January 21st, 2009
08:18 PM ET
9 years ago

A major Bush rule gets scrapped by Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/21/art.ovaloffice.cnn.jpg caption="What’s missing in this picture?"] (CNN) - It's the same Oval Office. The same desk. Even the same curtains. But President Obama has already made one major change: Go through eight years of White House photos, and you won't find one of former President Bush in the Oval Office without his jacket on.

It wasn't just a personal preference. In the Bush administration, it was a rule: Jackets in the Oval Office - and now, it seems, one of the first Bush-era regulations to get scrapped in the Obama White House.

- CNN's John King contributed to this report

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
January 21st, 2009
08:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Another sign being VP is different than being president

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/21/art.photo.cnn.jpg caption=".](CNN) - As is customary with the change in administration, on Wednesday the Pentagon hoisted the new photograph of President Obama at the entrance where official visitors and heads of state are brought in.

But his second-in-command will have to wait. Instead of a picture of Vice President Joe Biden, there is just a hook to hold the photo. It turns out the Washington Headquarters Services had not yet received the official photo of the vice president, so there was no photo to hang.

Biden is not the only number two without pictorial representation. There’s another blank space on the wall for the new Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, who has been nominated but not confirmed.

Filed under: Joe Biden • President Obama
January 21st, 2009
07:57 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama re-takes oath of office at the White House

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama on Wednesday re-took his oath of office after Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed while delivering it at Tuesday's inauguration.

As he did Tuesday, Roberts asked the president if he was ready to take the oath, this time in the White House Map Room instead of the Capitol steps.

"I am," Obama replied, "and we're going to take it very slowly."

The 35-word oath took 25 seconds. The bobbled oath on Tuesday took 30 seconds.


Filed under: President Obama
January 21st, 2009
07:46 PM ET
9 years ago

Sources: Caroline Kennedy pulls out of Senate hunt

(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy who was widely considered the frontrunner for an appointment to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. senator from New York, has removed herself from consideration for that post, according to three Democratic sources.

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy
January 21st, 2009
05:35 PM ET
9 years ago

Biden jabs Roberts for oath flub

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/21/art.biden.gi.jpg caption="Biden couldn't pass up poking fun at Chief Justice Roberts."]

(CNN) - Vice President Biden isn't letting Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts forget about his minor flub while administering the presidential oath of office on Tuesday.

Biden made light of the mishap Wednesday as he was called on to swear in senior members of the White House staff.

"My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts," Biden said as he asked for a copy of the oath to read.

Several staffers reacted to the comment with groans and laughter, though President Obama, standing next to Biden, did not crack a smile.

Roberts' mistake came about half way through the 35-word oath, when, reciting from memory, he said the word 'faithfully,' out of order. The flub confused Obama who ultimately repeated the mistake.

But speaking to ABC Tuesday night, the new president didn't fault the man who swore him in.

"We're up there, we've got a lot of stuff on our mind, and he actually helped me out on a couple of stanzas there," he said. "So overall, I think it went relatively smoothly and I'm very grateful to him."

Filed under: Joe Biden • Popular Posts
January 21st, 2009
05:33 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans split on closing Guantanamo Bay prison

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/12/19/close.gitmo/art.detainee.gi.jpg caption="A detainee is seen through a fence in July at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests Americans are split over whether the U.S. should close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicated that support for closing the detention facility has increased dramatically since 2005.

Fifty-one percent of those questioned in the survey support the closing of prison at Guantanamo Bay, with 47 percent against the closing. That's basically a split, when taking into account the survey's sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

But the 51 percent who support the closing of the facility is a 15 point increase from 2005, when 36 percent polled backed the shutting down of prison at Guantanamo Bay. The 47 percent who are against the closing is down 11 points from 2005, when 58 percent opposed closing the facility.


Filed under: CNN poll • Guantanamo Bay
January 21st, 2009
05:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Despite long odds, Coleman confident he will beat Franken

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, began packing his Capitol Hill office Wednesday, but indicated he has no intention of giving up his legal fight to serve another term in Congress.

Coleman trails Democrat Al Franken by 225 votes. But in an interview with CNN, Coleman called Franken’s lead “artificial,” and expressed hope that the Minnesota courts will rule in his favor on ballot disputes when they take up the question next week.

“I really do have a sense of confidence that this will work itself out the right away,” Coleman said.


Filed under: Minnesota Senate race • Norm Coleman
January 21st, 2009
04:42 PM ET
9 years ago

Sources: Mitchell tapped for Mideast envoy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/21/art.mitchell.gi.jpg caption="Sources say Mitchell has been tapped as Mideast envoy."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration has asked former Sen. George Mitchell to be a special envoy to the Middle East, sources close to the administration and diplomats told CNN.

In the final days of the transition, officials talked to Israeli, Palestinian and Arab diplomats about the choice, the sources said.

Mitchell served as a Mideast envoy for the Bush administration, authoring a 2001 report that called for a halt to Israeli settlements and greater Palestinian efforts to crack down on terror.


January 21st, 2009
04:40 PM ET
9 years ago

BREAKING: Clinton confirmed as Secretary of State

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state Wednesday by a vote of 94-2.

The two no votes came from Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

Full story

January 21st, 2009
04:18 PM ET
9 years ago

Officials: Executive order drafted to close Gitmo facility

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/21/art.gitmo0121.gi.jpg caption="CNN has learned that President Obama plans to issue executive orders that will close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration is drafting executive orders calling for the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, according to two administration officials.

Both officials say it is now expected the announcement about closure could come as soon as Wednesday in the form of one or more executive orders.

The officials said the White House is expected to call for:
–Closing the detention facility within a year;
–A systematic review of detention policies and procedures and a review
of all individual cases;
–A new policy requiring the Army field manual for interrogations to apply to all people in U.S. custody. This is aimed at closing any potential loophole that might allow the CIA to engage in what many say are coercive interrogations.


Filed under: Guantanamo Bay • President Obama
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