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February 3rd, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Anderson's White House Visit

President Barack Obama is interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama is interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, don't miss Anderson's interview with Pres. Barack Obama. The one-on-one Q & A session covering the economy and more  took place in the Oval Office.  All of us here in the AC360° newsroom especially liked the lightning round. Read Anderson's blog on his White House visit  HERE.

The President had a tough day. Two of his appointees withdrew their nominations over tax troubles. Former Sen. Tom Daschle dropped his bid to head the Department of Health and Human Services and hours earlier Nancy Killefer cancelled her appointment as Pres. Obama's chief performance officer.

Do you think these are bad setbacks for the Obama administration?

It took some second-grades to brighten Pres. Obama's day. He and the First Lady visited a Charter school in Washington today. As Erica Hill will report tonight, the message from the President is clear: I care about education. We'll have the raw politics.

Join us for all this and more tonight at 10pm ET.
See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Donna Crane

    Good Interview. The tax thing with Daschle is a red herring... he caught the mistake himself and paid the tax & interest...lots of people do that all the time. Contrary to legend they don't get put in jail. My roommate didn't pay taxes for 10 years and he's not in jail...and he's certainly not rich. IRS kept sending him letters threatening to attach his pay, but they never did. He finally contacted them and paid up with penalties. All kinds of people make tax mistakes or don't pay, particularly if you are not on a regular salary and get perks or are self-employed. It's very complicated and all it takes is to miss one little paper, and you're off on your calculations. I doubt Daschle's mistake was intentional, but God forbid we should forgive an honest error. He would have likely had more problems with the fact that he worked for lobbying firms as an advisor, even though he was not a lobbyist. Still, his job wasn't a crime and I hate to see him being hung for it. We have become so hateful and unforgiving in the country and we are all so angry we are starting to eat our own young.

    February 5, 2009 at 12:53 am |
  2. Joseph Ross

    Good job president Obama, drive the bus, first-time listening to oh President I can feel the power and his voice. This is what we need to hear that no one is above the law.

    The mayors are right. get this bill passed for middle-class. blue collar Workers.

    Who's working for the government, maybe it is good to do a background check on everyone is working for the government. We done it to the president. It is probably time to get the malts out of the basket.

    PS be honest, it would go a long way with the American people.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  3. LeeAnn

    If we're going to restore the public's faith in our politicians and become more "transparent", let's start with auditing all the tax records of all of our elected officials. Why should the people passing laws and setting up our ridiculously complicated tax code be allowed to get away with not paying their own taxes?

    I would love to see this administration be successful but it's depressing to keep seeing skeletons rolling out of all the closets.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  4. Greg R. Baker

    Hello AC:

    Thanks for your efforts and excellent coverage! Below I have tried to list a number of things that WE THE PEOPLE are tired of:

    1. We're tired of being taxed to death to pay for the 1.2% of the rich not paying any taxes- the solution is not to cap pay but to tax all earnings over $250K (pick a number) at 50% with no deductions or writeoffs or foundations.
    2. We're tired of tired of pork barrel initiatives and lobbyists get rid of both-solution no earmarks on ANY BILLS and no lobbyists fire them all and save the money.
    3. We're tired of taking over/nationalizing defunct corporations- nationalize the greedy corporations who helped get us into this mess-in many socialist countries the energy providers are owned by the gov – let's start there- so energy is not manipulated by those in power (like the last in the pocket of oil companies admin) and so that the profits can be used to help pay down this unbelievable debt they have helped ring up.
    4. We're tired of paying to invade sovereign countries- bring all our troops home and close all the international bases and stop all foreign subsidies unless it is for a humanitarian cause- this should reduce our armed forces by 35-50% and also close down all intelligence services except for one agency we don't need to pay for errant intelligence like on Iraq and we don't need the government spying on US (like in the last admin). We also do not want to pay for any mercenaries this should be banned from funding period.
    5. We're tired of crooked politicians and white collar criminals- in order to better stop this when they are convicted we should confiscate all their families money and worldly goods- let them start out like the rest of Americans do..........
    6. We're completely fed up with companies laying off the regular workers before the C Class and E Class workers take significant pay cuts- they are the ones who can best afford to get paid less and they do not do the actual work...........
    7. We're tired of the government and the state and municipal governments not understanding that they work for us "WE THE PEOPLE" so if you are not in government at "government service"
    leave.
    8. And finally we are tired of each time budgets get cut the first areas cut are schools and services for the elderly- first cut DOD, the three letter agencies, executive and department head compensation, and police force employees on traffic control (especially those used to raise funds) this is just another tax on the populace.

