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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Overseas Frenzy for Obamas
Aired April 1, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the Obamas rule in England. The president's a powerful presence. And they're calling her Mighty Michelle. As the first couple calls on the queen, did they follow the royal regulations?
But not all Brits are embracing their guests.
What did they do to deserve this?
The Obamas ready to reign over the social world or not. The overseas frenzy for America's president and first lady right now on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's the wee hours of Thursday morning in London.
And with us is Richard Quest, CNN anchor and correspondent.
Anderson Cooper will be joining us in a little while. Anderson is over there, as well -- OK, Richard, he meets this -- the president. He meets with the British prime minister, holds a joint press conference. He meets with the Russian president. He meets with the Chinese president, has a private audience with the queen, then attends a dinner with other G20 leaders.
What do you see as the highlight of the day?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, CORRESPONDENT: There were many highlights. It depends if you are a geopolitical strategist or you want, if you like, the best pictures of the day.
On the geopolitical front, it was probably the meeting with the Russian president and the Chinese premier. They were first time meetings for the new U.S. president. They were strategically important. And they made great ground in terms of nuclear talks with the Russians -- setting up a new framework for discussions in the future.
That said, Larry, the pictures everybody really enjoyed of the day was the Obamas at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty and with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It was a -- it was a very warm moment. The president had said earlier in the day that it was one of the highlights of the visit. He praised the queen for her decorum and her civility. And afterward, Larry, he said the meeting and the tea with the queen had been, in the president's words, "delightful."
KING: Anderson is now ready.
Anderson Cooper, the anchor of CNN's "A.C. 360," hopping over there earlier today, I guess.
What -- how did he do -- Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So far, I mean people seem pretty pleased, both in the White House and also here. There has been some confusion over the gift that -- that the president gave to queen -- the queen. He gave her an iPod with some video pictures of her last trip to the United States in 2007, as well as some basically show tunes from the United States, "Oklahoma" and the like.
Some people kind of scratching their heads about that. You know, there's this ongoing discussion of the gifts that the Obamas have given to Gordon Brown, the prime minister, the last time he to the United States -- the first time he came to the United States. And -- and now this gift to the queen. Apparently, she has an iPod already.
But other than that, I mean, certainly, the White House is pleased with the news that is circulating over this agreement to begin negotiations over nuclear arms with -- with the Russian president. That certainly seems something that they are pointing to as something that they accomplished on this day before, really, the summit gets going tomorrow, of course, in just a couple of hours over here, it really begins in earnest -- Larry.
KING: Richard, what's -- what's the protests all about?
QUEST: Well, the protests are your -- and I'm not being facetious when I say this -- your bog standard anti-globalization, hate capitalism, believe the G20 is a waste of time and wish they'd all go away protests. There was a lot of argy bargy (ph), the sort of noisy rowdiness. There was a bit of violence. A couple of windows were broken at the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is Britain's equivalent of AIG. It is the poster boy for bad capitalism, if you like.
But that was about it.
But what they have in this country, Larry, is they have a great strategy. The police circle the protesters and then they stay there. And you can't get in and you can't get out. And they keep them there for hour after hour after hour until finally everybody is exhausted and wanders off home after the pubs have closed.
KING: It's called wearing them down -- Anderson, at his news conference with the prime minister, Brown, Obama spoke about his purpose in coming to London and the approach he plans to take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I came here to put forward ideas, but I also came here to listen and not to lecture. Having said that, we must not miss an opportunity to lead, to confront a crisis that knows no borders. We have a responsibility to coordinate our actions and to focus on common ground, not on our occasional differences. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The president obviously has a cold.
How do you think he reacted to the rather, Anderson, tough questioning by the British journalists?
COOPER: You know, he seemed reticent at times or kind of -- to certainly -- you know, this is a president who thinks very carefully about what he says. And he certainly paused several times during the press conference to kind of contemplate what he was going to say, how he was going to respond.
But clearly, as you see there, they are trying to -- what the White House is trying to do is sort of paper over any differences that exist between these world leaders. And, clearly, there are very real differences which exist.
You know, France's president, the rulers in Germany -- both -- both of whom agree, they're very -- pointing fingers toward the United States, blaming them for the international crisis, saying there needs to be greater international supervision of financial markets in the United States and around the world, greater coordination.
So there's a lot of finger-pointing going on directed toward the United States. And President Obama is clearly trying to kind of paper over that and at least tomorrow -- hopefully tomorrow -- get some sort of broad statement of understanding in which they kind of put aside their differences and at least put on a united front to try to build confidence in markets around the globe.
KING: It used to be said, Richard, in some circles, that when these summits get together, the final reports are written in advance.
Do you buy any of that?
QUEST: Absolutely, Larry. Not only has the final report been written, it's also been published by accident or deliberately it was leaked to the "Financial Times."
I was talking to one minister today who said that the British were so furious about that, that they locked down any further publication of the communique. And it's only now being distributed.
That said, remember, in these communiques, the devil is in the details. It is nuanced differences. It can be the difference between: "We believe we should grow strongly" and "We believe there should be strong growth."
QUEST: You say to me, well, what's the difference?
It's the same thing. I guarantee you there will be some bureaucrat in some government in some capital of the G20 who will take nuanced differences with it. So when we get the communique, it's a very sad business, actually. We -- we stand around. We wait for this document. We pore over it. We try and divine inspiration from it and then everyone forgets about it and wonders what was said in the first place.
KING: Anderson -- Anderson, so what -- what's the point?
COOPER: Well, it's a good question. I mean, certainly, it's -- it's a photo-operation, in many ways. It is a chance for -- you know, this really is -- beyond this communique, which is -- Richard is very accurate in his description of it -- it is a chance for President Obama -- it is his first introduction to a lot of these world -- these leaders on the world stage.
It's a chance for President Obama to be seen overseas, as well as the first lady, and to really meet -- you know, to meet the Russian president, look him in the eye and build the beginnings of a relationship, not just with Russia's president, but with many world leaders.
KING: Thank you, Anderson Cooper and Richard Quest on the screen in London.
Royal insiders who know tell us how the Obamas fared on their visit to Buckingham Palace.
Did they bow to the queen or not?
KING: The doings of the Obamas in the mother country.
Let's meet an outstanding panel.
In London, Dickie Arbiter, former spokesman for Buckingham Palace. He, by the way, was press secretary for Her Majesty, the queen.
In New York is June Sarpong, the British TV personality and founder of Politicsinthecity.com.
Also in New York, Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor for "Harper's Bazaar."
And via broadband in the Bahamas is India Hicks, businesswoman and style icon. Prince Charles is her godfather and she was a bridesmaid at Charles' wedding to Princess Diana.
Dickie Arbiter, how -- how are they doing, the Obamas?
DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER SPOKESMAN, BUCKINGHAM PALACE: The Obamas are doing brilliantly, Larry. The British press are all over them like a rash. It's a little bit unfortunate that the papers in the morning on the day after their arrival showed them arriving at Downing Street. The Obamas looked something symptomatic of a toothpaste commercial -- smiling, beaming, looking absolutely great. The Browns looked a bit dour and looked as though they were advertising a funeral parlor.
But we've got around all that. There are now cheers and smiles. The Obamas are the people. They might be leaders of the G20, but the Obamas are way out in front.
And, of course, they had a great time meeting the queen in a private meeting. Looking at the pictures, the body language from the queen spells it all. You know, she was -- she's met 11 presidents. She has liked some of them. She has been polite to others.
I mean what comes to mind is when she met Richard Nixon and family. And she was a bit angry because it was really supposed to be Richard Nixon and his wife Pat. And he brought his daughter along, as well. As far as the queen is concerned, it's a kind of business meeting. It was the wrong thing to do.
ARBITER: But the Obamas, they scored a hit -- and particularly with the iPod loaded with footage of the state visit from two years ago.
KING: June Sarpong do you agree with Dickie?
JUNE SARPONG, FOUNDER, POLITICSINTHECITY.COM: Oh, completely. You can tell from the queen's body language how excited she was to meet them. I've met her a couple of times and she's usually quite serious. But, you know, she sort of game him a cheeky smile.
I even think she was flirting with him, Larry. And I would say the same for Prince Philip with Michelle.
SARPONG: Yes. Oh you can tell. Look at them. They're having a very good time. I think the brilliant thing is -- you know, back home, everyone is so excited about the Obamas. Michelle has been seen as the new sort of political fashion icon. And she's almost sort of bumped Carla Bruni out of the way, which is why I think maybe Carla didn't attend the G20 meeting. She says it's because she only attends state visits with Sarkozy. But I think it's because there's a new fashion politico in town -- a new political fashionista.
KING: Avril, how did they look?
AVRIL GRAHAM, EXECUTIVE FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR, "HARPER'S BAZAAR": Oh, Larry, it was a -- it was a total hit. And it almost looked like you -- you couldn't have art directed this in a better way. They almost had a halo around them. And it's so true what Dickie said, they did look rather like a toothpaste commercial.
From a fashion perspective -- wow! She's giving us fashion pundits great mileage right now. And, you know, we've got an industry that really is kind of suffering, both from the mall level up to the designer level.
And here we have this fantastic looking, beautiful woman who is championing their cause. You know, you couldn't have anything better in the spotlight. The whole world is looking. And she's -- she's carried it off beautifully well, with her favorite designers, both affordable and the more expensive level. She -- she really has looked rather fabulous today.
KING: Dickie, are the protesters surprising you?
ARBITER: No, not really. It was expected. We had the protesters -- we've had them before at this type of conference. So the police were expecting them. We've known about them for weeks. They've made themselves known. They've said on blogs and on Web sites that they're going to be there.
It was a massive undertaking by the police to contain these people in one area rather than letting them run amok. But it has disrupted the center of London -- the City of London, the Square Mile. But it's had nothing, really, to do with where the G20 leaders are.
It might have a different aspect today when they -- they meet in Dochlands (ph). But the police are well on top of it.
Unfortunately, there was a death. It was not police related, it was really crowd related. But, yes, everything was expected. And everything that will happen did happen. The police contained it well. A few broken windows. The Royal Bank of Scotland in the city stormed. I think that's a bit silly. The Royal Bank of Scotland, not having taken precautions and boarded their windows. But it's done now.
KING: What do the president and Queen Elizabeth talk about?
We'll find out in 60 seconds.
KING: A big day today for the queen and the Obamas.
Here's the way it looked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Of course, of course.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your Majesty, thank you so much for having us.
Your Highness, so nice to see you.
Thank you so much for this wonderful hospitality.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Thank you. You only just -- landed last night?
M. OBAMA: Last night. We're still trying to stay awake.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: It's an awful time lag, isn't it?
M. OBAMA: It is. It is. But he's been busy in meetings. And I've been a little less busy.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Trying to stay awake, are you?
We're going to have to get breakfast to you.
OBAMA: I had breakfast with the prime minister. I had meetings with the Chinese, the Russians, David Cameron. And I'm proud to say I did not nod off in any of the meetings.
M. OBAMA: A successful day.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: It's always the same thing, isn't it, you know?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Go to our blog at CNN.com/larryking and tell us what you think about President Obama's trip overseas -- CNN.com/larryking. We'll share some of your comments later in the show.
KING: Welcome back.
Michelle Obama seems to have captivated the English the way Jackie Kennedy won over the French almost 50 years ago. Take a look at the similarities between the two women -- their sense of style.
Did Michelle Obama take her cue from the former first lady or not?
It doesn't matter whatever you think. We think they both look great.
India Hicks in the Bahamas, who is a style icon, was -- is the god -- the goddaughter of Prince Charles.
Do you think they look great?
INDIA HICKS, GODDAUGHTER, PRINCE CHARLES: I think they look great. I think that subtle difference is going to be that Jackie who was extremely cultured. She was very dignified and she was very groomed -- was never perceived as one of the people. And I think that Michelle is already seen as one of the people. And I think that she is very much the 21st century incarnation of Jackie. And I think that's exactly what we need, especially in this economic climate. We need someone we're going to be able to relate to.
KING: Are you saying, India, that she will, therefore, be as popular?
HICKS: Oh, I think absolutely. And I think Jackie had a slight sense of distance. And I think Michelle is very accessible. And I think that we're going to find Michelle has an even bigger following than Jackie ever imagined.
KING: Bigger, whoo.
June, what do you think?
SARPONG: I completely agree with India. I think the wonderful thing about Michelle Obama is she is so down to Earth. She is accessible and she's really likable. And, you know, as the campaign progressed, people liked her even more and more. And she is stylish. But at the same time, she wears clothes that we can all afford. You know, she wears J. Crew. You know, she wears young designers.
And I think the great thing about her is, as India just said, with this economic crisis, we want a style icon that we can all dress like. We aspire to be like her. But at the same time, we can afford it. And I think they've really hit the mark right. And she -- she's so stylish. She's fantastic.
KING: Avril, do you...
SARPONG: Just what America needs.
KING: Avril, do you think she might be even more popular than Jackie Kennedy?
GRAHAM: Well, it's interesting because we're in an entirely different era now, Larry, where literally every single move that you make is photographed. And she can't really have those -- those private moments.
And so when she is off-duty with her girls, you know, she does look great. She dresses down with her little twin set and jeans. And she looks terrific.
But, you know, for those moments that she's, you know, between a rock and a hard place slightly, because she can't be seen as being super over the top with the situation with the economy being as it is. So that's why I think that she deliberately put in an outfit today that was very accessible, but equally quite clever, too, because she was visiting a hospital.
And, you know, she's sitting there at the bedside of cancer patients. But she's giving them a lift. You know, she's got the sparkle on. She's got brights on. In a similar way, I thought back to the days of Princess Diana...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GRAHAM: ...who, you know, you want to cheer someone up, not to be sitting looking mournful. And I think that that's what she brings -- that accessibility and that understanding of real life. You know, she's not sitting on a pedestal somewhere draped in satin. And so we have...
GRAHAM: But the moments are right when she needs to be.
KING: Dickie, what do you add to this?
What do you think about her?
ARBITER: Well, I think she's terrific. And I'd like to add to what Avril and India have said. When Jackie Kennedy came on the scene, she was young. And if you look back at the American presidential history, for 30 years before that, you had aged presidents and aged wives. There's nothing wrong with that.
But here were a young couple, JFK and Jackie. So, yes, of course she was very popular. But since then, you've had younger presidents. You've had presidents in their 40s rather than in their 60s and 70s.
So, Michelle, in her 40s, yes, she is going to really sort of strike a light where the world is concerned because everybody -- and, come on, I'm not being chauvinistic, everybody likes a pretty woman, don't they?
ARBITER: So that's what (INAUDIBLE).
ARBITER: That's why Diana was so popular.
KING: Speaking of that, India, do you think -- and this would have to be an educated guess -- do you think the queen liked her?
HICKS: Was that a question for me, Larry?
KING: Yes, for India, if she can hear me.
HICKS: Yes, I can, Larry.
KING: What do you think?
HICKS: And I think the queen would -- would like her enormously. I think the queen would consider Michelle to be a gutsy girl. I think the queen would very much recognize the qualities in Michelle -- the authenticity to her and the dedication that she's already shown. And those are two words that the queen would really respond to -- authenticity and dedication.
She's also a working mom and I think the queen would highly regard that. And she's bringing up her children extremely well. She's also in a very strong marriage and they're obviously a couple who are still deeply in love. I mean it's a -- it's a winning combination.
KING: And, June, what do you think the queen thought of the president?
SARPONG: I think she liked the president quite a lot, Larry.
SARPONG: I think the queen had a little bit of a twinkle in her eye.
KING: Oh, June
SARPONG: Michelle better watch out. She's got some competition.
KING: So you think she really liked him?
SARPONG: Oh, for sure. For sure. She was really happy. I mean you could see she had a sort of spring in her step.
KING: Avril, do you chime in and agree?
This is like a love fest here.
GRAHAM: Yes, it's interesting. I thought it looked -- it kind of looked like an at home with the queen moment.
GRAHAM: And it's quite interesting because she took off this rather fabulous opera coat, which obviously was the splashy entrance, rather wonderful. And now she's wearing her little Aberdeena Lier (ph) cardigan and her Isabel Toledo two piece -- almost as you would if you were just going to meet the in-laws. And, you know, it's very -- it was a less formal room she was meeting.
And I think -- you know, let's be honest. The queen, as head of the commonwealth, really knows how to greet heads of state and has done so for decades. And so she's very used to seeing the nervous, the people who trip over their feet. And she knows exactly how to put people at ease.
I thought it looked like a very congenial conversation, what we saw of it.
KING: Yes, it did.
All right. We'll take a break, come right back. A chef who has made many a royal meal is here next and he'll let us in on the queen's cookbook.
Don't go away.
KING: Our panel remains.
Joining us from Dallas is Darren McGrady. He was senior chef at Buckingham Palace for 11 years, was personal chef to Princess Diana. He's the author of "Eating Royally." His share of sales, by the way, go to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Darren, you've seen the queen up close like Dickie Arbiter.
What's your impression of her meeting today?
DARREN MCGRADY, FORMER SENIOR CHEF, BUCKINGHAM PALACE: I thought it was interesting. I think the queen, you know, as Dickie said, has met so many presidents now. It's just business as usual for the queen.
I'm not sure about the love story that we're talking about here and the flirting. But it was -- it was certainly fun to see.
KING: What's the -- I know they went to an event, the -- a reception at Buckingham Palace.
What's that kind of event like?
We didn't have pictures of that.
MCGRADY: Yes. Well, because it's not an official state visit, the dinner is not at Buckingham Palace. Because it's the G20, that's at Downing Street.
But the president had a little meeting with the queen, a cup of tea, in the Music Room and then joined the rest of the G20 group in the Picture Gallery, where they have sort of traditional British canapes. That's where they got their fois gras and their smoked quails and things like that. When they got to the dinner at Downing Street, it was not quite what they expected. Certainly not what they got last year.
KING: Anything the queen is touchy about, like anything she will not have on the menu?
MCGRADY: Garlic and onions; the queen absolutely doesn't like those at all, you know, the flavor and the after taste of all those. But pretty much anything gamy the queen really does adore. And she likes to use local British produce too.
KING: The G-20 dinner at 10 Downing Street was cooked by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. What struck you about the menu? The emphasis on English ingredients? They had Scottish salmon, Welsh lame with wild mushrooms, asparagus and potatoes from Jersey, and a traditional Bakewell tart.
MCGRADY: Yes, what a difference a year makes. Last year, dining in Japan, they were dining on Kobe beef. This year, they bring in Jamie, who is sort of famous just recently for his reforming the school meals, trying to get sort of healthy food on the menu. And we get sort of a real British local food. Kudos to Downing Street for bringing him in.
We've got that Scottish salmon. We've got that local Welsh lamb. And of course the incredible English dessert, the Maple tart. I've put that recipe on my website, TheRoyalChef.com, for all of your viewers to copy at home. It's just a fabulous menu, and not sort of going lavish and extravagant, the sort of papers and public would have ripped them apart for.
KING: We shall head to the website and I shall try a Bakewell tart. I'll have to find someone to cook it.
MCGRADY: I'll come and cook for you, Larry. I'll send Shawn a copy of your book.
KING: I'm sure Shawn could cook a Bakewell tart. The question is would we eat -- only kidding. Is that a typically good English menu?
ARBITER: Pretty good British menu. Let's not call Scottish salmon English. The Scots would get upset about that, and the Welsh would get upset about their side of it. A very good British menu. A little bit of everything. Jamie Oliver's been very clever. We do produce very good food in this country. And it's good that, say, for example, President Sarkozy -- the French always think that we can't cook, and probably realize now that we can cook. Maybe not the sort of things that they like, but certainly the things that we like.
KING: June, would you like that menu?
SARPONG: I'm not a big Bakewell tart fan, Larry, no. I would have preferred spotted dick and custard, I think that's far --
KING: Me, too. I would love that.
SARPONG: The only thing I would like to add, as well, is Jamie has a charity that helps at-risk kids. And they cook for them in their restaurant. Those kids got to meet the president and the wives. They went in there and met the G-20 leader after the dinner. That was really good for those kids to be there at something like this. They cooked the food.
KING: Avril, would you like that?
GRAHAM: Oh, my goodness, you're making me feel home sick. Of course, I would love that. The icing on the cake is having Jamie cook it for us. How fabulous.
KING: India, I gather you'd chime in and agree too?
HICKS: Absolutely. I mean, it was interesting when someone said that it was -- time to show the French we can cook. I also think it's time we show the French we can dress. I think Sarah Brown did us proud today as well. She wasn't as sparkling as Michelle. But she wore an extremely elegant, very tailored and very affordable dress. I think she did us proud.
