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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. rich

    President Obama campaigned as the "guy to drive change". His rhetoric is now sounding like the same old politics. His job creation numbers for example are now sounding like "fuzzy math". Unfortunately, the only change I see is in President Obama's tough campaign rhetoric is his changing toward "politics as usual". That is disappointing. Might be good fortune that the Daschle debacle will be in the forefront for the next day or two.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  2. Shawn Wetzel

    I think we are seeing the early stages of a great man with a great vision coming into form. President Obama will dig into his alternate list for these critical positions and find key people willing to live up to his long overdue standards. He is starting by holding his own party accountable. It shows you the humanness though of highly respected leaders being exposed for previous indiscretions that have come back to bite them. I applaud President Obama shouldering the responsibility of those that are not able to live up to his standards. In time, with this approach he just may change things. It's a shame that he will have to endure such "childish things" as his naysayers just can't let go and continue to badger him. Obama is a very open and classy individual. He deserves the support of anyone paying attention to what is going on.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  3. amiee

    President Obama is the president now, not a star. people need to stop getting him on shows. You people are complaining about him not doing his job right, but how can he do his job if everytime he turns around the media wants answers for everything. Did people question Bush for everything that he did, no. And this goes out to the president, you do not have to apoligize to anyone for any mistake that you have made. I'm sure you will face many more mistakes, but no one is perfect. As long as you yourself can recognize that you have made a mistake don't apoligize just try to correct it. I don't feel that the media is treating you fairly, they are itching for the day that you fail. Do what you feel is best for this country.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  4. charles

    Hello Anderson. I know it must have been such a thrill to interview the new president.

    I was a bit suprised when President Obama admitted he "screwed up" on appointing Tom Dashele but it is a very honest answer and for such, I respect him much more, not only admitting his fault but for looking into a possible solution that will prevent such an event from happening again.

    We all as individuals make mistakes. Admitting our faults and learning from them is what makes us better people.

    Let us all learn from our great president!!!

    February 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  5. Dolores Lois, Jackson Heights, NY

    Daschle and Killefer did the right thing. They stepped down. I hope that's the end of the story so we can get to work on the serious issues facing the nation.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  6. John

    Anderson, you let me down man.
    Obama's a grown man, if he decides to have a smoke, that's his business.

    And About Phelps. Wow how terrible. he only spent most of his life training, and only after fulfilling his goals, he made the mistake of trying to be a regular person and fit in with some friends. I'm
    not saying it was right, but really is anyone here perfect?

    HE DESERVES A PASS

    February 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  7. xtina, chicago IL

    HOW can anyone say Obama is doing a good job when we see yet again signs of poor judgment?

    Obama PROMISED no lobbyists. Tom Daschle is both a lobbyist and tax cheat.

    Two other people proven to not be paying income tax were on their way to being confirmed. Obama endorsed tax cheats.

    Obama campaigned against a high deficit. What is he proposing now? Increasing the deficit with a massive spending bill (it's not really a stimulus is it?)

    February 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  8. Shawn Wetzel

    I think that anyone really paying attention should be able to clearly see, even in spite of president Obama's not knowing or looking deep enough to the backgrounds of some long and much respected leaders of the Democratic Party, we are seeing "transparency" as the President foretold. His answers to the questions were candid and full of humility. He is very clearly changing Washington stating with his own party. He has poise, conviction and candidness no matter how many others may be trying to throw him under a bus.

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

    I am sick in tired of turning on the tv, and every second of every day, people are talking about the president. So what if he smokes. Is that realy a serious issue, i dont think so. Get over his smoking, there are bigger things to deal with. Everyone is waiting for him to make a big mistake, and if he does so what cause Bush promised us the world to, and we got nothing but a headache.Everyone is on president obama's tail because he is black. I do not have an issue with race, i am a white person and i think everyone should be treated equal. When bush messed up the media wasn't up his tail 24-7. The media needs to find something else to do than to be on the president. Let him do his job.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  10. Gwen Johnson

    Good Job Anderson!

    Next time you interview the man with a mission that impossible..Please ask him to consider lowering the mortgages to the appraise value with low fix interest rate. I feel this would stimulate the economy. Lower payments means extra money into savings account.....moderate spending in merchandising.....moderate much need vacations....perhaps a sense of stability.....a major drop in foreclosure. I see the benefits immediately for the low-middle class families.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  11. Kelley

    Anderson Cooper, you are hot! But when is the last time. Obama was caught smoking being that he wanted to spend 75 million on anti- smoking campaigns?

