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Obama White House

August 1, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans are accusing President Obama's White House, and at least one key member of his reelection team, of breaking Obama's 2008 campaign promise to make the executive branch more transparent. The accusation is contained in a report, released Tuesday night by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which suggests that White House officials purposefully avoided disclosing key meetings and discussions by moving emails through personal accounts and taking off-campus meetings with lobbyists.
April 9, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
AUSTIN, Texas - President Obama has tried to model Abraham Lincoln's team of rivals and Teddy Roosevelt's power of the bully pulpit. He's lauded Ronald Reagan's communication skills and linked himself to the Kennedy clan. He's praised his onetime nemesis, George W. Bush, as well as his onetime adversary, Bill Clinton. But Obama has rarely cozied up to the predecessor some argue did more than any other modern president to pave the way for his election as the nation's first black president: Lyndon B. Johnson.
February 24, 2013 | By Christi Parsons
Tommy Vietor was the first youthful convert to pack his bags, leave home and sign on to the Barack Obama campaign, joining the Chicago operation before his boss, then running for the Senate, had even given the convention speech by which the rest of Democratic America would discover him. He rose from driver of a press van across rural Illinois to fixture of the White House situation room. Now, the 32-year-old is contemplating something new -- a future not working for Obama. Amid the high-level departures and appointments of Obama's second term, a quieter changing of the guard is taking place farther down the food chain.
March 31, 2014 | By Christi Parsons, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- When prominent Latino activists meet with President Obama, there's one White House staff member present whom many of them have known since she was a child. Julie Chavez Rodriguez grew up handing out leaflets and knocking on doors with her grandfather, Cesar Chavez, the activist whose campaign to organize farmworkers still inspires today's Latino leaders. As deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement, Rodriguez runs Obama's organizing efforts in support of immigration reform, and supervises Latino outreach.
October 25, 2009 | Tom Hamburger and Alexander C. Hart
The Obama White House, stepping in where other Democrats feared to tread, has launched a potentially risky fight with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- attempting to bypass the nation's most powerful business organization and develop independent ties to corporate America. In recent weeks, President Obama, his Energy secretary and one of his other most senior advisors have begun criticizing the chamber publicly, casting it as a profligate lobbying organization at odds with its members in opposing the administration on such issues as consumer protection and climate change.
November 20, 2009 | By Tom Hamburger and Alexander C. Hart
When Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, was under investigation last year for alleged financial misdeeds and inappropriate behavior with female students, he had an important ally behind the scenes. Michelle Rhee, the nationally known education reformer who is now head of the Washington, D.C., public schools, had several conversations with a federal inspector general in which she made the case for Johnson and the school he ran in Sacramento, according to the inspector general.
November 23, 2009 | By Katherine Skiba
What's the hottest ticket in the nation's capital? An engraved invitation to Tuesday's White House state dinner, the first hosted by President Obama. He and the first lady will honor India's prime minister. But in a departure from the traditional venue -- the elegant State Dining Room -- the Obamas will gather with a few hundred VIPs in a huge, heated tent on the South Lawn. The guest list for the black-tie gala remains a closely guarded secret. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will certainly be there.
March 30, 2011 | By Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times
After years as an outsider who watched in frustration as the U.S. failed to stop foreign atrocities, Samantha Power now is an influential White House insider in a position to try to help prevent mass killings and limit the influence of rogue leaders. Power is part of a small circle of presidential advisors shaping the U.S. approach to multiple crises rippling through the Middle East and North Africa. An outspoken author and academic before joining the Obama administration, she pressed in recent weeks for military intervention in Libya in the face of misgivings voiced by her superiors on the president's National Security Council.
March 15, 2010 | By James Oliphant
An early chance for the Obama administration to reshape the nation's judiciary -- and counter gains made in the federal courts by conservatives -- appears close to slipping away, due to a combination of White House inattention and Republican opposition. During President Obama's first year, judicial nominations trickled out of the White House at a far slower pace than in President George W. Bush's first year. Bush announced 11 nominees for federal appeals courts in the fourth month of his tenure.
