December 31st, 2008
04:19 PM ET

For Auld Lang Syne and Rod Blagojevich's Bangs

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/30/illinois.senate/art.gov.gi.jpg caption="I need not remind you that my hair is innocent until proven guilty."]
Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

It’s finally here, the last day of 2008.  You didn’t think you’d make it, did you?  Especially after you went on that bender in March and took the millions you made from that offshore monkey-fighting tournament and bet it all on Chris Dodd winning the presidency.  But you toughed it out and survived.  And now the only thing standing between you and a fresh start for the New Year is the 50/50 chance that sometime tonight you’re going to catch your significant other making out with your neighbor.  Yeah, good luck with that.

I myself am taking a break this year from the New Year’s Eve party circuit.  And by party circuit I mean sitting on my couch with my dog Sammy drinking warm beer out of a Dixie cup.  Instead I’ll be producing for Anderson on location in Times Square as he hosts CNN’s New Year’s Eve Celebration alongside the wonderful Kathy Griffin. My duties will include guarding the champagne and making sure Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest somehow wind up in New Jersey.

The show starts at 11:00pm Eastern Time and you’re guaranteed to have fun.  If not, Anderson will personally come to your house, re-do the countdown in your living room while tossing authentic Times Square confetti and singing New York, New York in his best Larry King voice.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • New Year's Eve 2008 • Raw Politics
December 29th, 2008
06:05 PM ET

The preceding holiday was brought to you by Ibuprofen

Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. So it’s time to put away the empty pitcher of Mimosa and that Charles in Charge DVD set you didn’t ask for and get back to work.

President-elect Obama is reportedly having a tough time adjusting to the insular nature of the presidential “bubble.” Indeed, once he's inaugurated it's only going to get worse. He'll be cut off completely from his old routine and isolated in his limousine, jumbo jet, helicopter and mansion.  Brutal.

Caroline Kennedy has yet to secure her appointment to the United States Senate. Which is surprising. I thought she was a lock once she put that “Schenectady is for Lovers” bumper sticker on her Volvo.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden has settled on a name for his new German Shepherd puppy. The Bidens are going to call the dog “Champ.” I think you’ll agree that it’s a great name for a dog. It rolls right off the tongue: “Come here Champ,” “roll over Champ,” “let go of my hair plugs Champ.”


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Jack Gray • New Year's Eve 2008
December 29th, 2008
02:55 PM ET

AC360° gets ready to ring in the New Year

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/29/art.story.new.years.jpg]

Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

It’s that time of year again, and some of us have been furiously working over the past couple of months on the New Year’s Eve show.. As I’m sure you’ve read in Jack Gray’s posts, this year we are bringing back our favorite red head to help co-host. Also, the show is back to being 2 hours, airing from 11pm until 1am East Coast time, with a replay for those of you on the West Coast who want to toast in the New Year with Anderson and Kathy.

We’ll have reporters all over the world contribute, as well as our own Erica Hill and Richard Quest in Times Square, Gary Tuchman on the Central Park run, and Brooke Anderson coming to us from Club CNN at Lavo in the Palazzo in Las Vegas. I’m still in the process of finalizing our musical acts, but here’s a hint. One of them will take us all on a “Fantastic Voyage”. More to come, but as in years past, I promise to try and bring in a little something for everyone.

We also want to know about your plans. What do you do that is unique on the New Year? Do you have great photos or videos? Be sure to go to the IReport section of CNN.com on New Year’s Eve and upload your favorite moments. You may see Anderson and Kathy talk about your submission during the show. Points for snarky remarks from our hosts.

2008 has been such an up and down year. We’ve had a historic election, a recession and many other things happen in between. It’s time to look forward, and hope that 2009 brings better times for all of us.

See you on 360 tonight, and be sure to set a reminder for 11pm ET/PT on CNN for New Year’s Eve, with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin

Filed under: Kay Jones • New Year's Eve 2008