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American Morning

Obama on "The Daily Show"; Epic Storms Rips Midwest; Nuclear Missiles Offline; British Airways Blasts U.S. Security; The Heat is (Not) On; Half a Century in Hollywood; Small Hits, Major Damage

Aired October 27, 2010 - 08:00   ET



KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Thanks so much for being with us on this Wednesday, October 27th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm John Roberts. Thanks so much for being with us today.

Lots to talk about -- let's get you right to it. Here's what happened overnight:

An unprecedented move by President Obama with just six days left until the midterm elections. He's going to be appearing tonight on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart -- one last attempt to get young voters back in the Democratic fold.

CHETRY: Well, part of America's nuclear arsenal knocked offline: the Air Force losing partial communications with 50 missiles for almost an entire hour over the weekend. We're live with the new developments on whether or not they suspect foul play.

ROBERTS: An epic storm on the move today right now after spawning at least 24 possible tornadoes, mostly in the Midwest. We'll go inside one with incredible surveillance video and show you what's ahead for the eastern part of the country and what's in store for travelers today.

CHETRY: First up, the president making an unprecedented push to motivate young voters like it was 2008 all over again. Only six days remain before midterm elections, and tonight, on national TV, it will be a presidential first. The leader of the free world is making an appearance on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.

ROBERTS: Why "The Daily Show"? It might just be because a new poll found Stewart is more influential in America than the president himself.

Ed Henry live at the White House this morning -- where it would appear they're pulling out all the stops with just six days left.

Good morning, Ed.


And in that poll, it's on It's got Jon Stewart on -- number one basically in terms of men of influence right now in the United States. Interesting because the president was number one in 2008, he slid to number three last year. Now, plunges down to number 21.

I'm not sure he's taking that close a look at this survey, but what he is doing is trying to reach out to young voters. We've seen the president out there at several college campuses, the USC the over day, in California, and had something like 37,000 people, mostly young people, trying to make sure that some of the young folks who voted for him, maybe for the first time ever in 2008, will not sit on the sidelines here in 2010.

And yesterday, Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, is getting a lot of questions about, really, is it worth for the president to go, do an interview with a comedian. Gibbs said, look, he's not just a comedian anymore in terms of Stewart's influence. He also said, with Jon Stewart having a rally to restore sanity here in Washington on Saturday, the White House thinks any effort to get people to participate in the process is a good thing.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have a very special gift in our democracy that -- that the people get to render their judgment and they get to elect those that will represent them in Washington. And efforts that helped get people involved in and excited in participating in the democracy, on either side, you know, is a good thing.


HENRY: And, by the way, Gibbs said that Jon Stewart doesn't just have younger viewers, he's got some older viewers, maybe 40 years old or older -- if they remember to actually stay awake and watch the show. And I can relate to that, actually, John and Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes, I would catch the repeat the next day. It's all new to me. I can't stay up until 11:00 anymore.

Ed, I know that the president's not laying off the gas when it comes to this final push before the election. What else is he up to this week?

HENRY: Well, yes, if you look at the map, we already knew that the president would hit four states this weekend. Saturday, he's going to be Pennsylvania. He's going to be in Connecticut and then his home state of Illinois. Sunday, he'll be in Ohio.

But we're getting some new details this morning that on Friday, he'll also go to Charlottesville, Virginia. Again, there's a big, young college campus there, UVA right nearby, and the president is going to be -- going to bat for a House Democrat that's really vulnerable.

But then, we're also learning that on Monday, the president is not going to out on the trail. He figures with just one last full day of campaigning, there's only a couple states you could hit. So, instead, he'll stay here in Washington, I'm told by top officials, and we'll just do a whole series of TV interviews, use the satellite to basically hit local markets all across the country. They believe that will be a lot more effective.

For example, maybe do some interviews with Las Vegas stations, help Harry Reid; do some California stations and help Barbara Boxer; and go all around the country that way instead of taking Air Force One around -- John, Kiran.

ROBERTS: All right. Ed Henry for us at the White House this morning -- Ed, thanks very much.

So, as we said, Jon Stewart, comedian and host of "The Daily Show," has been named more influential than the president of the United States. Who else made the list according to the online magazine Microsoft's Bill Gates finished second, followed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Steve Jobs and rapper Kanye West. President Obama now ranks number 21.

CHETRY: Everyone has a same reaction when we say Kanye West. They scratch their head. They go -- what? Out of all of those guys, but --

ROBERTS:, they believe he's a very influential guy.

CHETRY: Well, there's still no word whether Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be able to resume campaigning in California today. She has spent a night in the hospital. She's a breast cancer survivor. She's being treated for an infection related to reconstructive surgery that she had in July.

"The Los Angeles Times"/USC poll has the former Hewlett-Packard CEO trailing Democrat Barbara Boxer by eight points.

ROBERTS: Frank Caprio, the Democrat from Rhode Island and political version of Johnny Paycheck, who told President Obama to take his endorsement and shove it, is not backing down. Caprio debated independent Lincoln Chafee and Republican John Robitaille and last night at the Rhode Island governor's race. He got blasted by his opponents for his disrespectful tone with the president.

But Caprio insists he has nothing to apologize for.


FRANK CAPRIO (D), RHODE ISLAND GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: If it takes telling someone to shove it, I'm going to tell them to shove because I'm going to fight for Rhode Island every day when I'm up at that statehouse.

JOHN ROBITAILLE (R), RHODE ISLAND GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This is either a man who is not mature enough or doesn't possess the temperament to make good decisions and act like a potential governor, or a petulant little child reacting to not getting his own way.


ROBERTS: Interesting though that so many people at the debate seemed to appreciate his position. There may be some presidential support that's headed Caprio's way. Several published reports this morning say former President Bill Clinton will be campaigning for him this week.

CHETRY: Interesting touch.

ROBERTS: It's really an unusual situation there.

CHETRY: Yes. I mean, didn't Caprio endorse in the primary, in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton over President Obama?

ROBERTS: And Lincoln Chafee endorsed President Obama in 2008 as a Republican. So --

CHETRY: Right. So, it's not -- then it's a little understandable that former President Clinton is going to get out there for him.

ROBERTS: The whole thing is a little messy.

CHETRY: Yes. Well, politics at work.

Make sure to join "The Best Political Team on TV" all next week. AMERICAN MORNING is going to be here an hour early. Be here, as if we're not -- we're here next Monday and Tuesday, and we're going to be three hours early the morning after the election to bring you the latest. And we're just going all night and into the next day.

ROBERTS: I love how you talk about us in the third person. AMERICAN MORNING will be here at 3:00 a.m.

To extreme weather now: storm for the ages, maybe the worst one to hit the Midwest in decades. It's on the move today. At least 24 possible tornadoes touched down, most of them in the Midwest. Ten have been confirmed so far.

The giant storm system at one point stretched 1,200 miles from north to south. It was snow on one end, dangerous hurricane-force winds all around that snapped trees and leveled some homes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were at work. I got a phone call that you better get out of your house, the roof gone off of it. And I said, yes, right.


ROBERTS: As many as 200,000 people lost power in the storm, many of them in Indiana and northern Illinois, also Ohio. Flyers are hoping to get off the ground today after hundreds of flights were canceled at O'Hare.

CHETRY: Also, Rob Marciano has been tracking all of this for us. You talked about some delays at airports. I know that this is a massive system. So, it caused problems yesterday at O'Hare and may see more of that today.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we're going to see the same problems with the same spots that we saw yesterday in Minneapolis and Chicago. And now, we're going to include the northeastern airports, as well, although to a lesser extent. As far as the extreme weather is concerned, those airports are going to be affected, too.

This thing is a mature cyclone. I mean, this is a beast to say the least. It broke records as far as atmospheric pressure, the lowest atmospheric pressure we've seen in the Lower 48 on record. We've got to go back to 1978 Ohio blizzard and this thing wasn't in wintertime.

Obviously, a severe weather element with this that was probably the most problematic: motoring to the east. These storms are moving, at one point, 70 to 80 miles per hour powered by an extremely strong high altitude jet stream. Now, southern of end of this, these storms aren't moving as fast, but there is a tornado watch out for parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi until 1:00 Eastern Time and some of these storms have proved to be severe. So, along the I-20 corridor, and eventually into Atlanta, we're looking for some rough weather later on this morning and this afternoon.

Rough but not quite as hairy, I think, from D.C. up to New York -- rain and thunderstorms and some gusty winds with this, for sure. It looks like the extent of the most extreme weather will be south of the New York City area, but Philly, Baltimore, D.C., you may see some rough weather before this is done. Temperatures will hold into the 70s, at least on the east side of this storm.

Here are your delays right now. Ground stop at Philly. Almost two-hour delays in Chicago. Minneapolis, they had shut down three of the runways yesterday because of the win, probably will keep it down to one runway today, as well.

And these are some of the wind gusts yesterday, 77 miles an hour. These are hurricane-strength winds. This thing had the equivalent pressure of a category 3 hurricane, although at that latitude, category 1 strength winds.

Still no picnic today -- Minneapolis, winds over 20 miles per hour. Parts of the Dakotas, over 20 and 30 miles and hour with -- yes, some snow. Blizzard conditions on the backside of this.

This storm had everything as far as weather is concerned -- a cornucopia, to use a seasonal term. And it's not over yet.

John and Kiran, back up to you.

ROBERTS: It was pretty amazing. Rob, thanks so much.

MARCIANO: All right, guys.

CHETRY: Well, communications with 50 U.S. nuclear missiles disrupted for nearly an hour after a power failure. It sent the military scrambling over the weekend. Now, there are questions about whether there was foul play at work. We're going to get a live report -- just ahead.

ROBERTS: Or a UFO? Maybe.

NBA star LeBron James wants to know, what should I do now? It's a new Nike ad with a message to sports fans in the wake of all the criticism that King James got for the way he handled his move from Cleveland to Miami. Will it give his image a boost?

Our own Christine Romans and Max Kellerman weigh in -- coming up.


CHETRY: Thirteen minutes past the hour.

The FBI's opening an investigation now into a string of shots fired at U.S. military buildings. The latest one happened sometime during the overnight hours yesterday. It was at Marine Corps recruiting station in Virginia -- the third incident in two weeks. No one's been injured.

The first two shootings reportedly involve the same weapon and now tests are underway to see if they're linked to the third shooting.

ROBERTS: And U.S. military officials confirming a "missile malfunction." A computer failure knocked part of the country's nuclear arsenal offline for about an hour over the weekend.

CHETRY: And officials say they lost partial contact with 50 missiles near Omaha's -- sorry, Wyoming's Warren Air Force Base.

Chris Lawrence is following developments for us this morning live in Washington.

So, was there ever any danger?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to the military -- no. For about an hour, again, the folks in the bunkers couldn't communicate with about 50 missiles in their silos, but the military says redundancies kicked in, backup systems kicked in, and they were always able to monitor those missiles, and if the president had needed to launch them, that still could have been accomplished through other methods of control.

Still, you're talking about 10 percent of the nuclear stockpile out of commission for about -- you know, somewhat out of commission for about an hour. Serious enough that both the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense were both notified, Kiran.

ROBERTS: Any time you lose contact with the nuclear weapon, it will probably fall under the realm of serious.

Do they have any idea what caused the outage? What happened?

LAWRENCE: John, the official statement is that engineers are on site right now looking at what happened. A defense official tells us that it was an underground cable, something went wrong with an underground cable, and that disrupted the communication.

You know, it's not the first time that the Air Force has had problem with its nukes in the last four years. Back in 2007, a B-52 took off from North Dakota, flew all the way to Louisiana with six live nuclear warheads on board that nobody knew were on board including the pilots themselves. Then it came out that the Air Force had actually shipped crates of nuclear triggers to Taiwan when everybody thought it was just helicopter batteries in those crates.

It led to the firing of both the Air Force secretary and chief of staff. Obviously, can't blame the current Air Force leadership for that, but having some problem with the Air Force and nuclear weapons over the past few years.

ROBERTS: And of course, about three or four weeks ago, we had that former Air Force officer claimed that back in the 1960s, a UFO took some of these things offline, so --


CHETRY: Yes, it's interesting. They say that unknown intruders, and they were claiming UFOs may have monitored and even tampered with American nuclear site. They were at the National Press Club calling on a government to reveal more facts about that, but I'm sure this just adds to their theory about this.

ROBERTS: Adds to the intrigue.

LAWRENCE: Yes, they were not confirming any UFO activity with the split cable this time, though, guys.

ROBERTS: All right. Chris Lawrence for us this morning in Washington. Chris, thanks.

CHETRY: British Airways chairman blasting airline security in the U.S. The airline says that the process is completely redundant and that the UK should stop kowtowing to U.S. demands. He pointed out two examples, forcing people to take off their shoes and to check their laptops separately in security lines.

ROBERTS: You know, the president of air Canada also feels very much like that, as well.

Another guy who has a major issue with airline security now suing the TSA. He is the commercial airline pilot who refused a full body scan and pat down. It was at the Memphis International Airport. He claims that he is fighting for your rights under the 4th amendment, and we should say he's got a lot of support. CHETRY: If you had a chance to see Lebron James' new ad for Nike that's out right now? In it, he asks, what should I do? Dressed up and everything from a construction worker's uniform to Miami Vice. Commercial that talks about the message he's trying to get out there to the public. We're going to be breaking it down with Christine Romans and Max Kellerman. Is this an effective comeback? Seventeen minutes past the hour.


ROBERTS: Twenty minutes now after the hour. Big night for the Miami Heat's big three as the NBA season tipped off, but things didn't really work out for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Boss. The Heat losing to the Celtics 88-80 in Boston. LeBron scoring 31 points in the loss, though. It was a big-time target for Celtics' fans who boo'd and chanted "overrated" whenever James touched the ball.

CHETRY: Sounds like fun. Well, basketball powerhouse, LeBron James, is ready to reclaim his image after the big controversy he created when he signed with the Miami Heat leaving the beloved fans behind in Cleveland.

ROBERTS: Brokenhearted.

CHETRY: Yes. Sad.

ROBERTS: Really upset.

CHETRY: Yes. We could go on, but in a glossy new ad from Nike, James takes fans back to the decision asking, what should he do? Many times, many ways. Here's a look.


LEBRON JAMES, BASKETBALL PLAYER: What should I do? Should I admit that I've made mistakes? Should I remind you that I've done this before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should I give you a history lesson?

