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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Baseball's Steroid Bombshell; Democratic Presidential Candidates Face Off in Iowa

Aired December 13, 2007 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: If you're a baseball fan, you have been talking about it tonight. Millions of Americans are talking about it.
Tonight, steroids and Major League Baseball, big business, big money, and the very big names linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Who's involved? Who gets hurt? Will anyone actually take responsibility, or will everyone make a little noise, then sweep things under the rug? It's happened before -- all the angles tonight.

Also ahead tonight, the Democrats faced off tonight, their final debate before their caucuses in Iowa, the race too close to call. The attacks are flying back and forth. Tonight, we're looking at how crucial undecided voters are finally making up their minds.

And later, outrage over what happened to an African-American serviceman who was locked up for a crime he did not commit. The Army threw him out of the service, took his G.I. benefits. Well, 63 years later, they sent him a check for -- get this -- 725 bucks. Does that sound fair to you? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And the latest on the icy, snowy mess now blanketing a big chunk of the country.

First, though, baseball and steroids -- no kids crying, say it ain't so this time, more like, well, duh. After years of watching skinny players turning into Neanderthals and 40-year-old pitchers throwing 100-mile-an-hour fastballs, there were not a lot of Americans who were shocked today when George Mitchell submitted his 409-page report to Major League Baseball.

Still, the numbers of players named are staggering, and so are the names.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): The details are damning. More than 70 former and current players have been linked to performance-enhancing substances. The steroid scandal already has resulted in criminal charges against home run king Barry Bonds. The report also discusses familiar allegations against Mark McGwire and the admitted steroid use by Jason Giambi and Jose Canseco.

But the biggest bombshell name in the report is the pitcher known as the Rocket, Roger Clemens, who vehemently denied the allegations. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner, is presumed destined for the Hall of Fame. The report quotes his former personal trainer as saying he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone during his career as a Toronto Blue jay and New York Yankee.

Also named, Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, Detroit outfielder Gary Sheffield, and Houston shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Former Senator George Mitchell, who led the inquiry, said drug use has been rampant in Major League Baseball for years.

GEORGE MITCHELL (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: For more than a decade, there has been widespread, illegal use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball in violation of federal law and baseball policy.

COOPER: In fact, it's only been in violation of baseball policy since 2002. The findings were based on a two-year investigation, in which more than 700 people were interviewed. Many of the allegations were based on the testimony of a former Mets employee, as well as Clemens' personal trainer. The report calls for stiffer penalties, independent and more frequent drug tests, and educating young players about the health risks from using steroids.

MITCHELL: ... the reality that hundreds of thousands of our children are using them. Every American, not just baseball fans, ought to be shocked into action by that disturbing truth.

COOPER: As for the sins of the past, Mitchell's verdict is one of forgiveness.

MITCHELL: The commissioner should give the players and everyone else the chance to make a fresh start. We're all human. We all make mistakes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, a short time later, baseball commissioner Bud Selig reacted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUD SELIG, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: I am going to review each one of these, case by case, because I feel that, frankly, that's a -- that's a byproduct of this investigation that I need to address.

His report is a call to action. And I will act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Exactly what that means remains to be seen. It's a little bit sound like Inspector Renault in "Casablanca" saying he's shocked, shocked to find out that there's gambling going on in Rick's casino.

Commissioner Selig also said that he had hoped for greater cooperation from players, but understands the possible legal ramifications that prevented them from talking. That's one big footnote to the investigation.

There are others. We want to look at the legal angles now. Barry Bonds is already in hot water. The question is, will anyone new be charged as a result of the report.

Joining us now, CNN senior legal analyst and baseball fan himself Jeffrey Toobin.

What about that? Will anybody else be charged? I mean, look at all these guys out there shooting stuff up or taking pills.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I -- I think the criminal aspect of this is very likely to end with Bobby Bonds -- Barry Bonds, because the -- the -- a lot of what he talked about was in the late '90s. And the statute of limitations has -- has run on it.

And -- and there are also difficulties of proof, if you have to worry about a criminal case, beyond a reasonable doubt.

COOPER: So, Mitchell saying, look, what is in the past is in the past, let's move on, that's not just trying to put a good public relations spin and help baseball out by saying move on; the statute of limitations may be done?

TOOBIN: And there are difficulties of proof. A tremendous amount of his report, the new stuff in his report, is based on this former Mets clubhouse employee and Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte's former personal trainer.

I mean, those two guys are responsible for most of the new information. You know, it's very tough to make a criminal case based on one person.

COOPER: But it's pretty amazing that they had a guy who was selling drugs, steroids, in the locker room, as an employee of the Mets organization, and the trainer who's hired by the Yankees. When Roger Clemens starts -- you know, his performance starts to diplomat, they hire his trainer as a sports -- as a strength coach, and, all of a sudden, everything shoots back up.

I mean, do these -- these guys must know. The management must know.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: It is a horrifying story.

And, you know, I have to say -- I mean, maybe it's because I'm naive, and I'm a baseball fan -- I'm -- I'm shocked by this. I mean, you know, it -- this is not just a "Casablanca." I mean, I am shocked that you know, Roger Clemens, who is the...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But -- but, Selig, the commissioner, has been told about this for years. I mean, there have been stories about this, "Sports Illustrated," "New York Times."

TOOBIN: But the level of detail in the report is so extraordinary.

I mean, you can track Roger Clemens' career. He really took a dive in the mid-'90s.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: And then he goes to Toronto. And this guy gets hooked up...

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: ... in his life, and he starts getting the shots, apparently in his buttocks.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: His -- his -- his career takes off. It starts to dip again. The Yankees hire him as his personal trainer. He wins the Cy Young Award again.

I mean, it is -- it is an extraordinary story of how these -- these steroids really work.

COOPER: Well, I mean, I -- working for "60 Minutes," I discovered a doctor in Columbia, South Carolina, who was prescribing steroids to -- to football players. And you can track -- you can track the shipment. You can track it before big games, before -- you know, it was the Super Bowl in this case -- but before big baseball games.

It's -- it's remarkable. But I just can't believe that, you know, Commissioner Selig is saying, well, we didn't know the full extent of this. I mean, come on.

TOOBIN: I mean, it's clear that the Players Association knew. The clubs knew.

COOPER: I mean, there was a financial interest for everybody to just turn the other cheek.

TOOBIN: A tremendous -- I mean, in '90 -- in 1998, the whole country loved that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa...

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: ... were having this wonderful, you know, battle for the home run crowd. Everybody was rooting for them. And everybody looked away.

The only thing Selig can do at this point is, he's got to deal with the record book and he's got to deal with the Hall of Fame. Are these people's records really going to stand and are they going to go in the Hall of Fame? And, if you think about Pete Rose, who's been kept out of the Hall of Fame for gambling...

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: ... which had no impact on the games, clearly...

COOPER: It seems quaint now.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: That's right. These -- these things -- I mean, these steroids had huge impact.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: So, if he's serious, he's going to keep them out of the Hall of Fame.

COOPER: All right, Jeffrey, thanks. Appreciate it.

More now on the question of accountability. Will baseball discipline players, or won't it? Will the players union permit tougher drug testing or not?

With no one exactly surprised that there's drug use in baseball, have we at least reached a turning point or will everyone simply go back to business, big business, as usual?

CNN's Gary Tuchman tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You remember the feel-good sports story of 1998, Mark McGwire busting Roger Maris' single-season home run record? His name looms large in the Mitchell report.

And the ageless pitcher, Roger Clemens, his name is also prominently mentioned. Rumors of steroid use in baseball were rampant for years.

DONALD FEHR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: Perhaps we and the owners could have taken these steps sooner. And, for my part, in hindsight, that seems obvious.

TUCHMAN: But what really kept the players union and the commissioner's office from cracking down? Critics say one thing, money. For the owners, power baseball sells. More home runs hit means more tickets sold.

For players, the calculus is just as simple. Performance sells. Better play means a bigger contract.

MITCHELL: Everyone involved in baseball, commissioners, club officials, the Players Association, players, shares responsibility. I can't be any clearer than that.

TUCHMAN: The baseball commissioner also says, in hindsight, he wishes he did more, but now...

BUD SELIG, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: His report is a call to action. And I will act.

TUCHMAN: Everybody talks a good game about wanting baseball to be steroid-free. But when Senator Mitchell invited all the implicated current players to meet with him, with almost no exception, he says, they refused, too worried, says their union leader, that they could incriminate themselves.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, Gary, have any of the players now responded?

TUCHMAN: Well, Roger Clemens has, first one out of the gate.

His attorney actually released a statement saying that this was totally slanderous. And his quote was that Roger Clemens vehemently denies these allegations.

Now, we expect to hear from more players in the days to come. But what should be noted is, these players all knew this investigation was going on. They knew they were being implicated. They had every opportunity to talk to the investigator, to talk to the public. They chose not to.

COOPER: All right. Gary, thanks.

By now, you have heard the names and the allegations, but the pictures, well, really boggle the mind. Here's a look at Roger Clemens before, back in the 1980s, and now. Now, here he is 20 decades (sic), a few pounds, and, well, allegedly a few injections later, quite bigger.

Now Jose Canseco before he started juicing. He claims 85 percent of Major Leaguers do it, by the way. And here he is, well, looking kind of there pumped up. But, absolutely, the epic before-and-after pictures are Barry Bonds. Back when he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had the body of a marathon runner. And there he is now, looks like he was made by the same outfit that built Stonehenge, Barry Bonds before and after.

Speaking of big money, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, A-Rod, who's not accused of using drugs, signed a new contract today, the deal, 10 years, $275 million.

Still ahead: more on players who are taking performance-enhancing drugs and what baseball can or should do about it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): From Clark Kent to the incredible Hulk, players and the steroid games they allegedly play, how is it done and who is it hurting? We're digging deeper, talking to the guy who literally wrote the book about Barry Bonds' incredible transformation.

