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New Record High for Gas Prices; Texas Governor's Mansion Fire; What's Next for Hillary Clinton?

Aired June 08, 2008 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A record high that has nothing to do with the heat. For the first time ever, you're paying an average $4 a gallon for gas. It's happening as oil prices rise and stocks fall. Your money is issue number 1.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flames all over the place. There were boards falling with flames on them, and it was yellow and orange, and smoke everywhere.


WHITFIELD: An overnight fire guts the historic Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas and now investigators think it's a case of arson. We'll have the latest.

And disaster in Indiana. Nearly half the state in a state of emergency. Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield and you're in the NEWSROOM.

The $4 milestone has landed. AAA says the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is now more than $4 a new record high. That's a new record high. The Lundberg Survey of average gas prices is just a fraction of a cent below that. The rising cost of fuel is issue number one for most of you, and your wallet is likely to feel the pinch for quite a while. Our Ed Henry reports.


ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new record for gas prices, and little relief expected this summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would expect to see, though, a tremendous amount of volatility over -- certainly between now and the Fourth of July.

HENRY: So can the president and Congress do anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not really. I mean, I was an economics major, and to be honest with you, it's basic supply and demand.

HENRY: That skepticism may be well placed. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to pass legislation that expands and would allow for the expansion of American energy production.

HENRY: Republicans talk mostly about increasing supply through oil drillings in places like Alaska's arctic national wildlife refuge.

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: Over and over and over again, democrats have said this is off-limits to production. You can't do it in the deep waters of the gulf, you can't do it off our shore, you can't do it in Alaska.

HENRY: Democrats do reject that on environmental grounds, focusing instead on lowering demand, but that will take a long time.

GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: It's going to involve investing in alternative fuels so that we can have some alternatives to gas, and significant investments in public transit.

HENRY: With the parties deeply divided, a Senate bill requiring major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions failed last week. Only 48 of 100 senators voted for it, amid questions about whether it would really help lower gas prices. Six absent senators, including Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, said they would have voted yes to end debate and move forward on the bill, leading some to believe Congress will take action next year on reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: I hope that those companies, interesting groups, et cetera, who spent a lot of money and did a lot of work to defeat this bill will also get a message from the 54 votes. This is coming.

HENRY (on camera): So there's optimism the next president might be able to find an energy compromise in 2009. But that provides little comfort to consumers today. Ed Henry, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: High price of gas, that's just the tip of the iceberg. On Monday your house, your jobs, savings, debt, "Issue #1. CNN takes a look at them all in a day-long look at your economic concerns. We'll talk to credit counselors tomorrow. So if you're in debt or you just have questions about your credit, send us an e-mail. The address

And now another big story affecting millions of you, the extreme weather across much of the U.S. This -- take a look -- is a scene in Omaha, Nebraska, the aftermath of a tornado that tore through town early this morning. Firemen helping people salvage whatever they can from what's left of their homes. Omaha's mayor describes how emergency crews responded after the twister hit.


MAYOR MIKE FAHEY, OMAHA: The first alarm was about 2:30 this morning. We had public work crews out across the city since 3:30 this morning. We just opened the lot at 11th and Locust. People bring debris to drop it off. We've been in contact with the governor who's offered his assistance through the night. The Red Cross is bringing in a national team as well to help out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're all OK, the kids are good. You know, we were sound asleep, it scared us, but we're good, and God just is amazing, he took very good care of us. We don't have any injuries, so we'll get through the emotion of losing everything and just rebuild.


WHITFIELD: And now take a look at this -- these images of a tornado near Chicago. I-reporter Bob Potempa videotaped the twister from his front porch. In all, there were 58 tornado reports across the Midwest yesterday alone.

Well that same system has left parts of other Midwestern states under water. The most severe situation, Indiana. As much as 11 inches of rain swamped the state yesterday and at least one person drowned in floodwaters, and another is missing.

Hundreds of homeowners and hospital patients are also being evacuated. Wisconsin is also dealing with flooded streets from downpours last night. The state is getting hit again today with more rain and 60-mile-an-hour winds.

And then there's the heat. Sizzling temperatures are baking much of the East. For more on that, let's check in with meteorologist Jacqui Jeras for severe on all extremes.


WHITFIELD: A strong earthquake has rumbled through southern Greece, with aftershocks keeping people on edge there. The quake's center was about 125 miles west of Athens. It's in northern Peloponnese. At least two people were killed and more than 100 injured. And dozens of homes have been badly damaged or destroyed. Greek officials put the quake's preliminary magnitude at 6.5 on the Richter Scale.

New developments in the overnight fire at that Texas governor's ranch. This is how it looks now, a charred shell of what it once was. Much of the second story and roof collapsed. Damage is termed near catastrophic. And the state's fire marshal believes it might indeed be a case of arson.


PAUL MALDONADO, TEXAS FIRE MARSHAL: We have some evidence that indicates that we do have an intentionally set fire, and so we believe we may be looking at a criminal act here.


WHITFIELD: And more now from CNN's Austin affiliate KVUE-TV and reporter Steve Albert.


STEVE ALBERT, KVUE-TV REPORTER (voice-over): A raging fire ripped through the governor's mansion on Colorado and 10th Street in Austin early Sunday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flames all over the place. And there were boards falling with flames on them. And it was yellow and orange, and, well, there was smoke everywhere. You could see that from miles away.

ALBERT: The Texas landmark and pre-Civil War building was vacant, undergoing renovation.

ROBERT BLACK, GOVERNOR'S SPOKESMAN: They were going to be installing in the mansion was a fire suppression system. There had never been any kind of fire suppression system in the mansion.

ALBERT: The governor and first lady were on an economic development trip in Europe and were notified this morning.

BLACK: His first question was if anyone was hurt or injured, and since then we are keeping him apprised of the progress of the fire and the efforts to put it out.

ALBERT: The blaze broke out around 1:45 this morning and quickly went to four alarms. Thirty units and more than 100 firefighters fought the fire.

PALMER BUCK, AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT: We've had several minor collapses and the fire has gone through and been through the roof, so significant damage fire has invested a large portion of the governor's mansion.

ALBERT: Crews used hoses and ladders, but Ay because of the mansion's locations, they were faced with challenges.

BUCK: The problem is that a building that's 152-years-old has been remodeled several times, with all sorts of hidden spaces. We're going to have to go through there very carefully, very methodically going through the building to make sure there's no hidden fires. And that's going to take a long time.


WHITFIELD: And now, today first day of the rest of Senator Hillary Clinton's political life. It has been 24 hours since she formally suspended her bid for president and backed Barack Obama. So what's next for her, her supporter and her former rival?

Also ahead, violence breaks out on the streets of South Korea. Protesters attack and police fight back. The brouhaha over beef. That's coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Strong possibility Senator Hillary Clinton woke up in a different mindset today, no longer a Democratic presidential candidate. After months of grueling, sometimes testy campaigning, she bowed out Saturday. Senior political correspondent Candy Crowley watched as Clinton surrounded by thousands of her supporters, pinned her hopes on her former rival.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Well, this isn't exactly the party I planned, but I sure like the company.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They crowded the floor and balconies of Washington's historic Building Museum to watch a history-making bid come to an end, giving way to another.

CLINTON: So, today I am standing with Senator Obama to say -- yes we can.

CROWLEY: Channeling Obama's signature phrase, Hillary Clinton mentioned his name 14 times in the 30-minute speech -- a full-on endorsement.

CLINTON: Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president.

CROWLEY: An Obama strategist called the speech generous without ambiguity. "I appreciate," he added, "how hard this is for her."

Online, Obama asked his supporters to thank her. On her Web site, she put a link to his. Unity in cyberspace as she pushed for it in the grassroots.

CLINTON: The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand, is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States.

CROWLEY: Mostly they cheered his name, though there were scattered boos. It is too early for some. And in the end, winning her voters is up to him. She can only start the process.

At times, there was a hint of a screen test for the number two spot on Obama's ticket as she underscored power player status, the nearly 18 million people who voted for her -- blue-collar voters, Latinos, women. Sources close to her say it was important to Clinton to put history in perspective, important she write the last graph in this chapter.

CLINTON: Although weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it. CROWLEY: To try so hard so long and lose by so little surely hurts. Along the rope line, they said Bill Clinton had tears in his eyes. She did not, leaving the race as she came in -- tough, determined.

CLINTON: You'll always find me on the front lines of democracy.

CROWLEY: Moving forward if not where she thought she was headed.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: And a little later on in the hour, we will examine Hillary Clinton's historical impact. We'll talk to Marie Wilson. She's president of a group dedicated to helping women shatter glass ceilings and get into leadership positions.

First Lady Laura Bush made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan today. President Hamid Karzai welcomed her to Kabul. The first lady is trying to highlight progress in Afghanistan since the Taliban fell. Later this week, she'll address an international donors conference in Paris. The U.S. hopes to shore up financial support from other countries to help Afghanistan rebuild.

And here's another way to welcome Mrs. Bush to Afghanistan. Coalition soldiers from New Zealand performed a traditional war dance to celebrate her visit to the Bayami Province. Bayami is Afghanistan's lone province headed by a female governor.

Well, it is mission almost accomplished for two Discovery astronauts. They're about to wrap up their third and final space walk of this 15-day trip. On the to-do list, replacing an empty tank that's part of the International Space Station's cooling system. They're also reinstalling a TV camera that has had a few problems. And Discovery will shove off from the ISS Wednesday and is due back on Earth next weekend.

A horrifying story out of Japan. A man attacks a crowd of people, first with a truck, and then with a knife.

And rising crime in a D.C. neighborhood. How police are trying to block criminals from the area, coming up in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: Protesters on the attack in Seoul, South Korea. Thousands of people took to the streets earlier today. They're outraged over the government's decision to resume imports of U.S. beef without more safeguards against Mad Cow Disease. The protesters damaged the police bus, as you see right there, then turned on the officers, hitting them with sticks and pipes. The police fought back, with clashes continuing for hours. Several protesters and officers were indeed hurt.

A horrific scene in downtown Tokyo. A man who later told police that he was tired of living, went on a stabbing spree. When it was over, seven people were dead. Here now is CNN's Lindsey Janis.


LINDSEY JANIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police say this is the man who went on a stabbing rampage in a packed Tokyo shopping district. Officers say 25-year-old Tomohiro Kato told them he came to kill, that he was tired of life and sick of everything. The attack cause chaos in the popular electronics market. Police say the suspect rammed his truck into a crowd of shoppers, before getting out and stabbing people who he'd knocked over. Then turning his knife on horrified onlookers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It was not really a traffic accident. A truck hitting about three people as it drove. Then I saw four to five people collapsing onto the street one after another, someone shouting he was stabbed. Among them were some already unconscious.

JANIS: Other witnesses reported hearing the knifeman roaring and grunting as he slashed and stabbed his victims. Emergency workers were quick to the scene, treating the injured.

JEFFREY KINGSTON, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY JAPAN: This is something that people are really just surprised by. And the fact that he did it in Akihabara, that's the electronic town of Tokyo, it's going to obviously be parked on a Sunday and so he would get the maximum number of casualties and the maximum media exposure.

JANIS: It's attack has shocked Japan, where violent crimes are relatively rare. Still many Japanese are concerned about rising levels of crime. The attack also comes exactly seven years after a man with a history of mental illness went on a stabbing spree at a primary school. He was executed in 2004. Police say they're now investigating the motives behind this latest shocking crime. Lindsey Janis, CNN, London.


WHITFIELD: All right. News across America now begins with a tragic story out of suburban Atlanta. Charges are pending against a suspected drunk driver who plowed her truck into a house, killing a 14-year-old boy as he slept. The boy's younger sister was pinned by the truck, but survived.

And police in upstate New York are investigating a fatal skydiving fall. The victim was not wearing a parachute. He fell about 10,000 feet and hit the house right there.

And from the Isle of Palm, South Carolina, yeah, that guy right there? He ruined a weekend swim for a lot of people. Everyone ordered out of the water after a six-foot crocodile came into the picture. Wildlife officers eventually caught the croc. They think he either escaped or was released by his owner. He's now bound for a reptile farm or wildlife preserve in his native Florida.

All right. From Galveston, Texas, the United States Coast Guard says they have rescued five of six sailors from Texas A & M University. The crew was headed to a regatta in Mexico when their ship capsized sometime late Friday. The search is still on for that last missing crewman.

And then we have another water rescue story to tell you all about. This one from halfway across the world. Indonesia, Saturday, according to the, five European scuba divers missing and feared dead were found alive on an island. And here they are. But this was no Gilligan's Island kind of story line. They spent hours tied to a floating log and drifted some 25 miles from their dive site.

The remote and deserted island they landed on, well wasn't totally deserted after all. It was crawling with these guys, huge aggressive, hungry Komodo dragons. And guess what? Their bites can be fatal. They're big. They can be up to something like 7 feet, six to seven feet. Well all five of the divers survived, suffering dehydration. They came face-to-face with these dragons.

Jacqui, I cannot imagine. It's one thing as a diver to be out there, drifting for hours and then you think, OK, great, we're safe.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METOROLOGIST: We got away from the sharks.

WHITFIELD: Now we got dragons. Though I understand they were in that region because they did in part want to see, in part, dragons, but really not that close.

JERAS: Have you ever seen one? There's one at Zoo Atlanta.

WHITFIELD: No, I've never seen.

JERAS: Well go to the zoo, it's huge. It's scary, it eats toddlers, from what I understand. I understand, they can. They would eat something that large.


JERAS: Look at it. They're huge, yeah.

WHITFIELD: Well, we thought you might have some strong thoughts on this Komodo dragon, giving you're so experienced around the world.

JERAS: Oh, yeah, happens all the time.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk about some of the other stuff you are very familiar with too and we're talking extreme weather. Flooding in one part of the country and then very hot.

JERAS: Yes, a very crazy day. A lot of people being impacted by a lot of different factors today. We're going to talk a little bit more about that, really focus on this heat problem and how long that's going to last. That's coming up in just a minute.

WHITFIELD: I look forward to that. Thanks, Jacqui.

JERAS: Sure.

WHITFIELD: All right, well Washington police take extreme measures to secure a crime-ridden part of town.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just going to lock that area down. To the best of our ability, we're going to lock it down and we're going to implement checkpoints.


WHITFIELD: Locking it down, but will it work?

And you may think the tensions between Israel and Iran don't concern you. Well, they're hitting you right where it hurts most, in the pocketbook. We'll explain how.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Happening right now in the news, parts of Indiana under water and under a state of emergency. Nearly a foot of rain fell in some areas, and at least one person died after being swept away by floodwaters. Crews have been using boats and helicopters to rescue people stranded by the rising water.

The price of gas reaches a milestone today. AAA putting the national average for a gallon of regular at $4. That is an all-time high. The Lundberg survey puts the average at just a fraction of a cent cheaper.

Mounting tension between Israel and Iran is having a big impact on fuel prices right here in the U.S. As our Atika Shubert explains, Israel is worried about Iran's nuclear program, even though Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's no secret that Israel and Iran are not exactly friends. As recently as last week, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that Israel will, quote, "cease to exist." Israel has urged the world to stop Iran's nuclear programs with tighter sanctions and has even weighed its own military options.

But Israeli cabinet minister, Shaoul Mofaz (ph), made headlines on Friday when he told a local newspaper that Israel may soon have no choice but to attack Iran.

