In a 25 minute interview, President Obama told Kara Swisher that he embraces technology and is looking forward to the new Apple Watch! Swisher covered all the technology and security issues and a few fun items. The President seemed proud to embrace the selfie stick but still uses a Blackberry and watches sports on TV.
Leave it to Washington favorites Claire Shipman of ABC News and the BBC’s Katty Kay to create another book to help women in Washington and around the world. “The Confidence Gap” is a must-read for any woman working the halls of Congress, the White House or media outlet. Ms. Shipman has reported from the streets of Moscow to the White House, while Ms. Kay is the anchor of BBC America’s nightly news program. Claire Shipman teaches the ladies of The View how they can become more successful. We think she looks pretty comfortable on the couch.
Veteran comedian and actor Joel McHale is also a veteran attendee of the White House Correspondents Dinner so it will probably give him a leg up on getting the president and the 2,000 attendees to laugh at his jokes. Few comedians are guests before they take the podium to address the notoriously tough crowd and the president sitting inches away.
Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents Association this year, selected McHale who is probably best known for hosting “Talk Soup”, the weekly snarkfest making fun of TV’s lowest moments. His acting career is in high gear as he co-stars in NBC’s “Community.” Thomma is the well respected politics editor of The McClatchy papers. It is the White House Correspondents Association 100th annual dinner so the pressure is on to create a memorable program.
Thomma has stood tall in the White House Correspondents fight with the Obama White House over photographers lack of access to presidential events.
This year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd.
“Together we have accomplished important milestones in improving education for Americans at all levels, especially for those most in need. I know from experience that great teaching, learning and research have the power to transform our nation and the world. To build on the work and considerable outcomes we have achieved, I have decided to return to academia and will leave federal government service this fall,” she wrote in an email. Kanter joined the Department of Education when she was appointed in 2009. Her exit, however, is a massive hole in DoE according to Politico. Her goodbye stressed her accomplishments and praise for the administration:
“I know from experience that great teaching, learning and research have the power to transform our nation and the world. To build on the work and considerable outcomes we have achieved, I have decided to return to academia and will leave federal government service this fall.
Delivering a world-class education for all is what I have dedicated my life to get done every day. Serving as your Under Secretary has deepened my understanding and appreciation of what “service to improve the public good of our nation” really means. The promise and power of delivering good government to our students and families is a tireless, phenomenal effort, often with few external rewards if done honestly, fairly and well. What unfolds each and every day never ceases to amaze me, even now. I could never have imagined a more exciting and challenging opportunity. For that I thank President Obama, Secretary Duncan and each of you.”
With an uplifting sign-off (“Full speed ahead!”) Kanter plans to go back into education. There are no current names being thrown around for her role or the still-vacant Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Even the days of 2009 where Kanter was confirmed in three months seem like a forgotten era. Kanter hasn’t specified exactly what type of “academia” she’s heading back to, but it’ll hopefully have a better cafeteria and quad than Seaton Section Park outside of DoE.
Dina Powell, President George W. Bush’s former State Department and White House top adviser, and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation is weighing in with an important Huffington Post blog on Egypt and it’s future. Its women who can help lead Egypt out of the grip of chaos.
“As the world watches events in Egypt unfold, its leaders have a unique opportunity to be an example for the region by fully empowering its women to play a greater role in the economy and society. Egypt will never reach its full potential and its economy will continue to struggle until it gives women an equal seat at the table.
Power outages, fuel shortages, high youth unemployment, and struggling small businesses are only a few of the many symptoms of Egypt’s floundering economy. Over the last two and a half years, GDP growth has slowed dramatically and foreign investment collapsed. Without change, the economy is likely to get worse. While Egypt needs to resolve a myriad of challenging issues, the economy needs to be the primary focus of the next government. Until young people find jobs and the economy stops its free fall, Egypt will continue to suffer wide spread discontent and disillusionment. And one way to increase economic growth is to expand the role of women in the economy.
Historically, women have played a critical role in Egypt’s economy and government. In recent years, however, attitudes toward women in Egypt have unfortunately taken a turn for the worse. The limited rights women have fought so hard for are imperiled and violence against women appears to be increasing. Human Rights Watch has reported that over the recent four days of protests, 91 women were sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square. A 2013 United Nations study found that a shocking 99 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, an increase from 2008 when a similar study suggested that 83 percent of Egyptian women have been sexually harassed.
Egyptian women are severely underrepresented in the economy. According to World Bank data from 2011, only 24% of Egyptian women participate in the labor force. A 2010 report on Egypt published by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor concluded that the entrepreneurial gender gap in Egypt is among the highest in the world. The paucity of women business owners is damaging to the Egyptian economy especially since the World Bank has found that female owned firms in the region hire more workers than male owned firms.
My firm, Goldman Sachs, has conducted research that shows that narrowing the gender gap in employment could increase global income per capita as much as 20% by 2030. Research also suggests that educating and empowering women catalyzes a virtuous cycle that positively affects the health, education and productivity of future generations. As a result of this research, Goldman Sachs launched the 10,000 Women initiative in 2008, a global initiative to help local economies grow and bring about greater shared prosperity by providing 10,000 underserved women entrepreneurs with a business and management education, access to mentors and networks and links to capital. 10,000 Women fully capitalizes on woman entrepreneurs, which is just the boost that Egypt’s economy so desperately needs.
In Egypt, over the last four years, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative has made meaningful progress helping empower women by working in partnership with the American University in Cairo and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to train more than 300 high potential women business owners in Egypt from nearly every governorate throughout the country. The 200-hour curriculum focuses on leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Participants also receive access to business advising, networking and ongoing training workshops. In addition, 10,000 Women works closely with the Social Fund for Development in Egypt to provide qualified participants with capital.
