The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon March 8, 2011 at 12:11 PM EDT
Like she does on most Tuesdays, Dr. Biden spent time on a college campus this morning – but today it was in Finland! As the Vice President conducted his meetings at the Presidential Palace, Dr. Biden visited the Helsinki City College of Culinary Art, Fashion and Beauty. She received a warm welcome from the Director General of the Finnish Minister of Education, and discussed the Finnish education system as well higher education in the United States. During a guided tour of the campus, Dr. Biden had the opportunity to meet with students and staff at the fashion design labs and culinary classrooms. She was impressed with the school’s hands-on teaching techniques and on the job learning environment, and remarked on the parallels to the many valuable job training programs in place at community colleges across America.
- Posted byon March 4, 2011 at 1:00 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It was a busy week on the 18 acres, with President Obama welcoming the nation's governors, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón to the White House. The First Lady and Education Secretary Arne Duncan also helped kick off Education Month at the Library of Congress.
- Posted byon February 28, 2011 at 9:30 PM EDT
Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to the meeting of the National Governors' Association here at the White House about an issue important to both: military families. Over the past two years, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have traveled around the country and around the world, visiting with service members and their families, hearing their stories firsthand. Today, they called on America's Governors and all Americans to join their effort.
"So we’re going to need your help," said First Lady Michelle Obama, "We’re going to need your support and encouragement to make this a reality. We’re very excited about this initiative because we think that this will not only help our troops and their families, but it will help us as a nation link together and be even stronger."
President Obama to America's Governors: "The Flexibility That You Need to Find Your Own Innovative Ways Forward"Posted byon February 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM EDT
This morning the President & Vice President addressed America's Governors, following the First Lady and Dr. Biden. They touched on topics ranging from rebuilding America's infrastructure to the changes in the health care law that the President endorsed, which would move the date up to 2014 when states could establish their own alternate systems outside the Affordable Care Act provided they can achieve the same results. The President laid out his fundamental approach this way:
You see, part of the genius of our Founders was the establishment of a federal system in which each of our states serves as a laboratory for our democracy. Through this process, some of the best state ideas became some of America’s best ideas. So whether it’s through Race to the Top, or improving the Affordable Care Act, or reforming the way that we approach social programs by ensuring that spending is tied to success, our approach has been to give you the flexibility that you need to find your own innovative ways forward.
- Posted byon February 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM EDT
Today the President is in Hillsboro, Oregon to visit the Intel campus, where he’ll get to see the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility with Intel CEO Paul Otellini. The President will also learn more about Intel’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs and check out student demonstrations by Intel Science Talent Search finalists.
It’s a perfect demonstration of the importance of out-educating our competitors in order to win the future, and that’s what the President will talk about afterwards – watch the live stream here at 2:35PM EST, 11:35AM PST:
UPDATE: This event has now concluded, check WhiteHouse.gov/video later for the recording.
- Posted byon February 16, 2011 at 6:10 PM EDT
One of the great honors that the Vice President and I have had over the last two years has been being able to spend time with our service members and their families who shoulder so much of the burden for our country. I wanted to share some photos from two great visits we had recently.
Last week the Vice President was at Fort Campbell for an arrival ceremony to welcome home members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, returning from Afghanistan. He also made a point to meet with families of the returning soldiers to thank them for their sacrifice, and took some time for the Fort Campbell Falcons high school football who have family members serving in the military.
For my part, I was at Fort Stewart in Georgia earlier this week, where I heard from teachers, parents and school administrators about some issues they face in educating military children. While no doubt challenging, the elementary school was doing a great job and they have found some innovative ways to keep parents involved in their children's education during a deployment. One teacher told me she sets up parent-teacher conferences over the internet, so she can update them on their children's progress in the classroom.
- Posted byon February 14, 2011 at 5:26 PM EDT
Every February, couples and families take a special day to share their commitment and affection on Valentine's Day. This year, I had the opportunity to spend my Valentine's Day with soldiers and military families to share my appreciation for all they do and to reaffirm the Administration’s commitment to support our service members and their families.
I traveled to Fort Stewart, Georgia, with Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and his wife Sheila. Fort Stewart is home to the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, and more than 5,000 soldiers from the base are deployed overseas. Visiting with the families was a great privilege, and the pride that each of them had in the service of their loved ones was plain to see.
For families, being apart on a day like today can be especially tough. Some of our service members in the Navy put together a special video of Valentine's messages from home to sailors, aviators, and Marines abroad.
I wanted to share it with you:
I hope that every American keeps in their thoughts and prayers the brave men and women of our armed forces and the families who eagerly await their safe return. Those families bear a heavy burden and bear it gladly, but it's our role as friends and neighbors to make sure they don't bear it alone.
As a military mom, I know how a simple act of kindness can make a difference.
Please take a minute to visit Serve.gov to find ways you can help support our military families.
- Posted byon January 28, 2011 at 1:00 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President delivered his State of the Union Address, focused on jobs and the economy, and he took those ideas on the road traveling to Upstate New York and Wisconsin.
- Posted byon January 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Tonight at 9 p.m. EST, the President delivers the State of the Union. Learn more about who’s in the First Lady’s box, our enhanced live stream presentation, opportunities to engage with Administration officials, or watch a new behind-the-scenes video.
I wrote yesterday about how proud I was to stand with the President and First Lady at the White House as we highlighted the efforts of the Federal government to support our nation’s military families. It was an honor to stand in the East Room and be surrounded by individuals who have dedicated themselves to serving our country. Today, I am particularly pleased to have two such special Americans join me as my guests at tonight’s State of the Union Address: Army Sergeant Brian Mast and his wife Brianna.
I met Brian and Brianna at one of my favorite events last year – the annual Thanksgiving dinner that my husband Joe and I host for wounded warriors and their families at the Vice President’s Residence. Joe and I are always filled with such gratitude for both the commitment and the enormous sacrifices made by the families who join us for this meal and at other events and meetings throughout the year. Families whose service to our country all too often goes unrecognized.
Last September, while Brianna was juggling the stresses of being a first-time mother with a deployed husband, Brian was seriously injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan -- losing both of his legs just below the knee and an index finger, while also suffering a broken arm and shrapnel wounds. Brianna moved from Michigan with her infant son, Magnum, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be by her husband’s side during his recovery. Day in and day out, Brianna has devoted herself to aiding her husband’s recovery while caring for their young son.
- Posted byon January 24, 2011 at 3:41 PM EDT
I was so pleased to have several of my own special guests join us today – people who represent the strength and courage that I have seen in so many military families around the country.
People like Jessica Sanders who I met two weeks ago at a Deployment Ceremony for members of the Delaware Army National Guard’s 126th Aviation Regiment. Jessica’s fiancé, Captain Mark Thomas, will deploy in the coming weeks to Afghanistan where he and his unit will provide medical evacuations for troops, allies and Afghan civilians.
And people like Sandra Norris, the wife of Colonel John Norris who I met when I traveled to Iraq last summer. Sandra has volunteered thousands of hours of her time and expertise over the past 20 years – leading Family Readiness Groups and supporting other Army families as an advisor and friend – all while raising two sons and coping with John’s 42 months in combat.