November 30th, 2008
03:03 PM ET
6 months ago

Laura Bush describes post-White House plans

First Lady Laura Bush.
First Lady Laura Bush.

(CNN) - First lady Laura Bush said Sunday she plans to continue working to advance the position of women in Afghanistan after her husband's time in office ends in January.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Mrs. Bush also offered her take on the recent U.S. election, her first impressions of President-elect Barack Obama and incoming first lady Michelle Obama, and what she'll miss most.

When President Bush spoke Tuesday at Fort Campbell, he said he will miss most "spending time with men and women who have volunteered to serve the United States of America."

That speech "made me weep," Laura Bush told NBC.

"I'll miss being with the military, too, and that's one of the things about Camp David that we liked so much, and that's going to church at Camp David with the people who are posted there... I'll miss a lot of things. I'll miss all the people that are around us all the time," she said. "From the ushers and the butlers who are there for every president and have been there four or five administrations, to our own staff, of course, that we love to laugh with and talk with and solve problems with. And so I'll miss the people the most."

She said she and her husband plan to spend their weeks in Dallas and weekends at their ranch in Crawford, Texas.

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November 30th, 2008
12:02 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama to unveil national security team Monday

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Sources say President-elect Obama will nominate Sen. Clinton as his secretary of state.
Sources say President-elect Obama will nominate Sen. Clinton as his secretary of state.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama will officially nominate members of his national security team at an event Monday morning, including Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, according to two officials.

The Obama transition team announced Sunday that Obama will unveil the full team at a press conference at the Chicago Hilton around 10 a.m. ET.

CNN and CNN.com will carry the event live.

The officials said Obama is also expected to finally confirm that he is keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current post, and plans to name retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as his National Security Adviser at the White House.

Watch: Ed Henry discusses the security team rollout

Also, two sources close to the transition said Obama will nominate Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security secretary and Eric Holder as Attorney General.

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November 30th, 2008
10:49 AM ET
6 months ago

Palin back on campaign trail

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will campaign for Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will campaign for Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin is coming back to the campaign trail.

The Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential nominee is adding her name to the list of big name surrogates who are making campaign cameos in the last remaining Senate election this year.

Palin teams up with Saxby Chambliss at a fundraiser Sunday night and at four campaign stops across Georgia on Monday, the last full day of campaigning before Tuesday's runoff election.

iReport.com: Share your photos, video from Georgia campaign

Chambliss is the freshman Republican senator from Georgia who is fighting to keep his seat. He's facing Jim Martin - a former state lawmaker in Georgia - in the runoff election.

Chambliss won a plurality of the vote three weeks ago on Election Day, but Georgia state law calls for the winner to grab 50 percent plus one vote. Due to the inclusion of a third party candidate, Chambliss fell just shy of that threshold, forcing a runoff contest.

Palin is the latest high profile surrogate to stump with Chambliss. Sen. John McCain returned to the trail to campaign with Chambliss just nine days after losing the presidential election to Obama.

Two weeks ago, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee - who ran for the Republican presidential nomination before dropping out in March and backing McCain - campaigned with Chambliss. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also teamed up with Chambliss. Like Huckabee, Romney also ran for the GOP presidential nomination before ending his bid in February and backing McCain.

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Filed under: Sarah Palin • Saxby Chambliss
November 30th, 2008
10:48 AM ET
6 months ago

Obama inauguration could take on subdued tone

Inauguration preparations at the Capitol began before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Inauguration preparations at the Capitol began before the Thanksgiving holiday.

(CNN) - Millions of people are expected to go to Washington to celebrate Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20, but with a troubled economy and pocketbook issues on the mind, the president-elect must be careful to set the right tone.

President Bush raised a record $42.8 million dollars for his second inauguration, and according to Public Citizen, more than 90 percent of the donations to that ceremony were from executives or corporations.

But this year, some say throwing a multimillion-dollar party would be unseemly in a time when crash, bailout, and foreclosure fill the economic headlines.

"A lot of it is about tone and making sure that the celebrations that do take place are not over the top, that they don't appear to be insensitive to the pain people have right now," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

The inaugural committee for Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to make sure the ceremony underscores the incoming administration's "commitment to change business as usual in Washington."

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has limited individual contributions to $50,000. There is no law restricting the size of donations, but in the past, inaugural committees have set contribution limits as high as $250,000.

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