Tag Archives: barack obama

WATCH: Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Obama’s rocked all of his 8 speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This year is full of occasions that will be his last in the White House. It took me a while to warm to him, but he’s certainly been one of the best US Presidents of my lifetime. He hasn’t got it all right, by any manner of means, but his tenacity in getting his healthcare reform through despite everything the Republicans threw at it was particularly commendable.

Anyway, this speech doesn’t quite have a Lion King moment, but the bit where he has a go at Prince George was hilarious.

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Must-see TV series: Inside Obama’s White House

While I was on holiday, BBC 2 sneaked out the first episode of a fantastic series: Inside Obama’s White House. You can currently watch the first three episodes of the series here on BBC iPlayer.

This is a brilliant series produced by Brook Lapping for the BBC. They’ve got some truly sensational behind-the-scenes footage. So, as they tell the story of Obama’s presidency, they are able to show specific video of that event behind-the-scenes – advisers emerging from a crunch meeting or whatever. And they have a remarkable parade of players giving their retrospective view on events: from Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, to John Kerry, Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and chief adviser David Axelrod.

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What the Liberal Democrats could learn from Obama, Sanders and Trudeau

Justin Trudeau by Canadian Pacific CCL FlickrAs a young American woman who has interned in the Canadian Parliament, volunteered for American campaigns and is now working in the British Parliament, it has been interesting following the 2015 British Parliamentary elections through a variety of lenses. The recent change of government in Canada and the ongoing presidential election in the United States seem worth unpacking, in order to delve into possible lessons which could be learned by Liberal Democrats from these other spaces.

I propose that there are lessons worth learning from two American Democrats, President Obama and Bernie Sanders, as well as Canada’s new Prime Minister Trudeau. For the former, the reasons may be self-evident. President Obama rose from a relatively unknown position into an incredibly influential presidency. For Bernie Sanders, it is worth understanding how another political outsider has once again come to challenge Hillary Clinton in her bid for the presidency. Though he will likely lose the primary, Mr. Sanders has been a formidable opponent from a stance that rarely would be noticed in the United States. With regards to the Canadian elections, I would like to explore the ways in which a party can move from a third-party position into a powerful government in the way the Liberals have done under Trudeau.

There are three characteristics which President Obama and Bernie Sanders have shared in their campaigns: they excel in grassroots organising, they offer clear messages of hope, and their platforms are cohesive. The first point, grassroots organising, is something which Liberal Democrats would benefit from greatly. Bringing staunch supporters out to volunteer in elections is a powerful force to reckon with, especially in university areas. In my home state, Ohio, both Obama and Sanders effectively coordinated university students to participate in the electoral process as vocal volunteers. From what I have seen, it seems that the Liberal Democrats could recruit a significant amount of volunteers from universities for the 2020 elections. This is a lesson sorely learned by the Liberal Democrats in the aftermath of the 2010 elections.  Understanding the implications of reversing stances on university tuition prices is a hard lesson, but it does offer a high incentive for maintaining consistency in the future.

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A morning at the White House

A frisson of expectation sweeps the crowd as the tannoy crackles to life and the announcer declares “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States.” The honour guard comes to attention, the band strikes up Hail to the Chief and the most powerful leader in the world emerges. And when moments later, a black SUV sweeps round the drive and stops in front of the White House to deposit Justin Trudeau, the new Canadian Prime Minister… well, perhaps only a visit from the Queen herself would top Washington DC’s current level of excitement.

This was the scene on the South Lawn of the White House as President Barack Obama welcomed his Canadian counterpart to the capital of the United States yesterday. Clutching my ticket, I had joined the great and good of Washington in a line that stretched halfway round the block, excited to be part of the occasion. Three ID and security checks later and I was in.

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The happiest photo of the week

obamas mclaurin

Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet 106-Year-Old Virginia McLaurin during a photo line in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a reception celebrating African American History Month.

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Saturday humour: Who is best at reading mean tweets about themselves?

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Video: Obama’s hilarious White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech

Sad that there’s only one of these left now. He really is a class act and he knows how to laugh at himself. Enjoy.

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    Spot on Alex.
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