February 1st, 2009
04:20 PM ET
6 years ago

New RNC chief weighs in on future of the GOP

Michael Steele was chosen Friday as the first African-American leader of the Republican Party.
Michael Steele was chosen Friday as the first African-American leader of the Republican Party.

(CNN) –Michael Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Sunday that there’s a number of Republicans emerging who will “redefine this party in a way that will be very good for us long term.”

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Steele was asked to name Republicans under the age of 50 who he sees as the new faces of the party.

Steele listed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Steele, who on Friday became the first African American to lead the RNC, said people have moved away from the Republican Party because “we behaved badly.”

“It was about the fact that we failed to lead. We grew the size of government. When we're saying we believed in less government, we grew government. When we said we believe in less spending, we spent more,” he said.

Steele said he thinks Republicans now have an opportunity to turn things around.

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Filed under: Michael Steele
January 19th, 2009
07:15 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama: Politician, pop icon - or both?

Hats, buttons and shirts are among the most popular items at the store where Vicki Starcher works.
Hats, buttons and shirts are among the most popular items at the store where Vicki Starcher works.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In a framed photo for sale at one of the many souvenir shops in Washington, Barack Obama looks more like a movie star than a politician as he exits a vehicle in a black suit, red tie and sunglasses.

The caption of the image, showcased in the front window of the store, reads, "Presidential Cool."

"He's a man of the people," said Vicki Starcher, who traveled from Norfolk, Virginia, to help set up the temporary store during the inauguration.

"I think the difference is with Obama, he has so much of the younger backing, BET ... and the hip-hop community," co-worker Jasmine Robinson chimed in.

Ebony magazine listed Obama was as one of the "Top 25 Coolest Brothers of All Time," alongside Tupac Shakur, Muhammad Ali, Jay-Z and Marvin Gaye.

The memorabilia decorating the streets of Washington and the images on magazine covers are a symbol that, to much of America, Obama is more than just the next president. He's also cool.

Cool enough to attraction millions to the Capitol; cool enough to have designers release a special line of inaugural items; and cool enough to have stars such as Beyonce, U2 and Stevie Wonder perform at a free concert to kick of the inaugural events.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
December 28th, 2008
04:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Laura Bush ‘wasn’t amused’ by shoe incident

Laura Bush spoke out about the shoe incident in an interview with 'Fox News Sunday.'
Laura Bush spoke out about the shoe incident in an interview with 'Fox News Sunday.'

(CNN) - First Lady Laura Bush said that although she “wasn’t amused” when an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at her husband, she sees the incident as a sign that “Iraqis feel a lot freer to express themselves.”

Earlier this month, an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at President Bush during a news conference in Baghdad. Bush ducked, and the shoes, flung one at a time, sailed past his head.

“It was an assault. And that's what it is,” the first lady said in an interview that aired Sunday on “Fox News.”

“And the president laughed it off. He wasn't hurt. He's very quick. As you know, he's a natural athlete. And that's it. But on the other hand, it is an assault, and I think it should be treated that way,” she said.

During the incident, the shoe-thrower - identified as Muntadhar al-Zaidi – could be heard yelling in Arabic: "This is a farewell ... you dog!" Al-Zaidi is an Iraqi journalist with Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network.

Hurling shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult among Muslims.

Asked if she thinks someone who attacks another person should be released, Bush said, “that’s going to be up to the Iraqis.”

“And they'll do whatever. But I know that if Saddam Hussein had been there, the man wouldn't have been released. And he probably wouldn't - you know, would have been executed.

“So it is - as bad as the incident is, in my view, it is a sign that Iraqis feel a lot freer to express themselves,” she said.

Muntadhar al-Zaidi goes on trial Wednesday (Dec. 31) on charges of assaulting a foreign leader. Conviction could mean a prison sentence of up to two years.


Filed under: George W. Bush • Laura Bush • Popular Posts
December 28th, 2008
03:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Rice: People will thank Bush for what he's done

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says 'there is no greater honor than to serve this country.'
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says 'there is no greater honor than to serve this country.'

(CNN) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that despite President Bush's low approval ratings, people will soon "start to thank this president for what he's done."