JAMES: What should I do? Should I tell you how much fun we had? So, this went well. Should I really believe I ruined my legacy? What should I do? What should I do? What should I do?


ROBERTS: So, is this commercial a step toward rehabilitating the image of LeBron James at least in Cleveland? Joining us now are Christine Romans and CNN contributor, Max Kellerman. So, what do you think? Is this going to have an effect?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: My favorite part of that is something we didn't show where he --

CHETRY: Tubbs --

ROMANS: For "Miami Vice."

MAX KELLERMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, yes, the cooler part. The coolest thing ever.

ROMANS: It was really cool, and he's actually kind of a pretty good actor, I would say, standing up there.

KELLERMAN: LeBron has great screen presence. He's great in all the commercials.


KELLERMAN: I mean, this one, the one where he's the four different characters. The whole series when they are in the swimming pool.

ROMANS: I think it's a brilliant attempt to brand management and brand rehabilitation. I think it's a brilliant attempt to make the summer look like more than just the summer, but the whole rise of LeBron and how he's been questioned for every choice he's ever made, and it is, in the end, about selling tennis shoes, and he makes an allusion to that, too.

KELLERMAN: Basketball shoes. I mean, Nike's best interest to rehabilitate his image as it were because the idea of a lifestyle brand which Nike is, is, you know, associate yourself with us publicly because this is the image you want to be associated with. When LeBron James chose Miami, he was sort of playing Boris Karloff, to Dwyane Wade's Bela Lugasi right? He might have been the muscle, but he wasn't the shot caller.

He was no longer the protagonist in the story, and this commercial, I think refocuses the story on LeBron in a way where you see things through his eyes where he's the protagonist again. He's the central figure. He's not a peripheral character, and by association with Nike, it helps make especially kids want to be associated with him.

ROBERTS: But he has a lot of damage to get over, right?

CHETRY: Yes. Well, I mean, the way that they put in one of this articles was very funny. They really knock him for the hour-long special just to say you're leaving Miami. They say, put yourself in contention for biggest of the century, which I won't say the word. But the reason that it appealed to me, and I don't understand all this Nike confessional ads like Tiger Woods was one as well is that he, at least, appeared to be able to poke fun at himself.

He had a little bit of self awareness that seemed refreshing. All you see is the pictures of LeBron standing there with the hands out while all the smokes coming up as if he's the king of the world.

KELLERMAN: He usually should have the people who make Nike commercials run. If they would have run it, and I'm not the first to say, this has been blogged about it, et cetera, but if they were running his decision, people would still love the guy, I think. It was just the process was botched.

ROMANS: The difference between an hour and 90 seconds. You know, 90 seconds of highly produced slick that made him look very cool, and like, it was well done. I think in the end, and I don't know if you agree with me, Max, the people who are PO'd at this guy for leaving Cleveland are still PO'd. I mean, people who like him are like, hey, that was really cool, I think. And why can you call him disloyal for leaving a team when 80 percent of these guys just leave the team?

KELLERMAN: You're never going to like (ph) him at Cleveland. That's over. You know, but it's the rest of the world that he's worried about.

ROBERTS: So, he burned one bridge, but he still got a lot of connections to other parts of the world. But Kiran mentioned that the Nike ad with Tiger Woods, the really weird one where his father's voice playing over. They did father's voice playing over this ad. That didn't do much to help Tiger's image.

KELLERMAN: Partly, that's because Tiger has not gotten back. I mean, you know, in the blog-o-sphere now, almost anything to say has been blogged about. I don't think (ph) you know. So, this has also been extensively discussed and, you know, chatted about, but Tiger has not won. You know, he didn't come back and reclaim former glory.

CHETRY: It's not the Tiger -- Tiger was married to a beautiful, nice lady and had two kids, and he has a string of transgressions. This poor guy just switched teams. I mean, come on now. Can you kill him for switching teams?


ROBERTS: I don't know. I think Cleveland is probably --

KELLERMAN: I think LeBron broke more hearts than Tiger. And, by the way, my point is LeBron comes out last night. They don't play like a team. They played against the Celtics who played very much like a team. And Miami loses its home opener. So, are things going to get better or worse for LeBron? If he wins a lot, things will get better just as they will for Tiger Woods if he wins a lot.

ROMANS: I think that he's going to sell as many basketball shoes, not tennis shoes, as he did last year. I mean, I think that this is a guy--

ROBERTS: Might even sell some tennis shoes.

ROMANS: As you can see, I'm not a sports reporter. I call them all tennis shoes. But, look, I think that among the people who support him, they look at him like this is a cool guy and he's, you know, and again --

KELLERMAN: He's cool as long as he's making this kind of commercial.

CHETRY: Do you, guys, have the video, by the way of the "Miami Vice" scene?

ROMANS: That is -- we'll put it --

CHETRY: We're going to play it right now because it's hilarious.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deal with the heat, man. Be patient. After a while, the temperature drops and everything is free and easy.

