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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama Gets a C from Nation; Votes Assess Obama's Performance; War Next Door: In Search of Mexico's Most Wanted; Obsession with Mansion Continues 40 Years Later
Aired August 6, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news on two fronts, including the apparent killing of one of America's top enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
First, it is a "360" exclusive: in her first interview since her sister's return, Lisa Ling tonight joining us on "360" to talk about what's happened since her sister Laura and her colleague, Euna Lee, came home from North Korea, how they're re-adjusting and how Euna's 4- year-old daughter, Hana, is doing now that mommy is finally home.
Former President Bill Clinton securing their release -- he spoke publicly about that trip for the first time today, but, frankly, said very little.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I wanted those young women to be able to come home. And I wanted our two countries to have the ability to decide where to go from here.
It would be wrong for me to say any more. The young women can speak for themselves about their experiences and their feelings. The pictures were worth a million words yesterday. I'm glad I could be of some help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Pictures which seemed to capture the heart of a nation. Since then, both families have been out of the public eye.
Tonight, though, Lisa Ling has been kind enough to give us a window into the moments since that plane touched down and also some of the moments leading up to it. She joins us tonight exclusively, live by phone.
Lisa, first of all, thank you so much for talking with us tonight.
LISA LING, SISTER OF LAURA LING: Thanks, Erica.
HILL: I think The first question, not only for us here at CNN but also for people across the country, is how is your sister Laura doing tonight?
LING: Well, we are all just elated beyond words. My sister is so, so happy to be home.
She's still quite weak and exhausted and incredibly emotional. You know, she's been in relative isolation for months and months and, you know, she doesn't even like to be alone.
Yesterday she was so exhausted and she wanted to take a quick nap. And she kept asking me, are you going to be here when I come back? Are you going to be here when I come back?
Today we took her to the doctor's office, and I wasn't planning on going to the doctor with her. My mom was going to take her. And she said, will you please come with me? She hasn't wanted to be alone.
And I hear from Euna's husband, Michael, that Hana, their 4-year- old daughter has not wanted her mother to leave her sight. She just keeps following her around from room to room because she doesn't want her mom to leave anywhere, leave her.
HILL: I think that's probably understandable for most people, especially for parents watching this right now.
Has it sunk in for you, yet, Lisa, that your sister is finally home after nearly five months fighting to get her here?
LING: I have to say, Erica, when I woke up this morning, I had this sense of calm and happiness that I have not felt in months, because every time I have woken up every single day for the last 140 days, I just like kind of dreaded the day, because I knew that my sister wasn't here.
And I just -- when I would wake up, I would think about what she was doing or what she wasn't doing, what she couldn't do. And it really was just devastating.
And so this morning, like, I just woke up and I said I'm going to go see her. It was like 7:00 in the morning and I didn't want to call the house in case she was sleeping.
And her husband texted -- sent me a text message saying "We're awake." And I was probably there within 15 or 20 minutes, because I was literally like waiting by the phone to call me to tell me they were up.
HILL: Somehow, I imagine, even as relieved as you were, it was still kind of tough to sleep last night.
You mentioned her days, the fact that she was basically in isolation for at least 3.5 months, it sounds like. How did she occupy herself during that time? What did she do to try to keep her spirits up and remain positive?
LING: It's interesting, because I think that when you're in such isolation, you do what you have to do. You know, she read a lot. We were able to send her books.
And she -- for exercise, she said that she walked around her room like, you know, for sometimes hours in a day.
And, you know, bathing was a little bit difficult because they didn't have hot water, and, you know, the water was sporadic. So she would fill up buckets. And she would say, OK, on Saturday I'm going to wash my hair.
And, you know, little things like that. You just have to sort of plan and adapt to a new version of normalcy.
HILL: I know, too, you mentioned yesterday there were rocks in her rice. Was she fed on a regular basis? What kind of food was she given, and did she think the rocks were intentional or did they end up in the bowl?
LING: No, I think because North Korea has economic challenges. She was fed three times a day, and she was describing a very, very simple, small meal. The portions were quite small. And there was rice and, you know, a little vegetable, and maybe a little piece of fried fish to which she sort of developed a reaction afterwards.
So she said that they treated her humanely. But, yes, the rocks were -- she said were not intentional.
HILL: Did she ever feel -- fear for her safety or did she ever feel threatened?
LING: You know, we haven't really talked too much about, you know, what happened the day of and, you know, in terms of the specifics, because I think it's really emotional for her.
I know that there was a period in the beginning where she did suffer from some physical -- she had a physical situation. And she did get sick once. And we had no idea because there was no communication.
But overall, you know, she kept stressing, they treated me humanely.
And the thing that was really moving to me was despite what she was going through -- and I knew this would happen, because, I have to tell you, my sister is just such a remarkable person that, I think she won a lot of her captors over.
I really -- she had lovely things to say about the people who were, you know, who were watching over her. She had two guards in her room at all times, morning and night. And even though they couldn't speak to each other, somehow they developed kind of a strange sort of kinship.
HILL: Interesting to hear that.
There's been a lot of speculation, a lot of questions frankly, about how she and Euna were actually captured in the first place. Did she know they had crossed into North Korean territory? Have you been able to talk to her about that? LING: We've talked very briefly about it. And she definitely wants to divulge exactly what happened. And I think she's going to write an editorial very, very soon that addressing it.
And I want to let her do it. She did say that they touched North Korean territory very, very briefly. And then beyond that, I want to let her tell the story.
HILL: There is, of course, and I'm sure you felt this collective sigh of relief, these tears of joy, obviously from your family, from Euna's family. But it seems like the entire country was wrapped up in this.
There was, though, some criticism as well as to how their release came about. CNN's Fareed Zakaria actually spoke to Hillary Clinton about that today. I just want to play a little bit of that sound for you, Lisa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador --
Should I even go on?
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: No, you shouldn't. You really shouldn't.
ZAKARIA: He said this is rewarding hostage-taking. Why is he wrong, because they effectively took hostages?
CLINTON: We've done this so many times before. We've had former presidents do it. We've had sitting members of Congress do it.
It is something that, you know, it is absolutely not rewarding them. It is not in any way responding to specific demands.
It is a recognition that certain countries that I think are kind of beyond the pale the rule of law hold people and subject them to long prison terms that are absolutely unfair and unwarranted.
And maybe it's, you no he, the fact I have a daughter, but I believed that if we could bring these young women home, we should bring them home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Were you concerned at all that this private message may be second the wrong message?
LING: I've heard this. You know, I heard John Bolton make his statement.
And the fact of the matter is that Bill Clinton went to North Korea on a humanitarian mission, to bring back Laura and Euna. He was on the ground for maybe, less than 24 hours -- 20 hours, I believe, was the duration of his stay. And that was really it.
And it was communicated to me, through my sister, who communicated on the things she had been told, that Bill Clinton was the person that they needed to come and get them if they were going to be released.
And frankly, Bill Clinton was gracious enough to agree to do it. And we are so, so grateful. If he didn't do it, I know that the girls wouldn't be here right now.
HILL: Lisa, again, we can't thank you enough for talking with us. If you would stick with us for a couple of minutes while we take a short break, we'd love to hear a little bit more about how your sister is doing today.
And while you're with us here watching the show, we'd love to hear what you think about Laura, Euna, and also everything that Lisa's been able to tell us tonight. You can logon to our website at ac360.com and join the live blog.
Also, I want to let you know, we'll be getting to our other breaking story as well, the story that we're following tonight out of Pakistan.
The shadowy top Taliban leader in nuclear-armed Pakistan a major threat to the American forces over the border in Afghanistan, also a major friend of Al Qaeda. Has a U.S. air strike actually managed to kill him?
We'll have details tonight from both Michael Ware and Peter Bergen, who's in Islamabad.
Ad later, even 40 years after the killings he masterminded, why the cult of Charles Manson not only will not die but in fact seems to be going strong.
HILL: Welcome back to "360." Our exclusive interview continues with Lisa Ling.
Before the break she told us her sister, Laura, and Euna lee did briefly touch North Korean soil before their arrest. Lisa is back with us now in an exclusive interview tonight.
Lisa, I don't want to go back to that for one second. That's really, I think, unless I'm wrong here, it's the first time we've heard that, or it sounds like they've come forward or had the chance to say that. Talk to me a little bit more, if you could, about what Laura told you about those moments?
LING: That's really it. It was something that, you know, they were never planning to do originally. I mean, I said this before, that when they left U.S. soil they never intended to cross into North Korea.
And, you know, they -- I mean she said it was maybe 30 seconds. And then, you know, everything just sort of got chaotic.
And again, it's a very powerful story, and she does want to share it. But I just really want to let her do that.
HILL: Right, which is understandable.
I have to ask you, what was going through your mind as you saw your sister walk down the steps of that plane yesterday morning?
LING: You know, I think it was the most glorious sight that I have ever seen. I mean, before yesterday, it had been weeks since I heard her voice.
And the Swedish ambassador Mats Foyer, who was their only non- North Korean lifeline between the girls and us, hadn't seen them for over a month.
And also, whenever she would call, even though she said she was OK, we didn't know, because the calls were being monitored, and so on. So we really had no idea of how they were or where they were.
So just seeing them walk down those stairs, being able to walk, frankly, was just a sight that I cannot even describe in words. It was just so beautiful. And it was truly the happiest day of my life.
HILL: I think that's understandable. You mentioned a little bit earlier, you talked about Hana who has captured everyone's heart. And I know we've showed a number of times, the picture she drew one time when Anderson spoke with you and her father, Michael, and how her mother was no longer in that picture. You said she hasn't let go of her mom since.
Has she talked about her mom at all since she got home or even leading up to it? Do you think she understood that mommy really was coming home?
LING: I think that she did think that mommy was coming home. And, you know, she was able to talk to Euna one time when Euna called.
And Euna was really smart. She called Michael and said let me call you right back and leave a phone message on the voicemail. And on it she said that mommy was going to be back soon and that she loved her so that they could play it for Hana all the time.
And so I actually think that of all of us, little Hana had the most confidence that she would be seeing her mom soon. She just maintained such an incredible spirit.
And the day of -- when we were watching on television, on CNN, the plane arriving in Burbank, Hana was just exuberant, saying "Mommy's on that plane!" She was just so excited.
You saw her skipping up to the plane. It was just -- that was something that just completely, completely, you know, brought tears to all of our eyes, because it's just been a long time coming.
HILL: That it has, and a long fight to get there.
What's the first thing your sister asked for yesterday? What did she want to do?
LING: All she really wanted to do was go home and be with her family. There wasn't -- again, she's been without us and in relative isolation, and she just wanted to sit in a room with all of us.
And, I mean, we were just -- it was really an emotional sort of fiasco. We all just couldn't stop crying. And we had to just keep pinching ourselves, equipment we were almost in disbelief that this day had finally arrived.
HILL: I know you still have a lot of catching up to do. Lisa, we can't thank you enough for taking the time to be with us tonight. And please thank your sister as well for letting you share some of those details. And we wish you the best as you continue to get reacquainted and enjoy your time together.
LING: Thanks a lot.
HILL: Straight ahead, we are also on top of tonight other breaking story. Pakistan's most wanted man and also one of America's toughest adversaries possibly killed, we're learning, by a U.S. drone. So what could this mean for the world of terror and also for the future of America's nuclear-armed ally Pakistan? That's coming up.
Plus, America, as you know, has been grading President Obama tonight right here on CNN. Tom Foreman will join us with the trends behind those grades and also what they could mean for the president's agenda heading forward.
HILL: More breaking news tonight about a man rarely seen on camera, and never very clearly, frequently with his back turned.
Tonight, though, there's word from American officials the top Taliban leader in Pakistan just might have been caught in the gun sights of a U.S. drone -- targeted and killed.
Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, is he really gone? And if so, what's next? Joining us now, CNN's Michael Ware and Peter Bergen. Good to have both of you with us.
Peter, I wanted to start with you. He's the leader, for those at home who may not familiar with him, of a major coalition of Taliban groups and Al Qaeda supporters. So if he is dead, how big of a blow is this to their goals and in fact their holding there?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECRETARY ANALYST: It's quite a big deal. He's the alleged mastermind of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan's major political party in 2007. The U.N. has identified him as a principle source of suicide attackers in Pakistan.
He's also a principle source of suicide attackers going over the border in Afghanistan, killing NATO, U.S. and Afghan forces there.
So certainly taking him out of picture is important.
However, we have seen him before, Abu Masab al Zaqarwi in Iraq, for instance, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq killed in 2006. The violence actually went up in Iraq. So taking out one person doesn't, of course, end things.
But this is a very important, symbolic victory, if indeed it is true.
HILL: Michael, for a lot of folks at home, the immediate thought would go to Afghanistan, Pakistan's neighbor, where there are a obviously a number of U.S. troops fighting the war there.
He was known to be an ally of Mullah Omar and also the Afghan Taliban. What's the impact of his death on the U.S. war against the Taliban in Afghanistan?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's a good question, Erica. And I'd say two things. As Mark Twain said, reports of my death are exaggerated. We've heard Mehsud has been killed before only to see him resurface. We've seen this with many Al Qaeda leaders in the past.
So we do need to keep in check any sense of optimism over this strike. Monitoring jihadi and American websites and blogs at the moment, I'm still seeing very conflicting reports.
In terms of the American war in Afghanistan, the death, if it's true of Baitullah Mehsud, I'm afraid the report will only have a limited impact.
Baitullah mehsud is the leader of this coalition of Pakistani Taliban. And the war principally in Afghanistan is being fought by Afghan Taliban.
Now, you have Al Qaeda in the middle trying to unite this groups as much as possible, trying to direct efforts in one direction on several fronts.
But Baitullah Mehsud is primarily responsible for the Pakistani conflict there. So in terms of American boots on the ground, American deaths and casualties and British deaths and casualties, this may still have only a limited impact -- Erica?
HILL: Peter, is there any concern, even though it may have a limited impact in Afghanistan, that the death could somehow embolden his supporters in Pakistan, and maybe that could spill over?
BERGEN: Well, I mean there may be reprisal killings.
But I'm going to disagree with Michael slightly. Most of the suicide attackers that go into Afghanistan, according to the United Nations, actually come from the tribal areas where Mehsud is.
I've interviewed a number of them, failed suicide attackers, a pretty of failure of failed suicide attacker. And overwhelmingly these guys come from the tribal areas of Pakistan where Mehsud is based.
And we've seen the Americans and the Pakistanis now cooperate very strongly trying to kill Baitullah Mehsud or at least interrupt his network.
President Obama has authorized 28 drone strikes since he took office. That's more than President Bush had done at this point last year. And about 13 of them, at least half of them have been directed at Mehsud's network.
So even if he himself had not been killed, these drone strikes have put a great deal of pressure on his network and, indeed, his family, because it is confirmed that both his wife and his father in law are in fact, dead.
HILL: And it's a network where he said in an interview with Al Jazeera in 2008 that the main aim is to finish Britain, the U.S., and crush the pride of non-Muslims. So obviously, there is plenty of hatred for the U.S., for the U.K., for the west.
What is the significance then if, in fact, he was killed by a U.S. drone, Peter?
WARE: Well, in many ways --
BERGEN: President Obama has amped up his program.
HILL: Go ahead, Peter, and then, Michael, I'll let you weigh in after.
BERGEN: Sure. President Obama has really ramped up this program. President Bush started ramping it up around July of 2008 and now president Obama has really taken this program and authorized more strikes than under his predecessor.
HILL: Michael, I'll give you the last word here.
WARE: And what I was going to say is that, obviously, Pakistan's alliance with America in terms of fighting the Taliban is a hot button issue domestically in Pakistan. America is not popular generally with the Pakistanis.
So the government and Islamabad has tried to maintain a distance from Washington even while it collaborates with these air strikes.
But from Washington, if indeed this has been a success, then America should herald this. It shouldn't shy away from celebrating this as a tactical and perhaps a strategic victory -- Erica?
HILL: We'll continue to follow the developments. Michael Ware, Peter Bergen, good to have both of you with us tonight. Thank you. There is much more to get to tonight. In fact, Gary Tuchman standing by with the headlines and the "360 bulletin." Hi, Gary.
TUCHMAN: Hi, Erica.
The husband of the New York driver who authorities say was drunk and high when she caused a deadly head on crash defended his wife at a news conference today and denied she had a drinking problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL SCHULER, WRONG-WAY DRIVERS HUSBAND: She was a perfect wife, outstanding mother, hard worker, reliable person, trustworthy. I would marry her again tomorrow. She's awesome. She's the best.
I go to bed night every night knowing my heart is clear, she does drink, she's not an alcoholic. Listen to all that -- she is not an alcoholic, and my heart is rested every night when I go to bed. Something medically had to have happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dianne Schuller crashed her minivan into an SUV after driving nearly two miles the wrong way on a highway. She was killed along with her daughter, three nieces, and three other adults.
Toxicology reports released this week said Schuller had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her blood.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in Saturday as Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, the Senate confirming her nomination today. Nine Republicans gave their support. The 55-year-old federal appeals court judge will be the first Hispanic and third woman to sit on the high court.
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler is being treated for head, neck, and shoulder injuries after falling off a stage during a concert in South Dakota. At first the audience thought the fall was part of his act.
The 61-year-old rocker was air lifted to a hospital. It's unclear how seriously he was hurt.
And the social networking website Twitter has dusted itself off after an attack by hackers shut it down for about two hours today. Twitter's rival Facebook was hit by a less severe attack. It's unclear if the attacks are linked.
Unable to tweet? What did Twitter devotees do with the down time? That's something to tweet about tonight.
Erica Hill is already tweeting about it.
HILL: Indeed, it is. I'm blogging about it. I'm not so good with the tweets. I need to get better.
Still ahead, on the eve of president Obama's 200th day in office, how is he doing? We'll break it all out for you at the magic wall.
Plus, undecided voters, remember them? We met plenty of them. We actually went back and checked in with some one-time undecided voters to find out who they finally did vote for last November and also get their take on how the president is doing now.
Also ahead, 40 years later the Manson murders remain one of the infamous and horrifying crimes the nation has seen. New perspective tonight on why this killing spree and its mastermind still has such a grip on the American psyche.
HILL: Tomorrow marks President Obama's 200th day in office. It's a pretty good time to take measure of what he's done so far and how he's doing as president.
And who better to ask than you? So we did. We asked you to weigh in. Our online polling has ended, which means it's time to bring in Tom Foreman, who has not only the numbers, but also the raw politics behind all these grades.
FOREMAN: This is the actual poll, the CNN/Research Corporation polls. This is what they came up with, grades that they give them. This is scientific.
President Barack Obama overall grade "c" plus. His foreign policy during the second 100 days, "C" plus. Health-care handling during the second 100 days, a "C" minus. So that's the scientific approach to all of this.
We can break it down state by state with our unscientific poll, in a sense, where people were able to simply register their own opinions about this. And look at this. This is the Obama administration's handling of the economy. This is "C" minus, all across the border. That's what this green means.
One hundred days ago, look, it was all in the "B" range. So a huge change there.
I want you to take note of one thing, as we go back to the "C" minus. I'm going to circle part of the country right here, and I want you to look at this part of the country. Then I'll tell you in a moment why that's important.
One of the signature issues throughout this entire time has been health care. Here we have every single day of the second 100 days of the Obama administration. I want you to listen to what he said just about 3 1/2 weeks ago when he was still insisting that we'd get health care done and get it done on time. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to put everybody on notice. Because there was a lot of chatter during the week that I was gone. We are going to get this done. Inaction is not an option. For those naysayers and cynics who think that this is not going to happen, don't bet against this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: The problem is, a lot of voters out there are betting against him. Look at that big area I mentioned. We go to health care. That's where he's getting absolutely pounded. And you know what matters about this part of the country? This is the older part of the country. People here generally are older than they are elsewhere. These people who are very invested in the question of what happens to their health care.
You want proof of it? Look back to where they were 100 days ago when the question was swine flu. Look, some of the most enthusiastic support for what he's doing about swine flu is, again, among people who are a little bit older. They're concerned about such things.
Some of the other numbers worth noting in here, on the issue of foreign affairs with people online, more than two million people gave a "C" also. One hundred days ago, that also was "B's" with some even higher grades up in here, some "A's" up in that area, brighter colors.
Interestingly enough, when you go back to this, on the issue of foreign policy, foreign affairs, you can see Hillary Clinton, the person in charge of all it, the brightest point in the entire survey for everyone out there for this administration. She had more "B's" in here than anybody else, looking pretty good. Even getting Arizona down here, John McCain's home state. She had a "B" minus in there.
We'll move on to the other categories here. Joe Biden, he's not doing particularly well, getting even a "C" in Delaware.
We'll move on and get the senators from your own state. Only North Dakota, people like them to the "B" level. Congress not doing well. Republican leadership in Congress not doing well. These are all failing grades.
The media not doing well.
And at the end down here, Barack Obama overall, a "C" minus, and look at the change here. A hundred days ago, he had a solid "B," with some better scores. Now, it's all in the "C" range. The only one doing better than that is right over here, the District of Columbia with a "B" minus, and Erica, they can't vote.
HILL: Too bad for them. That doesn't work out so well.
All right. Tom Foreman, appreciate it, as always.
Of course, there is more to the president's review than just simple grades. There's the everyday reality of his policies and the Americans that they affect.
People like those making up a diverse group of women from Columbus, Ohio, women we first met in the last month of the campaign. Back then they were undecided voters, frustrated and in some cases downright angry about the rhetoric and the direction in which the country was headed.
Well, now, nine months later we went back to talk to them, to ask them who they voted for, why and whether they believe they made the right choice.
Gary Tuchman back tonight, "Uncovering America."
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just days before the presidential election, these were the faces of the undecided voter. But they did ultimately make a choice.
(on camera) How many of you voted for John McCain when it came time to cast your ballots? Amy.
AMY PULLES, VOTED FOR MCCAIN: Uh-huh.
TUCHMAN: How many of you -- I can deduce this, but we'll do it anyway. How many voted Barack Obama?
(voice-over) So are these Columbus, Ohio, women happy with their choices? We'll tell you in a second. But first, a little background. Back in October we watched the presidential debates with them. The stakes were high, and these voters were frustrated.
CHRISTINA BLENK, UNDECIDED VOTER: They both talked about the bailout and how it was going to fix things. But I wrote in big letters "how?"
DEANNA THOMPSON, UNDECIDED VOTER: I need to know what these grand, big plans they've got.
TUCHMAN: Barack Obama did convince nearly all of them. So now, 200 days into his term...
(on camera) How many of you think Barack Obama is doing an amazing job as president? No hands. One hand.
How many think he's doing a good job as president? One, two, three, four, five hands.
And the one person who voted for John McCain, what kind of job do you think Barack Obama is doing?
PULLES: I would say average. Well, some things I approve of; some things I do not.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Amy Pulles decided to vote for McCain while she was in the voting booth. She was torn while watching the debates. She now says she doesn't much trust Barack Obama.
PULLES: I was fearful that his -- that put into action, his changes would be too extreme for me.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And have you found that to be true in the first 200 days?
PULLES: Yes, I have. I have.
TUCHMAN: So do you think your worst fears have been realized about Barack Obama?
PULLES: I do.
PULLES: I do.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Of the six women who did vote for Obama, four voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000. But now they all say they're glad they voted for the Democrat.
BLENK: It's a very tough job being president. And so I think he's done a good job tackling what he has.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that he needs some time. There's a lot of problems. And seven months is not enough time to fix everything.
FOREMAN: There is a lot to fix. And a lot of promises have been made.
(on camera) How many of you fear that Barack Obama will raise taxes for people who make less than $250,000 a year?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it will...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not fearful. I think it will happen. It has to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the one thing that I'm fearful about. I'm thinking that you're doing all these programs, and you're doing all these super large projects; and it's like you got all this money going out. But the money's not coming in to offset it.
FOREMAN (voice-over): and as for money going out, President Obama's stimulus plan did not get complete support from all the people who voted for him.
(on camera) You're not pleased with how the stimulus money has been distributed. Is that correct?
MANJU SANKARAPTA, VOTED FOR OBAMA: I believe he did not have a plan, how the stimulus was going to be given out.
FOREMAN: The women can agree the president has urgent priorities. When we talked with Juanita Simmons before election day, she'd received some bad news.
JUANITA SIMMONS, UNDECIDED VOTER: My husband was just told today that his last day of employment would be November the 28th.
FOREMAN: Nine months later.
FOREMAN (on camera): He's looking for work?
SIMMONS: Still looking.
FOREMAN: Do you think that Barack Obama has done anything that will help a man like your husband have an easier time getting a job?
SIMMONS: I don't -- I can't say yes to that. Because I need a more clear picture of how jobs are going to be created.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): If the economy is issue No. 1 for these women, health care is right behind it.
THOMPSON: Health care is a very personal subject for me. After the election at some point I ended up in the emergency room, and I have no health care. And I'm paying, you know...
TUCHMAN (on camera): Out of pocket?
THOMPSON: Out of pocket for an emergency room visit.
TUCHMAN: How many of you understand Barack Obama's health-care proposal? Don't all raise your hands at once.
BLENK: Well, he came on TV to try to tell us about it. I came away really not understanding any more than when I started.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The one McCain supporter here still wishes the Arizona senator was in the White House. But the other six women are by and large pleased with their decision and say there's now a different feeling in the country.
DOROTHY AUGUSTINE, VOTED FOR OBAMA: You can feel the lessening of the fear. People were fearful, and now, whether it's psychological, whether it's real, I don't know. I just know that you can certainly feel a difference.
TUCHMAN: But nobody here is ready to declare the Obama presidency an unqualified success, or failure for that matter. After all, he's only been in office for 200 days. There are still 1,261 days to go.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Columbus, Ohio.
HILL: Not that anyone's counting, of course.
You can join our live chat, happening now at AC360.com. Up next, you'll meet Mexico's most wanted man. He is not only ruthless. Turns out he's one of the richest people on earth. Michael Ware takes us on the search to find him.
And later, you read his words. Now watch him speak. The gunman who opened fire at a health club near Pittsburgh. Tonight, his haunting video message.
HILL: To Mexico and the "War Next Door" that has left thousands dead or kidnapped. The search is on in earnest for Mexico's public enemy No. 1 in the drug trade.
He's part CEO and, frankly, part "Scarface." A billionaire gangster with a booming business right here in America. His face is everywhere. But finding him has been just about impossible.
Once again, here's Michael Ware on the search for the man known as El Chapo.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This man makes a living mockery of America's war on drugs. He is Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, one of the world's richest men and Mexico's most wanted with a $5 million U.S. government bounty on his head.
RALPH REYES, DEA MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA CHIEF: Chapo is the face. He is the guy who is currently at war against the government of Mexico, against law enforcement and military forces.
WARE: At war because El Chapo heads the ultra-violent, ultra- lucrative Sinaloa drug cartel, his exploits legendary.
"El Chapo Guzman is like a God in Mexico," says Antonio Ortega. "Nobody sees him, but he's everywhere. He's a myth."
Criminal lawyer Antonio Ortega is one of the very few Mexicans daring enough to speak of El Chapo on camera. Having met the man himself while El Chapo was here in Puente Grande Prison before El Chapo escaped in 2001.
