the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Weekly Wrap Up: "That’s Who We Are"

Summary: 
Here’s a quick glimpse at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov.

Watch the West Wing Week here.

Here’s a quick glimpse at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:

Let’s Get to Work: Last Friday, the President laid out his strategy for finding the right approach to move the country forward. He stated his plans to reach out to members of Congress, labor and business leaders, and other citizens to gather ideas and input. Standing alongside him in the East Room of the White House was Vice President Joe Biden—and 14 others stood behind him at the podium. Learn who those 14 individuals are.

Veterans Day: On Sunday, the President, Vice President, First Lady, and Dr. Biden honored our nation’s fallen warriors, veterans and military families at Arlington National Cemetery. Together, they laid a wreath to “remember every service member who has ever worn our nation’s uniform.” Read the President’s remarks at Arlington National Cemetery here.

Celebrating Diwali: On Tuesday afternoon, the White House celebrated Diwali, a holiday observed annually by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhist throughout India and across the world. Known as the “festival of lights,” Diwali offers time for both reflection and celebration. South Asian American community leaders, elected officials, entrepreneurs, Administration officials, and Vice President Biden came together on Tuesday to commemorate the holiday. Read the President’s statement on the Observance of Diwali here.

The President’s News Conference: On Wednesday, the President held a news conference to answer questions about his plans for the next four years. He emphasized his commitment to help American families and small businesses get back on track:

I’ve got a mandate to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. That’s my mandate. That’s what the American people said. They said: Work really hard to help us. Don’t worry about the politics of it; don’t worry about the party interests; don’t worry about the special interests. Just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead -- because we’re working really hard out here and we’re still struggling, a lot of us.

Watch the full news conference here.

President Obama's New York Visit: On Thursday, the President traveled to New York to assess the storm damage of Hurricane Sandy, and meet with survivors in Staten Island coping with the recovery process. President Obama praised the first responders, volunteers and sanitation workers who are working tirelessly to help residents get back on their feet, saying they exemplify what America is all about:

During difficult times like this, we’re reminded that we’re bound together and we have to look out for each other. And a lot of the things that seem important, the petty differences melt away, and we focus on what binds us together and that we as Americans are going to stand with each other in their hour of need.

Congressional Leadership at the White House: Today, the President hosted the Democratic and Republican leaders from both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for talks on the economy—and how to prevent a tax increase on a the middle class. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met with the President for more than an hour and emerged optimistic about the potential for agreement. Watch a video from the meeting here.