March 29th, 2011
08:38 PM ET

Obama + Kaine: mutual admiration society

WASHINGTON (CNN) – At a DNC fundraiser in Harlem, Barack Obama all but endorsed outgoing DNC chair and former Virginia governor Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate – a decision Kaine has not yet made (or at least announced).

While many have speculated Kaine will go “plunging back into the hurly-burly of electoral politics,” as Obama described it, so far the DNC chair has only coyly said he is likely to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb (D).

"I don't know if those rumors are true, but what I do know is that I cannot imagine someone who has been a better partner to me, a better friend,” Obama said, according to a pool report. “Should he choose to do so, he would be an outstanding senator for the commonwealth of Virginia."

Perhaps this pre-endorsement is some kind of quid pro quo. After all, Kaine, then Virginia’s Governor (and superdelegate), was one of Obama's earliest supporters after the Illinois senator launched his long shot campaign against Hillary Clinton.

“I've often said, even better than being a part of a historical" campaign is "the opportunity to play a small part in a transformative presidency," Kaine said of Obama at the $1.5 million fundraiser.

If Kaine were to receive his party's nomination, he would likely face former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen, who has already announced his candidacy.


Topics: 2012 Election • fundraiser • Pool Report • President Obama • The Buzz • The News
March 29th, 2011
08:02 PM ET

Obama recalls Balkans conflict at NY speech

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama dropped by the United Nations Tuesday, to dedicate the U.S. Mission to the UN Building in honor of Ron Brown, who was killed in a plane crash while serving as Bill Clinton’s Commerce Secretary.

Obama noted that while Brown was not an ambassador, he did die on a mission to the Balkans, “because, [Brown] said, just as America ‘took the lead in the peace process, we need to show the way in rebuilding from the ruins of war.”

It was not Obama’s only reference to the 1990s war torn Balkans.

FULL POST


Topics: Libya • President Obama • The News
Obama bonds with...a bartender
March 29th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

Obama bonds with...a bartender

In an interview posted on The Atlantic's website, DC-based bartender and self-described "booze nerd" Derek Brown dishes about serving up drinks at the White House.

According to Brown, when he was introduced to President Obama as "the mixologist," Obama responded, "Isn't that just a bartender?"

Gulp.

The Commander-in-Chief then added, "Well, being a bartender is a lot like being the president: everyone thinks they can do it but they can't, can they?"

No word on Obama's drink of choice.

Read The Atlantic's interview with Brown HERE.


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
Critics hit Obama on speech, but White House says he delivered
President Barack Obama gestures during Monday's speech on Libya at Washington's National Defense University
March 29th, 2011
03:45 PM ET

Critics hit Obama on speech, but White House says he delivered

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Pushing back on criticism that President Obama did not deliver a clear message Monday on the end game in Libya, White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted the speech was “very clear about what our mission was.”

Ticking off a series of U.S. policy goals detailed by the president, Carney added “what we’ve accomplished in a short period of time, the lives that have been saved, the remarkable effort to build a coalition and take action in just 31 days and now make that transition from a U.S. lead military mission to NATO lead mission.”

Carney spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One as the president traveled to New York City for a fundraiser and dedication of a United Nations building in honor of former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.

President Obama had been under immense pressure to deliver a speech that would answer outstanding questions about the U.S. role in Libya.

FULL POST


Topics: Libya • President Obama • The News
For Obama, Big Apple = big cash
CNN ireport photo of NYC
March 29th, 2011
02:40 PM ET

For Obama, Big Apple = big cash

Barack Obama is heading to New York City Tuesday, where he is expected dedicate a building at the UN complex and conduct interviews likely focusing on Libya with anchors from ABC, CBS, and NBC.

And, of course, when in New York....

In the evening, Obama will headline a DNC fundraiser at Harlem's Red Rooster restaurant.

While the most expensive entree on the dinner menu is $32 (10 oz Prime NY Strip, Trubble Bernaise), guests are forking over a whopping $30,800 per plate to dine with the president.

According to the New York Daily News, area fundraiser Darren Rigger balked at the hefty price of admission saying, "At $30,000 a plate, it seems like you're going to see them ship in a lot of Wall Street/CEO/hedge fund types to come visit Harlem like they're visiting a tourist attraction."

Rigger added, "The Harlem aspect of it is more symbolic than it is genuine."

What's not symbolic is the $1.5 million he will rake in for his Party's committee.

Later, the president will stop by a "thank you" event with supporters at Harlem's Studio Museum. The DNC tells CNN 250 people will be at the invitation only event and it's not considered a fundraiser.

Obama is expected to return to the White House after 11pm.


Topics: fundraiser • President Obama • The News
Did you know.....?
Photo by CNN's Emily Schultze
March 29th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Did you know.....?

The James S. Brady briefing room in the West Wing of the White House is built on top of a swimming pool – that still exists (without the water, of course).

As the briefing room is currently configured, Press Secretary Jay Carney stands over the 8 foot deep end of the pool. The cameras at the back of the room are positioned over top of the shallow end.

Behind the podium is a doorway through which stairs take you down into the swimming pool as it exists today, filled with TV cables and electrical wiring.

More interestingly, the tiles of the pool are covered with grafitti. Over the years various White House visitors, staffers, members of the press, and even past residents have scraweled their signatures on top of the blue-green tiles.

Of some of the many names you'll see – baseballer Bernie Williams, FOX News' Bill O'Reilly, Bono of U2, former Clinton Press Secretary Mike McCurry, former President George H.W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush.

FULL POST


Topics: White House
POTUS schedule Tuesday March 29, 2011
March 29th, 2011
08:21 AM ET

POTUS schedule Tuesday March 29, 2011

WASHINGTON (CNN) – This morning President Obama will stay out of the public eye until traveling to New York city for the dedication of the Ronald H.Brown United States Mission to the United Nations building.  He will also attend two DNC functions before heading back to D.C. for the night.

 

Schedule from the White House after the jump

FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • DNC • White House