Happy Wednesday, everybody!
Welcome to the "Daily Briefing" for January 21, 2009. President Barack Obama's first full day in office has been fascinating. From the phone calls with world leaders to the meetings to the executive orders, this has been an incredible day at the White House.The Obama team has also had a few growing pains. Nothing serious, but, here's my favorite story from my favorite reporter.
We will kick off tonight's 6 p.m. show with my friend and colleague Chris Matthews. He and I will go through the iconic images of President Obama from today.
Also, Republican John McCain gave an incredible speech on the Senate floor this afternoon about the results of the election, the voice of the American people, and the need to work together with the new President. We will run part of that for you.
Later, Obama's Secretary of Treasury nominee Tim Geithner delivered several apologies this morning at his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate finance committee. A few of the Republicans were skeptical of his explanations for how he missed paying some taxes a few years back. In any case, Geithner's apologies seemed genuine and he is expected to get through the confirmation process without too many problems.
Hillary Clinton was confirmed today as the Obama administration's Secretary of State. We will talk about that and show you some of the pictures of President Obama's first National Security team meeting in office.
Plus, one of our favorite segments on the show is called "Hypocrisy Watch." We run it at 6:15 p.m. eastern each night. A few Republican Senators have earned a spot in our Hypocrisy Watch" based on their reported plans to grill CIA pick Leon Panetta over the practice known as "extraordinary rendition." That's the practice of taking terror suspects from one country to the next, without any judicial proceedings. Anyway, there are some questions about how often the Clinton administration engaged in the practice. The departing administration of George W. Bush expanded the practice exponentially with the cheerleading of many republicans. But, some of the GOP lawmakers have now decided to sing a different tune in their effort to cause trouble for Panetta. Amazing.
By the way, the D.C. police and Secret Service confirmed this morning there were zero arrests yesterday or last night in connection with the two million people who came to Washington, D.C. yesterday. Nobody should be surprised. The crowd was as happy, uplifting, and positive as you could possibly imagine. And the circumstances were not easy between the jammed metros, clogged streets, and etc.
We will take a look back tonight at the inauguration festivities, including the late night balls. Sally Quinn will join us with some of the best stories of the night. One of the coolest stories from the Obama's arrival at the white house involves Sasha and Malia and a terrific surprise that was waiting for them at the end of a scavenger hunt designed to help familiarize them with the building.
A terrific show is coming your way this evening and the pictures from the Obama White House today were amazing.
Our quote of the day comes from White House expert Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution in the aforementioned Bloomberg story above.
On the Obama team's first full day at the White House: "It's like the first day of school, it takes a day or two to settle down.”
"1600"airs at 6 p.m. in Potomac, Maryland, 5 p.m. in Springfield, Illinois, 4 p.m. in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and 3 p.m. in Sacramento, California.
Thanks for watching!