June 20, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - Just as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was about to vote Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents in the flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking case, President Obama asserted executive privilege and backed up the attorney general's position in refusing to turn over the material. The fast-moving events Wednesday morning at the White House and on Capitol Hill significantly ratcheted up a growing constitutional clash between the two branches of the federal government, one that ultimately may not be resolved until it reaches the courts.
January 7, 2014 | By David S. Cloud, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - President Obama became progressively more pessimistic about prospects for a successful ending to the war in Afghanistan, goaded by inexperienced White House advisors and a dislike of Afghan President Hamid Karzai , according to his former Defense secretary, Robert M. Gates. In a forthcoming memoir that mixes strong praise with scathing criticism for Obama and his administration, Gates says Obama doubted his own policy after he decided to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan early in his first term.
December 10, 2013 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- With his approval ratings flagging and his healthcare law at risk, President Obama is bringing on board the Democratic advisor who helped guide President Clinton through the darkest days of his presidency. John Podesta, the former White House chief of staff from the Clinton impeachment period, has agreed to join Obama for a year as he tries to right his ship, according to a source familiar with the decision. The Democratic veteran arrives as the president scrambles to fix the troubled startup of the Affordable Care Act and to recover public support for his most important domestic achievement.
December 3, 2013 | By Christi Parsons, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
WASHINGTON - President Obama pushed back against Republican opposition to his healthcare law on Tuesday and pledged to make Obamacare work even if it takes the rest of his term. In an afternoon address at the White House, Obama accused GOP critics of trying to kill his reform law without offering any solutions to the long-standing problems of the American healthcare system. “My main message today is, 'We're not going back,'” Obama said. “That seems to be the only alternative that Obamacare's critics have.” “You've got good ideas?
November 8, 2013 | By David Horsey
President Obama's hollow promise that Americans who liked their own healthcare plans would not have to give them up under Obamacare may prove to be another tempest in a tea party teapot, but it might also balloon into a political gale that blows away the highest hopes for his second term in the White House.  Winning reelection to the presidency is often a triumph before a fall. Richard Nixon won a second term in a landslide; two years later, the Watergate scandal forced him to resign.
October 18, 2013 | Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
It's been a constant quandary for the Obama White House: Should the president reach out to his Republican opponents or isolate them? Should he compromise to move his agenda or try to split the GOP ranks? Carrot or stick? That debate appeared settled on Thursday when President Obama spoke in the White House State Dining Room to deliver his verdict on the just- ended government shutdown: more stick. "To all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change," Obama said as he praised "responsible Republicans" for brokering the deal but denounced "the pressure from the extremes.
May 25, 2013 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The White House decided to release internal emails about the deadly attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya - but only after summaries of the exchanges had leaked. The president's spokesman disclosed details of closed-door discussions about a report that found the IRS targeted conservative groups - but did so in a drip-drip-drip fashion that only raised more questions. And in a speech meant to expose the top-secret drone program to public examination, President Obama shrouded key details, such as whether the CIA would still use drones.
July 6, 2010 | By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court wrapped up its term last week after landmark decisions protecting the right to have a gun and the right of corporations to spend freely on elections. But the year's most important moment may have come on the January evening when the justices gathered at the Capitol for President Obama's State of the Union address. They had no warning about what was coming. Obama and his advisors had weighed how to respond to the court's ruling the week before, which gave corporations the same free-spending rights as ordinary Americans.
April 10, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Having already dominated the Grammy Awards, late-night television and the Billboard 200, Justin Timberlake rode his rolling promotional juggernaut to the White House on Tuesday night, taking part in an all-star tribute to Memphis soul along with Mavis Staples, Booker T. Jones and Queen Latifah, among others. And, yes, he wore his suit and tie . The invite-only concert, to be broadcast April 16 on PBS, was the latest installment in a series of "In Performance at the White House" events that have seen President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama celebrate country music, Motown and the work of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
March 26, 2013 | By Houston Mitchell
JOIN THE LIVE CHAT VISIT WHITEHOUSE.GOV   The Stanley Cup champions Kings and the MLS Cup champions Galaxy visit President Obama at the White House today, and you can watch all the festivities in the video above. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. PT. As Times Kings reporter Lisa Dillman wrote earlier today , "Kings captain Dustin Brown already had his semi-private talk with President Obama , shortly after the Kings won the Stanley Cup in June.
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