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D.L. HUGHLEY BREAKS THE NEWS
D.L. Joins Masses On National Mall For Obama Inaugural, Then Celebs At An Inaugural Party; Conversations Touch On The Joy In The Air, The Profundity Of The Moment, The Message To Future Generations Of Americans Of All Races, Creeds
Aired January 24, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
D.L. HUGHLEY, CNN HOST, D.L.HUGHLEY BREAKS THE NEWS: Hey now, how you guys doing? All right. It's really good to be here. This was a historic week.
Did anybody get a chance to go out to the inauguration? Anybody at all? You got all the way down?
They put me in a hotel room that was so messed up, it had pictures of other rooms, you should have stayed at. I was like, when did I start working for BET again?
This is horrible. The dude walked around with house shoes on, it was crazy.
Did you see all the T-shirts? Obama leads the nation in bootleg T- shirts. Did you see that?
I'm like, I hope they - and then they had bootleg water. They had candy bars. And then there was so many things that happened.
I was watching the inauguration with, they say it was what, 1.5 million people. But they were all standing around where I was. Remember when Dick Cheney came out and he was in the wheelchair. I firmly believe nothing was wrong with that man. I think he was going, I ain't standing up for this dude, I promise.
He hurt his back moving. What 70-year-old billionaire man you know moves boxes? George, somebody has to shred all these documents, I can't.
But we did have a great time and we went all around. I got a chance to, you know, I was on the mall. Let's not call it a mall. I was confused, when they called it a mall, I thought you was going to be able to get some stuff, I'm walking around looking for Cinnabon. You can't say mall to me without me getting shoes or something.
We're in this The Mall, and the energy is palpable. You could feel it everywhere. We got a chance, we walked around, we talked to everybody. Here is a tape. You get a chance to witness history. Here we go right here.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HUGHLEY: I have my hat, coat, gloves, body warmers. I even have depends on in case it gets real bad and I can't go nowhere.
Hello, Barack, good-bye, George.
God dog, it's cold.
We're rolling on the historic inauguration. Nelson is doing a good job getting us through all these people think we've only hit four pedestrians.
You have to give me a little bit of room. Just back up just a little bit.
Where did you come from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Orlando.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raleigh, North Carolina.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Greenwood, South Carolina.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Haiti.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The republic of Congo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I came from Los Angeles, via Cleveland, Ohio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Toronto, Canada.
HUGHLEY: This is the roughest looking Canadian I've seen my life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Waldorf, Maryland.
HUGHLEY: Waldorf, Maryland? So, you drove about 10 minutes? You rode your bike here. (LAUGHTER)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I'm a teacher, D.L. I teach at Hutchinson (ph) Junior High School.
Hey, kids, I know y'all are watching me, Miss Clarkson is on TV! For real! Hutchinson (ph) Junior High School, Arlington, Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We drove 10 and a half hours. My 12 year old and my seven-year-old.
HUGHLEY: Where's your daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imari (ph) is right here. Imari (ph)! Imari (ph)! I done lost my child.
(LAUGHTER) HUGHLEY: What did you bring?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have oranges, grapefruit, a half a Snickers bar.
HUGHLEY: She's Sam's Club right here.
We are here in front of the historic port-a-potty. You just made history.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HUGHLEY: Are you happier to see George leave or Barack Obama come?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, good question. Good question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think we could have one without the other. I think I'd take Barack coming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barack Obama coming to power! What kind of question is it?
HUGHLEY: We're getting closer to the actual swearing in. I think George Bush Senior came in with one of the founding fathers. Hillary Clinton came in, damn, this could have been me!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Booo!
HUGHLEY: I feel like I'm at the Apollo.
HUGHLEY: Listen, if the current president walks in, you can hear them singing.
CROWD SINGING: Na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, good-bye! Good-bye!
HUGHLEY: Look at him. Look how he looks? Look at that dude! He walked in like this.
He looks like he's walking on money right now.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Everyone, please stand.
HUGHLEY: I don't want to be disrespectful, but we're already standing.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: So help you God?
OBAMA: So help me God. ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.
HUGHLEY: Barack Obama is now officially the 44th president of the United States of America!
(CROWD CHEERS, SCREAM, WHISTLES)
HUGHLEY: Barack has been president about 30 seconds. How's he doing so far?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excellent. Couldn't do better.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's doing just great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far, I'm impressed. I'm impressed so far.
HUGHLEY: Barack Obama has been president for a minute now. How's he doing so far?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very good, very, very good. Hallelujah!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's for all the people. Not just some.
HUGHLEY: Even the people that don't got fur coats.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.
