November 28th, 2008
06:10 PM ET
6 months ago

Bush reflects on legacy: 'I'm leaving with the same set of values'

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President Bush says he wants to be remembered as a president who stuck to his values. (GETTY IMAGES)

(CNN) - Reflecting on his eight-year presidency, President Bush said above all he would like to be remembered as a commander-in-chief who remained faithful to his values and "did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process."

In an interview with his younger sister, Doro Bush Koch, the president said he was forced to make several difficult choices during his tenure in the White House, but added "I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice [my] values."

Excerpts of the interview, released by The White House [PDF]

"I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values," Bush told Koch in an interview taped earlier this month that aired on National Public Radio Thursday.

Bush also indicated he hopes his legacy is evaluated on success in the War in Iraq, America's efforts to combat AIDS, and the passage of Medicare legislation in 2003.

"I'd like to be a President (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do," Bush said.

In the same wide-ranging interview, Bush said it was a "fabulous experience to be president," but said he would not miss being in the daily spotlight.

"This is a job which, you know, obviously had a lot of stress to it; it has a lot of pressure," he said.

The interview was conducted for StoryCorps, a national oral history initiative.


Filed under: President Bush
November 28th, 2008
06:01 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama sends condolences to terror victims

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama issued the following statement Friday evening regarding news American citizens are among those who have lost their lives during the attacks in India:

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the American citizens who lost their lives in the outrageous terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with all who have been touched by this terrible tragedy," Obama said in the statement.

"These terrorists who targeted innocent civilians will not defeat India's great democracy, nor shake the will of a global coalition to defeat them. The United States must stand with India and all nations and people who are committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their hate-filled ideology," he also said.

"There is one president at a time. I will continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground in Mumbai, and am grateful for the cooperation of the Bush Administration in keeping me and my staff updated. We fully support the Bush Administration's efforts to protect American citizens and assist the government of India during this tragic time."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
November 28th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama Cabinet to be nearly complete by Christmas

Podesta is heading up Obama's transition team.
Podesta is heading up Obama's transition team.

(CNN) - Barack Obama will have nearly named his entire Cabinet by Christmas, a top aide to the President-elect's transition team said.

John Podesta, a former chief of staff for President Clinton, told Bloomberg News' Al Hunt "virtually the whole Cabinet" will be in place by the end of the year.

Earlier this week President-elect Obama announced he was nominating New York Fed chairman Timothy Geithner to be his Treasury Secretary. He has also reportedly settled on Sen. Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for Commerce Secretary, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security Secretary, former Sen. Tom Daschle for Heath and Human Services Secretary, and Eric Holder for Attorney General. Obama also reportedly favors keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current position.

Though Gates currently appears to be the only Republican set to hold a leading cabinet post under Obama, Podesta said there will be "multiple Republicans" in the administration.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
November 28th, 2008
11:50 AM ET
6 months ago

Rove says Obama economic team 'reassuring'

Rove praised Obama's economic team.
Rove praised Obama's economic team.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama is drawing early praise from former top Bush-aide Karl Rove.

Rove, widely credited with orchestrating President Bush's two successful presidential campaigns, writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that Obama has assembled a "first rate" economic team that has "provided surprisingly positive clarity."

Specifically, Rove praises Obama's choice of New York Fed Chairman Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary and Obama's pick of Larry Summers, the former Treasury Secretary and President of Harvard University, as chief of the National Economic Council.

"Monday's announcement of Mr. Obama's economic team was reassuring," Rove writes. "He's generally surrounded himself with intelligent, mainstream advisers. Investors, workers and business owners can only hope that, over time, this new administration's economic policies bear more of their market-oriented imprint."

Rove also offers praise of Berkley Economics Professor Christina Romer as Obama's choice to head up his team of economics advisers. But Rove criticizes the choice of Melody Barnes, a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, as Domestic Policy Council Director.

"Putting a former aide to Ted Kennedy in charge of health policy after tapping universal health-care advocate Tom Daschle to be Health and Human Services secretary sends a clear signal that Mr. Obama didn't mean it when his campaign ads said he wouldn't run to the "extremes" with government-run health care," Rove writes.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
November 28th, 2008
10:06 AM ET
6 months ago

New battle brews on Capitol Hill: Dems vs. Dems

Rep. Henry Waxman successfully toppled Rep. John Dingell for a key chairmanship.
Rep. Henry Waxman successfully toppled Rep. John Dingell for a key chairmanship.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congressional Democrats have a bigger majority than they've enjoyed in decades, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be unity on Capitol Hill.

A new battle may be brewing as Democrats fighting Democrats show evidence of a party divide.

The growing Democratic majority could be in deadlock from within on issues ranging from climate change and energy to health care and social security.

"We're not just talking ideology here. The broader your majority, the more you've got different regions of the country that have different economic and social interests that you have to take into account," said Norman Ornstein, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.

Full story


Filed under: Congress
November 28th, 2008
05:30 AM ET
6 months ago

Obama economic aide shares turkey tips

Paul Volcker prepared a 26-pound turkey for his extended family in New York City Thursday.
Paul Volcker prepared a 26-pound turkey for his extended family in New York City Thursday.

(CNN) – Paul Volcker, former chairman of Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, knows a thing or two about turning out a tasty Thanksgiving turkey.

Volcker shared his tips with CNN on Thursday and said his secrets include port wine and strips of bacon.

Obama mentioned Volcker’s turkey prowess at a news conference Wednesday when the President-elect told reporters that Volcker and fellow Obama economic aide Austan Goolsbee both have “special turkey cooking recipes if anyone needs some advice on how to make the ideal turkey.”

Volcker and Goolsbee were named Wednesday to head up a new economic recovery board Obama is creating as part of his incoming administration’s effort to turn around the economy which has been in crisis since mid-September when the nation’s credit markets and financial system seized up.

Related: Volcker to head board of economic experts

November 28th, 2008
05:13 AM ET
6 months ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday Nov. 28th, 2008

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CNN: Commentary: What I'm thankful for
Let's rejoice today and get ready to work hard to rebuild our country's future.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

USA TODAY: Bush consoles Indian leader on terrorist attacks
The White House says President Bush has expressed condolences to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the terrorist attacks in India's financial capital.
Press secretary Dana Perino said Thursday the president had the conversation with the Indian leader while spending the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday with his family at the Camp David mountaintop retreat in Maryland.

CNN: Obama economic aide shares turkey tips
Paul Volcker, former chairman of Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, knows a thing or two about turning out a tasty Thanksgiving turkey.

CNN: Obama: 'a new and brighter day is yet to come'
As the nation enters the traditional holiday shopping season in the midst of a financial crisis and is reminded of its own potential vulnerability by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, President-elect Barack Obama called on Americans to come together for the sake of the country’s future.

CNN: Bush calls troops on Thanksgiving
In keeping with what has become a holiday tradition, President Bush called 11 U.S. troops stationed around the globe to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and thank them for their service, the White House said Thursday.

CNN: First White House Chrismukkah cards accidentally sent
Whoops! A picture of a Christmas tree is not the first thing you would expect to see on an invitation to an event celebrating Hanukkah, but that is exactly what recipients of invitations to this year's White House Hanukkah reception initially got in the mail.
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Filed under: Political Hot Topics