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October 24th, 2008
06:08 PM ET

Joe the Plumber open to 2010 run

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/art.joecongress.gi.jpg caption="Joe Wurzelbacher said he may run for Congress in 2010."]
Alexander Mooney
CNN Ticker Producer
Could Joe the Plumber become Joe the congressman?

Joe Wurzelbacher, the most famous plumber in America thanks to John McCain and Sarah Palin, told conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham Friday he's considering a run for Congress in 2010.

That would pit Wurzelbacher against longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur for Ohio's 9th district on the state’s northern border, which includes Toledo and Sandusky. "I'll tell you what, we'd definitely be in one heck of a fight, Marcy Kaptur definitely has a following in this area," he said of the possibility. "But, you know, I'd be up for it."

Wurzelbacher's chances would likely be slim. Kaptur has served in the district for 25 years, and remains a popular figure there. She won reelection in 2006 with nearly 75 percent of the vote and is expected to easily sail through another reelection this year.

But Wurzelbacher, who gained fame after he challenged Barack Obama on his tax plan earlier this month, has attained a certain rock-star status in the Republican Party and his entrance into the race would likely be greeted with instant excitement and media coverage.

Ingraham herself said she would immediately volunteer for his campaign and help him with campaign advertising and PR. Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee said they would welcome Wurzelbacher's candidacy with "open arms."

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Filed under: Raw Politics
October 24th, 2008
05:47 PM ET

CNN and MTV honoring veterans

Program Note: 3 out of 4 young people know someone who is currently serving or has served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Anderson helps MTV shine a light on issues facing young veterans... Check out MTV.com for how to get involved.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/kay.chuck.copy.jpg caption="AC360° Producers Chuck Hadad and Kay Jones enjoy the show." width=292 height=320]
Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

Four years ago, I had the privilege to produce CNN’s coverage of a party that Ft. Hood threw for the soldiers returning from Iraq. It was an all day affair on the grounds of Ft. Hood, starting with a ceremony for those who had just arrived home from Iraq and moving on to musical acts such as Ludacris, Jessica Simpson and my all time favorite Lynryd Skynyrd performing on a makeshift stage in the middle of the base.

I will never forget how much fun these soldiers and their families were having, just knowing that they were home and being celebrated. So when I was asked to help out with CNN’s portion of MTV’s Concert for the BRAVE, I jumped at the chance.

We started our night with Anderson doing a live shot for the Situation Room in the middle of Times Square. Just a few steps away, the line of the military vets waiting to get into the Nokia Theatre went all the way up 7th Avenue. When they realized who was standing that close, many pulled out their cell phones and cameras to get a shot. Now, normally I wouldn’t blog about such fandom, but the smiles on the faces of those who got pictures of Anderson were priceless.

Transitioning inside, the excitement for the show was building. Right before the “official” show began, MTV news correspondent Sway introduced an aspiring rapper named Lorenzo Zarate, who also happens to be a veteran of the war in Iraq. The crowd loved what he did and I have a feeling it was all the more special for him, performing in front of those who he can relate to.

The entire night was fantastic. Not only were the performances great, but the stories told by the MTV correspondents and our own Anderson Cooper, Michael Ware and Dr. Sanjay Gupta really highlighted the issues that are facing these new veterans upon their return home from Iraq or Afghanistan, or in some cases, both countries.

Be sure to tune in to MTV tonight to see the concert, and Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on CNN to see a special edition of AC360°. I promise you, it is well worth your time. The stories you’ll see will touch you, and remind you about the ongoing problems these men and women of the US military dealing with after the battle.


Filed under: Back from the Battle • Behind The Scenes • Kay Jones • Veterans
October 24th, 2008
05:25 PM ET

Voting for President/Presidente/Prezidan in Florida

Kim Segal
CNN Supervising Producer

I received my Florida absentee ballot a few days ago. After taking it out of the envelope I was originally intimidated by the length. I thought it would take a while to fill out so I tucked it away in my “things to do” file. I recalled CNN’s John Zarrella talking to voters during his three hour wait to early vote. Many of them, were blaming the wait on the size of the ballot.

After speaking with John he said the ballot length wasn’t a problem it was the new machines. So today I took a closer look at what was on my four legal-sized page ballot. Three pages have initiatives on both sides. Once I looked at it I realized, of course it looks long since everything is written in three different languages English, French-Creole and Spanish.

John and I live in the Ft. Lauderdale area which is part of a large and diverse county. This means not only do we have our ballot translated into three languages but we also vote on issues regarding our County’s Charter. Not every Florida County is governed by their own Charter so not every Floridian has 10 additional issues to vote on. I compared my ballot to the one for the area surrounding our Capital, Tallahassee. That ballot fit on one page front and back. It was written in one language, English. The six Florida Constitutional Amendments fit on half a page, only three translated Amendments fit on one of my ballot pages.

It took John less than ten minutes to vote once he was in the booth, I have a feeling it may take me a bit longer. Not because of the size of the ballot but because I think I will use this opportunity to brush up on my Spanish.


Filed under: Kim Segal • Raw Politics
October 24th, 2008
02:42 PM ET

Is two a marriage and three a crowd?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/23/art.sara.india.jpg caption="Kundar Singh Pundir, left, and his brother Amar, right, share Indira Devi, centre, as their wife."]
Sara Sidner
CNN Correspondent

I’m not sure we’ll make it. The one-lane, winding mountain road is riddled with landslides every few hundred feet. I am not afraid of heights but being smothered by mud and rocks is another matter.

It is rainy season and driving up 6,000 feet to a remote village in north India’s Himachal Pradesh state isn’t a well-timed idea. We do it, anyway; news deadlines and type-A personalities have a way of driving you forward even when the situation is a bit precarious.

We are not alone. We are sharing the pot-holed roads with huge trucks filled with rocks from a nearby mine, buses filled with people and herds of goats that wander across the road.

After two hours of sickeningly bumpy, slippery terrain we stop. We are almost there. Yes!

We have to walk the rest of the way. We grab about 40 pounds worth of gear and drag it through the streets.

There is a member of a non-governmental organization with us who insists on carrying some of it; we accept. Usually my photographer insists on shouldering the load, but today his back is saved the 20-minute walk into the village.

The village of Dugana is located in a remote spot. It is precariously positioned on the side of a very steep hill range. There is no room for bicycles and even less for cars to carry people and things. These are two-person, not two-car lanes.

We finally make it. The view from here is stunningly beautiful. You can almost touch the clouds drifting by. The hills stretch out in front of you like something out of a travel guide.

As an outsider the homes seem peculiar and quaint at the same time; I have to get in one. They look like doll houses on stilts and are built with tiny windows just big enough for a human head.

The villagers pop their heads out as we walk by. We are strangers and an unusual sight. I can’t help but stare back. I’m as interested in them as they are with me.

Now to why we made the eight-hour drive from Delhi: this village is still practising a very old tradition and we wanted do a story on it.

It won’t be easy. No matter where we travel in India we draw crowds. It is not us, it is the camera. There is no such thing as a private interview in a village setting. In this case the subject matter is of a very private nature. Still we can’t catch a break. People peer through the windows or circle around the camera to hear and see what is going on.

We begin while the crowd stares and listens.

Our subject? Polyandry: the practice of one woman marrying several husbands. It is custom here to marry several brothers (fraternal polyandry).

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Sarah Sidner
October 24th, 2008
01:20 PM ET

A vet's struggle with PTSD

Program Note: 3 out of 4 young people know someone who is currently serving or has served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Anderson helps MTV shine a light on issues facing young veterans... Check out MTV.com for how to get involved.
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Iraq vet Kris Goldsmith nearly died from post-traumatic stress disorder. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.


Filed under: Back from the Battle
October 24th, 2008
11:49 AM ET

What the #%$& is the delay? I’m late to meet Roger Clinton!

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/art.sammy.jpg caption="Sammy Gray, inebriated tour guide"]
Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

Ah, democracy springs eternal. We’re already seeing it with early voting, for which Americans are turning out in record numbers. I walked by a long line the other day in midtown Manhattan and thought I might as well try to get a fresh story for AC360. But I got some strange looks from people – a few even ran away – when I asked if they wanted to appear on CNN to discuss what they were going to do when they got inside the booth. It turns out it was a line to get into a peep show.

I was finishing up a shopping trip to Saks Fifth Avenue today with Sarah Palin, about to go meet Joe Biden for his botox consultation, when it hit me. No, I didn’t forget to polish Anderson’s Emmys. Trust me, one does not make that mistake twice. What hit me is that Halloween is just a week away and I still haven’t decided on my costume. I’ve narrowed it down to either Tony Danza or Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Barack Obama • Jack Gray • Joe Biden • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
October 24th, 2008
11:20 AM ET

Throwing the jihad back at bin Laden

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.vert.binladen.380.jpg width=292 height=380]

Nic Robertson | BIO
Senior International Correspondent

There is a new fight against Bin Laden, al Qaeda and their fellow radicals. It’s coming from within Islam and may yet prove the most powerful agent for transforming the Saudi terror leader from radical Islamist Icon to a has-been hero.

Taking down one of his best loved web sites is only the beginning. Much, much more is happening behind the scenes. Muslims angry Bin Laden is giving Islam a bad name are fighting back.

I’m hearing it from guys as diverse as those that fought along side the Al Qaeda leader in the anti Soviet Jihad in Afghanistan to British Pakistani’s frustrated their children are being singled out for ridicule for being un-Islamic by their peers. These Muslims want to do something and they are.

Waseem Mahmood, a British Pakistani helped get a bunch of popular Pakistani pop stars to record a song decrying Bin Laden type terror. It was an instant hit staying at the top of the Pakistani charts for several weeks. He followed up with a SMS, phone text message petition for Pakistanis to sign up if they were against terrorism. More than 60 million did, that’s more than a third of the population, massive when you consider most of us think of Pakistan as a very Conservative Muslim nation. Mahmood is getting ready to grow that number.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Nic Robertson • Osama bin Laden • War on Terror
October 24th, 2008
10:25 AM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #1 You


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#1 on our list: This time we look at you, the consumer. CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

October 24th, 2008
09:25 AM ET

Why Barack Obama is winning

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/art.obama.1023.jpg]
Joe Klein
TIME.com

Barack Obama has prospered in this presidential campaign because of the steadiness of his temperament and the judicious quality of his decision-making. They are his best-known qualities. The most important decision he has made — the selection of a running mate — was done carefully, with an exhaustive attention to detail and contemplation of all the possible angles. Two months later, as John McCain's peremptory selection of Governor Sarah Palin has come to seem a liability, it could be argued that Obama's quiet selection of Joe Biden defined the public's choice in the general-election campaign.

But not every decision can be made so carefully. There are a thousand instinctive, instantaneous decisions that a presidential candidate has to make in the course of a campaign — like whether to speak his mind to a General Petraeus — and this has been a more difficult journey for Obama, since he's far more comfortable when he's able to think things through. "He has learned to trust his gut," an Obama adviser told me. "He wasn't so confident in his instincts last year. It's been the biggest change I've seen in him."

Read more...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Joe Biden • Joe Klein • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
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