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By Adam Garber January 24, 2013 The White House Blog
This week, Washington D.C. was transformed into an historic stage, with an estimated one million people on hand to witness the President and Vice President take the Oath of Office at the United States Capitol. Through it all, West Wing Week was there, from the terrace of the Capitol to backstage at the balls. America, take a moment to look back at where we’ve been this week for this special edition of West Wing Week, January 18th to the 24th, or “Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013.”
West Wing Week 01/25/13 or: “Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013”
Saturday, January 19th
- The First Family participated in the National Day of Service, helping out in the construction of some new bookshelves at Burrville Elementary School in Washington DC.
- The first Lady and Dr. Biden kicked off Inauguration weekend by honoring military families at the, “Our Children, Our Future” kids’ concert.
Sunday, January 20th
- The Vice President was sworn into office by Justice Sotomayor.
- The President traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to meet the Vice President for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
- The President was officially sworn into office by Chief Justice Roberts.
Monday, January 21st
- The 57th Inaugural Ceremony in our nation’s history occurred on the National Mall, followed by the Inaugural Parade.
- In the evening, the President attended the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball and the Inaugural Ball, with Jennifer Hudson providing the soundtrack to his dance with the First Lady.
Tuesday, January 22nd
- The President, Vice President, First Lady, and Dr. Biden attended the 57th National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral.
- The President and First Lady greeted guests on a White House tour.
- The President attended the Staff Ball to thank and celebrate with those who worked on his campaign and in his White House administration.
Thursday, January 24th
- The Vice President hosted a “Fireside Hangout” on Google+ to talk about reducing gun violence.
- The President introduced his nominee to be the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Joe White, and announced that he will re-nominate Richard Cordray to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
From The Washington Post:
By David Nakamura, Updated: Friday, January 25, 12:15 PM
President Obama named deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough as his new White House chief of staff on Friday. McDonough, a longtime Obama advisor, will succeed Jack Lew, who has been nominated to take the helm at the Treasury Department.
President Obama announced a shake-up of his top White House personnel on Friday, naming deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough as new chief of staff and saying good-bye to longtime senior adviser David Plouffe, a key architect of his political strategy. President Obama promoted McDonough, one of his most trusted and loyal deputies, to oversee White House operations as the administration tackles its major second-term legislative initiatives, including gun control measures, immigration reform and tax and budget issues.
McDonough, 43, replaced Jack Lew, whom Obama has nominated to run the Treasury Department. White House officials said Tony Blinken, a national security adviser to Vice President Biden, would replace McDonough as the No. 2 official in the National Security Council. Obama also named deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco to replace John Brennan as counter-terrorism adviser. Brennan has been nominated to lead the CIA.
Announcing the moves in the East Room, Obama lavished warm praise on McDonough, calling him a “consummate public servant” and a “close friend” to everyone at the White House. The president recalled McDonough, a Capitol Hill veteran who worked for former senator Tom Daschle, helping set up his senate office in 2004, showing him where the bathrooms were and explaining how to pass a legislative proposal.
“Since then I’ve relied on his intellect and good judgement,” Obama said. “Denis has played a key role in every key national security decision in my presidency.”
Read more at The Washington Post.
Statements and Releases
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
President Obama Announces Key White House Posts
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced the following individuals will serve in key White House posts:
• Denis McDonough – White House Chief of Staff
• Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy
• Antony Blinken – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor
• Danielle Gray – Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
• Katy Kale – Assistant to the President for Management and Administration
• Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor
• Jennifer Palmieri – Assistant to the President and Communications Director
• Dan Pfeiffer – Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
• Miguel Rodriguez –Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
• David Simas – Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy
President Obama said, “The challenges we face as a country, from rebuilding middle class security to strengthening our national security are complicated, and require thoughtful, comprehensive solutions. That’s why I am proud to announce a team with the deep expertise necessary to move our country forward. From growing the economy and shrinking our deficits, to keeping our country safe and addressing the dangers of climate change, these are people who will not rest until we get the job done. Led by Denis, this team is an extraordinary group of talented individuals with whom I will be honored to work.”
SO Much For A Lack Of Diversity…..TeaTardedRepubliCANTS.
A Word From Joseph Robinette “Joey B.” Biden, Jr……
The President did something big last week.
He proposed a set of major reforms to help protect our children and our communities by curbing gun violence, and he’s already announced 23 executive actions that will go a long way in helping keep our kids safe.
This is an important start — but I have no illusions about what needs to be done and how difficult it will be.
