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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. Peter Parker

    I thought passport information is PRIVATE. If any contractual employee can easily search for such information how can we be sure that our government is not doing the same thing against us.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Invisibelle in Mississippi

    Jesse Jackson was quoted as saying “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery — then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." What is this typical of?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Betty Ann

    The lady who died from the eagle ray is really bizarre.
    Geez~It seems as if it was just her time.
    Very unusual behavior for a ray.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Concerned American White Man

    America needs to get a grip on reality! The race card issues are ridiculous and over analyzed. All these talk show conversations comes from the fear of who we are and the the truths we face in America everyday. The comments from the reverend echo in all communities; I've heard the same talk in the break room. Now this passport breach, if this country doesn't face all this head on and say NO MORE, America will be left behind the rest of the world. Both the Clinton and McCain campaigns are shaking in their boots and will find every way to use old politics to tarnish Barack. Anderson you could really step up and make be a voice of reason here for Americas sake; Anderson and CNN will not cover such talk show conversations!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  5. Dana Dugins

    Anderson,

    With regards to the issue of Barrack Obama's passport, why are such records in the hands of contractors? Would you really want your Social Security Number in the hands of the highest bidder?

    With regards to the issue of race. I should say, that I am a white, 47 year old woman from California. I was very glad to hear Sen. Obama's speech regarding race. Truly historic. I doubt that any other candidate would attempt to tackle such a sensitive issue, let alone so remarkably. Now that there are so many picking his speech apart, looking for every way to tear him down, I am not surprised, just disgusted!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  6. Stephanie

    We're all "typical." There is absolutely no way you can live in this world without having some prejudices. We have to stop deluding ourselves that we’re color blind and somehow not affected by what we see, hear or read about people of other races. You don’t have to be racist to succumb to the stereotypes we see around us.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Anthony M. Marino

    I am a lifelong independent voter and have considered voting for Mr. Obama. However, his handling of the racial issue has greatly disappointed me. Mr. Obama stated that he could no longer sever ties with his pastor as he could his grandmother. Well, yes he could. We cannot choose our family but we can choose what church we attend. I also believe that his use of the phrase "typical white person" is as racist a comment as there is. Try to imagine Clinton or McCain handling the situation similarly during the past couple of days – they would be run out of town on a rail and forever labeled racist. The guilt and shame that the white race carries, and understandably so, forces us to enable racism from the non-white races to persist – when it is just as hurtful. Racism is racism no matter the color of the person with the distorted attitude.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  8. Billi

    THANK YOU, David. There should be a revote. Perhaps it would have occured if Senator Obama had helped make it happen.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  9. Sunae

    I'm from Jacksonville, Fl and I kna fact that a lot of people didn't vote because our votes weren't going to count. The truth of the matter is Fl and Mi knew the rules so who's fault is it that we're in this mess? Not the canidates or the people. So everyone should blame the States themselves. If my children did something wrong and I punished them, trust me the punishment would stick. So blame the Political Leaders of both States.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  10. skm

    emmy, I agree with you. All this non-campaign talk (because I dont see Hillary disagreeing on the importance of this issue).. is simply deflecting focus deservedly to be put on Hillary. She is simply shining as the impeccable candidate lately. She truly has risen above all this... the more we are learning about her, the more I am liking her.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  11. Chris, Montana

    Who can roll a better splif Barack or Hillary?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  12. Marcus

    I can't believe the "typical white person" comment is being dismissed. It is racist for him to lump all white people together and assume all whites are the same. Just imagine, for a moment, that Hillary would have made a comment about "typical black person". The uproar would have been enormous. Why does Obama classify himself as black only, he is half white.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  13. Thomas

    You know it strikes me how much attention is giving to Obamas lack of experience. You know its the experience in Washington that has gotten us into this mess...poor economy, high gas prices, an unwanted war and the like. Maybe its more of the same experience we need to dig ourself a deeper grave.

    Thomas- Chattanooga, Tn

    March 20, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  14. Brian Williams

    Anderson,

    Why do you keep saying that it is impossible for her to win the nomination? I have used the CNN delegate estimator and if she takes PA 60/40, which is highly likely, and carries similar leads in the remaining contests she will slightly overtake Obama. Then split the superdelegates remaining down the middle and she reaches the way beyond what is required.

    Why are you, CNN, and MSNBC reporting this race as if it is over and we are on the way to crowning Obama King?

    The events of the past week as well as his continued mis-steps, he may not make it and the "news" shouldn't be slanting it and be fair and even.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  15. Carmela

    The stench coming from the Obama campaign is really starting to wreak. Why would Obama have his own passport security breached? Hmmm....let me see...

