Dallas (CNN) - As former President George W. Bush unveils his paintings for the first time publicly, he said he expects some of the world leaders who were his artistic subjects to be surprised at the quality.
"I think they're going to be (like), 'Wow, George Bush is a painter,"' Bush told NBC's "Today" show in an interview set to air Friday. "I'm sure when they heard I was painting, (they said), 'Wow, I look forward to seeing a stick figure he painted of me.'"
Among those he painted were former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama.
New York (CNN) – Returning to her roots as Arkansas' first lady, Hillary Clinton will speak to an early childhood education organization that she first championed in the 1980s.
Clinton is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) conference on April 28 at Gallaudet University in Washington as the group marks its 25th anniversary.
(CNN) – The New Jersey state legislative committee investigating Gov. Chris Christie’s involvement in an alleged political payback scheme plans to meet again Tuesday to discuss issuing more subpoenas.
Lawmakers on the committee are particularly interested in getting documents from Christie’s own internal investigation, which last week cleared the New Jersey governor of any involvement in the lane closures to the George Washington Bridge last September.
Sayreville, New Jersey (CNN) - Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he's willing to think about legalizing medical marijuana in edible form for patients above the age of 18.
"If there becomes a large adult population that needs this type of edible (marijuana), I'll consider it," the New Jersey Republican said at a town hall in Sayreville.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 3, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING “LATE SHOW” NEWS … LETTERMAN TO RETIRE IN 2015 … CNN’s Brian Stelter reports television legend David Letterman will retire in 2015.
DEVELOPING … CIA SECRETS ARE OUT … The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted to publicly release key portions of its report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, Chairman Dianne Feinstein told reporters following a closed-door meeting of the committee. The report draws a harsh portrait of the agency and the legality of its tactics, U.S. officials tell CNN’s Evan Perez.
FEINSTEIN TO HILL REPORTERS: “The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never be allowed to happen again. This is not what Americans do.”
IN WAKE OF FORT HOOD TRAGEDY, BUSH URGES PEOPLE TO DROP THE “D” FROM PTS: FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH 43 AT A MILITARY SERVICE INITIATIVE EVENT: “As most doctors today will tell you post-traumatic stress is not a disorder. Post-traumatic stress or PTS is an injury that can result from the experience of war. And like other injuries PTS is treatable. … Partly because it is mislabeled as a disorder and partly because many people aren’t aware of treatment options some veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress are reluctant to seek help. As a result of public misunderstanding employers sometimes cite it as a reason for not hiring vets.”
CHRISTIE FAVORABILITY COOLING … The latest edition of Quinnipiac University's National Thermometer Poll, released Thursday, indicates that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is losing some ground in terms of his favorability ratings. The poll asks voters nationwide to rate their feelings towards political leaders by choosing any number between 0 and 100, with higher numbers indicating more positive feelings. Christie came in ninth on a list of 13 Republicans mulling a 2016 bid for the White House, at 45.2 degrees. That's down from 55.5 degrees in Quinnipiac's early January poll, which Christie topped.
YET … HE IS THE $33 MILLION MAN …The Republican Governors Association announced Thursday that the group has raised a record $23.5 million over the first three months of this year, and $33 million since Chris Christie took over as RGA chairman in late November. That's a new fundraising record for the first four and a half months of a new RGA chairman's tenure. The $23.5 million raised in this year's first quarter shatters the previous RGA record of $9.1 million brought in during the first three months of 2010 under the chairmanship of then-Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi. – Paul Steinhauser
HEADS UP: ISSA PREPARING TO HOLD LERNER IN CONTEMPT… The House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the about agency’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax- exempt status, Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, announced Thursday.
THE BUZZ: BILL CLINTON 'WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED' BY AN ALIEN VISIT … It has been a question plaguing man for ages: Are we alone in the universe? If you ask former President Bill Clinton, he would tell you that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if we were visited by extraterrestrials someday. At least that’s what he said on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show Wednesday.
“In the last two years, more than 20 planets have been identified outside our solar system that seem to be far enough away from their suns and dense enough that they might be able to support some form of life,” he said. The 42nd President would rather see E.T. make a visit than the aliens from the sci-fi movie “Independence Day,” but he says there may be an upside from the latter. – Jonathan Helman
MARKET WATCH: Markets winning streak continues. S&P 500 hits record high and Dow closes just short of its all-time record.
New York (CNN) - Hillary Clinton said she worked to expand the United States' international reach and reputation during her tenure at the State Department, as she reflected on her time leading the agency during a Thursday speech.
While Clinton spoke admiringly of President George W. Bush's PEPFAR program to combat the AIDS virus in Africa, she said part of her mission at State had been to restore prominence to agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development, which promotes health and economic development abroad.
(CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is doing something he hasn't done since 2010 – he's running campaign commercials.
The re-election team for the 12-term lawmaker, who represents Ohio's 8th Congressional district in the southwestern part of the state, confirms to CNN that they're running a TV ad in the Cincinnati and Dayton markets over the next ten days.
(CNN) - The House Oversight Committee plans to vote next Thursday on whether to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, its chairman, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, said.
The official is Lois Lerner, the former IRS director of tax-exempt organizations, Lerner retired last year after being placed on administrative leave by the IRS after she said the IRS applied extra scrutiny to both conservative and liberal political groups seeking tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.
(CNN) - Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia is playing up her work for former Republican President George H.W. Bush in the first television commercial of her Senate campaign.
(CNN) – In late 2012, when Neel Kashkari first pondered the idea of running for governor of California, one of the first people he sought out for advice was another Republican who once faced long odds in a big state gubernatorial bid: George W. Bush.
Bush was an underdog when he tried to unseat Texas Gov. Ann Richards in 1994, and he ended up winning in that year's GOP landslide.