March 20th, 2008
09:19 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/20/08

We’ve got breaking news tonight. Sen. Barack Obama's passport records at the State Department have been breached on three separate occasions.  This story is still unfolding.  Candy Crowley and Zain Verjee will be on with the most up to date information. 

 We’ll also take a look at the latest out of Michigan which broke the rules by holding an early primary.  Their delegates were stripped and it looks like there will not be a re-vote. 

 We’ll open the blog to comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Kari

    Wow, Obama racist! This guy can't win. First he wasn't black enough. Then he was a Muslim, then a Christian with a pastor people are uncomfortable with. Now he is racists towards whites.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  2. Fay, CA

    Obama's explanation for his "typical" comment is right–people are kidding themselves if they don't think they harbor stereotypes about black people.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  3. MaryBeth

    Seriously, my grandparents, now deceased, are from the "greatest generation" and were extremely racist. My grandfather only saw black people as lazy and wanting everything for nothing. Now, we know this is not true, but that was his perception. I even still get paranoid when I am walking down a street and I see a black person approaching...then I mentally kick myself for being racist and relax.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  4. Lilibeth

    My goodness...Obama (or anybody for that matter) can't say anything these days without it backfiring. I don't think he meant anything bad by that comment.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  5. jjazznola

    Take off your blinders. There are far more important things going on in the world than Obama's passport information. This will be forgotten very soon.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  6. Manny

    I am a typical white person and I don't mind be called typical.. you people are making nothing out of something..

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  7. JP Atlanta

    I heard Obama's speech today refering to his grandmother as a "typical white person" I want everyone to keep an open mind and assume McCain was of mixed race and referred to his grandmother as a "typical black person" why is it always a double standard? Imagine John McCain addressing anyone "a typical black person" His candidacy would be over. No matter how Barack spins it his comments are wrong. We live in a society full of double standards.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  8. Chris L

    This is typical scandal mongering by the liberal press. Watching all of your guests use this non-story as a springboard for partisan attacks demonstrates all that is wrong with today's partisan press.

    How about getting some facts instead of just speculating that this is (yet again) Bush's fault.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  9. Janet

    What the hell does "typical white person mean?" Why can Obama use terms like black and white, and there is nothing wrong with it, but when white americans use it, we're racist?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  10. Gabriel "Big Dawg" Dabolt

    Obama's moma was white right? He was raised by white folks.
    So then did American society pigeon hole him to identify more closely with the black community or what?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  11. Sarah, Atlanta, GA

    It seems like everyday there is a new mess for Obama to deal with.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  12. Norman Shaw

    Breach of privacy by low level contract employeees of the State Department to gather information on a sitting U.S.Senator and Presidential candidate over the last 70 day period should be in direct violation of the FISA and the Protect America Act and should be investigated immediately by department of justice...

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  13. Diana

    It is quite perturbing that Senator Obama was not notified after the first violation, but what is even more disturbing is that the State Department waited until the third violation to inform Obama. What is most repulsive is that all Senator Obama received was a telephone call and that there was not an immediate, in depth, investigation commenced at the time of the telephone call or previously conducted. To have a US Citizens privacy compromised is bad, but it's even worse when it is a politician running for President. To have Obama's privacy compromised at all, let alone 3 times and not be notified, reeks of an inside job and/or a scam for political gain.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  14. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Obama threw his White grandmother under the bus not once, but twice, but this time he threw all of us "typical White" people under it with her.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  15. erica hill

    Jenn, I think they've already started on both sides!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  16. Julius, California

    This is simply rediculous...Obama has been diligent in his efforts to run a conventional and civilized campaign; He is obviously being singled out... immediate investigation should be on the agenda, and this should go for any candidate and person for that matter whose privacy is violated.

    Vote Obama!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  17. Linda

    This is just crazy. People are really afraid of change. To go through this man's personal business without asking for it which I'm sure he would have gladly give to you because that's the kind of man he is. Why is America so afraid to change for the better. Maybe you want but not through or with a black man's help.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  18. michel plante

    Love your show Mr Cooper,
    Obama just imploded re: typical white folks

    March 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  19. Trish - PA

    I find it hard to believe that three people, within that short of time, would be "just curious", especially, when they must know how serious it would be if they were caught. How can these three incidents not be connected? This is either the dirty work of the Clintons or Senator Obama's personal safety could be in danger from some racist wacko who wants him out of the picture. Three times within a few weeks and top level doesn't know about it? This was covered up by someone for a reason. All three incidents were covered up. No one can convince me that they were not connected.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  20. Robyn

    Erica Hill,

    I don't think the question is WHAT they were looking for, but WHY was there not an investigation, a hearing in JANUARY?? Also, what information was reviewed? What is the background of these contractor groups? How are these indep. employees who have access to this info., vetted through a background check? Was there a cover-up??

    Congress needs a special and indep. investigation!! This is not about politics. This is about how Americans information is being protected, especially regarding our civil liberties and privacy laws.

    Back to your question Erica, what they were looking for, I don't know, but the fact that they were looking in the first place when I am SURE there was knowledge that this info. was not something that they should be looking at is quite disturbing.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  21. Penelope Harmon

    Hi Anderson, I wanted to respond about Barack Obama's comment about the typical white person. He's right! I'm an African-American woman who in 2008, is still followed in a department store when shopping. When getting on a elevator, white people either move to the side or to the back away from you. Can be shopping, and when a white person needs help, automatically assume that you work in the storeand asks you where the item is or where is the store manager. It's real, it's reality, and that's the way it is. I laugh now, when journalists say that Barack has made himself the "Black candidate". Well he always was, you just didn't say it out loud. But everytime the news media brings up the demographics of the African-American vote, and that he will have to crossover to gain the votes of "blue collar white men" and "middle-aged white woman" you also make him the black candidate. Yes, we have taken 10 steps beyond Dr. King's dream, but we are far, far, far away from achieving his ultimate dream. This presidential race shows you just how far we have to go!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  22. Billi

    I guess the pasport issue will be one more issue that will "shake up" Senator Obama! I cannot imagine what he will do if he indeed is the candidate opposing Senator McCain.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  23. Jenn

    Very profound independent!

    The conspiracy theories are going to be rampant!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  24. Obama's passport

    I am not understanding why it is being down played. Larry Johnson stated it wasn't important; however, it doesn't matter if he had childhood pictures or not, the fact is it should be investigated as it would be for any other candidate. Stop down playing it and do your job.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  25. Don Mitchell

    This is scary stuff...smacks of the kind of tricks Karl Rove would pull during a campaign...I just do not believe that "junior" members of the
    State Department have known since January and "senior" members only found out today???? Come on people...how much are we expected to swallow here? I've a feeling this is the tip of an iceberg that could, if certain people, be they Democrat or Republican, have their way, sink the good ship Obama. God help America if they do.
    Toronto, Canada.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  26. PH

    Anderson, I can't believe you just asked such a cynical question about changing the subject from the Reverend. How would you like it if someone got hold of your social security number? What else has to happen for people to realize this man is under seize?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  27. Deb

    I am a federal employee and I know it is well known that if you look at someone's file then a message is sent to the Information Security Officer stating who looked at this file. I must stop to say that Larry Johnson is an idiot and just to attempt to blow this off is why this breach has occurred. This man is being protected by CIA and FBI personnel however no one is guarding his personal information? I think there is something more to this. I can't look at co-workers files more or less someone of importance as Barack Obama. The Bush Administration can listen to my telephone calls yet you can't protect the possible future President's files? Give me a break!!! This is about as careless as taking 30 seconds of someone's sermon and making a big issue out of it. In reality who nowadays haven't had something bad to say about America? We may be angry at any moment and say something idiotic however does that really judge us as Americans? Thank you for allowing me to blog my opinion here.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  28. judson

    This is another plot of the Republican administration trying to railroad Hillary's chances to win big. How convennient that someone from the this corrupt Republican administration go around and pry into Obama's files. It is so obvious that they want another pupet in the White House. It worked well with Bush. Imagine how easy to manipulate a black guy that will be expending most of his term, if elected , trying to prove that he is up to the job.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  29. karen

    I find it very bazaar that this happens at the most convenient time. Perfect timing. From what I understand your passport only contains your name, address and birth. Big deal.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  30. Pat Dasse

    The passport breach has the Clintons fingerprints all over it. They are so corrupt, I wouldn't put it pass them.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  31. Sandy

    Anderson, I can't pretend to be shocked at the passport violation, I'm immune to loss of rights under this administration, but I am disgusted. This may be simple snooping, but it has been "managed" horribly and that feeds distrust. Smacks of McCarthyism.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  32. Yvonne, Atlanta GA

    Obama is at liberty to say typical white people because he is white. If he said his grandma was a typical black person, there would be not story. It's time for white folks to accept that Obama is one of them too. In the past when a light colored black tried to pass as white they were beaten. Don't beat Obama. He's white and he's black. He is free to talk as both races.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  33. Emily

    While this may be looking a little too far into the timing of the passport breaches, the breaches appear to coincide within one or two days of important primaries, one immediately after New Hampshire, the February breach within two days of the Wisconsin and Washington primaries as well as the Hawaii caucus. I wonder whether this is just a coincidence or purposeful timing.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  34. Todd

    I am less outraged by a breach of privacy of one politician than I am by the unreported daily breach of privacy of many americans on a daily basis by an administration run amuck.

