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American Morning

Post-Debate Comparison; High Energy Prices; Brand Loyalty in Consumer Goods

Aired November 19, 2007 - 08:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Holiday high. Gas at near-record prices and climbing. How much more will you pay this holiday season?
Whispering campaign. Clinton, Obama. Rumors and secrets. Who has what on whom?

Plus, sales job. New way some major brands are trying to keep you on their side on this AMERICAN MORNING.

ROBERTS: And good morning. Thanks for joining us on this Monday, the 19th of November, the kickoff to Thanksgiving week. We've got some snow to start it off today. I'm John Roberts.

CHETRY: Yes. And I'm Kiran Chetry. Thanks for being with us. So the snow is adding to this perfect holiday storm of travel nightmares as it's all happening at once.

We have gas prices making a run at the highest level in history. In fact, they've already soared 13 cents in just two weeks.

Also, the TSA sounding the alarm about very full planes and how packing better, especially when it comes to your carry-on, will help speed your way through security lines.

It also looks pretty -- there it is -- until you have to drive in it. The first snow of the year for many parts of the northeast coming down in New Jersey and across the Hudson here in Central Park as well.

Alina Cho has the very latest right now on the first headache, which will be fueling up before you start the drive in the snow or start the drive to the airport to wait in line.

Hey, Alina.

CHO: Hey there, Kiran. It's a big headache. You know, if you're one of the 31 million Americans who will drive to your destination for the Thanksgiving holiday, get out your wallet. The Lundberg Surveys says the average price of a gallon of gas is now $3.09 -- much higher in places like New York -- and that's close to the all-time high set back in May. It's 86 cents higher than last year, and as you just mentioned, 13 cents higher than two weeks ago.


JOE MOORE, CONCERNED OVER GAS PRICES: Fairly concerned. I mean, I don't drive that often. But, you know, when I do, it's definitely -- I say huge impact in the budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not that concerned. Personally, I don't pay for gas money. It's mom's credit card. But, you know, it's something that you got to think about every day.


CHO: Well, I hope that kid is younger than he looks. The nation's cheapest and most expensive gas, by the way, are both out west. If you're looking to save a couple of pennies, head to Tucson, Arizona where the average price is $2.91. San Francisco -- no big surprise -- has the highest gas. A gallon will cost you $3.48.

Now if you're looking to save a couple of pennies, one expert we talked to in the last hour had some tips, telecommuting just once a month and car pooling twice a month, Kiran, can save you 5 percent on your gas fill. Unfortunately, telecommuting not an option for us, but important and good advice, especially when you consider that that expert said we could be looking at $4 a gallon gas as early as the spring.

CHETRY: People better start getting creative, I guess, if they can.

CHO: Yes.

CHETRY: Alina, thank you.


CHETRY: Well, organized chaos is a term that could describe many carry-on bags. But you better get organized before you go away this weekend, at least that's what the feds are saying, or it could mean trouble.

Jeanne Meserve has some new guidelines for flyers in just minutes from now on AMERICAN MORNING, as well -- John?

ROBERTS: Five minutes now after the hour.

A strike update for you now. Blackout on the great white way. No Broadway shows for the entire holiday week. Talks to end the stagehand strike ended with no deal. That means the 27 Broadway shows will stay dark through the weekend.

And talks between Hollywood producers and television writers won't resume until next Monday. The cast of "Saturday Night" took their show on the road to a small theater in New York, a special performance to benefit behind-the-scenes crews.

Our Lola Ogunnaike following developments from the strike update desk. And how long does it look like this whole thing could go on?

OGUNNAIKE: John, we have no idea. People were hopeful that this would be resolved this weekend, that the show would go on starting today. They even flew in a negotiator from L.A. -- Disney executive by the name of Robert Johnson. He specializes in labor relations. They were hoping that maybe he could help facilitate conversation. Marathon negotiations this weekend, but nothing came out of it, unfortunately.

And it couldn't come out at a worst time. This is Thanksgiving week. It's the second busiest week of the year for Broadway, the first being the week between Christmas and New Year's. Last year this week, they did about 30 million in business. And ancillary businesses like the restaurant businesses surrounding in the theater district are also suffering. They lost $20,000 last week. So this is not good for anyone.

ROBERTS: It's a real shame for people who come all the way to New York City. They want to see a show.

But back to the television writers' strike. As we mentioned, "Saturday" got creative, took the show out of town, so that they could do it. But what about the dramas and the comedies, the shows that are in production that did have some shows in the can? How quickly do they run out of episodes?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, a number of shows are running out pretty quickly. "The Office" is already off the air. "Desperate Housewives" is going to be off in a week. And you know, they -- "Saturday Night Live" did find a creative way to keep the show alive. And they had a show at a small theater in Manhattan. They're also performing an episode of "30 Rock" this evening, which is expected to be a lot racier than the version that we see on television every Thursday night.

