White House e-mail blackout
February 3rd, 2011
07:03 PM ET

White House e-mail blackout

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House learned an important lesson Thursday…the most powerful place in the world is not immune to some of the technical glitches that drive most American’s crazy.

Shortly before 8 a.m. the unclassified e-mail system that top advisers and the president himself rely on to communicate with each other, went dark.

Reporters left hanging by unanswered e-mails were told of the blackout by a press assistant who said, “if you need to get in touch with anyone, you have to go up and see them because email is down.”

At 11:54 a.m., White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer made a formal announcement via Twitter.
FULL POST


Topics: White House
February 3rd, 2011
06:19 PM ET

POTUS and VPOTUS call counterparts facing unrest

WASHINGTON (CNN) – While keeping close watch of events in Egypt, President Obama made a phone call to President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Yemen.

“President Obama asked that Yemeni security forces show restraint and refrain from violence against Yemeni demonstrators who are exercising their right to free association, assembly, and speech,” the White House said in a written statement. “The President also told President Saleh that it is imperative that Yemen take forceful action against Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to protect innocent lives in Yemen as well as abroad. Finally, President Obama expressed concern over the release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.”

The United States has increased its support for the Yemeni government as it fights terrorist threats within its borders. “President Saleh thanked the President for U.S. Support and committed to continuing and strengthening relations with the United States,” the White House said in the release.
FULL POST

Pigskin politics
February 3rd, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Pigskin politics

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Last week, President Obama was given a Green Bay Packers jersey before he delivered a speech on the economy in Wisconsin. "They're rubbing it in," the Chicago Bears' Fan-in-Chief then joked, referring to his hometown team's recent loss to the Cheeseheads in the NFC championship game. This week, just days before the Super Bowl, the politics of football may have brought the president to central Pennsylvania, aka “Steelers Nation,” to talk innovation and green energy. FULL POST

Picture of the Week
February 3rd, 2011
01:49 PM ET

Picture of the Week

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama pauses to pray during a busy week of world events at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

Obama: 'My 5th grade science experiment looked like this!'
February 3rd, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Obama: 'My 5th grade science experiment looked like this!'

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Just before President Obama delivered remarks to a crowd of students and faculty about energy efficiency, he toured a research lab on campus with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. While wearing safety goggles, they watched an experiment dealing with thermal technology, solar panels and green roof systems. President Obama sarcastically joked that some of what he saw reminded him of his 5th grade science fair project.

He toured second lab where they do research on controlling microscopic particles in building environments.

He congratulated the students on their work and said,  "Having this facility, here with the outstanding students, business people who are contributing, that means that they are helping to possibly design buildings that by huge measures are much more efficient than the ones that already exist."


Topics: Energy • President Obama • The Visuals
Obama: My Christian faith sustains me
February 3rd, 2011
11:59 AM ET

Obama: My Christian faith sustains me

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - President gave an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday, saying that "it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed," in an address to a prayer breakfast in Washington.

The speech, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast, comes on the heels of public opinion surveys that show only a minority of Americans know that Obama is a Christian and that a growing number believe he's a Muslim.

"My Christian faith has been sustaining for me over the last couple of years and even more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time," the president said Thursday, referring to his wife. "We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God."

Check out the complete story on CNN's Belief Blog.

Penn State's hot ticket: POTUS
FILE/Then-candidate Barack Obama addresses a campaign rally at Penn State on March 30, 2008.
February 3rd, 2011
11:30 AM ET

Penn State's hot ticket: POTUS

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama returns to Penn State University Thursday, for the first time since appearing there as a candidate in March of 2008. The then Senator Obama, who was fighting for the Democratic nomination, drew a crowd of some 20,000 curious and enthusiastic onlookers to the campus quad on a brisk spring day.

Nearly three years later, Obama will address a much smaller crowd inside the University’s Rec Hall, in a speech billed by the White House as “invitation only.” FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
Obama to touch on personal faith in speech
President Obama and the first lady attending service at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington on Jan. 19.
February 3rd, 2011
08:18 AM ET

Obama to touch on personal faith in speech

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - President Obama plans to give an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday at a high-profile prayer breakfast in Washington, a White House official said Wednesday.

“He’ll give a window on the way he approaches prayer, his study of Scripture and some other spiritual disciplines that affect his daily life,” said the official.

“I don’t think he’s given a window into how his faith sustains him as president,” said the official, who would not speak for attribution. “That will be a new thing.”

Obama’s speech, which will be delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast, comes on the heels of public opinion surveys that show only a minority of Americans know that Obama is a Christian and that a growing number believe he’s a Muslim.

Check out the complete story on CNN's Belief Blog.


Topics: President Obama • The News
POTUS schedule for February 3, 2011
An anti-war demonstrator surfs the web from a semi-permanent protest tent in front of the White House.
February 3rd, 2011
07:30 AM ET

POTUS schedule for February 3, 2011

President Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.  Later, he'll travel to University Park, Penn., to tour labs at Penn State focused on energy-efficient building solutions and then deliver remarks on investing in innovation and clean energy.  There will not be a White House briefing today; Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will hold a gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Pennsylvania.  Schedule provided by the White House: FULL POST