The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • The President and Vice President Meet the Nation's Oldest Living Female Veteran:

    At 108 years old, Lucy Coffey, a veteran of the Women's Army Corps in World War II, is the nation's oldest living female veteran.

    Last month, a dream of hers came true when she finally had the opportunity to visit the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. But while she was in the area, she also stopped by the White House — where she was greeted by none other than President Obama and Vice President Biden. 

    Watch the video below — we're sure it will make your day:

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  • Vice President Biden Congratulates Winners of National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

    Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Champions

    Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Champions from the University of Central Florida, in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., August 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Yesterday afternoon, Vice President Joe Biden welcomed the University of Central Florida’s cyber defense team to the White House to congratulate them on their victory in the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Beating out more than 2,000 students from over 180 schools, the Central Florida team members demonstrated their ability to protect complex networks from skilled cyber criminals.

    Joined by the Director of the Secret Service, the President’s Cyber Coordinator, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Director for National Security and International Affairs, the Vice President underscored the vital national security and economic need to prepare Americans for jobs in cybersecurity.


  • The Vice President Swears In Julián Castro as New HUD Secretary

    Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Julian Castro as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

    Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Julian Castro as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House, August 18, 2014. Also pictured are Secretary Castro's wife Erica, and daughter Carina. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Earlier this afternoon, Vice President Biden ceremonially swore in former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

    Secretary Castro -- who was confirmed by the Senate last month in a 71-26 vote -- made significant progress in San Antonio and implemented a number of housing and economic development programs to help the city's residents. In a statement last month, President Obama called Secretary Castro "a proven leader -- a champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods."

    The President also voiced his confidence that Secretary Castro will work in his new role to "build on the progress we've made battling back from the Great Recession" -- rebuilding America's housing market, reducing veteran homelessness, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and jobs that help Americans succeed.


  • President Obama Speaks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum during the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    This afternoon, President Obama spoke to a crowd that included 50 African leaders, at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C. The Business Forum is part of the historic three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which is the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government, and builds on the President's trip to Africa in 2013. 

    The summit is an opportunity for the President to illustrate his approach to Africa. As he said at today's Business Forum, even as Africa continues to face many challenges — disease, poverty, violence, and hunger — there are many signs that a new Africa is emerging:

    Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.  A growing middle class.  Expanding sectors like manufacturing and retail.  One of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in the world.  More governments are reforming, attracting a record level of foreign investment.  It is the youngest and fastest-growing continent, with young people that are full of dreams and ambition.

    As Africa experiences continued growth, the President made it clear that America will be a partner in its success — "a good partner, an equal partner, and a partner for the long term."


  • Remembering James Brady: "A Legend at the White House"

    President Barack Obama Meets Former Press Secretary James Brady

    President Barack Obama stops by Press Secretary Jay Carney’s meeting with James Brady in Carney's West Wing office at the White House, March 30, 2011. Brady was former President Ronald Reagan's press secretary during the assassination attempt on President Reagan thirty years ago. Brady's wife Sarah, right, and son Scott, center, joined him for the meeting. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Earlier today, former White House Press Secretary James Brady passed away in Alexandria, Virginia at the age of 73.

    After being shot and almost killed in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Brady recovered and became a symbol of the ongoing fight against gun violence. In a statement this afternoon, President Obama expressed his condolences to Brady's family, calling him a "legend at the White House."

    Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former White House Press Secretary James Brady on his passing.  Jim is a legend at the White House for his warmth and professionalism as press secretary for President Reagan; for the strength he brought to bear in recovering from the shooting that nearly killed him 33 years ago; and for turning the events of that terrible afternoon into a remarkable legacy of service through the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.  Since 1993, the law that bears Jim’s name has kept guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.  An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.

    Every day, reporters and White House staffers walk past a plaque marking the day in 2000 that the White House Briefing Room was renamed the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.  It reads, “May his courage and dedication continue to inspire all who work in this room and beyond.”  Those words will endure, as will his legacy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s wife Sarah, who has been Jim’s steadfast partner in advocacy, and their children Scott and Melissa. 


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Astronauts, "Inversions," and the VP and a White Board

    This week, some astronauts stopped by the White House (hint: think 1969), we talked about "inversions" (more on that later), the President awarded the Medal of Honor, and the Vice President got a marker and white board and gave us a little bit of history on our nation's infrastructure.

    Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    "You Are Why I Ran for President in the First Place"

    Yesterday, President Obama spoke under sunny skies at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. He talked about the progress that we've made since he took office and training our workers for a 21st-century economy.

    Watch on YouTube

    The President called for a new sense of optimism and collective patriotism in this country: "Cynicism is a choice, and hope is a better choice. And if we can work together, I promise you there's no holding America back."

    He also talked about something known as "inversions." What's an "inversion," you ask? Learn more here.


  • West Wing Week 07/25/14 or, "The Irrefutable Rightness of Your Cause"

    This week, the President introduced a historic Executive Action for LGBT rights, continued to address the ongoing conflicts in the Ukraine and Gaza, hosted a town hall in support of his My Brother's Keeper Initiative, and traveled to California to deliver his response to some very striking letters he'd received ... in person. 

    Watch on YouTube


  • The First Significant Legislative Reform of Our Job-Training System in a Number of Years:

    President Barack Obama signs H.R. 803

    President Barack Obama signs H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act after delivering remarks on job training, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, July 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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    We need to make sure workers in America can find jobs that meet their skills, or get trained with the skills they need for a better job.

    That's why, in this year's State of the Union address, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with leading a review of our country's job-training programs to make sure that they have one mission: training our workers with the skills employers need, and matching them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.

    The effort to make our federal training programs more job-driven was also bolstered by the bipartisan passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which President Obama signed into law this afternoon.


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Team USA, 9.7 Million Jobs, and 50 Years of the Civil Rights Act

    Happy Independence Day, everyone!

    This week, President Obama cheered on and congratulated the U.S. men's soccer team; we saw a promising jobs report for June; the President talked about planes, trains, and automobiles in a speech on infrastructure and the economy; and the Vice President reflected on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

    Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    52 Months, 9.7 Million Jobs

    Yesterday's jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that private-sector employment has increased for 52 straight months — the longest such streak on record. Over that time, businesses have added 9.7 million jobs, and the 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of this year are the most in any first half since 1999.

    Find out more about the latest jobs numbers here.


  • West Wing Week 07/04/14 or, “Cynicism is a Choice… Hope is a Better Choice”

    This week, the President wrapped up a trip to Minneapolis, nominated a new VA Secretary, and caught some World Cup fever.