May 5th, 2008
09:30 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 5/5/08

It’s the countdown to the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina.  Tomorrow is what Sen. Hillary has called a “game changer” and with 187 delegates at stake it could shake up the race.   We’ll have the latest from the campaign trail and analysis of campaign strategy from the best political team on television.

We want to know what you think so we’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

If you’ve been wondering why some comments get posted while others do not take a look at our comments post.  It should have some answers for you.   LINK TO COMMENTS POST

And be sure to check out our behind the scenes live web camera from the 360° studio.  We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET.  LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

Filed under: Live Blog
May 5th, 2008
06:53 PM ET

Playing the race card: Democrats have a full deck

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Amy Holmes
CNN Political Analyst

Editor's note: The following is written in response to an essay posted earlier on this blog by Lanny Davis, a Hillary Clinton supporter and fundraiser, addressing charges that the Clinton's played "the race card" against Barack Obama. Click here to read that blog.


Welcome to the conservative side of the street, where the media and Democratic operatives routinely accuse Republicans and conservatives of playing the race card to demonize and discredit them.

In your own post on your party's internecine racial warfare, you gratuitously refer to the "Republican hate machine."  Never mind that Republicans were happily absent from the various Clinton controversies you cite.  In an effort to find an enemy to blame for the current state of racial politics in the Democratic party, instead of looking inwards and examining the roots, so to speak, of liberal racial grievance politics, you blame the media - being very careful not to blame Obama.  That would certainly be a mess.

I'll let Democrats sort out who played the race card first: the media, the Obama campaign, or the Clintons.  But I have no doubt that if Obama becomes the Democratic nominee, all three will unite to return to politics as usual, questioning the racial bona fides of anyone who fails to support the candidacy of the first black presidential nominee.  The politics of hope go only so far.

Filed under: Amy Holmes • Barack Obama • Raw Politics
May 5th, 2008
03:18 PM ET

FLDS polygamists: an extraordinary family tree

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Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

In the secretive, illegal world of American polygamy, life has been good to 67-year-old Wendell Loy Nielsen of El Dorado, Texas.

By his own account, Nielsen has 21 wives, and 36 children.

His oldest wife is 13 years older than he is, and his youngest wife is 43 years younger - she's just 24. His oldest child is 21 years old, and his youngest is a six-month-old baby.

That's one of the longer, single-family geneaologies we uncovered in the "Bishop's List" - a series of documents listing the age, marital status, children and addresses of members of the FLDS's Yearning for Zion ranch in El Dorado.

 The list indicates five of the wives are 16 years old - that's underage by Texas law. If those girls are also mothers, or even if they're not, but their marriages have been consummated, they could be considered victims of statutory rape under Texas law.

The "bishop" in charge of families keeps the list to keep track of members, and make sure there's enough housing and food. That's what Carolyn Jessop told us. She's a former polygamist wife who wrote the bestseller, ESCAPE.

And the bishop, she says, is her ex-husband, Merril Jessop.


Filed under: FLDS update • Polygamy • Susan Roesgen
May 5th, 2008
02:58 PM ET

Eyes on Miley’s bare back, not on the big picture

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Faye Wattleton
President, Center for the Advancement of Women

The Miley Cyrus debate was bare in more than one way. Arguing over whether the 15-year-old’s Vanity Fair photo spread constitutes a blight on wholesomeness or a publicity stunt competed with Rev. Wright as last week’s hot topic.

Celebrity pundits vented their shock on the airwaves, and in newsprint and blogs, while “experts” offered parents tips on how to discuss the consequences of bad decisions, in this case resulting from Miley’s nude back. 

Missing from the commotion was the glaring opportunity to confront the double standard for girls’ sexuality with a healthy discussion about responsible sexual development among our adolescents.

Britney Spears caused a similar controversy with even more revealing photos during her early teen years. Americans reacted in collective horror when Brandi Chastain, in exuberant victory after scoring the winning goal against China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, removed her shirt to reveal her sports bra to a worldwide Olympic audience.


Filed under: Faye Wattleton
May 5th, 2008
02:19 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/5/08

Hey Bloggers!

Ok, no more clowing around... well OK, maybe a little... It's time for 'Beat 360°.'

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

Here is today’s 'Beat 360°' pic of the day: Here we see a clown entertaining the crowd at the Farmers Santa Parade last year in Auckland, New Zealand. Each year over a quarter of a million people line the streets of Auckland along the parade route to watch the festivities.

Beat 360°

Here's one or two to get you started:

After the Clinton ‘Kitchen sink strategy’ met with limited success, Hillary debuts the ‘send in the clowns’ campaign...


This McCain fan took the ‘Straight talk express’ a little to far off the deep end...

Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

– David Reisner, 360° Digital producer

Update: Check out last night's Beat 360° Winner!

Filed under: Beat 360°
May 5th, 2008
12:30 PM ET

If all goes according to plan, Clinton and Obama win tomorrow

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Roland S. Martin
360 Contributor
www.rolandsmartin.comLet's get this out now before the spin doctors for Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama go at it: if all goes according to plan on Tuesday, both candidates will be able to claim victory.


It has been fascinating to see as both campaigns have tried to twist and turn everything, from endorsements to who is leading in the popular vote to the importance of delegates and who can best beat Sen. John McCain in November.

Forget white voters, rural voters, midwestern voters, southern voters, black voters, women voters and men voters, the only thing that really matters on Tuesday are the delegates.

In Indiana, 72 are at stake. In North Carolina, it's 115.

May 5th, 2008
10:47 AM ET

What women want

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Program Note: Watch Randi’s report on “what women want” tonight on 360° 10p ET

Randi Kaye
360° Correspondent

Hillary Clinton is selling buttons on her website that say “I’m your Girl!”

Over the weekend she held a town hall meeting with working moms.

Do you think she’s going after the women’s vote? Of course she is. So is Barack Obama.

It’s estimate 9 million more women than men will enter a voting booth this election so women could really end up determining our next president.

Right now, Obama is ahead in the polls, CNN shows, among women nationwide though Clinton has the edge with white women.

I just spent some time with a group of women in Indiana to try and understand what women want in a candidate. We had a good mix. Sally Zweig is a 56-year-old lawyer and single mom. Dawn Yingling is also a single mom who's son just had to drop out of college because she couldn't pay the bills. Stephanie Spirer is a 26-year-old lawyer who knows all about student debt. Nicole Schoville is a pilates instructor who is married. And Keshauna Castro is 30-year-old single pharmacy technician. Nicole was the only undecided voter. The rest were split between Obama and Clinton.

Turns out, women really differ from men in the kinds of issues we look at. As one political expert put it, “our feet are all facing the same direction, but we move at a different pace than the boys.”

What do women want? FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics
May 5th, 2008
06:39 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks...Happy Monday!!!

HUGE day out on the campaign trail today. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have less than 24 hour to convince the voters of North Carolina and Indiana that THEY should be the Democratic Presidential nominee....BOTH contests are CRITICAL for each candidate. Sooo can Obama seal the deal? OR will Hillary Clinton capture enough votes to continue to hang on? AC360 will be ALL politics tonight and have ALL the pre-primary analysis with Candy Crowley, Suzanne Malveaux, John King, and TIME magazine's Joe Klein and Mark Halperin....so make sure you tune in at 10 pm...

Looking at the headlines today...POLITICS seems to be dominating the papers, today...take a look:

INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Primary Party Switches Could Aid Incumbents...Voting Republican in Indiana used to be so easy. Grab a ballot, skip the presidential nominees - those races were usually over by now, at least for the past 40 years - and focus on local and state primary races. But this year, Hoosiers have that rare chance to help determine a presidential nominee. Of course, to do so means you have to vote like a Democrat.

NY TIMES: Seeing Grit and Ruthlessness in Clinton’s Love of the Fight....The kind of language and pugilistic imagery Sen. Hillary Clinton uses on the campaign trail evokes the baggage that makes Clinton such a provocative political figure. For as much as a willingness to “do what it takes” and “die hard” are marketable commodities in politics, they can also yield to less flattering qualities, plenty of which have been ascribed to her over the years. Just as supporters praise her “toughness” and “tenacity,” critics also describe her as “divisive,” “a dirty fighter” or “willing to do anything to win.”

WASHINGTON POST: Dueling Appeals On Taxes From Obama, Clinton...Two days before critical primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) scolded both Sen. Barack Obama (D) and "elite opinion" Sunday for opposing her proposals to fix the ailing economy, while the senator from Illinois accused her of political pandering.


Filed under: The Buzz