WASHINGTON (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama's daughters have been promised a puppy for the White House - President Bush's dog, Barney, demonstrated his technique for dealing with the media Thursday...sinking his teeth into Reuters TV White House correspondent Jon Decker.
Call it a case of biting the hand that covers you.
First Dog Barney and his handler were out on the front lawn for a walk when Reuters' Decker and another reporter approached.
"He looked very nice and friendly," says Decker. "I bent down to pet him and he just snapped at me."
Decker holds up his right index finger, now sporting two band aids. The First Dog's teeth punctured the skin and Decker started bleeding, so he was sent to see presidential physician, Dr. Richard Tubb. Tubb gave Decker a two- to three-day supply of antibiotics, and told him to come back Friday for a tetanus booster.
"I don't know what he did, but apparently Barney didn't like it," says April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Network, who captured the entire incident on her Flip video camera.
Decker insists he didn't provoke Barney, and that in fact he's good with Scottish terriers. Decker's mother's dog, Fergus, came from the same New Jersey breeder.
"I don't know what set him off," says Decker. "Maybe it was the Republican debacle Tuesday night, the fact that soon he'll be replaced as America's first dog or that I happened to have bacon for breakfast."
(CNN) – The war of words between supporters of each half of the Republican presidential ticket escalated Thursday, as a spokeswoman for Sarah Palin called charges circulated by former campaign aides to John McCain ‘sickening,’ and the Alaska governor herself said the advisers spreading the rumors were ‘small, evidently bitter’ people.
Former McCain campaign aides have been sources for a string of embarrassing stories about Palin that have become public since GOP defeat Tuesday night, including the charge that she spent thousands of dollars more on clothing for herself and her family than the $150,000 that has been reported.
There have also been reports of a somewhat distant relationship between John McCain and his running mate.
“This is so unfortunate and, quite honestly, sickening,” said Palin aide Meghan Stapleton in a statement. “The accusations we are hearing and reading are not true and since we deny all these anonymous allegations, there is nothing specific to which we will respond.
“We have the highest regards for Senator John McCain. Governor Palin was honored to be chosen as McCain’s running mate. And as Governor of Alaska, Governor Palin looks forward to working with President-elect Obama on securing energy independence for America.”
Back home in Alaska, Palin herself said she would not respond to individual accusations.
“If they’re an unnamed source, then that says it all,” she said. “I won’t comment on anybody’s gossip, or allegations that are based on anonymous sources. That’s kind of a small, evidently bitter type of person who would anonymously charge something foolish like that, that I perhaps didn’t know an answer to a question. So until I know who was talking about it, I won’t have a comment on false allegations.”
(CNN) - Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin had prepared to deliver a concession speech before John McCain’s Tuesday night — and brought her remarks with her to his Phoenix concession - but senior McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt told her she could not.
Two McCain sources say Palin clearly did not understand the protocol of a concession speech, and expected she would have the chance to deliver one of her own.
Update: Palin camp fires back
McCain advisers were also upset with the Alaska governor for setting up what she thought was a call from French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The call, which turned out to be a prank from Quebec radio hosts, was not cleared with the McCain campaign and some saw the effort to set it up as evidence of her future presidential ambitions.
A Palin ally involved in setting up the call, however, suggests McCain advisers had ample time to object given the call was on her schedule for three days.
Two McCain sources also say Palin did not know Africa was a continent and could not find it on a map. A third source, a Palin ally, says that was a miscommunication.
GEORGETOWN, Delaware (CNN) – Wearing a long dark coat to keep the cold rain off of him, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill rode around the streets of this small town in their home state Thursday afternoon in a white horse-drawn carriage as part of the biennial 200 year-old Delaware tradition known as ‘Return Day.’
“Thank you!” Biden repeatedly called out to the cheering crowds as he drove past, ducking in and out of the carriage to wave to voters who on Tuesday elected the Delaware senator to his seventh term in the U.S. Senate. (Deleware's governor will soon name a replacement Biden.)
