Rise and Shine….profiles of the team pt.3

Weekly Address


Cecilia Muñoz: Top domestic policy advisor






Cecilia Muñoz’s to-do list is so lengthy, it fills a binder. Whether it’s on the priority of the day–strategizing on how to pass sweeping gun control legislation–or preparing comprehensive immigration reforms that will change the way this country lives together and works together, Muñoz is working through that notebook (emblazoned “Cecilia’s Daily Binder”) 24 hours a day. She’s in before the sun comes up and if she leaves the White House in the evening, she’s never without her Blackberry.


Alyssa Mastromonaco: WH Deputy COS



Members of U.S. President Barack Obama's staff Plouffe, Mastromonaco and Favreau are pictured in a parking lot as Obama meets with the spouses of military members in Norfolk




Remember Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman on The West Wing? White House deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromonaco is the real-life version, and she talks and thinks faster than any Aaron Sorkin character. She was Obama’s scheduler back when he was a mere senator, orchestrated his every movement throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, managed his hunt for a running mate, and since then has become his go-to gal for everything from overseeing the cabinet staff to managing the Hurricane Sandy response. “When people need something at the White House, I have a lot of swat,” she admits, laughing. She is known not only for her ability to read the president’s mind but for having the discretion to keep it to herself


Marvin Nicholson: Personal Assistant to the President

20  13






The man who would be president takes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — on whole wheat, strawberry jelly preferred to grape — twice a day on the campaign trail. He wears $15 reading glasses, off the rack at CVS. Before bedtime, he starts but rarely finishes movies like ”Seabiscuit” and ”The Blues Brothers” in his hotel suite. Come morning, he leaves $20 for the maid…. Meet Marvin Nicholson Jr., chief of stuff. ”I can’t help with policy, I don’t do press,” said Mr. Nicholson, 32, a former bartender and golf caddie who never voted before meeting Mr. Kerry in 1998. ”When he wants that peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I’m ready.”


Jennifer Palmieri: Communications Director







Jennifer Palmieri was the Senior Vice President for Communications at American Progress. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Palmieri was the National Press Secretary for the 2004 Edwards for President campaign. She held the position of National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee during the 2002 election cycle, and is an eight year veteran of the Clinton White House. Ms. Palmieri was a White House Deputy Press Secretary from 1998 to 2001. She also served in the White House as a Special Assistant to White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta and Deputy Director of Scheduling and Advance. Her career in politics began in the Congressional office of Congressman Leon Panetta (D-CA). She is a graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C.


Antony Blinken: Deputy National Security Advisor








President Obama named Tony Blinken to the post of Deputy National Security Advisor on Jan. 25, 2013.  Blinken’s former boss, Vice President Joe Biden, described his right-hand man on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as “one of the smartest guys I’ve ever worked with.”  In the room during the dramatic operation that nabbed al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, Blinken was Biden’s top staffer on the key committee until 2002, helping to craft policy on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Pakistan and the nuclear program in Iran, among other issues. He also served on the National Security Council during Bill Clinton ‘s presidency and was a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a left-leaning foreign policy think tank.


Lisa Monaco: Deputy Nat. Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism




Barack Obama, Robert Mueller, Lisa Monaco, Eric Holder,  Tony Blinken, Joe Biden





Lisa Monaco is a smart cookie, no doubt about that. And a true-blue Democrat.  The Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School grad, who turns 44 in February, has climbed so steadily through the government’s national security ranks that her new job as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama seems almost preordained. Rumors are flying that she may even replace Bob Mueller at the FBI before too long.  Yet it’s almost certain that few people outside of Washington’s insular national security world will ever have heard of her. Resume


Barack Obama is coming to the meeting Central America Forum on Sustainable Economic Development  at the Old Customs House at 12:50PM EST for the activity is scheduled for around 1:00 pm EST

AF1, which is transported to President Obama, will take off from Base Two in the Juan Santamaria Airport around 3:00 pm EST. The President will return to Washington D.C. in the evening


Good Morning TOD! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, LovelyPlains.

164 Responses to “Rise and Shine….profiles of the team pt.3”

  1. May 4, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Good Morning everyone.

  2. May 4, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Thank you LP, for the great postings.

  3. 3 Roberta in MN
    May 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Good Morning everyone. Congrats on 1st CarolMaeWY

  4. 7 mtmarilyn
    May 4, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Good morning everyone. Thanks for the great R & S LovelyPlains! It is so wonderful to know who is working in the West Wing.

    GM Carol.

  5. May 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Thank you, lovelyplains – this team stuff is very interesting !

  6. 16 utaustinliberal
    May 4, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Great profiles.

  7. May 4, 2013 at 8:18 am

    GM TOD. Congrats on first Carol, Roberta and mtmariyln close behind….

  8. May 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

    • 19 globalcitizenlinda
      May 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

      wonder what the 3 rightwing stooges (graham, mcCain & ayotte) are going to do about this appointment which they can’t obstruct?

  9. May 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

    • 21 jacquelineoboomer
      May 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Oh, yes, we remember it well. I notice Samantha had to wait until Secretary Clinton left the administration. Not sure there’s a connection.

  10. 22 ouapiti
    May 4, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Happy weekend, all! And thanks, lovely Plains, for these WH staff profiles — really great!

  11. 25 Roberta in MN
    May 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I always thought she got a raw deal. But at that time (she was correct about Hillary) You have to watch what comes out of your mouth, on or off the record. Someone will record it. I hope this works out for her.

  12. 26 Roberta in MN
    May 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Thanks LP for the profiles, a excellent wake up post.

  13. May 4, 2013 at 8:33 am

  14. May 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

  15. 33 mtmarilyn
    May 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

    It’s Saturday morning. I am so ready for the weekend. Hope everyone has a great day.
    What is the President’s schedule today? Do we know what next week’s schedule?

    • 34 JER
      May 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Saturday: President Obama attends economic development forum in Costa Rica, returns to Washington PM.

      Sunday: President Barack Obama will be the speaker for Ohio State’s spring commencement this year.

      The ceremony will take place at noon May 5… President Obama is the third sitting president to deliver Ohio State’s commencement address.

  16. 40 vitaminlover
    May 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

    When does he return?

  17. May 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Wow UT. That is an impressive start to the morning! Very interesting and informative reading.

  18. 43 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 8:55 am

    How people vote for such nuts really beats me.

    • 44 prettyfoot58
      May 4, 2013 at 9:49 am

      it is all from being in that echo chamber…Nuts beget Nuts….the question is can we change their point of view….if we can’t then they have to be defeated….because they hold us all back,,,

  19. 45 Jovie
    May 4, 2013 at 8:55 am

    You notice the media writes about the President not having any diversity in his cabinet, right before he makes a pick?
    Then, the pick is always diverse?
    This is to say the media made him do it.
    But how do they know, is the media tipped off ahead of time who the President will pick?
    It wouldn’t be difficult, because CONGRESS is informed prior to any picks.
    Thus, it is not to far reaching to suggest that Congress, most likely Republucabs are leaking to the press who the President will pick, and then twisting it.

    • 46 hopefruit2
      May 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Yes, I think you’re exactly right about this pattern in the media and who is probably leaking info to them.

      The media and GOP in Congress are obsessed with this President!

    • 47 prettyfoot58
      May 4, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Not sure if the MSM is that smart to create this kind of conspiracy…I think that they are just so eager to find ways to attack PBO on as many fronts as possible…

    • 48 criquet
      May 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

      The only thing I would say is that no one should think the media made PBO do anything because the vetting process would have been going on probably not long after the 2012 election because those staffers etc leaving would have indicated their departure.

      • 49 carolyn
        May 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

        I agree with this. I firmly do not believe that leaks or the press force this president to do anything he doesn’t plan to. They are all about themselves, yet obsessed with him.

  20. May 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Important story…take the time to read it if you can

    • May 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Excellent profiles LP, thank you!!!!!!

      Mooooooooooorning everyone!

    • 55 desertflower
      May 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

      This graphic reminds me of me:) I remember talking to my kids all day, every day. It was like I was talking to myself, but I didn’t care. Maybe that’s why I talk to myself now and answer myself back:) When we would read to the kids when they were tiny babies, my husband didn’t want to read baby stories, so he would sit and rock my daughter and read her “The Hobbit”. You know, to this very day, she loves all things J RR Tolkien:) She can recite, word for word, all the parts of all the movies…..puts a little smile on my face.
      Makes me sad that not all children have this kind of literacy and connection to words.

