vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush.

You're welcome. So, I want to be there for you, John, for the next eight years.


FERRELL: Let's get a safety. I think I blinked on that last shot. Thumbs up, everybody.


BROWN: We got a lot more ahead.

Still to come tonight, mayor in a race for their political lives. The Republican members of Congress on the so-called goners list. They're facing a perilous political future. How many are still going to have their day jobs on November 5th? John King standing by with the latest predictions.

And some fresh voices to add to the political mix tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I say John, you say McCain.

ALL: Go McCain. Go McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I say Barack, you say Obama. Barack.

ALL: Obama.



BROWN: Republicans in Congress reportedly passing around a so- called goners list of 34 House seats they expect to lose on Election Day. If that happens, it would be a rouse for the Democrats, one that could leave the GOP in the minority for years to come. But will it be as bad as Republicans fear? Well, our chief national correspondent John King has been looking into all of this for us. And, John, there are 435 House seats I know up for grabs, a third in the Senate. Explain to us why Republicans are so worried about some of those races. What are your sources telling you about the so-called worst case scenario?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, I touched base with a half dozen top Republican strategists today who are closely involved in these congressional races and you get the bottom line by this statement. They say if they only lose 25 or 26 House seats, they will consider that a good night. That tells you how bleak they think things are heading into the final week of campaigning.

Let's take a look at this for a little perspective. This is the balance of power in the House of Representatives; 235 Democrats right now, one vacant seat in a Democratic seat. So, essentially 236. Come over 199 on the Republican side. So already the Democrats have a 36- seat margin.

Well, imagine that if they picked up 25, 30 House seats. That is possible on the House side in a best case scenario for Republicans. They say they will lose two dozen. That makes Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats much more powerful on the House side.

Now let's flip over to the Senate. How many times have we watched legislation stall in the Senate and people say if only we had 60, then we could break a filibuster.

Well, the Democrats have 51 at the moment, 49 Republicans. It's actually 49-49, but two independents, Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, vote with the Democrat. So, 51-49. This is where it gets fascinating.

Republicans think they will lose at least five and as many as 10 seats in the Senate side. And some of these names you know.

Elizabeth Dole, the wife of the former Senate Leader Bob Dole. She is a senator from North Carolina. She is in a very tough race. That is one of the places where they believe the Republicans believe that Barack Obama will help their candidate significantly because he will increase turnout there.

Another name you might know is the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, that is less likely, but that is a competitive race. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Ted Stevens right now is senator bridge to nowhere. You might know him at home. He's on trial at the moment. And Republicans think that's a tough race anyway, and they think the Democrat will almost certainly win if Ted Stevens is convicted.

A whole host more, Campbell. Al Franken, the comedian, is the Democratic candidate out in Minnesota. Norm Coleman is the incumbent in that race.

There are open seats in New Mexico and Colorado the Democrats expect to pick up. There's a seat down in Georgia. Saxby Chambliss won that seat six years ago. If there is a huge African-American turnout because of Barack Obama, the Georgia seat could fall as well.

So again, 24 House seats at a minimum, maybe more than 30 on the House side Republicans say they will lose. And they say five would be lucky in the Senate. They think it could go, Campbell, as high as nine or 10.

BROWN: All right. John, before you go, everybody knows, of course, you're the king in the magic wall. I don't know if you saw this last night, but you may be getting a little competition out there from the folks at "SNL." Take a look.


FRED ARMISEN, COMEDIAN: Let's get right to the mega map. Great. OK, one thing we're going to look at is we're going to want to look at Pennsylvania. Let's have a look at that.

Have a really good look at Harrisburg. Getting really close to that. Fantastic. Let's go back a little bit. Back a little bit more. Back a little bit more.

And let's go over to Idaho. Let's take a look at that. Let's take a really close look at it. And really, really close. Really, really close. Excellent.

Let's go back to the map. Now the country can be moved up and down, like so. Also, don't forget we can also shrink it so you put it in your pocket if you need to.


BROWN: I think he nailed you.

KING: Fred's pretty good there, don't you think? I'm a little worried about my job security. I used to move pianos in the old place I had.


KING: I had bartending skills. You know, Fred did a great job. I thought he was hilarious. And we also should give credit where credit is due. Our own Josh Braun (ph) who helps me quite a bit went over to "SNL" and gave Fred some help.

BROWN: Oh, he did.

KING: He did. He did. He taught him how to move and bring things out, push things down. But I'm worried. I'm worried.

BROWN: Well, and he gets so much more specific than you do. I think for the next -- well, I guess election night, John, if you could really get more into the details the way he does, I think that would be good for all of us.

KING: I think what I'm going to do is shrink the country, put it in my pocket and go somewhere and figure out the election.

BROWN: And have a beer. OK. John King for us tonight. John, thanks. See you.

Coming up, the latest inductee. And for our "No Bias, No Bull Rogues Gallery," I'm not naming names, but he was caught with a cool $90,000 in cash in his freezer. Do you know who he is?

And one of the coolest videos on YouTube. We'll show you why it hits the "Bull's-Eye."


BROWN: Still ahead, school kids playing politics. Their musical message when we come back.

