August 26th, 2008
09:06 PM ET

Anderson's View: Watching the speeches, fearing the storm

Anderson Cooper

You know you've been up too long when you start taking hits of oxygen with your producers. It was John Roberts who got me hooked. He handed me a small steel cylinder and said "try it." Jack, my associate producer, and I passed it around and then tried to see how long we could hold our breath. The problem was we kept laughing. It's supposed to help with the altitude, though frankly I haven't had any problems with that, I'm mainly just punchy.

I've been in the CNN workstation since about 7 this morning. I'm not sure where the day has gone. It’s been kind of a blur of reporters and politicians, delegates and speeches.

I suppose it’s easy to be cynical about these conventions, the scripted speeches, the programmed party – but there is something remarkable about these gatherings, these celebrations of our process. It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Republicans and Democrats gathering to give voice to their longings, their hopes.

There is a storm brewing, of course, today it hit Haiti, and we are watching with concern. By some models New Orleans is in its path. It’s been almost three years to the day Katrina touched down, and the thought that the Gulf Coast could once again be battered is almost too terrible to consider. There could be political consequences if the storm hits New Orleans hard, but the personal consequences for that city, and it’s people, is foremost in our minds.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Raw Politics • Weather
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Nkcc

    I agree with you Anderson: There were some fantastic, inspiring speeches across the board. Take a hit of 02 if you need to, just keep your balanced reporting down the middles.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  2. Liv

    Chelsea looked so beautiful, as an angel, grace, manners -all. Bill was as usually great, handsome. And Hillary? She was just great, looked beautiful, her speech was wonderful, her strength and brilliance excellent, her grace, class, poise.
    Just wonderful family.
    It is a shame that she is not the nominee, she definitely would be excellent president. She did deserve the nomination.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:08 am |
  3. Megan, Chicago

    Anderson, take care of yourself. You've got two more days of the convention, but so far it has been great to watch the best political team on TV. I can't tell you how much I love Paul, David and Donna, along with the rest of the team.

    If you're back in NYC next week, maybe I'll bump into you when I'm back in NYC for a visit.

    Certainly hoping for the best for the storm to miss New Orleans.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  4. Pat

    Hillary tonight was not only a class act she is a class act that few will ever be able to emulate, let alone surpass! Hillary cares deeply about her party, her Nation and most of all it's people. She always has and always will. The one consolation is that although she won't be President she will still be with us and for us fighting to the end! Hillary you are "Simply the Best" and One That Is Above the Rest!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  5. Carl B

    Hi Anderson
    As A young obama fan, Hillary had a fantastic speech.its crazy how that super delagate after the speech just destoyed the whole message Hillary said.About Unity

    August 26, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  6. Rick Snyder

    Anderson Cooper please let the American People know that being Commander in Chief of the Military is just a small fraction of a job the President of the Unted States has in front of him. That the economy is what will keep the military funded to do its job. With a economy as bad as ours is at this time a future President needs to fix it and quit wasting tax money on a war that is killing our economy.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  7. jim

    My wife had a better analysis than all of your pundits. Hillary's speech was by a woman, about women, and for women, especially her female supporters. She never mentioned her father and only mentioned her husband once.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:53 pm |
  8. Mike

    Hello Anderson:

    Sorry bud, but you should have taken another hit before deciding to let Suzanne give the crazed Hillary supporter (who apparently either missed Hillary's speech or the message in it) her couple minutes of fame. Hillary nailed it, if you're voting for McCain or not voting because I'm not the nominee, you better examine your heart.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:53 pm |
  9. Susan Lemarie

    Hi Anderson,

    I've been enjoying what little levity you and the Best Political Team on TV have interjected into the convention coverage so far (my favorite was hearing about the "fisticuffs" between John King and David Gergen). The whole thing just seems surreal...

    On the other hand, Gustav seems a little too real. Do you see yourself heading back into storm coverage? It's been so long, and I'm not sure it's an "Anchor" thing to do. Still, I hope so, because it means so much to us when you do it.

