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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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pop lead

August 15th, 2013
06:33 PM ET

Memories of White House butler who served for 34 years

How often can you say, 'He served in the White House for 34 years?' No president can ever say that. But the late Eugene Allen could.

Allen served eight presidents and bore witness to some of the most powerful figures and tumultuous times in U.S. history - often while wearing a tuxedo!

He mixed and mingled with legends. And he's about to become a legend himself. Allen's unique and fascinating life inspired the movie "The Butler."

It hits the box office this weekend and has "Oscar-nominations" written all over it, which is no surprise given the powerful story.

Long after he retired, Allen and his wife got the chance to vote for an African American president. But she died the day before the 2008 election. And he voted alone.

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian visited Allen's son to learn more about this quiet man whose story is finally being told.

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Filed under: Pop Lead

politics lead

August 15th, 2013
06:31 PM ET

Analysis: Does the GOP need more or less navel-gazing?

"Stop navel-gazing." That was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's advice to his fellow Republicans, who for months have been talking about revamping the party's image.

At Republican National Committee meeting in Boston Thursday, Christie also took swings at potential rivals for the 2016 Republican nomination, saying, "I'm not going to be one of these people who goes and calls our party stupid."

Many believe Christie's comments were aimed at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, also a 2016 presidential candidate, who once said the GOP has to stop being stupid.

"The point that Chris Christie was trying to make was that we have to be in a party that is about ideas, we have to describe what it is that we're for," said CNN political contributor and former adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign Kevin Madden.

national lead

August 15th, 2013
06:14 PM ET

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's latest accuser is a great-grandmother

SAN DIEGO (CNN) - The latest person to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment is a great-grandmother.

The woman, who works at the Senior Citizens Service Desk in San Diego City Hall, allegedly faced "continuous inappropriate sexual advances by the mayor while trying to do her job," according to the office of her attorney, Gloria Allred.

An announcement, including the woman's identity, is planned for Thursday afternoon.

She is the 16th woman to come forward with such allegations, according to CNN affiliate KFMB.


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Filed under: National Lead

buried lead

August 15th, 2013
06:13 PM ET

Reality show on Mars: Thousands compete for ticket to red planet

It's the true story of four strangers, picked to live in a pod and be sent on a one way mission to Mars to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.

Thousands of people have sent in audition tapes to a Dutch non-profit that hopes to send four people to a human colony on Mars.

The project will be funded, in part, by a reality show that could make "Revenge of the Nerds" look like "Entourage."

CNN's Erin McPike reports.

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Filed under: Buried Lead

national lead

August 15th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

Father of sick girl to Gov. Christie: Legalize medical marijuana for kids

A New Jersey father confronted Gov. Chris Christie with a painful plea Thursday: "Don't let my daughter die."

Brian Wilson was talking about his two-year-old daughter Vivian, who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a form of epilepsy that causes seizures.

"Every day is a struggle with Vivian, not knowing what kind of seizure she faces for that day, if she's going to have one that sends her to the hospital," Wilson said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

The Wilsons lobbied New Jersey state legislators, who quickly passed new legislation to make it easier for kids to access the state's legal medical marijuana system. But the bill has been sitting on Christie's office for nearly two months.

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