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Quick Takes

By Dan Froomkin
11:42 AM ET, 01/30/2009

Jeff Zeleny and Carl Hulse write in the New York Times: “President Obama and his advisers have approached Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, about becoming commerce secretary, a step that could open the way to significant shift in the balance of power in Congress.”

The Associated Press reports: “He won the fight to keep it. Now, Barack Obama is putting his beloved BlackBerry to work. Upon returning to the White House on Thursday morning after a trip to his younger daughter’s school for a class presentation, the president walked along the West Wing Colonnade toward the Oval Office while looking down at the electronic communicating device he held in both hands.”

The BBC reports: “A sculpture of an enormous bronze-coloured shoe has been erected in Iraq to honour the journalist who threw his shoes at ex-US President George W Bush.”

Frank James reports for Tribune that Bush “made his first public appearance Wednesday night, attending a Baylor versus Oklahoma women’s basketball game. The ex-president got a warm reception.”

Kathleen Parker writes in her Washington Post opinion column that “the new president is sounding an awful lot like the old one.” How exactly? “Obama and Bush each mistakenly assumed that his election was a national mandate for his policies, rather than a rejection of alternatives.”

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