Obama launches grass-roots campaign
By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
1 hr 43 mins ago [Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:01 pm CST]
WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama, who rode an extensive grass-roots organization to fundraising records and the White House, announced plans to pair a campaign organization with the Democratic Party to push his agenda with an eye toward re-election in 2012.
Days before he even takes the oath for his first term, Obama said Saturday that the newly created Organizing for America would enlist community organizers around the country to support local candidates, lobby for the president's agenda and remain connected with his supporters from the campaign. The entity will operate from the Democratic National Committee headquarters but will be independent in structure, budget and priorities.
"As president, I will need the help of all Americans to meet the challenges that lie ahead," Obama said in a video message to supporters. "That's why I'm asking people like you who fought for change during the campaign to continue fighting for change in your communities."
Obama's campaign organization has some 13 million e-mail addresses that cut across the political spectrum. Obama's top advisers had considered transferring that list — from which Obama raised $745 million — to the Democratic National Committee. In the end, Obama's top aides decided the list should remain separate in keeping with a theme of post-partisan rhetoric.
"Volunteers, grass-roots leaders and ordinary citizens will continue to drive our organization, helping us bring about the changes we proposed during the campaign: a solution to our economic crisis, an end to the war in Iraq, affordable health care for all and new sources of energy to power our economy and protect our environment," Obama said.
Millions of small donors pushed Obama's fundraising to record-shattering amounts and the candidate tapped into the Internet to spread his message. The joint statement from the Obama team and the DNC said more than 500,000 Americans completed surveys following the election describing their goal for the organization, and more than 4,200 hosted house parties.
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Print-your-own: President Obama! sign
8 1/2 by 11 inch, horizontal, color
President-elect Obama Introduces Labor Heads
December 20, 2008
On December 19 in Chicago, the President-elect announced his picks for four labor related positions.
05:40-06:58 Obama on Ron Kirk
13:44-15:02 Comments by Ron Kirk
AP: Name by name, Obama's Cabinet taking shape
By The Associated Press
Tue Dec 16, 6:46 pm ET
Day by day, name by name, President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet is taking shape, and other top jobs are being filled.
A look at who has made the list and who is being talked about for jobs that are still open:
Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
SECRETARY OF STATE:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general.
Robert Gates, holdover from Bush administration.
HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY:
Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:
Retired Marine Gen. James Jones.
Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.
NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR:
Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary.
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR:
Peter Orszag, director of Congressional Budget Office.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY:
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY:
Retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY:
Shaun Donovan, New York City housing commissioner.
Steven Chu, director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Lisa P. Jackson, former commissioner of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE,
Carol Browner, former EPA administration.
WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY CHAIR,
Nancy Sutley, deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles.
Arne Duncan, Chicago schools superintendent.
[named since this story; moved from below]
Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo.
Tom Vilsack, former Iowa governor.
NPR: Oklahoma Republicans Shift Political Expectations
by Linda Wertheimer
Listen Now [5 min 16 sec]
Map: Election night results from Oklahoma
On this map of the Oklahoma results, the dark red indicates that Obama got less than 30 percent of the vote. The intermediate pink color shows that he got 30 to 35 percent of the vote. The lightest color shows where he got more than 35 percent. -Robert Benincasa/NPR
All Things Considered, December 15, 2008 -- On a recent biting cold night in the small city of Durant, Okla., residents held their annual Christmas Day parade: a small-town tradition with many floats, bands and young children on a flatbed trailer towed by a giant green John Deere tractor.
But despite the festivities, Durant will not get the president it wanted for Christmas.
Oklahoma is a conservative state, where voters focused on issues such as small government and abortion rather than the president-elect's mantra of "change." In fact, Oklahoma was the reddest state in the union in this election, with Republican John McCain carrying every single county. No other state can make that claim.
Now, residents are shifting their political expectations as Obama prepares to take office. While some say they are concerned that Obama is more rhetoric than action, others say they have been impressed by his choices so far.
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Electoral College meets TODAY to elect 44th President
Presidential electors meet today in each of the 50 state capitol cities and in Washington, DC, to officially elect the next US President.
If all vote as expected, there will be 365 for Obama and 173 for McCain.
I predict that at least one of the McCain electors will vote instead for Sarah Palin!
Who expects all 365 to be faithful electors for Obama
Obama to announce environment, energy team
By Deborah Charles Deborah Charles
45 mins ago [Dec 14th, 2008 at 5:35 pm EST]
CHICAGO (Reuters) – President-elect Barack Obama, who has vowed to adopt an aggressive approach to global warming and the environment, will hold a news conference on Monday to announce his picks to lead the effort.
Obama will hold a news conference at 5 p.m. EST on Monday to talk about "the nation's energy and environmental future," his transition office said on Sunday.
At the news conference Obama is expected to name Nobel physics laureate Steven Chu as his energy secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner as the head of a new council that will coordinate White House policy on energy, climate and environment, Democratic sources have said.
Obama is also expected to announce he has chosen Lisa Jackson, the chief of staff for New Jersey's governor, to run the EPA and Nancy Sutley, a deputy mayor of Los Angeles, as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. ...
Obama has said energy and environmental matters would be important to his administration, and he wants to spend billions of dollars to promote alternative energy sources and create millions of green energy jobs.
News of who would make up Obama's energy and environment team began trickling out last week and the choices were applauded by environment groups.
The team will be charged with developing policies to reduce carbon emissions blamed for global warming. They will also work on developing new sources of energy and creating new jobs. ...
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PIC Announces Theme and Preliminary Information about Schedule of Official Inaugural Events
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) today unveiled the official theme for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, "Renewing America's Promise," a vision that underscores the President-elect and Vice President-elect’s commitment to restoring opportunity and possibility for all and re-establishing America’s standing as a beacon of hope around the world.
“At this moment of great challenge and great change, renewing the promise of America begins with renewing the idea that in America, we rise or fall as one nation and one people,“ said President-elect Obama. “That sense of unity and shared purpose is what this Inauguration will reflect.“
The PIC also outlined a preliminary schedule of official inaugural events that underscores a commitment to organizing activities that are inclusive and open to the public. The following events will take place in the nation’s capital between Sunday, January 18th and Wednesday, January 21st:
Read More »
For a mere 50K, you get a 4-day inauguration trip
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 42 mins ago [Dec 12th, 2008 at 7:38 pm EST]
WASHINGTON -- The inauguration committee of President-elect Barack Obama, who ran on a platform to change the way business is done in Washington, is selling four-day packages of four tickets to his historic swearing-in ceremony and parade plus some extras in exchange for $50,000.
The deal does represent a change. President Bush charged $250,000, selling his supporters a much bigger menu of inaugural goodies that featured candlelight dinners.
On Friday, members of the Obama National Finance Committee were spreading the word about their package to friends and associates around the country.
Read More »
About Ideas for Change in America
What is Ideas for Change in America?
Ideas for Change in America is a citizen-driven project that aims to identify and create momentum around the best ideas for how the Obama Administration and 111th Congress can turn the broad call for "change" across the country into specific policies.
The project is nonpartisan, and invites all political points of view. It is not connected to the Obama campaign or the Obama Administration.
Who's behind it?
Ideas for Change in America is a project of Change.org, an online community and media network for social issues, in partnership with more than three dozen leading organizations, including MySpace, techPresident, the Sunlight Foundation, Netroots Nation, Declare Yourself, Student PIRGs, Voto Latino, HeadCount, and Change Congress.
How does it work?
Anyone can submit an idea and comment and vote on others. The top 10 rated ideas will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009 as the "Top 10 Ideas for America." We will then launch a national campaign behind each idea and mobilize the collective energy of the millions of members of Change.org, MySpace, and partner organizations to ensure that each winning idea gets the full consideration of the Obama Administration and Members of Congress.
How are the top ideas determined?
The "Top 10 Ideas for America" will be determined through two rounds of voting. In the first round, ideas will compete against other ideas in the same issue category. The first round will end on December 31, 2008, and the top 3 rated ideas from each category will make it into the second round. The second round of voting will begin on Monday, January 5, and each qualifying idea will compete against the qualifying ideas from all other categories. Second round voting will end on Thursday, January 15.
What happens after voting?
Our work does not end with the voting process or the delivery of the top 10 ideas to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day. That is rather the end of the beginning. Instead of passively hoping the administration accepts each top idea, we will select a formal nonprofit sponsor for each idea to help create a nationwide movement to lobby the administration and Congress to turn the idea into real policy.
What should my idea be about?
The mission of Ideas for Change in America is to identify and advance concrete solutions to the major challenges confronting the country, and we welcome any ideas consistent with this vision. Ideas that conflict with the spirit of this mission, that look backward instead of forward, that express values without offering solutions, that offer solutions which won't receive serious consideration by either the Obama administration or the 111th Congress, that are intended to attack others, or are otherwise offensive are not eligible for the second round. We reserve the right to remove any ideas that violate these stated principles.
Does my idea have to be original?
No. While we encourage you to take an original approach, you may submit an idea originally conceived by someone else. However, we encourage you to cite original source of the idea if known, and you may not directly copy text from an idea posted by another user.
Your Seat at the Table
Friday, December 5, 2008 04:28pm EST / Posted by Dan McSwain
In a memo released today, Obama-Biden Transition Project Co-chair John D. Podesta announced that all policy documents from official meetings with outside organizations will be publicly available for review and discussion on Change.gov.
This means we're inviting the American public to take a seat at the table and engage in a dialogue about these important issues and ideas -- at the same time members of our team review these documents themselves.
Director of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs Michael Strautmanis spoke with us and gave an overview of this unique program. Watch the video below:
Co-chair Podesta's memo to the Transition staff is a bold move towards opening the doors and ensuring access to government processes. Read the full memo here.
Talking face-to-face with advocates and experts is a vital part of the Transition. But in past transitions, meetings like these took place behind closed doors and lacked the public input and transparency we're working hard to provide.
Documents from meetings with these groups are available now. Check out our new Seat at the Table feature on Change.gov, dig in to materials we've provided, and let us know what you think.
President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden set up the Obama-Biden Transition Project to make sure their new administration is ready to hit the ground running on Inauguration Day, January 20th.
The Transition will work to develop details of the President-elect's policy agenda, help him choose senior administration staff, and review the current functioning of government agencies.
Barack Obama is committed to running the most open and transparent transition in history, and we hope you’ll visit our website often. For more information, please refer to the following links:
For updates from Obama-Biden Transition Project, including video of President-elect Obama’s weekly address, please click here: http://www.change.gov/newsroom/blog
To learn details about the Obama-Biden policy agenda and share your ideas, please click here: http://www.change.gov/agenda
For the latest news about the President-elect’s and Vice-President elect’s preparations to take office, please click here: http://www.change.gov/newsroom
We appreciate hearing from you and hope you will visit and share your thoughts. Although we may not be able to address each message individually, your input and the input of millions of other Americans will continue to guide President-elect Obama.
Again, thank you and we hope you will continue visiting our website.
The Obama-Biden Transition Project
Obama to name Richardson for commerce secretary
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
22 mins ago [Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:34 am EST]
CHICAGO -- President-elect Barack Obama is ready to name Bill Richardson as his choice for commerce secretary after passing over his vanquished Democratic rival for secretary of state.
Democratic officials say the two would appear at a news conference together in Chicago on Wednesday. ...
One of the nation's most prominent Hispanic politicians, he will become the latest former Democratic primary opponent to join Obama's Cabinet. The incoming chief executive has chosen another adversary-turned-ally, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to be his secretary of state. Obama also chose former rival Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.
complete copyrighted story at link above
Presidential Inaugural Committee 
The Presidential Inaugural Committee, at the direction of President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, will organize an inclusive and accessible inauguration that reflects the new Administration's commitment to leadership that sets aside partisanship and unites the nation around our shared values and ideals.
CHICAGO, IL – Wednesday, November 26, 2008 – Ain’t it nice to finally have a smart guy in (coming in) to the White House?
Think about it . . . compare the way President-elect Obama handled himself in today’s press conference to the way George W. Bush muddled his way through eight years.
You remember, don’t you?
George W. Bush, the genius, was actually reelected after he said, "My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire."
And, despite the fact that there was no doubt about George W. Bush’s intelligence or lack thereof, voters sent him back to Washington for a second four year term after he said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
It is eminently refreshing that President-elect Barack Obama is more than able to string an entire series of sentences together to create cohesive paragraphs to convey a logical series of meaningful thoughts and ideas . . . a skill that is critically essential to anyone who aspires to the highest office in the country.
His ‘Help is on the way’ press conference today reassured the American people and financial markets around the world that a thoughtful, intelligent, resourceful, committed, dedicated man has arrived to lead the nation out of the morass created by eight years of the meanderings of a failed frat boy who couldn’t convey a meaningful idea on his best day.
President-elect Obama said, “I was elected with the charge of getting this economy back in shape. We are going to implement starting day one when I come into office.”
Nice political statement . . . but he then went on to support that statement by conveying the following meaningful thoughts and ideas:
He announced the creation of the ‘President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board’ (not made up of old friends from college or campaign contributors or incompetent political hacks) headed by 81 year old Paul Volker, an epitome of Washington experience whose leadership will be augmented and balanced by top staffer, 39 year old Austin Goolsbee, a well-respected, visionary, economist from the University of Chicago.
In Monday’s news conference, the President-elect announced that he would nominate 41 year old Tim Geithner, current New York Federal Reserve President, to be Treasury Secretary and on Tuesday, Obama announced he would nominate Peter Orszag to manage the Office of Management and Budget with the immediate responsibility of evaluating the federal budget, ‘page-by-page, line-by-line’, to eliminate wasteful spending and realign how taxpayer dollars are spent.
In the coming week, President-elect Obama is expected to move on from putting together his economic team to naming his national security and foreign policy team, including the vaunted, but not yet confirmed nomination of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. He is also expected to confirm publicly that current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates will stay on for the first year of his administration.
In response to a tough question from CNN’s Ed Henry about ‘playing musical chairs’ by recruiting people who worked in the Clinton Administration, Obama said, “The American people would be troubled if I selected a treasury secretary or a chairman of the National Economic Council at one of the most critical economic times in our history who had no experience in government whatsoever.”
“What we are going to do,” Obama went on to say, “is combine experience with fresh thinking. But understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That’s my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure then that my team is implementing.”
Lest we forget how George W. Bush handled a similarly tough question in a press conference, permit me to take you back to April 3, 2004, when the 43rd President of the United States of America, the leader of the free world, George W. Bush answered a question about whether he’d ever made a mistake in his presidency by saying, “I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet . . . I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t . . . you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.”
President-elect Barack Obama, unlike his soon-to-be predecessor, has demonstrated that he is a man of action . . . holding three press conferences in as many days to send a clear message to not only millions of shaky Americans worried about their economic futures but to the world in general.
Be advised, America and the world, there is a new man taking the helm of democracy in America, an intelligent man, a man unafraid to work at being President, a man willing to reach out to the best and the brightest the nation has to offer to build not only a better nation but a better world as well.
Maybe I’m amazed, but I’m also relieved.
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Overview of the Inauguration
The presidential inauguration is the official day that the President of the United States is sworn into office. The purpose of this inauguration is to honor the incoming president with formal ceremonies, including: a Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, an Inaugural Address, and an Inaugural Parade.
The inauguration will take place on January 20, 2009 in Washington D.C. on the steps of the United States Capitol. President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office, which states the following:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Vice President-elect Joe Biden will have already taken a similar oath.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee is in charge of planning and executing the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama. If you want to participate in inauguration day events, check back here often for more detailsRead More »
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has accepted an offer from President-elect Barack Obama to become U.S. secretary of state, the New York Times said on Friday, quoting two Clinton associates.
"She's ready," one of the sources told the newspaper, which said Clinton came to her decision after additional discussions with Obama about the nature of her role as the top U.S. diplomat and his plans for foreign policy.
Democratic Party sources have said Clinton was on track to be nominated, with an official announcement expected after the November 27 Thanksgiving holiday.