Today: Obama’s First Full Day In Office
President Obama has a full day ahead of him on both the foreign and domestic policy fronts. He’ll be meeting today with Sec. of Defense Robert Gates and multiple high-ranking military officials to discuss his dual goals of withdrawing from Iraq and increasing the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan, and will have another meeting with his economic team to discuss his stimulus package.
Hillary’s Confirmation At State Expected Today
The Senate is expected to vote today to confirm Hillary Clinton’s nomination to be Secretary of State. The nomination was held up yesterday by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who objected to a unanimous approval and instead secured an open debate and a recorded vote for today.
More Litigation In Minnesota Today
The three-judge panel appointed to hear Norm Coleman’s lawsuit against the Minnesota election result is meeting at 3:30 p.m. ET to hear arguments in Al Franken’s motion to dismiss the case. A full dismissal seems unlikely, but it is quite possible that the court could dismiss some of Coleman’s individual claims, and then proceed to trial on the pared-down suit.
Geithner Confirmation Starts Today
Timothy Geithner’s confirmation hearing to be Secretary of the Treasury begins today. The Senate Finance Committee appears to be pulled in two directions — Geithner’s reputation for competence and the need to install an economic team quickly, versus the embarrassment of Geithner’s own personal tax problems — but he is still expected to be confirmed with some Republican support.
Obama Seeks Pause In Gitmo Trials
President Obama has already ordered prosecutors at Guantanamo Bay to request a 120-day freeze in the military trials, as the new administration reviews and likely changes the policies involved. Said one of the defense attorneys: “We welcome our new commander-in-chief and this first step towards restoring the rule of law.”
Paterson: I Still Haven’t Decided On Senate Pick
In an interview with CBS News yesterday evening, Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) said he still hasn’t decided who he will appoint to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, but that it will happen in the next few days. Paterson said he was picking from among “10 or 11” candidates, all of whom he found to be impressive as individuals.
Obama On The Oath: “We’ve Got A Lot Of Stuff On Our Minds”
In an interview with ABC News, President Obama sought peace and reconciliation on the issue of the awkward rendering of the oath of office yesterday by Chief Justice Roberts and himself. “Well, listen, I think we were up there, we’ve got a lot of stuff on our minds and he actually, I think, helped me out on a couple of stanzas there,” said Obama. “Overall, I think it went relatively smoothly and I’m very grateful to him.”