Monday, January 31, 2011

Obama daughters enjoy basketball with Mystics star

Looks like the Obama girls had a great fun filled weekend. According to The Hill, President Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha Obama, spent this past Saturday morning playing basketball with Washington Mystics star Alana Beard.

From The Hill:
President Obama has played basketball with some of the best professional players in the world. But this weekend, an unlikely basketball star joined Obama on the court: Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard. Beard and Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia, were part of a group that played at FBI headquarters on Sunday for about two hours, as were some of the Obama girls' school friends. No word on how the president matched up against Beard, who stands 5'11" and weighs 160 lbs., but her visit was likely a treat for the first daughters, both of whom are playing basketball this season.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hillary Clinton arrives in Haiti for a half day visit


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Haiti today to speak with presidential candidates about the November 28 election results that have come under scrutiny for fraud allegations. She also talked to the press in Haiti and hoped to see if there was a possibility for a second election. Also during the half day visit she visited a cholera clinic and spoke with health officials throughout the area.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hillary Clinton will discuss Egypt on all 5 Sunday shows tomorrow


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make the rounds tomorrow on all the major Sunday talks shows in light of the ongoing protests in Egypt. She is set to appear on ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, CNN's State of the Union, and Fox's News Sunday.

Fuss about the First Lady's fashion

Tina Berning

The first lady's decision to wear an non-American designer to the state dinner for China has drawn praise and criticism from a host of commentators. The loudest of them was Oscar de la Renta (who has in the past dressed many first ladies), an American designer who criticized the first lady for wearing European clothes. Of course, his comments made headlines around the blogsphere and even into mainstream newspapers. Well today in the New York Times,  Kate Betts wrote a fantastic op-ed that will hopefully put the issue to rest.

Maybe she chose not to promote a specific American brand at the state dinner last week, but she certainly promotes a healthy sense of enjoyment and individuality in fashion. With her brio and idiosyncratic clothing choices, Mrs. Obama has rewritten the dress code for women who work. We wear cardigans now instead of always jackets, flats instead of impossibly high platform heels. We have a little fun with fashion, even to the point of being more frivolous. And, most important, we dress for ourselves, something the first lady does so effortlessly it’s hard to imagine that there had ever been any dress code for her position. With her floral prints and hula hoops, she’s not afraid to flaunt her femininity — so why should the rest of us be?
You can read the rest of the article, "Boosting America, in Her Own Fashion", here.

President Obama appoints two women Deputy Chief of Staffs

President Obama announced two new Deputy Chief of Staffs both of which are women. Nancy DeParle, the head of the White House Office of Health Reform and Alyssa Mastromonaco, the current White House director of Scheduling and Advance.

Nancy DeParle will become the Deputy Chief of Staff for policy, replacing Mona Sutphen, who we spotlighted here yesterday. Ms. DeParle led the White House in passing health care legislation last year and previously worked in the Clinton White House working as director of the Health Care Financing Administration and a commissioner with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). A fun fact about Nancy is that she was named one of the Glamour Magazine's top ten college women in 1978.

(All Offical White House Photos by Pete Souza)

Joining Nancy, is Alyssa Mastromonaco who will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. Previously, Ms. Mastromonaco was charged with making sure the White House is running smoothly and effectively, something she is familiar with as the current ddirector of Scheduling and Advance. She has been a loyal staff member for President Obama since February 2005, serving as his scheduling director in the Senate and working as the director of scheduling and advance for his presidential campaign.

So great to have two women appointed to higher positions in the Obama administration.

Friday, January 28, 2011

PoliticalGirl TV: Michelle Obama's talks outreach for military families on ABC News

First lady Michelle Obama chatted with Robin Roberts this morning about her new focus on military families. Mrs. Obama talked about her new program that launches in March that will rally Americans around the families of our soldiers.

Flashback Fridays: Vintage Jill and Joe Biden

Old School Jill and Joe! Luvs it!

PoliticalGirl TV: "Violence will not make these grievances go away" - Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the violence erupting in Egypt today. Anti-government protests have been occurring for four straight days and she urged the the Egyptian government to control its security forces from violence and asked from restraint the violent protesters.
"The Egyptian government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away." - Hillary Clinton

The woman beside the new Press Secretary: Claire Shipman

Yesterday, it was announced that Jay Carney, the current director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden and a former Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, will be selected as the new White House press secretary. While we here at Political Girl were rooting for a woman and in particular this woman, we are pleased that the new spokesman for the Obama administration has a well accomplished woman beside him.

Claire Shipman is a veteran reporter for ABC Newsand regularly reports for Good Morning America in her role as Senior National Correspondent. Before coming to the ABC News in 2001, Shipman was a White House correspondent for NBC News since 1997.