OBAMA: What is required of us now, is a new era of responsibility, a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, the nation, and the world.
HUGHLEY: What are the sacrifices you going to make to help Barack be very successful -- and the country be successful?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I will volunteer some more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We ladies, if we have five pair of shoes, hold onto five pair of shoes and not go out and buy another pair.
HUGHLEY: That's your sacrifice? You will give up your sixth pair of shoes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will give up my sixth pair of shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will get my nails done once a month now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever Barack says, I'm going to try my best to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready to sacrifice.
HUGHLEY: You will give up watching football? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know about that, now! I don't know about that!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will do my own hair.
HUGHLEY: Do your own hair?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Huh-huh.
HUGHLEY: You're looking like, haven't I given enough?
ARETHA FRANLIN, SINGING: My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty...
HUGHLEY: You're 17 years old, you get to see history in the making. What does this mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a big moment for me, because now I get to explain this to my son. He may not understand it, like, how a big of a deal it was for me. And for like other people to see this.
HUGHLEY: You don't have a son yet, do you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, not yet.
HUGHLEY: I was gonna say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
HUGHLEY: What did you remember the most?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact we have no more excuses as a people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to do what we need to do. The door is open, the sky is the limit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have not arrived, but we're almost there.
HUGHLEY: At least, we're on the bus?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're on the bus, we're on the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my girls to see a live example of what they can do. I mean, we've been crying ever since this happened November the 4th.
HUGHLEY: I've been crying ever since I've been out here in this cold weather.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can look my son in the eye and not lie to him when I tell him he can become anything he wants to become. I can look my kids that I teach, in Compton, whose mother may be strung out on drugs, or they may not even have a job. I can tell them you can become whatever you want if you put your mind to it. And say that with a sense of satisfaction and know that I'm telling them the truth.
FRANKLIN: Land of the free.
HUGHLEY: God-dawg, it's cold!
HUGHLEY: Talk about a front row seat in history. I am going to talk to someone who was right there on the train with Barack Obama.
HUGHLEY: Joining me now is a photographer who covered Obama for more than two years. She's taken over a million pictures and wrote "Yes We Can." Please welcome back Scout Tufankjian
Give her a big round of applause.
How you doing?
SCOUT TUFANKJIAN, PHOTOJOURNALIST, AUTHOR, "YES WE CAN": I'm doing good.
HUGHLEY: We haven't seen each other for a while. But you were on the -- you covered the Obama campaign from the beginning to the presidency.
HUGHLEY: So, you know everything. You were on the train ride?
TUFANKJIAN: Yeah. That was my favorite part of the whole inaugural weekend.
HUGHLEY: You have pictures.
HUGHLEY: This first one we're going to see is one that I thought was the most interesting ones. This is either a guy happy to see Obama, or a dude still hanging out from Katrina. But that's amazing. People were just out?
TUFANKJIAN: People lining - it was freezing cold and people were lining the tracks in kind of the middle of nowhere. People were on the streets in Baltimore, people were kind of in the woods in Delaware.
HUGHLEY: Let's look at this one. I didn't know where this one was.
TUFANKJIAN: This is in between Wilmington, Delaware and Baltimore. The thing that's so incredible about it is how many different kinds of people were lining the track. They were so excited. There's a famous book of photography called "RFK Funeral Train", which is the same route they took RFK. And it was so sad and people were lining the tracks. But this was a joyous moment and people were so excited.
HUGHLEY: Where was this picture? It's the one, I think with, it has a lot of graffiti. Is that LA?
TUFANKJIAN: Yes, right. It's the train tracks between Philly and Wilmington.
HUGHLEY: So they went through there and people --
TUFANKJIAN: Huh-huh. Yeah. They told us they were going to keep people a hundred yards away from the track. It's 150 miles of track. The Secret Service kind of can't do everything. Yeah, you know, whatever.
HUGHLEY: I saw a picture of Obama with -- this was probably -- he was at the inauguration, he was like hugging with John Lewis. I thought, wow.
TUFANKJIAN: That was my favorite moment. He was - it was pretty incredible, because he stepped out onto kind of the stage area, went down the stairs, people saw him for the first time. The first person he saw was John Lewis.
HUGHLEY: That had to be something because from the civil rights era.
TUFANKJIAN: Civil right era, American hero, one of the really, the true American heroes. And also one of the people who paved the way for Obama. I mean it was, what, it was what, 35 years ago that he had his skull fractured on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and now Barack Obama is president of the United States, and the first person he sees, as he goes to his swearing in ceremony is John Lewis.
HUGHLEY: I remember seeing the picture, do we have the one of him seeing George Bush?
