(1) Golfing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe
(2) First Lady Michelle Obama tapes a “Let’s Move!” public service announcement with 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat players LeBron James, left, and Dwyane Wade, in the Map Room of the White House (Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
(3) President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Personal Secretary Anita Decker react to a video on Decker’s computer monitor in the Outer Oval Office (Photo by Pete Souza)
(4) President Obama waits with Sergeants at Arms and Members of Congress before entering the House Chamber to deliver the State of the Union address. Standing with the President are, from left: Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; and Terrance Gainer, Senate Sergeant at Arms (Photo by Pete Souza)
“… we’ve got to rebuild ladders of opportunity for everybody willing to climb them.
Now, that starts at home. There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families – which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood. Don’t get me wrong – as the son of a single mom, who gave everything she had to raise me with the help of my grandparents, I turned out okay …. we’ve got single moms out here, they’re heroic in what they’re doing and we are so proud of them. But at the same time, I wish I had had a father who was around and involved. Loving, supportive parents – and, by the way, that’s all kinds of parents – that includes foster parents, and that includes grandparents, and extended families; it includes gay or straight parents.
Those parents supporting kids – that’s the single most important thing. Unconditional love for your child – that makes a difference. If a child grows up with parents who have work, and have some education, and can be role models, and can teach integrity and responsibility, and discipline and delayed gratification – all those things give a child the kind of foundation that allows them to say, my future, I can make it what I want. And we’ve got to make sure that every child has that, and in some cases, we may have to fill the gap and the void if children don’t have that.
So we should encourage marriage by removing the financial disincentives for couples who love one another but may find it financially disadvantageous if they get married. We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children. And my administration will continue to work with the faith community and the private sector this year on a campaign to encourage strong parenting and fatherhood.
Because what makes you a man is not the ability to make a child, it’s the courage to raise one.”
AP: Picking up the pace, President Barack Obama raised $45 million for his re-election bid in February, bringing his total to about $300 million for this election cycle, his campaign said Monday.
Obama stepped up fundraising efforts during the month, collecting nearly twice as much as the $23 million per month average he raised during the final three months of 2011 and more than the $29.1 million he raised in January. The money was spread among Obama’s campaign, the Democratic party and two campaign funds.
Obama’s campaign said nearly 350,000 people contributed in February and the average donation was about $59 for the entire election cycle. Nearly 98 percent of the donations were $250 or less.
You can watch Willard’s speech in the PACKED stadium here (12:0 ET)
Watch how those 65,000 people can barely control their excitement in anticipation of Willard’s arrival:
And watch how they erupt when he appears – Mitt Mania!
Freep.com: It won’t be hard to fit 1,200 members of the Detroit Economic Club into 65,000-seat Ford Field for today’s speech by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
What will be hard is making it look like Romney isn’t speaking to a nearly empty stadium.
The Romney campaign and the Economic Club think they’ve solved the problem. The guests will be seated at one end of the playing surface, roughly between the end zone and the 30-yard line, while Romney will speak from a stage in front of them.
President Obama accepts a box of candy as he visits Donckers of Marquette, Feb. 10, in Marquette, Michigan
Detroit Free Speech: He declined the Obama burger – a third of a pound of farm-fed Escanaba beef topped with jalapenos, grilled onions and cheddar cheese – but President Barack Obama still took Donckers restaurant by storm today, grabbing a club sandwich and some caramels before heading to Northern Michigan University for his speech to 1,400 people.
“It was overwhelming. I was on the verge of tears,” said Jennifer Ray, one of the owners of Donckers and a Chicago native, earning her the “homey” tag from Obama today. “He was just so genuine with a great sense of humor.”
Obama ordered the D.J.B. – a club sandwich with three cheeses and three meats on three different types of bread ….Ashley Erickson, 24, of Marquette, took Obama’s order and was struck by how cordial he was.
After signing some books, a couple of menus and paying for his own lunch (leaving a “generous” tip, according to Ashley), Obama left the diner and candy shop for the speech.
“The suits came back and bought some chocolates,” Ray said, referring to some Secret Service personnel. “They said he really liked the sandwich.”
Supporters of President Obama cheer from a window inside a restaurant, as he arrives at a diner, in Marquette, Michigan
A woman take a photo through the door of a hair salon in Marquette as President Obama visits Donckers next door