The White House Blog: The President

  • The Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks Head to the White House

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    Today, President Obama welcomed the Seattle Seahawks to the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win this past season – the first championship in the team's 38-year history.

    As the President noted in his remarks, the Seahawks were tied for the best record in the regular season, and the team's "suffocating defense" led the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, interceptions, and takeaways. It also led to the team's 43-8 rout in the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos, who had the highest-scoring offense of any team in the regular season.

  • Making Full Use of America's Talent

    This was originally posted on the Huffington Post, and is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families in the 21st century, leading up to the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014.

    You can learn more about the Summit and how you can get involved at

    I told a friend recently that I thought that I was failing at everything -- my kids weren’t getting enough of me, I wasn’t doing everything that I wanted to at work, and I wasn’t spending enough time with my partner. Her response was to congratulate me for getting my work-life balance just right.

    As an economist, I’ve spent my career thinking about trade-offs and how to make good decisions given all of the constraints -- like money, time, and opportunities -- that we face. And I know it is hard. When kids are young, their demands on parents’ time is enormous, and the same thing is true when partners or parents or children are sick. We all have periods in our life where our home needs are greater than at other times.

    Most people I know address these challenges by eliminating everything outside of work and family. Getting together with childless friends becomes a luxury, exercise becomes impossible --unless you count lifting a heavy load of laundry with one arm, while holding an infant with the other, “exercise” -- and a good night’s sleep becomes a distant memory. A friend recently complained to me that the grocery store she placed online orders with was no longer taking orders between 2 and 5 a.m. “But that’s my only window for grocery shopping,” she wailed.

    And yet, my friends and I are among the lucky ones. I’ve spent most of my career as an academic. I work hard on research, teaching, and writing, but I set my own hours and I control my own pace of work. When I had each of my children, I had months during which I was able to work from home, doing only as much as I could handle. My partner, a fellow academic, had the same luxury.

  • In Case You Missed It: The President and Vice President Stop By a Shake Shack

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    On Friday afternoon, President Obama and Vice President dropped by a local Shake Shack – a chain that has chosen to pay its employees more than 10 dollars an hour – to grab burgers with four workers who just helped complete a local infrastructure project that will help traffic in the D.C. area move faster.

    The President and Vice President delivered brief remarks about the need for Congress to "do what it's supposed to do" and pass transportation funding – a move that would allow hundreds of thousands of jobs and projects that are currently reparing our crumbling roads and bridges to keep doing just that.

    "This shouldn’t be Democrat or Republican," the President said. "This is American. We’ve got to rebuild America. And these are folks who are doing it."

  • Weekly Address: Working When Congress Won’t Act

    In this week’s address, the President discussed actions to expand opportunity for more Americans, with or without the help of Republicans in Congress, including his Administration’s efforts to cut red tape for major transportation infrastructure projects. In the coming days, the President will meet with business leaders to highlight the importance of bringing jobs back to America and will also discuss the economic benefits of making it easier for tourists to visit and spend money at attractions in the U.S., which in turn helps local businesses and grows the economy for everyone.

    The President has called 2014 a year of action, and he will continue to do whatever he can to continue to strengthen our economy, create jobs and restore opportunity for all.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • West Wing Week 05/16/14 or, “Go Solar!”

    This week, the President praised the power of solar, honored this year's TOP COPS, awarded the Medal of Honor and traveled to New York for the opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

  • President Obama Speaks at 9/11 Museum Dedication: "A Sacred Place of Healing and of Hope"

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the National September 11 Memorial & Museum dedication ceremony in New York, N.Y., May 15, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the National September 11 Memorial & Museum dedication ceremony in New York, N.Y., May 15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This morning, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at Ground Zero opened its doors to the families of those who lost their lives in the 2001 attacks, as well as the first responders and recovery workers that helped save the lives of others that day.

    At today's dedication of the memorial, following remarks by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, President Obama spoke about the importance of the memorial, explaining that its construction was a "great undertaking," and that the site is now a "sacred place of healing and of hope."

    Here, at this memorial, this museum, we come together.  We stand in the footprints of two mighty towers, graced by the rush of eternal waters.  We look into the faces of nearly 3,000 innocent souls -- men and women and children of every race, every creed, and every corner of the world.  We can touch their names and hear their voices and glimpse the small items that speak to the beauty of their lives.  A wedding ring.  A dusty helmet.  A shining badge.

    Here we tell their story, so that generations yet unborn will never forget.  Of coworkers who led others to safety.  Passengers who stormed a cockpit.  Our men and women in uniform who rushed into an inferno.  Our first responders who charged up those stairs.  A generation of servicemembers -- our 9/11 Generation -- who have served with honor in more than a decade of war.  A nation that stands tall and united and unafraid -- because no act of terror can match the strength or the character of our country.  Like the great wall and bedrock that embrace us today, nothing can ever break us; nothing can change who we are as Americans. 

  • The President and Vice President’s 2013 Financial Disclosure Forms

    Today, the President and Vice President released their 2013 financial disclosure reports.

    The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires high-level federal officials to publicly disclose their personal financial interests. The public filing system serves to prevent financial conflicts of interest by providing for a systematic review of the finances of government officials. Those finances are set forth in annual disclosures which are reviewed and certified by ethics officials. Neither the President nor the Vice President have any conflicts of interest, and their reports have been reviewed and certified by the independent Office of Government Ethics. We are continuing this Administration's practice of posting these forms online here in the interests of transparency:

    View the President's 2013 financial disclosure report (pdf)

    View the Vice President's 2013 financial disclosure report (pdf)

    White House staff are also completing their forms and we anticipate they will be available here next month, also in electronic form.

    For more information:

  • Why Is It So Important to Rebuild America's Roads and Bridges?

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure near the Tappan Zee Bridge, at the Washington Irving Boat Club in Tarrytown, New York, May 14, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure near the Tappan Zee Bridge, at the Washington Irving Boat Club in Tarrytown, New York, May 14, 2014. Construction on the new Tappan Zee bridge can be seen adjacent to the current bridge. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Did you know that 65% of our country's major roads are rated in less than good condition? Or that a quarter of our bridges need significant repair or can't handle today's traffic? 

    Investing in America's infrastructure is an imperative, but the funding to fix our crumbling roads and bridges is running out -- and only Congress can reauthorize it.

    And here's the kicker: Allowing these funds to run out will put at risk nearly 700,000 American jobs -- and more than 112,000 active projects that are currently fixing our roads and bridges.

  • President Obama Speaks at the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation

    On May 7, 2014, President Obama traveled to Los Angeles, California to speak at the USC Shoah Foundation 20th anniversary dinner. After making Schindler’s List, Shoah Foundation Founder Steven Spielberg was inspired to create the Foundation in order to preserve the memories of tens of thousands of survivors of the Holocaust and other mass atrocities through video eyewitness testimony. He introduced the President and presented him with the Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity Award.

    Watch the video.

    In his remarks, which can be seen here, the President honored the many survivors of the Holocaust and other mass atrocities who were in attendance:

    Every day that you have lived, every child and grandchild that your families have brought into this world has served as the ultimate rebuke to evil, and the ultimate expression of love and hope.

    He also noted the administration’s commitment to supporting Holocaust survivors in need living in the United States, including the appointment of a Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services and the $5MM Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund proposed in the FY15 HHS Budget.

    The President called upon all of us to stand up to anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry and hatred wherever they exist, declaring that "silence is evil’s greatest co-conspirator."  And he recognized that memory imposes a "sacred duty":

    The voices of those recorded and unrecorded, those who survived and those who perished, call upon us -- implore us and challenge us -- to turn ‘Never Forget’ into ‘Never Again.'

    Read the President's full remarks here.

    Matt Nosanchuk is Director of Outreach, National Security Council

  • President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Kyle J. White

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    This afternoon, President Obama awarded Sgt. Kyle J. White, a former active-duty Army Sergeant, the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. Sgt. White received the medal for his courageous actions during combat operations in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.

    On the afternoon of November 9, 2007, Sgt. White and the 13 members of his team left a meeting in an Afghan village and headed back up a steep hill, into an area that was known as "ambush alley."

    "That's when a single shot rang out," President Obama said. "Then another. And then the entire canyon erupted, with bullets coming from what seemed like every direction."

    Sgt. White emptied a full magazine as his platoon returned fire against the ambush. But while reloading, an explosion from an enemy grenade knocked him unconscious. When he came to, his face was pressed against a rock -- and soon after, enemy fire hit another rock close to his head, sending shrapnel and rock shards across Sgt. White's face.

    Yet in the middle of this danger, Sgt. White's heroism and selflessness were made evident, as the President detailed in the rest of his remarks.