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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pope Benedict XVI Visits America; A Football Star's Mental Health Struggle; Photos Released of Raid on Texas Polygamist Compound
Aired April 15, 2008 - 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: Tonight, our first look at dramatic pictures of police raiding that polygamist compound in western Texas. They were taken inside the hideout as the operation went down, taken by the polygamists themselves -- new developments tonight, authorities defending their handling of this raid.
Hundreds of kids are now in state hands. It is a legal mess, to say the least, and the mothers are insisting their kids are being traumatized. We will have that tonight.
And the latest on the Pope Benedict's -- on Pope Benedict's historic visit, no separate of church and state on this trip. Could the trip here actually sway the upcoming election? We will take a look at that tonight.
And up close with Barack Obama, the making of a presidential candidate -- how he got to where he is today.
Also tonight, a football star's hidden battle with multiple personality disorder. Herschel Walker says he doesn't remember winning the Heisman Trophy. That is how ill he says he was. Now he's telling his story.
We begin with the latest from Eldorado, Texas, the first images we have seen of the police raid at a polygamist compound with ties to Warren Jeffs. Now take a look at the pictures. You can see police wearing body armor, carrying automatic weapons. There's another shot of an officer with an automatic weapon there hiding behind some boulders. The officers had massive backup. An armored personnel carrier, there is that rolling in.
And another shot of the backup -- the photographs all taken by members of the sect as the raid unfolded, released to the Associated Press today. More than 400 kids, as you know, were removed from the compound during that raid. And they remain in state custody tonight. And there's growing outrage within the sect.
Some of their mothers now say they were lied to and misled by police.
CNN's David Mattingly is just outside the compound. He joins me now.
David, what's the latest?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, that was a story from the mothers we heard many times behind these gates here last night. We are going to take you inside there now to show to you exactly the way that I saw it. The encounter went like this.
MATTINGLY: All right, here we go. This is an extraordinary moment. For the first time in four years since this facility has been out here, they are allowing us inside the gate. We just passed through and now we're going onto one of the main roads inside the gate.
(voice-over): We immediately drove through what seemed to be a construction zone. There was heavy equipment parked everywhere. Then we saw several large wooden buildings, living quarters, we were told.
(on camera): Just the sense I get of just looking here for this first few moments, this place seems to be huge. One thing I am noticing, that the direction we're going seems to be away from the temple, and that we're going into what looks like maybe one of the residential areas.
We're pulling over here. This must be our location. We will see what happens.
(voice-over): On a balcony, women stood watching, clearly upset. Below, mothers were eager to send one message, that they are the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told us before we moved that they would take the children and the mothers together and put them in one compound together, all of us, all of the people together. That was a lie.
MATTINGLY: No questions were off-limits, but some answers were difficult to find.
(on camera): Is there any time where a woman 16 years or younger is married out here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want our children back. We're not here to talk about ourselves. We just want the children back.
MATTINGLY: But that's why the children are not here, and that's why I'm asking these questions. So, I hope you don't mind.
(voice-over): More than 50 of the mothers had been returned to the compound only an hour before by bus. Six mothers chose not to return. The rest are still staying with the youngest children.
Investigators encountered problems trying to get simple information, like names and ages. I had the same problem. Questions about age were frequently met with hesitation.
(on camera): How old were you when you were married?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-one. MATTINGLY: And you? How old are you now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 32.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thirty-one.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Almost all the women declined to give their last name. In all the conversations, there was only one confirmation that teens are married here.
(on camera): Are there any young women ages 16 and under who marry out here? And how often does that happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not real common.
MATTINGLY: How young would you say the youngest girl you have seen married out here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably 16.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): All of the women said the charges of abuse were not true, that no one is forced to marry, and the woman named Sarah, who first alerted authorities, does not live here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone that has once lived here and been (INAUDIBLE) and turned against, a traitor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have set this whole thing up to bring persecution against (INAUDIBLE) It's the worst insurrection that's happened in the United States.
MATTINGLY: I left with still more questions. Some of them apparently won't be answered until 416 custody cases go to court.
COOPER: So, David, authorities spoke out today, defending their actions. What did they say?
MATTINGLY: They are saying they did absolutely the right thing when they took all of the children off of this compound, all 416 of them. And they're also saying they did the right thing by sending most of the mothers back home, by separating them from their children after being with them for more than 11 days.
State officials believe now they will be able to get better information out of these children, that the lawyers will be able to represent them better if the parents aren't there influencing what they have to say and how they might be thinking.
We're looking at a very big court case coming up, the biggest child custody case ever in the history of the state of Texas -- 416 kids, each of them represented by his or her own lawyer. The parents are going to be there with their own lawyers. It's going to be a huge undertaking, a big day coming up on Thursday.
COOPER: You know, it's interesting, David. We're getting a lot of e-mail from viewers, saying that these women appear deceptive.
I mean, when you ask them point-blank questions about, how old are your kids who got married and stuff, they -- they seem to hesitate. They don't want to talk about it. They -- they stick to a script, it seems like. They all say the same thing. Clearly, they want the message out. They want to use the media, because this is the first time -- yesterday was the first time we have been allowed into this compound.
How deceptive do you think they're being?
MATTINGLY: Well, former FLDS members tell us that this is part of the culture when dealing with outsiders, people like us out here, that they will evade questions, that they do not want to give any more personal information that they have to. We saw evidence of that happening there that night.
The only thing that I could say that was truly genuine that I experienced were the tears that the mothers were shedding when they were getting upset about being taken away from their children. That, you can't argue with. The rest of it, though, seems to be falling in line with what has been explained to us as part of this culture of deception that former FLDS members have explained to us in the past.
COOPER: And do they have all the attorneys that they need to represent these kids? I mean, you have 416 kids. This is the biggest family court case in American history.
MATTINGLY: The recruiting has been going on since late last week.
Numerous people have been saying that they have got hundreds of attorneys lined up for these kids. A lot of these attorneys, probably all of these attorneys, expecting to do this for nothing. And it's going to be interesting to see how they actually pull this off. It's been joked that they would have to have this in the Coliseum here, the largest building in town.
We're waiting to find out what the logistics are actually going to be for that day, for that court date, because, clearly, the courthouses here aren't big enough to handle anything like that.
COOPER: Yes, it's going to be a mess.
David, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.
The raid in Eldorado sent shockwaves through the polygamist community, of course, which numbers in the tens of thousands in North America. It's not just this one sect. Not all polygamists belong to Warren Jeffs' FLDS sect, but every polygamist community now lives in fear, they say, that what happened in Texas could also happen to them.
That fear is actually uniting even fierce rivals.
With that story, here's CNN's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Winston Blackmore won't say how many children he's got, but it's widely believed to be more than 100. He has got two dozen or so wives.
WINSTON BLACKMORE, POLYGAMIST LEADER: I'm not a very good dad. Like, I just do the best I can.
SIMON: Blackmore is the former bishop of the FLDS Church in Bountiful, British Columbia, a polygamist community that is home to 1,000 people. Polygamists began settling here in the 1940s. Today, almost all know people or have relatives affected by the raid in Texas.
BLACKMORE: If somebody called for distress in any community that size, that they wouldn't -- the authorities wouldn't go in and mop up on every last person that was there and go and jackhammer holes in their temple.
SIMON: Blackmore wouldn't normally rally to their defense, after a bitter falling-out with the FLDS Church. Blackmore says he criticized leader Warren Jeffs for taking such tight control. Jeffs stripped him of power and, in 2002, excommunicated him.
Ever since, the Bountiful community has been deeply divided. Half remain loyal to Blackmore, the other to Jeffs, even though he's now in prison. But the raid down south has brought both sides together, at least on this issue.
VILETE QUINTON, POLYGAMIST WIFE: I feel really bad for the children. I think they're terrified. And I think that whatever they're being supposedly saved from is not nearly as bad as what they're being put through now.
BLACKMORE: I don't do this every weekend. I spend my Sundays sleeping, generally.
SIMON: Blackmore took us on horseback to proudly show us his ranch and rodeo grounds. Much of his family lives in this house, which looks more like a motel. We asked whether he plans to have more children.
(on camera): Are you still having more?
BLACKMORE: Well, I leave that up to the good old girls.
SIMON (voice-over): He owns a farming and cattle operation and is reported to be worth millions of dollars. And he knows as much as anyone in the world about polygamy and the FLDS faith. We asked Blackmore about those beds found in the Texas church.
BLACKMORE: I can imagine if there was a bed in that place, it would be probably housing for whoever was a caretaker of the temple.
SIMON (on camera): So, you don't think that's accurate, that it was actually used for consummating marriages?
BLACKMORE: I certainly do not.
SIMON (voice-over): Polygamy is also illegal in Canada, but, just as in the U.S., police rarely intervene unless there's allegations of abuse.
Blackmore says Warren Jeffs' father, Rulon, made it clear years ago that underage girls should not be married.
BLACKMORE: We are going to honor the age difference laws. We are going to be -- you know, make a great effort to comply.
SIMON: But Blackmore did not necessarily adhere to that. He's admitted to marrying at least two underage girls. Authorities investigated, but no charges were filed.
(on camera): Why do you feel you weren't prosecuted?
BLACKMORE: I don't have any underage -- any young wives now. I'm old, and my ladies are old.
SIMON (voice-over): Old? Some of the women who were under 16 should now just be in their 20s. Investigators looked at other similar cases in the community, but hit a brick wall, because no witnesses would testify.
Blackmore is dismissive of the government interference.
BLACKMORE: Since when was polygamy more distasteful than adultery?
SIMON: He just wants his community to be left alone and be free to practice their faith.
Dan Simon, CNN, Bountiful, British Columbia.
COOPER: Well, as much as they want to live in the shadows, polygamist communities in Canada and here in America stand out.
Erica Hill joins us with the "Raw Data" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
And to put it in perspective, Anderson, we thought we would take a look at one of the most well-known polygamist communities here in the United States, that of Colorado City, Arizona, which is of course home base for the FLDS.
Take a look at the median age there. In Colorado City, it is just 14. Compare that with 34 for the state of Arizona. And then we wanted to take a look at family size, because we hear so much about the number of wives and children -- the average family size in Colorado City, seven to eight people in one family. For the state of Arizona, well, it's about three.
And then, if you take a look at the economic factors here, if we want to look at the percent of the community that is below the poverty line, in Colorado city, nearly 30 percent, vs. 10 percent, Anderson, for the state of Arizona, so definitely some -- some differing numbers there.
COOPER: And that's become an issue, some of the families using the welfare system, and been criticized for that, as part of their plan.
As always, Erica and I are blogging tonight. You can join the conversation. Go to CNN.com/360 -- a lot of folks already talking about this whole polygamist sect.
When 360 continues: Pope Benedict's historic visit, his political and ecclesiastical agenda, and how he's handling the sex abuse scandal.
President Bush also made history today. We will tell you how.
Then new poll numbers show what, if any, Barack Obama -- quote, unquote -- "bitter" remarks are having on the campaign trail.
And, tonight, the first in a weeklong series. We're profiling -- profiling all three candidates this week up close, in depth, so you can get a better picture of the factors shaping who you're voting for -- tonight, up close with Barack Obama.
COOPER: That's President Bush this afternoon greeting Pope Benedict XVI at Andrews Air Force Base. It's first time ever an American president has traveled out to Andrews to welcome a foreign leader and Benedict's first American visit as pope.
He comes, of course, with a message that is both pastoral and political, in a year when the Catholic vote could be decisive. Catholics in America have picked up eight of the last nine presidents -- picked out, I should say. They make up 20 percent of the electorate.
Even before Shepherd One landed, the pontiff weighed in on the politically explosive question of immigration reform. He also spoke out about the priest sex abuse scandal, this being the first papal visit since it exploded.
A lot to talk about.
Joining us, John Allen, CNN senior Vatican analyst and a correspondent for "The National Catholic Reporter."
John, you were on the plane with Pope Benedict. He said little publicly about the sexual abuse scandal until today. I want to read for our viewers some of what he said to you today. He -- quote -- "It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the church in general and for me personally that this could happen. As I read the histories of those victims, it's difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betrayed in this way. We are deeply ashamed, and we will whatever is possible that this cannot happen in the future."
What was your impression of the comments?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, first of all, Anderson, I think it's valuable, just briefly, to set the stage for that, because the pope was by no means blindsided by this question.
Actually, several days ago, over the weekend, the Vatican contacted those of us who travel with the pope to collect questions for him for the plane. It was actually the Vatican spokesperson who selected the four questions that would be asked. Actually, it was my question about the sex abuse crisis that prompted those comments from the pope. And when I put the question to him, we had been told, actually, that he would speak only in Italian.
I -- I stressed to the pope that, because this was such an important topic, it would be valuable to have it from him in English. And he was quite ready to do that. So, I think what that reflects is -- is an understanding on the part of this pope that he cannot come into the United States and not engage what has been the deepest wound in the life of the Catholic Church in this country for more than its 200-year history, which, of course, is the sex abuse crisis.
COOPER: There are some organizations representing abuse victims who criticized the pope, saying that his words rang hollow, that they weren't strong enough.
Does he plan to do more on this subject, or is that it?
ALLEN: No, I don't think that's it, Anderson. I think we're going to hear from him again on the sex abuse crisis tomorrow afternoon when he meets with all -- virtually all of the American bishops, some 400 American bishops here in Washington.
I think he will address it again in New York when he celebrates a mass in Saint Patrick's Cathedral for priests and for religious. And there may be other echoes, both in terms of the pope's public schedule and also things that happen behind the scenes.
Now, at the end of the day, my prediction would be that some Catholics will be consoled and heartened by what they hear from the pope. But, as you say, some of those who have been most scarred by this crisis probably are going to find this welcome, but a little -- you know, and to an extent, too little, too late.
COOPER: What is the purpose of the trip? I mean, why now?
ALLEN: Well, start with the fact that 2008 is the 200th anniversary of the foundation of four big American diocese, a diocese being a territory within the Catholic Church. So, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and what is now Louisville are all celebrating their 200th anniversary.
It's also the 200th anniversary of Baltimore becoming an archdiocese. In addition to that, Benedict was invited to address the United Nations in 2008, which he will be doing on April 18, Friday morning, in New York. So, those are the reasons he's coming this year, not, Anderson, to be clear, to involve himself in the American political elections of 2008.
I mean, at this point, probably, no one could have anticipated that the Democratic primary would have still been going on when the pope started planning this thing more than a year ago. There are, of course, though, political ramifications. And he disagrees with the -- President Bush on a number of issues.
