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Barack Obama Opens Up; Hudson Crash Survivor Stories
Aired January 16, 2009 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone.
Tonight, the nation turns its eyes to Washington, a new time, a new leader, the first African-American president. Barack Obama sits down with CNN.
Bullet point number one: The president-elect opens up to our John King about the moment the weight of history caught up with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I had to stop. I started choking up, because, you know, what you start thinking about is not just your own personal journey.
But you think about all the women who walked, instead of riding the bus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: We're going to tell you what moved Obama so much, how he thinks he will hold up on an extraordinary day that's just now right around the corner.
Bullet point number two tonight: full speed ahead for the inauguration. The train that will carry Obama and Joe Biden is ready to leave the station in Philadelphia bound for Washington, where tonight the U.S. Capitol is just about ready for their swearing-in. We have got the last-minute preps, the truth about how tough it really is to get in, and why even the Obama family is putting pressure on the president-elect to deliver a home run inaugural address.
And bullet point number three: We now know so many more details about the miracle on the Hudson. Plus, you will hear from the wife of the pilot who steered that U.S. Airways jet into New York's Hudson River, saving everybody on board. She was at home 3,000 miles away when he checked in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORRIE SULLENBERGER, PILOT'S WIFE: I was stunned when he called and said there's been an incident. And even then, I assumed it was a tug that maybe had bumped the airplane. I had -- your mind just never goes to something like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And we can understand that.
Also tonight, we will meet the survivor who took some of the most amazing pictures we have seen, his firsthand view of the rescue. That is coming up.
First, though, "Cutting Through The Bull."
Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman. By now, you know Chesley Sullenberger III, or Sully, as he has been called, as a hero, but you may not realize just how much he and co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles did in those six terrifying minutes between engine failure and ditching in the icy water.
We have all watched the mind-boggling images and can't believe anyone, much less everyone, would escape the harsh, freezing conditions of the Hudson River. Everyone has given the crew much- deserved credit for saving the lives of 155 people. They also saved hundreds, maybe thousands, in the skyscrapers that line Manhattan.
Imagine if luck or more importantly years of training and cool heads had not prevailed. The people who live and work here in New York have seen too much pain from aviation disasters, 9/11, TWA Flight 800 and American Flight 587, to name just a few.
Yesterday, Captain Sullenberger was in the right place. He's been flying for 40-plus years. And this former Air Force fighter pilot also served as safety chairman and accident investigator for the Airlines Pilots Association, already helping the NTSB in other accident investigations. If that isn't enough, he founded his own company that consults businesses on, you guessed it, safety.
Right after hitting the water, after the life rafts deployed, he personally went up and down the cabin twice to make sure everybody was out. There's only one regret to take away from this. We may never know the true extent of the heroism showed by the pilots of the planes we have lost.
But in troubled times, as this cartoon beautifully illustrates, showing angels under the wing of Flight 1549, we needed a win, and we got one. It's a reminder that the next time we get on an airliner, no one will do more to get us there in one piece than the people sitting at the controls.
And speaking on behalf of all New Yorkers, we thank you, Sully, for getting everybody home in one piece, too.
Just minutes ago, we did get word that president-elect Obama spoke to Sullenberger on the telephone today. Obama praised his grace under fire and heroism of the entire crew. We haven't seen or heard from the ultimate hero of flight 1549, the pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. What little we have heard is coming from his family, who live near San Francisco.
Dan Simon talked briefly with the family, with Sullenberger's wife, Lorrie, today, and just filed this update.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The only message from Chesley Sullenberger has been relayed by his wife.
SULLENBERGER: We're very grateful that everyone is off the airplane safely. And that was really what my husband asked to convey to everyone. And, of course, we're very proud of dad.
SIMON: So is the rest of the country. President Bush called him today and New York Mayor Bloomberg wants to present him with a key to the city.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: I was with him, and he was as cool and calm as you could possibly hope for.
SIMON: But the most heartfelt praise is coming from the people whose lives he saved, people like Joe Hart, one of the passengers on Flight 1549.
JOE HART, PASSENGER: There's 155 people today that are absolutely thrilled that he was in charge and made the decisions he made.
SIMON: For Sullenberger's wife and two daughters in California, it's all just:
SULLENBERGER: Overwhelming. It's -- I mean, the girls went to sleep last night talking -- I could hear them in the bedroom -- saying, is this weird or what?
SIMON: No doubt very weird for a 57-year-old former Air Force fighter pilot who has been flying for more than 40 years. Ironically, Chesley Sullenberger, Sully for short, is also an airline safety expert.
He runs a firm that gives advice on emergency management and security, served as a safety consultant for NASA, and has investigated major airlines accidents. After avoiding disaster by bringing down his crippled airliner in the Hudson River, Sullenberger walked through the plane twice after it was evacuated, making sure everyone had gotten off.
