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New Zoo

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

"You could have fun with this," writes a well-known Washington figure who shall remain anonymous, forwarding word that John Berry, the National Zoo director since 2005, has reportedly accepted President-elect Barack Obama's offer to become the next director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Now, instead of caring for 2,400 zoo animals, many of them endangered species, Mr. Berry will care for hundreds of thousands of federal employees, many of them endangered species.


So the big question now is how to follow Barack Obama into the Oval Office?

If you don't get there by winning enough electoral votes, Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, identifies the "Top Five Colleges to Attend if You Want to be in the President's Cabinet."

1. University of California, Berkeley: Alumni have presided over several Cabinet positions, most recently Steven Chu for the Department of Energy.

2. Yale and Georgetown (tie): Yale's Law School is famous for producing high-quality politicians and advisers; Georgetown's foreign services, business and law programs are similarly tailored for future politicos.

3. Indiana University: Big surprise, Indiana boasts four alumni in Cabinet positions since 2001.

4. University of Denver: No surprise for those in the business and political world. Condoleezza Rice remains the most famous alumna.

5. Harvard: More alumni in Cabinet positions than Yale, Princeton, Stanford and MIT combined.


Black Enterprise founder and publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. is pleased to point out that Barack Obama first appeared on the cover of his magazine in October 2004 as a relatively unknown politico running for the U.S. Senate.

The foretelling headline: "The Next Big Thing in Politics."

Still, Mr. Graves now admits, "Who among us -- especially those of my generation -- ever dared believe than an American of African heritage would ascend to the highest office in the land in our lifetime?"

The magazine endorsed Mr. Obama with a second cover in January 2008, well before the end of a divisive Democratic primary season. The candidate was back on the cover for a third time in November, next to a pre-election headline: "Yes We Must!"


"Elan: The Guide to Global Muslim Culture" has just published a special U.S. inaugural edition distributed throughout the United States and Muslim countries, including Pakistan.

Cover headline: "Muslim World Embraces Obama."

Among those penning commentaries about the impact of Barack Obama on the Muslim world are Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, and civil rights leader Benjamin F. Chavis Muhammad.

"The release of Elan's inauguration edition at a time when the crisis in the Middle East remains unsettled provides Elan with the timely opportunity to offer an independent all-inclusive forum for Muslims to express the diversity of their views on a plethora of everyday concerns," says Editor-in-Chief Nida Khan.


A press release issued by Maine Republican Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, senior member of the Select Committee on Intelligence: "Senator Snowe ... went on to praise the Obama administration's call for a clean break from many of the controversial Bush administration policies."

The senator's comments came after she had huddled this week with retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair, the former commander in chief of the Pacific Command now nominated to become the director of National Intelligence.

During the meeting, the senator pressed the Maine-born admiral to reaffirm a disengagement from many of the Bush administration's "abhorrent policies," as she called them.


It will be the final Bush White House ceremony, although he will no longer be president. Referring to the simple departure ceremony scheduled for George W. Bush in an airplane hangar at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland.

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009

Time: 1:20 p.m.

Coverage: Open press, remarks

Destination: Texas

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