    Susan Lemarie, Fairfax, VA

    August 26, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
  10. Steve - southern Illinois

    Just kidding Larry! We love ya!!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  11. Steve - southern Illinois

    Better pass that Oxygen over to Larry King!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  12. Vicky

    I just heard a new update on the storm. They say the waters are at 90 degrees temperature, which is fuel for that storm. They expect it to get to a category 3 hurricane when it hits the Gulf Coast. I live in Texas. I live 5 minutes away from the water. It's a scary situation. More than anything, I think is seeing the response of the government for Katrina that scares me more than the hurricane. It is a weird feeling having this worry, for days, that a wind and water could all of the sudden take away everything that you have worked for. One minute is there, the next minute is gone. I have some people very close to my heart who live in NOLA (New Orleans, LA) and Katrina marked a crossing point in their lives. It is amazing in some way to see how everything now is "before Katrina", "after Katrina". During a conversation you can hear those words coming out of more than 1 person's mouth. All these thoughts come to "they can't take another hit by a hurricane again, they just can't". Every time a hurricane is forecasted to come their way I think of that. Lets hope nature gives them a break this time.

    P.S: Are you writing a new book after finishing Planet in Peril... if not, you should consider it.

    Vicky, TX

    August 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  13. Melinda

    Oxygen is the best! Mother Nature's high. You need to do this so you don't get altitude sickness.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  14. Steve - southern Illinois

    I think Hillary Clinton is an outstanding public servant. I truly regret that I ever said anything negative about her. I just don't get how anyone who claims to support her could now not vote for what she believes in. Sad!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  15. seasa

    Why is everyone being so personal here?
    You should vote for what a person stands for as an individual and not let emotions get mixed when the future of America is at stake .....

    Why don't people think about basic American democratic principles....
    Unless we change the direction we are headed , we will not be able to survive this century...

    And this is what exactly Hillary is asking us to do ......

    August 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  16. Jeff Polzer

    I thought Hillary done a great job bring the party together,so why did you spending so much time covering one lady that didn't get Hillary's message? She stated she wasn't going to vote and kept bring up experience and how Obama does't have any. Shame on you! Cover the many other democrates that united tonite.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  17. R Kittrell

    Wow! Great speech by Hillary.

    I'm an Independent/Republican; who had an ear to Hillary. I didn't support her husband. I wouldn't say I was definately going to vote for her; but I was listening, and very much considering her a front runner for my vote.

    Her speech tonight was one of the most impactful I've seen. I don't agree with 100% of her views; but her words this evening absolutely proved to me that this citizen would have made a fine President. More than ever, she has exposed Obama's weaknesses and inexperience.

    How ironic.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  18. Saundra

    I am so disappointed at the choice you made to allow the black lady to take 10 minutes whining because she is hurt Hillary is not to be President. How she gave her Presidential speech. How much experience counts. Why didn't you give equal time to another supporter who decided to vote for Obama as well. Seems like you are trying to de-rail the convention. But why so much negative coverage? Give both view points. You are my favorite CNN Host.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  19. Ellen - Manhattan, NY

    Campbell is right on the money – Hillary did not address whether BO is in fact ready/able to lead – she stopped short of saying BO is ready & able to take the helm & that he is the best choice for president (given the available options). why did she not go the whole 9 yards????

    August 26, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  20. James Huestis

    Hi Guys, Great coverage by the way!
    Just saw a commercial from the McCain camp about how Hiliary doesnt support Obama..... How Ironic that this commerical air'd after her speach..... Oh by the way..... He endorsed it!!! Thats just too funny!
    Watching the race from Canada! EH!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  21. Mary

    I just finished watching the Hillary delegate. That was really touching. I thought that Hillary was very presidential and did take the high road and do what her party needed her to do. I also don't think Senator Biden could compete with her. What a great speech for an independent to hear. Have a great night.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  22. Mrs. A

    Shame on CNN for airing that angry woman after Hillary's phenomenal speech. She moved and motivated the crowd and challenged every one of her supporters to think long and hard about the reasons why they supported her and what their duty is in November and just as some of her supporters were trying to take the first step of accepting Obama, they got slapped in the face with that negativity. For some one like me who walked away from the speech full of energy and motivation, my sails were quickly flattened by that woman's comments. I think CNN should hold some responsibility for controlling this type of negative news.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  23. sheryl

    I am not sold on HRC's speech. I enjoyed your candid interview with Delegate Mills after the speech. I too share Mill's concerns.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  24. Thomas


    I like your team and your coverage. I just saw the speech of Hillary Clinton and the support she gave to unite the democratic party. It was just ABSOLUTELY inappropriate to interview a delegate right after the speech who is a Clinto supporter who then stipulated that she might not vote in November at all! Is that representative reporting? That is just disappointing drama-oriented journalism that puts gas into the fire of partisanship. I am very disappointed!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  25. danny in florida

    Tthe last women interviewed was amazing!! this is real political emotion and represents how strong people feel about the need for change!! She was Awesome!!!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  26. Sharon from Indy

    I just watched Hillary Clinton's speech. It woke up the sleepy Democratic Convention.

    I agree that the Mile High City may be affecting you. A little oxygen here, a little oxygen there....

    August 26, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  27. Dan in California

    Is it inappropriate to ask who's going to pay for universal healthcare, just "the rich", or equally across the tax bracket board? I'm disappointed my question wasn't posted or addressed.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  28. Jacqueline, NY

    Good night! Party safe, Anderson, and remember, just say no! It works. Trust me. LOL!

    August 26, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  29. Mabel O. Allen

    With the Exception of Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, the DNC has been a great let down, I have heard notinhg from the speakers that would make me vote for Obama, I was for Hillary and now I am for McCain.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  30. Presley

    Well if everyone is doing it, why not.

    It's good for us, we get Cooper Duper candidness, I'm all for that.

    ♥ attacks for the 360crew!

    XXO from Michigan

    August 26, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  31. Lilibeth

    Well, how about that Anderson. What a great speech by Hillary! She said right off the bat that all Democrats should unite, whether we voted for her or Obama. She didn’t waste any time in saying this at all. I loved that! I also loved when she said “No way, no how, no Mccain” for her supporters who vowed to vote for him out of spite, just because she didn’t become the nominee. After hearing her moving and powerful speech, I have no doubt that all Democrats who watched her tonight will be united in supporting Obama. I am so proud of her! Thanks, Anderson. Have a great night.

    Edmonds, Washington

    August 26, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  32. Jolene

    Hi Anderson:
    Glad you blogged again. Punchy? Well, you don't appear on TV to be punchy but then the night is still young. Day 2 started out to be exciting with the whole "girl power" deal and the 88th. anniversary of Women's Suffrage, then it got boring. I believe the pressure is on for Hillary to save the day. Waiting with bated breath...

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    August 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  33. Don, WA

    Don't take too much O2 – The whole point of having the democratic convention in "The Mile High City" is so everyone is a little "Blue".

    August 26, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  34. Jacqueline, NY

    Hm.... "Hits of oxygen.' 'He handed me a small steel cylinder and said “try it.” Isn't that how "THEY" usually do it? Get you started. Just punchy, huh? How do you know that there isn't something else in that "small steel cylinder?" LOL!

    August 26, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  35. Tina NYC

    Hillary will now do the right thing and endorse Obama however for me HIllary was the best democrate and as a woman working in financial markets in NY Clinton deserved the nomination in my opinion. I agree that there is racial bias in this country however there is also gender bias and it is still there.

    August 26, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  36. Lilibeth

    Hi Anderson, I'm watching the convention right now and can't wait to hear from Hillary. As her supporter from Day One, I think her speech will the the most important one this week yet, even more than Obama's. Thanks for blogging again today. OK...gotta go and look at the TV...

    Edmonds, Washington

    August 26, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  37. Kathy, Chicago

    God Bless Ya, AC. I think that I have some form of ADD. I can't handle watching most of this convention. I will give it the college try tonight, but I have been channel surfing. Thank goodness I can watch CNN for the Cliff Notes! Love you guys, but make sure you get some sleep!

    August 26, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  38. Jacqueline, NY

    Hi All! Happy Convention!

    I am enjoying the speeches tonight. You all can't say they aren't on fire now. They seem Fired Up and Ready to Go!

    Funny you should mention the storm and the Katrina. Guess whose book I picked up over the weekend.

    August 26, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  39. Donna

    I've been thinking the same thing, Anderson. That storms looks to be on course for a direct hit on the Gulf Coast–right as the Republican convention gets underway. That cannot help but conjure up images of Katrina. I hope for the sake of the people on the Gulf Coast (and my dear friend who recently moved to New Orleans) that this doesn't turn into a monster storm. As for the Republican party, I want this country to be reminded of their failures because I want them out power for a good long time to come. But not at the expense of people's lives and property. I'm watching NOAA very closely and wishing this storm could go some direction that wouldn't cause it to make landfall.

    August 26, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  40. Jo Ann


    I cannot really appreciate the convention excitement that you have been describing these past couple of days. I guess you just have to be there to be impressed by the convention process. To me it is nothing more than preaching to the choir; a hand picked choir.