TUFANKJIAN: Yes, I remember writing the caption for that. President Barack Obama exchanges a glance with his predecessor, former President George Bush, and thinking, wow.
HUGHLEY: You had this picture of him and Michelle. That was -- they're just, like she' going, I can't believe we did it baby.
TUFANKJIAN: I know, totally, right.
HUGHLEY: I can't believe we did it.
HUGHLEY: And he is --I got a chance to see them together. The thing that was amazing to me, is that I've seen evidence of black people being in love. I see it in my home. I saw it in my family. But most people haven't seen examples like that except for "The Cosby Show". You know, that's their reference point. But to see a man and a woman who are clearly in love.
TUFANKJIAN: It's pretty incredible. They really do have a real kind of active partner.
HUGHLEY: I see this picture. This struck me, really it resonated with me. I have never seen so many young black men and women holding flags. I've never seen it.
HUGHLEY: It occurred to me. I'm 44 years old. In my lifetime, I've never held and American flag. I've saluted it, I've seen it, not because I have done it on purpose. But because I never felt invited to. Like I never felt like it was something I was allowed to do. I don't know how that is as a concept. But for the first time in my life, that day, I raised an American flag. And not because they vote for the man I voted for, or because I said this before, America kept the promise.
HUGHLEY: It became the country I've always imagined that day. I think that that's just my personal feeling. I think for me, I used to hear that you know, the secret to staying in love is fall in love over and over again. I can honestly say I fell in love with this country again that day. It was just an amazing thing to see.
HUGHLEY: It really was.
HUGHLEY: Because this is what it was like. We have a picture of -- you would see people crying and holding each other, and going -- you know, the funny thing was because I was out in The Mall. And I asked people, are you happier to see Barack Obama come or happier to see George Bush leave? They went, wait a minute, I don't know which one I feel better about.
Give it up for Scout Tufankjian. Thank you. Amazing pictures.
I think that the beautiful thing about this inauguration is everyone was included, everyone on the A-list, anyway. Take a look at the "Huffington Post" party last night. I attended this party.
SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: Oh, I don't think I can talk to you.
HUGHLEY: Really? Why is that?
STONE: Because I heard you were dirty.
HUGHLEY: I am dirty, darling.
STONE: That's what I heard and I'm trying to clean up my image.
HUGHLEY: I'm probably not the person to be seen with.
STONE: That's what I heard. HUGHLEY: What does something like this mean, to you in particular, a night like this?
LARRY DAVID, COMEDIAN: What does it mean?
DAVID: Mostly, I'll be thinking about tomorrow.
DAVID: How I'm going to negotiate five hours of not being able to use the toilet. And I'm really like, when everybody's watching Obama getting sworn in, that's really wonderful. I'm going to be thinking, I got to pee. I'm not enjoying this and I'm thinking actually about getting Depends for tomorrow.
HUGHLEY: What does a night like this mean to you?
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, ACTRESS: It's not even the night. It is sort of like weave me into the fabric of this moment. Let me be here, let me ...
HUGHLEY: You should write for Hallmark. Weave me into the fabric. Sounds like a gospel song.
ROSS, SINGING: Weave me into the fabric.
HUGHLEY: I was talking to Arianna Huffington, she was talking about how this is our inauguration now. I think that maybe true but what does that mean to you, the fact that it is our inauguration, when you make such a statement like that?
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD, (D) CONNECTICUT: By ours, it's ours, in the sense it's the country. I'm a father of a three-year-old and seven- year-old. They may be snow on the mountaintop -
HUGHLEY: But you're getting it done. You keep putting it in!
DODD: I'm a progressive Democrat.
HUGHLEY: You're also exhausted.
DODD: I know. I'm tired.
HUGHLEY: Oh, my goodness.
DODD: This is all about them, not about you and me, it's about them.
STONE: The preparation for change takes a long time. But I believe the change happens in a moment. I believe that moment is now.
ISAIAH WASHINGTON, ACTOR: We have an opportunity - it feels like New Year's here, man. HUGHLEY: It does feel like New Year's.
WASHINGTON: Some of the most incredible minds on the planet are in this room, that are all on the same team, and on the same diverse team.
HUGHLEY: What do you think he should do first, to keep it together?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gonna get rid of the golf clubs at the White House and get a basketball hoop. There's more deals can be made on the basketball court.
HUGHLEY: We have a whole lot more coming up. We'll be right back.
HUGHLEY: This week, I did a few things I've never done before. One of them was to go to a presidential inauguration and walk seven miles in the freezing cold. Joining me now to talk about the inauguration and the impact on all of it us is Michaela Angela Davis, a cultural and political critic, and ESPN's Steven A. Smith.
