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Tallying Visits From the Boss (or the Boss's Wife)

By Ed O'Keefe

The president, first lady and vice president have visited several government agencies and departments.

Employees always seem to dress nicely and organize their desks when they know the boss is stopping by for a visit. While they haven't walked the halls inspecting offices, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden have made several visits to agencies and departments in the first few weeks to address the rank and file. Here's a quick recap of where they've been thus far:

President Obama:

1.) State Department: With Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton at his side, the trio announces the appointments of Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell as special envoys on Jan. 22.

2.) Treasury Department: Attends Secretary Geithner's swearing in ceremony, administered by Vice President Biden.

3.) Department of Defense: Along with Biden, meets with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and top generals on Jan. 28.

4.) Energy Department: On Feb. 5, appears with Secretary Chu to promote his economic stimulus proposals.

5.) Transportation Department: With Biden and Secretary LaHood, the president unveils the logo on March 3.

6.) Interior Department: On the same day as his visit to DOT, Obama and Secretary Salazar mark the department's 160th anniversary.

7) Veterans Affairs: Celebrates 20 years since the VA's ascension to the Cabinet with Secretary Shinseki on March 16.

Michelle Obama:

1.) Education Department: The first lady kicks off her tour of federal agencies with Secretary Duncan on Feb. 2, telling workers "I'm going to spend the next several weeks or months, however long it takes, going from agency to agency, just to say hello, to learn, to listen, to take information back where possible."

2.) Housing and Urban Development: With Secretary Donovan by her side on Feb. 4, she tells HUD employees that their department will "play a critical role in implementing elements of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will help our communities."

3.) Interior Department: Employees present her with a lavender-colored Native American shawl on Feb. 9, during the third stop on her "listening tour."

4.) Agriculture Department: Mrs. Obama presents workers with a seedling from the Jackson magnolia tree planted on White House grounds on Feb. 19.

5.) Transportation Department: On Feb. 20 she tells DOT employees that her uncles worked as Pullman Porters, Black railroad employees who served on passenger trains.

6.) Environmental Protection Agency: Touts the goodness of the economic stimulus package and thanks staffers for their efforts to protect the environment, on Feb. 26.

7.) State Department: Honors women and girls from around the world with Clinton on March 11.

Vice President Biden:

In addition to the visits he made with Obama to State, Treasury, DOD and Transportation, Biden administered the oath of office to Attorney General Eric Holder at the Justice Department on Feb. 3, to Leon Panetta at CIA on Feb. 19 and to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis last Friday at the Labor Department.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 17, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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my question is for some of those in washington to actually visit the veterans affairs regional offices unanounced and then see their handling of claims for veterans.because when you give all the medical evidence and it seems to take them 2 months to get your claim into the rating board for a decision makes no darn sense.why does it take an internal process even 30 days once all paperwork is in and all thats needed is adjudication of the claim.i know the old famous excuse is there is all these other claims.i feel they should handle claims as they are ready. not wait for others that are lacking something to process so yours waits behind it.thats just not sensible at all. if a claim is ready to adjudicate than it should be done accordingly.i know as most veterans we are all getting tired of the excuse game.timely process is what we ask.perfect example is when the dav sends your claim letter to the regional office and they say they recieved it in 15 days later when the dav is on floor 5 and the va regional office on floor 6 in the same building. when i asked them about the incident their worker who i spoke with could't answer as to why.he didn't have an answer because he knew a couple days is one thing but 15 days for 1 floor down. wrong,something very wrong. maybe i should send a copy to the new secretary.this is in the manchester,nh regional office

Posted by: james53 | March 18, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

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