October 22nd, 2008
12:16 PM ET

But whom will Susie the Shoplifter endorse?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/22/art.jacksgreatgrandmother.jpg caption= "I told her I wouldn't pose for this picture unless she changed out of the muumuu."]
Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

I have a rule: I do not talk to anyone wearing a muumuu who is not my great-grandmother. So, you there – the guy on Seventh Avenue holding the clipboard, humming the theme song to the A-Team, eating the banana that looks like it was grown on Three Mile Island and wearing eyeglasses that look like they belonged to Larry King circa 1987 – kindly step to the side and find someone else to sign your petition to ban Koala bear go-cart racing. Because I’m pretty sure you never sent me ten dollars enclosed in a Garfield birthday card.

That’s the thing about New York. Every street you walk down someone wants “just a minute of your time.” Sorry, I’d love to help but I’m late to have an anvil dropped on my head.

Do you have these people with clipboards out in the real world? I didn’t think so. But you do have raccoons and they scare me just as much.

Meanwhile, it was only a matter of time. It’s not just Joe the Plumber anymore. In her interview on CNN yesterday Sarah Palin brought up Chuck the Teacher and Molly the Dental Hygienist. Somewhere out there, Pat the Pickpocket and Lenny the Loan Shark are feeling very left out.

I mentioned my great-grandmother earlier. Well, were she alive today she would no doubt be among the first in line at the polls come Election Day. She took great pride in her right to vote, though I’m not sure she ever fully understood the concept. She’d always try to vote for both candidates because she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Last night we heard the news that the Republican National Committee has spent some $150,000 on clothes for Sarah Palin and her family. A Palin spokeswoman is downplaying the extravagance, saying the plan all along was to give the clothes to charity after the election. And by “all along” she means “since last night.”

More polls are out today. Personally, I don’t know a single person who has ever been called by a pollster. I certainly have not. The closest I came was a woman who – despite my attempts to explain to her that she had dialed the wrong number – insisted my name was Doris.

Finally, ask and ye shall receive. The campaign by many of you in the comments section to get me to appear on-screen has been a success. I’ll be on Erica Hill’s webcast – one night only, just to confirm that I do not belong in front of a camera – sometime next week.

And you didn’t even have to stand outside with a clipboard to make it happen.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Ilhana, Bosnia

    Haha, can't wait for the appearance! I support Erica's notion of you wearing a muumuu;)
    You know, I need to be awake till 4 a.m. just to watch the show (or asleep till 4 a.m. and then it's AC time) but it's gonna be especially rewarding when you show up!

    October 23, 2008 at 4:56 am |
  2. EJ (USA)

    Oh I know Dee – I was just teasin.

    October 22, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  3. Dee from CT

    Awwwww EJ (USA), I'm sure Jack is a big boy and can take it ...

    (Although EJ ... Can I tell you a secret, promise not to tell anyone? Truth be known – my ♥ skipped a beat when I saw and heard Jack ... Wouldn't want him knowing that though ...)

    October 22, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  4. EJ (USA)

    Jack, honey, you’re giving Tyne and Abe too much credit … (it wasn’t that hard to find your mug on the site). I’m still in love and awe with your wit though, so not all is lost …

    oh, that was cold

    October 22, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  5. Stacy

    @Erica Hill, careful there. If you give him too much encouragement he's going to steal your gig and then write a blog post about it.

    After reading all these glowing comments, I expect that when we finally do see "the man", his head is going to be enormous! Watch out Anderson Cooper, you're not the only one with groupies anymore. 😉

    October 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  6. Dee from CT

    Jack, honey, you're giving Tyne and Abe too much credit ... (it wasn't that hard to find your mug on the site). I'm still in love and awe with your wit though, so not all is lost ...

    October 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  7. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Next week? Oh just keep a girl waiting why don't you. Why is it that I can't help but think that your appearance will be on Halloween and we won't really see you........just a disguise. Hmmmm.

    October 22, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  8. Kristien,Antwerp, Belgium

    Well, if the people who know you say that you're made for it, then it must be true Jack!

    Thanks for the support Erica ;D

    October 22, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  9. ericacnn

    One night only? C'mon, this isn't "Dreamgirls", this is the WEBCAST.

    Silly Jack, you're going to be the new regular! It was made for you.

    Any chance you can wear a muumuu for your innagural appearance? 🙂

    October 22, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  10. Heather,ca

    If Palin shops at Neiman Marcus than you are talking about $1,000 any outfit just for her.Charity? You mean auction. What a load of you know what. Is this before or after the bill shows up?