    It is difficult to get caught up in a gathering where multimillionaires lie about understanding day-to-day struggles of the average citizen. I find their words hollow and dishonest. Coming from a privileged background, I don’t expect you to understand what I am talking about, but this election will have a profound impact on my life and those of other middle and lower class citizens of this country. To the privileged it is about making history, to everyone else it is survival.

    I have been anxiously watching the path of Gustav and I have thought about the anniversary of Katrina coming up. Let’s hope for the best.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    August 26, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  41. Minou, New York City

    Hi Anderson,
    For the first time I am paying attention to these conventions.
    I'm amazed at the circus Americans produce around their politics! In my home country, politicians are mainly about politics. Very little attention is paid to what surrounds their political lives, compared to their American counterparts.
    These conventions are just one big commercial for a party. To me, it's bla bla bla.... they're beating their drums and slapping their backs, and it all sounds the same after a while. Is this supposed to sway swing voters in one or the other direction?
    It's as rehearsed and scripted like a Broadway show, and I don't see the value in it.
    I'm jet lagged and have to get up very early tomorrow, but I'll try to stay up for Hillary. But if she sounds just as boring as everybody else I'll say night-night, and get some hours of sleep.

    I hope N.O. will stay safe.....now there's a story that deserves some attention.

    August 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  42. Paula, Colorado

    Hi! It's great to see you on air.
    Your coverage of the convention has been fascinating so far. I don't mind the less interesting speeches and so forth with the analysis being continual.
    I look forward to Hillary Clinton's speech later.

    August 26, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  43. Maureen T

    a hit of oxygen and it made you laugh! Just had a flashback to my college days! 🙂 Love the fact that you're right down on the floor amongst the masses! It must be somewhat chaotic but as usual the greatest political team takes it all in stride and makes the reporting look so easy...I pray the storm that is brewing stays out of New Orleans' path!

    August 26, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  44. Richard1962

    Seems to me that most of these speakers keep repeating the same stuff over and over ie; John McCain has agreed with President Bush 90% of the time. Don't these people have anything new to say? And no I don't want to hear about who owns the most houses. I'm really trying to hear the message hear and so far I'm not sure that there's been one that tells me what kind of President Obama would be. So far I've gotten more out of James Carvill than any of the speakers. Sad huh.

    August 26, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  45. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Oxygen? Needed for the political, fresh breath of an election, no doubt. Somehow, I think if you guys were below sea level, a convention would still wear the socks off the average soul. High altitude sickness? Pepsi hits the spot..

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    August 26, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  46. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Punchy isn't always a bad thing. And oxygen is a lot healthier than other things I can think of people pass around.

    I dunno. I think years of watching conventions while growing up (Dems with Mom and Republicans with Dad-election time was always a hoot in our house) have just left me burned out and cynical about the process. Someone gets in. Nothing really earth shattering changes. Maybe my expectations for elected officials were always too high. Not waiting for the world to reignite or America to suddenly become perfect after November no matter who wins. Just voting for the one who will help us stay safe for another four years and supports all life being sacred from conception to death.

    Meanwhile, this storm really is a bit too freaky. One track has it hitting where I live in St. Mary Parish (eeks). God knows New Orleans can't handle a major storm yet. Here's praying for it not to come our way. All I know is after last time, I'm outta here if it's major in any way.

    August 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  47. Sarah Atlanta, GA

    Anderson, take it easy on the oxygen...LOL!!! Hopefully the Gulf Coast will be safe from this new storm.

    CNN's coverage of the convention has been great and I've enjoyed watching it.

    August 26, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  48. Steven

    Speaking of watching speeches ...

    Bob Casey = boring. His speech is too rushed. This is just an embarrassment.

    As an ardent Barack supporter, I was disappointed in last night's convention but it has hit a LOW point tonight with this speech by Bob Casey Jr.

    August 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm |
  49. Mike, Vietnam

    Hits of oxygen... That's pretty intense isn't it.
    Watched cnn coverage of convention yesterday, ready to see Anderson back on show today. Looking forward to normal show again tonight.

    August 26, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  50. Cindy

    UMM...are you sure that you aren't just taking the oxygen just to get high!? I mean you did say you liked that sorta thing? LOL

    I can't wait until tonight to hear what Hillary has to say. I think that she will blow every one else away!

    I hope that Gustav isn't extremely bad and that it definitely doesn't hit in NOLA! That's the last thing that they need!

    Have fun but please get some rest Coop!


    August 26, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
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