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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Final Push in New Hampshire; Changing Tactics

Aired January 7, 2008 - 23:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER: A quick reminder - the primary hasn't happened yet. Nothing has been decided. The voters here will do that tomorrow. Not the pollsters, thankfully, and not the reporters. The people of New Hampshire will decide and right now the final push is under way to win them over.
Tonight, we are coming to you from downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. We have a crowd here of several hundred people, an awful lot of Ron Paul supporters. It's a fact of life reporting in New Hampshire that anywhere the media is, you will find Ron Paul supporters will come out to make their voices heard. They feel the media doesn't give them a fair shot.

But tonight it is the front-runners in particular we are focusing on. All three top Democrats and Mitt Romney holding late campaign events tonight. That's Hillary Clinton at a live event right now as we speak in Manchester, not too far from where I'm standing. Bill Clinton is there as well.

You can bet no one is getting much sleep either in any of the campaigns tonight. The license plates say "Live Free or Die" but right now, right here the feeling is more like "do or die."

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a fantastic crowd! I'm fired up.

COOPER: In the final hours here, blunt and forceful appeals from the presidential candidates.

OBAMA: The real gamble in this election is to have the same old folks doing the same old things over and over and over again and somehow expecting a different result. That's a gamble we cannot take.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll get Osama Bin Laden, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I'll get him and bring him to justice.

COOPER: Surging Senator John McCain is on home turf in New Hampshire. The state that delivered for him in 2000, but nipping at his heels --

MCCAIN: Governor, how are you?

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What brings you out on a day like this? COOPER: After a bruising defeat in Iowa, Mitt Romney is in serious need of a win. His closing argument to voters, he's the most electable Republican.

ROMNEY: Having Barack Obama as the leader of the Democratic Party means that we're going to have to have somebody who goes up against him, who is not a long-term senator. He's a senator killer, he took care of Biden, Dodd and Hillary Clinton and he's going to take care of John McCain if he's our nominee.

COOPER: you don't believe a John McCain could beat a Barack Obama?

ROMNEY: I think it would be very hard for a John McCain to beat a Barack Obama. People want change. They do not want a Washington insider. They don't believe an insider can turn Washington inside out.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are so much better than what we have had to live through the last seven years.

COOPER: In another corner of the state, a different side of Hillary Clinton, facing the toughest challenge of her campaign, she was asked how she handles it all. Her response, perhaps the day's most talked about moment.

CLINTON: It's not easy. It's not easy. And I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities in this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards, you know?

So -- you know this is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening. We have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game; they think it's like who's up or who's down. It's about our country. It's about our kids' futures, and it's really about all of us together.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, we have such important work to do in this country.

COOPER: Senator John Edwards has been pounding Clinton relentlessly as the ghost of Washington past, and not a candidate for the future.

Senator Clinton is selling herself as an agent of change but through experience. What's wrong with experience?

EDWARDS: Nothing wrong with experience, but she's not an agent of change. I mean, in order to be an agent of change, you have to reject the way Washington operates.

COOPER: Voters now have hours to decide whether experience is a negative and who is the real candidate of change.

(END VIDEO TAPE) And late numbers the newest CNN/WMUR polling puts Barack Obama's lead at 9 points over Hillary Clinton. 39 percent to 30 percent with 16 percent for John Edwards.

On the GOP side, John McCain is hanging on to a slim lead, 31 percent to 26 percent over Mitt Romney with Mike Huckabee at 13 percent and a fourth place tie, Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul at 10 percent apiece.

Again those are polls, not votes, but whatever happens tomorrow, on either side, Barack Obama has already reshaped this race. Even Mitt Romney, who's focused so much criticism on Hillary Clinton, now believes Obama will be the Democratic nominee. He told me that this afternoon.

CNN's John King has been on the campaign trail today, seems like all of his life basically. He joins us now for the raw politics of Barack Obama. John?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that conversation with Governor Romney is telling, Anderson. Remember, we've been talking about this for months, not only the Republican candidates but the national Republican Party gearing up to run against who, Hillary Clinton.

But when there's a big change in one party, politics is a very reflective and reactive business, big change in the Democratic side and guess what, a domino effect on the Republican side.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

KING: Well if it's change voters want, this is a pretty big one.

ROMNEY: There's no way that our party would be successful in the fall if we put forward a long serving senator to stand up against Barack Obama's message of change.

KING: Wait a minute. Rewind just a few weeks and this was the defining challenge of the Republican race.

ROMNEY: I can't wait to debate health care with Senator Clinton. That will be fun.

KING: Now, months of planning for what was considered inevitable is giving way to a change most Republicans find worrisome.

NEIL NEWHOUSE, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: This is not the campaign we thought it was going to be. This is not the campaign where all you need to do is raise Hillary Clinton's negatives by another four or five points and we make this a one or two-point national race. Barack Obama poses some significant challenges for the Republican Party.

KING: The Obama effect is both urgent and obvious, Republicans recalibrating to suggest they can compete in the change debate.

ROMNEY: It's going to take a person who is himself an innovator, like myself, who has the experience to bring change to Washington.

KING: Or reminding crowds they, for years, have pushed to change Washington.

SPEAKER: When I'm president, we're going to fix social security.

KING: And for months have been stressing issues critical to the younger voters Obama is attracting in droves.

MCCAIN: One of those issues we're going to address immediately is the issue of climate change.

KING: Obama's rise makes John McCain's New Hampshire resurgence all the more intriguing. At first glance, the 71-year-old man is no match in the change debate with a 47-year-old with remarkable political skills.

MCCAIN: I think that Senator Obama has shown that he's a very, very excellent campaigner, and he's very persuasive person.

KING: Very different man but both appeal to the voters who settle presidential elections. Among independents in New Hampshire, Obama has a 74 percent favorability rating; McCain, 71 percent.

NEWHOUSE: There are things I like about the John McCain/Barack Obama contrast. It's not exactly like John McCain is a status quo candidate. John McCain has bucked the administration, bucked the establishment for years.

MCCAIN: I know how to do it. I will lead.

KING: McCain told us Monday in any Obama match-up, he would stress his experience especially on national security and his more conservative views on taxes and spending.

MCCAIN: I wasn't disparaging the fact that he's a liberal Democrat. The fact is that he is of that philosophy and I'm of different philosophy. And I think we can have a respectful debate on the issues. And I think if he is the nominee; that he will be very formidable.

KING: New Hampshire has a big say in answering the "if" part of the equation for both men.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: So for months, Republicans have been gearing up to go against Hillary Clinton. Now the recalibration, what makes them most nervous?

KING: They think they can paint him as traditional liberal, on taxes, on spending. They are looking at his record all the way back to the Illinois state senate. So they are encouraged they could pan him as a liberal but Hillary Clinton is such a polarizing figure among independents. Go to Ohio, go to Florida, go to the states that decide close presidential elections, they think they could beat Hillary Clinton there by raising her negatives.

Barack Obama is so unknown right now that he is painting the picture of himself, he is identifying himself. And Republicans will tell you this, Anderson, they think on the record they can beat him but sometimes in politics --

COOPER: His stands on gun control other issues like that.

KING: Right but they think in politics sometimes there's a thing called the wave, and if the wave kicks in and you can't stop it. And the Republicans are saying that's what's happening to Hillary Clinton, they're worried it would happen to them.

COOPER: All waves do come ashore there at some point.

KING: A long way to go.

COOPER: A long way to go. We're going to have more with John in just a moment.

Most polls open at 6:00 in the morning and close by 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night. That's when our special New Hampshire primary night coverage begins. Join me, along with Wolf Blitzer and the best political team in television, as we watch the returns come in tomorrow night again 8:00 p.m. here on CNN.

Up next the battle for independent voters. You saw a little bit about it in John's piece, and how Hillary Clinton is holding up against the Obama onslaught.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Hard times for Hillary Clinton.

CLINTON: It's not easy. It's not easy.

COOPER: Up close, how she got here, her unexpected challenge wooing women voters and her strategy for turning things around.

Also tonight, Mitt Romney.

ROMNEY: My campaign has been about change from the very beginning.

COOPER: My conversation with the man who says he's the only one who can beat Barack Obama.

Tonight on "360" in New Hampshire.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I cannot make her younger, taller or change her (inaudible). I can't do anything other than to tell you who she is. But there's a reason all of these people come to see her. There's a reason why senators and colleagues in the senate have endorsed her and no more than two have endorsed anybody else.

So you have five senators at one time running, they know she'd be the best president. They know she's in this for the right reason. They know she cares the most about you and they know that she can win this election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Bill Clinton, the comeback kid, 16 years ago trying to help his wife become the sequel. So far it has not been easy.

Up close tonight, Hillary Clinton on the ropes. Campaign insiders are already talking about the likelihood of losing South Carolina and what to do then.

In a moment we'll talk about it with part of the best political team on television, David Gergen, Carl Bernstein and Candy Crowley. First, Candy sets the stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: the wear and tear takes a toll not often seen, much less heard. The question was, how does she do it?

CLINTON: I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do. I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards, you know? So --

CROWLEY: It's a roller coast ride and she says she's no different than any other passenger.

CLINTON: I actually have emotions. I know that there's some people who doubt that, but I, you know, I really am so touched by what I hear from people. It's usually about their problems.

CROWLEY: Clinton's problem at the moment is that her "candidate most ready to be president campaign" has been turned on its head.

CLINTON: I don't know since when experience became some kind of liability in running for the highest office in our land.

CROWLEY: She has a message problem, her experience, her 16 years on the national scene, and her famous name strikes some voters as same old, same old.

It does weigh on the mind of undecided Democrat Jan Collier.

JAN COLLIER, UNDECIDED DEMOCRAT: Her whole message early on was experience, which is great, too. I'm just not sure that it will be the kind of change I'm looking for which is like throw the bums out and start over. CROWLEY: Clinton actually picked up on the change thing this summer, when her "ready to lead" campaign turned into "ready for change, ready to lead." But Iowa voters overwhelmingly saw Barack Obama as the agent of change.

OBAMA: I've been talking about change this whole election. I talked about it when I was down 20 points in the summer. I talked about it when I was up. And now this change thing is catching on because you notice everybody's talking about change now.

CROWLEY: Now with her loss in Iowa and discouraging polls in New Hampshire, Clinton is going after him.

CLINTON: When you say you're against the Patriot Act as a candidate, and you vote for it as a senator, that is not change. And when you give a speech and say you will not vote to fund the war in Iraq, and then you vote for $300 billion of funding, that is not change.

CROWLEY: She's no underdog but overnight the roller coaster went down. Hillary Clinton went from front-runner to injured candidate.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: First, let's talk to Candy about what was in your piece.

Hillary Clinton it is a very tough battle, certainly not one she expected to be fighting at this stage in the campaign.

CROWLEY: Absolutely not. And here's what's happened which was really interesting. This was a woman who staked her campaign on experience, and that's just been turned on its head. Now the watch word obviously is "change."

COOPER: And experience almost seems to be a dirty word.

CROWLEY: Absolutely. And she sort of mentioned that today. She said, "I don't know how experience suddenly became a detriment in a campaign."

She's having a hard time trying to make that pivot and say, "Listen, if you want change, you need a person with experience to affect that change." So obviously she's struggling here in New Hampshire.

Iowa obviously was a shock to this campaign. They're looking at the polls. So this is a campaign at this point looking at a plan B.

COOPER: The moment got a lot of attention today, when Hillary Clinton, her eyes sort of filled up a little bit. She didn't cry but she seemed close to doing it, her voice kind of broke a little bit.

Some have -- I mean, it's interesting, it says a lot about what kind of a figure she is, the media and also the way people view her, that that became such a moment. CROWLEY: Absolutely. I think it also says a little bit about us as a nation and how we view women and men. Remember after 9/11, George Bush teared up, his voice broke. So this was taken, I think, through the prism of how you feel about Hillary Clinton. The women in that room were sympathetic to this.

I mean it's been a year-long campaign. It's been very intense for two months. They get tired, so this was sort of, you know, welling up. The question was, how do you stand this, you know, how do you keep going, and it went to that.

COOPER: Some have questioned whether or not that moment was genuine. What do you think?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: She was a vulnerable person. I wrote a whole book about the fact that she has lived a remarkable, compelling life in which emotions are a huge part of her existence. She just doesn't usually show them.

I think the most interesting thing, though, that we've seen happen is, that fellow Democrats, rank and file Democrats, are saying, many of them, saying awful things about Hillary Clinton these days, that her right wing Republican enemies have been saying about her and Bill Clinton for years.

You hear it in groups of them. You see it online. It's an extraordinary development, and I think it has a lot to do with the results that we're seeing.

COOPER: David Gergen, I hope we have audio with you. You said just the other day she needs to personalize herself on the campaign trail. She needs to show emotion. She certainly did that today. What was your take of it? There are people saying was it genuine?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it was genuine, Anderson. You've watched this woman the last few nights and she's clearly deeply frustrated.

There's an anger in her, you know, she feels it's her turn. She's worked all this time. And here's this young fellow, Barack Obama, comes out of nowhere, from her point of view, and is taking it away from her. And sort of the dreams of a lifetime seem to be crumbling before her eyes.

I think what we saw in that was a vulnerable side of Hillary Clinton. And those who know her, I've seen her in vulnerable moments before, I've seen her well up before.

She does have, as Carl Bernstein says, an emotional side and I think it came out. I don't think it's an Ed Muskey moment of the kind we saw that knocked him out of the race.

I think it's quite different. I don't think it's going to help her very much but I'm glad she showed her human side.

COOPER: It's fascinating that so much has been talked about just this one little moment. Candy, if she comes in second tomorrow, what happens?

CROWLEY: Well, she goes on, but they've got to now look at a much broader map here. And obviously, what they're looking at are places like New York, New Jersey, California; those are the February 5th states.

COOPER: Does she reorganize, does she go more negative? How does she try to recalibrate?

CROWLEY: First she has to figure out money. We're talking after South Carolina and Nevada. She's got to come up with some kind of money to have ads in these states. Yes, there will be some reconfiguration of how she approaches this obviously.

COOPER: Carl, given all you have seen of this woman, given all the research you have done, what must be going through her mind, her husband's mind? This is certainly a moment none of them expected to be facing.