KING: Thank you all, for totally agreeing with each other on everything. I really appreciate it. Jim Carey and Jenny McCarthy will be here together Friday night. Got any questions or comments for them? CNN.com/LarryKing, click on blog and start typing. Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's very stylish and a good right-hand woman to have for Barack Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We think she looks very good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, for her age.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Richard Quest rejoins us. Dickie Arbiter remains. Joining us in Los Angeles is Carl Anthony, the National First Lady's Library historian, the best-selling author of "America's First Families, An Inside View of 200 Years of Private Life in the White House." So far -- and it's early in the trip -- how does this trip compare? You probably know every trip made.
CARL ANTHONY, AUTHOR, "AMERICA'S FIRST FAMILIES": You know, the different trips that first ladies have made, foreign trips, the first one usually is big news. They all serve different purposes. When Pat Nixon went with President Nixon to China, that was live. The whole world watched her in the red coat. He was in meetings. Everybody got their first glimpse of communist China with Mrs. Nixon.
When Eleanor Roosevelt went to Buckingham Palace, it was during the war. She went without the president. She stayed in Buckingham Palace and she was like family. No, you know, officials --
KING: What about Jackie in Paris?
ANTHONY: That was the great moment, when she got off the plane and people were screaming, Jackie, Jackie. Then she did a he tour of the museum with Andre Malraux, and came up with the idea of American arts and culture department. Finally, De Gaulle was an egotist. Finally, at the dinner, she turned to De Gaulle and said, you know, Monsieur president, my ancestors came from France. He said, mine do, too, madam, mine do, too. So he kind of took her down a little bit there.
KING: But she -- he loved her.
ANTHONY: He absolutely loved her. He was smitten. And you know what, we now have -- most people don't know this, but Michelle Obama speaks French fluently. And I would not be surprised if she uses a little bit of that college French while she's there.
ANTHONY: Apparently so.
KING: Richard Quest, do you think Michelle will take the rest of the trip by storm?
QUEST: There's no question that she is the picture that everybody wants to see. Michelle Obama is -- the fascinating part about what we're seeing here on the international stage, Larry, is that she is developing her style in front of our very eyes. This is not a leader, his wife, who has come up through the ranks, who's been around for years, we've seen through finance ministries, we've seen through this, that and the other, a bit maybe like Hillary Clinton in the late years.
It's not like that at all. In Michelle Obama's case, it's happening before our very eyes. That is what is so refreshing. People are seeing a new person, a new look, and they're liking what they're seeing: a professional woman who happens to be the wife of the most powerful man on Earth, but who's going about the business in her own way.
KING: Dickie Arbiter, do you share that view?
ARBITER: I do share that view, 100 percent. She is her own person. And as Richard rightly says, she has come up the hard way. She has developed a career for herself. And she just so happens to be the wife of the president of the United States. But yes, she will wow Europe. She's wowed the UK. She will wow Europe. She'll wow the globe. That's good in this economic climate. We need something to be wowed about.
KING: Carl, can style equate substance?
ANTHONY: It can. You know --
KING: It can?
ANTHONY: Style is not going to substitute for substance. However, what I think you see with Mrs. Obama -- and people are kind of figuring out and talking about -- is she represents a new paradigm with first ladies. It's -- in the past, it was always either/or. Oh, Mrs. Reagan and Mrs. Kennedy, who were both women actually of great substance, were put in the style category. People like Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter, who also did things like redecorate the Blue Room, start the sculpture garden, they were put in the policy, the substance.
What Michelle Obama I think is doing is bringing these two together, insisting on it by simply being herself. It's sort of saying, you can be stylish and substantive, and you can be substantive and stylish.
KING: How about the clothes of non-famous designers? Is that a plus?
ANTHONY: You know, I think really, when -- all this stuff is fun and interesting, but a lot -- you have to think of the people at home watching. A lot of people don't have jobs. They don't have health insurance. They don't have homes. These are very serious times. And I think both Obamas are attuned to that.
And so I think the fact that she's not wearing very expensive clothing is very much in her favor. It shows a conscientiousness of not trying to, you know, sort of be above the people, but among the people.
KING: More with our panel in a moment.
KING: You know, we love getting your comments on the blog. And I can see right here you've been busy tonight, all through it. The Obamas and their trip overseas is interesting everybody it seems. Our blog correspondent is David Theall. He joins us. David, which comments are catch your attention right now?
DAVID THEALL, CNN BLOG CORRESPONDENT: Kennedy-esque, that is what we're hearing a lot of on the blog tonight. A lot of people are liking what they see coming out of London so far on the blog. Said somebody, "politics aside, the Obamas represent a major milestone for our country. It's good to see them on the world stage."
Most of the people, we said, are fans of what they see coming out of London. Somebody is not. There is a critical statement on the blog. Somebody says, "more pageantry for our new president. I'm ready for him to get down to work." That's just a little bit of what's happening this time during the show, Larry, on the blog.
KING: David, even on the blog, as I see, there's lots of talk about the iPod that the president gave to the queen, right?
THEALL: Larry, not only on our blog, but all across the Internet today. People are fascinated with that iPod that President Obama gave to Queen Elizabeth. Let me ask you this, Larry, you've heard of the royal -- the manner in which the queen is reported to talk. In that regard, we heard from Alex. We got a statement here that we thought we would share with the audience. Alex says, "if it was given to royalty, shouldn't the iPod be called a We-Pod, as in, we are not amused with this type of gift."
That's our look from the blog, CNN.com/LarryKing. Look for that blog link. Larry and I always love reading your comments.
KING: Alex. Thanks, David. And more with our royal panel after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: Richard Quest, by the way, will next be seen with Anderson tonight at the top of the hour. Joining us now, in New York, our panel, with Nancy Giles, social commentator and performer, a contributor to the CBS News Sunday morning. This whole program tonight has been kind of a love fest for Michelle and everybody seems to agree with everybody else. Are you on that same band wagon?
NANCY GILES, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: I'm sorry to say I am, Larry. I think she's magnificent. I've even got the weight and the exercise bands out in full force to try to get my arms looking like Michelle's.
KING: The arms of the year. As everybody knows, basketball is President Obama's game. At a news conference with Prime Minister Brown, he was asked about the world cup soccer. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have had enough trouble back home picking my brackets for the college basketball tournament that's taking place there, called March Madness. Stirred up all kinds of controversy. The last thing I'm going to do is wade into European football. That would be a mistake. I didn't get a briefing on that, but I sense that would be a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Carl Anthony, I know that Clinton was a big college basketball fan. Right? But he seems to be the most sports-minded of the presidents. He's going to the White Sox opener.
ANTHONY: Yes, really passionate. It's just like a -- just really natural thing with him. You know, Nixon was a big --
ANTHONY: And football.
ANTHONY: You know, at the White House, nothing came between him and his watching football.
KING: When he went to baseball, he stayed for nine innings.
ANTHONY: Yes. Even as a former president, he stayed.
KING: Dickie, do you forecast any more trouble with the protesters tomorrow?
ARBITER: yes, there will be trouble tomorrow. They have said there will be trouble. The police are geared up for it. This time, the crowds will move out of the city of London, the sort of core of the center of London, and move towards the Excel Center. which is further east of London, but still in the capital, and try and make their way down there.
But the police will really form a block to stop them from getting through. They've done a good job today under very difficult circumstances. They contained them in the city of London. They formed the square, said if you want to demonstrate, fine. You demonstrate, but this is where you stay. That's where they stayed, hour after hour after hour. They didn't have any water, didn't have toilet facilities. So there was a little bit of trouble. But, at the end of the day, it was contained, Larry
KING: What are they asking for?
ARBITER: Well, they're asking for all sorts of things. It depends who you talk to. It's the environment. It's the global economy. It's about food aid. You name it, they're asking for it.
You know, you pull ten people out and you'll get ten different requests. They're capitalizing on the fact that there are world leaders here, the world's most powerful leaders, in the hope that they are going to hear what these demonstrators say. But the world leaders really are here for a conference. They're not going to be talking for very long. By middle of the afternoon tomorrow, it's all over. They'll go off and their officials are going to pick up the threads somewhere along the line.
What actually comes out of it remains to be seen. There are skeptics who say nothing will come out of it. We have to wait and see.
KING: Nancy, you must gather that the security must be incredible.