So, I'm going to go check that out this evening and I'll give you the lowdown tomorrow.

ROBERTS: Look forward to seeing that, Lola Ogunnaike, thanks -- Kiran?

CHETRY: We have some breaking news out of South Carolina this morning. A deadly bus crash overnight on I-26, 20 miles west of Charleston, where police say a tour bus went off the road in Dorchester County, hitting several trees. The driver was killed and 30 passengers were injured. An employee with the bus company telling CNN that the passengers were a group of friends. They were on their way to Miami to catch a holiday cruise.

Injured Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett is home this morning. He was released from the hospital in Houston, where he was being treated for a spinal cord injury suffered in the Bills' home opener. You know, just 10 weeks later, Everett is now moving his arms and legs and he can even briefly hold himself up on a walker.

In fact, he taped a message for the hometown crowd in Buffalo last night. They were thrilled to hear from him. Everett also thanked his doctors in Houston and said he'd keep up physical therapy on an outpatient basis.

Firefighters in South Carolina preparing for strong, dry Santa Ana winds that could stoke another round of devastating wildfires later this week. It was just last month that California wildfires killed 10 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.

The motor city? The most dangerous city in America again, Detroit taking the top spot in this year's list, leaping over St. Louis, last year's crime leader, which fell to number two, followed by Flint, Michigan, Oakland and Camden, New Jersey, which is just across the river from Philadelphia.

A private research group released this ranking are based on FBI statistic, but critics, including Detroit's police chief denounced the report, complaining that the numbers are taken out of context. They also question the group's motives since the full report is only available if you buy it.

Also knew this morning, a dramatic drop in violence in Iraq. U.S. commanders say attacks are down 55 percent since the beginning of the American troop buildup. Earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, CNN's Michael Ware in Baghdad explained why these new numbers are so significant.


WARE: Such civilian deaths alone here in the capital from sectarian murders and al Qaeda attacks and militia violence, civilian deaths, down 75 percent since June. I mean, that's fabulous. But there's a number of things to bear in mind. I mean, last week, there was still 575 attacks overall.

And the American military is celebrating last Friday when there were only 33 attacks, the lowest level on a day in three and a half years. Now imagine if there was still 33 attacks in Israel or America or even Pakistan. It shows there is still a war going on.


CHETRY: U.S. officials are also being cautious about claims that some of the decrease in the violence is due to Iran cutting back its support to Shiite militias -- John?

ROBERTS: Ten minutes now after the hour. An AMERICAN MORNING follow-up now.

Parents threatened with jail time if they didn't get their kids vaccinated showed up en masse outside a courthouse in Maryland. Thousands of students were banned from school because they haven't been vaccinated and some are still out of school this morning,

Our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is following this one for us live this morning from Atlanta. And some pretty severe steps that the state of Maryland is resorting to this morning.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, John, that's right. The state of Maryland is going way beyond what most states go through to get their kids vaccinated. And the real issue is here is who gets to decide what's best for a child's health, the parents or the state?

State of Maryland says we have the right to decide that. And parents, they said to parents, "We're going to criminally prosecute you and here's what's going to happen if you don't vaccinate your kids." You could get sent to jail for 10 days or $50 a day in fines.

And these are the parents who were standing in line, trying to take care of this issue. And these parents are saying either, "I did vaccinate my kid You just never got the paperwork and you're going to put me in jail for something I actually did right, or some of them are saying, "We have objections. We do not want to vaccinate our kids." -- John?

ROBERTS: Yes. What about those parents who have very strong objections to vaccinations, because of the risks that they perceived from Phimarisol(ph), the stabilizer in these vaccines? Is there any way for them to opt out?

COHEN: There are two ways that they can opt out but it's extremely tricky. Let me go over them.

The first one is medical. If a doctor will sign a note saying that your child, for example, will have an allergic reaction if they get vaccinated, you can opt out. But that is tough. No doctor is going to lie for you. The other one is religious. If you say it's against your religion to do vaccinations, then that will work.

However, in Maryland, you can't just say, "I'm philosophically against vaccines or I think my kid is going to become autistic because of vaccines." You can't do that. And many parents have said, "Look, I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to say I have a religious objection when I don't."

So these parents say, "We're in a pickle. We don't want to lie and say it's against their religion, but we strongly believe that we don't want our kids vaccinated and they're really kind of stuck.

ROBERTS: Difficult choices for those parents then. Elizabeth Cohen for us in Atlanta this morning. Elizabeth, thanks -- Kiran?

COHEN: Thanks.

CHETRY: Looks like reading is not so fundamental these days. And your "Quick Hits" now, a new report says that young people are spending more time talking than reading, a reading from chatting online to chatting on cell phones. Almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds say they never read for pleasure and only one in three high school seniors is reading at a proficient level.

