(CNN) - Sarah Palin will be the main attraction at what's being billed as the "First National Tea Party Convention."
Tea Party Nation announced Wednesday that last year's Republican vice presidential candidate will serve as keynote speaker for the conference, scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee February 4-6. A representative for Palin has confirmed the former Alaska governor's speaking role at the gathering.
The group also announced that Rep. Michele Bachmann will be speaking at the gathering as well. The Minnesota Republican has become a hero among many in the conservative movement. A representative for Bachmann confirms her speaking role.
The event could focus the political spotlight on both women. Bachmann has become a rising star, her ascent fueled in part by major support from Tea Party activists. For Palin - currently taking a brief Thanksgiving break from a national tour for her new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life" - serving as headliner at a tea party convention could increase speculation that she is weighing a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey will interview President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, next month for a 60-minute program to air before Christmas, the talk show host announced Wednesday.
"Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special" will air at 10 p.m. December 13 on ABC, her Web site said.
"The intimate, informative and entertaining hour-long special will include a one-on-one conversation with the president, marking the first time Oprah has interviewed him since he took office, as well as an exclusive sit-down interview with the first couple," it said.
"The special will showcase behind-the-scenes preparations as the White House gets ready for the holiday season."
Winfrey, who supported Obama in his presidential bid and this month interviewed failed GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, recently said she will stop hosting her syndicated talk show in 2011 to focus on launching an Oprah Winfrey Network on cable television.
Updated: 6:02 p.m.
(CNN) - The same week Lou Dobbs suggested he would consider running for the White House in 2012, the former CNN anchorman appears to be softening his stance on his signature issue of illegal immigration.
In an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo gaining attention Wednesday, Dobbs told interviewer Maria Celeste he is one of the Latino community's "greatest friends" and appeared willing to embrace a form of amnesty he spent years criticizing.
"What isn't working is a penalty to those who are in this country illegally for whom we can both be building a bridge to the future in which there is legalization and at the same time constructing an environment in which everyone is clear and unequivocal about the need for boarder security and a regulated flow of immigration," Dobbs said.
"I want to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue, and work with those who will work toward real solutions," the former CNN anchorman also said, maintaining his position on immigration hasn't changed despite what appears to be a more moderate stance. "I think we need to honestly come together, those who have differing views…and make some real progress toward an understanding a compromise for those who are in this country illegally."
Dobbs also brushed aside suggestions he is the "No. 1 enemy" of the Latino community, saying that image is a result of propaganda "efforts of the far left."
"Whatever you have thought of me in the past," Dobbs said, "I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together. I hope that will begin with Maria and me and Telemundo and other media organizations and others in this national debate that we should turn into a solution rather than a continuing debate and factional contest."
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - War is expensive, and it's about to get more so if the U.S. government escalates its military efforts in Afghanistan.
President Obama is set to announce his strategy next week. And the question of cost hovers in the background of the difficult decision he faces.
Over the past eight years, the nearly $1 trillion cost of the military's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan was essentially charged to the national credit card.
Will it be different this time?
Washington (CNN) - Did 007 visit the White House? How about Air Jordan, or rock guitarist Warren Haynes?
A list of White House visitors released Wednesday provided those intriguing possibilities, with a catch.
In the case of Jordan, it was someone who shares the same name as the basketball legend, rather than Michael himself, according to a White House blog post by Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform.
There was no immediate response to a CNN query about whether the Roger Moore on the list was indeed the actor best known for his James Bond movies, or if the Warren Haynes who visited is the guy who jams with the Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule, the Dead and others.
The list of more than 2,000 White House visits covered the period from President Barack Obama's inauguration in January through August. It was the second release of visitor names under Obama's unprecedented step of making such information public as part of an effort to improve transparency.
Washington (CNN) - The official in charge of closing the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center has resigned, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Phillip Carter had submitted his resignation letter on Friday, after just under seven months in the post, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.
Morrell said Carter's move was prompted by personal and family reasons.
The Obama administration has vowed to close the Guantanamo facility, but acknowledges it is unlikely to happen by its self-imposed deadline of January 22, 2010.
About 215 men are held there. They include alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who, officials said on November 13, will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court.
Carter, a lawyer and Army veteran, joined the administration April 27 after writing briefs in two key Supreme Court cases related to detainee policy.
His title was deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy.
–CNN Pentagon Producer Mike Mount contributed to this report.
(CNN) - For most of the past week, when someone typed "Michelle Obama" in the popular search engine Google, one of the first images that came up was a picture of the American first lady altered to resemble a monkey.
On Wednesday morning, the racially offensive image appeared to have been removed from any Google Image searches for "Michelle Obama."
Google officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Google faced a firestorm of criticism over the episode. First, it banned the Web site that posted the photo, saying it could spread a malware virus. Then, when the image appeared on another Web site, Google let the photo stand. When a Google image search brought up the photo, an apologetic Google ad occasionally appeared above it.
The ad redirected users to a statement from Google which read, "Sometimes Google search results from the Internet can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries. We assure you that the views expressed by such sites are not in any way endorsed by Google."
The California-based company then explained that search results rely on computer algorithms that take into account thousands of factors.
Updated: 12:52 p.m.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama has invited bipartisan bicameral congressional leaders, key committee chairs, and ranking Republicans to come to a meeting on Afghanistan next Tuesday afternoon, according to several congressional aides.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will announce the U.S. troop strategy for Afghanistan in a speech at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.