SULLENBERGER: This is the Sully I know. This is -- I always knew this is how he would react. So, to me, this is not something unusual. It's the man I -- I know to be the consummate professional.
SIMON: Sullenberger's wife also tells CNN her husband may be the only person who isn't aware he's a national hero.
SULLENBERGER: He doesn't know. He's been sequestered and hasn't turned on the television. And, so, he only knew what I told him last night. He turned on a little bit. But he has -- he is going to be shocked.
SIMON: Friends and deliverymen carrying flowers have been pouring into the family's home behind me.
At this point, Mrs. Sullenberger isn't quite sure if she's going to stay here or meet up with her husband in New York.
And, Campbell, I would just add one more things. A lot of times, when you come into neighborhoods like this, you don't like knocking on front doors. But have to say, in this situation, you don't mind doing so -- back to you.
BROWN: Dan Simon for us tonight -- Dan, thanks.
Tonight, there are still a lot of questions about the plane itself. The Airbus a-320 is still in the water, tied to the docks down in Lower Manhattan. Investigators say some pieces of the jet have not been found. And these could be the pieces needed to solve a giant investigative puzzle.
David Mattingly is at the scene again for us tonight with the latest -- David.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, we got a big surprise today from investigators. Yesterday, we knew that the plane was missing one engine here in the river. Today, we find out after a diver went down there and looked all around they couldn't find either one of the engines.
Both of the engines to this jet are somewhere at the bottom of the Hudson River. There have already been crews on the river with special sonar equipment going around trying to find them.
In the meantime, those are two very important pieces of equipment to determine what kind of bird strike, if it was a bird strike that brought this plane down. They're also going to be looking for the black boxes. They haven't been able to retrieve those yet, because the plane is pretty much submerged, even though it's tied up here at the dock behind me.
They haven't been able to get to it. They're going to wait for a salvage crew to come in tomorrow, to lift this up, dry it out, and then they will go in there and get particularly the flight data recorder. That's the device that is recording all the information that shows them what the engines were doing at the time that this impact or explosion might have occurred -- Campbell.
BROWN: All right, David Mattingly for us with the latest tonight -- David, thanks.
And we just can't get enough details about what it was like for the survivors. Next, we have got more firsthand stories of the shock, the fear, the cold, wet struggle to survive. We're going to talk to some of the passengers from Flight 1549.
Also tonight, president-elect Obama's warning about the economic crisis -- what happens if things don't get better?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: At a certain point, other countries stop buying our debt. At a certain point, we'd end up having to raise interest rates and it would end up creating more economic chaos and potentially inflation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, how exactly does he intend to avoid that? Stand by for John King's exclusive one-on-one interview with the next president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD WENTZELL, PASSENGER: This pilot, and if this guy doesn't get the recognition he needs...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbelievable.
WENTZELL: ... is the reason my daughter, my 2-and-a-half-year- old, has a dad and my wife still has a husband.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Passenger Brad Wentzell minutes after he was rescued yesterday.
Tonight, as the plane lies in the water near the tip of Lower Manhattan, it still seems absolutely incredible that all 150 passengers escaped without serious injury.
Most of those people have now gotten where they wanted to go. And we're learning more details of their survivor stories.
Two of those survivors join me right now, Brad Wentzell, who you just saw, in Charlotte, South Carolina, and Carl Bazarian in Jacksonville, Florida.
Welcome, guys. Appreciate you being here.
Thanks for having us, Campbell.
WENTZELL: I appreciate you. I appreciate Carl.
CARL BAZARIAN, PASSENGER: We can't believe we're here, Brad.
WENTZELL: Hey, Carl.
BAZARIAN: Unbelievable we're here. That's all. (CROSSTALK)
BROWN: We're going to get to this extraordinary bond...
WENTZELL: Uncle Carl.
BROWN: ... that you two formed standing together on the wing of that plane.
But, Brad, first, just tell me how you're feeling now that you have had a little time to digest all that's gone on here. What goes through your mind a day later?
WENTZELL: Well, I was alive prior to the flight. I'm really alive now.
WENTZELL: I don't know -- I'm really alive, if you know what I'm saying. I have a second shot at life.
And this guy Carl, man, him and I worked together, and we made things happen. And I'm proud of him. And I think, from what I am understanding, we're both proud of each other.
BAZARIAN: Yes, he -- Brad did an awesome job. He...
BROWN: Well, Carl, why don't you walk us through it? And start where the pilot said those words we have heard so many people say now over and over, when he told you all, prepare for impact. What was it like?
