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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

HHS Nominee Daschle Has Tax Problems; Kentucky Struck by Ice Storm

Aired February 1, 2009 - 08:00   ET

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


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It's 8:00 a.m. here in the east, 7:00 a.m. in Memphis, Tennessee, on this first day of February. Good morning to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. Thank you so much for being with us today.

All right. So, just ahead -- tax questions for one of the new president's cabinet nominees. Is that going to pose a little distraction for Mr. Obama this week?

HOLMES: Also, speaking of Obama. We have an "Obameter" that someone has created to keep up with all those promises he made out on the campaign trail. Well, the meter says he has broken his first promise as president. We'll see what it was.

NGUYEN: Well, hundreds of thousands of people across Kentucky are just struggling to stay warm today. Kentucky's governor calls the recent ice storms the biggest natural disaster in state history. Officials say more than 400,000 homes still remain without electricity because of snapped power lines and downed trees. Almost 5,000 National Guard troops are going door-to-door across the state to search for survivors and get help to people who need it. It is Kentucky's largest ever call-up of the National Guard.

Well, the devastating storm is blamed in at least 42 deaths in states from Oklahoma to West Virginia. Temperatures are expected to warm up some today, possibly bringing a little relief.

Our Susan Candiotti joins us live from Louisville this morning.

You know, when these temperatures do warm up, things start to melt, and if they dip back into the freezing territory, that can be another problem.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It can be, Betty. Good morning to you. And, you know, we're standing in the front yard of a neighborhood where you can see sort of a sea of branches down here, and it's 41 degrees. What a difference from just a few days ago, including yesterday, when it was in the teens. But now, it's 41 degrees outside and expected to go up into the high 40s today.

And the problems, that means with the melting snow, it might be harder for utility trucks to get those trucks closer to the action where they are working on repairs. More than 400,000 people are still without power, a quarter of them in the metropolitan Louisville area.

And here, we are outside the home of John Randolph (ph). We're going to make our way over to him. He is one of the people that is still without electricity in his home.

John, your wife and the children went on a pre-planned trip so they are out of here and you're here by yourself making due.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.

CANDIOTTI: What was it like that night with the family here when everything was going to pot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, about 2:00 in the morning, it was still raining and I knew that the ice was accumulating and you started to hear cracks and tree branches starting to fall.

CANDIOTTI: In fact, as you tell us that, why don't we walk a little a bit closer here ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.

CANDIOTTI: ... and we can take a look at how the tree came apart during that time down here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you can see that some of the taller branches were falling on the house and as they were coming down, they hit some of the smaller ones and bring them down as well. Just the power and just the sort of -- the crunch and the crash and the, I guess, just the overall raw power of the branches falling was actually pretty frightening.

CANDIOTTI: The children must have been scared as well. What about you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The baby slept through the night and didn't wake up once. My wife and I, once we heard the first branches falling, we didn't go back to sleep the whole night because you just didn't know what to do. And we were concerned, should we move the baby or should we get to the basement or sort of what our plan was. But, ultimately, we sort of just stayed in our bedrooms and I just kind of went outside periodically and kind of assessed the situation.

CANDIOTTI: Fortunately, no damage to the house though?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No damage to the house and everyone came out safe. So ...

CANDIOTTI: I noticed that when we first met you yesterday, you were bundled up inside the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.

CANDIOTTI: How cold is it inside?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, inside the house, probably about -- probably in the 40s or 50s. It's starting to warm up, thankfully. So, inside the house is getting a little bit warmer. I got a few fires going and some space heater with the generator. So, we're in pretty good shape.

CANDIOTTI: But you have to be careful, of course, that ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that's right.

CANDIOTTI: ... you don't start any fires, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. Yes, and exactly. No fires and just everyone stays safe.

CANDIOTTI: All right. Well, thank you very much for joining us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks very much.

CANDIOTTI: And we hope for a quick recovery for everybody here. The governor of the state is going to be visiting the midwest part of the state to look at those regions because, of course, those areas are the hardest hit and that's where the National Guardsmen will be going door-to-door to make sure everybody is accounted for.

Betty, back to you.

NGUYEN: Looking at the video, it can be a beautiful sight from afar, of course. Susan Candiotti, thank you so much for that.

HOLMES: All right. We go from snow to fire now. A grassfire more than four miles long and four miles wide is burning in Logan County, Oklahoma this morning. Officials say the fire is fueled by warm temperatures and dry vegetation. Wildfires are also burning in other counties in that state, Woodward and Harper counties to be specific.

Matt Lehenbauer of Woodward County Emergency Management on the line with us.

Sir, give us an idea, first of all, of just how widespread these fires are? Is that kind of a concentrated area of the state or several or almost the whole state being touched by a fire in one way or another?

VOICE OF MATT LEHENBAUER, WOODWARD CO., OKLAHOMA EMERG. MGMT.: We've had about 14 major fires across Oklahoma yesterday. Just fire conditions have been terrible. Of course, we were affected by the same ice storm that hit the rest of the Midwest just a few days ago and temperatures rose up into the 70s yesterday, along with the low humidities and high winds, it just kind of wreaked havoc throughout our area especially across northeast Oklahoma.

