March 16th, 2012
12:11 PM ET
The price of crude oil took a nosedive on Thursday after Reuters reported that President Obama and his British counterpart David Cameron had agreed to a release of strategic oil reserves that would take place within months.
The White House later denied that such an agreement exists, but did say that Obama and Cameron had discussed rising crude prices.
For the United States, such an agreement would mean tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a strategy that has been used only a handful of times since 1975, when the 727 million barrel safeguard against oil supply shocks was established.
What would the United States get out of the deal? Crude prices could fall, especially as speculators are driven from the market. A reduction in crude prices would translate to lower prices at the gasoline pump.
And, naturally, lower gasoline prices would be nice for Obama as Election Day approaches.
Should the administration release reserves, as some have suggested, it would have a difficult time arguing that the move was not politically motivated.
For the complete story from our friends at CNNMoney, click here.
March 14th, 2012
11:08 PM ET
Concluding the official visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Washington D.C., the president and first lady hosted Cameron and his wife at a State Dinner on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday evening. As yet another signifier of the importance of the so-called special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain, the White House opted for a full State Dinner despite the fact that the dinner’s honoree is the head of the British government and not its head of state.
During the toasts, both leaders mixed humor with sincerity in expressing the importance of their friendship and the close relationship between the nations they lead.
“In all of our interactions, including today, I've learned something about David,” President Obama said. “In good times and in bad he's just the kind of partner that you want at your side. I trust him. He says what he does and he does what he says. I've seen his character, and I've seen his commitment to human dignity during Libya. I've seen his resolve, his determination to get the job done, whether it's righting our economies or succeeding in Afghanistan.”
For his turn Cameron also pointed to Obama's foreign policy successes in killing Osama bin Laden and aiding opposition forces in Libya to commend the president for his “strength, moral authority and wisdom.”
“Barack, it is an honor to call you an ally, a partner and a friend,” Cameron said. “You don't get to choose the circumstances you have to deal with as a president or a prime minister, and you don't get to choose the leaders that you have to work with, but all I can say is that it is a pleasure to work with someone with moral strength, with clear reason and with fundamental decency in this task of renewing our great national alliance for today and for the generations to follow.”
To lighten the mood, Obama read some press accounts of his visit to London in 2011, during which he and Cameron exchanged beers from their native countries, hosted a barbeque for service members and played table tennis with local students.
“One news story said David Cameron and Barack Obama cemented their special relationship by hitting the bottle,” Obama said to laughter from the crowd. FULL POST
March 14th, 2012
12:24 PM ET
The White House released this information on the gifts from the Obamas to the Camerons:
On the occasion of the Official Visit, The President and Mrs. Obama gave the Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron a one-of-a-kind Braten 1000 Series Grill hand made by Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers of Paxton, Illinois. Symbolizing the personal friendship between the President and Mrs. Obama and Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron, the gift commemorates their May 2011 visit to 10 Downing Street where together they grilled and served food to American and British Armed Service Members.
An American classic, the wood and charcoal burning grill is customized with American and British friendship flags engraved into the utility shelf and a personalized plaque mounted on the exterior lid. The grill and all its component parts are made in the United States and Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers has been praised for its environmentally friendly practices. The gift also includes two White House chef jackets each featuring American and British flags, and the Great Seal. Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron's names are embroidered onto the front of their individual jacket.
Mrs. Obama gave Mrs. Cameron an original crystal honey vase with honey collected from the South Lawn of the White House hand-etched with the words "White House Honey" onto the front side of the vase. Chamomile seeds harvested from the White House kitchen garden and a custom candle inspired by the White House were also presented.
Each of Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron's children received personalized American made bean bag chairs, each featuring the Presidential Seal and the child's name embroidered.