That set off a chain reaction from a 9 percent jump in global oil prices to Iran filing a complaint at the U.N. Security Council.

Back home, Mofaz (ph) drew some criticism but the government officials declined to comment on the matter, a reflection of the country's frustration, says Israel's former ambassador to the U.N., Dore Gold. DORE GOLD, FORMER ISRAEL U.N. AMBASSADOR: Israel faces two essential problems. It is watching Iran complete a nuclear weapons program. And it is hearing virtually every few months the president of Iran declaring that Iran will wipe Israel off the map. Any state that is responsible for the defense of citizens has to take precautions in light of those two developments.

SHUBERT: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just finished a U.S. trip to meet with President Bush. Iran was top of the agenda, including what Olmert called a more effective solution if Iran does not halt its nuclear weapon.

Israel has also been urging the U.S. to sell its X-22 fighters jets, virtually undetectable, a very effective tool for reaching far- off military targets.

(on camera): Mofaz's (ph) comments may have been intended for a more domestic audience. Here in Israel, the prime minister is under investigation for corruption, an election may soon be at hand. Several ministers, including Mofaz (ph), are jockeying for the country's top job. As politicians burnish their leadership credentials, more tough talk may be expected.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Jerusalem.


WHITFIELD: Asian financial markets open in just a few hours, and many are keeping an uneasy watch on oil prices. Malaysia's government is expected to provide measures this week to ease the impact of rising energy prices there. A protest erupted across the country after gas prices jumped 41 percent, nearly $1 a gallon more, just late last week. Gas prices in Malaysia had been cheaper than in other Asian countries, in part, thanks to government-backed fuel subsidies.

On Monday your house, your jobs, savings, debt, all of it, we take "Issue # 1" up a notch with a day-long look at your economic concerns. We'll be talking to credit counselors Monday. So if you're in debt or you simply have questions regarding your credit, send us an e-mail. The address is

Northern Illinois cleaning up after tornadoes ripped through the region yesterday. This is damage just outside Chicago. Roofs were torn off homes, semi trailers were toppled and power lines were leveled. Thousands of people still don't have electricity. Another round of severe weather could hit the area today.

Let's check in with Jacqui Jeras for more on what the folks in the Chicago area and other places could expect next.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Fredricka. Some storms blew through Chicago about a half hour, hour ago. They're in a break now, but more things are developing in Iowa. So we'll likely see that move through Illinois.

Right now, our big focal concern is here, what's going on with parts of Lower Michigan. We've got a tornado warning. This is just east of Lancing. We are getting records of damage in Lansing. It sounds more like severe wind damage as opposed to possible tornado damage, but Doppler radar indicated a tornado pushing off toward the east. Keep in mind this will be south of Flint, but Flint will get in on this big squall line as well. And could be seeing wind damage with these storms. So kind of a serious situation developing across parts of Lower Michigan at this time. We have a severe thunderstorm watch in effect there.

Tornado watch here across parts of Iowa. Severe thunderstorm watches extending south into the Kansas City area as well. Our pattern just setting up to keep things active here over the next couple days unfortunately, so more severe weather expected. The ground extremely saturated, so we're going to continue to see things happen here in terms of the flooding situation as well.

We want to talk a little bit about this upper level pattern system. You can see what our jet stream is doing. we have a trough in the west and ridge in the east. When you get a trough like that, it opens the door to the cool air coming in from Canada. So temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below average there.

Where the jet stream lies, the disturbances, or the weather makers move along there. So we'll continue to see the heavy rain and the storms here across the nation's midsection.

Then when you get the ridge or the upside down horseshoe, that's where the heat seems to bake. We're looking at temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above average, lasting through the weekend and even into early next week.

Our own Reynolds Wolf has been trying to beat the heat. He has more.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm coming to you from Washington, D.C., right in front of the nation's capitol, where temperatures are in the mid to upper 90s. The sun is beating down. The heat index is going up. Anywhere from 100 to 110 degrees is what it's going to feel like to people. And people in this area are doing everything they can to beat the heat. Those that are not inside enjoying the air conditioning have been going to spray centers like the youngsters here on this video, enjoying the water, and many people just jumping into the pools trying to beat the heat.

But the people out and about, enjoying things just like this flag football game you see here, are making sure to take the breaks, and drinks plenty of water, which is really not a bad plan, all things considered. We're not expecting this heat to really leave.

JERAS: Yeah, he as going to stick around.

Look at the real estate it covers. Heat advisories from Hartford all the way down in the Carolinas. It will be feeling like 100 to 110 through Monday. It looks like we'll get a break by the early to middle part of next week. WHITFIELD: My family in the D.C. area has been letting me know they're cranking up the A.C. It's hard to stay cool in that kind of heat.

JERAS: Yes, it really is. It can be dangerous. IN fact, we were talking about the flooding and how many people died in the flooding. More people in heat actually.

WHITFIELD: Oh, wow. Thanks so much, Jacqui.

Now to a hot and controversial approach to fighting crime in the nation's capital. Police in Washington, D.C., call it preemptive, but critics call it nothing short of a stampede on civil rights.

CNN's Kate Baldwin has the story.


KATE BALDWIN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even after the funeral, Anthony's Mincey's family cannot believe it's real.

TAWANDA MINCEY, VICTIM'S SISTER: It's disbelief, still hoping he as going to come in. I have some of his music, that I've been listening to, just to hear his voice and I still think he's here. It's unbelievable that he's gone.

SHIRLEY INCEY, VICTIM'S MOTHER: He was a straight, outgoing guy. Never no problems to no one.

BALDWIN: The 35-year-old son, brother and entertainer was shot and killed in northeast Washington, one of the most recent victims of a violent crime spree in the nation's capital. Seven deaths in one overnight period have D.C. police scrambling before the casualties increase.

CATHY LANIER, CHIEF, METROPOLITAN POLICE: We're just going to lock the area down. To the best of our ability we're going to lock it down and implement checkpoints.

BALDWIN: The checkpoints are roadblocks. Anyone driving into the neighborhood must have what police call a legitimate purpose -- they live here, are visiting a friend or attending a community event. If not, police will turn them away.

LANIER: We'll quickly know when people pull up a resident in the neighborhood versus somebody who has maybe has scanning the area, but we're looking for anything that doesn't look right.

BALDWIN: Police have used similar tactics in our areas plagued by violence in New York, initiatives that may be fighting crime but are also stirring up controversy.

Civil rights advocates call it a public relations stunt that borders on marshal law and violates resident's privacy rights.

MARK THOMPSON, NAACP POLICE TASK FORCE: Nobody should be in a position that when they come home in the evening, or when they go to and from, or when their friends and relatives want to visit, they need to be checked or survailed or scrutinized.

BALDWIN: The American Civil Liberties Union is considering legal action to fight the D.C. checkpoints.

But Anthony Mincey's family supports the initiative, saying something must be done.

TAWANDA MINCEY: This will be with me until I'm buried in my grave, the way they took my brother. He's now a statistic, now another number. He's now a part of this city's problem of murders that have to be solved.

BALDWIN: Kate Baldwin, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: On to politics straight ahead. Hillary Clinton sends a strong message to women as she leaves the presidential race.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it's got about 18 million cracks in it.


WHITFIELD: More on Hillary Clinton, history and that glass ceiling after the break.

And the innocent victims of the mortgage mess. What happens to the pets left behind when the owners are forced out of their home?



CLINTON: When that day arrives and a woman takes the oath of office as our president, we will all stand taller, proud of the values of our nation, proud that every little girl can dream big and that her dreams can come true in America. And all of you will know that because of your passion and hard work, you helped pave the way for that day. So I want to say to my supporters, when you hear people saying or think to yourself, if only, or what if, I say please don't go there. Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.


