POTUS spends day behind closed doors
A man holds up his daughter over the construction fence so she can see the White House. Construction for the inauguration parade platform has already begun on Pennsylvania Ave.
November 13th, 2012
08:47 AM ET

POTUS spends day behind closed doors

At this point, we won't see President Obama in front of any cameras today but he definitely has many issues on his plate that will get attention behind closed doors today. The only thing listed on his public schedule is a meeting with labor leaders and other progressive leaders to discuss solutions to avoiding the fiscal cliff. The meeting is in the Roosevelt Room and is closed to the press. Other than that, we assume he'll continue to be briefed on the scandals and investigations involving Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Allen. Here is a listing of meeting participants, as provided by a White House official:

  • · Mary Kay Henry, SEIU
  • · Lee Saunders, AFSCME
  • · Dennis Van Roekel, NEA
  • · Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO
  • · Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress
  • · John Podesta, Center for American Progress
  • · Bob Greenstein, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
  • · Laura Burton Capps, Common Purpose Project
  • · Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
  • · Justin Ruben, MoveOn
  • · Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change

Beyond that, we'll hear from the WH Press Secretary when he holds a briefing at 12:30p.


Clock ticking for Obama security team
President Obama and his new national security team in the East Room on Thursday
April 28th, 2011
07:28 PM ET

Clock ticking for Obama security team

WASHINGTON (CNN)–When President Obama unveiled his revamped national security team in the East Room, he quickly joked about how badly Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been itching to finally get serious about retirement.

"When I took office, Bob Gates had already served under seven presidents, and he carried a clock that counted down the days, hours, and minutes until he could return to Washington State with his wife Becky," said Obama, adding that he felt lucky to get Gates to keep pushing the exit date back to deal with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as some major budget decisions confronting the nation.

First it was Obama during the presidential transition in December 2008 getting Gates to stay on for just one more year for continuity's sake. Then that grew to staying on for first two and a half years of the administration.

Senior officials tell me Obama had even been hoping to somehow convince Gates to stay on through all four years of the first term for the good of his country, but the president finally gave in and then set his sights to twisting the reluctant arm of CIA Director Leon Panetta to delay his own retirement to take the top spot at the Pentagon.

As Obama noted to laughter about his lobbying of Gates, "At some point along the way, Bob threw out that clock."

Big changes to come on Obama's national security team
Gen. David Petraeus is being considered to be the next CIA Director
April 11th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Big changes to come on Obama's national security team

By CNN's Barbara Starr -

WASHINGTON (CNN) -The Obama administration is considering General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, as the next possible CIA director, an Administration official confirms to CNN. The official would not be identified because no announcements have been made about upcoming personnel decisions.

The move would be just one of a complex shuffle set to take place through the rest of the year as key members of the president's national security team are set to depart, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who has long wanted to retired, and The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, whose term is set to end this year.

The current director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, is one of the people high on the list to replace Gates as defense secretary, the official said.

"There is a lot of chatter and a lot of speculation out there right now about what General Petraeus may do in the future. And all of it is premature and thus we aren't commenting," said Petraeus' spokesman Col. Erik Gunhus told CNN.

Hallway VIP Encounter
November 20th, 2010
05:44 PM ET

Hallway VIP Encounter

Sometimes you just run into very important people when you're walking down the hall and of course you have to stop and ask a few questions. Especially if it's Gen. David Petraeus.