President Obama just arrived in Italy, where he'll spend two days meeting with foreign leaders at the Group of Eight meeting in L'Aquila before heading to Rome where he'll sit down with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Friday.
As he prepares to leave Russia and head to Italy for the G8, President Obama has understandably been focused heavily on foreign policy the past few days. But the White House in an interesting move released a statement from Obama this afternoon on an increasingly heated issue back home: health care reform.
Did President Obama make a flub today when talking about when he met his wife, Michelle? Just before his speech to a university here in Moscow this afternoon, Obama mentioned his first meeting with the future First Lady in an offhand remark. "I don't know if anybody else will meet their future wife or husband in class like I did, but I'm sure you'll all going to have wonderful careers," the president said.
In his speech here in Moscow today, President Obama pushed for a more cooperative and trusting relationship between the U.S. and Russia, but that didn't stop him from delivering some tough words when it comes to the country's track record on democracy. "By no means is America perfect, but it is our commitment to certain universal values which allows us to correct our imperfections and to grow stronger over time," Obama said.
There was a funny moment during President Obama's presser with Russian Prez Dmitry Medvedev this evening. The Associated Press's Ben Feller asked Obama about conventional wisdom in Russia and beyond that suggests Medvedev isn't really running the show here in Moscow but that the strings are really being pulled by Vladimir Putin, the former president who is now prime minister.
A day after talks seemed in doubt, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a preliminary agreement that if ultimately approved would dramatically reduce each country's stockpile of nuclear weapons.
What does President Obama dislike about himself? His golf swing. Your Gaggler thinks that's sort of a lame answer (Come on Mr. President! Golf?), but that's what Obama told an interviewer from Russia's state-run Rossiya TV and ITAR-TASS news agency ahead of his trip to Moscow. "I don't like my golf swing," Obama said, according to a transcript released by the White House. "It's a game I keep on thinking that I should be good at, and somehow the ball goes this way and that way and never goes...
Good morning from Russia! Your Gaggler is in a very rainy Moscow awaiting the arrival of President Obama who is scheduled to land here in a few hours. He'll spend the next three days meeting with top Russian leaders, including President Dmitry Medvedev and former president turned Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Here's more from President Obama's interview this morning with the Associated Press's Jennifer Loven:On Russia, Obama was asked why he plans to meet with former Russian President Vladimir Putin in addition to talks with current leader Dmitry Medvedev. "(Putin) still has a lot of sway…and I think that it's important that even as we move forward with President Medvedev that Putin understand that the old Cold War approaches to U.S.-Russian relations is outdated — that's it's time to move...
Vice President Joe Biden just landed in Baghdad in a surprise two-day visit to Iraq. According to the White House, Biden is there to meet with U.S. military officials and troops and will sit down with Iraqi political leaders including President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
When President Obama met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for the first time last April, both men called for a new day in relations between the two countries.
President Obama heads to the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., today to hold a health care town hall. It's the second time in a week that Obama has taken questions from the public on reform efforts.
Vice President Joe Biden's official portfolio is expanding. NEWSWEEK has learned that President Obama has asked Biden to take the lead role on Iraq as the U.S. begins its scheduled drawdown of combat troops, a move that comes as administration officials are expressing concerns about the uptick in violence and political instability in the region.Biden's role will be something of an unofficial envoy to Iraq, though he won't handle day-to-day dealings with officials on the ground.
The Gaggle is usually a blog focused on politics, but we'd be remiss not to mention some of the moments when Washington intersects with pop culture. To mark Michael Jackson's sudden death this afternoon, your Gaggler thought it might be appropriate to remember the King of Pop's visit to the White House back in 1984 as a guest of Ronald Reagan. "Well, isn't this a Thriller," Reagan joked.
Your Gaggler wondered yesterday if Mark Sanford would have to own up to using any state funds to either facilitate or cover up his infidelity. Now comes word via his press office that the South Carolina governor will reimburse the state for a junket to Argentina he took a year ago, which is when the affair apparently started.
Who stands to benefit the most from Mark Sanford's troubles? Well, amid all the news yesterday, we missed this new poll the finds Mitt Romney's numbers are inching up, not just among Republicans but the general public According to the latest Pew survey, 40 percent of those surveyed viewed Romney "favorably"—about a 10 percent increase compared to February 2008 when he quit the GOP presidential primary.