Despite challenging local economic conditions, eighteen months after graduation, the majority of 10,000 Women participants are successfully growing their business: 60% of surveyed participants in Egypt increased revenues over the previous year and nearly 60% added new jobs. In addition, over 90% of Egyptian 10,000 Women participants mentor other women in their communities.
At the last 10,000 Women graduation I attended at the American University in Cairo, I met Sayeda, an inspiring entrepreneur who runs a growing cleaning business. Most of her employees are women, many widows and divorcees that have had very difficult lives. The jobs she is providing give them a sense of pride, dignity and confidence and most importantly optimism in their future. She believes everyone should be allowed to dream and one’s dream should not be limited. If Egypt can live up to that aspiration and motivate and inspire women like her, its future will be very promising.
Nearly 100 years ago, the Egyptian Poet Hafez Ibrahim said that when you educate a woman, you create a nation. Even though Egypt is known as the very cradle of civilization, this proud ancient civilization is birthing a new nation filled with the hopes and dreams of its young population.
If the new Egypt, the most populous Arab nation in the world, empowers its women fully, it can also become the strongest, most prosperous and hopefully most peaceful nation in the region.”
Jonathan Alter, author of the first 2012 campaign book “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies,” came to the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. to meet with the Washington Women in Technology Network.
Alter went into stories not reported as in-depth outside of Washington. He discussed how the Romney campaign rejected strategies from a top Republican digital expert. He went in depth into anecdotes about both campaigns; their competing digital strategies and offered to have readers call him out on events–like he was on Friday by Fox’s Roger Ailes in Politico.
Speaking to a luncheon co-hosted by Hilary Rosen, Becky Fischer-Martin, Constance Milstein, Holly Page and Kim Kinglsey. Guests included Facebook’s Marne Levine and Sarah Feinberg, Regina Hopper, Kelley McCormick, Emily Goodin, Stephanie Green and Kim Kingsley.
The full interview below:
You can see more photos from Monday’s luncheon here:
Capricia Marshall is out of the newly-minted John Kerry State Department sometime at the end of the summer. Speaking to the Reliable Source on Monday, the soon-to-be-former-Chief-of-Protocol issued a non-offcial announcement and reminded readers that she’s a long-time member of Hillary Clinton‘s team. She’s spent the last 20 years working for the former Secretary of State, and may join her depending on decisions for the 2016 race with this kicker to the Source: “If she decides to run, I’ll be behind her 100 percent.”
Politico asks the question no one ever wondered: “What Chris Christie’s surgery means for 2016(?)”
It’s a story that hasn’t seemed to change anything about the New Jersey governor’s political legacy, despite constantly being brought up. Literally, Politico ran the fact that most New Jersey voters don’t care about his weight back in March. It goes to other sites too: HuffPost has been tracking “Chris Christie Weight” since 2011. Throw “Christie Weight” into Google, immediately get 22 million results from the last few hours.
So just why is the good governor’s health so concerning to us? Because it’s yet another dark horse for the 2016 presidential race. Going into the hows and whys of Christie deciding to privately have a surgery when his weight has been such a–sorry–massive issue to even be mocked on Letterman.
Maybe a surgery can just be a surgery and not turn itself into a monsoon in 2016.
After last week’s events, a return to teaching fundamentals has to be a good thing. President Obama hosts the White House Science Fair today which focuses on core programs like science, technology, engineering and math or STEM. The program will focus as a springboard for his new “Educate to Inovcate” campaign which the White House Press Office describes as “an all-hands-on-deck effort to get more girls and boys inspired to excel in these key subjects.”
“When students excel in math and science, they help America compete for the jobs and industries of the future,” said President Obama in a statement. “That’s why I’m proud to celebrate outstanding students at the White House Science Fair, and to announce new steps my Administration and its partners are taking to help more young people succeed in these critical subjects.”
And just what are the next generation of scientists working on? There’s a $250 prosthetic arm that’s cheap thanks to 3D printing; cooling pads for athletes and even “crowdsourcing” cancer detection. The selection runs the entire spectrum of STEM and showcase what the White House is hoping to promote through the Innovate campaign.
“If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too,” the President’s statement said.
In the meantime, check out the video of President Obama and a marshmallow gun from last year.
As spring blossoms in Washington–not that the lack of Cherry Blossoms help–we come to look upon the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Held for the fifth year under President Obama, the Easter Egg Roll was presented this year in part with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Get Up And Move campaign.
“Today we’re going to have more than 30,000 people who will pass through this yard in celebration of nutrition and health and activity,” she said. “And we could not do this if it were not for all of our wonderful volunteers, our staff, all of the terrific performers and athletes who have taken time out of their lives and their busy days to make this important. So we need to give all of them a round of applause for all their hard work.”
The annual basketball and tennis outing was not as easy for POTUS. Per the Pool:
“POTUS stepped to free throw line and kids were asked to stand on opposite sides, depending on whether they think he would sink it. Most kids moved in one direction, but one boy went to the “miss” side.
“Oh, man,” a stunned POTUS said, hands on hips. The boy didn’t budge. And three others joined.
In sharp form, POTUS released the ball. It bounced off the rim and circled it — miss.
“Come on. Come on. Did you see that?” Obama said.
It got worse. A little while later, after playing tennis, Obama started to take shots amid the kids and pros.
Miss. Miss. Off the rim. Miss. Miss. Off the rim. Airball. He moved closer to the net.
But time and again, he missed. Of 22 shots POTUS took, he made two. (22 was general consensus of poolers)[.]”
At least reading went a little better for Obama than the pick-up game.