Washington (CNN) - President Obama is scheduled to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday as part of his reassessment of the military strategy in Afghanistan, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.
"It's a chance to consult with uniformed military leadership as a part of his Af-Pak [Afghanistan-Pakistan] review," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. "The president wants to get input from different services."
The meeting - which is scheduled to take place at the White House - will give the chiefs of staff, each representing one branch of the military, an opportunity to describe directly to Obama the impact on the military if a large number of additional forces are sent to Afghanistan, two unnamed military sources told CNN's Barbara Starr.
(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday night, telling a Fort Worth, Texas crowd it's futile to waste energy chasing popularity.
"It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," Bush said at a "Get Motivated!" business seminar, a multi-city event its organizers describe as an "energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show."
The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House, garnering nearly a 90 percent approval rating in the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and exiting office with only the support of 31 percent of Americans, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.
The former president was greeted enthusiastically by the 11,000 attendees of the event, according to the Fort Worth Telegram, and he spoke casually for about 20 minutes.
Event organizers declined to disclose how much the former president was compensated for the appearance, though former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received $100,000 for a similar speech at the event two years ago.
Bush, who has made few public appearances or statements since leaving office nine months ago, also took the opportunity to reflect on his presidency.
"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office," he said. Bush also added later that his faith played a large role in guiding his decisions: "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty."
Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who sparred with many members of the president's inner circle over the invasion of Iraq and endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid - also spoke at the event and offered high praise of his ex-boss.
"We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.
The former president is also scheduled to participate in another "Get Motivated!" seminar in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, according to the company's Web site.
"For a limited time only," the Web site says, tickets are available for that event at $4.95 per person or $19 for a group.
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(CNN) – Amid some controversy, President Barack Obama returns to the campaign trail Tuesday afternoon in Virginia to lend a helping hand to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.
The president teams up with Deeds at a rally in Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The event comes just hours after the release of a new poll that suggests Deeds trails his Republican rival Bob McDonnell by double digits, with a week to go until election day.
The rally also comes just a few days after negative quotes about Deeds from anonymous Obama administration officials appeared Friday in the Washington Post. Unnamed administration officials told the paper that if Deeds loses, it will be his own fault for shunning White House advice and not doing enough to embrace Obama on the campaign trail.
Asked Monday if the White House has been happy with the Deeds campaign, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said "that's not for me to pass judgment on."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine said Monday that a recent ad about his Republican challenger should have used a different expression than "threw his weight around," a turn-of-phrase which some political observers took as an effort to ridicule Chris Christie because of his waistline.
Late last month, the Democratic governor released a campaign ad that focused on what the Corzine campaign views as Republican Christie's track record of using his status as a U.S. attorney to gain special treatment in New Jersey. But the ad measured accusations by "weight."
"If you drove the wrong way down a one-way street, causing an accident and putting the victim in a trauma center...would you get away without a ticket?" the announcer said in the 30-second Corzine television ad. "Chris Christie did...."
"Christie threw his weight around as U.S. attorney and got off easy," the ad said.
In a recent debate and last week on CNN's "Situation Room," Christie directly responded to the ad's implication about his size.
"I'll let all of your audience in on a little secret," Christie told CNN's Wolf Blitzer last Wednesday, "I'm overweight and I've struggled with my weight for the last 30 years on and off and that's the way it is."
Christie also told Blitzer that he thought the Corzine ad was "beneath the office [Corzine] holds," and the New Jersey Republican slammed his opponent for not admitting that the ad was targeted at his weight rather than his conduct.
Appearing on "Situation Room" Monday, Corzine insisted that the controversial ad was meant to highlight Christie's behavior.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Six in 10 Americans support a "cap and trade" proposal to cut pollution, according to a new national poll.
Sixty percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor "cap and trade," a Democratic sponsored plan in which the federal government would limit the amount of greenhouse gases that companies could produce in their factories or power plants. Thirty-seven percent oppose the proposal, which would penalize companies that exceed greenhouse gas limits with fines or by making those businesses pay money to other companies that producer smaller amounts of pollution.
The poll's release Tuesday morning comes as the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works holds a hearing on new "cap and trade" legislation. The bill, sponsored by committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-California and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts), includes provisions to hold down costs to consumers and certain industries. Republicans say the bill would destroy jobs and increase taxes and energy costs for average Americans. The House of Representatives passed a "cap and trade" bill this summer along a party-line vote.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Reid backs health care public option
The contentious debate over health care took a new twist Monday as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his decision to craft legislation including a public insurance option allowing states to opt out.
CNN: Reid: Reconciliation 'always an option'
After announcing his intention to move forward with a health care reform bill in the Senate that includes a version of the public health insurance option that would allow states to opt out, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told CNN that he has not ruled out using a budgetary procedure called reconciliation which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority.
CNN: Clyburn: 60 shouldn't be 'the crucial number' for Senate health bill
Citing a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Monday that the Senate Majority Leader should use a budgetary maneuver to pass health care reform with a government-run insurance option if Democrats do not have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.
Washington Post: AARP: Reform advocate and insurance salesman
The nation's preeminent seniors group, AARP, has put the weight of its 40 million members behind health-care reform, saying many of the proposals will lower costs and increase the quality of care for older Americans.
CNN: Kerry treads middle ground on Afghanistan
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned Monday against a narrowing of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, but also suggested a plan by the commanding U.S. general in the country is overly ambitious.
CNN: Commentary: U.S. is losing Afghan war on two fronts
We are losing in Afghanistan, on two fronts. The most important center of gravity of the conflict - as the Taliban well recognizes - is the American public. And now, most Americans are opposed to the war.