Do you expect him to speak out vocally -- extremely vocally about the war in Iraq, about some of the other things that they disagree on?
ALLEN: Well, I think the pope wants to try to move heaven and earth, figuratively speaking, to stay above the political fray.
But I certainly do expect, when those two men go behind closed doors, which they're going to do tomorrow morning at the White House, that they're not just -- it's not all going to be sweetness and light. There certainly are some issues where the president and the pope do see eye to eye, issues like abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, what Catholic would call the sort of life issues.
Certainly, there's -- there is an intersection there. But, on the other hand, on a whole cluster of other issues, including the decision to go to war five years ago, the lack of progress towards a responsible transition there, the role and powers of the United Nations, more broadly, the whole question of how do you prosecute a global war on terror, whether it should be exclusively through military means, or whether, as the pope thinks, it also ought to be about promoting economic development for impoverished nations and sort of snuffing out the roots of terrorism.
I think all of that will be in play.
COOPER: John, we will be talking to you throughout the week. John Allen, thanks.
Up next: the latest on what's being called the bitter battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; plus, a fiery plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- the pictures are startling -- right in the middle of a crowded market, an American family among the survivors tonight.
Also ahead tonight, a 360 follow-up. Hear the 911 call from the girl who says she was beaten up by eight other teenagers.
COOPER: New information tonight over whether or not Barack Obama's bitter comment has hurt him in Pennsylvania. We have got the "Raw Politics" coming up.
But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Congo tonight, a massive cleanup effort under way, after a plane crashed into a busy marketplace in the town of Goma, and that the government now says at least 18 passengers were killed. That is far lower than the initial estimates of at least 75 deaths.
One journalist on the scene said it was total devastation and chaos. The death toll, we're told, though, is expected to rise as crews continue to clear that crash site.
A 360 follow -- in Florida, a call for help, investigators now releasing the 911 call made by the 16-year-old girl who was allegedly beaten by eight other teens. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 DISPATCHER: Polk County Sheriff's Office. This is Brenda. What is your emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just got jumped.
911 DISPATCHER: You just got what, jumped?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am.
911 DISPATCHER: And do you know who did it?
CALLER: Yes, I do.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HILL: That alleged beating was videotaped. The eight accused teens are being charged as adults. They face charges of kidnapping and battery.
And take a look closely at this video. Believers say the image of Jesus Christ crying appeared in the window of an Orlando, Florida, hospital. Witnesses at the hospital prayer hospital say the image mysteriously appeared and then disappeared hours later.
COOPER: It's always interesting then those kinds of things happen to see people's reactions.
HILL: It is.
COOPER: Still ahead tonight: He's a Heisman Trophy winner, a former pro football star and Olympian. But, tonight, Herschel Walker reveals his struggle with an illness he's kept hidden for decades, multiple personality disorder.
Also ahead, new polling on what, if any, impact Barack Obama's comments about bitter voters is having. We will take you on the campaign trail and go up close with an in-depth look at Barack Obama's life before politics, part of a weeklong series on all the candidates.
And here's tonight's "Beat 360": snowmen built as part of an attempt to beat the world record there.
Here's the caption from our staff winner, Brooke: "Michigan primary voters left out in the cold."
HILL: ... bad.
COOPER: If you think can do better, go to CNN.com/360. Send us your submission. We will announce the winner at the end of the program.
COOPER: New polling tonight shows little apparent damage so far to Barack Obama from his calling small-town Pennsylvanians bitter.
In the latest CNN poll of polls, Senator Obama trails Hillary Clinton by five points. Now, that's down from six points in the last poll. Nationally, he leads Senator Clinton by 11 in the latest Gallup tracking poll. That is up a point from yesterday.
He spent the day in Washington, D.C., and Washington, Pennsylvania, a medium-sized town just south of Pittsburgh -- most of his remarks today targeting John McCain's economic plan. Senator McCain unveiled it this morning in Pittsburgh. It includes relief for homeowners and a suspension of the federal gasoline tax for the summer.
Both Senators Obama and Clinton mocked the plan as more of the same -- Senator Clinton calling it -- quote -- "McBush."
Over the next couple days, we're going to be taking a closer look at Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain, just who they are as people and how did they become the leaders we know
today. All three candidates in depth -- not just the disported view you sometimes get from all the attack ads and the spin. We begin tonight with Barack Obama, up close.
COOPER (voice-over): It was Boston four years ago at the Democratic National Convention when Barack Obama burst onto the national scene. His speech electrified the crowd.
OBAMA: ... that in no other country on the Earth is my story even possible.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
COOPER: That story begins an ocean away from Boston, in Hawaii, with a boy named Barry.
REP. NEIL ABERCROMBIE (D), HAWAII: We all remember when he was born. And, at that time, we knew him as little Barry.
COOPER: Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961. He was named after his father. Barack means "one who is blessed by God" in Swahili. Barack Obama Sr. grew up herding goats in a remote village in Kenya, but won a scholarship to study at the University of Hawaii.
The woman who would be his mother moved with her parents from Kansas to Hawaii, where she met Obama's father in a Russian language class.
DAVID MENDELL, AUTHOR, "OBAMA: FROM PROMISE TO POWER": By all accounts, it was love at first sight. They -- much to the chagrin of her parents, I think.
COOPER: When Obama was 2, his father won a scholarship to study at Harvard. He left his young family behind and returned only once, when Barack was 10. It was Obama's mother's influence, as much as his father's absence, that would shape his life.
MAYA SOETORO-NG, SISTER OF BARACK OBAMA: She really did a marvelous job of looking past superficial differences and understanding people at their core. And I think that that's an important part of who he is.
COOPER: When Obama was 5, his mother remarried an Indonesian man, and, a year later, moved the family to Jakarta.
MENDELL: He learned again to fit into a new culture, but he also learned that he wasn't necessarily of that culture.
COOPER: And there, for the first time in his life, Barack Obama had a racial awakening. He was teased for the color of his skin. He also had another awakening.
(on camera): He saw a lot of poverty. What kind of impact did that have?
MENDELL: What -- I think what he saw in Indonesia was the other kids who didn't have the privileges that he had. There was extreme poverty there. And he played with these other kids, but there was always an out for him.
COOPER (voice-over): At 10 years old, Obama returned to Hawaii to attend one of the state's most elite prep schools, Punahou School. He lived with his grandparents in a cramped two-bedroom apartment while his mother stayed in Indonesia.
MENDELL: He had a sense of parental abandonment because his father was not around. And his mother was gone for periods of time, too.
KEITH KAKUGAWA, HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND OF BARACK OBAMA: He struggled more with himself than anything, because he felt abandoned. He felt left out.
COOPER: Obama also felt left out at his mostly white, mostly wealthy high school. But his classmates say they had no idea.
KELLI FURUSHIMA, HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND OF BARACK OBAMA: He was very funny. He was really warm, friendly, kind of a prankster. He definitely had a sense of humor, and he just seemed like a happy guy, comfortable in his skin.
COOPER: He got mostly B's, sang in the choir, and wrote poetry. But his true passion was basketball.
KAKUGAWA: You could tell that. He wanted to be accepted. And, at the time, basketball was a place where it could be done.
COOPER: It was off the court that he struggled with his identity.
DAVID MENDELL, AUTHOR, "OBAMA FROM PROMISE TO POWER": He channeled his rebellion into his racial identity in trying to figure out how to cope with being a black American and having been raised in a primarily white household.
COOPER: Obama says he tried drugs to numb his confusion, but he kept his grades high enough to get into Occidental College in Los Angeles. And in 1979, he left Hawaii.
MENDELL: Once he got to the mainland, he had to learn how to be a black man in the United States.
COOPER: Our up close look at Barack Obama continues. How a gifted underachiever began putting his talents to work in the Ivy League and some of Chicago's roughest neighbors. Also, how Barry Obama became Barack, when 360 continues.
COOPER: We are profiling all three candidates this week, trying to get a sense of them as people, trying to understand the forces that have shaped their lives. We're going to look at John McCain tomorrow. Later in the week, Hillary Clinton. Tonight, up close with Barack Obama.
In our last segment, his upbringing, which seemed to leave him with a powerful intellect, also a search for himself and left him at a turning point.
OBAMA: It was 1979 when Barack Obama arrived in Los Angeles at Occidental College. The freshman seemed to know he had to make a difficult choice.
JERRY KELLMAN, FORMER BOSS, DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES PROJECT: Anybody in their early 20s is working through a variety of identity issues, and Barack was no stranger to that. Barack wanted to live in two worlds in a society that was telling you, "No, you choose. You're going to live in a white world or a black world."
COOPER: Obama sought out the more politically active black students and, after years of trying to blend in as Barry, he embraced his given African name, Barack. Still restless, two years later, he transferred to Columbia University.
KELLMAN: Barack was a chronic underachiever in high school and his first years of college out in California. And then he made this decision, which kind of clicked in, which was the voice of his mom saying, you know, you have all these gifts. You can use them or not.
COOPER: He graduated from Columbia and then took a job as a community organizer for a church-based group serving Chicago's public housing projects.
MENDELL: He did want to experience African-American culture at a -- in an in-depth, total absorption level. He also wanted to help people.
COOPER: Obama had small successes: pushed for a job training center, worked to get asbestos removed from apartments. But after a few years, he'd grown frustrated.
KELLMAN: I think Barack made a decision that he wanted to do some good, he'd have to have some power.
COOPER: Obama applied to Harvard Law School and was accepted.
KENNETH MACK, HARVARD LAW CLASSMATE: There was a certain quality of maturity that he projected that really impressed people in a place where everyone was quite impressive.
