July 17th, 2008
07:40 AM ET

Morning Buzz: A U.S. Embassy in Iran?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/art.tehran.jpg caption="A view of Tehran from April 2008 where, according to The Guardian, The United states will establish a diplomatic presence."]
Morning people....

Breaking news...The United States will announce in the next month that it plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years...the reports coming from the British newspaper The Guardian. The paper said Washington would open a U.S. interests section in the Iranian capital, not a FULL Embassy, but a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. "The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country." "a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his time in office." Pretty HUGE, folks.... We will keep tabs on this one during the day....

On the trail today, John McCain holds town hall in Kansas City...Dan Bash will bring us news from there if there is anything to report...AND with Barack Obama prepping to head to Afghanistan and Iraq, I am sure McCain will have something to say.... Candy Crowley will preview Obama's mission for us...

Tom Foremen looks at the "Obama Machine." Salon.com had a piece yesterday focusing on Obama's super marketing machine –his massive efforts to win the White House. "He knows your neighborhood, your favorite products and even when you open your e-mail.... About every week or so, you get an e-mail from Barack Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, or top deputy Steve Hildebrand, or maybe Obama himself. They're breezy and informal, addressing you by first name at the outset (before they ask you to donate money at the end). But that's just the beginning. You know, of course, that Obama has your e-mail address. You may not have realized that he probably also has your phone number and knows where you're registered to vote - including whether that's a house or an apartment building, and whether you rent or own. He's got a decent estimate of your household income and whether you opened a credit card recently. He knows how many kids you're likely to have and what you do for a living. He knows what magazines and catalogs you get and whether you're more apt to get your news from cable TV, the local newspaper or online. And he knows what time of day you tend to get around to plowing through your in box and responding to messages. The 5 million people on Obama's e-mail list are just the start of what political strategists say is one of the most sophisticated voter databases ever built..."

A story we planned to bring you yesterday will hopefully get on TV tonight...Gary Tuchman's "I believe" -
The South Carolina legislature has approved the production of license plates featuring a cross and the words "I believe." It is the first state in the nation to approve a plate with a reference to one religion. The Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina spearheaded the effort and says while he would support other religions symbols on state plates, he believes the United States is a Christian nation, and that Christians shouldn't always back down to "separation of church and state types." And yes, those "types" have filed a federal lawsuit against the state saying this is a violation of the nation's Constitution. Should this be allowed? Weigh in with your thoughts...

ALSO tonight we continue our effort to introduce you to the Ireport FILM FESTIVAL... Our staffer Jack Gray debuts his mini-documentary. Here is how Jack describes it: Liberal Democrats in Utah? Who knew? But they are indeed there. And even though they are vastly outnumbered, a small but determined band of grass roots activists aren't ceding one inch - even in the heart of conservative Mormon territory. I traveled to this political bizarro world to get a first hand glimpse at how they are attempting to climb such a steep electoral mountain. GO to Ireports.com for more information about the film festival and you, too, can submit a mini-documentary..

ALL for now...

Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Lynn, Vancouver

    Everyone has the same access and data base. I have received emails like this from other candidates and know Hillary supporters who have as well. Why is it that it is always Obama that is the one targeted?

    If anything is creepy, Obama must be getting paranoid with the constant obsession both good and bad that the media and some of the bloggers have with his every move.

    July 17, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  2. Susan, OH

    The Bush Administration are a much of warmongering cowards. Now they are stealing OBama foreign policies.

    For the love of our childern vote for OBama!!!!!!

    July 17, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  3. Keith G. Wright

    Beyond Barack Obama's eloquent speeches, Barack Obama must signal unity by first uniting with Hillary, and signal real change by first selecting Hillary Clinton as Vice Presidential running mate... moving into the Whitehouse with an undeniable force of proven action behind his words.

    If Barack can't unite with Hillary, what makes us think he can unite or change anything in the US, Iran, Sudan, Libya, North Korea, Cuba, Iraq, Syria, or China. We seem to gloss over his "immediate failure" to unite and change... a missed opportunity for Obama to prove himself beyond eloquent words.

    – Keith G. Wrigtht

    July 17, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  4. Adam T. San Antonio, TX

    Seems like the president is using some of the "inexperienced" senator Obama's ideas, I wonder what senator McCain has to say about this.

    July 17, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  5. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    The first question – Volunteers???
    The second question – Would they receive combat pay???

    July 17, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  6. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Mike, how am I using incorrect facts? I would post a link but they don't allow links on this site. You type in Obama foreign policy in Google and go find out the facts.

    And as far as candidates goals neither candidate I can agree with on every issue so I have to pick what I think is important. Obama has made it clear in my opinion that he is against the Iraq war and will take the steps to bring our troops out safely. He has also made clear that when it comes to health care he will give all Americans the option to buy an affordable plan. This among other issues I agree with him on but no sense in listing to you.

    Refining where you stand on issues is not the same as changing stance entirely. If Bush had been wise enough to refine where he stood on issues I don’t think we would be in half a big a mess we are in now. The point I was trying to make with John McCain was that he spends so much time attacking Obama instead of building up his own platform. Maybe he wouldn't be behind in the polls if he spent half as much time campaigning on where he stands instead of attacking Obama on his stances.

    July 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  7. Larry

    Mike, may as well go bang your head against the wall 🙂

    July 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  8. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Kristen, Obama changed his web site long after he clearly stated in the debates with Clinton he would meet without preconditions. This is public record. You are the one using incorrect facts. Just like Obama changed his website on Iraq. Previously it bashed the surge, now it recognizes the fact that violence is way down. The surge has worked so well in fact, that he wants to copy it in Afghanistan. You also state that Obama's goals are clear. If they are, it's only to you. The rest of us are trying to figure out what his real positions are. Look at how he has 'refined' his positions on FISA, NAFTA, public financing, the war, Wright, his church, Clark, the fence with Mexico, etc. Each of these issues has public positions he's taken that conflict with each other. As you say, it's publically availible. Go check!!!!

    July 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  9. Larry

    Please tell me that Obama's computer geeks are not hacking into the pentagon's, or anyone else's systems.

    July 17, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  10. Karen-Phoenix

    Obama said all this 2 years ago!!! The man is brilliant, has good judgement and insight!!! He's intelligent, youthful and is willing to ask questions and make decissions. I'm a republican of some 60 years and I've even sent Obama money. Never sent a republican money. Obama is the only chance my grandchildren have of getting the great American middle class dream!

    July 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  11. Lesley

    Frieda – excuse me, but isn't Bush right now sending a representative to meet with Iranian diplomats without preconditions? It was Obama's policy to use more diplomacy and less force and that is what the administration is doing now, both in talking, whether or not there are preconditions, and in opening up the path for an embassy. Let's hope for everyone's sake that cooler heads prevail.

    July 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  12. Jay, Denver CO

    McCain should condemn this absurd action because WE DO NOT TALK TO TERRORISTS!

    Iran is in the axil of evil and our President has gone soft on them. SHAME ON HIM! WHAT A FREAKIN WUSSY!

    July 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  13. Annie Kate

    If Obama truly has all that information about people in his database that makes me real uncomfortable. If a big corporation or marketing firm, etc, was doing this a lot of us would be talking about privacy issues.

    The news about any kind of embassy in Iran is great. What are they feeding the President here lately? He hasn't been acting like himself.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  14. Susan

    Glad to see that we at least will have some kind of diplomatic presence in Tehran. Carrots are always better then sticks. The people of Iran deserve to live in peace, along with its neighbors. We can only hope !!!

    I can see why Senator Obama revised his position on FISA. It would appear that he has his own surveillance operation going on. I am looking forward to Tom's report on how he is obtaing information on your finances.


    July 17, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  15. Behnam Javidfar

    So, let me get this straight.... First, the US accuses Iran of helping terrorist groups in the Middle East, which were started by the US in the whole debacle in 1953, then they say "Hey! Wait! Iran isn't helping them!" Any relation to the whole WMD in Iraq story? Now, after YEARS of bombarding Iran with threats, even though they can't prove Iran is making a nuclear bomb (which would take at least another five years), the US is being Mr. NiceGuy and consulting with Iranian officials to make an embassy?? Wow. Any relation to totalitarianism? "What we say, goes!" I wonder what Israel has to say about this....

    July 17, 2008 at 11:25 am |
  16. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Um...Frieda stop posting false statements about what Obama plans are since you obviously don't know. If you go to his web site under foreign policy it says:

    "Obama is willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe. He will do the careful preparation necessary, but will signal that America is ready to come to the table..."

    "Preparation necessary” does not sound like "NO preconditions". Go check your facts, they are easily available to anyone who really wants to know.

    July 17, 2008 at 11:20 am |
  17. FRIEDA

    this has nothing to do with Obama's approach. Obama wanted to sit down with a dictator with NO preconditions and that is a true stupidity and betraying iranian people.

    I am an Iranian who believes Mullahs regime is worse than fascism. Having an embassy in iran will help anti-mullah movement to be funded better and hopefully will be an instrumentally factor in throwing down this awful regime.

    Good for Bush for wanting to take this risk!

    July 17, 2008 at 9:52 am |
  18. Kim in NY

    Pretty scary that Sen. Obama's data base has more names and knows more about the general public than the terror watch list. Maybe they can compare notes.

    July 17, 2008 at 9:47 am |
  19. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    That is big news we will be in Tehran. I will look forward to hearing more details about this.

    I don't really care what McCain has to say about Obama’s Iraq trip. He has been so busy attacking Obama, he should be focused on his own campaign. I have yet to get a feel for his overall goals. I know what Obama's are...what exactly is McCain’s platform? How about he works on making his message a bit clearer.

    Tom I would like to know exactly how Obama got all that info on people. I am on the email list and I don't remember giving up my personal finance info and other information.

    Speaking of Obama I heard on the radio this morning and saw somewhere online that the DNC has booked Pharell Williams, Wyclef John, Kanye West and Usher to perform at the convention this year. Can 360 confirm that is true? I tried looking on the DNC website but no such luck.

    July 17, 2008 at 8:49 am |
  20. Cindy

    Man...I can't believe that we are going to open an embassy in Tehran, Iran! That is BIG!!!! I guess Bush has finally seen the light and decided that the only way to keep tabs on what they are doing is to be somewhat cordial to them. At least now maybe the thoughts and rumors of us going to war with them will go away. You know what they say...if you can't beat 'em join 'em!

    So if Obama knows just about everything about his supporters whose emails he has doesn't that make him as bad as the government in spying on you? I mean he is using your info to get in your head and to get your vote! I'm just sayin...


    July 17, 2008 at 8:21 am |
  21. Michelle

    I thought you guys at 360 would love to know Drew's terror
    list saga is quite popular on DIgg and Reddit.

    July 17, 2008 at 8:08 am |
  22. Michelle

    It is funny how Obama's foreign policy agenda is becoming the
    norm. Just goes to show sometimes a novice can get it right.
    I also look forward to Jack Gray's latest fikm. Would you guys
    ever consider expanding this beyond politics ? Say for instance
    what is happening in your community , state and the world as
    well as pop culture trends that you are noticing around America
    and the world.

    July 17, 2008 at 8:02 am |

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