But first, Randi Kaye with me right now for "The Briefing" -- Randi.


Deliberations in Senator Ted Stevens corruption trial are now on hold. That is after a juror's father died in California. The judge will decide Tuesday if an alternate juror should step in. Stevens is on trial for not reporting a quarter of a million dollars worth of free renovation of his Alaska home.

A shocking tragedy for singer and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson. Jennifer Hudson's publicist confirms that Chicago police are investigating the shooting deaths of her mother and her brother. Police posted an AMBER alert for a 7-year-old boy, Hudson's nephew. Hudson is on her way home to Chicago from Florida.

And a London newspaper reports Oprah Winfrey could be U.S. ambassador to Britain if Barack Obama is elected, but Oprah's spokeswoman says she has not been approached about a formal role in Obama's administration. The talk show host endorsed Obama and attended the Democratic National Convention.

BROWN: All right. Randi, I've got one you got to stick around for.


BROWN: We heard a lot about Joe the plumber, of course.

KAYE: Yes.

BROWN: Well now, he's considering a new career. Joe, the congressman. Joe Wurzelbacher told a talk radio host that he might run against veteran Democrat Marcy Captor (ph) of Ohio. Joe, of course, has been in the spotlight ever since John McCain turned him into a Republican folk hero after Joe asked Barack Obama about his tax plan. Top Republicans say Joe is welcome to run in 2010.

Fifteen minutes, not enough. Not enough. KAYE: Really, 30 minutes for this guy.

BROWN: I know and maybe more. We'll see. Randi Kaye for us tonight. Randi, good to see you.

KAYE: You too.

BROWN: "LARRY KING LIVE" just minutes away. Tonight, a long time ally of President Bush joins Larry to talk about his political change of heart.

Larry, tell us more.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": We sure will, Campbell. We'll also have more on that McCain campaign worker hoax that more than a few people believe. What does it say about the nature of this election?

Scott McClellan is also here to tell us why he switched sides. The one-time Bush spokesperson is supporting Obama.

And are the wheels coming off Republican efforts to win the White House? We'll see you next on "LARRY KING LIVE," Friday. Campbell, and I like the music.

BROWN: Yes. I think that's your music. Is that yours or mine?

L. KING: I don't know whose it is. I never had a musical background. I felt like singing.

BROWN: Oh, Larry, have a good weekend. Good to see you.

L. KING: You too.

BROWN: We'll see you in a few minutes.

They are not old enough to vote, but they are sure old enough to sing. Stay with us for the sixth and seventh grade stars of a video that has gone viral in a big way.

And we're about to reveal the newest member of our "No Bias, No Bull Rogues Gallery." You never know it could be your local congressman.


BROWN: In line with our "No Bias, No Bull" agenda, we started bringing you our "Rogues Gallery." Those folks up on Capitol Hill who have been up to no good, we think.

Before we get to our latest inductee, there's a little news today about our charter member, Florida Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney. As if admitting to multiple extramarital affairs isn't enough bad publicity, Mahoney was a no show for today's debate against his Republican opponent. You can notice there the rather empty podium at the front of the room. Republican candidate Tom Rooney got to take all the questions by himself because Mahoney decided he wouldn't show up unless TV cameras were banned from the debate. Obviously, they weren't. At least Mahoney will have some company in our "Rogues Gallery".

Joe Johns here to tell us about our latest inductee -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, Democratic Congressman Bill Jefferson may forever be linked to the phrase, cold hard cash, and we're not talking about political donations here. Still, with the help of voters in Louisiana, he's been able to hold on to his job. And now he's asking the folks back home to give him yet another chance.


JOHNS (voice-over): So whatever happened to Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson? You remember, he's the guy who got caught three years ago with $90,000 wrapped in foil in his freezer. The cash was FBI money used in a sting. Believe it or not, not much has happened to the Democratic congressman nicknamed "Dollar Bill."

He hasn't lost his job. Voters in Louisiana reelected him about a year after the cash was seized, and Jefferson is running for reelection again this year. He hasn't been to trial yet even though he was indicted last year on charges of bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering.

Perhaps most importantly, Jefferson hasn't admitted doing anything illegal. He maintains his innocence and plans to fight it out in court. The trial could start as early as December.

REP. WILLIAM JEFFERSON (D), LOUISIANA: Did I make a mistake in judgment along the way? Yes, I did, that I deeply regret. But did I sell my office or conduct official acts for money? Absolutely not.

JOHNS: So how did that money end up in Jefferson's freezer? Well, he was indicted on charges of soliciting bribes from people and business interest from some pretty exotic places all over Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Botswana, Congo. And there was a sting operation culminating in the raid on his home August 3rd, 2005.

JEFFERSON: The $90,000 was the FBI's money the FBI gave to as part of its plan, part of their plan. That I would give it to the Nigerian vice president, but I did not do that.

JOHNS: But Jefferson also had a few mistakes in judgment closer to home, too. Like asking the National Guard to take him on a tour of his flooded-out district in Louisiana on September 2nd, 2005 just after Hurricane Katrina. In an oh, by the way moment, he had them dropping by his house so he get some stuff, the kind of favor from the military the vast majority of New Orleanians could not take advantage of at the time.

