The White House Blog: The President

  • Senate Delays Hurting Our National Security

    As the President’s National Security Advisor, I am focused every day on keeping our country secure and our citizens – at home and abroad – safe. But these goals are hindered and our stature abroad is weakened when we are not fielding a full team. That’s why I urge the Senate to let the President’s qualified ambassadorial nominees get to work on behalf of the American people.

    Right now, 48 nominees for ambassador are pending and 26 are on the Executive Calendar and eligible for confirmation by the full Senate – 16 of whom are career Foreign Service Officers. Together, all ambassadorial nominees have been waiting an average of 161 days, while those on the Executive Calendar have been waiting an average of 262 days. This is simply too long.

    These crucial posts are vacant and American interests are therefore underrepresented. The longer we wait to fill these roles the harder it becomes to maintain our effective American diplomacy.


  • Here's What You Missed: The White House Summit on Working Families

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Yesterday, the White House, in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress, hosted a Summit on Working Families with the aim of having a national conversation and set a concrete agenda to bring American workplaces into the 21st century.

    That conversation brought together businesses, economists, labor leaders, legislators, advocates, and working citizens to talk through the very real issues facing the full spectrum of working families — from low-wage workers to executives.

    And you didn't have to be in Washington to join in. Americans across the country tuned in and raised their voices online.

    As Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett noted yesterday: "This is a movement, not a moment." So if you missed the event yesterday, you can still add your voice. Take a look at our recap of yesterday's Summit, and if you've got a story tell — get involved.


  • Dan Pfeiffer: "POTUS Replies"

    This morning, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list to share the story of Rebekah -- a hardworking mom from Minneapolis who wrote the President to share her story, and will meet with him later this week.

    Didn't get the email? Be sure to sign up.


    Hi, all --

    Every day, the Office of Presidential Correspondence sorts through thousands of letters. Every night, President Obama reads ten of them. Some people write to share what his decisions mean in their daily lives, to talk about the economy, or to ask a question about a policy. Others just write in to say hello.

    Each letter is a chance for President Obama to hear directly from folks across the country about the sorts of issues they face every day.

    The President makes notes in the margins, and sits down to reply personally. He often sends the letters to the staff as reminder of what we are fighting for or to ask us to follow up on an issue raised in the letter. So when Rebekah, a hardworking mom from Minneapolis, wrote in to share how much harder it's become to get ahead and do right by her family, you can bet the President set that letter aside for a reply.

    But he's not just doing that. He's meeting Rebekah in person this Thursday to spend a day in her shoes. Watch President Obama tell her story, and find out why he's traveling to her town.


  • Raw Video: President Obama Stops for Lunch at Chipotle

    Ahead of the Working Families Summit today, President Obama stopped by a local Chipotle in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. for a burrito bowl, and a conversation with a few working parents.

    It was an opportunity for him to hear from Americans balancing the responsibilities of work and family -- aided by companies with flexible, supportive policies -- and he was "looking forward to comparing notes about changing diapers."

    Policies like paid leave and flexible hours aren't just smart for parents, they're smart for business. As President Obama said, "not only do families benefit and children benefit, but the businesses benefit and the economy benefits."

    Watch the video: 

    Watch on YouTube


  • Live from the White House Summit on Working Families:

    The White House Summit on Working Families is happening today -- and businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens are joining together for a national conversation about how we can update our workplaces to better help families in the 21st century succeed at work and at home. 

    Americans both at the Summit and around the country are adding their voices to that conversation. Take a look at what they're saying -- and add your own voice using #FamiliesSucceed. 


  • Watch from Anywhere: The White House Summit on Working Families

    Today is the White House Summit on Working Families -- bringing together businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens for a national conversation about how we can create workplace policies that give modern American families the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

    Americans across the country are tuning in and adding their voices from their desks, living rooms, and dining room tables.

    Don't miss a thing -- here are all the ways you can participate in the Summit, no matter where you are:

    • Follow along online at www.workingfamiliessummit.org. There, you'll find a full schedule of speakers, and panels -- as well as a livestream of all of the main remarks and plenary sessions. In between, HuffPost Live will host and moderate digital breakout sessions featuring Summit particpants and Americans from around the country, via Google+ Hangout.
    • Add your voice to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FamiliesSucceed. We'll be tweeting remarks and helpful facts and graphics from White House accounts all day. Follow the conversation, and add your voice.
    • Join Facebook Q&A Sessions, live from the Summit. Summit participants are sitting down for Facebook Q&A’s all day to discuss key issues and answer your questions. Check out the full schedule here and be sure to follow along on Facebook.com/WhiteHouse.
    • Share how 21st-century workplace policies would help your working family succeed. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/working-families to share what your working family looks like, and how you'll be uniquely helped by 21st-century workplace policies. There will also be a story-sharing wall at the Summit, where attendees can fill out cards with this information and post their own story in a central location.
    • Read the President's op-ed on the Huffington Post. The President's op-ed, which discusses the need for family-friendly policies in our workplaces, is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families, leading up to today's White House Summit on Working Families. Take a look, and then read them all here.


  • Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills -- They're Basic Needs

    This morning, the Huffington Post published the following op-ed from the President, discussing the need for family-friendly policies in our workplaces. The op-ed is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families, leading up to today's White House Summit on Working Families.

    Watch the Summit live at www.workingfamiliessummit.org.


    As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead. 

    That’s the subject of the first White House Summit on Working Families, which is taking place today. We’re bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day and how we can address them. 


  • Weekly Address: Bringing our Workplace Policies into the 21st Century

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, June 13, 2014

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Cabinet Room of the White House, June 13, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week’s address, the President previewed Monday’s first-ever White House Summit on Working Families where he will bring together business leaders and workers to discuss the challenges that working parents face every day and lift up solutions that are good for these families and American businesses. Many working families can’t afford basic needs like childcare or receive simple benefits such as paid family leave that are common in most countries around the world.

    When hardworking Americans are forced to choose between work and family, America lags behind in a global economy.  To stay competitive and economically successful, America needs to bring our workplace policies into the 21st century.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Weekly Wrap Up: VP at the World Cup, Robotic Giraffes, and the Medal of Honor

    This week, the President continued his fight against climate change, updated the American people on the situation in Iraq, hung out with a robotic giraffe at the first-ever White House Maker Faire, and paid tribute to our newest Medal of Honor recipient -- and the Vice President cheered on the U.S. Men's National Team at the World Cup.

    Check out what you might have missed this week in our weekly wrap up:


    He "Should Not Be Alive Today"

    At the White House yesterday, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, a retired United States Marine. Corporal Carpenter received the medal for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    By all accounts, Kyle shouldn't be alive today. On November 21, 2010, Kyle's platoon woke up to the sound of AK-47 fire. As their compound began taking fire, Kyle and Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio took cover up on a roof, low on their backs behind a circle of sandbags. And then a grenade landed nearby, its pin already pulled.


  • West Wing Week 06/20/14 or, “Zot, Zot, Zot!”

    This week, the President visited Lakota Country, the land of the Anteaters, and Pittsburgh's Tech Shop, while at home he hosted the first-ever Maker Faire and awarded the Medal of Honor.