January 2nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Court might hear more Coleman arguments in recount

The result of the Minnesota Senate race remains unclear.
The result of the Minnesota Senate race remains unclear.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Minnesota's Supreme Court kept the door open Friday afternoon for another possible intervention in the state's still unresolved U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

Coleman's campaign is requesting that the court hear arguments that no uniform standard or guidelines are being followed in how improperly rejected absentee ballots are added to the recount.

The court Friday asked the Franken campaign, the secretary of state's office, and seven counties to supply any response to the Coleman campaign's petition by Saturday morning.

Local officials have identified about 1,350 ballots that might have been rejected in error. Coleman's campaign had attempted to add about 600 more ballots to that pile, but since the two campaigns did not agree on these added ballots, they will not be counted now.

An earlier high court ruling mandated that no ballot could be counted unless local officials and each campaign agreed that the ballot had been rejected in error.

The Franken campaign has said it simply wants to count the ballots the local officials have already identified and leave it at that.

Franken currently holds a slim lead of about 50 votes, but the improperly rejected absentee ballots have yet to be included in the tally. Those are expected to be in the mix by early next week.


Filed under: Minnesota
January 2nd, 2009
03:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Reports: Bennet to replace Salazar

Obama tapped Salazar for interior secretary.
Obama tapped Salazar for interior secretary.

(CNN) - Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet is Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's pick to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, according to several media reports.

Ritter is expected to name Bennet to the position on Saturday, according to Denver media outlets.

Salazar, a first term senator, is President-elect Barack Obama's choice to be Interior Secretary and is expected to easily be confirmed by the Senate.

Ritter had narrowed down his choice to either Bennet or the popular Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, and made his final decision on New Years Day, according to the reports.

Ritter's office would not confirm the report to CNN.

UPDATE: Ritter's office has announced the Governor will name his Senate choice Saturday in a 4 p.m. ET news conference.


Filed under: Uncategorized
January 2nd, 2009
02:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Carville makes painful prediction for 2009

 Simple math says Democrats are more likely get caught up in a scandal, Carville says.
Simple math says Democrats are more likely get caught up in a scandal, Carville says.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - You know, people will insist that 2008 had 366 days. I don't believe it. I think it had 36,066 days.

It certainly felt much longer than any year that I've ever experienced. Only time will tell what's in store for us in 2009, but first I have a few predictions.

Internationally, I believe there will be a peace agreement between Israel and Syria in the next 18 months. It is something that will be a priority for the incoming Obama administration.

In domestic politics, my first prediction is one that pains me to make, but I'll make it anyway.

The Democratic Party has had a recent run of corruption and sex scandals. Mathematicians say that there are no such things as streaks and that the last event has nothing to do with the next. The only people who disagree are crapshooters and political operatives. Since I am both, I firmly believe that there are streaks and that political scandals happen in clusters.

Full story


Filed under: James Carville • Politics
January 2nd, 2009
02:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Podcast: Obamas are back on the mainland, so what’s next?

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) – Before President-elect Barack Obama can make a “change,” he will have to change his address. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, the Obamas are fresh from their vacation in Hawaii and are preparing to make their big move to the nation’s capital. So where will the next first-family stay before they move into the executive mansion? CNN’s Jim Acosta takes a look at their temporary residence, a said-to-be haunted hotel steeped in history.

With the country in the midst of an economic crisis and an embattled governor accused of selling his former Senate seat, what will the President-elect tackle first when he arrives in Washington? CNN’s Brianna Keilar has the latest.

Finally: Senator Bill Clinton? Could New York put in the former President as a place-holder with political clout until the public can vote in two-years on who should hold Hillary Clinton’s former Senate seat? CNN’s Deborah Feyerick takes a look at Clinton and other potential “seat-warmers.”

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.

January 2nd, 2009
02:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama set to meet with Congressional leadership

Obama will meet with Reid and Pelosi Monday along with GOP leaders.
Obama will meet with Reid and Pelosi Monday along with GOP leaders.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Monday to discuss his proposal for the new economic stimulus plan, which leaders are now referring to as an "economy recovery plan", a Senate Democratic leadership aide said Friday.

Obama, Pelosi and Reid are then hoping to meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, the aide told CNN.

The president-elect's staff contacted McConnell's office about meeting on Monday but the time and location has not been buttoned down, said a Senate Republican leadership aide.

"It's likely to happen but the details still need to be worked out," said the aide. Asked if Republicans are satisfied with what appears to be an effort by Obama to include them in discussions about the new economic stimulus package the GOP aide said, "It depends on what the meeting is - if it's just a photo op or if they're really reaching out."

