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Transition Today – Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008

A roundup of news, schedules, and key stories from CBS News, written by Maria Gavrilovic:

President-elect Obama continues his vacation in Hawaii. There are no public events scheduled today. Vice President-elect Biden will spend the holidays in Wilmington, Delaware.


Chicago Sun-Times, "Emanuel wanted to keep his seat 'warm'": In addition to talking with Gov. Blagojevich about who would fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat, Obama's newly minted chief of staff had something else on his mind: his own congressional seat. Just after accepting the top post with Obama, Rahm Emanuel discussed with Blagojevich the possibility of keeping his congressional seat "warm" for him for a couple of years, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel expressed interest in returning one day to his elected position because he was on track to become U.S. House speaker, the Sun-Times previously reported.

Politico, "Obama's five rules of scandal response": Tuesday's report from the transition, detailing contacts between members of Obama's inner circle and embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and concluding that "nothing at all inappropriate" was discussed, won't be the final word on the subject—but it did provide some telling insight into the way the White House's new occupant will operate. Here are five rules of Obama scandal-management based on his team's handling of its first post-election crisis.

LATimes, "Obama team report says there was no dealing with Blagojevich over Senate seat": Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, instructed his staff this month to review all internal contacts with Blagojevich and his office. He said he was eager to release the report, but was asked to delay doing so by federal prosecutors. Still, because the report did not include actual transcripts of what was said, questions may linger.

CNN, "Poll: Illinois governor named naughtiest politician of 2008": Fifty-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Blagojevich, who has been arrested on corruption charges, was the naughtiest politician in 2008. The poll also found 23 percent believed former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer should get the nod, followed by 19 percent for former presidential candidate John Edwards.


USA Today, "Corporate sponsors pay for inauguration parties,": President-elect Barack Obama is not taking any corporate or federal lobbyist money to pay for his inauguration, but businesses and their lobbying arms are lining up to underwrite the celebrations surrounding his swearing-in Jan. 20. American Airlines donated $40,000 to a Jan. 19 ball sponsored by the Illinois State Society, which represents Obama's home state. Chicago-based utility Exelon is donating $80,000 to the Illinois ball and a separate gala for Pennsylvania powerbrokers.

Washington Post, "The Only Facts So Far: 10 Balls, 5 Locations": The Presidential Inaugural Committee -- trumpets, please! -- is hosting 10 official balls on the night of Jan. 20. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the only parties where Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their wives are guaranteed to appear, albeit for a quick wave and onstage dance. Six of the balls will be held at the glamorous, escalator-studded Washington Convention Center. The other four will be at the National Building Museum, Union Station, the Washington Hilton Hotel and the D.C. Armory.

Washington Post, "Chertoff, Area Officials Discuss Plans": Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff met yesterday with the governors of Virginia and Maryland and the D.C. mayor as officials try to finalize plans for what could be record crowds at next month's historic presidential inauguration. Robert P. Crouch Jr., homeland security adviser to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.), said officials are wrestling with decisions on the inauguration transportation plan, which is likely to be released in the next 10 days or so. After New Year's Day, officials said, they expect to start "a lot of messaging to the public" to inform motorists of the limit on cars at the event, and bus drivers that they must obtain permits, Crouch said.

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