Also drivers getting a failing grade too. There's a new report saying one in six people on the road about, 36 million drivers would flunk a driving test. The question that tripped up drivers up the most: what a solid yellow light means. It means stop if it's safe, not speed up and hope you get through. Also the state where drivers did the worst? New York. Thousands of victims of last week's devastating cyclone in Bangladesh are now cut off from help because of damage and flood waters. So we have a live report on the rescue effort that's taking place internationally just ahead.

And JFK slept there in the final week of his life. Frank, Sammy and everyone did, just like the days of Camelot and the Rat Pack, a historic hotel is now just a memory ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

ANNOUNCER: AMERICAN MORNING brought to you by...


CHETRY: Well, quick work saved 27 gold miners in Australia today. They were trapped by a collapse in shaft earlier this morning. One of them used his cell phone and was able to call for help. And there you see them being lifted to safety. It was just four hours later that they were packed into that crane and hauled through an air shaft.

While rescuers are battling fire and falling rock trying to get to 23 trapped coalminers in the Eastern, Ukraine, seventy-seven minors were killed in Sunday's methane explosion, a few hundred did get out a live. Government officials say there was slim chance of finding those missing miners alive.

And in Spain, where police clash with demonstrators who were protesting a neo-Nazi killing. Protesters threw objects at riot police. They responded by hitting demonstrations with baton. According to reports, several protesters and one police officer were injured during that on Saturday.

ROBERTS: Also breaking news to tell you about 17 minutes after the hour.

Just getting news in from the AP this morning that Fran Townsend, who is the president's Homeland Security adviser, has resigned. No idea where she's going at this point. She has been the Homeland Security adviser since May 28th, 2004, worked for the White House long before that as well.

We'll get some more information for you on this. Our White House folks are just checking with their sources right now. But again, Fran Townsend, the president's Homeland Security adviser, apparently, according to the Associated Press, has resigned this morning.

Thirty-five tons of relief supplies from America on their way to Bangladesh. The White House made the announcement as the death toll climbs in Bangladesh, following a devastating cyclone. More than 3,000 people are now confirmed dead. Then rescue crews say thousands are trapped in remote villages without food and water.

CNN's Cal Perry is live in Barisal City in Bangladesh.

Cal, from your vantage point on the ground there, are you already seeing that promised American aid? CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are. And in fact, John, today we just came back from a day trip with Save the Children. They're working in conjunction with the USAID programs to bring food. We literally landed on a beach in one of the remote areas of this country, bringing food to two villages. And what they're talking about is food, water and shelter.

Those are the basic supplies that people need and that's what they're trying to get to people. Now the mission was two-fold. One, to get food, water and shelter to these people, but also a reconnaissance mission, to see which villages have been most hit by this storm and which don't need aid. They don't want to waste aid where they need to and they want people who need the aid to get the aid -- John?

ROBERTS: Cal, what's the situation like there on the ground as far as you've been able to observe it? And are there any other immediate concerns from officials outside of aid organizations?

PERRY: Absolutely. The storm was quite devastating. You're talking about an area of a country that holds 10 million people and lies feet above sea level, so you can imagine a 15-foot storm surge washing away entire villages. Quite a devastating storm. Now there are two concerns here. One is the short-term death toll. That could still go up. Aid organizations are saying that they do expect that to rise.

The long-term concern is one of disease. They're worried that disease could spread because of the stagnant water. They're talking about cholera, typhoon and Dengue fever, so in the long-term, there is that concern as well -- John?

ROBERTS: All right. Cal Perry live for us this morning live from Barisal City in Bangladesh. Call, thanks -- Kiran?

CHETRY: Our Homeland Security duties stretching the Coast Guard too think. The House subcommittee will hold a hearing in San Francisco today to look at the Coast Guard's response to the massive oil spill in the San Francisco Bay last week. Congress wants to know if a new mandate to protect ports and coastal waters against terrorism has slowed them from getting to the ship that was gushing thousands of gallons of oil.

Miami's historic Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel is just a memory now. The 650-room hotel demolished in a cloud of dust along with the parking garage next door. It was known as The America when it opened back in the 1950s, hosting the Rat Pack members as well as President Kennedy in the final week of his life. It's going to be replaced now by a new St. Regis Hotel and Condo.

Well, Starbucks used to just sell coffee and Nike used to just sell shoes. Now both want to sell you, not just on their product, but on music and movies. Does this kind of branching out pay off for the companies? We're going to talk about it ahead.

Plus, where are you going to be on black Friday? In a store or behind your desk typing? We'll talk to you about why some workers who once had a long weekend are not being told. "Get back to work," up ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: And we told you last week about Starbucks losing a little bit of steam. Sales were off, I think, about 1 percent worldwide. But Starbucks is trying new ways to keep to keep customers, joining other mega brands like Nike, in branching out. So does this really pay off?

