Political Musings February 14, 2014: Obama and Congress have a Washington snow day





Obama and Congress have a Washington snow day

By Bonnie K. Goodman

As snow blanketed the Washington DC area on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 Congress and the White House came almost to a standstill, cancelling most events, work, a traditional snow day. Over 10 inches of snow fell in the capitol region…


Full Text Campaign Buzz July 25, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at a Private Residence in Hunts Point, Washington




Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

Source: WH, 7-25-12 

Private Residence
Hunts Point, WA

8:24 P.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Everybody, have a seat.  It is great to be back in the Pacific Northwest.  And I couldn’t ask for somebody I admire more to introduce me than Jim Sinegal.  And for him and Jan, they have just been extraordinary friends.  They are unbelievably gracious.

And the story of Costco and everything that you guys have done I think is representative of what America is all about — (applause) — entrepreneurship, vision, value for your money — (laughter) — treating your workers right — (applause) — doing well and doing good at the same time, and being part of a broader community that takes your responsibilities for this city, this state, and this country really seriously.

I am so grateful for your support.  I do want to just correct one thing, though.  When I called Jim, I said congratulations.  I was confident about the hot dog.  (Laughter.)  You don’t mess with something if it ain’t broke.  (Laughter.)  But what I did say was — Jan is probably going to be driven crazy if you’re just sitting around the house all day; you need to get involved in the campaign — (laughter) — because you’re a little too young to just be puttering around.  And for the two of them to take up this effort with such energy is something that I will always be grateful for.

There are a couple of other people I want to acknowledge.  Your outstanding Governor, Christine Gregoire is here.  (Applause.)  We love her.  And an outstanding member of Congress, who, like another guy of similar name, knows something about how to get the economy growing and cares about working people — Adam Smith is here.  (Applause.)  He was — there he is — somewhere.  He’s here somewhere, I know he is.  And all of you are here.

So because this is not like a huge rally, what I want to do instead of giving a long speech is spend some time answering some questions and taking some comments from all of you.  But let me try to just, at the top, frame I think the choice that the country is going to be confronting and the debate that we’re going to be having over the next three to four months.

As Jim mentioned, when I came into office, we were going through the worst recession, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  Lost 800,000 jobs the month I was sworn into office.  And because of some timely — and not always popular — steps that we took in that first year, we were able to save an auto industry, get the economy growing within six to eight months of me taking office; started adding jobs shortly thereafter.

We’ve now seen almost two and a half years of private sector job growth — about 4.5 million jobs created; about half a million in the manufacturing sector, the fastest growth we’ve seen in the manufacturing sector since the 1990s.  Saved an auto industry, stabilized the financial system.  And we have started to see — even in some sectors that were hardest hit, like housing — some modest improvement.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that there are still millions of folks who are out of work but desperately want to work.  There are still folks whose homes are underwater.

And most importantly, when I ran in 2008, the goal wasn’t to get back to where we were right before the crisis struck.  The goal was to restore a sense that in this country, if you work hard — no matter what you look like or where you come from — you can get ahead.  That you can afford to own a home.  That won’t go bankrupt when you get sick.  That your kids can get a good education and go to college, and aspire to things that you never dreamed of.  That you can retire with dignity and respect.  That core middle-class dream that some of us may have exceeded when it comes to our bank accounts, but that really is the glue that made us the envy of the world — this idea that if you work hard, you can make it; and if you act responsibly, you will be rewarded.

And the challenge was that, for a decade, that really wasn’t the case.  People were working harder and making less.  Costs were going up for things like college and health care.  A lot of jobs seemed as if they were being shipped overseas.  And the middle class was feeling less secure, and those who wanted to work hard to get into the middle class saw fewer and fewer ladders — fewer rungs on the ladder into opportunity.

So it hasn’t been enough.  Even though job one was to get us back on a path of recovery, the broader mission is how do we make sure that everybody has got a fair shot in this society, everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules — which is why health care reform was important, because that’s part of security for middle-class families.  That’s why Wall Street reform was important, because we’ve got to make sure that people have confidence in our financial system, and that it’s not being gamed, or reckless bets don’t potentially bring down the entire financial system.

That’s why education reform has been so important.  So the initiatives through things like Race to the Top, where we’ve gotten 46 states to initiate serious reforms — not with a lot of money, but with enough to incentivize best practices; and then, at the higher education level, work that we’ve done to expand Pell grants to make sure that there is a tuition tax credit for middle-class families to help them send their kids to college; initiatives that we’re now moving forward to create more engineers and more scientists and more mathematicians, so that we can keep our competitive edge — all those steps aren’t just going to pay short-term dividends, they’re also laying the foundation for long-term success.

Now, the debate in this campaign is going to be whether we continue down that road to progress or whether we take a sharp turn back to the policies that I believe got us into this mess in the first place.

My opponent’s basic vision can be described pretty simply.  You take the Bush tax cuts, you add on top of it an additional $5 trillion worth of tax cuts that would disproportionately benefit folks like us that don’t need them.  To the extent that there’s even an attempt to reduce the deficit, it’s done by slashing investments in education, voucherizing critical safety net programs like Medicare, reducing our investment in basic research and science.  And along with stripping away regulations that we’ve put in place through the health care bill or Wall Street reform or the enforcement that we think is important to make sure that our air is clean and our water is clean, that somehow, the market is going to be unleashed and prosperity will rain down on everybody.  Now, that’s their theory.

I disagree with that theory.  I think it’s wrong, partly because empirically we tried it.  We tried it for a decade and it didn’t work.  And the approach that I’m talking about in terms of balanced deficit reduction and investments in science and education and infrastructure — we’ve tried that, too, the last time there was a Democratic President.  And we created 23 million new jobs and went from deficit to surplus.  And, by the way, business people, large and small, did really well — because one of the lessons of our economic history is, is that when we’ve got a strong middle class, then businesses have customers and everybody does well, everybody grows.

So that’s what’s at stake in this election.  There are obviously a lot of other things at stake.  On foreign policy, I think it was the right thing to do to end the war in Iraq and refocus attention on al Qaeda, and now transition out of Afghanistan.  (Applause.)  I think it was the right thing to do for us to end torture and make sure that we applied rule of law to how we deal with a terrorist threat.

On issues like women’s health — making sure that women control their own health care choices I think is important.  (Applause.)  It’s the right thing to do.

Ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” — (applause) — and making sure that we are treating our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community with equality and fairness I think is the right thing to do.  So there are a bunch of other issues as stake here.  Supreme Court appointments — you name it.

But the central question is going to be how do we create an economy that works for everybody.  And I have to tell you, I generally have patience with what the other side says about me.  That’s the requirement of this job.  (Laughter.)  And if you don’t like folks talking about you, you probably shouldn’t run for President.

The one thing I do have no patience for is this argument that somehow what I’m criticizing is success.  That’s an argument you hear from the other side — oh, he wants to punish success.  I want to promote success.

But what I know is that Jim’s story, my story, the story of so many of you — our success was made possible in this country because our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents — stretching all the way back to the Founders — they had a vision that says, you know what, we’re going to insist on hard work and individual initiative, and we’re going to reward risk and entrepreneurship, and people are going to have to sweat and sacrifice for their success.  But there are some things we’re also going to do together to make sure that everybody has a chance.  Not everybody is going to succeed, but everybody is going to have a shot at success.

