(CNN) - Vice President-elect Joe Biden said a report expected later today detailing contact between the Obama transition team and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would show there had been "no inappropriate contact" between the two camps.
“I don’t think there’s anything to exonerate,” Biden told reporters following a Tuesday morning economic briefing in Chicago.
Blagojevich has been accused of trying to sell the Senate seat that had been held by President-elect Barack Obama, and was arrested earlier this month. The president-elect had ordered his team to compile a report listing all conversations between the transition office and the Illinois governor. Obama said several days ago that the public release of the list had been delayed at the request of federal investigators.
(CNN) - Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s biggest mistake of the presidential campaign: not enough time with the media, the Alaska governor said in an interview published Monday.
“The biggest mistake made was that I could have called more shots on this: the opportunities that were not seized to speak to more Americans via media,” she told Human Events.
“I was not allowed to do very many interviews, and the interviews that I did were not necessarily those I would have chosen. But I was so thankful to have the opportunity to run with John McCain that I was not going to argue with the strategy decisions that some of his people were making regarding the media contacts.
(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama named his science and technology team Saturday with a pledge to ensure that “facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.”
“It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology,” he said in his Saturday radio address, in an apparent offhand swipe at President Bush.
“It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient,” Obama said, adding that government support had been essential for the greatest scientific breakthroughs of recent history, like the development of the Internet. “Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us."
(CNN) - Connecticut’s Democratic Party is officially complaining to Sen. Joe Lieberman for backing Republican John McCain in this year’s presidential race – but has decided against taking any tougher measures against him.
State party officials voted Wednesday night to send the senator a letter laying out their unhappiness with his decision, amid new polls that show the Democrat-turned-independent drawing record low approval ratings from constituents unhappy over his presidential pick and his continuing support for the Iraq war.
Lieberman himself, who remains a registered Democrat, retained his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last month following a lengthy and often-heated debate over what — if any — price he should pay for his vocal support of McCain's presidential bid.
(CNN) – Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations - a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters - played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”
"She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It's one of the great pleasures I've had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.
"....I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me," he added. "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."
Taking a look back at the presidential contest, he said his campaign was dealt a fatal blow when public focus shifted from foreign policy to the faltering economy. “The American people - and I respect that decision, I don’t in any way criticize it – [decided] that the economy was of vital importance. And it is,” he said.
(CNN) - Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has fallen 814 votes behind Democratic challenger Mark Begich as vote counting continues in Alaska.
The Anchorage mayor was trailing Stevens in the initial count, which did not include at least 90,000 absentee, early and provisional ballots.
With nearly two-thirds of those votes now tallied, Begich has taken the lead. An estimated 40,000 ballots have yet to be counted – a majority of them from the area of the state that includes Anchorage, according to state elections officials.
(CNN) - Votes are still being counted in some states, but conservatives stinging from last night’s losses are planning to get together to plan the movement’s future — and so far, it doesn’t look like that vision includes John McCain.
McCain, who made a poorly-received appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year, was not included on a list of major movement figures invited to next year’s gathering e-mailed to supporters Wednesday morning. More than a dozen conservative leaders made the cut — including McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have also been invited to address CPAC in February, along with McCain’s former primary season rivals Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
“At CPAC 1975, one speech initiated the conservative comeback,” American Conservative Union president David Keene wrote on the invitation to the group’s annual meeting, citing Ronald Reagan’s encouraging words to activists after the “disastrous” post-Watergate election losses of 1974. “CPAC friends, it's imperative that we continue to fight for conservative principles despite recent losses. We face new challenges, but our principles are timeless.”
Last year, McCain faced a thorny reception during a rare appearance at the gathering, as his visit – and even the mention of his name – drew boos from many in attendance.
Romney narrowly beat the Arizona senator, 35 to 34 percent, in the conference’s presidential straw poll of conservative political activists. The result came even though it was clear that McCain, who had addressed the group that week, would be the Republican Party’s nominee — and even though Romney had ended his presidential run there earlier in the conference. The announcement of Romney’s win was greeted by cheers from the crowd, angry over McCain’s past positions on immigration policy.
UPDATE: CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale said in an e-mail that the list included in the message sent to past CPAC attendees this morning was not complete.
"With the exception of Gov. Palin, who confirmed in early April after having to drop out of CPAC 2008 at the last minute, very few invitations (Jindal and Pence) were sent to elected officials because of the volatility of the November elections," she wrote. "Now that the election has passed, we will begin inviting other elected officials."
(CNN) - Democrat-turned-independent Joe Lieberman, one of John McCain’s biggest Senate supporters, congratulated Barack Obama Wednesday on winning the presidential election.
"I sincerely congratulate President-elect Obama for his historic and impressive victory,” he said in a statement released by his Senate office. “America remains a nation of extraordinary opportunity and the American people are a people of extraordinary fairness.
“Now that the election is over, it is time to put partisan considerations aside and come together as a nation to solve the difficult challenges we face and make our blessed land stronger and safer. I pledge to work with President-elect Obama and his incoming Administration in their efforts to reinvigorate our economy and keep our nation secure and free."
(CNN) – CNN projects that Jeanne Shaheen has defeated incumbent John Sununu in New Hampshire.
The race had been a rematch of the 2002 contest between former Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and the well-funded incumbent. Despite Sununu's lackluster poll numbers, the race was a tough fight, but with the state leaning Democratic, he found himself trailing Shaheen in most surveys heading into Election Day.
Shaheen's victory was based on overwhelming support from women. Men split their votes evenly between the two candidates.
The former governor also won significant majorities of moderates and independents - and, as elsewhere, the Democratic candidate won on nearly every issue Tuesday night. Only the minority of voters who said the battle against terrorism was a priority threw most of their support to Sununu.