Well, AMERICAN MORNING's Polly LaBarre has been looking into this new idea and she joins me now. Good morning, Polly. Good to see you.


CHETRY: So you're going into Starbucks and you're not just grabbing a cup of Joe, you can maybe buy a book.

LABARRE: Well, what's a little more interesting than the coffee wars, you know, McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts coming to heat.

CHETRY: Right.

LABARRE: Well, Starbucks -- what Starbucks has always done to be different, which is to connect to their customers in a different way. They found themselves really as a curator of a lot of experiences whether it's music or books. So you can walk in, I walk in with my iPhone and the icon star pops up and I can see what song they're playing. If I want buy it, I just buy it with one click. It's very dangerous.

And so what they're trying to say there was, "We're a curator, we know who you are, we know what your taste are. We're going to help you discover new and edgy whether it's books or music." And they have -- they've been launching books. They launched Mitch Albums book and Ishmael Beah's book, "Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," which has sold 117,000 copies is this year.

CHETRY: Right. I saw both the -- they sold CDs as well.

LABARRE: Sure. They have a hand-picked CDs, they have a radio station. So really in many ways they're both DJ, book club, music label, and the whole point here is, when you have this much competition, you can't just compete on price and performance and features, pure economic value, you also have to compete on passion and identity an emotion which is sharing values, helping your customers discover things, and that what's Starbucks is really doing.

CHETRY: So if this working for them, their sales were off slightly this year. I mean is that -- is this reactionary?

LABARRE: No, this is their core strategy. I think a little reactionary element might be then launching a television-advertising campaign. But you have McDonald's out there spending $60 million on coffee advertising alone. You've Dunkin Donald's spending a $116 million on their advertising so Starbucks has to get in the fray a little bit. They create this coffee culture. Now the competitors are jumping in and want to share the wealth.

CHETRY: That's right. Let's talk about Nike a little bit. They, of course, used to sell shoes and sporting equipment and now they are making feature-length films.

LABARRE: There you go. Again, same idea, different product. So, Nike has gotten into the skateboarding world in the last few years, which is a very edgy, anti-establishment, independent-minded world. It's a $5 billion market, 15 million skateboarders in the U.S., and you can't do "Just Do It" and get superstar sponsorships to connect with that world.

CHETRY: Right.

LABARRE: So something they just said, they had just launched this in the last couple of weeks, it's a feature-length film, took three years to make it. It's a wild film. We see some of it here. Incredible skateboarding sequences with their global team of pro skateboarders.

And also, this crazy kind of spinal tap as mockumentary(ph) that cuts in and out of it. So it's a little weird. It's a little bit edgy but it's a lot of fun. I was really engrossed watching it. And again, it's a more powerful way to connect with customers beyond saying hey, buy these sneakers.

CHETRY: Right.

LABARRE: So the way they distribute it has been very really interesting, too, very low key. They did a 10-city premiere and in each of those cities they introduced a shoe called What the Dunk, which is a mash-up of all of their sneakers that they put out for skateboarding. And those sold out immediately. They're collector's item. And now this week, they're launching the film in board shops and action sports stores around the world so you can go buy a copy.

CHETRY: I think - smart idea. You get them hooked in when they're 15- to 18-year-old their sneakers, they'll buy your product for life, hopefully at least, I thank you.

LABARRE: Yes, exactly.

CHETRY: Karen LaBarre thanks so much -- John?

ROBERTS: Twenty-seven minutes after the hour now. We're looking at the story coming up in our next half hour that you just can't mix.

The box is out. Breaking news and ballot jackpot. We've got a bunch of topics to talk about.

Obama versus Hillary, a little dust-up between them over the weekend.

How to Beat Hillary, that new Karl Rove series of suggestions in "Newsweek" magazine.

Also, Bush bounce. Is the absence of bad news good for President Bush? And how will it affect the 2008 election?

We'll step with the ballot box this morning. Jamal Simmons, Leslie Sanchez will be with us in just a couple of minutes. We've got that and the day's headlines just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN, ANCHOR: Well, we have some breaking news right now on this Monday, November 19th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN, ANCHOR: And good morning to you, I'm John Roberts. The breaking news and other resignation by a key aid to President Bush, Fran Townsend, his counter terrorism adviser, actually the Homeland Security Adviser at the White House has resigned. President Bush said Townsend played a key role in many of the administration's strategies to combat terror. Joining us to talk more about this is John King, our chief national correspondent. He is on the phone in Washington. And John, Fran Townsend has been with the president for an awfully long time. First, as his deputy national security adviser on counter terrorism, then as Homeland Security Adviser. Pretty big loss for him.

