WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama, facing wavering support on health care reform, is considering a range of options to recapture momentum on his signature domestic initiative, key White House aides told CNN Wednesday.
"The president is considering all of his options on how to advance the debate and get reform passed. This includes possibly laying out a more
specific vision," said one administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Among other things, Obama is contemplating giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health care
reform bill, added senior adviser David Axelrod.
It's unclear what form a possible speech by the president would take. If he decides to give an address, he could do it from the Oval Office or before a joint session of Congress.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill, a senior White House aide said Wednesday.
Senior advisor David Axelrod told CNN, the president is looking at the possibility of a speech as "one of his options" in pushing forward his health care agenda after he returns from vacation at Camp David next week.
Obama has outlined broad principles for what he would like in health-care reform, but he has left most details to leaders in Congress. Now, White House aides say, the dynamic has changed.
"We're entering a new season," Axelrod said. "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Richard Nixon believed one way to shore up the GOP in 1973 was by recruiting "attractive" women, but not because he was "for women," according to audio tapes released Tuesday.
In February of 1973, President Nixon called future president and then-Republican National Committee chairman George H.W. Bush, and recounted a recent visit to the South Carolina state legislature.
"I noticed a couple of very attractive women, both of them Republicans, in the legislature," Nixon told Bush. "I want you to be sure to emphasize to our people, God, let's look for some... Understand, I don't do it because I'm for women, but I'm doing it because I think maybe a woman might win someplace where a man might not... So have you got that in mind?"
Bush replies, "I'll certainly keep it in mind."
The tape was among the approximately 154 hours of White House tape recordings and approximately 30,000 pages of documents released Tuesday by the Nixon Presidential Library, which is run by the National Archives.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire is the leading candidate to become commerce secretary and a decision could come as soon as Monday, an Obama administration official told CNN Saturday.
Gregg said in a statement Friday that he was among those being considered for the post, but White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that "a final decision had not been made."
"I know that's something that he [President Obama] hopes to make a decision on and announce shortly. But until the President tells me to make a personnel announcement from this podium, I'll refrain from getting into individual names on that," Gibbs said at Friday's press briefing.
The administration official Saturday spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss administration deliberations.
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) - Twelve days before he leaves office, President Bush delivered his final policy speech, choosing to focus on his signature education reform law known as "No Child Left Behind."
But as he spoke, television networks – including CNN – carried another address happening simultaneously: President-elect Barack Obama's speech on the ailing US economy.
"At the end of the presidency, you get to do a lot of 'lasts,'” Mr. Bush noted in his remarks at a school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"This is my last policy speech. As President of the United States, this is the last policy address I will give," Bush said.
"What makes it interesting is that it's the same subject of my first policy address as President of the United States, which is education and education reform."
CHICAGO (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama will not be moving his family across the street from the White House early, despite his request to do so. Blair House, which incoming presidents traditionally occupy 5 days before inauguration day on January 15, is apparently booked in the early part of January.
An Obama transition spokesperson says the family initially "explored the idea" of moving into Blair House early so that daughters Sasha and Malia could start school on schedule. But the family was told there were previously-scheduled events and guests that could not be displaced.
"The Blair House, the President's guest house for visiting dignitaries, is available to President-elect Obama and his family starting January 15, as is historically the case," said Sally McDonough, spokeswoman for First Lady Laura Bush.
"As for any conversation, I don't comment on specific conversations about transition details."
The Obama transition spokesperson emphasized the White House has been "extremely accommodating" to the Obama family, adding that the entire process has been "smooth and friendly."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-Elect Barack Obama offered praise for at least one aspect of President Bush’s foreign policy Monday, during videotaped remarks to the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health hosted by Pastor Rick Warren.
“I salute President Bush for his leadership in crafting a plan for AIDS relief in Africa and backing it up with funding dedicated to saving lives and preventing the spread of the disease,” Obama said. “...My administration will continue this critical work to address the crisis around the world.”
The taped message was part of a forum marking the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
Under the Bush administration, more than two million people suffering from HIV/AIDS – most living in Africa - have received life-saving antiretroviral treatment as part of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief. In July, the President signed legislation reauthorizing the program and authorizing up to $48 billion to expand it.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama will visit the White House Tuesday afternoon with her daughters, Malia and Sasha, according to First Lady Laura Bush's press secretary, Sally McDonough.
McDonough said Mrs. Bush had invited Mrs. Obama to visit the White House again when her daughters were available.
(CNN) - President Bush called Sen. McCain at 11:38 p.m. Below are quotes from that conversation, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino:
"John, you gave it your all. I'm proud of you, and I'm sorry it didn't work out. You didn't leave anything on the playing field.
"Your statement was fabulous and very classy. Please give our love to Cindy."
Perino says calls to both candidates were made from the President's office, the Treaty Room, in the Residence. President Bush will make a statement Monday morning in the Rose Garden, according to Perino.
Vice President Dick Cheney called Joe Biden from Gettysburg, South Dakota to offer his congratulations, according to Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne Foster.
(CNN) - White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says President Bush called Sen. Barack Obama at 11:12 p.m. to congratulate him on his victory, and that the President extended an invitation for the President-elect and his family to visit the White House soon, at their convenience.
Perino provided these quotes by President Bush from his conversation with Sen. Obama:
"Mr. President-elect, congratulations to you. What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters. Laura and I called to congratulate you and your good bride."
"I promise to make this a smooth transition. You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself."
Perino said the President also plans to talk to Sen. John McCain after McCain's speech.