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Obama Huddles With House Democrats

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) met behind closed doors with the entire House Democratic Caucus Tuesday evening, emphasizing his plan to reach out to congressional Democrats, both during his campaign and his presumptive administration.

Members described an upbeat session marked by calls for unity. The one note of discord came when Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asked whether Obama planned to implement a "Team of Rivals" strategy in selecting his Cabinet. Specifically, Schiff asked whether Obama might keep Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current post, prompting a chorus of boos and hisses from the assembled Democrats. Obama responded that he was focused on getting elected before he would consider such decisions.

During the hour-long session in the Cannon Caucus Room, according to members who were present Obama touched on subjects ranging from Iran and FISA to energy policy and Justice Department malfeasance.

Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-Nev.) said that Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) had asked Obama about his stance on the current state of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. "If the Iranians don't accept a deal now because they think they're going to get a better deal from the next president, they're mistaken," Obama responded, according to Berkley.

Obama was particularly pointed in discussing recent reports of partisanship and other malfeasance at the Justice Department. "He said his first order of business will be to direct his attorney general to find out what's gone wrong there," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

"There were no surprises," said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.). Asked whether the subject of Obama's vice-presidential search came up, Ackerman said: "Are you kidding? There were 230 vice presidents in the room."

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) said after the meeting that Obama reminded him of the last Democratic occupant of the White House. "It's very similar in manner to dealing with President Clinton. There isn't a thing that he can't answer, any question he can't just wow you with in terms of his answer," Kennedy said.

After a brief photo-op following the meeting, Obama walked to the elevator with his arm around Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the two of them smiling and laughing. Pelosi seemed to say her farewell as Obama entered an elevator, then after a moment's hesitation, jumped into the car with him just before the door closed.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 29, 2008; 8:10 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Dem. Leaders , House  
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Comments

If looking at the culture of corruption for defects the most outstanding one to me is Conflict of Interest. This concept denied or neglected by current administration has proven to lead to castrophic failures.

Whether we are talking about the origins of the United Mine Workers Union as Mine Inspectors being in bed with the owners leading to mine diasters through explosions. Or talking about waste and mismanagement through current DOD contracts we are seeing the results of conflict of interest, failures. So, Stevens being too close to Industry in his home state is one more failure not incorporating public service or Quality Management sciences into federal agencies, the Whitehouse and Congress for that matter.

Am wondering if Stevens is still in the position to control the purse strings of the GOP purse too ? Where is there is conflict of interest it is usually widespread in my experience.

In addition, I see failures by the OSC as well an office tasked with accepting and investigation complaints of conflict of Interest upholding the Whistle-blower's Law with several other pieces of Federal legislation designed to protect Uncle Sam against numerous forms of corruption especially through conscentious federal employees be they FBI Agents, FDA Scientists or Legislative assistants.

I see numerous system failures which were designed to protect the people as well as the Federal Attorney General's responsibility as the Number One Law Enforcement Agent of the United States of America.

Posted by: Mark W. | July 29, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The only way millions of Americans will vote for Obama, is if Pelosi were to resign!

Posted by: Bill | July 30, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Bill said: The only way millions of Americans will vote for Obama, is if Pelosi were to resign!

I am slightly amused at your sarcasm. But millions of Americans are going to vote for Obama anyway. Surely you can't think that only McCain will have millions voting for him. Now whether or not Obama will win is a different matter. I certainly hope he does... we definitely need change.

Posted by: LL | July 30, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The public has such little respect for Pelosi and still want to know how she ever got the speaker job. Obama is her selected one and we all know it.

Posted by: Hedy | July 30, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

NO MATTER WHAT AMERICANS SAY OR DO ---- YOU MEDIA PERSONNEL WILL HYPE THE HELL OUT OF OBAMA. LET'S FACE IT --- YOU WANT CHANGE AND CHANGE YOU'LL GET WITH THIS EMPTY SUIT. GO GET HIM ELECTED AND THEN BUY YOURSELVES CRYING TOWELS BECAUSE YOU'LL NEED THEM. AS A CONSERVATIVE SENIOR --- I HAVE RESIGNED MYSELF TO STRUGGLING THROUGH THE NEXT FOUR YEARS UNTIL WE VOTE THE BUM OUT. MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU WITH YOUR STUPIDITY. AMEN. REV. RICHARD

Posted by: REV. RICHARD ANDRESKI | July 30, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh how cozy. I hope we conservatives step up and play hardball. It is time to stop pussy-footin' around. The junior senator reminds me of a spoiled, adolescent, rich kid who is really full of himself. That is dangerous.

Look at his record or lack thereof by going on to, www.projectvotesmart.com. He's all fluff and no substance and has no sense of loyalty to his constituents. He has more 'NV' than 'Yea' or 'Nay' votes. Help us dear God!!!!

Posted by: vicki | July 30, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The most important first step a President makes is his initial appointments to the cabinet, etc. No one really knows much about what this candidate will do. Everything depends on whom he selects to advise him.

Posted by: Lettie | July 30, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING!!!

I have really never been that involved in politics, just voted either independent or democrat.

I never voted for GOD BUSH.. but I did do research and KNEW that he DODGED THE DRAFT during Vietnam. That along with is college days, and business failures.. did not recommend him to me.

Politics is about media coverage, image, saying the right thing to the people at the right time. Telling people LIES to get their votes.. it is about taking money from your friends and enemies, it is about PAYBACK for favors once you are elected.

KING OBAMA will more than likely be elected PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. But it will be a kingdom.

This man has no substance, he travels in Europe ACTING like is already KING OF THE UNITED STATES. He has sit down meetings with the dems.. acting like the KING he wants to be. His ego has driven him to demonstrate how much he wants to be KING.

He is an excellent speaker, but has no substance.. The killer for me was when he did not visit the wounded vets on his trip to Germany. That was disrespect for Veterans and the wounded.

He has shown disrespect for America by attending sermons by VIPER WRIGHT. (Amazing that this individual is NO LONGER IN THE MEDIA.)

Anything negative that occurs in the OBAMA FAMILY is reported and passed off as a one time thing.

King Obama claims he was raised by a single mom, yet he DID NOT visit her on her death bed. He touts his upbringing.. but guess what his grandmother was a vice president of a bank in Hi.

He is a typical politician. he uses the
little guy to accomplish his goals... but he is truly connected to the rich, the elite of America.

BEWARE THE BLACK WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.

Posted by: Miller51550 | July 30, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The entire GOP have been blamed for everything from the gas shortage to global warming when in reality the hatred for George Bush by many top liberals such as Pelosi, Durbin, Kennedy,& Reid has blinded & contaminated the DNP. They will stoop to any means to elect a democratic suit, any suit to sit in the presidential chair just to fulfill their egotisms.

Posted by: James Whitmore | July 30, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

WE STILL DON'T GET IT. THE MAN IS SMART AND GOOD LOOKING. THAT MAKES HIM UNELECTABLE. BE CAREFUL MIC ROMNEY, YOU TOO ARE SMART AND GOOD LOOKING. WE WILL JUST BLAME IT ON YOUR RELIGION. OBAMA IS A PROBLEM, HE IS HALF BLACK, THAT IS HIS ARROGANT SIDE, THE SMART SIDE IS FROM HIS WHITE MOTHER. AS FOR POLOSI, SHE IS A WOMAN AND AN ITALIAN. THAT MAKEKS HER UNPREDICTABLE AND MAYBE TOO SLICK. OF COURSE BILL CLINTON WAS GOOD LOOKING, MAYBE PART BLACK, SMART AND SLICK. THAT WAS A CONFUSING MIXTURE. HE WAS A TRUE AMERICAN, A MUT.

Posted by: JANE | July 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with many others here - I strongly dislike Nancy Pelosi. She needs to be booted from her job as Speaker of the House. She couldn't even handle an interview with Jon Stewart! She's horribly scattered - and can't keep her thoughts straight. She comes across as a ding-bat. How did she get the job to begin with? Surely, we have other talented women who can hold this position and do it justice. Pelosi is just not the one!

Posted by: Lucy | July 30, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama should be careful to respect Iranian senstivities in making references to his likely foreign policy if he wins in November. The Iranian people are very proud, and they have much to be proud about. The swagger and arrogance of George W. Bush have been decidedly counter-productive. Condoleezza Rice comes across poorly also, all too often, in my opinion.

Why is Brian Williams' interview earlier this week with Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad getting so little attention? It is not to be missed.

Posted by: James Canning Seattle WA | July 30, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I am sure all Democrats must have been wondering sitting there that why they did not elect Barack obama as their presidential nominee instead of John Kerry in 2004. Today they all could be discussing his election for the second term!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Wonder what Pelosi and Reid are doing???

Posted by: vicki | August 7, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

wE HAD A KING AND A COURT AT ONE TIME IN THIS COUNTRY, THANK GOODNESS AND THE THEIR SELFLESS DECISIONS STILL POSITIVLY AFFECT US TIL THIS DAY.
IF YOU LOST NO MONEY IN THIS LAST BANKING DEBACLE, SAY THANK YOU MR. ROOSEVELT.
IF YUU ARE RECIEVING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK WHEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES ARE BEING CUT, SAY THANK YOU MR. ROOSEVELT.
IF YOU'RE STILL GETTIING CHEAP ELECTRIC POWER FROM HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER AND NUCLEUR ENERGY, SAY THANK YOU MR. ROOSEVELT.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HANG-ON TO YOUR HOME , FARM OR REAL ESTATE FOR MORE THAN TWO GAENERATIONS, SAY THANK YOU MR. ROOSEVELT.
THE LIST COULD GO ON FOREVER BUT WE HAD THAT CODDLED, SPOILED, ELITEST IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND HIS COURT IN CONGRESS , AND THE SUPREME COURT LONG ENOUGH TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY AND THE WORLD FROM THE ABYSS OF A REPUBLICAN INCOMPETENCE THAT HAS BEEN REPEATED AGAIN IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS. WE CAN ONLY HOPE THAT KING OBAMA IS ABLE TO FIND ENOUGH GOOD AND SMART MEN TO FILL HIS COURT AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SMART ENOUGH TO PUT THEM IN OFFICE`

Posted by: ROBAERT TABOR | August 16, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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