VOICE OF JOHN KING, CNN, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a big loss, john. And the timing is interesting because for so long, White House officials have said if you're going to leave the administration, the time to do so was a few months back. If you were going to stay on into this fall, the president would take that as a signal you were planning to stay through the end of the term, a little more than a year from now. But the president issuing the statement this morning as Fran Townsend resigns. And I'm told by a senior official she will stay until early in the new year and they hope to have some overlap with her replacement once that replacement is named and that she will need some time early in the new year. The White House says she has two young sons and wants to get back into the private sector and out of the rigors of public service. But the timing is quite curious, it comes obviously at an interesting time in Iraq, in the middle of the crisis in Pakistan. Fran Townsend has been spokeswoman for the White House on the controversial issues, like the warrantless wire tapping. So, not a surprise for senior officials to leave late in the second term of an administration. But this one is a bit surprising because the White House signaled if you're going to go, get out over the summer months.

ROBERTS: Fran Townsend has joined us often on here on AMERICAN MORNING. She's always a good person to talk to, always pleasant in person. You mentioned the two young children. She has a husband as well. I would expect that the job she has held kept her away from her family. You can't be Homeland Security adviser and not spend an awful lot of time at the White House. Do we have any idea where she might go in the private sector, John? She used to be a prosecutor. She began her career in 1985 as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn. Might she be headed back to New York? KING: I don't know the answer to that question. She did begin as a prosecutor in Brooklyn. I was also told by a senior official that she wants to pursue private sector opportunities, but will stay active in the public debate about terrorism and protecting the country. So, obviously the White House expects her to continue to be an advocate for policies, whether she has a specific career choice in mind already, no indication as yet. As you know, there are ethical rules and the like. Once you start thinking about something like that, essentially the ethics rules require you to get up and go so you're not negotiating while you're in such a sensitive position. She has been, as you know, her appearances on the program, she has been one of the most forceful advocates for the president through many, many controversies about his national security record. In that regard, she will be missed at the White House, because she is a trusted member of the inner circle, the ever-changing inner circle late in this administration.

ROBERTS: Well, I expect that it won't be too long before we hear where she is going and who might be replacing her. John King, our chief national correspondent and who might be replacing her. John King, our national correspondent with this on the phone this morning. John, it's always thanks.

KING: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Also new this morning, 35 tons of relief supplies from the United States were about to shipped out to Bangladesh. And the death toll there is rising from the devastating cyclone. More than 3,000 people have been killed there. Rescue crews say thousands are also trapped in remote villages without food and water. Pakistan's supreme court this morning has paved the way for President Pervez Musharraf to serve another five years in office. The court was hand- picked by Musharraf himself by the way. Political opponents say the court's rulings do not have a shred of credibility. Musharraf says he plans to leave the Pakistani army and serve only as a civilian president. The U.S. is still pushing Musharraf to restore the constitution and end the military crackdown but Musharraf says it's necessary to keep the peace.

Some possible good news coming out of Iraq today. A drop in violence to report there. U.S. commander says attacks are down 55% since the beginning of the American troop buildup. But they warn the situation on the ground is still very serious. Iraqi police say insurgents killed three of their officers today. A car bomber killed at least nine in Baghdad yesterday. Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, a deadly bus crush happened overnight in South Carolina, the driver killed and 30 passengers who were on their way to a cruise were injured when the tour bus ran off the road on i-26 and into some trees. It happened in Dorchester County, South Carolina. Most of the injured were treated for minor injuries and released. An employee of the bus company said the passengers were a group of friends headed to Miami to take a thanksgiving cruise.

Well, the show won't go on during one of the biggest money making weeks for theatres on Broadway. The latest round of talks to end the stagehands strike broke off last night with no progress. And there are no shows now through thanksgiving weekend, also no further talks scheduled.

The first snow of the season hits northern New Jersey and a little bit here in New York. Although it's not sticking this morning in the city. Snows falling right now with a snow advisory in effect for the rest of the morning for parts of northern new jersey. Couple of inches fell in some areas overnight. They could get a couple of more inches throughout the day.

Well, if ever there was a week for flyer frustration, this is it. Millions of passengers will be flying this holiday week and the TSA wants to make sure you know the rules. The TSA is out with this video, showing fliers how to get through security as quickly as possible and have some fun with it too. Your tax dollars at work. Our Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve like at Reagan National Airport. What's the fun of waiting in line for the security checkpoint?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN, HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's hard to find any fun in that but they've tried to put a little twist on it there. The big take away from this video, new tip, is to pack your carry on in layers, put a layer of clothes, then lay out your electronics side by side rather than all jumbled together. And then if you like another layer of clothes on top. They say that will make it easier for screeners to look inside, see if there's an IED or IED component in there. Also, it will save you time.


ELLEN HOWE, TSA SPOKESWOMAN: It takes three minutes to do a bag check, if they have to dive into somebody's bag. So what we're asking the public to do is partner with us and think about you know how they can help us help you get through security faster.


