January 20th, 2009
06:33 PM ET

Memo to federal government: Stop!

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Ed Henry
From Senior White House Correspondent

Another sign of transition - According to White House officials, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel this afternoon signed a memorandum sent to all agencies and departments to stop all pending regulations until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama Administration.

January 20th, 2009
06:18 PM ET

Barack Obama's speechwriter Jon Favreau

President Obama renewed his call for a massive plan to stimulate economic growth.

President Obama renewed his call for a massive plan to stimulate economic growth.

Catherine Philp
The London Times

The baby-faced wunderkind who has written the first words Barack Obama will deliver as President is poised to make history as the youngest person ever to write an inaugural address.

Jon Favreau, 27, has spent the last two months working for up to 16 hours a day on the speech in locations all over Washington, from the Penn Quarter Starbucks to his new, still-unfurnished apartment in the city’s upmarket Dupont Circle.

As the day approaches, he has found himself writing until 2 or 3am, fueled by double espresso shots and Red Bull. A team of assistants are on hand to furnish him with material, from research on key moments of crisis in American history to the collected speeches of former presidents.


January 20th, 2009
06:16 PM ET

Beat 360° 1/20/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden listen to proceedings during the inauguration ceremony in Washington January 20, 2009.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.


Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
January 20th, 2009
05:45 PM ET

Oops oath...

A swearing-in worth swearing at. Someone blew it, as CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Inauguration
January 20th, 2009
05:32 PM ET

At the inauguration: Heat...and trash

Joe Johns | Bio
CNN Correspondent

The mall cleared out very quickly. What we realized more than anything else was how much body heat was generated by the largest national special security event in U.S. history.

And when all those people cleared out the wind and cold temps weighed-in with a vengeance. Then there was the trash everywhere.

Interesting how much we heard about environmental concerns during the campaign- green jobs and all.

But people sure left a lot of trash I saw people picking up here and there – not workers.

One guy named Christopher Hinkel was cleaning up: "It's my hometown," he said "I'd hate people to think its a mess."

Truth is in all likelihood the park service will have the clean-up done in a snap.

Clean up after big events can be costly but it's one of the things the government tends to do pretty well.

Filed under: Inauguration • Joe Johns
January 20th, 2009
05:31 PM ET

Nelson Mandela's letter to President Barack Obama

Editor's Note: This is the text of former South African President Nelson Mandela's congratulatory letter to Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan.20.

"Dear Mister President:

We are greatly honored to join the millions around the globe congratulating you on taking office as the president of the United States of America. We believe that we are witnessing something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America, but of the world.

Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amidst all of the human progress made over the last century the world in which we live remains one of great divisions, conflict, inequality, poverty and injustice. Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mister President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.


Filed under: Global 360° • Inauguration
January 20th, 2009
05:01 PM ET

If Obama can inspire my parents...

John King
CNN Chief National Correspondent

Erin Flanagan lost a brother in Iraq, and voted for John McCain after coming to believe his was the best approach to end the war that cost her family so much. But on this day, with her parents in attendance in at the Inaugural, she says, “I am hopeful indeed.”

So is Ellen Harley, a former Republican state legislator in Pennsylvania who now lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

“The American ideal that ‘All men are created equal’ – buried in years of wedge issues and war – is manifest in this man and his family,” Harley said in an email. “This is a seminal moment in our shared history.”


Filed under: Barack Obama • Inauguration • John King
January 20th, 2009
04:56 PM ET

An awkward oath of office for Roberts, Obama

Joe Sterling
CNN Newsdesk Editor

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts and President Barack Obama bobbled a biblical moment on the world stage during the 35-word oath of office Tuesday.

First there was a bad handoff. Obama spoke his name before Roberts finished the line Obama was to repeat.

Then Roberts made a couple of rhetorical fumbles, incorrectly reciting one of the lines of the swearing-in.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Inauguration
January 20th, 2009
03:54 PM ET

Battered Liberal Syndrome

The president signed three documents soon after his swearing in Tuesday.

The president signed three documents soon after his swearing in Tuesday.

Bob Shrum
The Week

Perhaps there is something in the soul of Democrats, scarred by the stolen election of 2000 and a close loss in 2004, that anticipates setback. Call it Battered Liberal Syndrome. This time, it’s not electoral defeat Democrats fear, but a devaluation of last November’s victory, a scenario in which progressive policy is undermined and Democratic dreams are once again deferred.

A number of liberal bloggers and columnists, most notably the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, worry, hint or state outright that Obama appears to be selling his mandate short. Their indictment of the stimulus—or recovery plan, as Obama prefers to call it—is that the plan is both less efficient and less fair because it includes tax cuts. Then there’s Obama’s reluctance to pledge to investigate and prosecute a wide array of misconduct in the Bush administration. Obama is reproved for his resolve to focus on the future, not the past. At the least, dissenters on the left insist, he should establish a truth finding panel, with subpoena power, to rake through the Bush detritus and expose it to the world.


Filed under: Bob Shrum • Democrats • Inauguration
January 20th, 2009
03:34 PM ET

Obama's moment

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

Tuesday a week ago, I was asked what I thought would happen the following Tuesday, on Inauguration Day.

What’s important, I replied, is what happens the next day; on Wednesday, when the euphoria of the previous day’s swearing-in and that night’s celebration recede to memory and President Obama has what I must imagine will be . . . THAT moment.

How can there not be THAT moment, when the new President, no matter how celebrated his focus and calm, looks around the Oval Office, puts his hands on the massive desk before him and exhales a long breath as the enormity and gravity of the job sets in?


Filed under: Barack Obama • David Schechter • Inauguration
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