HOLMES: Wow. I hear that right, you had an ice storm and next thing you know, you got fire coming right behind it. What -- do you know what's been sparking these things? And I know we're talking about the dry vegetation and whatnot, but I guess sometimes these things can be sparked just by a spark from a car on the road or somebody throwing a cigarette out the window. So, do you know how some of these things are starting?

LEHENBAUER: Absolutely. Yes, we had just kind of a tinder box throughout the area. About half of the fires we had were from agricultural burns or controlled burns that just got out of control from folks. So, that's what our firefighters are dealing with, especially yesterday. We started at about 12:30 in the morning on Saturday and worked throughout the night. We just got in about an hour ago and begin duty again today.

HOLMES: Oh, man. All right. Last couple of things here -- do you know of any injuries or deaths associated with any of these fires? And when I speak of injuries, including your firefighters, and, also, any structures being threatened at this point by these fires?

LEHENBAUER: Yes. We did bring all of the fires under control in this area of the state early this morning, like we said, so we don't have any structures threatened at this time. Fortunately, we did not have any injuries. Our part of the state, there's only just a small handful of paid fire departments, most of what we rely on are volunteers.

HOLMES: Yes.

LEHENBAUER: And we had volunteers coming from about three hours' drive away to assist with this fire. So, we do appreciate their help. And, fortunately, besides just being exhausted, we didn't have any injuries to any of our personnel or communities.

HOLMES: All right. Matt Lehenbauer, sounds like you all have your hands full there. Like you said, you're going to be going at it again today. Sir, thank you for taking the time out to update us and our viewers. And good luck to you there in the Oklahoma.

LEHENBAUER: No problem. Thank you.

HOLMES: All right. Fire and ice. (INAUDIBLE)

NGUYEN: Yes. It's not a very good combination. Reynolds Wolf is following all of this weather outside.

And, Reynolds, are they going to get some -- any kind of relief to help with that firefighting there in Oklahoma?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They're going to get a little bit of relief in places like Oklahoma, making that transition from fire to ice now like an evening at T.J.'s house for a party.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: Oh, wow.

WOLF: Hey, it's Super Bowl Sunday.

(CROSSTALK)

WOLF: I tell you what, though, you know, we're going to shift really the focus from the fires from parts of Oklahoma where they continue to burn down to Texas, where we don't have any fires yet but there is certainly, there's going to be that possibility into the afternoon and certainly into tomorrow.

For much of central and south Texas, you'll see the state is lit up with reds and some orange spots. Those indicate red flag warnings and your fire weather watches. We have low very humidity where we anticipate very low dew points and strong winds through Monday evening. So, certainly, that's potential for the fires to spread. Certainly, it's something you want to watch out for.

Another topic we've been following in the weather has been parts of the Midwest, especially Louisville, places in parts of the Ohio Valley like Cincinnati where they have been dealing with all the ice and all the rough stuff. Well, temperatures right now are well above the freezing point. That ice will continue to melt, but as Betty has been telling you, we're going to see these temperatures drop again tonight and into tomorrow. So, you might see some refreezing in a couple of spots.

What we're also going to see -- scattered snowshowers. Northern half of the Great Lakes farther to east Texas, unfortunately not central Texas but east Texas, some scattered showers. That's going to spill on over into Arkansas, Mississippi and into Louisiana, that will especially light up later on into the afternoon hours. But we're going to see a lot of that cold air filter its way into parts of the southeast. Not today but really into tomorrow.

Some scattered showers moving into parts of central Alabama, Georgia and north Florida and into Carolinas. But when you get into at the higher elevations, moving into the Piedmont region back into the Appalachians, you could see some -- a little bit of sleet and snow forming.

Not really heavy stuff for the Ohio Valley, but certainly, a few flurries may be in the picture for you from this area of low pressure and this storm system that will be moving from the Great Lakes into the Ohio Valley. But along the eastern seaboard, again, look for that chance of some ice along the I-95 corridor. May be some snowfall all the ways as far north as New England.

And, again, weather computer models that are going to come out later on today, this afternoon, may indicate that this storm may strengthen a bit more so you could see higher amounts. But right now, it looks like it's going to be sporadic at best.

Let's send it back to you, guys.

NGUYEN: All right, Reynolds, we do appreciate it. Thank you.

WOLF: You bet, guys.

HOLMES: Thank you, Reynolds.

Well, the new treasury secretary needs a little more time on his first big assignment since becoming the treasury secretary. He is working on that new rescue package of the president. He needs an extra week, he says, to get it rolled out. It was supposed to be out some time later this week, but now, the administration says, they'll need an extra week to have it ready, second week in February.

Now, the plan is expected to focus heavily on thawing out the frozen credit market and hopefully by doing that, it makes loans more affordable for families and businesses. It's also expected to require more transparency from the companies, including more restrictions on how they can use the money and on executive pay. You may remember, the president last week kind of going off on Wall Street a bit after it was revealed that companies handed out billions in bonuses. And last year, some of the companies, at the same time, were petitioning the government for federal assistance.

And, of course, you probably are going to be watching the Super Bowl today. Everybody is, including the president. But, as soon as the game is over, it's going to be back to a hectic pace for the president. The Senate takes up debate tomorrow on the $800-plus billion economic stimulus package and he still is trying to get a few cabinet posts filled.

Our deputy political director, Paul Steinhauser, is back with us in Washington this morning.

So, he could have some movement in the cabinet, could fill a couple of more spots. I guess what's the likelihood -- which one is going to be the one that he's more likely going to get first?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, here's what we could hear about tomorrow and this is -- another Republican may be joining the cabinet. Our Elaine Quijano over at the White House reporting that it seems that Judd Gregg, who is the senior senator from New Hampshire, he is a Republican, he could be named tomorrow or nominated as treasury secretary, that according to the White House. It could happen as early as tomorrow.

Judd Gregg, T.J., somebody the business world knows very well. He was one of the big backers of that $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Of course, Bill Richardson was Obama's first choice. President Obama's first choice for commerce secretary, but he had to drop out after a federal investigation was continuing.

Listen -- one interesting thing about Judd Gregg, he would become the third member of the cabinet who is a Republican, because you've already got a Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois who is the transportation secretary, and you've got Robert Gates who stayed over from the Bush administration as defense secretary. So, let's see what happens tomorrow when it comes to Judd Gregg.

HOLMES: All right. And two more here, I need to talk about. Eric Holder is one -- the attorney general nominee -- and also, Tom Daschle. Both of these two men have run into a few problems. I guess self-inflicted wound maybe on Tom Daschle's part, as we're seeing there, as the human and health services secretary. Is this just -- the issue he had with taxes that was revealed -- is that just going to be kind of an embarrassment or can this actually hold up his confirmation?

STEINHAUSER: It could hold it up. Remember, it held up Timothy Geithner's nomination as treasury secretary when we heard about his problem with taxes. And now, we're hearing about Daschle's problem with taxes as well. Some $80,000 in back taxes that he didn't pay at first that he got for a consulting fees, and also, the use of a car and driver right here in Washington for a couple of years, that he never paid those taxes as well.

Now, he has paid them all, but the senators on the finance committee have a lot of questions they want to ask him. They will be asking him those questions tomorrow. I guess, the good thing at Daschle's favor is -- remember, he was a senator in this town for 20 years ...

HOLMES: Yes.

STEINHAUSER: ... for 10 years, he was the leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate. So, they know him. And he really -- Barack Obama really would like to see Daschle take over as human and health services secretary and also health czar at the White House. So -

HOLMES: And tell us real quick about Holder, before we let you go here.

STEINHAUSER: OK, Holder, at House (ph) committee 17 to two, now, tomorrow night, the full Senate votes. It's expected he will pass but, of course, his nomination or his confirmation was delayed as well after senators wanted to question him about some controversial pardons in the last days of the Clinton White House, T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Well, he could fill some more posts this week.

Paul Steinhauser, good to see you this morning. Thanks for being with us. Enjoy the Super Bowl party over the White House.

STEINHAUSER: Thanks. Oh, yes, right. Thanks, T.J.

HOLMES: Yes. All right.

NGUYEN: Well, he's not going to be there? Come on. The president didn't invite Paul? I am shocked by that.

HOLMES: The president doesn't know Paul. He just figured out how to say his last name like two days ago.

NGUYEN: We just learned here that not too long ago.

HOLMES: Just kidding, Paul. We love you.

All right. Well, the kickoff is about 10 hours away from now. We'll be going live to Tampa for a pre-game report and get a peek at what advertisers hope you stay in your seat for between those whistles. NGUYEN: And, if you're making a Super Bowl bet, you might have something to confess if you use this lady right here as your sports expert. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: OK. So ...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I wish the best to the Cardinals. They've been long suffering. It's a great Cinderella story, but other than the Bears, the Steelers are probably the team that's closest to my heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: There you heard it. We know who the president is rooting for. But if you really want to know which team has a prayer in today's Super Bowl, why not ask a nun, Sister Jean, to be exact. She has predicted Super Bowls for more than two decades.

HOLMES: She joins us now from Chicago, her hometown. She is a Bears fan, normally, but you can see from the balloon back there who she is might be pulling for.

But, Sister Jean, first of all, we had you here last year on our show, to make your prediction. Let's going to -- we're going to show it to our viewers and see how it turned out. So, stick right there. Let's listen.

SISTER JEAN KENNY, FOOTBALL FAN: All right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNY: I'm going to take the Patriots by a score of 33-27.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Oh, Sister Jean, didn't go so well last year.

KENNY: I'm still having nightmares.

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: But your record on the whole is pretty good -- what -- you're 17-6 when it comes to your picks.

KENNY: Yes. That's a .739 average and most Major League Baseball players would love to have that record.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: All right. So, we know the Giants pulled it off last year. It was 17-14, I do believe. So, still a close one. So, we're going to just do this right off the bat. You tell us who you got this year. Tell us why and what's the score?

KENNY: OK. Well, I'm going with the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 23-17 and I have my annual poem entitled "Steel Curtain Call."

HOLMES: Steel Curtain Call.

KENNY: Welcome football fans to the Sunshine State. Watch Mike Tomlin's Steelers dominate. The offensive birds are dealt their bridesmaid fate. The rowdy Steeler nation goes on to celebrate. No high-flying Cardinals in Tampa Bay. Warner and Fitzgerald are caged in today.

NGUYEN: Oh-oh!

KENNY: The Blitzburgh defense has plenty to say. Harrison and Polamalu hunt birds all day.

