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tv   Larry King Live  CNN  May 11, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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>> she gets better and better. she has a great sense of timing. do you know she first appeared on film in 1945. she won six emmys over a 65-year career. >> she's a legend. >> seems like a really nice lady. that's it for 360. thanks for watching. larry king starts right now. tonight, president obama's supreme court nominee. >> accolades across the perspective. >> who is elena kagan. liberal? conservative? or somewhere in between? >> i'm honored and humbled by this nomination and about it confidence you have shown in me. >> can the nominee who has never been a judge be confirmed? those who know her are here with answers.
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then -- the death of a legend. ♪ what have i got that the others ain't ♪ >> leana horn blazed a trail for others. dionne warwick tells us how her friend changed hollywood forever. plus, betty white brings down the house on "saturday night live." >> because she's a lesbian! >> the 88-year-old is a ratings winner. see why next on "larry king live." i'm wolf blitzer sitting in for larry. we begin with president obama's pick for the united states supreme court. let's get right to it with the executive vice president of a local group and he was a student at harvard when kagan was dean of the law school there. professor jeffrey stone was dean at the university of chicago's law school. kagan taught there.
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and now al aushuler from northwestern university. he taught with elena kagan and president obama at the university of chicago. thanks to all of you for coming in. i want to pick your brain on what she's like, what she's all about. josh, let me start with you. you worked with her in the clinton white house. what's she like? >> smart as a whip. fair. aggressive. and, you know, we worked closely together on tobacco and tobacco legislation. how to keep it out of the hands of kids and standing up against hate crimes. she is incredibly fair and at harvard where she was my dean, continued to show you can build consensus and do the right thing. >> you mean a liberal? >> no, i would say on a whole host of issues. she stood up for americans. i think she's going to continue to hold that. >> professor stone, you were with her at the university of chicago. what impressed you? >> well, elena is smart. she is tough minded,
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independent. she was a spectacular teacher. right from the get go as an assistant professor, she enlivened the students. she demonstrated real whit. she demonstrated great character. she was a terrific colleague. i think she is a great lawyer and will be a terrific supreme court justice. >> a lot of people say they don't know what her personal views are on some of the more sensitive issues out there. did she advertise those views to you? >> i think the better way of thinking about elena is to look at some of her early writing. which was mostly about the first amendment. and in that writing, what you see is somebody who's interested in addressing and solving analytical legal problems in a nonprejudged way. and i think that's basically kagan. she is interested in grappling the difficult issues and doesn't have an ax to grind. one of the early articles on the issue of hate speech, she
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enthusiastically endorsed the conclusion reached by justice scalia in a 5-4 decision, paying the position that at the time would not have been regarded as the liberal view. so i think elena really is a pragmatist and a serious legal their and is not in any way an idealogue. >> you taught at the university of chicago when she taught there and president obama was a young law professor there as well. talk a little bit, if you can, about the differences between president obama as a law professor and elena kagan as a law professor. >> she got higher ratings. although obama may have been the second most popular teacher in the school. and then came stone and, you know, i was way down there somewhere. no, the students loved her because she is just such a warm and generous and outgoing person. she showed a lot of concern about them at the same time she was demanding a lot from them. and you know, i think that's the key to her leadership. >> what did she teach?