    Additionally, why is there not a central database where key issues are presented to the American taxpayers and where they can vote directly on whether they are in favor of an action or not?

    Thanks for listening and let me know if someone or group needs help setting up a central database FOR THE PEOPLE.

    Regards,
    Greg R. Baker

    February 4, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  5. dottie

    l heard about the media talking about; how the Obama's have'nt
    called in their interior decorator , and how they have'n't place photos and plaques, painting and how the Resident does look like home. people ,people, stop ! with the beat down he's President like it or not ,get over it., and please give him ...RESPECT,,,,,,
    The Obama's l know for sure ,is they have class.Noone can take that away from them. Ther new Home the White House will be very tastefully,with style ,HGTV design on a dime.

    February 4, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  6. dottie

    Mr. President: lf you do good, and your means are good, it's doesn't
    matter how many obstacles cross your pass way you will always win..
    trust me there will be Obstacles,people will betrays you . for whatever reason.. there a scripture read like this,lord dont moved the mountain but help me to climb it.there will be Mountain. The Rep. is trying to chew you up and spit you out. jonas were in the belly of whale..
    you have know the story about jonas and the whale..
    you didn't screw up , Mr. Daschle didn't , but now on screen these people before you trust them in your cabnet.
    push forward, not backard, mistakes will be make: hey ! you just got
    there. my goodness.

    February 4, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  7. Radha

    Lorraine, It's Barack Obama.

    February 4, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  8. Diana

    A great interview. During this season of recession, depression, and unemployment, I need to see the President Obama at least 2 or 3 times per week. The President has kind words of wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement.

    Anderson's interviews are helpful. I am encouraged.

    February 4, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  9. Radha

    relaxed demeanor, strong questions with a side of humor.
    He is so endearing, Anderson too!

    February 4, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  10. Jim Nicholson

    I loved your interview with President Obama but my real question is the following:
    Rather than explain again, please see the following: (to the South China Morning Post)

    I've written to CNN before re their programming policy. My main gripe is that they have reduced AC360 to AC180. Every weekday after one hour of this two hour program, Anderson Cooper describes what's coming up in the second hour, only to have the network cut away from AC360's second hour and replacing it with timeless pieces of journalism that bear no relation to Anderson's second hour of the program. Today, just like every weekday, after AC did his blurb on
    what's coming up on their continuing coverage of the Obama pre inauguration, CNN Asia cut away from all the excitement and replaced AC360's second hour with World Report, a cobbling of small global interest stories".

    I've posted my gripe in the letters section of
    The South China Morning Post and I am currently in communication with Asia Media Magazine on the same subject.

    The question is, who actually sees the second hour of AC360? It's not Asia. After AC announces what's coming up, we don't get it. The network cuts away and shows something else.

    Who actually is getting the second hour of AC360?
    And, why not us?

    Thank you.
    Jim
    http://www.seehear.net

    February 4, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  11. Vincent

    If the president stays on track his cabinet will be called the dirty dozen. Its no wonder he has to start picking republicians. Come on America the only change is the voters flip flop. We fell right into the web the bias media set, by not exposing the presidents lack of credientials, back ground checks, don't forget the basic paper work, birth certificate. The left media spent 8 years, making fun and putting down Bush & Pallin instead of reporting all facts fair & balance.
    President Obama is now in the seat and complaining the first week about RUSH. So Saaaaddddd! Sounds like the pig is squealing.

    February 4, 2009 at 5:50 am |
  12. Ashish Sinharoy

    AC,
    I've been watching your show for a long time now, while getting ready for office (its on at 0830 hrs India time).
    Ofcourse, Obama's crowning has enthused "almost everyone" around the world ... including a huge chunk of our grossly over-populated country.
    GWB was forced to into a corner by the Islamic world & China – hence, his team pampered India a bit.
    But overall, Indians have been more hurt than pleased, by GWB's actions around the world ... with us having to bear the brunt of the fallout of the war on terror.
    I've also been listening to and reading with interest, about the steps Obama needs to take to make America more acceptable to the world community ... I would advise him to revert to those old but simple words ... "Play It Simple".
    The America the world knew and loved is a forgotten memory ... to get back to that old feeling, all you guys need to do is to get back to basics ... demonstrate to the world that you are readying to return to "A Kinder, Gentler America".
    Believe me, there's no better strategy than to show a kind and gentle face ... with your (now depleted) military strength lurking in the shadows.
    We hope to see India-US relations booming with the new adminstration too.
    Regards
    Ashish SInharoy
    Mumbai
    India
    asinharoy@gmail.com
    +91.9930860715

    February 4, 2009 at 4:56 am |
  13. Gloria

    Not only our future but the entire globe will be effected by the decisions of this President.
    Once this thought sinks in then one should ask themselves if they really want to inhibit the President's decision making ability.

    The stress of having to quit smoking is a double whammy. Medical studies have shown that, as bad as cigarettes are, they do help the thinking process for those who have become addicted to them. Having your mind keep repeating "no, you can't have a cigarette" just adds additional stress.

    At this point when his thought process has an effect on every human on earth, I suggest we let him relax in any form he wishes even with a cigarette. He has earned the right for the rest of us to "cut him a bit of slack", our lives may depend on it.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:55 am |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    We should remember what a previous President posted on his desk. "The buck stops here." Nothing and no-one are ever perfect. So be grateful the system worked and two people got bumped and Obama unlike his predecessors (Change) said my responsibilty, and good for him.
    Your train of thought Anderson was that Presidents should not do that please tell me why? Have you never made a single mistake in your life that you regreted?.
    In the big picture at present this is not a significant matter fixing the Economy and the medical system are important and I'll judge him on those not the withdrawals, ( probably forced by Obama anyway).
    As usual Gergen got the balance right on the effects which he said would be minor/short lived.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  15. Jonathan

    I too respect the President for admitting his mistake. To err is human. This is a young administration that will make mistakes and we need to give them grace as they try to work through all of the burdens that have been handed to them.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:16 am |
  16. Thomas

    I'm watching the interview right now and can not help but notice the ear piece in his ear, and that he keeps looking to his left with his eyes as if he's listening to someone talk to him. I do not doubt that the president's intentions are valid. I am glad to see that he is not allowing these people who insult all of us hard working Americans by avoiding their taxes to be a part of his administration.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:10 am |
  17. Roger

    Anderson, tsk tsk on your lightning round with the smoking question in it. If you're going to ask a tough personal question, don't use a cheap trick to try and get a funny mug from the president. You made yourself and the pres look bad.

    Please raise your game on the next interview, if you get one.

    Note, the rest of the interview was great. Obama really needs to get out in front of the issues more.

    February 4, 2009 at 1:52 am |
  18. Frances Cooper

    Thank you Mr. Cooper for conducting, what I consider a fair and informative interview with President Obama. I appreciate his open acknowledgement of his error. Also, I appreciate hearing more people addressing the president as President Obama. Please continue to encorage the public to do so by CNN's actions. Frances, CA

    February 4, 2009 at 1:00 am |
  19. JR

    Check all politicians status with the IRS. bailout fund money for lower taxes for the rest of us who do pay?

    February 4, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  20. sherey

    Time to get tough and show who is the 'boss' President Obama!
    I think you are doing a great job at what is not a very easy time.
    Good wishes to you on getting your economic bill passed. I know how hard you and your team are working on getting things to get moving.

    February 4, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  21. Leigh

    Great interview Anderson and crew!! I enjoy how you keep it real
    and down to earth. Give the guy a break on the cigerette questions.
    He doesn't walk around and promote it. Somethings are just simply
    not 'our' business.

    February 4, 2009 at 12:32 am |
  22. Denise

    t the stimulus plan, who,outside of the people on capitol hill, have read it? Who has sat down, discussed each project, found out why it's in there, and exactly what it will do? No one. We as citizens, media and political analysists can't make judgements about something we haven't read. The republicans have an agendaand it's not helping the american people. They were offered to help write this plan on numerous occaisions. They chose not to.They said they would not help and would vote no on anything presented so it would all be on the democrats. Everyone has conviently forgotten they said this. They want it to look like they are fighting for us when all they are just doing the same old thing. They vowed to fight the package, but why don't they vow to work on it and make it a good package. Because they don't want it to be. They have a political agenda to reinvent themselves, but they can't even do that.
    It took a big man to admit he made a mistake. I admire President Obama all the more for it! I would be willing to bet that if we checked into the taxes of all of congress about half would have some issues!

    I say to the Republicans, get over yourselves, get with the program, help fix things, or get out!

