May 13th, 2011
06:08 PM ET

White House Week in Review

Washington (CNN) - From a major speech on immigration, to rapidly unfolding events overseas, here is a look back at a busy and news-filled week at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Topics: week in review
May 13th, 2011
03:40 PM ET

Obama statement on the Resignation of Middle East Envoy George Mitchell

Here is President Obama's statement, as released by the White House press office:

Over the past two and a half years, George Mitchell has worked as a tireless advocate for peace as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East.  His deep commitment to resolving conflict and advancing democracy has contributed immeasurably to the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security.

George told me when he took this job that he would put in a couple of years, and I’m so glad he did. He is – by any measure – one of the finest public servants that our nation has ever had. Even though he already had an extraordinary legacy – serving the people of Maine, leading the Senate, and bringing peace to Northern Ireland – he took on the toughest job imaginable and worked grueling hours to advance the interests of the United States and the cause of peace.

As he returns to his family, George leaves behind a proud legacy of dedicated public service and the country owes him a debt of gratitude for his extraordinary commitment.

As a nation, we remain committed to peace in the Middle East and to building on George’s hard work and progress toward achieving this goal.  Secretary Clinton has asked the Deputy Middle East Envoy, David Hale to serve as the Acting Envoy and I have every confidence in David’s ability to continue to make progress in this important effort.

Topics: President Obama • The News
The Situation Room turns 50
President Obama and Cabinent members watch as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak delivers a televised statement, during a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, Feb. 1, 2011.
May 13th, 2011
03:23 PM ET

The Situation Room turns 50

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama marked the 50th anniversary of the White House Situation Room today by naming a secure conference room after President John F. Kennedy, delivering remarks and thanking staffers for their “around-the-clock” work.

“We could not meet the national security challenges that we face without the capabilities of this room and the people who work here,” the president said, according to a release sent out by the White House press office. “It’s the President’s eyes and ears.  Providing the latest information and alerts, it’s the nerve center for the U.S. government, the place where we come together to make policy and respond to crises from wars abroad to floods at home," he said.

Built in 1961 by the Kennedy administration after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, the Situation Room is more than just the iconic executive conference room often seen in photos.

After a 2007 renovation, the West Wing’s Sit Room was expanded, and is now a 5,000 square foot complex that hosts some 250 guests in approximately 25 conferences a day.


Topics: President Obama • The News • White House
President Obama weighs in on Bulls vs. Heat
May 13th, 2011
12:51 PM ET

President Obama weighs in on Bulls vs. Heat

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama may be on an immigration reform kick, but when it comes to cuisine, he's all about the traditional American fare.

When asked by a Miami reporter to wager a bet in the NBA Eastern Conference finals matchup between the Miami Heat and his hometown Chicago Bulls, Obama replied, "Well you know in Chicago you know we have some outstanding Chicago hot dogs, I don't know what kind of food you've got down in Miami."

WTLV Univision 23 Miami reporter Mario Andrés Moreno then told the president, "If we lose, I'm gonna bring you here to the White House, a box of Cuban Fritas, you've eaten them on Calle Ocho."

"I've had those and they're very good…so you've got a bet," Obama said.

Cuban Fritas are a sweet and spicy Cuban hamburger (a description that really doesn't do them justice).

Obama sat down with Moreno as part of his recent attempt reinvigorate the debate over immigration reform. He kicked off the week in El Paso, Texas with a speech focused on the contentious issue, and spoke at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.'

Read full post HERE.

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
Obama 2012 opens HQ to cameras
May 13th, 2011
12:24 PM ET

Obama 2012 opens HQ to cameras

Here's a look into President Obama's re-election headquarters in the iconic Prudential Building in downtown Chicago.

The 41-story building completed in 1955 overlooks Grant Park, the site where Obama gave his victory speech on Election Night 2008.

Cameras were allowed into the headquarters for the first time this week.

Topics: The Visuals
POTUS schedule Friday, May 13
May 13th, 2011
08:11 AM ET

POTUS schedule Friday, May 13

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama has a high profile meeting with NATO's Secretary General. There will be no press coverage of the meeting, but the White House is sure to release at some point a photo and video taken by White House staff.  Press Secretary Jay Carney will convene an off-camera gaggle later this morning.

Schedule released by the White House after the jump.   FULL POST

Topics: Daily Schedule