Plus, Democrats talk; undecided voters listen.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will end the war in Iraq.

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Health care is a human right.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to create jobs,

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: NAFTA needs to be amended.

COOPER: Iowans' reactions minute by minute to the issues, the attacks, and the character of the candidates on stage -- tonight on 360.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Bonds hits one hard, hits it deep!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Barry Bonds hitting his record-breaking home run. He's a veritable building swinging a tree, smacking a ball that you're taught you can hit by sheer skill and practice alone.

Well, the fact is, though for all the talent Major Leaguers have, today's report suggests a lot of them also have, well, more than a little help. Another fact is, no one seems all that surprised.

Digging deeper with us tonight, we will be talking with "San Francisco Chronicle" sportswriter Lance Williams, co-author of "Game of Shadows." He's on deadline. He will be with us in just a moment.

With me now, former baseball All-Star and NFL All Pro Brian Jordan.

Brian, thanks for being with us.

You spent 19 years on the field and in the locker room. Give us a sense of why some of these players are turning to these drugs. What's the pressure?

BRIAN JORDAN, FORMER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER: Well, I'll tell you what. It's the pressure of going out there and performing and trying to make millions of dollars for your family. And it's a lot of pressure to deal with on a daily basis. You have to go out there and perform 162 games. And that's -- that's not an easy task. So... COOPER: Is it spoken about, though? I mean, does it -- does it -- obviously, management must know. The trainers must know. Is it openly talked about?

JORDAN: No, it's not. I mean, it's very private and individual.

I mean, that's the choice that that individual makes, and he keeps it quiet. But, I mean, as a player, and a former NFL player, where drug testing was, you know, always done and performed randomly, you know, I always wondered why Major League Baseball didn't have a drug policy. And now I think you see why it's come back to bite Major League Baseball.

COOPER: But, I mean, you know when someone -- I mean, you know, you go -- you go to any gym, and you can kind of tell who's doing -- who is, you know, using something and who's not. I mean, there's pimples on the back. There's all sorts of telltale signs.

It's hard to imagine that -- you know, you have the commissioner of baseball, you all these owners saying, well, gosh, we didn't really know about it.

It seems there was a financial incentive, certainly, for everybody to just turn the other way.

JORDAN: It is.

The one thing you have got to understand is, Major League Baseball is a business. And I remember the commercial that Greg Maddux and my good friend Tom Glavine made, chicks love the long ball. Well, that was the theme. And that brought fans back in the stadium. And when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire heard that big home run push, I mean, it was great for baseball, great for fans. And, as a business, they were making a lot of money.

COOPER: Senator Mitchell today is saying that he doesn't think these past offenses should be, you know, punished. What -- what do you think?

JORDAN: Well, I kind of agree.

I think now you move forward and try to educate these young kids on what not to do and how you can be successful in Major League Baseball doing it the natural way, working hard, and just going out there and -- and getting better every day and learning the game of baseball.

COOPER: What about the records, I mean, these past and future Hall of Famers?

JORDAN: Well, I mean, that's a tough question for Bud Selig to try to answer himself.

I mean, do you tarnish those records? I mean, the bottom line is, you can use all the steroids you want, but you still have to go out there and perform and do well and -- and put that bat on the ball. As Barry Bonds broke the record, he did.

COOPER: It also does set up this incredibly unrealistic -- unrealistic expectation for kids out there, who look up to those sports figures and who -- I mean, there's a reason, I think, steroid use is so rampant now in high schools, is that all these kids look up to these guys, and -- and, you know, it's all just part of the game now.

JORDAN: And that's why I'm very happy that Congress did step in and put the pressure on Major League Baseball and the Players Association to make a decision, bring -- implement the drug policy, and really educate these young kids.

Now, for me, you use these guys who you have on the list to go around to schools and educate these young kids on what not to do, because I'm one from the old school where I watched Lyle Alzado lose his life at a very young age trying to play NFL football at that high level. And steroids will break you down.

COOPER: Did you ever feel tempted? I mean, did you ever feel that pressure?

JORDAN: No. I mean, I felt like I had enough natural ability.

You know, when I hit 20 -- my career high, 25 home runs, I mean, that was a great thrill for me. And -- and, for me, I'm not going to risk my life and my family, being away from my family, on steroids or any other drugs.

COOPER: Brian, it's great to have you on the program. Really appreciate you taking the time.

Brian Jordan, thanks very much.

JORDAN: Thanks, Anderson. Appreciate it.

COOPER: We had planned on talking to Lance Williams. As I said, he's on deadline. We're not going to be able to talk to him tonight.

We have got a lot more -- you can check out, actually, the 360 blog for more on the steroid report, a lot of people weighing in today. That's at CNN.com/360. That's where you will find the new -- the "360 View," where our reporters and contributors give their take on the scandal. And check it at -- check it out throughout the day, because they're blogging day and night. Again, that's CNN.com/360, and link to the blog.

