Archives for Politics

Obama brings assets to face challenges

Barack Obama will inherit two wars and the worst economic conditions in three generations when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. Ironically, that challenge might be a blessing for the president-elect — unemployment is so high and consumer confidence so low that even modest improvements will let him claim progress.

Obama also brings extraordinary assets to the task.


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Kennedy: 9/11, Obama led her to public service

With the wind of her family's legacy at her back, Caroline Kennedy says her quest for a Senate seat has been a long time in the making.

In her first sit-down interview since she emerged as a Senate hopeful, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy told The Associated Press that she has always pondered jumping into politics, but waited for the right moment.


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Some much to be done, so little time

President-elect Barack Obama's plan for economic revival puts a big emphasis on public works projects. It also would rely on tax cuts.

But with the nation bruised by recession, with hundreds of thousands of jobs vanishing monthly, Obama's plan raises an urgent question: Will his remedies work fast enough?

The answer won't be clear for months or longer. In the meantime, pressure on the Obama team to deliver help quickly is intensifying.


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Blago scandal took time away from real issues

President-elect Barack Obama has said all along that neither he nor his team was involved in any eye-popping dealmaking over filling his vacated Senate seat. Obama's hand-picked investigator agreed.

"Everybody behaved appropriately," declared Greg Craig, Obama's incoming White House counsel and the person asked to conduct the internal inquiry into contacts between the transition team and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.


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Obama report clears staff in Blago probe

President-elect Barack Obama and a top aide have been interviewed by prosecutors investigating Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but an internal report released on Tuesday cleared them of any wrongdoing.

Blagojevich is mired in a corruption investigation that has left Obama's transition team scrambling to distance the incoming president from the scandal-tarred governor.

Among the charges the governor faces is the accusation that he tried to sell Obama's recently vacated Senate seat. He has denied the charges and refused to resign from his job.


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No decision yet in Minnesota Senate race

Officials trying to determine who won the November 4 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota recessed their deliberations on Tuesday until the end of the year without reaching a decision.

Unofficial counts showed one-time comedian Al Franken, a Democrat, leading Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman by less than 50 votes out of more than 2.4 million ballots cast.

The Minnesota secretary of state's office said the next meeting of the state canvassing board was scheduled for December 30 with additional sessions, if needed, on January 5 and 6.


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Obama team set to spin role in Blago scandal

President-elect Barack Obama's transition office is ready to release an internal review of all contacts his staff had with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office over the Senate seat that Obama has vacated and that the governor is accused of putting up for sale.

The report's release, expected Tuesday, comes as Obama is vacationing in Hawaii. Obama said last week he wants to answer questions about conversations his aides had over filling his Senate seat because nothing inappropriate took place. But he kept the details private while the federal investigation continues.

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Hillary plans a more powerful State Dept.

Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to build a more muscular US State Department, with a bigger budget, high-profile special envoys dispatched to trouble spots and an expanded role in dealing with the global economic crisis, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Times cited an unnamed Hillary Clinton adviser as saying her push for a more vigorous economic team stems from her belief that the State Department needs to play a part in the recovery from the global financial crisis, while economic issues also are at the heart of key diplomatic relationships, notably with China.

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Minnesota: The election that never ends

With the state Canvassing Board ready to award the last pile of votes in Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount, Democrat Al Franken clung to a narrow lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. The final count, however, showed no sign of being settled soon.

On Tuesday, the board was scheduled to award votes from a remaining group of about 5,000 challenges that had been withdrawn by both campaigns. Based on a draft report released late Monday by the secretary of state's office, Franken will have earned 48 more votes than Coleman once those votes are allotted.


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