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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Cease-fire Reached in Russian-Georgian Conflict; The Oprah Effect

Aired August 12, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin with breaking news on war and politics.
With Georgia and Russia stepping back from the brink of an all- out war, the presidential candidates are going at over the crisis, with John McCain trying to score points by talking tough, a key supporter even saying Barack Obama doesn't always put America first.

Also tonight, the choice is getting close, the veepstakes -- a new look at how some of the hopefuls appear to be auditioning for the job.

Also, she say she wants Caylee back? So, so why do police believe Casey Anthony is telling them a pack of lies about what happened to her daughter? The alleged baby-sitter who denies she ever met her, the phone call she never made, the job she longer had -- why police no longer take her seriously -- a detailed look tonight at the alleged lies Casey Anthony has told and the latest on what police believe really happened to little Caylee Anthony.

We begin with breaking news, a cease-fire in Georgia and the political battle it has spawned here at home on who is better equipped to handle the next crisis. The truce ends a lopsided and bloody five- day battle between one of America's new allies, Georgia, and her once and possibly future adversary, Russia.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy brokered the cease-fire, which calls on both sides to stop fighting and pull back to positions they held before August 6, when Georgia made the first move. It does not deal with the underlying conflict or repair breakaway Georgian territories, nor does it erase some very real questions about American power and which candidate can wield best it.

Barack Obama talking tough, John McCain tougher, and both saying that they're the one who could handle a crisis like the one in George .

On the trail tonight, CNN's Ed Henry.



ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain has come out swinging. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Its bombing campaign encompassed the whole of Georgia. Hundreds of innocent civilians have been wounded and killed, possibly thousands.

HENRY: McCain is not just trying to beat up on Russia for invading Georgia. The Republican wants to make the case Barack Obama is not ready to be commander in chief, with a script written by Hillary Clinton.


NARRATOR: It's 3:00 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep, but there's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing.


HENRY: Clinton's 3:00 a.m. ad did not help her win the Democratic nomination, but the McCain camp believes the issue will resonate in the general election with independent voters concerned about security, calling it a genuine 3:00 a.m. moment, presenting a clear choice for the American people.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: Between one candidate, who's a talker, and the other candidate, who's the leader America needs as our next president.


LIEBERMAN: We never know, when we elect a president, what crisis will occur in the four years of his watch.

HENRY: This week, McCain has largely had the stage to himself, while Obama is on vacation in Hawaii. His position on Russia got tougher as the fighting increased.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Russia has escalated its military campaign through strategic bombing and the movement of its ground forces into the heart of Georgia. There is no possible justification for these attacks.

HENRY (on camera): McCain has an edge on the issue of who the public thinks can better handle a crisis. But it's not as big an edge as you might expect.

(voice-over): An ABC News/"Washington Post" poll last month found that, when asked, who do you trust more to handle an unexpected major crisis, 50 percent said McCain. Forty-one percent said Obama -- a nine-point lead. But when asked who they trust more on the economy, Obama was ahead 54 percent to 35 percent, a 19-point lead over McCain.

So, McCain is pushing the national security issue, taking an even harder line than President Bush, denouncing Russia on WITF Radio in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's very clear that Russian ambitions are to restore the old Russian empire, not the Soviet Union, but the Russian empire.


HENRY: Lines like that are playing well in Georgia.

MIKHAIL SAAKASHVILI, PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA: Today, John McCain said that Americans are supporting Georgia. McCain said, we are Georgians today. Everybody are Georgians today.

HENRY: But, as Republicans reminded Obama after his foreign trip, American elections are decided in cities like Atlanta, Georgia, not Tbilisi, Georgia.

Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.


COOPER: So, there are questions tonight, very real questions, about American leverage on Russia, not to mention U.S. influence on the global stage.

Let's talk strategy with Mark Halperin of "TIME" magazine and Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a veteran of both the Foreign Service and National Security Council under both President Bushes.

Richard, Dick Cheney said that Russia's aggression cannot go unanswered. President Bush said that Russia's standing in the world has been, in his words, substantially damaged.

In terms of U.S. leverage, however, is there much the U.S. can do about Russia?

RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: The short answer is no. We're paying the price for not having had an energy policy for several decades. Russia has been one of the real beneficiaries in the world of escalating energy prices. It has given them an awful lot of power now. It's also an awful lot of stored-up resentment there.

And what we're seeing, if you will, is a form of payback. The Russians are expressing how unhappy they have been over the last two decades. They have lost a lot of standing in the world. They're also sending real messages, not just to Georgia, but to Ukraine. They're essentially telling them, and through them, the Europeans and the United States, no more. We don't want you to push too far until you're up against our borders.

And, quite honestly, we don't have a lot of leverage. That's the bottom line. It's sad, but true.

COOPER: Both candidates, McCain and Obama, speaking very strongly about this. Both men have talked to -- to Georgia's president several times by telephone.

How did they both do? I mean, this is really the first international crisis they have been able to respond to.


Look, there is an overlap in what they believe, although you would have to say that John McCain is more hawkish on Russia, not just than Barack Obama, but than President Bush.

I think it's an imperfect test, because Obama is in vacation. He's come off of vacation, an obvious thing to do from a tactical, political point of view. But I think McCain benefits from this in three ways. First of all, he separates himself from President Bush, something he needs to do in general. He does have real policy differences with Bush. He has been a skeptic of Putin, as the president has been close to him.

It also allows him to talk tough on foreign policy, something that he, when he's comfortable doing it, on an issue he cares about, he sounds better than he does at other times. And, then, finally, as was just said by Ed Henry, this is an issue where Americans look to McCain more than Obama, someone they trust to be president.

So, I think, in general, also it's a substantive problem for the current administration, this is good politically for John McCain.

COOPER: Reading what both candidates said, Richard, what was your take?

HAASS: Politically, again, it's -- I don't disagree an awful lot with what Mark just said in terms of that.

Look, to me, the interesting argument, foreign policy wise, is how little either candidate can actually propose that we do.

COOPER: Right. The specifics, there's not much you can really say.


HAASS: ... to your first question...

COOPER: Right.

HAASS: ... the United States doesn't have a lot of good options. We don't have a lot of leverage.

To me, the interesting story is how we got to this point, how two decades of American foreign policy has essentially failed.

COOPER: Was it a mistake for both these candidates and President Bush to basically encourage Georgia and -- and encourage them -- both men said they wanted Georgia be part of NATO.

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: I mean, did the U.S. send them signals that they were going to get support, more support than we were really able to give them?

HAASS: I think the Georgians were a bit reckless, in having, to some extent, stimulated this crisis. And part of that was the positive things, the encouragement the Georgians were hearing at the most recent NATO meeting about the possibility that that the gates would be open to them.

And we just need to think that through. It's a symbol, but also it's a reality. And if you're going to talk about letting countries into NATO, the fundamental commitment to NATO is the so-called Article 5 commitment to defend all NATO members.

We need to think very seriously before we give any sort of signals, because it's not just words. It's reality. And, quite honestly, if Georgia were in NATO, how would this president or his successor feel about the United States having to go to the defense of Georgia? Big, big commitment.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.

Richard Haass, good to have you on the program.

Mark Halperin, we will have you more as well tonight.

A lot of more political developments tonight. As always, I'm blogging throughout the hour. You can join the conversation at our Web site,

Up next: McCain and Obama getting ready to pick their running mates. The clock is ticking, the list growing shorter. We will show you how some V.P. hopefuls are auditioning for the job.

And, later, the search for Caylee Anthony and the many alleged holes in her mother's story -- new details that police say add up to a big credibility problem. Randi Kaye has the latest.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think you would be farther along today in the investigation if Casey had been truthful from day one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely. I mean, one of the information -- again, when you have accurate, valid information at the beginning of any case, especially one with a missing person, when you have a child, the -- the importance of immediately deploying resources to the right areas, the right locations, when you have a missing child within the first 24 hours, the first 48 hours, is crucial.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: On the trail today, John McCain held a town hall meeting in York, Pennsylvania. As you can, he had company. There's Senator Joe Lieberman, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, both men, of course, mentioned as V.P. possibilities.

Barack Obama is also gathering a crowd of V.P. contenders. Interesting to see how some of the people on the short lists are acting in front of the candidates and in front of the cameras.

CNN's Jessica Yellin has the "Raw Politics."


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At some auditions, you want to be memorable.


YELLIN: At others, you want to blend in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait. I have got to stop.

YELLIN: But, when you're trying out the be vice president, there's no formula for success. Some short-listers are going all out.

On the Republican side, former Governor Mitt Romney is everywhere, doing the attack dog soft-shoe across the cable universe and filling McCain's coffers at fund-raisers across the country. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has been winning over the critics and wooing the Republican conservative base, while making clear he knows how to be a number two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are the most important qualities in a vice presidential candidate?




YELLIN: Other hopefuls are playing it cool. Former Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge campaigned with McCain this week. But Ridge has been almost invisible until now. The same goes for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who has got his lines down pat.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: I will keep saying it as many times as I can. I love the job I have got.

YELLIN: Could both be trying out by not trying too hard?

Over on Obama's short list, there's no shortage of passion. Those going all out include Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who stumped his heart out for Senator Clinton when she was in the race...

SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: She's tough, but she's also compassionate.

YELLIN: ... and now is doing the same for Obama.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine endorsed Obama early. He's being coy.

GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: I'm not going make a case for myself. I -- I'm just going to try to be a good governor.

YELLIN: But the stories saying Kaine is on Obama's V.P. short list makes you wonder if he's not auditioning aggressively.

The Democratic elder statesmen are playing it cool. Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, who is usually more than happy to do TV interviews, seems allergic to them these days. And Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, who was quite verbose while campaigning in Iowa, is almost silent now.

There is a third category, the flubbed audition. This moment may have killed South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's chances of being McCain's number two. He couldn't name one difference between the Bush and McCain economic policy.

GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes. I mean, for instance, take, you know -- take for instance, the issue of -- of -- I'm drawing a blank. And I hate it when I do that, particularly on television.

YELLIN: When it comes to the veepstakes, a good audition won't get you the part, but a bad one is sure to get you cut fast.


COOPER: All right, we're "Digging Deeper."

Jessica Yellin joins us now. And back with us, "TIME" magazine's Mark Halperin, and Steve Kornacki, a columnist for "The New York Observer."

Jessica, who else is on the short list for both candidates?

YELLIN: Well, for -- for Barack Obama, as foreign policy becomes more dominant on the trail, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island's stock is rising. He's a former Army paratrooper and serves on the Armed Services Committee.

There's also a woman in the running. At least there's talks about among his aides, Kathleen Sebelius, who is the governor of Kansas, a red state. Obama would love to win that state. His family is from there originally, his mom's family is. But there's a problem picking a woman if it's not Hillary Clinton.

And, on McCain's side, you could look at Meg Whitman of eBay. People talk about her a little bit. Some of his advisers like her. Charlie Crist of Florida. But you know what? I have got to tell you, Anderson, no matter who you talk to, even those closest to the candidate, say, leave room for an out-of-the-box somebody, a sleeper person. It could still happen on both sides.

COOPER: Mark, how much does chemistry matter? Do they have to like the vice presidential candidate?

HALPERIN: Did Jessica say he might pick a sleepy person or did I...



YELLIN: Sleeper.

HALPERIN: Sleeper.

YELLIN: Sleeper.

HALPERIN: Got it. All right.

Look, I think that there are lots of political calculations, but I think both these guys have two things front of mind. One is someone they like, they want to work with. The other is someone who is perceived to be ready to be president from day one. If they take away from that, which is their instinct, could be disastrous.

And buy these guys can win without a bold pick. I think they will both go relatively safe, comfortable, and ready to be president.

COOPER: We will have more with our panel in a moment, more on the veepstakes ahead, including the chances of the candidate some are calling both the dark horse and the one who makes the most sense, Hillary Clinton.

And a 360 follow -- the so-called pregnancy pact at Gloucester High School has reportedly cost the school principal his job -- why he is now stepping down.

And hunt for 3-year-old Caylee Anthony continuing. Investigators say they are slowed by the web of lies spun by her mom. Why did she send police on multiple wild goose chases? And why did she accompany them on those wild goose chases? Answers ahead -- on "Crime and Punishment."


COOPER: With less than two weeks away from the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama still on vacation on Hawaii. The convention of course begins August 25, followed by the Republican National Convention the following week.

So, between now and then, we expect the candidates to announce their running mates. We're digging deeper tonight on who's still in the running, who's not.

With us again, Jessica Yellin, "TIME" magazine's Mark Halperin, and Steve Kornacki of "The New York Observer."

So, Steve, Obama's eventual vice president is going to be speak on a night the theme of it is securing America's future. Does that give some sort of hint that this may be someone strong on foreign policy?

KORNACKI: Well, I think there's a basic conflict here, when you talk about the personal direction that Obama wants to take the search, in terms of who he likes personally, who he's comfortable with personally, and what his sort of political imperatives are.

His political imperative, clearly, is to reassure voters this fall. One of the reasons people speculate, why is the race so unexpectedly close this summer? And there's lots of explanations for that.

COOPER: Right.

KORNACKI: But one is that people basically are inclined to vote Democratic, and like Barack Obama personally, but they need the reassurance that he passes the -- you know, it's a cliche, but the commander in chief test.

So, you do that by putting an old graybeard on the ticket, a Joe Biden, a Sam Nunn, somebody like that. But if you look at the people who Obama seems to have forged the closest relationships with, the ones he -- you know, Tim Kaine -- the reason Tim Kaine made it to the top of the list a few weeks, and sort of went nowhere, was because there's a real close personally relationship there.

And you could -- Obama clearly has the -- sort of the foundation for a working relationship in the White House. Maybe that doesn't exist so much with a Biden, doesn't exist so much with a Jack Reed, somebody like that. So, there could be some tension there.

But I -- I mean, I really believe -- I try to debunk conventional wisdom as much as I can, but I think, on this one -- this is like a broken clock that is right twice a day -- this is that one time that conventional wisdom actually has it right. He really needs to get somebody who is going to reassure voters when they're in there to....

COOPER: So, does -- Mark, does Evan Bayh fit in that category?

HALPERIN: I think, if you're going just on logic of what they seem to need, what the imperatives are, Evan Bayh for -- for Obama, Mitt Romney for McCain make more sense, head and shoulders, than anyone else I know to be under consideration, which presumably means neither of them will be picked.

COOPER: And, Jessica, Hillary Clinton, is she even mentioned by anybody anymore, besides maybe her supporters? (LAUGHTER)

YELLIN: You know what, Anderson? People are afraid to not mention her on the list, but I would give it a .0001 percent chance. They just don't have that kind of fit that Barack Obama keep saying that he wants and that the team says he's looking for, that Obama wants somebody he can work down the hall from for many years, that he wants to be that close with.

And they just don't have that kind of mutual trust. So, I don't see it happening. But, again, they're so scared of her, in a way, that they don't want to publicly say she's out. Privately, they make it pretty clear it's not likely.

COOPER: David Gergen makes this case, though, Steve. I mean, shouldn't the -- the -- you have mentioned these imperatives.


COOPER: Isn't the number-one imperative to get elected? And doesn't she bring a lot to the table?

KORNACKI: Yes. And they're -- but, now, no one -- the price is higher for Hillary Clinton, in terms of what you would pay after the election, than there is with any other candidate who helps you win the election.

