West Wing Week: 11/22/12 or "Hello Burma!"
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President made an historic trip to Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia, attended the East Asia Summit, and pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey at the White House with the First Family.
- The President met with Congressional leaders to discuss ways to reach a balanced approach to strengthen our economy, support middle class families and reduce our nation's deficit as the looming deadline of the fiscal cliff approaches.
- The President began his journey to Asia, traveling 18 hours on the plane and 24 hours on the clock.
- The President arrived in the Kingdom of Thailand, America's oldest ally in Asia. On his first trip abroad since his re-election, the President met up with the Secretary of State and kicked off his visit with a trip to the stunning Wat Pho Royal Monastery, where the head monk introduced him to sacred Buddhas, in exchange for removing his shoes.
- Then the President went to the Government House of Thailand for his official welcome ceremony, guest book signing, and bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra .
- Later, the two leaders hosted a news conference before adjourning to a formal, official dinner. On the way to his hotel, he made a stop to thank the Embassy staff and their familiies for all their work on behalf of the United States.
- The President and Secretary of State began a truly historic journey to Burma -- the first for an American President -- on their last foreign trip together. They were greeted by thousands of people lining the road as they traveled to meet with President Thein Sein for a bilateral meeting at the Parliament Building, and then to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the holiest cultural site in Burma.
- The President and Secretary of State met with Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, at her home, where they spoke about ongoing efforts to support and encourage Burma’s democratic transition.
- The President also visited the American Embassy, where they thanked staff, their families before traveling on to their final stop in Burma, where the President reflected on his historic visit in an address to the Burmese people.
- That evening, the President traveled on to Cambodia, touching down in his third country of the day, where he attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), leaders meeting, then joined up with all the East Asia Summit leaders, who had all donned their own versions of batik shirts for the occasion.
- Meanwhile, at the White House, the First Lady hosted the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards, the country’s highest honor in this field, which recognizes exemplary programs around the country that foster the creative and intellectual development of America's youth through education.
- Before the Summit official convened, the President held bilateral meetings, first with Prime Minister Noda of Japan and then Premier Wen of China. Then it was time for day two of the East Asia Summit, with the group gathering for the traditional family photo and getting down to work at the plenary session. The President capped off his visit by taking some time to thank the Embassy Staff and their families.
- The President and the First Family pardoned one very grateful Gobbler for the 65th Anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, and wished American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday.
- Later, in that same spirit of thanksgiving, the First Family contributed some time, effort and elbow grease to a Capitol Area food Bank service project creating care packages for those in need.