44: The Obama Presidency



Foggy Bottom

Same Call, Different Accounts

Presidents of different countries talk to each other all the time, but sometimes you get a rare glimpse of how each side characterizes the call differently. That was the case today concerning a call between President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Posted on October 14, 2009 at 08:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Gay Rights Lawyer Selected for an Ambassadorship

President Obama has named a noted gay activist to be his ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, marking only the second time that an openly gay person has been selected for a top foreign posting.

Posted on October 8, 2009 at 02:07 PM ET | Comments (4)

Bill Clinton Arrives at White House for Obama Meeting

Former president Bill Clinton arrived at the White House late Tuesday afternoon for a meeting with President Obama -- potentially one of their most extensive meetings ever and one that could touch on a range of topics besides North Korea.

Posted on August 18, 2009 at 04:26 PM ET | Comments (22)

Obama, Mubarak Discuss Mideast Peace

When Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak arrived at the White House today, it was the first time he had set foot in the building since 2004, when he and former president George W. Bush parted ways over human rights and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Posted on August 18, 2009 at 11:13 AM ET | Comments (12)

Vice President Biden Lands in Iraq

Biden will visit U.S. forces and meet with Iraqi leaders to foster political reconciliation.

Posted on July 2, 2009 at 01:05 PM ET | Comments (8)

Clinton Cancels Trip to Russia

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, still ailing from a broken elbow, has canceled plans to join President Obama on his upcoming trip to Russia, the State Department said today.

Posted on July 1, 2009 at 03:53 PM ET | Comments (3)

When a Coup Is Not Yet a Coup

Opinions inside the administration appear to differ over whether the events in Honduras constituted a coup.

Posted on July 1, 2009 at 02:59 PM ET | Comments (2)

Term Limits and Constitutional Tinkering in Latin America

Obama might think about risking the topic of presidential term limits in his meeting with Alvaro Uribe today, given the current climate in Latin America, where public sentiment is running strong against tinkering with constitutions to give presidents more time in office.

Posted on June 29, 2009 at 12:07 PM ET | Comments (14)

Obama Rejects Demand That He Apologize for Criticizing Actions Against Protesters

By Thomas Erdbrink and William Branigin TEHRAN, June 26 -- An influential Iranian cleric told...

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 01:27 PM ET | Comments (3)

New North Korea Sanctions Team Formed

The White House is ramping up its efforts to enforce sanctions against North Korea by forming a new interagency team to coordinate U.S. actions with other nations.

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 11:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

White House Makes it Official on Ross

The White House announced today the worst kept secret in Washington -- that diplomatic troubleshooter Dennis Ross was leaving the State Department to join the National Security Council staff, overseeing a range of hot spots -- Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East.

Posted on June 25, 2009 at 02:24 PM ET | Comments (2)

U.S. Withdraws July 4th Invite to Iranian Diplomats

The White House announced today that it had withdrawn invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend Fourth of July festivities at U.S. embassies around the world.

Posted on June 24, 2009 at 03:47 PM ET | Comments (4)

Gibbs Previews News Conference

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy By Garance Franke-Ruta...

Posted on June 23, 2009 at 11:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

Dennis Ross Expands His Portfolio

His duties will include not only Iran but also Iraq and the Middle East peace process.

Posted on June 23, 2009 at 08:30 AM ET | Comments (4)

Clinton Cancels Overseas Trip

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has canceled plans to travel to Italy and Greece this week because she is still recovering from surgery on her broken elbow.

Posted on June 22, 2009 at 02:03 PM ET | Comments (13)

Obama to Iran: 'Stop All Violent and Unjust Actions'

Updated 2:51 p.m. By Glenn Kessler President Obama reacted to the unfolding events in Iran...

Posted on June 20, 2009 at 02:37 PM ET | Comments (89)

Clinton Undergoes Surgery on Her Elbow

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton underwent surgery this morning on her right elbow.

Posted on June 19, 2009 at 01:26 PM ET | Comments (2)

Obama Pledges $73 Million to Zimbabwe

President Obama announced today that the United States will provide $73 million in aid to Zimbabwe, saying the economically wracked nation has made progress since a power-sharing arrangement took effect.

Posted on June 12, 2009 at 06:06 PM ET | Comments (35)

Obama Hails Iranian Political Debate

President Obama said today he was heartened to see the "robust debate" that preceded today's Iranian presidential election, saying he hopes it will help U.S. efforts to engage the Islamic regime.

Posted on June 12, 2009 at 01:24 PM ET | Comments (4)

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister to Meet with Obama

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House on Friday, the Obama administration announced today.

Posted on June 8, 2009 at 06:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Obama Arrives in Egypt for Speech

Cairo shuts down as Obama is greeted with a high level of pomp, including 21 horses.

Posted on June 4, 2009 at 05:17 AM ET | Comments (1)

Obama Again Calls for Halt to Israeli Settlement Activity

President Obama continued to press his administration's tough stance on Jewish settlements on the West Bank, telling reporters after a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this afternoon that Israel must halt all settlement activity in order to build momentum for peace.

Posted on May 28, 2009 at 07:16 PM ET | Comments (17)

Obama Calls for Release of Aung San Suu Kyi

Making his first statement on the trial of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, President Obama issued a stern statement late Tuesday calling on the Burmese government to release her "immediately and unconditionally."

Posted on May 26, 2009 at 06:41 PM ET | Comments (1)

Obama Adds Saudi Arabia Stop to Mideast Trip

By Michael D. Shear President Obama will travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a previously...

Posted on May 26, 2009 at 04:13 PM ET | Comments (10)

Capricia Marshall to Be Named Chief of Protocol

By Al Kamen The long-expected nomination of Capricia Marshall, White House social secretary during the...

Posted on May 12, 2009 at 06:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama to Address Muslim World From Egypt

President Obama will make his promised speech to the Muslim world from Egypt, a White House official said on Friday.

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 02:10 PM ET | Comments (117)

Obama's Meeting with Peres May Test New Relationship

By Scott Wilson President Obama's meeting with Shimon Peres this afternoon will mark a first...

Posted on May 5, 2009 at 12:24 PM ET | Comments (1)

Napolitano: Border With Mexico to Stay Open for Now

By Spencer S. Hsu Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano rejected calls to close the U.S.-Mexico...

Posted on April 28, 2009 at 02:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

On Anniversary for Armenians, Obama Avoids the Word Genocide

As president, he has avoided using the word "genocide" to describe the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians in Turkey during the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 02:31 PM ET | Comments (7)

Clinton: Cheney Not a Reliable Source

"It won't surprise you that I don't consider him a particularly reliable source of information," Clinton said a morning hearing.

Posted on April 22, 2009 at 05:43 PM ET | Comments (91)

Obama Lifts Some Restrictions on Cuba

President Obama lifted some travel restrictions that block Americans from traveling to Cuba and relaxed the rules governing what items can be sent to the island.

Posted on April 13, 2009 at 12:16 PM ET | Comments (328)

An Unusual Press Briefing

State Department sends reporters to the wrong 800 number, with amusing results.

Posted on April 2, 2009 at 03:21 PM ET | Comments (9)

Holbrooke on Afghanistan and Pakistan

During today's briefing on President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, a reporter asked a question that elicited an unusual nonanswer from Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 06:16 PM ET | Comments (2)

Obama Commemorates Camp David Accords 30th Anniversary

At a time when peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors appears in some ways more remote than ever, President Obama commemorated the 30th anniversary of the U.S.-brokered Camp David accords today with a nod to his theme of persistence.

Posted on March 26, 2009 at 02:25 PM ET | Comments (7)

Obama Reaches Out to Iran With Holiday Video Message

Debbi Wilgoren, in Washington, and Thomas Erdbrink, in Tehran, report: President Barack Obama sent...

Posted on March 20, 2009 at 07:54 AM ET | Comments (4)

Tauscher to State

By Al Kamen Word is that Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), chair of the House Armed...

Posted on March 17, 2009 at 06:06 PM ET | Comments (7)

Obama Announces Rooney as Ambassador to Ireland

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Posted on March 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM ET | Comments (5)

Calling UN Racism Conference Text 'Unsalvageable,' Administration Threatens a Boycott

The Obama administration has threatened to boycott a major U.N. conference on racism scheduled for April unless major changes are made to the draft conference outcome document, which they claim unfairly singles out Israel and would restrict freedom of speech.

Posted on February 27, 2009 at 02:54 PM ET | Comments (25)

Gordon Brown to Meet with Obama

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will discuss the global economic meltdown with President Obama when the two men meet in Washington next week, a senior British official said today.

Posted on February 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM ET | Comments (5)

Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister

President Obama this morning granted politically embattled Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso the honor of being the first foreign leader to meet with him at the White House.

Posted on February 24, 2009 at 12:15 PM ET | Comments (2)

Gen. Zinni Says He Was Offered Iraq Post, Then Dropped

Gen. Anthony Zinni, formerly a Middle East envoy, said he was offered and accepted the job of ambassador to Iraq, only to be told on the eve of the announcement Monday that the job was going to Christopher Hill.

Posted on February 4, 2009 at 06:59 PM ET | Comments (1)

Obama's Call to the Chinese President, Decoded

By Glenn Kessler President Obama called Chinese President Hu Jintao today, and both the White...

Posted on January 30, 2009 at 05:32 PM ET | Comments (4)

In London, Speculation About the Next Ambassador

By Kevin Sullivan LONDON -- It has not been easy to be a "Friend of...

Posted on January 30, 2009 at 04:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's 1st TV Interview Is With Arab Network

President Obama conducted his first extended TV interview since moving into the Oval Office with the Al-Arabiya network, based in the Middle East.

Posted on January 26, 2009 at 07:34 PM ET | Comments (15)

Riding Obama's Coattails, Overseas

With President Obama winning sky-high approval ratings around the world, foreign leaders can only hope to catch a little of his pixie dust and boost sagging approval ratings by demonstrating how close they are to one of the world's most popular politicians.

Posted on January 26, 2009 at 04:32 PM ET | Comments (3)

Clinton Welcomed at State Department

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a rousing welcome this morning when she arrived at Foggy Bottom for the first time.

Posted on January 22, 2009 at 09:56 AM ET | Comments (32)

Mitchell and Holbrooke to be Named Envoys

By Glenn Kessler Now that Hillary Clinton has been confirmed as Secretary of State, the...

Posted on January 21, 2009 at 05:57 PM ET | Comments (7)

Obama Calls Abbas and Other Middle Eastern Leaders

President Obama plunged into Middle East diplomacy on his first day on the job, calling the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority this morning.

Posted on January 21, 2009 at 12:55 PM ET | Comments (42)


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