WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the Obamas did earlier this week, the Bidens will visit their future Washington residence on Thursday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday.
“Vice President and Mrs. Cheney will host Vice President-elect and Dr. Jill Biden at the Naval Observatory,” said spokeswoman Megan Mitchell. “The Cheneys and the Bidens will have a private meeting and then tour the residence.”
Biden was a harsh critic of Cheney on the campaign trail. During this year’s vice presidential debate, the Delaware senator said Cheney “has been the most dangerous vice president probably in American history.” Like Obama, Biden reveled in the news that Cheney endorsed McCain in a November 1 speech, helping further their argument that the Republican nominee would be a continuation of the Bush-Cheney administration.
Biden has been a senator since 1973 but has never lived in Washington, instead famously taking the train to and from Wilmington, Delaware each day. He told reporters on Election Day that a move to Washington wouldn’t change his family life very much — the biggest shift, he said, was that relatives in Wilmington would have to travel to the nation’s capital for holidays, instead of the reverse.
The move has raised two questions for Biden that Obama has also had to answer: whether his mother will move with him, and what kind of dog to get.
“With Barack inquiring about would I be willing to get vetted [for the vice presidency], Jill said, ‘I’ll make you a deal - if you get the vice presidency and get elected, you can get a dog,’” said Biden.
Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) – Just hours after a liberal-leaning Minnesota group called for an investigation into allegations that Sen. Norm Coleman accepted $75,000 worth of gifts, the incumbent Republican himself said he is eager for any probe to move forward "immediately."
Court documents allege that Texas businessman Nasser Kazeminy fraudulently ordered corporate funds be funneled to Coleman - a potential violation of Senate ethics rules.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a self-described progressive organization, sent letters to both the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and the Minneapolis branch of the FBI calling for a full investigation.
Al Franken’s campaign and the state Democratic Farmer Labor Party also continue to bring up the allegations repeatedly to reporters.
Coleman said the accusations were influenced by partisanship. “As another Democratic group that spent millions of dollars attempting to defeat me calls for a politically motivated investigation, I want to be clear that I not only welcome such an investigation, but I am eager to have it move forward immediately." Coleman said in a Wednesday statement. "The fact that a United States Senator is being used as a tool of extortion by private parties should be of concern to all Minnesotans. I reiterate that none of the allegations which attempt to besmirch my family’s good name and reputation are true.
"This investigation should move forward, and it is my hope that those who were behind this matter, their motives and what their connections may be to my political opponents be reviewed aggressively by the appropriate authorities and the media. This matter, which has emerged again as a result of the tactics of my political opponents, during a recount, ought to raise even further suspicions in the minds of Minnesotans as to its motives and purposes.”
Franken and Coleman remain locked in an unresolved Senate race, separated by just a few hundred votes. A state law-mandated recount is set to begin November 19.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama's transition team announced Wednesday that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach will represent the incoming administration at the G-20 economic summit being hosted by President Bush on November 15.
Obama himself will not attend the summit.
Albright and Leach are "an experienced and bipartisan team," Obama Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Denis McDonough said in a statement.
McDonough also noted, however, that there is only "one president at a time in the United States," and that "President Bush should be commended for calling the summit."
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Wednesday she would be honored to help out President-elect Barack Obama in his new administration, even if he did hang around with an "unrepentant domestic terrorist."
The Alaska governor said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that if Obama asked her for help on some of the issues she highlighted during this year's campaign, such as energy or services for special-needs children, "It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration."
"And I speak for other Republicans and Republican governors, also," said Palin, whom Sen. John McCain tapped as his running mate in August. "They would be willing also to seize this opportunity that we have to progress this nation together, in a united front."
But asked moments later about some of the tough rhetoric she hurled from the stump, she said she was "still concerned" about Obama's ties to former Weather Underground member-turned-Chicago college professor William Ayers.
"If anybody still wants to talk about it, I will," she said. "Because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol.
"That's an association that still bothers me, and I think it's fair to still talk about it," she continued. "However the campaign is over. That chapter is closed. Now is the time to move on and make sure all of us are doing all that we can to progress this nation."
Palin was attending the annual Republican Governors Association convention in Miami, Florida. She was interviewed for CNN's "The Situation Room" - the latest of several high-profile appearances for the ex-VP candidate - and will also appear Wednesday night on CNN's "Larry King Live."
Updated Wednesday evening with latest count.
(CNN) - Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ lead over Democratic challenger Mark Begich disappeared late Wednesday, with thousands of votes yet to be counted.
Stevens began the day with a lead of more than 3,200 votes, but as the state continued its count of at least 90,000 outstanding votes -– a total that includes early votes, absentee votes and disputed ballots - the state’s Division of Elections reported that the incumbent Republican had 125,016 votes, and Begich had 125,019.
Around a third of those ballots had yet to be counted, in a process that is expected to continue into next week.
Alaska has no provision for a runoff if no candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote; whoever gets the most votes wins.
Defeated candidates may ask for recounts.
The three dollar bill with the $400 haircuts is back. Former Senator, Vice Presidential candidate, Presidential candidate and adulterer John Edwards gave a speech at Indiana University yesterday. He was paid 35-thousand dollars for the appearance. He talked about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, politics…everything except his adulterous affair with campaign filmmaker Rielle Hunter.
Afterwards there was a question and answer session. But no press and the questions he agreed to answer were submitted in advance…that way he could avoid anything that made him uncomfortable.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
(CNN) - Republican Paul Broun is sorry for calling President-elect Barack Obama a 'Marxist' and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, the Georgia Congressman said Tuesday.
“I regret putting it that way,” he told WGAC radio in Augusta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that.”
In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this week, Broun admitted to calling the future commander-in-chief a 'Marxist' at a recent Rotary club meeting, and said Obama has expressed support for policies similar to those of Hitler.
"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Broun told the AP. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may– may not, I hope not - but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."
Broun was specifically referring to a July speech by Obama, where the then-Democratic presidential nominee said he supports a civilian force helping the military when it comes to national security: "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded [as the military]," Obama said in the speech that was largely a call to national service.
Responding to those comments, Broun told the AP Monday: "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."
"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun added. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential."
The Obama transition office did not respond to Broun's comments, and in his interview Tuesday to WGAC, the first term congressman said, “The point I tried to make is that he is extremely liberal, he has promoted a lot of socialistic ideas, and it just makes me concerned."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – If Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin decides to run for the White House in 2012, she'll be bucking history.
Just eight days after Senator John McCain and Palin lost the election to Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden, speculation is swirling around a possible Palin run for the top spot in four years.
But a look back at recent history shows that the track record of vice presidential running mates on the losing ticket who ran for their party's presidential nomination in the next election cycle is not a promising one.
Four years ago, John Edwards was in much the same situation Palin finds herself in right now. Edwards was John Kerry's running mate on the losing ticket in 2004, and officially launched his presidential bid in this campaign in December of 2006 — only to come in second in the Iowa caucuses this January, followed by a third place finish the following week in the New Hampshire primary. The former North Carolina senator withdrew from the race for the White House on January 30.
(CNN) - Just a week after this year’s presidential election, 2012 buzz may already be swirling around Sarah Palin – but a new national poll suggests just under half the American public holds a favorable opinion of the Alaska governor, with nearly as many viewing her unfavorably.
Forty-nine percent of those questioned in the survey released Wednesday have a favorable opinion of the woman John McCain picked as his running mate. Forty-three percent view her unfavorably.
And perceptions of Palin seem to be dropping.
"In early September, just after the GOP convention, her favorable rating among registered voters was 57 percent, and only a quarter of all registered voters had an unfavorable view of her," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. Now, Palin is less popular than vice president-elect Joe Biden, with a 64 percent favorable rating, or ticket-mate John McCain, who is seen favorably by 61 percent of the public
The poll also suggests that men may have a slightly more positive view of Palin than women, with 51 percent of males viewing her favorably, compared to 48 percent of female respondents. Forty-one percent of males questioned in the survey have an unfavorable opinion of Palin, as do 44 percent of women.
"With fairly high negatives and lower support among women, who should be a natural constituency for Palin, she's not starting off from a position of strength," says Holland. "The question is no longer whether Palin was a drag on the McCain ticket, but whether her unfavorables could be a drag on a future Palin ticket."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – An epidemic of layoffs is plaguing the country, but the Help Wanted sign is out in Washington: President-elect Obama's new administration needs to fill 7,996 positions according to the Plum Book, the quadrennial list of jobs filled by presidential appointment.
The Plum Book also lists the pay schedules for each presidential appointment. According to the book, a member of Obama's cabinet can make as much as $191,300.
But there are numerous positions whose salaries are not listed in the Plum Book, such as the president's chief of staff and press secretary, where the pay is at the administration's discretion, and can be much higher.
No administration official or presidential appointee can make more the president, who currently earns $400,000 a year.
The "Plum Book" - the name comes from the color of its cover - is published every four years immediately following the presidential election. The book was first released in 1952, when - after 22 years of a Democratically-controlled White House - Republican President Dwight Eisenhower's administration needed to identify what government jobs they could fill. The Plum Book was again produced in 1960 for the Kennedy administration, and has been published every four years since.