    March 20, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  16. John

    The Breach of Senator Obama passport should be dealt with immediatly and those responsible for keeping the breaches a secret held responssible. Anderson, let me also say that fear which the senator spoke off regarding his grandmother is not her fault. it's the medias fault, and by that I mean the way in which black men are depicted every day & every night at 10:00's evening news. The fear engraved in the minds of citizens for the purpose ratings is one that should be be researched and discussed with the hopes to prevent it from continuing furthur.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  17. Matt

    I'm a 34 year old white male Active Duty Military and consider myself a typical white person always have and did not take any offense to Obama's remarks. I think he's right...there are sterotypes in this country that make us cringe and we need to move past them. I think his speech the other day was a stepping stone to do so. I'll admit something right here, I used to be a Republican and voted for Bush, and believe me I'm not proud of that today, but back then I figured he was the lesser of 2 evils. So I would have to say that if Obama said these remarks back then I would have probably reacted differently and if I would have heard Rev. Wright's remarks as well I would have blown a top but I've grown and learned these past 8 years and have come to realize there are more important things to deal with in this world than words that will more than likely be forgotten over time. For me I have gradually gravitated towards Obama and have no reason to not support him. He's articulate, he believes in the people of this country and he understands that he can't do it alone or be secretive about things like other candidates are.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  18. Sam

    ERICA HILL,

    I love you on AC360! Anyways, I agree with you...I think the conversation needs to take place about race.

    I do, however, think that ground rules need to be set.

    For example, the issue of race must be discussed without ANYONE placing blame on the other race. The conversation must be goal-oriented. The goal of mutual understanding must guide the conversation.

    YOur thoughts?

    -Sam
    Hershey, PA

    March 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  19. Jo Ann, Ohio

    @Erica; It just seems like whenever we have a dialog on race it always ends up being about Black issues. Someone on the blog said that Whites stereotype Blacks, but isn't the fact that Obama described his grandmother as a "typical White person" a stereotype?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Nava

    Bull guys!!
    I am a woman and if I was walking down the street and I saw a black man dressed nicely I would not be afraid. If, however he was wearing those "see my boxers" pants and had tattoos, I would move to the other side regardless if he is black, white, or yellow.
    It’s how you conduct yourself that matter not your color.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  21. Onyeka B.

    "Breaching a top presidential candidates' passport and many more extreme violations including loss of human lives are common" in a third world country but never expected to see such acts. Regardless of what their intentions were there has to be a fair and highly monitored investigation.
    The other issue is that some of AC360's commentators suggesting that this case isn't the same as Bill Clinton's, I think it's worse because this act was repeated about 3 times and information were withheld until today so someone has their hand in the cokie jar.
    Onyeka B.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  22. Wilber

    i'm a black man who comes froma black family. What makes Obama unique is that his family is from both sides of the isle. So he honestly heard what his grandmother thinks of black people and being black obviously knows what blacks thinks of wite people. Unfortunately i did not know that his white grandmother and other "typical" white people think in that way about blacks. But i can say without a boubt that black people here in Detroit are always suspicious about whites, that they are previledged and that the police are racist against blacks.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  23. Henry

    Erica, people are afraid to talk about it. But perhaps you have just opened up a forum where we can talk about it here. White people are scared to death when we/they speak about blacks for fear of saying the wrong thing or not chosing their words correctly and becoming labeled racist. There doesn't seem to be that same fear amongst the black folks. I would love to have this conversation in greater depth.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  24. Maria from Texas

    Regarding Obama's comment referring to "a typical white person"...

    Obama is undergoing nothing more than media assassination!

    Everytime he says anything regarding race, whether it is black, white, hispanic, etc. the media is going to play it up as if he is being racial.

    For a minute, lets focus on the real issue here: DENIAL!

    There are different perceptions and stereotypes and yes, they more often than not are based solely on race and the color of one's skin. Obama has probably experienced both sides of this issue being that 1) he is black; and 2) he is white.

    An important question that should be drawing more of the media's attention is: WHY are people AFRAID to talk about race? Do they think that if they don't speak of the issues pertaining to it that it will simply disappear?

    Denial, fear, and the unwillingness to really address the issues of race is what's driving all of the controversy and negativity, and media is terribly guilty of promoting it.