  21. 56 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

    • 57 hopefruit2
      May 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

      That’s all they’ve been doing, wasting time with shitty, dead-end, “repeal” bills trying to undo the good that this administration has been doing. When will media pundiots like Ezra Klein and Chris Hayes focus on the absolute and utter non-governance by the elected Republicans instead of harassing the President on BS like chained CPI, drones and Gitmo?

      • 58 Jovie
        May 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

        That’s why I say they have the subjects they can focus on, and go over it with the Bosses at Msnbc.

    • 59 99ts
      May 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I have no memory in the past 50 years of a parliament in my world ever attempting to repeal a law. They have modified and changed some (our health care was one), they have increased and reduced taxes and fees (at one stage for about 15 years there were no college fees) but I just can’t remember a complete law ever being repealed.

      The congress under the44th President is utterly dysfunctional – and to an extent evil – that they would repeal laws designed to help the majority of the population is insane – and that people still vote for them is a sad reflection on that insanity.

      • 60 Jovie
        May 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

        The politicians are using fear and racism to garnish Votes. Example- we are repealing ACA because we don’t want our tax dollars going to the…
        I hear that all the time…. 😦

    • 61 a4alice
      May 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

      no kidding amk. that’s exactly what the GOP are doing ~ just look at their actions, such as this. Trying to keep our nations kids firmly dumb, scared and quiet.

  22. May 4, 2013 at 9:01 am

    These two Swiss pilots are conservationists and want to end dependence of fossil fuels…

  23. 64 globalcitizenlinda
    May 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Heads up “blog tyrants”. May be you need to prepare their O-H-I-O related material for tomorrow.

    The city of Columbus and The Ohio State University (OSU) are in a high level of excitement as OSU prepares for an exceptional commencement speaker tomorrow (Sun) – the one and only PBO. Listened to OSU President, and he was giddy with excitement and pride that PBO agreed to come for commencement tomorrow .

    Probably PBO will be tired after the past few days but we are happy to have him in any form.

    Our right-winger governor Kasich will probably show up because he needs to win re-election and voters already sent him a warning when they handily defeated the union-busting policy he supported. Kasich claimed after the vote that he had learned his lesson and some of new-found humility and policy options since then seem to show he now knows which of the red lines not to cross!

    OSU just completed its first academic year of transitioning from the quarter to the semester system. Sunday will be its 1st graduation under the semester system and its going to be huge.

    Aat least 10,000 students are expected to graduate sun (OSU’s largest graduation ever per reports). Together with family and friends, more than 80,000 people are expected at the football stadium (The Horse Shoe or The Shoe).

    thank God its just a few minutes walk for me! as usual when PBO is in town, I have to be there – events can’t proceed without me.

    Go Buckeyes! Go Bucks! O-H-I-O

    • 65 hopefruit2
      May 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Thanks for the heads-up linda! This should be QUITE exciting. 80,000 people? WOW!

      Daniel Day Lewis will have to continue rehearsing on how to say “Ohio” Obama-style!

    • 66 desertflower
      May 4, 2013 at 9:28 am

      That’s my school!! Wish I could be there:) How’s the weather looking for tomorrow??

      • 67 mtmarilyn
        May 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

        GM morning DF. Tomorrow sounds like it will be a must if you live in Columbus. How exciting for your alma mater!!!

      • 68 globalcitizenlinda
        May 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

        weather is cooperating; mid-seventies today and tomorrow. rain would be a bummer given the lack of roof

  24. 69 carolyn
    May 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Liberal Librarian…..Just read your poetry post. A Big THANK YOU!!! I taught poetry for years. My college age students always responded to it. However, when I taught adult students, they REALLY loved poetry. The course was entitled Literature in Life…..we read and discussed drama, prose and poetry. At the end of the class I would ask them which of the three they preferred. Every time the answer was poetry, and it was a surprise to them.
    I would ask them why, and their answer was……..It gives us space. We can walk around in it…….it doesn’t set everything in stone. I’m sure you understand what they were saying. That is true about poetry……I love the “we can walk around in it”
    You put one of my favorites first, Donald Hall.
    Many of the older students had “studied poetry” in grade and high school, and remembered what I call old-fashioned poetry. We studied 20th century poetry, new poetry ,and they were stunned by what it said and meant to them.

