December 4th, 2008
10:24 PM ET
1 year ago

Has Palin snubbed Oprah?

Oprah says she wants Palin on her show.
Oprah says she wants Palin on her show.

(CNN) – Did Sarah Palin snub Oprah Winfrey?

That's what the most popular daytime talk show host and fervent Barack Obama supporter appeared to suggest in a recent interview with the entertainment show Extra.

"I said I would be happy to talk to Sarah Palin when the election was over... I went and tried to talk to Sarah Palin and instead she talked to Greta [Van Susteren]. She talked to Matt [Lauer]. She talked to Larry [King]. But she didn't talk to me.”

Winfrey’s comments came in response to rumors she refused to invite the former vice presidential candidate on her popular daytime show.

Earlier this week, the talk show host announced she will tape her inauguration week show in the nation’s capital, and has rented the Kennedy Center’s lush Opera House – which seats roughly 2,300 — to serve as her studio.

“There are not even words to talk about what this night means,” Oprah said of Obama's inauguration. “Everybody keeps using the word historic — there’s never been a night like this on the planet earth… Nothing can compare to this.”


Filed under: Oprah Winfrey • Sarah Palin
December 4th, 2008
10:21 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama team plans grassroots meetings for next weekend

Obama supporters are urged to gather next weekend.
Obama supporters are urged to gather next weekend.

(CNN) - As the pieces of Barack Obama’s White House organization begin to fall into place, so are the ways he plans to re-tool his campaign infrastructure to help support his presidential efforts.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe sent the president-elect’s campaign supporters an e-mail this week calling on them to gather for house meetings on December 13 and 14 to organize their support for the president-elect’s agenda, more than a month before he’s sworn in.

“You can connect with fellow supporters, make progress on the issues you care about, and help shape the future of your community and our country,” wrote Plouffe. “Learn what you can do now to support President-elect Obama's agenda for change and continue to make a difference in your community.”

FULL POST


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
December 4th, 2008
06:58 PM ET
6 years ago

Lost ballots force extension in Minnesota recount

It seems the end of the recount won't mean the end of the Senate contest.
It seems the end of the recount won't mean the end of the Senate contest.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) –It looks like it will take even longer than expected to declare a winner in Minnesota’s historically tight U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

As of Thursday night, it appears as if the state canvassing board’s unofficial deadline of this Friday will be postponed due to an envelope of about 130 lost ballots from the city of Minneapolis. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann said Thursday that, due to the “extraordinary circumstances,” the city now has until December 16 to locate the votes. That’s day the board is set to meet and take further action in the recount process.

“We won't meet our goal to have all ballots hand counted by the end of the day [Friday] unless the envelope returns in the next 24 hours,” Gelbmann told CNN.

Minneapolis Elections Director Cindy Reichert said she’s “not sure where [the missing envelope] would have gone” but that they’re “in the process of looking under everything.”

With most of the ballots recounted at this point, Coleman maintains his slim lead at about 300 votes.

Spokesmen for both campaigns would not immediately return requests for comment.


Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman
December 4th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Bushes announce purchase of post-White House home

The first family will move to Dallas after President Bush leaves office.
The first family will move to Dallas after President Bush leaves office.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President and Mrs. Bush will be moving to Dallas after Mr. Bush leaves office, the White House announced Thursday.  “The President and Mrs. Bush have purchased a home in the Preston Hollow neighborhood in Dallas, Texas,” Sally McDonough, Mrs. Bush’s press secretary, said in the statement.

The Bushes lived in Dallas from December 1988 through January 1995. They moved to Austin after Mr. Bush was elected Texas governor in November 1994.  The president was partial owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team during part of their time living in Dallas.

During the latter part of Bush’s presidency, the first lady had made it known that Dallas would be their primary residence after leaving the White House, not the president’s beloved Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas.

“I like Crawford,” the president told a crowd at a Houston fundraiser in July.  “Unfortunately, after eight years of asking [the first lady] to sacrifice, I’m now no longer the decision maker.”  The Bushes will continue to spend some time at the ranch, according to the statement.

As to the specifics of their new home, the Bushes “do not have occupancy of the home, and therefore, no additional details will be provided,” McDonough said.

December 4th, 2008
04:43 PM ET
6 years ago

Cafferty: Should Pres.-Elect Obama scale back inauguration plans?

Join the conversation on Jack's blog.
Join the conversation on Jack's blog.

Oprah’s going to Washington along with everyone else. The daytime Diva plans to do her television show from the Nation’s Capitol during inauguration week.

Estimates are that 3 million people may show up for this historic event…the swearing in of the first Black President. The mayor of Washington says it could be as many as 5 million.

Some will come to watch and some to celebrate. There will be numerous parties and even formal balls.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here


Filed under: The Cafferty File
December 4th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
6 years ago

One month later, four House races still unresolved

Four congressional races have yet to be decided.
Four congressional races have yet to be decided.

(CNN) – One month after Election Day, four congressional races have yet to be decided.

Two of those contests could come to conclusion this weekend.

Saturday is election day in Louisiana's 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts, where contests were delayed due to Hurricane Gustav.

The race in the 4th district is to replace retiring 10-term Republican congressman Jim McCrery. Democrat Paul Carmouche is facing off against Republican John Fleming in a campaign that's attracting national attention and money.

In the 2nd Congressional district, nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson is running for re-election against Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao. Jefferson's been battling scandals and a federal indictment for the past three years, but the district, in and around New Orleans, is mostly African-American and heavily Democratic.

In two remaining districts, the vote counts are in dispute. In Virginia's 5th Congressional district, Republican Virgil Goode is calling for a recount. The nine-term Congressman trails Democrat Tom Perriello by 745 votes out of nearly 310,000 cast.

And the battle to succeed eight-term GOP Rep. Deborah Pryce in Ohio's 15th Congressional District is headed to court. Republican Steve Stivers leads Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by 149 votes out of nearly 260,000 cast. Ohio's state Supreme Court will rule on whether to count thousands of disputed provisional ballots.

But at least one fight whose results were up in the air nearly a month after voters headed to the polls has officially drawn to a close, with the GOP holding on to a closely-contested House seat.

Republicans held on to a seat in northern California when Democrat Charlie Brown conceded defeat Tuesday to Republican state senator Tom McClintock in the battle for California's 4th congressional district. Brown's concession came a day after the counties in the district turned in their final vote counts.

Those tallies gave McClintock a lead of more than 1,500 votes out of nearly 370,000 cast. Given his narrow loss, Brown could have asked for a recount, but opted to concede. The seat was held by retiring nine-term Republican congressman John Doolittle, who was under investigation in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

FULL POST


Filed under: Congress • Democrats • House of Representatives • Republicans
December 4th, 2008
01:59 PM ET
6 years ago

Podcast: No love for lawmakers

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.
CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.

(CNN) – They call him “Rahmbo.” In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Rahm Emanuel is known for his tough tactics as a power on Capitol Hill, but sources close to him say there is more to the man than meets the eye. CNN’s Alina Cho takes a closer look at the pit bull politician, Barack Obama’s new chief of staff.

Plus: Barack Obama promised healthcare reform before the economy crumbled. Can the president-elect still keep his word? CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the latest “Memo to the President.”

Also: Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden - it seems that those who ran against the president-elect get a place in his cabinet. CNN’s Frank Sesno takes a look at Obama’s team of rivals.

Finally: Congress may be in love with its new half-billion dollar Capitol Hill visitor’s center, but there is no love for the lawmakers. CNN’s Jim Acosta reports.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.

December 4th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Businessman offers splashy inauguration package - for free

Several hundred Americans will get a birds-eye view of the inauguration, for free.
Several hundred Americans will get a birds-eye view of the inauguration, for free.

(CNN) - As Washington gears up for January's presidential inauguration, tickets to the evening's festivities are going for hundreds of dollars, and the city's remaining hotel rooms are edging into four-figure territory. Even basements and couches miles from the National Mall are going for a premium on Craigslist.

