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.

August 06, 2013

President Obama gets briefing on George W Bush operation

President Obama got an informal briefing on the surgery former President George W. Bush underwent Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama flew to Phoenix for an event on the economy, Carney said Obama had yet spoken with Bush, but that he "obviously wishes him well."

August 05, 2013

Study: Democrats more often the butt of late night jokes

With President Obama poised to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week, a new survey of political humor shows late night talk show hosts are taking more aim at Democrats than Republicans this year.

That's a reverse from the Center for Media and Public Affair's earlier finding that Republicans were more often the butt of jokes during the 2012 presidential election. According to center president and George Mason University Professor Robert Lichter, "Where scandals go, latenight comedians follow. These days that means they're following the Democrats."

From Jan. 1 to June 30, the center analyzed the targets of all jokes about public figures in the opening monologues of Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.

Democrats were the target of 713 jokes in the first half of 2013 -- or 70 percent more than the 417 jokes about Republicans. President Barack Obama was the butt of 288 jokes, over twice as many as anyone else.

Democrats would still lead even with Obama excluded. New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner finished second with 120 jokes, though the study period predated recent reports that he continued "sexting" long after he left office. The only Republicans on the top 10 list were former president George W. Bush -- at 84 jokes -- and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 71.

Obama will tape Leno's show on Tuesday. Here's a sample the survey counted as a Leno-Obama barb: "A lot of critics are now comparing President Obama to President Nixon. The good news for Obama? At least he's no longer being compared to President Carter."

July 10, 2013

Bush urges lawmakers to fix a "broken" immigration system

George W. Bush tried -- but failed -- to convince Congress to rewrite the nation's immigration laws when he was president.

On Wedneday, the former president again spoke of the need of an immigration overhaul at a naturalization ceremony.

"We can uphold our tradition of assimilating immigrants, and honoring our heritage of our nation built on the rule of law. But we have a problem,"  Bush said Wednesday at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. "The laws governing the immigration system aren't working; the system is broken."

Continue reading "Bush urges lawmakers to fix a "broken" immigration system" »

July 02, 2013

In Africa, Bush appears on CNN to talk about his humanitarian efforts

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will join President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at appear of events today in Tanzania.

CNN talked to the Bushes about their efforts to refurbish a clinic in Africa as well as his thoughts on Nelson Mandela, Edward Snowden and privacy.

“Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made," he said. "I won’t be around because it’s going to take a while for the objective historians to show up. And so I’m pretty comfortable with it. I did what I did. I know the spirit in which I did it.”

Check out the interview here. Our story today on Obama following in Bush's footsteps in Africa here.

July 01, 2013

Obama, Bush to appear together in Tanzania

President Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush will appear together in Tanzania Tuesday.

Obama, and his family, flew to Tanzania Monday, the final stop of his three-country, one-week trip to Africa. 

Former George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are on their third trip to Africa since they left the White House. They first went to Zambia, where they helped refurbish a clinic as a part of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a partnership between a number of groups to combat cervical cancer, before heading to Tanzania on Tuesday. Mrs. Bush is hosting a first ladies forum to empower women in Africa sponsored by her husband’s institute.

First Lady Michelle Obama was already scheduled to attend the event along with first ladies from African countries.

On Monday, the White House announced Obama and Bush will join together at a wreath-laying event Tuesday morning at the site a fatal bombing at the U.S. embassy in 1998. They are not expected to make remarks.

“I think the presence of the Bushes is something that marks, I think, the bipartisan support for Africa that exists in the United States, and it’s a very welcome symbol that they can be there at the same time,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to the president. “We think it sends a very positive message that both political parties in the United States share a commitment to this continent.”

June 30, 2013

Obama and Bush both pay Africa a visit at the same time

President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, will be in Tanzania Monday.

It's unclear whether the two of them will see each other. But their wives will.

First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush will appear at a first ladies forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institue to empower women. "It’s an important forum that lifts up the role of women in Africa," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser. 

Rhodes said their schedules are still being developed and it's possible the presidents will see each other.

"And I think the presence of the Bushes is something that marks I think the bipartisan support for Africa that exists in the United States, and it’s a very welcome symbol that they can be there at the same time," he said. "We think it sends a very positive message that both political parties in the United States share a commitment to this continent."

April 23, 2013

White House refuses to say if Obama still supports disclosing library donors

White House spokesman Jay Carney rarely misses an opportunity to describe President Barack Obama's administration as the most transparent in history.

But on Tuesday, in response to a question from McClatchy, Carney refused to say whether Obama would support a bill requiring organizations that collect money for presidential libraries to disclose its donors.

"I'm not even aware of the legislation," Carney said twice.

But as a senator and a candidate for president, Obama backed the disclosure of contributions by presidential foundatioms.

"I think it's important not only that all this information is disclosed, but I also think that we need to have a situation in which we are disclosing the funneling of large donors," Obama said at a debate.

It's unclear what changed. 

Continue reading "White House refuses to say if Obama still supports disclosing library donors" »

Bush approval ratings rebound days before library opening

Is President George W. Bush experiencing a comeback?

About 47 percent of people approve of how Bush handled his time in office, just slightly less than the 50 percent who disapprove, acccording to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. It's his highest approval rating since December 2005.

Bush’s approval was down -- way down -- at 23 percent in Post-ABC poll in October 2008 and just 33 percent in January 2009 when he left office. 

Bush has retained a low profile since he left office more than four years ago. But there's been a flurry of news about the 43rd president this week in anticipation of his official library opening.

Continue reading "Bush approval ratings rebound days before library opening" »

April 03, 2013

Obama 'looks forward' to visiting with four former presidents this month

The White House says President Obama looks forward to joining his four living predecessors in Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University April 25.

Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend as well as former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara; and former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.

The last time all five were together was in January 2009 in a meeting hosted by Bush at the White House.

"He’s very pleased to be going, and looks forward to it," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "The office of the President of the United States is a pretty rare position to hold, and only those who have held it can fully appreciate what it means to be president of the United States.  And he shares in common with President George W. Bush a love, a deep love for his country, and appreciates President Bush’s service, and looks forward to being there with him as well as President George H. W. Bush and Presidents Clinton and Carter."

The last time all five were together was in January 2009 in a meeting hosted by Bush at the White House.

The 226,560-square-foot center housing a library, museum, presidential archives, a public policy institute, a foundation and a park. 

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

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