(CNN) - He wasn’t on the ballot this year, but President Bush still lost – to Karl Rove.
For the third consecutive year, Rove has bested Bush in their annual reading contest, the former presidential advisor writes in today’s Wall Street Journal.
The president's reading list this year was weighted towards historical chronicles of conflict, from David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter" and Rick Atkinson's "Day of Battle" to Stephen W. Sears's "Gettysburg" and James M. McPherson's "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief."
(CNN) – The Illinois House panel considering impeachment charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich has received a letter from the governor's attorney urging the panel to issue subpoenas to more than a dozen potential witnesses, including incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Steve Brown, spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, confirms to CNN that the impeachment panel received the letter from Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson.
"The committee has taken that letter under advisement," said Brown, noting the panel's next meeting is Monday morning.
Even if the panel moved ahead with such subpoenas, however, they could still be blocked by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has previously expressed concern about the impeachment panel interfering with his ongoing criminal probe.
Nevertheless, the maneuvering by Blagojevich's camp could provide a distraction for President-elect Barack Obama and top aides just days after they tried to turn the page on the matter by issing an internal investigation claiming no wrongdoing by the transition team.
Genson, Blagojevich's attorney, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on his letter.
(CNN) - Aides to President-elect Barack Obama are denying speculation that he may soon head to Iraq for a pre-inaugural visit.
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt, who is traveling with the president-elect in Hawaii through January 1, said Obama has no plans to visit Iraq before his January 20 inauguration.
The speculation was sparked by comments from Iraqi officials, who told Washington Post that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's decision to cancel an official trip to Iran may have been due to a "possible visit" by Obama.
But the officials also cited other potential reasons for Maliki's delayed trip, including tumult in the parliament.
(CNN) - In a Friday interview, Caroline Kennedy downplayed a comparison Rep. Gary Ackerman made last weekend between the prospective senator and another famous New Yorker, Jennifer Lopez.
“I admire the journey that J-Lo has traveled,” Kennedy told NY1. “I’ve been to a school in the Bronx pretty near the house that she grew up in, and so I actually have a lot of admiration for her, and she looks pretty good, but in terms of public policy and how we’ve spent our adult lives, I don’t think there’s really that much that we have in common.”
Kennedy pointed to her ties to President-elect Barack Obama as one of the strengths she would bring to the job. “And I think that I have relationships in Washington that I would like to put to work to benefit the people of New York,” she said. “You know I ran, helped run the vice presidential search process for Barack Obama. I have a good working relationship with him, and I know… people in Washington, and I want to be able to be part of the team that uses all my relationships.”
Vice president-elect Joe Biden’s grandchildren told him Christmas that they had decided to name his new German shepherd puppy “Champ,” a nickname the VP-elect’s father used for him as a child. Biden’s wife Jill will also be adopting a dog for the vice presidential residence - but her selection will come from the pound. (Photo credit: Tom Kelly IV/Daily Local News)
(CNN) - A candidate for Republican National Committee chairman said Friday it was clear the content of a CD he sent committee members for Christmas - that included lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro” - was intended as a joke.
“I think most people recognize political satire when they see it,” Chip Saltsman told CNN. “I think RNC members understand that.” Saltsman, a former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, was a top advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign.
The song, set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” was first played on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in 2007. Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation’s history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by long-time friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.
The parody CD sent to RNC members this Christmas, first reported by The Hill Friday, is titled “We Hate the USA”, and includes songs referencing former presidential John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among other targets.
(CNN) –– For the first time in over a half century, a president-elect has topped Gallup’s poll of the nation’s most admired man.
Thirty-two percent of Americans surveyed in the new USA Today/Gallup poll said Barack Obama was the man they most admired — a better showing than either former Presidents George H.W. Bush or Bill Clinton ever achieved.
The last president-elect to top the list was Dwight Eisenhower, in 1952.
President Bush, who was named the most-admired man by 39 percent of those polled shortly after September 11, falls to a distant second, at 5 percent — the first time since his election that he has not topped the poll.
The nation’s most-admired woman for the seventh-straight year is Obama’s secretary of state-designate, Hillary Clinton, named by one in five Americans. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a newcomer to the list, is second with 11 percent.
Rounding out the list of most-admired women living today are Oprah Winfrey in the third-place spot, current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in fourth place, and future first lady Michelle Obama, in fifth place with 3 percent.
The survey was conducted December 12-14, and is based on interviews with 1,008 Americans. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
Former Wasilla deputy mayor Judy Patrick's 2009 wall calendar featuring photos of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her family is the second-most popular calendar on amazon.com. (Photo credit: Judy Patrick Photography)
Golf.com has performed an important service. It has posted five photographs, taken by AP photographer Gerald Herbert, that shows President-elect Barack Obama on vacation in Hawaii playing golf. This is invaluable as we all know that nothing, not even a CNN special called "Obama Revealed," reveals the soul as ruthlessly and efficiently as how one plays the old Scottish game.
John F. Kennedy nearly made a hole-in-one on the short par-3 15th at Cypress Point (the best-smelling hole in all of golf, if you like the mix of eucalyptus and brackish ocean water) while running for the presidency in 1960. Kennedy, considered by presidential golfing historians to be by far the most skilled of our golf-playing presidents, was relieved to see the ball stay out. He was trying to succeed Dwight Eisenhower as president, and not as First Golfer. The game then wasn't the populist activity it has become. Kennedy, foolishly, allowed himself to be photographed taking a golf swing in fancy loafers, no socks. Still, he won West Virginia.
But Obama does not have to run from his golf. The guess here is that he's an athlete and a duffer and fun to play with.
(CNN) - As President George W. Bush gets ready to leave the White House in three-and-a-half weeks, and a new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel his departure is coming not a moment too soon.
Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they're glad President Bush is going, with 23 percent indicating they'll miss him.
"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The three-quarters of Americans surveyed who say they won't miss Bush is 24 points higher than the 51 percent who said they wouldn't miss Bill Clinton when he left office in January 2001. Forty-five percent of those questioned at that time said they would miss Clinton.
"As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.