February 24th, 2009
02:21 PM ET

Sure, I'll address Congress...as long as I remember to TiVo CSI: Miami

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

It’s a big night for President Obama. He has his first address to a joint session of Congress.  Naturally, that makes me think of my first address to a joint session of Congress.  It was a day that started off like any other: Me waking up on the floor of my apartment with Angela Lansbury’s e-mail address written in pink lipstick on my bicep.

As I was thinking of a way to let Angela down gently, my cell phone rang.  I knew from the specially assigned ring tone – Hail to the Chief sung by the Pussycat Dolls – that it was The White House.  The Chief of Staff told me that Congress was demanding an impromptu State of the Union address that very night.  And, it turned out, with the president overseas and the vice president sidelined with a yoga injury (I told him doing Downward-facing Dog while Air Force Two was experiencing turbulence was a bad idea) the responsibility fell on my shoulders.

I know what you’re thinking: that doesn’t sound right.  But remember, this was during that brief period when the constitution had been amended so that the line of succession went:  president, vice president, Jennifer Love Hewitt, then me.  And, considering Love’s itchy nuclear trigger finger and radical views on healthcare for orphans, the power players in the West Wing wanted me to make the address.

Anyway, I am nothing if not a proud American and I’ll do whatever my country asks of me.  Provided that I’m given a meal allowance.

So, I showed up at the Capitol at the scheduled time and walked down the aisle to give my speech.  The assembled lawmakers were polite, if a bit confused.  I did my best to ingratiate myself with them, though in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have opened with that dirty limerick about Daniel Webster.

Nevertheless, I quickly got into my groove. I updated Congress on everything from the economy to climate change to my fear of clowns.

Everything was going along fine until I noticed the Supreme Court Justices sitting in the front row weren’t clapping at any of my applause lines.  And so I was all like, “Hey, Sandra Day O’Connor, I’m sorry things didn’t work out between us but that’s no reason to be rude during my speech.”  And she was all like, “I’m a Supreme Court Justice, I’m not supposed to clap at political speeches.”  And I was like “Whatever, we both know this is about that weekend in the Poconos.”

It was shortly thereafter that the audience turned on me.  I don’t remember the exact moment.  I’m told it was sometime between my suggestion that to combat inflation we just print more money and when I paused to call my acupuncturist.

The next thing I knew I was running out of there, dodging bottles of Heinz Ketchup being lobbed by Senator John Kerry.

Of course, I can’t imagine President Obama will have any moments like that tonight.  He goes into this speech with a high approval rating and the confidence of the majority of Americans.  His main goal, one would assume, will be to convince the public to support his efforts to turn around the economy.

But he should probably have a dirty limerick ready anyway.  Just to be safe.


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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Raw Politics
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Lori from IL

    Jack - thanks for the laughs. Is BettyAnn sharing some of her pain meds with you? Where do you come up with the stuff - it's brilliant?!

    BettyAnn - glad to see you blogging from your sick bed. I wondered about you all weekend - hoping your surgery went well. Thanks for the laughs.

    February 25, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  2. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    Aaaawww...Angela Lansbury is beautiful specially on her younger years. And I take offense...she wears hot red lipstick not pink. 😦 Still funny though. You do crack me up! 🙂 Eeerr....biceps??? do you get those from carrying Sammy up and down your apartment? If yes, I need to adopt a best friend.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  3. Stephen

    You lefties are either dense or naive or both. Obama’s a good guy and I'm all for doing what's right and best. And America is great and we can do great things as we have in the past. Great hyperbole, but let me see if I've got this right. The Republicans spent like drunken sailors to get us into this mess. So the solution is for the Democrats to spend like drunken sailors to get us out of this mess. Am I missing something? Once again Americans are being bought with their own money…

    February 24, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  4. Phil Cusa

    What was the deal with Joe Biden?
    I respect him, but he cannot handle it as a watchdog.
    The speech was reterick. no incentive for savings, no incentive for spending. All about Obama, all about what HE wants. What about what we want? What about what we need? No hope, just BS.
    sorry. What has he inherited? What the Democrats have sent him from Carter!!!
    No Big Government. Still no answers, oh well. Lets give him a chance and see what happens. I may be dead by then but my child will have to deal with too much government. Too bad for this country the best in the world, but no more.
    Very Sad

