Washington (CNN) – New York Gov. David Paterson vowed Tuesday that he would not allow unfounded rumors to drive him from office and pledged to run for his own four year term in November.
"Let me let you know this: The only way I am not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box and the only way that I will be leaving office before is in a box," Paterson said at news conference he called Tuesday to discuss the winter storm headed for his state.
While the focus of the news conference was supposed to be about the weather, Paterson was peppered with questions about his personal life. The governor has been dogged for weeks by rumors of womanizing and illegal drug use.
"There hasn't been one shred of evidence that any of these charges that were made against me were even true," said a defiant Paterson, who stood behind a podium with the state seal.
Washington (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made a dig at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Tuesday during the White House daily briefing.
"I wrote a few things down. I wrote eggs milk and bread, but I crossed out bread just so I can make pancakes for Ethan if it snows," Gibbs said showing the palm of his hand with notes written on it. "Then I wrote down hope and change just in case I forgot that."
Gibbs was apparently taking a jab at Palin who had notes written on her hand during a question and answer session at the Tea Party Convention Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
It was later determined Palin had written the words "Energy," "Tax Cuts," and "Lift American Spirits" in her palm.
(CNN) – With Washington blanketed in snow and the federal government shut down, the State Department used Twitter Tuesday to announce that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would soon be traveling to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Clinton's trips are usually announced in the daily press conferences, followed by a press release and then possibly by a tweet. But Clinton's visits to Qatar and Saudi Arabia were made public on Twitter first and then a news release was sent out approximately two hours later.
The tweet came from @DipNote, the official U.S. Department of State Twitter account: "Secretary Clinton will travel to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, February 13-16, 2010. #hillarytravel."
Underdogs and comebacks are hailed in American culture; perhaps this is why there will be so much said and written about our New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 victory in Super Bowl XLIV and what it means to a once-water-logged city and its tenacious residents.
I am as excited about the outcome of the game as any other member of the Who Dat Nation, but perhaps as important as bringing home the Vince Lombardi trophy, this win gives New Orleans an opportunity to highlight how far she has come and how promising her future looks today.
For as challenging a decade as the 2000s were for New Orleans, the 2010s may prove to be the brightest time in the city’s nearly 300-year history. The confluence of the Saints’ win and the historic mayoral election, which Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu won in a landside across racial lines, line up for the city’s best two days since the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
While we celebrate the team’s victory this evening at the parade, the city and the region will also be celebrating how far we have come as a community. The Saints are a large part of the fabric of the community here and have helped to bring everyone together in the toughest of times. Following the Super Bowl and the mayoral election, there is a unity of spirit and purpose unlike any time in our history. And it’s on display for the world to see.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama said Tuesday his televised health care summit with Republican leaders on February 25 should involve true give-and-take negotiations instead of mere "political theater."
In a rare appearance at the daily White House media briefing, Obama said he wants the meeting - which also will include health care experts - to "establish some common facts" on the health care issue and reach agreement on the most pressing health care problems facing the country.
To signal his willingness to compromise, Obama said he would consider a Republican push to include limits on medical malpractice lawsuits in a health care bill if the proposal can be shown to truly reduce overall health care costs. The president acknowledged the issue could "make my party uncomfortable," an apparent nod to traditional Democratic support among trial lawyers who oppose such limits.
However, Obama said bipartisanship on health care reform cannot mean only that "Democrats give up everything they believe in."
"Bipartisanship depends on a willingness among both Democrats and Republicans to put aside matters of party for the good of the country," he said.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Senate Democrats' draft plan for job creation, circulated Tuesday, contains a couple of employment measures and a lot of leftover business.
What's not included in the draft legislation is additional funds for states or stimulus money for infrastructure, which Republicans have said they will not support.
President Obama met with Senate and House leaders on both sides of the aisle Tuesday to push for a jobs proposal. The House passed a $154 billion bill in December, but momentum has stalled in the Senate, where Democrats recently lost their 60-vote filibuster-proof edge.
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said lawmakers need to pass a jobs bill this week, Republicans were not so sure. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said GOP lawmakers need to know more about the package.
"My members need to be able to feel like they understand what they are being called upon to support," McConnell said.
The Republican leader, meanwhile, said he'd like to explore a competing vision for job creation that centers around international trade and clean energy.
Washington braced Tuesday for a second major winter storm. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - The wheels of justice have been slowed but not paralyzed by the one-two punch of wintry blasts forcing much of the federal government to shut down this week.
Justice officials said Tuesday that essential personnel - including Attorney General Eric Holder - have managed to keep critical counterterrorism and other priority missions up and running - even as the nation's capital is buried in snow and bracing for more.
"All of the necessary national security functions and public safety functions are fully operational," FBI Assistant Director Michael Kortan told CNN.
But the weather has forced the closing of various U.S. attorneys' offices, affecting more than a thousand federal prosecutors and support staff in the Washington metro area alone.
Washington (CNN) – Nearly two-thirds of Americans want Congress to keep trying to pass a health care reform bill, according to a new national poll.
The ABC News/Washington Post survey released Tuesday afternoon also indicates that the public spreads the blame when it comes to a lack of bipartisanship in the nation's capital.
Fifty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll say that congressional Republicans aren't doing enough to seek compromise with President Barack Obama on important issues, with 44 percent feeling that Obama is doing too little to forge compromise with the GOP.
The survey indicates that 56 percent of independent voters say congressional Republicans aren't doing enough to try and work with the president and Democrats in Congress. Half of independents see the president as too unwilling to compromise and 28 percent feel both parties are not doing enough when it comes to bipartisanship.
According to the poll, 63 percent of Americans think federal lawmakers should keep trying to pass a comprehensive health care reform plan, including 88 percent of Democrats questioned, 56 percent of independents and 42 percent of Republicans. Fifty-five percent of Republicans feel Congress should give up on health care reform.
Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not get directly involved in the case of the 10 Americans detained in Haiti on child abduction charges, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.
"It would be highly unusual for the secretary of state to intervene in a case involving the judicial process of another country," spokesman P.J. Crowley said in an off-camera question-and-answer session.
Reginald Brown - the Washington lawyer who represents one of the detained Americans - sent a letter to Clinton on Tuesday asking her to personally intervene with Haitian authorities.
"This is all the result of a colossal misunderstanding and we are hoping it will resolve itself," Brown said about the arrest and detention of his client, Jim Allen, and the other nine Americans. "We would appreciate it if you could continue to devote significant personal attention to this matter, as we are confident that with your assistance this misunderstanding could be quickly resolved."
He asked Clinton to make "a personal request" to Haitian authorities to allow Allen to speak to his wife and her lawyers and to have fresh supplies.
"As far as I can tell, the one thing our detained American citizens have been able to do is communicate with just about anybody who wants to talk with them," Crowley said at the State Department. "If family members wish to talk to them, I think that is something that can be easily facilitated through our embassy in Port au Prince or through the Haitian government."
Washington (CNN) - Senate negotiators are close to a bipartisan agreement on a jobs package and the Senate could work through the weekend to pass it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.
The measure, which aides said has a price tag of about $85 billion, combines tax breaks for businesses that hire new workers with spending on infrastructure and extended benefits for the unemployed.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell warned Democrats that his members might need more time to study the bill before voting on it. "My members need to be able to feel like they understand what they are being called upon to support," he said on the Senate floor.
For Democrats, swift passage is critical. In addition to believing the aid is desperately needed in order to kick start hiring, Democrats are anxious to recover from their set back on health care reform and prove to voters they can get things done.