TPM News

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has dropped out of the California gubernatorial race, citing unspecified family obligations.

"With a young family and responsibilities at City Hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to - and should be - done," Newsom said in a statement.

Newsom had trailed the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, state Attorney General and former Governor Jerry Brown, in both poll numbers, organizational support and fundraising. With Newsom now out of the race, Brown's road to the Democratic nomination -- and perhaps even to to the governor's mansion after a 28-year absence -- is now that much clearer.

Late Update: The Los Angeles Times seems to put this development down to a lack of support for Newsom's candidacy:

Although Newsom had been effectively running for more than a year, his campaign never gained much traction. Even in his hometown, which Newsom touted as a model of cutting-edge policies, his candidacy was widely derided among civic insiders.

Perhaps most telling was the absence of support from the major San Francisco donors who helped underwrite Newsom's successful campaigns in the city. He also drew relatively few endorsements from the ranks of his fellow elected officials.

Dick Cheney told FBI investigators he wasn't happy when Scott McClelllan, then the White House press secretary, publicly told reporters that Karl Rove wasn't the source of the Plame leak.

From the just-released documents:

The Vice President was not happy about it, as it appeared that the White House press office was putting down markers for some individuals and not for others. Specifically, Vice President Cheney believed that fairness dictated that similar disqualifying statements should be made to the media on behalf of Libby and Elliot Abrams of the NSC, both of whom were the speculative targets of leak allegations by the media that week.

In other words, Cheney wanted Libby and Abrams exonerated in addition to Rove.

Of course, we now know that both Rove and Libby did leak Plame's name to reporters, though not to Novak.

Going through the names of visitors to the White House released this evening, TPMDC has spotted several A-listers.

Oprah Winfrey was at the White House on Inauguration Day, when President Obama had a private party with close friends.

Feb. 17 she met with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House residence.

Academy Award Winner Denzel Washington, who was among the emcees at the Lincoln Memorial concert inauguration weekend, was at the White House either May 7 or May 9. The White House says one of the visitors is a "false positive" of someone with the same name.

Tennis great Serena Williams was among the visitors to the White House on July 14, July 24 and July 27. On one of those visits she was in the White House residence.

Actor Hill Harper, a close personal friend of Obama's who appeared with him on the campaign trail in Iowa, was at the White House May 12 and May 14. On the first visit he met with the president.

Some of these celebs have been reported either by eagle-eyed reporters or released via photos by the official White House photographers.

Worth noting the records are not exhaustive - they only reflect the names requested via Freedom of Information Act the new disclosure policy. Corrected.

According to those just-released visitor logs, Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chair who many blame for laying policy groundwork that contributed to the financial crisis, has visited the Obama White House six times in the past nine months.

Those included a one-on-one visit with top Obama economic aide Larry Summers and two meetings with Peter Orszag, accompanied by one other visitor.

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Newly released White House visitors logs show Al Gore has returned to his former offices on Pennsylvania Ave. four times since President Obama moved in back in January. The meetings were not all publicly disclosed in advance.

The former vice president didn't come to see fellow his fellow Nobel laureate in the Oval Office. Gore stopped off at the White House on April 6-8 and visited climate czar John Holdren twice in April and White House staffers Kate Brandt and Brian Jung.

Dick Cheney told FBI investigators that his response to hearing that Joe Wilson had been sent to Niger to assess whether Saddam had tried to buy yellow-cake was that it was "amateur hour" at the CIA.

That's according to a summary of the FBI's interview with Cheney, which was conducted as part of Pat Fitzgerald's investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame's name. The document was just released by the Justice Department, thanks to a lawsuit by CREW.

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On the final weekend of the Virginia gubernatorial contest, GOP nominee Bob McDonnell is turning to one of the Republican party's biggest names to help him rally the vote. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) will join McDonnell at a rally in vote-rich Northern Virginia.

A former RNC chair, Barbour led the party when the GOP swept the 1994 elections and ended decades of Democratic control in the Congress. He lands in Virginia just days before McDonnell is expected to end nearly a decade of Democratic control of the governor's mansion.

Barbour currently leads the Republican Governors Association, the group that will welcome McDonnell as it's brightest new star if current polls prove to be true on Election Day.

The GOP contingent on a Senate environmental committee will boycott a hearing aimed at moving a bill limiting carbon emissions toward final passage next week.

Environment and Public Works Committee chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has scheduled a markup hearing on the cap-and-trade bill for Tuesday. The markup process is a key step before a bill leaves committee on its way to an eventual floor vote. All seven Republicans on Boxer's committee, led by ranking member Sen. James Inhfe (R-OK) will not attend Boxers hearing, and will instead hold a separate shadow hearing of their own focused on slowing down the cap-and-trade bill.

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Who has bent President Obama's ear? Or huddled with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel?

The White House just posted nearly 500 records. Check it out here, and TPMDC will update readers as we go through the names.

Norm Eisen, special counsel to Obama on ethics, detailed the release in a blog post and said the 110 requests cover from January 20, 2009 to July 31, 2009.

Eisen writes:

There's an important lesson here as well. This unprecedented level of transparency can sometimes be confusing rather than providing clear information.

A lot of people visit the White House, up to 100,000 each month, with many of those folks coming to tour the buildings. Given this large amount of data, the records we are publishing today include a few "false positives" - names that make you think of a well-known person, but are actually someone else. In September, requests were submitted for the names of some famous or controversial figures (for example Michael Jordan, William Ayers, Michael Moore, Jeremiah Wright, Robert Kelly ("R. Kelly"), and Malik Shabazz). The well-known individuals with those names never actually came to the White House. Nevertheless, we were asked for those names and so we have included records for those individuals who were here and share the same names.

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