I got to meet with the President yesterday and I wanted to share with you this drawing that I presented him with. It’s a pencil drawing of the president in front of his ancestral home and the White House. It was by Brian Fogarty a school teacher from Co Tipperary now living in Galway.
Thank you Henry – love that drawing, it’s beautiful.
(I asked Henry if his head hurt today, he said “it’s coming ’round” – so, good news!)
2:05 PM EDT President Obama and PM Netanyahu Hold a Press Conference
CNN and CBS are showing a lot of live streaming from Israel today, so keep checking in
ENORMOUS thanks to LovelyPlains for this morning’s Rise and Shine – it was just ** magnificent **
Will be back a little later with photos and videos from Israel, just getting some work done – see ya then.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Women’s History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013. Standing at right are First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan, who introduced the President.
President Barack Obama and Dr. Jill Biden welcome Cathy Russell to the stage after the President announced her nomination as Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues
Irish Times: Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said US president Barack Obama has ’reaffirmed his intention’ to return to Ireland for a second official visit.
The two leaders held the traditional annual St Patrick’s Day meeting at the White House in Washington today.
Following a private meeting with the president afterwards, the Taoiseach said Mr Obama had accepted an invitation to visit Ireland again but was unable to say if he would do so during his second term as president.
At The Dubliner bar, Washington DC, March 17, 2012
A St Patrick’s Day word from Canon Stephen Neill, the man who discovered President Obama’s Irish roots:
To all my friends at The Obama Diary, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy St. Patrick’s Day. We in Ireland are constantly amazed and encouraged by the warmth and hospitality extended to us as a nation by the people of the United States. President Obama has embraced this important relationship and the ongoing hospitality he affords to his Moneygall friends and relations is hugely appreciated. I had the privilege of a visit to the White House myself last month and was very grateful to members of the Obama administration who facilitated this for me at very short notice.
We in Moneygall are delighted that Henry Healy will once again be meeting the President at the official reception for St. Patrick’s day and look forward to perhaps another presidential visit to Moneygall during this second term of office. The visit in 2011 was a transformative experience for the people in this area and the fruits of that are still to be seen. It is a community that was energized and inspired by your President and the First Lady.
On this St. Patrick’s Day when people of all creeds and backgrounds in this land are united by a love of their country we pray that President Obama will find his Irish roots a source of blessing and inspiration as he too seeks to unite the people of the United States in that most important quest for the good and prosperity of all people. May God bless you all.
Reverend Canon Stephen Neill shows President Barack Obama his Irish ancestral records at Ollie Hayes’s Pub in Moneygall, County Offaly, Ireland, May 23, 2011 (Photo: Pete Souza)
Endless thanks to Henry and Stephen for passing on their good wishes to everyone at TOD, they are two completely lovely gentlemen.
Some day soon, I hope, I’ll find sufficient words to thank LovelyPlains, UTAustinLiberal, Amk and LiberalLibrarian for all they’ve done this week, but for now I’m struggling. Seriously, I don’t even know where to begin. All I can say to them is, thank you so much – you’re just amazingly kind people, and between you, you’ve kept this place going in my absence. And a couple of them had never posted on a blog before, but set about teaching themselves how do it while I disappeared. Needless to say, they are all welcome to post here any time they wish, I’m honored to have them contribute here and it’s a way better place for it.
Embarrassingly, I still haven’t replied to a whole bunch of people who offered the kindest of words and/or offers to help with the blog – I am truly sorry, but I will try VERY hard to reply in the next day or two. Thank you, sincerely, for your support, it meant everything.
Will catch up with you all in the next day or two, love ya.
Charles Pierce: …. That was about as bad a speech as you ever will see from a candidate who probably just wrapped up the nomination. …. At its heart, though, Romney’s speech featured some sub-Santorumish sarcasm directed at the president for having been a law professor while Willard was fighting his way up every inch of the hard road that leads from opulent wealth to incalculable wealth.
…. There was also the requisite sneering at community organizing. Let us consider, then, the community in which the president once organized. This is what I found out about it when I went and looked at it in 2008:
Obama also worked in the Altgeld Gardens, a housing development built in 1945 atop an ecological hellspout where two thousand families lived on an old landfill and hard by fifty-three different sites that had been designated as “toxic” by one study of the area.
Altgeld Gardens was built on the bones of old steel mills and factories, and atop the waste dumps and landfills that serviced them. And, when they built the projects there, they filled them full of asbestos. That poisoned neighborhood was a perfect product of the “freedom” that Romney talks about when he talks about an unregulated economy. Barack Obama went there to organize the people who were living on that deadly ground because The Market couldn’t have cared less about them, and the various governments allowed The Market not to care and, so, did not care either. The kids with the asthma, they weren’t free. The kids who developed the renal disease, they weren’t free. The people in all the cancer clusters, they weren’t free ….. in the 1980’s, when the president was working for peanuts trying to get some sort of justice for the people that The Market had chosen to poison, Willard Romney was making millions with Bain Capital…..
Michael Tomasky: Illinois was a breeze for Mitt Romney, and yes, numerically, maybe it’s getting close to done. But state by state, this still isn’t over. Rick Santorum remains likely to win Louisiana, which is next. Then comes Wisconsin on April 3. Santorum is still about 15 points ahead there right now. And it looks like Santorum has taken Missouri – again. So while Illinois probably means that Romney is on his way to the nomination, and maybe on his way to 1,144 delegates, it’s also a fact that Santorum isn’t going anywhere….
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny came to Washington bearing a few special gifts for President Barack Obama.
Among them, an official certificate of Irish heritage. “These are rare, as rare as the man himself,” Kenny said, presenting the document to Obama at a White House reception.
The president, without missing a beat, said: “This will have a special place of honor, alongside my birth certificate.”
First Lady Michelle Obama gestures as she pretends to pour a pint of beer alongside Fionnuala Kenny
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley performs with his Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March during a St. Patrick’s Day Reception at the White House
President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and others applaud as Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, is introduced during a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama visits the Dubliner, an Irish pub in Washington, D.C., with his Irish cousin, Henry Healy, center, and Ollie Hayes, a pub owner in Moneygall, Ireland, on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama celebrates St. Patrick’s Day at the Dubliner Irish pub in Washington, March 17
The Hill: President Obama will embark on a four-state tour next week to highlight his energy plan amid intensifying GOP attacks on the White House over soaring gas prices.
…. Obama will travel to Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio on Wednesday and Thursday, and will deliver remarks in all four states. On Wednesday, the president will visit a solar facility in Boulder City, Nev. …. later Wednesday, he will tout the administration’s efforts to expand domestic oil-and-gas production at oil fields in Carlsbad, N.M.
Obama will travel to Cushing, Okla., Wednesday, where he will underscore the administration’s support for a major portion of the Keystone XL pipeline …. Lastly, Obama will speak about energy research at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
USA Today: St. Patrick’s Day is coming late to Washington this year. The actual “holiday” is Saturday but the White House announced today that President Obama will host Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Tuesday.
“The president looks forward to commemorating his fourth St. Patrick’s Day in the White House with the Taoiseach and Mrs. Kenny, and to reciprocating the warm hospitality the Irish people extended to the president and Mrs. Obama during their visit to the Emerald Isle in May 2011,” the White House announcement said.
Also Tuesday, Obama will meet with First Minister Peter Robinson of Northern Ireland. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he will host Obama, Kenny and other officials at the speaker’s annual Friends of Ireland luncheon, also Tuesday.
Robert Shrum: Republican voters are now the political equivalent of Mitt Romney’s famously abused dog Seamus. Mitt has put voters on the roof of his car, and he’s driving for the nomination whether they like it or not. More accurately, he’s sputtering toward the nomination as the roof-bound electorate periodically poops on his parade…..
