January 19th, 2009
11:36 PM ET

This feels like Hollywood, not Washington DC

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/19/art.kaye.dustin.jpg caption="AC360° Correspondent poses with actor Dustin Hoffman at the Huffington Post ball Monday night."]Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

Hi everyone. I'm writing from the Huffington Post ball at the Newseum. It's very cool! The first ever interactive ball. If you're online at home you can log in and talk to folks who are here at the ball. There's a giant computer hanging from the ceiling here as part of the décor, but also computer stations. There are too many celebrities here to count!  We've seen Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Ben Affleck and the list goes on. Sheryl Crow is supposed to perform and so is Sting and Will.I.Am.

The celebs are getting bombarded by the party-goers.  Just chatted with John Cusack. He told me he came because he's a good friend of Arianna Huffington and an Obama supporter. He's also been blogging from the party with folks at home. I also just talked to Dustin Hoffman. We even took a picture together.  John Mellencamp just brushed by me to go outside on the patio and smoke a cigarette. Sting is setting up a table next to us. I've never seen a party like this. Will write more as the night continues. This feels like Hollywood, not Washington DC.

Check out the photo below. It might be blurry, that's definitely actor John Cusack.

Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Inauguration • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics
January 19th, 2009
10:46 PM ET

Martin Luther King Jr. – A rare glimpse

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Here is rare video of Martin Luther King Jr. in an interview from 1964. He believed there would be an african-american president in his lifetime. And on Tuesday ... five days after King would have turned 80... his vision will come true. That clip comes to us courtesy of B-B-C World News America.

Filed under: Raw Politics
January 19th, 2009
10:21 PM ET

I have a dream, and so can you

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.inauguration.eve/art.obama.serviceday.cnn.jpg caption="Obama, with his wife Michelle, addresses volunteers at a luncheon on Monday."]

Nic Lott
Mississippi Office of Renewal and Recovery

Tonight as I sit here with over a thousand people at the Congress of Racial Equality annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s great contributions to the promise of America, I am filled with pride and a sense of duty and service to help fulfill the dream.

This evening not only serves as an evening to reflect upon the past and honor those brave pioneers who made sacrifices, some the ultimate sacrifice, to ensure that America realizes her true potential.

This evening is the eve of a momentous occasion in our nation's history. We remember the marches for freedom in our not-so-long-ago past. Now, time will march on as America celebrates the hope that people can judge others by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.


January 19th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 1/19/09

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Want to share your thoughts on tomorrow's inauguration and our special coverage tonight from Washington? You're in the right location. Just scroll down and post your comments.

Want to know what we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

We're so tech savvy here at AC360°. At least, we like to think we are these days. So, we've got more goodies for you.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAMv

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
January 19th, 2009
09:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Countdown to the Inauguration

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.inauguration.eve/art.obama.mccain.afp.gi.jpg caption= "President-elect Barack Obama greets Sen. John McCain on stage after praising him at a bipartisan dinner."]
Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Anderson will be counting down to Barack Obama's inauguration live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  We're almost 14 hours away from the historic swearing-in of this nation's 44th President.

It's been a busy night in the nation's capital. Just moments ago, President-elect Obama paid tribute to Sen. John McCain at a bipartisan dinner at the Hilton Hotel. McCain is not being left out of the limelight, even though he lost the November election.

During Obama's speech tonight he poked fun at their months on the campaign trail together.

"I'm here tonight to say a few words about an American hero I have come to know very well and admire very much - Sen. John McCain," Obama said as he opened his speech. "And then, according to the rules agreed to by both parties, John will have approximately 30 seconds to make a rebuttal."

Then Obama changed his tone and called for bipartisan cooperation during his presidency.

"We will not always agree on everything in the months to come, and we will have our share of arguments and debates," Obama said. "But let us strive always to find that common ground, and to defend together those common ideals, for it is the only way we can meet the very big and very serious challenges that we face right now."

Do you think that can happen in Washington?
We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama hosted an inaugural concert tonight for children at the Verizon Center in Washington.
The Obama girls, Malia and Sasha, were on hand to watch the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and others take the stage. The event was in honor of U.S. military families around the world.

We'll have more on tonight's events, and look ahead to tomorrow on AC360°.
Join us at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
January 19th, 2009
07:22 PM ET

Passengers report scare on earlier US Airways Flight 1549

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/19/hudson.plane.folo/art.planehoist.ny1.jpg caption="Crews successfully hoist the wreckage of US Airways Flight 1549 out of the water on Saturday. "]

Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost
CNN Special Investigations Unit

Two days before US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River, passengers on the same route and same aircraft say they heard a series of loud bangs and the flight crew told them they could have to make an emergency landing, CNN has learned.

Steve Jeffrey of Charlotte, North Carolina, told CNN he was flying in first class Tuesday when, about 20 minutes into the flight, "it sounded like the wing was just snapping off."

"The red lights started going on. A little pandemonium was going on," Jeffrey recalled.

Keep Reading...

January 19th, 2009
06:45 PM ET

Beat 360: 1/19/09

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:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama talks to daughter Malia with his wife, future first lady Michelle Obama, during the 'We Are One': Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington January 18, 2009.

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.


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
January 19th, 2009
06:26 PM ET

Wall Street, Main Street and then that other world – Railroad Street

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Russel L. Honoré
LT.Gen., U.S. Army (Retired)

I think in the spirit and soul of MLK , we should remind the leaders of this great nation that we have three "streets" in America not two.

There is Wall Street. When things go bad they get a golden parachute, or a bail out, or a rescue plan, with no accountability. If they get caught, the max penalty is 5 years in jail, or house arrest, until trial.

Then there is the much talked about Main Street, the middle class, who own small businesses, they are skilled workers with jobs, they teach , they are doctors, and lawyers, bank workers, and Internet gurus. When things get bad they down-size, lay folks off or get laid off, and don’t buy that new car this year or postpone that vacation to the islands or to Europe or Africa, or they give up the idea to have a cabin at the beach or in the mountains.

The third street in America is “Railroad Street.” It’s a street where nearly a third of America lives, indigent lives dependent on minimum wage jobs, a public health system, low-performing public schools, where the streets are not safe. In many towns this is a place not just a metaphor - towns divided by the railroad , e.g. the 9th ward in NOLA. It’s that place in America where as much as 50% of the male student s do not graduate from high school.

The folks on Railroad Street are the first to lose their jobs, the folks on this street, live on the edge every day, they don’t get to eat a balance diet, or go to the dentist, they don’t get annual physicals, they only go to the doctor when they get sick.

As we celebrate the great accomplishment that will occur tomorrow, let's use the power of the message in the coming days and weeks, to shed light on the realities of life on “railroad street.”

Filed under: Economy • Wall St.
January 19th, 2009
05:43 PM ET

In Washington, the tide has rushed in..

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Candy Crowley | BIO
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

It is completely insane now on the streets around the newseum.... hundreds of people..with a heavy dose of CNN junkies-turned-paparazzi who literally form circles around you for pics, autographs, excited talk.

(Don't get me wrong, I love CNN junkies - and they fund the paychecks around here. But Holy Moley.)

All barricades, tour buses, traffic jam and no cops. People walking all over the streets that are open. Not sure if there is an event close by but it is pandemonium.

As an aside for the future, We will never be able to evacuate this town whenever the end of the world comes.

Filed under: Inauguration
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