January 12, 2011 |
Inside-the- White House accounts of the presidency have become such a routine commodity in publishing that the genre has its own subsets. One consists of the personal ? usually self-justifying ? reminiscences of disgruntled former staff members or cabinet secretaries. George W. Bush's administration spawned so many of those that you sometimes got the feeling that meetings in the executive mansion must have felt like a mafia sit-down where every second participant is a government informer wearing a wire.
July 6, 2010 |
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.
January 10, 2013 |
In the wake of President Obama's reelection, there was much clucking about the demise of the political power of white men and the inability of Mitt Romney -- the quintessential Republican white man -- to capture the support and votes of women and minorities and other Americans increasingly disenchanted with the conservative party's message. Yet, if you looked at the Dec. 29 photo of Obama meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office, which made the front of the New York Times on Wednesday, you would rest assured that white men are still very much in power -- in the first black president's White House, as it turns out. In the photo, 10 of his 11 advisors standing before him are men, and eight of them are white. The one woman, who is black, in the photo is Valerie Jarrett, which you only know because it says so in the caption of the photo.
May 5, 2011 |
With nearly 7 million views in just five days, President Obama's speech at the White House correspondents dinner Saturday is now the most-watched Obama public speech on YouTube, C-SPAN said Thursday. The video shows Obama poking fun at the recent birth certificate controversy and his reliance on a teleprompter. But perhaps its biggest selling point is Obama's roasting of would-be presidential rival Donald Trump. Just 36 hours after giving the go order for the mission that would kill Osama bin Laden, Obama sarcastically praised Trump for his leadership and decision-making on "Celebrity Apprentice.
March 31, 2014 |
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.
December 10, 2013 |
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.
May 25, 2013 |
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.
November 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The official White House Christmas tree arrived Friday morning from a prize-winning farm in the North Carolina mountains. The tree -- a 19-foot tall Fraser fir from Peak Farms in Ashe County -- arrived at the North Portico of the White House by horse-drawn carriage. First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha and their dog Bo, were there to receive it. Growers Rusty and Beau Estes were also at the White House for the tree's arrival. "I think we'll take it!"
March 10, 2011 |
President Obama 'fessed up Thursday morning that, as a young student, he was involved in bullying. As a victim, that is. "I have to say, with big ears and the name that I have, I wasn't immune. I didn't emerge unscathed," he told teachers, parents and government officials assembled for the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. The president showed off several anti-bullying efforts under way in Washington, including the new website stopbullying.gov and initiatives by the Department of Education to get anti-bullying programs up and running in schools.
December 24, 2010 |
In the West Wing it had become a pretty common sight: two national security aides with close ties to the president, Thomas Donilon and Denis McDonough, hurrying into the Oval Office to show him the latest piece of hot intelligence. Some administration officials who watched the scene unfold worried that James L. Jones, the national security advisor at the time, was being left out of the loop and that Obama was being given raw reports before their meaning and import were clear. A strong national security advisor might weed out what the president doesn't need to see. Yet Obama never quite clicked with Jones ?