November 13th, 2008
11:24 PM ET

The countdown that called the election

Watch the crowd in Grant Park, Chicago react to CNN's Projection for President of the United States.
Watch the crowd in Grant Park, Chicago react to CNN's Projection for President of the United States.

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

Wanted to share something cool with you.

Election night at CNN was one of the busiest nights of the year... as producers, reporters, and control room staff scrambled to get viewers the latest projections as polls closed in states across the country.

But it seems for those of you watching us, it was a whole different story.

Who knew crowds were counting down with CNN's 'poll closings' as if it was New Year's in Time Square!?!

One countdown in particular brought an instant double-reaction from many crowds;

Flash back to Nov 4 – The time is 11:00pm ET – Polls are closing in 10 seconds in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii...

Crowds begin count down: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 .... Ready to cheer when our countdown clock hits '1' (as they did six other times that night)... except this time it's different.

CNN calls the race...

One pro-Obama website that clearly couldn't get enough of the victory has pulled together the best clips from across the country, and around the world of that moment; Showing people's instant reaction to CNN's projection of Barack Obama's presidential win. (For the record, there aren't many videos of that moment at McCain parties.... though they were cheering for their candidate all night long as well)

What I find amazing is that you can literally hear the moment it registers with them... The applause for the countdown switches mid-cheer to that of total surprise.

Take a look (and a listen)

Filed under: David M. Reisner • Raw Politics
November 13th, 2008
10:48 PM ET

Once and future Treasury Secretary?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/08/art.bopt1108.gi.jpg]Program Note: Look for Andy Serwer talking about the housing crisis on tonight's AC360 at 10pm.

Andy Serwer
Managing editor, Fortune

There has been much talk of whom President-elect Barack Obama will name as his Treasury secretary. The guessing game on Wall Street and in Washington, serious stuff even before the election, has become even more intense.

A job that was once a good part ceremonial – with the ultimate perk being your signature on the nation's currency – has become full-time serious. The new Treasury secretary is probably Obama's most significant appointment, and arguably the first significant decision the next president will make.

Fortune believes that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence (Larry) Summers is in the lead to get the job. Summers, who served in the Clinton Administration, wouldn't be a surprise pick. He along with other economic experts, ex-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, have advised Obama during the campaign, especially as the economic crisis unfolded. Volcker is said to be highly interested in the Treasury job, but Summers, with support from Rubin, has the inside track.


Filed under: Andy Serwer • Bailout Turmoil • Barack Obama • Economy • Raw Politics
November 13th, 2008
10:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 11/13/08

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/30/art.liveblog.jpg]Thanks for staying up late with us. We're on at 11pm ET after CNN Presents: Escape from Jonestown.

We want you to be part of the program. Just scroll down and share your thoughts on tonight's stories.

But, keep in mind you have a better chance of getting your comment posted on the blog if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Don't write in ALL CAPS (we don't like screaming)
2) Stay on topic.
3) Keep it short
4) No curse words
5) Use your real name

Tonight on 360, will Hillary Clinton be the next Secretary of State? Two sources close to the Obama transition team tell CNN that Senator Hillary Clinton's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the post. We're also tracking the wild day on Wall Street. Big loses in the morning, but then in the afternoon the dow closed up more than 550 points. And, a new culprit of the collapse. This time we're zeroing in on the failing auto industry.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. LINK TO WEBCAST

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

Filed under: Live Blog
November 13th, 2008
10:16 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/14/clinton.qa/art.clinton.cnn.jpg caption="Sources: Hillary Clinton mentioned as possible Secretary of State candidate."]Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Will Hillary Clinton be joining team Obama? Tonight, two sources tell CNN that Clinton's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Secretary of State.

Do you think it would be a good move?

We'll have all the developments tonight on AC360°.

And, a manic day on Wall Street. At one point the Dow sank below the 8,000 mark, but rebounded to finish the day up more than 500 points.

What's going on? It's your money, your future. CNN's Ali Velshi will explain the wild ride.

We're also naming another culprit of the collapse. This time we're focusing on the failing U.S. auto industry.  See who's being added to our most wanted list.

Also tonight, a KKK ritual turns deadly. A woman is shot to death in Louisiana at a klan initiation. We'll have the latest on the investigation.

All that and more starting at 11pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
November 13th, 2008
06:45 PM ET

Beat 360° 11/13/08

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during the Republican Governors Association conference November 13, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Palin delivered remarks about her feelings on the future of the Repulican party.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!


Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
November 13th, 2008
03:52 PM ET

What I’ve always remembered: the children were killed first

Program Note:
Thirty years ago, more than 900 died by murder and suicide. Only 33 survived. Soledad O'Brien reports on their untold stories.
CNN Presents: 'Escape from Jonestown' Tonight 9 p.m. ET


Tim Carter, a trusted aide to Rev. Jim Jones, watched his infant son die at Jonestown. THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
Tim Carter, a trusted aide to Rev. Jim Jones, watched his infant son die at Jonestown. THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.

James Polk
CNN Senior Producer

Thirty years ago, I walked out on the doorstep to pick up the Sunday paper and learned NBC reporter Don Harris, a colleague and friend, had been shot to death on a Guyana air strip.

Like much of the rest of the world, that was the first I’d heard of Jonestown. As an NBC correspondent in those years, I flew to San Francisco to help dig into the background of the Peoples Temple. Soon I became aware it was the children who had been the first to die in Jonestown, and I profiled the unhappy past of one teenager who had been taken there as a welfare ward.

That’s what I’ve always remembered to this day: the children were killed first. To me, it is that unforgivable act which defines the tragedy that was Jonestown.

I’m now a senior documentary producer for CNN, and when I finished a two-hour project in April, “Eyewitness to Murder,” on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., my boss came up to me and said this will be the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown suicides.


Filed under: Escape from Jonestown • James Polk
November 13th, 2008
02:38 PM ET

Battle over Prop 8

Anderson talks with his panel in a heated discussion over same-sex marriage in light of the passage of Proposition 8.

November 13th, 2008
02:35 PM ET

The impact of Prop 8 on my family

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/13/art.vert.andrewsolomon.jpg width=292 height=320]

Editor's Note: Andrew Solomon is the author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which won the 2001 National Book Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has been published in 24 languages. He is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, and writes for The New Yorker and The New York Times. He is also the author of the novel A Stone Boat and of The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost.

Andrew Solomon
Author, The Noonday Demon

My partner John and I tied the knot on June 30th last year. John had wanted to get married for some time, and we could have done so in Massachusetts, but gay marriage has no federal recognition there, and thus offers none of the myriad legal protections that heterosexual marriage entails, so I felt that it would be something of a sham. Then Great Britain passed a law giving civil partnership legally identical status to marriage.

Because I am a dual national, it made sense for us to get hitched over there: if we ever decided to give up our US citizenship, we would be treated as each other’s next of kin, and would not be taxed on each other’s estates. The name may be less than in Massachusetts, but the rights are more.

Even after our well-attended celebration of union, I was shy of calling our relationship a marriage, and social reserve made me leery of using the word husband in referring to John; it seemed unmasculine and almost kitsch. Over time, though, I found myself increasingly incensed by the opposition to gay marriage and I recognized the use of that term as a tool in the battle for civil rights. My hesitancy owed to a society that had always made me feel that I could assume my real identity only at a cost.

Gradually, however, I’ve become convinced that words and rights are ultimately inseparable, and that it is pusillanimous for me to call John anything other than my husband. Linguistic apartheid gives license to those who would treat us as lesser citizens, and our love as an inferior love. It exacts a price, compromising our feeling of participation in the great history of love that our parents’ marriages reflected. Philip Larkin’s poem about a tomb in which the remains of a husband and wife were placed together, ends, “What will remain of us is love.” Marriage is the institution by which that love is sanctified, for better or worse—the mechanism of that remaining.

Since our wedding, I've gone from mild advocate to passionate supporter of gay marriage, of unions but especially of marriage itself. In the grand scheme of things, I'd rather have an election that brought in Obama and failed on marriage than the other way around, and I am almost embarrassingly excited about our new president. But it has been a bitter pill to hear the throngs shouting for joy about this election, while so many gay men and lesbians are being hit with a sense of how regressive society is about our rights and priorities.

Activists have consoled us that gay marriage will end up winning, but I don’t want to be the equivalent of the 106-year-old woman Obama lionized in his victory speech, winding down old age with the satisfying experience of seeing prejudice finally fall. I may have to wait that long to vote for a gay candidate for the presidency, but I will not wait so long for permission to refer to John as my husband not as an affectation but as a matter of national legal record, affirming the same rights and the same status between us that our heterosexual married friends and family enjoy.


November 13th, 2008
02:14 PM ET

Hate crime

Editor's Note: You can read more Lisa Bloom blogs on In Session”

Lisa Bloom
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Marcello Lucero was walking to a friend’s house last weekend to watch a movie when his life came to a brutal end. The Ecuadorean native was allegedly beaten and stabbed by a group of teenagers who police said wanted “to beat up some Mexicans.”

Lucero’s death Saturday night on Long Island, New York was quickly labeled a hate crime by authorities. Unfortunately, it’s part of an underreported spike of hate crimes against Hispanics in the last few years. According to the FBI, Anti-Hispanic hate crimes have increased 40 percent since 2003.

Hispanic advocates blame a climate of harsh rhetoric surrounding the national immigration debate, and they surely have a point.

The Justice Department says that out of all bias crimes based on ethnicity, 62 percent target Hispanics, 38 percent everyone else. 62 percent! Though Hispanics are only 14 percent of the population. Those are some scary numbers.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Hate Crime • Lisa Bloom
November 13th, 2008
01:43 PM ET

Is General Motors worth saving?

Bill Saporito
TIME Magazine

For months, General Motors had been telling everyone who would listen that bankruptcy was not an option. It had a $30 billion cash pile and plans to restructure the company as the economy rebounded and 2007 U.S. auto sales topped 16 million units.

Then came October. Sales plummeted an astounding 45% over the same period last year, a result of a slowing economy and a dearth of financing for would-be car buyers. Total U.S. car and light-truck sales this year could come in at 13.5 million, 2.6 million fewer than last year. "That's in nobody's business plan," says Kimberly Rodriguez, an automotive specialist with Grant Thornton.

"The best planning in the world cannot survive that fluctuation." It's now clear that GM can't survive as an ongoing entity without massive federal assistance. The company is burning through more than $2 billion each month. It has $16 billion left. As if they were aboard a dirigible losing altitude, GM's bosses have been frantically throwing all manner of stuff overboard — retiree health-care benefits, people, assets, new car design — to conserve $5 billion. That will get it through the year.


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Barack Obama • Economy • Finance • Raw Politics
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