BERNSTEIN: Well, they seemed to be launching themselves the kind of campaign against Obama that they have often accused the Republicans of launching against themselves, the Clintons.

They've got their people out talking about what a liberal the left end of the spectrum is, saying sotto voce that he's against long sentences for criminals.

It's really kind of an amazing thing to look at, you know. John Edwards picked up on this the other day; he said this campaign lacks conscience.

It may not be true of Hillary, but of the campaign, I think one of the things that has so many Democrats riled up is this feeling that the Clinton campaign is about the Clintons, not about the country, as Hillary was saying today. And that it does lack a conscience on some level.

If she's going to compete with this wave that Obama's riding, she's going to have to figure a way to make the campaign look like it has a conscience, and a different kind of a track.

COOPER: We're going to have more with our -- sorry, David, go ahead.

GERGEN: I just want to disagree with that. I think it's very, very important that she go out with class, and with dignity, if she goes out February 5th. But I do think there's a legitimacy on her part of saying, "What is this rush to judgment?" Everybody ought to be careful. If this process -- don't rush in. There's almost a coronation.

I happen to think that Barack Obama is a phenomenal candidate but I do think that the country deserves to know more about him before we, before in effect he wins this. This is for our country, the United States. BERNSTEIN: Absolutely. He should be vetted and all these candidates and their campaigns particularly need to be examined the same way the Clintons have been, but also the campaign apparatus (ph) and how they operate. All of these candidates need to be examined.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there. We'll have more from our roundtable coming up.

Up next the female vote. For the first time a woman has a real chance of winning the White House. Why do so many women say they're not voting for Hillary Clinton?

And are New Hampshire women going to go for Obama, like so many in Iowa did? We'll look at that.

Also ahead a major development in the investigation to that tiger attack in the San Francisco Zoo. The latest details when "360" continues live from Manchester, New Hampshire.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Looking at that countdown clock to the first open voting booth here in New Hampshire, very short time from now. The first primary in the nation, the voting booths open at midnight in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire where 17 registered voters are expected to cast their ballots, 12 of them independents. And independents are the only group Hillary Clinton needs to win over to avoid Iowa redux.

She needs women. They need not flock to her in Iowa. They chose Barack Obama. So how are they leaning now in the Granite State?

Here's "360's" Randi Kaye with a look at the female vote up close.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good friends Karen Juliano and Alison Mundry were once both steadfast supporters of Hillary Clinton. But listen to Karen now.

KAREN JULIANO, DEMOCRAT VOTER: I'm going to cast my vote for Obama.

KAYE: At what point did Hillary Clinton lose you?

JULIANO: Fairly recently. She has decades of built up, at least my perception, decades of built up political favors that she's going to have to pay back. Obama doesn't have that. He just doesn't operate that way.

KAYE: To Karen, Barack Obama is the face of integrity. Psychology professor Elizabeth Ostoff, who studies women's behavior calls him the "new bright and shiny."

ELIZABETH OSTOFF: Younger women and younger people in general tend to gravitate toward that which is new and novel. KAYE: It's a generational thing and it showed in Iowa, where women under 30 snubbed Clinton. Ostoff says they haven't experienced sex discrimination as their grandmothers did so don't see the importance of electing a female president or the rush.

If it's not our time this time, then next time. The latest CNN/WMUR New Hampshire presidential primary poll shows Obama leading Clinton by two percentage points among those women who say they will vote in the Democratic primary.

Don't women want a female president?

OSTOFF: I think that there are some people out there who still think that that's not the right role for women, and I think some of those people are women.

KAYE: Ostoff says even women are more comfortable with women in traditional roles. "Mrs. President" just doesn't sit well. Alison says experience, not gender, got her vote.

ALISON: I think Obama is a freshman. He needs to prove himself. He's made the freshman team. Hillary's already playing for varsity.

KAYE: Yet Obama continues to woo women. Why? Women are relationship-oriented and his message resonates. Women prefer someone who wants to bring people together, a candidate who wants everyone to get along.

So what, if anything, can Clinton do to persuade women voters here? Experts suggest she be more candid, more spontaneous, less measured. More emotional moments like this at a New Hampshire coffee shop, could serve her well.

CLINTON: I see what's happening. We have to reverse it.

Wait a minute, I'm going to respond to this.

KAYE: Should she continue to be more aggressive against Obama --

OSTOFF: Some women say, "Yeah, look at her go, that's what we need to do." And other women are going to look at her and go, "Oh, I don't like that. It's a little too nasty. I don't like it when they're nasty."

KAYE: Trailing in the polls, at this point, anything may be worth a try. Randi Kaye, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Still to come tonight, the Republicans on the campaign trail with Governor Mitt Romney. We talked one on one today and says he'll go on but at this stage, do or die for him?

We are live from Manchester, New Hampshire, surrounded by, as you can tell, Ron Paul supporters who like to come out any time the camera's around. We'll be right back in downtown Manchester. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Governor Mitt Romney at a rally earlier today with his wife and some of his family members. He, of course, is here in New Hampshire, duking it out with John McCain. Hoping to place better than second place which is what he placed in Iowa, of course.

Trying to reach out to as many independents as possible; making about 40 percent of the electorate in New Hampshire. It is a big, big voting block and both John McCain and Mitt Romney would like to get as many independents as possible to bring themselves to a number one win here in New Hampshire.

I caught up with the governor a little bit earlier today for a one-on-one interview. Here's some of what we had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: On this final day, what is your message to independent voters and undecided voters?

ROMNEY: People across the country are saying that Washington is fundamentally broken and has to be changed. And they recognize that having Barack Obama as the leader of the Democratic Party means we have to have somebody that goes up against him who is not a long-term senator.

He's he a senator killer. He took care of Biden and Dodd and Hillary Clinton. And he's going to take care of John McCain if he's our nominee. We have to have somebody who not only can talk about bringing change to America but has a record of changing business, the Olympics and a state.

COOPER: You've been talking about yourself today as an agent of change and in New Hampshire the last couple of days as an agent of change. Your critics say that's another example of you trying to reinvent yourself. That you weren't talking about being an agent of change before but now you're positioning yourself that because of Iowa.

ROMNEY: Critics are quick with their criticism. But they have to look at the data now and then. And the data is that my campaign has been about change from the very beginning and I'm happy to see that the message is catching on.

Barack Obama on their side, me on our side. I just don't think there's any way Washington is going to be changed if we just send back the same people, just give them different chairs.

COOPER: Senator McCain, and Governor Huckabee have complained that you have -- they say that you've run a relentlessly negative campaign against them. Is that fair?

ROMNEY: That's from the guy who said he wanted to kick in my teeth? I don't think so. Exactly right and then they ran an ad saying I'm not going to run a negative ad on Governor Romney but if I did, here's what it is and then of course that turned up on the web.

My ads had been focused on issue differences between myself and the other candidates. And I describe my view on issues like immigration and taxes and their views.

We just had two days of debates and they did not back away from their positions and frankly, if they don't like their positions, then you know, they got a problem that's bigger than just ads.

COOPER: Final question, given all of the support that Governor Huckabee has gotten from so-called "values" voters, from evangelicals, 61 percent turning out for him, was it a mistake for you to focus so much on values issues in Iowa?

ROMNEY: I focused on change and bringing change to America, and of course the guys I had to go up against. The real tough competition which I beat, was Giuliani, McCain and Fred Thompson.

Those guys I beat by better than 2-1, and those are the folks who I think I'll be facing down the road. Now Mike Huckabee has an entirely different base and that's a very different message, as to how you're going to beat Mike Huckabee.

I plan on doing that, but the guys I was going after, like the one I'm going after here in New Hampshire, is, of course, John McCain, and that's where we talk about the need for change in Washington.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Well, he may have talked about change in the past, but in his speeches, he talks about it more than ever before the last couple days.

Tonight, Mitt Romney aired a two-minute ad on TV here in New Hampshire billed as his closing argument. He spent the most money on ads in the Granite State.

Here's the raw data. Since last year Romney's ads have aired more than 8,000 times in New Hampshire costing more than $8.4 million. That's almost twice as much as John McCain, who is second on the GOP list, after spending at least $4 million on ads in the state.

As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is in the top spot spending $5.3 million on ads that have aired at least 4,700 times. Barack Obama is a close second spending $5 million. No doubt, Senator Clinton wants those millions of dollars to translate into millions of votes; votes that she did not get in Iowa, placing third between Barack Obama and John Edwards.

We caught up with Mr. Edwards today. We're digging deeper on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Senator Edwards, how are you?

EDWARDS: Nice to see you.

COOPER: How are you feeling?

EDWARDS: I feel fine.

COOPER: Yeah?

EDWARDS: Yeah.

COOPER: You've been pretty tough on Senator Clinton the last couple of days. If this ends up being a race between you and senator Obama, how do you differentiate yourself from him?

EDWARDS: From Senator Obama?

COOPER: Yeah.

EDWARDS: Both of us believe in change but we have a very different view on what it takes to bring about change. His is more of a negotiation, bring the interested to the table and negotiate with them.

I don't think that will work. I think they are well-financed, have to be bought. I think we have a fight on our hands.

COOPER: Senator Clinton is selling herself as an agent of change but through experience. What's wrong with experience?

EDWARDS: Nothing wrong with experience but she's not an agent of change. In order to be an agent of change, you have to reject the way Washington operates.

Senator Clinton has taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any candidate, Democrat or Republican. I think taken more money from drug companies and insurance companies, the very people who are the problem in trying to do something about health care.

COOPER: What are you expecting to see tomorrow night?

EDWARDS: I don't have expectations. We'll wait and see.

COOPER: All right, thanks very much.