(LAUGHTER)

KENNY: This black and gold franchise has a winning history. Their famous terrible towels are twirled with glee. Six Lombardi trophies for the Rooney family. The stalwart Steelers burn brightly at 43. Go Steelers!

And here's my terrible towel!

NGUYEN: Of course, you have it.

OK. Well, but why did you come with that pick? I mean, why are you going for the Steelers? What is it about them?

KENNY: Well, I just think that their defense is number one and I think that they are superior with their experience, and they have 11 starters from Super Bowl XL back at the Super Bowl. And I think Kurt Warner is the better quarterback, but I'm afraid the Blitzburgh Steelers are going to get to him today.

HOLMES: Well, you honestly know your stuff here. How much during the year -- I mean, are you really a big football fan? Are you keeping up all year?

KENNY: Yes. My average this year was .639 for the 256 games in the regular season.

NGUYEN: Wow.

KENNY: So, at .739 for the Super Bowl. So, I'm ready for some football.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. In fact, don't you have a football party planned tonight?

KENNY: Yes. At 5:00 o'clock, we'll be having homemade guacamole, grilled bratwurst, pizza, chilly and cheese -- yes. NGUYEN: And this is at the convent. So, do the nuns there, do they get all crazy when it comes to the Super Bowl? I mean, are you dancing around? What are you doing?

KENNY: Well, they're a little -- they are a little more subdued than I am, but I prefer watching it at the convent because it's quiet and we can watch the game. Yes, no big distraction.

NGUYEN: You are serious about some football, sister.

KENNY: Yes, when you go to a party, it's a little bit too loud.

HOLMES: Yes, that is true.

NGUYEN: OK.

HOLMES: Tell me. Do you actually -- because you have an average about, I think you said .739 it is for the Super Bowl prediction. Do you have people asking you and they want advice so they can go to Vegas and make some money?

NGUYEN: Make some bets?

HOLMES: That's a pretty good average.

KENNY: Well, sometimes, people -- yes, sometimes, people do and I say to them, "I only advise and counsel. You're on your own."

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: So, you're not getting a cut or anything like that, right?

KENNY: No. Right now, I'm going with the under, if anybody is listening.

HOLMES: OK. One last thing before we let you go here. How do you feel about the -- the president came out and you all are on the same page when it comes to making the prediction for the Super Bowl -- what you got there?

KENNY: Yes, but I declared first, T.J.

HOLMES: Yes.

NGUYEN: Of course, she did.

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: And she wants that known on the record.

KENNY: He was busy running the country and Barack Obama is also a White Sox fan as am I, and also, we're both in the Chinese New Year, the year of the ox.

NGUYEN: Yes, the year of the ox. KENNY: So, we have a lot in common.

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: My goodness. Well, good luck to you, sister.

KENNY: I imagine his Super Bowl party will be a little more high-profile than mine.

NGUYEN: Yes.

KENNY: I'm going "Go Steelers."

NGUYEN: All right. We'll see how the Steelers do today.

KENNY: Thank you very much.

NGUYEN: Thanks for your time. We always appreciate it every year.

KENNY: You're welcome. Thank you.

HOLMES: And we will see her next year, I'm sure.

KENNY: OK, thank you.

NGUYEN: Sister Jean, the football queen. There you heard it.

Well, you know, the first fan, speaking of President Obama, will be watching the Super Bowl tonight but a watch dog Web site is keeping an eye on him.

HOLMES: Yes. And you know what they're saying? That he has broken a campaign promise. That's coming up. See which one -- a lot of problems out there.

NGUYEN: Yes.

HOLMES: Which one exactly. How do you pinpoint? But they say they got the one he has broken.

Also, a little later, crime and punishment at the same time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERESA FOWLER, CHASED SUSPECTS WITH BROOM: I kept swinging and kept swinging.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Yes. The case of the clerk ...

NGUYEN: Oh, my goodness. You have to see this video.

HOLMES: ... who went into the cleaning closet to figure out how to beat off two would-be beer thieves. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: All right. Coming up in just a bit, right after our show, a new show, a must see TV.

NGUYEN: Absolutely.

HOLMES: It's what we're calling it here.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: You have to see it, appointment viewing here.

NGUYEN: "STATE OF THE UNION's" John King joins us now like with what is happening on the show today.

Good morning.

JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Betty and T.J. I'm a little disappointed; you guys beat me to Sister Jean. I like that segment there, talking about the Super Bowl.

NGUYEN: Isn't she great? Yes.

KING: She is great. You know, one more little tidbit for you before we get to the show. Judd Gregg who may be the new commerce secretary as early as tomorrow, you know, he once won $850,000 in the lottery. So, we have a lucky man going into government if that's the case there.

Coming up here on "STATE OF THE UNION," we're going to talk about the economy and what it means to you out there in Middle America struggling right now. We're going to talk to two governors from Midwestern states hard-hit by the economic crisis: Democrat Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Republican Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota will be here.

I also was out in Illinois this week on the floor of the Caterpillar factory. More than 20,000 jobs slashed by that company this week. You'll hear the pain of the workers getting tossed out of work.

And we're going to have a number of U.S. senators here, including two in our first hour at 9:00 o'clock, T.J., who disagree with the Obama approach, thinking there is too much extra spending, in their view, in that stimulus plan. They're going to tell us what they hope to do about it, how they hope to change that important plan as it makes its way through the Senate this week.

