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American Morning

New Bombshell About Eliot Spitzer Sex Scandal; A Win in Mississippi for Senator Barack Obama; New Commander Overseeing Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; Congress Wants to Change Way Credit Card Companies do Business

Aired March 12, 2008 - 08:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. Thanks very much for being with us on this Wednesday, the 12th day of March. Only three days away from the Ides of March, beware.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: How about it? We'll be watching out. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

We have a new bombshell about the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal. First, it was Client Number Nine, the high-priced call girl named Kristen in Room 871. And now, infamous Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

Well, now from the Associated Press, word that the New York governor may have spent as much as $80,000 on high-priced prostitutes over the course of years. Right now, he is still in charge but the clock is ticking. New York states' Republicans say they will start impeachment proceedings if he does not resign.

Jason Carroll has been following this from the very beginning. He joins us now with more detail on these latest developments.

Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, definitely the pressure is on (INAUDIBLE). Governor Spitzer remained secluded in his Upper East Side apartment. No sign of the embattled governor since his very public apology on Monday.

And yet as we mentioned earlier, another embarrassing detail emerging about his involvement with a prostitution ring. The Associated Press reporting the Governor may have spent as much as $80,000 on illicit encounters. Well, Spitzer has remained quiet. His critics have not. New York State Minority Leader Jim Tedisco gave the governor a deadline, saying Spitzer has 48 hours to resign or he would begin impeachment proceedings.


JAMES TEDISCO, NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY: If we have to do that legislatively, I think, it's our duty as representatives to remove this obstacle, to remove this distraction and to move forward legislatively because we just can't get anything done. Everything has come to a grinding halt and we hope we don't have to call our articles of impeachment. We hope he does the right thing. He loves New York and his family enough to resign almost immediately, the sooner, the better.


CARROLL: And a top legislative staffer told CNN Spitzer's aides have met with Lt. Governor David Paterson's staff. Paterson would become governor if Spitzer were to resign. There were also reports Spitzer's wife is urging him not to resign in haste, but, Kiran, the clock is clearly ticking here.

CHETRY: All right. We'll be watching today to see what developments happen because the word is that we may hear something else a little bit later.

Thanks a lot, Jason.

ROBERTS: We are learning more about what led the Feds to Governor Eliot Spitzer. Officials say the investigation was sparked last summer after his bank notice suspicious activity and notified the IRS.

Earlier, I spoke to former IRS agent Walter Pagano about what may have made Spitzer's transfers suspicious.


WALTER PAGANO, FORMER IRS AGENT: If there are aberrations in one's bank account meaning cash disbursements, cash withdrawals, wire transfers that are unusual for you and me in a normal course of our daily business. We ordinarily write, pay bills by check. So, if there are inordinate amounts of cash being disbursed or ATM withdrawals that would raise a red flag, even if the amounts are under $10,000.


ROBERTS: While it is not illegal to take large sums of money from your bank account, Pagano went on to say there are times when reports get filed on customers who have perfectly legitimate reasons for their withdrawals.


CHETRY: Well, also new this new this morning. It is a win in Mississippi for Senator Barack Obama. He cruised to victory with 61 percent of the vote. Senator Hillary Clinton had 37 percent. And the win gives him at least 17 of the 33 delegates at stake there.

Now, CNN is projecting that Obama has won the March 4th Texas caucuses as well. You may remember the counting took a very long time to actually get to the final number. And with that win, he ends up getting more state delegates total than Clinton who won the primary. The caucus victory gives Obama 38 delegates and 29 for Clinton. Two thirds of the state's 193 delegates were handed out at the primary.

Well, just 130 delegates separate the candidates now. Obama has 1608, Clinton with 1,478. 2,025 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. And it's a number that can only be reached with the help of the super delegates. Both candidates spoke about the vice president issue yesterday as well.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I'm the nominee then I'm going to go through the process of figuring out what vice president would be most able to continue with those same themes. If something happened to me, who could lead the country, who could serve as commander-in-chief and obviously, Senator Clinton is a very capable person and as I've said before, she'd be on anybody's short list.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a close contest and we're obviously working hard to, you know, win the nomination. But we're going to have a unified Democratic Party once one of us is nominated. We're going to get behind to whoever is nominated and we're going to win. That's the most important thing for Democrats to remember.


CHETRY: Well, earlier this week Obama shut down Clinton's recent suggestion that he could be her running mate. He said, "I don't know why the person in second place is talking about the person in first place being the vice president," and it goes on.

ROBERTS: And of course, the Obama campaign is thinking that by her saying that, she's trying to retract swing voters who might say, "Well, on the fence here, but if I vote for her, I get both of them. (INAUDIBLE).

Fighting back is all of that. It's all down to tactics today.

This morning there's a new commander overseeing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The changing of the guard comes after Admiral William Fallon resigned yesterday. He says a recent magazine profile inaccurately pit him against President Bush when it came to Iran.

CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre is working the story for us today.

And Jamie, is it fair to say that Fallon was forced out?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he wasn't forced. He was definitely nudged and not so gently. He insists that he volunteered his resignation to remove any distraction created by this perception that there is, in his words, a disconnect between himself and President Bush over Iran.