JAMES: I'll be writing this down?


JAMES: Did I make you laugh?


CHETRY: The self-deprecating part.

KELLERMAN: Right. The heat and the double on times (ph) it would be heat and you have to wait for it to cool off, and it works perfectly. And at one point, LeBron says, when he's doing the poetry, well real spoken, will I rise like air? Or something to that affect.

ROBERTS: Poetry.

KELLERMAN: And it's also a reference to Michael Jordan and the branding is so brilliant.


KELLERMAN: Whoever made this commercial should run political ad campaigns, the whole thing.

ROMANS: In terms of brand, brand rehab, that team knew what they were doing. That was very, very well done.

ROBERTS: It's very good ad.

ROMANS: I like it. Very well done.

CHETRY: Thanks, guys. Great to talk to you.

ROBERTS: That's going to make some (ph) kind of an impact in Cleveland, though.

ROMANS: No. You're right.

CHETRY: No. They still hate art model there, too.

ROBERTS: Maybe they can give Roger Federer some tennis shoes.


CHETRY: Coming up, my one-on-one with Sir Michael Caine. You're talking about a guy who has a wonderful reputation, people love him and rightfully so. The two-time Oscar winner gets ready for his next act. We'll chat with him, coming up.

ROBERTS: All right. An online voting, it could be the wave of the future, but what about hackers? Could they get inside and change the results of the election? Wait until you see what we found out. Deb Feyerick's got an amazing report coming right up. It's 27 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Well, remember those hanging Chads (ph)? They're history now replaced by electronic voting machines, paper ballot scanners, and some places even internet voting.

CHETRY: Well, so, you think the problem's solved? However, a group of university professors said out to test the new technology to see really how secure is it? And what they found makes this old punch card machines actually look pretty darn reliable. Our Deb Feyerick is continuing our series, "Does your Vote Count?" If it hacked, obviously not. But how easy for these professors?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was fascinating. I couldn't believe how focused they were and how the brains worked in a way to figure out a way around the system. Don't you wonder if the electronic vote you cast is the vote that really counts? I basically learned how easy to break in and simply steal those votes.


FEYERICK: In order to test the new Internet voting system for military and overseas ballots, the Washington, D.C. Board of Elections publicly challenged outsiders to hack in.

J. ALEX HALDERMAN, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: And 36 hours after the server went public, we were in. We had complete control.

FEYERICK: For Professor J. Alex Halderman's team at University of Michigan it was like picking a cheap lock.

HALDERMAN: We could steal all the ballots, find out how everyone voted.

HALDERMAN: A security guard was unable to tell by looking at the box that we had hacked into it.

FEYERICK: They also discovered apparently they were not the only hackers.

HALDERMAN: We found evidence that real hackers from China and from Iran were also trying to penetrate the system.

FEYERICK: D.C. election officials quickly suspended Internet- based voting days before the election, but only for the time being.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found some vulnerabilities so we scaled back.

FEYERICK: Those who support Internet voting and voting by electronic machines say it's more efficient, more reliable, and easier to use.

HALDERMAN: A lot of voters are flocking to the touch screen voting equipment.

FEYERICK: But computer scientists like Halderman and colleague Ariel Feldman say electronic machines are just as easy to tamper with as the internet.

FEYERICK (on camera): And nine million voters vote on a machine just like this?


FEYERICK: And yet you programmed it to play Pac-man?

FELDMAN: That's right.

FEYERICK: That's right, Pac-man.

FELDMAN: When you have a general purpose computer, if you replace its software you can completely change what it does.

FEYERICK: The brain of the touch screen machine --

FELDMAN: Take it out and this is just an ordinary memory card.

FEYERICK: And if that gets infected, watch out.

HALDERMAN: We have found that we can make a voting machine virus that will spread machine to machine and change the election outcome across all county, all state. This is very, very scary and it's a realistic threat today.

FEYERICK: And unlike the University of Michigan hackers who deliberately left the fight song as a fingerprint -


-- real hackers would strike, disappear, and likely leave no fingerprint at all.


FEYERICK: You saw that brief black and white security video. The hackers found it tied into cameras protecting the main computer server. Another glitch is that votes disappeared if they weren't saved in the right way. The most secure thing to do is vote by paper ballot and then scan it. This way there is at least a paper trail that election officials can go back and count to see if it matches up.

ROBERTS: It is pretty troubling to think that the hackers get in and change it to a Pac-man machine. Incredible. FEYERICK: Think of what it suggests. If someone wanted to, someone or country, they could get into the system, change the votes and the outcome of an election just by figuring out what districts to steal, a couple here and then. It's like taking a penny out of a bank account. Enough times, you get a lot of money.

ROBERTS: You have 200 people and suddenly you have a lot of cash. How long did it take for election officials to figure out they were hacked?

FEYERICK: It took two days, and the way they found out, somebody said that music afterwards, I didn't like it.

ROBERTS: The Michigan State fight song?

FEYERICK: They wanted -- the challenge was see if you can break in, that's what they did. But they wanted to see whether the officials would find out but there was no sort of backup and there was no sort of stop gap to see whether in fact someone had broken in.

CHETRY: Right. I don't understand why. If you can mail your tax returns in, snail mail, why not vote that way? Absentee balloting and early voting, that's how they're doing it.

FEYERICK: Right, exactly. And that may be the way. They will have to figure it out but decades until there's a really secure system.

ROBERTS: Fascinating story this morning. Deb Feyerick, thanks so much.

ROBERTS: Crossing the half hour, it's time for this morning top stories.

It is a first for a sitting president, an appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" today for President Obama. He is trying to reach young voters. On Friday, the president's going to begin a five-state campaign swing and he'll be starting that in Virginia.

CHETRY: Well, an equipment failure at a Wyoming nuclear site knocked part of the arsenal offline for an hour this past weekend. Air Force officials say they lost partial communication with 50 missiles for nearly an hour. Officials say that there is no evidence of foul play and the Air Force never lost the ability to large the missiles.

ROBERTS: And intense storm belting the Midwest with hurricane- force wind gusts and 24 possible tornadoes. This is live radar of satellite picture actually of the storm. Low pressure system similar to a strong hurricane. They are actually calling it a cyclone. It's now moving on to the east while the center of the storm, though, well up on into Canada.

CHETRY: Wow. Well, many travelers hoping to be able to get moving again this morning, because the winds grounded hundreds of flights at O'Hare yesterday alone. ROBERTS: Nancy Loo of our affiliate WGN is live for us at O'Hare International Airport. How does it look this morning, Nancy? Are they getting the planes off the ground?

NANCY LOO, WGN-TV CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Things are moving along, but we've got another day of being the very windy city here. So, things may not move along for too long.

Checking the boards right now, you can see things on time in the American terminal, at least. But there is quite a backlog of passengers after more than 500 canceled flights due to high winds yesterday. We had one gust clocked at 81 miles per hour.

Over on this side, you see more passengers checking into their flights. The worse of the winds blown over, but we have a wind advisory still in effect. So it could be another long day for air travelers.

As always, there's always a ripple effect of O'Hare, and now even more travel troubles since the messy weather moved out east. But this morning, for now, people are just happy to be hopping on flights while they can. I'm Nancy Loo reporting.

ROBERTS: Nancy, thanks so much for that. Good to see you this morning.

CHETRY: All right, fingers crossed today.

Oscar-winning actor Sir Michael Caine is getting ready for his next act. I had a chance to talk with him on what's next and his thoughts on doing full frontal in the movies, and even some politics. It's 37 minutes past the hour.


ROBERTS: Coming up on 41 minutes after the hour. You had a great opportunity yesterday, spending time with one of my favorite actors, Sir Michael Caine, and talk to him about his new book.

CHETRY: He is amazing. This is the second life story. He wrote another book called -- this new one is called "The Elephant to Hollywood." It chronicles his extraordinary career. You can't have watched a movie in the past half century and not seen Michael Douglas in at least one --

ROBERTS: Michael Caine, either.


CHETRY: Oh, goodness! Poor Michael Caine.

I sat down with him. He's a wonderful, wonderful man. We had a conversation about everything movies, and then turned to politics and he had an interesting take on the Tea Party, as well. Here's a look.

(BEGIN VIDETAPE) CHETRY: Meanwhile, looking ahead to the midterms in our country, what do you think? There was so much excitement in 2008, this feeling that perhaps we'd broken down barriers. We had our first African- American president, and now 2010, politics is so divisive. It looks like Republicans --

MICHAEL CAINE, ACTOR: You have the Tea Party now.


CHETRY: The Tea Party. The Tea Party --

CAINE: Yes. You're always going to get that.

CHETRY: Is the GOP to be reckoned with?

CAINE: My view is I was like I got fed up with the socialists. I voted for Blair. And then this time I voted for Cameron. You know? And what happened, he got in with the liberals as a coalition government. And this is working like a charm because no one can do anything extreme. And it works.

And I suggest you get a coalition government. Tell Obama to go after the Tea Party girls and get them together and then get a little bit of each.

CHETRY: What are some tips for people? You wrote funny ones, the one about doing no frontal nudity.

CAINE: You don't do full frontal nudity because all acting, especially movie acting, is about control. You're controlling what the people are listening to, where they're looking, and their reactions.

The moment you walk on in full frontal nudity, you have completely lost control. They're not looking at your face. They're talking to each other, making comparisons, sometimes unfairly.


And, you know, because -- well, you are if you're an actor. In a nervous state anyway and not exactly at your best. And you're not in control. You're out of -- the whole thing is out of control.


CAINE: So what's the answer? That's what I keep asking me self. What's it all about? Know what I mean?


