Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 6, 2009.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court.
Sotomayor was confirmed in 68-31 vote. Nine Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic caucus in supporting her nomination.
The 55-year-old federal appeals court judge will be the 111th person to sit on the high court, and the third woman justice.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 5, 2009.
BURBANK, California (CNN) – Laura Ling expressed the shock that she and Euna Lee felt when former President Bill Clinton showed up in North Korea to secure the two journalists' release.
"We feared at any moment that we could be sent to a hard labor camp, and then suddenly we were told we were going to a meeting," a tearful and emotional Ling said Wednesday.
She spoke at a news conference just minutes after the two women were reunited with their families at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport outside Los Angeles.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 4, 2009.
Obama and Thomas both celebrated birthdays Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama celebrated his 48th birthday Tuesday by... meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus. But he also marked the occasion by accepting a happy birthday call from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. And he stopped by the briefing room to greet veteran White House scribe Helen Thomas, also celebrating a birthday today (her 89th.) Thomas began reporting from the White House in 1960 - the year before Obama was born.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 3, 2009.
Rep. Joe Sestak is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination Tuesday, setting up a primary season showdown with incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, a source close to Sestak confirmed to CNN Monday.
Sestak's campaign said in a Twitter message Monday morning that the Philadelphia-area congressman will be making a "major announcement" Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. The announcement, which will take place at a VFW hall in his district, will be webcast live on his campaign site.
A Quinnipiac poll late last month indicated that Specter, who's received the public backing of President Obama and party leaders since his defection from the Republican Party this spring, had a 55 percent to 23 percent advantage in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup – though his 20-point edge over prospective GOP challenger Pat Toomey had vanished.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 2, 2007.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A few hours after Sen. Barack Obama unveiled his plan to combat terrorism worldwide on Wednesday, Sen. Joe Biden's campaign criticized him for saying too little, too late.
“We find it a little disingenuous that Sen. Obama is hailing this as a new bold initiative when he has neglected to join his colleagues in the Senate when the opportunities have been there to redirect our forces into Afghanistan,” Biden's campaign manager, Luis Navarro, said in a statement. “It’s good to see Sen. Obama has finally arrived at the right position, but this can hardly be considered bold leadership.”
In a press release, Biden's campaign called Obama's speech a "Johnny-come-lately position." The release stated that Biden has "already initiated or accomplished" most of the propositions listed in Obama's speech. Biden’s campaign also said Obama didn't ask tough enough questions during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on the troop surge in Iraq.
"While we respect Senator Biden’s very long career in Washington, it’s no surprise that Obama’s bold, new vision to take on terrorists has shaken up the status quo in our nation’s capitol," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on July 30, 2009.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
(CNN) - The much anticipated "Beer Summit" took place in the White House Rose Garden Thursday evening.
The participants - President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Sergeant James Crowley, and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. did not speak to reporters during the event.
After much discussion about which beer would be served, Obama chose a Bud Light, Biden went with Buckler, Gates had a Sam Adams Light, and Crowley chose a Blue Moon.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on July 28, 2008.
From CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett
(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Monday surprised Senate Republicans by offering them the chance to vote this week on four GOP-backed energy measures, including offshore drilling.
The Senate has been gridlocked for days on an energy bill, as both sides argue over which amendments will be allowed.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell, in an exchange with Reid on the senate floor, said he was “very encouraged” by the proposal but said he would have to confer with his leadership team before formally responding to the offer later in the day.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on July 27, 2007.
(CNN ) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says the nation will look at itself differently the day he is inaugurated as America’s first black president.
Obama was addressing the National Urban League Convention’s presidential forum in St. Louis when he was asked what he could do to stop racial polarization in the U.S. Holding up his hand like he was taking the oath, the Illinois senator said, “The day I’m inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently. And don’t underestimate that power. Don’t underestimate that transformation.”
He told the crowd that endless high-minded discussions weren’t the answer to the problem. He said, “Here’s what I won’t do, because we do this all the time. I’m not going to set up a commission, and I’m not going to have a conversation, because we set those up with a lot of fanfare and there’s not any follow-up.”
Obama said that, as president, it would be more important to discuss specific issues as they come up “each and every day.”
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on July 26, 2009.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (CNN) - Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave her final speech as Alaska's governor Sunday before stepping down from her post, telling a Fairbanks crowd that she is resigning "to chart a new course to advance the state."
"Now people who know me, they know how much I love this state ... I feel it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics-as-usual, lame-duck session in one's last year in office," Palin said, just moments before Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell was sworn in as governor.
"With this decision, now I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right and for the truth," Palin continued. "And I have never felt you need a title to do that."
Palin announced in early July that she would step down this month. She has attributed the decision to tremendous pressure, time and the financial burden of a litany of ethics complaints in the past several months.
The complaints were without merit and took away from the job she wanted to do for Alaskans, Palin has said.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on July 22, 2009.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" by arresting Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates after they were called to his home on a report of a burglary last week, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
Disorderly conduct charges against Gates - one of the most prominent African-American academics - were dropped Tuesday after the incident drew national attention, with all involved calling it a "regrettable and unfortunate" incident. Asked about the matter in a White House news conference Wednesday, Obama said it shows "how race remains a factor in this society.
"That doesn't lessen the incredible progress that has been made," said Obama, the first African-American U.S. president. "I am standing here as testimony to the progress that's been made. And yet, the fact of the matter is that, you know, this still haunts us."
[Video after the jump]