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Obama White House

September 22, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
President Obama may soon make one of the most fateful personnel decisions of his tenure, naming a new chief of staff whose job will be to help revive a presidency battered by the weak economy and a Republican resurgence. Rahm Emanuel, who now holds the position, is expected to resign soon to run for mayor of Chicago, giving Obama a chance to reconfigure a White House team that has seen little high-level turnover. For Obama, the choice comes down to promoting a trusted aide familiar with the rhythms of the White House or, in a bit of a gamble, tapping an outside candidate with the stature and independence to tell the president candidly what's working and what's not. "The candidates that I've seen floated are good, decent people, but internal candidates," said Douglas Schoen, a former pollster for President Clinton, touting the second option.
September 22, 2010 | Tim Rutten
In an afterword appended to the White House diaries he published this week, former President Carter muses, "It may be difficult for some younger readers to realize how much the Washington political scene has changed in the last 30 years. " Carter points out that the congressional bipartisanship on which he relied for his considerable number of legislative achievements no longer exists and that the "pernicious effects of partisanship have not been limited to Washington; American citizens have also become more polarized in their beliefs.
July 14, 2010 | By Ken Dilanian, Tribune Washington Bureau
A move in Congress to cut up to $2 billion from bioterrorism prevention "will drive a stake through the heart of America's fledgling biodefense efforts," former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) told President Obama in a letter released Tuesday. "It will require your intervention to avoid a self-inflicted wound to America's national security," Graham said in the letter written with former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.). The two chaired the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which in January gave the Obama administration a failing grade on bioterrorism prevention efforts.
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.
June 3, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
The Obama White House tried to entice a Democratic Senate candidate to quit in Colorado by suggesting he take a job in the executive branch instead, the candidate said in a statement Wednesday. Andrew Romanoff's announcement is the second indication in less than a week that the White House has tried to clear the Democratic field for preferred candidates by dangling federal appointments as inducements. Last week, the White House conceded that it had used former President Clinton to approach Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa)
May 29, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
The Obama White House enlisted former President Clinton to push a Democratic candidate out of a primary campaign by offering an appointment to a prestigious federal board as an inducement, according to an internal White House investigation whose findings were released Friday. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a top aide to Clinton in the 1990s, used the former president as a go-between in the unsuccessful attempt to clear the field for Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), the report showed.
April 21, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times
A White House commitment to overhaul the nation's immigration system this year is collapsing, with the Obama administration undecided about the best way to proceed on an issue the president had identified as a top priority. Immigration advocates who meet regularly with White House officials said the Obama administration had been considering several approaches, including convening a summit meeting devoted to the issue and putting forward its own bill. Those who attended a session Friday with administration officials said they came away with no indication the White House had settled on a course of action.
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.
February 14, 2010 | By Katherine Skiba
President Obama on Saturday named White House lawyer Rashad Hussain a special envoy to the Muslim world. The president announced the appointment during a video address to the seventh U.S.-Islamic World Forum meeting in Doha, Qatar. Hussain is the second special envoy named to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The group, with more than 50 member-states, is the world's second-largest intergovernmental body after the U.N. (The first envoy, Sada Cumber, was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008.
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