The interesting thing on Hillary Clinton is, you could completely -- I think you still can completely dismiss the idea that she will be the running mate.


COOPER: You can?

KORNACKI: Can, yes.


KORNACKI: But you could completely -- you could completely dismiss it on June 3, the day the primaries ended, by saying, hey, you know what? By the time the convention rolls around, the party will be united, more or less. Independents will start moving over. And he will be ahead, you know, six, eight, maybe 10 points in the polls.

And, at that point, you're not looking at paying a direct political price for snubbing Hillary Clinton. What people didn't expect then, and what has surprised me, is, he's now in a position where he needs -- you know, he needs all the votes he can get. This is an even race now, essentially.

So, he's now in a position where Hillary Clinton absolutely could make a difference in November. And you're at the point where, if the election plays out, and he somehow loses this thing to McCain, and he doesn't pick Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton really could go out there -- her supporters -- Hillary wouldn't say this herself, but her supporters really could go out after the election and say, you know what? He was too petty. He would have won this election without Hillary Clinton -- with Hillary Clinton.

HALPERIN: Yes. Look, right now, what these candidates -- the closest age to these candidates, what they're doing is, they're looking at the people they know are actually on the list, because we don't really know, except, in a few cases, who's being looked at seriously.

And they're saying, if my candidate picks this person, how will they be launched? What will the storyline be that we tell? How will we lead this into the convention in a way that builds enthusiasm?

It's very easy to do that with Hillary Clinton. It's almost effortless. It would be a big surprise. People already know her. The picture of families together would create a lot of excitement. You don't even need to plan for that.

But I agree. There's almost next to no chance she will be picked. The challenge is picking someone whose story, even though they're not as well known as Hillary Clinton, can create that kind of excitement. A packaging of Tim Kaine, packaging of Tim Pawlenty, how do you make that into a big, exciting thing?

COOPER: But do any of them have the -- I mean, none of them have that kind of national exposure, really.

KORNACKI: Well, another great wild card who I think also sort of went out of the consideration today, a real wild card, was Chuck Hagel, the Republican from Nebraska.

And there you go. You have got the excitement of a bipartisan ticket. You have got the embodiment of a Republican who has been offended by the Bush years, who just would a knockout with independent voters.

There's news today that Chuck Hagel is going to be out of the country for both conventions. So, that is probably not going to happen either. And that would take a lot of courage on...


YELLIN: But, Anderson...


KORNACKI: ... a lot of courage on Obama's part to go with a Republican.


COOPER: Jessica?


You know, I hear that despite the fact that some of, for example, Obama's aides really like the idea of seeing a Tim Kaine with Barack Obama, the image of change together -- that's the young governor of Virginia -- or an Evan Bayh, also young -- it looks like a new America, that Barack Obama keep going back to people like Chris Dodd, the senator from Connecticut, who is a Washington insider, but Barack Obama has enormous personal respect for him and just likes the guy, from what I'm told.

And then also Joseph Biden stays in the running, senator from Delaware, even though he's another Washington insider, because of his years, because Obama has this fit with him.


YELLIN: So, it might not necessarily be what the picture should be. It's, you know, where the candidate just feels his gut taking him.

COOPER: Steve, for -- for John McCain, let's talk about him. Mitt Romney -- Marks says Mitt Romney seems the most logical choice.


KORNACKI: He's absolutely -- on paper, he is absolutely the most logical choice, for two reasons, both what he brings to the table, and the absence of any other really logical choice.


COOPER: Do they like each other?

KORNACKI: That's the -- that's the issue.

And you look at McCain. Now, Romney reminds me a lot of George Bush Sr. He's sort of very malleable in terms of where his core is ideologically, but he's got great charm behind the scenes.

So, I have no doubt that Romney, behind the scenes, has charmed the heck out of McCain since the primaries. And there's a lot -- a lot of the tension has been eased.

But I think, you know, McCain is a guy who really values honor at a core level. You know, he -- you know, Romney is sort of the embodiment of the guy who just makes McCain's skin crawl. And when you're giving out the Republican vice presidential nomination in 2008, you may also be giving out the presidential nomination in 2012 or in 2016.

And I'm not sure, on a core level, if John McCain has some wiggle room, he really wants to give the nomination for 2012 or 2016 to a guy who, at a core level, I don't think, really, he likes.

COOPER: Mark, just in terms of timing of this, what, Obama makes the announcement next week?

HALPERIN: I think probably the end of next week. I mean, you know, we're running out of time. It has to be at some point in the next two weeks.

I think doing it close to the convention will be smart. Remember, McCain has an advantage that you don't normally have, which is, his convention starts immediately after the Democrats' convention. Normally, what you like to do is, come out of your convention, get a bounce, in part from your vice presidential pick, know that you're going to get some of the bounce, but know you retain as much of it as possible.

If McCain makes his pick immediately after the Democratic Convention, he may be able to just absolutely stamp down the Democratic bounce. That's a big card to play, which is why I was always skeptical that McCain would make his decision before the Democratic Convention.

It's a great card for him to have. If it works, if he picks well, the story of the Democratic Convention, that amplifying effect, going on a bus trip, doing something post-convention, could be really just wiped out. And that's one of the few advantages McCain has.

