The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • 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)

    Watch on YouTube

    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. 


  • Being Biden Vol. 16: "50 Years Later"

    In the latest installment of Being Biden, the Vice President reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and shares a photo of himself with Representative John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, and other leaders of the civil rights movement.

    It was 50 years ago today that President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. And Vice President Biden reminds us that, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we must also celebrate and remember the struggles of a generation that pushed to make the Declaration of Independence's inalienable rights -- of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- a reality for all Americans.

    The Vice President reminds listeners what these civil rights leaders faced in 1965 on Alabama's Edmund Pettus Bridge -- recounting a walk met by "billy clubs and beatings, at the hand of state police officers."

    Take a listen to the latest epsiode, "Vol. 16: 50 Years Later."


  • West Wing Week 6/27/14 or, "POTUS Replies"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond. This week takes us south of the border with the Vice President, to our nation's capital for the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, and along for the ride as a woman who wrote the President gets a reply... in person.


  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell Sworn In as the New HHS Secretary

    Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sylvia Matthews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services

    Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, with her husband Stephen holding the bible, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. June 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    This afternoon, the Vice President ceremonially swore in Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.