An airplane pulls a banner in protest at remarks made by Mitt Romney over the site of the Univision Facebook “Meet the Candidates” Forum in Miami, Sept 19
President Barack Obama reacts to a photograph during an interview with David Letterman during a taping of the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, N.Y., Sept. 18, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
And thanks, too, for all the brilliant links and news in the comments today – crikey, you people are severely fired up ;-)
If you have any spare time at all, please consider volunteering for Obama/Biden 2012 – lots of people here have done so already, despite doubting their ability to contribute …. and they’ve loved every single minute of it. No regrets in November, hey? Sign up here
I’m only about a week behind on emails, so I’m very proud of myself :???: Will catch up soon … ish.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon in the Oval Office, Aug. 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President’s haircut felt like his own. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
NYT: For decades at the White House, photographs of the president at work and at play have hung throughout the West Wing, and each print soon gives way to a more recent shot. But one picture of President Obama remains after three years.
In the photo, Mr. Obama looks to be bowing to a sharply dressed 5-year-old black boy, who stands erect beside the Oval Office desk, his arm raised to touch the president’s hair — to see if it feels like his.
…. The boy in the picture is Jacob Philadelphia of Columbia, Md. Three years ago this month, his father, Carlton, a former Marine, was leaving the White House staff….
When the pictures were taken and the family was about to leave, Mr. Philadelphia told Mr. Obama that his sons each had a question…
Jacob spoke first.
“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.
Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He brought his head level with Jacob, who hesitated.
“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.
As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.
“So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.
“Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said.
….Jacob, now 8, said he indeed does want to be president. “Or a test pilot.”
President Barack Obama greets Fermi Award recipients Dr Burton Richter, right, and his wife Laurose, and Dr Mildred S Dresselhaus, third from right, and her husband Gene, in the Oval Office, May 7. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
NYT Editorial: President Obama’s fruitless three-year search for compromise with the Republicans ended in a thunderclap of a speech on Tuesday, as he denounced the party and its presidential candidates for cruelty and extremism. He accused his opponents of imposing on the country a “radical vision” that “is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.”
….The speech was the first time that Mr. Obama linked Mr. Romney, by name, to his party’s dishonest budget and discredited trickle-down policies. As Mr. Obama pointed out, Mr. Romney described as “marvelous” a budget that would drastically cut student financial aid, medical research, Head Start classrooms and environmental protections. Mr. Obama further ridiculed the budget’s deficit-cutting goal as “laughable” because it refuses to acknowledge the need for new revenues.
…. Mr. Obama provided a powerful signal on Tuesday that he intends to make this election about the Republican Party’s failure to confront, what he called, “the defining issue of our time”: restoring a sense of economic security while giving everyone a fair shot, rather than enabling only a shrinking number of people to do exceedingly well. His remarks promise a tough-minded campaign that will call extremism and dishonesty by name.
Hadley Freeman (The Guardian): And so, as widely dreaded, the Republican primaries have dragged on into April. Well played, everyone! In a country so ruthless that TV shows can get cancelled after just one episode, maintaining such a long-running entertainment programme is an achievement. Admittedly, this is largely due to the fact that all of its featured stars are so uninspiringly bad….
…. one must not underestimate the impulse of Romney’s own party towards the ABR tactic – Anyone But Romney – one that has led to a sex-obsessed homophobe in a sweater vest and the Pillsbury Doughboy, AKA Newt Gingrich, being touted as sorta serious contenders for a presidential election …. Rick Santorum is predictably digging his heels in, like a toddler refusing to go to bed even though it’s at least two hours after his bed time, showing the deluded tenacity one would expect of a grown man who believes that restricting access to contraception reduces unwanted pregnancies….
Nevertheless, it does increasingly look as if, after all the bloodletting and financial expenditure of the past months, the Republicans will end up with the nominee who was always going to be the nominee. Hasn’t this been an excellent use of everyone’s time and energy?
But if you think this signifies the end of the bursts of crazy fun Santorum and Gingrich provided, don’t worry! Despite the vice-presidency being the most high-profile and pointless job outside the royal family, the Republicans have a knack for picking some doozies as running mates. There was Ken doll Dan Quayle, who thought he was JFK and couldn’t spell potato; Dick Cheney, the human Heart of Darkness; and of course, Sarah Palin, who needs no elaboration…..
Laughingsquid: Star Trek original television series actress Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura on the USS Enterprise) recently visited the White House for Black History Month. She was given a photo opportunity with President Obama and they both posed with their hands firmly giving the Vulcan salute.
Nichelle Nichols: On Feb 29, 2012 I was honored to have the chance to meet with President Obama in the Oval Office. I always knew that there was a reason that I liked him so much! Live Long & Prosper!