How you guys doing?
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL/POLITCAL CRITIC: Life is good!
HUGHLEY: We were talking, we went to the inauguration. What do you think will stick with you forever, Michaela?
DAVIS: You know, it felt like the biggest family reunion I have ever been at. The only thing missing was people didn't break out an Electric Slide.
HUGHLEY: Oh, they did.
DAVIS: They did?
HUGHLEY: I promise you.
DAVIS: Even the people from Sweden? They go it?
HUGHLEY: Yes. They got everybody offbeat, but they were there.
DAVIS: That's what happens. It felt like everyone - and this is - it sounds corny but it's actually real. It felt like this collective American dream had come true and we were all in it together.
HUGHLEY: Steven, you were there?
STEVEN A. SMITH, ESPN: I was there. I walked that seven miles, I was freezing. I looked like I was 300 pounds because I had on two long johns, two sweat pants, you know, boots, foot warmers, and everything like that. But it was worth it, because I think it was one of those situations where again, what you were alluding to, people talk about it. And you talk about it as well, it was a cliche, America is the greatest country in the world. The reality is that a lot of people in black America did not feel that way. We didn't feel that was applicable to us. Then the sea, you're looking and witnessing greatness, because we showed what a gorgeous mosaic we could be and it was supposed to be.
HUGHLEY: Really, a lot of countries, when you think about it, don't have our challenges. We're a nation full of vastly different cultures, vastly different ideas. One of the things, that made me the proudest. I hadn't even thought about it until I got here, George Bush's approval rating was very low.
HUGHLEY: But any country around the world to have somebody to leave office with approval rating that low, the military would have to be involved. No, really. For there to be a peaceful transfer of power, peaceful transfer of ideas, really, you know, that was an element that made me proud, too.
DAVIS: It had some dignity to it.
HUGHLEY: It did.
DAVIS: It wasn't like everyone drank the cool laid weird kind of connected. Sometimes you go to those things and everybody is on this same weird vibe.
DAVIS: But this was, you were allowed to be individual, and autonomous, and you were connected to this higher thing. Everyone felt a little bit of dignity. The fact there were no arrests, that is crazy. No incidents and maybe a couple people went too the hospital for hypothermia.
HUGHLEY: It's more crazy at family reunion.
DAVIS: Say it.
HUGHLEY: We can't -we argue at my family reunion.
SMITH: The one thing I want to add to that is that, that's one of the ways, where Barack Obama deserves so much credit for it. Because for the most part, I mean, pretty much completely, he's conducted himself with such class throughout his campaign. And even once he secured the nomination, once he became president-elect of the United States, the fact is he was talking about how there's one president at a time. And there's proper protocol you need to follow. During the campaign, if you remember, when people tried to go after Sarah Palin's children, he stood up and said, we're not engaging in those kind of sleazy politics. HUGHLEY: There were several moments from the speech, that I thought were very poignant. This in particular, I listened to this part. I want you too listen to it and ask you how it resonates with you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: To those who claim to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: When he said that, it didn't just speak to me about political strife, it didn't speak to me about global or tribal strife, I got the sense he was talking to people on an even smaller levels. All around this country, young black men are killing young black men. If we could get them to understand that this is our possibility.
SMITH: The fact is that when you look at Barack Obama and this presidency, if we're being real about it, his very image, the very person that he is, lets the world know there is something else you can sell as well when it comes to black males. It doesn't have to be a rapper, doesn't have to be an artist, doesn't have to be somebody that's challenged in the English language, because all they know this is streets and what have you.
HUGHLEY: I agree. But I tell you this, one man can't encompass our whole experience. We have Barack Obama and Flavor Flave, you dig what I'm saying? One dude can't be all things. We have a myriad of experiences. But I was on a train and I was coming, we were coming from the inauguration, these two kids were acting up on the train.
SMITH: You got a train. Congratulations on that. I had to drive.
HUGHLEY: It was rough.
But a lady ran up to her kids and said, you stop that, you ain't never going to see Sasha and Malia acting like that. And those kids straightened right up. To me, we know that images are very powerful. Like after "The Cosby Show", black enrollment, black college enrollment went up, black homeowner went up. They saw something they aspired to it. This, on a whole other level, on a global level, which is that same thing. When you have an example, hey, don't act like this. This is how you are supposed to act.
DAVIS: The Obamas are real. They're not characters.
DAVIS: I remember seeing. I can't remember what the event was, but one of the little girls was just shifting in her seat a little bit. And Michelle shot her a look. And she -- y'all know that look. You know when you're in church and the fact that that look now becomes something all American families can be like, you know.
HUGHLEY: Yeah, but you have to be able to pull that off.
DAVIS: Michelle can do that.
HUGHLEY: I'm saying.
DAVIS: It was one look and that girl's curls fell into place and she, you know, sat down.
HUGHLEY: Do you know what was funny, do you remember when they were walking in together, right after the election, Obama was with the young one, Sasha, and the mother was with Malia. And I don't care, that little girl knew that was daddy's little girl, I could see look at her, she didn't give a damn who was around, I'm walking with my daddy, I don't care what you think.
DAVIS: To see a young black girl be somebody's princess again, not sombody's B or H or having bottles popped on them. He's holding her hand with dignity, too. There's a whole lot of little girls, we're not going to have to have that conversation with them. That's saying it for us.
HUGHLEY: What is the message that you will give your children? That will resonate. I was there and this is the lesson you took away?
SMITH: It is history. You can be what you want to be if work hard enough, if you work hard enough, if you strive for it. More importantly, you don't look for shortcuts. This was an educated man. This is a family man. This is a man with discipline and morals and values. Those things take precedent over everything else.
People can try and break you. They can knock you down but they can't stop you, whether you go over them, or around them, or right through them. If you are determined, focused and your mind is in the right place and your heart is in the right place, you can make it happen.
HUGHLEY: What about you?
DAVIS: I have a daughter. I have a daughter who just entered college, and you know, she's fly, she's smart. I'm a big Michelle fan, like Michelle --
DAVIS: Yes. And here's why. Michelle has created herself. She hasn't let the fashion industry tell her what to do. She hasn't let white male patriarchy tell her what to do. She is feminine, beautiful, smart, sharp, fly, in charge, healthy, you know? And is a mother.
HUGHLEY: I hear she can make a sandwich, too. That's important, you gotta do all that, too.
DAVIS: But we can stop doing that as women and that also Barack gives her the space be that. That's what made me vote. I said that any man that can marry that woman can rule the free world. He's comfortable with himself. She's not arm candy.
SMITH: But he's comfortable, where actually she is arm candy, too. She's a lot more.
DAVIS: She's not arm candy.
SMITH: I'm saying she's a beautiful black woman, is what I'm trying to say.
DAVIS: And he's hot.
DAVIS: So, it's good.
SMITH: What I'm saying, though ,is that the deal is --.
HUGHLEY: I felt a little friction right there.
SMITH: Not at all.
DAVIS: He is. He is a fine president.
HUGHLEY: This is almost turning into Jerry Springer.
SMITH: I'm just saying --
DAVIS: Let's -- he's saying --
SMITH: My only point is, she, as a woman, as accomplished as she is, the one thing that resonates with me, when I look at him with her is how much she loves him. And because of that, he has no choice but to love her back.
DAVIS: He loves her back.
HUGHLEY: Men love women for the way they make us feel about us. You made me feel good about me. You can see in her -- plus, she looks nice in a dress. I've never seen a first lady before and went, damn! No disrespect.
DAVIS: But see, if you're doing that.
HUGHLEY: I don't want anybody to jump on me, but.
DAVIS: Right. It's not like she's in a video and you're going -- you know what I mean? That's OK. We like men to make us feel good, too.
DAVIS: OK, that's another show.
HUGHLEY: Thanks, Steven Smith, Michaela Angela Davis.
We will be right back.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, I'm Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters. We want to give you some of the headlines. Right now, you know what? There's manhunt happening in Miami and Miami police are pleading for information from the public tonight after a deadly shooting rampage, at least one person with an assault rifle fired on a crowd of young people last night, killing two teens. Seven other people were wounded.
New information at the top of the hour on that.
Also tonight we're going to go in-depth into President Barack Obama's first days in office and his inauguration speech. What did he mean? What are the policy implications? We're going to break it all down.
Also some say you only have to look as far as his speech to know what he's going to do and when he's going to do it. We talk to some of our nation's top political minds about that.
Is violent crime on the rise in your neighborhood, talking about that Miami story? We want to know what's on your mind tonight. Also what you want to know about from these top political minds about the presidential speech, inauguration speech. Join us on twitter, facebook, MySpace, ireport.com. Tell us what you're thinking, we'll get your responses on the air top of the hour, 11:00 p.m. Eastern. I'm Don Lemon. I'll see you back here then.
HUGHLEY: The inauguration was important, but so was the party, official style. I went to some balls but I also went behind the scenes. Check it out.
HUGHLEY: All right. I'm here in front of the Washington Convention Center where half the balls are going to be taking place. Everybody is excited about going to the glamorous balls but don't know what goes into getting ready for them. Who cuts the potatoes, who nails up the streamers, who spikes the punch? We're going to see right now.
