September 20th, 2011
06:43 PM ET

Obama campaign calls Jewish supporters

Yesterday CNN was first to report that the Obama campaign had scheduled a conference call for this afternoon with members of the Jewish community where it would lay out the president’s record in support of Israel. Organizers of the call explained that it was not scheduled in reaction to recent bad press regarding the president’s stance on Israel, but rather planned long in advance in attempt to arm supporters with detailed information about the president’s record in advance of the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – and the political dinner discussions that often accompany them.

Well, the call has just wrapped up after roughly 40 minutes and one of the leaders of the call, former-Congressman Robert Wexler – a chief surrogate for President Obama amongst Jewish voters during the 2008 election – offered CNN a few observations about how it played out.

Wexler, who served seven terms in congress before leaving in 2010 to take over as president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, said that today’s call is just the “first step of an aggressive effort to lay out President Obama’s record on Israel.” But he was careful to place the entire discussion in a broader context.

“Most Americans – Jewish Americans included – are focused on the economy,” Wexler said, later adding that, “to divorce this discussion from President Obama’s views on Social Security and Medicare and the views of the Republican nominee on those issues is useless.” FULL POST

Topics: Campaign • President Obama • Re-election
Did you know.....about the UN General Assembly?
September 20th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Did you know.....about the UN General Assembly?

The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the UN and is composed of representatives of all Member States. The work of the United Nations year-round derives largely from the mandates given by the General Assembly.

The United Nations General Assembly meets the third Tuesday of every September and is made up of 193 Member States.

The newest member state is South Sudan, which was admitted as a new Member State ‎by the United Nations General Assembly on July 14, 2011.

Information from

Longtime Obama aide to depart White House
September 20th, 2011
02:19 PM ET

Longtime Obama aide to depart White House

White House Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki, a longtime aide to President Obama, is leaving the administration to run the Washington, DC office of Global Strategy Group, a New York-based consulting firm that specializes in strategic communications and polling, including work with many prominent Democratic political candidates and financial clients.

The well-liked redhead - currently the top female aide in the Obama press shop - has clocked four years working for both the White House and the presidential campaign. She’s also worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the political arm of House Democrats, as well as for the successful re-election bids of Iowa's Governor Tom Vilsack (now the Secretary of Agriculture) and Sen. Tom Harkin.

Psaki accepted the position as Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Global Strategy Group in August but delayed announcement of the news so she could tell White House colleagues, many of whom were out of town in August, of her departure in person.

Her last day at the White House is on Thursday. Psaki officially starts her new job on October 17.

Topics: The News
Mayors to Washington: get the job done!
Members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors speak to reporters outside the White House Tuesday after meeting with administration advisors on the president's jobs bill. From left Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford, CT, Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia, PA, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans, LA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, CA, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore, MD and Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte, NC.
September 20th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Mayors to Washington: get the job done!

Crumbling bridges and highways, aging water systems and airports- these are the real life concerns a group of mayors from the nation's 50 biggest cities is bringing toWashingtonless than one week after the president's jobs proposal.  Mr. Obama's jobs bill would create an infrastructure bank to finance new projects and at the same time help create jobs. 

Meeting today at the White House, half a dozen key members from the non-partisan U.S. Conference of Mayors told the president's top advisors they're tired of the gridlock inWashington. 

"At a time here inWashingtonwhen those in the beltway bubble don't seem to be listening, we think it's important that we hear fromAmerica's cities," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, president of the group.  "We want them (Congress) to do their job." FULL POST

Topics: Economy • jobs • The News
WH anonymous briefing on transparency
September 20th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

WH anonymous briefing on transparency

The Obama administration sent two anonymous officials to brief reporters on their initiative to promote openness and transparency around the world!

Read the full story on CNN's Security Clearance blog.

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
Diplomacy front and center for president Tuesday
Marine One, carrying US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, approaches for a landing in lower Manhattan Monday in New York City. The president is in New York City to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly.
September 20th, 2011
09:19 AM ET

Diplomacy front and center for president Tuesday

The president's schedule in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly:

10:15AM THE PRESIDENT meets with the Transitional National Council (TNC) Chairman, Mustafa Abdel Jalil/ United Nations Building/ Stills Only Photo Spray at the Top

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT attends a Libya Contact Group Meeting/ United Nations Building/ Travel Pool Coverage of Opening Remarks; UNTV Coverage

11:45AM THE PRESIDENT holds a bilateral meeting with President Hamid Karzai of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan/ Waldorf Astoria Hotel/ Stills Only Photo Spray at the Top

1:55PM THE PRESIDENT meets with President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil/ Waldorf Astoria Hotel/ Stills Only Photo Spray at the Top

2:15PM THE PRESIDENT and President Dilma Rousseff join in a family photo with leaders attending the Open Government Partnership Event/ Waldorf Astoria Hotel/ Travel Pool Coverage

2:25PM THE PRESIDENT attends the Open Government Partnership Event/ Waldorf Astoria Hotel/ Travel Pool Coverage

4:30PM THE PRESIDENT attends a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey/ Waldorf Astoria Hotel/ Travel Pool Spray at the Top with Statements

8:20PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY attend a DNC Event/ Gotham Hall, New York/ Travel Pool Coverage for Remarks

Topics: Daily Schedule