11:30 AM: Michelle Obama holds a conference call with reporters in the week leading up to the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces
2:00 PM: Michelle Obama will visit the Fisher House located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office, March 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
10:10: PBO and VP Biden meet with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
12:0: PBO, VP Biden and Kenny attend a St. Patrick’s Day lunch.
7:00: PBO and Michelle Obama host a St. Patrick’s Day reception, VP Biden also attends.
Wednesday: PBO will begin a two-day trip to highlight American energy in Boulder City, Nevada where he will visit the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes. The President will then travel to oil and gas production fields located on federal lands outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico, an area home to more than seventy active drilling rigs.
Thursday: PBO will travel to the Cushing, Oklahoma area to discuss his Administration’s commitment to improving and supporting the infrastructure that helps us leverage our domestic resources, while also ensuring these projects are developed in a safe and responsible way. The final stop on the trip will take place at Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio, home to some of the country’s most advanced energy-related research and development. In the evening, he will host a reception in recognition of Greek Independence Day.
Friday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Andrew Sullivan: This is the kind of reality that makes Sean Hannity’s head explodes. So far, the GOP candidates have been running against a fictional president with a fictional record. Obama didn’t campaign to increase government spending, but inheriting what was in the final quarter of 2008 an annualized contraction of 9 percent of GDP, he opted for a stimulus. That accounts for much of the spending.
I know we are supposed – along with Fox News – to have total amnesia about the spending record of George W. Bush, who had nothing like the recession Obama inherited to counter. But there it is. Along with the fact that of the last seven presidents, the top three spenders are all Republicans.
Jamelle Bouie: As Greg Sargent, Steve Benen, and others have amply demonstrated, Mitt Romney has a problem with the truth. Throughout his campaign, he has openly lied about his previous positions, his beliefs, and the records of his opponents, Republican or otherwise. In a speech today on economic freedom at the University of Chicago, Romney continued the trend, building a mostly substanceless case against President Obama on the basis of half-truths and falsehoods. You can read the whole speech if you’d like. For now, I’d like to highlight a few passages that sum up Romney’s case against Obama in fact-free aplomb.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk following a meeting in the Oval Office, March 2 (Pete Souza)
A gazillion thank yous to HZ for her wonderful comment (turned-in-to-a-post today at Tien Le’s excellent suggestion) – it was a joyful, constructive, positive breath of fresh air in the middle of all today’s madness. You’re a gem, HZ.
Robert Shrum: After Mini-Mitt’s diminutive three-point Michigan “triumph,” which was a little like a Roman general being hailed for a near defeat, how important is Ohio? To put it in Santorian terms, it could be apocalypse two; once more, as in Michigan, Mitt will have to avert the sun darkening and the sky falling on his presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama is introduced by Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar before delivering remarks at a conservation event at the U.S. Dept. of Interior in Washington, March, 2
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn upon his return to the White House after visiting wounded service members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Mitt Romney holds up a baby from the audience at a campaign rally at Cleveland State University, March 2
Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at Chillicothe High School on March 2, 2012 in Chillicothe, Ohio
First Lady Michelle Obama embraces members of the Johnson C. Smith ladies’ basketball team during a “Let’s Move!” physical fitness promotion between games at the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
TOD is up and running on YouTube again after today’s little, eh, setback. Just click the YouTube logo third from the top in the right sidebar and it’ll take you to the channel. I’ll add more of the old videos over the next few days. Hey, this YouTube channel might disappear too …. if it does, well, we’ll just start up another one ;-)
Greg Sargent: In a speech to the United Auto Workers just now, Obama defended his decision to bail out the auto industry, lacing into Mitt Romney with withering derision. But this speech was about more than the auto-bailout. It was Obama’s case for reelection.
This speech constituted Obama’s most ambitious effort yet to weave his defense of the auto rescue into the larger contrast he will try to draw between his vision and the “you’re on your own” ideology he will accuse Republicans of representing.
…. today’s speech was important: It revealed that the alternate reality Romney has been functioning in throughout the GOP primary is soon going to give way to another reality entirely, a general election reality — and Romney, presuming he will be the nominee, will soon collide with it.
Michael Tomasky: Ideological rigidity and Obama hatred led Republicans to reject the auto bailout. Now they’re doubling down on their opposition – and surrendering Michigan in the general election.
Michiganders, take pride: your 2012 primary will go down in American political history as perhaps the single most eye-popping case ever of a party’s demands on its candidates during the primary fight reducing its chance of winning the state in November from something not far from half to near zero. This is especially true if Rick Santorum manages to pull the upset and go on to be the nominee; Barack Obama’s campaign wouldn’t have to spend one thin dime in Michigan and would still win by at least 15 points. But it’s true also if unfavorite son Mitt Romney manages to win. Horse-race polls that once showed a tough battle between the two now project an Obama blowout.