[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/23/art.bushchristmas.gi.jpg caption="Bush released a Christmas message Tuesday."]
The White House released a Christmas statement from President Bush Tuesday. Full statement follows:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release December 23, 2008
"'I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'"
"Each year, Christmas brings together families, friends, and communities to rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrate the wonderful gifts God has bestowed upon us. During this season, we remember Jesus' birth from the Virgin Mary, His justice and mercy that changed the world, and His ultimate sacrifice for all people. Though Jesus was born humbly in a manger, He was destined to be the Savior of the world. The light He brought into the world continues to break through darkness and change people's lives two thousand years later.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/23/art.getty.bush.pardons.jpg caption="Presidential pardon lists are being closely monitored in the final weeks of the Bush administration."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush Tuesday granted pardons to 19 citizens, none of them prominent, charged with a variety of crimes.
Presidential pardon lists are being closely monitored in the final weeks of the Bush administration, to see whether former Vice Presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby will be granted the presidential favor.
One of the men pardoned is Charles Winters, who died nearly 25 years ago. His son had worked on winning a presidential pardon for his dad who had helped smuggle weapons to Jews fighting in what was then Palestine in the late 1940's. A protestant from Boston, Winters spent 18 months behind bars - the only U.S. citizen to serve time for helping fly weapons to Jews struggling to create Israel.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/23/art.getty.upset.jpg caption="93 percent of those questioned in a national poll say economic conditions are poor."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that more than nine out of ten of Americans think that economic conditions in the country are poor, with the economy remaining far and away the nation's top concern.
In a CNN-Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, 93 percent of those questioned say economic conditions are poor, with the remaining 7 percent saying the economy is in good shape.
The poll also suggests that 75 percent feel the economy is the most important issue facing the country today, with health care a distant second at 7 percent, and the war in Iraq, terrorism, and immigration each at 6 percent.
Two out of three questioned in the survey say economic conditions are very poor right now.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/23/art.borahm1223.gi.jpg caption="Sources tell CNN that a report to be released by the Obama transition team will exonerate President-elect Obama's aides including Rahm Emanuel pictured in this file photo."]
HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) - Two Democratic officials are predicting that the long-awaited report about aides to President-elect Barack Obama alleged contact with the office of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will largely exonerate Obama's transition team.
"You're going to see this is a lot about nothing," one Democratic
official said about the controversy.
The report is significant because of lingering questions about what role - if any - top Obama aides like Rahm Emanuel played in the so-called pay-to-play scandal now engulfing the governor of Obama's home state. Specifically, the report will document what contact Emanuel and potentially other aides had with Blagojevich and his aides about the governor's alleged attempts to auction off Obama's old seat in the U.S. Senate.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/23/art.carolineclap1223.gi.jpg caption="Caroline Kennedy looked on as her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, made an appearance at the Democratic convention in August of this year."]
(CNN) - A new poll suggests New Yorkers are split on whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a U.S. Senator - but they still expect their state's governor will name her to replace Hillary Clinton when the secretary of state-designate steps down from her Senate seat.
Forty percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released today say that Kennedy is qualified to serve as a senator, with 41 percent saying no. The 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy is one of a dozen or so hoping to fill the seat being vacated by Clinton when she leaves to take her post in President-elect Barack Obama's administration.
But Kennedy is drawing more scrutiny than the other Senate hopefuls because she's a member of one of the country's most famous political families, because she's never run for office, and because not much is well known about where she stands on crucial political issues and priorities.
The poll also indicates that by a 48 percent to 25 percent margin, New Yorkers think Gov. David Paterson will name Kennedy to the seat. Kennedy and her allies have launched a strong lobbying effort to persuade Paterson that she's qualified to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Asked their choice, 33 percent of those polled say Paterson should name Kennedy, with 29 percent backing New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Another four percent support congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand. Twenty-four percent want someone else and 10 percent are undecided.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/06/art.palin07.gi.jpg caption="Spending on Palin's clothes, makeup and hair made headlines during the campaign."](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-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/19/art.mnballot1219.gi.jpg caption="Franken holds a narrow edge over Norm Coleman as counting continues."]MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken is expected to hold a lead of 48 votes over incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, according to an ongoing tally kept by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and by Minnesota's state canvassing board, which is expected to release a formal announcement Tuesday morning confirming an early draft released by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office Sunday night.
Franken and Coleman are locked in a tight battle in the single remaining unresolved U.S. Senate race in the country.
The Franken campaign had predicted over the weekend that they'd come out on top by 35-50 votes.
In a statement, Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan said, "Al Franken’s ‘lead’ is artificial and this process is still a long way from being complete," and that their campaign has "already identified some discrepancies" in the secretary of state's numbers.
CNN: Obama and Blagojevich: 'A lot about nothing,' sources say
Two Democratic officials are predicting that the long-awaited report about aides to President-elect Barack Obama alleged contact with the office of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will largely exonerate Obama's transition team.
CNN: Why some women's groups are miffed at Obama
What's made up of five women, four African-Americans, three Latinos, two Republicans and two Asians, including a Nobel Prize winner?
CNN: Biden to chair economic transition team meeting
Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a meeting of the presidential transition team's top economic advisers on Tuesday, as the incoming administration tries to craft and sell an expected $775 billion economic recovery package to Congress, CNN learned.
CNN: Poll: Public OK with auto bailout, but no more aid
A new national poll Monday finds a majority of Americans approve of recent loans to big U.S. automakers, but less than 3 in 10 would support additional assistance.
CNN: Palin's biggest campaign regret: Not enough media interviews
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.
CNN: Biden has some sympathy for Bush — but none for Cheney
Joe Biden says he has some sympathy for George Bush after the president became the target of a shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist – but the Vice president-elect struck a tougher tone on Dick Cheney, the man he is set to replace.