Every step we intend to take will preserve the tradition of responsible gun ownership in our country and uphold the Second Amendment. And while we’ll never end gun violence entirely, if we can save the life of even one child, then we have a responsibility to act.
This action includes not only what we can do, but what Congress can do. To make a real and lasting difference, they must act soon.
The President has called on Congress to act on four specific legislative measures: closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines, making our schools safer, and increasing access to mental health services.
The President asked me to work with law enforcement, teachers, parents, sportsmen, Democrats, Republicans, faith leaders, mental health experts, and other organizations and individuals to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals. The plan he put forth is the product of those conversations and recommendations.
Right now, President Obama is counting on you.
Each one of us needs to speak up and demand action. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a big city or a small town like Newtown, Connecticut. When our fellow Americans are victims of senseless violence, we all pull together as one American family.
Let’s get this done, folks.
Whether the action we take saves one life or 1,000, it matters.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give a joint interview at the White House on Friday afternoon to CBS News’ Steve Kroft, for broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes.”
Senator Harry Reid Sold The President OUT!!
Supermajorities don’t (and shouldn’t) define the Senate
We don’t yet know exactly why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave up on ambitious reforms of filibuster rules. After months of voicing support for sweeping changes, it’s possible Reid just didn’t have the votes from his own caucus to pursue bold reforms through the “constitutional option.”
Whatever the reasoning, however, it’s important that folks understand that when Reid says protecting the filibuster is necessary to keep the Senate from being like the House, he’s wrong.
“I’m not personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold,” Reid (D-Nev.) told me this morning, referring to the number of votes needed to halt a filibuster. “With the history of the Senate, we have to understand the Senate isn’t and shouldn’t be like the House.”
I get the argument — the rambunctious House operates by majority rule, while the staid and serious Senate seeks consensus by requiring super-majorities for everything. Without the filibuster, the Senate is little more than a smaller version of House.
Except, this just isn’t true, and Reid’s explanation rings hollow. If his principal concern is with “the history of the Senate,” he should be moreinclined to pursue real filibuster reform, not less.
First, let’s note the basics. Historically, the Senate differed from the House, not because of mandatory super-majorities that didn’t exist up until very recently, but because members serve six-year terms (instead of two) and represent entire states (instead of districts). The whole point was to create a deliberative institution — longer terms were intended to give members longer and less reflexive perspectives, and representing states helped guarantee more diverse constituencies.
The Senate didn’t need filibusters to be distinct from the House; the differences were baked into the cake.
Reid says he’s concerned about “the history of the Senate,” but the Senate functioned quite well for 200 years while remaining a majority-rule institution. There were, to be sure, procedural hoops to jump through, but if a bill reached the floor, and a majority of the Senate’s members supported it, the bill passed. That’s no longer true, and today’s modest reforms won’t even try to fix that problem.
This is how the Senate was intended and designed to work — super-majorities for treaties, impeachment, expulsions, constitutional amendments, and veto overrides, but regular ol’ majorities for legislation and nominations.
The Founding Fathers considered making the Senate a super-majority chamber, but they decided against it. As we noted on the show last month: “They rejected that big time.”
“In a Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton wrote that a super majority Congress would in practice serve to, quote, ’embarrass the administration, destroy the energy of government, and substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junta to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.'”
Reid understands this. He knows this. He appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show on October 27, 2010, and viewers saw this exchange:
MADDOW: Why is it that everything takes 60 votes now? I mean, it used to be 60 votes was a headline. If somebody forced 60 votes, that meant they were filibustering and that meant that they were taking an unusually strong stand against something. Now it’s 60 votes even for routine–
REID: Rachel, this has to change. It’s wrong what they’re doing, because it’s never happened before…. The Republicans, just this time have abused the system, and it’s going to have to change. We’ll have to look at ways to change that, because there should not be 60 votes in the Senate.
He’s not “ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold,” because he’s mindful of “the history of the Senate”? I know Reid knows better.
Bottom line is Senate Majority “Leader”, Harry Reid, sold America’s progress forward down the pipes, and sabotaged President Barack Hussein Obama’s second term agenda, in the process.
Before I go……
Speaking Of Benghazi:
Under George Dubbya Bush There Were 11 Embassy Attacks, 57 People Killed in Those Attacks. The GOP Didn’t Say a Word. There were NO 11 Senate Committee hearings for those 57 lost American Lives. Can you explain to me why now….AND NOT THEN UNDER DUBBYA BUSH??
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