Monday, October 12, 2015

Anderson Cooper 360 Live from Las Vegas on Monday, October 12, 2015


Anderson Cooper anchored an expanded two hour edition of AC360 from Las Vegas ahead of moderating the CNN Democratic debate on Tuesday night.  He posted a behind the scenes video to his Facebook page today:

video



Anderson also taped a piece about debate prep with Brian Stelter for Sunday's Reliable Sources:

video

And gave an interview to Huffington Post last week about his debate preparation ~

Anderson Cooper Prepares For First Democratic Debate -- With Or Without Joe BidenThe CNN host and debate moderator says fireworks are possible, but it's not his job "to try and force anything.”

NEW YORK -- As Anderson Cooper traveled through Germany, Austria and Greece last week to cover the refugee migrant crisis, Las Vegas wasn't far from his mind.

By day, the CNN host was busy reporting in Europe for “60 Minutes,” but turned each night to stacks of candidate research to gear up for the first Democratic primary debate, which will be held Tuesday at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel.

Cooper, who is moderating that debate, didn't seem to mind pulling double duty. “I’m a nerd, so I enjoy reading all the stuff,” he told The Huffington Post.

Now back in the U.S., Cooper is working with his team to craft questions for any eventuality, including Vice President Joe Biden jumping in at the last minute.

“I obviously am preparing for him, just as I’m preparing for anybody else,” Cooper said of Biden, whom CNN will allow onstage if he declares that he will run before the cameras roll at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

But even a Biden-less debate will be a major political event, the public's first opportunity to watch Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and top challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spar on live TV. It will also allow second-tier candidates-- former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee -- to try to make an impression on millions of viewers and gain some traction in the polls.

The much-anticipated faceoff comes amid calls within the party to add more debates. Just four have been scheduled before the Iowa caucus, and many have argued that the setup benefits the front-runner. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has defended the process, recently telling HuffPost that she wants “the American people to get as much of a look at these Republican candidates in these debates as possible.” Tens of millions got a look at the large GOP stable in the last two debates, with hosts Fox News and CNN both setting ratings records.

But the smaller size of the Democratic field provides an opportunity to go more in-depth than the Republican debates did, even though the Democrats are participating in fewer debates. During last month's CNN debate, moderator Jake Tapper had to juggle 11 candidates in the primetime event (as well as the four-candidate undercard), whereas Cooper will likely have five -- at most six -- onstage at one time.

“I think there’s great opportunity ... to really get a sense of who these people are,” Cooper said of the smaller roster. “And I think that’s what people walk away with the next day or that night, thinking, ‘Oh, now I get who Martin O’Malley is,’ or ‘I get what Clinton’s position is on X, Y or Z.’”

Cooper will be joined Tuesday by CNN anchor Don Lemon, who will incorporate questions submitted through Facebook -- which is partnering with the network to host the debate -- as well as correspondent Dana Bash and CNN en EspaƱol anchor Juan Carlos Lopez.

The setup will be similar to CNN's Republican debate, in which Bash and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked some questions alongside the moderator. Cooper said he’d like to integrate the panelists a bit more this time, noting that “bouncing back and forth between questioners gives some energy and some different perspectives.”

The 48-year-old journalist is familiar with the role, having moderated both Democratic and Republican debates over the past three election cycles. He recalled some past presidential hopefuls staring at him intently onstage, “giving little poker tells to get you to call on them.” On occasion, candidates' spouses even tried intervening during commercial breaks to ask for more airtime. (He won't say who).

Whereas Tapper kicked off the GOP debate by having candidates respond to attacks from front-runner Donald Trump, making for an ideal two shot, Cooper acknowledged there haven't been as many similar public spats on the Democratic side. Still, that doesn't mean there won't be fireworks.

“We’ll see what happens on the stage,” he said. “Often there’s a different dynamic when people are next to each other on a stage and you have some candidates people don’t really know. Do they choose to use this opportunity to kind of make a name for themselves by going after some of the leading candidates? That’s a possibility ... As a moderator, it’s not my job in this kind of debate to try and force anything.”