That perception or misperception, as the Pentagon will call it, was really fueled by this "Esquire" magazine article that predicted Fallon's demise and said that his public statements were seen as dismissive of any military threat against Iran and were causing serious friction at the White House. Here's an excerpt from the article. "It will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command in favor of a commander the White House considers more pliable. It may well mean that the president and vice president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way."

Now that was immediately rejected by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think it's the right decision. As I say, the notion that this decision portends anything in terms of a change in Iran policy is, to quote myself, ridiculous.


MCINTYRE: Well, in quickly accepting Fallon's resignation without a fight, the Pentagon has simply reconfirmed many of the suspicion of critics and they risked making Admiral Fallon a symbol in the same way, John, that General Eric Shinseki was a symbol for those who thought the administration sent too few troops to Iraq.

ROBERTS: Yes. Shinseki had testified before Congress it would take hundreds of thousands of troops and then Rumsfeld went in light.

Well so, do you think that Admiral Fallon could become the poster boy, for lack of a better word, for the anti-war movement at least in terms what we're looking at from Iran?

MCINTYRE: Oh I think the critics of the administration are going to use Admiral Fallon as a hammer to pound the administration, saying that they don't listen to the advice of their commanders. But of course, the Pentagon would say, look, they want that frank advice. They want it in private. They don't want their commanders out there to look like they're not on the same page with the commander-in-chief.

ROBERTS: Jamie McIntyre for us from the Pentagon this morning. Jamie, thanks.

CHETRY: Meanwhile, our Alina Cho joins us now with other stories making news this morning.

Hey, Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, guys, good morning again. Good morning, everybody.

New this morning, talk about sticker shock. $1 trillion. That's what the Pentagon's next generation of fighter jets will cost to buy and maintain. Now, Congress has just found out the F-35, as it's called. The most expensive weapons system ever is over budget again. The Pentagon is buying 2,500 of the high-tech fighters. They'll be used by the Air Force, Navy, and the Marines.

Southwest Airlines has suspended three employees following allegations it flew dozens of planes that were not adequately inspected. The airlines would not say what positions the employees hold, but it did say they are suspended with pay. Southwest has also set up a maintenance review after the FAA proposed a $10 million-fine against the airline. Federal officials are reportedly also looking into alleged ties between an FAA inspector and a Southwest manager.

Oh, it's morning for us, but the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour has just wrapping up their night. They're done with their work for today. Overnight, they inspected the shuttle for any damage from the nighttime launch yesterday. NASA says debris may have hit the shuttle's nose ten seconds after liftoff, but they don't think it caused much damage. The crew will dock with the International Space Station tonight.

And an iPod scare is causing some concern in Japan. The government there is trying to find out why one iPod Nano overheated and started sparking during a charge. Now, it's the only known incident like this in Japan, we should mention. No one was injured in the incident.

Tokyo based officials at Apple did not comment but the company has warned that iPods can generate excess heat of being charged in certain types of carrying cases. But obviously, a lot of people concerned about this. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) 110 million iPods sold since that -- right, all of us have iPods since they were introduced in 2001. So far, just this one incident in Japan, but something to watch, certainly.

ROBERTS: All right.

CHETRY: Something else new to worry about.

ROBERTS: As if there's not enough. Alina, thanks.

Well, here's my favorite story of the morning. Feeling scattered, forgetful, unfocused? Kind of describes me every day. Age may have nothing to do with it. Which I'm happy to hear. Dr. Gupta has got the scoop on something called brain fog and tips on ways to stay sharp. And we got that for you, coming up.

And last year, Americans paid $18 billion in credit card fees alone. Now Congress wants to change the way credit card companies do business. Gerri Willis is on our "Financial Security Watch." That's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Now Congress wants to change the way credit card companies do business. Gerri Willis is on our "Financial Security Watch," that's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Well, if you were a trader on Wall Street, yesterday was an awfully good day. The market took a dramatic upswing but is it going to last? And how did the whole thing happen in the first place? Our senior business correspondent Ali Velshi here with a little bit more on this.

And is this just sort of a feel-good rally yesterday that may not last for very long?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a $200 billion injection by the Fed into the economy. We saw this yesterday morning. A number of people were a little bit surprised that it had this sort of reaction. And the Fed can't sort of do that on a daily basis. So if these rallies don't continue -- what the Fed did yesterday morning is joined with a whole lot of Central Banks around the world and said that they're going to make money available.

In the Feds case, $200 billion but other Central Banks around the world were going to make money available to banks and investment banks that were struggling because they had bad loans like these bad mortgages. It was a way to ease the whole credit crisis around the world. And that gives some people hope that things should be better.

Take a look at what the Dow did. 3.5 percent -- 3.55 percent gain yesterday. That's the biggest point gain and percentage gain in more than five years. The NASDAQ was up almost 4 percent. The S&P 500, 3.75 percent. But doesn't get this. I mean, the DOW is at 12,156. That's nowhere close to where it was, you know, last year. Up above 14,000.

So we're not sure this is going to last. Right now, the futures are pointing to a slightly more positive open, but the economy is still in the problems that it's in. We still have a mortgage crisis on our hands. We still have foreclosures. We still have job loss. And so, this isn't the whole end and we still got record oil and gas prices. So, this isn't the whole shooting match but it was a nice break for folks who had just been seeing markets go down for a while?

ROBERTS: Yes. Well, give something to look forward to.


CHETRY: And it's scary. What do you think about it? The best day in five years?

VELSHI: The best day in five years and we're still at the levels we're at. So, there's a lot of making up to do.

ROBERTS: And the problem is you get to worse day in five years, like...

VELSHI: That's totally right. Expect these big swings. Sunshine here.

CHETRY: (INAUDIBLE). Yes. Thanks a lot.

Well, when your computer's running slow, you defragment the hard drive. But is there a way -- you do really? OK?

ROBERTS: You've never done that before?

CHETRY: I'm sure you have, right before the show. Right?

ROBERTS: Scratching this right there.

VELSHI: Yes, we can do that while you're reading.


CHETRY: No, I go -- can you call somebody, please. This thing is broken. Anyway, is there a way to reboot your brain, though? Well, chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is at our medical update, fresh off defragmentation, I take it, helping us with something known at brain fog.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do defrag my brain often. It works pretty well. You know, there just a lot of reasons you can develop brain fog, so to speak. Some of them pretty obvious. You know, lack of sleep. You know, funky mood. Pre-occupied with something. Certain medications can do it as well. And the once you might expect, painkillers, sleeping pills.

But there was an interesting study actually coming out, looking out at other things that sort of fog up your brain, sort of cloud up your thinking, if you will; fragmented, if you will, as well, Kiran.

Take a look at some of the medications, for example, that can also be culprits when it comes to this. Blood pressure medications, specifically medications like Tenormin or Lopressor. And people who know those names had been on them. Antibiotics such as Cipro or Floxin. Acid reflux medication even, that's a surprising one, Tagamet, Zantac.

These medications can cause your brain to be a little fogged up. Could cause your thinking to be a little cloudy. Also, certain medical conditions. If you're, you know, persistently having trouble with your thinking, and you're a young person, it's not dementia. You can get your liver check, your thyroid checked, your B-12 levels check as well. All these things could potentially be culprits and things that you may not typically think of.


CHETRY: You know, if you need the medications or if you're not sure if it is the medication, what should you be looking for. What should you try to do about it?

GUPTA: Well, you know, one thing again is just sort of keep in mind that there are other sorts of culprits here for sure. But there are also potential underlying illnesses. If this is something that has been persistent and you just can't seem to rid yourself of it, despite the fact that you've tried to reboot your brain, if you will. You know, things like urinary tract infections, dehydration, viral infections, and small strokes can cause problems as well.

But you know, it's easier than you may think to try and make things a little bit better for yourself. Exercising, for example. Just aerobic activity. This may surprise people. It can actually be a huge boost. They can actually increase what's called your executive functions. The executive areas of the brain, which are responsible for your, oftentimes, inattention to detail.

Simply making sure you're very well hydrated. Dehydration can be a significant problem when it comes to cloudy thinking. And you know, rebooting the brain may mean, you know, just getting a good night sleep, taking a vacation if you need that. That can certainly help as well, Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Sounds good, Sanjay. We'll try it. Thanks.

GUPTA: All right.

CHETRY: By the way, if you need some memory inspiration, coming up, we're going to meet the guy who has the best memory in the nation. That's right. His name is Chester Santos. He's a U.S.A. memory champ. He can just take a look at a shuffled deck of cards, memorize them, and recite them back. In fact, he's going to do that right here on our show. How does he do it? Are there any tips that we can learn from Chester? We're going to find out in our next half hour.

ROBERTS: This is just going to really make us look silly. Isn't it?

CHETRY: Probably.

ROBERTS: Because, I'll tell you, looking back at Sanjay, my executive brain function has been on retreat for I don't know how long.

CHETRY: You need to come back from sabbatical.

ROBERTS: Exactly.

New rules out. Credit card customers cut through the fine, (INAUDIBLE), stay out of debt. Our Gerri Willis on the "Financial Security Watch" for us this morning.

Also, Geraldine Ferraro is defending her controversial comment that Barack Obama is where he is in the race because he's black. Should she apologize for those comments? It's our "Quick Vote" question of the morning and the latest tally of votes just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.



MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There was a time when city planners thought the concrete solution to the challenge of allowing rivers and cities to co-exist was, well, concrete. Times have changed and the experts now are paying more attention to Mother Nature's blueprints.

PROF. CURTIS RICHARDSON, DUKE UNIVERSITY: We're trying new here is just ecological approach. It's lower tech but also more sustainable and more ecologically friendly.

O'BRIEN: Curtis Richardson is head of the Duke University Wetland Center. For the past three years, he and his students have re-engineered a polluted stretch of creek that flows through the campus without calling in the cement mixers.

RICHARDSON: This really a very novel way of trying to treat using Mother Nature's environmental services.

O'BRIEN: The problem was runoff. Whenever it rained, all kinds of bad chemical, fertilizers to pesticides, would flow straight into Sandy Creek with nothing to stop them. So Richardson and his students started digging. Changing the contours of the land, planting trees, creating a wetland and building a storm water reservoir behind an earthen dam.

