December 31st, 2008
10:07 AM ET
6 years ago

Fortune.com: Barack Obama, car guy

A Chrysler 300C, like the one Obama drove before his campaign.
A Chrysler 300C, like the one Obama drove before his campaign.

NEW YORK (Fortune) – One of the least explored personal sides to our new president is the amount of gasoline in his veins. We know all about his affection for the basketball court and his tendency every now and then to sneak out for a cigarette. But we've heard very little about what drove him to acquire one of the least politically-correct cars on the planet: a Chrysler 300C. With its high torque and horsepower, voracious appetite for fuel and gangsta car persona, it is hardly the kind of vehicle you'd expect a consensus-building politician to drive. But those are Obama's wheels.

Or were. During the campaign he sold the 300C in favor of a hybrid Ford Escape, and as president of the United States, he won't be getting into the driver's seat very often – unless he's at a military base or some other secure location where he can let loose. He'll be spending all his time in the back seat of an armor-plated Cadillac.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
December 31st, 2008
09:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Lawsuit seeks to stop religious references at inauguration

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A number of atheists and non-religious organizations want Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony to leave out all references to God and religion.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, the plaintiffs demand that the words "so help me God" not be added to the end of the president's oath of office.

In addition, the lawsuit objects to plans for ministers to deliver an invocation and a benediction in which they may discuss God and religion.

An advance copy of the lawsuit was posted on a Web site by Michael Newdow, a California doctor and lawyer who has filed similar and unsuccessful suits over inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005.

The new lawsuit says in part, "There can be no purpose for placing 'so help me God' in an oath or sponsoring prayers to God, other than promoting the particular point of view that God exists."

Newdow said references to God during inauguration ceremonies violate the Constitution's ban on the establishment of religion.

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Filed under: Inauguration
December 31st, 2008
08:15 AM ET
6 years ago

From Obama-mania to Palin power: '08's top political stories

Barack Obama's campaign inspired a huge grassroots movement and broke fundraising records.
Barack Obama's campaign inspired a huge grassroots movement and broke fundraising records.

(CNN) - From an historic presidential election to a wealth of political scandals, 2008 has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Here's a look back at some of the top political stories of the year.

Obama-mania

From a junior senator from Illinois to the next president of the United States, Barack Obama broke down barriers and inspired an unprecedented grassroots movement in 2008.

He defeated one of the most powerful families in politics to get the Democratic nomination, and easily took down long-time Sen. John McCain in the general election.

Obama's campaign was marked by his eloquent speeches, passionate supporters and worldwide fanfare for the Democratic candidate.

The Democrat's ground team helped him smash fundraising records and sail into the White House, making him the first African American to win the presidency.

Palin power

Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Joe Lieberman - they were considered the front-runners for the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket. But, in one of the biggest surprises of the year, John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

The first-term governor went from obscurity to superstar fame overnight. She energized the Republican base and brought record crowds to McCain's campaign events.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Sarah Palin
December 31st, 2008
05:29 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday Dec. 31st, 2008

ALT TEXT

CNN: Obama family to move to DC this weekend, say aides
The Obama family is planning to move to Washington this weekend, say two transition officials. “They will stay at a Washington hotel through the 15th and then they will move into the Blair House,” said the first official.

CNN: Obama chides Illinois governor's decision to fill Senate seat
President-elect Barack Obama said Tuesday it is disappointing that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich ignored warnings from Senate Democrats about appointing a successor to his Senate seat.

CNN: Lobbyist linked to McCain sues NY Times for $27 million
A lobbyist who was romantically linked to Sen. John McCain in a New York Times article has sued the paper for $27 million, saying the story has damaged her career and "sense of personal self-worth."

CNN: Inaugural committee unveils contest to win swearing-in tickets
The presidential inaugural committee has borrowed a page from the president-elect's campaign playbook, offering donors the chance to enter a lottery so they can be on hand for the big event — and now, an essay contest that promises the same chance for those who keep their purse-strings closed.

CNN: Road to stimulus: Speed bumps ahead
Democratic lawmakers want to pass a far-reaching bill to save the economy by Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

CNN: Blagojevich pick has long political history
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick to fill Barack Obama's empty U.S. Senate seat was the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Illinois, winning the first of three terms as comptroller in 1978.
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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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