Visitors brace themselves from the rotor wash of the Marine One helicopter as President Barack Obama lifts off from the South Lawn of the White House as he travels to Vermont and Maine for campaign fundraising events
President Obama shake hands with Marine Sgt Kristie Ness prior to Ness’ last flight mission on Marine One
President Barack Obama talks about extending payroll tax cuts in the White House’s Brady Briefing Room
President Obama put out a statement commending Phil Schiliro, who is leaving the administration: “As my advisor and chief liaison to Congress during one of the most productive legislative periods in our history, Phil Schiliro helped shepherd through a series of historic accomplishments on behalf of the American people, from health care reform that will make coverage more affordable and accessible to Wall Street reform that will protect consumers and our economy. The White House will not be the same without Phil, but more importantly, the country would not be the same without his steady leadership and tireless effort over the past three years.”
Time: Andrew Kaczynski digs up a 2004 video of Mitt Romney explaining to fellow Republicans why flip-flopping is so devastating to a presidential candidate. He was talking about John Kerry of course. But this kind of footage presents all kinds of opportunities for devious ad-makers to slice and dice Romney, and his repeated use of “this guy,” which, taken out of context, could be made to seem self-referential, seems destined for some absolutely brutal attack ad.
AP: After a nine-day trip through Asia in which he showed command on the world stage, President Barack Obama is headed back to debt-deadlocked Washington, where he’ll confront fresh reminders of the limits of his power at home.
Obama departed from Bali’s international airport Saturday afternoon for a 21-hour flight that, factoring in time-zone changes, was to return him to the White House before dawn Sunday.
He’ll be arriving days ahead of a deadline for a congressional supercommittee to produce recommendations to attack the country’s deficit. But even though the president spoke to the supercommittee leaders from Air Force One as he headed out of town and urged them to get a deal, the panel is no further along than when Obama left Washington: frozen stuck along partisan lines.
…. Obama set out in his Asia-Pacific tour to deepen U.S. engagement in a fast-growing region that the White House views as increasingly critical to America’s security and economic prosperity. He achieved some successes, including progress on a regional free-trade deal that could pay off with U.S. jobs, and a new military agreement with Australia that will boost the U.S. defense posture in the region by deploying more marines and U.S. aircraft to Australia.
… On China, throughout his trip Obama sent both public and private signals to the rising giant, cementing American power in a manner seen to counter China, and scolding Chinese leaders about the need to play by the rules economically. On the final day of his trip, Saturday in Indonesia, Obama held a surprise meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of an East Asia summit, focusing on the economic matters that have prompted disputes between the two major world powers.
….. next to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
… with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Washington Post: President Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held an unscheduled meeting Saturday morning on the sidelines of a summit of Asian leaders on the Indonesian island of Bali, and the two briefly discussed the territorial dispute in the South China Sea that has unnerved some of China’s neighbors.
…. The surprise session came at the end of Obama’s 9-day Asia trip, that began with a stop in Hawaii and took him to Australia’s northern coast and to the capital, Canberra….
…. Throughout the trip, Obama stressed that his mission was to find new markets in Asia for American products and link the U.S. recovery to this region’s dynamic growth.
But a strong subtext of the administration’s announced pivot to Asia has been shoring up longstanding alliances and reassuring traditional allies that the United States would help counter a newly assertive China, which is increasing its military spending and pressing its territorial claims in the region.
Reuters: Myanmar’s government vowed on Saturday to address concerns raised by President Barack Obama, outlining far-reaching plans to make peace with ethnic rebels, gradually release more political prisoners and relax controls on freedom of expression.