So we can sit here and talk about the long record, but what I would say to you is that this president has faced tougher circumstances than perhaps at any time since the end of World War II, and he has delivered policies that are going to stand the test of time," Rice said in an interview that aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning."

The secretary of state brushed off reports that suggest the United States' image is suffering abroad. She praised the administration's ability to change the conversation in the Middle East.

"This isn't a popularity contest. I'm sorry, it isn't. What the administration is responsible to do is to make good choices about Americans' interests and values in the long run - not for today's headlines, but for history's judgment," she said.

"And I am quite certain that when the final chapters are written and it's clear that Saddam Hussein's Iraq is gone in favor of an Iraq that is favorable to the future of the Middle East; when the history is written of a U.S.-China relationship that is better than it's ever been; an India relationship that is deeper and better than it's ever been; a relationship with Brazil and other countries of the left of Latin America, better than it's ever been ...

"When one looks at what we've been able to do in terms of changing the conversation in the Middle East about democracy and values, this administration will be judged well, and I'll wait for history's judgment and not today's headlines."

Asked by CBS' Rita Braver why some former diplomats say Americans are disliked around the world, Rice said that's "just not true."

Full story


Filed under: Condoleezza Rice • George W. Bush
December 9th, 2008
08:32 AM ET
6 years ago

Joel Osteen weighs in on Obama

Osteen says he thinks Obama is 'great.'
Osteen says he thinks Obama is 'great.'

(CNN) - Mega-preacher and best-selling author Joel Osteen is putting his faith in Barack Obama.

Asked his thoughts on the president-elect, Osteen said, “I think he’s great.”

“I think he's going to be a great president. He seems brilliant to me and just, I believe God puts the right people in office, so we're praying for him and just believing that God will give him wisdom and strength,” Osteen said on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

Osteen is the senior pastor for Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The church is one of the largest and fastest growing in the United States.

Shortly before the presidential election, Osteen told CNN he doesn’t think it is right to preach politics from the pulpit.

“You know, people have different views, and they're just as passionate. They love God just as much. And so, I would just encourage … just get out there and vote. But we don't feel like it's our place to tell people how to vote. Just search their own heart,” he said.


Filed under: Uncategorized
November 23rd, 2008
11:50 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama will 'do what's necessary' to fix economy, aide says

Senior adviser David Axelrod says it will take the 'best people we can find' to carry out Obama's economic plan.
Senior adviser David Axelrod says it will take the 'best people we can find' to carry out Obama's economic plan.

(CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama's top adviser insisted Sunday that Obama's economic plan would be big enough to handle the country's financial challenges, but he declined to speculate about how large the plan would need to be.

During the presidential campaign, Obama proposed a $175 billion stimulus package over a two-year period, but some of his economic advisers have said recently that the package would need to be much larger.

Asked if Obama would scale up the package, given the economic conditions, Obama's incoming senior adviser, David Axelrod, said he thinks Obama is "going to do what's necessary."

"I'm not going to throw a figure out here. What he said is, he wants a plan big enough to deal with the large challenges we face. And I think there's a growing consensus across the spectrum among economists that we're going to have to do something big," Axelrod said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Obama on Saturday offered an outline of his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011, saying American workers will rebuild the nation's roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy.

Details of the plan are still being worked out by his economic team, Obama said, but he hopes to sign the two-year, nationwide plan shortly after taking office January 20.

Obama noted he will need support from both Democrats and Republicans to pass such a plan, and said he welcomes suggestions from both sides of the aisle.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
November 20th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama poised to rebrand America, experts say

People in Kisumu, Kenya, celebrate the election of Barack Obama.
People in Kisumu, Kenya, celebrate the election of Barack Obama.

(CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama is poised to restore the United States' image in the international community, but experts say the president-elect must show the world that his actions will live up to his rhetoric.

Receiving a warm welcome is not the same as maintaining one, and Obama has a lot of work to do to improve the U.S. brand.

America's image has declined in nearly every region of the world in recent years, but Obama's victory "enables the United States to start again with a clean slate," according to John Quelch, the senior associate dean at Harvard Business School.

"Americans can actually go to dinner parties and cocktail receptions around the world today and not have to apologize for the United States the way they have had to do the last several years," he said. "The election has made life a little bit easier for Americans living and traveling abroad to hold their head up high again."

The United States' tarnished reputation has been fueled by a combination of factors, including opposition to U.S. policies like the invasion of Iraq and alleged torture and abuse of prisoners, the perception of hypocrisy, unilateralism, lack of contact with Americans and the perceived war on Islam, according to a congressional report released last summer.

Full story

November 10th, 2008
11:29 AM ET
6 years ago

Calif. governor says he's allowed 'back into the bedroom'

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says his wife has been 'gloating' about Barack Obama's win.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says his wife has been 'gloating' about Barack Obama's win.

(CNN) - Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that even though his party didn’t win the presidential election, he has at least one thing to be happy about.

“I can get back into the bedroom, so there's the big advantage,” the California governor said Sunday on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Schwarzenegger, a leading Republican, is married to Maria Shriver, a member of the very Democratic Kennedy clan.

Shriver endorsed Barack Obama in February, just days after her husband announced his support of John McCain.

Schwarzenegger said his wife has been “gloating now for these last few days” and running around the house with a life-size cutout of Obama saying, “We won.”

WATCH what Schwarzenegger says about the election

Striking a more serious tone, Schwarzenegger said he doesn’t see how any incumbent party could have held onto power this year, given the economic situation and the housing crisis.

“I think no one knew that it's going to be that bad. I think the Republicans were trying to hold on to, you know, if it would have been just the housing crisis or the mortgage crisis. But then when the stock market crash came, I think it was just too much,” he said.

Looking to the future, Schwarzenegger said that Democrats and Republicans should come together and avoid getting stuck in ideology.

“Democrats and Republicans should do everything they can to help [Obama] and his administration to be successful, because when he is successful … then the nation is successful. And then the world is successful. So, we've all got to work together on this,” he said.


Filed under: Arnold Schwarzenegger
November 10th, 2008
09:39 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama to make first visit to Oval Office

President-elect Barack Obama will meet President Bush on Monday afternoon in the White House.
President-elect Barack Obama will meet President Bush on Monday afternoon in the White House.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama will set foot inside the Oval Office for the first time Monday as he meets with President Bush to talk about the problems his incoming administration will face.

The meeting between president and president-elect is a historic formality, but it's also a time for serious talks.

The two are expected to discuss "a broad range of issues," focusing on the economy, according to a leader of Obama's transition team.

"It's clear that we need to stabilize the economy, to deal with the financial meltdown that's now spreading across the rest of the economy. The auto industry is really, really back on its heels," transition team leader John Podesta said.

Podesta told CNN's "Late Edition" that Obama will push Congress to enact "at least part" of an economic package before he takes office in January, but said the problems Americans face need short- and long-term approaches.

The president and president-elect also are expected to talk about national security and the war in Iraq.

Full story

November 9th, 2008
05:02 PM ET
6 years ago

Calif. governor says he's allowed 'back into the bedroom'

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says his wife has been 'gloating' about Barack Obama's win.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says his wife has been 'gloating' about Barack Obama's win.

(CNN) - Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that even though his party didn’t win the presidential election, he has at least one thing to be happy about.

“I can get back into the bedroom, so there's the big advantage,” the California governor said Sunday on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Schwarzenegger, a leading Republican, is married to Maria Shriver, a member of the very Democratic Kennedy clan.

Shriver endorsed Barack Obama in February, just days after her husband announced his support of John McCain.

Schwarzenegger said his wife has been “gloating now for these last few days” and running around the house with a life-size cutout of Obama saying, “We won.”

Striking a more serious tone, Schwarzenegger said he doesn’t see how any incumbent party could have held onto power this year, given the economic situation and the housing crisis.

“I think no one knew that it's going to be that bad. I think the Republicans were trying to hold on to, you know, if it would have been just the housing crisis or the mortgage crisis. But then when the stock market crash came, I think it was just too much,” he said.

Looking to the future, Schwarzenegger said that Democrats and Republicans should come together and avoid getting stuck in ideology.

“Democrats and Republicans should do everything they can to help [Obama] and his administration to be successful, because when he is successful … then the nation is successful. And then the world is successful. So, we've all got to work together on this,” he said.


Filed under: Arnold Schwarzenegger • Extra
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