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White House Watch: March 8, 2009 - March 14, 2009

Obama to Washington: Chill Out

President Obama is getting a little impatient at the shortness of certain people's attention spans. Acknowledging a growing chorus of voices inside the Beltway calling for him to focus solely on short-term fixes to the economy, Obama yesterday made...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Obama v. D.C.  
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Ethics Watch

Eli Saslow writes in The Washington Post about a key White House staffer you'd never heard of before: Norm Eisen. "Eisen is the White House ethics adviser, the guardian of Obama's integrity, and he is called for consultation every time...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ethics  
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Roses and Thorns

Over at my White House Watchers group, I've issued you readers a challenge. At dinnertime, the Obama family plays a game called "Roses and Thorns": Everyone takes a turn describing one good thing that happened that day (rose) and one...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Quick Takes

Helene Cooper and Thom Shanker write in the New York Times: "The emerging outlines of President Obama's plan for Afghanistan include proposals to shift more American efforts toward problems in neighboring Pakistan and to seek some kind of political reconciliation...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A 'Final' Night With George W. Bush

Neal Justin writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Will Ferrell, best known for playing overgrown frat boys, bubbleheaded anchormen and spoiled athletes, seems an unlikely Broadway angel. But the comedian has performed a minor miracle with 'You're Welcome, America. A...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles on nationalization, Hap Pritkin on priorities, Adam Zyglis on freeing the detainees, Stuart Carlson on Obama as octo-dad, Jeff Danziger on Michelle's arms, and Nate Beeler, Joe Heller, Brian Duffy, RJ Matson, Steve Sack and Bill Mitchell on...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama Mocks GOP Critics

Obama greets attendees at a meeting of state officials at the White House today. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) President Obama yesterday challenged his Republican critics to do more than just say no. "Opposition is always easy. Saying no to something...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 12, 2009; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Inside the Beltway, the Honeymoon is History

Well, it's official. David von Drehle and Michael Scherer write for Time: "Barack Obama's honeymoon in the corridors of power has come to an abrupt end — even as opinion polls show that the public remains by his side. To...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 12, 2009; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Obama v. D.C.  
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Battling Over Freeman's Legacy

I wrote yesterday about Chas Freeman, who was set to oversee the production of national intelligence estimates until coming under attack primarily for having expressed criticism of Israel. I continue to believe that Freeman would have been perfect for that...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 12, 2009; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Earmarks Watch

I wrote yesterday about President Obama's attempt to address the obsession some politicians and journalists have with earmarks. As I pointed out, earmarks were not Obama's issue in the campaign -- they were Republican candidate John McCain's. Obama never promised...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 12, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Quick Takes

Charlie Savage writes in the New York Times: "President Obama on Wednesday issued his first signing statement, reserving a right to bypass dozens of provisions in a $410 billion government spending bill even as he signed it into law. In...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 12, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tony Auth on class warfare, Jeff Danziger on Obamaville, David Horsey on Obama's confidence, Gary Markstein on Obama's agenda, Rob Rogers on Obama's challenges, Daryl Cagle on Obama's opportunity, Clay Bennett on Obama's critics, Walt Handelsman on Obama the multitasker,...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 12, 2009; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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A Departure That Leaves a Debate in Its Wake

Chas Freeman leads a panel discussion last year. (Middle East Policy Council photo) Chas Freeman, whose selection last month as chairman of the National Intelligence Council sparked controversy -- mostly from supporters of Israel who opposed his taking a...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Different Approaches to Judging Obama

I'm increasingly starting to think that, when it comes to judging President Obama, the things that matter the most to the Washington political and media elite are not the same things that matter the most to the rest of America....

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Obama v. D.C.  
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Obama Addresses the Earmark Obsession

President Obama today expressed a sense of weariness over the media's obsession with earmarks -- the pet projects members of Congress stick into appropriations bills -- while at the same time outlining his proposal to reduce and reform their use...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Inside the White House Briefing Room

Here's a delightful video by washingtonpost.com blogger Mary Ann Akers about what she quite correctly calls "one of the weirder places in Washington": the White House Briefing Room. Akers looks at the supporting cast of zany characters who inhabit the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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50 Days in 50 Seconds

Steve Chaggaris reports for CBS News: "It's 50 days into the Barack Obama presidency and in the age of the Internet, 24-hour cable news and instant analysis, the world is being treated to an examination of the Obama presidency to...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Quick Takes

Mike Allen writes for Politico: "Even though [former president George W.] Bush is keeping quiet in Texas before heading out on a lucrative speaking tour, an informal network of former aides is keeping his views in the political bloodstream, defending...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Is Obama Overloaded? Let's Chat

I'm Live Online today at 1 p.m. ET, taking your questions and comments about all things White House. One possible topic: Are those who are suddenly worried that President Obama is overreaching actually concerned that he will fail? Or that...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles finds bipartisan common ground, Dan Wasserman on the search for a cure for spinelessness, Ben Sargent on the mess Republicans left behind, Ann Telnaes on Dr. Obama's big patient, Walt Handelsman, Rex Babin and Pat Bagley on a...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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Obama Gets Personal About Education

Obama spoke about education to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce this morning. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) Education is one area where the bully pulpit may be the best thing the president has going for him. The most important decisions about...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Watch Out for the Democrats

It's not just Republicans who are deeply attached to the status quo. The entire Washington establishment is threatened by Obama's audacious and course-changing goals -- and that includes Democrats in Congress. Shailagh Murray writes in The Washington Post about the...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Opinion Watch

Richard Cohen, writing in his Washington Post opinion column, concludes that Obama's foreign policy "realism" means that "the American century" is over. And, after misattributing them to a recent blurb for a book, he uses Obama's comments about theologian and...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Opinion Watch  
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Quick Takes

Anthony Faiola writes in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration is aggressively reworking U.S. trade policy to more strongly emphasize domestic and social issues, from the displacement of American workers to climate change. Even as world trade takes its steepest...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Playing by the Rules

Former president George W. Bush made up his own rules as he went along. Two of the most vivid examples of this were his repeated suppression and distortion of scientific findings when they conflicted with his political goals and his...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Bush Rollback  
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White House Chat

I'll be hosting my regular White House Watch Live Online chat tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. You can submit your questions and comments now. You can also add suggested topics in comments to this post....

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Cartoon Watch

Tom Toles on wishful thinking, Signe Wilkinson on Obama's bedside manner, Bruce Plante on nostalgia for the old ways, Jim Morin on a sense of normalcy, John Sherffius, Nick Anderson, Mark Streeter and Jimmy Margulies on stem-cell research, David Fitzsimmons...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 10, 2009; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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The Capitalist-in-Chief

Obama walks down the stairs of Air Force after his New York Times interview Friday afternoon. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) It's not easy to shock our famously unflappable president. But when Peter Baker of the New York Times asked...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 9, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Obama as the Anti-Bush

In a column headlined "George W. Obama," Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl writes on Sunday that Obama is behaving like George W. Bush in trying to take advantage of a crisis to ram through his ideological agenda....

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 9, 2009; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Looking Backward , Opinion Watch  
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Quick Takes

Kevin Sullivan writes in The Washington Post from London: "Opposition lawmakers on Sunday called for a judicial inquiry into allegations that British intelligence agents participated in the 'extraordinary rendition' and torture of a British resident who was held in U.S....

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 9, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Science Day at the White House

After eight years during which science took a back seat to politics, today is Science Day at the White House. President Obama not only announced that he is lifting restrictions on funding for human embryonic stem cell research, he promised...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 9, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Late Night Humor

On Saturday Night Live, guest host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson showed what happens when Barack Obama gets angry. He turns into "The Rock" Obama: "Interesting point. But me no like." And Steven Colbert announced on Thursday night that he has...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 9, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Late Night Humor  
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Cartoon Watch

John Sherffius on Obama's gray hair, David Horsey on how Obama stays so cool, Jim Morin on Obama's juggling act, Steve Sack on Obama's cash cow, Walt Handelsman on Obama's new swing set, Joel Pett on Obama's willingness to talk...

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 9, 2009; 9:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cartoon Watch  
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