Nov 2008

AC360: Extreme Challenges - President Obama

An AC360 special in the "Extreme Challenges" series, this program focuses on the issues facing the incoming president. In three segments, Anderson Cooper hosts a panel discussion with Michael, Christiane Amanpour, Peter Bergen, and David Gergen. The first segment covers Iraq, the second Afghanistan, and the third Iran.

This is exactly the kind of discussion a lot of us have been waiting to hear... unfortunately, its only airing to date has been at five in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully it will get some prime-time respect in the near future.

Length: 4:45 / 6:05 / 5:42

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AAM: "Much of the question has been taken out of U.S. hands in terms of boots on the ground."

As part of the "Memo to the President" series, Michael outlines the decisions President-elect Obama faces in regards to removing troops from Iraq. The Iraqi parliament has approved an agreement to extend the time US troops remain in the country, but also included a firm date by which all troops must be out.

Length: 4:30

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DLH: "Well, this time you need a plan."

Michael appears on D.L. Hughley's program to discuss what we should do in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. That's a lot to cram in to just a few short minutes, but D.L. asks great questions, and gets straight answers. (The raw honesty of Michael's first answer is simply stunning.)

Length: 4:01

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AC: "Right now, we're at stalemate."

The Status of Forces Agreement remains a central sticking point in Iraq, and both Michael and Peter Bergen talk to Anderson about that and the odds of our forces in Afghanistan tracking down Osama bin Laden (pretty much zero, since he's in Pakistan.) So what will President-elect Obama do?

Length: 5:56

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CB: "What have you got to put on the table?"

Michael (in NY) and Peter Bergen (in DC) talk to Campbell Brown about what President-elect Obama will be able to do with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both agree that just pulling troops out of the former and shifting them to the latter is not the answer.

Length: 4:47

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CNN/I: World News Europe

Michael and General Wesley Clark speak with Becky Anderson about the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Length: 7:41

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NR: "Those wars will always be with them."

As CNN recognizes Veterans Day, Michael was on NewsRoom briefly to introduce his piece on David Bellavia. (Since the piece is available here already, these are just his before/after clips.) He definitely stumbles right out of the gate, although it's pretty obvious what he intended to say.

Length: 0:27 / 0:34

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AAM: "'Obama won?!'"

Considering that it wasn't too long ago that Michael was complaining about having to be on the air at 8amET, he seems wide awake and extremely happy to be there at 6, 7, and 8am! But then, this is a very, very special occasion!

During the first panel, he talks about how President-elect Obama is going to deal with the realities of getting the US out of Iraq; the second one is about how other leaders are going to view him; the third is how the average citizen of Iraq (and Australia) is reacting to the news.

Length: 4:21 / 4:21 / 4:52

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NR: "Six years later and people are suddenly waking up as though it's a shock."

Michael spends Saturday night at work... he speaks with Don Lemon about Iraq and Afghanistan and the political football that the wars have become.

Length: 4:01

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