NEWS ABOUT: Barack Obama

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Sebelius: Staying 'Wasn't an Option'

Stepping down was entirely her choice

(Newser) - Kathleen Sebelius went on NBC's Meet the Press today, where she made it clear that stepping down as Health Secretary was entirely her choice—a choice she made during the last presidential election. She didn't want to "leave along with a lot of my colleagues who left... More »

Obama Meets Pope, Gives Him Seeds

President tells Francis, 'I'm a great admirer'

(Newser) - President Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican today with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their historic nearly hourlong first meeting comes as Obama's administration and the church remain deeply split on... More »

G8 Summit Yanked From Russia

West ratcheting up pressure on Putin

(Newser) - The other seven members of the G8 are calling off the meeting Russia was supposed to host in Sochi in June, David Cameron revealed today. Cameron, President Obama, and the other leaders of the G7 nations—which is to say the G8 minus Russia—are holding an emergency meeting at... More »

Obama Announces Drastic Sanctions Against Russia

Says he could target whole sectors of Russia's economy

(Newser) - President Obama may not want to send troops to Ukraine , but he's all too willing to fight Vladimir Putin with dollars. Obama today announced that he is expanding sanctions to yet more individuals both within and outside of the Russian government, and to a bank that has provided them... More »

Obama to Ellen: Oscars Selfie Was a 'Cheap Stunt'

ObamaCare's hawker-in-chief hits talk show

(Newser) - President Obama is on Ellen today, and in clips the show released, he gives host Ellen DeGeneres grief about her famous Oscars selfie —because before she broke the record for most retweets, Obama was the one who held it. "I don't know if you know this, but... More »

Obama: No One Wants 'Actual War With Russia'

Meanwhile, Ukrainian commander released after ultimatum

(Newser) - The US won't be sending troops to Crimea anytime soon. President Obama effectively ruled out a military response to Russia's land grab yesterday, USA Today reports. "We do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia," he told KSDK-TV , in an interview ostensibly about raising... More »

Romney: Obama's Timing Is Just Dreadful

In op-ed, former candidate takes on president's foreign policy

(Newser) - Pundits have lately been lining up to second-guess President Obama's foreign policy, and the latest to do so is the guy who wanted Obama's job. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, Mitt Romney laments that America's hands seem tied everywhere from Crimea to North... More »

US Calls G7 Crisis Meeting, May Kick Russia Out of G8

While Ukraine decries 'robbery'

(Newser) - Moscow has officially signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia, and the West is not happy. President Obama today called for an emergency meeting of the G7 to decide whether to kick Russia out of the G8, the AP reports. The G7, which consists of the US, Britain, Japan,... More »

Truth About Crimea: We Can't Do Squat

What are we even arguing about, asks Michael Cohen

(Newser) - If foreign policy pundits agree on anything, "it's that President Obama must do moar to stand up to Vladimir Putin," observes Michael Cohen at the Guardian ; (that's "more" plus "roar," he explains for those unfamiliar.) "We need more strong leadership and... More »

Obama Slaps Key Russians With Sanctions Over Crimea

Says US support for Ukraine is 'unwavering'

(Newser) - The White House has responded to Crimea's secession vote by expanding its sanctions to target several Russian officials, people providing "material support" to them, and players in the arms industry, President Obama announced today. In brief remarks, Obama characterized yesterday's referendum as illegal, and said the sanctions... More »

Seriously? Obama Picks Now to Yuk It Up on 'Ferns'?

Kathleen Parker isn't sure this is the right time for the president to be silly

(Newser) - Kathleen Parker was no fan of President Obama's Between Two Ferns interview . What with situations including "Ukraine, Crimea, Vladimir Putin, China, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, North Korea or other trouble spots, never mind a missing airplane," this seems like far from an ideal time for the president... More »

Obama 'Easier to Work With' Than Some Celebrities

'Between Two Ferns' director talks sit-down

(Newser) - What's it like to direct the leader of the free world as he's hit with uncomfortable interview questions from a "short, fat" guy who smells "like Doritos"? Scott Aukerman, producer and director of Zach Galifianakis' awkward online interview show Between Two Ferns, says President Obama... More »

Galifianakis Grills Obama on 'Between Two Ferns'

What should we do about North Ikea, anyway?

(Newser) - President Obama turned the tables a bit on host Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on Between Two Ferns that's out today. Galifianakis' goal during the awkward interview show is to make his subjects feel uncomfortable, but Obama gave as good as he got: "It must kinda stink, though,... More »

Oops: Obama Misspells Aretha's 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T'

Franklin performs at 'Women of Soul' White House event

(Newser) - President Obama botched a very popular song lyric—and one that's pretty easy to remember if you know how to spell—last night at the White House's "Women of Soul" performance, the AP reports. "When Aretha [Franklin] first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her,"... More »

How Dare We Rail on Russia for Foreign Intervention?

Eugene Robinson on the United States' shaky moral high-ground

(Newser) - Russia is way out of line. How dare a large military power cook up a pretext to invade a smaller, weaker nation? "Is it just me, or does the rhetoric about the crisis in Ukraine sound as if all of Washington is suffering from amnesia?" asks Eugene Robinson at... More »

Obama Budget Looks to Expand Tax Breaks for Poor

Budget also calls for drastic shift in military footing

(Newser) - President Obama will release his annual budget blueprint today, and it's widely expected to go precisely nowhere in Congress. "It's designed primarily as an appeal to his Democratic base," writes Darren Samuelsohn at Politico . But the New York Times notes that Obama is using the opportunity... More »

Why Obama Is First President to Admit, 'I Got High'

It's part of his first tangible move as president to help young black men

(Newser) - In announcing his My Brother's Keeper initiative yesterday to help the nation's young black men, President Obama became the first president to publicly utter the phrase, "I got high," notes an analysis in the Washington Post . Why? Obama wanted to remind the teens behind him at... More »

US' New Afghanistan Plan: Forget Karzai

Military revising exit plan to give Obama room to negotiate with the next guy

(Newser) - The US military is changing its Afghan exit strategy to give President Obama a chance to negotiate a security deal with whoever succeeds Hamid Karzai, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama is increasingly frustrated with Karzai, with whom he pointedly hasn't spoken since last summer. "If he's... More »

6 State of the Union Takeaways

Obama combative, but makes some peace offerings

(Newser) - Another State of the Union address is in the books, and you know what that means: Time for pundits to assemble random observations and analysis into "takeaway" lists! Here are some of our favorite reactions this morning:
  • The Boehner Card: How do you get Republicans to applaud? Flatter them.
... More »

Obama, Make These 5 Tweaks to SOTU

Ian Bassin lists 5 'bold' moves president could make at State of the Union

(Newser) - President Obama will announce a number of executive actions at tonight's State of the Union Address—but though the writing and planning of the speech likely started months ago, there are probably a number of aides considering last-minute additions even now. Ian Bassin should know: He used to be... More »

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