President Obama says "Stop Bullying – Speak Up"
March 13th, 2012
05:06 PM ET

President Obama says "Stop Bullying – Speak Up"

President Obama is taking a stand – and this time it’s against bullying.

Joining the Cartoon Network’s campaign “Stop Bullying: Speak Up”, the president has recorded an opening message introducing a 30-minute documentary film “Speak Up”.

Cartoon Network describes the film as a “moving, thoughtful and hopeful program (that) consists of candid interviews with kids, mostly between the ages of 8 and 13 years old, who either are or have been the target of bullies, bystanders in a bullying situation or even bullies themselves.”

Cartoon Network’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” is a multi-platform initiative launched in October 2010 that focuses on motivating bystanders-witnesses to bullying-to speak up and help prevent bullying.

The half-hour film premieres on March 14, 2012, at a middle school on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C and will air nationally on Cartoon Network on March 18, 2012.

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
March 5th, 2012
02:53 PM ET

WH announces Obama news conference

President Obama will hold a news conference on Tuesday at the White House according to a tweet from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Reporters will likely pepper the president with questions regarding his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the state of the U.S. economy, concern over the ongoing violence in Syria and the race for the GOP presidential nomination. The last time the president opened himself up to a press conference was in November of 2012 at the APEC summit in Hawaii.

Tuesday’s press conference – on the same day as the GOP’s Super Tuesday primaries – has several of us asking – is it coincidence or strategy that the President has had several same day events with Republican candidates lately? For instance – the president addressed the UAW last week touting his successful auto bailout strategy – the same day as important primaries in Arizona and Michigan—home to the auto industry. He also delivered his much anticipated contraception compromise while GOP candidate Mitt Romney addressed the annual CPAC convention in February. And last fall the president requested to address a Joint Session of Congress on the same night as a scheduled GOP debate.  Ultimately he agreed to move his address to the following evening. A counter programming strategy or simple happenstance? What do you think?

President awards purple hearts
March 2nd, 2012
03:32 PM ET

President awards purple hearts

President Obama stopped by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit with wounded service members on Friday.  The president awarded 8 purple hearts during his visit with 27 wounded warriors  – 11 Soldiers, 14 Marines, 1 Sailor and 1 NATO Forces member.  26 of the service members were injured in Afghanistan and 1 in Iraq.

Topics: Military • President Obama • The Buzz
March 2nd, 2012
02:33 PM ET

Obama calls student in middle of contraception controversy

President Barack Obama called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke Friday to offer support after she came  under attack by Rush Limbaugh following her testimony to a House panel in support of access to contraceptives.

Read the entire story at

Details from the armed forces dinner
US President Barack Obama speaks during a dinner in the East Room of the White House for members of the US armed forces who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
February 29th, 2012
09:32 PM ET

Details from the armed forces dinner

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a special dinner at the White House tonight to honor those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn and to honor their families. President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of Defense Panetta and Jt. Chiefs Chairman Dempsey addressed the guests in the East Room of the White House.  The president told those gathered just "as the war wounds last a lifetime, so does our gratitude and commitment."  Over 100 service men, women, Gold Star family members and representatives from veterans groups were invited along with a guest.  Many chose to bring a fellow service member.

The lucky guests seated with the President:
CW4 Nelson A. Visaya
Gunnery Sergeant Deverson Lochard
Petty Officer Third Class (HM3), Max R. Rohn
Master Sergeant Jeremy D. Coombs
Master Sergeant Jessica R. Coombs
1st LT Paul S. Gonzalez

Topics: Military • President Obama • The News
Guess who came to dinner?
US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk through the Cross Hall to the East Room of the White House en route a dinner for members of the US armed forces who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
February 29th, 2012
09:17 PM ET

Guess who came to dinner?