EDWARDS: Sure.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Up next, he was down to his last campaign dollars and all but forgotten in the fuss over Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

We'll be digging deeper at how John McCain ended up back on top in New Hampshire and how the rest of the campaign is shaping up for him. That and more when "360" in New Hampshire continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: John McCain's rallying cries. We reported earlier McCain is leading Mitt Romney by five points and Huckabee by 18. He's in friendly territory.

You'll recall he won the primary here eight years ago. The question is will he do it again tomorrow? Joe Johns is following the campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like a fast food slogan. "The Mac is back" instead it's what the McCain campaign wants to you believe. McCain has been up and down and up all year.

Remember 12 months ago he was the man to beat.

MCCAIN: I am announcing that I will be a candidate for President of the United States.

JOHNS: But a support for the war alienated moderates in droves. And his position on immigration turned off conservatives. McCain took a slide.

Then six months ago, his campaign in disarray, his wallet empty, the veteran was nearly left for dead.

MCCAIN: There you go.

JOHNS: So where is he now? Possibly on the verge of victory in New Hampshire, working the rope line, battling the media frenzy, up from the ashes like an Arizona phoenix; right where he may or may not want to be.

JOE KLEIN, TIME COLUMNIST: He's a lousy front-runner. He's a lousy establishment candidate. He loves being a rebel.

JOHNS: So how did McCain get from the back to nearly the front? He's still riding the bus called the "Straight Talk Express." He's still using some of the same old jokes.

MCCAIN: I got an e-mail recently that said "as a former member of congress, I resent being -- excuse me, as a former drunken sailor, I resent being compared to members of congress." screwed that line up.

JOHNS: And his positions on immigration and the war haven't changed.

MCCAIN: I'll bring 'em home with honor!

JOHNS: What's changed most is everything around McCain. Other candidates have faltered, leaving the race confused.

KLEIN: Anybody who tells you they know how this could turn out on the Republican side, they're crazy.

JOHNS: And now he's right where he was this time eight years ago, when he looked for a moment like he might beat George Bush.

Back then he ran out of money and patience, railing against the Bush campaign for alleged dirty tricks. With that behind him, McCain has one thing going for him that no one else in the Republican race has; a campaign veteran's understanding that politics is chaotic and steadiness counts.

Joe Johns, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Back with us now with members of the best political team on television, David Gergen is joining us, along with Jennifer Donahue of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College and our John King here as well.

Jennifer, I want to talk about the Republican side and John McCain but in particular you said you have some information about Senator Clinton's strategy.

JENNIFER DONAHU, ST. ANSELM COLLEGE: Yeah, it's interesting because I've been talking to people all day about Senator Clinton and trying to gauge their reaction to her emotional response earlier which I found a lot of people have found empathy towards her. Wished she had introduced herself on a human level much earlier in this campaign instead of getting dragged into a negative tactic strategy.

I've also heard from somebody was on the phone with James Carville today that he was willing to go to the campaign now if Mark Penn were to leave.

And I think that really sums up what's going on is that Mark Penn, who is known for a more negative aggressive approach, has perhaps inhibited Hillary Clinton's ability to introduce herself in New Hampshire, of all places, and certainly in Iowa. And I wish they'd done this for her sake a week ago or two weeks ago.

COOPER: Would you be surprised, John King, if there was some shuffling after whatever happens here tomorrow?

KING: If she loses here in New Hampshire, yes expect shuffling, but shuffling that many think, Anderson, would just simply be too late.

You mentioned Mark Penn has a reputation for being negative. He also has a reputation for micro-targeting. Sort of saying, "Ok this is what we need, 51 percent. We'll get 12 percent here, 30 percent there, this, that."

And what you have in Barack Obama a candidate way up here at 30,000 feet talking about hopes, talking about bipartisanship, talking about breaking the barriers of history and race and opportunity. And she's down here trying to put together legos.

And so it's a campaign that, her campaign simply does not fit with the mood of voters right now which is bipartisanship and opportunity.

COOPER: All right, let's focus on the Republicans. David, clearly John McCain needs independents the same way that Barack Obama does and it's interesting you go to the rallies and find crossover, folks who may vote either -- basically for either man. Independents are really key in this election. How much support does McCain have here among them?

GERGEN: He could, McCain has very strong support among independents in New Hampshire. His one worry is that if Barack Obama attracts them over on to the Democratic side, he won't get that surge of votes that he needs, because Romney -- Mitt Romney is actually running a little stronger than I think some people expected three or four days ago.

He's very competitive and so unless there's that surge for McCain it could make that a much closer race than expected.

Let me just come back here just for a second, a "quote" on the Hillary Clinton point. Mark Penn works for Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton doesn't work for Mark Penn. So if there's a problem with the management of the campaign that's not the problem -- that shouldn't account for the problem of the candidate.

