The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon March 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT
Last year, President Obama predicted Baylor would win the 2012 NCAA Women's basketball tournament. The Bears lived up to the billing, winning the national championship over Notre Dame.
This year, the President is predicting a rematch.
Joining Baylor and Notre Dame in his Final Four are California and UConn. Check out his full bracket:
For President Obama's predictions in the NCAA men’s tournament, click here.
- Posted byon March 21, 2013 at 7:29 PM EDT
President Obama was in the West Bank for the first time since 2008 on the second day of his visit to the Middle East, where he held meetings in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad, and attended a cultural event at Al-Bireh Youth Center. President Obama, who was joined by Secretary of State John Kerry in his meetings, commended President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad for the progress that they’ve made in building the institutions of a Palestinian state.
“I’ve returned to the West Bank because the United States is deeply committed to the creation of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine,” President Obama said in a joint press conference with President Abbas. “Like people everywhere, Palestinians deserve a future of hope -- that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity. Put simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”
In the interests of the Palestinian people, and also in the national security interest of Israel, the United States, and the world, President Obama reaffirmed “that the United States remains committed to realizing the vision of two states.”
We seek an independent, a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish State of Israel -- two nations enjoying self-determination, security and peace. As I have said many times, the only way to achieve that goal is through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians themselves. There is no shortcut to a sustainable solution.
The President also spent time in Jerusalem today, this morning where he toured the Israel Museum and again in the afternoon, where he delivered remarks to the Israeli people from the Jerusalem International Convention Center. In his speech, President Obama spoke about the “unbreakable bonds of friendship” between Israel and the United States.
- Posted byon March 21, 2013 at 6:27 PM EDT
This week, the President spoke on American Energy Security at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, celebrated the luck of the Irish, honored leaders in STEM education and small business, filled out his NCAA tournament brackets, announced his nominee for the Secretary of Labor, and embarked on a 5 day trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan.
President Obama Tells Israeli People: The U.S Is Proud to Be "Your Strongest Ally and Your Greatest Friend"Posted byon March 20, 2013 at 3:19 PM EDT
On the first day of his visit to the Middle East, the first foreign trip of his second term, President Obama was in Israel, where he met with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit is historic, marking the first time the President has visited Israel since taking office, and comes as its citizens celebrate the 65th anniversary of a free and independent State of Israel.
President Obama's visit began with an arrival ceremony at the Ben Gurion airport, followed by an inspection of the Iron Dome Battery defense system in Tel Aviv. The Iron Dome is a short range rocket and mortar defense system, which was developed by Israel and produced with U.S. assistance and is part of a multi-tier missile defense developed to counter the rocket threat against Israel’s civilian population. From there, the President flew on to Jerusalem, where he met with Israeli leaders and attended a working dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
- Posted byon March 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM EDT
This week, President Obama is making the first trip of his second term, visiting Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. We will be posting regular updates from the road and livestreaming several of the President's events on whitehouse.gov/live.
- Wednesday, March 20 (2:05 PM ET) — President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu hold a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem
- Thursday March 21 (11:00 AM ET) — President Obama delivers a speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center
- Friday March 22 (11:45 AM ET) — President Obama and King Abdullah II of Jordan hold a press conference in Amman, Jordan
- Posted byon March 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT
Yesterday President Obama continued what's become a March tradition: For the fifth time, he sat down to fill out his brackets for the NCAA men and women's basketball tournaments -- and shared his picks with ESPN.
The President has Louisville, Ohio State, Florida, and Indiana headed to Atlanta for the Final Four.
He picked the Hoosiers to top the Cardinals in the National Championship game on April 8.
Download the full predictions here.
We’ll share the President’s pick for the women’s tournament on Friday. Be sure to check back!
Update! Here is President Obama's bracket for the women's tournament.
- Posted byon March 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM EDT
Today, President Obama held a bilateral meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the White House before the two leaders traveled to the Capitol for a St. Patrick's Day Luncheon.
In their Oval Office meeting -- the fifth since President Obama took office -- the President and Taoiseach reaffirmed the incredible bond between the United States and Ireland.
"We have an incredibly strong partnership on economic issues, on security issues," President Obama said. "The Taoiseach has shown great leadership during difficult times in Ireland. And we’re seeing progress in the Irish economy."
Noting one example of this progress, President Obama mentioned a deal to sell American-made planes to Ireland that will help businesses here in the U.S create jobs.
- Posted byon March 18, 2013 at 7:12 PM EDT
President Obama today welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House. The group, which included leaders like A&E Networks CEO Abbe Raven, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Girl Scouts' CEO Anna Maria Chávez, astronaut Sunita Williams, activists Dolores Huerta and Lilly Ledbetter, and WNBA star (and 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist) Tamika Catchings, joined the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day. President Obama highlighted the changes we've seen in the past century:
When I look around this room, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental right: the right to vote, to have a say in our democracy. And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters. And that means we've come a long way, and that’s thanks to the efforts of so many people like you.
Because of the hard work and exemplary leadership of the women in this room, military families have protected family and medical leave. Women have legal recourse to fight against pay discrimination... Women have the opportunity to serve on the front lines of our military conflicts, and that means that they're getting paid and promoted equally. Women have the opportunity to make their own choices about their health.
- Posted byon March 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM EDT
As families and friends gather around the Sofreh-e Haft Sin to celebrate Nowruz, President Obama extends his best wishes for the new spring and new year.
In his message, the President speaks directly to the people and leaders of Iran about the opportunity to begin a new relationship between our two countries. In expressing his hope that Americans and Iranians will one day work together, build together, and innovate together, the President says “As a new spring begins, I remain hopeful that our two countries can move beyond tension. And I will continue to work toward a new day between our nations that bears the fruit of friendship and peace.”
Eid-e Shoma Mobarak.
Watch the video here | Read the transcript of President Obama's message in English | Read the transcript of President Obama's message in Persian | Read the transcript of President Obama's message in Arabic | Download MP4 |
- Posted byon March 18, 2013 at 1:11 PM EDT
President Obama today announced that he has chosen Thomas Perez, the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, to be the next Secretary of Labor. Speaking in the East Room of the White House, the President introduced Perez, the son of Dominican immigrants and a lawyer who helped pay his way through college by working as a garbage collector, to the American people.
"His story reminds us of this country’s promise, that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your last name is -- you can make it if you try," President Obama said. "And Tom has made protecting that promise -- for everybody -- the cause of his life."