"When you sit with him," says Ortega, "you see a human contradiction.
"You see a strong man, intelligent and sensitive at the same time," Ortega told me in this Mexico City park. "You don't see a narco trafficker. You don't see a killer or assassin. He doesn't have scars. He doesn't have that funny face. He doesn't have it. He looks at you deeply, at the eyes, like an x-ray machine. He can look right inside."
And El Chapo's prison life, says the lawyer, was the stuff of legend. Nineteen days before his escape, El Chapo hosted a New Year's Eve party with another cartel boss. "There was a band playing. There were ladies. There was alcohol, all the best brands," Ortega told me. "It was like a party in one of the best clubs in Manhattan."
REYES: He has that Robin Hood persona, in that he's constantly attending to the poor, the needs of the poor and the people that surround -- that surround him.
WARE: On the run, El Chapo's business continued to flourish, and investigators say his orders followed.
Ten months ago, this mutilated body appeared outside a Mexican police station, the message hanging over his corpse signed in El Chapo's name.
Many Mexicans believe El Chapo's whereabouts are no mystery. In April, this Catholic archbishop, Hector Gonzalez Martinez, pronounced everybody knows his whereabouts except the authorities, claiming El Chapo is in these mountains in the country's north, not far from the U.S. border.
El Chapo's exploits continue to undermine Mexican President Felipe Calderon, especially when "Forbes" magazine named El Chapo 701st on the world's rich list, with a net worth of $1 billion.
"We deeply regret what seems look a campaign against Mexico, which has escalated," said President Calderon. "First from public opinion and now even magazines which are not only attacking and lying about the situation, but are also praising criminals."
This from a president who upped the ante in the drug war, sending over 40,000 Mexican soldiers into the streets of his own cities, in a bid to crush the cartels, a bid backed by U.S. President Barack Obama.
OBAMA: It's important that the United States steps up and cooperates effectively in battling the adverse effects of drug trafficking.
WARE: That was back in June. Since then, the slaughter in Mexico has continued, and El Chapo's drugs have continued to pour into America. All the while with El Chapo Guzman remaining the face of an unwinnable drug war on America's border.
Michael Ware, CNN, Mexico City.
HILL: Next on 360, from a killer on the run to a madman behind bars. Charles Manson 40 years later. The obsession still burns in books, blogs, on fan sites.
And later, the money and the mistress. The former girlfriend of one-time presidential candidate John Edwards appearing in court today to answer some questions about campaign cash. We'll have the latest for you, coming up.
HILL: It was 40 years ago this Sunday that Charles Manson asked his followers to kill for him. They didn't have to, but they did. And it remains one of the most infamous killing sprees in U.S. history.
Decades later, that fascination endures, especially for the mastermind. To this day, the cult of Charles Manson continues to grow. But why?
Ted Rowlands has answers in tonight's installment of our weeklong "Crime & Punishment" report on the Manson murders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe in God, Charlie?
CHARLES MANSON, CONVICTED MURDERER: Sure. I believe in myself. Why wouldn't I?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The murders made headlines, but it was the madman behind the murders who frightened and fascinated the world.
Forty years later, Charles Manson continues to draw attention. When this prison mug shot was released in March, millions viewed it online. "Helter Skelter" remains the No. 1 selling true crime book of all time, authored by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor who put Manson away.
VINCENT BUGLIOSI, AUTHOR, "HELTER SKELTER": I guess we can say that, other than Jack the Ripper, whose identity still has not been conclusively established, Manson may be the most famous, notorious mass murderer ever.
ROWLANDS: Some people can't seem to get enough.
(on camera) And a perfect example is Scott Michaels' company called Dearly Departed Tours. They have a "Helter Skelter Tour," where people actually go around to different spots that are connected to the Manson murders.
And who goes on these tours?
SCOTT MICHAELS, RUNS "HELTER SKELTER TOUR": The people that take this tour are people that are generally fascinated with this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's completely fascinating. It's got celebrities. It's got blood. It's got gore.
(MUSIC: "HELTER SKELTER" BY THE BEATLES)
ROWLANDS: "Helter Skelter," the made-for-TV movie, came out in 1976, but documentaries about Manson are still being made, feeding the fascination over what happened and why.
LINDA KASABIAN, INTERVIEWED IN NEW DOCUMENTARY: Meeting Charlie for the first time was very exciting.
ROWLANDS: The History Channel is premiering "Manson" next month.
KASABIAN: He gave me the feeling that I would be cared for and that he took care of everybody. I eventually felt really safe and protected. We were like his children.
MANSON: It wasn't Charles Manson followers. I never had any followers. That was the district attorney's trip.
MICHAELS: This is the La Biancas' home coming up on our left.
ROWLANDS: Back on the bus, where it's $50 a ticket for a three- hour tour, Scott Michaels says it's not just about making money. He's also obsessed with the Manson case.
MICHAELS: I don't think I'm a bad person. I think the people that take my tour aren't bad people. They're just interested in something that is -- that's horrific, but it's still history.
ROWLANDS: A piece of history that many people don't want to forget.
MANSON: Yes, I'm terrible. I'm a terrible guy, man. I'm awful.
I move so quick you wouldn't believe it (ph).
ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.
HILL: Up next, inside the mind of another killer. The man who went on a rampage at a Pennsylvania gym earlier this week actually left a video diary online. Interesting to see what he said.
Plus saying good-bye to filmmaker John Hughes through some of his most memorable movie moments.
HILL: Our tribute to director John Hughes, who died suddenly today, coming up. But first, Gary Tuchman back with another "360 Bulletin."
TUCHMAN: Thanks, Erica.
An arrest tonight in Florida. The suspect, Cam (ph) Tice, with connections to the slain couple Byrd and Melanie Billings. The Escambia County sheriff telling us Tice is accused of writing bad checks to Mr. Billings and allegedly has ties to the Mexican mafia. However, he's not saying how, if at all, that connects up with the Byrd -- with Byrd Billings.
A new window opening tonight into the mind of the Pittsburgh-area health club killer, courtesy of the killer himself. Video surfacing on YouTube, posted by George Sodini: a tour of his house and a kind of pep talk to himself about learning to connect with the opposite sex.
But there's also a hint of the desperation that led him to shoot 12 women, killing three of them Tuesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE SODINI, GYM SHOOTER: It is easy for me to hide from my emotions for one more day. Take a long drive in the car, listen to some music, daydream or just do some mundane task around the house that really doesn't need to be done, that's not too important. And there you go, one more day. And one more day turns into one more year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: So tragic.
Rielle Hunter in federal court today. John Edwards' former mistress there to open questions before a grand jury investigating how the former senator and two-time presidential candidate used campaign finances.
And dateline Tulare, California, where all 7-year-old Daniela Ernest wanted to do was earn her way to Disneyland selling lemonade, until the city shut her down, saying her stand wasn't safe at such a busy intersection. Smart kid, Erica. Location, location, location.
A sweet ending, though. After learning about her story, a local radio station gave her family four passes to Disneyland in exchange for 30 glasses of lemonade.
HILL: Not a bad deal.
TUCHMAN: I think we'll all be working for Daniela one day.
HILL: We just might be. In a safer spot, though.
Up next, Gary, "The Shot." Actually, a series of shots. The best moments from the long career of director John Hughes, who died far too young.
Plus, the "360" exclusive. Lisa Ling talks about the homecoming of her sister Laura and also her colleague, Euna Lee.
TUCHMAN: Finally tonight, paying tribute to a filmmaker who defined an era. John Hughes died of a heart attack in New York today. He was 59.
A prolific writer, producer and director, Hughes was behind some of the most popular movies of the '80s, movies like "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Perhaps his biggest success, though, Gary, was "Home Alone" in 1990.
Millions of Americans grew up on his films. The themes, the music. Many of us can recite the dialogue line by line, as a lot of us were doing during the break here in the studio. So we thought we'd put together our favorite scenes for you tonight.
CAROLE COOK, ACTRESS: Fred, she's gotten her boobies.
MAX SHOWALTER, ACTOR: I better go get my magnifying glass.
COOK: Oh, and they are so perky.
JOHN KAPELOS, ACTOR: Who closed that door?
JUDD NELSON, ACTOR: I think a screw fell out of it.
EMILIO ESTEVEZ, ACTOR: It just closed, sir.
NELSON: She doesn't talk, sir.
GEDDE WATANABE, ACTOR: What's happening, hot stuff?
MACAULAY CULKIN: You guys give up or are you thirsty for more?
KELLY LEBROCK, ACTRESS: So what would you little maniacs like to do first?
BEN STEIN, ACTOR: Adler?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here.
STEIN: Anderson? Anderson?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here.
STEIN: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
HILL: Ah, if only we could have played more. So many great scenes.
TUCHMAN: You know, that name has become part of popular culture. When you're annoyed at somebody, and they're not showing up, you go, "Bueller!"
TUCHMAN: Yes. It's part of the culture.
HILL: Good stuff. All the movies were fantastic. He will definitely be missed. Coming up here at the top of the hour, you saw the homecoming. Now Lisa Ling joins us exclusively with the story behind the story. What happened to her sister Laura in North Korea? Only on 360, just ahead.