COOPER: It's a good point. John King, "The Wall Street Journal" was pretty brutal toward Mitt Romney today; calling his talk about change we've heard from him for the last couple of days the new-new Mitt Romney.

Do you think voters buy it? That he is an agent of change?

KING: He's had a problem because many of his positions now are not his positions three, four, five or ten years ago. Now people change their minds. Human beings change their mind every day so it's sometimes unfair to a politician.

He has done it on a number of occasions -- on enough occasions that people say it must be calculated. Therefore we will not accept it. And again I think the problem is in some years that might be fine. He has spent the money, he has been methodical and he has campaigned hard. In many years it would be fine but there seems to be a mood right now, an apolitical mood if you will.

The candidates are doing well, Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, John McCain, are the candidates who seem less political, who seem to tell it like it is, take it or leave it, this is who I am. John McCain's closing message today is, "We're going to disagree sometimes but you're going to know I'm telling you the truth. You know I'm speaking from the heart." Those candidates are doing better right now and so again, Mitt Romney is running against the mood.

COOPER: It's interesting, Jennifer, in the latest CNN/WMUR poll, Rudy Giuliani is running neck and neck with Ron Paul. Rudy Giuliani think spent 40 days here campaigning. That's not a small investment of time.

DONAHUE: Not small.

COOPER: Has he miscalculated?

DONAHUE: Miscalculated because the events weren't retail event. They were fly-through rally type things.

COOPER: I've heard from a lot of people at McCain and Romney events and saying I went to a Giuliani event and it was dead.

DONAHUE: They couldn't ask a question. They wouldn't take questions. He didn't take questions. And you know, what you've seen McCain do is, Romney was doing really well here, taking questions, left his base unattended while McCain started building it up, went to Iowa to try to beat down Huckabee and again, a front-loaded calendar, five days between Iowa and New Hampshire.

This state loves an underdog but they don't love them so much that five days will do it. So Romney had already been hurt. Hillary Clinton had already been hurt. You can't make something in five days if it's not already deeply embedded.

COOPER: David, has Rudy Giuliani miscalculated, Florida was the firewall; that was the strategy he said he was running a national campaign from the beginning. Should he have been more competitive here and certainly in Iowa?

GERGEN: He had -- I'm surprised he didn't make more of an effort in New Hampshire. It seems to me it's a state where there's a lot fear of terrorism on the Republican side and concern about national security.

The fact that he took a pass here on New Hampshire, I think it's going to wind up, may wind up hurting him and you know, because the excitement has turned to McCain. And there's something odd now about Rudy Giuliani just sort of taking a pass on all of these earlier races.

I think a lot of people in the press, a lot of voters are going to think, you know, if you're really going to compete, go out there and compete but don't just wait and wait and wait. My sense is this is going to hurt him.

There have been so many surprises in this campaign already, you know, about four weeks now we'll probably be eating those words.

COOPER: Do you think there's concern in the Giuliani camp, John?

KING: Of course there's concern in the Giuliani campaign because there's psychology in elections. You can't keep losing and then eventually think you're going to win. And also the reason many Republicans disagreed with him on issues like abortion or guns for supporting is they thought he was the toughest candidate against Hillary Clinton. She fades and Obama rises, Rudy Giuliani loses some of his rationale.

COOPER: All right John, Jennifer, thanks very much. David Gergen, always good to have you.

Up next a look at some of the other stories making news tonight. Yes, there is other news, including a breaking development in the missing hiker in Georgia. And police weigh in on the San Francisco tiger attack. Will the two injured survivors face charges?

Find out when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. We're live in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. As you can tell a lot of Ron Paul supporters in the crowd. They pretty much show up. They coordinate and call each other. They say, "Come on down to downtown, CNN's down there or Fox is down there or ABC." They kind of show up and everyone else is kind of just pushed away. So we got a lot of Ron Paul supporters tonight.

More now on the first votes of the New Hampshire primary. As we touched on earlier at the stroke of midnight, the 17 registered voters in a tiny but justifiably famous town here will have their say.

Tom Foreman joins us live from Dixville Notch. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN: Yes, Anderson. You got all of the noise down here but this is where it's really going to be happening. The voters will file into here. They'll go into all these individual little voting slots all at once. They will vote right at midnight which makes it legal and above-board. And then they'll come over here and they'll drop their ballots in.

It will immediately be counted and the results will be posted. One thing we do know, there's a preponderance here of independent voters. There's just a handful of Democrats and Republicans so they'll be the first read in this entire state on how the voting will go.

And they don't always serve as a great indicator of how it's going to wind up. But you got to know every candidate out there is going to be watching to see if they can get the early vote here in Dixville Notch at the (inaudible). Anderson?

COOPER: We will be watching as well. Tom thanks very much.

To get a behind the scenes look at our trip in New Hampshire go to cnn.com/360, where you find a link to my video blog. It shows what it's like for me and my producers on the road as we're stuck in a mini van together all day long.

More on the race here in New Hampshire coming up.

First a check of some of tonight's other headlines. Gary Tuchman joins us with the "360 Bulletin." Gary?

GARY TUCHMAN: Anderson, this just in. The missing Georgia hiker, Meredith Emerson, has been found dead. The 24-year-old disappeared New Year's day while hiking with her dog. Earlier today a judge denied bond for a 61-year-old man accused of kidnapping Miss Emerson. The judge said Gary Hilton was caught on surveillance video trying to use her credit card at a bank. Investigators are now looking at whether evidence links Hilton to other crimes.

There will be no criminal charges filed against the two brothers injured in the tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas day. Police say there's no evidence the men taunted the 300-pound tiger that killed their 17-year-old friend.

Colorado near the New Mexico border, six snowmobilers missing for three days found alive. The group got lost and ran out of gas Friday night. They were rescued today after they called 911 on a cell phone from a remote cabin where they sought shelter.

And forget about the red carpet. The Golden Globe ceremony is canceled. Actors were vowing to boycott the event in support of the ongoing Hollywood writer's strike. Organizers say the winners will be announced during a news conference this upcoming Sunday. So Anderson, if you like your awards ceremonies short and sweet, you'll like the news conference.

COOPER: That's the one where they all get drunk and sit around tables?

TUCHMAN: Now, they'll have to get drunk at the news conference.

COOPER: I guess so. That would be quite some news conference. Gary thanks. Stay right there.

Our segment "What Were They Thinking" is next and tonight we got to ask Dr. Phil that question. Did you hear that Dr. Phil visited Britney Spears in the hospital after a meltdown and then he goes and talks about it to the media?

What the heck was he thinking? Did he cross the line? We'll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

OZZY OSBOURNE: This is Anderson Cooper 360, rock on!

COOPER: That of course is the voice of Ozzy Osbourne, who's in the running to be the voice of "360." We're not really sure why.

We've had a ton of comments on Ozzy's try out. Check them out at cnn.com/360. We'll have another candidate for the voice of "360" later this week. Why should NBC be the only ones with a big name celebrity announcer?

Gary now in our segment "What Were They Thinking?" That's the question we got to ask Dr. Phil. He visited Britney Spears before she was released from an L.A. hospital over the weekend.

Today he released a statement about his visit. Gary it's on his website. Dr. Phil, what about patient confidentiality? What about that whole thing? Isn't it an issue?

He mentions in the statement he won't get into specifics due to patient confidentiality but he goes on to say he dropped plans today to air a special on Britney's meltdown because her situation is "too intense."

And explaining why he wanted to do the show "clearly it is not just Britney's family struggling to find a way to protect adult children who can not be ordered or compelled to seek help." Again, Dr. Phil, patient confidentiality, hello. Dr. Phil is accused of ambushing Britney in the hospital; a charge he denies.

She was put in restraints Thursday night, taken to the hospital after she refused to hand over her two kids to her ex-husband. He now has custody of the kids. And that's really all we need to say about it.

Up next on the radar, Hillary Clinton gets emotional and the voters respond.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: On the radar tonight, Hillary Clinton gets personal showing emotion on the campaign trail. I wrote about it on the "360" blog. While eating at a McDonald's, of all places, Katherine says, "What's surreal to me is to think of Anderson Cooper sitting in a McDonald's. Take Hillary along next time; she'll truly come across as a real person then."

Mariela of New York writes, "I'll say it Anderson. Only you AC360 can persuade me to watch politics. You make it bearable, tolerable and slightly easier to swallow." Well, I guess thanks.

Christina of Windber, PA says, "We should be smart about this election and remember we aren't voting for the Homecoming king and queen." That is certainly true.

We want to hear from you, go to cnn.com/360, link to the blog to weigh in. A reminder, you can also watch my video blog for a look at what it's kind of like covering the campaign trail today.

That does it for us from Manchester, New Hampshire. Be sure to watch CNN's special coverage of the primary results starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow.

For our international viewers, "CNN Today" is next. Here in America, Larry King is coming up.

We'll see you tomorrow night.

LARRY KING, HOST: I'm Larry King. It is almost midnight in the tiny village of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. And that means it's voting time. Every four years, the fine citizens of Dixville Notch cast the first ballots in the nation's first presidential primary. The results always make headlines; they don't always predict who's going to go on and win the state.

CNN's ace correspondent Tom Foreman is on the scene at Dixville Notch in New Hampshire, awaiting the toll of midnight. That should happen in about 30 seconds. And off we go. What's the history of this, Tom?

FOREMAN: Oh, it's a great history, Larry. And as you can see that is the first ballot of this presidential primary season. Poised and their counting on the seconds there on the watch, Mr. Tilitson is and he will drop it in a moment.

And there it goes, the very first vote of the season and the rest of the folks are coming through and dropping their votes now.

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