November 17th, 2009
09:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Reporters, former aide dispute claim about Palin daughter

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Palin's daughter Piper, pictured above to Palin's right, traveled with the former Alaska governor throughout the 2008 campaign."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - In her new memoir, "Going Rogue," Palin accuses two national reporters of trying to corner her young daughter Piper on the street in Juneau for an interview several months after the presidential campaign ended - a charge both the journalists and a former Palin campaign aide reject.

Palin writes in her book that after the race ended, "members of the national press continued to hang out in Alaska sniffing for tabloid stuff."

"In one early press conference we noticed that our local reporters were flanked by a couple of reporters from the Lower 48 who'd been hanging out around Juneau in search of material for their own Sarah Palin book," Palin writes. "We never shut our doors to anyone, so people of all kinds attended these press availabilities. But glancing along the side wall, I recognized these particular folks as the same ones who had cornered Piper on her walk home from Harborview Elementary School and talked to her for who knows how long about who knows what."

According to Palin, Piper returned home and told her mother: "Mom, remember those reporters who came on the campaign plane with us? You know, the ones Nicolle [Wallace] said didn't like us very much? They just interviewed me on the sidewalk." Palin adds after the incident, Piper was no longer allowed to walk to or from school by herself.

The journalists in question - Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, authors of the newly-published book "Sarah from Alaska" - deny Palin's characterization. Both traveled with Palin on her campaign plane throughout her 2008 vice presidential bid, and the precocious Palin daughter frequently visited with the press corps and became friendly with them, a fact Palin boasts about in her memoir.

Conroy and Walshe said in a statement Tuesday that in the course of reporting for their book, they conducted 190 interviews, including sit-downs with Palin's parents and her husband Todd.


Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
November 17th, 2009
07:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin slams 'sexist' Newsweek cover

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Palin is not happy with the latest Newsweek cover."](CNN) - Sarah Palin's image is everywhere as she launches a highly-anticipated book tour this week, but the former Alaska governor is unhappy with at least one media organization's depiction of her.

Palin took aim at Newsweek's eye-catching cover this week that shows the former vice presidential candidate in her running outfit - an image that was apparently lifted from a Runner's World photo shoot months ago. Writing on her Facebook page Monday night, Palin said the depiction is flat out "sexist, and oh-so-expected."

"The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this 'news' magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant," Palin wrote. "The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist, and oh-so-expected by now."

"If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention – even if out of context," Palin also said.

The photo is accompanied by text that states "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sarah? She's bad news for the GOP - and for everybody else too."

Palin has held back few punches at the media in the initial stages of her publicity tour. The former governor slammed the Associated Press for its recent fact check that took issue with several of the memoir's contentions and, in her Oprah appearance that aired Monday, Palin slammed the way the media treated her family during the campaign.

The Alaska Republican also doesn't hold back in her book, writing at one point, "I had been out of journalism for a long time, and it was pretty obvious the rules had changed. I felt sick about the depths to which some in the press had apparently sunk, not because it was unfair to me and John, but because it was unfair to the American electorate."

UPDATE: Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is defending the image the magazine chose for its cover.

"We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do," he told CNN Tuesday. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter: @awmooneycnn

Filed under: Sarah Palin
November 17th, 2009
07:05 PM ET
13 years ago

Durbin: Health care debate could start in Senate this week

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Dick Durbin said the health care bill has to pass the Senate this year."]
(CNN) - The Senate's second-ranking Democrat told CNN Tuesday that he hopes to have a version of the health care bill done and available to the public by Thanksgiving.

Sen. Dick Durbin told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that debate in the Senate on the health care bill could start this week and that he hopes that it will be "posted for the world to see over the Thanksgiving recess." He said he thinks he does have all 60 votes needed to move the bill to the Senate floor.

"I believe if we have full attendance, that we will have the 60 votes to begin the debate in terms of moving the bill forward," Durbin said. "That's when the delicate negotiations begin. And wouldn't it be great to have a senator from the other side of the aisle to join us in that effort?"

Durbin said that the bill "has to be done in the Senate this year" and that he hopes it will go to a final vote before President Obama's State of the Union address at the beginning of next year, but that he "wouldn't predict that."

Filed under: Dick Durbin • Health care
November 17th, 2009
07:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Wasserman Schultz: Health panel findings 'disturbing'

(CNN) - Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized an influential health panel's new guidelines recommending that women get mammograms less frequently, calling some of the findings "disturbing" and "patronizing."

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, an independent group of health care experts, issued new guidelines on Tuesday recommending that women in their 40s not get routine mammograms, and refrain from doing regular self exams. Part of the reason, one panel member told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, is to prevent women from worrying too much about having cancer.

"The harms of screening is what we call the false positives," Lucy Marion, the dean of the school of nursing at the Medical College of Georgia said. "In other words, women will have unnecessary worry about cancer. They may have unnecessary biopsy. In some cases they may have more radiation than healthy for them, though in most cases, that's a minor problem. But there are those harms, and we weigh those harms with the benefits of the few women that would benefit from that."