What was the last - what was like George Bush's ball? What was that like?
GREGG O'DELL, CEO WASHINGTON CONVENTION CENTER: It was good. They had six balls here. I actually wasn't in this role but I was here ...
HUGHLEY: I bet. Somehow Obama moves in, you move up.
I hate saying balls so many times.
You guys getting ready for the ball?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. We're working here actually.
HUGHLEY: You security? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.
HUGHLEY: You a real police officer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm retired.
HUGHLEY: You're retired. And you're his partner?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
HUGHLEY: Really? You guys men of few words. I guess you only need to know a few when you're security. Duck and get in the car.
Have you ever played on inauguration ball?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We haven't.
HUGHLEY: You haven't? What tunes are you looking forward to playing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to play Obama's favorite song.
HUGHLEY: Which is what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "What's Going On?"
HUGHLEY: "What's Going On?" That's my favorite song.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marvin Gaye.
HUGHLEY: I bet this is the first time Marvin Gaye has ever been played at an inauguration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We learned it just for him.
HUGHLEY: What are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
HUGHLEY: Oh really, because this is the Delaware ball, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is.
HUGHLEY: You don't even care, you just lay tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just happy to be here.
HUGHLEY: Look at your brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm supervisor.
HUGHLEY: You know, tomorrow, that's going to be different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. It is.
HUGHLEY: Past security, now, we're going through the bowels of the kitchen. How are you, gorgeous? You getting the brownies ready? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
HUGHLEY: Can I have a brownie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course. Y'all want one, too.
HUGHLEY: Has this brownie been secured?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course.
HUGHLEY: Is it safe?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to eat one?
HUGHLEY: Yeah, one, two, three.
You ever had to feed 42,000 people before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But not all at the same time.
One of the dishes we're offering here is tortellini with roasted tomato coulee.
HUGHLEY: Does anybody taste the food for the president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. What they do is they actually take what they call a dead man's plate with them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A dead man's plate the term the USDA uses, if you feed the president they take a plate and goes to the lab in case somebody gets sick and check it out.
HUGHLEY: I am doing my part to make sure everybody's safe.
This is really good. Let me get some of these Washington tomatoes. Grown here. Let me see if I can taste the gunfire.
What are you doing tomorrow for the inauguration?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm working, I'm going to be part of history. I'm part of history. That's what I'm doing now.
HUGHLEY: Yesterday, we were behind the scenes, getting ready for these balls and now we're here, where they come to fruition. This side is the Neighborhood Ball and this side is the Home States Ball. We'll be going to the Home States Ball and everybody's excited and looking nice. Now, we get to see what they did with all that tortellini they made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This means freedom to me, it means justice, equality for all. It means (inaudible). It means safety throughout and peace throughout the world.
HUGHLEY: Wow, that's a lot out of one day. What's he going to do tomorrow?
What are you looking forward to, you looking forward to dancing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking to drink.
HUGHLEY: I see you have a little cough medicine, my daddy used to call it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Got to have it.
HUGHLEY: That's a Chicago water right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicago water, year.
HUGHLEY: You have a lot to be proud of in Illinois. You guys have Michael Jordan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great guy.
HUGHLEY: Abraham Lincoln.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great guy.
HUGHLEY: Barack Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great guy.
HUGHLEY: You have the Bears, you have the White Sox. You have also got the Cubs and Rod Blagojevich.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible)
HUGHLEY: I see a lot of pride in you right now.
SEN. DANIEL AKAKA, (D) HI: Lots of pride. He can still surf.
HUGHLEY: I've never seen a black man surf in my life.
What does this mean for example?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Purple Heart for injuries I sustained in Iraq.
HUGHLEY: I heard a lot about them, never seen one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, hopefully, you'll never get one.
HUGHLEY: You can't get a Purple Heart falling down in the cafeteria in CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a historical moment, me growing up as African.
HUGHLEY: How do you say "Congratulations Obama" in Wolof?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign Language) HUGHLEY: Here he is, the president of the United States of America. I have to take a picture for my own personal archives.
HUGHLEY: While I'm here, the president just said aloha and what's going on? So Marvin Gaye and Don Ho, all in the same sentence. I feel like everyone else, a part of history. I would almost give my paycheck back, not quite, but I almost would.
Have you ever seen anything like this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is America. This is what we did, we did this, we voted for him and everybody around the world watching, the last eight years, that wasn't really us, that wasn't me.
HUGHLEY: Yeah, it was, it's just a new us.
