The 610 Stompers dance with Brooke Baldwin in New Orleans on New Year's Eve.
Anderson and Kathy hunt for Ryan Seacrest in Times Square and end up running into Carson Daly.
Reporter's Note: President Obama and members of Congress have been grinding away on a possible deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. I have been grinding away on my final letter of 2012 to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
I was all set for my big fancy dinner with my family tonight to mark the end of the old year and the start of the new one, and here I am at the office instead, once again dealing with the fiscal cliff and I have no idea if I will be able to make it to the table before the coffee is served. You and your Congressional pals, Democratic, Republican, and Independent have managed…like a bunch of teenagers with a homework assignment…to put off the task until the last possible moment.
What a sad way to end the year.
Whether we get some sort of deal by midnight or not, I must say it is almost incomprehensible that this is how Washington does business. While you seem to enjoy blaming the endless procrastination on Congress, with all respect, you are part of that equation too.
And you know what I think the real issue is? A complete lack of courage in Washington. While there are some good people in elected office, much of their goodness seems to be trumped by their fear of losing power or position. So they stand for nothing, they take no risks, and they let the calendar run out on their responsibilities over and over again in hopes that someone else will step forward and take a chance on a solution. Then if the proposal works, they can say they liked it all along; and if it does not, they can argue that they were never involved.
Honestly, I’d like to end 2012 on a positive note, but this has eaten at me for twelve months, and it is difficult to burn into the final day watching both parties do it again. Sure, people on each side say they are standing up for their party’s principles, but what I think they are really doing is chanting talking points, ducking responsibility, and desperately hoping the problem solves itself.
So here, in the 11th hour, is a resolution I wish each party would take to heart: Quit wasting time blaming the opposition. Of course the other side opposes you. That is what they do. Start finding ways to get beyond the opposition and make good things happen.
All the best as the year winds down. Call if you want to talk.
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin are back together for an epic New Year's Eve show live from Times Square! The celebration begins at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
Check out the live blog for photos and updates from our hosts, reporters and producers, and tweet your wishes for 2013 with #cnnnye.
Reporter's Note: President Obama has been working on budget matters for weeks. I’ve been working on my latest letter to the White House for…oh, gosh, I guess five or six minutes.
Dear Mr. President,
It appears that my family and I have found an excellent place for dinner on New Year’s Eve. We’re expecting a delicious series of courses at a French place near our home, and my mouth is already fairly watering. So if you were thinking of calling at the last minute for us to come to the White House, too late, we’ve got plans! Ha!
Speaking of which, this dinner reservation produced a wonderful joke, albeit in a bit of a Crane brothers motif. My older daughter, who is fluent in French, was surveying the menu and said to my wife and me, “By the way, what is direct translation of duck confit?” To which I replied, “Duck with feet.” Ha! Yes, I realize the cornerstone of the joke resides in Spanish…but…oh well…
I mentioned the other day that my attempts to learn Spanish remain mired in inaction and have for several years now. I have a functional grasp of the language. Should I wake up and find myself mysteriously transported to El Salvador, I could certainly turn to the nearest passerby and confidently say in the native tongue, “Excuse me, sir or madam, I have apparently fallen through a hole in the time/space continuum. Can you point me to the nearest wormhole or airport?”
That said, however, I still find my skills sorely lacking in terms of completeness. I long to converse comfortably about things like soil moisture, favorite pet grooming services, printing presses, botany, and the finer points of ceviche tableware.
So I am flirting with the idea of making this my New Year’s resolution; that I should finally and completely master this language from the south. Or the east. Or frankly, just down the street, depending on how you see things.
Let me know your thoughts on the matter, por favor. Hey! Look, it’s already working!
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin are together again for their sixth year hosting CNN's New Year's Eve show! The must-see TV event of the night begins at 10 p.m. ET, but the preparations start much earlier. To find out what it takes to get this extravaganza on air, go behind the scenes with our correspondents and producers on Twitter. Follow them for the inside scoop on what's happening off camera – the good, the bad, and the hilarious.
On the platform in Times Square @andersoncooper
The AC360 account will bring you the latest all night @AC360
Correspondent in Times Square @IshaSesayCNN
Producer on the platform in Times Square @jackgraycnn
Correspondent in Central Park @drsanjaygupta
Hilarious? Check. Surprising? Check. Outrageous? Check. If you’ve been watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage together for the past five years, you’ve seen all that and much, much more. So, as you can imagine, it was no easy task to choose the absolute single best New Year's Eve moment. We couldn't pick one so we want you to do it for us. We narrowed it down to five and now we’re putting the final decision in your hands.
Vote for your favorite memory and join us on New Year's Eve! We'll reveal and air the winner in this year's show at 10 p.m. ET.
Want to submit a write-in entry? Tell us in a comment. And remember to tweet your messages to Anderson and Kathy or your wishes for the new year using #cnnnye.
Anderson Cooper talks about what's in store for CNN's New Year's Eve show, while his co-host seems less than impressed.
Anderson and Kathy Griffin are back for their sixth year hosting the special coverage on Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. ET
Reporter's Note: President Obama is probably busy taking care of some last bits of business before the year runs out. So am I.
Dear Mr. President,
You made a comment last night as you talked about the fiscal cliff. You said something along the lines of, “People wonder why everything in this town gets put off until the last minute.” Again, those were not your exact words, but that was the general idea. You then went on to say, as presidents often do, that the only thing preventing action is people letting politics get in the way.
Not to be impatient or snarky about it, but you do realize that that is what this town is all about, don’t you?
The only reason you are in office is politics. The only reason your party holds the power it does in this town is politics. The only way that anything ever gets done here is through politics. Yes, it is terribly messy, slow, and at times (like, oh say, for the past several years) dysfunctional. But that’s the way it works.
Sometimes I think this is what your critics mean when they say you are a better candidate than office holder, that you know how to run a good race, but you’re not so skilled at running government. I suspect they are homing in on this disdain you have for politics itself.
Citizens can be dismissive of politics. Indeed, it’s one of our favorite sports. But I don’t think politicians can. If the politics of the nation are not working, no president can afford to stand sneering on the sidelines pretending that situation is not about him, because it almost always is. You can blame the opposition, sure, and the polls may even tell you that voters agree. But in the end, if you don’t get a deal, that failure will come on your watch, and historians will almost certainly say eventually that a fundamental reason was your inability to master the politics of the situation.
You are not now, nor will you likely ever again be a candidate for elected office. You are in the business of politics. This is your craft. There is no one more political in the nation than the President of the United States, and your ability to embrace and excel at politics, especially in your second term, will determine whether you are remembered as a great campaigner…or a great leader.
Best of luck.