February 7th, 2008
11:13 PM ET

David Gergen: Two Candidates

It was good to see Ed Rollins on the show tonight. A few months ago he became the campaign manager and strategist for Mike Huckabee, and from the results this past Tuesday, you can see how effective a team he and Huckabee have become.

Ed and I go way back to Reagan days, and I haven't seen him this excited about a candidate since the Gipper.

With the race down to two candidates now, Ed is clearly hoping that Huckabee can win some of the big states upcoming like Texas, Virginia, and even Pennsylvania. But I wonder whether there won't soon be a built-in conflict for Huckabee: If he truly would like to be the vice presidential candidate – as is widely believed – isn't it pretty clear that McCain will grow increasingly disenchanted with Huckabee winning anything? I am not sure how even Ed Rollins can square that circle.

Recently Anderson and I taped a conversation about the extreme challenges facing the next President. I hope that viewers will have a chance to see – we are entering a dramatically important time for the country, and the more we talk this year about what the choices are - and the more we hear from the candidates - the better prepared we will be to face the future squarely.

– David Gergen, CNN Sr. Political Analyst

Program note: Watch David Gergen's conversation with Anderson "Extreme Challenges: The Next 4 Years" on 360° at 11p ET

Filed under: David Gergen • John McCain • Mike Huckabee • Raw Politics
February 7th, 2008
08:20 PM ET

Shawna Shepherd: Adventures with Mike Huckabee

(Left to right) – Shawna Shepherd, CNN; Matthew Berger, NBC; Matthew Philips, Newsweek; Kevin Chupka, ABC

Just when I thought covering Mike Huckabee's campaign couldn't be any more unpredictable, the press plane traveling from Little Rock to New York Thursday morning had to make an emergency landing.

The plane with Gov. Huckabee and his staff, including his daughter Sarah, arrived at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey without incident.

The press plane, a midsize (Hawker, I believe), traveling seven members of the press, landed early at Morristown Municipal Aiport in New Jersey, just south of Teterboro.  No one was injured.

It was a smooth flight from Little Rock, but as we flew over Philadelphia the plane suddenly dipped, losing a lot of altitude. Steve Coppin, CNN photojournalist, described the sensation as free-falling on a roller coaster and being lifted from your seat.  Everyone on the plane gasped loud enough for the pilots to hear.

I shook it off as bad turbulence or the consequence of being on a small plane.  At one point the sound of an alarm could be heard from the cock-pit. Newsweek reporter Matthew Philips looked at Coppin and said, "that didn't sound good."

(Left to right) – Steve Coppin, CNN; Shawna Shepherd, CNN; Kevin Chupka, ABC

Being veteran flyers, we shook it off as just another really bumpy flight.  We began descending earlier than we expected and the plane began swaying from side to side like a seesaw.  It was unsettling watching the pilots in the cock-pit quickly adjusting controls as they made the difficult landing. 

It wasn't until the plane came to a stop on the tarmac that the pilots told us there was a problem with the plane and they had to make an emergency landing. One of the pilots said it was "pretty serious" and explained that they lost flight controls and had trouble maintaining altitude.

The pilots said they both needed all their strength to land the plane manually.  A fire truck was on the tarmac as a precaution, and when the cabin door opened we were greeted by a firefighter in a protective silver fire suit.

Only hours later, this frightening experience became an afterthought, as former Gov. Mitt Romney suspended his campaign. 

– Shawna Shepherd, CNN Political Producer

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Raw Politics
February 6th, 2008
06:59 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning Folks....IT was a late night out on the campaign trail. McCain appears to be the clear Super Tuesday winner on the GOP side, but do NOT count Huckabee out...He still seems to be the choice for conservatives.  On the Democratic side, Hillary clearly won the most delegates, but Obama won more states.... GO FIGURE!!!

Mother Nature took no mercy on Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee...and now there are Tornado warnings in Alabama...the death toll continues to climb.  And another day of Britney dominating the headlines...poor girl!! PLUS, the toxicology report is due out in the Heath Ledger death... SOO grab your coffee and take a look at today's headlines...

Top Stories
Deadly Tornadoes....
Tornadoes that roared through parts of Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee killed at least 27 people and injured nearly 100 more Tuesday night, authorities said.

Three were waterboarded...
CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said publicly for the first time Tuesday that his agency had used the harsh interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three Al Qaeda suspects, and he testified that depriving the agency of coercive methods would "increase the danger to America."

Al Qaeda strengthening?
Al Qaeda is gaining in strength from its refuge in Pakistan and is steadily improving its ability to recruit, train and position operatives capable of carrying out attacks inside the United States, the director of national intelligence told a Senate panel on Tuesday.

Military stressed?
The military's top uniformed officer says U.S. forces are "significantly stressed" by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan while simultaneously trying to stem the tide of violent extremism elsewhere.

Raw Politics
Super Tuesday results...
Sen. John McCain cemented his front-runner status Tuesday, piling up big wins coast-to-coast, according to CNN projections. Democratic voters remain evenly split over which of their candidates they would rather see get the nomination.

Super Tuesday FULL state by state results....
Twenty four states held primaries or caucuses....

No real losers...The fight goes on...
Not long ago, political strategists viewed Super Tuesday as a day that would likely crown the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, a 24-state extravaganza that would bring the long primary campaign to an orderly conclusion.

Huckabee still alive...
Sen. John McCain of Arizona won the most states and appeared poised to win the most delegates on Tuesday with impressive primary victories in the delegate-rich states of California, New York and Illinois. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, revived his candidacy with victories across the South.

Youth vote...
Interviews across the country on Tuesday produced anecdotal evidence that some younger people did carry their enthusiasm into the polling place.

Crime & Punishment
Female remains identified...
A severed head and other dismembered remains found stuffed in trashed bags and scattered along Pocono Mountain highways have been identified as those of a missing woman, state police said Monday.

Keeping Them Honest
Roger Clemens emerged from nearly five hours of questioning by congressional investigators Tuesday repeating his denials that he never used steroids or human growth hormone and thanking them for the chance to say so under oath.

Deficient Kevlar in Military Helmets...
A North Dakota manufacturer has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a suit saying it had repeatedly shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including those for the first troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

What YOU will be talking about TODAY
Cartoons getting serious?
You could call it a sit-in, of sorts. Perhaps a sketch-in would be more appropriate, a comic call to arms, with cartoonists of color protesting for greater presence in newspaper pages. Protesting in the best way they know: drawing about it, en masse, all on the same day.

A restraining order against the man who's been at Britney Spears' side during her downward spiral portrays him as a Svengali figure who held her a virtual hostage in her home, drugged her, took over her finances and controlled the ravenous paparazzi "like a general."

February 4th, 2008
10:20 AM ET

Reading Voters' Minds

How many times have you said one thing and really felt another?

Well guess what? Voters do it all the time and may not even be aware of it.

Randi Kaye

It’s referred to as the “Unspoken Truth” and a cutting edge market research firm called Lucid Systems has figured out how to tap into it.

We teamed up with Lucid and gathered eight undecided voters. They let us hook them up to all these gadgets that measure the sweat on their skin and the micro muscles in their face where they frown.

Botox users don’t quality for this test because they can’t frown!

Several times, the voters told us they felt one way but their brain images showed something else.

We showed them both recent California debates and found in one case, a voter told us he liked Mike Huckabee’s stand for the common man but on our graphs his brain flatlined, which meant he wasn’t moved at all.

Another surprise: our group told us they did not like Hillary Clinton’s opening statement, but their brains showed a very positive response.

How does this happen? Lucid taps into the emotional reaction below the level of conscious awareness, which is really what determines our likes and dislikes. So when voters tells pollsters they feel one way, and their brain shows another, it’s not a lie, but an inarticulated truth they may not even be aware of.

It’s really fascinating stuff and you’ll get to see a lot more of it tonight on AC360. You can see for yourself why this new technology could change elections in the future.

Let me know what you think.

– Randi Kaye, 360° Correspondent

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Mike Huckabee • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics
January 31st, 2008
10:57 AM ET

Tale of Two Countries

These are intoxicating times for presidential pundits. Sounding more like boxing commentators than political analysts, they have been busy discussing last night's battle between McCain and Romney while speculating on the "Thriller in the Manila" Obama/Clinton showdown set for this evening.


The GOP candidates take the stage for Wednesday's debate.

All the fight talk is fun. But it misses the big picture.

I can't recall an election year when the political parties and their candidates have been so divided on key issues that matter to all Americans.

True, McCain, Romney and Huckabee clash on certain details - but they have much more in common with each other. They agree that abortions should be banned, all support the war in Iraq,  praise Ronald Reagan, and believe only justices who strictly interpret the Constitution should serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Democrats see the world in a much different way. They are pro-choice, oppose the war  and think justices like Roberts and Alito are all wrong for the high court.

Yet, both sides make promises about bringing the nation together. Saying they can unify the country. Make it whole again.


– Gabriel Falcon, AC360° Writer

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Barack Obama • John McCain • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Raw Politics
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