HUGHLEY: Wait and see what happens, when for the very first time, President Bush doesn't hand-pick his audience.
HUGHLEY: I know I was at the inauguration for President Obama, but I couldn't stop thinking about George W. Bush. Here now to talk about Bush is conservative columnist Kellyanne Conway and political satirist Will Durst. How are you guys doing?
I was at the inauguration and when we were leaving to go to one of the events, we drove past this. It's a 50 foot blowup doll of George Bush and people were throwing shoes at it.
WILL DURST, POLITICAL SATIRIST: And it was cold. They were using their own shoes.
HUGHLEY: I thought -- I thought -- I felt bad that it has devolved to this.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: I'm glad of the 1.5 million people that went to the inauguration, there were about 40 throwing shoes. That was a good thing, it was a very self-selected group of idiots who don't realize how un-Obama that is. Barack and Michelle Obama have been very gracious towards the Bushes and Bushes gracious towards them.
Not only is it just sort of uncouth and uncool, but it's also very un- Obama. He's the one saying everybody unify, everybody get together and the past is the past.
DURST: You understand the frustration.
CONWAY: And there's great frustration amongst conservatives, too, believe me, and I've been very outspoken about that.
DURST: Not as much as liberals.
HUGHLEY: But I will say this. The 1.5 million people. This is to the best, when he came on stage, the most respectful thing they could manage was to be silent.
CONWAY: Yes. Not everyone was. That's good, because my grandma taught me, if you can't say anything nice don't say anything.
HUHGLEY: For a the first time he had to be in front of the American electorate, a large percentage of the American electorate. And you could tell that he looked uncomfortable. He looked -- You could see people were effusive about one man and not as effusive about the other. That had to say something. That was as much a referendum about what they thought of his presidency as the vote was to some extent.
CONWAY: It is indeed. It allowed this appetite for change I haven't seen materialized for years. I've been polling for 21 years, DL, and people always tell pollsters, I love change, I love choice, I love revolution. They never join a revolution. They never make a change, they never exercise an option and go to McDonald's every night in the minivan and order number 3. All of a sudden, change is real.
DURST: It wasn't just President Bush, it was the entire the Republican Party. The Republican brand itself was about as popular as skunk flavored pudding at that point. There were three special elections they lost in a row leading up to this election.
CONWAY: (Inaudible) since he was elected anyway. I can't disagree with you about ...
DURST: A lot of people saw this happening and Bush's approval rating just kept getting lower and lower. He was right around stomach cramps when he left.
HUGHLEY: I'm struck by this notion that the Bush -- I can't even call them administration anymore but the bushes are trying to make this comparison between him and Truman, how Truman left with these low approval ratings. I'd like to read an excerpt of a column I read in "The Wall Street Journal." This is an op-ed piece by Thomas Frank.
And he said, "Faced with the communist invasion of South Korea, for one thing, Truman did not make his stand against some uninvolved country as Mr. Bush did with Iraq after 9/11. What's more, Truman fought Joe McCarthy and the other demagogues of his day." I don't honestly know how they can make a comparison between him and Truman.
DURST: You know how bad Bush was, Pluto was downgraded to a planetoid. Not only did he invade this country, not only did the economy sink like a stone, we lost a planet on his watch. Eleven percent of the solar system. I don't know a lot but that's not good.
HUGHLEY: When people surround themselves around a leader. They do try to justify. Everybody does that. And I think history will judge George W. Bush well if people in his administration become historians, there's no doubt. And I have to say, I think the nadir, the low point of the Bush administration from which they never recovered was the reaction to Hurricane Katrina which you didn't even mention.
It was such a monumental lack of response. And I was very fascinated to watch the president in his last press conference last week say, President Bush say, every time I hear we didn't do anything about Katrina, 30,000 people were taken off their roofs to save lives, it's very frustrating to me. But what he doesn't understand is what the rest of us saw.
HUGHLEY: I wanted one moment when he took actual responsibility for something. Where he said this was a mistake.
CONWAY: The president also knows things we don't know which now President Obama knows because he's been briefed as the new president. And I have to say I know people, they just get weary of talking about 9/11 and post-9/11, it was a long time ago. There's no question the an sense of a second attack should make us all a little bit relieved. It doesn't justify other things ...
DURST: That's a hypothetical ...
CONWAY: And I hope that -- I hope that a President Obama, whether it's a four or eight years, and I wish him very well, can say the same thing.
HUGHLEY: Me, too.
CONWAY: On my watch, we, the greatest country in the world, we were not attacked.
