President Barack Obama Oval Office listens to Valerie Jarrett during a meeting with senior staff in the Oval Office on Aug. 13, 2009. From left; White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Jarrett, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Assistant to the President Mona Sutphen. Seated at far right is Alyssa Mastromonaco, Director of Scheduling. Photo by Pete Souza
A year ago: President Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with Sara Bloomfield, museum director, and Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, April 23, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
2:15: The President honors the 2013 National Teacher of the Year
2:45: Meets with the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
6:30: Meets with a bipartisan group of women Senators for dinner
8:30: Vice President Biden Speaks at the Time 100 Dinner
Peter Beinart: The rap against Barack Obama, at least on the left, has long been that he’s too cautious, too calculating, too conciliatory. Not a guy willing to take risks.
We can apologize now.
What Obama did in the four months between December’s Newtown shooting and this Wednesday’s Senate capitulation was one of the great displays of presidential guts in American history…..
…. [he] pursued gun control with a force of mind and soul that was astonishing to behold. “I never saw a president fight so hard,” remarked Sen. Barbara Boxer, “never on any issue.”
Why did he do it? In part because the Obama-as-timid meme was always a lie …. but beyond that, I suspect that once Obama saw an opportunity, he pushed gun control so hard because he simply cares more. As a community organizer, he worked and lived in the kind of communities where Americans are most often shot…
…. The gun control struggle will likely continue for decades. And this week its arc feels particularly long. But one day, a future president will look back at the last four months as the moment when Barack Obama began to make it bend.
Steve Benen: As the debate over new measures to prevent gun violence reached its apex, Republican lawmakers and conservative activists became surprisingly hostile towards the family members of those slain in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. If there’s one group of people who would appear to be off-limits when it comes to political pushback, one might think it’d be Newtown families, but apparently not.
What’s next, cheap shots at Gabrielle Giffords? Actually, yes…..