MESERVE: The other tips from the TSA have your ticket and your I.D. out and ready when you go through security and also remember that 3-1-1 rule. Three ounces of liquid, one quart container, plastic bag rather taken out of your bag, one per passenger and put in your carry- on bin. It isn't that the rules have changed they say but at holiday time you have a lot of inexperienced people traveling and they want them to know the rules before they get to the airport. Kiran, back to you.

CHETRY: So you know, Jeanne, you do everything right, as a passenger, you show up early and do all the right things. Are they also, you know, anticipating this huge crush of people and moving things along faster, having more lines open, hiring more people for the day?

MESERVE: This is a huge travel period. At some points during the next week or so, they expect travel to be up as much as 20% at the nation's airports. So, yes. They are opening all the lanes. They're bringing in all the personnel they have. And they're promising that if the security lines get to be more than 30 minutes long it will be brought to the attention of TSA senior management and they will take action to make things better.

CHETRY: All right. Hopefully that will work out. Jeanne, thanks so much. We do want to hear your travel stories, by the way. If you've got good pictures, you have video, send it to us. The e- mail is And all week long, we're going to be sharing the best stories. In this case, probably the worst ones with our viewers.

ROBERTS: Are there any best travel nightmares? I don't know.

38 minutes after the hour and time for our Monday version of "Ballot Jackpot."

CHETRY: That's right. We pit our guests against each other on the hot political topics of the day. And joining us today are Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez, the author of "Los Republicanos, why Hispanics and Republicans need each other." She's in Houston today and also in Boston, democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. Thanks to both of you this morning.

ROBERTS: Good to see you. We're going to play this a little bit differently today. Rather than us pulling the topics, we're going to give you the topics and we're going to give you a chance to pick which one you want. We got Obama versus Hillary. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. How to beat Hillary. Bush bounce and Iraq funding feud. Leslie, why don't you go first. Ladies first this morning.

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you so much. How about Obama versus Hillary?

ROBERTS: Go for it.

SANCHEZ: OK. Thank you. It's really interesting about the Clintons. They did not invent the term the politics of personal destruction. They invented the practice. And I think very much Obama and Edwards are on the brutal end of that. Anybody who is in politics for presidential campaign needs to be prepared. For the onslaught, I think Obama is very concerned about something that Hillary Clinton may have in his arsenal about him but if you looked at the fact, he's a junior senator who hasn't completed one term. Six years ago, he was in the Illinois state legislature. He has admitted to using cocaine and marijuana. I don't know what else is out there. But it's something he needs to be concerned about.

ROBERTS: (skipping video) Clinton something scandalous (skipping video) Obama that they're not using. Her campaign says he looks naive for taking the bait. He says that he's not going to be swift boated. This really seems to be indicate that there are very much growing tensions between these two.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We were all in Las Vegas with you last week. And you could feel it among the two camps, that they are really battling each other fiercely. I think Obama has said himself, look, if you've got something, put it on the table and then let's see what you have. The Clinton campaign will be pretty ironic if they were to do something like that. I don't suspect that they will. But Bob Novak certainly started the pot.

CHETRY: Again. All right. This is a now, I think, just a recycle bin? Since they're picking up. All right. Let's put the Obama- Hillary.

Jamal, your turn. You remember the topics we got. We got Iraq funding feud, Bush bounce, how to beat Hillary or what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?

SIMMONS: Let's talk about the Bush bounce or the lack of the bounce.

CHETRY: All right. Quickly. It says he seems to be doing better on certain issues. Will he have a stronger rest of the term? What do you think?

SIMMONS: Well, what he did was he sort of took, he lowered the bar so far in terms of what it took to (problem in the video). So the Bush administration but for the people on ground this is still a mess. So, I think people in the country have made up their minds about George Bush. And he's going to stay in the 30s. And what the problem really is for the republican candidates running for president, who got to run with this ankle around their neck.

CHETRY: Leslie.

SANCHEZ: I completely disagree with Jamal, no doubt about that. The president is showing momentum for the positive. You're not going to see it in the immediate polls but I think historically, you will see it when we look back at this administration. Not only are you seeing successes in Iraq. The democrats bet against Iraq and you're seeing successes now. You're starting to see the budget deficit go down. He had success in confirmations of the attorney general and the Fed secretary. But compare that or contrast that with this democratic congress, who is ineffective. They said they would get us out of Iraq. They did not. They can't pass a spending bill, and they're just running amuck, and trying to spend taxpayer money. So I think in contrast, the president looks very good.

ROBERTS: Yes. Some people have observed for President Bush, just the lack of bad news is good news. All right, Leslie, why don't you pick our last topic here. How to beat Hillary, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas or Iraq funding feud.

SANCHEZ: I think how to beat Hillary?

ROBERTS: All right. Go ahead. This is a Karl Rove column in "Newsweek" magazine in which he suggested that prospective republican nominee, Hillary can be beaten and here's how to do it.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Karl Rove is right on target. As is imagined, he basically said you have to focus as a republican candidate on reintroducing yourself, reaching out to minorities, talking about issues like the economy and improving the quality of life for Americans, but more importantly, you can't just focus on the countless ethical failings of Hillary Clinton and her husband. You have to have a strategy for America.

