The White House Blog: The President

  • Memorial Day 2015: Honoring Our Soldiers Who Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice

    This Memorial Day morning, President Obama traveled to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia to pay solemn tribute to the men and women of our armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

    President Obama participates in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    President Barack Obama participates in a Memorial Day wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama continued the tradition of many past presidents before him, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and delivering remarks to those in attendance. The President was also joined by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey. 


  • Weekly Address: Honoring Our Fallen Heroes this Memorial Day

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 22, 2015

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 22, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week’s address, the President commemorated Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women in uniform who have given their lives in service to our country.

    The President will spend the first Memorial Day since the end of the war in Afghanistan at Arlington Cemetery, remembering the more than 2,200 American patriots who gave their lives in that conflict, as well as all of our fallen soldiers. The President asked that all Americans spend Monday honoring the memory and sacrifice of those heroes, and remain committed to the cause of freedom and the country for which they fought. 

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • West Wing Week: 05/22/2015 or, “@POTUS”

    This week was National Police Week, and the President honored fallen officers at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service; celebrated the reform efforts of police officers in Camden, New Jersey; signed the National Blue Alert Act to help protect police officers; and congratulated the graduates at the 134th Commencement of the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. POTUS also sent his first tweet. That's May 15 to May 21 or, "@POTUS!"


  • National Jewish American Heritage Month: What It Means to Be Part of the Jewish American Community

    Jewish American values are woven into the fabric of American life and have shaped the progress we’ve made as a country. That history has fundamentally shaped the President’s personal views and leadership. As he told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg: 

    "To me, being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish is part and parcel with the values that I've been fighting for since I was politically conscious and started getting involved in politics. There’s a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law."

    Today at 11:00 am ET, in honor of National Jewish American Heritage Month, President Obama will address the Adas Israel congregation in Washington, D.C., the first synagogue in the U.S. to be addressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Watch his remarks live:

    Before the President speaks, he'll meet with a few leaders from the American Jewish community who exemplify the many ways that American Jews contribute to and strengthen our country. And we wanted to share a first look with you.


  • What They’re Saying: Military Leaders Respond to the President’s Call to Battle Climate Change

    Yesterday, President Obama delivered the commencement address to the 134th Cadet Class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The President congratulated the class on all they had achieved over the last four years, but reminded them of the challenges they will face both domestic and abroad; challenges like counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, search and rescue, and disaster relief.

    Of the greatest challenges the Cadets will face will be those wrought by our changing climate. As the President stated:

    “Around the world, climate change increases the risk of instability and conflict.  Rising seas are already swallowing low-lying lands, from Bangladesh to Pacific islands, forcing people from their homes.  Caribbean islands and Central American coasts are vulnerable, as well.  Globally, we could see a rise in climate change refugees.  And I guarantee you the Coast Guard will have to respond.  Elsewhere, more intense droughts will exacerbate shortages of water and food, increase competition for resources, and create the potential for mass migrations and new tensions.  All of which is why the Pentagon calls climate change a ‘threat multiplier.’” 

    It's time to Act on Climate graphic
     


  • President Obama Addresses the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Class of 2015

    Yesterday, President Obama traveled to New London, Connecticut to give the commencement address to the class of 2015 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. 


  • #ThanksDave: Our 3 Favorite Moments Between President Obama and David Letterman

     


    “We’ve grown up with you. The country has – after a tough day at the office or coming home from work, knowing you’ve been there to give us a little bit a joy a little bit of laughter – it has meant so much. You’re part of all of us.”

    – President Obama to David Letterman, May 4, 2015


    After 33 years, it’s the last night of the Late Show with David Letterman, an incomparable American icon. Since the first show aired in 1982, Letterman has taken on a lot of new territory, including interviewing President Obama -- the first sitting President to appear on late-night talk shows. 

    President Obama has sat down with Letterman a total of five times — three while in office — and joined him as one of his last guests on May 4, 2015.  

    Here are our top three favorite moments from the times David Letterman sparred with the President. 


    September 21, 2009 – “I was black before the election.”

    President Obama on Letterman 2009

    President Barack Obama reacts to a photograph of himself displayed by Late Show host David Letterman during their interview at CBS Studios in New York, N.Y. September 21, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    On whether the rancor and vitriol surrounding the President’s health care reform efforts was “rooted in racism”: 

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I think it’s important to realize that I was black before the election.

    LETTERMAN: And how long have you been a black man?

    THE PRESIDENT: So the American people, I think, gave me this extraordinary honor. That tells you a lot about where the country is at. I actually think that what’s happened is that whenever a President tries to bring about significant changes — particularly in times of economic unease — then, there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up … What has been missing from the conversation is that the overwhelming majority of people — Republican or Democrat — they just want to see some common sense, some honesty and integrity in Washington.


  • Unlocking Wind Power Across America

    Advancing turbine technology will unlock 700,000 more square miles of wind potential and make it a reality in all 50 states.

    Now available in 39 states, wind power has emerged as an important source of American clean energy – and there’s potential for even more. Today, the Energy Department released a new report – Enabling Wind Power Nationwide  – that shows how the next generation of wind turbines can help expand wind power in all 50 states.


  • Unlocking Wind Power Across America

    Advancing turbine technology will unlock 700,000 more square miles of wind potential and make it a reality in all 50 states.

    Now available in 39 states, wind power has emerged as an important source of American clean energy – and there’s potential for even more. Today, the Energy Department released a new report – Enabling Wind Power Nationwide  – that shows how the next generation of wind turbines can help expand wind power in all 50 states.


  • Why President Obama Is Taking Steps to Demilitarize Local Police Forces

    Today, President Obama traveled to Camden, New Jersey -- a city that has struggled with one of the nation's highest violent crime rates.

    Dedicated to building a stronger, safer community, the Camden County Police Department and the community have worked together to help police do their jobs more safely, to reduce crime, and to create more economic opportunity in communities that have been saddled with a history of isolation. 

    As President Obama said, it will take a concerted, "all-hands-on-deck" effort to change the odds for these communities: 

    If we as a society don’t do more to expand opportunity to everybody who’s willing to work for it, then we’ll end up seeing conflicts between law enforcement and residents. If we as a society aren’t willing to deal honestly with issue of race, then we can't just expect police departments to solve these problems. If communities are being isolated and segregated, without opportunity and without investment and without jobs -- if we politicians are simply ramping up long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes that end up devastating communities, we can't then ask the police to be the ones to solve the problem when there are no able-bodied men in the community, or kids are growing up without intact households.