May 13th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/13/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

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.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (496 Responses)
  1. Linda

    WOW, President Obama is kicking Arizona in the bottom regarding their assessment of him not accomplishing enough. Good POTUS, take that Arizona.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  2. Caroline, Los Angeles

    @ Marcia-congratulations to your sister and your family and much sympathy for the loss of those children.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  3. Miss J

    @Linda, how can you be against abortion but pro-choice? It’s an oxymoron.

    No it isn't. It simply means you know it is not your decision or your business if Mary in Iowa or Idaho wants to have an abortion. Pro-choice/pro-life really represent a legal stance NOT a moral one.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  4. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    @Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Actually, it isnt an oxymoron to be against abortion and pro-choice. One can be against abortion for themselves but still believe in the right of others to make their own choice.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  5. Jasmine-Spokane, WA (Spokandyland)

    4 degrees! Wow, I thought my 14 valedictorians, were a little much in graduation... :O

    May 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  6. Cory

    thanks for bringing that up Caroline, just think for one minute that they were never leaked. This conversation would nt even happen plus im sure this was not the only time this country has used tactics like that. People act as if we were the only country to do this. not saying that it is right but even the Military has a course for special ops to prepare them for this very issue in enemy territory

    May 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  7. Krasi, Houston, TX

    wow, President Obama's speech is respectful, intelligent, and humorous. All the speeches at my graduations (with the exception of one) were very, very boring.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  8. Jennifer- Santa Ana, CA

    I wish I had 4 degrees! wow!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  9. Minou, New York City

    "..there's always more to learn.." Amen to that!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  10. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Geez, that President. He is so gracious and good humored. I totally disagree with the president. I think he's got a pretty good resume so far. ASU is stingy. They are just stingy.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  11. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass.

    He looks like he's having fun!! I love his self deprecating humor!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  12. Adriana RM Marietta,Ga

    Wow... so far so good.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  13. Jasmine-Spokane, WA (Spokandyland)

    Obama has some interesting speech presentation. He always looks to his right, then left then right again. He hardly ever stares at the space in front of him.. then you look at his speeches in writing, he hardly spends anytime gaining the audience's attention. The jokes, he writes, pure gold

    May 13, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  14. Chip

    I'm sorry, I forgot to attribute Father McBrien's credentials: at the time of authorship, he was Chairman of the Dept. of Theology at . . . wait for it, Notre Dame, and the endorsement of the book in the foreword was written by . . . . Father Theodore Hesburgh

    May 13, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  15. Jennifer- Santa Ana, CA

    As far as the controversy about ASU, a few questions come to mind: is he the first President to speak at their commencement? Is it true they don't grant honorary degrees to sitting politicians? And have they upheld this "rule" if my first question is 'Yes'?

    As long as they are consistent, I think its fine they don't grant him an honorary degree... afterall they don't give a freshman a degree as soon as they walk in the door (yes, I do understand this is a bit different).

    May 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  16. anthonia-california

    Whoo! its great to see Obama giving the commencement at ASU! I wonder how Obama felt to have a scholarship named after him!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  17. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Here is our president Obama right now talking his speech, while I am watching him!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  18. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    @Miss J, i though i just did! lol

    May 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  19. Rebekah

    well i must be going to bed now. goodnite to Anderson, Erica, and everyone at AC360.
    though, i am recording the address and rest of AC360 so i can watch it tomorrow, i still wish i could stay up and see it live and in its entirety.
    i love Barack Obama. 🙂

    May 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  20. laura

    POTUS is a very gracious man.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  21. David, Indiana

    @Krasi I've never lived in such a place but I understand your concern esp with everything we've seen happen in Iraq since the release of information about Abu Graib and thank you for making that specific point about how people's everyday lives are affected. That is a pt not often made in this discussion.

    @gail I think you have a good observation too and wonder about how student and faculty overall feel about the President's upcoming visit to Notre Dame.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  22. niwat, Chicago

    Hi AC, AC360 cast and news chatters,

    With Prez Obama's repeal on embryonic stem cell research bill, the president has been clear on the pro-abortion issue. By granting him the honourary degree, i for somehow think the university promotes cooperation and better understanding among different religious faiths.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  23. Janet

    I love the way Pres. says "Thank you". Such confidence!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  24. Joyce Delgado EL Mirage,AZ

    There are plenty of us who have supported President Obama from the beginning here in Arizona and are constantly inspired by him. ASU is known as a party school. Who wants a honorary degree form a party school?

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  25. Kristen - University Park, PA

    kay its only 8 in Arizona.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  26. Adriana RM Marietta,Ga

    Here we go.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  27. Nattada, Houston TX

    So sad I have to leave on the 2 hours night of AC360 and Mr.President's speech.

    Good night everyone.
    Have a great one all.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  28. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Linda, how can you be against abortion but pro-choice? It's an oxymoron.

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  29. Minou, New York City

    Man, these students are so lucky!

    May 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  30. Bridget, TX

    Anderson, I don't think the president should make a decision about the lives of our miliatary personnel based on politics and who will agree or disagree.

    The president showed, he can and will make hard decisions regardless of politics. Please people, we are talking about people lives here.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  31. Marcia (Marseeah) Mueller

    My sister Cindy Parseghian will be on the dias with President Obama on Sunday when each receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. Cindy, who is only the second woman ND graduate to receive an Honorary Doctorate is being honored for her work on research in the mysterious disease Neiman Pick type C which afflicted three our of four her children. Cindy started the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation under the auspices of Ara Parseghian the legendary football coach at ND. Our family has had so much grief over the years, with the death of three children, it is truly indescribable. All of Cindy's family will be in the front row to celebrate her honor. We are thrilled that President Obama will be there to speak and to share in her honor (and his). Cindy is especially pleased to meet the President and conversely I know he will be honored to meet her, a truly outstanding graduate of the University. That is the great ND spirit, persistence in the face of huge obstacles, the give and take of different view points, the honest approach to listening and learning. Marcia Mueller

    May 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  32. Dawn, IL

    @ 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....

    May 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  33. kayjonescnn

    ASU getting to Pres. Obama's speech a bit late, although I'm not surprised. Lots going on at a college graduation. Never runs exact to time.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  34. Cristina


    Usually when you attend a religious university or institution you are supposed to adhere and sign off on a set of beliefs and doctrinal statement. Most of these instituitons require them, whether ND does or not, I am not sure, but obviously it sounds like they do not, if they are inviting Obama to speak.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  35. Miss J

    This graduating class will never forget this night (and i believe many of them will cherish the memory of this night forever).

    I'm sure they will. I'm also sure there are going to be tons of people trying to get in that have nothing to do with Notre Dame. lol

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  36. gail

    @ Errol
    Assuming is a dangerous thing. I am a liberal and I support his judgment. His judgment has proven to be superior so far.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  37. Daisy21

    Your guest made a good point. It was obvious from the get go that releasing the "abuse' photos would endanger lives. Why in the world did he agree to release them back in April? Was he clueless about it back in april?
    Mr. Gergen...if Mr. Obama made the decision to release the photos without even seeing them, that is quite scary. This guy appears to have made a political decision in April, and wonder now what if it is another political decision now? Mr. Obama doesn't do anything without thinking through the politics of it. He is so eager to reverse anything that George Bush did that he makes lots of these decisions without thinking through the consequences. This guy is not as bright as the media wants us to think that he is.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  38. Terry Marvin, Dallas, Texas

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009–9:36 pm CST

    Howdy Anderson,

    I'm very glad that President Obama decided not to release the rest
    of the photos.
    I'm also glad that he is giving commencement speeches. At ASU and
    Norte Dame.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  39. Kathy, Andover

    To the ones screaming about "transparency" . . . Have you heard of discretion??? Transparency does not mean sharing everything all the time. Jeez!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  40. Michelle

    President Obama listened to his commanders on the ground.
    He did the right thing.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  41. Jennifer- Santa Ana, CA

    @Beth.. I agree moral and political issues aren’t the same at all..

    @ everyone... President Obama should absolutely be honored at the ceremony. He's the President of the United States, not some political extremist found on the street. I feel its safe to assume he would be recognizing the grads' achievements, not trying to persuade their opinions.. which is really what matters.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  42. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Jasmine, haha, funny 🙂

    May 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  43. Jasmine-Spokane, WA (Spokandyland)

    How can you measure how photos disturb people? These photos are supposedly not as bad as the first, but these photos can be disturbing in a much different way than those were

    May 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  44. mickey

    who is in the photos–they may be more important than what the photos show

    May 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  45. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    I'm glad to hear that they are trying to give the scholarship to more freshman...I always thought the income requirements were bogus. Just because you are part of a family that makes $60k a year doesn't mean that you couldn't use a scholarship to help with school....

    ...Anderson, you seem a bit jealous that you didn't get an honorary degree (Maybe it was cuz they thought you were Dr. Drew...or perhaps John McEnroe)...I was in the same boat though, just lucky to get the one I went to class for! 🙂 ...

    May 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  46. Caroline, Los Angeles

    It should be noted that the photos from Abu Ghraib were leaked. They were not released by any President or by Congress.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  47. gail

    I agree with the President . My aunt's stepson was killed in 2007 and I put the safety of the troops as trumping any political fallout, Errol.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  48. Matthew

    Why is he wearing a PhD hood, shouldn't it be green for his JD, since he is not getting an honorary degree. If you are going to stiff him on it, at least honor the degree he has earned.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  49. Tom

    @Thomas, you would laugh to see the list of honorary degrees before at ASU. One of the "best" was a 3rd tier Chinese bureaucrat who had something to do with letting more airlines into China. You know, I think CNN had Breaking News when that was announced!! LOL!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  50. Rebekah

    @Kristen – i'm guessing ASU wants all of their speakers to look snappy when they give their addresses =]

    May 13, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
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