White House Turns Purple for #SpiritDay
An example from the White House Facebook page of the administration's efforts to celebrate Oct. 20 as Spirit Day.
October 20th, 2011
07:03 PM ET

White House Turns Purple for #SpiritDay

In a colorful show of support for those who speak out against anti-gay bullying, the White House changed elements of its websites to a bright purple today in celebration of the second-annual Spirit Day.

Designed to be a mass expression of solidarity for the nation’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, Spirit Day was created by a teenager named Brittany McMillan in 2010. It has again gone viral in 2011, a likely sign of Americans reacting to heartbreaking headlines about anti-gay bullying allegedly leading to suicides.

Today, White House staff tweeted about Spirit Day. They also changed the background of the iconic White House logo to purple on Facebook and posted an entry on the blog at WhiteHouse.gov to mark the occasion. In addition, social networking websites were peppered with purple-themed status updates, links, and profile pictures. Advocacy groups incorporated the color purple into fonts and page design, and also linked to the WhiteHouse.gov entry.

The White House blog entry also included postings of Administration YouTube videos produced last year as the emotional “It Gets Better” project gained steam all across the country.  It was widely seen as a civil rights victory when President Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and other high-ranking officials posted talks encouraging gay youth to stay confident even in the face of bullying.

The White House says millions participated in Spirit Day last year.  This year, celebrities like Ricky Martin also took part.


Topics: White House
POTUS: "We did exactly what we said we were going to do in Libya"
President Obama meets with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway in the Oval Office of the White House October 20, 2011. Obama thanked Stoltenberg for Norway's contribution to the NATO mission in Libya. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
October 20th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

POTUS: "We did exactly what we said we were going to do in Libya"

President Obama hosted Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway in the Oval Office this afternoon, thanking him for his country's help in the NATO mission in Libya and offering his condolences for the large scale attack that took place in his country earlier this year. In regards to Norway's role in NATO's operations, Obama said that the relatively small Scandinavian country "punches above its weight" when it comes to air support and military assistance. The president also answered one question on whether Gadhafi's death vindicated his approach to the situation in Libya, here's his answer in full:

"There's no doubt that we did exactly what we said we were going to do in Libya, and I think it underscores the capacity of us to work together as an international community. The United States obviously has unique capacities and we are proud of the leadership we showed in that process, but increasingly wherever we have the possibility of working with outstanding partners like Norway then I think that we're going to be even more effective.

“And the United States will always preserve its right and duty to protect ourselves, our allies and our interests, but I think what this shows is that on a whole range of international issues there is an enormous capacity and we are able to leverage greater resources, more effectiveness at lower cost when we're able to work together. And so I'm very proud of the work that did on this operation.

“Most importantly I'm proud of what the Libyan people have achieved and I think they've got enourmous opportunity ahead of them. They've got a lot of challenges as well, but we have no given them the opportunity to determine their own destiny and that's something that we've seen across North Africa and the Arab world that there's nothing unique in aspiring to freedom and human rights and democracy. This is something that all people want to enjoy and I'm very pleased that the Libyan people are going to have the opportunity to do so."


Topics: Libya • NATO • President Obama
Top Obama aide departing
October 20th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Top Obama aide departing

A senior administration official confirms to CNN that Melody Barnes, the President's domestic policy advisor, is leaving the White House at the end of the year.

President Obama said in a statement: “I will always be grateful that a woman of Melody’s brilliance, creativity and heart led our domestic policy team during such a challenging time for our nation. Melody has left a lasting legacy, developing and implementing policies that have helped remake our education system, spurred innovation, and fostered opportunity and equality for millions of Americans.”


Topics: President Obama • The News
Obama doing Leno - again
October 20th, 2011
09:37 AM ET

Obama doing Leno - again

President Obama will swap jokes with Jay Leno Tuesday, the fourth time he has appeared on the late night comedy show as president.

The appearance will come during a swing through several western states early next week, including Nevada, Colorado, and California.


Topics: President Obama
Morning Briefing: Wall Street still hearts Obama?
October 20th, 2011
08:47 AM ET

Morning Briefing: Wall Street still hearts Obama?

Obama still popular on Wall Street? [WashPost]

Does he have a Maxine Waters problem? [POLITICO]

Biden gets a bit testy [POLITICO]

Perry v. Romney: It’s getting personal [NYTimes]

Is Romney’s support broader than it seems? [WSJ]

GOP doesn’t know how to deal with Cain [POLITICO]

But he likes his ‘my guns and my bible [HuffPost]

And Perry takes a page from his playbook [WashPost]

POTUS' Day Ahead: October 20, 2011
October 20th, 2011
08:04 AM ET

POTUS' Day Ahead: October 20, 2011

Good morning from the White House. The president has a relatively light schedule Thursday after wrapping up his three-day bus tour. The only big events on his schedule are a ceremony to honor recipients of the Presidential Citizens Medal and an Oval Office meeting with Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Jay Carney briefs reporters at 12:30 p.m. ET.
FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule