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
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark talk at the end of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 24, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Christian Kettel Thomsen, Permanent Secretary of State; Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States; Liz Sherwood-Randall, Senior Director for European Affairs; and Bill Moeller, Director for Central European Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Guardian: Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney’s much-heralded economic speech flopped Friday, overshadowed by a gaffe over luxury Cadillacs and his choice of an over-ambitious venue….
Romney opened himself up to derision for choosing a 70,000-seat stadium which attracted just over 1,000 people, many of them school children bussed in to help fill out the crowd, tucked into a corner of the astro-turf pitch….
The speech too turned out to be a flop …. It will be the picture of the near-empty stadium, contrasting with a much fuller one when Barack Obama was campaigning in February 2008, that will be remembered.
…. his words echoed round the empty stadium seats. He was not helped by the near-silence, winning only an occasional round of applause. At one point, having made a joke about the reluctance of children to leave home, only a handful of people in the audience laughed, an embarrassing response that the empty stadium amplified.
… In an attempt to ingratiate himself in the motor capital of America and undo some of the damage caused by a call in 2008 to let the car industry go bankrupt rather than be bailed out by the federal government, he listed cars owned by himself and his wife Ann.
He would be a president who loves cars, he said. “I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered.” …. It is a mistake on par with his $10,000 bet in a televised debate with Texas governor Rick Perry.
Steve Benen: Paul Krugman argued today that Mitt Romney “is running a campaign of almost pathological dishonesty.” That need not be considered hyperbole.
Indeed, Greg Sargent added this morning that Romney’s “falsehoods and all around dissembling” may be designed to “simply wear reporters and commentators down by trafficking in them so heavily that they throw up their hands and give up on trying to track or debunk them.”
First lady Michelle Obama meets military families at a hiring fair sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for service men and women, veterans and military families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
President Obama walks toward Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Oct. 24. The President is heading on a three-day trip to the West Coast
Reuters: President Barack Obama this week will announce a series of actions to help the economy that will not require congressional approval, including an initiative to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, according to a White House official.
…. The first of the initiatives will be unveiled during Obama’s three-day trip to western states beginning Monday. He will discuss the changes in mortgage rules at a stop in Nevada, which has one of the hardest-hit housing markets in the country.
The Obama administration has been working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to find ways to make it easier for borrowers to switch to cheaper loans even if they have little to no equity in their homes.
…. In Denver Wednesday, Obama will announce a student loan initiative.
“The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges is with bold, bipartisan action in Congress,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told The New York Times. “The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t.”
Steve Benen: It’s been about five months since the White House took the extraordinary step of unveiling President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, ending the “Birther” conspiracy theory once and for all. With the questions answered, unhinged conservatives were forced to move on to other areas of nonsense.
Well, most of them, anyway:
New comments by Rick Perry in Parade magazine have revived the issue of whether the Texas governor believes that President Obama was born in the United States.
…..I suspect all of this should, in fact, be taken at face value – he had dinner with a nutty conspiracy theorist; they chatted about Trump’s silly ideas; Perry found the nonsense persuasive; and when asked about it, the governor said what he was thinking.
There’s no 11-dimensional chess here; Perry just isn’t terribly bright.
GOPolitico: President Barack Obama has a few very funny people on his side. Will Ferrell was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, and many of the comedians on the red carpet had nothing but good things to say about the president.
Ferrell said that he “most definitely” wants Obama to win another term …. he told POLITICO that Obama has faced some unprecedented challenges. “Every president has a hard job but I think his is times ten,” Ferrell said, adding that he likes that Obama “thinks before he speaks.”
…. Obama is doing a “great job,” said Tim Meadows, another former “SNL” cast member. “It’s easy for white liberals to turn their backs on Obama,” he said, complaining that many people who used to support the president have jumped ship. “I don’t like how people are so wishy-washy,” he said.
Not in the wishy-washy category: Comedian Jack Black. “There’s a lot of haters out there, but I’m not one of them,” he said, declaring: “Obama all the way.”
Thanks Tulips & Donna Dem
Irish Central: I think now would be an appropriate time to say thank you to President Barack Obama.
In comparison to his immediate predecessor his success in bringing the world’s most wanted terrorists and dictators to justice has been nothing short of remarkable.
….. Obama has rid the world of the scourge of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi. And all of this was accomplished within six months: if Obama were a Republican, they’d be commissioning bronze statues by now.
You know they won’t say it now or ever, so let’s say it for them: thank you President Obama for making the world and the United States safer.
Dallas News: As Mitt Romney campaigns for the White House, his Mexican cousins and supporters in this Mormon community would like to weigh in on some of the most contentious issues of the campaign: immigration, border security and religion.
Romney has more than 20 distant relatives going back three generations and a legion of supporters living in this region where his father, George, was born – a sanctuary colony in the northern state of Chihuahua originally established by polygamists from Utah led by Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather Miles Park Romney. Mitt Romney has never set foot in the region, his relatives say, but they are closely following the campaign for the Republican nomination, sometimes a bit uncomfortably.
For one thing, Romney has said that, if elected, he’d deport illegal immigrants within 90 days, build a border fence and have enough guards to secure it … These are positions with which the Romneys south of the border don’t entirely agree.
“Let’s get real. Sealing the border is a joke, it’s senseless,” said Brandon Romney, 33, a chili farmer and the local football coach….
…. Cousin Michael Romney … is “pretty sure” he will support Mitt Romney but wants to first understand his economic plan and vision for Mexico. “I don’t really understand what his policy is,” he said. “Addressing illegal immigration and Mexico have to be top priorities.”
….Mitt Romney, as the son of an American born in Mexico, is entitled to dual citizenship under Mexican law.
…. “I certainly hope his father’s Mexican background would be a positive sign for better relations and a deeper understanding of issues between the United States and Mexico,” said Jeffrey Jones, a Mormon and former Mexican senator. “I’m disappointed that we haven’t seen that side of Mitt Romney. We need solutions by working together because the United States needs Mexico very seriously and Mexico needs the United States badly.”