February 25th, 2010
08:33 AM ET

Video: Jack Hanna on Sea World terror

Jessica Yellin | BIO
CNN Political Correspondent

Jack Hanna shares his expertise on the fatal killer whale attack of a Sea World trainer in Orlando.

Filed under: Jessica Yellin
February 24th, 2010
10:50 AM ET

Video: School fires every teacher

Jessica Yellin | BIO
CNN Political Correspondent

Filed under: Education • Jessica Yellin
September 21st, 2009
09:11 PM ET

Why are some politicians forgiven in sex scandals?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/21/politicians.sex.scandals/art.eliotspitzer.gi.jpg]

Jessica Yellin
CNN National Political Correspondent

Damning new allegations about former Sen. John Edwards' extramarital affair are coming out - this time, the claims could spell the end of Edwards' political career.

While the U.S. has a tradition of forgiveness, politicians seem able to gain forgiveness from the public and come back after just about anything. As long as the offender apologizes, gets punished and seems to suffer along the way, they are forgiven.

Edwards admitted to having an affair with former 2008 presidential campaign worker Rielle Hunter. He did a mea culpa.

"In 2006, two years ago, I made a very serious mistake. A mistake that I am responsible for and no one else," he said during an interview with ABC News' "Nightline."

"I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness, asked God for his forgiveness," he said.

But now he's getting the front page New York Times treatment.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Jessica Yellin • Raw Politics
April 10th, 2009
12:15 PM ET

Gitmo closing faster than expected?

Jessica Yellin
CNN National Political Correspondent

Jokes aside about how boring the supplemental budget appropriation might be, I found a surprising detail.

President Obama asking for 30m to close Gitmo. And 5m for terrorism prosecutions. Seems to give a sense of his timetable for closing the place: this funding is for between now and September. So this might give pause to critics who complain that President Obama is all talk and no plan.

More supplemental docs, including OMB’s letter, break down funding not just for Iraq and Afghanistan, but elsewhere – examples:

$800 million for the Palestinian Authority $800 million for UN peacekeeping, $400 million to fight financial crisis in developing countries and, yes, that $30 million for DOJ to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

Filed under: Guantanomo Bay • Jessica Yellin
March 23rd, 2009
02:31 PM ET

Geithner faces a tough crowd

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/23/art.getty.geithner.frustrat.jpg]

Jessica Yellin
CNN National Political Correspondent

Slouching alone at the head table before a room of business reporters today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looked like an overgrown prep school student facing the expulsion board. It wasn't what he said, but his demeanor as he said it. Cautious, gazing out from deep-set eyes - he seemed to shrink from the room. And the room was skeptical.

Geither unveiled the new "Public-Private Investment Program," in which taxpayer funds will be used to seed partnerships with private investors that will buy up toxic assets backed by mortgages and other loans.

When the secretary calmly said that taxpayers would get a fair shake in the deal because the funds in question "are managed by professionals who know how to do this for a living," one reporter could be heard sighing, "oh, great."

The wariness was mutual. Asked whether he thought this economic plan would play well outside Washington, Geithner offered a wry smile. "I'm confident that you and your colleagues will do a good job of getting the word out," he replied.

Geithner's presentation lasted just over 35 minutes, the bulk of that time answering reporters' questions - though no cameras or microphones were allowed. Most questions were along the lines of, "why do you think this will work?"


Filed under: Economy • Finance • Jessica Yellin • Treasury Secretary
February 11th, 2009
10:54 PM ET

The stimulus talks – behind closed doors

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/11/art.pelosi3.gi.jpg]Jessica Yellin
CNN National Political Correspondent

From a senior source in the room: The negotiators ate candied pretzels and drank diet coke. After complaints that the food wasn't so healthy they got fruit and cheese today.

Administration officials sat around the table with Senators and no staff. They worked on paper. No one had a laptop computer so it was all written on a pad and then input to the computer – which led to some confusion at times.

From four Democratic sources: Speaker Pelosi hit the roof when Sen. Reid went to microphone to announce the deal. Reid had called Pelosi in advance and she said, "do what you need to do." But she felt the deal wasn't done. When Reid got back to his office he was told Pelosi's furious. He called. They all walked over to Pelosi's office to work it out. One person present says that her people were angry so the Administration folks and Reid heard her out. The President then called Pelosi to say thanks for your support – ie, the train is leaving the station, let's all be on it. Pelosi was ready to go along and they moved on to resolve the final sticking points.

Now it's kumbaya and Reid, Pelosi and Obama are at the Ford Theater.

One administration official says the House leaders don't like the idea that they are being forced to accept terms dictated by a handful of Republican Senators. But that's a problem House Democrats will have going forward because they'll need the centrists on every big fight.

Also lots of House Dems are still smarting – the White House let them hang out there on their bill and they got rolled. But one Administration official says they've been reminded this is almost $800 billion more than they had when there was no deal....

More detail from one person present: they negotiated at a conference table in a room opposite Reid's office (inside his suite). At one point White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel took over one of Reid's aide's desks and was yelling at people, including Reid's staff 'till he said, "Oh you don't work for me; I can't yell at you." Lots of Emanuel running between the conference table room and Reid's office and making calls.

January 21st, 2009
12:18 PM ET

Rihanna at inaugural party

Rihanna tells CNN's Jessica Yellin what it was like to be in another country when President Obama was elected.

Filed under: Inauguration • Jessica Yellin
January 21st, 2009
12:10 PM ET

Shakira talks about Obama

Shakira tells CNN's Jessica Yellin why she thinks President Barack Obama is different from other politicians.

Filed under: Inauguration • Jessica Yellin
January 21st, 2009
12:05 PM ET

Josh Groban on meeting Obama

Josh Groban talks to CNN's Jessica Yellin at the RIAA/Feeding America inaugural party Tuesday night.

Filed under: Inauguration • Jessica Yellin
January 21st, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Stars party for the Obamas

David and Courtney Cox Arquette talk to CNN's Jessica Yellin about the Feeding America party on Tuesday night.

Filed under: Inauguration • Jessica Yellin
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