Archives for White House

Obama: ‘Indonesia is a part of me’

Declaring that “Indonesia is part of me,” President Barack Obama issued a strikingly personal appeal to the Muslim world to join the West in an unrelenting battle to defeat al-Qaida and violent extremism. After his speech in Jakarta, Obama flew to South Korea and a meeting of the Group of 20 major economic powers in Seoul. In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, a place where he spent several years as a boy, Obama on Wednesday acknowledged the fraying that remains in U.S.-Islamic relations despite his best efforts at repair. He urged both sides to look beyond “suspicion and
Read More

GOP plans full-scale attack on Obama’s agenda

Victorious at the polls, congressional Republicans asserted their newfound political strength on Thursday, vowing to seek a quick $100 billion in federal spending cuts and force repeated votes on the repeal of President Barack Obama‘s prized health care overhaul. At the White Houses, Obama said his administration was ready to work across party lines in a fresh attempt to “focus on the economy and jobs” as well as attack waste in government. In a show of bipartisanship, he invited top lawmakers to the White House at mid-month, and the nation’s newly elected governors two weeks later. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio,
Read More

Obama to GOP: Let’s extend middle class tax cuts

President Barack Obama is appealing to victorious Republicans to go along with his plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class, saying the election is over and it’s time to down to business. But it’s not fair, he says, to make permanent the Bush-era cuts for the wealthiest because that would require the U.S. to borrow $700 billion more to pay for it. “The campaign season is over,” the president said Saturday in his weekly radio and online address. “And it’s time to focus on our shared responsibilities and work together.” Obama’s long-standing position has been that individuals with
Read More

Obama admits ‘mid-course corrections’ needed but remains vague on details

President Barack Obama may be in India but he is haunted by rejection back home and admits he must make what he calls “mid course corrections” if he wants to see a second term to his embattled Presidency. Speaking to college students in Mumbai, India, Obama said voters exercised their “right, obligation and duty” last Tuesday when they ousted many incumbents — mostly Democrats — and elected candidates who openly oppose his policies. Obama may not have been on the ballot but the state of his Presidency was and it was that Presidency that voters rejected by overwhelming numbers. With
Read More

Obama to both sides: Time to get to work

President Barack Obama sought Thursday to retake the political initiative after a bruising election, inviting Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to meet with him on the economy and jobs. The White House said Obama would consider extending Bush-era tax cuts even for upper income Americans for a year or two. The Nov. 18 meeting will be closely watched, in particular, for any signs of cooperation between Obama and his two frequent Republican antagonists, incoming House speaker-in-waiting John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They will be joined by the top Democrats in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate
Read More

Obama admits ‘shellacking’ but still doesn’t get the point

A chastened President Barack Obama admitted he had suffered a “shellacking” in this week’s US mid-term elections, but refused to see it as a repudiation of his transformative domestic agenda. He instead blamed the loss of the House of Representatives and Republican gains in the Senate on deep voter frustration at the sluggish recovery and his failure to clean up the “ugly mess” in Washington. “It feels bad,” Obama said, digesting his defeat in a White House news conference. His comments set the tone for a looming period of divided government and political confrontation in which he must now chart
Read More

In Washington, it will be Obama vs. Boehner

This is a two-person, two-party town now. And President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and incoming House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, need each other — as both partners and foils while they push their own legislative agendas and lay the groundwork for the 2012 elections. The unlikely duo must find areas of compromise to get something — anything, really — done to appease an unhappy electorate demanding economic stability from a government voters don’t think works. At the same time, each leader must figure out how to use the other to draw partisan contrasts that will fire up their respective
Read More

Obama struggles to recapture old election magic

President Barack Obama tried to recapture some of the big-stage excitement of his 2008 campaign Sunday, imploring voters not to reward what he called Republican cynicism and incompetence by sitting out the Nov. 2 elections. The president delivered one of his most stinging indictments yet of the GOP record to several thousand people under blue skies in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. Obama acknowledged that many Americans are frustrated, especially about the economy. He said Republicans have decided “to ride that frustration and anger” without providing solutions. And he said congressional Republicans deliberately opposed his administration and the Democratic majority on almost
Read More

With Rahm gone, a change in tone at 1600 Pennsylvania

Reshaping the tone and tenor of the White House, President Barack Obama on Friday replaced the colorful and caustic Rahm Emanuel with the private Pete Rouse as his chief of staff, shifting to a new phase of his presidency with a drastically different aide as trusted gatekeeper. Emanuel’s decision to quit the White House and run for Chicago mayor had been so well known that even Obama mocked the lack of suspense. But it still felt like the most important transition to date for the Obama operation, which has been fueled for nearly two years by Emanuel’s demands, drive and
Read More

Bye bye Rahm Emanuel, hello Pete Rouse

President Barack Obama is making official what has been clear for days: Rahm Emanuel, the relentless enforcer of his agenda as White House chief of staff, is resigning. The job Emanuel wants now is mayor of Chicago, where his next fierce political fight awaits. What Emanuel leaves behind is more than a staff job. It is the most demanding and influential position in the White House — save for Obama’s. The person who holds it is entrusted to shape the president’s thinking, prioritize his time, manage scores of egos and issues and keep the White House focused on its goals.
Read More