RICHARDSON: This gives you a sort of a natural system where the water actually can flow out over the banks and the sediments and nutrients can be retained in the wetlands.

O'BRIEN: It's nature's way of cleaning up a mess and it's working. Three years later this creek is much cleaner than it was before. And it sure cost a lot less money than pouring all that concrete. Apparently, it's smarter to go with the flow than fight it. Miles O'Brien, CNN.



ROBERTS: 23 minutes after the hour. Help could be on the way for millions of Americans buried under a mountain of credit card debt and the hidden fees that make it all worse. New legislation is being introduced in Congress today. Our personal finance editor Gerri Willis is here to explain.

So, how does this new legislation protect consumers?

GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you have a credit card and I assume you do. It seems everybody does. You know how confusing the rules are and how the fees can really add up and put you into debt. A new law would help curb some of this. And here's exactly what it would do.

First of all, interestingly, it would create an opt-in provision for young folks. You know, one of the highest rates of bankruptcy right now is among college students because of credit card debt.

ROBERTS: And they're getting these credit card solicitations in the mail all the time.

WILLIS: Absolutely. And so this would, you know, make it more difficult for the credit card industry to go after those folks. Also, this bill would also make fees reasonably related to costs. So, you know, when you're get to being charged $40 for a late fee. That's not what it costs the credit card company. So that would bring fees more into line with costs.

And then, it would require verification of ability to pay. So you couldn't send out a credit card solicitation without being sure that the person could pay that bill. Now, I spoke to Senator Menendez yesterday about why this bill is important now.


SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Ultimately this is about giving equal footing to the consumer. Because right now, they feel that their credit card is just like a booby trap. They never know what's going to come up next.


WILLIS: It's not the only bill out there. Carolyn Maloney and the House has also introduced the bill. Tomorrow, she'll have a hearing on her bill bringing in folks who feel like they have been stung by credit card companies to explain what happened to them. Carl Levin in the Senate also has a bill. So there are lots of ideas floating around out there.


ROBERTS: So this idea of verification of ability to pay, it means the credit card companies would have to do a credit check on all.


ROBERTS: Wow. That would really slow the process down.

WILLIS: This will be very controversial.

ROBERTS: So until this legislation is passed, what can people do today to try to reduce their exposure to these fees?

WILLIS: Well, you know, number one, automate your payments. If you're worried about incurring late fees, one easy way to make sure you don't get late fees is to automate your payments online. Make sure you're sending something each and every month to the credit card company. Rethink your credit card debt. Think about it as a 30-day loan. Make sure you're paying it off each and every month.

This is a luxury, not something that you should lean on all the time. And finally, fight the man. You know, you can complain about these fees and often they will remove fees, reduce fees, reduce your interest rate. I got to tell you, I have called and said, hey, I don't like this interest rate. I'm getting other offers in my mail box. Cut my rate and they do.

ROBERTS: There you go. And back to the automated payments for a second. You can't pay off your entire credit card bill on an automated basis. What is it? A certain portion of the bill that you would allocate every month? How would you do that?

WILLIS: Here's what I'm suggesting.

ROBERTS: Because the bill changes every month.

WILLIS: Bill changes every month, obviously. Best case scenario, you're paying it off every month. But if you're real worried, as I'm not going to make that payment on time, at least you can put something towards that bill each and every month.

And nobody is stopping you from paying more at a different time of the month. An easy thing to do is to pay the bill when you get paid. That prioritizes your credit card debt and you can send it electronically like this.

ROBERTS: But you also don't want to overpay either, right? Because you're just losing your money.

WILLIS: No, no, no. You don't want to overpay. Absolutely, you got to take care to make sure you understand exactly what you owe and it's easy enough to do online.

ROBERTS: All right. Gerri, thanks. Always good tips.

WILLIS: My pleasure.


CHETRY: Well, Hillary Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro is defending her comment about Senator Barack Obama. The quote she gave to a newspaper article that's created the controversy last week. "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is and the country is caught up in the concept."

Well, the Obama campaign has called those comments, quote, "patently absurd." Hillary Clinton also weighing in saying she does not agree with Ferraro's comments. Ferraro responded last night saying, "Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist." She said "I will not be discriminated against because I'm white." That brings us to this morning's "Quick Vote" question. Should Geraldine Ferraro apologize for the comments about Barack Obama? Right now, 48 percent of you say yes, 52 percent say no. You can still cast you vote, And we'll continue to tally your votes throughout the next half hour.

There are also some new details coming out this morning about Eliot Spitzer's money trail. Investigators talking about the enormous sum that was spent on call girls. Plus, the first pictures of the building where it all began. You're watching the most news in the morning.

And something new could be coming to life. It's a new CPR method. Forget what you learned in first-aid class. Dr. Gupta shows us something that could be far more effective in saving lives when AMERICAN MORNING returns.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN, ANCHOR: Pretty shot this morning coming to us from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Courtesy of our affiliate, KTUL, this morning . 53 degrees right now and going up to 81 degrees and sunny. So, a nice day there.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN, ANCHOR: Well, growing doubts this morning that Eliot Spitzer can make it another day as New York's governor. The Associated Press is reporting that Spitzer may have spent as much as $80,000 on high-priced prostitutes over the course of years. Right now he's still in charge but the clock is ticking. New York state Republicans say they'll start impeachment proceedings within 48 hours if he doesn't resign.

We have learned that Governor Spitzer will be represented by a former employee, Michelle Hirshman, of the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton and Garrison. She is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, and a former federal prosecutor who once headed the public corruption unit, the same office now investigating Spitzer.

The Emperors Club which was the alleged prostitution ring at center of all this was based in New Jersey. These are the first pictures of the building. Prosecutors say the Emperors Club VIP was based on the 12th floor of this Cliff side Park high rise just across the Hudson River from New York. Two people were arrested last week for running it. They are accused of laundering more than a million dollars through bank accounts set up for the corporation.

The feisty former mayor of New York City is weighing in on the Spitzer sex scandal. Ed Koch joined Wolf Blitzer on the "Situation Room" and he's still true to form, is not pulling any punches.


ED KOCH, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: What we see happening here is a Greek tragedy. Yes, it's arrogance. He's a very smart guy, but I think that there is a screw loose.


ROBERTS: Screw loose says Mayor Koch. The 83-year-old former mayor has praised Spitzer in the past but he now says that Spitzer's behavior since becoming governor has been "irrational."

CHETRY: Well, Senator Hillary Clinton back in the loss column after Barack Obama won big last night in Mississippi. So, now with the key Pennsylvania primary just six weeks away, what is her strategy? Kiki McLean is a senior adviser with the Clinton campaign and she joins us this morning from our Washington bureau. Good to see you this morning.


CHETRY: It's six weeks to Pennsylvania. What is the strategy going forward? MCLEAN: Well, I think the strategy going forward is to move our message out. One that's focused on who's ready to be commander in chief on day one as well be the best steward for the economy. Today Senator Clinton is going to be talking about some small business economic initiatives that are important for folks across the state of Pennsylvania as well as the other ten states and territories to vote after Pennsylvania.

CHETRY: We look at the map though, it does appear impossible for her to take the pledged delegate lead over Barack Obama which means that superdelegates are going to turn out to be quite key in this situation. How is she going to convince the superdelegates if she doesn't win the majority of the voter delegates that she should be the one that is the nominee come the convention?

MCLEAN: Well, first of all, folks should understand that neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton can get to that magic number across the line with only pledged delegates. Senator Obama's in the very same position we are. So, in fact, when you find that superdelegates will be asked to call on for their judgment about who they believe best represents the party and has the best chances to win in the fall and I think that when you look at the kind of states that Hillary Clinton in winning and carrying in the votes that she's carrying, you'll see a very compelling argument for superdelegates.

But before we even get there we really need to make sure that all votes are counted. We need to find a way as Senator Clinton has said to seat those delegates from Michigan and Florida. We don't want to disenfranchise voters, we want them participating in the process for the general election. And that's the way it ought to be.

CHETRY: All right. I want to ask you about Florida and Michigan. Well, you said that she's in the very same position. Not quite in the very same position as Barack Obama in terms of delegates because he has the lead and at least with the number crunching that we've done it's going to be very hard for her if not impossible at this point to take the lead. So, then you're going to be asking the pledged delegates to pick against who -- pick the opposite person that has the most delegates from the voters. How do you make that argument?

MCLEAN: We have some very big states coming up that narrows that gap. You're talking of a difference of about, a hundred, a little over 100 delegates right now, depending on different people's calculation. Some of these delegates aren't through the process yet of their state conventions. But in terms of can either candidate make it across the line for the number of pledged delegates needed to get the nomination without superdelegates, Senator Obama is in the same position we are.

CHETRY: I want to ask you about some of the comments that are raising some controversy in the past couple of days about Geraldine Ferraro. She's a Clinton fund raiser. She was the 1984 vice presidential candidate and she said that if Barack Obama, this was her exact quote, "was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position." Hillary Clinton has said she disagreed with those comments but have there been any further conversations with Geraldine Ferraro and the Clinton camp at this point?

MCLEAN: I don't know if there's been any conversation. I can tell you what you know already which is what Senator Clinton said yesterday, which is she disagrees with those comments and would like people to be focused on the issues that we're talking about, about national security, who's best able to be commander in chief, who can really be the best steward for this economy because we know that we have an economy on the brink of recession, if not already into recession. And those are the important issues and that's what we're really trying to focus our campaign on.

CHETRY: Well, the Obama campaign seems to be suggesting that Ferraro should be removed from her position on the Clinton's finance committee? Is there any plan for that?

MCLEAN: Well, I think that Congresswoman Ferraro has already made clear in her own comments and interviews that she doesn't speak for our campaign. She is not representing our campaign. And I think that about sums it up.

CHETRY: She also said, she didn't seem to back away from her comment, she said that every time that campaign, meaning the Obama campaign "is upset about something they call it racist. I will not be discriminated against because I'm white." Is there any agreement that perhaps the Obama campaign is being too sensitive?

MCLEAN: I think that that's her point of view and you should probably check in with the Obama campaign about that.

CHETRY: You mentioned the economy, and --


CHETRY: And we have some exit polling out of Mississippi that says 77 percent of voters, a large margin of voters, worried about their financial situation. Then we saw the breakdown. And those who said they were worried, where they voted. How does Hillary Clinton convince voters that she is the best steward for the economy as she has said in some of those campaign speeches and that she would actually help turn things around for the average person?

MCLEAN: Well, I think she does it in the conversation she's been having where she also had tremendous success in Texas and Ohio. And that really is all about how do you build jobs going into the future? She has a plan to bring five million new jobs on line, particularly around the green economy. It's also about dealing with this foreclosure crisis. You know, she's the person, she's the candidate, who really stepped out front very early, recognizing that this foreclosure crisis would have a dramatic impact on our economy and she's proposed a moratorium, a cap on the mortgage rate and moratorium on the foreclosures so we can get our arms around this. Well, some people may be lucky enough not to have their homes foreclosed on, folks should know that every house that's foreclosed on puts the economy at risk for the rest of us. And that's why we really have to address this.

CHETRY: Kiki McLean, a senior adviser for the Clinton campaign, thanks for talking with us this morning. Good to have you.

MCLEAN: Thanks, Kiran. Appreciate it.

ROBERTS: Thirty-seven minutes after the hour now. If you've ever take a CPR course you may remember the drill. Breaths first then chest compressions. A new research suggests there may a better way to save a life. We're paging our Dr. Gupta. Sanjay, these results are astounding, tripling the survival rates and goes against most of what we've been taught?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It is interesting. Paramedics in Arizona have been actually doing a different sort of CPR for three years. As you mentioned, they believed they've tripled survival rates, they actually published their findings in the "Journal of the American Medical Association." We wanted to find out what this is all about, John, and we went to Arizona and took a look.



GUPTA (voice-over): Seven weeks ago Mike Mertz collapsed at the wheel around the corner from his town home in Glendale, Arizona.

MERTZ: Four or five minutes and they performed on me here. That's how they got me stable enough to take me to the hospital.

GUPTA: The Paramedics saved Mertz with a new kind of CPR. The standard way, clear the airwave, insert a breathing tube then alternate two breaths with 30 chest compressions. But Glendale EMTs are doing it a new way start immediately with 200 chest compressions, strong and quick, like this. 100 a minute. Then, shock with an electrical defibrillator. Then another 200 compressions right away. No stopping to check for a pulse or another breath.

Ben Bobrow who oversees the paramedics says it works. Because for the first several minutes after cardiac arrest, there's enough oxygen in the body to keep you alive for several minutes, but only if you pump on the chest to circulate blood. Any delay even to check a pulse or clear the airway is critical time that's lost.

DR. BEN BOBROW, ARIZONA DEPT OF HEALTH SERVICES: In interrupting the blood to the heart and brain for even 10 seconds can be all it takes to actually increase the chance of a successful resuscitation.

GUPTA: The American Heart Association says it needs to see more research before changing official CPR guidelines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One that actually did the compression seminar.

He truly was dead. GUPTA: Mike Mertz says the chance to meet the men who saved him is living proof the new way works.


GUPTA: Now, John, this technique is controversial. Not everyone has sort of bought into this, yet the American Heart Association says they don't plan to change their guidelines for now. But again, this article coming in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" say the rates have tripled and in terms of survival just by doing all these chest compressions instead of stopping for the breath or stopping for other things. John.

ROBERTS: When we examine these recommendations Sanjay there's a defibrillator part of it. Anybody can, you know, come up to somebody and give them chest compressions, even help them breathe if that's absolutely necessary.

But not everybody is carrying one of these AEDs, these automatic external defibrillators in their back pockets. So, what do you do if you come upon somebody who say collapses in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

GUPTA: A couple of important points here. First of all, the data will show that if you see someone collapse on Fifth Avenue, or wherever, only about 15 percent to 30 percent of people will do anything at all. Actually get involved or start any kind of resuscitation. These bystanders need to be more active. And that's why this idea of just doing chest compressions seems to be catching on a bit. If you add the breaths and stop, people may be more reluctant to do it. Really quickly if I can here, we actually have a sort of dummy. And you know, one thing I'll say is I encourage anyone to sort of take CPR classes. Let this be an opportunity to remind people to do that.

But in a nutshell, you take your dominant hand, put it down. Put your non-dominant hand on top and sort of interlock the fingers and get in what's called the intermammary line right between the nipples and put the palm of your hand right there in the middle of the chest and push down so you basically get your shoulders right above your hand and push down about a half to two-thirds of the chest, and push down, you do this 200 times quick and fast, John. That's sort of the what they're recommending, at least, in Arizona and again, recommending everyone take a CPR class to really get this technique down well and it can certainly save lives as they're showing in Arizona. John.

ROBERTS: And make sure that while you're down doing that, that somebody's dialing 911, right?

GUPTA: Absolutely. You want to get the paramedics there to your point to actually bring the defibrillator, to get a defibrillator wherever it is because that's obviously part of this routine as well.

ROBERTS: Sanjay Gupta for us in Atlanta this morning. Sanjay, thanks very much. Some good tips. GUPTA: Thanks.


CHETRY: Well, coming up, we're going to be talking a memory champion Chester Santos about how we could all use his tips. He actually has the best memory in all of America. We just gave him, in fact, at 8:38:00, I gave him a half deck of cards. He looked over them for a while and now he stopped. When he comes back, he's going to recite all of them in the correct order. See if he can do it. We're going to find out. Chester, the pressure is on. Are you nervous?


CHETRY: All right. We'll be here for you.

ROBERTS: Hey, it's not like it's national TV and millions of people are watching here? You know, don't be nervous.

CHETRY: We'll be right back.


CHETRY: Well, do you think you have a good memory? Our next guest certainly knows he does. Chester Santos is the United States memory champion. He captured the title this past weekend in New York City. There he is accepting the prize.

He's now going to go and compete at the World Memory Championship that's in Bahrain later in the year, and first he shows us how he does and also maybe how we can to improve our memory. By the way, congratulations.

ROBERTS: Wouldn't that be nice? Yes. So, we gave Chester a half a deck of cards. 26 cards, we gave them to him at 8:38. It's now almost 8:46. You've had them six or seven minutes and now we want you to, as we have this deck sitting here. We're going flip over the cards, and you tell us the order of the cards. Tell us all of the cards because you apparently have memorized things.


ROBERTS: This would be an interesting feat.

CHETRY: Let's check it out. Here's the key, by the way, John. It's the master.

ROBERTS: Top card is.

SANTOS: Top card is six of clubs.

ROBERTS: You got that one right next.

SANTOS: And then next, 3 of hearts.


SANTOS: And then the 10 of spades.


SANTOS: And then it's the 9 of hearts.


SANTOS: Eight of spades.

ROBERTS: Terrific.

SANTOS: That would be 4 of -- 6 of hearts.

ROBERTS: Got it. Don't be nervous now.

SANTOS: ... hearts. And next is 5 of clubs.

ROBERTS: Got that one.

SANTOS: 7 of clubs.

ROBERTS: Uh-huh.

SANTOS: 2 of hearts.


SANTOS: 10 of clubs.


SANTOS: 7 of spades.

ROBERTS: Well done.

SANTOS: 10 of diamonds.


SANTOS: 4 of spades.


SANTOS: 9 of diamonds.

ROBERTS: Correct.

SANTOS: 5 of hearts.

ROBERTS: Correct.

SANTOS: 2 of spades.

ROBERTS: Correct. SANTOS: 6 of diamonds.

ROBERTS: You got that.

SANTOS: 8 of spades.


SANTOS: 4 of clubs.

ROBERTS: You're like a magician here.

SANTOS: 8 of clubs.

ROBERTS: Keep going.

SANTOS: 7 of diamonds.


SANTOS: Ace of hearts.

ROBERTS: Got it.

SANTOS: 10 of hearts.

ROBERTS: Three to go.

SANTOS: Two of clubs.


SANTOS: Jack of diamonds.

ROBERTS: You got it.

SANTOS: And 3 of diamonds.

ROBERTS: Unbelievable!

CHETRY: That's incredible. First of all, we were sitting here the entire time we're talk, we're tickling him - no, we didn't do that. But we were certainly in a distracting environment. How were you able to memorize a half deck of cards?

SANTOS: So, how I do it is I use visualization techniques. I try to create vivid images in my mind that remind me of the cards.

ROBERTS: Really, like what?

SANTOS: For instance, for the first three cards, 6 of clubs for me is the monopoly guy. The guy --

CHETRY: I know who you're talking about.

SANTOS: The money bags guy. Yes, exactly and I imagine him spinning ham out of his mouth, continuously spitting ham out of his mouth. For me, three of hearts is ham and then spitting out of your mouth is the 10 of spades. So, that's how I got 3 of clubs, 3 of hearts.

ROBERTS: You must have really wild dreams!

SANTOS: Having a good imagination is key to --

ROBERTS: But it's all about that visualization. Is it?

SANTOS: It's all about visualization, creating a vivid memorable images.

CHETRY: Do you practice this, too? Do you have to practice this?

SANTOS: Yes. I practiced probably at least an hour -- probably at least an hour a day for a few months for the competition.

ROBERTS: So, in addition to this, and we can see your visualization techniques. In addition to this, in this memory Olympics, you got to memorize a long previously unpublished poem. Recall names of 99 people whose photos have been shown to you 15 minutes earlier. Retain a list-of-numbers 20 digits wide, 25 rows long. So, how do you prepare for that?

SANTOS: Yes, that's correct. So it's just a matter of solidifying the images that I have associated with different things. For instance, the numbers, for every two digit sequence from 00 through 99, I have an image associated with that two-digit sequence and I have just trained my mind to automatically see that image when I see the two digit sequence.

CHETRY: Well, that's fascinating. Now, do you find it easier to memorize number, words, like poems or faces like people?

SANTOS: My strength is in the numbers and in the cards.

CHETRY: And what about for everyday folks? How do we? You know when you meet somebody at a party or you know at a social gathering.

ROBERTS: You immediately forget their name, or you pretend you know it. Hi, how are you, great. Thanks. Who was that?

CHETRY: What can the average Joe do?

SANTOS: So, what you try to do, is come up with an image that reminds you of the name. For instance, John. I may think of a toilet bowl, because that's a nickname.


SANTOS: The nickname. The john is a nickname.

ROBERTS: Score one for me.

SANTOS: For the name John. So I may imagine a toilet bowl bouncing on top of the person's head, if their name is John.

CHETRY: That's how I remember John every day.

ROBERTS: You know you've just gotten yourself on "The Daily Show" don't you?

SANTOS: It's just creating an absurd memorable image.

CHETRY: What about for a Kiran?

SANTOS: Kiran - I.

ROBERTS: I would think of beer. Kirin beer.

SANTOS: That would work. That would work. Maybe imaging you drinking a bunch of, gulping down beer.

ROBERTS: You don't have to imagine that. Now, that she's pregnant.

CHETRY: Hey, don't get me in trouble.

SANTOS: Anything that would -- any image you can create to help remind you of the name.

CHETRY: Wow. That's fascinating.

ROBERTS: So, you go to Bahrain to do all of this?

SANTOS: Yes, I'm going to Bahrain in October to compete in the world championship with more of this stuff.

ROBERTS: Well, fantastic.

CHETRY: Good luck for you. Every time I look at John now I'm going to see a toilet bowl bouncing over your head.

ROBERTS: And I think of you drinking beer.

CHETRY: Chester, amazing.

ROBERTS: Before we go, though, we'll see how really good he is. Can you spell - just kidding.

CHETRY: That's the wrong contestant and the wrong contest. Hey, Chester, our congratulations. And thanks so much for being with us. Fascinating stuff. Good luck.

ROBERTS: See you on "The Daily Show" tonight.

CHETRY: CNN NEWSROOM just minutes away. Heidi Collins is at the CNN Center with a look at what's ahead. Heidi, good morning. Heidi.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN, ANCHOR: John? No. I'm not going to say anything else. We are in the CNN NEWSROOM waiting on the governor. Will Eliot Spitzer resign? Will he stay and fight? New details this morning about the New York sex scandal that has plunged the state into crisis. And next stop, Pennsylvania. Obama win a big one in Mississippi plus a Clinton supporter standing by her racially-charged remarks.

Also, shocking results from a government study. One in four teenaged girl has a sexually transmitted disease. We talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and our guest. Join us in the CNN NEWSROOM. Top of the hour right here on CNN. Kiran.

CHETRY: Heidi, thanks.

ROBERTS: Well, we've certainly heard that money can't buy happiness but it might be a good start. We're going to take a look at the relationship between your money and your happiness with CNN contributor Polly Labarre. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Well, you've certainly been hearing a lot of doom and gloom about the economy. But maybe there should be a new way of measuring how well the economy is doing based on your happiness. A hearing on Capitol Hill today is probing that question. AMERICAN MORNING's Polly Labarre joins us now. Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota chairing this today. What's is all about?

POLLY LABARRE, CNN, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he's chairing it, a bunch of hearings later today about rethinking the GDRP, the gross domestic product as a measure of our nation's strength and welfare. So, the GDP for those who don't know, macroeconomics it is basically the big basket of every transaction, everything consumed and produced in a year and the value of that.

The central tendant of economic policy, decisions made base on it and if that growing GDP means your increase in social welfare and happiness and satisfaction. Now, there are a couple problems with that. GDP includes things like expenditures on building jails or more fast-food restaurant meals because nobody's having family dinners at home which doesn't really contribute to standard of living. And then the other problem is an income and equality, GDP is not really measure of how our income is growing, or the wages are growing, it doesn't really measure how we're feeling where we stand in our wealth.

ROBERTS: Yes, because through the last couple of years it's shown robust GDP but at the same time, the majority of people think the country is on the wrong track. So, how happy are we and what are the factors that sort of indicate our happiness..

LABARRE: Sure, well there's a whole science, a whole field of economics called happiness economics which is trying to unpack this relationship between wealth and well-being. What contributes to happiness and does money really buy happiness, that age-old question for the last 30 years. And the short answer is, money is important but only to an extent. You know, after a certain level, getting yourself out of poverty as a nation and as an individual, more money just doesn't make us happier. And the problem is, we as human beings are always looking over our shoulder, comparing ourselves to other people. So, the more we have the more we want, and more is never enough unless everybody else has less. So -- that's the basic problem with money and happiness.

ROBERTS: Well, maybe we should change the GDP to the GHQ, the gross happiness quotient.

LABARRE: Sure, so happiness was their other factors that play here. Family, health, having a great job and there actually is an economist in the U.K. whose figured out an equation and plug in these life's events - like family, like marriage, like children. And you could out with a compensating amount. These are extraordinary figure. So, you look here. Marriage is worth 140,000 extra dollars in annual income a year. In happiness units, children, surprisingly, are worth nothing. We'll figure that out later. Losing a job is really a psychic loss and also loses you 287,000 on top of your lost salary. Poor health, of course a major factor. Seeing friends, most days of the week, is a great bump. So --

ROBERTS: Well, we'll se e what happens with this hearings. Fascinating stuff.

LABARRE: Great, thank you.

ROBERTS: Polly, thanks. Kiran.

CHETRY: We also have a final check of this morning's "Quick Vote" coming up ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Final check at this morning's "Quick vote" question.