The White House Blog: The President

  • Weekly Address: Happy Thanksgiving from the Obama Family

    President Obama Tapes the Thanksgiving Weekly Address

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. November 26, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week's address, the President wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving and reflected on the history of our country and its celebration of diversity. He gave thanks for the many Americans who sacrifice every day, from volunteer workers who serve their communities, to men and women in uniform who serve us all.

    On Thanksgiving, a holiday that is uniquely American, he reminded us to focus on what unites -- our commitment to American ideals like justice and equality and our gratitude and love for our country.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • President Obama Pardons a Thanksgiving Turkey

    Since 1947, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation has presented a turkey to the President. Each Thanksgiving, the President “pardons” that turkey, ensuring that the bird gets to spend the rest of its days living on a farm in Virginia. Today, President Obama celebrated the 67th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by pardoning two 20-week old, 48-pound turkeys. And just like last year, the American public decided which of the two turkeys – Mac or Cheese – would become the National Thanksgiving Turkey by casting a vote for #TeamMac or #TeamCheese online.

  • West Wing Week 11/28/14 or, "We Need Turkey"


    This week, the President traveled to Las Vegas and Chicago to highlight the steps he is taking to reform our broken immigration system, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and delivered a statement on the Grand Jury's decision in Ferguson, while the Vice President and Dr. Biden visited Ukraine and Turkey. That's November 21st to November 27th or, "We Need Turkey."

  • This Day in History: Carving Out a Piece of Thanksgiving History

    This Day
    In History

    When was Thanksgiving officially established at the White House?

    It all started on September 28, 1789, when the first Federal Congress asked President George Washington to declare a national day of thanksgiving. Just a few days later, George Washington issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring Thursday, November 26th as a national day of “public thanksgiving.”

    However, it wasn’t until 1863 -- when President Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday of November be marked as Thanksgiving -- that the holiday emerged as a national holiday.

    But it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a little gravy mixed in with American history, right?

  • #GivingTuesday 2014: Individual Action, Worldwide Impact

    America has developed a wide number of social innovations that have matured from novel experiments into best practices for healthy societies.  We pioneered new approaches to charitable giving such as the community foundation.  We developed national service into a standard rite for youth development.  But in just a few short years, #GivingTuesday has emerged as a potent new model of online and offline engagement that was pioneered in our country but has taken root around the world.

    Since it launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a case study in community organizing in the 21st century.  It follows the consumer traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the public calendar. But, unlike these commercial counterparts, #GivingTuesday offers a moment on the calendar to encourage Americans to reflect and give back.  Some might choose to volunteer their talent, others might make charitable contributions and still others simply to connect with friends and loved ones.  Through millions of online clicks and offline acts, we expect #GivingTuesday will take many forms, but all will be energized by a common impulse to make life better, especially for those in need.

    It’s exciting that the #GivingTuesday organizers have exceeded the heights achieved in prior years.  In 2015, it will take place through more than 18,000 partner organizations spread across all 50 states.  It will involve 40 local communities who are developing their own unique campaigns to motivate and organize local citizens on making a difference. 

    This year, #GivingTuesday also could be described as #GlobalTuesday in 2015 because it is reaching beyond our borders.  This year, the event will encompass citizens of dozens of countries around the world who are customizing their initiatives to their cultural norms and local needs.  So, without regard to ethnicity, nationality, faith or political affiliation, millions are poised to be engaged in this worldwide moment.

    Here at the White House, President Obama is proud to celebrate this American innovation that is creating world changing impact.

    So now our question is – how will you celebrate #GivingTuesday?

    Jonathan Greenblatt is a Special Assistant to the President and the Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

  • A Page from the #GetCovered Cookbook: Two Recipes You'll Need This Holiday Season

    There's a good chance it'll take you less time to apply for health coverage than to make your Thanksgiving dinner. 

    Need health insurance? Visit right now, where you can shop for plans and get yourself signed up.

    Otherwise, be sure to share this delicious one-two recipe punch with everyone you know.

    Check out the full recipe after the jump.

  • Cinco Cosas que se Deben Saber Sobre Cómo las Medidas Ejecutivas del Presidente Obama Afectan a los Inmigrantes Indocumentados

    La semana pasada el Presidente tomó medidas dentro del alcance de su autoridad legal existente, para arreglar lo más posible a nuestro sistema de inmigración que no funciona. Las medidas ejecutivas de responsabilidad migratoria del Presidente son un paso importante para arreglar nuestro sistema de inmigración.  Millones de inmigrantes indocumentados que viven en las sombras quieren hacer las cosas legalmente, pagar su parte justa de impuestos, y cumplir con la ley.  El Presidente está tomando acción para reparar el problema como le sea posible mientras que sigue trabajando con el Congreso para aprobar un proyecto de ley completo, bipartidista, de reforma migratoria.

    El Presidente ha sido claro al indicar que no puede arreglar el sistema inmigratorio totalmente por su cuenta; las medidas que tome no será un sustituto para las soluciones de larga duración que solamente una legislación migratoria integrada podría proporcionar.

    He aquí cinco cosas que debes saber sobre las iniciativas del Presidente que afectan a los inmigrantes indocumentados en Estados Unidos.

  • Five Things to Know About How President Obama’s Executive Action Impacts Undocumented Immigrants

    Last week, the President took action to fix as much of our broken immigration system as possible within the scope of his existing legal authority. The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions are an important step to fix our broken immigration system. Millions of undocumented immigrants who live in the shadows want to play by the rules, pay their fair share of taxes, and get right with the law. The President is taking action to fix as much of the problem as he can, while continuing to work with Congress to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform bill.

    The President has been clear that he can’t fix the immigration system entirely on his own; whatever action he takes will not be a substitute for long-lasting solutions that only comprehensive immigration legislation can provide.

    Here are the five things that you should know about the President’s initiatives impacting undocumented immigrants in the United States.

  • The Faces of Health Care: Ann C.

    "I was finally able to have a physical and a gynecological check-up, which included a mammogram. The mammogram showed an irregularity ... The cancer has been detected at a very early stage, which, with a 98% survival rate, has saved my life!"

    Ann, a 51-year old mother of three, is a licensed massage therapist from Westport, CT who is dedicated to healing others. As a self-employed single mother, she could not afford health insurance. But when the Health Care Marketplace opened for all Americans last year, she found out that she qualified for Medicaid in her state. That coverage finally gave her the opportunity to see a doctor -- and catch her breast cancer very early.

    She will have minor surgery to remove the irregularity and now has an almost 100% chance of survival. What's more, the cost of the screening and minor procedure will be far less than treating a more developed cancer down the line. 

    Thanks to, she got the care she needed when she needed it most. 

    Find out how you can get covered at Already insured? Commit to get your friends and family the insurance they need here

    Read more stories about Americans whose lives are being made better by health reform.

  • Taking Action to Attract High-Skilled Immigrants, Graduates, and Entrepreneurs

    The President is taking action, within his legal authority, to fix our broken immigration system. America needs a 21st century immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants -- and that grows our economy.

    According to an analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the President’s executive actions on immigration stand to boost the nation’s GDP by $90 billion to $210 billion, while shrinking the Federal deficit by $25 billion over the next ten years. These actions will also increase the productivity and wages of all American workers, not just immigrants.

    Many of these economic benefits spring from the President’s actions to “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy.” We need to build on our strengths -- after all, over one-quarter of all U.S.-based Nobel laureates over the past 50 years were foreign-born, and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.