The White House Blog: The President

  • A Different Look at the 2014 State of the Union

    On Tuesday, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to the nation and laid out his agenda for the coming year -- and the White House Photo Office followed him throughout the day.

    They've put together a memorable set of State of the Union images -- including behind-the-scenes moments from before and after the speech, President Obama greeting Members of Congress, and audience reactions from during the speech. Check out the gallery below, and visit our State of the Union page for more State of the Union related videos and content.

    • SOTU1 En Route to Capitol

      President Obama’s motorcade travels to the U.S. Capitol for the State of the Union address. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      1 of 16
    • SOTU2 President Obama Reviews his Speech

      President Obama reviews his State of the Union address one last time at the U.S. Capitol. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      2 of 16
    • SOTU3 Waiting with Sergeants at Arms

      President Obama waits before entering the House Chamber to deliver the State of the Union address. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      3 of 16
    • SOTU4 VP Biden and Senate Majority Leader Reid

      Vice President Biden and Senator Reid enter the House Chamber for the State of the Union address. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

      4 of 16
    • SOTU5 President Obama and Speaker Boehner

      President Obama shakes hands with House Speaker Boehner before he delivers the State of the Union address. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      5 of 16
    • SOTU6 President Obama in the House Chamber

      President Obama acknowledges the applause before he delivers the State of the Union address. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

      6 of 16
    • SOTU7 President Obama State of the Union Address

      President Obama delivers the State of the Union Address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      7 of 16
    • SOTU8 President Obama State of the Union Address

      President Obama delivers the State of the Union Address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

      8 of 16
    • SOTU9 President Obama State of the Union Address

      President Obama delivers the State of the Union Address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

      9 of 16
    • SOTU10 President Obama Acknowledges Army Ranger Cory Remsburg

      President Obama acknowledges Army Ranger Cory Remsburg during the State of the Union address. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      10 of 16
    • SOTU11 Army Ranger Cory Remsburg

      The First Lady and the First Lady’s other guests applaud Army Ranger Cory Remsburg. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      11 of 16
    • SOTU12 Cabinet Members Applaud

      Cabinet members applaud President Obama at the State of the Union address in the House Chamber. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

      12 of 16
    • SOTU13 Sen. Debbie Stabenow

      Sen. Stabenow, Attorney General Holder, Defense Sec. Hagel, and Treasury Sec. Lew greet President Obama. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      13 of 16
    • SOTU14 President Obama Signs Copies of his Speech

      President Obama signs copies of his speech for Members of Congress as he departs the House Chamber. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

      14 of 16
    • SOTU15 President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

      President Obama kisses the First Lady following his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      15 of 16
    • SOTU16 President Obama Hallway Outside the House Chamber

      President Obama signs a copy of his speech for Rep. Wilson in a hallway outside the House Chamber (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      16 of 16


  • President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Tonight, President Obama delivered the 2014 State of the Union Address to Congress and the nation.

    If you missed it, be sure to watch the enhanced broadcast of his address, featuring charts, graphs, and images that help explain the policies and issues he discussed. You can also read his full remarks here.

    Have questions about the speech? Tomorrow, the Obama Administration is hosting its first-ever virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day,” during which dozens of White House officials will take to social media for a day long 'open house' to answers questions from everyday Americans in real-time on Twitter Facebook,  Tumblr,  Instagram and via Google+ Hangout. Learn more and find out how to participate here.


  • Pressing for Peace in South Sudan

    U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan

    President Barack Obama meets with Amb. Donald Booth, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and Amb. Susan D. Page. Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan, in the Oval Office, January 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    On Friday, I joined Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Amb. Donald Booth, and U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page in their meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office. It was a chance for him to thank them for their extraordinary service and many contributions as the United States continues to devote every effort to helping achieve lasting peace in South Sudan. It was also a chance to discuss next steps in resolving the crisis. The United States strongly supports full implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed this week in Addis Ababa, the immediate release of the eleven detainees, and the establishment of a political process that leads to a durable solution.

    President Obama thanked Special Envoy Booth for his energetic support to the mediation led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.   The President also conveyed his gratitude to Ambassador Page for her leadership and  the invaluable work of US Embassy Juba.  The President underscored as well our strong support for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the importance of ensuring that it can carry out its mandate to protect civilians and support efforts to ensure accountability for atrocities and safe delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout South Sudan.

    The United States remains deeply committed to the people of South Sudan and fully supportive of their aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future for their young country. 

    Read the President’s statement on South Sudan here.


  • 2014 State of the Union "Open for Questions"

     

    On Tuesday, January 28th at 9:00 p.m. ET, President Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union Address to the nation. Once again, we will live stream an enhanced version of the speech featuring graphics, data and stats that highlight the issues the President will lay out for the upcoming year. You can also watch that broadcast on FacebookYouTube and our Google+ page. But the speech is just the beginning…

    Immediately following the address, we’ll stream a live “Open for Questions” event from the White House on WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU. You'll have the chance to ask your questions and hear from a panel of senior White House advisors. You can post questions now, and during the speech on Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook using the hashtag #SOTUChat. We'll also answer questions from an in-person audience of White House Social participants.

