9:21 AM, Mar 20, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Since Benjamin Netanyahu's victory in Israel's recent elections, the Obama administration has made its displeasure with the results abundantly clear. To help justify changes in its posture towards Israel, the White House appears anxious to point out what it sees as "divisive" rhetoric and attitudes by Netanyahu and his party aimed at the Arab population of Israel. To that end, Press Secretary Josh Earnest came to the press gaggle on Air Force One on Wednesday with a prepared response on the topic. When none of the reporters broached the subject, Earnest unloaded anyway:
There’s one other thing that I anticipated might come up that I just did want to mention as it relates to the Israeli elections. Specifically, there has been a lot of coverage in the media about some of the rhetoric that emerged yesterday that was propagated by the Likud Party to encourage turnout of their supporters that sought to, frankly, marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens. The United States and this administration is deeply concerned by divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens.
It undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together. We’ve talked a lot about how our shared values are an important part of what binds our two countries together, and rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning and it is divisive. And I can tell you that these are views that the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.
However, when it comes to condemning divisive campaign rhetoric, the White House could begin closer to home. Although President Obama takes exception to what he perceives as Likud's attempt to "marginalize one segment of [Israel's] population," First Lady Michelle Obama routinely invoked race and gender in her campaign stump speech in the run-up to the 2014 mid-terms. Remarks she made at a rally in Milwaukee in September 2014 are typical of how she clearly labels the Democrats ("our people") as female, minorities and the young, while Republicans are simply "the other side":
And I don’t know if you remember, but a lot of people were shocked when Barack won because they were counting on folks like us to stay home. But we proved them wrong. (Applause.) Barack won because record numbers of women and minorities and young people showed up to vote. That’s why we won. (Applause.)
But here’s what happens -- but then when the midterms come along, too many of our people just tuned out. And that’s what folks on the other side are counting on this year, because when we stay home, they win. So they’re assuming that we won’t care. They’re assuming that we won’t be organized and energized. And only we can prove them wrong. [emphasis added]
While the first lady invoked race and gender repeatedly in her speeches, President Obama himself raised the same issue at a dinner for Democrats in April 2014. He even accused the "other side" of trying to discourage "our voters" from voting, a technique he called (with some help from the audience) "Un-American" [emphasis added]:
THE PRESIDENT: ...On every issue of importance, Democrats actually have the better argument, and we have majority opinion behind us. But we have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don't vote at the same rates. Our voters are younger, more unmarried women, more African American and Latino voters. They get excited about general elections; they don't get as excited about midterm elections.
10:48 AM, Mar 14, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Joe Biden's no lightweight.
He might be the vice president of the United States, but he's still using his dumbbell at work. In a short Vine video to promote (or parody?) the fifth year anniversary of Michelle Obama's Let's Move health initiative, Biden is seen pumping iron in his office.
7:19 PM, Feb 7, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Malia Obama are dining at the home of CNN executive Virginia Moseley tonight, according to the White House pool report. Moseley's husband is Thomas Nides, a former (and probably future) aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Via the pool report:
$295 prix fixe menu.7:01 AM, Jan 2, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, spent the first night of the new year at Vintage Cave, an upscale restaurant in Hawaii.
8:40 AM, Dec 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Obamas talked with People magazine about dealing with their "own racist experiences," as the magazine described.
Michelle Obama told one story that recently took place, even as she was first lady of the United States.
10:01 AM, Oct 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
California senator Dianne Feinstein told CNN this morning that she'd be "flattered" if Michelle Obama is considering a run for her Senate in 2018:
3:40 PM, Oct 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
First Lady Michelle Obama incorrectly referred to Democratic senator Mark Udall as a "fifth-generation Coloradan" while at a campaign stop Thursday. Udall, who is running for reelection, was born in Tucson, Arizona, and is the son of the former Arizona congressman and presidential candidate Morris Udall. Watch the video below:
8:01 AM, Oct 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In speeches designed to fire up Democrats to vote in midterm elections, President Obama has at times described voters in his party as having a "congenital defect." Wednesday, First L
5:57 PM, Oct 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama got the name of the Iowa Democratic Senate candidate wrong multiple times at a campaign event today:
His name is Bruce Braley, not "Bruce Bailey," which the first lady mistakenly called him.
Fortunately, the crowd corrected her. "Brailey, what did I say?"
"Bailey," the crowd shouted back.
Michelle Obama also wrongly stated that the Iowa Senate candidate is a Marine Corps Veteran -- which he isn't:
'My Ability To Do My Job Is Really Linked to How I Feel About What I'm Wearing'1:08 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Clothes may not make the woman, but according to First Lady Michelle Obama, they don't hurt. Mrs.
10:35 AM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
For years, it's been axiomatic among political observers that the GOP "brand" is damaged. There is certainly merit to this observation, though it is often bandied about in contexts where there's little to no evidence supporting that conclusion.
'We all wear [Spanx] with pride.'3:51 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama used the White House this afternoon to host a "Fashion Education Workshop." When she addressed the various students involved in the East Room, she talked up the the importance of the industry.
9:21 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama has arrived in Chicago, where he'll spend the night before two public events in his hometown. The president did not travel with his family.
He's now dining out with top adviser Valerie Jarrett and various friends, according to the White House pool report. They're at the steak house RPM Steak, where a nice cut can cost up tp $155, according to the restaurant's website.
Here's what Obama has on tap in Chicago tomorrow, according to the White House:
7:42 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama visited sick children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she complained about living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and being married to the president of the United States. She made the comments in response to being asked about her "favorite part about being in the White House."
7:20 AM, Aug 4, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
First Lady Michelle Obama created buzz with her remark at the recent Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders that "the blood of Africa runs through my veins." But later in her speech, she had some observations about the country of her birth as well. Mrs. Obama cited the progress made by and for women in the United States, particularly over the last century: