March 2010: A 100-square-meter brick art tribute to U.S. President Barack Obama is unveiled in Sydney, Australia. The tribute wall was erected as a lead-up to Obama’s scheduled visit to Australia which was later cancelled
Tomorrow: The President leaves for Hawaii, stopping en route in San Diego.
Saturday: Hosts a meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; attends the APEC CEO Business Summit; holds bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Nodo of Japan, President Medvedev of Russia and President Hu Jintao of China. In the evening, hosts a dinner and a cultural program for the APEC leaders in Honolulu, makes remarks. First Lady Michelle Obama will hold a farm-to-table agricultural education event at MA‘O Organic Farms in Waianae.
Sunday: Makes opening comments at the APEC Summit and attends sessions through the day; holds a press conference to wrap up the summit. In the evening meets with the Mexican President and the Canadian Prime Minister at the North American Leaders Summit. The First Lady hosts a luncheon with APEC leaders’ spouses at Kualoa Ranch.
Monday: Holds a fundraiser in the morning. That will be his only event for the day before he leaves on Tuesday morning for Canberra, Australia.
Ben Rhodes (Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications): “Now, because of the wonders of the world, the flight to Australia takes us forward a day on the clock. So we now move to Wednesday, November 16th, in terms of the schedule here. And this is Australia time.”
Check here for the transcript of Rhodes trying to talk time zones with the press, the confusion was hilarious – and I’m hopelessly confused too
Wednesday: Arrives in Australia. Has a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gillard, the two leaders then holding a joint press conference. Attends a parliamentary dinner at the Australian Parliament House that night where he will make remarks about the U.S.-Australian relationship.
Thursday: Begins his day by laying a wreath at an Australian war memorial; meets with opposition leader Tony Abbott; addresses the Australian Parliament; visits a local primary school with PM Gillard; visits the US embassy. Leaves Canberra for Darwin. Visits a memorial to the USS Peary and lays a wreath. The President and PM Gillard together address Australian troops. That concludes the Australia portion of the visit. The President flies that night to Bali, Indonesia.
Friday: Attends a number of bilateral meetings. Meets with the Prime Minister of India and the leaders of Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. Meets with the ASEAN nations, the 10 Southeast Asian nations. Meets with President Yudhoyono of Indonesia; attends an East Asia dinner that night.
Saturday: The East Asian Summit takes place through the day. At its conclusion the President returns to the United States.
If only Huntsman took on Romney in debates half as well as his ad people take him on in videos:
Univision: President Obama says he is confident in his ability to win over Latino voters before next year’s elections, thanks to some added help from his Republican opponents.
…. “I don’t think it requires us to go negative in the sense of us running a bunch of ads that are false, or character assassinations,” Obama told Univision News. “It will be based on facts … We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim. We won’t even comment on them, we’ll just run those in a loop on Univision and Telemundo, and people can make up their own minds.”
That’s one of the strongest rebukes thus far from Obama against Republicans when it comes to their desire to chip away at his base of Latino support. And it underscores the president’s eagerness to go toe-to-toe with his GOP opponents although the beginning of the general election campaign is still months away.
…. “That’s not to say the Latino community is going to think my administration is perfect. But I think they know where my heart is and they know the kind of America that I want to see for all of our children,” he said. “The values and the vision I have is going to match up much more closely with where the Latino community wants to see the country going.”
TPM: With Recovery Act funding running out, that old TPM favorite – the anti-stimulus Republican who takes credit for stimulus funding in their district – is becoming somewhat of a rarity. But Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) kicked it old school on Thursday by cutting the ribbon on a new road that received millions from the same spending bill he opposed.
TPM: …. last week a Quinnipiac national poll showed the President’s approval rating rising while he led Romney nationally by five points … Five days later an NBC/WSJ poll showed the same trend, as Obama expanded his lead on the former Mass Gov. from 2 points to 6 in that poll. In both cases none of the other GOP candidates came close to the President.
…. Gallup released new data polling Obama versus a generic Republican, which for the last year has been the only hypothetical contest that Obama has consistently lost. But in this week’s matchup, Obama actually took a one point lead against the faceless Republican, a major change in Gallup’s tracking, which had the generic candidate ahead by eight points just a month ago.