COOPER: After his first year of law school, he became a summer associate at this Chicago law firm. Michelle Robinson, a Harvard grad and a lawyer, was assigned to be his mentor. Obama asked her out. She finally agreed.
CRAIG ROBINSON, MICHELLE OBAMA'S BROTHER: We all met him, had dinner. They left to go to the movies and my mom and dad and I were talking. "Wow, what a nice guy. This is going to be great. Wonder how long he'll last?"
COOPER: But they stayed together through law school.
MICHELLE OBAMA, WIFE OF BARACK OBAMA: One of the reasons why I respect Barack is that he understands to whom much is given, much is expected. And when you're blessed, you don't sit on your blessings, that you figure out how do you make use of them and give them to the greatest number of people.
COOPER: Obama would go on to become the first African-American president of the prestigious "Harvard Law Review." SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think people can say that my election symbolizes some progress, at least within the small confines of the legal community. I think it's real important to keep the focus on the broader world out there.
MACK: It wasn't just that we had our first African-American president of the "Harvard Law Review." That would have been cause for celebration, but it was because it was Barack that people saw him as somebody special.
COOPER: Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. He went to work for this civil rights law firm in Chicago and finally started to put down roots, joining a community, a church, even finding a neighborhood barbershop where he still goes today.
He also married Michelle Robinson.
MENDELL: There certainly is a sense of he wants to fit into a community, but there isn't any community that he neatly fits into. So he eventually chose the African-American community on the south side of Chicago by marrying a black woman and moving into that world, settling into an African-American church.
COOPER: It's now well known, Reverend Jeremiah Wright became his pastor. The sometimes angry gospel of black liberation theology was at times controversial, but for Obama it was a place to belong.
(on camera) In Reverend Wright's church, he -- he found a community of African-Americans that he felt a part of?
COOPER: And it helped him understand what it meant to be African-American in America?
MENDELL: I think so. I think both of those things. But he's also an extraordinarily intelligent and charismatic guy, and Obama wasn't drawn to that. So this guy had extraordinary influence on Obama and probably in a positive way.
COOPER (voice-over): Twelve years ago in 1996, Obama began his political career. It was hardly the easy road you might imagine.
ROBINSON: When he lost, we were, like, "Wow, I guess that's it." I don't think anyone could have known that it was going to take this path.
COOPER: When we come back, the chilly reception he got in the Illinois Senate and how he worked to overcome it. Also, how his now famous speech at the 2004 convention was received back home.
And later, new revelations about one of football's all-time great running-backs. Herschel Walker's secret battle with a disorder he has kept hidden for decades. Ahead on 360. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: We're profiling all three presidential candidates this week, starting tonight with Barack Obama. Now, right now his career as a senator both in Illinois and Washington, his political accomplishments and failures. What he got done but also how he got along. Bumpy at the beginning.
B. OBAMA: The intent of this bill...
COOPER: It was just 12 years ago, 1996, when Obama won an Illinois state senate seat.
MENDELL: When he first arrived in the Illinois Senate, they didn't welcome him with open arms. They thought who is this biracial guy from Harvard who's dropped in here and just thinks he's all that?
EMIL JONES, PRESIDENT, ILLINOIS STATE SENATE: So he got together with some state legislators and maybe some lobbyists, and they would play poker. And you establish friendships.
COOPER: It gave him a power base and helped him pass ethics legislation and a law making it mandatory to videotape capital crime interrogations. After only three years in the state senate, Obama ran for Congress against a popular incumbent.
MENDELL: His political aides and his friends, political friends told him, "This is -- this race is going to be disastrous." But he was a man in such a hurry to get to that next office that he did it anyway.
COOPER: He did it anyway, and lost.
MENDELL: The Bobby Rush race also taught him a lesson that timing was key, having the right opening is key.
COOPER: Four years later, he timed it right, running for United States Senate. He won by a landslide.
MENDELL: His broad support in the U.S. Senate race in 2004 was unheard of in Illinois politics for a black politician. He won in white areas of Illinois that no -- that black people even today don't venture into.
COOPER: That same year, as keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention, Obama burst onto the national radar.
B. OBAMA: There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America.
JONES: It's a powerful speech, and I felt so good toward him that tears was running down by eyes. And so we all felt so proud and so good that he was so successful in delivering that speech.
COOPER: And yet despite his success, Michelle and Barack Obama worried about their two young daughters, Malia Ann and Natasha.
JUDSON MINER, FORMER BOSS, MINER, BARNHILL AND GALLAND: I think the hardest issues that he struggled with were how to balance all the things he wanted to do with his family.
COOPER: They reserved every Sunday for family. Michelle and the girls stayed home in Chicago. She kept her job as vice president of community affairs at the University of Chicago hospitals. Obama got an apartment in Washington.
MENDELL: He had the same problems when he arrived in the U.S. Senate that he did in the Illinois Senate. People thought who does this guy think he is?
