Archive for the ‘Oval Office’ Category

Did Obama’s Staff Inappropriately Release “Private” Details of His Talk With President Bush?

November 12, 2008

The Drudge Report, the Associated Press and the New York Times are quoting segments of the “private” Oval Office discussion between President Bush and President Elect Barack Obama, quoting Obama aides.

The quotes started from the Obama side soon after the Oval Office meeting.  Yesterday the White House added some detail.

A President-Elect putting pressure on a lame duck president seems inappropriate, unnecessary and a breach of protocol.  One side’s aides discussing details of the agreed upon provate discussion? Ditto.

But this may just be part of the routine activities of the Kabuki Dance that is a time-honored part of the transition of a new president…..


President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the ...
President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office, November 10, 2008.(White House photo by Eric Draper/Handout/Reuters)


By Jackie Calmes
The New York Times

The struggling auto industry was thrust into the middle of a political standoff between the White House and Democrats on Monday as President-elect Barack Obama urged President George W. Bush to support immediate emergency aid.

Bush indicated at the meeting that he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Obama and congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, a measure for which Bush has long fought, people familiar with the discussion said.

The Bush administration, which has presided over a major intervention in the financial industry, has balked at allowing the automakers to tap into the $700 billion bailout fund, despite warnings last week that General Motors might not survive the year.

Obama and congressional Democratic leaders say the administration has all the authority it needs under the bailout law to extend assistance.

Obama went into his post-election meeting with Bush on Monday primed to urge him to support emergency aid to the auto industry, advisers to Obama said. But Democrats also indicate that neither Obama nor congressional leaders are inclined to concede the Colombia pact to Bush, and may decide to wait until Obama assumes power on Jan. 20.

Read the rest:


WASHINGTON (AP) – Aides to President Bush and President-elect Obama are revealing a bit more about yesterday’s wide-ranging discussions in the Oval Office.

Among other things, Obama pushed for the government to take urgent action to help struggling automakers. Aides say Obama also raised the idea of an administration point person on autos. They say that official’s role would be to improve the long-term health of the auto industry.

Aides to Bush say the president remains open to helping U.S. automakers.

There’s also word that the two discussed the need for more economic stimulus spending, which Obama favors. Bush has stressed that his main priority for any postelection action by Congress is approval of a long-stalled free trade agreement with Colombia.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said, however, that there’s no implied “quid pro quo.” She said the president mainly discussed the overall “merits of free trade.”

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Bushes and Obamas: All smiles at the White House

November 11, 2008

All smiles and compliments, President-elect Obama and his wife, Michelle, called on President Bush and first lady Laura Bush Monday in a White House visit that was part political ritual, part practical introduction and a striking symbol of the historic transfer of power to come.

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

The president and Obama talked war and financial crisis. Laura Bush and Michelle Obama talked about raising daughters in the nation’s most famous house.

Then Obama flew back to Chicago to work on setting up the new administration that will take over on Jan. 20.

Mrs. Obama came earlier than her husband to the nation’s capital, and stayed after him, hunting a new school for the kids by visiting two of the city’s best-known private schools.

President Bush and President-elect Obama walk along the West ... 
President Bush and President-elect Obama walk along the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, prior to their meeting in the Oval Office.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

If first impressions matter, Obama and his wife displayed one similarity to the super-punctual Bushes, pulling up to the White House’s South Portico 11 minutes early. The couples traded warm and easy greetings in the crisp autumn sunshine, with the wives exchanging pleasantries about the fall hues each wore — Mrs. Bush in a brown dress and Mrs. Obama in a red one.

While Obama and Bush, in business suits, proceeded waving and smiling down the White House Colonnade for nearly two hours of private talks, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush had their own agenda: talk of raising children in most unusual circumstances. Mrs. Bush conducted a tour of the living quarters of the historic mansion and made introductions to the army of residence staff who look after first families.

Michelle Obama had toured the White House before with daughters Malia, who is 10, and Sasha, who is 7. But the two women had never met.

The 43rd president and the man who will be the 44th — and first black — commander in chief met alone in the Oval Office, with no handlers or staff. It was Obama’s first time in the storied workspace, even though he had been to the White House previously for events.

Neither the Bushes nor the Obamas spoke to reporters.

President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the ... 
President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office, November 10, 2008.(White House photo by Eric Draper/Handout/Reuters)

Red the rest:

Obama to get his first look at the Oval Office

November 10, 2008

Barack Obama has never set foot in the Oval Office. Talk about making an entrance. In a sit-down discussion Monday with President Bush, the president-elect will get his first feel for the place where momentous decisions will soon fall to him.

Bush invited Obama for the private talk, a rite of passage between presidents and successors that extends for decades.

The moment is sure to be steeped in history, part of a symbolic changing of a guard to Democratic leadership and the country’s first black president. But it will be substantive as well, as Bush and Obama are expected to review the nation’s enormous economic downturn and the war in Iraq.

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

“I’m going to go in there with a spirit of bipartisanship, and a sense that both the president and various leaders of Congress all recognize the severity of the situation right now and want to get stuff done,” Obama said last week when asked about his meeting with Bush.

Obama won the presidency in an electoral landslide on Tuesday. He ran a campaign in which he relentlessly linked Republican opponent John McCain to Bush and presented his ideas as a fresh alternative to what he called Bush’s failed policies.

Yet the tone changed almost immediately after Obama’s win.

Bush, who had endorsed McCain, lauded Obama’s victory as a “triumph of the American story.” He warmly invited the Obama family to the White House.

Obama, in turn, thanked Bush for being gracious. The president-elect has made clear to the people of the United States and those watching around the world that there is only one president for now, and that’s Bush. Obama is in the transition to power but does not assume the presidency until Jan. 20.

Josh Bolten, Bush’s chief of staff, said Bush and Obama will be the only ones in the room when they meet.

“I’m sure each of them will have a list of issues to go down,” Bolten said, interviewed on C-SPAN by reporters from The Associated Press and The Washington Post. “But I think that’s something very personal to both of them. I know the president will want to convey to President-elect Obama his sense of how to deal with some of the most important issues of the day. But exactly how he does that, I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody will know.”

Obama and wife, Michelle, are set to arrive at the White House on Monday afternoon. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will greet them.

Read the rest:

Forsaking the Egyptian Free Press

September 24, 2007

By Jackson Diehl
Monday, September 24, 2007; Page A19

The Egyptian publisher Hisham Kassem was in Washington last week to pick up the National Endowment for Democracy’s prestigious annual Democracy Award, in recognition of his role in jump-starting a free Egyptian press. Along with two other honorees, he spent nearly an hour in the Oval Office with President Bush, who spoke with feeling about his “freedom agenda” and his intention to pursue it after he leaves office.

But Kassem could not help but feel a little depressed. While he was being honored, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was directing a frontal assault against the island of liberty Kassem helped to create in Cairo — independent newspapers that have subjected Mubarak’s rotting autocracy to serious scrutiny for the first time. And hardly anyone in Washington seemed to care.

Read more at:

Excellent Gingrich Speech, National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007

August 9, 2007

The speech below is mainly a proposal to reform the way we in the United States discuss major issues and choose our president.   But Mr. Gingrich has thoughtful things to say on a wide variety of our nation’s issues.

Peace and Freedom sincerely thanks Mr. Rick Tyler of Mr. Gingrich’s staff who worked so hard to get us this transcript.  Mr. Gingrich gave this speech from notes (not text) and a transcript had to be made.  Since the text of the speech is so long we added some headers so readers can scan don and find the areas that interest them the most.  The headers are:

Mr. Gingrich Begins
Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Current System Not Working
Strategy and Reality Not Connected
Challenges Are Immense
UPS and FedEx Superior to Federal Bureaucracy
The Scale of  Change
Britain’s Phoney War
Our Phony War: The Scale of the Challenge
Conversations About Our Future: Better Debates
Questions and Answers
—Proposal Favors Good Debaters
—How to Handle 3rd Party Candidates
—How to Engage The Public
—Revising Primary Debates
—Reforming The Overall Primary Process
—Campaign Financing
—Fred Thompson
—Gingrich’s Own Plan to Run
—2008 a Democratic Year
—Are The Candidates Up To The Task
—Near Future of the War On Terror

We had a lot of formatting trouble with this document and we are sorry for its porr appearance.  We think you’ll find that the content is excellent.All the best to everyone,
John E. Carey
******************* IntroductionMR. ZREMSKI: (Sounds gavel.) Good afternoon, and welcome to the National Press Club. My name is Jerry Zremski, and I’m the Washington bureau chief for the Buffalo News and president of the Press Club.I’d like to welcome our club members and their guests who are with this today, as well as those of you who are watching on C-SPAN. We’re looking forward to today’s speech, and afterwards, I’ll ask as many questions as time permits.Please hold your applause during the speech so that we have as much time for questions as possible.

Link to the entire speech text at:

Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846

Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846

What in the world could the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 POSSIBLY teach us today?  Newt knows.  This is why everyone needs to understand history….

A Report: President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors

July 25, 2007

By Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer
Jul 25, 2007 

President Bush said Wednesday his hand-picked investigative panel has interesting suggestions on improving health care for those wounded in battle, but the White House said not to expect action right away.

Just after the Senate on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue passed sweeping legislation to expand brain screenings, reduce red tape and boost military pay, Bush thanked former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and other panel members as they presented their draft recommendations to him in the Oval Office.

Read it all:

On the Net:

President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors:

The report from The Washington Post, published July 26, 2007:

Coverage from The New York Times: