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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Democratic Chatter 12-18-2008

George Wenschhof Bio

President-elect Barack Obama to hold another press conference today at 10:45 AM ET - It is anticipated the remaining two Cabinet positions will be named. Representative Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) is expected to be named Secretary of Transportation. He had announced his retirement after serving seven terms in Congress. LaHood will also be the second Republican named to the Cabinet. The NY Times Caucus Blog has more here.

The two leading candidates for Secretary of Labor are Harley Shaiken and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). It is reported Ms. DeLauro is in route to Chicago. The Wall Street Journal Blog has more here.

Mary Schapiro is also expected to be named as the Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She is a former SEC Commissioner. has more here. Obama is also set to announce Daniel Tarullo, one of his economic advisers, to fill an open seat on the Federal Reserve Board. has more here.

Gary Gensler will be named to head the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He served as Treasury undersecretary under the Clinton administration. Recently, he was an economic adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign for President. He was also a former Treasurer of the Maryland Democratic Party. has more here.


"Blago watch" - The Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear motion made by Attorney General Lisa Madigan to declare Governor Rod Blagojevich unfit for office. Nice try by the Attorney General, but everyone knew the request was quite a stretch. The Chicago Tribune has more here.

Ed Genson, the Governor's defense attorney made requests from the newly formed impeachment committee and all were turned down. he asked that a special prosecutor be appointed, the state to pay the defense fees, and for three members of the impeachment committee be removed due to they had already let their views be known to the public. The Chicago Tribune has more here.

The Governor says he wants to address the voters of Illinois and may speak as early as today. has more here.

Obama transition team anxious to release internal report on contacts by staff with the Governor as talk continues to swirl around incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Prosecutors have asked the Obama team to delay release of their report until December 22. has more here.


Auto Bailout update - Chrysler to double length of time 30 plants will shut down over the holidays. 46,000 employees to be affected as the shut down period will be increased from two to four weeks. Ford is also adding a week to their normal holiday shut down to 10 plants. has more here.

Meanwhile, President Bush has said he wants an agreement on the bailout with the auto industry by Christmas and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is working hard to meet that timetable. The NY Times has more here.


Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren picked by Obama to give Inauguration Invocation - you may recall him as the moderator for the Saddleback Church Forum, which occurred August 16 during the campaign. Warren interviewed Obama and McCain separately and I live blogged during the interviews here. It was obvious that both Obama and McCain had a good rapport with Warren.

Gay activists are expressing dissatisfaction with the pick as Warren opposed same-sex marriage in California. has more here.


President George W. Bush invites President-elect Barack Obama and former Presidents for Lunch - who wouldn't want to be the fly on the wall at this luncheon? Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush will all attend the luncheon planned for January 7. The NY Times has more here.


Plan for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq presented to President-elect - Generals David Petraus and Ray Odierno presented a plan to defense Secretary Robert Gates which calls for a partial withdraw in 2009 and the majority of the withdraw to take place after May of 2010. Gates has presented to Obama who has consistently said he has wanted a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq within 18 months of his assuming office. The NY Times has more here.


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