Monday, January 21, 2008
Anderson's View: Working Weekends
I hope you had a great weekend. I worked this Saturday, covering the South Carolina Republican primary and the Nevada caucuses.

Sunday I drove to New Haven and saw a play that Anna Deavere Smith has created called "Let Me Down Easy." You may have seen her on the West Wing, but she is a remarkable playwright as well as an actor. She first became known for interviewing people and then weaving those interviews together into monologues she performs on stage. She becomes the people she interviews.

This particular play is about the resiliency and vulnerability of the human body. I went because she had interviewed me in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I'd sort of forgotten about it, but she has incorporated the interview into the play. It was interesting to see someone being me on stage. She got a lot of my mannerisms correct, and it was a really thought-provoking work.

I looked at my calendar today and realized I will be working every weekend for the next month and a half. I have several "60 Minutes" stories I will be shooting, as well as trips I'm planning for CNN. I don't mind working through the weekend because it is all interesting stuff, and I figure as long as one continues to learn and grow then it doesn't really feel like work.

I'm getting ready to watch the debate tonight. We are doing the post-debate wrap up, and then at 11p ET Soledad O'Brien and I will be doing a special look at race and politics. I'm also prepping for the Republican debate next Wednesday in California. I'm going to be moderating that one, which should be interesting.

If you have any questions you'd want to ask the Republican candidates, let me know.
Posted By CNN: 7:59 PM ET
Yeah I knew you would work on the election program. I saw you on it. You never know when to stop!! LOL But hey if you see it as a learning experience more power to you!

That must have been really weird seeing yourself played out on stage. I'd love to see that play myself! I bet it is really interesting!

I knew you were a work-a-holic but God Coop working everyday for a month and a half! Are you taking any time to sleep!!? LOL You better!!

And THANKS...I did have a great weekend! Got lots of snow here in Georgia...hated it! LOL

Can't wait for the shows!

C-Ya Tonight!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 8:26 PM ET
You didn't say who played you in the Yale production... look forward to the South Carolina coverage. Even tho it's a small state, it has a history of being important in the early stages of the election process.
Posted By Anonymous Anne - Detroit , MI : 8:34 PM ET
Anderson, Keep them honest!! Ask the candidates if they were to become President, what are they going to do to for our country. What will the candidate do to bring Republicans and Democracts to the same page, idenitfy the problems and find the solutions where the American people will benefit and restore faith in our goverment. The American worker/taxpayer is struggling and we need a President that will grab ahold and address the needs of our country and our own people.
Posted By Anonymous Mimi James : 8:35 PM ET
I was really hoping you could talk to the candidates specifically about their veiws on abortion. I have yet to see a moderator bring up the ideas of unfit mothers (drug addicts, alcoholics, the homeless or the very ill) and the well-being of a child if he or she is born, and those are the things that really should determine this country's laws regarding the birth of a child.

--Mari, MI

PS: Also, I think I'd be really weirded out if I saw someone playing me onstage... Hmm. (I wonder if she got your funny "O's right--you say them differently than anyone I know in Michigan!)
Posted By Anonymous Marine H, MI : 8:40 PM ET
I fly weekends,too- it's not so bad to work when others are playing-- one of these days you are going to be on one of my flights..

My ideas to ask the Republicans are

-Do you believe the US needs to increase military spending, where can we make cuts in order to fund our brave soldiers, sailors, etc.?

-The Dems are proposing the biggest entitlement program in history, including nationalizing health care. Why is this a good use of our tax money?

-Do you supporting amending the Constitution to define marriage as betw. one man and one woman?

-How are you going to stop illegal individuals from entering our country?

-Do you believe humans are the source of global warming and how would you balance the economic well-being of the US with environmental regulations?

-Are you prepared to go into Iran to prevent them from securing nuclear weapons?

-Which government programs will you cut?

-Assuming you agree we will be fighting terrorism even if we leave Iraq, what are your long-term plans to counter Islamic extremism?

-The Democrats are proposing letting Pres. Bush's tax cuts lapse. How will you stop Congress from doing this?

Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 8:50 PM ET
Anderson, why does it not surprise me at all that you enjoy working weekends...LOL!!!

That musy have been weird to see someone playing you on stage. I am gald you got to have a little fun this weekend.

I know you like working, but make sure you take care of yourself too.

I am really looking forward to your special with Soledad.

See you tonight!!!
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Atlanta, GA : 8:51 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

You did an excellent job on Saturday! I enjoyed watching the coverage.

I can't say I am surprised to hear that you will be working so much in the next month and half, it seems like you are always working. I realize you love your work, but I was happy to hear that you took some quality time for yourself on Sunday.

I am sure you were thrilled to see yourself portrayed in Ms. Smith's play, but I don't think this will be the last time that you will be seeing yourself portrayed in a work of art. You are a very unique and interesting journalist and you have made and continue to make important contributions to the world of journalism.

I have watched all of the reports you have done for "60 Minutes," but I have been particularly impressed with the ones you have done recently. I look forward to your upcoming reports.

As far as the Republican candidates are concerned I would like to get passed generalities and onto specifics concerning the economy, the war, illegal immigration, trade deficits and other issues.

See you tonight!

Jo Ann
North Royalton, Ohio
Posted By Blogger Jo Ann : 8:52 PM ET
Hey Anderson, you know how Josh Brolin will play the President? How flattering for George Bush, Well, was the person playing you much better looking than you?.
Posted By Anonymous Riley R,- Exeter, Ma. : 8:52 PM ET

I am so glad you got to go do something fun for you. I bet it was weird seeing someone play you on stage.

I look forward to your new pieces for 60 Minutes and CNN, but don't forget to take time for yourself.

Terre Haute, IN
Posted By Anonymous Jana : 8:53 PM ET
I hope I can have as many life experiences as you. Graduating high school this year is kind of freaking me out, but I'm glad to see what this world has to offer. I can't wait to start focusing on what I want to do and, like you said, continue to learn and grow. See yah on the road.
Safe Travels!
Posted By Anonymous Molly, Sag Harbor, NY : 8:55 PM ET
Hi Anderson:
I hope you had a great weekend too.

It must be a little strange to see someone playing you on the stage,is it?It does sound interesting though.

It sounds like you are going to be very, very busy over the next little while-take care of yourself.

I hope that,if you get a chance,you may get back to NOLA again soon.

I am looking forward to the special tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Anne,Newfoundland,Canada : 8:56 PM ET
Keep up the great work! I love watching your show.
Posted By Blogger Anthony : 9:03 PM ET
Hi Anderson. Um, ever heard of "burning -out" ?
Good thing you love your job, but unless you're an androit...ya know?
Try meditation! It cuts your need for sleep down quite a bit and there's a plethora of other benefits.
Love to hear you'll be working on 60 Minutes stories!
Posted By Anonymous Minou, New York,NY : 9:30 PM ET
Wow your a workaholic! But that's a good thing right, if you love your job. We will be watching your debate a t the end of the month . You haven't announced yet where youll broadcast from on SuperTuesday. Can you come to the Massachusetts primary?
Posted By Anonymous Mandy, Boston : 10:15 PM ET
Hi Anderson

That play sounds very intriguing and truly unique. That's really neat that you were portrayed as well.

I like your outlook on the working world! I hope one day I will have an intensely busy schedule of traveling as a photographer. That's my career goal anyways : )

You know, lately I've been thinking a lot about New Orleans and Katrina. I've never been there but I plan on doing so in the future to give a hand with the recovery efforts. Is it just me or shouldn't recovery from Katrina be an issue in these debates? I mean, clearly the devastation isn't going away. In my opinion, it's just as important as any other issue. It's wonderful that people from all over have done their part to help out but where is the government's participation? Yes, they participated for "a minute" but have they just stopped all together completely? I'd like to know what each candidates goals are with helping New Orleans recover.