    February 24, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  5. Michael

    The president once again hit it out the park he was straight forward and direct with the average american. He once again brought it down so that the regular american on main street can understand. I liked that he attempted to give prasie where it was due in the banking industry whilst sending a clear message to bank executives that unethical behavior will not me condoned

    February 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  6. Don, WA

    This "tuesday" speech today by the president will be an intricate explanation to the public about how he was just kidding when he told Hillary, "I'll gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today," at TGIF's last friday. This speech aimed at defusing the, "shame on you Barack Obama" slurs by Hillary that would surely otherwise begin first thing wednesday morning on every news channel.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm |
  7. Brandi - bottom of the boot


    you sound well rested. im so glad you have recovered from sunday nite. lol

    clowns? why is everyone so afraid of clowns?

    February 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  8. Luis

    Lets spend money we don't have. Yeah......

    The government is doing the same mistakes the American people did. spend, spend spend. Borrow, Borrow, Borrow.

    We are broke. I'm sorry it's going to take a hyper inflation depression for a real political action to take place.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  9. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Helloooo Jack!!!!
    LOL!!!! Ohhhh You're so funny man I read your comment!!!!! That is so great joke your blog comment!!!! actually, I don't have TiVo in my room.... Oh well, I do love CSI Miami show, It is great show, But I have cable too. Yes! I do love French Fries with ketchup in my life........
    Thanks for cheer me up and share with me.
    Hi Ashley, Rikki, Pati, Helen, Vanessa TX, Isabel, Michelle D. and Welcome back BettyAnn, we missed you, Hope you will feel better your ankle..... good luck BettyAnn!! Anderson and I will praying for your ankle to heal!

    I agree with Cindy in GA, I like to say thank you bring icon picture back of Anderson Cooper on Live Blog!!!!! Nice job!!!! I am proud of you!!! Thanks Jack!! You're my hero! you saved him so much! Is that great? HUH? Yay!!! congrats!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  10. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Whoa,whoa,whoa Jack! You got a promotion? Singer/songwriter or something better than dog washing?
    Congrats Jack! Well deserved! We all love you.
    (raising a glass) here's to you kid~

    February 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  11. Michelle

    jack now that you are a producer/writer is there
    now an associate producer that you now outrank
    and can you look Anderson in the eyes yet?

    February 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  12. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Ah Jack...I can just imagine the scenen now! Though I must have missed that particular address to congress! 🙂 Awesome post! I am certainly looking forward to how President Obama does tonight!

    And how incredibly rude of me I have yet to congratulate you for your well deserved promotion! What was I thinking? Congrats Jack! 🙂

    February 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  13. Annie Kate


    That's quite a story there – just what did you have for lunch? At any rate if you run short of limericks or if Obama does I have my dad's collection of over 1000 dirty limericks – I have to be careful where I put this book because my son keeps stealing it to read – and while I usually am very supportive of his reading this book is not one I want him to read....not quite yet at any rate.

    I wish you had told us your limerick about Daniel Webster. I could have added it to the collection. At any rate great post – keep them coming!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  14. Helen, Reading, UK

    So I've blogged on Andy's post and told him to give you your own slot. If he gives it to you, I'll only take 20 per cent commission, ok? Forgot to say earlier, I wouldn't advise hanging out with Angela Lansbury either, I've noticed a lot of people seem to wind up dead when she comes to town. I'm sure Sammy will make sure your life insurance is paid up though, just in case..

    February 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  15. Pati Mc

    @ Betty Ann – WELCOME BACK !!!!

    I posted my comment before I read the others....duh. Your poem is hilarious. So glad you are back, we missed you on Sunday.

    Love and stuff! heal quickly!!!!

    PS Jack, you rock. 🙂

    February 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  16. Pati Mc

    Jack, have you been into the "Murder She Wrote" marathons again??? That added to the junk food you probably ate before bed, and now you are having some fierce nightmares – you had better take it easy. Yeesh!

    What is it with you and the elderly ladies? I mean...older women are fine..but grandmotherly ones? Someone has issues.

