The White House Blog: The President

  • Follow Along: White House Economist Betsey Stevenson Takes Over the "I Love Charts" Tumblr

    Today, White House Economist Betsey Stevenson is taking over the popular "I Love Charts" Tumblr blog in honor of Women's Equality Day. Follow along here, or on the White House Tumblr.


    Hey everyone! Betsey Stevenson here from President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, I’ll be taking over I Love Charts to tell the story of the progress we’ve made in closing the earnings gap between women and men, and the challenges women still face in the workforce.

    Let’s get started. Our first chart shows how women are increasingly contributing to family income and now make up about half the workforce. Since 2000, women’s labor force participation has dropped slightly, but most of that is because of cyclical factors and an aging population. While older women participate in the workforce at lower rates than younger women, the percent of older women who are working has increased since the mid-1990s, partially offsetting the overall decline.

    At the other end of the spectrum, young women are more likely to be enrolled in school than they were a generation ago, and that’s good news. Since students (even ones who work part-time) are not considered to be in the labor force, increased school enrollment will depress the participation rate.

    Wanna wonk out some more on this stuff? Check out our report on “Women’s Participation in Education and the Workforce.”


  • Working Together to Support Our Military Families

    Every day, the men and women of our military perform incredible service on behalf of our country. And as the President has made clear, just as our service members have made a commitment to America, we have a commitment to them – to have their backs at home while they serve around the world.

    A new partnership announced today by President Obama with leading banks and financial services institutions is part of meeting that commitment by making it easier for service members to access important financial protections that will save them money and help protect their financial wellbeing. 

    In a speech at the American Legion's 96th National Convention today, the President outlined how his Administration and five of the country’s largest mortgage servicers are working together to help more members of our active-duty military lower their monthly mortgage payments. Our preliminary analysis suggests that this new partnership will help tens of thousands of military families save money by reducing their mortgage interest rates. On a $200,000 mortgage, even an interest rate reduction of only 1 percent will result in over $1,500 a year in savings for our military families – money they can put toward daily expenses, retirement savings, or sending their children to college.


  • The President and Vice President Meet the Nation's Oldest Living Female Veteran:

    At 108 years old, Lucy Coffey, a veteran of the Women's Army Corps in World War II, is the nation's oldest living female veteran.

    Last month, a dream of hers came true when she finally had the opportunity to visit the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. But while she was in the area, she also stopped by the White House — where she was greeted by none other than President Obama and Vice President Biden. 

    Watch the video below — we're sure it will make your day:

    Watch on YouTube


  • Weekly Address: The Export-Import Bank

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Blue Room of the White House, Aug. 18, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Blue Room of the White House, Aug. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress made towards rebuilding our economy, including the creation of nearly 10 million new private sector jobs in the past 53 months and the rise in the number of American exports to an all-time high. That growth is in part thanks to the actions of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an organization that creates American jobs by helping to take American businesses global. The charter of the Export-Import Bank is slated to expire next month, unless Members of Congress renew it, as has happened 16 times in the past with support from Democrats and Republicans. The President asked business owners and employees to reach out to their representatives, who are home this month, and let them know how important it is that the Export-Import Bank continue its work so that American businesses can continue to grow.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • West Wing Week 08/22/14 or, “The Summer Social Media Mailbag Edition”

    Welcome to a special edition of West Wing Week, featuring a Summer Social Media Mailbag Q&A session with White House staffers. But before we get to your questions, here are a couple scenes from the President's week.


  • President Obama: James Foley's Life "Stands in Stark Contrast to His Killers"

    Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon, the President made a statement on the killing of journalist James Foley by the terrorist group ISIL. He was 40 years old.

    "The entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley," President Obama said. "Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away."

    Foley was taken hostage in Syria almost two years ago while reporting on the conflict there. The President made clear in today's statement that Foley's life "stands in stark contrast to his killers":


  • Day One: Mikey Dickerson, U.S. Digital Service Administrator

    Ever wondered what a first day as a new employee at the White House looks like?

    What about a first day as the very first employee of a brand-new government service designed to remake the way people and businesses interact with their government online?

    From parking forms to press conferences, from orientation to setting a new BlackBerry password to meeting with senior advisors, follow along as Mikey Dickerson, Administrator of the newly created U.S. Digital Service, makes his way through Day One.

    Take a look, and then pass this one on.


  • President Obama Provides an Update on the Latest in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri

    Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon at the White House, President Obama delivered a statement on the latest developments in Iraq and in Ferguson, Missouri — two issues he has been following closely each day.

