The White House Blog: The President

  • Weekly Wrap Up: POTUS Takes a Walk, Baseball in Cooperstown, and More

    It was a busy week at the White House. This week, we got hyped up for next Tuesday's White House Science Fair; the Bidens traveled to Romania and Cyprus; the President took an unexpected walk over to the Department of the Interior; a new National Monument was designated; and the President talked baseball and tourism in Cooperstown. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    Robots Invade the White House

    Robots, marshmallow cannons, and Bill Nye: These are just some of the things that we love about the White House Science Fair. Next Tuesday, students from across the country will head to the White House to put their projects on display. You're going to want to tune in.

    Check out highlights from last year's White House Science Fair:

    Watch on YouTube

    Need more science? Check out all of the incredible videos, vines, and gifs from past White House Science Fairs.


  • What CEOs are Saying: The Business Community’s Take on President Obama's National Travel and Tourism Strategy

    President Barack Obama feigns throwing a ball during a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., May 22, 2014.

    President Barack Obama feigns throwing a ball during a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., May 22, 2014. The ball was originally thrown by President Taft, the first President to throw a first pitch. Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson is at left and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson is at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Two years ago, President Obama set an ambitious goal: that the United States would annually attract 100 million international visitors by 2021. Yesterday, from Cooperstown, New York, he announced that we are right on track.

    More than 70 million travelers from around the world visited the United States in the last year alone, up from 55 million just five years ago -- and they spent more than $180 billion.  This growth in international visitors has also created approximately 175,000 American jobs over those five years.

    Using his pen, the President will sign a Presidential Memorandum calling for reductions in wait times for travelers at our 15 largest airports and take additional executive actions to encourage more international travelers to come to the United States, making it easier for foreign tourists to see more and spend more in the United States.

    That's a big deal, and will have a huge impact on our economy -- and CEOs and business leaders from around the country agree.  Take a look at what they're saying, coming out of yesterday's announcement -- and help spread the word.

    “We are particularly pleased about the firm commitment by the Administration to cut down the growing delays for airline passengers entering the country. We have been asked to participate in the public-private initiative announced today to explore all means of expediting processing of travelers at our gateways and will enthusiastically do so.”

    --Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines


  • Investing in Our Ports and Infrastructure

    Vice President Joe Biden talks with Joe Calabrese, CEO and General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, at their maintenance facility, in Cleveland, Ohio, May 14, 2014.

    Vice President Joe Biden talks with Joe Calabrese, CEO and General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, at their maintenance facility, in Cleveland, Ohio, May 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Since taking office in 2009, the President and I have traveled from coast to coast highlighting the need to put folks to work rebuilding our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, and public transit systems. Just last week, the President was in New York and I was in Ohio talking about how we’re cutting red tape to get more infrastructure projects started and completed faster.

    But there’s so much more to do. That’s why it’s encouraging to see Congress pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, which will help modernize our water infrastructure, expand American ports, and create American jobs. Towns and cities will be able to prepare, respond, and recover from severe droughts and storms. And the bill authorizes work on important projects at places like the Boston Harbor and the Port of Savannah.


  • West Wing Week 05/23/14 or, “Straight A’s? Whoa!”

    This week, the President spoke on the importance of raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, and bringing jobs and tourism back to America; invited the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks to the White House; and designated a new National Monument. The First Lady honored Brown v. Board of Education, and the Vice President and Dr. Biden traveled to Romania and Cyprus.


  • The President Talks Tourism at the Baseball Hall of Fame

    Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon, President Obama became the first sitting President in U.S. history to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

    After taking some time to enjoy the baseball history and memorabilia at the Hall -- which will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this summer -- he talked about the impact that travel and tourism has on our country.

    Today, I’m here in Cooperstown to talk about some new steps that will lead to more tourism not just within America but getting more folks to come and visit the treasures, the national treasures that we have all across this country, including the Baseball Hall of Fame right here in Cooperstown -- because tourism translates into jobs and it translates into economic growth.


  • 60 Seconds About SelectUSA

    Three years ago, President Obama launched SelectUSA – an initiative to encourage U.S. businesses to bring jobs back home, and to urge foreign companies to invest in America.

    Fast forward to 2014, and here's the result: more than $18 billion of investments across 17 different states, resulting in new jobs for American workers, and growth for our nation's economy.

    And Tuesday, the President announced we're holding a second SelectUSA summit early next year, where more than 2,000 business executives, mayors, and governors will meet to encourage even further investment in the U.S.

    Watch Jeff Zients, Director of the National Economic Council, go "On the Clock" to talk about SelectUSA – and the importance of investing in the United States:

    Watch on YouTube


  • A Brand-New National Monument: The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

    Yesterday, President Obama walked over to the Department of the Interior to designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a National Monument. In the President's remarks, he illustrated not only the importance of preserving the beauty of this region, but the history as well.


  • Raw Video: President Obama Takes a Surprise Walk

    The President was heading over to the nearby Department of the Interior and decided to break with tradition:

    He walked over instead.

    On the way there, he got to chat with all sorts of people -- from roadside vendors to tourists to locals. Needless to say, they weren't expecting it.

    We think you'll get a kick out of it. Take a look -- and then pass it on:


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

    Watch on YouTube

    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 www.workingfamiliessummit.org.


    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.