That’s why we set up a public school system that works.  That’s how we built extraordinary colleges and universities.  That’s how we created this amazing infrastructure that allows businesses to move goods and services, not just throughout this nation, but eventually throughout the world.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  That’s how we made the investments that helped to create the Internet.

So we want success.  We just want to make sure that everybody has a shot.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s what’s at stake in this election.  And I hope you guys are willing to work as hard as I am over the next 106 days — not that I’m counting — (laughter) — and then you’re willing to work with me over another four years to make sure that we are moving towards that goal that I think the vast majority of Americans, regardless of whether they’re Democrats or Republicans or independents, all share.

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

8:37 P.M. PDT

Full Text February 17, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech on American Manufacturing at Boeing in Everett, Washington




Remarks by the President on American Manufacturing

Boeing Production Facility
Everett, Washington

11:47 A.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Everett!  (Applause.)  It is great to be in Washington — not Washington, D.C., in Washington State.  (Applause.)  And it is great to be here at Boeing.  (Applause.)

I want to begin by first of all thanking Kathleen for that wonderful introduction.  We were up there talking a little bit, and she’s a pretty good representative of Boeing workers.  Kathleen told me, I have a motto:  Every day, nobody will outwork me.  And that’s a pretty good motto for Boeing, but it’s also a pretty good motto for America.  So give Kathleen a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

I’ve been told we’re standing in the biggest building in the world, so big you could fit Disneyland inside.  Your heating bills must be crazy.  (Laughter.)

I want to thank Jim McNerney and Jim Albaugh for hosting us here today.  Give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.) Your Machinist’s leadership, Tom Buffenbarger, Rich Michalski, Tom Wroblewski and SPEEA President Tom McCarty are here.  (Applause.)  One of the finest governors in the country, Chris Gregoire is in the house.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank the mayor of Everett, Ray Stephanson for having us here today.  (Applause.)

Now, I want to thank all of you for also giving me a pretty smooth ride.  (Laughter.)  As some of you may know, Air Force One was built right here in Everett 25 years ago.  In fact, I met — one of my guys that I met during the tour worked on the plane.  (Applause.)  So I told him he did a pretty good job.  (Laughter.)  It’s flying smooth.  I get to see your handiwork in action every single day.  But as wonderful as it is to fly Air Force One — and it is wonderful — it’s hard not to be amazed by the Dreamliner.  (Applause.)  I notice this one is going to United — one of our outstanding carriers.  And I have to mention that just because I’m from Chicago, so I’ve got to — (laughter) — give a few extra props there.

But this is the first commercial airplane to be made with 50 percent composite materials.  It’s lighter, it’s faster, it’s more fuel-efficient than any airplane in its class.  And it looks cool.  (Laughter and applause.)

The Dreamliner is the plane of the future.  And by building it here, Boeing is taking advantage of a huge opportunity that exists right now to bring more jobs and manufacturing back to the United States of America.  (Applause.)

We know that the last few decades haven’t been easy for manufacturing.  New technology has made businesses more efficient and more productive, and that’s a good thing.  That’s what raises our standards of living.  It means we can get better products for less.  But that also means that companies need fewer workers to make the same amount of product as they used to.  And technology makes it easier for companies to set up shop and hire workers anywhere where there’s an internet connection.  And so the result has been this — this transition process that’s been incredibly painful for a lot of families and a lot of communities.  A lot of communities that used to rely on a lot of factory jobs, they saw those shrink.  They saw those get shipped off overseas.  Too many factories, where people thought they’d retire, left home.  Too many jobs that provided a steady, stable life, a middle-class life for people, got shipped overseas.

And look, the hard truth is, a lot of those jobs aren’t going to come back because of these increased efficiencies.  And in a global economy, some companies are always going to find it more profitable to pick up and do business in other parts of the world.  That’s just the nature of a global economy.  But that does not mean that we’ve got to just sit there and settle for a lesser future.  I don’t accept that idea.  You don’t accept that idea.  America is a place where we can always do something to create new jobs, and new opportunities, and new manufacturing, and new security for the middle class, and that’s why I’m here today.  That’s our job.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’re going to do together. (Applause.)

Now just today, we actually took an important short-term step to strengthen our economy.  Just before we got here, Congress did the right thing and voted to make sure that taxes would not go up on middle-class families at the end of this month.  (Applause.)  Congress also agreed to extend unemployment insurance for millions of Americans — maybe some of your family members — who are still out there looking for a job.  So I’m going to sign this bill right away when I get back home.  (Applause.)

You guys may remember, this middle-class tax cut is something I proposed in my jobs bill back in September.  And because you kept the pressure on Congress, because you reminded people what it means to have 40 bucks taken out of your paycheck every week, it got done.  This is a big deal.  And I want to thank members of Congress for listening to the voices of the American people.  It is amazing what happens when Congress focuses on doing the right thing instead of just playing politics.  This was a good example, and Congress should take pride in it.  (Applause.)

But the payroll tax cut is just a start.  If we want middle-class families to get ahead, we’ve got to deal with a set of economic challenges that existed even before this recession hit.

And we’ve got a choice right now:  We can either settle for a country where a few people do really well, and everybody else is struggling, or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules, from Washington to Wall Street to Main Street.  Everybody is doing their part.  (Applause.)

We’re still recovering from one of the worst economic crises in three generations — the worst in our lifetimes, for most of us.  And we’ve still got a long way to go to make sure everybody who can — everybody who wants a job can find one, and every family can regain that sense of security that was slipping away even before this recession hit.

But the tide is turning.  The tide is beginning to turn our way.  Over the last 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million new jobs, and American manufacturers are hiring for the first time since 1990, and the American auto industry is back, and our economy is getting stronger.  And that’s why we can look towards a promising future.  (Applause.)  And Boeing is an example of that.  (Applause.)  But to keep it going, the last thing we can afford to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  (Applause.)  We can’t go backwards, we got to go forwards.  We can’t go back to an economy that was weakened by outsourcing and bad debt and phony financial profits.

I want us to make stuff.  I want us to sell stuff.  So, in the State of the Union, I outlined a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last, that has a strong foundation — an economy based on American manufacturing and American know-how, American-made energy, skills for American workers, and the values that made America great, the values that Kathleen talked about:  hard work and fair play and shared responsibility.  That’s what America is about.

And that blueprint starts with American manufacturing.  It starts with companies like this one.  A lot of people say, well, there are going to be fewer manufacturing jobs than there were in the past.  I already said we’re more efficient now.  What used to take a thousand people to make, you might only need a hundred now.  We understand that.  We understand that there are going to be more service jobs — that’s important.  We want to make sure that we’re promoting service industries as well.  But manufacturing has a special place in America.  When we make stuff, and we’re selling stuff, that creates jobs beyond just this plant.  It raises standards of living for everybody.

And here at Boeing, business is booming.  Booming.  Last year, orders for commercial aircraft rose by more than 50 percent.  (Applause.)  And to meet that demand, Boeing hired 13,000 workers all across America, including 5,000 right here in Everett.  (Applause.)  Now the biggest challenge is how to turn out planes fast enough.  Jay, that’s a high-class problem to have.