    How about spinning a story in a truthful and positive light for once – help to bring enlightenment and understanding to a situation in an effort to move forward, instead of trying to condemn a person, (the only person in a long time) who was courageous enough to take the first step in that direction.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  25. R. Walker

    I know this is off the subject but I am an African American who attends a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). On last month President Clinton came to speak on behalf of his wife. On my way into the building Hillary’s campaign team had buttons that you could pick up. I grabbed one being that I have yet to choose my candidate of choice. After the speech from President Clinton (Which was great and persuasive) I took the time to read the button. It read “African Americans for Hillary Clinton”. As an African American I was disturbed by this. If Obama was to make buttons that read “Caucasians for Obama “there would be a great deal about it. Just thought I had to say this sense you all was also discussing racism in America. I feel that this statement on the button was very raciest.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  26. Anna W.

    Thank you David, Karl & Roland! I have (sadly) come to expect so very little from the mainstream media that I almost weeped with joy when each one of you pointed out how off track the debate on race has gotten.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  27. Lilibeth

    Erica, I know from my own experience that if people are uncomfortable in talking about something, they should not shy away from it...they should definitely talk about it. Ignoring it or running away from it will not solve the problem. It's not an easy conversation to have, but it's worth it when people finally understand each other...because they're willing to have an honest conversation.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  28. Trenese

    As a black woman, I can say this. Obama spoke his mind of how he really feels. The writing is on the wall an people need to wake up and see it. Obama meant his "typical white people" exactly how it came out. For that split second, he let his true feelings show. All makes sense why he continues to support his pastor. He has to be like a lot of us black Americans, smile in the white man's face to get ahead but secretly can't stand them. don't be afraid to post my comments

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  29. Luwanna Guysville, OH

    Anderson,

    The statement made by Senator Obama about "typical white person" made complete sense to me. I am a white person who was raised to distrust those of color. Luckily I had a mind of my own, but I know most of the people I grew up with in rural Ohio still believe those sterotypes because of the proliferation of what I would call "junk" radio personalities and television shows that perpetuate these sterotypes. If everyone had the advantage of living temporarily in another culture or two and experiencing more of the world than their own backyards we probably would not have such a problem with even discussing race relations in this country.

    Luwanna in Ohio

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  30. sue

    White Black Red Brown Yellow...Let us remeber we are all
    AMERICANS....let's come together.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  31. Diana

    How can anyone seeking to be President not support the basic principle that every vote should count? Sure there were rules, but being President is about knowing which rules need adjustment. We once had "rules" that women couldn't vote. All the people of Florida and Michigan need to have a voice. Once we give up on that, we all have lost.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  32. teresa

    Erica, Great question!!!

    It seemed that the media was afraid or unconmfortable to EVEN mention "race" (unless statistically), because of that darn race-card thing.

    Until Barac made his speech (in the state that just happens to be holding the next primary election , that the media covered uninterrupted without commercials or commentary) it's not been permitted!
    Look at what happened with Geraldine Ferraro? Barac failed the "equality and justice for all & change" test by taking her statements as only racist and not making it a "CONVERSATION".

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  33. Susan

    Don't let the racial conversation drop, Anderson. Barack Obama has finally addressed this deeply important topic and I for one appreciate being treated as an intelligent adult (white woman) with his speech. There are so few national venues for deepening this conversation..with sound bites being the only real newsy product normally...
    Why don't you devote a series of news nights to the conversation-Iraq, healthcare, race, and the economy....
    This country needs desperately to grow up and grow into facing the complexities –of uncertainty–of grey areas, and we need help doing that. where else does the national conversation happen? –only on television.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  34. Martha Konicek

    Bravo!! I absolutely loved the comments Roland made about having a conversation instead of feeding into a frenzy that only serves to divide and distract. Yeah CNN, you are my new favorite!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  35. Rookie Manning

    To say that the Passport Application form holds merely insignificant info. ( a call -in guest's suggestion) when it , in fact, has one's Soc. Sec. number is absurd! If the S.S. number was written down, searched or passed on (to hackers especially) all kinds of private information can be exposed (ex. bank records, stocks, purchases, violations etc.) This "snooping" has got to be a significant & illegal act!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  36. Mary, Kaneohe, Hawaii

    Anderson,
    I'm not sure what info specifically is included in a passport record, but having worked for a top agency in Washington, I know that that there are many secrets to be divulged from a record search such as this.

    I would not be surprised if those who have breached his file were looking for his trips abroad to add fuel to the "he's a Muslim argument".

    It is sad that we can have no confidence in the very institution that is supposed to look out for its citizens to believe that they will handle this in future days any better than it has been handled since Jan. 9.

    Oh, glad to see you back Anderson. However, Soledad did an excellent job in your absence.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  37. Michael Equitz California

    Frankly, I’m getting disgusted with the whole process. The fact that voters in ANY two states are being ignored is ridiculous, and in itself a violation of our constitutional rights. Iraq did a better job in their very first election and EVERY citizen had a vote. The democratic candidates should sit down and decide which of them is going to run under an independent ticket, and let’s get on with it! No race or gender issues. No party favoritism or bias and no foul political games.

    WE THE PEOPLE will decide who the next commander and chief will be.

    If the final vote tally in November does not elect the candidate with the most votes, God help us all.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  38. Sunae

    I'm sure Sen. Obama didn't breach his own passport files. He's not asking for any sympathy.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  39. Roxanne Lewis

    Does this really surprise anyone?? Remember Watergate and in the last seven years illegal wiretaps, torture???? This administration/party will do anything to keep their power. They have gotten away with corruption for seven years and feel they are above scrutiny and the law. Also, it could also be another campaign, is this part of the kitchen sink? Nothing from the current Washington and the way they do business shocks or surprises me. This first ocurred in January, then February and now March and the higher ups all the way to Pennsylvania Ave. did not know? Yeah, right! The Obama campaign did not find out until today! No investigation and now the inspector general says he can not speak to the two that have been fired. This is a violation of the Pirvacy Act and if these individuals shared any of Obama's information it is a felony. Not talk to them!!!! What country is this? Oh I forgot we can spy now, we can water board! This country does need a change ,a big change and it can only come from someone who is not deep into the corruption that has become Washington DC. That would be the citizen whose privacy was violated, Barack Obama. We need to clean house and get back to real values and caring about all Amercian citizens and what we need to do to get back on track. We need to not accept all the spin and entertainment that the media call politics.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  40. FG

    About Baracks passpport....we need to keep in mind that he has been travelling since he was a small kid....2 years old so his passport has a realm of information that a "typical" american's passport would not have.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  41. Tijaan Jallo

    Either way we got a democratic party dropping the ball. This is to much of personal issues, there is more to talk about. Sen Clinton latest message is revotes nothing about her calender when elected. Obama is being harmerred by this five second CNN replay all day long.
    Anderson can you tell me if we can investigate about how news are being broadcast? who has the last word to decide what can be published and what not.

    As far as the passport is concerned eheennnnn ...They were listinning to his phone calls to. Bush goverment said so.

    I love USA.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  42. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hillary is a fighter, you have to admit that. I think this all will be more than a fight ahead..There aren't enough adjectives to describe what will be coming. Heaven help us all, I hope I'm wrong.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  43. Demetri NJ

    I Applaud you all! The past 15 minutes you have shown that CNN is above the rest!
    I hope you stay above the other cable news channels and discuss race in a fair minded honest intelligent manner.
    Taking selected words out of context can always be used to make a point one way or another and is often distorting the true facts.

    I am white and I understand the point Obama was making, I took it as honesty and I was not offended by it

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  44. joanne

    I'm thrilled that Obama's speech has opened up the dialogue about race in America. It's so long overdue and AA's panel tonight hit it right on the head...a cahnce for an important discussion,yet all there is is the soundbites and distortions and attacks. Can't we move forward on this. Please don't let this opportunity for real change slide.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  45. Sheryl, IL

    As for the vote in MI & FL put us all out of our misery and redo it.
    Following the rules means nothing. Let us all learn a lesson from this. "Rules are made to be broken" let's all do what we want with no regard to what the rules are. Change the rules as you go! It's okay.
    Rules mean nothing. No more rules...yeh and I mean that!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  46. Jana, Indiana

    What does Obama's grandmother think of Obama saying these comments that she supposedly said?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  47. vi from orlando

    Is this just another tactic of the Obama team to try and make sure he wins the nomination. After the ordeal with his minister and he standing by him, I would think this is going to hurt him and to now say that his pass port has been breached is going a little to far and he doesn't want to let Florida and Michigan into the convention as he know he will lose the chance of being President. I am a firm supporter that Senator Clinton is the best choice for the job and hope the American or the good ole USA would realize it to.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  48. Andy in MD

    Both campaigns need to do whatever they can to seat as many of the FL and MI delegates as they can. Due to Dean's inept leadership the Dems are in this mess in the first place. He didn't think about the potential impacts of the actions. The reps did and only took away 1/2 of the delegates. That action punished the states, but didn't disenfranchise the entire electorate. Dean will be the ruination of the DNC if he isn't removed.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  49. Friend

    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?

    Typical white person meaning a white person not like him white and black mixed... heinz 57 if you will.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  50. Dian

    Thank you Roland – YES WE CAN attempt to have a real conversation about race and other issues in this country. CNN could lead the way to a more perfect press!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
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