September 22, 2013

Pelosi: Hillary Clinton "certainly more prepared" than other recent presidents

Hillary Clinton would assume the presidency better qualified than her husband, Barack Obama or George W. Bush, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

Pelosi emphasized that she has great respect for Obama, but noted Clinton has been Secretary of State, a U.S. Senator and held other positions. Obama was in his first U. S. Senate term when he was elected president in 2008.

Pelosi doesn't know if Clinton will run. But, the California Democrat said, "when she does she will win.  And when she becomes president, she'll be one of the best- equipped, best-prepared people to enter the White House in a very long time.

"She has, by dent of her experience as a senator, as a secretary of state, as a first lady herself, participating in the way she did -- certainly, with all due respect to our president, and I think he's magnificent and wonderful and a blessing to us, but certainly more prepared than President Obama, certainly more prepared than President Bush, certainly more prepared than President Clinton"

Would she be more prepared than Vice President Joe Biden?

"Well," said Pelosi, "I'm saying the presidents that we have had. Joe Biden is very prepared, and I think President Bush Sr. was prepared.  He had been a vice president.  But I'm talking about recent memory of presidents that we have had.

"You know, Joe Biden would be very prepared as well.  But you asked me about Hillary Clinton."

Pelosi was asked if she would prefer Clinton over Biden as president.

"I always have a little habit of saying, when you're serious about running, I'll be serious about it.  But I think it would be magnificent for America to have a woman president.  And by the way, incidental, more importantly, very qualified," she said.

September 04, 2013

"Secretary of Explaining Stuff" explains Obamacare

President Barack Obama tapped the “Secretary of Explaining Stuff" to help him tout "Obamacare."

As the deadline for implementation fast approaches for the health law, former president Bill Clinton tries to explain why it is good thing when so many Americans don't seem to like and Republicans seem intent to kill it. 

Clinton gave a speech today at his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. 

"We need all hands on deck here. The health of our people, the security and stability of our families and the strength of our economy are all riding on getting health care reform right and doing it well," he said. "That means we have to do it together."

Clinton said the law will help health care costs go down and provide more people with insurance.

"It's better than the current system," he said. "This gives us the best chance we've had to achieve nearly universal coverage … provide higher quality health care and limit cost increases."

Continue reading ""Secretary of Explaining Stuff" explains Obamacare" »

August 16, 2013

GOP votes against CNN, NBC

The Republican National Committee voted unanimously today to bar any primary debate partnerships with CNN and NBC if they go ahead and air movies about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton," the RNC said in its resolution.

"These programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election."

The party also said that Robert Greenblatt, the Chairman of NBC Entertainment, contributed to Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, her "2012 Victory Fund," and to the Democratic National Committee.

"If CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor," it said.

August 08, 2013

Oprah, Bill Clinton, Loretta Lynn to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are among 16 individuals President Barack Obama has named as recipients of the President Medal of Freedom.

The medal is the nation's highest civilian honor --- presented to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions" to U.S. security or national interests, to world peace or to cultural or other endeavors.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the executive order signed by President John F. Kennedy, establishing the medal. Since that time more than 500 have been awarded.

"The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours," Obama said. "This year's honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation's gratitude."

White House-supplied bios below jump.

Continue reading "Oprah, Bill Clinton, Loretta Lynn to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom " »

July 20, 2013

White House press corps salutes Helen Thomas's role

The White House Correspondents Association, which has represented the White House press corps for 99 years, issued this statement today on the passing of Helen Thomas:

Helen Thomas was a trailblazer in journalism and in the White House press corps, covering presidents from John F. Kennedy through Barack Obama.

Starting with the Kennedy administration, she was the first woman to cover the president and not just the First Lady.

At her urging in 1962, Kennedy said he would not attend the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association unless it was opened to women for the first time.  It was.

And in 1975-76, she served as the first woman president of the association.

Women and men who’ve followed in the press corps all owe a debt of gratitude for the work Helen did and the doors she opened. All of our journalism is the better for it.

-Steven Thomma, president, White House Correspondents Association

July 17, 2013

EPA building named for Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton was honored in marble Wednesday, as the headquarters building of the Environmental Protection Agency officially assumed his name.

During a short ceremony at the agency, Clinton emphasized his belief that environmental leadership can coexist with economic growth.

"The real message of this that you can have a growing economy with more jobs and growing incomes and a sustainable environmental policy," he said. The ceremony was closed to the public, but broadcast online.

The EPA headquarters are now known as the William Jefferson Clinton building, and sit one block from the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The EPA building is at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., between the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

Clinton's name replaces that of Ariel Rios, a slain agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the agency that once occupied the building. Rios' name will now grace the reflecting pool at ATF headquarters.

Clinton and Reagan are among a handful of presidents with major buildings or monuments bearing named for them in the nation’s capital, which of course, goes by the name of the first president, George Washington.

Continue reading "EPA building named for Clinton" »

June 13, 2013

White House says Bill Clinton's Syria remarks are "welcome"

The White House insisted Thursday that it welcomed former President Bill Clinton's remarks on Syria -- even as it largely dismissed them.

Politico reported today that Clinton at a closed press event told Sen. John McCain "he agrees that Obama should act more forcefully to support anti-Assad rebels in Syria, saying the American public elects presidents and members of Congress 'to see down the road' and 'to win.' " He also said repeatedly that it would be "lame" to blame a lack of intervention on opposition in polls or among members of Congress, Politico said.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama -- who has been pressured to step up US intervention in the war  -- "makes decisions based on what he considers the essential longer view..  assessing whether or not they will help bring about achievement of the ultimate goal."

Carney said there are "a lot of people who have expertise in the matter both outside of government and in Congress ... and the president welcomes all of that."

But, he said, "In the end, of course, he and his team have to make the decisions that they believe are in the best interest of the United States and the American people."

Carney said polls -- which suggest Americans are opposed to military intervention in Syria -- aren't a factor.

"What does factor in is, what's in the national security interests of the United States and what has the best chance of working?,"he said.

June 10, 2013

Obama to nominate Furman as chairman of Council of Economic Advisers

President Barack Obama will announce Monday afternoon that he is nominating Jason Furman as his chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, according to a White House official.

Furman currently serves as the assistant to the president for economic policy and the principal deputy director of the National Economic Council, a post he has held since the start of the administration. He has been a key advisor to the president, contributing to nearly every major proposal on jobs and the economy.

He has advised Obama on infrastructure investment, technology policy and tax reform. He helped craft the Recovery Act and the health care law and played critical roles in the tax deals of 2010, which provided workers with a temporary payroll tax cut, and 2012, which made permanentthe Bush era tax cuts. 

Furman will succeed Alan Krueger, who recently announced his plans to return to teaching economics and public affairs at Princeton University.

The announcement will take place at 2:10 p.m. at the White House.

May 02, 2013

Battleground state voters ready for a woman in the White House, poll finds

EMILY's List, which aims to elect Democrat women who support abortion rights, is out Thursday with new polling describing what voters are seeking in a woman president--and, it adds, voters in key states are quite ready for a woman in the White House.

The survey appeared on the same day that a new Quinnipiac University poll showed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton an overwhelming choice among Democratic primary voters, with Vice President Joe Biden a distant second. If Clinton does not run, though, Biden becomes a strong favorite.

In the EMILY's List poll, Lisa Grove and Jeffrey Liszt of Anzalone Liszt Grove Research found that in battleground states:

  • 90% would consider voting for a qualified woman candidate from their party
  • 86% believe that America is ready to elect a woman president
  • 72% believe that it is likely that America will elect a woman president in the next presidential election
  • 51% believe that the women elected to Congress and Senate last cycle are making a positive difference
  • 75% believe a woman president would be a good thing for this country, and that it will send a positive signal to our children and grandchildren
  • And a female president is perceived to be as capable or more capable than a male president when it comes to:

o   Understanding the challenges that middle class families face and the challenge of juggling work and family

o   Ending partisan bickering

o   Putting families ahead of politics

The poll was conducted in nine states. To read more:

April 25, 2013

Hillary Clinton has big lead in New Hampshire 2016 primary race

Hillary Clinton for President? In New Hampshire, Democrats sure tend to think so.

New Hampshire is traditionally the nation's first primary state, and a new WMUR Granite State poll found the former Secretary of State with an overwhelming lead in the 2016 presidential primary race.

Clinton, who won the state's 2008 Democratic primary, was the choice this time of 61 percent of likely Democratic Primary voters. Vice President Joe Biden was far behind with 7 percent. Trailing were New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Asked who they would not choose under any circumstances, 7 percent mentioned Biden and 4 percent named Clinton.

The Republican picture was murkier. "There is no clear frontrunner," a poll analysis said.

Fifteen percent of likely Republican Primary voters said they'd back Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Next was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 11 percent.

The survey was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from April 4 to 9.

Read more here


"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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