Entries in Obama Administration (46)


President Obama Plans Staff Changes Upon Washington Return

Photo Courtesy - Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will return from his Hawaiian vacation this week to a government divided. His message to the newly empowered Republican Party? Let’s cooperate.

“I'm willing to work with anyone of either party who's got a good idea and the commitment to see it through,” President Obama said in his weekly media address.

The president is also facing changes in the West Wing, with several key players leaving. Heading out on their own accord are National Economic Council Director Larry Summers – said to be replaced by Gene Sperling at the Treasury Department, or Roger Altman, an investment banker – and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, for whom a replacement has not yet been named.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod is going to begin work on Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, while the mastermind of the 2008 campaign, David Plouffe, will pick up some of Axelrod’s responsibilities.

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel left the administration late last year to run for mayor of Chicago. He was replaced, at least for now, by Pete Rouse.

Analysts say we should expect a shake up to the president’s schedule, as well. Some expect President Obama to spend a lot more time outside the Beltway, trying to better connect with voters in the run up to 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Plans White House Shakeup

Photo Courtesy - MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It’s rest and relaxation time for President Obama, who is vacationing with his family in Hawaii, but also on his list of R-and-R? Reshuffling.

The president is planning some new jobs for members of his old team. Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod, for instance, will head to the reelection campaign, while David Plouffe, the mastermind of the 2008 campaign, heads to the White House.

Don’t look for many new faces, as the team will look very much the same, though the starting lineup will look a bit different.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


White House Reacts to Judge’s Ruling Against Health Care Law

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House officials sought to downplay the importance of Monday’s ruling that parts of the president’s signature legislation are unconstitutional -- even as they ultimately anticipated that the matter will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Do you think this is ultimately going to be decided by the Supreme Court?," ABC News asked White House health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle.

“Looks that way,” DeParle said.

When asked if the administration was prepared, Deparle replied, “This particular provision doesn’t go into effect until 2014, and there’s plenty of time to get it resolved through the courts before then. And in the meantime we’re working very well with all the states and working to implement the rest of the law.”

The health care bill that President Obama signed into law in March requires that every American who can afford it buys health insurance. But U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson on Monday called that requirement unconstitutional.

The individual mandate "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power,” he ruled. "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Keep 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' in Effect During Appeal

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration Wednesday night asked the Supreme Court to maintain the status quo and allow "don't ask, don't tell" to stay in effect while a lower court considers the constitutionality of the policy.

The controversial law forbidding openly gay troops from serving has been on a yo-yo-like legal journey since early October when a district court judge found it to be unconstitutional.

Judge Virginia Phillips issued a worldwide injunction barring enforcement of the policy. However, an appeals court later overturned the injunction, deciding that the policy should remain in effect while the government appealed the merits of the case.

Now the administration is asking the nation's highest court to uphold the appeals court ruling and allow the policy to remain on the books throughout the ongoing appeals process. "The court of appeals simply followed this court’s practice of granting a stay pending appeal when a district court declares an act of Congress unconstitutional,” the brief says.

The Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that initially sued the government over "DADT," has been critical of the Obama administration’s tact and preference that the policy to be repealed by Congress and not through the courts.

"This week, Log Cabin Republicans have conducted meetings with numerous Republican senators potentially in favor of repeal, all of whom are waiting for the President’s call," R. Clarke Cooper, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. "The White House has been missing in action on Capitol Hill, undermining efforts to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the final session of this Congress, potentially leaving the judiciary as the only solution for our brave men and women in uniform."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


Vote 2010 Election: Democrats Playing Blame Game Before Elections

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- President Obama was on the campus of the University of Southern California Friday, stumping in a deep-blue state for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who six years ago won with almost 60 percent of the vote.  Now, however, she is locked in a dead heat with former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Friday night in Nevada, he tried to raise money and excitement for embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who may lose to Republican Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.

One thing the president seems to not be raising is expectations.

“Let me be clear, this is going to be a difficult election, because we have been though an incredibly difficult time as a country,” the president told the crowd at USC.

Being the incumbent party at a time of nearly 10% unemployment is of course perilous in itself, but  many Democratic officials are surprised at how difficult it has been for the president and Democratic lawmakers to reach voters.

Vice President Joe Biden, the most publicly optimistic prognosticator in the Obama administration, for the first time allowed for the possibility that Democrats would lose the House.  He blamed outside spending by third-party groups.

"I've been out now on a lot of races," he told Bloomberg News "I was amazed at the amount of money.  I've never seen this before.  So the only caveat I'd put in terms of the House is how much impact this $200 billion are going to mean."

Though that number is actually closer $200 million, it appears that even before the election returns have come in, Democrats are eager to explain why things have gone so wrong for their party.

"We had to move so fast,” President Obama said Thursday in Seattle, explaining the many crises his administration faced.  "We were in such emergency mode that it was very difficult for us to spend a lot of time doing victory laps and advertising exactly what we were doing, because we had to move on to the next thing."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Report: Gibbs May Leave White House to Chair DNC

Photo Courtesy - Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denies that he has had “any conversations about the future” after a report that Democratic insiders are weighing the possibility of naming him to Chair the Democratic National Committee ahead of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Current DNC Chair Tim Kaine would be appointed to a cabinet or other high-ranking position in the Obama Administration, according to Politico, which cited Democratic insiders.

“It is a great honor to have the job I have right now and I am very happy doing it,” Gibbs said in a tweet.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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