Posted By Anonymous Tracie - Chicago, IL : 10:17 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Some ideas for questions to ask candidates:

-Is it important for the president to be religious? If so, does it matter what faith (s)he belongs to?

-Are reforms currently necessary to improve the balance between executive, judicial and legsilative power?

-How can the election process be improved so that the skills needed to run an effective campaign are reflective of the skills needed to be a competent president?
Posted By Anonymous Anthea, Beijing, China : 10:19 PM ET
Thanks for the question of the day for the Republicans.

1. For Mitt Romney: You required all those with a minimum income to aquire health care in MA.

Are folks healthier in MA vs. other states in the Northeast? Are the doctors happy in MA with the reimbursement plan or do you have doctors leaving the state to go to other locations or becoming conceirge doctors? What is different in your "proposed" plan for America vs. the MA plan?

2. For Romney, you continue to say on the campaign trail that you have created thousands of jobs with your companies including Bain Capital Management. How many jobs have you created in the USA and at what salary range? Have you ever exported jobs off US soil and outsourced them to other countries?

3. For Senator McCain, you know Sir, you are 71 years old and many Americans are sunsetting into retirement at your age to play golf, sail and do other things in their lives. What makes you feel like you have the energy to run the country? Are there any medical issues that Americans should be aware of?

4. For Mayor Rudy, you often discuss the fact you are tough on crime. How would you handle the 2 million illegal immigrants behind bars right now? Would you deport them immediately? How would you handle our prisoners at Gitmo?

Congratulations on the play! I am sure it was an honor and a bit surreal too!
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 10:20 PM ET
I watched you last weekend.... It was so great see you working election center.. I agree with you too. I am really enjoy watching primary or caucuses each time. I love your show everday and I did read your book. it is great book. I wish you need more sleep until wake up next day and feel better and more your enegry. good job Anderson! Megan Shoreline, Wa
Posted By Anonymous Megan : 10:25 PM ET
Thank you so much for asking, Anderson. I know that environmental issues are usually left to the Democrats, but this race is unlike any other. It really is anyone and everyone's game at this point, so please, please give it a shot for us! Are they going to take the scientists seriously? Do they have any plans to make plans? Thank you so much for "Planet In Peril". You are a hero.
Posted By Blogger Janna : 10:30 PM ET
I would love to hear these two questions covered in the next debate. 1. The recession is coming and will be in full swing they take office what are their ideas for a cure?
2. Credit card companies are charging outragous interest rates, the demographics of the credit card user are the middle and low income folks.... Do they believe that those companies should be regulated.

I sure appreciate your reviewing these questions and hope that you pass them onto Wolf for the next debate.

Many Thanks to your great work not only on politics but everything else you all do so well.
Posted By Anonymous maverick : 10:32 PM ET
Hey there!

Your schedule sounds like mine but a little more exciting! I'm still in journalism college so doing all the work but not getting the travel and cool interviews yet. Some day!

Canadians are watching this election closely as well. What happens in your country affects us big time.

American politicians are asked a million and one questions about Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan and, and, and ...

We, Canada, are your biggest trading partner and closest neighbour. How about some questions regarding NAFTA as it relates to OUR relationship, not just you and Mexico's. It's been a gong show for many Canadians since it was put into place.

Some thoughtful discussion about future relations between the USA and Canada is important to ask, even if Stephen Harper is a boring dud to work with.
Posted By Blogger Shanny : 10:33 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

I'm glad to hear you got to relax a bit on Sunday, sounds like you have a busy couple of weeks coming up. Hopefully you've set aside at least some time to just veg out and relax!

I'm looking forward to more 60 Minutes specials - hopefully more from Africa? I always look forward to your 60 Minutes reports.

As for questions I would ask the republicans - I've been getting annoyed with some of the coverage of candidates like Huckabee and the comments they've made. It seems as if the journalists interviewing them don't want to loose access and therefore are not calling them on anything particularly damaging they've said. Take Huckabee for instance. In a matter of a week he stated that he wants to amend the constitution to make it more religious (what happened to the separation of church and state? is he planning to get rid of that as well), compare gays and lesbians to pedophilia and bestiality, and then say that the federal government shouldn't be involved in what flags are flown in individual states because that shouldn't be a state issue (but yet whom a person can and can not marry or adopt should be a federal issue - because hey, thats a religious issue as well). I'm getting tired of journalists laughing along with the candidates and lobbing slowball questions at them hours after they make comments like these, when they should be grilling them about the effect such policy changes would have on the American people (and thats all of the American people - not just the Christian right). So suggestions for questions for the republicans? Whether its in the debate or in an interview on 360, I'd love to see Huckabee and the other candidates called on these issues and really forced to elaborate on those statements they've made. If anyone can conduct an interview like that - you can!

Have a great week and get some rest any opportunity you get!
Posted By Anonymous Jamie, PA : 11:16 PM ET
It has become a joke in our house whenever there is a major calamity worldwide to say, "Where's Cooper"? We respect you. Thank you.

For the GOP: Coal is going to be the Big Coal of the present and future like Big Oil is today. The Dems take money from Coal and decry Big Oil. The GOP ARE Big Oil and are now promoting new technology they promote as "Clean Coal", an unproven "software theory" of heating coal to a high temperature to turn it to a liquid; the process creates twice as much CO2 as usual but they theorize they can capture 70% and contain it underground. Prototypes are cost prohibitive so at present many states have agreed to finance with tax dollars actual plants that will test the viability of "Clean Coal". Considering climate warming, is it wise to use tax payer monies on this unproven technology? And how can the destructive practice of Mountaintop Removal, necessary to CTL technology, be defended? What is your opinion of Big Coal's mining extraction impact on our land. Unlike Big Oil, it will be happening right here in our nation, disrupting communities and environs. The EPA has not been effective in curtailing the damage in Appalachia.
Posted By Anonymous christine hayes west richland wa : 11:21 PM ET
hey Anderson, i am an avid CNN watcher and I am only 16 years of age, i have read your book 3 times cover to cover. Here is my question

In 1994 Congress passed "Goals 2000: Educate America Act". By this act, American students would have accomplished such things as…
-raising the number of high school graduates to 90%
-students will show command in subjects such as history, math, english, science, foreign language, etc…
-american students WILL be the first in the world in math and science
-all schools will be drug, firearm, and alcohol free.

and many, many more...

My question is, what has happened to this plan? I, as stated, attend Myrtle Beach High School and I rarely see this act being enforced. I am not blaming the students nor the educators. Just least year there was an incident involving a firearm as well as many drug and alcohol problems. What are the candidates going to do to further protect the futures of young students, as well as a permanent plan to help the overall education of all American students?
Posted By Anonymous Christian Lugo, Myrtle Beach, SC : 11:21 PM ET

Please cover issues that I want to hear about.

Ask the Republicans about H.R. 1246 [The Military Readiness Act]:

To amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The neo-cons want to stretch our armed forces to the breaking point, without diplomacy. Why can't I help supplement those fallen soldiers under the current military policy?

Lance Gayhart
Lexington, Kentucky
Posted By Blogger lancegayhart : 11:30 PM ET
Hi Anderson...

I've enjoyed watching your coverage tonight, but just now I heard something for the zillionth time that is just wrong, and I wondered what your thoughts were.

Why does everyone keep blaming Bush for Hurricane Katrina? Has anyone honestly reported about the EMPTY Amtrak trains that left New Orleans 8-28-05; the school buses that floated in the flooded areas that could have been used to evacuate people? If the residents of New Orleans chose to re-elect a mayor who allowed this to happen, and no blame is going to the governor who TURNED DOWN help from the National Guard initially, why on earth should they blame national Republicans for what happened to them? I went through the same storm in Mississippi, but we prepared (as well as anyone can for such a force of nature) because our governor told us to. Why do we only hear about the federal government's faults in this area? Things would never have reached the stage they did had the governments of New Orleans and Louisiana done what they should have. They also knew for years those levees weren't strong enough.

Mississippi survived the full force of Hurricane Katrina; track her path. We don't blame anyone for what happened afterward except the insurance companies....

Katrina should have nothing to do with the presidential election. Louisiana let itself down, and then rewarded those responsible for the carnage.

Lee Anne in MS
Posted By Anonymous madinms : 11:55 PM ET

Good grief. I would go crazy if I had to work 7 days straight for even one week! Then again, I did just that for many years--it is called motherhood.

Anyhoo, I need my vacations and am heading for Hawaii on Saturday and have already voted. I mailed my ballot today to be counted on Super Tuesday. Have any of the Republican candidates said anything about hunger in America? What is their position on the Farm Bill? Do they know how much the price of milk and bread has increased in recent months? With a recession and the mortgage meltdown, we will see an increase in homelessness among the former middle class. What are they going to do to strengthen federal nutrition assistance programs to meet this increased temporary need for assistance? Better yet, would they take the Food Stamp Pledge and live on the average food stamp allotment for a week like other politicos did? It might be a good idea with all those heavy meals they have while on the road campaigning. I am also interested in who their favorite President is. Was that asked before? (My fav is Lincoln.)


Charlotte D, Stockton CA
Posted By Blogger Charlotte : 12:30 AM ET
I'd like to see the Republican candidates address the obvious decline in how we (the US) are regarded on the international stage given our involvement in Iraq, and as a consequence of the Bush years. How will they address this loss of support and confidence in America from both our "allies" and those who regard us as an enemy. How will they distinguish themselves from Bush despite being members of the same party, or would they even choose to? And what would their plans be to unite the Repub/Dem parties in forming a united front in leading our country? Those are issues that our next President will face, and how he or she handles the next four years in office will have a great impact on our standing in the global community and our own stability as a country.
Posted By Anonymous TWM, Boston MA : 1:11 AM ET
Hey Anderson!
Far, far away here in India, the US Presidential race looks very interesting. Personally, I try and look at what issues are important to each candidate.
Politics aside, I couldn't agree with you more about work....when you love what you do, everything else can be so inconsequential. I am an awful workaholic, having successfully destroyed my personal/ social life, repeatedly :) But yea, work should be passion, nothing less!
Stay safe. Stay strong!

Avril Lobo
Mumbai, India
Posted By Blogger Elfin Goddess : 1:43 AM ET
Hi Anderson,

Last semester, I worked 5 days a week and the others 2 days I had off, I went to school all day. I always looked forward to that one afternoon when class was canceled and used to get soo thrilled with the free time. We are resilient, and as you said as long as you are doing something to improve yourself, make yourself a better person, then it's ok. Although I am a believer of that, this semester I am taking it a little bit easier and doing classes online- that way I can select my days off.

Well, in regards to the questions for the Republicans candidates, I'd like to know two things:
1. How will they make education affordable and accessible?
2. How will they turn our economy around? What do they think about what Pres. GW Bush is doing for the economy?

Thanks.... I look forward to watching the debate as I will be in California as well that week. It will be interesting watching it with liberal friends in California.


Ariston Neto
Miami Beach, FL
Posted By Blogger Ariston- Miami Beach, FL : 1:44 AM ET
Hey Anderson....aaaaa....I just wanted to say good job on keeping the presidential candidate honest and keeping me interested in the most trusted news in the world (CNN).


Your show rocks and I try to watch it as much as I can.
Posted By Anonymous emerald08, Vacouver,Wa : 1:50 AM ET
Hi Anderson

In response to your blog my question to ask the Republican candidates is:

What are the limitations you can foresee you may have being President?

I look forward to watching the Republican debate next Thursday (Australian time).

I have added your comment “as long as one continues to learn and grow then it doesn’t feel like work” to my book of quotes.

Lisa L
Sydney, Australia
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 2:07 AM ET
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