COOPER: Mark Halperin, Steve Kornacki, good to have you on, Jessica Yellin, as well. Thanks so much.

Coming up: the Oprah effect on the campaign trail. The talk show queen is backing, of course, Barack Obama. We all know that. Now there's new evidence that her support is turning into votes, a whole lot of votes. We will crunch the numbers up close.

Plus, new details on the search for Caylee Anthony. This was her mom partying it up, allegedly around the time Caylee vanished -- tonight, a look at the pack of lies from her mother, according to police. The police say that they are faced with these lies as they try to find Caylee.

But, first, she amazed the crowd at opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Now her performance, well, it's coming under fire -- a confession from Beijing about lip-synching when 360 continues.


COOPER: Web of lies, that's what police say they're dealing with in the search for Caylee Anthony -- the latest on the investigation coming up.

But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan wants Nancy Pelosi's seat in Congress. California election officials say she has gathered enough signatures to run for the job in November against the House speaker. A Pelosi spokesman says the speaker welcomes the challenge.

A girl who became an instant celebrity during the Olympic opening ceremony was actually lip-synching when China's flag was brought into the stadium. But she wasn't lip-synching to her own voice. And that is where the issue lies. It turns out she was picked for the opening ceremony because she projected the right image.

The 7-year-old who actually sang the song was apparently too chubby and had bad teeth.

Poor little girl.

And a 360 follow-up for you -- the principal of Gloucester High School in Massachusetts, who said he believed many of the 17 student pregnancies at his school were intentional has resigned. Joseph Sullivan's comments made national headlines in June. The media reported it as a pregnancy pact. He now says he does not recall using the words -- Anderson.

COOPER: How would you like to be the one who told that little girl who actually sang the song that, actually, she's not attractive enough...


HILL: I can't imagine, like, "Hey, you know what? Your voice is great. You beat out all these other kids."

COOPER: Unbelievable.

HILL: "But you're just not cute enough."

COOPER: Yes. There you go. No, that's not the real singer.


HILL: That's the one who was cute enough.


COOPER: ... here's tonight's "Beat 360" photo: Senator Joseph Lieberman and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge talking today while John McCain speaks at a campaign stop in New York, Pennsylvania.

Here's the caption from our staff winner, Jack: "Is it just me, or do a lot of the babies in this room look like John Edwards?"

Ouch. Hey, now.

Jack, that is...

HILL: It's edgy, but it is clever, Jack.

COOPER: Jack crosses a line.

HILL: Really?

COOPER: Well, I don't know.

HILL: He's not on the edge; he's over the line?

COOPER: I don't know. Maybe he's on the edge.

Think you can do better...

HILL: Teetering...

COOPER: ... go to our Web site, Click on the "Beat 360" link. Send us your entry. We will announce the winner at the end of the program. And they, of course, get a big 360 T-shirt.

Republican strategists trying to link Barack Obama to Paris Hilton. But it is the endorsement of a different celebrity, Oprah Winfrey, that may have been the deciding factor in clinching the Democratic nomination for Obama. A new report on what effect Oprah Winfrey had on Obama's run for the White House. It's coming up.

Plus, the hunt for Caylee Anthony, now missing for nearly two months. Her mother sent investigators in circles. Why? We're going to hear from a woman who knows both Caylee and her mother, the 3-year- old's former babysitter. We'll be right back.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight. The mother of missing 3- year-old Caylee Anthony not talking to police and, it seems, to her own family. Her jailhouse visit with her brother was cancelled today. No explanation given.

Casey Anthony has been behind bars since mid-July. And as we've been telling you, police think that she is hiding something. They say she has certainly been lying to them.

Tonight we want to tell her version of what happened to Caylee. We're going to give you the dates, show you the places, show you what police say they found when they followed up on her story.

Here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why did Caylee Anthony's disappearance ignite a web of lies from her mother? Police say not only did Casey Anthony wait a month to report her daughter missing, but she sent investigators on a wild goose chase.

(on camera) Do you think you would be farther along today in the investigation if Casey had been truthful from day one?

CAPTAIN ANGELO NIEVES, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Definitely. And when you have accurate, valid information at the beginning of any case, especially one with a missing person, you have a child, the importance of immediately deploying resources to the right areas, the right locations, when you have a missing child within the first 24 hours, the first 48 hours is crucial.

KAYE (voice-over): Captain Angelo Nieves says Casey showed intent to deceive, which immediately sent up red flags. She's in jail, charged with child neglect, making false statements, and obstructing a criminal investigation.

(on camera) According to police, Casey Anthony told them she had dropped her daughter off here at this apartment building with a woman named Zenaida Gonzalez, whom she had used as a babysitter for more than a year.

But when police checked with the office here, they were told nobody by that name lived here. In fact, the apartment Casey had said Zenaida lived in had been vacant for more than a year.

(voice-over) In an interview with an Orlando TV station, a woman with the name Zenaida Gonzalez denied ever meeting Caylee or Casey.

ZENAIDA GONZALEZ (PH), DENIES MEETING CASEY ANTHONY: Why me? Why would you choose my name? Of all of the people in Florida, why my name? I don't know you, never met you. Why would you choose my name?

KAYE: Investigators say Casey attempted to show them the last few locations she says Zenaida lived. One, they say, was a facility for senior citizens. Casey's attorney says he's seen no proof Casey made any of these statements to police.

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY'S ATTORNEY: I think when all the facts are revealed and everything comes out, that people will have a clear understanding of the compelling reasons behind Casey's actions.

KAYE (on camera): Casey also took investigators here to Universal Studios. According to the affidavit, she told them she worked here as an event coordinator and had told two co-workers that her daughter had gone missing. Police say one of those co-workers had been fired before Caylee disappeared. The other there was no record of.

Casey even began to lead investigators to her office when they say she abruptly turned around and told them she hadn't been telling the truth, that she wasn't currently employed here. Police say she had been fired from Universal April 24.

(voice-over) And there's more. The affidavit shows Casey told police she received a phone call July 15 around noon during which she spoke to her daughter, a month after Caylee had disappeared. Investigators say there's no such call on her cell phone records.

NIEVES: She is the last person to have seen Caylee that we can rely on to give us valid information. She hasn't done that to this point.

KAYE: Is Casey Anthony lying to protect herself? Or her daughter? Investigators wish they knew.


KAYE: Now, Casey's family and friends say that they're very frustrated with investigators, because they say even though Casey lied, it does not mean that she harmed her daughter, Caylee. They think that investigators have blinders on, that they're only focusing on Casey.

I asked police about that today, and they said that is not the case at all. They are following up on the more than 1,000 tips they've received. They're looking at everything and everyone, Anderson. They just say that they keep coming back to Casey.

COOPER: All right. We're going to have more with Randi next on the search for Caylee. More with Randi, and the 3-year-old's former babysitter, Holly Gagne, who's helping organize the search for Caylee.

And new evidence that the Oprah effect isn't just hype. Two economists say they had proved Oprah has real political clout. Clout that may have helped Obama win more than a million votes. We'll go up close.

Plus, what happened when John Lennon's killer went before the parole board for the fifth time? Mark David Chapman playing up his clean prison record. Will he get a clean start in life? We'll tell you details.

And in South Texas, the chupacaraba -- I don't know how to say it -- craze is heating up again, thanks to the dashcam video. I'll get it right at the end of this. Is that creature caught on tape really a blood-sucking killer on the loose? Doesn't look like it. Stay tuned.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment." More now on the mystery that gets more bizarre, frankly, every day. What happened to little Caylee Anthony, the Florida girl who's been missing now for nearly two months?

A couple of new theories have surfaced. So far, new details about -- so have some new details about Caylee's mom, Casey. 360's Randi Kaye joins me now, along with Holly Gagne, Caylee Anthony's former babysitter, who is also orchestrating a lot of the volunteer efforts to try to find this little door.

First of all, Holly, how are those efforts doing? I mean, you're there every day, trying to get people to help. Are they?

HOLLY GAGNE, FORMER BABYSITTER: Absolutely. We had a lady come up today who just put in the little donation jar just a wad of money. And we thought it was ones, and instead it was twenties. And she just said, "I just want to help." That's what my volunteers have told me.

So the outpouring of these people and their hearts is -- it's overwhelming.

COOPER: And Holly, in terms of what you believe, in terms of what Caylee's family, her grandparents, now believe happened to this little girl, where do you stand?

GAGNE: We're actually very hopeful. This has been a great week. There's been some new developments that they've learned about. And so, there's a lot more hope, and we're ready just for this little girl to come home and to just lock this thing up and just to celebrate, because we're ready for some great news.

COOPER: Can you say what gives you hope?

GAGNE: There's just some positive tips they've been receiving on -- and you know, that's about all I can say right now.

COOPER: Randi, what are you hearing from police, from others? I'm hearing there's a theory that Caylee may have drowned in the swimming pool. What do you know about that?

KAYE: That theory is definitely one of many that is out there, Anderson. The Anthonys have an above-ground pool in their back yard. There's a ladder that is -- that goes along with that pool. They take that ladder away to make sure that Caylee is safe. In the days following her disappearance the family apparently realized that this ladder had been put back at the pool.

So some of the sources close to this investigation that we've spoken with, including some today, said that there is some theory out there that possibly Caylee got into the pool. Maybe Casey had been asleep for some time. Maybe she panicked. She saw her daughter had drowned. That is one of the things that they are looking at. There has been no evidence and certainly no proof related to that. But that is one of the many theories.

COOPER: So I mean, at that point, it's basically speculation, though. It's one of the things that the police are looking for.

How big an effort are the police making on this? I mean, obviously, the story is receiving a huge amount of attention. Have they talked to everybody involved, all the names of Casey's alleged boyfriends or people she was allegedly staying with over the last month?

KAYE: No, I mean, they've had quite a tough time finding a lot of these people. We ourselves have been tracking down a lot of people. What happened apparently is that those who know Casey and know Caylee, at least we're told that they know them from family friends, these people have backed away from this investigation. All of a sudden, these people don't know Caylee. They don't know Casey. They've never seen them, haven't talked to them.

And that is proving to be very difficult for police. But they have received more than 1,000 tips, they say. They're following up on them. But some of the tips really haven't been very truthful.

COOPER: Holly, Casey's now been refusing to visit with her family. Do you know why?

