March 18th, 2008
09:35 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/18/03

Anderson is prepping for a day on the road with Barack Obama in North Carolina. Watch for that tomorrow.

So tonight Campbell Brown is pulling double duty and helping us out on 360°. Please be kind.

It's been a big day on the 360° blog.  And most of it has been about Barack Obama and his speech in Philadelphia. And that's what most of tonight's program is about too.

We'll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Lea

    "In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve".

    That statement is still so true. I think this is a critical time for our country. Do we hold onto the old fears and resentments around race? Or are we ready to let those deep-seated things go by the wayside, and focus on moving ahead? How long can we rant and rage about the murder of Emmett Till and the Ku Klux Klan? How angry will we continue to be about busing and affirmative action?

    Each of us has to make a conscious decision to stay in the past OR to move forward and focus on the things that MATTER.. like fixing our health care system, msking the right moves to minimize the recession... getting out of a trillion-dollar war that we will NEVER win... making sure our kids get a good education.. fixing the immigration problems.

    I think Barack Obama understands both sides. He IS both sides, and I believe he can bring this country together. He didn't condone what Rev Wright said... in fact, he condemned the hate and anger. Read the transcript of his speech, and make an informed, objective decision WITHOUT the hate, anger and preconceived notions.

    I'm ready to move forward. Are you? We can't afford another 8 years of a Republican administration or the kind of Supreme Court a republican administration would put in place. If that happens, we will become a third-world country where the middle-class is so weak as to be almost non-existent. Lou Dobbs is on the exact right point.

    I've traveled all over this world. There is no place better than the United States. Our strength is second to none.

    The only thing we have to fear is OURSELVES. Let's focus on the right things so we can get the government we deserve.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  2. Joseph Legler

    I have heard the following argument in regards to Obama’s situation with Rev. Wright. “Who among us has not known someone who has said a racist remark at times?” And they ask if we do know someone, perhaps a family member, have we disavowed them - doubtfully? This is a hollow argument. Yes, I have known friends and family members to make comments I thought were absolutely disgusting throughout my life. And upon hearing these comments, I - in no certain terms - told them that I did not EVER want to hear garbage like that again and if I did hear it again, they were no longer a friend of mine. Now that is what MOST people would do upon hearing such filth. I believe this in my heart and I believe it would be an easy decision for most. However, Obama sat and listened to this pollution for 20+ years. What kind of judgment is this? People talk about how inspired they are by the way he speaks. And he does speak extremely well. However, you have to look beyond how he speaks and what he says – and look at what he does. ACTIONS are what matter. And his ACTION was to stay in that church filled with hate speech week after week for twenty years. Now again, I ask you all, is that proper judgment?

    Some people are trying to directly associate Wright's hate speech with Obama. They should not be doing this. They should be referring to Obama’s poor decision making in staying in that church for two decades. Again, Obama's judgment to stay and listen to that hate speech for 20+ years is what should be questioned. Please, let's get it straight when trying to defend the man. Defend his decision making … which you cannot do because it is flawed. He, the one of self-proclaimed sound judgment made one of the worst decisions of his life. And he refuses to repudiate it.

    And another thing, no candidate is completely responsible for what their community of advisors say. That is ridiculous. However, Obama is responsible for listening to what amounts to pure hate speech for the last twenty years sitting in that church. He admitted as much today when he said he was in the church on many occasions hearing such filth that he claimed he disagreed with. If he disagreed with it, he should have not gone back week after week. That is the judgment call that he made and he has to live with. He could have easily chosen a church without such vile words coming from the pulpit. I would have switched churches. It is not a big deal to switch churches ... a rather easy process. This has nothing to do with "race" and a lot of the people are saying that we who are speaking against Obama and this situation are racist. How wrong is that? Is anybody who disagrees with Obama a racist? Is anyone who is not simply captured by his magnificent way of speaking a racist? I don't think so. He gave a great speech today - a very inspiring speech, but it showed in clear detail his poor judgment. And I believe it also will cost him votes in Pennsylvania (my birth state) because most people that I know (white or black) would have left such a church and moved on to a place with a more inclusive message. So, I make my case that disagreeing with his judgment and at the same time enjoying a good speech are possible. But it does not make his decision right. It makes his judgment and decision absolutely 100% wrong. He should not have stayed at that church.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  3. JSwift

    I agree with Bay Buchanan and Kat. Obama is a dignified man.