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>> she taught the constitutional law and administrative law. >> he taught, president obama taught constitutional law as well. is that right? >> that's correct. >> so was it exactly the same subject or different aspects of constitutional law? >> well, i think elena specialized more in the first amendment and president obama taught a separate -- he taught the basic constitutional law course and also taught a course on race in the law. >> josh, when you worked with her at the white house for president clinton, she was not a lawyer. she worked in domestic policy. >> she was also a lawyer earlier. >> earlier she was an associate counsel and legal office. but when you worked with her, she was a policy adviser? >> exactly. she focused on policy making and helping advise the president on very important issues like hate crimes and obviously a breadth of issues. >> was she forceful, meek, behind the scenes, out front? talk a little bit about her style. >> she is really a consensus
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builder and pragmatist. it's exactly what i saw when i was at harvard with her. she is incredibly popular with the students and also, you know, fighting for things she believed in. she fought hard for public interest. the biggest expansion of public interest at harvard's -- >> you were there when she was the dean? >> he why. >> is that period when she had the policy that u.s. military could not come to harvard law school to recruit law students? >> it wasn't a controversial period. i think republicans are trying to make it controversial now. >> you were there at the time? >> yes. >> it was definitely not controversial. of course people are talking about it now and manipulating it left and right. >> talk about that. to the person right now, they say why wouldn't she let the representatives from the army, navy, air force and marine corps come and talk to students? >> she always did. there was a policy -- anti-discrimination policy in place at harvard which she enforced. if you discriminate against race or sexual orientation, you couldn't come and recruit through career services. however, dean kagan at the time always allowed the military to recruit. there were more people going
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into the military after the third year of law school than ever before going in during her tenure. >> professor stone, because of the don't ask, don't tell policy which the u.s. military has and still in business right now. you can't serve openly if you're gay in the united states military. do you understand why this is a controversial issue that will come up during the confirmation hearings? >> it should not be a controversial issue. at the time that we're talking about here virtually every law school in the united states had a policy that prohibited employers from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and the like. and any employer who discriminated on those bases were not allowed to use the placement facilities and that included the military when they discriminated, as they still do, on the base of sexual orientation. so the policy that harvard had when elena was dean was not different from the policy that the university of chicago had or columbia had or nyu had. it was the universal policy. turning this into an issue -- >> correct me if i'm wrong.
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the elite law schools but not the state universities which have law schools as well. >> it included the state universities as well. in fact, the american association of law schools has a requirement for accreditation that schools follow the policy of nondiscrimination. so the only schools in the united states that did not exclude the military were those that had religious reasons for not doing so. all of the law schools who were accredited did have that policy. nothing unusual about harvard. >> professor, as you know though, once that issue went before the supreme court, it was unanimously -- it was unanimously rejected by the u.s. supreme court and it had a chance. >> well, elena did sign an amicus brief before the supreme court. it didn't argue that the solomon amendment was unconstitutional. it argued that it didn't apply. she argued that the law schools like harvard were treating the military equally because they excluded all employers that
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discriminated. and as soon as the supreme court rejected that position, she allowed military recruiters on campus. >> it's going to be a tough subject of questioning, no doubt about that when she comes before the judiciary committee. professors, guys, thanks very much for coming in. we're only just beginning this conversation. professor anita hill is standing by next. k you so much. constipation's uncomfortable enough, so why take a harsh laxative? phillips' caplets work naturally with your colon... for overnight relief without cramps. phillips' caplets. communities. industry. energy. her. this. lives. how ? by bringing together... information. ... people ... ... machines ... ... systems ... ideas... verizon helps businesses worldwide... including fortune 500 companies... find and achieve... better.
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someone as gifted as elena could have settled into a comfortable life in corporate law practice, instead, she chose life of service, service to her students, service to her country, service to the law and to all those whose lives it shapes. >> president obama praising the nominee for the united states supreme court. anita hill is a professor of law in massachusetts. she's a former colleague of justice clarence thomas and made best be known for her controversial testimony at the
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1991 confirmation hearings. professor hill, thank you very much for coming in now. what impresses you about elena kagan? >> it's my pleasure, wolf. i think what impresses me about her is really her tenacity. i think she has proven she's quite up to challenges. before that, the first dean of the harvard law school. and in each capacity, she has really done quite well and impressed a lot of very intelligent and talented people who haven't had a chance to work with her. >> she's never been a judge. should that be an issue at all in these confirmation hearings? >> i think anything is on the table for discussion. but i also think that rather than looking at the fact that she hasn't been a judge as a
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negative, i see it really as a positive in that it really starts to open up the supreme court to looking at exceptional legal careers in different ways. and to show that everyone has a keen understanding of the law as well as experience of people outside against what they're calling. >> she would be the third woman on this current court. i assume you would be pretty happy about that? >> i would be happy. i really, wolf, am looking forward to one day when, you know, it seems rather normal or common for us to nominate women to the supreme court. and it doesn't seem like such a big deal. but we aren't there yet. and i think it's important that
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we start to show the country that we are open to different ways of looking at judicial leadership and in having a court that's inclusive. >> but you know that if confirmed she is only the fourth woman ever to serve on the supreme court. and there have been a lot of men there. >> there have been an awful lot of men. we're slowly making progress. and i hope that we will continue to make progress. what i do hope is that we don't get to the point where we start to get sort of panicked and say oh, well we've had three, we're over the history of the court. we've had four. so that's enough. we can now not pay any attention to that. but one day i do believe that we will, as i say, get to the point where it doesn't seem so out of the ordinary to nominate a woman. >> back in 1995, she was critical of the confirmation process as it had developed in recent years, that the nominees were ducking questions that senators weren't really asking the probing questions. she said the american public basically deserved better in the
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confirmation process. here's the question to you, professor hill -- will those words come back to bite her now? >> you know, i suspect that every word that she has said as a public official or every public comment she ever made will possibly be used against her. that's the nature now of the time that's we're living in. but i also think that she probably has the frustrations of a lot of people who felt that the hearings were not getting to the substance of the issues. people are going to ask elena kagan hard questions. the republicans are geared to ask her those questions. and i think she is up to the challenge of any questions that she raises. and i rather suspect that given what i know of her, i don't know her, but what i have heard about
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her, she will probably look forward to the opportunity to address some of those questions and show what she is made of and why she is suited for the court. >> we all remember in 1991 when you testified during the clarence thomas confirmation process. give us some advice you would give her right now in preparing for these hearings. >> well, i would first say, you know, remember that you are exceptionally talented. you're exceptionally bright. and that you are up to this task. because you met -- had so many obstacles in your way in the past. i can say that having -- knowing she has been the first woman dean of the hard various law school and the first solicitor general, first woman solicitor general. i would just say remember that you're up to the task. prepare for the moment. and then go in and give it your best and most honest answer. and i think she will do just fine. >> what i hear you saying is let elena kagan be elena kagan. >> absolutely. absolutely.
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>> anita hill, thanks very much for coming in. >> it's my pleasure. >> we're going to continue our discussion of this supreme court nominee when we come back. david gergen, jachlz james carville and bay buchanan are all standing by. ♪
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the efficient life is the good life. the court is an extraordinary institution. and the work it does and in the work it can do for the american people by advancing the tenants of our constitution, by upholding the rule of law and by enabling all americans regardless of their background or their beliefs to get a fair hearing and equal chance at justice. >> elena kagan, the supreme court nominee speaking today after the president introduced her. probably not going to hear much from her until the confirmation hearings before the senate judiciary committee. we're joined now by james carville, our cnn contributor, bay buchanan, republican strategist and conservative activist, president of the american cause and david gergen, our senior political analyst,
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professor of public service at the kennedy sexual harvard university. james, if she's confirmed and becomes the ninth newest member of the united states supreme court, there will be real diversity on the supreme court not only will there be harvard law school graduates, there will be yale law school graduates as well. all nine of them -- if you have anything to did with lar vard or yale, there are a ton of good law schools in this country and a ton of good lawyers and judge that's didn't go to one or two of those institutions. she is qualified. she's going to be confirmed. i'm sure she's going to be confirmed. i'm sure she's going to be a fine supreme court justice. we're getting overly credentialed in this thing. i just -- i think this is the wrong message for the country. the next time somebody gets picked, i hope they find someone who had something to do with a law school that didn't smell
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salt water. >> babe bu cannian, do you agree? >> i do agree with him, wolf. i think there is another issue here that will will be used in this debate. the fact that it helps define democrats and obama as elitist. everything is ivy league. that's what makes you important. this woman doesn't have -- she's a blank sheet. the difference between her and harriet miers is ivy league. is she truly qualified? where are the writings? if you're an academic, you write and give your opinions, you develop, you know, motivation and certain philosophy. where is it? there is nothing there. i have to think that this is just -- this is a very weak appointment. >> david gergen, i'll let you pick this up. david, she was the dean of the harvard law school. she was on associate counsel at
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the clinton white house. she's a professor of law and the first woman solicitor general in the justice department. >> well, wolf, listen, i had the privilege to go to harvard law school. i'm a product of the elite schools. i agree with james, it's important to have all parts of the country and there are many other law schools. bay buchanan has a child at stanford, first class law school. there are many other law schools. i do think that. but i also want to put in a word for elena kagan who is an excellent nominee. she is no harriet miers, come on, give me a break. she clerked at the court of appeal level. she clerked at the supreme court
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level. she's, you know, she has worked at high levels in government. she was not only an outstanding law professor but the first woman to be named dean of harvard law school and conservatives like charles freed under ronald reagan have written glowing reports about her deanship. she was on the short list to be a president of harvard university. good for her she wasn't selected. she would have never made to the supreme court. she has outstanding credentials. every person on the supreme court beyond her came up through the court of appeals. we wanted somebody with different kind of experience. obama chosen someone like that. >> i want to get james back to respond to david. >> you say she is the dean of harvard law school. sure she was. you know what the dean does? she raises money. why does raising money make you qualified to nominated to the supreme court? if you're an academic and -- this is what i don't understand. where are the brightest left wing jurorists? we have scalia on the court. you would expect obama positive put the best and bright frest the left on there. people have written and have strong opinions and creative. it's not there. this is a throw away. >> james go, ahead. >> i hate to do this, but i utterly have to. you criticize her for being from harvard. roberts, scalia, thomas, i mean
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every time that a democrat does that, oh, it's elitism. come on. i mean we both don't play this game with some kind of sensibility. i'm being critical of the fact that everybody from harvard. can you just pick on the democrats? it's absurd. there's a lot of good lawyers that go to other places. i know that of allst nine positions on the supreme court that somebody can find somebody out in the rest of the country. but single out democrats. >> all right. thanks. we're going to continue this. a lot more coming up. "larry king live" right after this. than any other luxury manufacturer the last 10 years says something. yet, the award we value most is the fact that lexus has had more repeat, loyal drivers, in more of the last 10 years, than any other luxury automotive brand. to express our thanks, we're featuring our best values of the year. giving you unprecedented access to lexus. at your lexus dealer.
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and at holiday inn express, you always can. holiday inn express. stay you. and stay rewarded with the hit it big promotion-- earn up to $500 dollars at over 300 retailers. welcome back to "larry king live". bay buchanan, is elena kagan going to be confirmed? >> yes, unless the left comes in and decides to stop her. i don't think she'll be stopped. the key is do the republicans challenge her? on that count, absolutely yes. this is a perfect opportunity to
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raise the issues that here is somebody who doesn't have the guts to even write down opinions over 20-year period and on top of that, she's from harvard and she has so out of touch with middle america that she refused to let the milton campus to do recruiting. there is someone out of touch with middle america. i think that will hurt obama. >> the argument was that because of the don't ask, don't tell policy the discrimination against gays serving openly in the u.s. military, the law schools had no choice. >> well, no choice, certainly they had a choice. she is president. she could have made that statement. it was clear that the solomon amendment was there and reversed by the supreme court of the united states. she may have been able to look at it herself and say this is never going to hold up in the -- before the constitution. and she could also say, look this is america. of course we let our military come on in here. >> let me ask david gergen. you're in harvard. talk about this.
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you know if there's going to be some controversy during the confirmation hearings this is an issue that could spark some controversy. >> wolf, you know, i've known elena kagan for a good number of years, knew her as dean. i thought she was an outstanding dean. this issue is less -- was not as big while she was here as dean as it's become. it will become an issue. i'll tell you this, there are any number of universities now that find the don't ask, don't tell policy to be discrimination against gays and lesbians. leading members of the military now believe that. you know, generals have -- general mullen, head of the joint chiefs have testified to that. and admiral mull en. sorry. and thank you. but the point is for many universities, rotc has been kept off campuses and to a large degree because of this discriminatory policy and i think she was following in that tradition by not allowing military recruiters on campus. they could still come to, you know, boston and be here for recruiting purposes. but she was asserting the principal. faculty voted the opposition to the don't ask, don't tell. the students had voted in opposition to it. i think she took a principal stance. people can disagree with it. then she faced the potential cutoff of federal funding that was going to really damage the
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university. and so she agreed to be pragmatic. >> the supreme court ruled against her position. james, as someone as son of the south, how big of an issue is this going to be during the confirmation hearings? how will it play? >> first of all, they got to say something as i recall she was the first president of -- first dean of a law school that had done it and went to west point and commended by the commandant of west point on doing an outstanding job there. i actually think i read somewhere she actually appeared with general petraeus. and she allowed -- the recruiters were allowed to talk to the students. she was following university policy. look, they're going to make a deal out of it and she'll have to answer it. she's going to be on the supreme court. there is nothing wrong with her sitting down and being grilled about this. they should ask it. i'm sure she'll have a very good answer. i'm sure there will be a lot of emphasis that she'll show where she is fair against the military. >> any other problem you have with her? >> well, you know, there's no