It’s a sign both that Obama’s message on jobs is resonating …. It seems that as the race moves along, and a Romney-Obama matchup becomes more likely, the generic candidate is morphing into Romney. And as that happens, Obama starts to do better.
President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Nov. 10, 2011. Attending, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; and Counselor to the President Pete Rouse. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A visitor looks at photographs taken during fieldwork in Indonesia by S. Ann Dunham, President Barack Obama’s late mother, during an exhibition at a gallery at the East West Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus, November 9
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with Irish President Mary McAleese and Dr. Martin McAleese during a courtesy call in the Drawing Room at the President’s residence in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011
Oh, any excuse to take a trip down this memory lane:
Today is President Mary McAleese’s last day in office – she served 14 years (14!) as Irish president.
Sun Times: Today, in her keynote address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the International Franchise Association (IFA) which represents 1,100 franchises has committed to hiring 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. 5,000 jobs of this commitment are promised to wounded warriors.
Mrs. Obama also announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – which Dr. Jill Biden helped launch at the Chamber of Commerce last summer and which includes nearly 100 companies and organizations – has committed to employ 20,000 military spouses. These organizations include companies like Microsoft, Home Depot and Citi and franchises like UPS, Guidant Financial and Data Doctors. Together, the commitment by the International Franchise Association and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership represents a commitment to hire 100,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses by 2014.
Statement by the President on the State Department’s Keystone XL Pipeline Announcement
November 10, 2011
I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal. Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.
The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people. At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy.
Bloomberg: The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven months, a sign the recovery may be encouraging companies to limit cuts in headcount.
Jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 390,000 in the week ended Nov. 5, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. (More here)
Bloomberg: The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September to the lowest level this year as exports surged to a record high …. A smaller September U.S. trade bill may mean a bigger contribution to third-quarter growth….. (More here)
The Hill: A coalition of conservatives is working to organize the disparate groups opposing Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee. While much has been made of Romney’s lack of support among conservative Republicans, the sense of malaise has mostly manifested as a lack of enthusiasm rather than outright opposition. That could all be about to change.
The new coalition is seeking to push back against the narrative that Romney is the “inevitable nominee,” according to spokesman and activist Ali Akbar. The group’s website, NotMittRomney.com, launched this week…..
Jonathan Bernstein (Washington Post): What can you say about a debate in which one candidate had perhaps the worst moment ever in a presidential debate – Rick Perry’s brain freeze about the third of the three government agencies he wants to eliminate – and he didn’t even give the most embarrassing performance?
No, that would be Herman Cain …. after dragging American political rhetoric to a new low, referring to the House Minority Leader and a former speaker as “Princess Nancy,” it’s about time that Cain was called to account for insulting the American people and the political process for the farce that he’s engaging in….
Paul Begala: The only knockout punch in the CNBC debate was the one Rick Perry administered to himself. His tiny Texas Aggie brain froze when he tried to repeat his talking point about the three federal agencies he would close …. I have never seen a more devastating moment of self-destruction. What’s next, Perry endorsing Cain’s 9-9…ummm, what’s the third number?
Michael Tomasky: Barack Obama is winning the Rust Belt back. The overwhelming repeal in Ohio of Governor John Kasich’s anti-labor bill from last year shows that the GOP has gone way, way too far—too far for Democrats, obviously, but also for independents. It shows the potential for something else, too: the populist message can stick. “Class warfare” can work. It can take hold even with the people who allegedly despise our Kenyan leader the most: the white working class. And if this turns out to be right, then the Washington conventional wisdom will be proven as wrong as it’s been since 1998, when the Cokie Roberts caucus convinced itself that the American people wanted to throw Bill Clinton out of the White House over Monica.
…. If Romney is going to be the Republican standard bearer, is this really the right time for a nominee who’s worth $250 million and is going to be walking around talking about lower taxes on everyone, including the rich, and who presumably pays at the 15 percent rate, since most of his income is from capital gains and not compensation?
Washington Post: Reggie Love, a key member of the Obama entourage, is planning to leave the White House by the end of the year, people close to the administration said.
Love, 30, is a popular, gregarious figure in the White House. A onetime forward for the Duke Blue Devils basketball team, Love started out as a staff assistant in Obama’s Senate office after college, rising to become his personal assistant, known as the “body man.”