(CNN) - Today brings sad news for the CNN family. CNN Senior Producer Hunter Waters passed away this morning after battling Esophageal cancer since the fall. Hunter was the lead political producer for CNN's Larry King Live and produced interviews with the top people in American politics, from Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton to candidates for the White House and beyond. Hunter worked at CNN for over a decade, first starting as an intern. He met his wonderful wife, Kris Coratti while both worked in CNN's Washington bureau. Hunter was an avid boater and loved few things more than boating on the Potomac River with Kris. All of our hearts go out to Kris as well as Hunter's family.
(CNN) - It turns out that Sarah Palin's next overseas trip won't be to England or Israel, as was widely reported Thursday.
CNN has learned that the former Alaska governor will be traveling to Haiti this weekend with Franklin Graham and his relief organization Samaritan's Purse.
They will be visiting a cholera clinic, among other stops.
London, England (CNN) - As Britons head to the polls Thursday in what is clearly a historic election, comparisons to the 2008 U.S. presidential race are everywhere: from intense voter interest, to candidate debates and references to telegenic politicians.
But no comparison may be more unexpected than that made on the front page of The Sun, a Fleet Street newspaper, which borrowed the iconic Barack Obama "Hope" campaign poster to endorse Conservative David Cameron. Cameron's image graces the newspaper with the message, "Our Only Hope" and underscores the strange bedfellow relationship that has developed between Cameron and President Obama.
(View the full image of The Sun's front page after the jump)
Cameron and Obama are hardly ideological soul mates, as Obama's Democratic Party is by and large liberal, while Cameron's Tory party is conservative. But the two men have more in common than you might think. Cameron is relying on strategic advice from two well-known American political consultants, Anita Dunn and Bill Knapp. Dunn and Knapp were key advisors to Obama during his successful presidential bid and Dunn went on to work as the White House communications director for a period of time before returning to the private sector.
And British commentators have repeatedly compared Cameron's campaign style to that of Obama. On the final day of campaigning, Cameron dragged the media to a fish and chips restaurant in Scotland where he promptly purchased 26 meals for his campaign staff and the media. Virtually every commentator called the move distinctly Obama-like.
During a surprise outing to a college basketball game Saturday, the president took a couple moments to provide some courtside commentary for live television. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) – Move over Dick Vitale, President Obama is sliding into the color commentary seat.
Obama took a turn at the CBS microphone during the Georgetown/Duke college basketball game Saturday that was also attended by Vice President Biden, and several senior White House staffers including Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Dan Pfeiffer, Robert Gibbs and Mona Sutphen.
One fan at the game wondered, "If they're all in here, then who's running the country?"
At first it appeared as though the president was not taking sides, but every so often he could be spotted quietly clapping for Duke. And in-between hoops, Obama and Biden chatted, pointed out players and posed for photos with fans. Biden appeared to do more chatting than the president.
At halftime, Washington Mayor Mayor Adrian M. Fenty stopped by the White House delegation to say hello. Later, former Georgetown coach John Thompson, perhaps the most popular dignitary in the basketball crazy crowd, stopped by for a visit.
Not spotted on this court was Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) – Top Obama advisor David Axelrod says he has not recently spoken to scandal-plagued Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Asked by PBS's Gwen Ifill when the last time Axelrod spoke with the governor, he replied, "Thankfully, a long time ago." Axelrod's firm once advised the Illinois governor.
Axelrod and Ifill were participating in the Harvard Institute of Politics forum of 2008 campaign leaders.
Axelrod was also asked about the revelation that Blagojevich may have wanted to trade personal and political favors in exchange for the appointment of Obama advisor Vallerie Jarrett to fill Obama's vacant senate seat.
Axelrod said that Obama never wanted Jarrett to fill that seat. Axelrod said, "His (Obama's) preference was always that she serve in the White House. He eventually expressed that to her and said, 'I need you.'"
Obama named Jarrett a senior White House advisor on November 14.
Earlier this week, Axelrod released a statement that he had been "mistaken" when he told an interviewer last month that Blagojevich and Obama had discussed the Senate vacancy. "They did not then or at any time discuss the subject," he said.
(CNN) - Two Democratic sources close to President-elect Barack Obama tell CNN that top adviser Valerie Jarrett will not be appointed to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
"While he (Obama) thinks she would be a good senator, he wants her in the White House," one top Obama advisor told CNN Monday.
Over the weekend, Democratic sources had told CNN as well as Chicago television station WLS-TV that Jarrett was Obama's choice to fill his Senate seat.
Jarrett, a Chicago attorney and one of Obama’s closest advisers, is a leader of the president-elect’s transition team.
From left to right: Will Croswell, of the Washington D.C. area; Andrew Butash, of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Byron Hodkinson, from Melbourne, Austrailia; and Charlie Smith, also from the Washington D.C. area, greeted Sen. Obama in Virginia Friday. (Photo Credit: Sasha Johnson/CNN)
ROANOKE, Virginia (CNN) - The new symbol of the McCain campaign: the plunger.
As Democratic nominee Barack Obama pulled into the Roanoke Civic Center on Friday, he was greeted by the usual McCain campaign supporters that show at Obama rallies. But this time, those waving McCain-Palin signs were joined by dozens of people waving standard-issue plungers. Some wore white t-shirts emblazoned with "I AM JOE THE PLUMBER" on the front. The protesters all said they were volunteers and not paid by the McCain campaign.
The plungers serve as a reference to the 2008 campaign's latest cult personality, Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher of Holland Ohio. (Joe is actually his middle name. First name: Samuel).
While the plungers emerged in Roanoke, McCain's vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin told a fundraiser in neighboring North Carolina Thursday night that she's already tired of "Joe the Plumber."
"Don't make me say Joe the Plumber, please, in any speeches," Palin said.