November 26th, 2008
08:10 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Going Wild

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

DC is going WILD about Inauguration Day. 240,000 seats are available for the swearing-in ceremony though 1-4 million people are expected to attend the overall festivities. Hotels are booked, so now would be the time to hit up friends/family and offer to keep their couches warm if they happen to be residents of the nation’s capital.

Of course, if you have big money to blow, you could always book the Inaugural package at the Ritz Carlton in DC which offers tickets to the parade, one of the balls, and a trip to the Caribbean.

Another day, another press conference. President-elect Obama is on a roll this week. He is expected to make an ‘economic announcement’ today. We will hear that Paul Volcker will head the Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide outside advice from heavyweight thinkers. Obama would be the 6th president that Volcker has served.

P-E Obama is also solidifying his national security team. Our sources hear that current Republican Defense Secretary Robert Gates will stay on in his current post for at least the first year of the new Administration.

This is huge news during a time of war, but there is likely to be criticism from the anti-war folks who voted for Obama. Keeping Gates ensures continuity, which could mean that Obama’s full focus can be on the economy but don’t expect major changes in policy overseas.

Meanwhile, Iraqi lawmakers today delayed till Thursday voting on a pact that would allow US troops to stay in the country for 3 more years. Otherwise known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), this deal is meant to replace a UN mandate allowing US troops to legally remain in Iraq until the end of the year.

Should Parliament fail to approve the deal, Iraq would have to ask the UN for an extension of the UN mandate, which is problematic, or would legally have to ask U.S. troops to leave the country. If this SOFA passes Iraq’s Congress today, US troops are guaranteed to remain in Iraq until 2011.

Tonight Erica Hill has a poignant story on how the number of hungry kids in America shot up 50% last year. Some food banks point to a perfect storm: greater need, but fewer donations. We’ll offer advice on how you can help.

Have a good one and see you at 10pet!

Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Mary

    We live in a small town, far from any big cities and our food bank here is always in need of donations. I can't imagine what it would be like in a big city. Children are certainly always the first to suffer. There is no excuse for any child in the U.S. to be hungry. We all need to step up and do something. I am looking forward to Erica's report.

    November 26, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Jeanette

    I really don't understand all these people wanting to go to the inauguration. I'm sure they will just be watching it on a very large TV. Just so they can say they were there. No thanks, I'll be watching from my couch all nice and warm on a TV I can appreciate.


    November 26, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  3. Psmitty

    wow! I am impressed! Guess #1 amendments still ok until 1/20/09

    November 26, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  4. Psmitty

    Enough to make me puke. 1-4 million people are expected to attend the overall festivities....will there be enough timt to print their welfare checks & who is going to make all the kool-aid? That is a pretty big crowd!

    Obama – Change LOL. Not even experienced enough to pick his own staff – cheated off the Clintons LOL What a joke!

    I dare you to post this – nothing violating your Policy or Law ....Just free speech but that terrifies Liberals & CNN we'll when/if this posts

    November 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  5. Sharon Kitchen

    I just wish the process did not take so long. I understand, with the appointments and all, but the country is just in such a mess from the past idots(s),bush/chenney/rice/gonzalez,etc.we need the level thinking Obama in sooner than later. But we will have to wait.
    He is putting together a great staff.
    He and they will have their work cut out for them and the American people will have to be tough and continue to battle to stay on top.
    He has the "can do" spirit.
    The American people do as well.
    We all will make it.

    November 26, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  6. Joanne, Syracuse, NY

    My "humble opinion" is that both Gates and Volcker are great appointees, in line with he forward thinking of PE Obama...detailed interviews, highlighting their histories illustrates the great "fit" each will make to the Obama team.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  7. Heather,ca

    Im glad that Gates was convinced into staying on as Sec Def even if its only temporarily. Thats the smartest thing Obama has done. Gates is NOT a politician. He has the unique advantage of having been both a witness to our countries history from behind the scenes but also been apart of it.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:22 am |
  8. Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca

    I think it's great your going to air information about food banks tonight. When ever I hear Happy Thanksgiving, it always translate in my head as thanks for giving. I wish you, Miss Erica and all at CNN a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  9. earle,floida

    Def. Sec. Gates stays on as part of the P.E.Obama's team? Supposedly,Gates presence ensures continuity with the Iraqi war, so,Obama can focus on the economy! Yea,that's the lamest excuse to date, this new president can't chew gum,and walk at the same time? Now,regarding the economy,and Paul Volcker's selection to the newly formed (served under Reagon/Carter) administration. My predictions of pure unadulterated austerity will manifest themselves during the first couple years of Obama's four year term(perhaps his entire term). Mr Volcker is to old for this monumental post selection,and out of touch! He was responsible in-part for implementing Reagan's trickle down economic's, which failed miserably. My humble opinion only....

    November 26, 2008 at 11:02 am |
  10. Tammy, Berwick. LA

    DC is last place on the planet I'd be in January. I can watch history on replay from the comfort of my sofa in my PJ's. And save myself thousands in the process.

    Helping each other out in hard times is not a difficult process. It's what mankind has done for each other throughout history. I don't understand people not giving. Even if it's an extra bag of groceries or money saved from not eating out for a week and buying junk in the machines at work, it's something. It's the right thing to do. And if people can, maybe it's what we all need to do year round and not just on the holidays when a news crew reminds us we ought to give to those without.

    November 26, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  11. Cindy

    Man...Obama sure is going wild with all of his press conferences! I guess he doesn't want to be forgotten from now until his swearing in.

    So you can get a trip to the Caribbean along with seeing Obama sworn in from the Ritz Carlton huh!? Well from what they charge they'd have to offer more than that to get me in there! LOL

    I hope all of the 360 crew has a great Thanksgiving!!


    November 26, 2008 at 9:34 am |

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