Tonight, millions are facing some very dangerous weather.

For the details and a look at the other headlines, let's check in with Gary Tuchman in a 360 bulletin -- Gary.

TUCHMAN: Anderson, hello to you.

Good thing we're inside and not out there. New York City and much of the Northeast is being slammed with a massive storm. And it's not even winter yet. That's a week-and-a-half away. Some areas could get hit with more than a foot of snow. The forecast also calls for ice and freezing rain. And that's even before the weekend's predicted nor'easter.

In Malibu tonight, three men are in custody, accused of starting a wildfire last month. And investigators say two other arrests are imminent. Authorities believe the suspects started a campfire that raged out of control.

In Massachusetts, justice for a shocking misdiagnosis. A woman who was wrongly told she was infected with HIV was awarded $2.5 million today by a jury. For nine years, 45-year-old Audrey Serrano followed her doctor's advice and took powerful drugs to treat her for AIDS. The doctor who said she had HIV insisted Serrano received standard care.

Finally, what would you do with $4 million? Well, if you were a London art agent, you would buy a rare copy of a J.K. Rowling tome called "The Tales of Beedle the Bard." Only seven copies were ever made. The "Harry Potter" not only handwrote the book. She drew the pictures in it. By the way, all the money is being given to charity.

COOPER: Wow.

TUCHMAN: Anderson, I wish I had one of those six other copies right now. I can tell you that much.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Gary, yes.

Stay there, Gary.

Next on 360, we have glow-in-the-dark cats and one tough mouse. It's "What Were They Thinking?" tonight, the prey turning the tables on the predator. What is behind the picture? Well, we're still not sure what the mouse was thinking, but we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: All right, Gary, time for "What Were They Thinking?"

If it's high-tech, weird stuff involving animals and a robot, it's got to be from Japan. For reasons they only know, Japanese researchers have altered the genetic code of mice to make them fearless of cats. Meet the real Mighty Mouse, the mouse actually going mano a mano -- well, not really mano a mano -- sort of micey a cato -- with the big fellow.

The secret's in the DNA. If you ask me, maybe they had the mice sit through a marathon of Chuck Norris films or something, but it's a very fearless little mouse.

And, on the flip side, cloned glow-in-the-dark cats. I don't really believe they glow in the dark. But, this time, it's courtesy of -- oh, look at that. That's freakish. (LAUGHTER)

COOPER: They look like bats. They're from researchers in South Korea. When looking for a way to treat genetic disorders in people, they discover that some of the cloned cats turned a fluorescent hue when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Please don't try this at home.

And, if PETA is watching, please don't throw paint on me.

TUCHMAN: Hey, we just report the news, so PETA shouldn't be mad at us.

But I will tell you, last night, we had the cats with the wigs.

COOPER: Right.

TUCHMAN: And, tonight, we have these stories. Pretty weird stories we've had the last couple of nights about animals.

COOPER: Yes, I'm still trying to figure out the cats with wigs, why...

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: ... why cats need wigs. They're crying out for it.

Gary, thanks. We will check in with you a little bit later on.

A quick note about a story we're working on for tomorrow, the dire situation facing some humankind's closest relatives.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Mountain gorillas seem to have a sense of humor, and like to stare at those who stare at them. Gorilla see, gorilla do.

You're only allowed one hour with gorillas to limit their risk of catching a disease. Poachers are another problem. Two gorillas in this family have lost a hand because of snares. Even in Rwanda, poachers set snares, usually to catch antelope, but gorillas get trapped in them, too.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: There are only about 700 mountain gorillas left on the planet. So far this year, at least 10 have been shot to death. We will be looking at what can be done to save them tomorrow on the program.

Up next: The Democrats face off one last time in Iowa before the caucuses. Tonight, a look at the undecided voters. Have they picked a candidate. See what they thought of the debate today.

Plus, a huge honor for the Material Girl, Madonna getting set to join the music elite. Wasn't she already in the music elite?

Anyway, we're back in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: With voters in Iowa heading to the polls right after New Year's, a new CNN/WMUR poll shows Barack Obama chipping at away at Hillary Clinton's lead. In fact, the two are in a dead heat there.

So, at today's final Democratic face-off before Iowa, you might have expected a slugfest. What we got today was more of a lovefest.

Here's Candy Crowley with the "Raw Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three weeks to go, the last debate before the caucuses. You have never seen six such agreeable people. When Joe Biden defended himself for racially insensitive remarks, they backed him up.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... that Joe is on the right side of the issues.

CROWLEY: They all want to roll back tax breaks for the rich and corporations...

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... have a tax policy that's not favoring big multinational corporations, but instead favors the middle class and working people.

CROWLEY: ... and reconsider trade agreements that have cost American jobs.

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We also have to make sure that China trades on an equitable basis with the United States. We ought to ban all these toys they're bringing in. We ought to ban some of the food -- the contaminated food they're bringing in.

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't mind competing with someone, but as long as we're all operating by the same rules. This is more of an adversarial relationship. It has to be identified as such.

CROWLEY: As for Hillary Clinton, whose husband shepherded the North American Free Trade Agreement, she keeps stepping away, now promising to reform and improve it.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will review every trade agreement. I'm going to ask for revisions that I think will actually benefit our country, particularly our workers, our exporters. We believe in trade, but we don't want to be the trade patsies of the world.

CROWLEY: And, in a debate which focused on home-and-hearth issues, they all said that they want to bolster federal support for education.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Got to start kids at school earlier. You got to put them in smaller classes; the smaller the class, the better the outcome. In order to do that, you need 100,000 more teachers. You got to pay teachers.

CROWLEY: Their differences were about who could get it done.

Edwards: Throw the bums out.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporate power and greed have literally taken over the government. And we need a president who's will to take these powers on.

CROWLEY: Obama: the politics of hope.

OBAMA: But we can only do it if we have the courage to change, if we can bring the country together.

CROWLEY: All of which gave Clinton an opening for the only zinger of the day.

CLINTON: Well, everybody on this stage has an idea about how to get change. Some believe you get change by demanding it. Some believe you get it by hoping for it. I believe you get it by working hard.

CROWLEY: Nobody slipped up. Nobody stuck out. But there was a stumper. The question was how Obama could bring about change with so many old Clinton advisers in his campaign.

OBAMA: You know, I am...

CLINTON: I want to hear that.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Well, Hillary, I'm looking forward to you advising me as well.

(LAUGHTER)

CROWLEY: As per usual, to the front-runners went the limelight, but the beauty of Iowa is that everybody gets a chance to speak.

RICHARDSON: What I like best about Iowans is you like underdogs.

(LAUGHTER)

RICHARDSON: And you like to shake things up. You don't like the national media and the smarty-pants set telling you who's going to be the next president. (LAUGHTER)

CROWLEY: Everybody gets a chance to hope.

(on camera): After all that sweetness and light, it's time for reality. And reality here on the ground is a three-way tie, Obama, Clinton, Edwards, which means look for a little hardball over the next three weeks.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Johnston, Iowa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, joining us to break it all down, our "Raw Politics" roundtable, part of the best team on television, David Gergen, former adviser to President Clinton and other presidents as well, Republican and Democrat, TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein, and CNN's chief national correspondent, John King.

You know, these debates are supposed to -- to help voters see the differences among these different candidates. It didn't really happen today. In fact, when it came to the actual issues, kind of hard to tell the candidates apart.

I just want to show our viewers some of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: As president, I will end the war in Iraq and bring our sons and daughters home.

OBAMA: ... end this war in Iraq, bring our combat troops home.

EDWARDS: And I -- I will end the war.

BIDEN: ... end the war in Iraq.

RICHARDSON: I would end the war.

DODD: Certainly the war, but also a robust diplomacy.

OBAMA: I will initiate the kind of diplomacy...

CLINTON: The era of cowboy diplomacy is over.

EDWARDS: And I will begin the process of fighting for health care reform -- universal health care.

OBAMA: ... provide coverage to every single American.

CLINTON: I will get quality, affordable health care for every single American.

RICHARDSON: I believe universal health care is a human right for every American.

BIDEN: I would insure every single child in America.

RICHARDSON: We have to balance the budget.

CLINTON: When we do have a fiscally responsible budget...

OBAMA: I think we can return to a path of a balanced budget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Man, they almost complete the same sentence.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: And, David Gergen, where are the policy differences among these candidates?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: You can't tell policy difference. There was very little daylight between them today, Anderson. You're right about that.

What I do think voters can separate out, though, is, they look for themes. And, on that, I think John Edwards was the best today. He was the most focused. I think he actually walked away with some honors today.

But they also look for the human elements. Just as we saw in the YouTube debate, with the Republicans, how Mike Huckabee seemed so authentic and warm, and that really helped them.

Today, I must tell you that Mrs. Clinton, who's very good on the issues, didn't have that kind of human warmth, except in a couple of places. But it was Barack Obama, I think, was more at ease in this debate than I've ever seen him in the past Democratic debates and I think has some of that warmth.

COOPER: It's interesting, Joe. I mean, you've followed campaigns for a long time. You actually -- you hear fear in Hillary Clinton's voice?

KLEIN: Well, it's interesting. Earlier in the year when she was doing really well, she was speaking more slowly and from, like, her diaphragm. And now she's speaking much more quickly again and through her nose. It's -- it's interesting.

COOPER: How do you notice these sorts of things? You've been doing this far too long.

KLEIN: I've been watching these people for 20 years, the Clintons.

The other really interesting thing today, you have to look for nits to pick in a debate like this, whereas David says, everybody says the same thing. In fact, from the beginning, this field has really been very similar on all the issues in the way that they prioritize them. But with Mrs. Clinton today, Senator Clinton, she didn't talk about the Clinton administration anymore. She talked about back in the '90s. That was one big change.

