October 22nd, 2008
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 10/22/08

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

Don’t forget to watch Erica Hill’s webcast during the commercials. LINK TO WEBCAST

And take a look at Anderson and Erica on our 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

Wondering why some comments are posted while others aren’t? Here’s a post that may help: LINK TO COMMENTS POST

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

Filed under: Live Blog
October 22nd, 2008
09:29 PM ET

How Obama could still lose

Editor's note: Noam Scheiber wrote this column for The New Republic.  He references polls and projections from Real Clear Politics.  Be sure to check CNN's electoral map and polls.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.electoralmap.jpg caption="CNN's electoral map"]
Noam Scheiber
The New Republic

At our election discussion last week at the Sixth and I Synagogue, Frank asked if anyone thought Obama could lose barring some catastrophic external event. I happen to think Obama's chances of winning are upward of 80 percent, and so I didn't say anything. In fact, none of us chimed in. But, truth be told, I can imagine a losing scenario that doesn't involve outside events. It goes something like this: Obama wins all the Kerry states plus Iowa and New Mexico, giving him 264 electoral votes, then narrowly loses the rest of the red states where he's currently competitive.

According to the latest RCP averages, the next most competitive red states, in descending order of favorability to Obama, are: Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Florida. Let's focus on Virginia, since it represents the knife-edge between winning and losing–the potentially decisive red state where Obama's currently got the biggest lead. According to RCP, Obama now leads there by 8 points–very close to his national lead of 7.2. (In fact, polling in Virginia has pretty much mirrorred national polling over the last few weeks.) That should speak well to Obama's chances: Since it's hard to imagine Obama losing the popular vote barring that catastrophic event, it should be hard to imagine Obama losing Virginia, too.

And yet here are the caveats that keep me up at night:

1.) We're at the point in the race when national trends may start diverging from trends in battleground states where McCain is still competing. After all, having an active campaign in a state makes a big difference. Just look at Michigan since McCain pulled out in early October. According to RCP, Obama is up 1.5 points nationally since October 2, but nearly 4.8 points in Michigan.

McCain is husbanding his resources for the absolute minimum number of electoral votes he needs to win, which means ignoring the national numbers and focusing on everything from Virginia on down the list of battlegrounds. There's no reason to think he couldn't lose the popular vote by 2-3 points but still win Virginia by 1.

Read more

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
October 22nd, 2008
09:22 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Your Money, Your Vote

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, we have breaking news on two fronts; financial and political.

On Wall Street, another $700 billion in value is history. The Dow sank more than 500 points. We're watching global markets right now and we'll bring you the latest.

On the campaign trail, we've learned Gov. Sarah Palin is facing Q & A under oath later this week. So, will her husband Todd. It's part of the second investigation into the firing of Alaska's top cop. This time an independent counsel is working on behalf of Alaska's Personnel Board. The first investigation conducted by a bipartisan Alaska legislative panel found that Palin violated state ethics law. Palin has been accused of firing Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner because he wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law.  We'll have the raw politics.

We'll also hear from Sen. John McCain. He sat down for a one-on-one interview today with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Today, McCain played what's been long seen as his strongest asset.
"I would not be a president that needs to be tested. I have been tested. Senator Obama hasn't," McCain said at a campaign stop in Ohio.

Obama is sticking with an economic message.

"I've got no problems with 'Joe the plumber'," Obama said today in Virginia. "He is working hard. He wants to live out the American dream. All I want to do is give Joe a tax cut. That's all I want to do. So, let's be clear about who John McCain is fighting for. He is not fighting for 'Joe the plumber'. He is fighting for 'Joe the hedge fund manager'.  He is fighting for 'Joe the CEO'," he added.

All the headlines tonight on 360.
Hope you can join us at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 22nd, 2008
07:21 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/22/08

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 tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!
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 tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!
Here is the 'Beat 360°’ pic:

Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, Wednesday.

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.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!