Attendees at tonight's White House dinner, “A Nation’s Gratitude: Honoring those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn”:

The President and Mrs. Obama

The Vice President and Dr. Biden

SGT Sarah M. Adams, Killeen, TX, and Captain William Messick, Belton, TX

Mr. Eric Alva, San Antonio, TX and Dustin L. Jones, Arlington, VA

Chaplain (Colonel) Daniel Ames, Joint Staff Chaplain, Alexandria, VA

T.H. Brooke Anderson, DAP & NSS Chief of Staff & Counselor, NSS, Washington, DC, and COL Steven Miska, Washington, DC

Major General Vaughn Ary, Alexandria, VA, and Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Ary, Alexandria, VA

General Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, DC, and Mrs. Charlene D Austin, Washington, DC

Topics: Military • The News • White House
President reaches out to Catholics on Ash Wednesday
February 22nd, 2012
11:29 AM ET

President reaches out to Catholics on Ash Wednesday

On this Ash Wednesday the president and first lady sent out the following greeting:

"Today, Michelle and I honor Ash Wednesday with Christians around the country and across the world. This is at once a solemn and joyous occasion, an opportunity to remember both the depths of sacrifice and the height of redemption. We join millions in entering the Lenten Season with truly thankful hearts, mindful of our faith and our obligations to one another."

The statement, aimed at the over 75 million Catholics in the United States, will likely also be welcomed by those in the Obama Administration including Vice President Biden, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough.

Topics: Catholic vote • President Obama • The Buzz
I'll have what she's wearing!
February 7th, 2012
12:06 PM ET

I'll have what she's wearing!

The old adage … a picture is worth a thousand words. But it looks like the women’s retailer Ann Taylor hopes that picture translates into tens of thousands of dollars. In a recent email to its customers, Ann Taylor is highlighting First Lady Michelle Obama wearing a coat from its Spring 2012 Collection at a Let’s Move event last week. The coat, which retails for $248, appears in the ad under the banner: “A Fashion First.”

But Ann Taylor isn’t the first retailer to catch the attention of the fashionable first lady. J. Crew has been a bit of a staple for Mrs. Obama. She has worn its clothes on the cover of Vogue and as guest on the Tonight Show. But the first lady really upped the ante when she wore one of J.Crew’s cardigan and skirts in London while visiting the home of the British prime minister.

A long time supporter of American designers and not one to pick favorites, the First Lady has spread her support among a myriad of U.S. retailers. She donned an outfit from retailer Talbots on the cover of Essence magazine and a dress from White House Black Market when she appeared as a guest on ABC’s The View. A Time magazine article in 2009 even asked “Can Michelle Obama save fashion retailing?”

Retailers aren’t the only ones who have benefited from the First Lady’s attention to fashion. Indeed designing for the first lady can catapult a designer into the runway spotlight. Take, for example, Jason Wu who gained national attention when his design was chosen for Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown. Just this week, the designer launched his own ready-to-wear collection for Target, reportedly causing a mad rush for items in stores and nearly selling out on line.

Topics: Michelle Obama • The Buzz • The Visuals
Obama admits to Pakistan drone strikes
January 31st, 2012
12:11 PM ET

Obama admits to Pakistan drone strikes

Maybe it was one of the worst kept secrets in Washington and Pakistan, but U.S. officials rarely admit publicly to the active use of drones to hunt down Al Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan. One reason is out of deference to the Pakistan, whose government relents to the drone flights even while publicly condemning it because the Pakistani populace is so against the strikes.

That being said, the president on Monday casually revealed to his Google+ hangout that "a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA, and going after al Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military actions than the one we're already engaging in." (FATA being the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan where Al Qaeda and many Taliban are ensconced).

To read the entire story, check out CNN's Security Clearance blog.

Topics: Pakistan • President Obama • The News
First day jitters?
From left: President Barack Obama; Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Lew; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler; Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Counselor to the President Pete Rouse: Press Secretary Jay Carney; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Nancy-Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to the Vice President.
January 30th, 2012
05:33 PM ET

First day jitters?

It was the first day on the job for new White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew. But it wasn't actually his first day at the White House. In his former position as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Lew was responsible for overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and financial management of the Executive Office of the President.

Topics: Jack Lew • The Buzz