So what's taking so long to get the Jefferson legal case wrapped up? Well, the fact is he's been fighting this thing tooth and nail.

JEFFERSON: I plan to carry my responsibilities here as I have since the time that I've been here. I expect to continue to represent the people who sent me here and just try to respond to their needs and their issues. And I will continue to do that so long as they permit me to.

JOHNS: When the FBI raided his congressional office, he said the raid violated the Constitution. And the courts pretty much sided with him but the indictment still wasn't thrown out. So now, he's filed a second appeal that could be ruled on any day now.

In the meantime, it's getting tougher and tougher to win elections under a legal cloud. He's lost so much support he's facing a run-off against another Democrat November 4th, and it could be close. A lot of Jefferson's campaign money has dried up too. He's been stripped of a once powerful position on the House, Ways and Means Committee, and that's why Congressman Bill Jefferson who is still innocent until proven guilty has already earned his place in our "No Bias, No Bull Rogues Gallery."


JOHNS: We did ask for an interview with the congressman, but his people didn't get back to us. Legal observers say the long lasting effect of Jefferson's case maybe that members of Congress now have more protection from the court when the Justice Department tries to investigate them -- Campbell.

BROWN: Joe, I'm so shocked that the rogues don't want to sit down with you and go on camera, I really am.

JOHNS: Well, we'd love to have anybody come in and talk to us, you know, as much as they want.

BROWN: I'm sure. Well, maybe somebody will. We'll see.

OK. So let's make it official. The latest member of the "No Bias, No Bull Rogues Gallery" is Democrat William Jefferson, the representative from Louisiana's second congressional district. There you go. You got your place on the wall.

To clear up a couple of questions, though, about our new inductee, we've got CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin with us tonight. Bribery, Jeff, conspiracy, money laundering, racketeering, you heard Joe Johns' report on this. Serious indictments here. What happens if he's found guilty?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: He will go away for a very long time. The days when white collar crime got you a slap on the wrist are over in federal court, and he's looking at easily 10 years for real in jail if he's convicted.

BROWN: So, you know, this is Louisiana we're talking about. I'm from Louisiana.

TOOBIN: Yes, I was going to say.

BROWN: These are my people.

TOOBIN: You know, these are your people.

BROWN: And we are forgiving people because $90,000 in the freezer, that doesn't really mean much. You know, will we elect you for that?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, the most famous comment about Louisiana politics was your former governor, Edwin Edwards, who said he could only get in trouble is if he was found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl. But you know, the sad truth is I checked, Edwin Edwards is still in federal prison. He's not due to get out until 2011. So even though he wasn't found in bed with either of those two folks, he got caught too. So I think the gig is up a little bit in Louisiana.

BROWN: And on Jefferson, several members of Jefferson's family also being prosecuted here. I mean, true enough that a congressman gets charged but to have your family involved in this too.

TOOBIN: If these cases all pan out, and they haven't yet. I mean, this family looks like a one-family crime wave. It is astonishing. Kids, siblings, everybody is under investigation or indictment, or almost everybody.

BROWN: We're going to have that wall filled up pretty soon.

TOOBIN: Oh, we certainly will.

BROWN: Jeff Toobin for us. Have a good weekend.

TOOBIN: Even after the election. We can keep track.

BROWN: We'll never run out, unfortunately. See you soon.

It's crunch time on the campaign trail. At every stop and every speech, the candidates are pleading with people to get out and vote. Well, next, some students who are delivering the same message and in our view hitting the "Bull's-Eye."



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I say John, you say McCain.

ALL: Go McCain. Go McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I say Barack, you say Obama. Barack.

ALL: Obama.



BROWN: A clip from the song, you can vote however you like. That's brought to you by the sixth and seventh graders of Atlanta's Ron Clark Academy (ph) set to the tune of Rapper T.I.'s "Whatever You Like." Now, they may not be old enough to vote but when it comes to this election, these students sure know how to make a statement. That is why they hit our "Bull's-Eye" tonight. Check them out.


MUSIC: Obama on the left McCain on the right. We can talk politics all night. And you can vote however you like. I say you can vote however you like, yeah.

Democratic left Republican right. November 4th we decide. And you can vote however you like. I say you can vote however you like, yeah.

Obama on the left McCain on the right. We can talk politics all night. And you can vote however you like. I say you can vote however you like, yeah.

Democratic left Republican right. November 4th we decide. And you can vote however you like. I say you can vote however you like, yeah.


BROWN: They are fantastic. And I'm not going to be able to get that song out of my head all weekend long.

TOOBIN: I was going to say, totally adorable. I'm sort of embarrassed that I don't know the original. That's the only one I know. It frankly shows how out of it I am.

BROWN: Coming to a polling place near you.


BROWN: They're going to be out rousing people come Election Day.

That is it for us. Jeff Toobin, thanks.

TOOBIN: Have a good weekend.

BROWN: It's good to have you here. You have a great weekend, too.

Have a great weekend, everybody. We will see you back here on Monday. The countdown is on.

We have so little time left. Still so much to talk about.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts in a few moments. We'll see you on Monday.