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Jackson Death Ruled a Homicide; Celebrating Ted Kennedy's Life

Aired August 28, 2009 - 18:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

All that coming up, but let's begin with the breaking news out of California and a kidnapping case that keeps getting more bizarre. Police now have a warrant to search the California home of Phillip Garrido in connection with a series of murders back in the 1990s.

That would be around the time he is charged with snatching 11- year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard. She was found alive Wednesday, having spent the last 18 years living in a shed in the backyard of her alleged captors. Garrido and his wife were charged with 28 felony counts just a little while ago, including abduction, rape, and sexual assault. Listen to this from the arraignment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, he waives any further advisement of rights, and has pleaded (INAUDIBLE) not guilty? Going to deny all of the special allegations? All right.

OK. On behalf of Mrs. Garrido...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Honor (OFF-MIKE) She has been advised of her rights and will waive any further advisement of rights. (OFF- MIKE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Let's bring in CNN's Ed Lavandera. He's on the scene for us in California, Antioch, California, specifically.

All right, set the scene for us. Pretty dramatic developments in the last hour or so.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There have been here, Wolf. We're just in front of the home of Phillip Garrido here in Antioch, California.

And it's hard to show you from the vantage point we have now, but just a few hours ago, authorities from the nearby city of Pittsburg, California, a local police department showed up here to carry out a search warrant.

And they say they are searching for any kind of evidence in connection with murders committed in the mid to early '90s. They will not go into any more specifics beyond that, the officers very tight- lipped. It is hard to see. They are not actually out here in the front of the house. But everything that's been taking place here has gone on behind the home.

So we presume that that's where they are. It's very difficult to get a vantage point here from the street in front of Garrido's home. So, we know that those officers are still working the scene. The crime tape had been taken down here. But a little while ago, it went back up and officers appeared here.

And as you mentioned, Wolf, the latest developments, those almost 30 criminal -- felony criminal charges against Garrido and his wife, Nancy, including kidnapping and rape, so very serious charges that could carry a term of up to life in prison if they are convicted of this.

Obviously a great deal of attention being paid to this, and a lot of investigation and looking into the background of Garrido. Just a little while ago, authorities from the state of Nevada released some background information on Phillip Garrido. And it was rather chilling information as well.

We have learned that Garrido had spent some time in federal prison back -- convicted of kidnapping back in the late '70s in a case and the details of that very similar to what has transpired here. So those are some of the new pieces of Information that we're looking into and starting to dig on as well to try to piece together the history of this family that has been living here in Antioch, California -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And just to be precise, these two suspects, they are now in jail. They have been denied bail?

LAVANDERA: They have been denied bail. Sorry. I should have mentioned that as well. They had been -- his wife had been held for a little while on $4 million bail. But that has clearly changed with the amount and the extensiveness of these felony charges that have been filed against both of them.

BLITZER: Ed, thanks very much.

Jaycee Dugard's alleged captors could get life in prison if they're convicted of all 29 felony counts they were charged with today. For the past 18 years, Dugard has been in a sort of prison herself.

Here is CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): June 1991, she was grabbed as she walked to her bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California. Her stepfather, on the driveway, saw his little girl, blonde, blue- eyed, all dressed in pink disappear into a strange car.

(on camera): What do you remember about the day that Jaycee disappeared? CARL PROBYN, STEPFATHER OF JAYCEE LEE DUGARD: The minute I saw that door fly open, I was trying to jump on my mountain bike and trying to get to her. My neighbor was out front watering. So, I told her, call 911. They had a two-minute head start.

KAYE (voice-over): Those two minutes turned into nearly two decades. There were searches, missing flyers, and reward money. Nothing brought Jaycee back, not even her mother's plea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1991)

TERRY PROBYN, MOTHER OF JAYCEE DUGARD: Jaycee, if you hear mommy, I love you, and I want you to come home tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Jaycee finally did come home -- yesterday, when she suddenly walked into a police station outside San Francisco with her alleged kidnappers and told officers who she was.

C. PROBYN: My wildest dreams after 18 years. I mean, this is like a -- the total package, like winning the lotto.

KAYE: Early this morning, Jaycee's stepfather got the call he's been waiting for from Jaycee's mom. They are now separated.

C. PROBYN: She goes, "Are you sitting down?"

And I said, "Yes."

And she goes: "They found Jaycee." And she paused for a few seconds. She goes, "She's alive."

So, we both cried for about 10 minutes, before we could talk.

KAYE: Jaycee's accused kidnappers, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, are in custody, charges expected tomorrow.

(on camera): Here's how it all unfolded. On Tuesday, a security guard at the U.C. Berkeley campus noticed Mr. Garrido handing out flyers with two young children. A background showed he was a convicted sex offender on parole. When questioned by his parole officer yesterday with his wife, the two children and a woman he called Alyssa at his side, it turned out Alyssa was Jaycee Dugard.

Authorities say he admitted kidnapping her all those years ago and fathering two children with her.

(voice-over): Even though parole officers had visited Garrido's house over the years, nobody ever spotted Jaycee Dugard. Why not?

FRED KOLLAR, EL DORADO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, UNDERSHERIFF: There was a secondary backyard that is screened from view from literally all around, only accessed through a very small, narrow tarp. Her and the two children were living in a series of sheds. There was one shed entirely sound-proofed, could only be opened from the outside. KAYE: Phillip Garrido served time for kidnapping and rape in Nevada. Out on parole, he wears a GPS tracking device. The children he fathered now with their father, Jaycee. Eleven and 15 years old, police say they have never been to school or to the doctor. Still, they and their mom are free.

C. PROBYN: I'm just so happy. I haven't gone there.

KAYE (on camera): Where is this emotion coming from?

C. PROBYN: Ah, it's years locked up. I'm an old Vietnam vet that is shell-shocked. I mean, how much nerves do I have, that I would have to go through this?

KAYE (voice-over): Tears of joy, after so many years of sadness.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And just to recap, since Randi filed that piece, 29 felony charges have been filed against this couple.

A very disturbing picture is emerging of Phillip Garrido and his wife from the couple's own neighbors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gate bothered me.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE MAKES CLANGING SOUND)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He -- in and out through the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weirdos. Definitely, they weren't average people. Weirdos. You could just tell by looking at them. And the way that they walked around and stuff, they were just like -- you kind of got the creeps from them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) I just saw it on the Internet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He let me know he had a past. He said that, you know, he was in prison a while back. He was in prison for 11 years for a crime against a woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: It appears Phillip Garrido also posted statements online.

Let's bring in our Internet reporter, Abbi Tatton, to pick up this part of the story.

Abbi, what was he saying?

ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, on this rambling blog, it appears that Phillip Garrido for two, three years was trying to convince the outside world that he had some kind of special powers given to him by God.

Now that the outside world has discovered this site, as you can imagine, it has been flooded with comments from all over the world of people who have heard these multiple charges against him. The Web sites are called -- "God's Desire" is one of them. "Voices Revealed" is another. They make no mention of what police say was going on in his backyard.

Instead, it is a whole list of claims about these gifts from God that he has been given, these abilities he has to control sound with my mind, he says, that he has even developed a device for others to witness what he is capable of.

These posts go back for two, three years. And then there are these multiple documents that have been posted here as well, swearing that all of this is true. They appear to be signed by members of the local community, business owners nearby saying that they have witnessed what he has demonstrated, that he has a steady personality, he is not crazy at all.

The thing is, those signatures, say the people that appear to have signed them, are faked by Garrido. They say they didn't sign them at all. This blog, as I said, has now been flooded with comments from people around the world calling him a sick man and, Wolf, a lot worse than that.

BLITZER: Yes, I can only imagine. All right. Thanks, Abbi, very much.

Michael Jackson's death has now officially been ruled a homicide. We are going to get insight into the coroner's findings and what it could mean for the investigation into the singer's death.

And in less than an hour from now, a memorial celebrating the life of Senator Ted Kennedy. Mourners are beginning to arrive right now. You're looking at these live pictures. We will preview the memorial service over at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Now the other breaking news we're following on Michael Jackson, dramatic developments today, the official word from the coroner that the pop star's death was a homicide and that a combination of drugs killed him.

A lot of questions now about whether the findings might lead to formal criminal charges.

Let's bring in our CNN senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and our senior legal correspondent, Jeffrey Toobin.

Sanjay, first of all, tell us what the coroner's report is suggesting about this cocktail of drugs, especially Propofol, that contributed to his death. DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, that's exactly -- they are calling it an acute Propofol intoxication.

Basically, what that means is that they are linking Michael Jackson's death to a recent administration of Propofol. And they are saying that there were other contributing factors, including what are known as benzodiazepines. That's a fancy name for some other sedative drugs, drugs that some people may know called Versed, Ativan.

These drugs were all given over a short period of time, Wolf. I have put this timetable up before, but it may be worth looking at again just because of the sort of stunning number of drugs he got over this period time, 1:30 in the morning, 10 milligrams of Valium. Wolf, if you took that, you would be asleep for a full night, if not longer -- 2:00, Ativan, then Versed. Again, those are sedatives.

Finally, at 10:40 in the morning, about nine hours later, he got that Propofol, which is typically used as an anesthetic in the hospital setting. By the way, Wolf, Propofol is not a sleep agent. It is a medication that is used -- almost think of it like a medically induced coma, rather than sleep -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Let me -- hold on for a second, because I want to bring Jeff Toobin in.

This -- the word homicide suggests murder, if you will, and there is a suspect -- at least there's a person of interest, Dr. Conrad Murray, who was his personal physician.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Correct.

And it is important to remember that the way a medical examiner uses homicide is not necessarily the same way as a prosecutor uses homicide. In the medical sense, in the medical examiner sense, it means he died through the actions of another.

But it doesn't mean that he was murdered. That is a separate determination that a prosecutor has to make. And homicide can include a wide variety of crimes. It can be something as serious as intentional murder, for which you can get the death penalty, or it can something like negligent homicide, which is of course a serious felony, but is a much less punishment associated with it.

So that is certainly what the L.A. DA's office is going to be looking at. And it's no secret that they are clearly looking at Conrad Murray, because he is the person by his own admission who administered all these drugs to him.

BLITZER: Hold on for a second. I want to go back to Sanjay.

Sanjay, all these drugs he was taking that night to try to fall asleep, yet, he apparently couldn't fall asleep. I guess the more you take these drugs, the more you build up a resistance, the less effective they become. Is that what's going on?

GUPTA: Yes. There is such a thing as tolerance to these sorts of medications. And if you take them chronically, over time, a lot of these drugs, you can become tolerant. So you need escalating doses to get the same effect.

And even more than that, Wolf, there is a thing called cross- tolerance. So, you have drugs that are sort of -- they are not the same drug, but they're very similar, so that if you are taking a lot of one drug, you actually can build up a tolerance to another one as well. And that's called cross-tolerance.

But again with this medication Propofol, the thing about it, even if you had never really taken it before, in a high enough dose, it can cause respiratory depression. I guess any of these drugs could. But again this is a very dangerous drug. Typically, it's administered with lots of monitoring equipment around and someone who is trained to really monitor somebody.

You never turn your eye on somebody who is taking Propofol, because they can lapse into respiratory depression so quickly, Wolf.

BLITZER: So, Jeffrey, I guess the argument if they do file homicide charges against this doctor, Dr. Murray, the argument would be, he should have known better. He is a trained physician. He's a cardiologist. He should have known not to administer all these drugs.

TOOBIN: I think it's a pretty straightforward case if they bring it, which is no reasonable doctor could administer this cocktail of very serious drugs without knowing that you are putting someone not just at risk of death, but really causing their death.

But I think it is important not to rush to judgment here, because we don't know if that chronology is exactly right. We don't know what the circumstances were of the administering of Propofol.

Sure, it looks bad now. But this could be a very complicated case. There could be other doctors involved. There could be Jackson himself involved in taking or demanding these drugs. I'm not saying he is innocent, but I think it's important not to say he is guilty at this point as well.

BLITZER: We will see if the DA, if the prosecutors decide to file charges. And that by no means 100 percent certain yet.

TOOBIN: Not clear yet.

BLITZER: All right, guys, thanks very much, Jeffrey Toobin, Sanjay Gupta.

We are less than an hour away, about 40 minutes, in fact, from the celebration of the late Senator Ted Kennedy's life. You are looking at these live pictures of folks walking into the JFK Presidential Library in Boston. The guests are gathering for the memorial.

And an apparent illegal arms shipment foiled. North Korean weapons that were heading toward Iran are seized in the Persian Gulf.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BLITZER: Stand by for a celebration of Senator Ted Kennedy's life. Family and friends are gathering right now at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston. The best political team on television is with us to set the stage for what should be a rather moving memorial service tonight. Of course, we will carry it for you live. All that begins right at the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: You are looking at live pictures over at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts, where guests are arriving, invitation only. It will be a two-hour celebration of life for the late senator, Senator Ted Kennedy.

And there will be -- there will be many, many speakers and performers tonight. There will be words, there will be music, as the nation pays tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy.

It is going to start in a little bit less than half-an-hour from now. Let me just point out some of those who will be speaking as we watch the arrivals.

Paul Kirk, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, he in effect will be the emcee. There will be opening prayers. There will be God bless America. Among those who will be speaking at this service tonight include Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, a very close friend of Senator Kennedy's, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Two Republican senators will be speaking, Senator John McCain of Arizona. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah will be speaking as well. There will be a video tribute directed by Ken Burns and Mark Herzog.

This will be, as they say, an Irish wake to a certain degree, but also a memorial service, a celebration of Senator Kennedy's life.

It has been raining in Boston and folks, as you can see in these live pictures, are arriving. It is supposed to begin right at the top of the hour and go on for two hours.

The vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, will be among those who will be paying tribute to his friend Senator Kennedy. We are told the final speaker of the evening will be his niece, Caroline Kennedy, who will represent the family at this event.

Campbell Brown is here. She is watching all of this together with the best political team on television.

These will be two hours, Campbell, that a lot of folks will remember.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed, Wolf. And it has just been fascinating to watch the people, thousands of people, coming to pay respects over the last couple of days, people who admired the Kennedys, obviously, there out of curiosity, but so many who were affected by him, who have a personal connection to him in so many ways, because he was such a huge public figure.

And he spent his life in public service, and, therefore, had this impact on so many lives.

And let me introduce who is going to be with us throughout the evening, Wolf.

Ed Rollins is here, David Gergen, Roland Martin, James Carville, Gloria Borger, and Dana Bash joining us throughout the evening as we talk a little bit about this extraordinary senator -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And, Campbell, as we await the start of this program, I want to remind our viewers our John King is over there at the presidential library in Boston. He will be helping us better appreciate what's going on. Paul Begala is among those who is invited as a guest at this memorial service, this celebration of life. We will be speaking with him as well.

In addition to all the speaking -- there you see Chris Dodd and his wife walking in. Chris Dodd himself recently underwent prostate cancer surgery. He is there together with so many of the senators, colleagues and friends.

Senator Kennedy, as we have been pointing out, he was a very partisan Democrat, but he certainly reached out to Republicans. And two Republicans will be there tonight honoring the late senator, Senator McCain and Senator Hatch, both very, very good friends.

There will be music tonight, as well including a song performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell, "The Impossible Dream." That will be among some of the highlights that we're anticipating as we go through this evening.

And it sets the stage for what will take place tomorrow, the formal Catholic mass at a nearby church. President Obama is flying in from Martha's Vineyard, where he has been vacationing this week. He is flying in tonight into Boston. He will be delivering the major eulogy at the church service tomorrow morning.

The body and the casket will then be flown from Boston to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C. And there will be a motorcade that will go to Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Senate, which Senator Kennedy loved so much, it will pause, it will stop there. There will be a celebration of his life at the Senate before it makes its way across the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery, where Senator Kennedy will be buried, not far from his two brothers, Bobby Kennedy and the late President John F. Kennedy.

And there you can see more arrivals at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library that's taking place right now -- Campbell, let's -- let's assess a little bit some of this -- some of the significance of what's about to take place over the course of these three events -- the memorial service tonight, the mass tomorrow and the -- and the burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, let me talk a little bit with our panel about that -- and, James Carville, let me start with you. I mean, just fact that before -- I mean this is a huge, as it's being called, Celebration of Life. But so far, 45,000 people have filed past the senator's casket.

Can you imagine that with any other senator?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, CLINTON SUPPORTER: No. And I'm trying to think, I was sitting here in this room and I was thinking of some non-president who -- but, as you say, I can't think of anything. And people's reactions are all the same. I mean people knew he was very ill and, obviously, he was -- he was terminal.

But when he -- when he died, it just hit everybody in a way that I didn't anticipate.

And it's remarkable, but if you stop and you think, he's been in the United States Senate for 47 years.

BROWN: Forty-seven years. Right.

CARVILLE: He's the last of a political family that -- that everybody in the world sort of looked up to. It was sort of unique.

And so if you think about it, it's not surprising. It really isn't. It's surprising at first blush, but if you stop and you think back, nope, this is not surprising. This is a life worthy of -- of this kind of sendoff.

BROWN: And, Gloria, you look at the list of people attending all of these events, the people who have been sitting vigil today, his close -- his close friends and family, I mean span the gamut of Washington power players, to say the least.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And it's also -- it's not only Washington power players, it's people who worked for him at high levels, at low levels. It's people who worked for him 35 years ago. It's people he touched. It's people who lost children in the war. It's people he reached out to, as well as people who helped him throughout his entire life.

So it's -- it's always been this way with Ted Kennedy. It's an extended family that extends beyond just an immediate circle. And certainly his family is large. But he just reached out even in -- in his death. And that's why his son Patrick said, in so many ways, this last year has been a gift to them, because he gave everyone the opportunity to say good-bye and he also planned for his family the way he would leave.

BROWN: All right. And as we watch, Wolf, the friends and family, again, still arriving for the service, set to begin in just a few minutes now.

BLITZER: Yes. About 25 minutes or so from now, Campbell.

Let's go to the Presidential Library in Boston.

John King is standing by outside -- and, John, I know you have a guest.

But first, set the scene for us. You're there.

Does it look like most of the guests are already inside or still a lot of them, we're waiting for them?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are still bus and cars and cabs coming in, Wolf. The weather complicating things a little bit here. But what a remarkable scene and a reflection of the reach and the breadth of Senator Kennedy's career.

You have colleagues from the Senate. You have the family members, of course, including, we should say, his sister, Jean, the sole survivor of the nine children of Joe and Rose Kennedy, who just arrived moments ago.

Vicki is inside. Caroline Kennedy and her children arrived a short time ago. As I mentioned, Republican and Democratic colleagues from the Senate, but also young people who worked for Senator Kennedy. Many people now who are in their 40s and 50s who were once staffers to Senator Kennedy.

There's a Supreme Court justice inside who was once -- Stephen Breyer -- who was once an aide to Senator Kennedy in the Senate.

So -- and I do have a guest here -- a special guest who can help us put all this in perspective.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author and the historian, also a friend of Senator Kennedy and the family and among those who had the honor of sitting vigil inside for an hour today.

Take us inside the room, especially in the final hours that mostly the people from Massachusetts -- the public that would come through and say good-bye.

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: It really was an extraordinary hour. I mean they had four people sitting there and you waited so that he was never without somebody in the room. And when your turn was over, they would tap you on the shoulder and someone took your place.

So you got to watch the people coming by. And with amazed me was the different kind of salutes that they gave to Teddy Kennedy. Some went like this. Some actually genuflected. Some put their (INAUDIBLE) hat and bowed it to him. Others threw him a kiss. And they really were the Massachusetts people.

If you looked at those people, you could tell -- and I talked to some of them -- they have all known somebody for whom he had done something. So it was so much more personal. When you think of Bobby and Jack and people adored him and them, but in the sense that they may never have seen them, may never have known them. They knew this guy and that's what made it so extraordinary.

KING: Senator John Kerry is arriving, as we -- as we speak here, part of the -- one of the speakers at tonight's event.

Help -- help people understand who might not know that better, there were two Senator Kennedys. There was the national liberal icon who did battle with the Strom Thurmonds and the Ron Reagans. But there was the guy who, if my Social Security check is late or the V.A. is giving me a hard time, who did that work, as well.

GOODWIN: No question. I mean his consistent service was unbelievable. And it wasn't just that he had an incredible staff, which he did for year after year after year -- probably the best staff on the Hill. But he would be the one who called up. He had an instinctive sense if somebody needed something to make the call himself, if somebody was in pain, somebody who had died, somebody who was sick, somebody who just needed help with immigration. And people never forget that. And then that spreads out like ripples to everybody else who heard about that person that he helped.

KING: In terms of the drama, the story of the Kennedy family -- "Camelot," many have called it -- is this a final chapter, especially when it comes to elected service or are we still -- are we in the middle of a journey that will be completed by the next generation or is this the end?

GOODWIN: Well, I think it is the final chapter of the original nine Kennedy family members in the sense that we lived with them through all the triumphs and tragedies and Jack Kennedy's elections and Jackie Kennedy, through "Camelot," through the assassinations, through Bobby and the assassination and then through Teddy.

There will be other people in that next generation, without doubt, going into public life, but it's going to be different, because they're more scattered. You know, there was a cartoon some years ago that predicted that like 40 years from now, when you got to the page in the roll call in the Congress you'd keep saying, "Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy."

They've chosen differently, a lot of that younger generation. They've chosen to go into public service rather than elected office. You'll have a scattering of them. Just watching the little kids out there -- the family members shaking hands at eight years old with the mourners who came here, their -- their DNA is public service.

KING: Teddy Kennedy, III is 11 years old and he said today that he wants to run for the Senate in about 25 or 30 years from now. And we'll wait for that.

But -- and we've seen some other dignitaries come in. The governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, is here. The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is here. Vicki Kennedy gets mentioned a lot, especially if the Massachusetts legislature changes the law that says you can have an interim senator for three or four or five months, until the special election. The family has said flatly no, not interested. Might that change, do you think, after the mourning passes, if they change the law, and there was a three or four month period and big health care votes would take place?

Would people come to her and say you need to go cast Teddy's last votes or is this no a flat no?

GOODWIN: I think you're making a very good point, that there's no way she could think about that before this is over. It would seen unright to her. I mean, she loved this man so much, she couldn't even imagine thinking about it afterward. She's an incredibly gregarious person. She's very outgoing. She could certainly fill the role. I just don't know enough to know whether she will or not.

KING: Doris Kearns Goodwin, we appreciate your time tonight.

GOODWIN: Thank you.

KING: You're going to go inside for what will be an Irish Catholic wake...

GOODWIN: Thank you.

KING: ...a celebration of Senator Kennedy's life. And that is what the family and the press keep telling us, Wolf and Campbell and all of you in New York, that, yes, there is sadness; yes, there will likely be tears tonight; but when you hear from the family and the Senate colleagues and former staffers, they want to laugh among them because they think that's the way the senator wanted it -- a good Irish Catholic sendoff. And, obviously, the Celebration of Life here tonight, the funeral mass tomorrow and the eulogy from the president and then back to Washington for his final resting place near his two brothers -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, John, stand by.

We just saw Senator John Kerry, who will be speaking tonight. He walked in with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry. Earlier, we saw the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, walk in. There will be a large Congressional delegation there tonight, as well as the mass tomorrow morning.

We'll take a quick break.

We're only about 20 minutes away from the start of this Celebration of Life honoring the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

Our coverage will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Invited guests continue arriving at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Less than -- about 15 minutes or so from now, the memorial service, the Celebration of Life will continue.

We just saw, a little while ago, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, Vicki Kennedy, walk in. We just saw Tom Brokaw, the NBC anchorman walk in, as well. They're among those who are invited to this celebration.

Let's talk a little bit about what's going to be going on over the next two hours. Among some of the special events, the speakers will include Senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, John McCain and Orrin Hatch. You notice, two Democrats and two Republicans, all four of them very close friends of Senator Kennedy's.

The vice president, Joe Biden, also very close to the -- to the late senator. He will be long the speakers tonight. What's interesting is we heard Senator Biden -- Vice President Biden speak the other day, as well as Senator Dodd. They choked up. They were holding back tears as they spoke of their friend.

There will be a video tribute produced by Ken Burns and Mark Herzog. Among the -- among the music that will be performed tonight, the Boston Community Chorus performs "God Bless America".

Caroline Kennedy, the senator's niece, she will speak, along with other members of the Kennedy family. And long time Kennedy aides and friends will speak, as well. There's a very impressive group of alumni staffers who worked for Senator Kennedy over the years and many of them have gone on to major, major jobs -- Campbell, this is an event that will be moving, in many respects, not only because of what is going to happen, but it really symbolizes the end of that Kennedy era that so many of us grew up in and recall so frequently -- so often.

BROWN: And -- and you wonder, Wolf, if this will be one of the last occasions that we see this whole Kennedy clan gathered together, really. And, sadly, we've watched them together at funerals so many times now.

Let me ask Dana Bash, Wolf mentioned that John McCain is going to be one of the first people we hear from tonight when the -- when the speaking begins. And they were very close friends, he and Senator Kennedy.

You were on the campaign trail with Senator McCain when he found out that Senator Kennedy had cancer.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, he took it incredibly hard. All of his colleagues did. But I remember in covering the McCain campaign how upset he was. And, you know, not just that. One of the interesting things about John McCain is that after he lost, he came back trying to find his way, trying to figure out what he would do next in the Senate.

He was not on Senator Kennedy's Health Committee, but he asked to be on that committee which he is now on for one reason to try and that was to try to work with Senator Kennedy on health care. He never got that chance because Senator Kennedy has been gone mostly. But that just goes to show not only the relationship, but what we've been talking about for -- for several days is Senator Kennedy's ability to work with Republicans and Republicans' desire, who want to get things done, to work with him.

BROWN: Ed Rollins, it's -- it has been striking the number of up-close friendships he had with conservative Republicans.

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: My whole life has been about Kennedys. I started as a Kennedy Democrat and as soon as -- as Ted moved to the left, I moved to the right.

But the great thing about Kennedy is he was a fighter. He was never a hater. And there was never this animosity that you've seen over the last decade or two in Washington. He was always someone that could cross the aisle. He never gave up his ideology and he was -- he was actually more left than his -- his brother, John Kennedy.

And, but basically he was someone who always worked harder, came prepared.

Whatever his reputation -- as I sat here watching it -- and now, you know, get rid of the cameras and get a little beer in there, you'd have a great Irish wake tonight with lots of great stories.

But the country deserves this as his passage. And I think, to a certain extent, the end of a decade. You won't see anybody serving 46, 48 years again. Two Southerners served longer than him, Byrd and Strom Thurmond, Inouye from Hawaii is the only other one with long. There's nobody else who was even there in the '60s.