CHETRY: This is the next chapter, right?

CAINE: I don't know whether there will be another chapter. I'm 77. There's 20 years in there. I can't see me at 97 saying I'm going to write a book. I'll write a book about gardening, cooking, looking after my grandchildren.

CHETRY: Being a grandparent.

CAINE: What I'm going to do when -- if I get a gap between movies which I haven't at the moment, but I've never written a fiction. I remember when I was writing my first autobiography, lawyers kept bringing me up saying you can't do this and cut that. I was going nuts, because everything funny and great I thought obviously you can't say that. They'll sue you.

And that's what happens. You know? And I was very friendly with Kurt Douglas who has a big, successful autobiography out. I told him my woes with the lawyers. He said, "You know the answer, Michael?" He said "Write fiction. You can tell the truth," which is fantastic. And I'm going to write fiction. I'm going to write about the people who recognize themselves. I'm going to kill them.

CHETRY: On the first page, none of these people are real. Fictional characters --

CAINE: Not based on anyone, yes. Write all the good stuff.


CHETRY: Best of luck.

CAINE: Thank you.

CHETRY: I'm sure you'll be a success at that, as well. Sir Michael Caine, thank you.

CAINE: Thank you very much.


CHETRY: He was a pleasure.

ROBERTS: Oh, yes.

CHETRY: He said that the best thing in his life is being a grandparent. He has a two-year-old grandchild and twin one-year-old, Irish triplets.

ROBERTS: I love the way he talks about full frontal nudity, people making comparisons, sometimes unfairly. And you're nervous, not at your best.

CHETRY: He got a big laugh out of that one. He was funny about it because he said he turned down a movie role because full frontal nudity was required and he was supposed to be fighting a guy.

ROBERTS: How old was he at the time?

CHETRY: Oh I -- this was -- this was early on.

ROBERTS: Oh, ok. CHETRY: Maybe -- well, maybe early on for him, he's 20 years in his career. But he said he didn't want to do it. He's great, though.

I think it's funny that he also said, if I get a break between movies. He's 77. He's in every -- I mean, he's still working. Day after day after day.

ROBERTS: It's amazing, particularly for a guy who thought his career was over not too long ago and Jack Nicholson it was?

CHETRY: Yes, Jack Nicholson he said, time and time again Jack Nicholson was his fairy godmother. He got him back doing a movie again in the late in the late '90s, in the mid '90s and then all uphill from there for him.

ROBERTS: Good for him.


ROBERTS: It's fantastic.

Well, a monster wind storm on the move. It already sparked tornadoes and snow in the Midwest. It's not over yet. Rob Marciano has got your travelers' forecast coming right up.

Stay with us.


ROBERTS: Wow. If you've got Georgia on your mind, you're going to have to deal with a little bit of inclement weather today. Cloudy and 74 degrees right now. Later on today, thunderstorms. A little warm, though, high of 82 degrees in Atlanta this morning.

CHETRY: I love that song. Forty-eight minutes past the hour right now.

Rob Marciano is checking out the weather for us this morning. You've got a busy couple of days as you check out this monster storm.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A historic storm. And for -- for weather geeks amongst us, a record-breaking one as far as the atmospheric low pressure that it reached at its peak. It had a -- it was measured 28.22; 955 millibars, that breaks the record for the lower 48 for non-tropical system. That includes all the blizzards and monster nor'easters that we have.

So this thing and if it encompassed a large swath of real estate and is still affecting folks in large quantities. First off, tornado warning right now for Clay County just south of Talladega. This storm is moving to the northeast at about 30 miles an hour, about half the speed that these storms were moving yesterday. Powered by a -- powered by a big -- a big jet stream.

This is all moving up the I-85 corridor, which is the other area that we have a tornado watch for, at least for portions of it. And with this, we're looking at more in the way of active weather although it shouldn't be quite as active as yesterday. Tornado watch here in effect until 1:00 this afternoon.

New York, Philly and D.C., you are seeing some showers and some thunderstorms and some of which will be heavy at times but for the most part it shouldn't be damaging at least north of D.C. D.C. South, you might get a little bit more in the way of action.

And as far as what kind of winds are -- what they're doing to the airports, Chicago, you've got a ground delay now of two hours; Minneapolis, seeing over an hour delay; and New York, seeing 35-minute delays.

Winds blowing over 30 miles an hour and a blizzard warning is up for parts of North Dakota. Back side of this thing is very cold and the front side saw winds of over 70 miles per hour.

What does that do to Lake Michigan? A pretty big body of water, I mean, when it's windy, it gets to be pretty -- let's show -- let's show the video. Yes. There you go. How about that?

Yes, kite boarding; 10, 15, 20 footers on the shore of Lake Michigan yesterday with this storm. So you know? Where there's a will there's a way. And most surfers don't want to pass up a good storm. And this one was a good storm to say the least.

John and Kiran, back up to you.

