(CNN) – While the country is fixated on what kind of dog President-elect Barack Obama’s family will get when they move into the White House, his Vice President-elect Joe Biden quietly picked out a puppy of his own last week.
Biden’s wife, Jill, promised the future VP a dog if he and Obama got elected. Biden found the as-yet-unnamed pup, a three-month old male German Shepherd, in a breeder’s kennel in southeastern Pennsylvania, the area’s Daily Local News reports.
Biden revealed his wife’s pledge on Election Day, telling reporters flying with him to Chicago that she had first promised him a dog if he was elected president, and when his primary bid failed, if he was elected vice president. Mrs. Biden even taped pictures of dogs on the seatback in front of Biden on the plane, according to the report.
“I’ve always had a big dog my whole life, even the time I was a kid. I’ve had German Shepherds and Great Danes and Labs and Golden Retrievers,” Biden said on November 4. “So with Barack inquiring about would I be willing to get vetted, Jill said, ‘I’ll make you a deal: if you get the vice presidency and get elected, you can get a dog.’
“I know what kind I want, I don’t know what kind I’m going to get yet,” he added before reiterating that the ticket hadn’t won yet.
Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said the vice president-elect had owned three German shepherds in his life, “so he's familiar with the breed and its personality."
“He's excited to bring it home when it gets a little older and has promised that his grandchildren can name it after the New Year,” Alexander said.
Biden was reportedly accompanied to breeder Linda Brown’s kennel by New Castle County Police K-9 coordinator Mark Tobin, who will train the puppy for the next six weeks before delivering it to the Bidens when they move into the vice presidential residence in January.
Brown told Delaware’s News Journal that the puppy is “the pick of the litter.”
Tobin added, “He's well-tempered, people-friendly and social…It's just a happy-go-lucky puppy."
(CNN) – Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, released a statement Friday morning saying that she has been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in sutu, the most common form of noninvasive breast cancer in women.
“Last week, following my annual mammogram at Brigham and Women's Hospital, I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Sutu (DCIS),” Romney says in the statement. “While this is commonly referred to as early stage breast cancer, it is technically not cancer but rather pre-cancer, as it has not become invasive.”
“Today, I have had a lumpectomy. This procedure does not require hospitalization. Mitt and I feel fortunate to have caught this so early. And, it reminds us how important it is for women to have regular mammograms.”
The Mayo Clinic says that DCIS is considered to be a “preinvasive” condition, and “the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer.”
The clinic’s Web site adds that the condition isn’t life-threatening, but that without treatment, DCIS could become invasive breast cancer.
Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and has said that she combines traditional treatment with alternative treatments like horse riding to keep the disease at bay.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security-designate Janet Napolitano received a bi-partisan commission briefing Wednesday on potential attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. The commission’s chairman, former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, didn’t mince words when he told the two members of the incoming administration that “it is more likely than not that between now and the year 2013 there will be a weapon of mass destruction used someplace in the world.”
After reviewing the 'World at Risk' report from the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, Biden said that the government is not doing all it can to prevent a possible WMD attack.
“The answer that jumps out very starkly is no, we’re not doing all we can or should. And we’re not doing all we can to prevent the world’s most lethal weapons from winding up in the hands of terrorists,” said Biden. “But this report is, in my view, more than a warning about what we’re doing wrong, it’s a pragmatic blueprint how to get it right...”
Graham and Sen. Jim Talent led the bi-partisan commission that was established by Congress as a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. Talent focused his comments Wednesday on steps they believe the government needs to take, including regulating work on biological pathogens and Pakistan’s nuclear elements because the country is “the nexus of all these threats right now and it’s deteriorating.”
Talent joked that he and Graham flipped a coin to see who would deliver the bad news, a duty that clearly fell to Graham as he told Biden, Napolitano and his fellow members of the Commission that terrorist groups are progressing, are more nimble and the ease of acquiring a biological weapon has increased.
“This leads us to the conclusion, one, that we have been losing ground and we are less secure today that we have been in the recent past,” said Graham. “Number two, that the threat is that it is more likely than not that between now and the year 2013 there will be a weapon of mass destruction used someplace in the world. And third, that it is more likely that that weapon will be biological than nuclear.”
Gov. Napolitano kept her remarks brief but reiterated that “the threat, whether nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological is a very real one indeed.” The Arizona governor said she would act on the commission’s recommendations in the Department of Homeland Security “with the urgency called for by the nature of the threat that confronts us.”
After the foursome made their introductory remarks to the press, reporters were ushered out so the group could continue to discuss the commission’s findings in private. Asked by CNN if his role in the administration had been clearly defined, Biden ignored the question.
(CNN) – Governor Sarah Palin told reporters following the National Governors Association meeting with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday that she appreciated the new administration reaching out to the country’s governors, brushing aside ‘unflattering’ comments made by both tickets during the campaign.
Asked how she felt about a partnership with people she spoke unflatteringly about on the campaign trail, Palin replied that the jabs were “mutual.”
“But the campaign is over and I so appreciated this meeting that we had,” Palin said. “I'm quite optimistic about moving forward in a bi-partisan manner as we do forge this partnership between states and the federal government.
“I appreciated that President-elect Obama recognizes, first that he recognizes how valuable it is to have governors in his cabinet and we assume that all will go well and some of these governors will be in his cabinet,” she continued, adding that governors “know best” about the economic issues raised Tuesday.
“In fact, remember on the campaign trail I tried to convince the majority of voters that governors knew best. Obviously that didn't work, I'm here and VP-elect Biden is there,” she said, calling the meeting “overall great.”
The Alaska governor briefly waded into subject of Tuesday’s meeting, saying that she and other governors present had “great concerns” about increased spending under an Obama administration.
“When much of the economic problem that we are facing today perhaps was caused by too much debt, that solving those problems will not come from incurring more debt so we do have some concerns about these. This is going to be a matter of re-prioritizing federal dollars though and putting them to use in the wisest fashion for taxpayers, for constituents.”
(CNN) – In the first few moments of his remarks to the National Governors Association Tuesday, Vice President-elect Joe Biden thanked fall rival Sarah Palin for attending the bi-partisan conference, saying it’s a “a metaphor for the fact that this election is over.”
“I want to thank all of you for being here and Governor Palin I want to thank you particularly," Biden said to the Alaska governor. “I think it is, I hope, the whole country can see it’s sort of a metaphor for the fact that this election is over and here we are.
“We’re all together, we’re all dealing with a common [economic] problem,” he continued. “This is not a Democrat or Republican problem, we’ve got ourselves a problem.”
President-elect Obama and his VP greeted Palin as they walked into the room to a standing ovation. In his opening comments, Biden lamented the lack of attention he now receives compared to Palin.
“As I told you when we walked in, since the race is over no one pays attention to me at all,” Biden told Palin as the governors laughed. “So maybe you’ll walk outside with me or something later and say hello to me.”
Biden’s comments were just his third set of public remarks since Election Day.
(CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s eldest son Beau left his training base in Texas on Wednesday, bound for a year-long tour of duty in Iraq with his Delaware National Guard unit.
The 114 members of the 261st Signal Brigade were training at Fort Bliss, Texas for the past two months ahead of their mobilization to Iraq. Captain Beau Biden, also Delaware’s attorney general, will serve as an assistant Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer in Iraq, enforcing the Uniform Code of Military Justice and helping troops with legal issues back home.
On their way to Iraq, the unit will make two stops before arriving at a staging area outside of Iraq where they will receive additional training and equipment. The location of the staging area is classified, though most U.S. troops stage in Kuwait before going into Iraq.
The Vice President-elect was able to see his son one last time before his mobilization last weekend in Nevada when the unit had ‘R&R’ leave.
Beau was also given special permission to fly to Chicago to join his family on Election Day but declined, instead watching the returns and President-elect Barack Obama’s speech on a laptop at Fort Bliss.
“This is a different brand of kid,” his father remarked to reporters on the flight to Chicago.
Joe Biden often gets emotional when talking about his family and fought back tears during brief remarks at Beau’s deployment ceremony in Dover, Delaware on October 3.
“I’ve come here many times before – as a Delawarean, as a United States senator. But today I come as you prepare to deploy as a father,” Biden told the soldiers and their families gathered in front of the Capitol building. “Like all of the family members that are here today gathered on this green, my heart is full of love and pride.”
“Never before has a Delaware guard unit been deployed that is better qualified,” he added. “You are the best demonstration of both our nation’s greatness and, equally as importantly, our people’s goodness.”
Beau will return to Delaware next September and though he has tried to tamp down speculation, rumors are swirling about the possibility of his running for his father’s Senate seat in 2010.
(CNN) – With the election over, 1960s radical William Ayers emerged Friday for an interview to promote an updated version of his memoir, saying that the Republicans’ attempt to tie him to President-elect Barack Obama was a “dishonest narrative” with the intent of “demonizing” Ayers.
Ayers was interviewed on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ telling anchor Chris Cuomo that he doesn't know Obama any better than “thousands of other Chicagoans” and that “a secret link” between the two men is a “myth.”
Cuomo asked Ayers about describing his relationship with Obama as 'family friends' in the afterward of his book, a relationship he defined Friday as "professional."
“I’m talking there about that fact that I became an issue unwittingly and unwillingly in the campaign and I decided that I didn’t want to answer any of it at that moment because it was such a profoundly dishonest narrative," said Ayers. "I’m describing there how the blogosphere characterized the relationship. I would say, really, that we knew each other in a professional way, again, on the same level as, say, thousands of other people.”
The anti-Vietnam War activist who bombed the Pentagon, Capitol and New York City police headquarters became a household name in the waning weeks of the campaign with Sarah Palin accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists” and John McCain arguing that the Illinois senator should be pressed further on his relationship with the “unrepentant terrorist.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill arrived at their future home at Washington's Naval Observatory Thursday afternoon and were greeted as they exited their black SUV by its current residents, Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne.
The couples shook hands as Mrs. Cheney arranged the photo-op on the front porch, telling Mrs. Biden, “Now Jill, I was told that you were to be in the middle.”
As the foursome headed inside for what was billed as a private meeting followed by a tour of the mansion, a reporter asked Biden if he had been there before.
“I’ve been on the ground floor a couple times,” Biden responded.
Afterwards, a spokeswoman for the vice president wrote in a statement that the meeting lasted 50 minutes and that "it was a good visit."
"Vice President Cheney and his wife Lynne were pleased to welcome Vice President-elect Biden and his wife Jill to the Naval Observatory this afternoon," said spokeswoman Megan Mitchell. "It was a good visit. The Cheneys enjoyed giving the Bidens a tour of the residence and wished them well as they make it their home in January."
A spokesperson for Biden also said the visit went well.
"The Vice President-elect and Dr. Jill Biden met with Vice President Cheney and his wife Lynne at the Naval Observatory this evening. The Bidens thank the Cheneys for welcoming them into their home and for their gracious hospitality," said spokesperson for the Vice President-elect Elizabeth Alexander.
Chances are most of Biden's visits to the residence did not come over the past eight years. The future vice president has been a regular and fervent critic of Cheney, calling him “the most dangerous vice president probably in American history” at the vice presidential debate in early October.
(CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden spoke with eight foreign leaders earlier this week, the transition office announced Thursday, to express “his thanks and appreciation for their congratulations on the election.”
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee talked to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, King Abdullah of Jordan and Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Monday and Tuesday.
In addition, the country that got the most calls was Israel, with Biden speaking to three of its most senior politicians: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister (and former prime minister) Ehud Barak and Likud Party leader (and former Prime Minister) Binyamin Netanyahu.
The country’s Jerusalem Post reports that Livni told Biden to keep up the pressure on Iran’s nuclear program and to continue to fight against extremists in the region. Livni is running against both Netanyahu and Barak in Israel’s February elections to succeed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Biden is expected to play an instrumental role in foreign policy in the Obama administration when they are sworn on January 20. When Republicans accused Obama during the campaign of not wholeheartedly supporting Israel, Biden beat back the accusations with his own friendship with the country during his 35-year tenure in the Senate.
“My support for Israel begins in my stomach, goes to my heart and ends up in my head,” Biden said to a Jewish group in late September. “I guarantee you, I would not have joined Barack Obama’s ticket as vice president, were [there] any doubt, even the slightest doubt, that he shares the same commitment to Israel that I share.”
The transition office has been regularly releasing the names of foreign leaders that President-elect Barack Obama has spoken with, evidence of Obama and Biden’s campaign pledge to “restore America’s standing in the world,” as Biden regularly put it on the stump.
NEW CASTLE, Delaware (CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden spoke at his home state’s Veterans Day ceremony Tuesday morning, thanking the veterans present for their service and re-iterating his campaign’s promise to care for those coming back from foreign battlefields “in this war that we ignore in everyday life.”
“We are a nation at war,” said Biden “Sometimes, you would not recognize that because such a small percentage of our population is serving. But as I speak, it is probable that some young American has been felled by a bullet, or a IED, or a bomb or a terrorist attack somewhere in Afghanistan or in Iraq.”
As he regularly did on the campaign trail, Biden praised the National Guard for the role they’ve played in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying the way they have joined in the fight with regular forces is “seamless.”
“I am astounded, I am moved to the point of pride that is hard to explain with the professionalism, the high morale and the unquestioned capability of our military forces now,” said Biden. “Regular in addition to our National Guard and Reserve. You cannot tell the distinction, it’s seamless.” (Biden’s son Beau is a captain in Delaware’s National Guard, deploying to Iraq at the end of the month.)