Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is sure that a bipartisan financial reform bill can be passed.
During a meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday, Obama told reporters that that he"is confident that we can work out an effective bipartisan package that assures that we"ll never have [banks that are] too big to fail again, that consumers are adequately protected."
Obama said he wants to move on a financial regulatory reform bill quickly and planned to discuss the matter with the group of bipartisan congressional leaders assembled at the White House.
The president also said he plans to discuss the vacancy at the Supreme Court and the ratification of the S.T.A.R.T., among other subjects.
Savannah, Georgia (CNN) - President Barack Obama headed to Savannah Technical College in Georgia on Tuesday to highlight the jobs training program that is part of his stimulus and jobs plan. But it was the White House's attempt to control the media that raised eyebrows.
The White House focused on every detail to get their jobs message across, including where the White House press corps could set up its cameras. Due to logistical issues, the press corps considered using a nearby library but a White House staffer dismissed the idea, forcing the press to make a much more difficult trek to an area that showcased a classroom, where the jobs training occurred. The staffer suggested that the classroom was a better "backdrop" for the press corp and the message.
While the White House aides normally picks a venue for a presidential event, it is unusual for them to attempt to dictate positions for reporter "live shot" cameras - particularly for backdrop purposes.
The message mattered-so much so that the White House actually made it harder for TV reporters to do their jobs.
The White House did not have a comment when pressed further about this issue.
Update 5:22 p.m.: White House spokesman Ben Labolt responded to this blog post, saying the White House would have been "happy to work" with the press corps. LaBolt also explained that using the library would have forced the college to close down the area for the entire day, a different explanation than the one given earlier by another White House staffer.
Washington (CNN) - The Dalai Lama and President Obama have come to agreement on at least one issue: more women should occupy leadership positions.
Following a meeting with President Obama, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama spoke with the White House press corp. As he walked out toward the cameras, the Dalai Lama playfully threw snow at the press who were waiting for his arrival.
During his remarks to the press, the Dalai Lama spoke of his belief that women are "more sensitive to suffering" and therefore should be in more leadership positions. The Dalai Lama said that Obama agreed with this idea.
At the end of an extensive statement on the meeting between the two men, the Dalai Lama told the press he would take questions at a press conference following his visit with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later in the day.
But he warned the press to come prepared, "Don't bring silly questions," His Holiness remarked.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama held a video conference call with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station Wednesday.
During the video conference, the president congratulated the crew who traveled to the space station aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour and expressed his administration's commitment to NASA programs, according to a readout of the conversation released by the White House.
Obama said the work being done on the space station is "a testimony to human ingenuity, a testimony to extraordinary skill and courage that you guys bring to bear and is also a testimony to why continued space exploration is so important and is part of the reason why my commitment to NASA is unwavering."
Washington (CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made a dig at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Tuesday during the White House daily briefing.
"I wrote a few things down. I wrote eggs milk and bread, but I crossed out bread just so I can make pancakes for Ethan if it snows," Gibbs said showing the palm of his hand with notes written on it. "Then I wrote down hope and change just in case I forgot that."
Gibbs was apparently taking a jab at Palin who had notes written on her hand during a question and answer session at the Tea Party Convention Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
It was later determined Palin had written the words "Energy," "Tax Cuts," and "Lift American Spirits" in her palm.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama will attend a memorial service Friday morning for seven CIA officers killed in Afghanistan in late December.
Obama will deliver remarks at the CIA headquarters located in Langley, Virginia. Although the press has been allowed into CIA events in the past, no members of the media will be allowed into this event in order to protect the identities of the members of the clandestine services.
"The memorial ceremony is closed to the press due to the presence of a large number of undercover officers," CIA spokesman George Little told CNN.
Washington (CNN) – College football's Tim Tebow, a Heisman trophy winner, attended the National Prayer Breakfast with President Barack Obama Thursday and delivered the closing prayer, continuing his foray into the political spotlight.
Tebow recently came under fire for appearing in an issues-oriented ad that will run during Sunday's Superbowl game. The ad will feature Tebow and his mother Pam recounting the decision to continue her pregnancy with Tim despite recommendations from doctors to do otherwise.
The prayer breakfast was organized by the group, Fellowship Foundation, which has been linked to a controversial anti-gay law in Uganda.
Introduced by Rep. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, Tebow joked, "It is rather incredible that a Georgia Bulldog invited a Florida Gator, so you can see the hand of God here."
Nashua, New Hampshire (CNN) – President Barack Obama still plans to meet with exiled Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama despite recent protests from Chinese officials, according to the White House.
"The president told China's leaders during his trip last year that he would meet with the Dalai Lama and he intends to do so," said Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton aboard Air Force One.
"To be clear, the U.S. considers Tibet to be a part of China and we have human rights concerns about the treatment of Tibetans," Burton continued.
Although a date for the meeting has not been announced, Burton emphasized that the White House expects to continue maintaining a positive relationship with China despite the protests against the meeting with the Dalai Lama.
"[As] the president has expressed, we expect that our relationship with China is mature enough where we can work out issues of mutual concerns such as climate, the global economy, and nonproliferation, and discuss frankly and candidly those issues where we disagree," Burton said.
Washington (CNN) - I confess, I've met Tareq and Michaele Salahi.
I met them a number of years ago. Yes, at a Washington party - I don't think they were crashing that time, as they've been accused of crashing a White House state dinner in November.
Then it was a reception for a well-known Italian designer-type, one in which people put on the one item they own by that label, one that I'm a little embarrassed to admit to have attended.
At first, they seemed like a normal couple, but minutes into our conversation it became clear to me that there was something a little different about the pair.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Reporters traveling with the President of the United States may be surrounded by some of the tightest security on the planet, but White House reporting can still be downright hazardous sometimes, sort of.
Case in point: as the White House travel pool raced around New York City on Wednesday following President Obama during his visit to the United Nations, Reuters photographer Kevin LaMarque suffered a minor injury when a tent fell and left a gash in his forehead.
The photographer received immediate medical attention from U.S. Secret Service agents, and was later examined by White House doctors. Invisible stitches were applied, as was a SpongeBob SquarePants band-aid.