President Obama admitted in an interview with Bill Simmons that "a certain arrogance crept in" during the first two years of his presidency. The rare admission came in response to a question about what he'd tell himself if could go back to 2008 and tell himself one thing.
"'You’re going to be busy.' Coming in, we were going through an unprecedented economic upheaval, combined with an upheaval in the Middle East that we hadn’t seen in our lifetimes. There was going to be a huge amount of disruption. I would probably tell myself to communicate more effectively early on than I did. We ran a great campaign. It wasn’t as great as it seems in retrospect—there’s always rose-colored glasses but there’s no doubt that we captured the country’s imagination. And somehow in those first two years, I think a certain arrogance crept in, in the sense of thinking as long as we get the policy ready, we didn’t have to sell it," Obama said, answering the question.
"One thing I learned through some tough election cycles: You can’t separate good policy from the need to bring the American people along and make sure that they know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And that’s particularly true now in this new communications era. I think that we were ahead of the curve in 2008 in social media and the Internet and digital communications. When we came into office, instead of taking some of those lessons, we suddenly adapted ourselves to the White House press room and structures that had been built back in the 1940s and ’50s. As a consequence of those missteps early, we got the policies right, and that’s why the economy now has grown for five and a half straight years, six years, and why unemployment rates have gone from 10 percent to 5.1 percent. But there was a lot of political pain along the way that might not have been necessary."
The Office of the United States Trade Representative has finally released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The 30 chapter document, plus preamble and annexes and side instruments, is available here.
But instead of delivering the text of the trade agreement in one easy to read document, each element has been uploaded separately. The entire TPP agreement has been separated into over one hundred different pdf documents.
Last week, the Obama White House moved to ensure Hezbollah’s ability to point 100,000 missiles at Israel. That’s not how they would describe it, of course. But it was the Obama administration—as U.S. officials are quietly letting on—and not Russia that invited Iran to participate in talks in Vienna to resolve the Syrian civil war. By doing so, the White House legitimized the Islamic Republic as a “stakeholder” whose interests in Syria must be respected.
Last week, Senate and House Democrats threw a party to celebrate the adoption day of Obama’s Iran deal. Ninety days after the White House signed the deal in Vienna, Obama directed the United States government to lift sanctions on Iran, the Democrats listened to a string ensemble in Washington, and all present pretended it was a joyous occasion.
The White House is hitting back at Hillary Clinton a week after the Democratic presidential candidate claimed to have looked at the Trans-Pacific Parternship. The trade deal, the White House says, has not been released to the public. Clinton, for her part, claimed last week to have looked at the details and decided that she couldn't support the deal.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest addressed it at today's press briefing:
During the White House's Summit On Worker Voice on Wednesday, Joe Biden had a clear message for labor unions—that Hillary Clinton might not be a reliable ally, but he would be. His speech focused on his sympathies for the labor movement, his friendship with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and the like. He also hit Clinton, saying, "if I don't move... I'll be demoted to Secretary of State or something like that.
The United States, President Obama said at the U.N. General Assembly last week, “worked with many nations in this assembly to prevent a third world war—by forging alliances with old adversaries.” Presumably, the president was not referring to his deeply flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the recent agreement that the White House has marketed as the only alternative to war with a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran.
On a recent Saturday afternoon in Washington, several hundred children with cancer and their families filled Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. They came from all over the country, and from Canada, to participate in a two-day program called CureFest for Childhood Cancer.
Even now with the Russians on the verge of combat operations in Syria, the White House still says it believes that they’re there to fight ISIS. John Kerry says that his Russian counterpart told him that the Russians are “only interested in fighting” the Islamic State. Other administration officials hold out hope for a grand U.S.-Russia coalition against ISIS. But that’s nonsense: Vladimir Putin landed troops in order to protect his investment in Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
Details of President Obama's travel to Warren, Michigan this Wednesday intended only for the press are revealed in an apparent inadvertent posting of a media advisory on the White House website over the weekend.
On Wednesday, according to a report by WJLA in Washington, "Barvetta Singletary, a White House staffer, resigned today following assault charges." This dramatic news, however, received scant coverage in the major media.