(CNN) - Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a former Clinton administration aide, has accepted the position of President-elect Obama's chief of staff, a Democratic aide tells CNN.
House Minority Leader John Boehner criticized the choice of Emanuel - the man known for his tough-minded approach and widely credited with engineering large congressional gains for Democrats in the 2006 elections.
“This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center," Boehner said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Jim Manley, a senior communications advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, praised the choice.
"An excellent choice. Rahm knows the Hill," he told CNN. "And he knows the White House. He is a brilliant strategic thinker and someone who knows how to get things done."
(CNN) – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have spoken, according to Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines.
The two spoke for a few minutes: Clinton congratulated Obama on his victory, and offered her condolences on the loss of his grandmother. Obama thanked the New York senator for all she did to help him win the election, and said he looks forward to speaking with both her and President Clinton soon.
(CNN) – Former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, the unwilling co-star of a Monday attack ad from John McCain's campaign, told CNN he was "shocked" by the spot: "I always had a good relationship with [McCain] - or I thought I did."
The McCain spot attacks Barack Obama for his connection to "Chicago politics," pointing to his relationships with convicted developer Tony Rezko, embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich - and Daley.
Daley accused McCain of hypocrisy for attacking Obama on lobbyists: "When I was at [telecom company] SBC, I had to hire [McCain campaign manager] Rick Davis to see John McCain," he said. "He wouldn't see anyone unless you hired one of his lobbyist friends. Telecom was his and Rick Davis was his telecom lobbyist. That was in '02, '03, '04."
He said that McCain voted for his confirmation as Commerce Secretary, and pointed to the Arizona senator's public praise of his work in the Clinton cabinet.
(For instance, during a May 1998 confirmation hearing for another Commerce official, McCain said that since Daley's arrival, "relations for the department have been improving. Mr. Daley's frank, honest style and hard work have been reaping rewards." And in 2000, he pointed to Daley's "valiant effort to clean up the Commerce Department's reputation as a dumping ground for the politically connected.")
Said Daley Monday: "I think [McCain] has totally sold his soul to get elected. The things he found important in 2000 he isn't doing now."
DENVER (CNN) - Hillary Clinton's speech was a work-in-progress until the last minute, a Clinton aide tells CNN: speech-writers pulled an all-nighter and rushed it into the teleprompter. The video tribute to the New York senator was also a last-minute affair, and barely got done in time.
Tonight's speech was written by Lissa Muscatine, Jim Kennedy and chief speechwriter Jon Lovett, working closely with long-time Clinton advisors Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills.
(CNN) - In one of the most anticipated speeches of the week, Hillary Clinton will urge her backers - some of which remain wary of supporting Barack Obama - to unify behind the party's presumptive nominee.
Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines tells CNN the onetime rival of Obama will make a compelling case the Illinois senator must be the next President of the United States.
She will also express her appreciation for those who supported her primary bid and focus on the differences between Obama and McCain, not those between herself and the Illinois senator.
DENVER, Colorado (CNN) – Hillary Clinton will meet with her primary delegates Wednesday – and will likely release them to Barack Obama at the event, CNN confirms.
Two Democratic sources say the Clinton reception will take place at 1:15 p.m. MT, before that evening’s roll call vote.
"It’s an opportunity for Senator Clinton to see her delegates - many for the first time since the primaries ended, thank them for their hard work and support, and most importantly to encourage them to support and work for Senator Obama as strongly as she has in order to elect him in November," said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines.
The timing of Clinton’s official call had been one of the final unresolved questions surrounding the Democratic convention, following the announcement earlier this month that the New York senator’s name would be placed in nomination, and the Sunday morning decision of the Credentials Committee to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations at full voting strength.
Clinton had long pressed for both states to have their full voting privileges restored; a few weeks ago, at a fundraiser, she seemed to suggest that placing her name in nomination at the convention in Denver might provide a “catharsis” for some of her supporters.
(CNN) – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama has ruled out Senator Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate, a senior Democratic official told CNN on Friday night.
Clinton - Obama's main rival during the primary season - has been informed by Obama's campaign that she is not his choice to be his vice presidential candidate, the source said.
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama called some people on his short-list for the vice presidential slot Thursday night to tell them he had not selected them as running mate, a highly placed Democratic party source told CNN.
The source did not say which people got the call.
Obama has told some other potential running mates over the last few weeks that he would not be choosing them.
(CNN) - Fred Baron, the finance chairman for the John Edwards presidential campaign, said in a Friday statement that he paid to help the woman Edwards had an extramarital affair with, and the former aide who was the alleged father of her child, move out of the former North Carolina senator’s home state.
“I decided independently to help two friends and former colleagues rebuild their lives when harassment by supermarket tabloids made it impossible for them to move forward on their own,” he said of his efforts to aid Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young.
“I did this of my own volition without the instruction or suggestion of anyone, and made a conscious decision not to tell anyone, including John Edwards, that assistance was provided,” he added. “The assistance was offered and accepted without condition. This is now and shall always remain a private matter between these individuals and me.”
Hunter and Young lived separately at an upscale development in Chapel Hill, and later in Santa Barbara, California.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is planning to beef up the team surrounding his wife Michelle Obama, to give her the kind of professional campaign veterans experienced in rapid response to negative attacks – the kind of staff that is usually only seen around an actual candidate, according to a senior aide.
The move is meant to address concerns within the campaign that Michelle Obama will be the target of significant attacks from conservatives this year. Their pre-emptive response is a team that one aide says is unprecedented in presidential politics. According to multiple aides, this team will work with Mrs. Obama to modify her stump speech - in part to include more stories from the voters she met during the primary season - in a bid to counter criticism by some conservatives that she is out of touch.
Former Kerry campaign Communications Director Stephanie Cutter has already been tapped as Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff, and additional staff will be hired in the coming weeks.
Aides say they expect Mrs. Obama to make occasional campaign stops over the next several weeks - including roundtables with military wives, and a womens’ event next week – before hitting the trail full time around July 4.