So, we have a very packed show today, but we hopefully -- a way to translate this economic debate in Washington which can get pretty confusing ...

NGUYEN: Yes.

KING: ... in a way blue collar Americans out there can understand it.

NGUYEN: Absolutely.

HOLMES: Yes, a lot of billions and a lot of plans.

KING: A lot of billions.

NGUYEN: A lot of jobs, too.

KING: That's right.

NGUYEN: OK. John King, we are looking forward to it. Thank you.

KING: We'll see you a little bit.

NGUYEN: And again, you can catch "STATE OF THE UNION" with John King this morning starting at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Well, President Obama has been in office for -- what -- less than two weeks now, right?

HOLMES: Yes. What are we on -- 12 -- 13 days, Betty.

NGUYEN: Thirteen days, it's almost two weeks. But he's already changed the D.C. social scene. Restaurants are suddenly hot.

HOLMES: And, also, and you see we show you some video there, but this is -- there is some heads that are a little hot right about now because she knocked them upside the head with that stick you just saw there. A clerk -- one against two -- and she won.

NGUYEN: She took them out.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Hello, everybody. On this Super Bowl Sunday Morning, welcome back. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: And hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes. So, we'll take to you Kentucky up here first where National Guard troops are going door-to-door today. They're offering aid as the state endures its biggest natural disaster ever, that's according to the governor there. More than 400,000 homes in Kentucky alone remain without power after a devastating ice and snow storm that swept across the nation's midsection. That storm blamed for 42 deaths from Oklahoma to West Virginia.

NGUYEN: Well, negotiations resume today between Royal Dutch Shell and the United Steel Workers Union. The workers were prepared to strike this morning after their contract ran out, but the union representing them has agreed to a rolling 24-hour contract extension, until an agreement is reached, or the union terminates the contract. HOLMES: And the odds are against the Arizona Cardinals. Even the president is against them. Pittsburgh and Arizona going at it today in Tampa for football's biggest prize. Cardinals, their first time ever going to the "Super Bowl". They have that veteran quarterback, you may have heard of him, Kurt Warner, he's been around for while. Won a couple of MVPs and a Super Bowl or two of his own.

Bruce Springsteen will be headlining the halftime show. He's actually, Betty, I understand been declining invitations for the past 30 years.

NGUYEN: Really?

HOLMES: So Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band finally agree to play at the "Super Bowl".

NGUYEN: Stay tuned for that.

Washington's elite rubbing shoulders at the annual Alfalfa Dinner for refreshments and some old-fashioned ribbing. Here are some of them arriving at the black tie even last night. The ceremony was closed to the media, but CNN did have a camera in the hotel lobby and spoke with some of the guests -- and the economic stimulus package, very much top of the mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: I do think we'll have some Republican support in the Senate. I can't tell you how many. Senator Collins in the Appropriations Committee voted for it. I believe Senator Snowe will vote for it. Perhaps Senator Gregg and Specter, and a few others, I hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: President Obama and Governor Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain also attended.

For many restaurant owners in Washington, maybe change has really come to town. The new first family loves to eat out and actually has sparked a renaissance in the industry and many owners, they are excited. Here is CNN's Kate Bolduan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Coming and going. It's become a familiar scene with the new first family.

(CROWD CHEERS)

BOLDUAN: Known for eating out on the campaign trail, the Obamas are continuing that trend in D.C. One of the first stops, D.C. staple, Ben's Chili Bowl.

And they celebrated Michelle Obama's birthday at Todd Gray's restaurant Equinox, just days before the inauguration.

TODD GRAY, CO-OWNER, CHEF, EQUINOX RESTAURANT: Phones are ringing like crazy, not only for reservations but also for congratulations.

Hmm, truffles.

BOLDUAN: A visit, Gray says, couldn't have come at a better time for the city's restaurant industry.

GRAY: A new administration is going to help our restaurant economy. It cannot do anything but help it. All of the new people that are in town, they are out frequenting restaurants. And our president and the first lady are foodies. What more could we ask for?

BOLDUAN (on camera): Local businesses are already reaping the new benefits of the new administration. Estimates for inaugural business put the economic gains as high as $1 billion for the city. Many hope that is just the beginning.

BARBARA LANG, PRESIDENT, D.C. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: This past Saturday or Sunday, the line getting into Ben's Chili Bowl was five blocks long. Because Mr. Obama ate there, everybody wanted to go see Ben's Chili Bowl. We expect that same kind of impact around the city.

BOLDUAN: Presidential patrons are something D.C. restaurant owners haven't seen in a while. President Clinton was known to eat out, but President Bush was known as more of a homebody.

SHELDON SCOTT, GENERAL MANAGER, MARVIN RESTAURANT: I think the Obama family brings us back this kind of -- Kennedy era style, of like, having a youthful family in the White House. People actually planning on living in the city, not just necessarily living at the city.

BOLDUAN: And Sheldon Scott of restaurant Marvin in the trendy U Street neighborhood says, put politics aside, this president's eating habits is change he can believe it.

SCOTT: Yeah. Any table that he likes, he can have, even if someone else is sitting in at that time.

BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Well, All right. We'll see the president out on the scene, I guess in D.C.

NGUYEN: Yes. A lot of good restaurants to choose from, too.

HOLMES: Oh, yeah. I'm sure he's eating at the best.>

Some of the times, though, the economy is sacking some of the "Super Bowl" biggest sponsors, that you are used to seeing really over the years. NGUYEN: Yeah, but there are still some eye-catching ads that you will want to check out. We have a preview.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: In Iraq today people are waiting to hear the results of this weekend's elections. All went a lot smoother than it did four years ago when fear kept a lot of people from voting. CNN's International Correspondent Arwa Damon tells us why attitudes are changing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON (voice over): Throughout his many years, Abdulla Hadad (ph) had a dream. Today he thanked God he lived this long.

"I used to dream of the day that Iraqis would freely elect their own leaders," he says.

Many view Iraq's provincial elections as a contest between hope and fear, testing the power of the ballot against violence. The most dramatic change from the 2005 election is here in Al Anbar Province.

(On camera): It is something of a slightly festive atmosphere. The Iraqi security forces are playing their music. This is such a novelty for this area.

(voice over): This was once a former Al Qaeda stronghold, where fear and a Sunni boycott kept just about everybody away from the polls, including Hibab (ph), an election volunteer. She says she arrived before sunrise and voted for the first time.

While the 2005 elections fueled Iraq's sectarian divisions, Sunni participation this time is key to reversing political imbalances.

STAFFAN DE MISTURA, U.N. ENVOY TO IRAQ: They felt they were being administered by people they didn't choose. And that was producing tension, tension produces violence.

DAMON: A different type of tension is playing out in Iraq's Shia south.

(On camera): What we have here Naja, and throughout the Shia south, is a battle for control amongst Shia parties. Control over some of Shia Islam's holiest sites and control over Iraq's oil-rich southern region. These votes will also literally be drawing the map of Iraq.

(On camera): Two main Shia parties are locked in a bitter battle. The prime minister's party wants control to stay with Baghdad. The Cleric Abdul Aziz Hakeem's (ph) party wants to establish control of the oil-rich south from the holy city of Naja.

But what matters to most Iraqis throughout the country is having clean water, electricity, and a job to provide for their families.

MISTURA: These elections are particularly important because they are about real power. What is the real power? On the ground.

DAMON: Whether that power is handed over peacefully will determine Iraq's past a functioning democracy. As one Iraqi official put it, Iraq is not the type of country where the losers congratulate the winners.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Well things are getting testier on Alaska Mount Redoubt. Scientists are watching the volcano very closely. They say a hole in an attached glacier has doubled in size and water is actually now running down it. They say that could be a sign that Mount Redoubt is now even closer to blowing. Last time it erupted was back in 1990.

HOLMES: We showed you this video a little earlier of the clerk versus the two would-be beer robbers. Let's roll the video again. This is it here. These two guys decide they're going through this store and grab some beer. She was the clerk so they thought they could get away with it.

NGUYEN: But what was that in her hand?

HOLMES: That was a cleaning tool.

NGUYEN: And she is going at it.

HOLMES: She goes at them.

NGUYEN: Is that a mop? That's a mop!

HOLMES: That's a mop. Demonstration she gave us was with the broom, but she is versatile. She can use them all. But she beat them down with a mop. She gets the beer back. One of the guys actually pulled a gun on her and --

NGUYEN: Oh.

HOLMES: Yes, so this could have -

NGUYEN: There's no match once they pull a gun and you have a mop in your hand.

HOLMES: She still won. She got the beer back.

NGUYEN: Did you see her pick it up. She just picked the beer up off the ground?

HOLMES: She got the beer. And actually they did get away. However, we're told that witnesses did get the license plate number, so hopefully they will be able to track down the would-be thieves. And not only will they be in trouble they will be embarrassed that they got beat down.

NGUYEN: Oh, no doubt. With a mop. HOLMES: With a mop.

Well, the "Super Bowl" a big day today. Coming up, always a talk about the ads and how much money these insane amounts that are being spent for these ads. Let's bring in Rick Horrow. He's down in Tampa, will be attending the game.

Rick, always good to see you. We will start with these ads. You know what, given downturn in the economy maybe people would think not as many are going to buy these ads, but NCC - maybe it took them a little longer to, but they still sold out?

RICK HORROW, SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Well, that's the scoop. 67 of these 30-second ads, $3 million apiece, up to 32 corporate partners. Nah, they're not going to sell out - yes, they did; $206 million in revenue, a record. Downturn in the economy, but not for "Super Bowl" ads.

HOLMES: Again, we're still talking about, what, 30 seconds cost you $3 million, is that right?

HORROW: Yeah, 30 seconds cost $3 million. Remember, there are different kinds of ads. You have some like the CareerBuilder and Monster ones, where they need to advertise jobs. Now, 11 million people unemployed, it's a very difficult thing to kid about, so don't look for those to be funny this year. But they're going to be ads nonetheless.

HOLMES: So there are actually going to be some ads out there that could help people out. And people need to see, right about now. There also - we can't have a "Super Bowl" without those funny ads, those memorable ones that people will be watching. We are showing a little video here of some. But let's listen to one that is going to be getting a little attention. We will be talking about it on the other side. I know you have a prop for me as well. Let's look at it first.

