The White House Blog: The President

  • West Wing Week 10/17/14 or, "The Geography of Hope"

    This week, the President continued to lead the federal Ebola response, met with members of the international coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL, and designated the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument.


  • President Obama Names Ron Klain to Coordinate the U.S. Response to Ebola

    President Obama has asked Ron Klain to coordinate the government’s comprehensive response to Ebola. He will report to the President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco and his National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

    As former Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents, Klain comes to the job with extensive experience in overseeing complex governmental operations and has good working relationships with leading Members of Congress as well as senior Administration officials.

    Klain’s talent and managerial skill will be crucial in providing the resources and expertise we need to rapidly, cohesively, and effectively respond to Ebola at home and abroad. As the President said, while "the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low" in the U.S., "we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government." Klain will be an integral part of ensuring that we effectively respond and ultimately bring an end to Ebola.

    Click here to learn more about the steps the Administration has taken to bolster our Ebola response and to learn what you need to know about the disease.

    President Obama Meets with Ron Klain

    President Obama meets with Cynthia Hogan, Counsel to the Vice-President and Ron Klain, Chief of Staff to the Vice President in the Oval Office. May 21, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


  • Here's What You Need to Know About Our Response to Ebola Right Now:

    Note: For updated information on the Administration's response to Ebola, please visit WhiteHouse.gov/Ebola-Response

    President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the press after a meeting with cabinet agencies coordinating the government's Ebola response, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Oct.15, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the press after a meeting with cabinet agencies coordinating the government's Ebola response, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Oct.15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, a health care worker from Dallas was transferred to Emory University Hospital for treatment after contracting the Ebola virus while helping to treat Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient to have the disease in the U.S.

    After meeting with his Cabinet officials and Dr. Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the President updated the country on our comprehensive strategy to contain the disease, prevent its spread in the U.S., and combat it at its source in West Africa. 

    "The dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low" in the U.S., the President said. "But we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government."


  • President Obama Joins International Military Leaders to Discuss Coalition Efforts Against ISIL

    President Obama meets with more than 20 foreign chiefs of defense to discuss coalition efforts in the campaign against ISIL

    President Barack Obama participates in a meeting hosted by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with more than 20 foreign chiefs of defense to discuss the coalition efforts in the ongoing campaign against ISIL. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander, U.S. Central Command also participates in the meeting at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Oct. 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This afternoon, President Obama traveled to Joint Base Andrews, just outside of Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting with military leaders from more than 20 partner nations in the coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL.


  • Weekly Address: America Is a Place Where Hard Work Should Be Rewarded

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Oct. 9, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Oct. 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    In this week's address, the President made the case for why it's past time to raise the minimum wage. Increasing the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would benefit 28 million Americans, and make our economy stronger. While Republicans in Congress have blocked this commonsense proposal, a large and growing coalition of state and local leaders and owners of businesses large and small have answered the President's call and raised wages for their residents and employees.

    This progress is important, but there is more that can be done. No American who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. That's why the President will continue to push Congress to take action and give America its well-deserved raise.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • "The Geography of Hope": President Obama Designates the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

    President Obama walks onstage at Bonelli Regional Park to announce the creation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

    President Barack Obama walks onstage at Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, Calif., where he announced the creation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Oct. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    "We are blessed to have the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  We have a responsibility to be good stewards of them for future generations."

    -- President Obama, October 10, 2014

    It is our moral obligation to protect America's most beautiful lands for the next generation. Today, President Obama officially ensured that the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument will join a vast landscape of natural treasures, as part of what writer Wallace Stegner once called "the geography of hope."

    Speaking in the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, California, the President said: 

    It’s not just the natural beauty of the San Gabriels that makes it invaluable. Within these hills lies millennia of history, including the ancient rock art of Native peoples -- the first Americans. And just as this region teaches us about our past, it has always offered us a window into the future. It was here at the Mount Wilson Observatory that Edwin P. Hubble showed the universe to be ever-expanding, and it's where astronomers still explore the mysteries of space. I can think of no better way to honor our past and protect our future than by preserving the San Gabriel Mountains.


  • President Obama Congratulates Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi on Winning the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Every child has the right to an education. 

    That is the simple but powerful message that Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old girl from Pakistan, is bringing to millions across the world. It is the message that the Pakistani Taliban tried to stop her from sharing. It is a message that no bullet can silence. 

    Today, for her unwavering courage to champion education for all children anywhere, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize. She shares that honor with Kailash Satyarthi, a human rights activist who is working tirelessly to bring an end to child slavery in India and across the globe. 

    Reflecting on his meeting with Malala last year, the President released the following statement to congratulate her and Kailash on their remarkable accomplishments in the pursuit of peace: 


  • Celebrating America's Newest National Monument: The San Gabriel Mountains

    Today, President Obama will travel to Los Angeles County, California to designate the San Gabriel Mountains as America’s newest national monument, and a timeless piece of our national heritage. In many ways, this nation’s story is etched into its land, and as the President is recognizing today, each of our monuments provides us with an important cultural bridge between our past and our future.

    In his time in office, President Obama has preserved more than 3 million acres of public land, and he’s not done yet. Natural treasures like the San Gabriel Mountains are not only remarkably beautiful, as they frame the Los Angeles Skyline, but with this new designation, they will bring even more tangible benefits to the 15 million people who live in their shadow. Tourism in the area will be strengthened, as will local businesses as hikers, bikers, outdoor adventurists, and nature lovers make their way to enjoy all 346,177 acres receiving the President’s new designation. 

    The President remains committed to respecting and reflecting our nation’s diversity in the monuments and precious lands we preserve, while ensuring access to parkland, monuments, historical landmarks, and majestic landscapes for Americans of all backgrounds to relish. 


  • President Obama on How Technology and Millennials Will Shape Our Economic Future

    President Obama Speaks at Cross Campus

    President Barack Obama answers a question during a town hall at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, Calif. October 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    For Millennials, the entrepreneurial spirit is in their DNA. This week, the White House released a snapshot on what the economy looks like for the Millennial generation right now, and how this rising group of young Americans will use its unparalleled talent and drive to shape the economy in the next few years.

    Yesterday in Los Angeles, President Obama spent some time with a few innovative members of the Millennial generation at Cross Campus -- a collaborative tech lab that brings inventors and investors together to pursue the next big idea that will continue to power our economic recovery.   

    "A lot of you entered the workforce during the worst recession since the Great Depression. And that makes it easy for cynics to write you off as some kind of 'lost generation,'" he said. "But I don’t buy that. Because when I travel around the country, I see the kind of energy, hope, and determination that you display here…"


    "When I come to places like this, it inspires me and reminds me of why I am chronically optimistic about the future of America."



  • West Wing Week: 10/10/14 or, "Is Anybody Here Over 25?"

    This week, the President traveled to Indiana and to California, where he spoke on expanding economic opportunity for every American, addressed the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and dedicated the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.