TPMDC Morning Roundup

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Obama Becomes President Today
Barack Obama will take the oath of office at 12 p.m. ET, officially becoming President of the United States. After the inauguration ceremony, he will then head to the Capitol to officially sign the certificates of nomination for his cabinet officers.

Obama Praises McCain As An “American Hero”
Barack Obama paid tribute to his former political rival at a dinner last night in Washington. “And there are few Americans who understand this need for common purpose and common effort better than John McCain,” said Obama. “It is what he has strived for and achieved throughout his life. It is built into the very content of his character.”

Poll: Public Approves Rick Warren Pick For Invocation
A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that 61% of Americans approve of Barack Obama’s selection of conservative preacher Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Approval spread broadly across partisan self-identification, with 66% of Democrats and 60% of both Republicans an independents saying they supported it.

Cheney Injures Himself, Will Attend Inauguration In Wheelchair
Dick Cheney pulled a back muscle yesterday while moving boxes into his new home in Virginia, the White House said yesterday. He will be attending tomorrow’s inauguration in a wheelchair, which he will be using for the next few days.

GOP Looking On The Bright Side
Roll Call reports that Republicans are looking at the silver linings of today’s big event. “I think that this is a milestone on civil rights,” said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), “something I’ve always been concerned about as a member of a minority religion, and a great believer in the Constitution and equal protection.”

Durbin: We Are All The Land Of Lincoln Now
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has a new guest op-ed in The Hill, celebrating Barack Obama’s election and its place as a new milestone in American history. “We are proud in Illinois to call our state the Land of Lincoln,” Durbin writes. “But on Nov. 4, all of America became the Land of Lincoln.”

Obama To Spend First Full Day In Office On Foreign Policy
The Washington Post reports that Barack Obama will dive headlong into foreign policy on his first full day in office tomorrow, no longer having to honor the convention of a president-elect not interfering with a lame-duck president’s authority. Among other things, Obama will appoint George Mitchell as his envoy to the Middle East, will convene a meeting of the National Security Council, and by the end of the week will issue his executive order to begin the process of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

AP: 9/11 Victims’ Families Object To Closing Gitmo
In an indication that there will be no such thing as a political free lunch, the Associated Press reports that some relatives of 9/11 victims are vocally objecting to closing Gitmo. “Though the wheels are grinding, they are turning here and this place must remain open and justice must be served,” said Andrew Arias, whose brother was killed in the attacks.

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