WHITFIELD: Senator Hillary Clinton has left the presidential race, but leaves behind a remarkable and historic legacy.

Joining me to talk more about the bigger picture for Hillary Clinton and all she did in this run for the presidency, Marie Wilson. She's president and founder of the White House Project, a group dedicated to getting women into leadership positions all the way up to the presidency.

Good to see you, Maria

MARIE WILSON, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, WHITE HOUSE PROJECT: Good to see you. Every time I hear her say that, I'm moved ago. It was a wonderful way to say it.

WHITFIELD: It was a significant speech. So many messages that came from it.

WILSON: Right.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk about one in particular. We know now about the legacy that she has left as a result of her run being, you know, a runner-up into the Democratic nominee, as a potential Democratic nominee. How do you measure the impact of her candidacy, and how it perhaps has transcended politics?

WILSON: Well, what's really amazing about it that I never thought would happy with just one woman, quite frankly, is she has changed everything. She has, as she said, made it completely unremarkable for a woman to be seen as commander in chief or as a candidate that can win the presidency. She has opened, as she said, 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling. They are so many women across this country, completely encouraged by the way she said it.

WHITFIELD: Even Senator Barack Obama said that her speech was very gracious, very generous. And he in his written statement said, too, that she, Senator Clinton, did volumes for his daughters as well.

WILSON: Right. One of the most moving things that Senator Clinton said yesterday was addressed to young women. She said, it would break my heart if my failure to reach my goals in any way discouraged you. And that was powerful. I mean, that's when people really responded.

To a great extent, what characterized the last few months of her presidency (ph) particularly, was just this sense of courage. And there's an old English definition of "courage" that she actually embodied yesterday, which is to speak your mind by telling all your heart. When she talked about the dreams of young women, people knew that she had actually encouraged those dreams, not discouraged them.

WHITFIELD: And she underscored it by talking to her mother and her daughter, Chelsea. So what do you see next for Senator Clinton? She said she's going to continue to be committed to making the lives of others better, but in what way?

WILSON: Well, I think she has many, many options to make the lives of others better. I don't know what will happen about the vice presidency. Of course, that's open, but certainly 54 percent of the Democratic voters think it would be good. I think she has choices that have to do with international positions, that have to do with leadership in the senate, and that also they have to do with the Supreme Court.

I don't know what she wants to do, but believe me, I think she's open to almost anything she wants right now.

WHITFIELD: Quickly, if I could just bring you back to that point where you said you talked about the response there at that museum building. There were a lot of cheers, but there were a lot of boos too when she said I want you to now support Barack Obama. What do you impart to Barack Obama's campaign? What do they have to do to reach out to the Hillary supporters who were saying, we'd rather go with McCain than to go for the other Democrat?

WILSON: It's rather surprising given that I think people followed her for her positions and values, that anybody wouldn't want to go closest to those positions and values. But you're right.

One of the things that I think happened is that there were -- people don't realize that this was a ten-year campaign. There were people invested in her presidency for over a decade. There's enormous passion about it. The passion is terrifically, are seen a lot with older women, because they feel like they might have to die without a woman president, but particularly with women in their 50s and 60s who followed her and who are now not happy. And what they want from Barack Obama is probably far more than he understands. That is, they want him to speak directly to them. They are concerned that in his speech about race, which was so moving, that he didn't talk about women who have the double oppression of race and gender, or the history of African-American women. So they want him to talk about women...

WHITFIELD: Gosh, he did talk about his grandmother and wife and daughters. Hello, aren't they just women? But anyway, it is fascinating.

WILSON: I know. I'm just telling you what's on my e-mail. I found it very powerful. I think his mother was amazing, his grandmother, and his wife speaking volumes to what he cares about. But there were women waiting for him to speak in a different way.

WHITFIELD: It has been fascinating, a very historic race and historic weekend, and so fascinating to talk to you as well. We could go on for the next hour. I'm intrigued.

Marie Wilson, thank you so much, of the White House Project.

WILSON: Thank you. Good to be here.