So this company is a great example of what American manufacturing can do in a way that nobody else in the world can do it.  And the impact of your success, as I said, goes beyond the walls of this plant.  Every Dreamliner that rolls off the assembly line here in Everett supports thousands of jobs in different industries all across the country.  Parts of the fuselage are manufactured in South Carolina and Kansas.  Wing edges, they come from Oklahoma.  Engines assembled in Ohio.  The tail fin comes from right down the road in Frederickson.  And the people in every one of these communities, some of whom — who are here today, they are benefitting from the work that you do.

All those workers, they spend money at the local store.  They go to restaurants.  So the service economy does better because you’re doing well.  And what’s happening here in Everett can happen in other industries.  It can happen not just here but it can happen in Cleveland, in Pittsburgh, in Raleigh.  We can’t bring every job back.  Anybody who says we can, they’re not telling you the truth.  But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China.  Meanwhile, American workers have never been more productive.  And companies like Boeing are finding out that even when we can’t make things faster or cheaper than China, we can make them better.  Our quality can be higher.  And that’s what America is about.  That’s how we’re going to compete.  (Applause.)

Now, during the State of the Union, I issued a challenge to America’s business leaders.  I said, ask yourselves what you can do to bring and create jobs here in this country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.  And I’m encouraged.  We’re actually seeing a number of companies –- large and small, domestic, but even some foreign companies –- recognizing, you know what, we’re going to open new facilities and create new jobs here in America.

This is a good place to work.  This is a good place to be.  And our job as a nation is to make it easier for more of these companies to do the right thing.

That starts with our tax code.  Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas.


THE PRESIDENT:  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  That doesn’t make any sense.  So my message to Congress is, what are we waiting for?  Let’s get this done right now.  Let’s make some changes to the tax code.  (Applause.)

And let’s follow some simple principles.  First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it.


THE PRESIDENT:  That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies that are deciding to bring jobs back home — that’s who should be getting tax breaks.  (Applause.)

Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.  My attitude is every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.  You should not have an advantage by building a plant over there, over somebody who’s investing here and hiring American workers.  (Applause.)  And every penny of that minimum tax should go towards lowering taxes for companies like Boeing that choose to stay and hire here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Number three, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut.  And if you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deductions you get for making your products here.

And finally, if you want to relocate in a community that’s been hard hit by factories leaving town, then you should get help financing that new plant or financing that equipment or training for new workers.

Everett, it is time to stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas.  Reward companies that are creating jobs right here in the United States of America.  Congress should send me these tax reforms.  I’ll sign them right away.  (Applause.)

Now, another thing we’re doing to support American jobs is making it easier for businesses like Boeing to sell their products all over the world.  Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years.  We’re on track to meet that goal.  We’re actually ahead of schedule.  So last November when I was in Indonesia, Boeing announced a deal with the help of the Export-Import Bank to sell more than 200 planes to one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world.  Boeing is one of the largest exporters in America; this was one of the biggest deals Boeing had ever done.  Over the years, it will help support thousands of American jobs, including jobs here in Everett.  So I tease Jay every time I see him — I said, I deserve a gold watch because I’m selling your stuff all the time.  (Laughter.)

I will go anywhere in the world to open up new markets for American products.  And by the way, I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules.  (Applause.)  That’s why I directed my administration to create a Trade Enforcement Unit that just has one job:  investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China, or places like Europe.

That’s why it’s so important for Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.  This Bank is led by — (applause) — this Bank is led by Fred Hochberg, who is right here.  He’s out there working with Jay all the time, selling on behalf of Boeing.  And the Export-Import Bank helps companies like this one sell its products.  It also helps thousands of small businesses.

And today, the Bank will be launching a new program to help small businesses get the financing they need to sell more products overseas.  I’m also instructing the Bank to give American companies a fair shot by matching the unfair export financing that their competitors receive from other countries.  (Applause.)

American workers — you guys, folks like Kathleen — you’re the most productive on Earth.  You can compete with anybody.  You will out-work anybody, as long as the level — as long as the playing field is level.  You can compete with any worker, anywhere, any time — in China, in Europe, it does not matter.  If we have a level playing field, America will always win because we’ve got the best workers.  (Applause.)

It’s also because we’ve always believed in the power of innovation.  Innovation requires basic research.  Look at this plane.  This plane was first designed virtually using the same technology that was developed by NASA.  Government research helped to create this plane.  We got — I was in there fooling around with those windows, where you press them and they dim on their own.  (Laughter.)  I kept on pressing the button, and — dimmed and got light — one touch with a finger.  And the display is in the cockpit.  They’re projected on the windshield so pilots don’t have to look down at their instruments; they can maintain their line of sight, even as they’re getting all these readings.

Now, some of the work — the most advanced work — was done by engineers down in Huntsville, Alabama, who used to work on the International Space Station.  Their expertise, a lot of those ideas, came out of government research.  We’ve got to support this kind of cutting-edge research.  (Applause.)  We need to maintain our innovative edge, so that jobs and industries take root right here in the United States, not someplace else.  (Applause.)

So, Everett, if we want to build an economy that lasts, that is strong, that has a strong foundation, that helps families get into the middle class and stay in the middle class, we’ve got to do everything we can to strengthen American manufacturing.  We’ve got to make sure we’re making it easier for companies like Boeing to create jobs here at home, and sell our products abroad.  We’ve got to keep on investing in American-made energy, and we’ve got to keep training American workers.  And, above all, we’ve got to renew the values that have always made this country great:  hard work, fair play, and shared responsibility.

These are not Democratic values or Republican values.  These are American values.  (Applause.)  They’ve seen us through some tough challenges, but we’ve always emerged stronger than before because of these values.  And we’re going to come out stronger than before this time as well.  And I know it because of the people who are here.

In December of 2009, the first Dreamliner took off on its maiden flight right here in Everett.  Some of you were probably out there seeing it.  It was a cold and windy day.  That didn’t stop 13,000 employees all from coming out and seeing what they had built, seeing the product of all their hard work suddenly filling the skies.

And one of these people was Sharon O’Hara.  Is Sharon here?  Where is Sharon?  There’s Sharon right there.  (Applause.)  Sharon works as an executive office administrator for the leaders of the Dreamliner team.  Now, executive assistant means basically you’re doing all the work.  (Laughter.)  Now, some of you may know that Sharon has been undergoing some treatment for cancer recently, so she’s got her own battle.  But her doctors recently told her she’s healthy enough to come back to work.  That’s worth applauding.  (Applause.)  Sharon, there are a lot of people who are happy to see you back at work.  (Applause.)

And I was hearing about this, and as Sharon tells the story about watching the first plane lift gently off the runway, just the way it was designed to do, she thought about everything that had gone into making this day possible -– all the challenges, all the setbacks; the thousands of hours of brainpower and manpower — and womanpower.  (Applause.)  And what Sharon says is — this is a quote — “I had goose bumps and tears.  We said we would do it and we did.”  That’s a pretty good motto.  (Applause.)  You said you would do it, and you did.

That’s what we do as Americans.  (Applause.)  That’s the spirit we need right now.  In this country, we don’t give up, even when times are tough.  We look out for one another.  We reach for new opportunities.  We pull each other up.  We stay focused on the horizon.  That’s who we are.  That’s who we’ve always been.  And if we work together right now, with common purpose and common effort, I have no doubt we will build an economy that lasts, and we will remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth.  We said it, we will do it.

God bless you.  God bless the United States.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

12:13 P.M. PST

Full Text December 13, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Campaign Speech in Washington — Asks Supporters to Stick with Him — Says Election is “Not a Slam-Dunk”



Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times

President Obama spoke to fund-raisers in Washington on Tuesday as part of year-end briefings on the 2012 presidential campaign.


Democrats Find a Welcome Distraction: Team Obama is viewing the prospect of a drawn-out Republican battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as an advantage to President Obama’s re-election campaign…. – NYT, 12-13-11

Obama beseeches supporters to stick with him: Imploring supporters to stick with him, President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that his re-election is not “a slam dunk” because of understandable public skepticism over the economy but said his campaign would put forward a vision aligned with the mood of the country.
The president, addressing donors at a hotel near the White House, drew attention to his efforts to heal the economy, end the Iraq war and overhaul health care but said “all those things don’t mean that much to somebody if they’re still out of work right now or their house is still underwater by $100,000. So, yeah, this is going to be tough.”
“We’re going to have to fight for it. It’s not going to be a slam dunk,” he said. Obama said the campaign would pursue “the vision that is truest to our history and most representative of the core decency of the American people.”… – AP, 12-13-11


  • Obama campaign sees reasons for optimism: The GOP primary battle: President Obama’s top campaign strategists said Tuesday that the increasingly heated Republican primary battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich is helping to shift the national political landscape back to Obama’s advantage. … – WaPo, 12-13-11
  • Obama on 2012: ‘This Is Going to Be Tough’: Admitting his re-election is “not a slam-dunk,” President Obama today asked supporters to stick with him in 2012 because “this is going to be tough.” “It’s understandable if people aren’t feeling as chipper as they were back in 2008,” given the state … – ABC News, 12-13-11


Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

Source: WH, 12-13-11

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C.

12:05 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Hello, hello, hello!  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Love you guys.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  All right, everybody have a seat.  I don’t want to milk this too much here.  (Laughter.)

To Matthew, thank you for your extraordinary leadership.  We could not be prouder of you.  And for you to have made all the life-changing sacrifices to take on this job — it’s something that I couldn’t be prouder of.  So please give Matthew a big round of applause.  He’s working hard.  (Applause.)

Jane Stetson, Andy Tobias — they are doing remarkable work for the DNC.  And our outstanding chairwoman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is in the house.  Give her a big round of applause as well.  (Applause.)

I don’t want to give a long speech.  I want to save most of my time for questions and discussion with all of you.  I’ve got two simple messages.  Number one, thank you.  I look around the room — everybody here has gone above and beyond the call of duty, not just for the last few months but for several years now. I’m reminded of what my friend, Ab Mikva said about being friends with a politician; it’s like having a perpetual child in college. (Laughter.)  It just never stops.  (Laughter.)  But all of you have just done incredible work with great cheer and great determination.  And I’m thankful for it.

Which brings me to the second point.  The reason you do it, I’d like to think, is a little bit because you like me and you think I’m a pretty good guy.  (Laughter.)  I definitely know that part of it is because you love Michelle and think she’s one of the best First Ladies we’ve ever had.  (Applause.)  But the main reason you do it is because you know what’s at stake.

Back in 2008, we used to talk about this being a historic moment for America, that we were at a crossroads in our history. Well, we haven’t fully crossed the road, and in some ways, 2012 is even more important than it was four years ago.  The choices could not be starker.  The vision about where we want to take the country could not be more different.

I gave a speech in Kansas last week where I talked about — (applause) — where we need to go as a country; a country that’s based on everybody having a fair shot, a country that depends on everybody doing their fair share, a country where fair play applies across the board.  And I talked about how, for decade, now, people have felt that the basic compact that if you worked hard, you acted responsibly, you looked after your family, that you would be able to be in the middle class, stay in the middle class, get into the middle class, that your kids would have a better life than you did, that you’d have some semblance of security — that that compact had eroded.

And it hadn’t happened overnight, it wasn’t going to be solved overnight, but there were going to be some critical things that we had to do to make sure that compact was restored:  Making investments in education so our kids are better prepared than anybody in the world.  Making sure that we’ve got the best infrastructure to move products and services, and our businesses can thrive.  Making sure that we’re investing in science and basic research.  Making sure that the rules of the road apply to everybody; so we’re not building a bubble economy but we’re building an economy based on making stuff and exporting it around the world — stamped with the words, Made in America.  And most fundamentally, understanding that we’re all in this together — it’s not a few of us doing well and then the rest of us hoping that we get lucky, but rather, everybody, as a team, moving this country forward.

And that vision, in contrast to a vision that basically says you are on your own, is what this election was about in 2008; it’s what this election is going to be about in 2012.  I am confident that the vision that we believe in so deeply and that we’ve worked so hard for is the vision that is truest to our history and most representative of the core decency of the American people.

But we’re going to have to fight for it.  It’s not a slam-dunk.  We’re going to have to deliver this message effectively all across the country.  And at a time when people have been battered by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, it’s understandable if people aren’t feeling as chipper as they were back in 2008.  There’s going to be some skepticism.  There’s going to be some pushback.

All of the things that we’ve done over the last three years — to rescue the economy and rescue the auto industry, and end the war in Iraq and end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and make sure that health care is in place, and financial reform brings back some integrity to the financial sector — all those things don’t mean that much to somebody if they’re still out of work right now, or their house is still underwater by $100,000.

So, yeah, this is going to be tough.  But I just want to remind all of you that you didn’t decide to support Barack Hussein Obama because it was going to be easy.  There were always easier choices to make, just as there would have been easier political choices for me to make.  We took a flyer on this thing because we believe passionately in an America in which everybody is getting ahead.

That’s worth fighting for.  And here’s my message to you.  If you guys stick with this, if you don’t falter, if you stay steady, we are going to win this thing.  (Applause.)  We are going to win this thing, and America is going to win as a consequence.  (Applause.)

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

12:15 P.M. EST

On This Day in History… September 11, 2001 Headlines: 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, Pentagon & Flight 93


Day in History

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.


25 Most Powerful Photos


On this day in history… September 11, 2001… Terrorists hijack two passenger planes crashing them into New York’s World Trade Towers causing the collapse of the 110-story twin towers& death of 2,752 people.
Terrorists hijack a passenger plane and crash it into the Pentagon causing the death of 125 people.
Attempt by passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 to retake control of their hijacked plane from terrorists causes plane to crash in Pennsylvania field killing all 64 people onboard.

September 11, 2001: The Pictures We Remember: One decade after 9/11, an unsettling number of images from Ground Zero and environs remain seared in our collective memory — unsurprising, perhaps, given the scope and scale of the destruction. But the fact that the deadliest, most visually arresting attacks occurred in New York City also meant that many of the world’s best photographers were, in effect, already on the scene when the terrorists struck. Here, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and in hopes of lending coherence to our shared, turbulent recollections, LIFE.com presents the 25 most stirring, visceral photographs from that day, featuring pictures from the likes of James Nachtwey, Joe Raedle, Spencer Platt, Mario Tama, and other celebrated photojournalists (and one intrepid amateur). These are the pictures we remember: wrenching, indelible photographs that tell the tale of a still-resonant late summer day that changed everything….. READ MORE


A DAY OF TERROR: COMMUNICATIONS; A Flood of Anxious Calls Clog Phone Lines:
Terrorist attacks in New York City and at Pentagon cause significant but temporary disruptions in telephone service in Northeast; major telecommunications carriers say problem was caused not by physical damage but by network overloads as extraordinary numbers of people tried to make calls in aftermath of incident; handful of television stations are knocked from airwaves after loss of transmitter atop World Trade Cente….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ARABS; Condemnations From Arab Governments, but Widely Different Attitudes on the Street:
Arab governments condemn terrorist attacks in United States, but there is something of sense of inevitability in region whose leaders have warned for months that American support for Israel could have violent consequences; some Arabs say terrorists may well be American, but intense speculation focuses on Osama bin Laden or related organizations; all Palestinian groups deny any involvement; photo of celebration in Palestinian refugee camp near Beirut….

