Of course presidents lie
These presidents told massive lies but deceit is vital for presidential power, historians say. Even "Honest Abe" lied.
November 25th, 2013
05:50 AM ET
5 months ago

Of course presidents lie

(CNN) - "I cannot tell a lie."

That's the signature line from a classic American story. When the nation's first president was asked as a boy if he had chopped down his father's cherry tree, he didn't say "I can neither confirm nor deny those reports," or "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

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Filed under: President Obama
Is Obama the 'wrong' kind of Christian?
October 22nd, 2012
10:07 AM ET
2 years ago

Is Obama the 'wrong' kind of Christian?

(CNN) – President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.

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Filed under: 2012 • Belief Blog • Faith • President Obama
Why a president's faith may not matter
July 1st, 2012
03:16 PM ET
2 years ago

Why a president's faith may not matter

(CNN) - He called himself a "life-long Quaker and a church-going Christian," and at first there was no reason to doubt him.

He played piano in the church, taught Sunday school, and praised Jesus at revivals. His mother thought he was going to be a missionary. His friends said he would be a preacher.

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Filed under: Religion • White House
May 11th, 2012
12:23 PM ET
2 years ago

Complexity in black church reactions to Obama’s gay marriage announcement

(CNN) - After the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. first gained wide public recognition in the mid-1950s, he made a special request to evangelist Billy Graham.

King was poised to join Graham on one of his barnstorming crusades, but he would do so only on one condition. He asked Graham to publicly speak out against segregation, a request Graham declined, says San Diego State University historian Edward Blum.

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Filed under: 2012 • Belief Blog • Faith • President Obama • Same-sex marriage
White House press secretary misquotes the Bible
November 4th, 2011
11:11 AM ET
2 years ago

White House press secretary misquotes the Bible

(CNN) - As President Ronald Reagan used to say, "There you go again..."

When White House press secretary Jay Carney was giving a press conference Wednesday touting President Obama's jobs bill, he invoked a popular saying that he said comes from the Bible.

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Filed under: Jay Carney • Religion • White House
August 9th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Why Obama is not first 'imposter' president and won't be the last

ALT TEXT

 Theories about illegitimate presidents resurfaced again in the early 1960s with John F. Kennedy, the first Irish-Catholic president. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)


(CNN) – One American president's legitimacy was questioned because he was accused of wearing women's underwear.

Another's qualifications were questioned because he got drunk at an inaugural ball.

A third president didn't belong in office because critics said his rich daddy stole the election.

A recent CNN poll revealed that one out of four Americans doubt that President Obama is a citizen. Many are "birthers" who believe he is an illegitimate president because he wasn't born in this country.

But historians say Americans have long accused their presidents of being illegitimate officeholders for all sorts of dark, and bizarre, reasons.

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Filed under: President Obama
December 3rd, 2009
08:34 AM ET
3 months ago

Obama takes on role as consoler in chief

Obama has taken on the role as consoler in chief.
Obama has taken on the role as consoler in chief.

(CNN) – James Gordon Meek was standing over the gravestone of a friend killed in Iraq when he noticed a familiar figure walking near him.

President Obama was walking through what's called "the saddest acre in America," Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The section is the burial ground for U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama hugged graveside visitors, shook hands and listened to mourners while a "bone-chilling drizzle" fell, Meek says. As he watched Obama, Meek says he saw his commander in chief take on a new role: the consoler in chief.

"He absolutely seemed sincere," Meek says about Obama and his Veterans Day visit to Arlington. "What I sensed is that this was a man who is carrying the full weight of command. He gets it."

Obama must now convince the rest of America that he gets this sacrifice. As Obama announces 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan, he also is preparing to fight another battle on the home front, some say.

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Filed under: President Obama