“I don’t go into this with some strategy for getting people going in one way or another,” he added. “Even if I did have that strategy, or a strategy, I wouldn’t necessarily telegraph that.”

He's wary of giving away his game plan, especially when it comes to particular topics that may come up. Cooper said he wasn’t aware of a recent letter from billionaire Democratic backer Tom Steyer calling on him to ask questions about climate change, and wouldn't commit to raising the issue.

“Look, I certainly think environmental issues are of great interest to a lot of Democrats, to a lot of Americans, and it’s entirely possible it could be in the realm of questions,” he said.

Cooper also indicated that there won’t be any “gotcha” questions, though he balked at the term itself.

“I’m fascinated by obscure leaders from central Africa," he said, "but I'm not going to be quizzing people on it."

Cooper said he's pleased with the recent uptick in public attention around debates, saying "the more people interested in the democratic process, the better.” Still, he's not worrying about ratings because, unlike debate prep, that's not something he can control.

"I know other people would obviously like huge numbers," he said. "But to me, if the story the next day is that we got a really good look at who these candidates are, and there were some great moments and some unexpected things happened or people got a different view of somebody, I think that’s a successful debate."
(Please click on link for original article.)


After tonight's AC360, Anderson was the keynote speaker at the UNLV Foundation Dinner.  Here are a few tweets from those attending the event:






AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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8 comments:

aries moon said...

Paul Begala, Donna Brazille and the focus on the Democratic candidates and debate made for a good show--the point was made a few times that Democrats still hold President Obama in very high regard. Bernie Sanders may refuse to go after Hillary Clinton but he has certainly acted as if he's running against President Obama since he began his campaign and that is a real turn-off for me. Sanders is not going to get anywhere without the broader support of the Obama coalition and the more he criticizes the president, the more he'll alienate that important voting block (Hillary needs to recognize this as well). Love the humor and banter that always comes when AC/Begala/Brazile are talking politics but Brazile struck the wrong note with me when she said Bill Clinton was the "first black president" --nope, there's ONLY been one.

Trump segments were not needed but I did like that clip of the young and feisty woman asking Trump if he'd support a woman's right to choose--she was a hoot.

Good for Anderson for donating his UNLV speaking fee--I wonder if this is something he has always done but just never discussed it until now.

CWM84 said...

Though they don't seem to be as excited as the gop debates its good a lot more focus and dem pundits and fair minded pundits are being heard more this week. It seems not enough policy is being talked about other than Hilary's flip flops and blacklivesmatter influence... but at least the dems finally get their say tonight. I hope AC moderates fairly and doesn't push back unless it is absolutely necessary. The GOP had it easy and not much push back. So looking for a grown up debate and spirited and one thing we won't see is attacking on planned parenthood, glbt community and ridiculous religious freedom discrimination against things they disagree with, like glbt community.

CWM84 said...

AC on jake tapper today had to debunk that he is not slanted towards Hilary because he moderated a clinton global debate years ago. He said he will be impartial and not a democrat... and no one mentioned he hosted a Nancy Reagan event years ago. So GOP group was attacking him. He made it clear he is not a friend of the Clinton's. Found it interesting that he has never been this defensive when people have stated he's slanted towards republicans. In fact AC only documented donation to a political campaign was to a Republican about 5 years ago.

Anonymous said...

IT WAS QUITE EVIDENT THAT ANDERSON'S TONE, WHICH SEEMED BELLIGERENT AT TIMES, TOWARDS HILLARY, WAS
BOTH SHORT AND INAPPROPRIATE. HILLARY KEPT HER COOL HOWEVER. ANDERSON IS A REPUBLICAN AND HIS MOTHER IS GOOD FRIENDS WITH MRS REAGAN.
HUFFPOST IS REPORTING HILLARY "LEANED IN." PERHAPS, BUT BERNIE SANDERS WON THE DEBATE AND SAID
WHAT MOST DEMOCRATS FEEL EVEN IF HE IS AN INDEPENDENT.
LOVED IT WHEN THEY SHOOK HANDS ON "ENOUGH WITH THE HILLARY EMAILS," THAT THE GOP IS TRYING SO DESPERATELY
TO MAKE INTO A SCANDAL. WHO CARES IF SHE HAD A SECRET ACCOUNT?
DO THEY CARE THAT CHENEY JUST WROTE A BOOK WITH HIS PUPPET DAUGHTER CALLED "EXCEPTIONAL?"
WHAT IS EXCEPTIONAL ABOUT A LIAR WHO TOOK US TO WAR AND THEN CAUSED A RECESSION? (I CAN'T STAND THE
SIGHT OF CHENEY OR HIS DAUGHTER.)
SANDERS ALSO WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE GOP SEEMS TO HAVE AMNESIA WHEN IT COMES TO THE BUSH YEARS. HE WAS THE ONLY ONE ON THE STAGE THAT WENT AFTER THE REPUBLICANS AND IT IS A SHAME THAT HE IS AN INDEPENDENT. HOWEVER I DID NOT CARE FOR HIS STANCE ON GUN CONTROL. ANDREW CUOMO, WHO WAS NOT PRESENT LIVES IN A "RURAL"STATE OF UPSTATE NY, AND JUST PASSED A RATHER TOUGH GUN CONTROL LAW. WHICH SHOWS IT CAN BE DONE IF ONLY THERE WAS A "WILL" TO DO IT.
ALL IN ALL, A PRETTY WELL ROUNDED DEBATE.

Anonymous said...

@aries moon - "but Brazile struck the wrong note with me when she said Bill Clinton was the "first black president" - I didn't take offense at what Donna said because that was a pretty common feeling/saying in the 90s. Here is a pretty good take on the basis:

"In part, "the first black president" reflects the fact that Bill Clinton, although white-skinned, has lived a life similar to that of many black men in America. But it's also largely a name that reflects the fact that he, as a successful white man, is nevertheless facing an environment similar to that faced by successful black men, where there is a systemic environmental tendency to demean their accomplishments and latch onto any of their failures, no matter how small. In the case of black men who rise out of poverty or troubled households, it's the system of employers or the business community or law enforcement, who all always treated black men as somehow being more worthy of suspicion or scrutiny; in the case of Clinton it's the system of Congress and (especially) the press, who both relentlessly dogged him for his perceived personal failings in a way no prior president had been dogged."

As far as Anderson donating his speaking salary... He may donate part of it back some or most of the time, but I'm suspecting this time had more to do with the fact that he was already there to moderate the debate for CNN. The speaking engagement was announced several months ago and he may not have known about the debate at the time or that he was moderating. Since he anchored two hours of 360 he arrived after the dinner began, so he may have had to beg out of some pre-dinner event and just arrived in time to give his keynote. Anyway, his travel to and from LV and his lodging was all on CNN's "dime" (expense) so this wasn't his normal speaking engagement situation. I have a feeling if he routinely donated his entire speakers fee word would have been out by now and I some how don't think he flies around on his weekends or takes vacation days to give speeches for nothing.

aries moon said...

@anon 12:34, I totally understand the perspective you presented about Bill Clinton--I think the only reason Brazile's comment bothered me is that although Bill Clinton was faced with many difficulties and obstacles during his time as president and the press had it in for him, I don't believe the level of disrespect, suspicion and just plain old hate for Clinton has been nearly as pervasive and as visceral that it has been for President Obama during the last six years of his presidency and that is because he truly is the first black president and I think giving Bill Clinton that title kind of diminishes President Obama's historic achievement and is somewhat dismissive of the one aspect Clinton never had to face--racism.

Anonymous said...

@aries moon I totally agree that President Obama is our fist black president and he has faced fierce racism from day 1. I worked on his re-election campaign and I'm a bit supporter. I'm also old enough to remember the hell Republican's put President Bill Clinton through and when that phrase was first associated with Clinton. I just wasn't sure you knew the history of Donna's remark. I'm sorry it rubbed you the wrong way and I get that. I just don't think Donna meant disrespect to President Obama by her remark. I don't think she's that kind of person.

aries moon said...

@anon 12:06 am, I'm absolutely certain you're right about Donna Brazile not meaning to be disrespectful of President Obama--I have no doubt about that--and thank you for your thoughtful comments and perspective.