(BEGIN AD CLIP, MUSIC, ANIMATION)

HOLMES: OK, we're looking at this thing still. Let's keep rolling it here, Rick. But, yeah. This is a Pepsi ad but they have NFL players doing the dance in some interesting outfits there. Now, what is the story behind this ad? Explain.

HORROW: What kind of prop? I don't have any props. There is nothing! Sobe, DreamWorks, Pepsi came together to promote a movie that is coming out on March 27, but it is an animation. It is a 3-D ad, 3-D glasses;125 million of these glasses were distributed as part of the promotional campaign, so if you have these, I guess you'll be able to see them better than this.

It's amazing. It's not only the 3 million, 30-second spots, but it is all of the money they spent to produce these ads. This is a huge economic boost.

(LAUGHTER) NGUYEN: The dancing gets me.

HOLMES: It is. Even though they spend the money for the ads that air 30 seconds this is part of it. They are getting their money's worth because you and I are here talking about it, and people will be talking about these ads before and after they even air.

One more ad that is getting a lot of attention, even though it lasts one second. Let's show this to our viewers and explain what is happening here. This is a Miller High Life ad. Let's look at it right quick.

(BEGIN AD CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beer is here.

(END AD CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

HORROW: You got it? You got it. There you go. I'll explain the whole plot line. It is an ad that pokes fun about Budweiser paying a million dollars in 30 seconds. They took it over, it's a big deal. That gets more attention in a second. And your commentary about it, than the 3 million bucks, Budweiser is going to kill me, but that is a fact.

HOLMES: That's the fact. And we understand. They're not exactly saying how much they spent for this. But if you do the math you're paying about a $100,000 a second, I think, for an ad, if you're spending the $3 million. So they might have got this for a $100,000, or so.

NGUYEN: All he said is, "Beer's here."

HOLMES: "Beer's here." Rick, you enjoy -

HORROW: And look at how much time you've talked already about it.

Sorry.

HOLMES: No, go ahead. You going to finish your thought right there?

HORROW: I was going to tell you that the ad, itself, is a great ad, but the fact that we're all talking about this stuff -- and as you said, very important point. These ads are really critical for companies that continue to want to do business. And when you think about it in that context, it's good for the economy.

HOLMES: That is a brilliant ad. Another classic, a one second ad; and that guy is becoming so famous for those commercials.

Rick, enjoy the game. Good having you with us this weekend. Talk to you soon, buddy. HORROW: All right, man. Talk to you next week. Bye.

NGUYEN: The president won't be there, but he is having a big "Super Bowl" party. The question, though, once this is all said and done, is the honeymoon, though, coming to an end for President Obama?

HOLMES: Some of his most faithful supporters expect major changes and they want them now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: All right. Candidates make a lot of promises out there on the campaign trail, literally hundreds. So it is only a matter of time, you would assume, before one has to be broken. And, in fact, that is what one website is saying Obama -- President Obama has done.

NGUYEN: PolitiFact.com is actually saying that. And that declaration made some folks pretty angry. Our Josh Levs is here, following it for us.

What do you have, Josh?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, you know, we keep an eye on this thing, the PolitiFact.com created the Obameter. Can we just zoom in for a second? I just want to see. They have tallied more than 500 promises that President Obama, at the time, Barack Obama, before he was president, made on the campaign trail.

Now for the first time they are saying there is a promise that he has broken. So, I got on the phone earlier with the head of PolitiFact. I asked him what is this first promise that you say was broken?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL ADAIR, POLITIFACT.COM: The first one that he broke was one where he said that he would post bills on the White House website and give a five-day comment period before signing them. But he didn't do that with his first bill. His first bill was, as I'm sure many of your viewers know, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

LEVS: We have some video of him signing that, the other day. So what this boils down to, basically, is when he signed this, right, he did not post it for five days in advance to allow public comments. You guys are pointing out he has said any non-emergency legislation he would post on the website for five days in advance.

ADAIR: Exactly. So, clearly this one did not meet the promise he made, so we rated it as our first comment broken on our Obameter.

LEVS: Did you contact the White House? Did you ask them about that?

ADAIR: We did. Boy, they have been busy there. They have not had e-mail for much of the first week and a half in office. So we have not actually heard any response from them. But we did hear from a lot of Obama supporters who were very unhappy with us.

LEVS: You did. I want to talk to you about that. Let's zoom back in on the board behind me. Look at the headline. This is one thing that really struck me. And one reason I want to talk to you. This is your headline right now: "Are you freaking serious?" at Politifact.com.

And you pointed to some e-mails that you received from some viewers out there who were not happy that you are declaring this a broken promise. Why did you guys decide to lead with this, and to post them online?

ADAIR: Well, we wanted to give our readers a voice on the site.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEVS: That was Bill Adair talking to us earlier today. It was, of course, interesting to see the decided to do that. Now, before we go, to be fair, I want to zoom in on this, so everyone can see. Overall so far, President Obama is getting pretty good track record from PolitiFact.com. They are saying of the promises that have so far been relevant, six kept, and one compromised, only one broken. So, maybe not so bad. But you guys can see it's just a tiny little bit of that, more than 500. We'll be keeping a close eye on that Obameter, in the coming weeks, months, years, guys.

NGUYEN: Yes, people are keeping track. OK, thank you.

HOLMES: Thank you, Josh.

What you need to know before you come on over and have some of my chips and chicken wings and stuff?

NGUYEN: We'll go back live to Tampa, though, for a "Super Bowl" preview with our very own Larry Smith.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: The clock is ticking. "Super Bowl" just hours away. The parties are going to be starting.

HOLMES: Yes.

NGUYEN: Some have already started.

HOLMES: Yes.

NGUYEN: So will it be the Steelers or the Cardinals? Well, with all of the scoop.

HOLMES: Larry Smith he is down in Tampa. I know it's been a little slow -- oh, look at this here!

NGUYEN: Oh, with the sunglasses on. You are just too cool for school! LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No, I saw Rick Horrow wearing his 3-D glasses and I want to be like Rick. So, I though I would at least --

NGUYEN: No, don't ever say that.

SMITH: No, this is much better.

HOLMES: Don't ever admit that you want to be like Rick!

NGUYEN: Not a good idea!

(LAUGHTER)

SMITH: I tell you what, it's all quiet right now guys, here at Raymond James Stadium. But it's about to get busy. They have started shutting down streets and security is in force. For the first time we will have TSA agents actually out on the stadium perimeter, looking around for any suspicious persons, or exhibiting strange behavior. They will then ask the local police to interview those persons.

This is something they have done for quite some time at airports and because we are so close to Tampa Bay International Airport, they feel this is just simply extending that perimeter. Officials here say this is not only for reasons for security, but also for safety.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA MCELROY, TAMPA POLICE SPOKESPERSON: We traveled to Phoenix and looked at their security model and we saw that there was the lone wolf threat that occurred in Phoenix. Someone got very close to the "Super Bowl" with a small arsenal of weapons in his vehicle. And so we decided by bringing in these officers, who are trained, who are experts at looking for this type of behavior that it may eliminate the threat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMITH: Again, more than 70,000 will be going into the gates here in a few hours getting ready to watch the Steelers and the Cardinals. The halftime event is a special one. It's The Boss, Bruce Springsteen performing. And it is now continuing on a series of what we've seen legendary acts performing at halftime. It was Prince two years ago, and Tom Petty last year, the Rolling Stones in Detroit back in 2006. You might be wondering what songs will The Boss perform? Well, guess who decides that?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, HEADLINING HALF TIME SHOW: As far as who decides the songs, well -- I'm the Boss. The Boss decides what we play! Nobody else decides! People suggest. Hint! Beg, cajole, but I decide!

(END VIDEO CLIP) SMITH: Can you imagine the NFL going up and saying, could you play this song instead, Mr. Boss? I don't think so. It's not going to happen.

By the way, kickoff is 6:38 p.m. Eastern Time. You have some time now after the morning to go to the store and get your chips, dips, pizza, what ever you are going to have at your house. Back to you guys.

NGUYEN: Yes, T.J. has a lot to do today.

HOLMES: I have the food ready, but I just need to cook it. So I got a little work to do.

People showing up yet? I know it's quiet now, but we see at even regular season football games, people show up to tailgate as 6 in the morning. Anything going on just yet? Is it festive, just yet there?

SMITH: I have not seen - we have seen a lot of people setting up. A lot of the booths re setting up, different people selling things. Obviously, security is in place. I don't think they opened the lots just yet. I know at the BCS, they only limited tailgating to about nine hours before kickoff, so we will start seeing people come in here in the next couple of hours.

NGUYEN: Maybe they are still recovering from the parties last night. Did you take part in any of those?

SMITH: No, stayed home last night. Made some phone calls and watched a movie. So, nothing to report.

NGUYEN: Oh, man!

SMITH: Quiet weekend.

NGUYEN: You're boring, Larry!

SMITH: I know. I'm disappointing you guys. I know, I know. Sorry.

HOLMES: You've been to 10 of these, though. This is your sixth one covering.

SMITH: Yes.

HOLMES: So I guess it's getting a little old for you, but for two -- we have never been to a "Super Bowl".

NGUYEN: Yeah!

HOLMES: So it's a big deal for us.

SMITH: It never gets old! It never gets old! But just, you know, I wanted to be fresh for you guys this morning. It's all about you.

NGUYEN: But do you see more people just kind of scaling it back this year, Larry?

SMITH: Well, there have been a lot -- there were some parties I was invited to that I didn't go for one reason or another. I went to a couple, but there has been a much more subdued atmosphere, there's no question. My buddy didn't come down. My best friend that lives in Cincinnati; usually comes down, and we go hang out together.

Brian, it wasn't the same without you, buddy. Wasn't the same without you. Maybe next year.

NGUYEN: Oh, give - we're crying tears over here. You have a couple of buddies here that would have gladly gone with you!

(LAUGHTER)

SMITH: We'll work on Miami for next year, how's that. We'll get you guys down here.

NGUYEN: All right. I have dibs on that one, T.J.

SMITH: Yes.

HOLMES: His guy in Cincinnati? That was the sweetest, sappiest saddest little moment I've ever seen on our show.

Larry, appreciate you, as always. Enjoy your time down there. We'll see you, buddy.

SMITH: All right. Thanks.

NGUYEN: In the meantime, there is a big week ahead as President Obama tries to get his economic package through Congress.

HOLMES: We will be talking about that. Who else will be talking about that? John King, he'll examine all of that, next on "State of the Union."