January 18th, 2009
07:40 PM ET
7 months ago

Pelosi, Obama disagree on tax cuts, Bush investigations

Pelosi wants taxes repealed on the rich immediately.
Pelosi wants taxes repealed on the rich immediately.

(CNN) - Two days before President-elect Barack Obama is officially sworn in, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made clear she disagrees with the incoming administration on at least two issues.

Obama has indicated he is not interested in repealing President Bush's tax cuts for wealthy Americans before they expire in two years or investigating past actions of the Bush administration.

But speaking on Fox News Sunday, Pelosi said she wants Congress to consider repealing tax cuts on those who make over $250,000 immediately and is pushing for a congressional investigation into whether the Bush administration illegally fired federal prosecutors two years ago.

On taxes, Obama's stimulus plan does not call for repealing president's tax cuts for wealthier individuals, even though the president-elect had said he would during the presidential campaign. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a top Obama economic advisor, also suggested Sunday that repealing Bush’s tax cuts will not be a priority.

But Pelosi said Sunday she wants the incoming president to stick to his campaign pledge.

"We had campaigned in saying what the Republican Congressional Budget Office told us: Nothing contributed more to the budget deficit than the tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America," Pelosi said in the interview.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Pelosi's statement "false," and cited a recent fact check from the St. Petersburg Times disputing the House Speaker's claim tax cuts for the wealthy is the biggest contributor to the budget deficit.

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January 18th, 2009
07:37 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton thanks supporters, prepares for new supporting role

 Clinton sent a message to supporters Sunday.
Clinton sent a message to supporters Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton sent supporters what appears to be her final political e-mail Sunday, thanking them for backing her presidential bid as she now prepares for a new role in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.

The New York Democrat is in line to become Obama’s secretary of state, one of the most powerful positions in his administration where she will serve as the top U.S. diplomat to the world. Her nomination awaits Senate confirmation.

“In our most difficult moments, it was you who kept our efforts moving forward,” Clinton wrote in the message. “In our happiest moments, you and I celebrated together. Together we walked this amazing journey one step at a time and I couldn't have done without you.”

Clinton specifically thanked supporters for backing her White House bid - an unsuccessful primary battle with Obama that lasted 17 months and garnered about 18 million votes. She closed the note telling them that she knows they will be by her side as she starts the next chapter in her life.

“And as I take the first step on the next path in our journey, I know you'll be right there with me, as always, in my heart and by my side,” Clinton wrote.

(Full message after the jump)

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
January 18th, 2009
05:01 PM ET
2 years ago

Bush aides: No “O’s” Will Be Removed from WH Keyboards

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Aides to incoming President Barack Obama should feel confident in knowing their new computers will have all 26 letters in the alphabet when they show up at the White House on Tuesday.

Two current Bush officials vowed to CNN on Sunday that outgoing administration aides will not be removing any “O’s” – as in Obama – from White House keyboards, despite any temptation for payback.

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Filed under: White House
January 18th, 2009
04:36 PM ET
6 years ago

No Bush moving trucks needed Inauguration Day

The Bushes are nearly all moved out of the White House.
The Bushes are nearly all moved out of the White House.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On Inauguration day, there's one scene at the White House that won't be playing out exactly as it has during past transitions: the traditional moving of the outgoing First Family's belongings. Anita McBride, Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush, tells CNN that the Bushes have moved almost all their things out of the White House ahead of schedule.

"There won't be ... the moving trucks for the Bushes coming here," McBride said, adding, "the only things really left for President and Mrs. Bush are their personal belongings and luggage that they'll take that day."

McBride said Mrs. Bush directed residence staff early – in the summer of 2008 – to prepare the White House for the personal transition.

"It's probably the librarian in her," McBride said of Mrs. Bush, a former librarian. "Maybe we've got a bit of a Dewey decimal system of move-out process, but that certainly made it easier for the residence staff, and they very much appreciate it."

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Filed under: White House
January 18th, 2009
04:35 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama to meet with military commanders Wednesday on Iraq

Obama will meet with military commanders Wednesday on Iraq.
Obama will meet with military commanders Wednesday on Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Incoming President Barack Obama is planning to meet with top military leaders on Wednesday to discuss the war in Iraq and move to begin implementing his campaign promise of removing all combat troops within 16 months, according to two transition officials familiar with the matter.

The meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military commanders is to be held on Obama's first full day in office, which suggests the president-elect wants to signal supporters that, despite his heavy focus on the financial crisis, he will address Iraq early in the new administration.

In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" shortly after his election victory, Obama said he would move quickly to begin withdrawing troops.

"Well, I've said during the campaign, and I've stuck to this commitment, that as soon as I take office, I will call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, my national security apparatus, and we will start executing a plan that draws down our troops," Obama said. "Particularly in light of the problems that we're having in Afghanistan, which has continued to worsen. We've got to shore up those efforts."


Filed under: President-elect Obama
January 18th, 2009
04:27 PM ET
6 years ago

Obamas visit DC church - but will it be a new spiritual home?

The Obamas went to a Washington, DC church Sunday.
The Obamas went to a Washington, DC church Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) –- President-elect Barack Obama and his family attended services at a historic Washington church Sunday morning, but his transition office said no final decision has been made on the family’s congregation in their new home town.

Obama went to the 19th Street Baptist Church Sunday morning with wife Michelle, daughters Sasha and Malia, and his mother-in-law Marian Robinson. The family, which received a standing ovation from the congregation as they came in, sat in the second row, with Obama himself sitting on the aisle.

A pool reporter inside the church said Obama sang along during the hymn “Blessed Assurance” near the beginning of the service. A pastor ended a prayer with a theme of the Obama campaign, adding “yes we can” to “in the name of Jesus we pray, amen.”

The sermon was partially directed at Obama, two days before he takes office. Entitled “For Such a Time as This,” it included a message about God preparing people for the challenges they face.

Pastor Derrick Harkins said, “While I am tasked with preaching to everyone who is here, let me step to the side with you Mr. President-elect, for just a moment…Perhaps, just perhaps, you are where you are for such a time as this.”

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Filed under: President-elect Obama
January 18th, 2009
04:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama speaks at Lincoln Memorial celebration

Thousands gather Sunday afternoon on the National Mall in Washington.
Thousands gather Sunday afternoon on the National Mall in Washington.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Inauguration revelry began Sunday afternoon as thousands gathered on the National Mall in Washington for a free concert featuring big stars.

President-elect Barack Obama spoke at the concert, just after 4 p.m.

"The dream of our founders will live on in our time. ... What gives me hope is what I see when I look out across this mall," he said.

Obama spent the morning visiting Arlington National Cemetery and attending church before heading to the "We are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial. It was nothing but good vibes - a brief respite for an incoming president who will face some big problems after he takes office Tuesday.

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Filed under: President-elect Obama
January 18th, 2009
03:52 PM ET
6 years ago

The unofficial official Obama portrait makes a weekend debut

ALT TEXT

Just days before Barack Obama moves into his new home, his portrait did the same: workers installed artist Shepard Fairey's ubiquitous painting of the president-elect in the National Portrait Gallery Saturday.

Obama's official portrait, by incoming White House photographer Pete Souza, was released last week.


Filed under: President-elect Obama
January 18th, 2009
02:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Somber ceremony, celebratory bash for Obama on Sunday

Obama and Biden visited Arlington National Cemetery Sunday.
Obama and Biden visited Arlington National Cemetery Sunday.

(CNN) - On his first full day back in Washington, President-elect Barack Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, where he took part in a ceremony alongside Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Watch Obama, Biden visit war dead

The two - along with their families and a huge crowd - will attend a celebratory concert Sunday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial.

It's all part of the drum-up to Tuesday, when Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States.

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Filed under: President-elect Obama
January 18th, 2009
01:27 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama more popular than ever, despite speed bumps

a New poll suggests Americans overwhelmingly approve of Obama's transition performance.
a New poll suggests Americans overwhelmingly approve of Obama's transition performance.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll suggests that Barack Obama is more popular than ever, regardless of recent speed bumps on the road to transition.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday morning also indicates that most Americans see Obama's inauguration as a chance for the nation to come together.

Eighty-four percent of those questioned in the survey say they approve of how Barack Obama is handling his presidential transition. That is up two points from the middle of December and up five points from the beginning of December.

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Filed under: President-elect Obama
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