Posted tagged ‘President’

Caroline Kennedy Interested in Filling Hillary Clinton’s Senate Seat

December 15, 2008

Caroline Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of former President John Kennedy, has indicated her interest in filling the Senate seat being vacated by Secretary of State-designee Hillary Clinton. It’ll be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming days and weeks.

From CNN:

Two other sources Monday confirmed her interest in filling the seat now held by Secretary of State-designee Hillary Clinton. One source is a senior Democratic operative.

Kennedy’s interest in the seat could mean the continuation of a family legacy in the Senate that began 56 years ago with the election of her father as the then-junior senator from Massachusetts.

Her uncle Ted Kennedy has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1963, and her uncle Robert Kennedy served as New York’s junior senator from 1965 until he was assassinated in 1968.

“Remember, [Clinton's] seat in the Senate was once held by Robert Kennedy,” said Bill Schneider, CNN’s senior political analyst. “[Caroline Kennedy's] other uncle, Ted Kennedy, is ill right now. If Paterson appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, it means there could be a Kennedy staying in the Senate for quite a long time.”

CNN reported earlier this month that Caroline Kennedy had called New York Gov. David Paterson to discuss the possibility of taking the seat.

Five September 11 Suspects to Confess

December 9, 2008

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men who have been charged with coordinating the September 11 attacks have stated that they want to enter guilty pleas, apparently challenging the U.S. government to sentence them to death before President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

From the Associated Press:

The Guantanamo detainees said they decided on Nov. 4 — the day Obama was elected — to abandon their defenses in their death-penalty trials. Obama opposes the military war-crimes trials and has pledged to close Guantanamo’s detention center, which holds some 250 men.

Mohammed said Monday he will confess to masterminding the attacks that killed 2,975 people. The four other defendants did the same, in effect daring the Pentagon to give them death sentences.

The judge ordered lawyers to advise him by Jan. 4 whether the Pentagon can apply the death penalty — which military prosecutors are seeking — without a jury trial.

Mohammed, who has already told a military panel he was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, said he has no faith in the judge, his Pentagon-appointed lawyers or President George W. Bush.

Sporting a chest-length gray beard, Mohammed told the judge in English: “I don’t trust you.”

The defendants’ announcement shocked victims’ relatives who watched from behind a glass partition, the first time family members have been allowed to observe the war-crimes trials.

Alice Hoagland of Redwood Estates, Calif., told reporters that she hopes Obama, “an even-minded and just man,” would ensure the five men are punished, though she believes they should not be executed and become martyrs.

Hoagland’s son, Mark Bingham, died on United Flight 93, whose passengers fought hijackers before it crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

“They do not deserve the glory of executions,” Hoagland said. “I want these dreadful people to live out their lives in a U.S. prison … under the control of people they profess to hate.”

But Hamilton Peterson, of Bethesda, Md., and whose father and stepmother died on United 93, said the defendants showed a “complete lack of contrition” and deserved to be executed.

Maureen Santora, of Long Island City, N.Y., watched from the back of the courtroom, wearing black and clutching a photo of her son Christopher, a firefighter who died responding to the World Trade Center attacks.

“They were proud to be guilty and that says a lot about them,” she said.

Barack Obama Steps Into Leadership Gap

December 8, 2008

Barack Obama has chosen not to observe the tradition requiring a president-elect to keep quiet on the sidelines until Inauguration Day. He made a series of bold calls this weekend for action on the economy, including a fiscal stimulus package and a plan to help homeowners. “I am disappointed that we haven’t seen quicker movement on this issue by the administration,” he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

From Financial Times:

With dutiful regularity, America’s president-elect has reminded the US public since November 4 that the country only has one president at a time. What he forgot to add was that his name is Barack Obama, not George W. Bush.

In a series of weekend statements – a radio address to the public on Saturday, a prime time Sunday morning interview and an afternoon press conference in Chicago – Mr Obama made it plain that economic events will not respect America’s oddly archaic 77-day transition.

Since his emphatic victory last month, Mr Obama has watched the economy fall off a cliff. The most recent data came on Friday, with the largest single monthly jump in unemployment since 1974. The Obama transition team, which has produced the fastest series of economic appointments “in history”, according to Mr Obama, has observed Mr Bush’s abdication of presidential authority with mounting concern.

Almost two million jobs have been lost since September. One in ten American mortgage holders are either in arrears or have had their homes repossessed by the banks. In what may well qualify as an understatement, Mr Obama on Sunday told NBC’s Meet the Press: “I am disappointed that we haven’t seen quicker movement on this issue [to assist struggling homeowners] by the administration.”

Mr Obama’s chief source of frustration with the outgoing president is Mr Bush’s refusal to agree to a second fiscal stimulus package, at a time when economists of all political stripes are calling for what the president-elect described as a “blood transfusion” to stabilise the patient. Hence Mr Obama’s intervention this weekend.

Without putting a cost-estimate on the package, Mr Obama on Sunday outlined the contours of a fiscal stimulus that would keep the US economy alive pending more substantial action. The plan, which emphasises aid to struggling states, many of which are deepening the crisis by cutting spending to meet their legal balanced budget requirements, could be passed by Congress some time in January.

Some hope the plan, which would cost at least $500bn, may even be ready for Mr Obama to sign on January 20 after he has taken the oath of office. The 111th Congress starts work on 6 January. “Things are going to get worse before they get better,” said Mr Obama yesterday. “My number one priority going in is to make sure we have an economic recovery plan that is equal to the task.”

Barack Obama Announces National Security Team

December 1, 2008

No surprises here. President-elect Barack Obama announced early this morning that Robert Gates would remain as defense secretary, making President Bush’s Pentagon chief his own as he seeks to wind down the U.S. role in Iraq.

Obama also, as anticipated, picked former Democrat and campaign rival Hillary Clinton as his choice for secretary of state.

From the Associated Press:

At a news conference, Obama also introduced retired Marine Gen. James Jones as White House national security adviser, former Justice Department official Eric Holder as attorney general and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security.

The announcements rounded out the top tier of the team that will advise the incoming chief executive on foreign and national security issues in an era marked by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and terrorism around the globe.

“The time has come for a new beginning, a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century,” Obama said as his Cabinet picks stood behind him on a flag-draped stage.

“We will strengthen our capacity to defeat our enemies and support our friends. We will renew old alliances and forge new and enduring partnerships.”

Obama said his appointees “share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

Gates’ presence in Chicago made him a visible symbol of the transition in power from the Bush administration to one headed by Obama.

The president-elect, reprising a campaign vow, said he would give the military a new mission as soon as he takes office: “responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control.” He did not mention his oft-repeated pledge to withdraw most U.S. combat troops within 16 months.

He also appointed campaign foreign policy aide Susan Rice as his ambassador to the United Nations. Obama said he would make her a member of the Cabinet, an increase in stature from the Bush era.

Obama’s announcements marked a shift in emphasis, after a spate of appointments last week for his economic team.

Barbara Bush Hospitalized in Houston

November 26, 2008

Former first lady Barbara Bush, mother of President Bush, was in a Houston hospital Wednesday after complaining of pain. Last I heard, there were rumors that she was going to have ulcer surgery. I wish her the best.

From the Associated Press:

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Mrs. Bush went to Methodist Hospital as a precaution Tuesday night. She had been experiencing some pain this week but McGrath did not know what it was.

McGrath said all the results for tests she had undergone had been negative. He told The Houston Chronicle that Mrs. Bush would be held overnight for observation and was expected to be released Wednesday.

McGrath said former President George H.W. Bush was with her.

Current first lady Laura Bush, Barbara Bush’s daughter-in-law, said Wednesday: “She’s doing great. George and I talked to both President Bush and Barbara Bush last night while they were in the hospital and they were both doing very well then.”

Interviewed on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Laura Bush said the White House doctor had spoken to Barbara Bush’s doctor Wednesday morning and “she’s doing very well.”

Barbara Bush is 83.

The former Barbara Pierce, daughter of the publisher of McCall’s magazine, married George H.W. Bush in January 1945 when he returned a hero from World War II.

She was the girl who, swept off her feet by a handsome Navy aviator, dropped out of college to marry him, “the first man I ever kissed.”

They had had their first child, George, while still at Yale in 1946. A daughter, Robin, died in 1953 of leukemia a few weeks before her 4th birthday. The other Bush children are sons Jeb, Neil and Marvin, and daughter Dorothy.

Mrs. Bush disclosed she was suffering from an overactive thyroid ailment known as Graves’ disease when she lived at the White House. The disease causes teary eyes and double vision in Mrs. Bush, according to her doctors.

Can Hillary Clinton Be Appointed Secretary of State?

November 25, 2008

There has been a lot of talk recently that Hillary Clinton will be named the next US Secretary of State by Presiedent-Elect Barack Obama.