    I am also personally less outraged by this incident than by Senator Obama's use of the phrase "typical white person" today when discussing his speech on racism in America. If any other candidate used the term "typical" in conjunction with a race, religion or ethnicity there would be uproar.

    What we have learned about Senator Obama these past few days is that he suffers the same diseases of "typcial" politicians – poor judgement about his closest advisors, and inability to escape the pitfalls of stereotyping people.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  35. Mark

    If breaching a passport I.D. is not a big deal. Can I have your social security number?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  36. rob berger

    Will anyone ask Senator Obama to reveal his passport file in the same way he has demanded that Senator Clinton reveal her tax returns, which is also protected by privacy rights.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  37. k.m. Petty

    when Clintons passport was breached it was the pre terrorist era .the breaching of Obamas passport is post 911. This is very scary in this new world of anti terrorisim and the saftey of a possible president of the U.S.A.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  38. laurie mcgouirk

    Anderson, Hi. I guessed I missed it but.....what happened to your face? Did you run into a door? Hope you're ok? Love your show.... keep up the great work. Thanks

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  39. Charlie, Texas

    Why did this invasion of Obama's privacy just come to light today, when it began in January? How can we just assume this was simply snooping when there was no investigation?
    This is either a cover-up of potentially illegal acts or an astounding level of incompetence by the State Department for which heads should roll.
    Why wasn't an IG investigation started in January?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  40. Mouad

    Obama's camp has the right to beet this story to death, just like the media beet the negitive stories to death..

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  41. chanel

    LAURA S- Please elaborate on what scrutiny Hillary has had to put up with? The only one I recall is when her husband made some unwarranted remarks...but thats about it.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  42. Paul Shaffer

    First the typical white person reaction of his grandmother, does that mean we can take his reaction as a typical black person's reaction; as for passport information, I travelled and worked overseas for 30 years and my passport probably looked like a typical terrorit's, starting with Libya, Syria, Angola, Columbia and Finally Kuwait where I went on days off and my relief went to Bagdad. Tell the guy to get a life and do something usefull, ha!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  43. Victor

    It seems quite interesting that the 3 breach's occurred right after 2 major victories for Senator Obama and an upcoming major election.

    Just makes one say......hmmmmmm!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  44. VERY Concened American

    Maybe people are just afraid of Obama and want to see if there is really something to be afraid of him.

    Lately, he has talked about supporting a pastor that is a racist with radical views. Maybe someone is afraid like I am.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  45. Vel

    The public needs to know who these people are. Also what their intentions are. They need to be prosecuted, they violated the law. I don't care if it was out of curiosity, but they violated him.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  46. Jim Foley

    If someone was curious about Presidential candidates then why did they not look at Hillary's and McCain's. Seems like a fishing trip to me to find something about Obama

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  47. christopher

    Here we go again; just as serious as Watergate. There will those who will down play it and say no harm. I'm a old black goy that do not guy that will not any part of of the explaination. Just dirty politics. Get on with the investication.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  48. santai

    yayyy Anderson, you're one of the few CNN anchors that i tune to along with Larry King. The rest are not any different from the conservative idiot they call Jim Limbaugh.

    I hope to find out how they fired the contractors without the senior management knowing.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  49. Rev Mom

    It makes one wonder what other snooping has been going on.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  50. Ms. Julia S Butler

    Anderson, you know that the violation of Senator Obama's passport files are another example of the Bush administration's blatant disregard for the American people. Remember, this is condoned by the guy who said that Afghanistan's war was 'romantic' and allowed the Fed to bail out banks while the citizens are drowning in debt from sleazy mortgage brokers and CDO investment bankers. Not only Bush, but Bill & Hillary also have access here as well... who's the contractor? Who got them the contract for the State Dept.? Many questions must be answered–the primary one being - why didn't they notify the Senator when it first happened, how did they get away with not notifying their superiors when it happened? WE NEED TO KNOW - this is getting crazy, this crucifiction of Senator Barack Obama, because he's WINNING....

    March 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
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