January 19th, 2009
04:48 PM ET

Obama's America

CNN's John King visits Greenwood, South Carolina to talk to survivors of segregation about the inauguration of Obama.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Inauguration • John King
January 19th, 2009
04:41 PM ET

Inauguration Security: Counter sniper detail

The counter snipers of the U.S. Secret Service are gearing up for Inauguration Day. CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports.

Filed under: Inauguration • Jeanne Meserve
January 19th, 2009
04:04 PM ET

Monumental expectations for Obama's inauguration address

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/18/obama.sunday/art.obama.lincoln.memorial.cnn.jpg caption="President-elect Barack Obama addresses a roaring crowd in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday."]

President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural address is one of the most anticipated speeches in decades, with many expecting his words to be chiseled into marble some day.

Obama has said he has been studying previous inaugural addresses - including President Abraham Lincoln's and the speeches President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave as he took office amid the Great Depression.

Given the nation's current economic crisis, Errol Lewis, a columnist for the New York Daily News, was looking for Obama to echo Roosevelt's famous 1933 inauguration address when he said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

"He's got to calm the nation. I think he's got to reassure the nation and let people know that we are in it for the long haul. If you look at that 1933 speech, that is pretty much what FDR did," Lewis said. Watch a preview of inauguration events »

"He wants to lift us up ... and all the aspirations we have, all the hope," Lewis said. "But at the same time, he has some very practical problems that start at 12:01 p.m., and he starts to own them at high noon. There are no easy answers."

Obama has already demonstrated his ability as a master orator, and many observers are looking for the new president's address to equal the great speeches by presidents Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

"He's got to give that great, soaring speech." CNN contributor David Gergen said. "I think the pressure is really on because of the historic nature of this presidency and also because of the extraordinary moment in which we find ourselves with this terrible recession."


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
January 19th, 2009
03:55 PM ET

White House Swap

Program Note: Watch Randi Kaye's full report tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.
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Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

When was the last time you moved? Remember all the boxes piled up at your feet for weeks on end wondering if the movers will actually show up?

Well – the President doesn’t have that problem.

You see, in the time President Bush leaves the White House about 11am on Inauguration Day...and the Obama’s return from the parade by 5pm, the White House will be transformed into something that feels like home to the new first family.


January 19th, 2009
03:52 PM ET

At Obama's staff dinner, Oprah gives thanks

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.speech/t1home.obm.inag.dc.07.cnn.jpg caption="Barack Obama signs an autograph during a service-day event in Washington."]
Gloria Borger
CNN Political Analyst

Oprah Winfrey was there.

President-elect Obama's dinner included a mixture of close personal friends and staff, with kids.

“Very cheerful” with kids running around, one source told me. Obama spoke very briefly “to basically say dinner’s on the table and thanks to all of you…It felt like family.”

Filed under: Barack Obama • Gloria Borger • Raw Politics
January 19th, 2009
03:32 PM ET

The making of 'From MLK to Today'

Director Antoine Fuqua takes us behind-the-scenes on CNN's short film, "From MLK to Today."

January 19th, 2009
03:31 PM ET

Obama considers reversing Bush-era abortion policy

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Suzanne Malveaux
CNN White House Correspondent

President-elect Barack Obama is considering issuing an executive order to reverse a controversial bush administration abortion policy in his first week in office, three Democratic sources say.

Thursday-Barack Obama's second full day as president falls on the the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade-the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S.

Sources say Obama may use the occasion to reverse the "Mexico City Policy" reinstated by President Bush in 2001.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Suzanne Malveaux
January 19th, 2009
02:35 PM ET
January 19th, 2009
02:33 PM ET

Lessons From LBJ

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Adriel Bettelheim
Congressional Quarterly

As a 31-year-old aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lawrence Levinson was one of the staffers entrusted with keeping internal charts that chronicled the status of the administration’s priority bills in Congress, identified projected paths through committees and singled out lawmakers who might throw up obstacles.

Johnson pored over the information, understanding that he needed to cajole and browbeat members of Congress and build coalitions around individual issues to enact his Great Society domestic agenda.

“It was all very hands-on,” recalled Levinson, now a Washington lawyer. “The thinking was, you only have a majority for so long; the pendulum can swing the other way, so you have to maximize your opportunities.”


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
January 19th, 2009
01:58 PM ET

Obama visits Ward 57..a place of pain…and hope

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.inauguration.eve/art.paint.pool.jpg caption="President-elect Obama visited injured soldiers and helped volunteers on Monday."]

Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

A US military official confirms to CNN that President elect Barack Obama visited Ward 57 when he went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center earlier today.

Ward 57 is the area of the hospital where mainly those who have undergone amputation or massive other surgeries for their wounds are treated once they are out of ICU. The Ward encompasses an entire floor with a nurses station in the middle and from each side two rows of rooms stretching down the hallway.

When you visit there are often little kids and other family members on the ward visiting their wounded family member. Depending on the case, some wounded are at the point where they can get themselves in and out of wheelchairs, so they might be out in the halls, but some are just out of surgery and in very tough shape—if he visited those he would have been escorted into the room most likely by himself, as the rooms are small.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Barbara Starr • Pentagon
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