But in doing some research, I’ve found a section of the US Constitution which may prohibit her from taking this office. Maybe I’m reading this wrong but I found it interesting, nevertheless.

From Article 1, Section 6:

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Thoughts?

Hillary Clinton to be Nominated as Secretary of State

November 21, 2008

According to sources close to the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton is on track to be nominated for the position of Secretary of State. Clinton traveled to Chicago last week to meet with Obama about the Cabinet position and it is expected that an announcement will be made shortly after Thanksgiving.

From Bloomberg:

Senator Hillary Clinton is likely to be nominated for secretary of state after the Nov. 27 U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, according to an aide to President-elect Barack Obama.

Potential hurdles related to financial disclosures by Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, have been worked out, said the aide, who asked not to be named.

Clinton has indicated some hesitancy about accepting the position. She has been wrestling with whether to abandon her independence to become the nation’s top diplomat or remain in the Senate where a lack of seniority limits her influence, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Should the New York Democrat accept the post, she would be Obama’s highest-ranking Cabinet officer — the secretary of state is fourth in the line of presidential succession. Backers say the popularity of both Hillary and Bill Clinton overseas would be a boon to the U.S.’s global reputation.

From the Washington Post:

Days of back and forth followed the meeting between President-elect Barack Obama and Clinton last week in Chicago, when the two principals first discussed the post, with advisers to Clinton suggesting she might not want the job and questions persisting about the business work and international ties of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

But the former president agreed to a thorough vetting, and Obama advisers did not back away from reports that the New York senator was the president-elect’s top pick. On Thursday night, aides said that the vetting issues have been resolved, and the selection could occur soon, perhaps immediately after Thanksgiving.

President Bush Reflects on Moments He Regrets

November 12, 2008

I have a feeling that there were quite a few moments he regretted over the past 8 years.

From the Boston Globe:

President Bush wouldn’t spill about his private Oval Office meeting Monday with his successor, saying the best way for Barack Obama to feel comfortable seeking his counsel is to keep such discussions under wraps.

“So, we had a very private conversation,” Bush said on CNN this afternoon. “It was relaxed. It was interesting to watch a person who is getting ready to assume the office of the president. This will be a fantastic experience for he and his family.

“He didn’t need my advice about supporting the military. He knows he must do that,” the president added. “And we had a good conversation. I was very pleased. And I remember the conversation I had with my predecessor, Bill Clinton. As a matter of fact, I called him yesterday. And, you know, I said, Bill, I’m getting ready to meet with the new president, and I remember how gracious you were to me and I hope I can be as gracious to President-elect Obama as you were to me.

“And so President-elect Obama has a great opportunity. And I really do wish him all the best. I mean, I am just as American as he is American. And it is good for our country that the president succeeds. And so the transition that we’re working with him on is a genuine effort to help him be able to deal with the pressures and the complicated issues of the presidency.”

Bush did say he had some regrets about his presidency, including “saying some things I shouldn’t have said.”

From the BBC:

As his presidency draws to an end, he told CNN that some remarks on Osama Bin Laden and the Iraqi insurgency would have been better left unsaid.

Mr Bush also said he regretted speaking in front of a “mission accomplished” banner only a month after troops were deployed in Iraq.

Separately he said President-elect Barack Obama would be good for the US.

Mr Bush said he regretted using phrases like “dead or alive” or “bring ‘em on”.

Shortly after the 11 September attacks in 2001, he said of Osama bin Laden: “I want justice. There’s an old poster out West that said: ‘Wanted, dead or alive.’”

Barack Obama Speaks to the State of the Economy

November 8, 2008

In his first press conference following Tuesday’s Presidential election, President-Elect Barack Obama addressed the struggling economy this afternoon.

The text of his statement can be found below, courtesy of MSNBC.

This morning, we woke to more sobering news about the state of our economy. The 240,000 jobs lost in October marks the 10th consecutive month that our economy has shed jobs. In total, we’ve lost nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, and more than 10 million Americans are now unemployed. Tens of millions of families are struggling to figure out how to pay the bills and stay in their homes. Their stories are an urgent reminder that we are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime, and we must act swiftly to resolve them.

The United States has only one government and one President, and until January 20th of next year, that government is the current Administration. I have spoken to President Bush, and I appreciate his commitment to ensuring that his economic policy team keeps us fully informed as developments unfold.

Immediately after I become President, I will confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity.