    You left me laughing yet again. Mission accomplished! Ew, I totally just quoted "W". I am off to rinse my mouth with Listerine. Bleah 😛

    Have a good one, dude.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  17. Jennifer - Michigan

    @L. Carilo, H.R., CO & Tammy in LA:
    My birthday is coming up this weekend. My husband will have to take me to dinner at Ruth Chris' for a delicious steak! Sounds so good! Thankfully, he usually gives in to whatever I want – guess that's why I keep him around, overwise, he would've been cut loose long ago. (just kidding) – I usually give him what he wants too.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  18. Helen, Reading, UK

    Hiya Jack, happy Pancake Day! First of all, can I please have some of whatever Betty Ann is on? You are one funny lady! And what's with the promotion? Producer/Writer now, congratulations! Surely this means that Coop will have to find another minion to enter rooms three steps ahead of him, throwing rose petals into his path? Maybe Sammy could send him her resumé? If she gets the job she'll be able to buy her own menthols and Kahlua for a change instead of tapping you up. Don't forget to tape CSI, it'll come in handy for tips as to how to get into and out of your Lord and Master's office without leaving your sticky little paw prints all over it! I'm with the rest of the Gray Groupies, he should be giving you air time to distribute your words of wit and wisdom to the world. Who needs to talk strategy with Gergen when Gray's got something funny to say? Maybe a new segment entitled Poets Corner? You might have to tone down those limericks though, you know how embarrassed Coop gets when things get a little risqué, ha, ha! Right, that's enough from me, I'm off to sort the laundry and cook my tea. Oh the exciting life I lead.. Much love and lots of tail wags to you, Sammy, Betty Ann, Megan, Presley Pati Mc and the rest of you gorgeous people. Toodles x x x

    February 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  19. Lilibeth

    I look forward to the president’s speech. I’m sure he’ll do fine; he always does. I’m still getting over my jet lag, though, so I hope I don’t fall asleep. Take care.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  20. Nicole, San Diego

    Afternoon Jack,
    Great post, as always. Congrats on the promotion. @Michelle has a very good idea of doing a spot or running segment on AC 360.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  21. Jennifer

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, you're a regular comedian, Jack. But with all those people out of work too, don't ya feel bad stealing their job from them?
    Just kidding.

    About the address to congress, how about letting me fill in for ya and Obama. Here is what I would say: Can you spell "fired." That's what they will be come their next election...socking us with that humongous debt and calling it a stimulus...their sense of humor will be their downfall.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  22. L. Carilo, H.R., CO

    To Tammy in LA:

    Mmmmmm. Ruth's Chris Steak House: roasted garlic mashed potatoes, bleu cheese dressing on fresh, crisp green lettuce wedge, and the best yet...the Cowboy Ribeye. (Eyes watering; Resession's suck. ~ L.C.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  23. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Thanks for the shout out ya'll great people.
    I forgot that today is fat tuesday. The Sister conveniently forgot to mention it. I guess I'm high enough today but I have a surprise for her.
    Next time she comes in my hospital room I'll be wearing my mardi~gras beads. That's all. i might even throw her some.
    Fun with Catholicism!
    If they force me into confession, I'll tell the priest I gave up clothes for lent. . . and walking. Hey it's God's choice, not mine.
    My tail wags to you all! I'm "bare"ly into mardi~gras!

    February 24, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  24. L. Carilo, H.R., CO

    To Stacy ~ Agreed, wouldn't it be great if Jack did have a book club blog. My choice for first book: anything by David Sedaris (HILARIOUS!!!) or...of course, anthing by Anderson Cooper – grocery lists perhaps. ~ L.C.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  25. Stacy

    Hey Jack,

    You and O'Connor, huh? Who'd a thunk it?

    Sunday night was fun, but now I'm sad because there's nothing left to live-blog. We need more events. The American Idol finale, perhaps? Oh, or maybe you could start your own book club (take that, Oprah!).

    February 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  26. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I'd only agree if the meal allowance was for Ruth's Chris or better. You can't lower the standards just because it's Congress. There has to be something in it for you besides name recognition and the Secret Service escort out of the building against your will. Oh well. Back to early spring cleaning this lovely Mardi Gras day.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  27. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    How come your speech was not televised? I would have popped a big bowl of popcorn and taken copius notes! I'm sure President Obama has learned a lot from your mistakes. I look forward to hearing what he has to say tonight.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  28. Jim Carroll internet free press

    HOW CAN THE INTELLIGENTSIA OF AMERICA BE SO BLINDED that they cannot see that the Federal Government must have a money system that can create and maintain an equivalent ratio of money to the goods and services that its peoples’ hands and minds can produce? Nature’s Basic Law of Economics states: All goods and services flow from the action of people resources on natural resources— Money is the medium of exchange which should be equal to the value of the goods and services—and not to a gold standard or some other insane idea.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  29. Zia

    Hello Anderson,
    I have I one question for all Americans. How many years did it take for the Bush administration to ruin our economy? 8 years. We can not expect President Obama to fix the economy in thirty to sixty days. We need to give the president a chance at least he is trying to help homeowners because I never heard former President Bush even mention homeowners were struggling let alone come up with a solution for struggling homeowners. I applaud President Obama for thinking of the middle class in the US and for coming up with solutions to our many problems. They solutions may not work but at least he tried.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  30. Jennifer - Michigan

    BettyAnn – Glad you're back! I was wondering about you today. Very funny poem! You had me laughing out loud. Hope you have a great day!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  31. vanessa, TX

    hey jack..yet another funny post 🙂 thanx, by the way for the mental pic of you and Angela Landsbury. Kinda early in the morning for such mental activities going thru the brain.
    Have a great day, Jack 😉

    BTW I hope your still not hurt from sunday when I reffered you to Seth Rogan....what I meant was your humor is like his.....lol

    we still luv you though 😉

    February 24, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  32. Isabel, Brazil

    Hi, Jack!
    Good afternoon!

    Do you relax after the Oscar?
    Great liveblog, huh!

    My TiVo isn't working – laughing, but it's a matter of updating the firmware because the TiVo isn't official in Brazil. You know that list of things you never do? TiVo. But don't worry, my TV have time machine. Lol

    President Obama will take the center stage today, to try to sell their broad agenda to people and to remove the US of deep recession and economic challenges facing the long term. I hope that this evening, President Obama is successful, while talking to the Congress.

    Pussycat Dolls’ ring tone is very interesting, huh!
    Now, get me a question:
    What is your ring tone when Anderson Cooper calls you?
    Mission impossible or it would be too obvious?
    Kill my curiosity, please! 🙂

    Kisses and even the next!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  33. Carol B.

    Hey Jack! You and Angela Lansbury & S.D. O'Connor? What? That's quite a triangle. Does someone have Grandma issues? Heh.You've gotta watch out for those May-December romances. Let's just code talk you as "Harold & Maude". Consider yourself lucky. You know that anytime someone leaves a lipstick message on a mirror or a body part, there is usually a chalk outline and yellow tape involved. J.L. Hewitt is probably more your speed & age and she seems to be able to cry on cue, so be nice. Betty Ann is on her happy pills and seems to have cranked out quite a limerick. Hope you're on the mend! Anyhow, hope the President's speech is well-received tonight.

    February 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  34. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Hi Jack! Everyone here will wonder what's wrong with me, laughing at work! Your posts are so funny! Please keep them coming–we need the humor like never before. Noticed your title is Producer/Writer now instead of Associate Producer. I hope it's a step up for you; you deserve it. Anderson should have you do a little humorous spot on 360 sometime, in addition to eating his vegetables. Happy day to you!

    February 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  35. L. Carilo, H.R., CO

    To BettyAnn, TX ~ If writing is any indication of how your ankle's healing...your going to be just fine in no time. Gooooooo meds! ~ L.C.

    February 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  36. Cindy

    Are you sure you're not tokin' off that bong that Phelps got caught with when writing these things!? I mean man...you've got some wild imagination going on! LOL Either that or you're hittin' Sammy's hard stuff and she ain't gonna be at all pleased! LOL But I have to admit...you are pretty funny...OK and cool! LOL

    Oh..and BTW thanks for helping Coop get his little pic back! He'd be lost with out you man! Hit him up for a raise for that one! LOL


    February 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  37. Michelle

    Jack will Anderson let you give your post on television.
    You need a promotion big time dude. This is classic.
    Did you intern on Letterman or something?