    We all have crazy relatives and friends. We still choose to have them in our lives regardless. He chose to take a stand today and garnered more respect as the right man for this job.

    I would rather President Obama take a stand and continue to embrace the Pastor, than to pander to voters while on his knees.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  4. ATCpilotsc

    im switching my vote from obamo to clinton – sorry i just lost the faith

    March 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  5. Minou, New York City

    I think a spiritual leader should NEVER say something that puts down someone else. It just goes against any faith! It makes me doubt the pastors faithfulness to his faith!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  6. john, gulfport, ms

    I'm still studing the speech. As all great speeches need is a time to reflect.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  7. DeniseGA

    Barack did not lie, he said...

    He did not hear the comments on tv or circulating on you tube..

    he had heard some controversial comments, from Wright before....

    I guess now you want to know what those comments were, huh!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Concerned American,
    Identify yourself!
    Whites are more than able to say anything they want and blacks can say anything they want.....What we saw today is reality and I am white. the idea that you can't see past your own hatred is the problem. We all have our issues and we need to deal with them.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  9. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Hi Erica

    I am curious as to the dates of these sermons. Are they from the last two years or from 20 years ago. Pastors are people too and they can go astray from the word of God. Maybe this man has not saying these things for 20 years. I don't know I do not have 20 years of his sermons to know for sure. None of us do.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  10. erica hill

    Jennifer, we have to give Ali props for coming back in tonight - he's in for John Roberys this week on "American Morning"...hopefully he snuck a nap in this afternoon!

    I'm fascinated by the economy these days, but more from the perspective of how this trickles down to all of us worker bees. It's scary and outrageous at times.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  11. Sophia (Proud Young Voter)

    On The Political Ticker Blog today I read the most hateful Obama speech from supposed "democrats" that I had heard all day and I spent the majority of the day listening to Conservative radio!!!

    Why don't Clinton supporters understand that Clinton has no viable way to win this election without the Superdelegates and that their hateful rhetoric makes them supporters of McCain by default......How can you hate Obama so much (Or love Hillary so much) that you are willing to support McCain??

    This speech was amazing and only those most blinded by hate, apparently both "liberals" and conservatives would not be able to see it.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  12. Andy, Acworth, GA

    It's clear to me that the Hillary camp released the video of Obama's minister, though of course they will deny it.

    Now that Hillary's White House papers have been released, we'll find out what she has been hiding. Clearly she would have released these documents (and her tax returns) earlier if they would have benefited her campaign.

    It's so wonderful to see a candidate like Obama that feels like a community organizer and runs a positive campaign.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  13. Terri - Canada

    Good Evening everyone..and Erica!!
    I really don't see how anyone can bash the speech he gave today..it was beautifully done and covered a lot. Obama is to be commended for saying what he did, and I believe he will unite your country and be a great leader.

    He's a great man, you are lucky to have him running for office for your country!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  14. Jolene

    Hi Erica! Enjoyed your blog entry today!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  15. Michelle in Los Angeles

    People condeming Obama's speech are clearly stuck in the past. We all have friends, family, loved ones that have said things we total disagree with, yet we throw stones as if everything that has come out our mouth's has been loving, kind and rid of sterotype.

    Rush Limbaugh constantly says ridiculeous stuff, yet CNN and others constantly quote him , listen to him day after day. Why are you all not disowned him? Why have you all not disowned Bush for lying? Come on people, be consistent, you are not fooling anybody.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  16. Lilibeth

    There's a saying "It's not what happens to you, it's how you handle what happens to you." I applaud Mr. Obama for his speech...it was right on! In the beginning, I thought he shouldn't have to defend himself. But it was clear he had to speak out. He turned a negative into a positive. He scored a lot of points with me tonight. I'm a Clinton supporter, and I'm saying this.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  17. Lostfigs

    The only thing Obama managed to do is divert the conversation from his supposed “judgment” to race. Where was his judgment when he just sat there and said “amen” to everything Wright said?

    March 18, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  18. Craig, Hawaii

    Aloha Campbell, The Obama debacle is still unsettled in my book. Early in the campaign he didn't raise his hand for the national anthem...though Clinton and Richardson were shown doing so. I know he made some comment about it, but any person who attends a church damning this country is, in my mind, a bit short on the concept of unity. I was leaning towards him, but have now changed my mind. His speech did not address the hate...that bothers me way too much. Normally these things don't get to me, but the concept of God "damning" America is just way out of line for a person who wises to lead this country. You can bet that this sort of rhetoric is going to continue, I vision the Republicans pouring over hours of tapes as we speak! Can't pass this as "just words" for sure.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  19. DeniseGA

    The speech was great, I just hope people actually listen to the words and put aside their anger and hate for a brief moment!

    To those posting angry comments, I want you to think about just how angry you are. Then remember, that things that happened to young black men in the 50?s and 60?s fighting for equal rights, being beaten, hosed down, spit on and publically shamed. Now to those who ABSOLUTELY refuse to understand why Barack did not disown, a man who brought Christ to his life, and who he had experienced in a better light, ask yourself this. If you are that angry over words, imagine how angry Wright must be considering he felt the PHYSICAL PAIN of racism. What gives you more right to be more angry, than Wright! I do not agree with Wright, nor do I hate him for his comments, but I understand! That is what Barack is trying to have you realize. He did not make those comments, but he understands where they come from! Stop the hate, and start thinking of what you can do to solve the problem!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  20. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Erica,
    Looking forward to the Ali Velshi piece.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  21. Lisa

    Concerned American,
    This was not an excuse for his Pastor as much as a reality check that we all need.... the idea that these issues have been there boiling under the surface. And if we don't move past them we will become divided

    March 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  22. Minou, New York City

    Did he pen the speech himself this time around?

    March 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  23. Sonia - Texas

    After watching Barack's speech today, I can see him speaking with world leaders and receiving much respect for our country. His pure and humble spirit is what is needed in the world in which we live today, the whole world is ready for change and Barack can bring it to us if we allow him to do so

    March 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  24. Concerned American

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Come on folks at CNN! Why was this an historic day? While watching Larry King Live (he's out of course hosted by Wolf) I heard a new term "delayed Black Slave Syndrone." Oh no I can't believe this! Will we now be required to reim burse all black America! Obama did nothing today except attempt to apologize for his rasist friend and pastor. Why was it stated on Wolf's panel that White American's are too sensitive about what was said about White Americans and America as a country? Let's stop walking on egg shells and speak the truth. Blacks are allowed to say anything and Whites must be sensitive to them. Gee!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  25. Billi

    The speech was "way above what we are used to" because it was more of a lecture on race and not a response to the concerns voters have. This is his strength. Can you imagine the difference if it had been a question and answer session?

    David, you are so clearly an Obama fan. Please try to be more objective.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  26. Mary

    Obama has shown his true color and it's an old shade from the 60s and 70s. He had the chance to take us forward and, instead, has taken us backwards to a battleground that does not solve problems. He is a divider not a uniter. He does not transcend race.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  27. Jordan P, NC

    Unfortuantly this is probably going to be a huge factor in getting voters if he becomes the democratic presedential canidate. No matter how much this topic will be talked about, it wont go away. People will always be concious of race in this country too much to not talk about this.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  28. erica hill

    good evening, everyone

    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  29. Dick Dumas,San Diego CA

    Campbell – I dont understand where people who have said that barack lied and now admitted he was in the pews when Rev Wright gave those speeches that we have seen over and over on TV had their heads – Were they underwater when Barack was speaking?
    NOWHERE DID OBAMA say he heard THOSE speeches – He did say he heard things that he didnt agree with , but he NEVER said he heard THOSE remarks – just goes to show people hear only what they want to hear.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |


    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  31. Liz - Florida

    Obama has given great speeches since the start. The issue here is on Friday when he made his rounds on all of the news networks including CNN he said he did not know. Now today he says he does. sounds like the same politicain to me!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  32. Kathleen, NC

    I thought that speech was brilliant as well. Let’s unite the people.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  33. James Michigan

    He defends Wright to the enth degree, but was willing to chastise Gerelding Ferraro for much less. He lacks character.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  34. Brent

    lol...cnn is hilarious...right after crowley says "the narrow soundbites", what does she do? shows another two second sound bite....it never ends...