    February 3, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  12. Bob

    Anderson – I heard you during the broadcast say "Mister Obama" at least twice. Isn't is supposed to be proper to address him as "President Obama" now that he is officially in that position?

    February 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  13. C.A.T. (Canada)

    Hi Anderson, the interview with President Obama was captivating.

    He is a remarkable individual. I'm always fascinated to hear him speak. When he addresses an issue, he is very calm, and sincere about what he says he's going to do for the American people. Yes, he has a difficult job ahead but because of his demeanor and the intelligent individual that he is, I know he will get the job done.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  14. m bondl

    AC and Team,
    Great interview.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  15. Judi

    Just as I feared, Obama has no clue how to be President.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  16. Mable

    Hi Anderson,

    That should have read "Regardless to how large or small one's mistake,..." My finger hit the wrong key and submitted the comment. Sorry

    February 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  17. NIcole

    I am not worried about the withdrawals – the President has handled those well. What is of more concern is what your guests touched on, Anderson – the lack of public comprehension (and buy in) for the stimulus bill. On the heals of the heady Wall Street bonuses that were given out even under the shadow of TARP, the public needs to understand the bill more fully to feel supportive.

    A good show so far – thanks.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  18. Todd Ellertson

    Anderson...you've got chutzpah...but I guess that's why YOU'RE the news anchor and I'm not! Wow...just blown away by your interview with the Prez...very impressive. I try to put myself in that position...sitting there with Barack Obama and trying to ask the tough questions....makes me a little queasy just thinking about it.

    Anyway....Anderson rocks...he did not back down on the toughies. Good job.

    And the President himself is awesome...he is so smart, so forthright and so cool, calm and collected. He got stuck with a mess...and cleaning it up is going to be messy, long and difficult. That he owned a mistake is so huge for a president.

    My hat is off to both Anderson and President Obama.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  19. Juanita Hunter Young

    This President is all that we could hope for. He is honest, an intellectual giant, considerate of everyone and genuinely concerned about this country and its welfare. After all, his girls, as my grandchildren, will be the recipients of his best efforts. I trust his judgement and will do all in my power to promote his agenda because he has our safety and well being in his heart and in his hands. I recognize the Republican's game of flaunting fear and the flaws of the stimulus plan. I blame the House Democrats for not promoting the President's intentions and, ultimately, our economic well being, better. I blame the Republicans for being more intent on ridiculing the plan than instilling the American public's confidence in the institution of "government. I blame the White House staff for not protecting the President's intended program – our economic future – from the vultures on Capitol Hill. Today was a sad day I did not know Mr. Daschle but I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach because I can see the delay in healthcare reform; and a very bright mind not able to give his best to this tremendous problem. You will not fail, Mr. President. We are behind you 100%. God bless him and his beautiful family.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  20. Brandon

    Hello Erica, and Anderson, I am in Memphis, TN, and I watch you faithfully. I am happy to you were able to interview the President on a day like to day. It gives me a greater hope that he can remain calm under pressure. Usually a person calm under pressure can steer out of the pressure. Hey, it's just 15 days in. We can't expect 8 years of NOTHING but PAIN to be erased in 15 days. GIVE THE PRESIDENT A CHANCE YALL!! ANDERSON, Great Job on the interview.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  21. mel lissner

    Great interview Anderson Cooper. I voted for Senator McCain, but support President Obama 100%. As a Senior, Educator, Business Person, and Grandparent I say, let's get behind the President and let him make mistakes while moving the country forward. He is bright, he seems to really care, and we voted for him. Criticism should be respectfull. He deserves our unconditional support for four years.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  22. mike

    Well looks like Pres. Obama has learned a lot about politics. Sometimes just saying you screwed up means so much to people because they think that you hear their concerns. Good stuff Mr. President!

    February 3, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  23. Jim

    I was trying to find your behind the scenes comments about interviewing the president............where?? Thanks

    February 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  24. Vladimir Poopin

    Did you question The President about Iran's recent missile launch into space?

    February 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  25. Thaddeus

    Please, please work with your graphic techies to keep the garbage off the screen... I have a nice 46 in" monitor and all the graphics flying in and out, up and down is so damn annoying. Once in a while it adds emphasis and can be "cool." But you guys use it overkill –– way over. And yo, Anderson it takes the attention away from you doesn't it? Why interview Obama in the Oval office if you're going to muddy up the screen with cyber feces?

    And please stay honest yourself. I like watching CNN because it "covers" the news better than any other station. But, try and keep things in context. The statement "I screwed up" (again showing up as a massive graphic), was such a minor part of your interview, yet you, along with the graphic dept. turned it into hyperbole.

    Remember your importance as a news presenter... and lighten up a bit will you. A little humble modesty for you anchors. The idea of "celebrity" news men/women being nearly more important than the news itself is becoming a daily problem with CNN.

    Stick to the news broadcasting, and I (along with millions of others) will stick to watching CNN.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  26. Mable

    Hi Anderson,

    You are highly respected. I lived in New Orleans for 25 years. Please contact me.

    Regardless to how large are small one's mistake, one has to first acknowledge that he/she skrewed up. A real person does eactly what President Obama did. That is, he took responsibility for his mistake. I can assure you that in the near future he will have measures in place to ensure that he doesn't make the same mistake and to minimize other problems. We are not perfect beings.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  27. Phoenicia

    First off Anderson you are the greatest. Obama has a long way to go however the American people do as well. We have to loose a littel sleep as well in order to figure how to get our own home in financial order. Obama will and can get things backto going but this is not a quick fix

    February 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  28. Sal

    Anderson, please tell me why, in your interview with the President, he was wearing an ear-piece in his left ear? Who was feeding him info? I've never seen a President wear one during a TV interview.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  29. Beverly is my real name

    I know this comment/observation may seem petty; I could not help but notice the President remained seated while greeting Anderson .

    Looked weird, just saying.

    February 3, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  30. victoria

    who cares if the president smokes, the last person started a war did anyone ask any questions.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  31. Jane

    Enjoyed the interview and am not surprised Barack Obama takes the responsiblity for Dashile onto himself -he is a very secure and mature human being. Anders darling I don't think you should have interupted the Pres. quite the way you did. He looked a tad upset and you don't want to make him reluctant to have you back for a return visit !

    February 3, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  32. Bindi

    If Obama didn't appoint these people who didn't pay taxes, they probably would have gotten away with it. Even if president says that he screwd up, GOOD JOB Mr President. And how many more out there in wash. who don't pay taxes?

    February 3, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  33. Frank

    Tom D's disgrace cannot be a set back to the president in any shape or form although it could create some doubt in the minds of new folks joining the Obama wagon. He was smart in accepting responsibility for the mishap and going further to promise a more robust selection criteria next time. He has done what most presidents did not do while in office and for that I give him two thumbs up. Continue to be honest to the American people.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  34. Amy Toro

    President Obama's honest self-reflection portrayed good, moral character. I hope he includes in his stimulus package a large portion of it to the IRS to increase their ability to collect taxes timely and effectively. I hope President Obama shifts the burden of paying for the stimulus bill on to the tax evaders how don't pay taxes on time rather then the hard working honest taxpayer. Also, I hope he has the IRS help businesses that do not run a balanced budget with a trustee in the business to sign all checks before money is dispersed. The President with reverence acknowledge the short comings of some of our leaders in not being forth right in paying their share of the taxes which are needed for social services to protect all of our rights. I feel the President is uncovering how much work needs to be done to remake America.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  35. KMingis

    I found Anderson's interview with President Obama enlightening in all but one respect: the gotcha question about the president's efforts to quit smoking. Under the guise of a few light-hearted questions, Anderson included this one: "Have you had a cigarette?" With so much else going on, the question seemed flippant and it put the president in an uncomfortable position of having to be honest and essentially say yes or lie. For crying out loud, he's made it clear that he's trying to quit but hasn't been entirely successful. As a former smoker, I can appreciate the effort President Obama is making, and I can assure you, being asked on national cable TV show about it isn't likely to help him with his quest. Given the mess left behind by his predecessor, it's a wonder the president's not chewing nicorette gum continuously. I don't recall anyone asking President Bush if he had started drinking again. Really, we have a lot more important things to worry about.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  36. kelly ann pritchard

    A
    HI I am Kelly from Santa Barbara, Arg, just when I thought it was safe to look at the TV there is the President sitting on those old chairs again in front of logs never meant to provide fire. Well it is good to compare and contrast, different views of the oval office. i liked the part about the visit to the elementary school. Second graders are pretty savey and not afraid to ask questions. I really liked the set design of the interview today. Good Job everyone, ( except for those chairs and fireplace.)

    February 3, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  37. LENORA

    Shame on you Anderson Cooper – All of America
    is watching this media attack on President Obama
    under CNN 's and your leadership. For crying out loud
    give the MAN a BREAK. First of all, you and the far
    RIGHT SPIN MACHINES Should have attacked Bush
    the way you're attacking Obama and maybe this
    country would not be in such a fix today – Anderson,
    your true colors are showing – try to practice what
    you preach (Keeping them honest), you're not
    being honest – America's watching.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  38. curt weaver

    Hello!
    I voted for President Obama because I believed he would restore my trust and confidence in Washington not because I believed he had all the right answers to our challenges. Rather, he would hold Washington's feet to the fire and stand up to the partisan "special interests" that have so divided us. Sadly he burnt himself and hopefully not us voters in the process .Yes I want President Obama to succeed but we cannot play by two sets of rules. Thanks for the apology!

    February 3, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  39. Beth

    We are all in this together, people, so we better hope that President Obama gets it right! The alternative is to chilling to contemplate!

    February 3, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  40. Wayne D. PA

    President Obama is lik us normal people but more educated we need to relax and let the man work there nothing we can do anyway.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  41. Laura

    It's a pleasure to listen to an intelligent, informed, humble yet confident President. And thank God there'll be no more abstract "war on terror" whatever that ever meant. A couple of comments/complaints about your interview and panelists' comments:
    1) He said he had a problem with the way the objections to the stimulus package are being reported, i.e. the money allocated for programs the Republicans don't like amount to 1% of the budget; your response? "Rightly or wrongly" it's being reported. You've missed the point! It shouldn't be framed "wrongly". Tell your viewers the truth; report it objectively.
    2) Ed Rollins then interpreted "wrongly" the 1% comment and you let it go by.
    Come on Anderson. I expect more from you. And most of the world and your citizens have faith in this President. And don't try suggest that his calmness is fake. Thank God for David Gergen, the one remaining voice of reason. Why do you think that it's only newsworthy if you take pot shots at someone in power? That's not news or useful, informative commentary. Do better for us, your watchers.
    Laura Miller, Canada

    February 3, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  42. Cyndie

    Obama's honesty is SO AMAZING, so endearing. Brilliant to use stations like yours to get his message out. You can see that he's fearless of the truth. (We're watching this in Mexico!)

    February 3, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  43. Alex

    Cheap cheap cheap shot on the smoking. Such issues are deeply personal and no one should be "gotcha"d on the subject. I hope Obama's PR people make it clear he will not answer questions on smoking. Personal substance abuse issues are deeply personal. Period.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  44. Chris White

    I think that they are setbacks but really I don't see it hurting the administration to a major degree cause if it's one thing I learned and was brought up on is that no one is irreplaceable.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  45. lorraine

    I think barock is doing a good job.I worry however daily about him because u can c not everyone is a fan and they try 2 set him up 4 failure and its insulting. republicans r sore loosers who need 2 shut up. they had their chance and they screwd up badly!

    February 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  46. K.Souza

    I think that President Obama showed great moral ground when he admitted he screwed up with appointing Tom Dashele. I have never
    seen former President Bush say that he screwed up and he really did screw up! Illegal wiretappings and torture and invading an uprovoked
    war in Iraq. Now we are really seeing now what Bush was trying to hide the past 8 years in secrecy. I'd much rather have a president say he screwed up and that he will try not to make it again. The truth is always the best way to gain trust for regular americans on the government.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  47. Travis Wells

    I respect the President even more for admitting his mistake. At least he is not smerking at us! 😉

    February 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  48. Margy Angle

    Please give Obama credit for setting a high standard! I imagine he & his staff were astounded that all candidates did not pay their taxes! Obama is acting in good faith; he is trying! If the critics need to start reporting the news and compare him to Bush & Cheney failures! I hope the press realizes that their negative comments without a balance of comments on his successes can cause a self-fulfilling prophecy. I credit you Anderson for be more balanced, unlike Lou Dobbs who should go apply for a job at Fox!

    February 3, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  49. christian omokaro

    i'm chris from london, i think president obama addmitance that he screwed up on tom daschle appiontment showed his transparency and openess to the american people and that is what we need in the white house truthfullness.

    February 3, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    I'm looking forward to seeing Anderson's interview with Obama. The clip you posted is tantalizing.

    I don't think the withdrawals are major setbacks. Hopefully the people can be used in other ways that will contribute to the end goal – after all Obama said we all had to get to work and get our country straight again. I don't think Obama should take any blame for the day – he set standards that he wanted his people to measure up to. Maybe the vetting committee missed these problems, or maybe they didn't think they were that serious (and maybe they wouldn't have been if they hadn't come all together), but these people did the right thing – they stepped back and basically said the good of the many was more important than their careers. If Obama inspires that sort of behavior in people who don"t get to work in his government then hopefully he can instill that sort of behavior in all of us.

    February 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
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