11:15 The President meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan
12:05 The President and King Abdullah deliver statements to the press
2:50 The President hosts a White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month
Photo from Florida, 2008
Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whom President Obama has picked to lead the Democratic National Committee, introduced the president at the first of two DNC events in Washington last night.
“How about my new DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Obama said, to applause. “She is tireless, tireless. And she’s got the most adorable kids, and I don’t know how she keeps up with everything.”
“But as Michelle said, if you want something done, put a woman in charge. So, all right, everybody got….women, you got a little too excited on that.”
Commercial Appeal: BTW students Cassandra Henderson and Christopher Dean accompanied President Obama for a surprise drop-in private chat with the assembled senior class, behind curtains away from the main ballroom arena. Principal Alisha Kiner tried to relax them with some knock-knock jokes and quips about seniors crying at graduation. The students were unaware Obama was going to join them before the commencement, and they erupted into cheers – and some sobs – when he walked out smiling……
….Another huge roar went up as he put down the microphone to mix with the students – most of them with “Honors” sashes. One girl was sobbing and Obama gave her a reassuring, sympathetic look, leaned down and put his hand on her neck to comfort her. Next to her another girl was crying, and Obama went down the row.
Then the students noticed the usually steely principal’s eyes watering up. “No, no,” she said. “You know, that’s just pollen.”
The Commercial Appeal: In explaining why Booker T. Washington High School won the Race To The Top challenge to earn its commencement speech Monday from President Barack Obama, the White House cited statistics of various school achievements … But anyone who watched the videos submitted by finalists could see elements in BTW’s entry that numbers cannot measure – passion, motivation and, quite clearly, an enthusiasm for Obama.
When Obama comes to Memphis, the moment will take on a meaning even larger than that usually associated with a presidential visit … The nation’s first black president will be visiting, for the first time since his 2008 election, one of the most important cities for African-American culture, achievement and history – and engaging a high school with its own historic and symbolic significance for the city.
Rev. Noel Hutchinson is the big, wryly funny pastor of First Baptist Church-Lauderdale … “As the first black president, he symbolically represents all the hopes and dreams many of us as a people have for ourselves. He embodies great success and the great symbolism of one who came up through many challenges to become the president of the United States. And now he is coming to a neighborhood in one of the poorest ZIP codes in Memphis that in recent years has been been consistently overlooked … That in and of itself will do great things to shape self esteem for generations to come. …He is coming into a community that is proud of his achievements and appreciative of his hard work,” Hutchinson said.