January 31st, 2009
05:10 PM ET
8 months ago

Democrats line up to support Daschle

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Four prominent Democratic Senators spoke out Saturday in support of former Sen. Tom Daschle, whose tax records have come under scrutiny as he pursues a Cabinet position in the administration of President Barack Obama.

Obama nominated the 61-year-old South Dakotan to be secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Senate Finance committee - which will vote on the nomination before the full Senate votes on whether to confirm him - is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the nomination.

A committee memo obtained Friday by CNN indicates committee members want to discuss the use of a car and driver that Daschle didn't disclose on his income taxes, and nonpayment of taxes on more than $80,000 he earned in consulting fees after leaving the Senate.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, the senior member of the finance committee, released a statement Saturday saying, "Months ago, Tom personally and proactively addressed the taxes issue and took all necessary steps to correct his innocent error."

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Filed under: Tom Daschle
January 31st, 2009
03:13 PM ET
8 months ago

People: Smithsonian requests Aretha's hat

Aretha Franklin performed at Obama's inauguration.
Aretha Franklin performed at Obama's inauguration.

Michelle Obama’s now-famous Jason Wu gown isn’t the only piece of Inaugural fashion that is headed for the Smithsonian. The museum is also requesting the now-iconic hat that Aretha Franklin wore while singing at the swearing-in.

Aretha, however, is still undecided about parting with her Luke Song-designed hat. “I am considering it. It would be hard to part with my chapeau since it was such a crowning moment in history,” says the Queen of Soul.

Full story


Filed under: Inauguration • Popular Posts
January 31st, 2009
03:12 PM ET
8 months ago

Bipartisanship is overrated, says new RNC chair

Michael Steele, the RNC's first African-American chairman, spoke to Republican House members Saturday.
Michael Steele, the RNC's first African-American chairman, spoke to Republican House members Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The new chairman of the Republican National Committee praised House Republicans Saturday for their universal opposition to President Obama's stimulus bill and used his family's own life experiences to justify voting against it.

Click here to listen to Steele remarks Saturday.

"I know we're living in the era of bipartisanship," Steele joked to the House GOP congressmen who gathered this weekend to discuss policy and politics. "I thought it was very important to send a signal, and you sent it loudly, very clearly, that this party, the leadership of this caucus, would stand first and foremost with the American people. You made it very clear that in order to grow through this recession that you not redistribute the wealth of the people of this nation."

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Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC
January 31st, 2009
03:00 PM ET
8 months ago

Obama congratulates Iraqis for holding elections

Two Iraqi women display their ink-stained fingers, a sign that they voted Saturday in Iraq's provincial elections.
Two Iraqi women display their ink-stained fingers, a sign that they voted Saturday in Iraq's provincial elections.

WASHINGTON (CNN)– In a statement issued Saturday, President Obama congratulated Iraqis for holding provincial elections.

Obama also called the elections an "important step forward" in "the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future."

Read the entire statement after the jump

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Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
January 31st, 2009
02:40 PM ET
8 months ago

President Obama prompting a DC renaissance?

CNN

Watch Kate Balduan report the Obama's could prompt a DC renaissance.

WASHINGTON (CNN)– President Barack Obama pledged to bring change to Washington.

Now that he's moved to town, local restaurant owners are hoping he'll keep his campaign promise.

After eight years of largely being ignored by a homebody president, Washington restaurateurs are throwing open their doors to the new first family - dreaming of a presidential visit that would undoubtedly spark buzz at a time when some restaurants are struggling.

"I think the Obama family brings back this kind of Kennedy-era style of having a youthful family in the White House," said Sheldon Scott, general manager of Marvin restaurant, in the trendy U-Street corridor. "People actually plan on living in the city, not just necessarily living at the city."

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Filed under: Michelle Obama • Obama family • President Obama
January 31st, 2009
02:04 PM ET
8 months ago

Official: Gregg top candidate for Commerce

 Gregg confirmed Friday he was under consideration to be the next Commerce Secretary.
Gregg confirmed Friday he was under consideration to be the next Commerce Secretary.

WASHINGTON (CNN) –Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire is the leading candidate to become commerce secretary and a decision could come as soon as Monday, an Obama administration official told CNN Saturday.

Gregg said in a statement Friday that he was among those being considered for the post, but White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that "a final decision had not been made."

"I know that's something that he [President Obama] hopes to make a decision on and announce shortly. But until the President tells me to make a personnel announcement from this podium, I'll refrain from getting into individual names on that," Gibbs said at Friday's press briefing.

The administration official Saturday spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss administration deliberations.

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Filed under: Judd Gregg • Obama administration • Popular Posts
January 31st, 2009
01:30 PM ET
8 months ago

Obama's leftover cash

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama ended last year with $15.5 million left over in his 2008 campaign war chest, according to a disclosure report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

Obama could transfer the bulk of this amount to a re-election bid in 2012.

By comparison, former President George W. Bush had only $292,809 in his campaign account at the end of the 2000 campaign year. Former President Bill Clinton ended his successful 1992 bid with $2.7 million in the bank.


Filed under: President Obama
January 31st, 2009
12:45 PM ET
8 months ago

Recession comes late but hits hard in Peoria

Chris Guynn says he's grateful that his wife has a full-time job while he studies for life after Caterpillar.
Chris Guynn says he's grateful that his wife has a full-time job while he studies for life after Caterpillar.

On CNN's "State of the Union," CNN host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country. This week, King traveled to Peoria, Illinois, to explore how the recession is hitting the blue-collar town hard.

PEORIA, Illinois (CNN) - Suddenly, this city's motto rings hollow: "It's Better Here" doesn't match the mood in a place where the recession hit late but is now hitting hard.

"I just felt, I thought I couldn't lose with this company" is how Chris Guynn described his motivation for moving his wife and two children to Peoria from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Watch Economic pain in Peoria

There was a job waiting at Caterpillar, the 80-year-old heavy equipment giant, and "It was a company that you could just retire with, great pension, retirement, 401 and so on."

Full story


Filed under: State of the Union
January 31st, 2009
11:44 AM ET
8 months ago

Obama rescue plan pushed back a week

Geithner is putting together the administration's financial rescue plan.
Geithner is putting together the administration's financial rescue plan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After initially vowing to unveil a new financial rescue package this coming week, senior Obama administration officials are now pushing the rollout date back an extra week in a sign of just how difficult it may be to craft such a massive plan - especially while the White House is simultaneously trying to sell a separate $819 economic stimulus plan.

Two senior administration officials told CNN that the full rescue plan, which is being put together by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other top economic advisers, is now expected to be unveiled the second week of February. But the officials held out the possibility that Geithner could start teasing out some aspects of the rescue plan this coming week.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 31st, 2009
11:24 AM ET
8 months ago

Obama pledges strict oversight of CEOs

Obama's radio address this week again focused on this economy.
Obama's radio address this week again focused on this economy.

(CNN) - President Obama said Saturday his aides are crafting a new plan to revive the country's financial system - and to make sure CEOs don't misuse bailout funds.

"We'll ensure that CEOs are not draining funds that should be advancing our recovery," Obama said, in his weekly radio/YouTube address airing Saturday morning. "And we will insist on unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight and clear accountability, so taxpayers know how their money is being spent and whether it is achieving results."

News that corporate executives had handed out $20 billion in bonuses last year spurred tough words from Obama this week. The president blasted those bonuses as "the height of irresponsibility," and seemed to say there could be consequences for those decisions.

"While I'm committed to doing what it takes to maintain the flow of credit, the American people will not excuse or tolerate such arrogance and greed," President Obama told listeners Saturday morning. "The road to recovery demands that we all act responsibly, from Main Street to Washington to Wall Street."

He also said that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is preparing a strategy to lower mortgage costs and increase the flow of credit.


Filed under: President Obama
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