WASHINGTON (CNN) - Her every step over the last 17 months was captured by a legion of cameramen and a press corps of journalists from around the world.
But for the last seven days, Hillary Clinton has been nowhere to seen, and Washington is speculating about where exactly the ubiquitous New York senator has gone.
WATCH: What will Clinton do now?
Is she camping out in her Georgetown home or is the former presidential candidate back at her Chappaqua estate? Perhaps she ventured to an isolated vacation spot, far removed from cable news and the political chattering class.
Members of her formal presidential campaign and her Senate staff aren't saying.
"She's enjoying some much-needed time with her family," said a staff member for her former campaign who asked not to be identified.
The two-term senator has a day job to return to, though no public events have yet to be scheduled and Clinton's Senate office is giving few clues on when she might return to the Hill.
"She'll be back before you know it," Philippe Reines, a senior adviser to Clinton said.
Laying low after a hard-fought presidential campaign is not exactly out of the ordinary.
After the 2000 presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore largely dodged the public eye, only to emerge six months later with a full beard. In 2004, John Kerry too took some down time after his loss to President Bush, though the Massachusetts Democrat was back in the Senate just over a week later.
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton on Thursday made his first public appearance since his wife formally dropped her presidential bid, speaking at the eighth grade graduation of his nephew in Torrance, California.
According to the local paper, the Daily Breeze, the former president spoke for about 10 minutes and avoided any mention of the presidential campaign.
(CNN) – This year’s presidential campaign has been one pitting family members against one another.
Now, former Oklahoma Sen. David Boren is on opposite sides of his son, Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, who announced earlier this week that he will not endorse Barack Obama for president. The younger Boren's reasoning is that his district is very conservative and he doesn’t agree with many of the Democratic nominee's positions.
The elder Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma and a staunch supporter of Obama, said Friday on my radio program "The Roland S. Martin Show on WVON-AM in Chicago" that he’s “puzzled by his son’s announcement.
"We’ve grown up in a family where we were taught to think for ourselves, but I have to say I’m puzzled about how much thinking he put into that before he said it," Boren said. "I think he’ll probably be saying some other things."
“He did say he was going to vote for Barack Obama. He just made the puzzling statement he wasn’t gong to endorse him. Well, when you say publicly you’re voting for somebody I think that means you’re supporting them.”
The father later added: “We all learn from things and my hope is will be a learning experience for him because, as I say, this isn’t a matter of politics, this is a matter of the future of our country.”
(CNN) - Barack Obama and John McCain both expressed sadness Friday over the death of NBC journalist Tim Russert.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, McCain called Russert a man of "honesty and integrity."
WATCH: McCain comment on Russert
“He was hard but he was always fair. We miss him," McCain said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And we know that Tim Russert leaves a legacy of the highest level of integrity, of the highest level of journalism, and we miss him and we'll miss him a lot. Again he was hard, he was fair, he was at the top of his profession. He loved his country. He loved the Buffalo Bills and most of all he loved his family.”
In Columbus, Ohio, Obama said Russert was "one of the finest men I knew."
WATCH: Obama comment on Russert
"I’ve known Tim Russert since I first spoke at the convention in 2004. He's somebody who overtime I came to consider not only a journalist but a friend," Obama said. "There wasn’t a better interviewer in TV, not a more thoughtful analyst of our politics, and he was also one of the finest men I knew. Somebody who cared about America, cared about the issues, cared about family.
"I am grief stricken with the loss and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And I hope that even though Tim is irreplaceable that the standard that he set in his professional life and his family life are standards that we all carry with us in our own lives," he also said.
(CNN) - Tim Russert, who became one of America's leading political journalists as the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," died Friday, according to the network. He was 58.
He collapsed and died at work, according to the network. He had just returned from a family vacation in Italy to celebrate the graduation of his son, Luke, from Boston College.
Russert joined the network in 1984 and quickly established himself as the face of the network's political coverage
(CNN) – John McCain said Friday that every candidates' wife "should be treated with respect and if there's any disrespectful conduct on the part of anyone, those people should be rejected.”
“I have the greatest respect for both Senator [Barack] and Michelle Obama. … I've never met her, Mrs. Obama, she's a talented and a very effective person. And I admire both of them. We have stark differences in views,” he told CNN's Dana Bash in a one-on-one interview.
Earlier: Obama expects Michelle to take heat
“Americans want a us to have a much more respectful campaign than the kinds they've been seeing recently.”
The comment comes a day after Obama’s campaign launched a new Web site, Fightthesmears.com, which aims to debunk rumors against the Illinois senator and his wife.
