President Obama brought change to Washington this year when he was inaugurated as the 44th President on January 20th. He immediately set to work on reversing the obstructionist policies of the Bush Administration, beginning with the closure of Guantanamo Bay. His ambitious healthcare reform is set to become law next year, and will leave the President will several other big issues to solve- the economy, climate change and the war in Afghanistan.
Speaker Pelosi has cast waves since she was elected to the Speakership in 2006. Her strict and successful leadership has resulted in many key legislative issues passing in the House of Representatives. She turned heads this year when she accused the CIA of lying about torture techniques, causing outrage from the Republican Party. Once again, her information and judgement was proved right. Pelosi is President Obama’s right-hand political woman, and she will have an equally influential part to play in 2010 with the continuing issues of climate change and employment.
George Stephanopoulos, once Communications Director for President Clinton caused his own headlines earlier this month when it was announced he would be moving to anchor Good Morning America. One wonders what the move will do to Stephanopoulos’s career, and if political Sunday mornings will ever be the same again!
Diane Sawyer, (whose seat Stephanopolous now occupies) announced that she would be moving to anchor the Nightly News on ABC earlier this autumn. Only the second woman to currently present the evening news (Katie Couric of CBS being the first,) Sawyer will start later this month.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R:ME) is currently being courted by both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate. The reason why? Healthcare. Snowe cast the only Republican vote in the Senate Finance Committee to support healthcare reform, breaking away from the rest of her party. Obama needs her vote to declare the legislation bi-partisan.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hit the ground running as she began her new position this year. Visiting countries such as the UK, Pakistan, Russia and Afghanistan, Clinton certainly has many of the world’s issues on her agenda. She has proven to be a successful choice for President Obama, and once again quelled rumours that she would be running for another election- this time, the Governor of New York.
The Queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey shocked audiences this autumn when she announced her award-winning and legendary show will be her last for ABC. Deciding to move to her own network as well as concentrating on other projects, the line-up for Oprah’s next career move is certainly one we will all be watching.
The passing of Senator Ted Kennedy this summer certainly did not come as a shock. The Lion of the Senate, champion of human rights, education, and healthcare amongst others was the voice of the people. His fearless and tireless campaigning for affordable and quality healthcare for all was spurred on by the Democratic Party, supporters and allies and its passing will be a memory to his legacy.