    February 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  38. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    There Once Was A Boy From Nantucket Jack!
    Forgive me, for I know not what I do. I am still a little woosey from the surgery and meds.
    Ok, retro with me a moment I am still trying to catch up. I read the live Academy Awards Blog and my, my did u all have fun! I am jealous! I miss you guys!
    I did wonder if you were putting posting pics of Anderson and Erica and talking for them. That would be just like you Jack! LOL!
    I reviewed last night's live blog and there it was! YOU had to show Anderson how to put his pic up! hahaha caught in action!
    I also want to refer to Anderson's yet another phobia of his which was revealed last night, green food.
    I have no phobia of green food. In fact I make sure to eat every morsel of it on my plate. I don't care if it is brussell sprouts, asparagas, cabbage, turnip greens, lettuce, celery, bell peppers, polk sally, or poi.
    It may sound crazy but if you are 8 years old and some Nun named Sister Teresa was beating you with a wooden spoon, you'd learn to eat all your greens too. And then be thankful.
    Of course I love all green stuff thanks to the Sister. Creme de Menthe comes to mind first.
    Thanks for another laugh Jack. We must party sometime when my ankle is better. Maybe a cha-cha contest? Oh yeah, kickboxing is more your style!
    Gotta go, Sister Mary just came in and is toting a yard stick!
    Bye, Bye for now,
    Peace, Love, and poi,

    P.S. There once was a girl from Nacogdoches,
    Who stepped on some flying cockroaches,
    She screamed and she danced,
    Til she peed her pants.
    Then everyone told her "buenos noches"!

    February 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  39. L. Carilo, H.R., CO

    Jack – Love JLH / Hate clowns / Hail to the chief of Heinz. Ketchup...Now, pass the french fries.

    Sorry I mispelled your name in yesterday's post to Tom Foreman; will never happen again – Mr. Gray

    February 24, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  40. Maria

    Happy day Jack,

    I think Jennifer Love Hewitt will be professional mentalist soon, at least text psychologist, do you remember the first Prime-time Press Conference for President Obama, he admitted he did not have a crystal ball and that is why the White house honor you the assignment. But you know what was your mistake in the address, you didn’t expect the lawmakers to be polite, they always pretend Jack, I did similar mistake today early morning when I arrived work, instead of pressing the lift up, I pressed down, then I realized my mistake and I pressed up, meanwhile a colleague arrived and tease me “oh this lift is going up and down”, I replied “it is the beginning of the day”, by the way, I think lift is politically incorrect, because it shouldn’t go down.

    Your post is lovely and great.

    Have a lovely day.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  41. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    If the President's speech is scheduled for an hour---America is going to get lost in translation-–we don't need a pep talk--we want to see cause and effect for what has been done-time for talking has ended--show me some results-–and if his main goal, one would assume, will be to convince the public to support his efforts to turn around the economy--Mr. President-–do we have any other choice besides "paying for it?"

    February 24, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  42. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    Hey Jack, Funny post!

    February 24, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  43. Ashley - Hamlin, NY

    Another bow for Mr. Gray is in order...By the way, I'm blaming you because I just joined Twitter the other day. I'm waiting for my brain to literally melt.

    Can anyone else picture Pres. Obama with David Caruso's sunglasses? THAT I would TiVo...

    February 24, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  44. sharon from Indy

    You sure do have strange dreams...or are they nightmares?

    February 24, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  45. Paula Vergara, Boston, MA


    Great post! You have quite the imagination. I think you'd be a great backup to the President, esp. since you're only asking for a meal allowance for your efforts. I hear the White House food is pretty darn good, especially the french fries.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  46. Michelle , Fonthill, Ontario

    Hi Jack

    Thanks for the visual picture I now have of you on the floor with pink lipstick on your arm ,i didn't know you had a thing for old ladies !
    Angela Landsbury 's new mystery novel entitled : Ruff Politics served with exrtra cheeesynees! Starring Jack Gray and the menthol smokin'n dog ! -ha! Great ring tone Pussy cat dolls signing or Beyonce with the 360 floor crew as backup dancers ! That's worth the price of admission to you eh Jack?

    Thanks for your post Jack !
    Great oscar blog too!
    Michelle D.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  47. Jennifer - Michigan

    Good Morning Jack,
    Very funny post today! I'm sure the President's speech will go just fine tonight. He portrays such a sense of confidence when he speaks. I sometimes wonder what he REALLY feels inside. It's got to be so overwhelming to have the whole country looking at you for a solution to this financial mess. He's in the spotlight alright! I couldn't imagine the stress he must deal with. We'll all be watching.
    Hey, it's such a beautiful day today outside. It seems that the sun is getting a little warmer. Spring is finally on it's way! I had to stop at the grocery store this morning for some more green veggies after last night's blog. Have a good day, talk to you later.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:41 am |