The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon April 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM EDT
In a bilateral meeting today with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, President Obama reaffirmed America's commitment to a secure and prosperous Asia-Pacific region, and thanked Prime Minster Lee for being “an outstanding partner for us on the international stage.”
In addition to close military cooperation between the two countries that allows the United States to maintain an effective presence the Pacific, Singapore is also a strong economic partner.
“Over the last decade, since we signed our free trade agreement, we have seen a doubling of trade between our countries, and that creates jobs here in the United States as well as in Singapore,” the President said.
- Posted byon April 1, 2013 at 6:44 PM EDT
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and Marian Robinson listen to Jessica Sanchez sing the National Anthem on the South Portico at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
The First Family today welcomed more than 30,000 guests to the South Lawn for the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year's theme, "Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You" was inspired by Let's Move!, and the day's fun included numerous opportunities for the young guests to get moving, from the traditional Egg Roll to the Eggtivity Zone, an obstacle course where players and coaches from professional sports teams taught kids how to play sports and showed them easy, fun ways to stay active and fit.
After being introduced to the crowd from the Blue Room Balcony by "Kid President" Robbie Novak, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha headed over to cheer on some of the youngest visitors as they raced down the Lawn in the Egg Roll. The President and Bo then made their way to the Storytime Stage where he gave a dramatic reading of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", calling it "one of my favorite books." Next up for the President was a drop by at the White House basketball court, where he joined some of the Washington Wizards in throwing the ball around with kids.
- Posted byon April 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT
This morning, the White House released a special video message from the President. Watch it here:
- Posted byon March 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM EDT
President Obama uses his weekly address to mark a sacred time for the millions of Americans celebrating Easter and Passover, and he calls on everyone to use this time to reflect on the common values we share as a nation. The President says that this is a chance to embrace loved ones, give thanks for our blessings, and help those less fortunate as we celebrate our individual traditions as well as the thread of humanity that connects us all.
- Posted byon March 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM EDT
President Obama was in Florida today, where he got a chance to see the Port Miami tunnel project on Dodge Island. The project, which is the result of three years of work by over 500 employees and more than 6,000 sub-contractors and vendors, will connect the port to the interstate highway system more quickly and safely and will take over 1.5 million trucks out of the downtown area per year.
It is projects like this one, the President said in remarks following his tour, that will help reignite the true engine of our economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class. "Projects like this create a lot of other good jobs, too," President Obama explained. "You ask any CEO where we they rather locate their business and hire new workers. Are you going to set up shop in a country that's got raggedy roads, runways that are pot-holed, and backed-up supply chains? Or are you going to seek out high-speed rail, Internet, high-tech schools, new state-of-the-art power grids, new bridges, new tunnels, new ports that help you ship products made in America to the rest of the world as fast as possible? That's what people are looking for. That's what CEOs are looking for."
- Posted byon March 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
This week, the President wrapped up an historic trip to the Middle East with stops in Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan, and then returned home for a naturalization ceremony, visits with the LA Galaxy and Kings, African Leaders, young ambassadors and Spanish-language television. He finished the week by pressing for commonsense action to protect children from gun violence.
- Posted byon March 28, 2013 at 4:56 PM EDT
President Barack Obama meets with, from left, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde in the Cabinet Room of the White House, March 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today President Obama welcomed President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde to the White House. The United States has strong partnerships with these countries based on shared democratic values and shared interests. Each of these leaders has undertaken significant efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, protect and expand human rights and civil liberties, and increase economic opportunities for their people.
President Obama and the visiting leaders discussed how the United States can expand our partnership to support their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and promote economic opportunity, both in their countries and across sub-Saharan Africa. A particular focus of the conversation was on the importance of transparency and respect for human rights, and President Obama commended each leader for their work in these areas and their commitment to join the Open Government Partnership. President Obama also commended these leaders for their leadership on food security and engaged the leaders in a fruitful conversation about how the United States can help Africa harness the potential of its young people and empower the next generation of African leaders.
- Posted byon March 28, 2013 at 3:45 PM EDT
Today, President Obama promised the American people that he had not forgotten the 20 innocent chidlren and six brave educators who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary more than 100 days ago. Standing with parents and teachers of gun violence victims, he urged Congress to take action that will protect other children and families from the pain and grief these families have experienced.
“As I said when I visited Newtown just over three months ago, if there is a step we can take that will save just one child, just one parent, just another town from experiencing the same grief that some of the moms and dads who are here have endured, then we should be doing it,” President Obama said. “We have an obligation to try.”
In January, the President put forward a series of common-sense proposals to reduce the epidemic of gun violence and keep our kids safe, and in his State of the Union address, the President called on Congress to give these proposals a vote. “And in just a couple of weeks, they will,” he said.
In the coming weeks, members of Congress will vote on whether we should require universal background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun so that criminals or people with severe mental illnesses can’t get their hands on one. They’ll vote on tough new penalties for anyone who buys guns only to turn around and sell them to criminals. They’ll vote on a measure that would keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate these mass killings off our streets. They’ll get to vote on legislation that would help schools become safer and help people struggling with mental health problems to get the treatment that they need.
- Posted byon March 27, 2013 at 5:11 PM EDT
A highly respected veteran of the Secret Service was sworn in as head of that agency today in a ceremony in the Oval Office. President Obama watched as Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath to Julia Pierson, and praised her dedication, professionalism and commitment to her work:
"I have to say that Julia’s reputation within the Service is extraordinary," President Obama said following the ceremony. "She’s come up through the ranks. She’s done just about every job there is to do at the Secret Service."
"Obviously, she’s breaking the mold in terms of directors of the agency, and I think that people are all extraordinarily proud of her. And we have the greatest confidence in the wonderful task that lies ahead and very confident that she is going to do a great job. So we just want to say congratulations."
- Posted byon March 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM EDT
Two of Southern California's finest sports teams joined President Obama in the East Room to celebrate their championship seasons. The LA Galaxy was here for the second year in a row, as they repeated their dominance of the Major League Soccer in the 2012 season. The LA Kings, meanwhile, made their first visit to the White House after winning their first Stanley Cup.
And as President Obama pointed out, these teams share more than a hometown.
In 2012, they also shared "a pretty good comeback story." The President was referring to the Galaxy's injury plagued season, which culminated in a championship game they won after tying the score at the 60-minute mark. The King's triumph seemed even more improbable as they were the first hockey team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after entering the playoffs as an eight seed.