(CNN) – Did Barack Obama take a dig at pop star Jessica Simpson?
A transcription error set the Internet abuzz Monday as viewers debated an off-hand presidential comment about the pop star.
The remark came at the end of the President Obama's interview with NBC Sunday, when interviewer Matt Lauer held up a copy of the latest US Magazine, which features first lady Michelle Obama along with daughters Sasha and Malia. On the left side of the cover was a picture of Simpson, whom the magazine said is in a "weight battle."
Lauer noted the magazine had replaced the president's spot in the family photo with the Simpson headline.
“You got replaced by Jessica Simpson,” Lauer said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two senior administration officials say Judd Gregg has accepted an offer to be Commerce Secretary. An announcement will be made Tuesday morning at the White House.
UPDATE: Late Monday, political sources in New Hampshire confirmed to CNN's John King that Lynch will name Bonnie Newman, former chief of staff to Gregg, to fill out his term in the Senate. Sources from both parties confirmed the move.
(CNN) – Palin parties in DC. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin often says she's a Washington outsider, but last weekend she partied with Washington insiders in the nation's capital. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a look at Palin's Washington itinerary.
Plus: President Obama continues to push for GOP support. The president brought Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas to help woo his fellow Republicans in the Senate to get onboard with his stimulus plan. Watch President Obama make remarks from the Oval Office.
And: CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin takes a look at the broad themes of the stimulus package that GOP Senators agree on, and what they want to see changed.
Finally: CNN's Wolf Blitzer sits down for a one-on-one with newly-elected RNC chair Michael Steele. Watch what the first African-American GOP party leader had to say about lining up against Pres. Barack Obama.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Senate confirmed Eric Holder as attorney general Monday, voting 75-21 to place him in charge of the Department of Justice.
Holder, 58, is a former federal prosecutor and served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. His confirmation makes him the first African-American confirmed to the post, though he held the job on an acting basis in early 2001.
(CNN) - He's the first commander-in-chief to carry a BlackBerry-like device — but that doesn’t mean he’s reachable. President Obama is staying mum on the identity of the privileged few who’ve been given his new e-mail address.
In an interview with NBC Sunday, the president said only a "handful" of people are able to contact him through the super-secure device.
Earlier: Obama's 'spy-proof smartphone'
"Look, there are security issues involved," Obama said. "And so we’ve gotta make sure that I’m not - creating a situation where - you know, potential people can compromise our [security].
Obama also suggested the list does not include any world leaders.
"Typically, world leaders are going to be contacting me through the Oval Office. They know how to reach me there," he said.
The exclusive list of those who have the president's e-mail address reportedly includes a small group of senior aides and cabinet officials. According to a report in the New York Times, security precautions make it impossible to forward an e-mail from the president, or to send the president attachments.
Watch: The secret side of Obama's BlackBerry
It's also likely Obama's e-mail address will change frequently to ensure it remains secure.
Speaking Saturday in front of the Alfalfa Club Dinner - an annual event attended by the country's political elite - Obama joked about the ultra-limited access to president’s inbox.
"It's a very exclusive list. How exclusive? Everyone look at the person sitting on your left. Now look at the person sitting on your right. None of you have my e-mail address."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is not ruling out a run for the Senate in 2010, but for now is focusing all of his attention on the legislative session, a top ally tells CNN.
“The governor is not closing the door, but he is not necessarily opening it,” Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer said in an interview this afternoon. “He is focused on being governor and focused on solving the challenges that Floridians are facing right now.”
Greer said that Crist “enjoys being the governor,” and “at times he is a little frustrated with D.C., like all Americans.”
Still, the lure of Washington might be enough to convince Crist to run for the Senate in 2010. His entry into the race would be embraced by Senate Republicans, who are concerned that they could lose the seat that is now held by retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton was sworn in as America's 67th secretary of state Monday - for a second time.
Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath to Clinton in a ceremonial star-studded gathering at the State Department, with actor Chevy Chase and designer Oscar de la Renta among those on hand.
Watch: Biden swears in Clinton
"It is an overwhelming honor ... to assume this position," Clinton said. "We have a lot of work to do (to ensure that) America's future can be even brighter than our storied past."
Watch: 'I am an optimist,' says Clinton
"In selecting Sen. Clinton for this critical task, I think the president selected a person of unrivaled talent and experience," Biden said. She is "equally at ease in the great diplomatic halls of Europe as she is in the small villages in Africa."
Several of Clinton's predecessors were in attendance for the unusual gathering, including Madeleine Albright, Lawrence Eagleburger, James Baker and Henry Kissinger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also attended, as did Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Hillary Clinton's official swearing-in took place January 21 in her former Senate office. The low-key event was attended only by her husband and Senate staff.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Immediately before the Senate Finance Committee began its closed-door meeting to consider former Sen. Tom Daschle’s failure to pay certain taxes, the panel's top Republican said he had concerns about the Obama administration's vetting process.
“I have a high level of concern about how it looks to the public,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said of Daschle's situation. “I don’t have a level of concern about how it affects his ability to be HHS Secretary.”
He said he’s most concerned about the vetting process, even making a sarcastic comment about President Obama otherwise being a “genius.”
“What bothers me is a President who wanted to get his administration off and running even before he’s sworn in. What’s wrong with the vetting process? It shows a little bit of shortcoming for someone who otherwise is a genius, you know, about management capability.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House theater was packed, all 40 seats filled, so guests spilled out into the East Wing, where big TV sets were set up overlooking the first lady's garden. The Super Bowl game blasted from the theater, but Sunday's party hosted by the president and first lady focused more on family.
Attendees say about 75 people showed up, including several dozen children from age 2 on up.
The children gathered around a Nintendo Wii where, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent said, his 8-year-old son, Jack, took on two sisters determined to win. No, not the two sisters who live upstairs.
President Barack Obama, wearing a casual button-down shirt, walked from room to room serving his guests brownies, and oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Michelle Obama worked the crowd, too.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In one of her first public speaking events as first lady, Michelle Obama told employees at the federal Department of Education on Monday to "roll up (their) sleeves" and prepare for "hard work" as the new administration seeks to expand education funding in the face of the economic downturn.
Watch: 'We have a lot of work to do,' first lady says
Obama also indicated that her meet-and-greet session with the department's staffers will be the first in a series of appearances with employees throughout the federal government.
"Barack and I want to say thank you for what you've done," the first lady said. "You have to build a team from the bottom up."