(CNN) – President Barack Obama has a lot on his plate, but he freely admits that being a dad is his most important job – and that means worrying about his daughters dating.
While Obama says that his daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, are sensible and make good decisions, there’s something else that sets him at ease.
In an interview with comedian Steve Harvey that aired Friday, the President admitted that the first family’s Secret Service detail makes him a more relaxed dad.
(CNN) – Senators cast their last votes of the year Friday - confirming a new IRS commissioner and the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department - and dashed from the Capitol to start their Christmas recess.
Their final votes, to break Republican filibusters and approve several of President Barack Obama's nominees, seemed a fitting conclusion to a year when the divisive issues of filibusters and nominations were dominant.
Friday wrapped up a grueling week of work for Senate lawmakers, who conducted marathon sessions over stalled nominees. Majority Leader Harry Reid was hospitalized briefly for exhaustion. He was back home and cleared to return to work by evening.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 20, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OBAMA HOLDS YEAR-END NEWS CONFERENCE… Citing economic progress and other achievements, President Barack Obama rejected the contention that 2013 was the worst year of his presidency at a year-end news conference.
When asked about the botched rollout of healthcare.gov, the President called health care reforms a "good" product and said, "You still have 2 million who signed up." He did, however, cite early health care website problems as his biggest mistake in 2013.
Another frustration cited by the President was the inability to get any of his main legislative priorities of 2013 passed by Congress, and he called for 2014 to be a "year of action" on immigration reform, job creation, expanded background checks on gun purchasers and extending long-term unemployment benefits. When asked about the next big fiscal decision to be made by Congress early next year Obama said his administration would not negotiate “for Congress to pay bills that it has accrued."
Obama also said he would make "a pretty definitive" decision in January on recommendations from an independent panel this week calling for changes in National Security Agency surveillance to protect civil liberties. – Tom Cohen
Polls show Obama's approval rating at record lows for the five years of his presidency. Dismissing comments about polling numbers he told reporters, "I just took this job to deliver for the American people."
(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was hospitalized during the day on Friday before being released, his spokesman said.
The Nevada Democrat, 74, checked in not feeling well earlier in the day and doctors diagnosed exhaustion.
Spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement that his boss has been cleared to return to work although the Senate has left town for the holidays.
(CNN) – A federal judge will allow John Hinckley, the man who shot and severely wounded President Ronald Reagan in a 1981 assassination attempt, more time away from a Washington psychiatric hospital to visit his mother in Virginia.
His periodic visits are currently restricted to 10 days at a time. He now will be permitted 17-day visits to Williamsburg.FULL STORY
(CNN) - In his last news conference of 2013, President Barack Obama answered questions on the Affordable Care Act, including the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov as well as his health care promise that won Politifact's "Lie of the Year."
(CNN) - A federal judge in Utah has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law "conflicts with the United States Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law."
In striking down the state law, which voters approved in 2004, the judge ruled that the state's "current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.FULL STORY
Updated 2:50 p.m. ET, 12/20/2013
Washington (CNN) - Citing economic progress and other achievements, President Barack Obama on Friday rejected the contention that 2013 was the worst year of his presidency.
Polls show Obama's approval rating at record lows for the five years of his presidency, but he told reporters at a year-end news conference that his concern is whether things are getting better for the American people.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – How bad of a year was 2013 for President Barack Obama? The economy is strengthening as he starts to wind down America's longest war, but his poll numbers are the lowest since he took office almost five years ago.
Usually, a growing economy and bringing the troops home mean public love for the commander-in-chief, but not this time.FULL STORY