NYC; When the Unimaginable Happens, and It’s Right Outside Your Window:
Clyde Haberman comments on terrorists’ destruction of World Trade Center, observing that Americans have now experienced what Israelis have to face every day….

A DAY OF TERROR; Bush’s Remarks to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks:
Transcript of address to nation by Pres Bush following terrorists attacks against US using hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: FINAL MOMENTS; Solicitor General Got 2 Calls From Wife on Doomed Plane:
Theodore B Olson, solicitor general of US, relates two cell phone conversations he had with his wife Barbara after she had been herded into back of hijacked airplane that eventually smashed into Pentagon; says pilot was apparently with Barbara Olson in back of plane; says she was trying to do something….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE HOPES; Survivors Are Found In the Rubble:
Desperate efforts to rescue those trapped under tons of twisted rubble around towers of World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, which collapsed after they were rammed by hijacked jetliners, described….

BASEBALL; Cashman Accounts for Players as Stadium Is Evacuated:
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman starts accounting for members of team who live in Manhattan, networking with others, on morning of terrorist attack of World Trade Center and Pentagon; Yankee Stadium is evacuated and closed….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Some New Yorkers voice intense anger at terrorist attacks; some express express shock at failure to prevent such attacks in first place….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Broker working on 55th floor of 2 World Trade Center describes making it to street, where he finds piece of paper listing airliner’s itinerary and information about flight from Boston to Los Angeles….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Roundup of personal accounts of people during morning rush hour as they learned of catastrophe at World Trade Center….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Ferry boat crew member recalls how on day before German tourists were exclaiming how beautiful World Trade Center is, and now it’s gone….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE RESPONSE; Rescue Workers Rush In, And Many Do Not Return:
Attempts by New York City firefighters to rescue occupants of World Trade Center towers after they are rammed by hijacked jetliners described; instinctive efforts may have cost many their lives; 200 remain unaccounted after explosions collapse two main towers onto first wave of rescuers as they snake through stairwells and hallways; loss may be worst disaster in New York City Fire Department’s history….

A DAY OF TERROR: INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES; Officials Say They Saw No Signs of Increased Terrorist Activity:
Counterterrorism officials say that electronic eavesdropping intercepts obtained in hours after attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon indicate that terrorist operation was carried out by militant Islamic organization headed by Osama bin Laden; say they had no precise warning of attack, even as civilian flight controllers apparently tracked commercial aircraft involved in attacks as they veered far from their normal flight paths over northeastern US; acknowledge failure to detect any sign…

A DAY OF TERROR: VULNERABILITY; Physical and Psychological Paralysis of Nation:
Attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon shut down much of United States, compelling Americans to acknowledge that nameless terrorists can engage in multiple acts of war inside world’s most powerful country; overwhelming desire to do something to help victims sweeps much of country, creating crowds at blood centers; many Americans at first demand quick response against terrorists only to have their anger smothered in shadows that surround their enemy….

A DAY OF TERROR: HOSPITALS; Pictures of Medical Readiness, Waiting and Hoping for Survivors to Fill Their Wards:
Comment on scene at New York City hospitals in aftermath of wholesale carnage at World Trade Center; at hospitals throughout lower Manhattan, hundreds of doctors and nurses work as though all are part of one bit MASH unnit, tending to wounded at front lines of war….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE BACKGROUND; A Trend Toward Attacks That Emphasize Deaths:
American civilians at home and abroad have been targets of largest and most destructive terrorist attacks of last quarter-century, including Pan Am flight 103, bombing of federal office building in Oklahoma City and bombing of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; terrorism experts say coordinated attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon are culmination of 20-year trend toward assaults that aim to kill many people in technically complex operations, often orchestrated by assailants….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; Driven Underground, Administration and Congressional Officials Stay on the Job:
Terrorist attacks in Washington and New York using hijacked planes force top officials and quarter-million federal workers out of offices on Capitol Hill and drive government underground to secure retreats for much of day; Congressional leaders are evacuated to undisclosed secure location outside Washington following attack on Pentagon; later return with pledge of bipartisan solidarity; Pres Bush returns to White House from Florida, following zig-zag route through two successive Air Force bases….

A DAY OF TERROR: TRANSPORTATION; With City Transit Shut Down, New Yorkers Take to Eerily Empty Streets:
Subway services is shut down across New york City after terrorist attack on World Trade Center; buses, ferries, taxis and gypsy vans are overtaxed, and New Yorkers make their way through eerily empty streets on foot; photos show second plane slamming into south towe….

A DAY OF TERROR: TERRORIST VIGIL; Security Alerts Go Into Effect Across Nation:
Hundreds of thousands of workers in government buildings and prominent office towers across US are sent home early, leaving downtown areas large and small in wake of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: TRANSPORTATION; Left to Fend for Themselves, a Nation of Travelers Scrambles for Transit Options:
United States goes into gridlock as terrorist attacks in New York and Washington lead to virtual shutdown of nation’s transportation system, including grounding of every airplane in country; bus and train companies shut down as well….

The War Against America; The National Defense:
Editorial says terrorist attacks on New York and Washington make it imperative for nation to determine how an open and democratic society can better defend itself against terrorist threat that conventional armies and weapons cannot defeat; says nation must get better and more timely intelligence, which is best defense against terrorism, and light but lethal weapons to attack terrorist compounds in remote locations; says US must make it clear to its allies that they can no longer stand on sidelines…

A DAY OF TERROR: SECURITY; Boston’s Airport Security Is Described as Standard:
Investigators begin trying to pinpoint how terrorists managed to penetrate two airliners that set off from Logan International Airport in Boston and ultimately slammed into World Trade Center in New York; Logan’s level of security is considered typical of large international airports….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WORRIES; Families and Friends Hoping for Reassurance Find Frustration and Anguish:
Comment on anguish and frustration felt by families and friends waiting for news about loved ones who were at World Trade Center…

Many Sporting Events Called Off or Postponed:
Terrorist attacks at World Trade Center and Pentagon cause cancellation or postponement of numerous sports events in US….

A DAY OF TERROR: SECURITY; Fear’s Ripple: Closing Down, Tightening Up:
Attack on World Trade Center prompts scores of other buildings and institutions near and far to close their doors, send workers home and take measures to heighten security; photo of grounded airliners at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airpor…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VICTIMS; Talk Show Figure and TV Producer Among Lost Passenger:
Among airline passengers killed in terrorist attack on World Trade Center are Berry Berenson, the photographer and widow of actor Tony Perkins, Barbara B Olson, talk show personality and wife of Solicitor General Theodore B Olson, and David Angell, executive producer of television show Frasier….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AFGHANS; Condemning Attacks, Taliban Says bin Laden Not Involved:
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers condemn terrorist attacks on America and say Osama bin Laden, terrorist suspect they are sheltering, was not involved; contend they have insisted that bin Laden refrain from political and military activities while in Afghanistan, but American intelligence officials believe that bin Laden’s ties with Taliban are increasingly close and that his freedom of movement may have increased in recent months….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WORLD’S REACTION; European Nations Stand With U.S., Ready to Respond:
World’s governments express solidarity with US as democracy under attack; European Union and NATO officials will meet to discuss common approach to battle against terrorism; European officials quietly discuss how to assist US if it engages in military action in retaliation; Pres Vladimir Putin of Russia expresses support for retaliation; comments by other European leaders note….

A DAY OF TERROR: CONGRESS; Horror Knows No Party As Lawmakers Huddle:
Dozens of members of Congress from both parties stand side by side on East Front of Capitol and declare they will stand united behind Pres Bush and not bow to attack on nation’s freedom; twilight tableau intended to help calm nation is capped with singing of God Bless America; Capitol and nearby Senate and House office buildings are evacuated earlier in day after assault on Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ECONOMY; A Tragedy Adds More Confusion To the Outlook For U.S. Economy:
World Trade Center tragedy cancels all forecasts about American economy, and whatever happens next in US, in turn, will inevitably affect global economic outlook; big issue, beyond huge initial costs of repairing damage caused by attack, centers on whether American consumers might stop spending until they know who is responsible for assaults and whether they might happen again

A DAY OF TERROR: IN THE CAPITAL; In the Day’s Attacks and Explosions, Official Washington Hears the Echoes of Earlier One:
Many of capital’s elder statesmen reach back to Pearl Harbor for apt comparison with terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, and many of them regard Sept 11 attack as worse of the two; photo of members of Congress singing God Bless America….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE GOVERNMENT; Trying to Command an Emergency When the Emergency Command Center Is Gone:
New York City’s two-year-old Emergency Command Center, World Trade Center, is supposed to act as nerve center in any calamity but is rendered useless within minutes after hijacked jetliners crash into both towers of World Trade Center, causing their collapse; emergency officials say despite all planning that occurred after bombing in 1993, none of scenarios played out envisioned such a disaster, which had potential to kill all those responding….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE PSYCHOLOGY; Attackers Believed To Be Sane:
Experts on psychology of terrorism hold that attacks visited on New York and Washington were in all likelihood work of perfectly sane people, not madmen; studies suggest people willing to sacrifice their lives in such attack are almost never disturbed loners sometimes conjured by news media or by Hollywood films, but are almost always part of larger organization that has recruited them, tested their courage and trained them to carry out their missions with precision….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE TALK ONLINE; Web Offers Both News And Comfort:
Major news Web sites were quickly overloaded, and many links to not-so-major news sites stopped working as result shortly after terrorist attacks in New York City and at Pentagon using hijacked jetliners; sites served not only as sources of information but for conversations and forums about tragedy….

A DAY OF TERROR: VERBATIM; Bush Aides Speak Out On Attacks:
Excerpts from statements deploring terrorist attack on US using hijacked planes by Defense Sec Donald Rumsfeld, Transportation Sec Norman Mineta, Atty Gen John Ashcroft, House Speaker J Dennis Hastert and Senate majority leader Sen Tom Daschle….

Reaction From Around the World:
World reaction to terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon, using hijacked jetliners, discussed….

Metro Matters; City Turns, Temporarily, Into a Small Town:
Crashing of jetliners by hijackers into World Trade Center in Manhattan is new degree of horror for New York City, which has had its share of traumatic experiences; reaction of residents demonstrates that city knows how to survive unspeakable trauma, turning itself into small town when visited by tragedy (Metro Matters)….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ELECTIONS; Pataki Orders Postponement Of Primaries Across State:
Gov George E Pataki orders primary elections across New York State postponed indefinitely as city officials struggle to cope with terrorist attack on World Trade Center….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRLINES; Scores of U.S.-Bound Planes Are Diverted to Canadian Airports:
Scores of planes from around world are redirected to Canadian airports as United States closes its airspace after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington; domestic Canadian airlines cancel all flights as airports prepare to accept diverted airplanes….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MEASUREMENT; Columbia’s Seismographs Log Quake-Level Impacts:
Crash of two hijacked planes into World Trade Center in Manhattan and collapse of two towers create shock waves that register on sensitive instruments at Columbia University meant to monitor earthquakes….

BASEBALL; Mets Wait on Word: No makeup date has been determined for game between New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates canceled in wake of attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Former Sen George Mitchell, man with long experience trying to defuse terrorism in Northern Ireland and Middle East, finds himself waiting for subway train at 168th Street and Broadway, trying to get home; his flight to Washington from La Guardia was canceled because of World Trade Center disaster; he describes such a terrorist act as being ‘war itself’….

A DAY OF TERROR; Calling for Help Or to Give Help:
At least three businesses in trade center set up phone numbers for those looking for friends or relatives: Morgan Stanley, largest tenant with 3,500 employees, Empire Blue Cross and Aon Risk Services

U.S. ATTACKED; President Vows to Exact Punishment for ‘Evil’:
Hijackers ram two jetliners into World Trade Center towers in New York City, eventually toppling them in hellish storm of ash, glass, smoke and leaping victims; third plane crashes into Pentagon in Virginia, and fourth plunges to ground near Pittsburgh; military is put on highest state of alert; National Guard units are called out in Washington and New York; two aircraft carriers are dispatched to New York harbor; Pres Bush, who remained aloft on Air Force One shortly after attacks, later addressed…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE FEDERAL RESERVE; The Financial World Is Left Reeling by Attack:
US Government, concerned that terrorist attack could ignite economic and financial problems in US and around world, scrambles to reassure markets and keep global slowdown from becoming something worse; Federal Reserve issues statement saying it is operating as normal and is making credit available to banks that might need it; banks report no major problems, and financial markets are closed, masking what could be considerable difficulties whenever they reopen; markets will remain closed Sept 12…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MILITARY; U.S. Armed Forces Are Ordered on Highest State of Alert to Protect and Reassure:
Jet fighters fly patrols over New York and Washington, and warships steam along Atlantic and Pacific coasts in case they are needed to protect major cities and landmarks from another wave of suicide attacks; military officials appear before reporters in effort to assure public that damage to Pentagon has not diminished military’s ability to carry out its mission; say search for survivors at Pentagon will take priority over retaliation; every member of US armed forces and every installation….

THE PRESIDENT; A Somber Bush Says Terrorism Cannot Prevail:
Pres Bush vows to retaliate against those responsible for terrorist attacks on New York and Washington; addresses nation from Oval Office; declares he will make no distinction between terrorists who hijacked passenger jetliners and crashed them into World Trade Center and Pentagon and those who harbor them; says terrorist acts cannot touch foundation of America; says America saw evil and very worst of human nature….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE OPERATION; Terrorism Carefully Synchronized and Devastatingly Effective:
Simultaneous highjacking of four airliners and successful use of three of them as flying bombs against World Trade Center and Pentagon represent ingenious marriage of old-school hijacking and ever-more-familiar suicide bomb; terrorists managed to board flights undetected, overcome flight attendants, penetrate cockpits and put one of their own in control of aircraft; synchronization of attacks in New York and Washington noted….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE REACTION; Absorbing a Blow to the Heart of America’s Financial Center:
Many corporations, reeling from attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, suspend operations, closing offices, scrambling plans and struggling to maintain contact with workers; business on Wall Street and in much of downtown New York comes to halt, and offices in major cities are evacuated; Morgan Stanley employs some 3,500 people in World Trade Center, many at its individual-investor operations….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Passengers on US Airways flight circling over Westchester County (NY), waiting to land at La Guardia Airport, react to captain informing them they will be unable to land at La Guardia because an American Airlines Boeing 767 had crashed into World Trade Center…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
John L Tishman, chmn of Tishman Realty and Construction Company, which served as construction manager of World Trade Center three decades ago, joins other Tishman executives in watching disaster unfold at World Trade Center; as South Tower crumbles, Tishman is speechless, and later, wordlessly, goes home….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
New Jersey residents view attack on World Trade Center as speechless and helpless spectators….

A DAY OF TERROR: AN ASSESSMENT; When an Open Society Is Wielded as a Weapon Against Itself:
News analysis of terrorist attacks against US; by hijacking civilian airliners and ramming them into World Trade Center and Pentagon, ‘new kamikazes’ of 21st century used very accessibility of an open society as weapon against it; lesson seems to be that even superior military power is vulnerable and may have inadequate defense against terrorism….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE TIES; In U.S., Echoes of Rift Of Muslims and Jews:
Muslims and Arab-Americans across US brace for repercussions from terrorist attacks on New York and Washington even though there is no definitive information yet about who was behind them; attack resonates particularly among Muslims and Jews, whose kin in Middle East are locked in bitter battle; Muslims struggle to assert their identities as loyal American citizens and to say their religion does not approve of violence against innocents; Jews, meanwhile, cannot help linking victimization of Ameican….

A DAY OF TERROR: WASHINGTON; Stunned Tourists, Gridlocked Streets, Fleeing and Fear: White House and Old Executive Building are frantically evacated as government-wide security alert spreads across Washington in wake of terrorist attack on Pentagon; bureaucrats and other workers run screaming down Pennsylvania Avenue; traffic gridlock grips city; city eventually empties to await return of Pres Bush, and eerie mood prevails as armored vehicles and military policemen take posts at key intersections downtown….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Cab driver who emigrated from Egypt nine years ago responds to terrorist attack by expressing his love for America, observing that it is country that tries to help everybody….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Woman working on 82nd floor of World Trade Center, who had been in building during 1993 explosion, describes how after making it down staircase to street, she experienced horror of seeing mangled and dismembered bodies….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Harriet Cordero, who repairs office equipment, was supposed to go to World Trade Center at 9 am to repair postal machine for company there, but she decided to stop first to make another service call at an office building on Broadway–decision that most likely saved her life….

A DAY OF TERROR; Some Embassies to Stay Closed Today:
At least 12 American embassies to remain closed on Sept 12 in wake of terrorist attacks at home….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Reaction of passengers on train heading to Pennsylvania Station upon seeing World Trade Center towers in flames….

Living Up to ‘Bravest’ and ‘Finest’ Slogans:
Photo of people standing on window ledges of World Trade Center’s north tower as it burns; photos of firefighters exhausted from their labors and mourning lost colleagues….

Article describes scenes of horror in Lower Manhattan after World Trade Center towers were rammed by two hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE REACTION; A Tough City Is Swept by Anger, Despair and Helplessness:
Article describes mood in Manhattan following crashing of two hijacked jetliners into towers of World Trade Center; New Yorkers become united; are emotional and easily moved to sudden tears as well as acts of kindnesses….

A DAY OF TERROR: NEWS ANALYSIS; Awaiting the Aftershocks:
News analysis of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center towers in New York City and on Pentagon with hijacked jetliners; devastating and astonishingly well-coordinated attacks plunge nation into warlike struggle against enemy that will be hard to identify and certainly hard to punish with precision; sense of security and self-confidence that Americans take as birthright suffers grievous blow, from which recovery will be slow….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE BUILDINGS; Towers Believed to Be Safe Proved Vulnerable to an Intense Jet Fuel Fire, Experts Say:
Experts in skyscraper design say cause of collapse of twin towers of World Trade Center in Manhattan following crash by hijacked jetliners was most likely intense fire fed by thousands of gallons of jet fuel; high temperatures of perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 degrees probably weakened steel supports, causing external walls to buckle and floors above to fall straight down–leading to catastrophic failures of rest of buildings….

A DAY OF TERROR: ATTACK ON MILITARY; A Hijacked Boeing 757 Slams Into the Pentagon, Halting the Government:
Hijackers slam Boeing 757 jetliner into Pentagon, triggering thunderous explosion and fierce fires at defense complex and killing and wounding unknown number of people; surprise assault, first in history of 58-year-old building, is within hour of attack on World Trade Center towers in New York City; American Airlines Boeing 757 jetliner with 58 passengers and six crew members is used in attack; fuel-laden plane, diverted while on Washington-Los Angeles flight, slams into west wall of five-sided…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MARKETS; Stocks Tumble Abroad; Exchanges in New York Never Opened for the Day:
Financial markets plunge in Europe and Latin America before trading is halted after attacks that destroy World Trade Center and damage Pentagon; American markets do not open and will remain closed Sept 12; it will be first time that news has kept New York Stock Exchange closed for two full days since Great Depression; stocks fall 4.6 percent in Spain and 8.5 percent in Germany; price of Brent crude oil for November delivery jumps to $28.87 per barrel, up $1.50; price of gold at afternoon fixing…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MEDIA; As an Attack Unfolds, A Struggle to Provide Vivid Images to Homes:
Article appraises news coverage of terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon with hijacked jetliners….

BASEBALL; Selig, in a Sense of Mourning, Cancels Baseball Games:
Major League Baseball Comr Bud Selig calls off full schedule of 15 games and says he will make subsequent decisions on future games in wake of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon; it is third time in history that warlike act prompted postponement of major league games; Selig comment….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MILITANT; America the Vulnerable Meets a Ruthless Enemy:
Terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and against Pentagon, using hijacked airliners and possibly killing thousands, underscores vulnerability of world’s only superpower that has been concern of American defense experts, but has been studied and celebrated by many of terrorist groups that are on list of suspects believed responsible for attacks…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE RIVERS; A Battered Retreat On Bridges To the East:
Survivors of disaster at World Trade Center make exodus over East River bridges to get out of lower Manhattan; they walk in bewilderment and fear, many covered with ash; the strong try to assist the weak; photo of scene on Queensboro Bridge….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRLINES; For the First Time, the Nation’s Entire Airspace Is Shut Down:
Federal Aviation Administration shuts down airspace over United States to commercial traffic minutes after two commercial jets slam into World Trade Center, first time government has taken such drastic step; all planes on ground are barred from taking off, and those in air are given option of continuing to their intended destinations or diverting to nearest airport; most airlines order their plans to land as soon as possible, placing thousands of passengers far away from where they intended to …

A DAY OF TERROR: THE SCHOOLS; Parents Converge to Take Students Home, and Officials Seek to Keep Safe Those Who Remain:
Parents converge on schools to take their children home, or phone their children to tell them that their mothers or fathers are all right; school officials seek to keep safe those children who remain….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE THREAT; Bush Aides Say Attacks Don’t Recast Shield Debate:
Bush administration aides say terrorist attacks against US using hijacked jetliners should not recast debate over usefulness of proposed missile defense system since shield, which is centerpiece of administration’s national security planning, even though proposed shield could not prevent kind of assaults that occurred on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

WILLIAM SAFIRE: Essay; New Day Of Infamy:
William Safire Op-Ed column holds that US must pulverize bases and camps of groups responsible for attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon once their identities are reasonably ascertained; says piloting expertise needed to slam airliners into targets suggests connection with Egyptair crash of 1999; says US intelligence agencies will need a shakeup; praises New York State Governor George E Pataki and Mayor Rudolph W Giuliani for sticking to their posts and reassuring citizens, and says Pres Bush…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRPORTS; Security Long a Concern At United States Airports:
Investigators say terrorists who hijacked four airplanes from three airports on Sept 11 exploited inadequacies in security that they have been warning about for more than a decade….

The War Against America; An Unfathomable Attack:
Editorial says unfathomable terrorist attack on World Trade Center and Pentagon is one of those moments in which history splits and we define the world as ‘before’ and ‘after’; says that if four planes can be taken over simultaneously by suicidal hijackers, then Americans can never be quite sure again that any bad intention can be thwarted, no matter how irrational or loathsome; says it will be hard to match desire for retribution with need for certainty and with knowledge that lives of civilians….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ISRAELIS; Spilled Blood Is Seen as Bond That Draws 2 Nations Closer:
Israeli officials and most Palestinian leaders, including Yasir Arafat, condemn terrorist attack on United States, but Israelis also take cold comfort in concluding that Americans will now share more of their fears, while some Palestinians rejoice at same thought; big crowds of Palestinians march in celebration in Nablus on West Bank….

A DAY OF TERROR: CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK; Live Images Make Viewers Witnesses to Horror:
Critic’s Notebook column appraises television coverage of collapse of World Trade Center towers after terrorists attacked them with hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WARNINGS; Years of Unheeded Alarms:
Terrorist attacks against US using hijacked airliners come after years of debate among experts, who have warned repeatedly of country’s vulnerability to such attacks; alarms have generally gone unheeded….

A DAY OF TERROR: SCHEDULES; Disruptions and Closings Are Expected to Continue: Lower Manhattan is expected to remain cut off from rest of city on Sept 12, and schools and stock exchanges will be closed; subways, streets and bridges leading to Lower Manhattan are also expected to remain closed; other disruptions related to destruction of World Trade Center noted…..

A DAY OF TERROR: DISASTER PLANNING; Attacks Halt Meeting: Terrorst assaults in New York and Washington, DC, halt annual meeting, Big Sky, Mont, of officials of Federal Emergency Management Agency where one of topics was how to prepare for terrorist attacks….


History Buzz August 28, 2011: National Geographic Channel Presents George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview — 10th Anniversary of the Terror Attacks on the US


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.


Former President George W. Bush.


National Geographic Channel presents George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, a world premiere documentary that reveals exclusive, first-person insight into the former president’s experience following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the most in-depth on-camera interview he has ever given on the subject, President Bush recalls what he was thinking and feeling and what drove the real-time, life-or-death decisions he faced in the first minutes, hours and days after the most lethal terrorist attacks ever on U.S. soil. Hear in unprecedented, intimate detail what he grappled with as both commander in chief, and as a man concerned for his family and fellow citizens. George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview also takes viewers behind the scenes with extensive archival footage and exclusive materials directly from his library that open a new window into his personal experiences during that historic day that changed the face of America, and the world, forever. Nat Geo Channel, 8-28-11

“Sept. 11 is a monumental day in our nation’s history,a significant day, and it obviously changed my presidency. I went from being a president that was primarily focused on domestic issues to a wartime president. It’s something I never anticipated nor something I ever wanted to be.” — President George W. Bush

  • Bush on 9/11: ‘This is what war was like in the 21st century’: On Sunday, Aug. 28, two weeks before the 10th anniversary of that day (in other words, today), National Geographic Channel premieres “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” a one-hour documentary on the former president recalling the events of that day, and the days afterward, with clips and photos…. – LAT, 8-28-11
  • 9/11 + 10 years: Ready or not, TV looks back: George W. Bush, seen here in the Oval Office, recounts his actions and thoughts on Sept. 11 and the following days in National Geographic’s “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview. … – WaPo, 8-26-11
  • Nat Geo’s Bush 911 special: Sitting in front of a plain black backdrop, President George W. Bush explains in a steady voice how he called Ted Olson, the lawyer who argued the Bush v. Gore case, to offer his prayers and condolences just after the 9/11 attacks. … – Politico, 8-28-11
  • Bush Re-tells the 9/11 Story As He Lived It: While all Americans remember where they were on the day of the deadliest attack on this nation’s soil, few have had the opportunity to hear about it from the American at the center of the tragedy and its aftermath. … – Fox News, 8-24-11
  • ‘George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview’: Former president projects calm with no qualms: At several points in his first sit-down interview devoted entirely to 9/11, former President George W. Bush says the primary responsibility of a leader during a crisis is to project calm. Even now, almost 10 years after the event…. – New York Daily News, 8-25-11
  • Bush reflects on 9/11: A “turning point in American life”: As the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 nears, the man at the center of the historic attacks on US soil is now speaking candidly on his personal experience and reflecting on his decision-making as he unexpectedly became a wartime president. … – CBS News, 8-24-11
  • Bush interview on 9/11 to air Sunday: Former President George W. Bush wrote about 9/11 in his memoir, Decision Points, but many people have not heard him recall the horror of that day. As this article in the Wall Street Journal eloquently notes, many will be drawn to their TVs to mark the anniversary…. – Dallas Morning News, 8-26-11
  • George W. Bush recalls 9/11 in significant National Geographic Channel documentary: With the approach of the 10 th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there is an abundance of television programming that looks back. “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview” stands out, however. The former president granted just one interview…. – Salt Lake Tribune, 8-25-11
  • ‘Never forget’: George W. Bush recounts 9/11 in interview: In the years since he left the White House, former President George W. Bush has all but retired from the spotlight. He’s never been a fan of the media. Yet in perhaps his longest interview ever, the ex-commander-in-chief sits down…. – Boston Herald, 8-28-11
  • George W. Bush speaks about day of terrorist attacks: Former President George W. Bush said he tried to “project a sense of calm” in the first moments following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bush spoke about his initial reactions in an interview…. – The Hill, 8-24-11
  • ABC, Fox News Run Clips From National Geographic’s George W. Bush 9/11 Interview: National Geographic Channel’s upcoming interview with former President George W. Bush is beginning to get some attention from TV news. Nat Geo released clips from the interview to some outlets, including ABC News and sister network Fox News Channel.
    ABC ran clips on “Good Morning America” “ABC World News” and “Nightline” yesterday, while FNC featured it during its news programs this morning. ABC had Terry Moran doing a voiceover over clips from the special, which runs on Nat Geo Sunday evening…. – Media Bistro, 8-28-11

Ron Chernow: Wins History Prize for Washington Biography

Source: NYT, 3-3-11

The historian Ron Chernow has won the annual American History Book Prize for his biography “Washington,” the New-York Historical Society announced on Thursday. Roger Hertog, chairman of the society’s board, said the book, published by Penguin Press, would “undoubtedly become the definitive life of our first president.” Mr. Chernow is also the author of biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Alexander Hamilton, among other works. The prize, which comes with an engraved medal, the title of American Historian Laureate and an award of $50,000, will be presented on April 8 in Manhattan.

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