    February 4, 2009 at 12:25 am |
  23. Bethanie c.

    i enjoyed watching the segment of mr. cooper in the white house with pres. obama. perhaps next time if mr. cooper could ask pres. obama about his plan to get rid of the militarys policy on gays. (also, mr. cooper, can you please call the president by his title and not mr. obama or mr. and mrs. obama or barack obama)

    February 4, 2009 at 12:22 am |
  24. Cecilia

    1. Please show some respect and address our President as "President Obama," and not "Mister Obama."

    2. Enough! President Obama has more than extended the olive branch to Republicans. Now he needs to politely tell them they need to offer to work with him and prove they mean it. "President Obama, let the Republicans come to you; you've 'proven' you want to work with them. I continue to be one of your staunch supporters and wish you well."

    February 4, 2009 at 12:14 am |
  25. Raju

    Current spending plans from Democrats and Republicans are age old. It is like the war tactics followed in historic times- bombing enemy territory and waiting and hoping that the enemy will be killed and victory will be achieved. Instead it needs to be like modern warfare – identifying the targets and carrying out precision strike and achieving the objective.

    The spending proposal has to be more specific and precise to provide stimulus and have an immediate impact on the economy unlike the spending plans which may work in long time. The areas which need the impetus neeeds to be identified and targeted. For example the areas and the proposal could be

    Auto mobile Sector – For a limited period (say 6 months), any automobile bought within United States which has more than 90% of components manfactured in USA will be eligible for a fixed amount (say $ 4000) as rebate from the Govt

    Credit Cards – Credit Card companies will be given money for extending 0% APR for purchases (not for balance transfers)

    Home Loans – Mortgage companies will be given Stimulus money for issuing new Home loans and Home equity loans

    Student lOans – Banks will be extended money against the new loans given to students during 2009

    Alongwith the above provide tax cuts and cut payroll tax which could provide additional funds in the hands of consumers to spend on the above.

    Ecnomists and Policy makers needs to think outside the box and come out with a plan and not rehash the old ideas

    Thanks
    Raju

    February 4, 2009 at 12:08 am |
  26. Kelleyann

    This comment is 4 Lorraine (the 1 who commented above). All republicans r sore losers? Shut up, spend up your stimulus money in 1 day then "try" and ask what your country can do for you! Obama can't & won't save you twice! But God will! Save yourself & the rest who voted 4 him!

    February 4, 2009 at 12:03 am |
  27. Elaine Word

    I think the President has done an outstanding job of selecting his Cabinet. Unfortunately mistakes happen. I hope the Democrates aren't getting too cocky and think they can get away with anything. If they do, they will undermine the President. There should have been better vetting, but let's not just focus on this. The big issue is the economy. President Obama, (and everyone should respect the man and the office no matter how open and friendly he is), still has my confidence. I have never had as much respect for any president as I have for this man.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  28. amiee

    I do not feel the need for President Obama to constantly confess that he made a mistake. He is only human. Lets stop knit picking at every little thing that he does, besides it will be extremely hard to clean up Bush's garbage that he left . Stop all the madness over petty little things. ( CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG ).

    February 3, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  29. N. Ferguson

    Anderson:

    I appreciate your presenting the President with less of a spin. It saddens mw to think that just two weeks ago, America was in the midst of a historical moment and now the elected president can not catch a media break. Perhaps he is too transparent for the jaded media and other political party and as such must be an hourly whipping post to succour ratings. He inherited a royal mess and no doubt will be judged through shaded lenses that portend that America has overcome its racial divide. She has not and will not so long as such proctological examinations of policy and efforts are not globally applied across political and racial lines. Keep up the good work but you should focus 360 on the media and keep them honest. Half the truth is still a whole lie!

    February 3, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  30. Eleanor Abramson

    I am deeply concerned and surprised that the highest office in this country is not being respected. Many reporters including some CNN reporters are still calling our President Mr. Obama, or the Obama's rather than respecting the office and the person for who he is, our President. When the media began or continue to disrespect the office or the man who holds the office by not addressing him as The President, people will think that it is ok .The news is being heard all day.. This kind of reporting gives the opposition fuel for thier position. I strongly suggest that reporters check themselves and remember that the world is listening to how the President is being honored or respected. If we in the USA do not give the respect that is due him, then why would other countries respect our USA.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  31. kim

    why does AC call the President, Mr. Obama instead of Mr. President

    February 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
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