WHITFIELD: With senator Clinton's endorsement in pocket, senator Barack Obama gets back to the campaign trail tomorrow as the presumptive nominee, heading back to Tobacco Road for a campaign stop at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, kicking off what's described as a two-week economic tour titled "Change that Works for You."

Senator Obama's likely Republican opponent, Arizona senator John McCain, will hold not one, but two fund-raisers tomorrow as he tries to reload a comparative light comparative war chest. McCain holding fund-raising events in Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Both the Obama and McCain campaigns today turned down an offer from New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News to host a town hall- style meetings.

A casualty of the housing crisis. Pets left at animal shelters, losing their homes too when their owners are forced into foreclosure.


WHITFIELD: With foreclosures up, there's an increase in something else in this sluggish economy. Family pets being abandoned or left homeless.

CNN's Kate Baldwin reports.


BALDWIN: The local animal shelter should be the last place hit by the housing crisis, but animal advocates say nationwide this is one of the unexpected consequences of the struggling economy.

BETSY SAUL, CO-FOUNDER, PETFINDERS.COM: When someone is losing their home and they become in such function straits, people feel shamed for that. And the other thing that people feel a lot of shame about is relinquishing a pet.

BALDWIN: Betsy Saul is the cofounder of, the nation's largest on-line pet adoption agency.

While the evident is largely anecdotal, Saul said petfinders network of shelters has been flooded with animals, many handed over because of foreclosure, like these dogs in California.

RICK JOHNSON, SACRAMENTO SPCA: The fellow that turned them in was terribly distraught at that. They had tried friends. They had tried advertising.

SAUL: You have pets not leaving. Pets coming in more and no donations coming in. That's a tough spot.

BALDWIN: With such limited space in shelters, Saul says many families are turning to desperate measures.

SAUL: Pets are being abandoned, some at the shelter, some out just left in the home or turned out on the streets.

BALDWIN: Until the economic strain eases, animal advocates hope families turn to people like Joanna Harkin before they give up.

JOANNA HARKIN, ALLIANCE FOR STRAY ANIMINALS AND PEOPLE: I can take animals, market them and try to get a good adopter.

BALDWIN: Harkin finds temporary foster homes for animals in Washington, D.C., which shelters are no longer an option. HARKIN: Really there is a way to transition animals into a better situation.

BALDWIN: A better situation for both the pets and the owner.

Kate Baldwin, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: Perhaps you would like to adopt a pet or help support one while it waits for a permanent home. Go to our Impact Your World web page. You'll find links to the organizations you say in the story. That's at

And on Monday, others things impacted by the economy, your job, savings, debt. We take "Issue #1" up a notch with a day-long look at your economic concerns. We'll talk to credit counselors Monday. If you're in debt or simply have questions regarding your credit, send us an e-mail. This address is

Another death-defying stunt by Robbie Knievel. This time a jump over 21 Hummers, right there. Did he make it? You're watching CNN.


WHITFIELD: Robbie Knievel, son of the infamous Evel Knievel, still following his late dad. Robbie successfully, -- right there -- jumped 21 Hummer trucks last night in Fort Worth, Texas. The 46-year- old daredevil says, though, this was probably the last stunt he'll actually do in the Lone Star state. We still want to know why. Since the age of 9, he's racked up more than 250 death-defying jumps. Look at that.

All right, coming up next on CNN, a special report, "Something's Happening Here, 1968 to 2008." But first, a check of the headlines.

It was bound to happen. The national average price for unleaded gas is essentially at the $4 mark. AAA reports a gallon of regular unleaded is going for just over $4 today, up a notch from yesterday's $3.98. The Lundberg Survey has the price as just a fraction under $4.

And record flooding has chased people from their homes in parts of Indiana today. At least one person drowned. In Franklin, floodwaters reached the first floor of Johnson Memorial Hospital. At least 21 counties have been declared disasters. More damaging is forecast for the state, as well as for Wisconsin.