The aides declined to be named because the meetings had not been publicly announced.
Obama aides would not confirm any Monday meetings.

As House Democratic aides said Pelosi would like to move a stimulus bill through the House by the second week in January, McConnell and Boehner both expressed concerns this week about the size of the economic rescue effort and if oversight of the plan will suffer because of Democrats' ambitious timeline.

McConnell's office says he will release another statement Friday, reiterating the concerns he raised early this week.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Congress
January 2nd, 2009
01:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate GOP prepared to fight early Franken seat

 Democratic challenger Al Franken has a slight lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in the race for the Minnesota Senate seat.
Democratic challenger Al Franken has a slight lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in the race for the Minnesota Senate seat.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Sen. John Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is weighing in on Minnesota's close and still unresolved U.S. Senate race, saying Friday that no one should be seated until a winner is made official by both the Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Currently, Democratic challenger Al Franken holds a slight lead of about 50 votes over Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, but this number does not reflect what could be more than a thousand improperly rejected absentee ballots still to be tallied, which would sway results.

Cornyn, a Republican from the state of Texas, said a filibuster may be in order if Franken were seated before an official certificate is signed by Ritchie and Pawlenty.

FULL POST

January 2nd, 2009
11:46 AM ET
5 years ago

WPVI: Biden cufflinks bought at thrift store

A Pennsylvania man purchased a shirt at a thrift store containing what appears to be Vice President-elect Joe Biden's cufflinks.
A Pennsylvania man purchased a shirt at a thrift store containing what appears to be Vice President-elect Joe Biden's cufflinks.

John Pickens walked into one of his neighborhood thrift shops like he does almost every other week. He was looking for a white collared shirt. He found not one but three. When he got home he found even more: It still had what are apparently cufflinks belonging to Vice President-elect Joseph Biden.

"I looked at the shirt. It say Brooks Brothers," John Pickens told Action News, "I say, 'Oh man. This really looks good too.' I said, 'French cuffs, this really looks good too.'"

The shirts were clean and crisp on the rack, except for one.

Full story from WPVI


Filed under: Joe Biden
January 2nd, 2009
10:38 AM ET
5 years ago

2009 political predictions: What will be the big story?

Barack Obama will take office with a big to-do list in front of him.
Barack Obama will take office with a big to-do list in front of him.

(CNN) - This past year was full of unexpected twists and turns on the campaign trail.

With a new president taking over and a host of problems awaiting him, there's no telling what will happen in 2009.

CNN's political analysts and contributors offered up some of their predictions for the upcoming year:

Full story


Filed under: Politics
January 2nd, 2009
09:18 AM ET
5 years ago

Clinton likely in for bumpy ride

ALT TEXT

Clinton will immediately have to deal with a host of world issues should she be confirmed as the next Secretary of State. (Getty Images)

(CNN) - The Gaza crisis is an alarm bell and flashing light for incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

As she prepares to become the top U.S. diplomat and the symbol for U.S. policy around the globe, Clinton inherits from the Bush administration a dangerous and unpredictable world in which the violence in Gaza and southern Israel is just one reminder.

Outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is winding down her diplomatic responsibilities and has briefed both Clinton and President-elect Barack Obama about what is playing out in the Middle East. Those talks are private and Team Obama is scrupulously sticking to its "only one president at a time" mantra when it comes to international policy.

But the ground keeps shifting. And events in and around Gaza will force the new secretary of state to deal with questions about the Mideast sooner than she and her advisers might have hoped.

"We'll have to see what the landscape is like by January 20," said David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "We'll have to see what this administration is inheriting."

Full story


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
January 2nd, 2009
06:01 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday Jan. 2nd, 2009

ALT TEXT

CNN: Analysis: Constitutional fight looms over Senate seat
The U.S. Senate is considered the most exclusive legislative body in the country, and members of its majority say they will not accept Roland Burris - tapped by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill a vacant seat - into their own.

CNN: New secretary of state inherits unpredictable world
The Gaza crisis is an alarm bell for incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, promising a bumpy ride.

CNN: Ex-Sen. Claiborne Pell, proponent of student grants, dies
Former U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, who was largely responsible for the Pell grant program for U.S. college students, died Thursday morning at his Rhode Island home, his family said.

CNN: Aides: Democrats have plan if Burris shows up
Senate Democratic leaders think Roland Burris, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's pick to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, will likely show up on Capitol Hill Tuesday for the opening day of Congress, according to a Democratic aide familiar with Senate Democratic leaders' plans.

CNN: Kennedy clears political hurdle
Caroline Kennedy appears to have cleared a big hurdle in her quest to replace outgoing New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
FULL POST


Filed under: Political Hot Topics