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question she's smart and she's a good administrator and clearly a very fine teacher, somebody who wants to bring people together and compromise. but none of that goes towards the qualifications of a supreme court justice. and that's where i have a problem. she has three law review articles and a handful of short essays. i've written more than this wolf. what kind of -- she's been in that business for 20 years. she's hesitant about taking public positions. >> is she qualified now to be a supreme court justice than clarence thomas when he was nominated? >> he had writings. you could go in there and say look, you may disagree with them, but there he was there to defend them. he expressed himself. he believed strongly, he studied the law and showed himself to be someone who believed that you go in a certain direction. and so there's a man that's been working the business of the
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jurorist. and here she, is what is it? the question i think is how did she get tenure in these good universities when she doesn't write? there's nothing there. she is a blank sheet. >> i don't know if she's a blank sheet. david, do you know her a lot better than i do. talk about that. >> i think the notion she's not qualified is proposterous on its face. this woman has lived a life in the law, working with brilliant minds at the court of appeals level, at the supreme court, now as solicitor general. she held her own against scalia. he had shelled her own against john roberts. she is going to be an intellectual force on the court. on the left side to be sure. and i am sure that if she was on the right side that we would be hearing very different arguments tonight from bay. i think you're looking for ways to oppose her that have nothing to do with her real qualifications. does she have a long history of making gutsy stands, controversial stands? she does not. but i will just say this we've now -- we established a pattern in this country that if you do have a history of controversial
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stands, you can't get confirmed or you'll be in the senate. >> james, what is this nomination say about president obama? >> you know, i think it says that he looks for qualified people. president obama likes credentialed people. there is no doubt about that. i agree with david. she's going to be confirmed. she's qualified. look, i got an idea. if it is how much you wrote, i got a suggestion. the next supreme court justice should be john grisham. he's written a lot. he went to ole miss. and, you know, i think he'd be a good supreme court justice. i read his books. i like the way this guy thinks. he served in the state legislature. i think the next supreme court justice should be john grisham. that way they couldn't complain about somebody who hadn't written anything. >> wolf, you know what this says about obama? he's gone safe. it's an election year. he doesn't want too much controversy. let's pick somebody that hasn't done anything. very, very safe. we go to harvard. >> this is not true. >> it is slewly true. what makes her qualified? she has -- being a president of harvard makes you qualified? it does not.
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what he's done is dummy down. he has dummied down the supreme court. he has given two of the best appointments of his administration to people who are not the best and the brightest. that's unfortunate. >> sonia sotomayor and elena kagan, dave, both of them -- everybody dealt with them including critics say their very, very intelligent women. >> harriet miers is an intelligent woman. she is a fine -- just as fine an attorney as you could be. she is president of the bar. and i, david, you might want to know this, was opposed to her. because i didn't think she came -- that level, you know -- >> you didn't think she was conservative enough. >> i think it should go to the best. this is the olympics of the, you know, the legal field. >> david go, ahead. >> i just don't understand why someone who has lived a life of excellence, someone who has distinguished herself and role after role including that of solicitor general can possibly be described as someone who is sort of mediocre. given the polarization and poison that's in the united
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states senate if, you put somebody up there that is controversial, they're going to kill them. they're going to put daggers in them. and so he's gone to someone who is qualified and quality and represents excellence. >> james, go ahead. one final thought from you? >> this is stunning. we have the dean of the harvard law school accusing the president of dumbing down a supreme court. that woman might be a lot of things, but i suspect dumb is not one of them. >> she is definitely not dumb. >> i don't think the spa get ji going to stick on the wall. >> she's sno scalia, james. >> we'll see how she does with scalia and roberts if confirmed on the supreme court. james carville, david gergen and bay buchanan, thanks very much. when we come back, lana horn. she died on sunday at the age of 92. her friend, a grieving dionne warwick joins us to talk about the one and only when we come back. why is that?
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# legendary lena horn died on sunday.
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she was 92 years old. horn was a singer, actress and pioneer. she was the first african-american to sign a long term movie contract with a major hollywood studio. when she joined mgm in 1942. joining us now is the singer dionne warwick. lena horn was her friend and mentor and, by the way, she opens with connie francise at the las vegas hilton may 21st through may 23rd. also joining us is the singer and entertainer natalie cole. she's on the phone. let me start with you, dionne. talk about lena horn a little bit. what she meant not only to you but to all of us. >> oh, my goodness. well, i met her when i was 16 years old. my dad took me to the waldorf astoria on my 16th birthday to see lena horn. and what an impression she made on me at that point in time. i later got to see her again in london.
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and that's when she basically took me under her wing and treated me like i was her daughter. and, by the way, she was one of the few women that my mother allowed me to also refer to as momma. and that's the way she treated me. i am going to miss her an awful lot. >> so you attribute a lot of your own personal success to what you learned from lena? >> no doubt. no doubt at all. >> natalie cole is on the phone with us. natalie, what did she mean to you? >> hi. you know, lena was an extraordinary woman an an extraordinary performer. my mother and father, of course, knew her very well. i did not meet her until i was a young adult. but she also was reaching out to me as well. the first few years of my career. and her elegance, her stage presence, the way that she would sing a song, i mean i was enraptured. i had a chance to see her one woman show with my late sister carol. and it was quite impressive. i mean she was just a great lady in every way, shape and form.
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>> and she was a talented singer. let's listen to a little bit of "stormy weather." listen to this. ♪ have i got that the others ain't ♪ ♪ that always seems to please ♪ there's honey in the honey comb ♪ ♪ there's sugar in the cane >> that's not "stormy weather." she was a talent by anyone's account. what was her great achievement in terms of breaking barriers in the united states?
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>> she, like a few other -- like sarah vaughn. but lena was someone's shoulders that i was privileged to stand upon. and she let me know in no uncertain terms that these shoelders are broad enough to carry you and all my other little children. that's what she refer to us as. >> lena horn, one of the most beautiful women in the world pass add way. her dignity and grace and talent shall be remembered forever. god bless her always. i'll miss her. and quincy jones issued a statement, our nation and the world has lost one of the great artistic icons of the 20th century. there will never be another like lena horn. i will miss her deeply. natalie cole, you mentioned your parents were good friends with lena horn. and she inspired you. but talk a little bit about that inspiration. >> well, first of all, knowing that my parents knew her before i did and, of course, i heard of her and everything, but kind of
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even thought of my mom as someone who also even was inspired by lena as well. my mom has the same kind of grace. whenever i would think of lena, i would -- when i was with lena, i would think of my mom. she had that same kind of grace. and for me, as dionne says, if it wasn't for her, you know, the little black girls wouldn't have even been thought of. she is the one that really paved the way. and we have so much to be grateful for and thankful for because a lot of these young people have no clue as to what some of these women of color have gone through to get to where they have so that we can do what we do now. >> well said. natalie cole and dionne warwick, both of you, both of you say it extremely well. we want to mention that lena horn's legacy will live on and on and on. >> yes. >> thanks, ladies, so much, for coming in and sharing a few thoughts about this wonderful, wonderful singer, actress and
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person. whether we come back, we'll take a happier turn. betty white's appearance on "saturday night live" has a lot of people buzzing. that's coming up next. [ male announcer ] try fixodent with a time-released formula. use just once per day for dawn-to-dark hold. it is important to use the product as directed. fixodent and forget it. how about a coastal soup and grilled shrimp salad combination? or maybe our new savory shrimp jambalaya. seafood lunches starting at just $6.99 at red lobster.
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anderson cooper is coming up at the top of the hour. what are you working on? >> wolf, tonight on the program, a man who served his country for 18 years in the army as a doctor is now refusing deployment of order to afghanistan because he's a birther. he believes president obama's not proven he was eligible to be elected president. believes he's not a citizen. his story, our discussion, we're keeping him onnest. and you talked about it tonight, president obama's choice for the supreme court, elena kagan. why some conservatives didn't waste any time to come out against the nomination. we'll talk exactly what they are opposed to her about her and what if any impact that may have on the nomination. a remarkable story, crime and punishment, they were called the bling ring. hollywood teenagers scoping out
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the homes of the biggest stars in show business and then breaking in and stealing everything they could get their hands on. almost all of it caught on camera. that's a story that can only happen in hollywood. those stories and a lot more, wolf, at the top of the hour. we'll be watching. what can you say about an 88-year-old woman who was in every sketch of the night and helped drive the show to its best ratings in a year and a half? nothing we say could be any better than just watching her in action.