GAGNE: I do know why. She -- everything she says is being recorded. Every conversation she has. You know, even if you're not in jail, you don't want people recording your conversations. And she can't speak openly and say what she needs to say, so she's just refraining from even talking at all, which is terrible because she can't even get the support from her family.

COOPER: Randi, do all of these jailhouse interviews need to be recorded?

KAYE: That is the policy right now, Anderson. In speaking with Casey's attorney today, he said that he has actually petitioned the court to try and change that so she can have a conversation with her family members, with her own parents, maybe give them the information that supposedly she has, that she knows where -- who has her daughter. Maybe not where she is. That's one thing that he's doing.

And also, in speaking with the police investigators today, they're also trying to get a private meeting without any recordings between Casey, the police, and her attorney. They said that they requested that. They said that her attorney has not responded. But in speaking with the attorney, he says he has had conversations with police about that. So it's just not working out.

And you'd think that with this little girl missing over all this time, that this would be top priority to try and make that meeting happen, without the recordings, just to get that information out there.

COOPER: Holly, you know, it's now been two months. You say you're optimistic. How is the family doing? I mean, how are the grandparents doing?

GAGNE: This week they're -- in much better spirits. However, George, when I spoke with him yesterday, he said to me, "You know, it's going to be two months." I mean, this little girl needs to come home. She needs to be in her room. She needs to be with her puppy dog. She needs to be with her grandparents. Surely she is asking where they are. And they just want her to come home. We all really want this train just to stop.

COOPER: Randi, the lawyer for Caylee said that -- for -- excuse me, for Casey said that there's no evidence that his client actually said some of these things to the police. But it's in the police search warrant.

KAYE: It is. It's in the police affidavit. Apparently, they brought that to her attention that they've been able to prove that some of the things she said. This was at Universal Studios at that point, when she had begun to take them to her office that she said she had there and then turned around in the hallway and said, "No, I don't really work here. I have not been telling the truth."

They confronted her with what they call lies and statements that she made to mislead them, and she admitted that she had not been telling the truth. And that is in the police affidavit. Why her attorney says he hasn't seen any proof is unclear.

COOPER: All right. Randi Kaye, Holly Gagne. I know it's been a long day for you, Holly, and a long day of many days. But appreciate you coming on. Thank you.

GAGNE: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up, we know Oprah Winfrey can sell books, millions of books, but can she serve up votes? Well, a new study says that her endorsement of Obama translated into a lot of votes, perhaps a million votes in the primary. We'll take a look at that.

Plus, the video that sent a young man's career at Burger King right down the drain. A guy taking a bath in the sink at Burger King. Mm, yum. Apparently, it seemed like a good idea to him at the time. And yes, he videotaped it. We'll explain ahead.


COOPER: Oprah Winfrey sharing a stage with Barack Obama in Manchester, New Hampshire, eight months ago. That seems like years ago. Drawing a huge crowd there. It was the same at rallies in Iowa and South Carolina that same weekend. Tens of thousands turned out.

So in the world of celebrity endorsements, Oprah is as high wattage as they come. But does high wattage actually translate into actual votes? In the past, a lot of pundits said no, but tonight, a new study shows the pundits were wrong, at least when it comes to Oprah.

Up close tonight, the Oprah effect with Jason Carroll.


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOT HOST: OK. It's book club day.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She endorses a book, it becomes a best seller. She mentions one of her favorite products, stores soon sell out. Oprah, it seems, has the Midas touch. But does it apply to voters?

WINFREY: Oh, yes.

CARROLL: After Oprah endorsed Senator Barack Obama, two grad students decided to find out.

TIM MOORE, ECONOMIST, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Statistically, we found an effect that it is very unlikely to be -- to be random.

CARROLL: Tim Moore and Craig Garthwait (ph) of the University of Maryland used a formula that looked at county-by-county subscriptions to Oprah's magazine, "O" and Oprah's book club. They compared the data with votes cast for Obama. A lot of equations later, their math showed Oprah was responsible for 1,059,000 votes for Obama, though they also admit it could be much more or much less.

BETH FRERKING, POLITICO.COM: We've never really had an academic study that looked at the effect and the impact of celebrity endorsement.

CARROLL: Others are less impressed. BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: One million, fifteen thousand, five hundred and fifty-nine votes. 1,015,559 votes she brought to Barack Obama. That's absurd. How do you get specifics to that degree?

CARROLL: Other analysts say maybe some of the "O" subscribers would have voted for Obama anyway, whatever Oprah said.

MOORE: You're right. We don't absolutely know. But as you can see in the people, we've made some pretty good efforts to try and see if there's something else. And so far, we haven't found them.

CARROLL: The consensus among political commentators is that celebrity endorsements can get a candidate some attention, but don't necessarily translate to votes.

And Obama, they say, may have gotten his biggest boost, not from Oprah, but from winning the Iowa caucus, proving he can win over whites as well as blacks.

(on camera) We reached out to the Obama campaign, and a spokesman said, "We are proud to have the support of such an important and dynamic individual. She was able to bring in thousands of people who might not have been normally interested in politics."

As for Oprah, we were told she is on hiatus and not available for comment.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, coming up, "The Shot of the Day." In south Texas tonight, many are convinced that the chupacabra is on the loose. The dashcam video captured the creature on tape, running away from the camera. We'll tell you why some are convinced it's not just a dog or your average coyote. We'll see.