BAZARIAN: When -- we knew we were in really serious problems, because we had all assumed that one engine was functioning and that we were turning back and going back to the airport, La Guardia Airport.
And then when he said that, we knew it was over. I quite frankly thought it was totally over. I just couldn't see the odds. And I basically started saying the Lord's Prayer in the Armenian language. And I just felt that we had no chance.
And there was no real panic or shrieking. Everybody was kind of subdued. A lot of people braced. I didn't. I just kind of just was a little bit numb. And just it was unbelievable. And then, when we hit, we knew we had a chance. I mean, the way he landed that, it is just phenomenal. It was like God's hand and Sully's skill. And it's -- I don't know how to explain it.
BROWN: Yes, I want to show people these pictures, Brad.
You know, the two of you got off the plane. And I don't know how, honestly, you had the wherewithal to take these pictures while were you waiting to be rescued. This is when you were standing on the wing of the plane. And while we're looking at these, tell us the story about how you guys, the two of you standing out there, actually pulled somebody out of the freezing Hudson River.
WENTZELL: Go ahead, Carl. You're better at this than I am.
BAZARIAN: I think, for everything, it was a team effort. There was a couple problems. One is, our life raft was overturned.
And there was about four or five of us that had a human chain. And it was very difficult, because people were coming on our wing. And there was no place to go. So, we had to flip the life raft.
And then I think Brad and a couple young guys were really -- they were the risk-takers. They were at the end, and a couple of us were up top of the wing. And we grabbed it. And then Brad actually jumped on it and was our ballast in a sense. He controlled it.
And then the women and children went on. The gentleman, for some reason -- I didn't see it, Brad -- you can comment -- but he ended up in the water. I don't know how he got in the water. I didn't see him go in the water.
WENTZELL: He was in fetal position. He obviously was suffering from hypothermia.
BAZARIAN: Yes. That's when we pulled him in the boat, yes.
WENTZELL: When his head went under, that was when his activity ceased.
BROWN: Oh, wow.
WENTZELL: And we all -- we all pulled this guy up. And Carl and I were one of the last people to get off the raft. We had to stay in the back, because, if we had gotten off the back, then the raft would have flipped. There had to be an equal distribution of weight throughout.
And, you know, we Carl and I muscled this guy up. And he wasn't light. He was a heavy guy. And I just thank the lord and that we're all here.
And, guys, you know, you both, you got right back on planes within hours of this ordeal. (CROSSTALK)
BROWN: Carl, I mean, did you hesitate at all?
BAZARIAN: There's a reason -- the reason for that. We all bonded so well. I mean, there was like a bond of 30. Then it was a bond of nine.
And we were traveling like with three -- there were young mothers that wanted to get back to Charlotte to see their kids. And we just decided -- we were offered to stay in the city and stay overnight, get interviews. And we decided, you know, all of us are going to get that plane together. We're going to travel with the women and men together. That and a lot of red wine, we made it.
BROWN: The true secret.
WENTZELL: Well, the red wine was after the rescue, I assure you. So,, if I -- if you don't mind, I just want to say hello to the Sosa family.
WENTZELL: She had -- Tess had -- Tess Sosa had a little baby girl with her. And, you know, I helped her get off the plane. I talked to her earlier.
BROWN: I can't even imagine.
WENTZELL: I told her I would say hello to her family, because, heck, you know, like myself, I was able to go home to my wife and daughter and lay with them in bed. And she was able to do the same thing with her family. And god bless everybody. We were -- blessed is the only word.
Brad and Carl, thank you so much. So good to have you on. And good luck to both of you.
BAZARIAN: Thank you, Campbell. Thanks a lot.
WENTZELL: Thank you. It's nice being here.
BROWN: Good to have you.
Still ahead, you probably have never seen this, if you're not a pilot, landing a jetliner on water. We're going to go inside a flight simulator and take you step by step through how pilots prepare for emergencies just like yesterday.
But coming up next, the honeymoon will end pretty quickly for Barack Obama, if he can't gain the nation's full confidence on his plan for the economy. He sat down with John King today for an exclusive one-on-one and talked about what he will do first.
And, later, some of the top moments in inaugural history. Can Obama's speech beat the best of the bunch? We will take a look.
BROWN: That isn't a barbell that Barack Obama is lifting. It's actually a giant bolt. It was a gift from workers at an Ohio manufacturing plant that makes fasteners -- there it is -- there -- you can see it there -- makes fasteners for energy-efficient wind turbines.
The president-elect visited that plant today to begin building support for his economic stimulus plan.
While he was in Ohio today, Obama sat down for an exclusive wide- ranging interview with CNN chief national correspondent John King. Their talk covered everything from the history of next week's inauguration to Obama's battle to keep his BlackBerry.
But they began with the urgent issue on the minds of all Americans, the economic crisis and Obama's plans to get us out of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you going to have to, in your early days, draw a line, say, we can't keep printing money; this is it?
OBAMA: Here's what we're going to have to do.
We've got distinguish between short term and long term. Short term, the most important thing is to put people back to work, all those folks that you had breakfast with. If they're working, that means they're paying taxes. That means that they're buying goods and services. And the economy, instead of being on a downward spiral, starts back up on an upward spiral.
But what we also have to recognize is, IS that the deficit levels that I'm inheriting, over $1 trillion coming out of last year, that that is unsustainable. At a certain point, other countries stop buying our debt. At a certain point, we'd end up having to raise interest rates and it would end up creating more economic chaos and potentially inflation.
So, what we want to do is to say that instead of just printing more money, let's look at medium term and long term. Let's get a handle on Social Security. Let's get a handle on Medicare. Let's eliminate waste in government where it exists. Let's reform our Pentagon procurement practices.
All those things are going to have to be done in concert. And that's going to be tough. It's going to be tough.
We asked some of our viewers what would they like to ask the president-elect.
And John Stevens of Torrington, Connecticut, to the point you were just making about mortgages and foreclosures.
He says: "I'm unemployed, going through a foreclosure. The bank doesn't want to work with me. They have actually told me on the phone it's easier for them and more cost-effective for them to take my home than to work out a payment plan with me.
Are there not specific things, requirements for these banks, that, if you're going to get billions of dollars in taxpayer money, you have to help these people?
OBAMA: That's my attitude. And that's what we're going to have in our plan.
Look, there's no doubt that we needed to stabilize the banking system. It could have been even more catastrophic. When we saw the stock market start collapsing in September, we could have seen a serious downward spiral.
But there's nothing wrong with us placing some conditions, making sure that money's not going to excessive executive compensation, making sure that you're not seeing big dividend payouts to shareholders, and making sure that money is being left, so that we can get credit flowing again, not just to individual homeowners who are losing their homes, but also small businesses, who are the lifeblood of this economy.
If they can't get credit, then they end up having to shutter their doors. And, when they shutter their doors, people lose jobs. They then can't pay their mortgage. And you start down the road that we're on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And John King joining us now.
And, John, days away from inauguration, give us a sense when you talked to him of his mood, his state of mind right now.
KING: Well, Campbell, we spent a lot of time off camera in addition to the interview. And he's remarkably laid back. We were joking about baseball. That's what boys do.
He's a White Sox fan. I'm a Red Sox fan. Before the interview, he was talking. He had two BlackBerrys in his hand. He was talking about how he needs to take some time away from events, so that he can work on his speech. But he's well aware that the economic anxiety that undermined John McCain in the campaign and that has undermined George W. Bush at the end of his presidency is going to be become his baggage once he takes his hand off that Bible.
So, he understands the stakes of the moment, but he is deliberately trying to keep himself as calm as can be. He was very funny in our conversation, both before and after the interview. So, he's staying laid back, although part of that I think, Campbell, is by design, just to keep himself calm.
And we had a chance to talk in the interview, not just about the economy. You will hear some personal reflections. I think you have some more ahead, including -- and this, I found quite interesting -- a bit of a warning from his young daughter Malia on the family's late- night visit recently to the Lincoln Memorial. It was quite interesting.
BROWN: Well, we look forward to hearing all about that.
John King -- thanks, John. And, of course, we will see you this weekend.
And, to everybody, be sure to tune in Sunday morning, as CNN devotes more time to more politics. "STATE OF THE UNION" with John premieres at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time.
And we will have more of the exclusive interview coming up in just a moment, the president-elect reflecting on his upcoming inauguration and what it feels like to make history.
And, later, from the president-elect's whistle-stop train tour to the inaugural parade, Tom Foreman shows us where you can see history with your own eyes.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Abraham Lincoln stood before the half-completed Capitol to take the oath, his family's Bible was still packed from the long trip from Illinois. So, a clerk of the Supreme Court quickly bought another with a burgundy velvet cover and gilt edges. Afterward, that clerk, William Carroll, wrote inside the back cover what the Bible had been used for, referring to Lincoln as "His Excellency."
And that is the Bible Barack Obama has chosen for his oath. It will be the first time it has been used since Lincoln laid his hand upon it and the nation braced for civil war over slavery.
BROWN: And, in just four days, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
And, in part two of John King's exclusive interview, the president-elect reveals that the history and the emotion of the moment is definitely sinking in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You are on the verge of putting your hand on the Lincoln bible and taking the oath of office on the steps of the United States Capitol, built on the back of slaves.
KING: And you will walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and you will move into a historic house built on the backs of slaves.
KING: You're known as no-drama Obama. Some people say, well, he's too detached, and he's so cool. You never see his emotion. This has to be incredibly overwhelming.
OBAMA: Look, if you think about the journey that this country has made, then it can't help but stir your heart.
Obviously it's an extraordinary personal moment, but you don't have to go back to slavery. You can think about what Washington, D.C., was like 50 years ago or 60 years ago. And the notion that I now will be standing there and sworn in as the 44th president, I think, is something that hopefully our children take for granted, but our grandparents I think are still stunned by. And it's a remarkable moment.
KING: A remarkable moment, but you're still pretty cool in describing it.
In private, do you get more emotional -- John Lewis, for example, he was beaten. He was jailed. He walked the walk of the journey he thinks you're helping almost complete, more to be done. And he says he might not be able to keep it together at the inauguration.
OBAMA: Well, I'm going to try to keep in together.
But I will tell you that during the convention, there's a moment up there at the end of my convention speech where I talk about Dr. King and what he accomplished. And the first time we practiced it, I had to stop. I started choking up, because, you know, what you start thinking about is not just your own personal journey.
But you think about all the women who walked, instead of riding the bus, out in Montgomery and Birmingham, and what a moment like this would mean to them. And what's remarkable is, some of them are still alive. They're still there. And some of them are going to be standing there at the inauguration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: We're going to have more from John King's exclusive one- on-one with the president-elect coming up.
Tonight, the pressure is on Barack Obama to put the finishing touches on the most important speech he has ever given. There have been 55 inaugural addresses in U.S. history, ranging from eloquent to endless. George Washington's second inaugural was the shortest, at 135 words. William Henry Harrison's speech was a whopping 8,445. Everybody hoping Obama's will be shorter than that, especially given the weather.
Tom Foreman asked an expert what we can expect.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
FOREMAN (voice-over): When Barack Obama speaks at his inaugural, no one will be listening closer than Allan Lichtman.
(on camera): What do you think? Going to make history?
(voice-over): He is a political historian who has read every inaugural speech.
ALLAN LICHTMAN, PH.D., AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: It's a great opportunity to make a great speech and encapsulate his vision in a few telling lines the way Ronald Reagan did when he talked about government being not the solution but the problem, the way John F. Kennedy did when he called for sacrificing, ask not --
FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: ... what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.
FOREMAN: Great inaugurals, he says, are short and more than a litany of one-liners.
FORMER PRESIDENT FRANKIN ROOSEVELT: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
FOREMAN: They speak pointedly to their times and yet, of timeless wisdom. Abraham Lincoln's second is often cited as the best. Only 700 words but filled with an infinity of meaning. The worst inaugural was also the longest. William Henry Harrison spoke nearly two hours in the snow with no coat, but all anyone remembers is that he got pneumonia and died in less than a month. Most inaugural speeches have been written primarily to be read in a newspaper. Until radio came along, most Americans had never actually heard a president speak. But even with TV cameras and teleprompters, turning out a strong inaugural is tough. No one questioned Bill Clinton's speaking talent. But no one quotes his inaugurals either or George Bush's or George Bush's.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A rock in a raging sea.
LICHTMAN: It's very difficult to deliver an inaugural address that rises above confident and becomes part of the pantheon of American history. Almost never happens.
FOREMAN: Almost. But Barack Obama defied the odds to win. And many are betting he will bring words to remember. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the inauguration events get under way this weekend, you'll get a front row seat right here on CNN tomorrow beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Soledad O"Brien follow the Obama express as the president-elect travels from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. I'll be in Washington for Tuesday's swearing-in along with the best political team on television. We'll be live all day. And Anderson and I will kick off primetime coverage 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. All the balls, all the excitement. You won't want to miss a minute of it.
We got much more ahead on how Barack Obama is preparing to be president.
Also coming up, landing a fully loaded passenger jet on water. We'll take you inside a flight simulator and see what it might have been like in the cockpit of flight 1549.
Plus, the miracle on the Hudson in pictures, extraordinary moments. Survivors tonight in their own words.
BROWN: A lot going on tonight. Joe Johns with us right now with the briefing. Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, more taxpayer money is being handed over to Chrysler. The Treasury Department has approved another $1.5 billion loan from the auto bailout on top of the $4 billion Chrysler received last month from the government.
More casualties from the recession tonight. Circuit City, the bankrupt electronics chain, is going out of business by the end of March. 34,000 jobs will be lost. Hertz Rent a Car will lay off 4,000 workers in the coming months and drug giant Pfizer is reportedly cutting 2400 jobs, one third of its sales force. And '80s pop icon Boy George is going to prison. The former Culture Club lead singer got a 15-month sentence for chaining a male escort to the wall of his London apartment. The victim says Boy George also used a chain to beat him. You do remember -- and as a matter of fact, it is absolutely true that Boy George is the guy who had the big hit "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"
BROWN: More than I ever wanted to know about Boy George.
BROWN: Joe Johns, thank you very much.
The inauguration, it is as if all of Washington is part of an urgent extreme makeover. And you won't believe what some people are doing to get in. We have the essential guide book to show you all of it.
Plus, more of our interview with Barack Obama and living without his cherished Blackberry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tuesday noon you have to give this up.
PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA: Yeah.
KING: You going to do it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Starting this weekend, Washington will be all inauguration all the time. And so is our political daily briefing tonight. Special correspondent Soledad O'Brien has the PDB from Washington. And Soledad, just getting around town on January 20th is going to be huge challenge, isn't it?
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Short answer, yes, absolutely, yes. It will be. Of course security is tighter than ever and most of the roads and the bridges that are leading into the city are closed. So folks are thinking about other ways to get in, like roller blading literally. I'm not kidding. Forget the planes and trains and automobiles. You can skateboard, bike, even paddle across the Potomac to get into the city. "The Washington Post" is reporting on some people who are considering those options. So I'll start with the good news first, Campbell. Roller skating and skateboards, those are OK inside the secure zone. Not so much for bikers. You have to valet your bike at one of two locations. Paddling, forget it. The Coast Guard says no way paddling, no kayaks, no boats on the river. The water taxi from Alexandria to the District will be one of the very few vessels in fact that will be allowed to get across.
BROWN: And Soledad, tickets, also, so hot right now. People are doing crazy things. I hear you can get some dental work in exchange for inauguration tickets.
O'BRIEN: Yeah. Who would have thought it would come to this, but it has. Not a moment too soon, getting here hard enough. Then of course there's getting into the inauguration. Authorities have been cracking down, as you know Campbell, on the ticket scalping but people are trying to find really clever ways to get around the rules. If you go to craigslist, it's actually very eye-opening. One dentist offering up to $4,000 in free dental work in exchange for tickets. That is a free full set of braces if that's appealing to you. Another poster offering up his Metallica tickets for a seat at the inauguration. Obama, equivalent of a rock star, a heavy metal star I suppose. This one actually is kind of gross, I think. Two Ohio women in their 20s offering up an ovary apiece.
BROWN: Oh no.
O'BRIEN: ... For tickets. That is so wrong on so many levels. Anyway, the folks on craigslist found that ad offensive, so they yanked it. It's off the site now and it's unclear if anybody actually jumped at that offer.
BROWN: I don't think I ever want to know. And of course, if you don't get a ticket and you aren't near a TV, apparently you can still watch the speech from your hand?
O'BRIEN: This is actually a really brilliant idea. A live video stream site called ustream, it allows iPhone users to download application right to the phone that will let everybody watch Obama's entire inauguration live right in the palm of their hand and the best part is it's free. That's nice.
BROWN: That is nice. So the inauguration is Tuesday but in some places the changing of the guard has already taken place. Tell us about it.
O'BRIEN: Transition here in DC is expected, already happening across the pond in London at Madame Tussaud's wax museum. Smiling wax figure of the incoming president, Barack Obama, standing inside a mock oval office. The Bush wax figure also still on display there. But in Amsterdam, no smooth transition. If you take a look at this photo, they've got President Bush on the curb, bags packed with his coat on. The Obama figure looking on, not exactly a subtle message there.
BROWN: No, no. They're sending a fairly strong message there.
O'BRIEN: You think?
BROWN: Soledad, thanks very much.
The inauguration, as we mentioned, is on Tuesday. The excitement and the big event starting, though, tomorrow morning. Next, a preview of the president-elect's historic whistle-stop train trip. Tom Foreman shows us where Obama is going and where you can get a look.
And then later, the president-elect answers two burning questions everybody wants to know -- when's he getting the White House dog and is he really going to keep his Blackberry?
BROWN: Barack Obama has already traveled an extraordinary path. In some ways that's nothing compared to what is ahead. Starting tomorrow morning, when he heads to Washington for the inauguration. And Tom Foreman shows us a president-elect on the move.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
FOREMAN: Campbell, Obama's big inaugural weekend starts with a train ride. And what a ride it is going to be! He'll board in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation, home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and most importantly, the place that Abraham Lincoln began his final leg of his inaugural journey. And then look at the trip he's going to make here. We look at the route. It will be down through Wilmington, Baltimore, on into DC. He'll pick up his vice president, Joe Biden, as he passes through Delaware. All along the way, enormous security. There will be police from more than 40 different jurisdictions providing protection on the ground. In the air, the FAA is going to close air space and have monitors up there. Even out in the water they're going to have the Coast Guard at work out here trying to make sure that nobody can get too close in the water to this train as it passes through.
