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January 27th, 2009
04:23 PM ET

How would you rate Pres. Obama’s first week?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been one week since Barack Obama became our 44th president, and a busy week it's been–signing executive orders, meeting with his teams of advisers on the economy, national security, Iraq and the Middle East. He's also been meeting with lawmakers from both parties trying to win support for his emergency stimulus package.

How's he doing so far?

In addition to getting his feet wet, the new President is learning some things along the way.

For example, the White House press room is where the press is, and if you don't want the press to ask you questions, don't go there.

If you're going to ban lobbyists from working for you, you have to ban the one that used to lobby for Raytheon from working in your Defense Department as well.

If you're going to close Guantanamo, you have to have a plan for what to do with the inmates there. A couple of them have turned up in recent al Qaeda videos.

You can't overturn President Bush's executive order banning abortion funding for charitable groups overseas without incurring the wrath of right-to-lifers in this country.

And picking a fight with the corpulent Oxycontin aficionado of right wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, will mobilize a bunch more on the conservative right and begin to down your approval ratings.

But the new President seems to be weathering the storm quite well. The latest Gallup Poll, taken over the weekend, gives him a 69% job approval rating.

Here’s my question to you: How would you rate President Obama's first week in office?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Obama Administration
January 26th, 2009
05:55 PM ET

Bipartisanship: Is it already dead?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama had hoped the political capital he won on the campaign trail would pay off in Washington and allow him to push through his emergency stimulus bill without too much hassle. But after less than a week in office he has run headlong into the partisan battles he promised to eliminate in the Nation's Capital.

Eric Holder is sworn in during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on January 15, 2009. Holder's nomination to be the next Attorney General has been a source of contention between the President and many Republicans.

The new President is facing sharp resistance to his $825-billion stimulus package that the House is expected to consider on Wednesday. Questions about how the money will be spent stand in the way. Not that surprising when you consider the mystery of the $750-billion Wall Street bailout President Bush signed off on last year. We still don't know where a lot of that money went.

President Obama is pulling out all the stops to get everyone on the same page. He's meeting with his economic advisers, talking with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and continues to tell the American people how bad things are and warn them to brace for things to get worse.

And it's not just the stimulus package the President is having problems with. Republicans are holding up the confirmation of his Attorney General, Eric Holder.

And they can't be thrilled that the new President is signing one executive order after another to undo the policies of his Republican predecessor.

These are all indications that this isn't going to be the smooth sailing President Obama had in mind.

Here’s my question to you: Is the spirit of bipartisanship already dead in Washington?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 14th, 2009
05:01 PM ET

Should Bill Clinton’s Financial Affairs Prevent Hillary’s Secretary of State Confirmation?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Senator Hillary Clinton intervened 6 times in government issues that directly affected companies or individuals who became donors to her husband's foundation, according to the Associated Press.

Should the Clinton Foundation's ties to foreigners affect Hillary Clinton's nomination?

This raises obvious questions about the potential for ethical conflicts that could arise in her official business as Secretary of State. Christopher Hitchens at Slate.com calls into question whether Hillary Clinton should have been nominated for the post at all.

The article points out that everyone around the world knows that you can get the former president's attention through his foundation. Not a problem in itself but when you factor in that he's the confidant to the would-be Secretary of State, someone she's sure to rely on since she has no foreign affairs track record of her own, it can become one.

The foundation has agreed to disclose its list of confidential clients and every year new donors from foreign states could be subject to the scrutiny of Obama administration lawyers.

Here’s my question to you: Should the foreign financial affairs of Bill Clinton's foundation be enough to prevent Sen. Hillary Clinton's confirmation as Secretary of State?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 14th, 2009
12:53 PM ET

Should Tax and Housekeeper Problems Cost Geithner the Treasury Job?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Timothy Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Obama's pick for Secretary of Treasury, hit a road block yesterday on his path to Washington to lead the nation through the current economic crisis.

Geithner's confirmation hearing is now rescheduled for after the inauguration.

His confirmation hearing turned into a closed door meeting between members of the Senate Finance Committee and the would-be Secretary. At issue, were Geithner's failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes while he worked at the International Monetary Fund and employing an immigrant housekeeper who had expired work papers for three months.

The President-elect and his aides chalked these problems up as honest mistakes. They were quick to point out that all back taxes, interest and penalties have been paid and filings were amended.

As Treasury Secretary, Geithner will ultimately oversee the IRS, so his tax mistakes conceivably could be an issue.

Some members of the committee said they still support Geithner, who's been widely praised for his experience. Others aren't willing to give him a pass just yet.

As for the housekeeper, she's married to an American and has her green card now.

Geithner's confirmation hearing is now rescheduled for next week, after the inauguration.

Here’s my question to you: Should Timothy Geithner's tax and housekeeper problems cost him the post of Secretary of Treasury?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

November 18th, 2008
04:15 PM ET

Proper role for Sen. Clinton in Obama’s Admin.?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama met with Senator Hillary Clinton last week, and since then, a lot has been made about the possibility of Obama's former rival becoming his secretary of state.

The big question this week is what sort of problems Bill Clinton could cause in the vetting process of his wife. Since he left office, President Clinton has started a new career which involves some "complicated international business dealings." He also has a global foundation with a long list of donors who may not all agree with incoming President Obama's policies.

But the Clintons have been here before. If Hillary gets the "all clear" and is offered the job, the next question is: Should she take it?

After losing the democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama, Clinton returned to her old job as the junior senator from New York. She's very popular with her constituents and could likely remain in the senate as long as she wants to, perhaps even becoming a senate leader. But if she takes the Secretary of State job, she will tie her career to the successes and failures of the Obama administration. If Obama stumbles, she likely would have an easier time making another run for the White House from the Senate.

Here’s my question to you: What is the proper role for Hillary Clinton in President Obama's administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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