    March 18, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  35. Concerned American

    What was daring about what Obama's speech today? Apologized for his pastor? Remember, watch the videos everyone in the church was clapping to Pastor Wright's racial sermons. If he wanted to bridge the gap he should have made a stand, gotten up from his church seat with his family and left. That would have sent a message. But he didn't. For 20 years folks!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  36. Lisa

    Obama was not only brave in his comments but completely right.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  37. Stanley , NC

    Mr, Anderson
    While the comments by the pastor where harsh, they where more of a disappointment than hatred. Today we heard what I would say was the most real and best State of the Union Address in this country in the last 8 or more years. I served in the military beside people with wide variety of differences. We do not focus on them but on the things we have in common. We fight that we all may have a better life. ALL! of US

    American Soldier

    March 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  38. Lukas

    There was no full disclosure or high road taken by Obama today
    because on Friday he said the completely opposite of what he
    says today. His speech was motivated as a forced political
    response to prevent a fatal blow to his presidential ambitions.

    Obama now admits that he was in the pews when some of the
    statements were made. Nice how he changes his tune mid scandal.
    He gave an interview with FOX News where he stated
    that had he been in the pews and heard any of these statements,
    he would have left the church and never gone back.

    Also, something that bothers me about his speech is that
    he seeks to loop in Hillary's campaign for playing race card:

    We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence
    that she’s playing the race card . . .Or, at this moment, in
    this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time."

    Last week Obama DID POUNCE on Hillary Supporter on all Major
    News networks!!!!

    Sorry, I did vote for Obama in CA now I won't – I will vote for
    either Hillary or McCain because Obama LIED (as described above).

    March 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  39. Cindy

    Love your work on the Election Center. Glad to have you subbing on 360. Can't wait to see your new show. Hopefully it'll be on soon.

    Cynthia, Ga.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  40. Michelle in Los Angeles

    Katt, the world needs more open and fair minded individuals like you.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  41. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    I was so absolutely impressed with Obama's speech today. The US need someone who will take a tough situation head on.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  42. Jolene

    Hi Campbell! Glad to see you anchoring tonight's show. I agree with you, Obama's speech was daring. We tend to just see the soundbites of the bad things Wright said but how about the good things he said that inspired Obama? We never see those soundbites.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  43. DeniseGA

    Thank you Katt, I agree 100%

    March 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  44. Minou, New York City

    Campbell ! It so good to see you sitting in!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  45. Michelle in Los Angeles

    What a excellent speech Barack Obama gave today.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  46. Michael, NC

    oh yea, gergen right at the beginning...thats a good sign. good to see cambell teaming with erica tonight...gotta love the ladies

    March 18, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  47. Katt Morris

    I am a white 55 yr. old woman who grew up in the South. I grew up hearing my relitives throw around racial slurs whenever the occation arose to use them. I had relitives in Georgia who's kids weren't allowed to watch Sesame Street because there were black people on it.
    Obama is no more responsible for what his Pastor said as I would be for what my Aunts and Uncles said. He has said that he disagrees with his pastor's words, I understand, just as I disagreed with my racist relitives, but could I turn my back on them? No.
    I think Obama has taken the high road again.
    Citrus County, FL.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  48. Jordan P, NC

    here we go, open the floodgates for the speech comments!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  49. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Welcome Campbell. Obama's speech will probably never change the minds of the people who aren't voting for him. I think he just has to go forward and keep talking about the issues. That's all he can really do.

    March 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  50. Missy

    Welcome, Campbell! Great to see you anchoring tonight!

    March 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
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