But one of the splashiest inauguration packages out there – including high-end hotel rooms and luxury suites, food and drink, a (heated) viewing spot right above the parade route, even gowns and tuxedos to wear to celebratory balls, and a beautician to help you get ready for it – is going for the most eye-popping price of all: absolutely nothing.

Virginia businessman Earl Stafford has spent $1 million to give hundreds of poverty-stricken and terminally ill Americans, along with wounded men and women in uniform, an inauguration experience that would ordinarily run each of them thousands of dollars or more.

The 60-year-old black businessman and son of a Baptist minister – who said his effort was rooted in his faith and good fortune - told the Washington Post he is ready to spend another $600,000 on meals and private balls in the Marriott hotel two blocks from the White House where he rented a bloc of inauguration week rooms just hours after the election.

FULL POST


Filed under: Inauguration
December 4th, 2008
12:13 PM ET
6 years ago

Preston on Politics: A grudge in the RNC race

A former Michigan GOP Senate candidate is trying to derail Saul Anunzis’ candidacy for RNC chairman.
A former Michigan GOP Senate candidate is trying to derail Saul Anunzis’ candidacy for RNC chairman.

(CNN) – Political grudges die hard - and in some cases not at all. That’s the case in Michigan, where a former GOP Senate candidate is trying to derail state Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis’ bid to lead the national party.

Jerry Zandstra, who unsuccessfully sought the party’s Senate nomination in 2006, sent out a blistering blast e-mail Wednesday evening listing the reasons why he thinks Anuzis is not qualified to be the next Republican National Committee chairman. Zandstra says that under Anuzis’ leadership, Democrats made gains in Michigan, and that the state GOP chairman is not a qualified fundraiser.

But Zandstra’s biggest gripe is spelled out in the first paragraph, where he accuses Anuzis of “interference” in the GOP primary. Later in the e-mail, he writes that “Saul did everything possible to disrupt my campaign.”

Anuzis disputed all of these charges early Thursday afternoon in a point-by-point rebuttal of Zandstra’s e-mail.

“You may not know Jerry Zandstra, but all of you have a 'Jerry Zandstra' in your state: someone who decides, out of the blue, to seek statewide office; pursues that office through less than honorable tactics; fails to collect the minimum number of signatures to even be placed on the ballot; and then blames the State Party and its chairman for his failures,” Anuzis wrote in his response.

In an e-mail exchange, Zandstra told me this morning he was not supporting nor acting on behalf of another candidate.

“This, for me, is personal, as perhaps you could see from the tone and content of my email,” Zandstra wrote. “Saul has been a destructive force in the Michigan GOP, and I don't want to see him bring his unique style of leadership to the national stage.”

Among those who received Zandstra’s blast email were reporters and most of the RNC members who will meet in January to choose the new head of the party.

Full Text of Zandstra’s e-mail and Anuzis’ response after the jump FULL POST


Filed under: RNC
December 4th, 2008
12:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Hutchison move sets up possible Texas primary fight

Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison launched an exploratory committee Thursday for a 2010 gubernatorial run.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison launched an exploratory committee Thursday for a 2010 gubernatorial run.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison took steps Thursday to run for governor in 2010, a move that could set up a fierce primary battle with the state's current governor.

"Texans deserve a Governor who, in the context of sound budgetary policies and low taxes, works for quality schools and universities, access to health care for our families, communities safe from crime and drugs, protection of private property rights, sensible transportation and a government that listens and responds to them," Hutchison said in a paper statement. "There's too much bitterness, too much anger, too little trust, too little consensus and too much infighting. And the tone comes from the top. Texans are looking for leadership and results."

Governor Rick Perry said in April he would run for a third term.

Papers to form Hutchison's exploratory committee were filed Thursday in Austin. In her statement, the Texas senior senator stressed she was "not yet a candidate" as there were "friends, community and business leaders" that she wanted to consult with before formally announcing her candidacy. Hutchison, who was re-elected to her Senate seat in 2006, did not indicate whether or not she would resign should she pursue a gubernatorial bid.


Filed under: Kay Bailey Hutchison • Texas
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