President Obama stands by a cut-out picture of First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to Miami Central High School, Fla., March 4 (Pete Souza)
…greeting Miss Florida Memorial University Morisa Jagrup at Miami Central High School, March 4 (Pete Souza)
…in the Blue Room before greeting recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal, March 2 (Pete Souza)
…. greeting guests during the International Women’s Day reception, March 8 (Samantha Appleton)
….holding up four-month-old Alia Jawando as her father, William Jawando, Deputy Associate Director of Public Engagement, and her mother Michele look on in the Oval Office, March 9 (Pete Souza)
…. welcoming Make-A-Wish child Kennedy Alexander to the Oval Office, March 15 (Pete Souza)
…. greeting Halle Major during a Make-A-Wish visit in the Oval Office, March 29 (Pete Souza)
….greeting the daughter of a United States Secret Service agent before a departure picture in the Oval Office, March 1 (Samantha Appleton)
…. passing staff from the White House Military Office as he jogs along the Colonnade following an event that ran late, March 1. The military personnel and their families were lined up to take departure pictures with the President in the Oval Office. (Pete Souza)
…reading from his book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” during a visit by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and his family to the Oval Office, March 2. Joining them, from left, are Justice Breyer’s wife Joanna Breyer, grandson Eli Essiam Breyer and daughter Nell Breyer (Pete Souza)
President Obama, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, and members of the Australian and American delegations look up at the presidential seal in the Oval Office ceiling following their bilateral meeting, March 7 (Pete Souza)
…. talking with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife, Fionnuala Kenny, in the Green Room before a St. Patrick’s Day reception, March 17 (Pete Souza)
…. with President Sebastián Piñera of Chile, wife Cecilia Morel, and their family for a photograph during a dinner at La Moneda Palace in Santiago, March 21 (Pete Souza)
….greeting children during the U.S. Embassy meet and greet in Santiago, Chile, March 21 (Pete Souza)
Chilean First Lady Cecilia Morel, right, talks with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia during a cultural event at the Museo Interactivo Mirador in Santiago, Chile, March 21 (Samantha Appleton)
…. at an official dinner hosted by Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes at the National Palace in San Salvador, March 22 (Pete Souza)
Miriam Lord (Irish Times): Resign, Taoiseach! Go. And go now. (If you’ve any sense.) Because things can’t get any better than this …. After a faultless lift-off last week, Taoiseach Kenny went into orbit in the Oval Office yesterday. This was Enda’s perfect day.
By the end of it, he was levitating around the White House at a reception in his honour, secure in the knowledge that his new best friend, Barack Obama, is coming to Ireland in a couple of months.
……“I guess this will be the big story of the day: I’m coming over. And I’m coming in May,” replied Obama.
Oh, happy days.
…The meeting between the two leaders lasted about 35 minutes. Journalists waited outside while they held their discussions, the White House lawn bathed in sunshine on a beautiful spring day.
…Bo, First Canine of America and the Obama family dog, ambled around contentedly, sniffing under the box hedging and ignoring the admiring gaze of the starstruck media tourists.
We travelled to Pennsylvania Avenue in a motorcade, which was very exciting, having been vetted more times than Bo before finally getting the nod to come inside. …. Finally, those famous white French doors were thrown open and everyone piled in.
…Mr President, lanky and languid, was the epitome of cool. He spoke of the “incredible bond” between Ireland and America. Did Enda hear what he was saying? Can a body hear after they’ve died and gone to heaven? Because that’s the way the Taoiseach looked.
..the Taoiseach gave a brief press conference outside the building. Delighted with himself. Floating on air.
“Right,” he began, in a brisk, businesslike fashion. “I’ve just come from the Oval Office… ” And he suddenly stopped, realising what he had just said and gave a little incredulous laugh.
…It was such a happy day. Everyone was smiling….His day with Uachtaráin (President) Obama will live in memory for a long time.
Irish Times: “I’m about to top up a pint here to toast Obama,” Moneygall publican Ollie Hayes said over the din in his eponymous pub last night. While the small Offaly village did not have a St Patrick’s Day parade yesterday, the pub, with both American and Irish flags waving proudly outside, was the place to be last night.
It was there that locals gathered yesterday for the six o’clock news to cheer the long-awaited confirmation that US president Barack Obama would visit the place from which his ancestor Fulmuth Kearney left for New York in the mid-19th century. Residents of the village – population 298, according to the last census – were yesterday revelling in the news.
“People are walking around with great big smiles on their faces,” Canon Stephen Neill said. The Church of Ireland rector’s research uncovered the records that cemented Mr Obama’s connection to the area. “When I actually discovered the record a shiver literally went down my spine,” he said yesterday. “The whole thing has been a roller coaster – sometimes you think it’s all just a dream.”
It is expected that Obama will visit Templeharry Church, where his ancestors worshipped, and the local schoolhouse where they were educated. “The whole family left in the 1840s and 1850s,” Canon Neill said. “They were shoemakers, which was a reasonable trade so they weren’t driven into emigration but had the opportunity to go and took it.”
This same ancestry is shared by Henry Healy, who has been informed that he is an “eighth cousin” of the US president….“It’s brilliant, absolutely fantastic news. Moneygall is ready to welcome the president with open arms and hopefully we’ll do Ireland proud,” Mr Healy said. …Once “only a run-through village on the way from Limerick to Dublin”, Moneygall was now firmly on the map thanks to the Obama connection, he said.
“It’s hard to say what it will mean for the town but it can do nothing but good. It’s funny how a small thing can become a big thing – and this is huge.”