The other big change was, as David said, John -- John Edwards now is talking about corporate greed. He's using the word "greed" time and time and time again.

KING: This is hurting her. At the beginning of the campaign, Anderson, when you asked about the issues, Hillary Clinton had a big advantage over most of her rivals on most of the big issues in the Democratic primary, with the war being the one exception early on when the left doubted her.

The longer the campaign goes on, the more people are seeing there are slight differences, but philosophically they're mostly in the same place. Let the Democrats know who they are and what they would do if elected president.

So it's much more about personal characteristics and, at a time when the young guy, Obama, is supposed to be stumbling, because the new guy always stumbles a little bit. He seems much more confident, much more comfortable, and her team is worried.

COOPER: And Bill Shaheen, Hillary Clinton's campaign co-chair, resigned after saying this statement about Barack Obama, that the Republicans were going to use his past drug use if it got down to a two-person race.

KLEIN: Now that's fear. That is real fear talking. The Shaheens, Bill and his wife Jeanne, the former governor. Run a political machine up in New Hampshire, the most powerful in the state, and all of a sudden things seem to be going south on them.

Obama's movement in New Hampshire is far more impressive than his movement in Iowa. It's been really rapid over the last few weeks. And so I think that that was fear talking when he made that terrible, terrible comment.

COOPER: David, why do you think it is? I mean, is it just that Barack Obama has found his voice. I mean, people point to that speech a couple of weeks ago, where he talked about the urgency of now.

GERGEN: Well, I think he has found his voice. I think he's a much better candidate. And gradually over the course of these debates, you know, he's become more experienced and he's more at ease. And I think he was at his best today.

But it's also true that she's been stumbling. She's had a bad six weeks ever since that debate in Philadelphia. And -- and I do think that Joe Klein is right. I'm not sure I'm going to go to the nose versus the diaphragm. But I must say -- I'm not sure I'm going to go there.

The -- I just felt that she was -- she was -- she's more tense when she spoke today. I thought he had a solid debate. The voters will have to decide, but my sense was she did not reverse the momentum in this. She didn't turn around her slide -- or stopped her slide.

And I think it's now going to depend on the ground game. But these stories that are coming out of Clinton campaign. The Shaheen story is obviously handicapped.

But Bill Clinton now, reportedly, all these stories. Candy Crowley was reporting on this today, on CNN. You know, he's weighing in, saying this has been a terribly-run campaign. Heads may roll, et cetera.

They need to get away from that and focus on, you know, Iowa and her and get her to -- get her to lighten up.

COOPER: John.

KING: It's not all her, quote unquote, "fault," though, in the sense that the undercurrent in the country right now is this has been a long campaign. People are sick of politics. They're looking for new and different. She's not new and different. Obama is. Mike Huckabee is new and different. You're seeing it on the Republican side, as well. People are just tired, and they want change.

KLEIN: They're also not -- the point Obama and Huckabee have in common is that they're not divisive sorts. You know, Obama's favored by Republicans as their favorite Democrat.

The important thing to realize is that, even when you have divisive issues at this point in a campaign, the last few weeks, something very interesting happens. Visceral decisions are made on the basis of who you want to have living in your house for the next four years.

President is the most intimate office we have, and -- and a vast majority of people -- I think an awful lot of people -- make their decision on who they're going to be comfortable hearing bad news from and good news from.

COOPER: We're out of time. I've got leave there. It was a fascinating discussion, guys.

Joe Klein, great to have you on.

John King, as well.

David Gergen, always good to see you. Thanks.

GERGEN: Thanks.

COOPER: The question is who was moved by what they heard today in the debate? That is next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): Democrats talk, undecided voters listen.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will end the war in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Health care is a human right.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to create jobs.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: NAFTA (ph) needs to be a member.

COOPER: Iowa's reaction, minute by minute, to the issues, the attacks and the character of the candidates on stage.

Later, she went under the knife and came out with a new face. Now two years after a history-making face transplant, how's she doing and how does she look? Answers ahead when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: With the latest poll showing a tight Democratic race going into the Iowa caucuses, the undecided could make all the difference.

CNN's Joe Johns joins me now with what they had to say about today's debate -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, like we did with the Republicans on Wednesday, a focus group, undecided Democrats this time, plugged into the debate, registering their approval or disapproval with dial-a-meters that put the results on screen.

The line on the screen tells you what the group was thinking when the candidates were speaking. A spike in the line means a positive response. A crater on the line means a negative response.

CNN also asked the group a few questions of our own, though you can't call this a scientific poll.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS (voice-over): It's a dead heat in Iowa, so every vote counts. Today's debate tipped the balance for some of our focus group.

Asked who performed the best, most said John Edwards, with Hillary Clinton in second place. And, asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, the top three were Edwards, Barack Obama and Clinton, in that order.

The Edwards populist approach, focusing on the war between the haves and the have-nots, resonated.

EDWARDS: And one of the reasons that we've lost jobs, we have trouble creating jobs, we're having trouble growing and strengthening the middle class, is because corporate power and greed have literally taken over the government.

JOHNS: Obama scored well talking about education.

OBAMA: We've got to turn off the TV set. We've got to put away the video game. And we have to tell our children that education is not a passive activity; it is something that we have to be actively engaged in.

JOHNS: One woman in the focus group said Obama won her over with his performance.

KUMSAN SONG, IOWA VOTER: When he talked -- when he talked about education and also health cares [SIC] and all the issues, he want to make sure that everyone will get it.

JOHNS: Clinton got strong marks talking about Medicare.

CLINTON: You know, Medicare is especially vulnerable, because the costs are going up so quickly. That's why we do need to give Medicare the right to negotiate for lower drug prices with the drug companies.

JOHNS: A lot of the reactions of the focus group to Clinton seemed subdued on the meters during the debate. But when people in the group were asked their overall impressions after the debate, Clinton seemed to do a bit better.

EMILY GROVER, IOWA VOTER: I really liked what Senator Clinton said throughout the debate. And before I came in I was leaning towards Obama, but Obama almost seemed tentative and hesitant in his responses.

JOHNS: Still, one off-the-cuff moment during the debate also got a bit of a spike. When the moderator asked Obama about all the people in his campaign who used to be advisors to President Clinton, Senator Clinton chimed in...

CLINTON: I want to hear that.

JOHNS: Only to hear a quick comeback from Obama.

OBAMA: Well, Hillary, I'm looking forward to you advising me, as well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: As for the other candidates, 17 percent of the group said Senator Chris Dodd had the best performance, and 9 percent said Governor Bill Richardson did -- Anderson.

COOPER: Fascinating stuff. Joe, thanks.

Here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson. Tomorrow, we bring you the most news in the morning, including another medical marvel. You may have heard about the movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." It was also a book. Just nominated for a Golden Globe. It's an amazing story of the man who can't speak but can communicate by blinking the letters of the alphabet.

Tomorrow Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows us the new technology to help real-life patients find their voice. It translates brainwaves into speech.

That's tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING." It all begins at 6 a.m. Eastern.

Anderson, back to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Tonight on 360, a soldier's story. See how the Army apologized to a man who suffered for 60-plus years. A lot of people are calling it an outrage. We're keeping the Army honest.

Also tonight, Madonna in the one place you might not expect to see her. Check out what honor she's getting, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, the Army put him on trial. Now it is time to put the Army on trial. The story you'll hear tonight is about honor, respect and shame. It began a long time ago, and it's not over yet. The pain and the questions are as clear today as they were back then.

"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, here's CNN's David Mattingly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This piece of paper was supposed to make things right for Samuel snow. It's a check from the Pentagon, cut for the World War II veteran, a way he thought the military would say, "I'm sorry." But that's not what happened.

(on camera) With that check, is the Army saying that they care what they put you through?

SAMUEL SNOW, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: No, they didn't care.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): We'll get back to the check in a minute. But to understand the scale of this injustice, you first need to rewind 63 years.

Snow is one of two living defendants left from one of the biggest military trials of World War II. Twenty-eight black soldiers were sent to prison after an Italian POW was found hanged to death, following a night of brawling at Seattle's Fort Lawton. Two of the soldiers were sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter.

Private Samuel Snow spent more than a year in prison for rioting and was dishonorably discharged. Stripped of any chance for G.I. loans or benefits, he became a career janitor.

SNOW: That's just like you might have slapped me and said, "Excuse me."

MATTINGLY: Snow's fight for dignity began on a night in August, six decades ago, when tensions between black U.S. troops and Italian POWs boiled over.

(on camera) Words were exchanged. It got angry. Somebody punched somebody.

JACK HAMANN, AUTHOR: Exactly.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Seattle author Jack Hamann spent years detailing the riot for his book, "On American Soil." Hamann concludes the Army rushed to judge black soldiers to hide its embarrassment over the murder of a white POW.

Today we find the old fort is a public park, with most buildings torn down.

HAMANN: We now know for a fact...

MATTINGLY: But Hamann was able to take me to the spot where Snow says he was knocked unconscious as he left his barracks.

(on camera) Was Samuel Snow ever involved in that riot?

HAMANN: He never had a chance to be involved in the riot. He was just responding quickly to what he thought was an attack, and he was knocked out of it almost immediately.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Hamann's book caught the attention of Congress. Representative Jim McDermott asked the Army to review the nearly-forgotten case.

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: A real injustice had been done to a whole lot of black guys who were serving their country, and somebody had to speak up for them.

MATTINGLY (on camera): And in October, the Army seemed to agree. A board determined that the soldiers did not get a fair trial. It asked that their convictions be overturned and that they and their family be paid every penny they had been denied.

After all this time, you would think that would be a substantial amount of money. And until he saw his check, Samuel Snow thought so, too.

Did you think there was some kind of mistake?

SNOW: No, I didn't think it was no kind of mistake. I think they had done this all along, and they would do that, too.

MATTINGLY: How much?

SNOW: It was $725.

MATTINGLY: $725?

SNOW: Yes.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Only $725, the exact amount of Army pay Snow lost while in prison for 15 months. There was no allowance for lost benefits, inflation, or interest. At 8 percent a year, $725 would have grown to more than $82,000.

"Keeping Them Honest," we went to the Pentagon only to find the Army was going by the book.

(on camera) Seven-hundred-twenty-five dollars, after being put in prison, denied benefits pretty much for a lifetime? Does the Army believe that is fair?

COL. DAN BAGGIO, ARMY PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Well, really, it's not a matter of the Army deciding what's fair. It is the U.S. law.

What the Army has done is gone back to correct the record and given him the pay that he is allowed under the current law. Any redress beyond that would have to really go beyond the Army, probably really to Congress.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): A spokesman for Congressman McDermott tells CNN if its hands are tied, then the Army will have to tell Congress what changes to make.

The Army's actions also stopped short of saying that Snow and the other 27 soldiers are innocent, something Snow believes he deserves, along within an apology and medical benefits.

But now, 83 and in poor health, he wonders if he will live to see it.

David Mattingly, CNN, Leesburg, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: A remarkable story. You can find a lot more about the story online. You can see what David wrote by going to CNN.com. The story's on the home page there.

Up next, our "Shot of the Day." Remember the world's first face transplant patient? She is all healed now. We'll show you her amazing transformation, what she looks like today.

Plus, what does Madonna have in common with rocker John Mellencamp? The answer, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: "The Shot of the Day" coming up, an amazing transformation for the world's first face transplant patient. That is her back in 2006, with the blonde hair and the black jacket. We'll show you what she looks like now in a moment.

But first, Gary Tuchman joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, hello to you.

New Jersey is one step away from abolishing the death penalty. The state assembly voted today to replace it with life in prison without parole. The state senate did the same earlier this week. All that's needed now is the governor's signature.

On Wall Street, a mixed day after a report showing a record jump in gas prices pushed wholesale inflation to its highest level since the 1970s. The Dow added 44 points, the NASDAQ losing 2, the S&P up by even less.

On Capitol Hill, senators gave a scaled-back energy bill the go- ahead. It calls for the first rise in fuel economy standards in 32 years and more ethanol use. The measure passed after Democrats dropped a provision calling for new taxes on big oil companies. It's expected to pass in the House next week.

And the Material Girl is going to become a hall of famer. Madonna will be inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in March, along with John Mellencamp, formerly known as Johnny Cougar, early in his career, the Ventures, Leonard Cohen and the Dave Clark Five.

You know, Anderson, for our younger viewers, the Dave Clark Five was one of those British Invasion bands that came in the early '60s to the United States. Around the same time is that group that some people call the Beatles. Yes, the Beatles.

COOPER: Did you call him Johnny Cougar, by the way? It was John Cougar.

TUCHMAN: I think they called him Johnny Cougar to start.

COOPER: Oh, really?

TUCHMAN: Then John Cougar, then John Cougar Mellencamp. Now just John Mellencamp. Who knows what's next?

COOPER: Now you're just bragging.

When I asked before -- before the break I said, "What does Madonna have in common with John Mellencamp?" Marshall, one of our writers said that they're both cougars. Ba-dum-ba.

(SOUND OF HIGH-HAT)

TUCHMAN: Very good, Marsh.

COOPER: Thank you very much.

TUCHMAN: Marshall comes out with those witty comments.

COOPER: That's right.

TUCHMAN: He's absolutely right.

COOPER: Gary, thanks. Stay right there. "The Shot of the Day" is coming up, an update on the world's first face-transplant patient, before and after, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Gary, time for "The Shot of the Day." A total transformation. It's the world's first face-transplant patient, Isabelle Dinoire of France. These photos were taken after her surgery back in 2005. She has a new nose, chin and lips after being mauled by her dog.

Eighteen months later, look at her. There she is. She can manage a slight smile. Doctors say she has beaten the odds. Before and after.

Two times her body rejected the new tissue, and two times she faced kidney failure, but she fought back and says it was all worth it.

And don't forget to check out the 360 program page at CNN.com/360. Tonight you can find out more about the New Year's Eve special. That's right. I'll be in Times Square for the 150th year in a row.

This year a special guest -- drum roll. Drum roll. I guess we don't have that yet. Kathy Griffin. That's right. I always look forward to it, because well, it's just plain fun, and Kathy Griffin is just plain funner [SIC]. Don't forget -- I don't know what that means.

Just start sending us your messages at CNN.com/IParty. We want to hear from you about your New Year's Resolutions, about your favorite memories of New Year's Eve. And also, on the night, send us pictures from your party.

So much for the celebration. There is no joy in Mudville. Mighty Casey is drugged out. New details on baseball and steroids coming up.

Also, one last debate before the Iowa caucuses. See what undecided Democrats thought about what they saw today. That and more after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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