The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

Cabinet

Cabinet Will 'Retreat' to Blair House to Hand Out Report Cards

By Michael D. Shear
Aides promise that there will be no trust circles or "sharing" exercises, but President Obama's Cabinet will gather Friday and Saturday to mark the administration's sixth month in office with a high-level retreat.

The gathering, to be held at Blair House and the White House Conference Center, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the executive mansion, will feature all 22 Cabinet-rank members for a series of policy presentations, several officials familiar with the planning said Tuesday.

Two sources characterized the session as an attempt at "bonding." Another said the gathering, which a top aide said has been long-planned, would be modeled after similar corporate events designed to provide an assessment of how the administration is doing halfway through the year.

There will be a dinner on Friday night, followed by a meeting for several hours on Saturday, a senior White House official said.

A Cabinet retreat brings to mind similar get-togethers by past presidents. Bill Clinton's Cabinet met at Camp David on Clinton's second weekend in office for a session arranged by "facilitators." At that session, Clinton's top advisers were asked to share an experience not on their resumes, and the president reportedly joined in, telling stories of being teased about his weight as a 5- and 6-year-old kid.

"Don't try to make this sound weird, like we had some kind of encounter group therapy up there," a Clinton aide said at the time. "It was actually great. It was just people talking about themselves."

A senior Obama aide cautioned against comparing the two events, even waving this reporter away from the "retreat" label. And another official said the agenda appeared to involve lengthy presentations about policy.

The aide said the retreat is "tied to the fact that we have been here six months and it made sense to get everyone in a room together to talk about the previous six months and talk about the agenda going forward."

Posted at 3:53 PM ET on Jul 28, 2009  | Category:  Cabinet
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Elections Have Consequences. So Do Confirmation Votes. | Next: Axelrod's Son Hired by Huffington Post


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Great Idea for a meeting of the 'minds' six months after the fact. Just hope where needed, D-merits will be handed out.

The President is a hard worker and needs the best from his team. Essential that everyone,not to the mention, the Economic Team understands fully what is at stake for those of us on Main Street.

Our 'bells' have yet to ring. But I trust the leader, and I await the outcome of a great report card. While 'egos' remain at home, the talent is there to pull together whatever is falling apart. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUATnWCmri4

Posted by: Victoria5 | July 30, 2009 9:13 AM

Here are your report cards: You all earned Fs

Now spend the rest of the time crafting a new health care bill, one which applies to all of you (and everybody else in the White House, Congress, Supreme Court, etc.) as well as the rest of us.

When you get done with that, fix the economy!

No more second-class treatment for the "little people"


Posted by: harry9 | July 29, 2009 2:17 PM

Time to throw some shoes at each other... yes, it is important to do well in 2010 but better to pass on some change and suffer the consequences. THAT is the repugnot mantra and it leads while it bleeds. People WANT to be led.... they want to be told about terrorists as a boogyman. Domestic issues, healthcare and retirement and housekeeping duties HAVE to get done. The repugs suffer from their obsession with killing brown people and the Democrats suffer because they keep the home front progressing. Can't change that without destroying their ability to go out and start wars.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 29, 2009 1:34 PM

Haha. The commenter who is using their WaPo handle to show off their Ivy League degree is accusing people of arrogance. Classic.

Posted by: IndiePendants | July 29, 2009 11:11 AM

AA Meetings -- Arrogant Anonymous?

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 29, 2009 7:44 AM

5 comments about the article and then a lot of useless bashing. How disappointing. Since this event has been in planning for many months and will involve all of the cabinet, you can bet The President and his team won't waste each other's time. If it is a corporate style retreat, then most of the cabinet will leave with some new appreciation for the other cabinet members and The President and his key staff will hear straight talk they probably wouldn't have gotten in another setting.

Posted by: travelbee | July 29, 2009 2:31 AM

Tax cheaters anonymous?

Posted by: fenoy | July 28, 2009 11:20 PM

they are going to have a tax seminar so they get their taxes right in the coming year and dont embararse the king again

Posted by: turk3 | July 28, 2009 11:12 PM

URGENT TO OBAMA CABINET:

FED SECRETIVE SECURITY/INTEL AGENCIES FUND, OVERSEE NATIONWIDE VIGILANTE 'GESTAPO" -- EXTRAJUDICIAL BYPASS OF THE RULE OF LAW

• Civilian volunteers fronted by federally-funded organizations such as Citizen Corps, Infragard and USA on Watch stalk, harass, vandalize, terrorize unjustly targeted persons and families with covertly implanted GPS tracking devices -- an unconstitutional extrajudicial targeting and punishment "matrix."

• Reports of torture, disabling injury from silent microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" widely deployed to local law enforcement under various federal programs.

• Feds, locals refuse to investigate victim complaints in nationwide cover-up of alleged atrocities, enabled by co-opted and complicit local police -- an American social genocide/politicide.

• Array of "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly destroy livelihoods and family finances -- a slow, methodical social genocide that targets those labeled as "dissidents," or "social deviates," whistle-blowers, ethnic and religious minorities.

WHEN WILL CONGRESS AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAKE UP AND RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW IN AMERICA?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 28, 2009 10:07 PM

Maybe they will invite cschotta1 and re-enact the deleted war room scene from Dr. Strangelove.

Posted by: edlharris | July 28, 2009 9:21 PM

It is time to congeal a soul about this Administration. It needs to be more than just the face of a popular President.

Posted by: BillKeller | July 28, 2009 9:11 PM

Officials Try to Speed Help to Homeowners
Administration officials press bank executives to quicken assistance to distressed borrowers after a frustrating start to foreclosure prevention effort.
There is room at Blair House for everyone.

Posted by: mharwick | July 28, 2009 8:26 PM

"Slick Willy had the courage to defeat terrorists instead of appeasing them, could you imagine the twin towers still in New York?
Posted by: cschotta1 |"
----
Its really rather simple: GW wasn't big on prevention, until Sept. 12, 2001

Posted by: JRM2 | July 28, 2009 8:03 PM

Nice try lib. The attacks were planned for years while Bush was governor. Maybe had Clinton NOT deminished our CIA efforts 9/11 could have been prevented.

LIBERALISM.....Where failure is an option!

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 28, 2009 8:24 PM

Love at Blair House. How sweet. Are the Czars and Czarinas coming too?
Send out for caviar and champayne. We the taxpayers are used to the parties at the White House every week with the music and celebrities. We love to watch our leader fly around the world in AFI eating cheesburgers and enjoying the finest hotels in the world, the embassies of the United States.
August week for the Obamas will be in Martha's Vineyard at a 28 acre estate complete with swimming pool, golf course, basketball court and will cost only about 50 thousand dollars for the entire seven days. Reasonable doncha think?

Posted by: mharwick | July 28, 2009 8:23 PM

"How many vacations had GW taken by this point in his presidency?
Posted by: jef305"
---------
GW took nearly one third of his presidency off for vacation.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 28, 2009 8:06 PM

Yet he was able to remove Saddam from power and send bin Laden hiding in a cave, and NEVER once did he bad mouth his country!

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 28, 2009 8:20 PM

Obama's health plan has three offensive provisions that most Americans refuse to accept: coverage of the illegals and their families, tax funded abortions, and rationing of care for the elderly.

Posted by: tsapp77 | July 28, 2009 8:15 PM

"How many vacations had GW taken by this point in his presidency?
Posted by: jef305"
---------
GW took nearly one third of his presidency off for vacation.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 28, 2009 8:06 PM

"Slick Willy had the courage to defeat terrorists instead of appeasing them, could you imagine the twin towers still in New York?
Posted by: cschotta1 |"
----
Its really rather simple: GW wasn't big on prevention, until Sept. 12, 2001

Posted by: JRM2 | July 28, 2009 8:03 PM

Every day, the same conservative parrots with the same conservative BS. No wonder the right is dying.

Posted by: dfc102 | July 28, 2009 5:38 PM


Conservatives dying, really?

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/twice_as_many_americans_conservative_over_liberal/

LIBERALISM....The gutless choice!

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 28, 2009 7:55 PM

The chief goal of GOPsters stands out like a sore trunk to any reasonable person: Destroy Obama at all costs for political victory, even if it brings with it the destruction of the nation.
It is imperative that the president and his cabinet fully realize what they're up against and begin governing as if they have a mandate, because they do, and it's about time they begin living up to it.
With the cooperation of the legally bribed Blue (Dirty) Dogs, GOP geniuses of cunning make assertions that don't even pass the horselaughter test while counting on the short memories of the people to have such asstertions nonetheless be believed.
For instance, the people still "think" government did just fine re. national security because there were no new 9/11s. Their memories are apparently so atrophied that they forget 9/11 itself struck while the Bush/Cheney Gang was watching the store.
"How furtunate for government that the people do not think."--A. Hitler

Posted by: ronaldoroso | July 28, 2009 7:05 PM

OOps..thanx, Jcrit. It was "a token 100 million", too. Not billion. There goes the petty cash.

Big, Bigger, Biggest numbers have always confused me.

Posted by: bandcyuk | July 28, 2009 6:16 PM

Soon, Aunt Sarah (of Alaska fame) will gather around a bunch of losers (Conservatives)around a crackling fire regaling them with conspiracy stories about Obama, and these nimrods will start another drama to mask their extreme extreme disappointment at being thrown out of power.

Posted by: Nparry | July 28, 2009 5:49 PM

Every day, the same conservative parrots with the same conservative BS. No wonder the right is dying.

Posted by: dfc102 | July 28, 2009 5:38 PM

Cschotta1....exactly WHO would you blame for the economy??? It's hilarious to me that the economy was in the ditch on Day One of Obama's presidency, but somehow that had nothing to do with Bush. When you republicans assess Obama, apparently everything he did in the first 100 days had tremendous impact on this country. Yet, Bush did nothing in 8 years to impact where we are today. Where's the logic??? Oh wait, there is none.

Posted by: MMB42 | July 28, 2009 5:19 PM

Classic ignorant lib. Who's to blame for the economy, could it be those like Dodd and Obama who rejected the regulation of Fannie and Freddie? Could it be all those liberal programs like WIC, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security that have created a financial burden on our economy? Could it be that the economy started to tank after Pelosi and crew took over? Just imagine how Slick Willy had the courage to defeat terrorists instead of appeasing them, could you imagine the twin towers still in New York? See what happens libs when you put liberals in charge of our country, much like when you see liberals in charge of California, New Orleans, Mass, Chicago, and DC!

LIBERALISM...A true mental disorder!

"Imagine no liberals, what a wonderful world it would be!"

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 28, 2009 5:29 PM

Will they discuss ways to break Obama's use of the teleprompter? Will they attempt to reduce all of the CZARS and allow the cabinet heads be responsible? Will they discuss ways to get Obama back to the campaign promises? Will they discuss ways to encourage members of Congress and the White House to READ LEGISLATION BEFORE, REPEAT BEFORE they approve it or talk about it? ----OR-----

Is the real issue: HOW DO WE GET THE POLL NUMBERS BACK UP?????????

Posted by: wheeljc | July 28, 2009 5:21 PM

Cschotta1....exactly WHO would you blame for the economy??? It's hilarious to me that the economy was in the ditch on Day One of Obama's presidency, but somehow that had nothing to do with Bush. When you republicans assess Obama, apparently everything he did in the first 100 days had tremendous impact on this country. Yet, Bush did nothing in 8 years to impact where we are today. Where's the logic??? Oh wait, there is none.

Posted by: MMB42 | July 28, 2009 5:19 PM

To all the Obama haters...you're kidding, right? You may not agree with his policies, but Barack Obama has worked very hard over the last six months. Bush had two vacations and even after 8 years really had no clue about most of what was going on. The diviseness will remain because you refuse to at least recognize someone who is intelligent, hard-working and focused.

Posted by: MMB42 | July 28, 2009 5:17 PM

I find it ironic that the very people responsible for getting us into this budgetary and economic mess now throw stones at Obama for working through the weekend. How many vacations had GW taken by this point in his presidency? Lest we forget Obama inherited a multi-trillion dollar debt, a flatlining economy and two wars. No one - least of all a republican - has any business questioning this man's work ethic.

Posted by: jef305 | July 28, 2009 5:11 PM

Work ethic? This is Obama's first "real" job, and he's failing much like his part-time job of being a community organizer. You libs can try to blame Bush all you want, but it isn't going to improve this economy, nor is growing the government and crippling small business owners. Is there anything in the democrat playbook that doesn't involve growing the federal government? Is there anything to Obama besides being the first "half black" president?

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 28, 2009 5:16 PM

What the deal with the crabby comments here? Did Malkin link to this story?

Sounds like a good idea to me. Building relationships encourages communication and trust. And I can't get my kitchen remodelers to work on Fridays...let alone Saturdays. ;-)

But I can see how some might see this "retreat" as a sign of the end times and proof that socialist totalitarians are killing our democracy. Yup. So obvious.

Posted by: doryo | July 28, 2009 5:15 PM

Oh, and as for that cute little story about "socialism..." First, it's just a story. No such "experiment" was ever undertaken. But, more importantly, it's a silly simplification and complete misrepresentation of what Obama has been proposing. It may work with the Sara Palin crowd, but please don't insult the rest of us who actually have living brains in our skulls.

Posted by: jef305 | July 28, 2009 5:15 PM


Patriot 12...

truly, truly stupid, even compared with the usual tripe.

We could, perhaps be assumed to be above 12 years old, even if you are not?

Posted by: whistling | July 28, 2009 5:14 PM

Patriot, I completely agree with your analogy. I thank God everyday we don't have a socialist President/government in this country. Thanks for sharing your little story though...what it has to do with President Obama and his Cabinet I'll never know.

Posted by: sjp879 | July 28, 2009 5:13 PM

I find it ironic that the very people responsible for getting us into this budgetary and economic mess now throw stones at Obama for working through the weekend. How many vacations had GW taken by this point in his presidency? Lest we forget Obama inherited a multi-trillion dollar debt, a flatlining economy and two wars. No one - least of all a republican - has any business questioning this man's work ethic.

Posted by: jef305 | July 28, 2009 5:11 PM

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class.

--------------------------------------------

That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK,
we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D!
No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased as bickering,
blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Posted by: Patriot12 | July 28, 2009 5:07 PM


Not only is Barry's radical nonsense NOT the answer, he is NOT the answer. He is intent on weakening this Nation and make its citizens subservient to his desire of a Central Controlling Socialist styled Bloated Government. Barry, his thug-like administration and the gaggle of the most irresponsible, inept, arrogant, Liberal led Congress are NOT the answer for anything, nothing.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | July 28, 2009 5:06 PM

Posted by: jcrit | July 28, 2009 4:59 PM

Blair House will be the dog house. He needs to give them a good whippin' for not cutting that token $100 billion out of their budgets like he told them to do many months ago.

A few of us out here haven't forgotten.

Posted by: bandcyuk | July 28, 2009 4:53 PM

On the contrary! Obama's team is working through the weekend and strengthening their group dynamic. Big corporations do this as well with their top executives.

By the time Bush was six months into his Presidency he had already been on vacation twice.

You just watch, by the end of Obama's first term, there won't be nearly so many cabinet members jumping ship to go write books.

Posted by: exPostie | July 28, 2009 4:51 PM

Will there be enough room for all these people and the Messiah's ego?

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 28, 2009 4:48 PM

How do you call it reporting when you get to characterize this event with pejoratives like "retreat" and "report card"? Just makes fodder for obama-haters.
Disappointing...

Posted by: dianajo99 | July 28, 2009 4:44 PM

Kumbaya circles in the White House. LOL! While they are getting in touch with their feelings, they should also learn how to get in touch with the national budget. (And it's on a Saturday. Sheesh! It's not like they are busy M-F balancing the budget or anything.)

Posted by: forgetthis | July 28, 2009 4:40 PM

This is just too delicious to pass up. Obama and his crew get to sit around and "talk about themselves?" Is this bringing coals to Newcastle, or what?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | July 28, 2009 4:34 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.



 
 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company