October 20th, 2009
08:15 PM ET
October 20th, 2009
07:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Former rivals Plouffe, Schmidt team up

Steve Schmidt, left, and David Plouffe are teaming up at the University Delaware.
Steve Schmidt, left, and David Plouffe are teaming up at the University Delaware.

(CNN) – Nearly a year after Election Day 2008, the campaign managers for John McCain and Barack Obama, who spent last year at war, have joined forces.

McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt and David Plouffe, his counterpart on the Obama campaign, are teaming up to develop a political communications center at the University of Delaware. Both men attended the university, though they did not graduate.

The two political operatives are working together to develop a curriculum combining political science, communication, marketing, sociology, and other subjects.

The effort comes as both Schmidt and Plouffe are in the process of obtaining their full bachelor's degrees from the university.

"It's a privilege to get a chance to work with David and the talented women and men at the University of Delaware to help create a center that will help students study our political system and maybe inspire a few of them to participate in our nations political life," Schmidt said in an e-mail to CNN.

The news comes a day before Plouffe is set to speak at his alma mater in what will be one of the few open press speeches the former Obama campaign manager has delivered since the election.


Filed under: David Plouffe • Extra • Steve Schmidt
October 20th, 2009
07:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Liberal group launches campaign to close Guantanamo

A new ad out Tuesday urges Congress to close to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
A new ad out Tuesday urges Congress to close to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A coalition of retired generals and liberal activists joined forces Tuesday launching a $100,000 ad campaign - and multi-million dollar national grassroots effort - aimed at pressuring members of Congress to support President Obama's endeavor to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The 30-second spot, called "Close Gitmo Now," hit the airwaves Tuesday on network and cable television nationwide. It accuses Congress of being complacent in continuing policies from the Bush-Cheney administration.

"We want torture ended and we want to build the political base of support for those members of Congress who are willing to stand up," John Soltz, who heads the liberal veterans group VoteVets.org, told reporters on a conference-call Tuesday.

The "Campaign to Close Guantanamo," spearheaded by former Maine Rep. Tom Andrews, said they plan to move forward by targeting specific congressional districts in an attempt to restrain American's apprehension and possible fear of closing the prison. They did not say which districts they may focus on.

Update 7:43 p.m.: The Board of Directors of Keep America Safe, a conservative group focused on foreign policy issues, has responded in a statement to the new ad. "Guantanamo Bay is a secure, safe, humane facility where terrorists can be held, and when appropriate, tried. Americans expect their President to defend them from terrorists, not usher terrorists into the homeland," the group's directors said in a statement e-mailed to CNN.


Filed under: Guantanamo Bay
October 20th, 2009
06:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Palin to appear on Oprah day before tell-all released

Palin will talk to Oprah Winfrey the day before her memoir hits bookstores.
Palin will talk to Oprah Winfrey the day before her memoir hits bookstores.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sarah Palin will sit down with Oprah Winfrey the day before her new memoir hits bookstores, Harpo announced Tuesday.

The former Alaska governor will make the appearance on Oprah on November 16 to talk about her highly anticipated tell-all, "Going Rogue: An American Life."

Palin has never before appeared on the popular daytime talk show. Last December, Winfrey said she had invited her on the show to discuss the election, but suggested at the time that Palin had instead chose other interviewers.

"I said I would be happy to talk to Sarah Palin when the election was over... I went and tried to talk to Sarah Palin and instead she talked to Greta [Van Susteren]. She talked to Matt [Lauer]. She talked to Larry [King]. But she didn't talk to me," Oprah told the show Extra last year.


Filed under: Oprah Winfrey • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
October 20th, 2009
06:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama thanks counterterrorism task force

President Obama spoke Tuesday to the Joint Terrorism Task Force which is headquartered in New York City.
President Obama spoke Tuesday to the Joint Terrorism Task Force which is headquartered in New York City.

(CNN) - There were no squeals of delight or cell phones held high to capture photos Tuesday when President Barack Obama thanked workers at the nation's Joint Terrorism Task Force headquarters in New York for keeping the country safe.

The room of security specialists - most in formal business attire - listened quietly and stood to applaud when Obama finished his brief speech, with some shaking the president's hand before he left the stage.

The task force was formed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to unify the nation's counterterrorism response. Obama praised the unit, which comprises personnel from more than 40 federal, state and local agencies, for the cooperation and effectiveness of its work.

"Your success in thwarting terrorist attacks, the strong intelligence you've gathered, and the hard-nosed investigations you've pursued has proved to be a model for law enforcement officials across the country," Obama said. "And for that, you should all be extremely proud."

While more reserved than the usually exuberant crowds at Obama events, the audience laughed when Obama, after noting that most New Yorkers or Americans probably didn't know where the task force office was or what the workers did, said: "Obviously, you're not doing it for the glamour or the glory or the pay."
FULL POST


Filed under: President Obama
October 20th, 2009
06:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Clinton stumps for Corzine

As Election Day approaches, Gov. Corzine is getting some high profile help on the campaign trail.
As Election Day approaches, Gov. Corzine is getting some high profile help on the campaign trail.

(CNN) - With two weeks left until Election Day, and Jon Corzine fighting for his political life, the New Jersey governor gets a helping hand from another big-name surrogate Tuesday night.

Former President Bill Clinton teams up with Corzine at a campaign event at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It's the second of three straight days of Democratic heavyweights on the trail with the New Jersey governor: on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden teamed up with Corzine in New Jersey for the second time this month. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama headlines a Corzine rally in the Garden State.

A new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll suggests that Obama remains popular in the Garden State. The survey, released Tuesday, also indicates that Corzine is dead even with his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, the former federal prosecutor in New Jersey. Corzine, battling for his second term, trailed Christie over the summer - but just about every recent poll of likely New Jersey voters indicates that he's now pulled into a tie with Christie. The surveys also suggest that independent candidate Chris Daggett is making an impact, with support in the low double digits - more than enough to swing the race.

Christie gets some big-name help of his own next week. A source with the Christie campaign tells CNN that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will stand alongside the Republican challenger next week. Giuliani, along with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, have teamed up with Christie over the past few months.
FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Jon Corzine • New Jersey
October 20th, 2009
04:38 PM ET
4 years ago

Clinton breaks down polling in Virginia's governor's race

Clinton campaigned in Virginia on Tuesday.
Clinton campaigned in Virginia on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton played political analyst Tuesday during a campaign appearance in Virginia for Democrat Creigh Deeds, who is trailing Republican Bob McDonnell according to recent polling.

"So are the polls right?" Clinton said during a rally in northern Virginia. "The answer is yes, no and maybe. Yes, the polls are an accurate measurement of the voter groups that they talk to in proportion to each other. So if on election day that profile shows up, you have to change minds."

"The 'no' answer is, that's not close to a profile of the people either who voted in the primary, which was an open primary, or in the general election of 2008."

"And the 'maybe' is the thing that matters," he said. "The maybe is you. The maybe is what you do in the two weeks, whether you're prepared to step into the breach."

Clinton urged the crowd to tell fellow Democrats that jobs, health care, energy, education and "sensible budgets" are all at stake on Election Day.

FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Bob McDonnell • Creigh Deeds • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
October 20th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Cafferty: When should Obama stop blaming Bush administration?

 Join the conversation on Jack's blog.
Join the conversation on Jack's blog.

When it comes to Afghanistan, the Obama White House keeps pointing fingers at President Bush. Although the war is in its ninth year - they make it sound like things are back to square one.

Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel says President Obama is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side and the strategic side - a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to Obama's predecessor.

As President Obama continues to delay his decision whether to send as many as 40,000 more troops into battle - the latest excuse is the runoff election in Afghanistan - the tide is turning against the war here at home.

A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 59 percent of Americans are opposed to sending more troops into Afghanistan...only 39 percent support sending troops – and 28 percent say we should withdraw all U.S. forces.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here


Filed under: Cafferty File
October 20th, 2009
03:35 PM ET
4 years ago

No decision yet on homebuyer credit – Obama official

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – While momentum is building on Capitol Hill to extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit, President Obama's housing secretary said Tuesday the administration has not decided whether to support its expansion.

Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Senate Banking Committee that the administration wanted more time to better assess the cost of the credit, which expires on Nov. 30.

"Within a few weeks we'll have sufficient data to get to a conclusion on this," Donovan said. "It's a question of understanding more fully the costs to the taxpayer."

He said there is "clear evidence" the credit has had some positive benefits and that its expiration could have "some negative implications" for the housing market.

FULL POST


Filed under: President Obama
October 20th, 2009
03:06 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama notes 'transition' in U.S.-Iraqi bilateral ties

President Barack Obama said U.S.-Iraqi ties are entering a new period.
President Barack Obama said U.S.-Iraqi ties are entering a new period.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said U.S.-Iraqi ties are entering a new period, a change marked by a decreased emphasis on security and an increased focus on the economy.

Appearing before reporters Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki - in Washington to attend the two-day Iraq Investment and Business Conference and meet with American officials - Obama said the men discussed a wide-range of issues and didn't fixate on security or the military.

"What is wonderful about this trip is that it represents a transition in our bilateral relationship, so that we are moving now to issues beyond security and we are beginning to talk about economy, trade, commerce," the president said.

Obama cited Iraq's "continuing progress," strides on investment and "a commitment to democratic politics." He also cited the election legislation delayed in Iraq's parliament because of disagreement on several issues. The scheduled January 16 parliamentary elections might not be held if legislation isn't passed soon.

Full Story


Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
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