In all, what they're creating is a zone of protection around this train as it moves. You can see it right there. And that's going to be tough, because they expect maybe a million people will try to be somewhere along this train route trying to get a look at what's going on as Obama passes this way. When they get to DC, they're going to find a city utterly transformed. I'm going to use a new technology that we'll be using during our coverage called photosynth to show you what it's going to be like down in the Capitol because it's really a big, big change. The seating and the scaffolding and the big screen monitors and the sound systems are all being put in place around the Capitol itself for the event.
But for how many people, one million, two million? The estimates are running wild. But they're expected to fill in all of this space in the mall here. Absolutely fill in every open space and then on down the way, if you see people at the Washington monument, here's a point of reference. They will be more than a mile and a half from the podium. The crowd is expected to be so big that anyone who sees the inaugural address will not be able to see the inaugural parade, even though it's just two blocks away here on Pennsylvania Avenue, because this area will already be completely filled in with more than 300,000 people. And that's not to mention the enormous crowd expected at the Lincoln memorial on Sunday, just ahead of Martin Luther King day, as Obama enjoys a huge concert featuring Beyonce, Bono, Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, more, all overlooking the same view that Dr. King had when he spoke here long ago.
Between all of these events -- and don't forget the dozens of balls and parties all over town - Biden and Obama are expected to attend, dance at and speak at at least 10 of them. There will be dozens more. Homeland Security is so concerned about all of this. But look what they're doing. They're really closing off almost all of downtown DC. You see all these roads? Everything in here is going to be closed. What an amazing difference this is going to make, all over downtown. The capitol is over here. They're even closing all of the bridges into Virginia, huge impact. Luckily for you, you won't have to deal with any of that, because we're going to be covering it all on Pennsylvania Avenue from our vantage point at the Newseum. It's a wonderful location where you can see absolutely everything. Stick with us throughout this long, historic weekend, because from our perch above it all, we will make sure that you absolutely don't miss a moment. Campbell.
BROWN: Tom Foreman for us tonight. Tom, thanks very much.
Of course, we want you to do something for us on Tuesday, if you can. If you're at the U.S. capitol when President-Elect Obama is sworn in, take a photo of him at the exact moment his hand is raised and then e-mail it to us. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We're going to use your images, along with that Microsoft photosynth technology Tom told us about to piece together a spectacular 3D display. It will be unlike any inaugural image you've ever seen.
It has been 30 years since we've had a first family with children as young as Malia and Sasha Obama. So how do you give your kids a remotely normal life when they're growing up in the fishbowl that is the White House? The president-elect talked about that today in his exclusive sit-down with John King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Where do you draw the line when it comes to my business and your daughters and your family.
OBAMA: Well, my hope is that the press is going to be respectful of the fact that growing up is hard enough without doing it in a fishbowl. It would be naive of me or Michelle to expect that people take no interest in the girls. But I think the press has a lot of control over this. We've asked them not to follow them around, not to take pictures of them when they're not with their parents doing something that is a public event. And I hope that folks are respectful of that, precisely because folks in the press are parents as well and they know the struggles. And even if you're not a parent, you remember what it was like being a teenager. And that can be a painful process as well.
KING: You took your family to the Lincoln Memorial.
KING: What did you talk about walking around and looking at the president and reading those walls?
OBAMA: This is a good story. I love the Lincoln memorial at night. It always inspires me. So I take Michelle and the girls. We're looking at the Gettysburg address and Michelle is describing what Lincoln's words mean, the fact that these soldiers died on this battlefield means that any words that Lincoln could have said or any of us could have said would ring hollow. They have already consecrated this ground and what we have to do is to honor them by working for more justice, more equality here in America. At which point Malia turned to me and says, yeah, how are we doing on that, Mr. President-elect?
KING: Accountability in the house is a good thing.
OBAMA: Absolutely. And then we go and look at the Lincoln second inaugural, which is on the other wall. And Sasha looks up and she says, boy that's a long speech. Do you have to give one of those? I said actually that one is pretty short. Mine may even be a little longer. At which point then Malia turns to me and says, first African- American president, better be good.
KING: I'll ask you one last question. It's in part silly but it's not always silly. You like these. I was just with you before this and you have a couple of them. And there are a lot of people who say, because this will end up in the presidential library, because you don't have privacy anymore, your life is about to change, Tuesday noon you have to give this up.
KING: You going to do it?
OBAMA: I think we're going to be able to beat this back. I think we're going to be able to hang on to one of these. Now --
KING: You want mine?
OBAMA: My working assumption -- and this is not new -- is that anything I write on an e-mail could end up being on CNN. So I make sure to think before I press send. But what this has been -- what this does -- it's just one tool among a number of tools that I'm trying to use to break out of the bubble, to make sure that people can still reach me. That if I'm doing something stupid, somebody in Chicago can send me an e-mail and say, what are you doing? You know. Or you seem detached. Or you're not listening to what's going on here in the neighborhood. I want to be able to have voices other than the people who are immediately working for me be able to reach out and send me a message about what's happening in America.
KING: Do you think you fully comprehend how much your life is about to change?
OBAMA: Oh, I've gotten a pretty good sense over the last few days and, truthfully, over the last two years. It's a process of consistently ratcheting up. You've got to pick up your game correspondingly. So far, so good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: When we come back, we are going to return to the miracle on the Hudson. Most of us can't imagine what it must have been like in the cockpit of flight 1549, so we're going to show you going inside a flight simulator where pilots are trained to handle these emergencies.
BROWN: We began tonight by saluting the remarkable achievement of U. S. Airways Captain Sully Sullenberger. He saved the lives of everyone aboard flight 1549 yesterday by landing his stricken jet in the middle of the Hudson River as neatly as if that ribbon of water had been an airport runway. Captain Sullenberger's decades of experience made this miracle possible. And modern training methods help, too. National correspondent Gary Tuchman shows us now how pilots are taught to face danger head-on.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here at Emory Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, the largest and oldest aerospace and aviation university in the United States. They are training today's students to protect you tomorrow. There are 14 flight simulators here. They don't look like airplanes from the outside, but it's a whole different story on the inside.
Flight instructors Kathleen Radall (ph) and Ryan Mishon (ph) are pretending they're on a routine flight. All is well aboard this jet we're flying over a realistic looking New York and New Jersey landscape with the Hudson River on the horizon. But then...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a double engine failure. Looks like we'll be ditching in the Hudson River.
TUCHMAN: Pilots are taught to stay calm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, this is your first officer speaking. Unfortunately, we must prepare the cabin for emergency ditching in approximately two minutes.
TUCHMAN: The altitude drops fast. The moment of truth is arriving.
MICHELLE HALLERAN, EMORY-RIDDLE UNIVERSITY: You approach the water just like you would asphalt, just like a runway and as slow as possible and just before it stalls is basically how you touch down.
TUCHMAN: And the wheels are up.
HALLERAN: The wheels are up exactly, because you don't want any friction to cause you to skid or to flip the aircraft over.
TUCHMAN: A successful landing in the Hudson River.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we're lowering our nose. Lower the pitch until we have the horizon right on top.
TUCHMAN: They then allow me, a former student pilot, to give it a go. I put on a simulator for propeller plane where water landings are not a practical option but today we're going to land on Daytona Beach's Halifax River after the propellers quit. We're now a glider. We need to make an emergency landing. We're losing altitude rapidly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smooth. We're going to start leveling off. OK. Now we want to reduce air speed.
TUCHMAN: 70 feet, 50 feet. Tension here now. We don't want to -- we're in the water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in the water.
TUCHMAN: Is that a good landing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're bouncing in the water.
TUCHMAN: I'm glad the pilot did a better job with the U.S. Airways plane. Water landings are not desired but it's good to know pilots rigorously train for the possibility. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Daytona Beach, Florida. (END VIDEO TAPE)
BROWN: Gary Tuchman for us tonight. And coming up, none of us can get enough of these details. We're going to have more survivor stories from the flight 1549. Hear what happened in the passengers' own words and see what they saw right after the plane landed in the Hudson River.
BROWN: We end the night and the week with what you might call a bull's-eye kaleidoscope; 155 grateful people will never forget what happened to them yesterday, and neither will we.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICES OF SURVIVORS, U.S. AIRWAYS FLIGHT 1549: When we hit the water, it was a pretty big jolt. And don't have much recollection of that. It just was kind of jostling around and was just was glad the plane was intact.
That's really where people started to panic. Inside the plane there were only one or two that were really kind of not knowing what to do. It's when we got outside in the cold water -- and I mean the water was cold.
There were a couple of people who just kind of took charge and just started yelling to calm down and to get everybody out and once I think people realized that we were going to be OK, everybody kind of calmed down and just tried to get outside of the boat and get to safety.
They were helping each other. They weren't just looking after themselves. And people were helping folks get out on the wing or get on the raft.
This pilot, and if this guy doesn't get the recognition he needs i's the reason my daughter, my 2 1/2-year-old has a dad and my wife still has a husband.
Kudos to the pilot. He did a hell of a job.
He saved my life. So I'm thankful and thankful to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And that is all for us tonight. CNN's coverage of the events leading to the inauguration, that starts tomorrow. "Larry King Live" starts right now.