So the idea that you served for 46 years, 28 of them you had a Republican president and he still was a very effective carrier of the liberal flame.

BROWN: And, David Gergen, you talk about Kennedy's love for learning and for students, in particular. I know that you often took your students to see him.

GERGEN: I had that pleasure. And I think one of the ironies is, we always think of Teddy Kennedy as being the -- the youngest brother. And there were always these people and he was always the kid and who grew up.

But he took a remarkable interest in the next generation. He really cared about people who were coming up. He watched to see who was talented and he recruited people to his staff. But, you know, he -- he built the best team in Washington of anyone and kept it there year after year and kept refreshing it with new young people.

And I knew him partly through the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where I'm privileged to teach. And he and Caroline took a very strong interest in that school and the students coming through. So whenever we had Kennedy School students who were going to Washington, he would say, if I can, I'd like to meet with them.

And I went in -- one day we were supposed to meet with them for 15 minutes. He took them into the hideaway -- his Senate office hideaway. He took about an hour-and-a-half with them. He wanted to show them all the memorabilia and he wanted to talk about life in the Senate. But he also wanted to talk about them.

And I think one of his legacies -- one of his critical legacies is he brought so many people into public life who were younger, just as his brother, John Kennedy, did. And it's a very positive legacy.

BLITZER: Roland, you were talking with someone who has a long, long history with him.

ROLAND S. MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, yesterday, I talked to former Senator Ed Brooke, who is an African-American (INAUDIBLE) on the "Morning Show." And he said it was difficult to be 12-and-a-half years older than Kennedy, serving as attorney general when he was a junior senator from Massachusetts. And he said having to be in his shadow was extremely difficult.

But he also talked about the kind of person he was. He said, first of all, he matured. He grew into the office. And he said it was after he decided that, look, I'm not going to be president and he said, I'm going to be the best senator that I can possibly be.

And one thing he also said that was very interesting, he talked -- we talked about health care, something that they worked on. But he also said that it was also the Voting Rights Act. That was a critical issue that they worked on in the late '60s together.

BROWN: All right. We are going to take a quick break.

We are remembering Ted Kennedy, of course. The memorial service set to begin in a matter of minutes now.

Stay with us.

We'll be back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We're only a few moments away from the start of this Celebration of Life honoring the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

Folks are still walking in but, basically, we understand most of the people are now in their seats inside the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. We should be able to show you those pictures. That's coming up very soon.

We do have a live picture -- I want to show you where the funeral mass will take place tomorrow. That's over at the Boston Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at a nearby church. It will be a very different kind of service tomorrow morning, a two hour traditional Catholic mass. The president of the United States will be delivering the eulogy. The Boston College chancellor, Jay Donald Monan, the -- the priest the Jesuit at the Jesuit university at Boston College, he'll be the principal celebrant of the funeral mass. That will take place tomorrow morning, 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., a two hour mass tomorrow.

You still see some folks arriving right now at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. This is going to be a celebration, as they say, maybe like a traditional Irish wake. There you see Bob -- Bobby -- or Robert Kennedy, Jr. just walking in, the nephew the son of Robert Kennedy, the late attorney general and Democratic presidential candidate.

People are still arriving right now as we speak. But most of the folks, we're told, are already inside, getting ready -- only a few minutes, about five minutes away from the start of this celebration -- Campbell, as we await the start of the celebration, you know, I can't help but think that Ted Kennedy himself, according to a lot of his friends, he helped contribute to what this celebration will be like, including those he would have wanted to speak.

BROWN: Yes, absolutely, and thought a lot about the planning. And, in fact, I was struck by something that Robert Kennedy, Jr. said -- I heard him say to ABC News, Wolf. It was one of the blessings of his terminal illness is he got to take a kind of victory lap at the end, didn't he, David?

GERGEN: Absolutely. And this has -- I was thinking of going back to what James said earlier. This is much more like a presidential funeral.

And I think all of us are sort of why is that?

And I think that it's because we had many important political families in the second half of the 20th century, but there's no -- no one of the families captured the heart of -- hearts of so many Americans, as the Kennedy family did. And it's sort of like the Roosevelts. Both Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt dominated the first half of the 20th century. And to some extent, I think that the Kennedys were the dominant political family of second half of the 20th century. And that's why I think we have this sense of a -- of a near presidential farewell.

BORGER: Yes, but I also think Ted Kennedy made the decision that he was going to let people thank him and hug him back, because he has always been the eulogizer, the memorializer.

BLITZER: Right.

BORGER: And he has -- he has always been the one -- you ask anyone in the Senate, who's the first person there who you need them?

Who's the phone call you get?

It's Ted Kennedy. But they always would say to me, he never quite let us console him. And I think, in his own way now, over this last year or so and today and throughout these three days, he's letting people show their love.

(CROSSTALK) BROWN: We were just watching -- I just want to mention Governor Schwarzenegger, who's, of course, married to Maria Shriver, walking in now -- Dana.

BASH: I was just going to say this is also classic Kennedy pageantry and imagery. I mean, obviously, the first few times that the country was watching a Kennedy funeral, they were times of tragedy, for his two brothers. This time, as everybody has said, he had time to think about it and plan it.

But I just -- just in covering Ted Kennedy in the Senate, he always knew where the camera was, he always knew that as soon as that light went on, even if we caught him by surprise, which did happen from time to time, other senators would run away and not maybe look as flattering. He would do what he could to -- to have things look the best, because remember, the first...

GERGEN: What's -- what's classic about it?

What aspects of it are classic about being Kennedy?

What?

BASH: Well, just because they invented political imagery. I mean I think, at the beginning, "Camelot".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

BASH: the pictures that we used to see of -- of the Kennedys playing football on the lawn. That was not an accident that we saw those pictures. They were trying to create an image of a family. And this is an extension of that, that the country will see something that is very carefully crafted.

BROWN: Yes.

MARTIN: Campbell, to David's point, this family gave you all the elements of a Hollywood movie. I mean -- I mean, no, seriously. There's -- if you think about politicians (INAUDIBLE)...

GERGEN: There are many Hollywood movies.

MARTIN: Right. But they don't see them in terms of just the political, they're in office. But you -- but you have -- you had family, you had tragedy, you had drama, you had -- you had excitement and you had all of that operating and one of those (INAUDIBLE) people were able to touch them in many different ways, whether you liked entertainment, politics, in these different areas. That plays a role in how people react to (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: I think it's been said, with some truth, that a lot of Democrats love humanity but don't like human beings. And I think...

(CROSSTALK) CARVILLE: Because if you were a human being, you had the sense that this guy cared about your life.

BASH: Exactly.

CARVILLE: If you were a working person and if you -- if you were a lesbian, if you were an immigrant or whoever you were, an elderly person, you had a feeling that that guy cared about you. You know, he cared about humanity but he cared about you individually. And I think that's part of it.

BROWN: And Ed Rollins, those are the people -- many of the people who showed up to pay their respects.

ROLLINS: I don't mean any disrespect to his great career in the Senate, but I always thought of Ted Kennedy as the wonderful bartender in a "Cheers" type bar, in which he would be everybody's best friend and listen and what have you. And there's nothing wrong with that. That's a very positive thing.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: This is the first view we are getting...

GERGEN: And look it...

BROWN: ...of inside...

GERGEN: A good vantage point.

BROWN: A stunning view.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: And you can see there the -- the pageantry that is playing out, which this is, no doubt, going to be an incredible service.

Let me bring John King in, who is, of course, there -- John, give us your thoughts.

KING: Well, Campbell, one thing I want to say off the bat as we look at this picture, this is the room, of course, where we have watched for two days members of the public pass by and bid farewell to Senator Kennedy.

It is no accident where this library sits -- on a little Jetty in the Dorchester section of Boston overlooking Boston Harbor, hand- picked by Senator Kennedy and the family to honor his brother, of course, the late president, John F. Kennedy.

I'll tell you a little bit of color I learned earlier today from a member of the family. The initial plan called for Senator Kennedy to be brought from Hyannis Port to here on a Coast Guard cutter. He loved the water so much, they wanted to sail him up from Hyannis Port to Boston. And then they made the decision, in the end, that that was just not practical and they couldn't pull it together. And so they decided instead to bring him in that motorcade.

If my eyes are good, that is Paul Kirk -- if my eyes are still good looking on the monitor -- an old friend of Senator Kennedy -- and, Wolf, they're beginning the services inside. And Paul Kirk is the service master of ceremonies, and, also, pay tribute to his great old friend, Senator Kennedy.

BLITZER: He will introduce everyone and Father Gerry Creeden will deliver the opening prayer.

But let's listen in to Paul Kirk, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, a close friend of Senator Kennedy's.

PAUL KIRK, JR. CHAIRMAN, JFK PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: And whose care giving these past 15 months was nothing less than heroic and inspirational. Our hearts are with all of where you.

To lead us in a prayer for Senator Kennedy's peace and the strength of his loved ones, I invite Father Gerry Creeden to offer an invocation, after which the Boston Community Chorus will open the celebration by singing, "God Bless America" and I hope you will join them.

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