“No matter what office I hold, I’m still Delaware,” Biden later said to loud cheers from the shivering masses in front of Georgetown’s courthouse. “There was Joe the plumber, well, I’m Joe from Delaware. And folks, it’s been an honor, it’s been a great honor representing you as a United States Senator since the first time I stood on this platform…”
“The bad news for you is Jill and I are not leaving Delaware,” he continued. “I may be the Vice President-elect but we’re going to be home every weekend so you know where we live.
Palin's staff in the Alaska governor's office decorated the former Republican VP nominee's office in Anchorage in anticipation of her return. (Tracy Sabo/CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman said Thursday he needs a few days to ponder "the options that I have before me" after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Lieberman did not explain what those options were when he made brief remarks to reporters, and Reid said afterward that no decisions have been made.
Watch: 'We must unite' Lieberman says
Lieberman, the Democratic Party's 2000 vice presidential nominee, supported Republican Sen. John McCain in Tuesday's presidential election. But after Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's victory over McCain, the Connecticut senator said it was time to unite behind the incoming president.
"I decided in that election that partisanship should take a back seat to doing what I believed was best for our country," he said. "But the election is over, and I completely agree with President-elect Obama that we must now unite to get the economy going again and keep the American people safe."
Lieberman's continued allegiance to the Democratic caucus has given the party a 51-49 majority in the Senate since 2006, and he holds the chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. But his support of McCain - and sometimes-harsh criticism of Obama - angered many of his colleagues.
Updated with Reid statement
(CNN) – Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a top House Democrat, has agreed to be Barack Obama's chief of staff, Obama announced Thursday.
"No one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel," Obama said in a statement announcing the appointment.
Emanuel responded, also in a written statement, "I'm leaving a job I love to join your White House for one simple reason - I want to do everything I can to help deliver the change America needs."
Emanuel, a former top aide to President Bill Clinton, choked up earlier in the day as he said how glad he was his parents are alive to see him have the choice of becoming chief of staff for the first African-American president.
Related: Emanuel expected to bring 'tough minded' approach to White House
Emanuel, 48, was elected to Congress in 2002 after having been a top aide to President Bill Clinton.
He later helped the Democrats wrest majority control of the House from the Republicans in 2006, when he ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Obama and Emanuel are both from Chicago.
The Republican leader in the House criticized the choice of Emanuel - who has a reputation as a tough political infighter - even before it was confirmed.
"This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center," Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a written statement.
Barack Obama made history Tuesday night, after voters came out in record numbers to support him and many voting for the first time.
It was a stunning rise to the presidency for a 47 year-old freshman senator, let alone one who is African-American.
Along the way, he beat out a handful of familiar Washington names for the top spot on the Democratic ticket...Former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator Joe Biden who eventually became his running mate and, of course, most notably, Senator Hillary Clinton.
Her star power and powerful ties weren't enough to beat out Obama, but was there something more at play?
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Computers at the headquarters of the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns were hacked in mid-summer by a foreign government or organization, a source with knowledge of the incidents confirms to CNN.
Another source, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation, says federal investigators approached both campaigns with information the U.S. government had about the hacking, and the campaigns then hired private companies to mitigate the problem.
U.S. authorities, according to one of the sources, believe they know who the foreign entity responsible for the hacking is, but refused to identify it in any way, including what country.
The source, confirming the attacks that were first reported by Newsweek, said the sophisticated intrusions appeared aimed at gaining information about the evolution of policy positions in order to gain leverage in future dealings with whoever was elected.
The FBI is investigating, one of the sources confirmed to CNN. The FBI and Secret Service refused comment on the incidents.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – A source with the Obama Transition team tells CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that a plan to name David Axelrod a Senior Adviser to the incoming President is "in the works."
Axelrod was the Obama presidential campaign's chief strategist, and a top adviser to Obama during his run for the Senate in 2004.