First, Erica Hill joins us again with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, John Lennon's killer was denied parole today for a fifth time. Mark David Chapman will serve at least two more years in New York's Attica correctional facility for murdering the former Beatle in 1980. He is up for parole again in 2010.

More than half of U.S. companies and nearly three-quarters of foreign operations doing business here in the U.S. paid no federal income taxes for at least one year out of eight. That coming to us from a new government study.

And during that same time, we've learned the businesses did trillions of dollars in sales. The report says the companies avoided taxes through operating losses, tax credits, and by shifting income to no-tax countries. Words over the credit crisis have stocks tumbling today, the Dow down nearly 140 pounds to settle at 11,642. The NASDAQ basically flat, but it did drop nine while the S&P lost almost 16 points.

A Burger King employee in Ohio caught on tape taking a bath in the restaurant sink.

COOPER: How bizarre.

HILL: So strange. And now this person is going to have to find not only a new tub, Anderson, but a new job. The video ended up online where the county health commissioner ran across it. Two employees involved in the Senate were fired, another quit.

COOPER: What was he thinking?

HILL: The question may be what else was he doing before he got in the tub?

COOPER: Really? I hadn't even thought about that, actually.

HILL: I don't know. Maybe -- meaning -- maybe there was some substance that made him think it was a good idea. That's all I'm saying. Or maybe not.

COOPER: Let's move on.

HILL: Hey, how about that "Beat 360"?

Yes. Here's the winner.

HILL: That's a clean job.

The daily challenge gives viewers a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption than the one we could come up with.

I'll show that picture again. Tonight's picture, Senator Joe Lieberman, former secretary of homeland security, Tom Ridge, chatting while John McCain was talking at a town hall meeting in York, Pennsylvania.

Our staff winner, Jack, totally inappropriate. His caption, "Is it just me, or do a lot of the babies in this room look like John Edwards?"

(SOUND EFFECT: baby crying)

COOPER: So inappropriate. The sound effect didn't help.

Our viewer winner is Marvin...

HILL: So inappropriate.

COOPER: ... from San Antonio. His caption: "Let's go out for V.P. steaks after this. Would you like yours mediocre or well done?" (SOUND EFFECT: "Ooooh!")

COOPER: Marvin, your "Beat 350" T-shirt is on the way.

HILL: Oh happy day.

COOPER: You can check out all the entries. You won't want to take a bath after you wear that. You can play along tomorrow by going to AC 360. I don't know what that means, either.

HILL: Don't wash the T-shirt off, whatever you do.

COOPER: I don't know.

HILL: Wear it forever.

COOPER: Yes. All right. We're almost done, blissfully. At the top of the hour, breaking news, a cease-fire announced in the showdown between Russia and Georgia. We'll have the latest. And we'll hear what the presidential candidates are saying about it.

And coming up in a moment, a monster or a mutt. A new video that may have captured a mythic blood-sucking animal, the chupacabra -- or maybe not. Our "Shot," next.


COOPER: All right. Tonight's "Shot" owe a nod to Leonard Nimoy and the "In Search Of." Do you remember that show? Anyway, take a look at the video. is this the backside of the mythical blood-sucking creature known as the chupacabra, which I'd actually never heard of? Apparently, Texas officials think so, or at least some do. It was captured on police car dash cams.

Legend has it that the chupacabra, or goat sucker, preys on other animals.

HILL: That sounds way worse when you say "goat sucker."

COOPER: Yes, exactly. Terrorizing towns along the Mexican border and in Latin America. I'm no expert. That looks like a dog to me.

HILL: Kind of looks like a dog to me, too.

COOPER: Looks like it. Yes. Sort of reminds us...


HILL: Sounds like one, as well.

COOPER: Yes. We added that dog effect, as well. But yes, the police say -- some police actually think it's the chupacabra.

All right. I don't think if that guy in particular does, but I think he does. This of course, reminded us of the other mythical creature, the yeti which was recently seen on Mars, I believe.

HILL: Reminder: not everybody thinks that the yeti is mythical. The big foot, if you will, the sasquatch. My friend Scott Harriet right here on the program, sasquatch hunter.

COOPER: All right. Erica has a friend who actually believes in the yeti or the sasquatch. Let's take a look at the actual picture of the yeti. That's not. That's our picture (ph) of the yeti. There's the actual -- the alleged actual picture. Is that sasquatch or is that the yeti?

HILL: I don't remember what the difference is.

COOPER: That looks like -- you know, that looks like one of those sand creatures from "Star Wars"? What was his name? Anybody?

HILL: I don't know. I have no idea.

COOPER: The Tuscan raiders. Is that a Tuscan raider?

HILL: That looks like somebody's Halloween costume.

COOPER: All right. We're done. That's enough. Yes. I think that's pretty much it.

HILL: I think so, too.

COOPER: All of the photos tonight.

HILL: Good night.

COOPER: So what do we have coming up? Let's take a look. Coming up at the top of the hour, there's a story breaking tonight, a deal to end the fighting between Russia and Georgia and the political saber-rattling on the campaign trail here at home. All of that and more, ahead on "360."