Many have wondered if a partisan spokesperson and reporter relationship is ethically correct or if ABC News would somehow be at an advantage because of his role in the administration. Mr. Carney believes that it can work and even said so in an interview with the Washington Post in 2009.
Washington Post: One of the most notable members of the press corps is your wife, Claire Shipman, correspondent for ABC News. How do you avoid blurting out scoops over the dinner table?
Carney: I just don't, partly because we don't get to see each other that much thanks to my new job...We're figuring it out as I go. She's not a beat reporter at the White House. That's something she did before. She does some political stories. I tell her, 'Call Gibbs, call Rahm' or something like that when she's working on something. Because I can't be a source. But she's cool with that.
What do you think of the pick of Jay Carney? A good fit or a bad choice. Sound off below.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On Base: First Lady Michelle Obama visits Fort Jackson, SC


First lady Michelle Obama visited Fort Jackson, South Carolina today to speak at an Army basic combat training graduation as well as tour the military post and meet with officials about her childhood obesity campaign, Let's Move!

Girl Crush: Meet Mona Sutphen, Deputy Chief of Staff to President Obama

(All official White House photos by Pete Souza)

Soo, I have always had a semi crush on this woman - Mona Sutphen. She is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to President Obama. She was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in the White House at the National Security Council, at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, in the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, in the State Department human rights bureau, and at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok from from 1991 to 2000. Understand now why I have the crush.

However, news reports are stating that she is out at the White House after a revamping of the administration after the midterm elections as well as her desire to spend more time with her family. We here at Political Girl wish her well and hope that she doesn't stay away from public service too long.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Michelle Obama will appear on "Good Morning America" on Friday

First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on "Good Morning America" on Friday to continue her outreach for military families.

From ABCNews:
As the first anniversary of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to fight obesity approaches, ABC News “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts accompanies Mrs. Obama in South Carolina for a first-hand look at how the issue impacts the military and its recent efforts to combat the problem. “GMA” goes behind-the-scenes with the First Lady as she tours the base in Fort Jackson, observes basic training initiatives, and meets with a top General spearheading a program to get soldiers to eat healthier food. Roberts will also sit down with Mrs. Obama for a wide-ranging interview to air Friday, January 28 on “Good Morning America.”

I can't wait to watch the interview which will also feature the First Lady in South Carolina. And by my count, Mrs. Obama has interviewed with Robin a couple of times, probably more than any other anchor/reporter. Ms. Roberts also interviewed Sarah Palin last year in one of her first interviews outside of FOX News. Looks like Robin Roberts is on a roll.

State of the Union: Hugs for Christina Taylor Green

(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the Green family after the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011. John and Roxanna Green are the parents of eleven-year-old Dallas and the late Christina Taylor, the nine-year-old girl killed when a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson earlier this month. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Photos: Susan Rice, Nancy Pelosi talk with President Obama

President Barack Obama listens as Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting with U.N. Ambassadors in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Dec. 13, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama has lunch with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, Dec. 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The White House released these photos of US Ambassador Susan Rice and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both talking with  President Obama in December. When you bring women to the table, you are opening yourself to so much knowledge President Obama! Luvs it.

Photos: Busy week for Madam Secretary Clinton


Super busy week for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton! She met with Spain's Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez (1st,2nd picture) at the State Department yesterday along with Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev (3rd picture). She also participated in a news conference today with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh at the State Department.

Michelle Obama honors military families on "Oprah" show

 Harpo Productions

The first pictures of First Lady Michelle Obama on ".The Oprah Winfrey Show" have emerged. She pre-taped the interview earlier this week and it will air nationally tomorrow.

From the AP:
Michelle Obama says whenever she's feeling bad or sorry for herself she thinks of America's military families. Obama is to appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Thursday. In quotes provided Wednesday by Harpo Productions, Obama says "I suck it up because of these families." The first lady says she's impressed by the strength, pride and courage of military families. She says their "willingness to sacrifice without complaint" moves her. The episode of Winfrey's Chicago-based talk show also includes journalists Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward as they and Obama share the stories of American military families. Obama says she also finds military families resilient. She says it's hard to get their message out because "they never ask for help."

Photo of the Day: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand chats with Rand Paul

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sat next to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) at yesterday's State of the Union address. In the spirit of bipartisan, many members of Congress sat next to a member of a different party.

Hmmm, I wonder what they talked about?

Sens. Nancy Pelosi, Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer spotted at the State of the Union

With yesterday's State of the Union address, we were able to see a lot of our favorite Political Girls out and about. We spotted First Lady Michelle Obama and Senior Advisor making their entrance into the chamber, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Amy Klobuchar. Also earlier in the day, we caught sight of Ms. Jarrett walking with other White House advisors David Axelrod and David Plouffe before the big speech.
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