CHETRY: That looks like so much fun. I bet you have done it. Do you have to know how to actually surf to -- to kite board?

MARCIANO: I would imagine you know how -- you need to know how to sail and surf. Neither of which I know how to do well so no, I haven't done that.

CHETRY: What I mean is if you know how to water ski, right? Or knee board, you can just hold on to the boat and go. Isn't that much like the kite or do you actually have to --

MARCIANO: Well, you've got to read the winds and you know, if you read them wrong, you could be carried away and never seen again.

CHETRY: Ok, never mind. I won't try it.

ROBERTS: It's kind of a combination of -- it's kind of a combination of hang gliding and wake boarding all at the same time.

MARCIANO: Exactly. It can get dangerous, definitely.

ROBERTS: All right. Incredible stuff, Rob thanks so much for that.

MARCIANO: All right.

ROBERTS: Well, here are some of the stories that got us talking in the NEWSROOM this morning. This got more than the NEWSROOM talking; it's got the entire country talking.

Actor, Charlie Sheen heading back to Los Angeles after a bizarre trip to New York City. He kind of acted out the hotel scene that his father portrayed in "Apocalypse Now".

Sheen was hospitalized yesterday morning after a violent outburst in his suite at New York's Plaza Hotel. Police sources say Sheen went nuts after discovering his wallet and his cell phone were missing. They say he was naked and drunk and trashing the hotel room causing thousands of dollars in damages.

The sources say Sheen who had an escort in the room with him at the time admitted that he was drinking and using cocaine. Sheen's publicist though, says he had an allergic reaction to medication. New York -- always seems I'm back in New York.

CHETRY: That seems like a fun job, publicist to those types of --


ROBERTS: Ok, how are we going to handle this one here?

CHETRY: Yes, you'll be coming on that one?

ROBERTS: Oh, I got it.

CHETRY: It's usually exhaustion.

ROBERTS: Allergic reaction.

CHETRY: Coupled with exhaustion.

Well, another one that caught our attention, former First Lady Laura Bush getting some with big laughs at a women's conference in California last night. Speaking to nearly 1,400 women, Mrs. Bush joked about the surreal life of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


LAURA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATE: When you live in the White House, when you're a bobble-head inside a bubble, reality can get a little warped. When you're married to the president of the United States, you don't worry too much about him leaving his wet towels on the floor. But in Dallas things are different.

Memo to the ex-president: "Turmoil in East Timor is longer an excuse not to pick up your socks."


ROBERTS: She's a great humorist. I remember the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner where --

CHETRY: He turned it over to her.

ROBERTS: -- he turned it over to her. She was fabulous. Really terrific.

Are kids today risking their lives playing football? It turns out, it's not just the big hits but even routine tackles and blocks that could cause serious brain damage. Is it really worth it? We'll take a look coming up next.


CHETRY: Fifty-six minutes past the hour. Time for "A.M. House Call", stories about your health. And there's been a huge focus on football concussions. The NFL as we know cracking down on dangerous hits.

Well now, there's a new study, the cover story in this week's "Sports Illustrated" saying that the smaller hits -- the ones that you maybe don't think twice are actually more dangerous over time.

ROBERTS: Yes. We are not talking about even hard hits. We are talking about just when the line men collide off the snap.

A short time ago, we spoke to the man who wrote the "Sports Illustrated" story and a neuro-science expert and the study has them both thinking twice.


ROBERTS: You don't have children yet but based on what you have seen here in the study, would you let your son or your daughter play football?

DAVID EPSTEIN, STAFF WRITER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": I love football, but I'm getting to the point where I think I'd tend to doubt it because if they return to baseline every year and there's no lasting impairment, you're talking about a kid that has to go to school. So I don't even want temporary impairment if it's my kid.

ROBERTS: Doctor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say running is a very nice sport.


ROBERTS: Obviously, there's still those huge collisions that happen between wide receivers and defensive players and, of course, running back a kick is always precarious. But the study says linemen may be most at risk because of the helmet to helmet clashes that take place right off the line with every snap. And they're recommending at the very least that they establish no contact practices, as well.

CHETRY: And this is very controversial. This has a lot of people are saying, wait a minute. This is football. This is what football it. What are you going to play? Touch football?

ROBERTS: But they found that just those little hits -- they had accelerometers in the helmets so they were able to measure the G forces. They found the G forces of just routine hits got well above 80 Gs and it's usually at 80 Gs that you experience a concussion and these kids were experiencing concussions.

CHETRY: It's scary.

ROBERTS: And it's all -- it's right there in the front, too which is where high end thinking takes place.


All right. Well, we're going to continue to follow that. Meanwhile, we're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.


CHETRY: Well, we're out of time this morning. Thanks so much for being with us. We'll see you right back here, bright and early tomorrow.

ROBERTS: The news continues on CNN with Kyra Phillips in the "CNN NEWSROOM" in Atlanta. Good morning, Kyra.