    First, the President relayed to the nation that the American operation in Iraq has effectively protected our personnel by stopping the terrorist group ISIL from advancing on the city of Erbil, and by helping Iraqi forces to recapture the largest dam in Iraq:

    The Mosul Dam fell under terrorist control earlier this month and is directly tied to our objective of protecting Americans in Iraq. If that dam was breached, it could have proven catastrophic, with floods that would have threatened the lives of thousands of civilians and endangered our embassy compound in Baghdad. Iraqi and Kurdish forces took the lead on the ground and performed with courage and determination. So this operation demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together in taking the fight to ISIL. If they continue to do so, they will have the strong support of the United States of America.


  • From the Archives: Air Force One and Presidential Air Travel

    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrates his 61st birthday on the Dixie Clipper

      President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrates his 61st birthday on the Dixie Clipper while flying from Trinidad to Miami. 1/30/1943

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    • President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Airplane, the Independence

      President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential airplane, the Independence, in flight over an unknown location. 1950

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    • The Columbine II Sits on the Tarmac in Washington, D.C.

      The Columbine II sits on the tarmac in D.C. awaiting the arrival of President Eisenhower. 2/23/1953. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

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    • President John F. Kennedy Arrives in Alameda, California

      President John F. Kennedy arrives in Alameda, California. 3/23/1962

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    • President Lyndon B. Johnson Holds Grandson Patrick Lyndon Nugent

      President Lyndon B. Johnson holds his grandson Patrick, who plays with the telephone as First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Luci Johnson look on. 3/2/68

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    • Arrival of Air Force One in Peking, China

      Arrival of Air Force One in Peking, China. 2/21/1972

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    • First Lady Betty Ford and President Gerald Ford Inside Air Force One

      First Lady Betty Ford and President Gerald Ford inside Air Force One after Sara Jane Moore’s assassination attempt. 9/22/1975

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    • President Jimmy Carter with White House Staff Aboard Air Force One

      President Jimmy Carter with White House staff aboard Air Force One. 7/20/1977

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    • President Ronald Reagan Sitting with the Crew in the Cockpit of Air Force One

      President Ronald Reagan sitting with the crew in the cockpit of Air Force One. 3/16/1982

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    • President George Bush is Welcomed by Military Personnel

      President George Bush is welcomed by Military Personnel to Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10/28/1990

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    • President William J. Clinton on Air Force One

      President William J. Clinton speaking on the telephone to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin from his office on Air Force One. 9/9/1993

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    • Air Force One Landing At Buyant-Ukhaa Airport

      Air Force One landing At Buyant-Ukhaa Airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 11/21/2005

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    • President Barack Obama Plays With Bo

      President Barack Obama plays with Bo aboard Air Force One during a flight to Hawaii. 12/23/2011 (Official WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    • President Barack Obama Looks Out the Windows of Air Force One

      President Obama looks out of Air Force One with Nicky and Zachary DeParle. 12/23/2011 (Official WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    • President Barack Obama and White House Staffers Aboard Air Force One to Paris

      President Obama and White House staffers aboard Air Force One look at Reggie Love's photos of Egypt on June 5, 2009. (Official WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    The President of the United States must be ready to travel anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice. Fortunately, modern Presidents have access to a variety of transportation options, including flying aboard Air Force One. Strictly speaking, the term “Air Force One” is used to describe any Air Force aircraft when the President is on board, but since the middle of the 20th century, it has been standard practice to use the title to refer to specific planes that are equipped to transport the Commander-in-Chief.


  • Weekly Address: Everyone Should Be Able to Afford Higher Education

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the State Dining Room of the White House, Aug. 8, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the State Dining Room of the White House, Aug. 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    In this week’s address, with schools getting ready to open their doors again over the next few weeks, the President talked directly to students and parents about the importance of preparing for an education beyond high school.

    In today’s economy, some higher education continues to be the surest ticket to the middle class, but for too many families across the country, paying for higher education is a constant struggle. The President and First Lady know this first hand -- they only finished paying off their student loans 10 years ago -- and that’s why they have made it a priority to help make college more affordable for families. They have taken action to reform student loans, expand grants and college tax credits, help make loan payments more manageable, and have proposed plans to make sure colleges also do their part to bring down costs. And just this week, as part of the President’s Year of Action, the administration announced a new series of commitments to support students who need a little extra academic help getting through college.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3