ROBERTS: You saw, Jamal, is it a strategy to beat her?

SIMMONS: The strategy to beat any democrat for a republican is going to be how do you get rid of your relationship with George Bush? How do you become a change agent in a time where the president has again taken us from an intolerable level of violence to an unacceptable level of violence in Iraq? And so, all these candidates are running with the way that George Bush run their ankles. And that' going to be the real challenge. I think Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards or any of these candidates will do very well against any republican.

CHETRY: We're out of time but thanks for your input, both of you. Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez, democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, we'll see you back here. Thanks.

SANCHEZ: Thanks.

CHETRY: And topping your "Quick Hits" now, a piece of history goes down under in Texas. The Texas chipper sunk off the Texas gulf coast over the weekend. I want to say Texas one more time. It will be used as a Texas artificial reef and diving destination.

ROBERTS: In where?

CHETRY: The chipper was among many of the battles of Iwo Jima. It was used as a floating classroom for years for students at Texas A&M.

Well, firefighters in southern California are on standby this morning for a possible return of the Santa Ana winds that could stoke yet another round of wildfires. The U.S. military is moving four c-130 firefighting planes into position. As we all know, wildfires there in California devastating last month. Ten people killed and more than 2,000 homes destroyed.

Well, it's one of New York's most recognizable buildings. But could you imagine it being bright yellow? Even red? The controversy surrounding the Guggenheim Museum ahead.

Also, a pair of idols win big at the "American Music Awards." And they're not the only ones who took home the most hardware ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: 13 minutes down to the top of the hour.

It's one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and designed to be a specific color. Now though it's time for the Guggenheim to get a face lift. Our Lola Oguinnake has been looking into it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really like bright yellow. Bright yellow is good.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would go with the green all the way. Absolutely.


LOLA OGUINNAKE, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: So you have a red and black museum?


OGUINNAKE: Why not? Well, because the Guggenheim's architect, Frank Lloyd Wright designed it with one color in mind, and it certainly wasn't red.

SIMON BANKOFF, EXEC. DIREC., HISTORIC DISTRICT COUNCIL: He had very, very clear ideas about what he wanted, how he wanted this building experienced.

OGUINNAKE: Apparently he did not like the color white at all.

BANKOFF: No. He said, you know, to color it white would be -- it would look like a corpse in the daylight.

OGUINNAKE: Wright originally picked a color that is now called powell buff, a light beige with a hint of yellow.


OGUINNAKE: And it did look good, then in 1992, the museum repainted it, London fog, a warm grayish color.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had that color in place for 15 years. No one has complained about, oh, I wish it were a more yellow building.

OGUINNAKE: He's not the only one in favor of London fog.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think gray, the London fog.

OGUINNAKE: You prefer the London fog? Now why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think it's a lovely color and it will blend perfectly with the surroundings. It's good.

OGUINNAKE: Where are you from?


OGUINNAKE: Paul Mutimear, the color authority at the Janovik paint store is remaining neutral, but he is enjoying the colorful debate.

PAUL MUTIMEAR: Yes. How often does color make the front page of the news. You know what I mean, we hear enough bad news and terrible things that are happening in the world. I think it shows a little bit of culture still left in America if we can have a front page story about choosing the color of a building.


ROBERTS: Which way to go? Which way to go? Lola has brought her paint samples here with us this morning. Is this all much ado about nothing? Is it really that big of a difference? It's not like you're choosing between fluorescent orange and green.

OGUINNAKE: That's true but the Guggenheim is an iconic building. And if you look at the canvas, we'll paint a little. In the light, you know, there isn't actually a stark difference. Hopefully there will be one on set too. Let's see. This is the powell buff color. This is sort of a beige with a hint of cream. The color you've got is London fog.

ROBERTS: This is the one London fog, which is the color that it currently is.

OGUINNAKE: Right. Exactly. It's been this color for about 15 years. Preservationists want to go back to this color. This is the color that Frank Lloyd Wright envisioned, it's called the powell buff again. And the Landmark Preservation Committee actually is voting tomorrow to determine what color the building will actually be.

ROBERTS: It's a happier color.

OGUINNAKE: This is happier color. But you know, London fog people are saying well this is more in keeping with the buildings around the Guggenheim. So, they're pulling for that. The color authority, Paul Mutimear, who is in my piece actually has a vote going at his store on the upper east side. Right now, powell buff is in the lead, 254-248. Mine is winning.

ROBERTS: You know, I got to tell you. I like this one better. Is it just a majority vote? Is it a consensus vote? How do they decide?

OGUINNAKE: People just walk in and just say --

ROBERTS: No, no, I mean, when they actually go to paint it.

