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May 13th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/13/09

Tonight, we'll take you live to Arizona State University where President Obama will address the graduating class. His visit drawing controversy when the school refused to grant him an honorary degree, saying he basically hadn't accomplished enough. We'll also look at Pres. Obama's controversial speech at Notre Dame this weekend. Some believe a Catholic university should not honor a president whose views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to church. Text us your questions on this topic. Just put the initals A-C, your name, location and question in the text and send it to 94553.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on Pres. Obama's college tour and tonight's other headlines during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (496 Responses)
  1. David, Indiana

    I don't think there is an easy way through the debate over the legal memos about torture and the photos showing prisoner abuse.

    @Adriana, well the President would know that the ACLU would continue to press the issue, but I'm sure he's completely sincere in the decision he's come to

    @Krasi happy travelling...

    Good night all

    May 14, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  2. Lori from IL

    Good night, Anderson, Erica and Fellow Bloggers -

    Yeah - Beat 360 made it on air tonight!

    Enjoyed the chat .... until tomorrow night .... peace!

    May 14, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  3. Lori from IL

    Oh no .... please make Sarah Palin go away!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  4. starr formerly known as vincent

    Thank you Anderson, crew, producers, reporters, panel & moderators for a 2 HR. show!! it was much appreciated.

    Good night to my fellow bloggers...the blog was "on fire" tonight! A real treat to read so many different opinions (as always).

    I can't afford to buy Ms. Palin's book (thank God)

    Good report Erica....

    May 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  5. Kristen - University Park, PA

    Goodnight folks.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  6. Danielle - Houston, TX

    Good night bloggers! It was a good AC360!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  7. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass.

    Goodnight everyone.Peace to all of you and yours.Great show tonight : )

    May 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  8. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Good night bloggers! Have a great night and wonderful tomorrow!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  9. Jonathan Wilson

    Thanks again CNN! for the opportunity to voice our opinions.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  10. Barbara in Boston

    @ Cristina - It's the same principle that brought Sen. John McCain to the New School, and Sen. Kennedy to Oral Roberts Univ.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  11. Marguerite

    I am a devout Catholic and believe the President is elected to serve the people not a sector. Notre Dame should never of invited him if they had issues about his pro choice stance. The fighting Irish need to get a grip and learn how to practice what they preach, "Love thy neighbor as thy self!"

    May 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  12. kayjonescnn

    Have a great night bloggers!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  13. LisaL - Canada

    i suppose it would be nice to have an honorary degree. already have one that i worked hard for, so i'd be like obama – not that big a deal.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  14. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    Goodnight All

    May 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  15. Daisy21

    Rikki,
    I agree about the income limits that most schools put on scholarships. If the limit is raised to $60,000, why not $200,000? Many kids, no matter what their parents income is, are still paying for all or part of their own schooling. Why should they be disqualified from grants and financial aid?

    May 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  16. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Good night Anderson, Erica, David G, Edurrado (Ed Henry) and my friend twitter/facebook bloggers!!!!!!!
    Have a great night and sleep tight everyone!!!! 😀
    See you tomorrow night!!!!
    Thanks for let us up late 2 hours! it was so fun chat each other long time!

    Anderson,
    Have a great night, good sleep at home after work!!!! See you tomorrow night!!! Have a plenty sleep! 😀

    May 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  17. Cristina

    @Barbara,

    He is controversial there because his views on abortion are not consistent with Christian principles and it is a Christian based school with a mission statement. No one here is pointing that out.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  18. Pat

    My husband is a university professor and I have seen and read about many people receiving honorary degrees. I was surprised at the reason why ASU did not give President Obama a hon. degree because ASU has given it to many people with less experience.For one, I think ASU gave one to Kim Campbell who was Canada's Prime Minister only for a few months.
    President Obama's commencement speech at ASU was very good.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  19. Jake-Mobile, AL

    @Dawn"@ Jake: 'As a Catholic, religion is very important in many decisions, but would many Christians vote for an inept(or dictatorial)candidate was pro-life?'

    I’m very afraid of that answer…."

    As am I. I have personally heard the speaking of many clergy and laymen of Christian churches who claim that the candidate who is pro-life should recieve the vote of any Christian. The determinate in an election should not be ONE platform, but the candidate who is the BEST choice. The betterment of the nation should be the main focus for voters,not a narrow singularity.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  20. Barbara in Boston

    Candy - Thanks for making the point about Bush and Reagan speaking at Notre Dame as supporters of the death penalty.

    Interesting.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  21. Lynn

    "Flip flopping" is really a stupid term as evidenced by the President's speech. To ignore new information, to stubbornly adhere to a decision when reflection and seeing the possible negative results of that decsion and go ahead anyway is cowardess and arrogance.

    It certainly isn't leadership. I applaud a person who is not afraid to change course even when she/he knows they will be criticized.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  22. Esma

    Goodnight, everyone!!! Thanks for the 2 hours of live coverage!!!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  23. Cristina

    @Barbara,

    You have to also then respect the other side then, if they don't want him. It is a religious school and they have a mission statement which I excerpted above.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  24. Emma

    I don't understand the difference between releasing the memos and releasing the photos. If releasing the photos jeopardizes the safety of our troops, why was it OK to release the memos?

    May 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  25. anthonia-california

    Great speech Obama!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  26. Ella

    As usual, President Obama gave a great speech. He definitely encourages all Americans to put the country first, irregardless of your current status.

    He is a great man and is definitely what this country needs during our trials and tribulations.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  27. Dulcie - Denver

    I think Pres. Obama is keeping his promise to listen to opposing views and take them into consideration.

    I also agree with Ms. Malveaux who said they are fully aware that this decision isn't going to please anyone. Still, he's standing by his decision, which I admire.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  28. Cristina

    360 has really picked up this week. The content has been great, fast moving and positive stories. Has been a pleasure to watch, thank you.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  29. Rodney

    It's great to see the positive influence of one man. Hopefully his words cause all of us to stand up for the America he is talking about. Hopefully his words will cause all of us to speak up against those that don't want the America he is talking about. Hopefully his words cause all of us to be proactive in working to achieve the America he has spoken about.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  30. Janet in CO

    Why should photos be released? Don't we already know from graphic written description what type of interrogation "techniques" were used? Will it serve any greater purpose to show photos of prisoners being tortured? I think not. Like criminal trials where the evidence is too graphic to share with the public, let the photos or other evidence be held for future trials, commissions or hearings. We also don't need our enemies to have excuses to be further inflamed against us by releasing photos that show Americans at our worst (and not our normal selves).

    May 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  31. Bridget, TX

    I don't agree with Kevin, I think this choice was very difficult and far from the one of least resistance. PO is going to lose support, the ones who never wanted him to release the pics will agree with him, but there are those who are livid with his decision. Personally, I think the safety of our troops should have been the deciding factor, and it looks like it was.

    A leader who admits he was wrong and correct the wrong is a true leader. Can you imagne the guilt, if he refused to change his decision because he refused to admit he was wrong and one soldier died/hurt because of his pride?

    May 13, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  32. Barbara in Boston

    Re: Notre Dame protests: Isn't one of the hallmarks of higher education the opportunity to hear opposing viewpoints? Doesn't a democracy have room to honor people in spite of differences?

    May 13, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  33. David, Indiana

    The pt "don't ever shy away from that endeavor" struck me and I like how Suzanne Malveaux worked that into her discussion of the President didn't shy away from "hot" topics, the honorary degree kerfuffle for example, but took them head on.

    @Krasi, on eradicating violence I agree. I think it takes everything, caution, good judgement, principle, sensitvity, thoughtfullness to make that happen. I have some wishes that I don't know if they'll come true, but thinking about it talking it through does help sometimes...anyway on this issue I believe it helps.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  34. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    goodnite everyone!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  35. Lori from IL

    I totally disagree that President Obama always takes the path of least resistance. (Who is this guy on the panel?)

    President Obama knows how to pick his battles - he's open to listening to both sides and making up his own mind - and he's willing to change his mind when it's in the best interest of the country. How refreshing.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  36. Miss J

    Just once in my life, I hope to make such an inspirational speech like President Obama.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  37. darbea

    I see no real need to release the photos... we've seen them before, from abu-(whatever). Same thing, different location. At the same time, I do believe there should be a continuing investigation (a real investigation) into our behavior towards prisoners. And if these actions are truly illegal, then Bush officials should be charged and tried. Hell, they already admitted to it, and they're quite proud of it.
    I don't agree, however, that releasing the photos would make it any harder for our soldiers or other Americans in harm's way. They already are high priority targets, and will be tortured and killed whether the photos are released or not.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  38. Esma

    @ Emma-It's been a bit of both, I'm afraid.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  39. LisaL - Canada

    i suspect that President Obama has determined it is a national security issue and that troops would be put in greater danger. wait. isn't that what he just said?

    May 13, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  40. starr formerly known as vincent

    Again, i support ou r President's decision regarding the photos I agree that it very well might present danger to our troops.

    We need to let Pres. Obama initiate his new stategies with Afganistan, Iraq and Pakistan. NOW is not the time to stir up more controversy.

    And excellent point from the panel....he is going to make a large speech in Egypt! Timing overall is not in our favor to release these photos.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  41. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    I have to disagree with Kevin...I don't think that President Obama takes the path of least resistance! David Gergen is amazing, as always! I agree with him. This was a gutsy call for him!

    Excellent question from Ed Henry to the White House Press Secretary!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  42. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    The President is doing the right thing by our troops. The decision is in the good of the troops.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  43. Kristen - University Park, PA

    Who cares if Obama is flip-floping. The troops safety should be number 1 in all of our minds. The photos being released have no benefit for them.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  44. Linda

    David Gergen

    I agree, what matter most to America, the fact you get to see more pictures or keeping out soliders safe. Who could even choose the other thinking about lives possibly being lost.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  45. Bridget, TX

    The speech was so appropriate for the times we're in, he offered hope during a time when many grads won't find a job any time soon. He also gave them sound advice, don't look for high paying jobs, accept the lower positions and take pride in what you accomplish with it.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  46. Cristina

    He is a good speaker but I am not going to worship him. I am happy for Obama but he does not inspire me.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
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