    October 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    Hey Jack!

    Always a good day when Jack blogs! Carl the car thief is feeling left out though and may have to step up his "production" rate to assuage his wounded feelings at being left out.

    My grandmother must have shopped at the same place your great grandmother shopped – were her muumuus hideous flowered atrocities? You know, the sort that make children cringe and adults hide their laughter behind their newspaper? That was my grandmother's style and then she wondered why no one wanted to go anyplace with her. Up to date on fashion she wasn't.

    We don't have the clipboard people on the street corners here in Birmingham but we have something worse – the clipboard people come to us in the suburbs ringing our doorbells and asking for just a minute of our time. And they don't seem to know the meaning of the word "no" – kind of like my children. Or same clipboard people will mail you the survey in the mail with big promises to pay you a dollar if you return it – I can't take them seriously since they addressed one of the surveys to my cat, Oscar Madison. You'd like Oscar and if he likes you he'll let you take him to the country club – he just got an invitation to join this morning. I'm not sure he will actually join; his standards are pretty high.

    Palin giving the new clothes to charity – well if she and McCain win she probably would get another 150K to upgrade her wardrobe so it is VP looking. Campaign garb just won't due after the election.

    Looking forward to seeing you on the webcast....you'll be the good looking one, right?

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 22, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  12. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi again, Very cute picture of you when you were little, by the way. Hope you have a great day!

    October 22, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  13. Fay, CA

    I second Kristien's request that the webcast with Jack gets posted here or on CNN video–in fact, I really wish the webcasts could be posted here every day or on CNN video like The Shot and Beat 360 already are so that those of us who are unable watch it during the show won't miss out.

    October 22, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  14. Papasan in Arizona

    Jack as always you completely inthrall me with your rapier wit and colossal humor! Jack for President!

    October 22, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  15. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Oh Jack..You ask if the real world has clipboard clans? Well, I guess I'm lucky. I thought the skunk that invades my yard nightly was an irritant! So far I haven't spotted him wearing a muumuu. So I guess life is good!

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    October 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  16. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Woo Hoo! We finally get to see you! YES!

    Get ready for the barrage of cakes, and whatever you do, don't let Anderson see you. Then he will know who you are and he will fire you. Not cool. I for one am not prepared to lose you now. You are too funny, and we have all embraced you. Consider yourseld loved. Aw.

    As for the clipboard people, those that wander around talking to themselves, screaming at stangers, makng all sorts of rude and insane comments on street and subway.....these are the things that make New York, New York. I don't know, I love them. Like the sounds of the street, sirens and the roar and vibration of the subway.....music to my ears. You are so fortunate to live there!

    Yeah, so thanks for the heads up. Cannot wait to finally see you Jack. So much for my theory that you were Anderson incognito. Drat, it was a good theory for a minute.

    October 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  17. Gisselle

    Hi Jack! Oh My gosh that was funny! Thanks for the laugh; oh and yea Pat the pickpocket is my cousin and she says hi Jack! Not!

    October 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  18. Kristien,Antwerp, Belgium

    Oh no, I can't watch the Webcast either (well, I could, but I don't really wanna get up at 4am every night next week...) So, can you PLEASE make sure that the Webcast you'll be on get's posted? Pretty please!!
    Thanks for the post

    October 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  19. Val Medlin

    Look Jack, lemme give it to you straight. When people start talking about your "beautiful soul", chances are you look like an really, really hideous swingset-head. Just the facts as I know them. But does that really matter when you rock a pair of flip flops as downright Hawt as the ones in the picture above? And with socks, no less? God, now that's a man speciman I dare any species to resist, regardless physical attributes(including head dimensions)!

    October 22, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Renee

    Jack, glad you will be coming out of hiding next week! Then someone can send you a cake, an email or heavens a marriage proposal.

    I can resist. What about those shoes you were wearing with great grandma, aren't they a little girly or are they socks with blue sandals?

    October 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  21. EJ (USA)

    I already saw what you look like Jack! Now get to the book writin! I want to know how much money you can make writing a fiction book about all of you "shady" CNN characters.

    October 22, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  22. Kim B

    Last I checked, Pat the Pickpocket and Larry the Loan Shark's votes counted just as much as Sec. Powell and Sen. Clinton's. What's your point?

    October 22, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  23. Susanne

    Doesn't Larry King still have the same glasses as he had 1987? Looks like it.

    October 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  24. Dave

    I'm just as concerned as you about Lenny the Loan shark and Pat the Pickpocket, but lets not discriminate against Calvin the Clipboard maker or, for that matter, Mindy the Muumuu maker either.

    October 22, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Terra Hoskins


    I know what you mean, Lee. I found out yesterday that I'm being laid off (sigh), and I didn't check in with ac360.com. Consequently, there was a little hole in my heart.

    My home computer is 100 years old - I can't watch the webcast either. I'll all for alternative Jack broadcasting options until I can land that sexy 24" iMac I've been lusting over.

    I'm not above a little shameless self-promotion, so if anyone needs a snappy writer with 10 years of corporate communications experience, give me a shout.

    But back to you, Jack. We think you rock, and we are happy your brilliance is being acknowledged.

    October 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  26. Cindy

    So you are finally coming out of hiding huh!? Well guess you will be like the groundhog then...if you see your shadow does that mean that we get 6 more weeks of politics on 360!? Lord...I hope not! LOL

    And did you know that you have blogs dedicated to you? Yep...you sure do. I Googled you and they popped up! So Anderson better watch out!


    October 22, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  27. Lilibeth

    P.S. Jack: I wish you weren't too concerned about looks. I don't care if you look like Quasimodo. I'll still like you. When I look at people, I see their souls, not their faces. If you have a beautiful soul, then you are a beautiful person. I know a few people who are good-looking, but are jerks. They are not beautiful to me.

    Anyway, you seem like a warm and beautiful person...

    October 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  28. Arachnae

    A Palin spokeswoman is downplaying the extravagance, saying the plan all along was to give the clothes to charity after the election.

    A charity auction on eBay, no doubt.

    October 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  29. Presley

    Poll of Polls of the Other Polls that Poll the North Pole, South Pole and stripper poles. I've never been polled either but I have Caller ID and I screen my calls.
    150K for Palin and her family for clothes, uh huh, that's still only half of the cost of Cindy McCain's Republican convention out fit the night her husband accepted the nomination. See, Palin and her family are a "Real American" bargain.

    XXO Jack.
    p.s. Be careful and beware, that Andy Cooperson fella will try and steal your thunder next week. ♥CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!!!♥

    October 22, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  30. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi there Jack, Glad you could post today. It's a great blog as usual of course!! Love your sense of humor. Sounds like you have some very interesting people hanging out on the streets there in New York, man! I've never been to New York; been to Paris, France though. Go figure. I would guess that it's somewhat similar? Who knows, maybe not. One day, I'll have to visit and see what the differences are. I'm sure it would be an adventure. I look forward to seeing you on screen next week! And I would be willing to bet that you do belong in front of a camera. Hope you have a great day today. See ya.

    October 22, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  31. Roweena D'Souza, Seattle

    that's great Jack, 🙁 will have to watch the webcast now?, as it is I do enough of multitasking during AC360! but for ya... will do it 🙂 and make sure you check your mail after that... don't want the cakes to go waste...

    Oh well, I have been approached a few times by the clipboard bearer... but its usually for signing up for some campaign or getting on some list to receive emails!.... as if we don't get enough spam already.

    October 22, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  32. Lilibeth

    Well, Jack, I’ll be sure to watch the webcast next week. I normally don’t do the live blog and webcam/webcast during the show (I have enough going on in my house), but for you man, I’ll make an exception.

    Have a great day!

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 22, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  33. Theresa, Nickerson, Ks

    Each day brings about a new reason the Republicans make me feel ill. A shopping spree for their candidate shows their fiscal priorities off to a tee!

    Anyway, another wonderfully amusing read. Thanks!!!

    October 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  34. Fay, CA

    It's amazing that any work gets done around the AC360 office with Jack Gray around–you would think everyone would be laughing too much to even be productive. Maybe we need to start another campaign to get Jack to write a book.

    Unfortunately I have computer issues and I can't watch the webcast to see what Jack looks like, but how could I ever forget his description...Abe Vigoda/Tyne Daly...

    October 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  35. Lee

    Jack, have you considered subbing for Anderson?

    Or doing a short segment with him? Not everybody can watch the webcam, so it would not be fair if you only appeared on there.

    Just that every day I check for your blog, and I can feel an anxiety attack coming on already with the realization that I will miss you.

    Is there anything you can do about this?

    October 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm |