Archive for May 25th, 2011


more on those tumbling approval ratings



oxford, wednesday

First Lady Michelle Obama listens to students from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School during a visit to Christ Church College at Oxford University

BBC: US First Lady Michelle Obama has been reunited with a group of British schoolgirls she met during a previous visit to the UK … Mrs Obama made a speech at Oxford University and took questions from the children. She paid an emotional visit to their school in Islington, London, in 2009.

…..the First Lady told the schoolchildren she was “thrilled to be back” in the UK and spoke of her own experience of making it from a poor background to a top university.

…. She had received a rapturous round of applause as she arrived at the university’s Christ Church college. She greeted the pupils from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) secondary school as she entered the college’s dining room, where the girls sat at two long tables to listen to Mrs Obama’s remarks.

…The 37 girls were picked for today’s event because they were interested in science but not reaching their full potential. Their meeting with the US president’s wife came after a day of activities for the pupils, including campus tours, career discussions and mentoring sessions. The trip – arranged at Mrs Obama’s suggestion – was designed to encourage the girls to think about studying for a degree. Since visiting EGA in 2009, Mrs Obama has kept in touch with the school, writing letters and encouraging the girls in their studies.

More here


london, wednesday

Text of address

President Obama and British PM David Cameron wave to the media outside 10 Downing St prior to their meeting

All times US Eastern

4:50 AM (9:50 AM UK time) President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with PM Cameron

5:05 AM (10:05 UK) President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Deputy PM Nick Clegg

5:35 AM (10:35 UK) President Obama holds an expanded bilateral meeting with PM Cameron

6:30 AM (11:30 UK) President Obama and PM Cameron attend an event hosted by Mrs. Cameron and Michelle Obama to honor military families, U.S. and U.K. service members and veterans

7:35 AM (12:35 UK) President Obama and PM Cameron hold a joint press conference

10:30 AM (3:30 UK) President Obama delivers remarks to the U.K. Parliament

11:55 AM (4:55 UK) President Obama holds an U.S. Embassy meet and greet

3:30 PM (8:30 UK) President Obama and Michelle Obama hold a dinner in honor of the Queen at the residence of the American ambassador in London

Live here

…with British Deputy PM Nick Clegg

The morning after, President Obama seemed a little confused as to why the British national anthem started playing before he was done speaking at a state dinner. Obama was overheard admitting to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that things didn’t go exactly as he had hoped at Buckingham Palace.

“I thought that it was like out of the movies, where …” Obama began, as Clegg suggested, “There’s a crescendo?”

“… a soundtrack that kind of comes in,” Obama continued, smiling.

“With your voiceover?” Clegg asked, laughing in front of a pool of reporters.

Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron serve food at a barbecue for British and American service members and veterans at Downing Street

President Obama arrives for a news conference to be held with PM David Cameron at Lancaster House in London

Live here

Tom Hanks with his wife Rita Wilson arrive to hear US President Obama’s address in Westminster Hall

President Obama, escorted by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, and Helen Hayman, Lord Speaker of the House of Lords, walks into Westminster Hall to address members of both Houses of Parliament



Ynetnews: US President Barack Obama continues to be popular among American Jews – in fact 15% more popular than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a poll conducted by Israeli lobby J-Street….

According to the poll, Obama managed to maintain his popularity among 59% of American Jews  ….  In contrast, only 44% of American Jews continued to pledge their support to Netanyahu….

Pollster Jim Gerstein told Ynet the survey results prove that whoever thinks Jewish support of the American president has been declining is “detached from reality.”

….Obama’s approval among his Jewish constituencies continues to be higher by 15% than that of the general public. The pollster added that Israel’s declaration of construction in Jerusalem annoyed not only Obama but also American Jews, who thought Israel’s behavior was inadequate based on its close relations with the US…..

Full article here

AFP: The majority of Israelis believe their prime minister should have supported US President Barack Obama’s outline for new peace talks with the Palestinians, according to a poll published Wednesday.

The survey, published in the Maariv newspaper, found 10 percent of Israelis thought Benjamin Netanyahu should have “declared his support for the president’s remarks with no reservations.”

Another 46.8 percent said the Israeli leader should have expressed support “but with reservations,” while 36.7 percent said Netanyahu should have declared his opposition to Obama’s principles for the peace process…..

Thank you Proud & Carole



NYT: Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.

The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom.

Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.

Full article here – Thank you Sarah T 😉

President Obama: “I want to extend my congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Kathy Hochul for her victory in New York’s 26th Congressional District. Kathy and I both believe that we need to create jobs, grow our economy, and reduce the deficit in order to outcompete other nations and win the future. Kathy has shown, through her victory and throughout her career, that she will fight for the families and businesses in western New York, and I look forward to working with her when she gets to Washington.”


Steve Benen: … I can’t help but notice that the month of May has been awfully kind to the Democratic Party. Last night, in a major upset, Buffalo-area voters elected a Democratic congresswoman in a ruby-red district that never elects Democrats. The driving issue of the campaign: the Republican agenda in Congress …. it’s the latest in a line of recent victories.

* New Hampshire: Last week, there was a special election in a state House district where Republicans have dominated for years. The Democratic candidate won in a landslide, even after a local town clerk illegally required photo IDs to vote.

* Florida: Also last week, Jacksonville was home to a high-profile mayoral race, and the state GOP touted the election as the first warning shot of the 2012 cycle. Instead, voters elected Democrat Alvin Brown – Jacksonville’s first African-American mayor – stunning the Republican establishment statewide.

* Wisconsin: Three weeks ago, there was a special election in a Wisconsin state Assembly district that has been represented by a Republican for 16 years. In this case, the Democrat won by eight points.

* Maine: Two weeks ago, there was a special election to fill a vacancy in the state Senate, in a district that has been very competitive in the recent past. In this case, the Democrat won by a crushing 2-to-1 margin.

…. the Republicans would be wise to take a moment to realize Americans aren’t buying what the GOP is selling. Indeed, it looks an awful lot like buyer’s remorse is the most common public sentiment.

Full post here

GOPolitico: President Obama’s grassroots army, Organizing for America, played a significant supporting role in efforts to amp turnout for Kathy Hochul in yesterday’s big special election win, according to Democratic sources.

OFA’s New York chapter – joining other national groups like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – manned phone banks and dropped campaign lit, and some even went door-to-door in the heavily Republican upstate district.

…Tuesday’s win is critical for Obama’s 2012 narrative: That reckless Republicans are intent on wrecking Medicare – and can be stopped if Democrats band together. Just like in ’08.

OFA-NY hosted 22 phone banks in the district and in other parts of the state over the 12 days leading up to Tuesday’s election … the group also made 3,402 in-person contacts with voters out of a 53,000-contact door-knocking efforts led by local Democrats, unions and Hochul’s own field organizers.

And OFA used its vaunted email list to recruit volunteers, text likely voters and push blog posts and news stories favorable to Hochul – and whacking Republican Jane Corwin, who lost by a slim four points in a tight three-way race to replace shirtless and seat-less former GOP Rep. Chris Lee.








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