Posts Tagged ‘Biden

30
Mar
15

The President’s Address at the Opening of the Edward Kennedy Institute

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THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. To Vicki, Ted, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, Ambassador Smith, members of the Kennedy family — thank you so much for inviting me to speak today. Your Eminence, Cardinal O’Malley; Vice President Biden; Governor Baker; Mayor Walsh; members of Congress, past and present; and pretty much every elected official in Massachusetts — (laughter) — it is an honor to mark this occasion with you.

Boston, know that Michelle and I have joined our prayers with yours these past few days for a hero — former Army Ranger and Boston Police Officer John Moynihan, who was shot in the line of duty on Friday night. (Applause.) I mention him because, last year, at the White House, the Vice President and I had the chance to honor Officer Moynihan as one of America’s “Top Cops” for his bravery in the line of duty, for risking his life to save a fellow officer. And thanks to the heroes at Boston Medical Center, I’m told Officer Moynihan is awake, and talking, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery. (Applause.)

I also want to single out someone who very much wanted to be here, just as he was every day for nearly 25 years as he represented this commonwealth alongside Ted in the Senate — and that’s Secretary of State John Kerry. (Applause.) As many of you know, John is in Europe with our allies and partners, leading the negotiations with Iran and the world community, and standing up for a principle that Ted and his brother, President Kennedy, believed in so strongly: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” (Applause.)

And, finally, in his first years in the Senate, Ted dispatched a young aide to assemble a team of talent without rival. The sell was simple: Come and help Ted Kennedy make history. So I want to give a special shout-out to his extraordinarily loyal staff — (applause) — 50 years later a family more than one thousand strong. This is your day, as well. We’re proud of you. (Applause.) Of course, many of you now work with me. (Laughter.) So enjoy today, because we got to get back to work. (Laughter.)

Distinguished guests, fellow citizens — in 1958, Ted Kennedy was a young man working to reelect his brother, Jack, to the United States Senate. On election night, the two toasted one another: “Here’s to 1960, Mr. President,” Ted said, “If you can make it.” With his quick Irish wit, Jack returned the toast: “Here’s to 1962, Senator Kennedy, if you can make it.” (Laughter.) They both made it. And today, they’re together again in eternal rest at Arlington.

But their legacies are as alive as ever together right here in Boston. The John F. Kennedy Library next door is a symbol of our American idealism; the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate as a living example of the hard, frustrating, never-ending, but critical work required to make that idealism real.

What more fitting tribute, what better testament to the life of Ted Kennedy, than this place that he left for a new generation of Americans — a monument not to himself but to what we, the people, have the power to do together.

Any of us who have had the privilege to serve in the Senate know that it’s impossible not to share Ted’s awe for the history swirling around you — an awe instilled in him by his brother, Jack. Ted waited more than a year to deliver his first speech on the Senate floor. That’s no longer the custom. (Laughter.) It’s good to see Trent and Tom Daschle here, because they remember what customs were like back then. (Laughter.)

And Ted gave a speech only because he felt there was a topic — the Civil Rights Act — that demanded it. Nevertheless, he spoke with humility, aware, as he put it, that “a freshman Senator should be seen, not heard; should learn, and not teach.”

Some of us, I admit, have not always heeded that lesson. (Laughter.) But fortunately, we had Ted to show us the ropes anyway. And no one made the Senate come alive like Ted Kennedy. It was one of the great pleasures of my life to hear Ted Kennedy deliver one of his stem winders on the Floor. Rarely was he more animated than when he’d lead you through the living museums that were his offices. He could — and he would — tell you everything that there was to know about all of it. (Laughter.)

And then there were more somber moments. I still remember the first time I pulled open the drawer of my desk. Each senator is assigned a desk, and there’s a tradition of carving the names of those who had used it before. And those names in my desk included Taft and Baker, Simon, Wellstone, and Robert F. Kennedy.

The Senate was a place where you instinctively pulled yourself up a little bit straighter; where you tried to act a little bit better. “Being a senator changes a person,” Ted wrote in his memoirs. As Vicki said, it may take a year, or two years, or three years, but it always happens; it fills you with a heightened sense of purpose.

That’s the magic of the Senate. That’s the essence of what it can be. And who but Ted Kennedy, and his family, would create a full-scale replica of the Senate chamber, and open it to everyone?

We live in a time of such great cynicism about all our institutions. And we are cynical about government and about Washington, most of all. It’s hard for our children to see, in the noisy and too often trivial pursuits of today’s politics, the possibilities of our democracy — our capacity, together, to do big things.

And this place can help change that. It can help light the fire of imagination, plant the seed of noble ambition in the minds of future generations. Imagine a gaggle of school kids clutching tablets, turning classrooms into cloakrooms and hallways into hearing rooms, assigned an issue of the day and the responsibility to solve it.

Imagine their moral universe expanding as they hear about the momentous battles waged in that chamber and how they echo throughout today’s society. Great questions of war and peace, the tangled bargains between North and South, federal and state; the original sins of slavery and prejudice; and the unfinished battles for civil rights and opportunity and equality.

Imagine the shift in their sense of what’s possible. The first time they see a video of senators who look like they do — men and women, blacks and whites, Latinos, Asian-Americans; those born to great wealth but also those born of incredibly modest means.

Continue reading ‘The President’s Address at the Opening of the Edward Kennedy Institute’

24
Mar
15

The President’s Day

President Obama meets with Afghan President Ghani in the Oval Office. This marks the first meeting between the two presidents at the White House following the 2014 presidential election, which produced the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history

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U.S. President Obama speaks at a joint news conference at the White House in Washington

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Boston Globe: US To Slow Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. will slow its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, maintaining 9,800 troops in the country through the end of 2015 instead of cutting the number by about half as originally planned. ‘‘Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place,’’ Obama said in explaining his decision at a press conference after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s first visit to the White House since his election six months ago.

Obama added that the size of the U.S. troop presence for 2016 will be decided later this year. Ghani had asked Obama to slow the withdrawal because Afghan security forces are bracing for a tough spring fighting season and are also contending with Islamic State fighters looking to recruit on their soil. The original plan was to cut the U.S. force to 5,500 by the end of this year. ‘‘This visit is an opportunity to begin a new chapter between our two nations,’’ Obama said after meeting with Ghani in the Oval Office.

More here

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Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice listen during the press conference

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U.S. Secretary of State Kerry greets Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah prior to joint news conference at the White House in Washington

Secretary of State John Kerry greets Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah

U.S. President Obama reacts to comment by Afghanistan President Ghani during joint news conference at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Obama and Afghanistan President Ghani depart a joint news conference at the White House in Washington

22
Mar
15

ObamaCare: Five Years Later, Millions Covered. Thanks, President Obama

17
Mar
15

Éirinn go Brách

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President Barack Obama smiles as he walks down the steps of the Capitol with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny after attending a “Friends of Ireland” luncheon

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President Barack Obama holds a book of poetry given to him by Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny during their meeting in the Oval Office

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Vice President Joe Biden listens during a meeting between President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on St. Patrick’s Day in the Oval Office

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L-R), President Barack Obama and Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny leave after a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

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Boehner and Obama depart with Kenny after a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

03
Mar
15

A Tweet Or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

11
Feb
15

The President’s Day

OBAMA-EBOLA

President Barack Obama speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building about the progress made to date and further action to take on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

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President Barack Obama applauds medical professionals and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, Assistant U.S. Surgeon General who serves as the overall Public Health Service (PHS) Commander of Commissioned Corps Ebola Response in West Africa

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Brantly and Pham attend remarks by Obama about the progress made to date in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington

U.S. medical professionals who survived the Ebola virus including Dr. Kent Brantly (L) and nurse Nina Pham (3rd L) attend remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama about the progress made to date in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

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President Barack Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against ISIL, with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. President Obama wants Congress to authorize a three-year military campaign against ISIL, that would continue the use of air power and could include limited ground operations by American forces to hunt down enemy leaders or rescue American personnel

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28
Jan
15

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel embrace during a farewell ceremony for Hagel at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. Hagel is stepping down once his replacement, Ashton Carter, has been confirmed.

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U.S. President Barack Obama hugs outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia,

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Obama and Biden arrive at the armed services farewell in honor of Hagel in Virginia

U.S. President Obama and Vice President Biden attend a farewell ceremony for Defense Secretary Hagel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia

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21
Jan
15

A Tweet Or Two

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LOL

21
Jan
15

SOTU In 140 Characters

Obama JayZ

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This is President Obama’s anthem today. He is the illest of the ill!

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09
Jan
15

The President’s Day

A Warm Tennessee Welcome: Supporters wait for President’s arrival today along Hardin Valley

‘Yellow Dog Democrat… Who Loves Obama Biden …. Thank You For Your Service To The USA! Love You!’

Enthusiasm Gap: The Line outside Knoxville auditorium this morning where the President was due to speak

(all by Knoxvillephoto)

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Spring in Step: Leaving the White House this morning

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Leaving Andrews

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@nedrapickler: Nice hometown welcome for Obama in Clinton, TN. Miles of folks lining the motorcade route waving hands & flags

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@JacobWBIR: People waiting near the air base excited for POTUS to pass by

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Continue reading ‘The President’s Day’




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