Wasserman Schultz, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41 and said she found it though a self-exam, introduced a bill in March to teach even younger women about early detection. She said on Tuesday that women need to get more information to make educated decisions about their health care.


November 17th, 2009
06:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin helps RGA get discount on 'Going Rogue'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Palin helps RGA get discount on 'Going Rogue'."](CNN) - Sarah Palin helped the Republican Governors Association get a discount on "several thousand" copies of her new book so the group can use them as a fundraising tool, RGA chairman Haley Barbour said Tuesday.

Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, said Palin has been "very gracious as a former governor" and helped the group negotiate a bulk purchase price.

"We purchased them at a great discount, at the publisher's price, God bless her," Barbour said during a conference call with reporters ahead of the RGA's annual conference in Austin, Texas.

"I suspect we are going to raise a whole lot of money with this," Barbour predicted. "Hopefully we'll have to re-order."

Filed under: RGA • Sarah Palin
November 17th, 2009
05:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Senate Democrats break GOP judicial filibuster

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats broke a GOP filibuster Tuesday against a district judge first nominated eight months ago by President Barack Obama for a seat on the federal appeals court.

The Senate voted 70-29 to end debate over the nomination of Indiana Judge David Hamilton, who was tapped by Obama in March to fill a vacancy on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hamilton was Obama's first judicial nominee.

The full Senate is now expected to move forward quickly on a final vote on the nomination.

Hamilton's nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in June. Leading Republicans, however, then spent weeks preventing a final vote, arguing that Hamilton is too liberal.

Congressional Democrats have expressed growing unease over what they argue is a slow pace of both judicial nominations and confirmations since Obama took office.

–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Congress
November 17th, 2009
04:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Giuliani to reiterate criticism of Obama's terror trial decision

(CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will headline a conference call Wednesday with national reporters to criticize the Obama administration's decision to hold Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's trial in New York.

The call is being organized by the Republican National Committee.

Giuliani has been very vocal, including in an interview Sunday on CNN's State of the Union with John King, about his opposition to having the trial take place in New York.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
November 17th, 2009
04:53 PM ET
13 years ago

Waiting game continues for Senate health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the cost of the bill."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate's top Democrat declined Tuesday to say when he would introduce a hotly anticipated health care reform bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said he was still waiting for a cost estimate of the legislation from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

"We're going to be hearing from CBO very soon," he promised during a Capitol Hill news conference.

Reid accused Republicans, who have promised a filibuster, of trying to dodge a full Senate debate and rob "the American people of a historic opportunity."

Sixty votes in the 100-member Senate are required to overcome a filibuster and open Senate debate on the bill.

GOP leaders, meanwhile, expressed fears that the Democrats would try to spring the measure on the Senate with little advance warning to deny Republicans a chance to adequately review it before starting debate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he expects a vote to open debate on the measure would come Friday. He pledged Republicans would continue to strongly oppose a bill that they say will result in tax and premium increases while doing little to rein in spiraling medical costs.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Mitch McConnell
November 17th, 2009
04:13 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Does the GOP want ideologically pure candidates?

Washington (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that the Democrats may be the party of pragmatism and Republicans may be the party of ideological purity.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey's release on Tuesday comes just two weeks after internal party divisions led to the GOP loss of a seat in the House of Representatives that it had held since the 19th century.

The poll indicates that a slight majority, 51 percent, of Republicans would prefer to see the GOP in their area nominate candidates who agree with them on all the major the issues even if they have a poor chance of beating the Democratic candidate. Forty-three percent of Republicans say they would rather have candidates with whom they don't agree on all the important issues but who can beat the Democrats.

Democrats polled seemed to place a slightly higher priority on electoral victory: 58 percent say that they would like their party to nominate candidates who can beat Republicans, even if they don't agree with those candidates on all the issues. Fewer than 4 in 10 Democrats say they would rather see their party nominate candidates who agree with them on all major issues, but have a poor chance of beating the Republican candidate.


Filed under: CNN Polls • GOP
November 17th, 2009
04:13 PM ET
13 years ago

What Dick Cheney's endorsement means for Kay Bailey Hutchison

(CNN) - Dick Cheney's decision to weigh in on the Republican intra-party battle in Texas - a rare primary season endorsement by the former vice president - is an attempt to help challenger Kay Bailey Hutchison shore up her conservative credentials and attract undecided GOP voters, according to two knowledgeable GOP sources.

The former vice president teamed up with Hutchinson in Houston Tuesday to officially endorse her gubernatorial bid. The Texas senator is taking on two-term incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in next year's Republican primary.

One source notes that Cheney and Hutchison have a longstanding relationship that goes back to the days when they were both in Dallas, a time when Cheney served as Halliburton CEO.

The political calculation behind Tuesday's move is the hope that Cheney can help the senator win over undecided Republican voters in a state where the Bush administration's seal of approval may hold more sway than anywhere else. "The two most popular people in Texas are George and Barbara Bush - and Cheney isn't far behind," says one source close to Texas politics.

Perry, according to his campaign, has already won a re-election nod from the person who had hoped to succeed Cheney - Sarah Palin.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Rick Perry • Texas
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