HUGHLEY: But I believe that is one thing, even if you give him the fact we didn't get attacked on his watch, I can stay right now this studio doesn't fall down because I'm in it. You can't disprove it and you can prove it. It's the same concept. It really is. It is the same concept. All I want is some level of culpability to say, without seeing what you did wrong, we can't learn from his mistakes.
It would behoove us all as nation and the administration coming in to know what mistakes you made so we don't make the same things, not to hope you do them. So I don't look just as bad as you do.
CONWAY: Maybe they will put it in his memoirs. Maybe they have cable in Crawford and they'll tune this in and take good advice. I think there are many unanswered questions.
HUGHLEY: He's writing a book?
We have Will Durst and Kellyanne Conway. Give them a big round of applause, everybody.
We will try to find the very last room in Washington when we come back.
HUGHLEY: As everybody knows, Barack Obama's inauguration brought record crowds to DC, something like 1.5 million people were on the National Mall. Where did all those people stay? We sent our new correspondent and old friend Lonnie Love to investigate.
LONNIE LOVE, CORRESPONDENT: I'm here at the nation's capital to cover America's first inauguration of a black American president. You guys it's going to be right there and I got here a whole five days early so now I have got to find a hotel room.
Hi, handsome gentleman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon.
LOVE: I need a room for the inauguration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, we're all booked.
LOVE: I need a room for the inauguration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. We've been sold out for the inauguration for months.
LOVE: I'm here working, I need a room, give me a room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have a reservation with us?
LOVE: Yeah, Winfrey, Oprah. I was striking out, so I went to get advice from an old homeboy of mine from journalism school. What room are you in?
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: 826. Knock three times.
LOVE: Knock three times?
KING: You know that a song?
LOVE: Knock three times -- ladies and gentlemen, Larry King is going to let me stay if I can't find place. I wanted my own room so Larry hooked up with the vice president of the Ritz, Elizabeth Mullins (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the politically correct package, you'll receive this beautiful room for the four day inaugural period.
LOVE: You know what I can do in this bed, Elizabeth? I can do some things! Ooooh!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is our bath butler bed.
LOVE: Bath butler?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a bath butler, who will draw your bath during the inauguration.
LOVE: You mean he comes with the room too? OK. Wait a minute. There are two toilets. What's that? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One's the regular toilet and one's the bidet.
LOVE: What's a bidet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bidet is stage two of the bathroom process.
Wow, you get bling?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do. Let me put it on and see how it looks.
LOVE: This is unbelievable. You get this necklace, you get embroidered towels, you get a white boy in the bathroom, OK, how much is all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $50,000.
LOVE: Huh? $50,000? Maybe for Larry King but with D.L.'s budget, I have to get resourceful. Craiglist.
Hi, I'm Lonnie, you got a room for rent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, sure. Come in.
It's a little bit of a mess.
LOVE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come upstairs. Yeah. This is the living area right here.
LOVE: Oh. A coach.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, yeah. This is the bathroom you can use. It's kind of messy.
LOVE: Huh. Condiments. What is that smell? Who boo-boo. Uh-uh. Look at this. That is crud. I ain't going to use that restroom. Huh. You only got one toilet. Where is the bidet. Is it safe to come in here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't make any guarantees about that.
LOVE: What the hell? Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's little disheveled.
LOVE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Joe?
I just want to know, what's wrong with the door? What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It started out as a little hole and it kind of turned into a game. For fun we throw knives ate and light it on fire and that sort of thing.
LOVE: Was I this desperate? I needed a house meeting before I made up my mind. What are the pros of living here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no heat so it's almost like camping like the whole winter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pro is, you can throw knives at the door.
LOVE: If those were the pros, what the hell were the cons?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen there's like four shadows that kind of dart into my closet. So, it's a mouse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time I ever slept here, I woke up with a big rash all over my face, just by sleeping in the filth. You know ...
LOVE: OK. Bye! Thanks.
I was just about to give up. My feet was hurting, I was cold. Then I remembered the words of Barack Obama. Hope. Hope in the face of difficulty. And the next thing I knew, I was on my way to a rent free night of sleep.
Larry, it's Lonnie. Open up!
KING: Oh, baby!
LOVE: Hey, boo!
HUGHLEY: We will be right back.
HUGHLEY: And before we go, one more thing. Everybody knows about my love for embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He's being -- They're trying to impeach him. I love this man. You know why? He fights back. He don't take any bull. Even right now, he's getting ready to be impeached. Blagojevich actually said, "You can't possibly defend yourself when nay say you did something and don't let you call witnesses to say you didn't do it." They won't let this man have witnesses.
He's a black man and being persecuted. I'm going down to help him. Rod, hold on, Moses is coming, baby. He's coming. See you next week!