COOPER: His first year he kept a low profile. He did little media and became something of a legislation wonk.
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: I think he was demonstrating to them that he wasn't just about the bright lights, he wasn't just about the amazing oratorical skills. He was about the day-to-day, grind it out, do the work and earn the respect of your peers.
COOPER: Again, he formed personal relationships with senators and soon established a reputation for working across the aisle.
MENDELL: He did pass ethics legislation in Washington, and he also co-sponsored a bill that reduced stockpiles of conventional weapons with a member of the Republican Party, Dick Lugar, but overall, he's not been one of the more proactive legislators.
COOPER (on camera): He's obviously made a big deal in the presidential race about his opposition to the war in Iraq. Has he stood very firmly, though, since getting in the Senate?
MENDELL: Well, he did go silent on the Iraq war when he was -- became a senator. And I think that went into his plan to potentially run for president on day.
COOPER (voice-over): In fact, Obama has served less than half his first term as a U.S. senator when he announced.
B. OBAMA: My candidacy for president of the United States of America.
COOPER: Looking back now, it's as if that young man who was searching so hard to find his identity had all along been on a journey toward the White House.
COOPER: Barack Obama, up close. Tomorrow, John McCain.
Up next, a superstar athlete with multiple personalities. Herschel Walker's incredible battle with himself and how he says it almost killed him. Dr. Sanjay Gupta's profile is coming up. And later, movie star or poster boy for not paying taxes? See what prosecutors hope Wesley Snipes' next role will be when 360 continues.
COOPER: This was Herschel Walker's very first game in college, the first time he touched the ball, and that's how many were first introduced to him. Heisman trophy winner, Olympian, star NFL running- back. Walker mesmerized millions with his grace, his talent and his strength.
But his athletic prowess masked an inner torment that he is now only making public. For years, Walker struggled with a controversial mental illness. It used to be called multiple personality disorder, but it's now known as disassociative identity disorder. It not only took control over Walker's life but nearly ended it with thoughts of suicide that led to a game of Russian roulette. Walker writes about his struggle in his new book, "Breaking Free."
CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has more.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was extraordinary, one of the greatest college football players ever. In the pros, a powerful force of nature. But Herschel Walker was living with a secret. So confusing, so bizarre, he wasn't even aware of it. His ex-wife, Cindy, says there's more than one Herschel. And some of them are terrifying.
CINDY GROSSMAN, WALKER'S EX-WIFE: Right off the top of my head I'd say maybe six or seven. He definitely sounded different. Not always. Sometimes his body would contort. His hands would curl up like this. He would tell me he couldn't walk. His -- to me, his skin would become darker. And if it was a very bad alter, his eyes would become very evil.
GUPTA: Herschel Walker is like Sally Fields' character in the TV movie "Sybil" the woman with more than a dozen different personalities.
HERSCHEL WALKER, AUTHOR, "BREAKING FREE": I didn't know about it until almost 10 years ago. And you know, to be honest with you, I'm thinking this is -- this not real. This is not real. But you know, my life was out of control. I was not happy. I was very sad. I was angered. And I didn't understand why.
GUPTA (on camera): In fact, neither Sybil nor Herschel Walker have multiple personalities. Instead, they have fragment. Think of it as alter personalities that prevent them from developing a single, cohesive personality. Today, the disorder is called DID, or dissociative identity disorder, because they can't integrate identity, memory and consciousness.
How hard was it to get diagnosed? WALKER: That was very difficult, because people don't believe it.
In the back of this building right here, that was like a little playground, and I remember this guy beating me up. It wasn't a bad beat up, but I remember I think kids were out there watching. So I remember that.
GUPTA (voice-over): The alter personalities can evolve after a child suffers both physical and mental abuse.
WALKER: The abuse may have been feeling inadequate as a little kid. You know, having a speech impediment, a little bit overweight. And then mentally abused by friends, by -- you know, at school.
GUPTA: Walker says some of his alters did a lot of good, helped him become the extraordinary athlete he is. But others caused a lot of harm. They became very angry.
WALKER: You can get angry, but the anger that you can go out and really, really hurt someone. And that's when you know you got a problem.
GUPTA: And typically patients don't remember transforming from one alter to the next.
(on camera) Do you worry that you might hurt somebody?
WALKER: I don't worry about that.
GUPTA: But you don't remember.
WALKER: No, because no one has ever said anything about it. You know, I haven't been locked up. I haven't been accused of beating up nobody.
GUPTA (voice-over): But he did try to hurt at least two people.
GROSSMAN: Did he hurt me where I had to go to the hospital? No. Just more emotionally scary, then physically where he physically hurt me. So just the guns and knives and I got into a few choking things with him.
GUPTA: And he almost killed himself.
WALKER: I played Russian roulette before.
GUPTA (on camera): You played Russian roulette?
WALKER: I played Russian roulette before. And stuff. And more than once. I played it more than once, because it seemed -- to me that was a challenge. And that's what I'm saying. That made no sense.
GROSSMAN: He would tie those thick rubber bands around his neck and just walk back and forth, and his face would turn red. And I would say, "Herschel, take that off, take that off, take that off." And when it got bad enough, he'd take it off.
GUPTA: How many alters did you or do you have?
WALKER: You know, to be honest, I have no idea.
GUPTA (voice-over): Walker's therapist and friend, Jerry Mungadze, also saw the alters appear.
JERRY MUNGADZE, WALKER'S THERAPIST: I saw -- I saw all of them. Some of the very friendly, nice, business-like people. I saw some of the protectors who were very defensive. And a few times only did I see the very angry ones.
GROSSMAN: The first time he held the gun to my head, I had come home. We had a meeting at church, and I don't think he was too happy about it. And so I came home, and he was questioning me about it. And I guess he didn't like what I had to say. And he held the gun to my temple and said he was going to blow my brains out.
GUPTA: The Herschel Walker I met was friendly. I didn't notice any behavioral changes. He seemed to have more control over all of his alters. But they are still there.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: So fascinating. In response to what his former wife said, Herschel Walker told us he was troubled by his actions and will always deeply regret any pain that he's caused Cindy.
Erica Hill joins us again with "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, she ran a high-priced escort service in Washington and now the so-called D.C. Madam is paying for it. Deborah Jeane Palfrey was convicted on all counts today connected to that escort service which catered to the rich and powerful. One former client, Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Palfrey now faces up to 55 years in prison.
The merger plans for Delta and Northwest hitting a little turbulence tonight. While the two companies may have agreed on the deal, Northwest pilots called the merger a recipe for disaster, and they plan to fight it.
Sending a message on tax day. Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to put actor Wesley Snipes behind bars for three years and fine him $5 million. Snipes was found guilty of failing to pay income tax. He was acquitted of more serious fraud charges. His sentencing is set for April 24.
COOPER: Wow. Well, time now for tonight's "Beat 360." We all know the drill. We put up a picture and a caption. You try to beat it. Here's tonight's photo, an army of snowmen in Slovakia. The village there was hoping to break the world record. I didn't actually know there was such a record for snowmen.
HILL: I think there's a category for everything.
COOPER: Apparently, there is. Must be a very big book, that Guinness book. Tonight's staff winner comes from Brooke. His [SIC] caption: "Michigan primary voters left out in the cold."
HILL: That was clever.
COOPER: Yes. Now the viewer winner, Marcia from Warren, Michigan, also with an election theme. Her caption: "The snowman primary -- Frosty for president."
HILL: Which one's Frosty?
COOPER: I don't know.
HILL: Are they all running?
COOPER: Yes. Keep the ideas coming. Play along, go to our blog, CNN.com/360.
Our "Shot" is next. Meet the marathon man named Buster. He's definitely a character, but the question is, is he telling the truth when he says he's over 100? His story ahead.
Also, the latest developments in the unprecedented polygamy raid in Texas and what's next for the 416 boys and girls removed from the compound.
COOPER: "The Shot" tonight comes from London, where a personal favorite of 360 is making news again. Welcome back our man, Buster.
This guy says he's 101 years old, and this weekend Buster Martin ran the city's marathon, all 26.2 miles. He did it in ten hours, which is probably about ten hours faster than it would actually take me.
But hold on. Hold off the celebrations. "The Times of London" is reporting that the folks at Guinness World Records have discovered Buster -- they've actually busted him. They've discovered he's actually 94, not 101.
HILL: Oh, Buster, say it ain't so.
COOPER: I know. He's not budging on his age, though. And I don't know -- hard to argue with the guy. But...
HILL: I don't think I would argue with him. Especially because I don't remember. I think we talked once before about his training regime.
HILL: Buster shadow-boxes.
HILL: He smokes before races. And this man doesn't need water to hydrate. Just a beer, or three. So there you have it. Three cheers to you, Buster.
COOPER: He also wears the same track suit as...
HILL: Fidel Castro.
COOPER: ... Fidel Castro. Yes.
HILL: They kind of look alike.
HILL: Maybe they'll share a mojito next. Who knows?
COOPER: Do you believe he's 101?
HILL: I don't know.
COOPER: Yes, I don't. But...
HILL: You know what? If he's, what, 94 or 101, I would say he's doing pretty well.
COOPER: Why quibble? Why quibble?
If you see some -- some 94-year-olds running or 101-year-olds running, tell us about it at CNN.com/360. Or if you Fidel Castro running, for goodness sakes, tell us about it.
HILL: Definitely let us know.
COOPER: Yes. You can go there to see all the most recent shots and other segments from the program, read the blog, check out the "Beat 360" pictures, whatever. The address: CNN.com/360.
So still ahead, new developments in the Eldorado, Texas, case. Dramatic pictures of police raiding the polygamist compounds have surfaced. Some of the mothers whose kids have been taken away from them now say they were misled by police. All that's next on 360.
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