West Wing briefing: Somber end to a sad week
Friday will complete a week that, for the White House, was almost entirely removed from politics, in the wake of last Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson.
President Obama will attend the funeral of Richard Holbrooke, who was serving as the administration's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan when he died last month.
Obama will also meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who is in Washington for the funeral despite a simmering political situation at home.
At a news conference, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon will preview the administration's goals for next week's state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao. Obama met with human rights advocates at the White House for more than an hour Thursday in advance of Hu's visit.
Those events complete a somber week at the White House, where both the president and first lady Michelle Obama were said to be deeply moved by the deaths of a nine-year-old girl and five others in a shooting that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). The administration has for the last five days largely suspended any political activity, and the president's only public events have been related to the shooting or foreign policy, such as a Monday meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Obama distilled the nation's grief over the shooting with emotional remarks at a Tucson memorial service Wednesday night.
Quietly, the much-ballyhooed staff shuffle at the White House started this week. David Plouffe joined the White House as a senior adviser on Monday, and new chief of staff William Daley took the helm officially two days later.
The changes are not yet complete; Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who announced last week he is soon leaving his post, said Thursday he has not decided when will be his final day. The administration is still trying to figure out who should replace him.
Perry Bacon Jr.
| January 14, 2011; 6:48 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency, Barack Obama
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