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!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 22nd, 2008
05:44 PM ET

Voter fraud

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.absentee.ballot.jpg]Peter Ferrara
The American Spectator

In 1980, fresh out of school and working on Wall Street, I also worked for the Reagan campaign. I had the job every night at around 11 p.m. of going to Times Square and getting one of the first copies of the next day's New York Times. I would take it to the Reagan New York City headquarters in midtown Manhattan, where a phone number would be left for me as to where the traveling Reagan campaign party was staying that night. My job was to cut out the articles in the Times covering the Presidential campaign and "quip" (an early fax) them to the hotel where the Reagan party was staying.

As the election neared, I learned that the campaign high command had decided that Reagan would probably not win unless he racked up a vote margin of 2-3%. That was what was thought necessary to overcome Democrat big city machine voter fraud.

On Election Day, I was part of a team working to counter that fraud in New York City. A couple of us went to heavily Democrat neighborhoods to see what was going on. One of those was the orthodox Jewish Williamsburg neighborhood. A van was driving through the streets blaring something over and over in Yiddish. I asked my Jewish partner what the van was blaring. He said the van's message was "Vote for Reagan. He's the only hope." I knew then that Reagan would win, as he did 51% to 41%.

Filed under: Raw Politics • Voting
October 22nd, 2008
05:35 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Sweet and Sour

Erica Hill | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Mass layoffs in September are at the highest level we’ve seen since 9/11, according to the Labor Department. Fantastic. Manufacturing accounts for 28 percent of the mass cuts – the sector is also responsible for more than a third of unemployment insurance claims last month. The head of one outsourcing firm says large com[panies are using a “shotgun approach” – not exactly a comforting assessment.

And there could be more bullets in those guns. Sue Murphy, manager for National Human Resources Association in Nashua, N.H., says companies have to prioritize. "The companies look at the nice-to-haves and the must-haves, and the employees that are not essential will be up for review," Murphy said. "A lot of quality people will be out of work."

Fewer jobs, less money to go around on payday, your retirement funds in the toilet, looming heating bills…and a wedding ring returned four decades after it went missing. Time for your afternoon pick-me-up! Let’s leave the economy behind for a moment and focus on your sweet tooth. I once mentioned in the daily newsletter for my show on Headline News that my afternoon pick-me-up was peanut M&Ms. I’m trying to switch from the chocolate (and protein-filled peanuts!) to a healthier snack of good news. Care to tag along?

I am a sucker for a sweet love story. When you’ve got Prince Charming, Cinderella, and a wedding ring down the drain, you know it’s a recipe for sugary, mushy goodness. Enjoy!

If the Zartarians didn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, I have one more treat that just may quench your craving. With a name like Sweet Miss Giving’s bakery, how could this place not be great?! The beauty of this Chicago bakery is that the good extends far beyond the baked goods; the sweet shop is staffed by formerly homeless adults with disabilities. Half of the profits go to helping homeless and disabled Chicagoans. In Windy City Mayor Richard Daley’s words, “"The bakery goods are very good.” I’m sold. And hungry.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
October 22nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET

Heroes Nominator: she always wanted to do something that makes a difference in life

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly four thousand submissions from 75 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year, and over 1 million of you voted for your CNN HERO OF THE YEAR

A Global Celebration: Thanksgiving Night at 9p ET


Anne Mahlum used to run by homeless men each day. Now, she's running with them in an effort to get them back on their feet.
Anne Mahlum used to run by homeless men each day. Now, she's running with them in an effort to get them back on their feet.

Sonja Mahlum
Anne Mahlum | HER STORY

I am Anne Mahlum's mother. Last fall I was watching the CNN televised award ceremony for the 2007 heroes. I was really impressed with the people CNN honored. My daughter had recently started her non-profit "Back On My Feet" in Philadelphia and I thought I would nominate her, even though as her mother, I'm probably a bit biased in my opinion of Anne. So I took the time to write her story down and mail it off to CNN, thinking they'd probably never consider it, coming from her mother. (Don't all mothers and grandmothers brag about their kids? Would you like to hear about my grandkids too? )

It seems like I am attending more and more funerals of my friends' parents these days. I often listen to adult children say that their mother or father was their hero, but they didn't often realize this until much later in life. I feel very blessed in that I can say, my mother and my daughter, are two of my heroes. My mother was never one to say "I Love You" or " I'm proud of you" out loud. I think it was part of that generation's feeling that those types of feelings were not shared out loud You were just supposed to know that somehow. But on my mother's death bed 5 years ago, she opened her eyes and looked at me and finally said, "I'm so proud of what you do, how you live your life, and how you've raised good kids." So I try hard to tell my own kids often, how proud I am of them.


Filed under: CNN Heroes
October 22nd, 2008
04:21 PM ET

The Bin Laden Factor: How Obama would handle a terrorist's October surprise

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Jonathan Alter
Newsweek senior editor and columnist

The decision by Barack Obama to return to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother might not be the last surprise of the last fortnight of this campaign. Two weeks is an eternity in presidential politics, which means we're likely to have one more twist before this ends—though with early voting, more than a quarter of the electorate now votes before Election Day.

What will the twist be? Reviving Jeremiah Wright, which the McCain campaign is hinting at, won't mean much. Unless the Reverend Wright himself resurfaces (he's abroad and on radio silence), that thrust would be easily parried by the Obama campaign. That's because John McCain is on tape saying a man's pastor should not be relevant in judging his character. Even if an independent 527 committee were to make an attack ad involving Wright, Obama's got an obvious jujitsu response ad making McCain out to be a hypocrite.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Osama bin Laden • Raw Politics
October 22nd, 2008
03:50 PM ET

Stop the 'vampires' in the Congo

Javier Bardem & John Prendergast

Editor's Note: Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem produced a documentary, "Invisibles," on suffering in the Congo and four other regions of the world. John Prendergast is co-chair of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and other crimes against humanity. Prendergast was director of African affairs at the National Security Council and special adviser at the Department of State during the second Clinton term. He has written eight books on Africa.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.congo2.jpg caption="A man sleeps on a mattress on the patio of a school near the Kibumba refugee camp, on October 19."]
Over the past decade, waves of violence have continuously crashed over eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in the world's deadliest war.

A study by the International Rescue Committee says the war has led to the deaths of 5.4 million people.

The human wreckage that washes ashore in displaced settlements and shattered communities has few parallels in terms of pure suffering.

With the most recent escalation in the conflict during September and October, another tidal wave of destruction is hitting the embattled population of eastern Congo, with devastating consequences.

The perpetrators and orchestrators of this violence do so primarily in a mad scramble for one of the richest non-petroleum natural resource bases in the world.

All kinds of minerals are mined in the Congo that end up in our computers, cell phones, jewelry, and other luxury and essential items of everyday use. Because there is no rule of law in the Congolese war zone and no ethical code impacting the international supply and demand for these minerals, the result is that anything goes.

In Congo, this means the vampires are in charge.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360°
October 22nd, 2008
03:41 PM ET

Will white people riot?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.riotpolice.jpg caption="Police officers prepare for protesters during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver."]Wendi C. Thomas

Ridiculous question? Then stop asking it about black people.

"Would black people riot if Sen. Barack Obama didn't win the election?" That was the question a white man in Memphis recently asked a racial reconciliation group with which I am involved.

After five years of being a columnist for the daily paper in Memphis, I wasn't surprised by the absurdity of his query. Many whites still labor under the illusion that black folk act en masse and that if you ask the right one, you can get the official position of some 40 million people. If a few of us get angry, that logic allows, it must surely result in a riot.

Riot because we didn't get our way? Please. Black people have more than their share of experience with disappointment and dashed dreams. (See: King, Martin Luther; Evers, Medgar; Chaney, James.) Matter of fact, I'd go so far as to say we're experts in making the best out of a losing hand.

The reply to the curious white gentleman: "No! There is no reason to believe black people will riot if Obama does not win."

But soon after getting this man's e-mail, I started to wonder if he was on to something, if he had noticed what I had: a seething, barely constrained, ugly anger and frustration that makes good riot fuel. The kind of anger that prompts people to shout "Kill him!" and "Off with his head!" at rallies. The kind of hatefulness that would prompt a man to bring a stuffed monkey with an "Obama" sticker on the toy's head to a campaign event.

That kind of group-fueled nastiness must surely beg the question: Will white people riot if Obama wins?


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