OGUINNAKE: Oh, the real? Not the people at Benjamin Moore?


OGUINNAKE: The preservation committee. Yes, it's going to be whoever wins. Yes.

ROBERTS: So, it's just a simple majority vote.

OGUINNAKE: A simple majority vote.

ROBERTS: Well, sometimes these things have to be a consensus. OGUINNAKE: They do.

ROBERTS: You know, it it's a consensus vote actually, the color that we're going to end up with is going to be both of them.

OGUINNAKE: Oh, really.

ROBERTS: Exactly.

OGUINNAKE: This is our Picasso. Lovely.

ROBERTS: Some people will also say consensus votes water things down. Great to look at. Lola Oguinnake, thanks. Kiran.

OGUINNAKE: Thank you.

CHETRY: I'll start the bidding at 5 bucks for that masterpiece. You guys are fabulous.

Well, CNN NEWSROOM just minutes away. Heidi Collins at the CNN Center with a look at what's ahead. Good morning, Heidi.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN, ANCHOR: Good morning. That's right. Coming up in the Monday morning NEWSROOM. Help, slow to reach thousands of storm victims in Bangladesh. Relief workers say the death toll may reach 10,000. We'll have the very latest on that.

And remember Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everette? A devastating hit fractured his spine. He is out of the hospital now but faces what he calls a long journey.

And he can handle chimneys, but Santa gets stuck on a billboard. Blame the beard, he says. Also, news from Broadway and the gas pump were in the NEWSROOM, at top of the hour, right here on CNN. Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Heidi, thanks so much.

Well, some say workers are calling New Jersey Governor John Corzine the "grinch" who stole thanksgiving. We're going to tell you why Corzine took their holiday weekend away ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: Some breaking news right now as it relates to weather and travel. In fact, some delays at the nation's biggest airports. Our Bonnie Schneider is tracking that for us from the weather center. Hey, Bonnie.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: In Dallas, Texas, we have some power outages reported, and that's causing airport delays there. The rest of the delays here as you see here, the ground stops. Well that goes pretty much across much of the country. And the fog and low cloud is the reason for that. There is a dense fog advisory in and around the Houston area, that's causing delays there and the fog continues northward all the way into Oklahoma. Let's take a look at more airport delays because they are in Houston. The ground stop continues there. Also, New York, La Guardia, ground delays an hour and five minutes. Philadelphia, reporting 20-minute delays. Kiran, look for these numbers to increase throughout the day due to volume and also deteriorating weather.

CHETRY: Do they know the reason behind this power outage in Dallas? Or is it just a preliminary announcement at this point.

SCHNEIDER: Preliminary at this time but I think the weather isn't going to help things in and around Texas due to the fog.

CHETRY: All right. Not looking good on one of the busiest travel weeks. Bonnie, thank you for the update.


ROBERTS: Coming up to four minutes to the top of the hour. A "Quick Look" now at CNN NEWSROOM is working on for the top of the hour.

COLLINS: See these stories in the CNN NEWSROOM. Fears that as many as 10,000 people may be dead from a cyclone in South Asia.

A deadly tour bus crashed in south Carolina.

Number crunchers name the most dangerous and safest cities in the U.S.

Simpli-fly, the government launched a campaign to speed up your holiday travel.

And chances of ending the Broadway strike in time for the Thanksgiving shows dim. NEWSROOM, top of the hour on CNN.



DAUGHERTY: Not too bad at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does it feel ...

CHETRY: I should say so. Daughtry, Chris Daughtry, of the "American Idol" fame taking home a lot of awards last night. The American Music Awards dominated by American idol alumnus. Chris Daughtry took home three. They got Favorite Breakthrough Artists. He was a semi finalist on the fifth season 2006 of "American Idol," back in 2006. And how about the fourth seasons' winner, Carrie Underwood, besides looking stunning last night, she also won honors for favorite female artist and favorite album for the country category. I also voted for favorite dress. I really thought she look great.

ROBERTS: She does look like Kiera Knightley.

CHETRY: She also won a fan award, which was determined by text messages. Justin Timberlake not upstaged though. He was named favorite pop rock artist with his future sex love sounds winning the award for soul R&B album. He accepted it from Australia, because he was on his tour.

ROBERTS: State workers in New Jersey are going to be back at work the day after Thanksgiving. Governor John Corzine changed the decades old policy. And said that the day after thanksgiving would no longer be a paid holiday for state workers. Corzine office received 5,000 complaints about the change. Some even calling him the thanksgiving grinch. We wanted to know how you feel about it. Should it be business as usual the day after thanksgiving? Here's what our results found. It was really, really close.

Fifty-one percent of you say yes, should be business as usual the day after Thanksgiving; 49 percent of you say no. To all of you who voted, thanks very much.

CHETRY: And that's for us. Thanks for being with us. See you back here tomorrow.