    Here's the full line up:

    • Josh Earnest, Principal Deputy Press Secretary (@JEarnest44)
    • Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy
    • Betsey Stevenson, member of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors (@CEABetsey)
    • Dan Utech, Director for Energy and Climate Change (@Utech44)
    • Christen Young, Domestic Policy Council
    • Marlon Marshall, Principal Deputy Director of Public Engagement

    We hope you can join us!


  • State of the Union Preview: "President Obama Wanted You to Know This"

    Ed. Note: Earlier today, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent this message out to the White House email list. If you didn't get it, make sure you sign up for email updates.


    Every year it's the same: In the days leading up to the State of the Union, the phone rings off the hook with everyone trying to figure out what will be in the President's address.

    We're now just four days out -- and the President wanted you to get the first preview of what this speech is all about. As always, he'll be working on it right up until game time, but three words sum up the President's message on Tuesday night: opportunity, action, and optimism.

    The core idea is as American as they come: If you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed. Your ability to get ahead should be based on your hard work and ambition and who you want to be, not just the raw circumstance of who you are when you're born.

    On Tuesday night, the President will lay out a set of real, concrete, practical proposals to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, and empower all who hope to join it.

    RSVP now and watch the enhanced State of the Union on WhiteHouse.gov this Tuesday night.


  • Weekly Address: Taking Action to End Sexual Assault

    In his weekly address, President Obama said that the Administration has taken another important step to protect women at college by establishing the White House Task Force on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault. An estimated 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted at college, and the President said that we will keep taking actions like strengthening the criminal justice system, reaching out to survivors, and changing social norms so that all Americans can feel safe and protected as they pursue their own piece of the American dream.

    Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3


  • West Wing Week 01/24/14 or, "199!"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President announced important reforms to the National Security Agency and new measures to prevent sexual assault, honored Martin Luther King with a service project at DC Central Kitchen, signed the 2014 appropriations bill into law to fund the government, and hosted a conference of mayors. That's January 17th to January 23rd or, "199!"


  • A Day in the Life: Inside the State of the Union with Valerie Jarrett

    There's really no other process like the State of the Union -- it's always an exciting and hectic week to be at the White House.

    Of course, it's a process that involves a lot of policy experts and writers from around the building -- but input and ideas from brilliant folks outside the building are just as important. That's why our team has held a series of conversations with the American public about when they hope to hear in the President's address next Tuesday.

    Today, I took over the White House's Instagram account to give you a sense of what that process looks like -- take a look, and don't forget to tune in next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

     


  • Join a Virtual Road Trip with President Obama on Google+

    Join the Hangout

    Next Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address to members of Congress and to the American people. Later that week, President Obama will take a virtual road trip across the country via Google+ Hangouts to discuss the issues and policies laid out in the speech with citizens joining from around the country.

    Want to come along for the ride? Here’s how you can participate:

    • Record your video question now. Record a 60-second video question for the opportunity to participate in the Hangout Road Trip with the President. Be sure to include your name, location, a bit about yourself and the question you’d like to ask. Then, post it on YouTube or Google+ with the hashtag #AskObama2014.
    • Watch the enhanced State of Union. Tune in to Whitehouse.gov on January 28th at 9pm ET to watch President Obama's address live and enhanced with data, graphs and charts that explain the policies and issues he'll be discussing in the speech.
    • Join the Hangout Road Trip. Everyone is invited to tune-in for the first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip on Friday, January 31st. You can watch it all live on the White House YouTube page, Google+ and on WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.


  • A Renewed Call to Action to End Rape and Sexual Assault

    As part of an unprecedented national effort to address alarming rates of sexual assault on college campuses, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum today to establish the “White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault." The taskforce will be charged with sharing best practices, and increasing transparency, enforcement, public awareness, and interagency coordination to prevent violence and support survivors. The creation of this Task Force builds upon the President’s 2010 call to action, which urged the federal government to support survivors and aggressively take action against sexual assault.

    The statistics around sexual assault in this country are nothing short of jarring. A report just released by the White House Council on Women and Girls entitled, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” reveals that nearly 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. These statistics are stunning, but still can’t begin to capture the emotional and psychological scars that survivors often carry for life, or the courage needed to recover.

    President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014.

    President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Today’s report states that students experience some of the highest rates of sexual assault. This violence, and the stress, fear, and mental health challenges that often follow, combine to increase dropout rates and limit opportunities for success in college for women and girls. The Administration is committed to investing in women’s education, training, and full inclusion in the workforce, and the President strongly believes that combatting sexual assault is vital to that effort.