McCain also touched on his own vice presidential vetting process - and whether he's considering former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate.
"Not yet," he said.
(CNN) – After eight years of a Bush White House, Will Bower was looking for a Democrat to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January 2009. But not just any Democrat. Bower wanted Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination and move back into the home she left in January 1993.
After a bitter primary battle Clinton conceded the race to Barack Obama last week urging her supporters to back her rival. Bower heard the message, but he is not going to follow it. Instead, he said in an interview he plans to vote for Republican John McCain and has formed “Party Unity My A–,” otherwise known as PUMA to express his frustration at the Democratic Party.
The initiative he said is “to unite voters who don't want Barack Obama as president.”
The 36 year-old Washington resident said his anger is not just directed at Obama, but the party as a whole.
“[The] Democratic Party has thrown away democratic principles through this primary season," charged Bower, who pointed to the delegate sanctions levied by the DNC against Michigan and Florida. "If parties won't uphold democratic principles; who will?"
The group is predominantly comprised of female Clinton supporters, said Bower. The Clinton-turned-McCain supporter said he has also helped launch the “Just Say No Deal,” a nationwide coalition he estimated has two million voters who are also vowing to ‘say no’ to the Illinois senator come November.
Bower acknowledged Obama will be crowned the Democratic nominee at the party’s August convention, but said he holds out hope that the GOP will uncover potentially harmful information between now and then. At that time, “the party might be desperate for another candidate," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama holds a 4 point lead over John McCain, according to a compilation of the latest national surveys.
Forty seven percent of registered voters are backing the senator from Illinois in a new CNN Poll of Polls, released Friday, with 43 percent supporting the senator from Arizona. Ten percent of voters are unsure when it comes to their choice for president.
Obama’s lead is down one point from the last CNN Poll of Polls, which was released on Wednesday.
“It’s increasingly clear from our ‘poll of polls’ average that Sen. Obama holds a small advantage over Sen. McCain as we head into the general election,” says CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “Time will tell whether Obama’s lead is a temporary bounce resulting from the end of the Democratic nomination fight, or whether it is a more permanent reflection of voters’ desire for change this year.”
This latest edition of the CNN Poll of Polls is an average of four new national surveys, a Gallup poll taken from June 9-12, an NBC/Wall Street Journal survey conducted from June 6-9, a Diageo/Hotline poll taken from June 5-8, and our own CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted from June 4-5. The CNN Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican party may face tough times at the polls come November, according to results of a new national survey.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Survey out Friday indicates that 2008 may not be a good year for Republicans up and down the ticket, even though most national surveys indicate the race for the White House between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama is quite close right now.
Interactive: Check out the latest poll numbers
Sixty-three percent of Democrats questioned say they are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year. Only 37 percent of Republicans feel the same way, with 36 percent of Republicans saying they are not enthusiastic about voting.
(CNN) – Barack Obama said Thursday he fully expects Republican's to play the fear card in the general election, and will attempt to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."
Speaking at a high-dollar fundraiser in Chicago's Hyde Park on Thursday evening, the Illinois senator said he thinks he knows what the GOP strategy will be this fall.
"They’re going to try to make me into a scary guy. They’re even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" Obama said. "And so that drumbeat – 'we’re not sure if he’s patriotic or not; we’re not sure if he is too black.'
"I don’t know, before I wasn’t black enough," Obama said. " 'Now he might be too black. We don’t know whether he’s going to socialize – well, who knows what.' "
The comments come a day after the Obama campaign set up a Web site to directly respond to several Internet rumors that have long swirled around the presidential candidate and his wife.
As CNN reported Thursday, conservatives may view Michelle Obama as a potential target this election season, following her controversial comment earlier this year that, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country."
In May, the Tennessee Republican Party used video of Michelle Obama's comments in a TV ad that aired during one of her husband's campaign stops in the state. The ad features Tennesseeans saying why they are proud of America while repeatedly cutting to Michelle Obama's comments. The Obama campaign called the ad "shameful," and it was condemned by the state's two Republican U.S. senators
Michelle Obama later said her comments were taken out of context, and she meant that for the first time in her life she was proud of the politics of America.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of EMILY's Ellen Moran predicted to CNN Michelle Obama will be an asset to her husband's campaign.
"I believe that the electorate sees her as a fresh face, an authentic speaker, and she gives real compelling voice to everyday problems that working mothers face and that is compelling in of itself, and I believe the republicans are trying to blunt that," Moran said.