Tonight on AC360°, building his team. President-elect Obama has made it official. Fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emmanuel has accepted the job of White House chief of stafff. What other power players may be headed for the White House? We've got the raw politics. And, the first daughters-to-be. What life may be like for Obama's two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, when they move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/06/emanuel.reaction/art.emanuel.gi.jpg caption="There's mixed emotion to Rahm Emanuel's appointment from Republican and Democratic leaders."]Maureen Miller
If you were going to be President of the United States who would you want in your inner circle?
There's no "if" for President-elect Barack Obama. It's a done deal. And, he's already making some crucial decisions.
Obama has picked Rahm Emanuel, a top House Democrat, to be his White House chief of staff. He's a close friend. They are both from Chicago. But the Illinois congressman is no stranger to the White House. He's a former top aide to Bill Clinton.
"No one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel," Obama said today in a statement.
Emanual also released a statement.
"I'm leaving a job I love to join your White House for one simple reason - I want to do everything I can
to help deliver the change America needs," he said.
Though, some Washington insiders are questioning Obama's pick. It boils down to his temperament. Emanual is not low-key like his future boss. He's known for being partisan and outspoken.
"This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center," Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a written statement.
Obama is expected to hold his first news conference tomorrow as President-elect, where he may announce other key appointments.
And, on Monday, Obama and his wife, Michelle, will visit the White House. According to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, Pres. Bush and Obama will meet in the Oval office, while Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama will tour the private residence.
It's a busy week for Mr. Obama, and we're tracking all the developments.
Tonight on AC360°, find out what Washington power players are seeking jobs in the Obama administration. And, do you agree with the GOP outrage over Obama's picks?
Join us at 10pm ET.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.voters.chicago.gi.jpg]The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
President-elect Barack Obama made a concerted effort to reach out to people of faith during the 2008 presidential campaign, and early exit polls show that this outreach may have paid off on Election Day. Among nearly every religious group, the Democratic candidate received equal or higher levels of support compared with the 2004 Democratic nominee, John Kerry.
Still, a sizeable gap persists between the support Obama received from white evangelical Protestants and his support among the religiously unaffiliated. Similarly, a sizeable gap exists between those who attend religious services regularly and those who attend less often.
Religious Affiliation and the Vote
In Obama's victory over Republican nominee John McCain, the Democrats' largest gains (eight percentage points) were seen among those who are unaffiliated with any particular religion; fully three-quarters of this group supported Obama. This group has also been a big part of the Democratic coalition in the previous two presidential elections, 61% having supported Al Gore in 2000 and 67% having supported Kerry in 2004.
Catholics, too, moved noticeably in a Democratic direction in 2008; overall, Catholics supported Obama over McCain by a nine-point margin (54% vs. 45%). By contrast, four years ago, Catholics favored Republican incumbent George W. Bush over Kerry by a five-point margin (52% to 47%).
President, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Dear President-elect Obama,
First, congratulations on your election as our 44th president. I hope you know that there are tens of millions of Americans who did not vote for you who are still very, very pleased that an African American has been elected President of the United States.
That fact that this could happen in a country with as tragic a racial past as America’s says something noble and fine about the American experiment. We as a nation have chosen together to live up to the promises of our founding document, the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
We covenant to pray for you, your family, and your administration. We will pray that God will grant you godly wisdom in all your decision-making.
Mr. President-elect, Southern Baptists remain unalterably committed to the protection of unborn human life. The vast majority of Southern Baptists believe that a pre-born baby is a distinct human life, according to both science and the Bible.
You have said you want to unite us as a nation. An excellent place to work for such unity would be for you to put your full support behind the Democrats for Life initiative known as the Pregnant Women Support Act (its goal is to reduce abortion by 95 percent over a 10-year period).
By Alice Walker
Dear Brother Obama,
You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear.
And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.
I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate.
One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.
Beat 360° 11/06/08
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Vice President Dick Cheney applauds President Bush, after the president made remarks on the transition to administration employees, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.
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Beat 360° 11/06/08
Statement from Ellen DeGeneres
Host, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Watching the returns on election night was an amazing experience. Barack Obama is our new president. Change is here. I, like millions of Americans, felt like we had taken a giant step towards equality. We were watching history.
This morning, when it was clear that Proposition 8 had passed in California, I can’t explain the feeling I had. I was saddened beyond belief. Here we just had a giant step towards equality and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away.
I believe one day a “ban on gay marriage” will sound totally ridiculous. In the meantime, I will continue to speak out for equality for all of us.
ACLU Director of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project
After the California Supreme Court’s brilliant, inspiring decision in May, Tuesday's loss at the polls is a bitter pill. That it follows all the wonderful stories of people getting married, and the Connecticut decision that seemed to put us on a roll, makes it all the more difficult to accept.
But indulge me for a look back in history. In 1982, we passed a domestic partnership law in San Francisco, the country’s first. Despite having carefully laid the groundwork, it was vetoed without warning, and a vote essential to an override defected the next day. It took us seven years to get it passed again. And when we did, our opponents got enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 30 days. We ran one of the most expensive local initiative elections in California history. And we lost, 50.5 to 49.5. In 1990, we put it back on the ballot again and won. But the next year, we had to defend it again against an attempted repeal initiative.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/06/art.fond.du.lac.jpg caption="For every pound lost by Weight Watchers between Sept. 7th and Oct. 18, the equivalent of one pound of food will be donated to Share Our Strength or Action Against Hunger."]David Kirchhoff
CEO, Weight Watchers International
We live in such an unusual time, given that so many people are struggling to get enough to eat, and yet obesity is a major health care issue around the world. Just look at these two statistics: 862 million people are underfed, and1.6 billion people are overweight or obese. What a startling imbalance.
To contribute to righting this imbalance, we announced Lose for Good a couple of months ago, a new challenge to Weight Watchers Members to band together and invest in their own health while helping a neighbor in need.
The goal was simple: For every pound lost by Weight Watchers between Sept. 7th and Oct. 18, we would donate the equivalent of one pound of food, up to a million dollars, to Share Our Strength or Action Against Hunger. In addition, our members and staff could contribute food locally to those who are having a hard time making ends meet.
When we started planning earlier this year, it seemed a compelling way to motivate our members and do something good for the community. As the economy started to deteriorate, food banks started to get hit pretty hard with decreased donations and increased demand. Suddenly, Lose For Good began to feel more than just compelling. It became a call to action.