GILES: My gosh, sure. It seems all the parameters are covered and, you know, I did see Barack Obama speak back in January of last year. And I was really struck by the Secret Service and how they stay around him and how aware they are of everything that's going on. And I think about that every time he goes somewhere, or especially in a case like this, where there are people -- and I respect the people of Britain, getting out and letting their feelings be known about the conference and about the world economy.
But I do have this little worry. I want to be sure he and Michelle are covered and everything stays calm and cool and collected.
KING: Don't forget to download our new daily podcast. By the way, we'll be right back.
KING: Let me get a call. Stratford, Missouri hello.
CALLER: Hello. I love Michelle and I love the royals, too. I'm just wondering, I know there's a certain tradition whenever it comes to meeting the king or whenever it comes to meeting the queen. And I was wondering if the spouse always goes on the other side of the queen. KING: What are the rules? Do you know?
ANTHONY: I wasn't sure what the question was.
KING: Who stands where in front of the queen?
ANTHONY: I don't know. There is a protocol for all of that.
KING: Dickie, who stands where?
ARBITER: It doesn't really matter who stands where as long, as the president is standing next to the queen, either to the left of the queen,or the left of the queen. There's no particular protocol. Here we have two generations coming together, the queen doing the job for 57 years; Barack Obama having done the job for barely two and a half months. And what they've done, those two, they have brought together that special relationship that we've always had and brought us together even closer than we might have been and the commentators might have suggested after Brown's visit to the United States a couple months ago.
KING: Brooklyn, New York, hello.
CALLER: Hello. I love the president and first lady. I just want to know, do you believe there is a difference of view of people of color between Americans and people of the UK?
ANTHONY: I think that's a very interesting question and I think what the Obamas are doing, both here and across the world, is, simply by being who they are and us seeing them every day, we -- people develop color blindness, which is good. Of course, in England and in France and in Germany, there's far greater diversity. And they haven't dealt with it as well as we have.
KING: Nancy, don't you think it's been extraordinary?
GILES: I was going to say I think it's like a color awareness, even more than a color blindness. Look at Michelle and Barack's background. They both came from working class families. They went to predominantly white colleges. They know how to handle themselves in all kinds of different environments. I think it's really inspiring, inspiring to people of color all over the world.
KING: Dickie, how about the black population in England?
ARBITER: Well, they look upon Barack Obama as a savior, being the first American president of mixed race. Coming to this country, they've loved every minute of it. There haven't been a lot of comments, because the crowds haven't been able to get close. But I think we'll see a lot of comments in the newspapers. There will be letters to the paper. And there will be people talking about this visit and talking about it for a long time.
KING: Carl, you've been studying this for so long, and writing about 200 years. The security here has to be the most ever for this president. ANTHONY: It has and, of course, since 9/11, there are so many factors that contribute to that. Of course, the good news is, after eight years, these folks can go back to living, you know, they're -- becoming private citizens again and having all of that reduced. Whereas, the king and the queen, they stay that way forever.
KING: By the way, we have a new video of Michelle touching the queen. Dickie, is that a no-no?
ARBITER: Not really. As I said a moment ago, the queen has been doing the job for --.
KING: Oh, she touched her again. My gosh.
ARBITER: So what? She's been around.
GILES: It was a reciprocal touch.
KING: I hope this didn't break anything here or cause any problems.
ARBITER: No. Still a special relationship.
KING: It's OK, Dickie, right?
ARBITER: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
ANTHONY: Larry, there's a great story about how years after she met the queen at Buckingham Palace, when Jackie Kennedy was later an editor at Doubleday, former first lady, and she wrote to the queen, hoping to get the queen to write her memoirs, with great hope that she'd get them. Of course she got a little note back from the secretary saying, the queen is not interested in writing her memoirs. So it's a good example of no matter how great and powerful and popular and beloved a president and first lady are, eventually in this country, democracy, you go back to regular life.
KING: People forget Jackie was an editor at Doubleday and a conscientious 9:00 to 5:00 worker.
KING: And it was the desire of most of us to have her edit your book.
Thank you all very much. Quickly, Nancy.
GILES: I was just wondering if the queen has ever met a couple that are young enough to be her children. She has a very maternal way with them today.
KING: Got to run. Thanks, Nancy. Thanks everybody.
Anderson Cooper is standing by in London with more on the G-20 summit and the Obamas' presence in England. Here's "AC 360" and Anderson.