In case anyone missed it, I added the video of the President’s speech in Austin here last night
President Obama will take questions at a CBS News town hall Wednesday afternoon, but we won’t get to hear any of his answers until Thursday morning. The forum, which will be taped at the Newseum, is embargoed until it’s shown on the “Early Show” at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Time: President Barack Obama’s approval rating has hit its highest point in two years — 60 percent — and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
In worrisome signs for Republicans, the president’s standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans — a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election — caused the overall uptick in support by sliding back to Obama after fleeing for much of the past two years.
Comfortable majorities of the public now call Obama a strong leader who will keep America safe. Nearly three-fourths — 73 percent — also now say they are confident that Obama can effectively handle terrorist threats. And he improved his standing on Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States’ relationships with other countries.
Despite a sluggish recovery from the Great Recession, 52 percent of Americans now approve of Obama’s stewardship of the economy, giving him his best rating on that issue since the early days of his presidency; 52 percent also now like how he’s handling the nation’s stubbornly high 9 percent unemployment.
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the “Pit Crew Challenge” station during an event with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House, May 9, 2011. The First Lady visited seven activity stations during the event, which helped promote both the Let’s Move! and Joining Forces initiatives. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
MediaLife: “60 Minutes” landed a big scoop with President Barack Obama’s first interview after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and it delivered a big audience.
“Minutes” averaged 13.8 million total viewers at 7 p.m. last night, according to Nielsen overnights, up 29 percent over the 10.7 million who tuned in last week.
The interview was easily Sunday night’s most-watched show on broadcast, with the No. 2 program, ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” drawing about 4 million fewer viewers.
There have been endlessly frustrating problems with the OFA site since I started ‘The Obama Diary’ fundraising effort for Obama/Biden 2012 yesterday, lots of you have had trouble with the link – I’ve contacted OFA to let them know about the problems, but the automated reply said it could be a “few weeks” before they get back to me. Insane – people want to donate to the campaign and they can’t!
Any way, thank you so much to those who persevered and helped bring the total up to $830 today, just $170 short of the target. If any of you could manage $10 or more to bring it to $1,000 that would be great, but absolutely no worries if you’re not in a position to donate – as I said before, these are really difficult times for many of you.
President Obama made this statement to mark the 63rd anniversary (according to the Jewish calendar) of the founding of the state of Israel:
“Sixty-three years ago, when Israel declared its independence, the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland was finally realized. On that same day, the United States became the first country in the world to recognize the State of Israel.
As Israelis celebrate their hard-won independence, it gives me great pleasure to extend the best wishes of the American people to the people of Israel and to honor their remarkable achievements over the past six decades. Our two nations share a unique and unbreakable bond of friendship that is anchored in common interests and shared values, and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.
I have every confidence that the strong relationship between our countries will grow deeper with each passing year. This is a period of profound change in the Middle East and North Africa, as people across the region courageously pursue the path of dignity and self-governance. Just as I know that Israel will always be one of our closest allies, I believe that the region can be more peaceful and prosperous when its people are able to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.
We will continue our efforts with Israel and others in the region to achieve a comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution, and to working together toward a future of peace, security and dignity for the people of Israel and all the people of the region. I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the people of Israel as they celebrate their 63rd Independence Day. “
GOPolitico: Rick Perry has declined the White House’s request that he greet President Obama when Air Force One lands in Texas on Tuesday, the Republican governor’s office says.
“We did try to arrange something with the White House,” said Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Perry. “They asked us if we wanted to meet him out on the tarmac in El Paso, but we weren’t able to work anything out, based on the fact that it’s probably going to be a 10-minute greeting.”
CBS: “60 Minutes” producer Maria Gavrilovic takes us back to 2007 when she just was “the new girl” at CBS, and President Obama the longshot candidate. Those were very early days for Obama, and his campaign looked far from promising. Only a small handful of reporters were traveling with him at the time, and for Gavrilovic, it wasn’t exactly the plum assignment that a frontrunner candidate like Hillary Clinton was.
….Gavrilovic reminds us of a controversial campaign promise, made four years ago, when Obama gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. On August 1, 2007, the candidate said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
His Democratic opponents – including Clinton – subsequently attacked him for being naïve and inexperienced in matters of foreign policy. The dust-up lasted for weeks, recalls Gavrilovic.
Gavrilovic, who helped produce this week’s Obama episode for “60 Minutes,” connects the dots between the killing of bin Laden and a four-year-old campaign pledge that got Candidate Obama in hot water.
The original, better quality video can be seen here
President Obama described the daring nighttime raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound as one of the “longest 40 minutes of my life,” giving his first detailed account Sunday of the plot to capture the world’s most wanted terrorist.
The mood inside the Situation Room was “very tense,” and it only intensified when one of the helicopters went down early on in the operation, Obama said on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
“There were big chunks of time in which all we were doing was just waiting,” Obama said. “And it was the longest 40 minutes of my life with the possible exception of when [daughter] Sasha got meningitis when she was three months old and I was waiting for the doctor to tell me that she was all right.”
Philip Gourevitch (New Yorker): ….The astonishing raid – long and secretively planned, stealthily launched, boldly and bravely and absolutely perfectly executed – was evidence of an American capability and purpose that we have longed to feel amid all the disappointments of the past decade of war.
Under Obama’s command, the raid on bin Laden … projected a cool and fearless capability. The perfect secrecy of the operation was part of its inspiring style – the total control, even the pitch-perfect relentlessness of Obama’s speech announcing the kill. Publishing trophy photographs is antithetical to that; it’s what our enemies do.
The main argument for releasing a photograph of the punctured scalp of our enemy is that it will provide proof that bin Laden really is dead. In other words, seeing is believing. But does anyone really believe that any more? Believing is believing. People who want, or need, to believe that bin Laden wasn’t shot dead will have no difficulty believing that a picture of his cadaver is a fake, a simple propaganda trick. The release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate didn’t put an end to birtherism, so why would the release of bin Laden’s autopsy video put an end to deatherism?…
At Abu Ghraib, and in far too many theatres of our post-9/11 wars, we compounded the wound that bin Laden and Al Qaeda inflicted on us ten-years ago, with self-inflicted wounds, time and again abandoning our own best principles in the name of defending them. We stooped to fighting terror with terror, and confronting barbarism with barbarism. The assassination of bin Laden allows us to begin turning the page – but surely not if that page is printed with an official trophy photograph of his blasted head.