(CNN) – While the country is fixated on what kind of dog President-elect Barack Obama’s family will get when they move into the White House, his Vice President-elect Joe Biden quietly picked out a puppy of his own last week.
Biden’s wife, Jill, promised the future VP a dog if he and Obama got elected. Biden found the as-yet-unnamed pup, a three-month old male German Shepherd, in a breeder’s kennel in southeastern Pennsylvania, the area’s Daily Local News reports.
Biden revealed his wife’s pledge on Election Day, telling reporters flying with him to Chicago that she had first promised him a dog if he was elected president, and when his primary bid failed, if he was elected vice president. Mrs. Biden even taped pictures of dogs on the seatback in front of Biden on the plane, according to the report.
“I’ve always had a big dog my whole life, even the time I was a kid. I’ve had German Shepherds and Great Danes and Labs and Golden Retrievers,” Biden said on November 4. “So with Barack inquiring about would I be willing to get vetted, Jill said, ‘I’ll make you a deal: if you get the vice presidency and get elected, you can get a dog.’
“I know what kind I want, I don’t know what kind I’m going to get yet,” he added before reiterating that the ticket hadn’t won yet.
Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said the vice president-elect had owned three German shepherds in his life, “so he's familiar with the breed and its personality."
“He's excited to bring it home when it gets a little older and has promised that his grandchildren can name it after the New Year,” Alexander said.
Biden was reportedly accompanied to breeder Linda Brown’s kennel by New Castle County Police K-9 coordinator Mark Tobin, who will train the puppy for the next six weeks before delivering it to the Bidens when they move into the vice presidential residence in January.
Brown told Delaware’s News Journal that the puppy is “the pick of the litter.”
Tobin added, “He's well-tempered, people-friendly and social…It's just a happy-go-lucky puppy."
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - President Bush made an unannounced, farewell visit Sunday to Baghdad, Iraq, where he met with Iraqi leaders, talked to reporters and was targeted by a shoe-thrower, who missed his mark.
Before midnight (4 p.m. ET), the White House announced that the president had left.
The incident with the shoe-thrower occurred early in the evening in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's palace inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, as Bush was addressing members of the news media and the two leaders were preparing to sign the Strategic Framework Agreement and the Status of Forces Agreement.
The man, seated with reporters, spoke in Arabic as he hurled his shoes toward Bush. Both projectiles sailed past his head, with the second striking a U.S. flag behind the president and falling harmlessly to the ground. The man too fell to the ground, where he was grabbed and dragged screaming from the room.
During the incident, the man could be heard yelling in Arabic, "This is a farewell ... you dog!" His full quote, captured on video, was not immediately clear.
As the man continued to scream from another room, Bush said, "That was a size 10 shoe he threw at me you may want to know."
Among Arab culture, throwing one's shoes at another is considered the ultimate sign of contempt.
"So what if the guy threw his shoe at me?" Bush told a reporter in response to a question about the incident. "Let me talk about the guy throwing his shoe. It's one way to gain attention. It's like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It's like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers.
"It's a way for people to draw attention. I don't know what the guy's cause is. But one thing is for certain. He caused you to ask me a question about it. I didn't feel the least bit threatened by it.
"These journalists here were very apologetic. They were, you know, they said this doesn't represent the Iraqi people, but that's what happens in free societies where people try to draw attention to themselves.
"I guess he was effective, because he caused you to say something about it."
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama will hold the first meeting of his national security team on Monday in Chicago, according to a transition aide for the incoming administration.
Participants will include, among others, Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary nominee Gov. Janet Napolitano and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, according to a source who was briefed on the planning.
(CNN) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Sunday that embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may step aside on Monday.
"We have heard that there is a possibility that tomorrow he will make an announcement that he will step aside," Madigan told NBC's "Meet the Press."
She added, "I don't know if that means he will resign or take another option that's provided under the Illinois constitution where he can voluntarily recognize that there is serious impediment to his ability to carry out his duties and, therefore, temporarily remove himself."
But Lucio Guerrero, spokesman for Blagojevich, said the governor "is not resigning tomorrow."
"I know of no event or action the governor is doing today or tomorrow," said Guerrero.
The governor was arrested Tuesday, after federal prosecutors accused the him of trying to "sell" President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat by pressuring possible candidates to provide campaign contributions and other favors. Illinois law gives the governor the sole power to appointment interim senators. Blagojevich's arrest has thrown Illinois politics into chaos, and many of the state's political leaders - and Obama - have called on the governor to resign.
On Friday, Madigan petitioned the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove Blagojevich from office or, at least, strip him of some of his authority, arguing that Blagojevich was "disabled" and cannot carry out the functions of his office.
"We are not looking to try to convict him criminally with the pleadings that we brought to the Illinois Supreme Court," Madigan said Sunday. "We're simply recognizing that these are extraordinary, unprecedented circumstances and that we need to have a governor who can actually use the powers of that office and govern our state or else our state becomes paralyzed."
"There is also this serious concern that absolutely everything that he does from here on out is going to be tainted. It's going to be illegitimate," she added. "And so we think it is absolutely obvious that he is incapable of governing and the best thing to do is to move aside."
If Blagojevich does resign, or if the Supreme Court removes him from office, Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn would become acting governor. On Sunday, Quinn again called on the governor to leave office voluntarily.
"I hope the governor does resign," Quinn said. "I think that is best for the people of Illinois as well as himself and his family. ... He obviously needs to do something because our state is in crisis."
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain said Sunday he would not necessarily support his former running mate if she chose to run for president.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," McCain was asked whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin could count on his support. "I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party," he said, citing Governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Jon Huntsman of Utah.
McCain said he has "the greatest appreciation for Governor Palin and her family, and it was a great joy to know them. She invigorated our campaign" against Barack Obama for the presidency.
Pressed on why he can't promise support for the woman who, just months ago, he named as the second best person to lead the nation, McCain responded that "now we're in a whole election cycle. Have no doubt of my admiration and respect for her and my view of her viability, but at this stage, again ... my corpse is still warm, you know?"
(CNN) - Sen. John McCain promised Sunday he will work to build consensus in tackling the huge challenges facing the country, and criticized his own party for its latest attack on President-elect Barack Obama.
In his first Sunday political TV appearance since losing the presidential election, McCain rejected complaints from the Republican National Committee that Obama has not been transparent about his contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary," McCain told ABC's "This Week."
"You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody - right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy, stimulus package, reforms that are necessary."
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - President Bush made an unannounced visit Sunday to Baghdad, Iraq, where he was to meet with Iraqi leaders and address U.S. troops.
Bush landed at Baghdad International Airport and then was taken by helicopter to the Green Zone, where he shook hands with President Jalal Talabani.
As the U.S. and Iraqi national anthems played and Iraqi troops looked on, he and the Iraqi president walked along a red carpet. Bush was to meet with a number of other Iraqi officials.
His trip was to celebrate the conclusion of the Strategic Framework Agreement and the Status of Forces Agreement, the White House said.
The president departed Andrews AFB at 9:32 p.m. Saturday, accompanied by White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten; Gen Doug Lute, the senior National Security Council official responsible for Afghanistan and Iraq; National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, presidential counselor Ed Gillespie and spokeswoman Dana Perino.
In remarks to reporters, Hadley described the situation in Iraq as "in a transition."
"For the first time in Iraq's history and really the first time in the region, you have Sunni, Shia and Kurds working together in a democratic framework to chart a way forward for their country," he said. Lute predicted that next year will be "a year of transition" in Washington and Iraq. "We are moving into a different relationship, a relationship with Iraqis rightfully exercising greater sovereignty," he said.