WASHINGTON (CNN) - The man who steered Barack Obama's Senate office will now move over to the White House with the incoming president.
The Obama Transition Office Sunday morning announced that Peter Rouse, currently Obama's chief of staff in his Senate office, will serve as a senior advisor to the President. Before joining Obama in December 2004, Rouse was chief of staff for 19 years to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Prior to that he was chief of staff to then-Rep. Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Watch: A longtime Obama friend was named a senior White House advisor this weekend
The Obama transition team also announced that Mona Sutphen will serve as a deputy chief of staff. Sutphen is a member of the transition team staff and has been managing director of Stonebridge International LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Washington. From 1991 to 2000 she was a U.S. foreign service officer, and among other assignments she served in the White House at the National Security Council from 1998 to 2000, under President Bill Clinton.
Jim Messina was also named a deputy chief of staff. Messina's currently the director of personnel for the President-elect's transition team. He saved as a national chief of staff for Obama's presidential campaign. Prior to that Messina served as a chief of staff for Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and for Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York. President-elect Obama, in a statement released by the transition team, said "these individuals are important additions to a team with the experience and ability to help our nation overcome pressing challenges at home and around the world."
(CNN) - Three weeks before Georgia’s December 2 Senate runoff vote, former President Bill Clinton – the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state – will stump for his party’s candidate Jim Martin, locked in a tight race with incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss.
Clinton, who first visited the state for Martin last fall, will become the first high-profile Democrat to visit the state to campaign for the Senate challenger since Election Day.
The former president’s campaign event in Atlanta Wednesday will have an economic focus, according to Martin’s campaign.
Former Republican presidential nominee John McCain visited Georgia last week to campaign for Chambliss.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - The hotly-contested - and yet to be decided - Minnesota Senate race may be headed for a recount, but Democrat Al Franken is already headed for Washington.
Franken will head to Washington, D.C. Wednesday to hold meetings with Senate leadership. That's the same day the state-mandated recount - which will determine whether Franken or incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman will emerge victorious - is set to begin.
Franken spokeswoman Colleen Murray said the former comedian-turned-Senate candidate will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others in lieu of attending the Senate's freshman orientation since, Murray said, Franken thinks that would be "presumptuous."
Murray said Franken plans to brief aides on the current status of the recount and will discuss "the next Congress and the new session, so that should he win this election when it's all said and done, he'll be ready to hit the ground running on Day One."
(CNN) - Two members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus have called for Joe Lieberman to lose his committee chairmanship. On Sunday, North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan didn’t go that far — but did say the Connecticut senator’s actions during the campaign were “not acceptable,” as Republican Sen. Jon Kyl said the GOP would “welcome [Lieberman] with open arms.”
“...As a chairman of one of our significant committees in the Senate, not just going off and supporting a presidential candidate of the other side but also criticizing the candidate on our side, and also involving himself in a couple of Senate races on the other side,” Dorgan said on Fox News Sunday, when asked whether he thought the Democrat-turned-independent should lose the chairmanship of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee.
“The question is, is that acceptable? The answer is no. The question, I think, mainly is what should happen as a result of that.”
(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani told CNN Sunday the failure of his presidential bid this year didn’t mark the end of his political career — and that his future could include another White House run.
The former New York City mayor said that the economic environment this year may have presented too big an obstacle for any Republican presidential hopeful to overcome.
"If you had told me a year ago we would have a major economic crisis, I would've told you it would be very hard for any Republican," he said.
He wouldn’t rule out another run for the top spot. "No one knows whether you'll do something again until you come to the point of: 'Is it possible to do it again? Would you have a chance of winning?’ I mean, those are just things you can't evaluate right now," Giuliani said during a question-and-answer session with CNN International’s Hala Gourani.
(CNN) - Republicans praised the prospect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday.
Former Nixon and Ford Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Sunday that Clinton would be an “outstanding” selection.
“She is a lady of great intelligence, demonstrated enormous determination and would be an outstanding appointment," Kissinger told the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit in New Delhi, according to Bloomberg News.
Clinton is reportedly President-elect Barack Obama’s top pick for the post.
“If it is true, it will show a couple of things," Kissinger said. “It shows great courage on the part of the president-elect to appoint a very strong personality, who has an independent constituency, into a cabinet position. It also shows willingness on the part of Clinton to subordinate herself to someone whom she lost out to."
On CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Clinton would be a good fit for the position. “I think that Hillary Clinton will probably accept that, from what I am hearing. I think it would be a nice gesture. I think that she is well qualified,” said the Republican congresswoman.
(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama wrote a letter to Illinois residents published in the state's newspapers Sunday, the day his resignation from the Senate became official.
Full text of the letter:
Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate — one of the highest honors and privileges of my life — I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation’s next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.
More than two decades ago, I arrived in Illinois as a young man eager to do my part in building a better America. On the South Side of Chicago, I worked with families who had lost jobs and lost hope when the local steel plant closed. It wasn’t easy, but we slowly rebuilt those neighborhoods one block at a time, and in the process I received the best education I ever had. It’s an education that led me to organize a voter registration project in Chicago, stand up for the rights of Illinois families as an attorney and eventually run for the Illinois state Senate.