POTUS speaks with Japanese prime minister
President Obama speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Kan in the Treaty Room office of the White House residence
March 16th, 2011
11:27 PM ET

POTUS speaks with Japanese prime minister

President Obama spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan Wednesday evening about the recovery efforts following the devestating earthquake and tsunami, as well as efforts to deal with the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Here is the official readout of the call from the White House –

The President spoke this evening by telephone with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan to discuss the status of ongoing relief efforts in Japan, including the emergency at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The President again conveyed his deep condolences at the tragic loss of life and the widespread suffering in Northeastern Japan. The President emphasized that the U.S. is determined to do everything possible to support Japan in overcoming the effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11. The President briefed Prime Minister Kan on the additional support being provided by the U.S., including specialized military assets with expertise in nuclear response and consequence management. The two leaders also discussed the welfare and safety of American citizens in Japan and the President described steps that the U.S. is taking in this regard. He thanked the Prime Minister for his commitment to help American residents. Prime Minister Kan briefed the President on the status of Japanese actions to contain the nuclear emergency and to bring the situation under control. The Prime Minister expressed Japan’s appreciation for the extensive humanitarian, technical and other support provided by the United States. The two leaders reaffirmed that U.S. and Japanese experts and officials would continue to cooperate closely and they agreed to remain in close touch through this challenging period. The President promised that the United States will always stand by Japan, our close friend and ally. The President expressed his extraordinary admiration for the character and resolve of the Japanese people, and his confidence that Japan will make a full recovery from this disaster.


Topics: President Obama • The News
First Lady to pen book about garden
First Lady Michelle Obama at a spring planting in the White House garden today
March 16th, 2011
07:51 PM ET

First Lady to pen book about garden

WASHINGTON (CNN) - You can soon add ‘author’ to the distinguished resume of First Lady Michelle Obama when she writes an upcoming book about her garden at the White House.

The still untitled book will “tell the story of the garden she has established on the South Lawn of the White House and explore how improved access to fresh, locally grown food can promote healthier eating habits for families and communities,” her publisher, Crown Publishing Group, said in a press release announcing the project.

While the book will include photos of the White House garden throughout the seasons, it will also include photos of other community, urban, and school gardens from across the country. An e-book with additional multimedia content and features will be released as well.
FULL POST


Topics: Michelle Obama • The News
Obama....no beets about it.
March 16th, 2011
06:17 PM ET

Obama....no beets about it.

Washington (CNN) – First Lady Michelle Obama joined two dozen local elementary schools kids on the South Lawn for the third spring planting of the White House garden.    Assistant White House Chef Sam Kass oversaw this year’s seedlings which included spinach, broccoli, turnips and swiss chard.

According to Kass the 1500 square foot garden has produced over 2000 pounds of food in the 3 years.  He noted most of the food is used in the White House but a full third of it goes to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local mission that provides food to the homeless.

Mrs. Obama uses the garden as a way to highlight her fight against childhood obesity.   She urged the kids to take what they learned today planting the garden and share the information with friends and family. “So we’re going to want you guys to pass this information on, especially go home and get your parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles to cook some vegetables, to make sure you guys are trying new things’ she said.

While talking to the school kids, Obama noted broccoli was a favorite of Sasha and Malia.  But when it comes to beets, “Uh-oh” she said. “The President doesn’t like beets.  But it’s okay.  We’re an equal opportunity garden.”


Topics: Michelle Obama • The Family • The Visuals
March 16th, 2011
06:08 PM ET

White House responds to Barack-etology gripes

With the world seemingly in crisis, Barack Obama went on ESPN to announce his NCAA tournament picks – and to encourage viewers to visit USAID.gov for a list of charities where they can donate to the people of Japan.

Cue the swift, fierce, and predictable denunciation of the Commander-in-Chief from the Twitterverse, blogosphere, and talk radio.

FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The News • Uncategorized • White House
No Transparency Today
March 16th, 2011
04:08 PM ET

No Transparency Today

Washington (CNN) – Sometimes even presidents miss their own awards party.

President Obama was to receive an award from organizers of the Freedom of Information Day conference on Wednesday for his commitment to an open and transparent government. The White House announced the scheduled event had been postponed "due to changes to the President's schedule today.”

What those changes were, well, were not so transparent.

The award was part of "Sunshine Week", an effort led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to promote open government and freedom of information.


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • White House
POTUS adjusts schedule to address world crises
March 16th, 2011
03:40 PM ET

POTUS adjusts schedule to address world crises

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama phoned the kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Wednesday to express his “deep concern” over the violence in Bahrain, and received a separate briefing from the head of the U.S. nuclear regulatory agency about the worsening situation in Japan, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

In his calls to both kings, Obama urged “maximum restraint,” and stressed the importance of a political process as the only way for the Bahraini people to legitimately address their political grievances, and as a means for a more stable Bahrain that is more responsive to its people, according to Carney. Security forces in Bahrain Wednesday stormed the main hospital and were seen beating doctors, as well as demonstrators in the main square in the country’s capital, witnesses told CNN.

On Monday, troops from both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates entered Bahrain to “protect the safety” of its citizens, according to the Bahraini government.
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News
March Madness: the presidential edition
President Obama takes a turn at a CBS microphone during a 2010 Georgetown/Duke basketball game (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
March 16th, 2011
02:55 PM ET

March Madness: the presidential edition

WASHINGTON (CNN) – “PREDICTABLE” was how the Drudge Report described President Obama’s Final Four picks in a tweet last night. The Sports Grid blog called them downright “boring.”

It is true that  the president did not go out on a limb when he told ESPN that top seeded Duke, Kansas, Ohio State, and Pitt are his Final Four picks this year.

But this is not exactly out of character for the president. For the fourth straight year that Obama has publicly filled out NCAA brackets, he has consistently stuck with the safe picks. FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The News
March 16th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

President's 4th fundraising activity this month

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama headlines a Democratic party event Wednesday night, the second time this week and fourth time this month he's been the main attraction at a party gathering.

The official White House schedule says that the president delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee event at a hotel in the nation's capital. A source with knowledge of the gathering tells CNN that Obama will speak to members of the DNC's national advisory board and national finance committee.

For the full story, click here.


Topics: DNC • President Obama • The News
Wednesday Poll
March 16th, 2011
01:15 PM ET

Wednesday Poll


Topics: Poll • President Obama
The president's schedule for Wednesday March 16, 2011
March 16th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

The president's schedule for Wednesday March 16, 2011

10:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing Oval Office/Closed Press

1:35PM THE PRESIDENT meets with USAID Administrator Raj Shah
Oval Office/Closed Press

2:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors Oval Office/Closed Press

2:55PM THE PRESIDENT accepts an award in conjunction with Sunshine Week Oval Office/Pool Spray at the Top (Gather Time 2:40PM – Brady Press Briefing Room)

3:05PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of Defense Gates Oval Office/Closed Press

5:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a DNC event
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel Pooled Press (Gather Time 4:15PM – North Doors of the Palm Room) Briefing Schedule

BRIEFING SCHEDULE:
10:00AM Press Secretary Jay Carney will convene an off-camera gaggle with Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Daniel Restrepo and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes in the Brady Press Briefing Room to preview the President’s upcoming trip to Latin America

1:00PM Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney