February 13th, 2010
04:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Top Obama spokesman joins Twitter

In his first tweet, White House Press Secretary sought advice from the Twitterverse.
In his first tweet, White House Press Secretary sought advice from the Twitterverse.

Washington (CNN) – Count White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs among a growing group of Democratic press operatives who have recently joined the microblogging site Twitter.

The top White House spokesman set up his Twitter account Saturday, Gibbs confirmed to CNN; Gibbs goes by the Twitter handle @PressSec on the popular service.

Gibbs’ arrival on Twitter comes as a number of his colleagues in the Democratic communications apparatus have also joined the site which allows users to broadcast short messages.

Earlier Saturday, Lynda Tran (@LyndaOFA), the national press secretary for President Obama’s grassroots political organization Organizing for America, informed the media via e-mail that she had joined Twitter.

And on Friday, Organizing for America announced that it was looking for a new social networks manager who will be responsible, among other things, for managing the Twitter account @BarackObama. (The official White House Twitter account, @whitehouse, is separate and run by the White House.)

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Filed under: Popular Posts • Robert Gibbs • Twitter
February 13th, 2010
01:07 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama picks special envoy to world Muslim group

ALT TEXT

During a speech in Cairo, Egypt last year President Obama laid out a strategy for outreach to the Muslim world. (Photo Credit: Erika Dimmler/CNN)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama appointed a special envoy Saturday to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the 57-nation organization that calls itself the "collective voice of the Muslim world."

He is Rashad Hussein, an Indian-American Muslim who has been a deputy associate White House counsel, described by Obama as "an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff."

Obama made the announcement Saturday in a video message to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. He said he made the move to broaden the outreach strategy toward the Muslim world he laid out last year in Cairo.

"Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo. And as a hafiz of the Quran, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work," Obama said. A hafiz is someone who has memorized the Quran, the sacred book of Islam.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be speaking Sunday at the 7th annual forum and Obama took the opportunity Saturday to laud the event and reiterate what he calls the "new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world" - a relationship that he says has been marred by "misunderstanding and mistrust."
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Filed under: Obama administration • Popular Posts
February 13th, 2010
12:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama hails return of 'pay-go'

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama is wasting no time touting his own efforts to impose fiscal discipline and intimating, in the process, that Capitol Hill and the prior administration did not do enough to keep runaway deficit spending under control.

Friday Obama signed into law a record $1.9 trillion increase in the federal government's borrowing cap. The legislation, which passed Congress largely along party lines, raised the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion.

The measure also enacted a statutory, pay-as-you-go, or "pay-go," procedure requiring lawmakers to find ways to pay for proposed spending increases or tax cuts by offsetting them with higher taxes or reduced spending elsewhere in the budget.

In his weekly radio and Internet address out Saturday, Obama is lauding the return of the ‘pay-go’ requirement.

“It was this rule that helped lead to balanced budgets in the 1990s, by making clear that we could not increase entitlement spending or cut taxes simply by borrowing more money. And it was the abandonment of this rule that allowed the previous administration and previous congresses to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and create an expensive new drug program without paying for any of it. Now in a perfect world, Congress would not have needed a law to act responsibly, to remember that every dollar spent would come from taxpayers today – or our children tomorrow.”

“But this isn’t a perfect world,” continues Obama. “This is Washington. And while in theory there is bipartisan agreement on moving on balanced budgets, in practice, this responsibility for the future is often overwhelmed by the politics of the moment. It falls prey to the pressure of special interests, to the pull of local concerns, and to a reality familiar to every single American – the fact that it is a lot easier to spend a dollar than save one.”

“Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else,” the president also says in Saturday’s address.
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Filed under: national debt • President Obama
February 13th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Graham on trying terrorism suspects: 'There is a better way'

Washington (CNN) - In Saturday's Republican weekly address, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, takes issue with the Obama administration's policies for handling terrorism suspects and makes the case for trying terrorism cases in military tribunals rather than civilian courts.

(Read the full text of Graham's remarks after the jump)

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Filed under: GOP • Homeland Security • Lindsey Graham • Obama administration • Terrorism
February 13th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
4 years ago

States to Senate: Send more federal aid

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - States are looking to the federal government for more help balancing their budgets, but the Senate is not heeding their call.

Federal aid to the states was among the top priorities in an early Senate job creation bill, as well as in a $154 billion measure passed by the House in December. But it has fallen off the list as Senate Democrats look to craft legislation that will attract bipartisan support.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday unveiled a jobs bill that does not contain state aid. A Senate Democratic aide said Reid hopes to back a state aid measure in the future. Republican support, however, remains questionable.

Full story on CNNMoney.com


Filed under: Economy • Senate
February 13th, 2010
08:38 AM ET
4 years ago

Help wanted: Obama's Twitterer (filibusterers need not apply)

Are you qualified to tweet for the president?
Are you qualified to tweet for the president?

(Fortune) - With unemployment weighing heavily on the economy, Barack Obama is stressing his ability to create jobs. He’s even got one available, posting Facebook updates and tweets on behalf of the President of the United States.

Organizing for America, an organization under the umbrella of the Democratic National Committee is looking for a “Social Networks Manager.” The ideal candidate is someone who can play Twitter, Facebook, and yes, even MySpace, like a violin, to “execute grassroots campaigns to advance the President’s agenda for change.” Let’s be very clear, while you will be Obama’s political mouthpiece on Twitter (@BarackObama) you aren’t the official White House voice, that’s a separate Twitter account (@whitehouse). Facebook, same story. Your job, should you get it, is to further the Administration’s political agenda, and in a few years get Obama re-elected.

The posting went up just in time for the Presidents’ Day weekend. And what better way to spend the executive branch-themed holiday, than outlining the benefits of overhauling the health care system with surgically crafted 140-character tweets, and Facebook updates that explain the strategy underpinning the war in Afghanistan?

More on CNNMoney.com

February 13th, 2010
08:30 AM ET