August 21st, 2008
09:30 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 8/21/08

For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.

Anderson is off tonight. John King is anchoring and on our studio webcam. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

And don’t forget to watch Erica’s webcast. LINK TO WEBCAST

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
August 21st, 2008
08:50 PM ET


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/obama.-.8.21postable.jpg caption="Barack Obama has decided on a running mate."]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Right out of the gate tonight… a breaking story from the campaign trail. Barack Obama has decided on a running mate. He’s not saying much more than that. Until he sends that promised text message to his supporters, speculation is all we’ve got. We’ll be taking a close look at exactly what Obama told a reporter today – and looking for new clues between the lines. In other words, we’ll be serving up seasoned, informed speculation – straight from the best political team on television.

Beyond the veep stakes, there were plenty of other sparks on the trail today. When a reporter asked John McCain how many homes he and his wife own, he came up blank and said he’d check with his staff. The Obama campaign grabbed the gaffe and ran with it, cranking out a television ad painting McCain as out of touch, an elitist. The McCain camp fired right back, saying Obama is the real elitist. (Watching this, we flashed back to a playground rumble from yesteryear: “You’re an elitist!” “Am not – you’re the elitist!” “Uh-huh. You’re the elitist!”) We’ll be looking at how much damage, if any, McCain’s gaffe inflicted on his campaign – and also whether Obama’s attacks could backfire.

Then there’s the so-called August Curse that’s torpedoed many a Democratic presidential candidate. Will Obama be its next victim? Or will he rally in Denver and deliver the fire that some voters are demanding? What does he need to do to seal the deal with voters who are on the line? So many questions. CNN’s John King has some answers.

Finally, we’re following a new development in the story that’s rocked the Olympics. Are China’s gymnasts as young as they look? Tonight there are new claims of proof that China lied about some of the girls’ ages – and the IOC has launched an investigation.

All of that is coming up at 10 eastern. See you then.

Filed under: The Buzz
August 21st, 2008
06:14 PM ET

A Woman of Conviction

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.stephanietubbsjones.jpg width=292 height=320]

Rep. José E. Serrano
(D) New York

Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a dear friend of mine and a great leader whose untimely passing came as a great shock.

When I first met her, I had no idea the depth and breadth of her accomplishments. As I learned more, it seemed like she had been the first black woman to achieve everything in Ohio. And she deserved to have been first at everything—she was truly a first-class leader but also down-to-earth. Often you meet people in higher office who have achieved a great deal but are somewhat remote and unapproachable. Stephanie was the complete opposite. Anyone could speak to her about anything and feel that they were truly being listened to and understood. She was, beyond doubt, one of the most kind and compassionate people you could ever meet. FULL POST

Filed under: 360° Radar • Stephanie Tubbs Jones • T1
August 21st, 2008
05:58 PM ET

Beat 360° 08/21/2008

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

Hey team, long time no speak! Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:

Here we see Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill, talks about economy during a conference call in St. Louis, Mo. last month... but i thought we could have fun with it today, considering the Senator has to 'make the call' soon...

Beat 360°

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

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

Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Read more here….

Good luck to all!

UPDATE: Check out last night's Beat 360° Winners!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
August 21st, 2008
05:42 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Updates

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

YES! They got him.

Police arrested a man they say confessed to mugging an 85 year old woman in an elevator last week, though not before putting her in a choke-hold so he could grab her money. Cornelius Abson was out on parole. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Abson has 11 prior arrests and has been convicted of similar crimes in the past. Nothing like preying on the elderly.

“A joke that got out of hand.” That’s how the two guys who paraded their photos of Bigfoot describe the recent hoax. They also tell CNN affiliate WSB that the hairy beast was more than a Sasquatch costume; it was a Sasquatch costume (bought online) stuffed with possum roadkill and slaughterhouse leftovers. Hmmm, I wonder why so few people are laughing.

Rick Dyer says everyone should have known it was a hoax from the beginning. "Well, we told 10 different stories," he said. "Everyone knew we were lying." That obvious lie has now cost the other man his police job, and the deceptive duo has hired a lawyer.

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” And the USPS isn’t bluffing. Turns out, reporters aren’t the only ones braving Fay to do their jobs, postal carriers are slogging through their routes, too.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
August 21st, 2008
05:13 PM ET

Professor Obama and the August Curse

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.obama.virginia.jpg]
John King | Bio
CNN Chief National Correspondent

Do the Democrats have an August curse?

That's probably not the best way to put it, but in elections they have lost, Democrats often look back and view August as a wasted or just plain horrible month.

In 2004, for example, John Kerry led most national polls heading into August; his biggest lead was in the five-point range. But by early September, some surveys had President Bush up by as many as 10 points.

The Democratic collapse of 20 years ago is the stuff of legend. Michael Dukakis was up 17 points in some national polling after his July convention, but that lead started to fade in August and in the end Dukakis won just 10 states.

So will it happen again?


Filed under: Barack Obama • John King • Raw Politics • T1
August 21st, 2008
05:10 PM ET

Why Obama has to get mad to win

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.obamamad.jpg]
James Carville
CNN contributor

Editor's Note: James Carville, a Democratic strategist who serves as a political contributor for CNN, was the Clinton-Gore campaign manager in 1992 and political adviser to President Clinton. Active in Democratic politics and a party fundraiser, Carville has not represented any U.S. politicians recently but has consulted internationally

With all of the vice presidential buzz in the air and the Democratic convention just days away, what's most important is what Sen. Barack Obama's campaign does following his speech to the masses at Invesco Field next Thursday.

Quite simply, he needs to create a more compelling narrative on change, use history as a context for the economy, and get mad about something.

First and foremost, Obama must bring a narrative to his position as a change agent. You can't simply seek change for change's sake.

The argument must be made that this is an election with two choices: the change-seeking good guys or the status quo-clinging bad guys. The campaign needs to brand every negative attack by the Republicans as just another desperate attempt of the status quo clinging to power.

Obama's campaign should argue that all of our political friends have the courage to break from the same old game in Washington in order to provide the change we need, while all of Sen. McCain's friends in Washington refuse a new direction for America.

McCain keeps trying to claim he's a "change Republican." I don't really know what that means, but Obama and his team must continue to highlight the "McSame" that he offers: more of the same failed Iraq policy, more of the same tax breaks for oil and drug companies, more of the same Swift-boat-style tactics, more of the same on education and healthcare.

And he certainly offers more of the same failed Bush economic policy, which leads me to my next point.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
August 21st, 2008
04:42 PM ET

Remembering Stephanie

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.tubbs.jpg]

Sam Fulwood III

Journalists like me rarely admit to liking people in the news.

But I have no qualms or shame in admitting that I shed huge, salty tears after hearing that Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the Democratic Ohio congresswoman, died Wednesday from a brain aneurysm. She was 58, and she was my friend.

I came to know the congresswoman shortly after moving to Cleveland in 2000 as a metro columnist at the city's daily. Columnists are paid to have—and express—opinions. I had license to be subjective, whether in praise or criticism of her.

We disagreed often and spiritedly, in public and in private. I took issue with her penchant for secrecy and what I considered to be mistaken judgments on federal policies and local politics.

I was tough on her. But she could take it. "You do your job, and I'll do mine," she once told me. She grinned that gummy smile and bear-hugged me.

Stephanie—as nearly everyone in Ohio's 11th congressional district called her—and I visited each other's homes, exchanged confidences and consoled each other during personal dramas. We played bid whist. She inspired my daughter—whom she called "Babygirl"—to give something of herself in community service. Her cell phone number remains on speed dial in mine; I don't know when I'll find the strength to remove it.

Stephanie cared deeply, intimately about the people in her district.

And, in return, they loved her back...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Stephanie Tubbs Jones
August 21st, 2008
03:04 PM ET

Tiger Woods: Will the swing return?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.vert.tiger.jpg width=292 height=320]

Dr. Sanjay Gupta | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Every year in the United States, there are around 200,000 ACL injuries a year. As you might guess, they are most common in soccer, football and basketball. So, when you heard about Tiger Woods golf injury, you may have been a little surprised. In fact, he has had four knee operations since 1994, with the most serious one being on June 24th of this year. As you watch this video, pay close attention to the left knee and the amount of torque that is placed on it. There is a pivot like motion that orthopedic surgeons seem to believe caused the problem.

The operation itself is a fairly straightforward one but now the name of Tiger’s game is rehab.

Woods tell us in his blog that he is more mobile than a month ago, and that he spends most of his rehab time riding a stationary bike. It sounds like he would look a lot different as well. He says he has lost 10 pounds of muscle and is mainly eating a raw and organic diet. The kicker is that he is not even planning on swinging a golf club until next year. That’s quite a change of lifestyle for someone who has played golf for almost his whole life.


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Medical News
August 21st, 2008
02:41 PM ET

Dancers, wrestlers and rock stars: the Conventions aren't all politics

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.2004convention.jpg caption="Wolf Blitzer and Art Alexakis of Everclear, delegate from Oregon at the 2004 Democratic Convention."]

Kay Jones
AC360° Booker

Four years ago, I jetted to Boston for the Democratic Convention to book interviews for Wolf Blitzer. I had never been to a convention before, so I didn’t know what to expect. And what I saw wasn't, ah, strictly political.

I saw Terry McAuliffe, then head of the DNC, dancing on the side of the stage at the Black Eyed Peas concert.

I saw members of World Wrestling Entertainment mingling on the convention floor with the likes of Sen. Max Clelend.

I got to meet rock stars who were delegates. And some delegations were so excited to hear Sen. Kerry speak that they had matching "Kerry 2004" hats, ties, you name it.

This year, as we are gearing up to head to Denver for CNN’s coverage, we're talking about serious political issues, of course. But I can't wait to see what else lies ahead.

Will Howard Dean cut a rug with Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas?

How loud will INVESCO Field get for Sen. Obama’s acceptance speech, and will it rival the volume normally reserved there for a Denver Bronco’s touchdown?

I'll be blogging about whatever happens, for sure.

Filed under: Raw Politics
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