Politics August 7, 2016: Obama arrives in Martha’s Vineyard for last presidential summer vacation

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Obama arrives in Martha’s Vineyard for last presidential summer vacation

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Barack Obama is marking his last summer vacation as president. Obama along with First Lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts for their annual two-week vacation. The president will have no official engagements during his vacation.

The president and family in addition to dogs BO and Sunny flew on Air Force One to Cape Cod on Saturday. There the Obamas met with members of the military before continuing to Martha’s Vineyard flying on Marine One.

The president and his family vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard each year of his presidency except in 2012 when Obama ran for re-election. The Obamas again are renting a house on the island in the tony Chilmark. CNN is describing the house as a wooded compound far from the busier Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.

The Obamas usually stay out of the limelight on their vacations, the exception when they are sited at local shops or dining in town, biking or especially in the president’s case golfing. Last year President Obama made the rounds at all of the island’s golf courses playing at each one, often will high profile friends accompanying him.

This year youngest daughter Sasha, 15 will be particularly busy; the first daughter is working at local restaurant Nancy’s seafood restaurant heading the taking out the window. The Obama’s are friends with the owner and eat there often during their vacations.

Sasha has also been working busing tables. A fellow worker at the restaurant recounted to the Boston Herald “She’s been working downstairs at takeout. We were wondering why there were six people helping this girl, but then we found out who it was.” First Lady Michelle recently told Entertainment Tonight that she and the president are trying to “‘normalize’ their daughters’ lives “as much as possible.'”

News Headlines December 4, 2014: Jenna Bush admits to hanky-panky in the White House when her dad was president

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Jenna Bush admits to hanky-panky in the White House when her dad was president

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” on the episode that aired on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Hagar weighed-in on Elizabeth Lauten’s attack on the current first…READ MORE

Political Musings November 30, 2014: Elizabeth Lauten’s attack on Malia and Sasha Obama turns into Twitter partisan war on Jenna Bush

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Elizabeth Lauten attack on Malia and Sasha Obama turns into Twitter partisan war on Jenna Bush

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Attacking the children of presidents has long been off limits in partisan attacks and in the media, that does not mean that unwritten rule has not been broken time and time again. One can now add the spokesperson for Republican…READ MORE

Political Musings November 29, 2014: Obama family celebrates Thanksgiving, begin Christmas season at the White House

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Obama family celebrates Thanksgiving, begin Christmas season at the White House

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This past weekend President Barack Obama and his family celebrated Thanksgiving with all the White House traditions. First Obama pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 in a White House ceremony, afterwards the whole family volunteered at…READ MORE

Political Musings December 1, 2013: Obamas kick-off Christmas holiday season celebrating with traditions

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

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Obamas kick-off Christmas holiday season celebrating with traditions

By Bonnie K. Goodman

First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, along with Obama family pets Bo and Sunny, welcome the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 29, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

First Lady Michelle Obama presides over the arrival of the Official White House Christmas tree which will spend the holiday adorning the White House Blue Room, Nov. 29, 2013; the First Lady, daughters Malia and Sasha and first pups, Bo and Sunny greeted the tree

President Barack Obama and his family celebrated Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the holiday season as families did across the country, a festive Thanksgiving meal, reaching out to family by phone, Christmas decorating and commencing holiday shopping. However, their…READ MORE

Political Musings November 29, 2013: Post-Presidential life & legacy focus of Barbara Walters’ interview with Obamas

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Political Musings November 27, 2013: Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey at White House ceremony

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey at White House ceremony

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The next National Thanksgiving Turkey and winner of this year’s annual presidential pardon is… Popcorn. On Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 President Barack Obama with the help of his daughters Malia and Sasha conducted this year’s…READ MORE

Political Headlines November 27, 2013: President Barack Obama names Popcorn the National Thanksgiving Turkey at annual pardon ceremony

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha name Popcorn the National Thanksgiving Turkey at annual pardon ceremony

Source: NY Daily News, 11-27-13

U.S. President Barack Obama gives the annual presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey at the White House in Washington November 27, 2013. John Burkel (L), Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and the president's daughters Malia (R) and Sasha (C) are pictured watching the pardon. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS)

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

I now pronounce you… pardoned: U.S. President Barack Obama gives the annual presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey with daughers Sasha (left) and Malia (right).

First daughters Malia and Sasha were on hand for the tradition on National Thanksgiving Turkey Wednesday….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 27, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey

Source: WH, 11-27-13

U.S. President Barack Obama gives the annual presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey at the White House in Washington November 27, 2013. John Burkel (L), Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and the president's daughters Malia (R) and Sasha (C) are pictured watching the pardon. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS)

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

President Barack Obama along with daughters, Malia and Sasha pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey during a ceremony at the White House’s North Portico, Nov. 27, 2013

North Portico

1:30 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody, and happy Thanksgiving.

The office of the presidency — the most powerful position in the world — brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities.  This is not one of them.  (Laughter.)  But the White House Turkey Pardon is a great tradition.  And I know Malia loves it — as does Sasha.

Generally speaking, Thanksgiving is a bad day to be a turkey.  Especially at a house with two dogs.  So I salute our two guests of honor — Caramel and Popcorn — for their bravery. They came all the way from outside Badger, Minnesota to be with us.  They, like my Chief of Staff, are Vikings fans.  (Laughter.) I’m not sure that they know — (turkeys gobble) — uh-oh.  (Laughter.)  See.  I’m not sure they know that that my Bears are heading to Minnesota on Sunday, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m going to give them a break.  (Laughter.)

We are also excited to have students from Badger High School here.  (Applause.)  Where are you guys?  There they are, right there.  And finally, let me say thank you to John Burkel,  chairman of the National Turkey Federation.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

Now, 80 turkeys on John’s farm competed for the chance to make it to the White House, and stay off the Thanksgiving table. It was, quite literally, the hunger games.  (Laughter.)  and then, after weeks of vocal practice and prepping for the cameras, the two tributes, Caramel and Popcorn went head-to-head together for America’s vote as top gobbler.

The competition was stiff, but we can officially declare that Popcorn is the winner — (applause) — proving that even a turkey with a funny name can find a place in politics.  (Laughter.)   As for Caramel, he’s sticking around, and he’s already busy raising money for his next campaign.  (Laughter.)
On a more serious note, later today, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will bring a couple less fortunate turkeys to a great organization that works to help out our neighbors here in D.C. who need it most.  And I want to thank Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania, for donating those dressed birds for the fifth year in a row.  This is a reminder that this is a season to not only be thankful for the incredible blessings that we have, but also to remember the neediest and generously serve those who are not as fortunate.

This is a quintessentially American holiday, and during this time we give thanks to our friends and our family, for citizens who show compassion to those in need, and for neighbors who help strangers they’ve never met.  We give thanks for the blessings of freedom and opportunity that previous generations worked so hard to secure for.  And we give thanks for the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform who serve our nation around the world.

For those of you who are watching, you keep us safe.  You make us proud, and you remind us of our own obligations to build on the work of our predecessors and leave something better for our own kids.

So on behalf of the Obama family, I want to wish everybody a very happy Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, as we gather with our own friends and family, we’ll count ourselves lucky that there’s more to be thankful for than we can ever say, and more to be hopeful for than we can ever imagine.

And now, before these turkeys get away — with the power vested in me, I want to grant Popcorn a full reprieve.  Come on. (Laughter.)  Popcorn, you have a full reprieve from cranberry sauce and stuffing.  We wish you well.  And we’re going to give Carmel a break as well.

All right?  (Laughter.)  Congratulations, everybody.  (Applause.)   Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.  See you, Popcorn. (Applause.)  Get out of the rain.  (Laughter.)

END
1:35 P.M. EST

RELATED LINKS

Political Headlines January 7, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Hawaii Vacation by the Numbers, Returns to Washington

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s Hawaii Vacation by the Numbers

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-7-13

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama departed Hawaii on Sunday morning for Washington, after spending nine days vacationing with family and friends in his native state.  Here’s a quick look at how he spent his vacation….READ MORE

Political Headlines January 3, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Father-Daughter Day in Hawaii

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama’s Father-Daughter Day in Hawaii

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-3-13

Kent Nishimura-Pool/Getty Images

Over the past two weeks, President Obama has passed his days in Hawaii hitting the gym, golfing with friends and relaxing on the beach with his family.

On Thursday, he enjoyed some father-daughter time, bowling with Malia and Sasha and going out for Hawaiian shaved ice, an annual tradition.

After spending the afternoon at the bowling alley at the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay, Obama and his daughters stopped at Island Snow Shave Ice, a small eatery in a shopping center near their Kailua vacation house….READ MORE

Full Text February 9, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Interview with Access Hollywood on “Let’s Move” Anniversary & Valentine’s Day with the President

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

First Lady Michelle Obama Talks Keeping Malia & Sasha On ‘Let’s Move!’ Campaign, Valentine’s Day With President

Source: Access Hollywood, 2-9-12

The First Lady Michelle Obama with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, Iowa, February 9, 2012
The First Lady Michelle Obama with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, Iowa, February 9, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama is continuing to campaign for “Let’s Move!,” her initiative to help stop childhood obesity, and on Thursday, in a brand new sit-down interview, she told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, that campaign starts right at home.

When Bush asked if Malia, 13, and Sasha Obama, 10, are allowed to call up the White House kitchen with an order of burger and fries on occasion, Mrs. Obama said she and President Barack Obama have set limits on the youngsters.

“No, absolutely not,” Mrs. Obama told Bush. “They couldn’t do that at home when we lived in Chicago. They can’t pick up the phone and order anything. They’re kids. That’s the point that I make to them: You live in the White House, but you’re a child.

“They have a set menu, they have a set diet that they have,” she continued of her push for healthy eating habits. “They can’t go in the refrigerator and get what they want. They can eat as much fruit and vegetables [as they want], and they can have at that, but not a lot of snacking. So, we set some boundaries.”…READ MORE

For the rest of Mrs. Obama’s answer and more about her ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign, tune into Access Hollywood on Thursday and Friday night. Check your local listings.

Full Text January 16, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Martin Luther King, Jr. Day National Day of Service

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

First and Second Families Participate in a National Day of Service

Source: WH, 1-16-12

President Obama at Browne

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Browne Education Campus in Washington, D.C., before participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day service event with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia, Jan. 16, 2012. January 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, President Obama, the First Lady, and Malia Obama volunteered at a local elementary school as part of a national day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King, who devoted his life to helping others, once said that “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

Before pitching in to help clean, paint, and organize the school’s library, the President spoke to other volunteers from Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Greater DC Cares gathered for the event:

There’s nobody who can’t serve. Nobody who can’t help somebody else. And whether you’re seven or six or whether you’re 76, then you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community.

The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also joined the millions of Americans participating in service events around the country. They traveled to Philadelphia to take part in the 17th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in the nation.

Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden participate in MLK Day 
service event
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend the 17th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 16, 2012. January 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Read more about how the Obama Administration is honoring Dr. King’s legacy through service:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Service Event

Browne Education Campus
Washington, D.C.

9:57 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, good morning, everybody!

AUDIENCE:  Good morning!

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, this looks like an outstanding group, I can already tell.  I’m not going to make a long speech, because we’re here to do some work.  But mainly what I want to do is just to say thank you to all of you for participating.  I know there are a lot of organizations that are represented here today.  We are so glad to be at this outstanding school where we’re going to be doing a whole bunch of stuff to make it — make the facilities even better than they already are.

But this is the third year now that Michelle and Malia and usually Sasha is here — she couldn’t make it today — that we provide or engage in some sort of service on Dr. King’s birthday.  And there’s no better way to celebrate Dr. King than to do something on behalf of others.

I know there’s been a lot of controversy lately about the quote on the memorial and they’re changing it and making some modifications, but if you look at that speech talking about Dr. King as a drum major, what he really said was that all of us can be a drum major for service, all of us can be a drum major for justice.  There’s nobody who can’t serve.  Nobody who can’t help somebody else.  And whether you’re seven or six or whether you’re 76, then you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community.  And at a time when the country has been going through some difficult economic times, for us to be able to come together as a community, people from all different walks of life, and make sure that we’re giving back, that’s ultimately what makes us the strongest, most extraordinary country on Earth, is because we pull together when times are good, but also when times are hard.  And you guys all represent that.

So on behalf of our family, we want to say thank you.  I’m sure Dr. King, were he here, he’d want to say thank you.  And I look forward to spending some time next to you guys.  Hopefully I have some good instructors here so that I don’t mess anything up.  So if you’re putting a paintbrush in my hands, make sure that I’ve got some very clear lines, and I’ll try to stay within them.

All right?  Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
10:00 A.M. EST

Political Buzz December 15, 2011: First Look: New Obama Family Portrait

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

First Look: New Obama Family Portrait

Source: WH, 12-15-11

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The White House photo office today released a new official portrait of the First Family, which was taken by Pete Souza in the Oval Office on Sunday December 11, 2011 after the family returned to the White House after church services. The previous official portrait, below, was taken in the Green Room in 2009 by Annie Leibovitz.

First Family Official PortraitThe Official Portrait of the First Family. October 23, 2009. (by Annie Leibovitz)
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