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i didn't know what facebook was. now that i do, it sounds like a huge waste of time. i don't want to say that people are losers, but that's only because i'm polite. people say, betty, face book is a great way to connect with old friends. well, at my age if i want to connect with old friends, i need a wigi board. >> she was good. critics and fans marvelled at the timing and credited her with breathing new life into the program. "the new york times" remarked, let me quote now, all it took to reinvigorate the 35-year-old comedy show is the presence of an 88-year-old woman. many of the jokes played off her age. she is the oldest host the program has seen. let's take a look at her spoof on snl. >> do you think we'll ever catch this guy?
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>> it's like my underwear, depends. >> this is your grandmother's cop show. >> amazing. good for her. betty white. she did a great job. it's time for another larry king top 25 moment. this is from a decade ago. the primary debate. a ferocious face-off between george w. bush and john mccain and credited with changing the course of the south carolina primary. watch this. >> larry: the press was immense. there must have been 250 press. south carolina was close at the time. that one minute to 9:00 and i'm standing with bush and mccain. and mccain says to bush, george, does it have to be the way it's been? and bush said to mccain something like, that's politics. and mccain said to bush, is everything politics? and suddenly the guy says, on stage. and i knew we were going to have a hum dinger. tonight a crucial debate for the
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three remaining presidential candidates. >> remember who called who untrust worthy. remember who called who untrust worthy. this is a pro-life party. may i finish, please? may i finish, please? >> larry: moderating is easy. all i have to do is ask good questions and keep it going. i can't let it get out of hands. you want it to be strife-ridden. >> you should be ashamed. >> is he responsible for what someone else says? >> this same man who stood next to him. this same man attacked his father. >> this is an attack piece. >> it is not my campaign. >> it says paid for by john mccain. >> it is not my campaign. >> john? when somebody is putting stuff out -- >> larry: that was dirty on both sides. it got really nasty. if bush had lost that, mccain would have been president, i think. >> it was an amazing moment. i remember it very, very well. you can help us choose to top five moments in larry king's 25
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years at cnn. we'll count them town on may 31st. larry's silver anniversary week. to make your picks. and while you're at it, register to make a trip to los angeles. have dinner with the king himself and remember, he is back tomorrow with the former first lady. laura bush. ♪ hey bets, can i borrow a quarter? sure, still not dry? i'm trying to shrink them. i lost weight and now some clothes are too big. how did you do it? simple stuff. eating right and i switched to whole grain. whole grain... [ female announcer ] people who eat more whole grain tend to have a healthier body weight. multigrain cheerios has five whole grains and 110 calories per serving. multigrain cheerios. try new chocolate cheerios with a touch of delicious chocolate taste in every bite.
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let's wrap it up. the nominee for the united states supreme court, the democratic strategist is here. you've known her for a while. you know this woman. you heard earlier, she would dumb down the court. >> i think that's a little much. you covered her at the white house too. you have a vast experience here at cnn. this is your 20th anniversary at cnn. the gang at "larry king live." the gang can't be here but the gang went to the washington wizards. you are the number one wizards fan and got this. look at this.
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blitzer size. actual size for you. number 20. wolf blitzer. >> so you didn't come out here to talk about elena kagan. >> i know the wizards and i know you. >> they're coming back next year. they're going to come back. flip saunders, the coach, the general manager, they're going to have a team. >> they'd better have a team. they've given all the good guys away. >> and you know the new owner. >> do you know everybody at the team? >> i to. i'm a season ticket holder. >> you've actually interviewed a wizard? >> oh, my god. look at this. we got the team has asked gee whiz. the mascot of the team to bring you your 20th anniversary cake. >> congratulations. see if you can get a word out of him. >> they're not allowed to talk. >> the very strong silent talk. >> do you think elena kagan is a good nominee? are you with her? gee wiz. i'm taking as a yes.
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>> she certainly made the playoffs which i think the wizards this year didn't. >> they're coming back. >> seriously, congratulations. if we were at espn, would be our person. >> for 20 years, how many years. it's a nice jersey. >> thank you for all you've done for this network and all of our viewers. keeping them informed. >> 20 years. that's a long time. but you know, larry king, he's been with cnn, this coming week, 25 years. what do you think about larry king? yes! yes! he likes him. >> real quick, number one best interviewer you ever did. >> nelson mandela. i went to south africa. this was in 1998. if anyone could have been in a bitter and angry, he was not. he really was an amazing, still is an amazing man. it was a good interview but we have to leave it there. >> hey, guys go, thanks very mu

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