This morning, I met with members of my Transition Economic Advisory Board, who will help guide the work of my transition team in developing a strong set of policies to respond to this crisis. We discussed several of the most immediate challenges facing our economy and key priorities on which to focus on in the days and weeks ahead:

First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear. A particularly urgent priority is a further extension of unemployment insurance benefits for workers who cannot find work in the increasingly weak economy. A fiscal stimulus plan that will jump-start economic growth is long overdue – and we should get it done.

Second, we must address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on other sectors of our economy: small businesses that are struggling to meet their payrolls and finance their holiday inventories; and state and municipal governments facing devastating budget cuts and tax increases. We must also remember that the financial crisis is increasingly global and requires a global response.

The news coming out of the auto industry this week reminds us of the hardship it faces – hardship that goes far beyond individual auto companies to the countless suppliers, small businesses and communities throughout our nation who depend on a vibrant American auto industry. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would like to see the Administration do everything they can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted. In addition, I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States. I have asked my team to explore what we can do under current law and whether additional legislation will be needed for this purpose.

Third, we will review the implementation of this Administration’s financial program to ensure that our government’s efforts are achieving their central goal of stabilizing financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance. It is critical that the Treasury work closely with the FDIC, HUD and other government agencies to use the substantial authority they already have to help families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

Finally, as we monitor and address these immediate economic challenges, we will be moving forward in laying out a set of policies that will grow our middle-class and strengthen our economy in the long-term. We cannot afford to wait on moving forward on the key priorities that I identified during the campaign, including clean energy, health care, education and tax relief for middle class families.

My transition team will be working on each of these priorities in the weeks ahead, and I intend to reconvene this Advisory Board to discuss the best ideas for responding to these immediate problems.

Let me close by saying that I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead. We have taken some major actions to date, and we will need further actions during this transition and subsequent months. Some of those choices will be difficult, but America is a strong and resilient country. I know that we will succeed if we put aside partisanship and work together as one nation. And that is what I intend to do.

My Thoughts on the 2008 Presidential Election…

November 6, 2008

The 2008 Presidential Election will go down in history as one of the greatest, and most important elections of all time. I was proud to have been a part of this election and that I got out and made my voice heard. I have not seen this much PASSION involved in American politics by our generation, ever! This election was our election! The passion didn’t only come from Democrats who were tired of the Bush Presidency, it also came from Republicans who had strong beliefs and fought to preserve them.

No matter which side you are on, if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Red State, Blue State….always stand up for what you believe in! Some people may agree with you, some may strongly disagree with you. Some may start a heated debate, or others may calmly discuss their differences. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you voiced your opinion and stood up for what you believe in.

We have a right in this country to say and do what we want (to a certain extent) and we must never forget this. There are too many out there who take this right for granted. In many other years, we have sat back and watched what happened, while not taking our own stand. I was proud of both Democrats and Republicans for getting out and making a difference.

One point I want to make is this: Don’t forget to support our troops. I’ve heard those who say that we can now leave Iraq and bring the troops home tomorrow. Or others who go as far as saying “forget the troops and Iraq”. To those people I say, you’re not thinking clearly. You’re letting your heart cloud your judgment. Yes, we want all of our troops to come home safely, but if it takes time, then so be it. You can not leave a job half finished. Even if you believe we should not have even started the job, you still have to finish it.

Our troops are all over the world. They’re out there putting their lives in danger to protect our rights as Americans and our country. Even if you voted for Obama (like I did), or if you disagree with the war in Iraq (I know a lot of these people too), don’t turn your back on them. Yes, you have the right to disagree, but remember that they are overseas doing a job, and working to make our lives, and the lives of the Iraqi people, better.

There may have been no weapons of mass destruction, and we may not have caught Bin Laden yet, but the difference they are making in our lives is very important. Do not forget this.

This election will bring great debate between people of all sides. Just remember this, when you do argue with each other, try to be civil. Listen to what the other side has to say.

Democrats, for eight years you wanted change and now we’ll see what you make of your opportunity.

Republicans, for eight years, the Democrats wanted change. Now they have the chance to do something. I’m sure you’ll be demanding change as they did for so many years. But let’s at least give them a chance.

One thing that both Democrats and Republicans have in common is that in their hearts, they truly want what they feel is best for the country.

So to finish my rant I say…Thank You America. Thank you to both Republicans and Democrats, for coming out and making your voice heard. This is what makes America great. We may have our differences, and we will ALWAYS have differences, but we showed in 2008 that we still care about the United States and what we fought for more than 200 years ago when we began this great nation.

Thanks for listening. Feel free to give your own thoughts.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers