Obama in focus
September 30th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

Obama in focus

The Week in Review will be back next Friday once technical difficulties are resolved.   Stay tuned

Topics: The Visuals
Morning briefing: Death of Anwar al-Awlaki
This undated still image from video released in October 2010 from the SITE Intelligence Group shows Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni-American cleric in Yemen, speaking in a new audio speech released on February 13, 2011, urging support for reporters who expose the alleged criminality of America. (SITE Intelligence Group/AFP/Getty Images)
September 30th, 2011
08:31 AM ET

Morning briefing: Death of Anwar al-Awlaki

News this morning of the death of New Mexico-born Yemeni-American terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki is dominating the news out of the White House today. The latest on Awlaki’s death can be found here from CNN Wires.

With the president attending the “Change of Office” ceremony today for Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, his recent comments on the Pakistani government’s support of terror organizations will surely reemerge as a popular topic of conversation. Reuters is reporting that one of the men sanctioned by the U.S. for supporting Pakistani terrorist organizations is now denying that he was a Taliban financer. [Reuters]

Here are some other stories the White House is likely keeping an eye on:

30-year fixed mortgage rates move up after reaching record lows [LA Times]

Russia's Medvedev defends Putin swap plan [Reuters]

Florida seeks to move primary date, upending GOP calendar [CNN]

Fatal Accident Puts Focus on Deportation Program [NY Times]

Tea Party challenges Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana [The State Column]

'Onion' Takes Heat From D.C. Police For Hostage Story [NPR]

Europe again steps back from brink in debt crisis [Reuters]

Obama’s Buffett Rule Backed by 63% of Investors [Bloomberg]

POTUS day ahead: "Change of Office" ceremony, Smerconish Interview
September 30th, 2011
07:55 AM ET

POTUS day ahead: "Change of Office" ceremony, Smerconish Interview

The president’s day took a bit of a turn early this morning as CNN confirmed that the Yemeni-American terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed. Details of Awlaki’s death are slowly leaking out (many can be found here from CNN Wires), but the president is likely to mention it when he delivers remarks at the “Change of Office” ceremony for the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen at Fort Myer later this morning.

Later in the day, the president will be interviewed by conservative talk radio host Michael Smerconish in the Oval Office. This is the third time President Obama will talk to Smerconish since his election – remember that in 2008 Smerconish broke with the GOP and endorsed Obama. Tonight Obama attends a fundraiser hosted by supporters of the LGBT community in Washington DC on the last day of the third federal fundraising quarter.

Press Secretary Jay Carney will hold a press briefing today  at 12:30 PM.

Here’s the whole schedule:

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

11:00AM         THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at the "Change of Office" Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony at Fort Myer. THE VICE PRESIDENT also attends – Joint Base Myer – Henderson Hall, Virginia (Open Press)

1:40PM            THE PRESIDENT will be interviewed live by Michael Smerconish – Oval Office (Closed Press)

8:05PM           THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a campaign event – Private Residence (Print Pool Coverage for Remarks Only)

Topics: Daily Schedule
Biden takes ownership of economy?
September 29th, 2011
03:28 PM ET

Biden takes ownership of economy?

Obama administration officials often cite the economic conditions they inherited pre-2009 to beat back Republican attacks over the slow recovery.

But what the Bush administration did is “not relevant,” Vice President Joe Biden told Florida radio station WLRN Thursday, a seeming departure from the standard White House’s talking points:

“There are a lot of people in Florida that have good reason to be upset, because they lost their jobs. Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant, because we are in charge. And right now, we are the ones in charge and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough.”

Later, White House spokesman Jay Carney appeared to walk back Biden’s comments at Thursday’s daily briefing.

“He didn’t say the blame for it is owned. What he absolutely said was that most Americans want their elected officials in Washington to act to improve the situation."

Picture of the week: Reach out and touch the President
Supporters reach out to shake hands with US President Barack Obama as he arrives to speak on his proposed American Jobs Act ON September 27, 2011 at Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver, Colorado. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
September 29th, 2011
10:41 AM ET
Morning Briefing: Ala. immigration law, Mass. terror plot & European debt crisis
September 29th, 2011
08:50 AM ET

Morning Briefing: Ala. immigration law, Mass. terror plot & European debt crisis

After President Obama took several questions on immigration from Latino voters yesterday, the White House has immigration on its mind again today due to yesterday’s ruling by Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn blocking several portions of one of the strictest state-level immigration laws in the country. CNN’s Bill Mears describes yesterday’s ruling in Alabama as “a partial victory for both sides” as Blackburn left many of the law’s more stringent provisions in tact, while enjoining others until a “hearing on the larger issues raised in the appeal are resolved.” Check out CNN’s readout here.

The White House will also likely be keeping its eye on the case involving Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen living in Ashland, Massachusetts who was charged yesterday by the FBI with plotting to fly remote-control aircrafts armed with explosives into the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol building. [Boston Globe]

Here are some other stories the White House is reading this morning.

Disaster funds deal comes up for House action [CNN Wire]

Merkel dodges bullet with euro vote victory [Reuters]

EPA needed more data before ruling on greenhouse gas emissions, report says [Washington Post]

Bernanke: U.S. Unemployment a ‘National Crisis’ [Bloomberg]

European Stocks Rise as Germany Backs Enhanced Euro Rescue Fund [Bloomberg]

Stocks prep for gains after German vote [CNN Money]

President Obama's day ahead: Meetings with Cabinet members, local interviews
September 29th, 2011
07:38 AM ET

President Obama's day ahead: Meetings with Cabinet members, local interviews

Good Thursday morning from the White House. Today the president has a couple closed-door meetings with members of his cabinet – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the morning and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the afternoon. Yesterday President Obama and Vice President Biden met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

In between today’s meetings, President Obama will participate in a series of local TV interviews in the Diplomatic Room at the White House. The interviews will begin airing at 5pm on WTVF-TV Nashville, Tennessee; WXII-TV Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and WESH-TV Orlando, Florida. He’s expected to continue to make the case for passage of his jobs plan.

The press briefing today is at 1pm.

Here’s the full schedule:

9:30AM           THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing – Oval Office (Closed Press)

10:00AM         THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors – Oval Office (Closed Press)

10:30AM         THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of the Treasury Geithner – Oval Office (Closed Press)

11:20AM        THE PRESIDENT participates in regional interviews on the need for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act now to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of working Americans – Diplomatic Room (Closed Press)

1:30PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of State Clinton – Oval Office (Closed Press)

Topics: Daily Schedule
September 28th, 2011
05:17 PM ET

Obama’s uneasy relationship with black voters


Washington (CNN) - President Obama always takes a broader view on issues of race and his policies. He likes to point out that whether he’s pushing for health care reform or more jobs, all Americans not just blacks stand to benefit.

This approach has not gone unnoticed.

Now, as the president courts black voters who were key to his success in 2008, some of them are less than enthusiastic.

"I think the expectations, however unrealistic, from the community are higher for him to quote un quote help us," said Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan, one of Washington DC’s top urban radio morning hosts. “That being said, I still think many people are very very supportive of President Obama,” he added.

Topics: President Obama • The News
White House confident Supreme Court will uphold health care law
September 28th, 2011
04:31 PM ET

White House confident Supreme Court will uphold health care law

The Obama administration is putting on a confident face when it comes to the debate being waged in federal courts over the health care law.

In a blog post explaining why the Justice Department is formally asking the Supreme Court to take up the matter this term, Deputy Senior White House Advisor Stephanie Cutter writes she is confident the high court will overturn a recent federal court’s decision that held the law’s mandate unconstitutional:

Opponents of reform wrongly claim that Congress exceeded its authority in regulating when and how people pay for health care. Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. People who make a decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market. Their action is not felt by themselves alone. Instead, when they become ill or injured and cannot pay their bills, their costs are shifted to others. Those costs – $43 billion in 2008 alone – are borne by doctors, hospitals, insured individuals, taxpayers and small businesses throughout the nation.

Entire blog post HERE.

Topics: The News
Obama's fiery speech to CBC defended
September 28th, 2011
04:06 PM ET

Obama's fiery speech to CBC defended

Washington (CNN) - A White House official is defending controversial comments President Obama made in a weekend speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.

“It was meant as a rallying cry,” the official said.

As the president was nearing the end of his speech he tried to pump up the audience with a rift punctuated by loud applause.

“I am going to press on for jobs,” he said, then telling those in the room, “I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.”

Representative Maxine Waters, D-California, told CNN she found the comment “curious,” and she speculated that the president had gone “off script.”

The White House official said that in fact it was an ad-lib moment, but insisted that the audience gave the president more than a warm embrace.

Topics: The News