    • 70 a4alice
      May 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

      LL I’ll tag onto carolyn’s comment – the poetry post was great! So many poems from peeps! loved it 🙂

  25. 71 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

  26. 79 Jovie
    May 4, 2013 at 9:28 am

  27. 82 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Off to south africa in another 9 hours. Friggin’ 15 hours in an aluminum tube.

  28. 93 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Chips, is this yours ?

  29. 95 Jovie
    May 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

    • 96 anniebella
      May 4, 2013 at 10:12 am

      What is it they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because their is nothing beautiful about Sarah Palin. She is a ugly bitch inside and out.

    • 97 hopefruit2
      May 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

      It says a lot about these men’s marriages and/or their love lives that they are clinging to a washed-up, ne’er-been like Sarah Palin for sexual gratification.

    • 99 africa
      May 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

      These people call themselves journalists. They elevated this hateful woman, birthers and all. I have no respect for many of them, none whatsoever.

    • 100 4morefor44
      May 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

      how about 8 years in the white house? now that’s some real “staying power” isn’t it, johnny? and since president obama won in landslides each time, that would also be considered a “mandate” which johnny and friends never applied to our current president, but did like crazy to the previous president who lost the popular vote and was appointed by the corrupted justices on the supreme court, and “won” the second time by a few million votes (millions fewer than president obama won with the second time) with really suspicious electronic voting results from a few corrupted (proven) secretary of states, especially in ohio. why have you guys done that, johnny harwood, why?

  30. 101 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Hundreds of people turn out in the Chinese city of Kunming to protest at plans to build a factory producing a toxic chemical for the textile industry.


  31. 102 globalcitizenlinda
    May 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

    ever since the ABC reporter asked that “juice” question to PBO, I have become very tired of all the nonsense coming from the beltway types as they fall over themselves trying to provide “proof” that POTUS “lack juice”.

    PBO has always said (including in his famous “I am Really Proud of You” video clip to this staff a day after the 2012 election – see TOD” that the ordinary people are the source of strength (aka his motivation or his “juice”).

    I don’t know if this is worth it but I am considering sending is a few creative types could modify this and ask OFA to officially adopt it: Something related to this (but could be shortened and made more biting):

    “I am an Obama Supporter – I am his juice”. or Proud President Obama Supporter aka ” Obama’s juice”

    • 103 mtmarilyn
      May 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Great idea!!!!

    • 104 criquet
      May 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

      It was such a stupid question because PBO is only 100 days into his second term.
      A week is a long time in politics far less about 190 weeks ( 1330 days). So much can and will happen. They can’t be so stupid ( I don’t think) so I agree with you on their being an agenda.Unfortunately for the media, people aren’t as stupid and gullible as they think and many see right through them.
      They tried it during the 2012 presidential election and it did not work. It won’t work now either.

      • 105 debz
        May 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

        I cant remember anyone in the “press” talking about “the first 100 days” of a President’s 2nd term before. There is no such thing. Maybe these same morons in the media need to be reminded that on the President’s actual first 100 days in 2009, they were telling us what a failure he was for not accomplishing anything. He has done more in his first term than any other recent Pres has done in 2. POTUS could take a vacation the next 4 years and do nothing and still be one of the most successful Presidents in history.

  32. 106 japa21
    May 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

  33. 107 amk for obama
    May 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Question for the ladies

    I need to buy some gift for the wonderfully nice secretary of our bidness partner in south africa. What’s your tip ?

    Perfume/Scarf/Jewelry/ or what ?

    PS: Don’t get any ideas. She is over sixty.

  34. 119 japa21
    May 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

  35. 120 japa21
    May 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

  36. 122 Jovie
    May 4, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I don’t Like MHP tone.
    Just my opinion, so don’t patronize me or anything! 🙂

  37. May 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

  38. 126 donna dem 4 obama
    May 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Good Saturday Morning TOD!

    globalcitizenlinda, I like your idea. We can start with this. 😉

  39. 131 Nena20409
    May 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Good Morning, Good Morning to TODers everywhere 😉

    Sorry but Jovie…..I have no idea how you will take this report about KP.

    But this is from HP…..so it might not mean much.


  40. 132 Sharon
    May 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Just came across an article in a Costa Rican online in English newspaper that stated that President Obama will be leaving at 1pm today, their time which is two hours earlier than ET. So his remarks will have to come before that. A bit over 4 hour trip home. After the dumb questions he’s gotten so far from the American press, I wouldn’t blame him for skipping that part.

  41. 133 africa
    May 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Morning everyone. Happy Saturday. Very windy in my environs today. But it’s still a great day.

  42. 139 desertflower
    May 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I hope this gets passed around….. It’s quite stark when you see it all laid out


  43. May 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

    OMG!!!! I knew he was scum, but this……Tina fired Kurtz, this idiot should have tossed a long time ago. Goes for Harvard as well.

  44. May 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Will have a new post up in a bit-ish.

    • 146 Nena20409
      May 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Morning Chips….. 😉

      Here’s Anticipation….. 🙂

    • 149 jacquelineoboomer
      May 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      I’m barely awake, really, Chips, so for a minute there, I thought you were calling me a bit*h. My brain read it, “Will have a new post up soon, bit*h.” I thought to myself, “So early?” Ha!

      And while I’ve been typing this, amusing myself, I’m sure the new post is up, bit-ish.

  45. 150 africa
    May 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Random thought. 🙂 🙂

    I am so proud of myself. I have gradually weaned myself off the TV. I am not home in time to watch two that I’d like to watch, Martin and The Rev. Al. Occasionally, I’d watch Maddow, never Chris. So, now I watch Lawarence for a little bit and that’s it for politics. Late night with Letterman or anything else funny, if my eyes are still open by then. Ha!!

    May be a good thing because I need to start studying yet again to take my exams.

    • 151 donna dem 4 obama
      May 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Good for you!! It’s hard at first but then you go for a few weeks without it and suddenly you realize you’re cured 😉

      Also, I’m happy to hear the good news about your husband!!!!

      • 152 africa
        May 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

        Thanks, Donna. Yep, it is somehow liberating not sitting there talking back to the TV, when these pundits are spouting nonsense.

  46. 153 vcprezofan2
    May 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Greetings TODobots, visitors, et al! I’ve got a whole day to meander around the village…at least, I do if I forget about the furniture that needs dusting, the rooms that need re-arranging, the laundry that has to be done, the food to be bought for next week, etc. etc. Fortunately I can please myself about what I forget. 😆 😆

    • 154 vcprezofan2
      May 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Your profile pictures look interesting, LovelyPlains. Thank you, and I’m off to take a closer look.

    • May 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Mooooooooorning VC!!! Oh heck, I have all those jobs to do too, but…….

      • 156 vcprezofan2
        May 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

        ‘I have all those jobs to do too, but…….’ Suh-weet, Chips Chica, a partner with whom to play! Be right with you; let me put on my comfy shoes.

  47. 157 a4alice
    May 4, 2013 at 11:27 am

    well finally got to the bottom. And my Laptop needs to get plugged in! See you guys in awhile!

    Have a good day TOD 🙂

  48. May 4, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Love this rise and shine!! Thank you for highlighting some of the unsung heroes of the President’s very able administration. Great to know more about these great people.

  49. 159 africa
    May 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Cowards deprofiled!!

  50. 160 hopefruit2
    May 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

    • 161 Nena20409
      May 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

      The same way the press today white washes everything. Notice the job reports yesterday. After about an hour………..when they could Not spin it for bad news for this president…..they dropped the News and buried it. Last month with 88K for March in the 1st week of April…..that news was the lede from Friday until Monday and Tuesday Morning the next week.

      It never fails. Good news are buried and ONLY bad news and In what ways they see the Hurt/Harm for pres Obama is all they care about, period.

  51. May 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Here is live coverage of PBO in Costa Rica….in Spanish but will get an idea of his schedule.


  52. 163 hopefruit2
    May 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

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