Social secretary Jeremy Bernard gives his first interview to Vogue after four years at The White House. Don’t miss it!
President Obama announced his choices earlier today to replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA’s Lisa Jackson and Office of Management and Budget.The three nominations came during the president’s first cabinet meeting of 2013.
” I’m proud to nominate another brilliant scientist to take his place — Mr. Ernie Moniz. There’s Ernie right there. Now, the good news is that Ernie already knows his way around the Department of Energy. He is a physicist by training, but he also served as Under Secretary of Energy under President Clinton. Since then, he’s directed MIT’s Energy Initiative, which brings together prominent thinkers and energy companies to develop the technologies that can lead us to more energy independence and also to new jobs,” said Obama.
“At EPA, Gina McCarthy would take over Lisa Jackson’s position and Sylvia Mathews Burnwell would replace Jeff Zients at OMB. As I said before, the American people are resilient. And I know that Jeff and Sylvia will do everything in their power to blunt the impact of these cuts on businesses and middle-class families. But eventually, a lot of people are going to feel some pain. That’s why we’ve got to keep on working to reduce our deficit in a balanced way — an approach that’s supported by the majority of the American people, including a majority of Republicans. And I’m confident that we can get there if people of goodwill come together. So I want to thank Steve and Lisa and Jeff once more for their outstanding service, for all the great work that they’ve done in this administration over the last several years. I want to thank Ernie, Gina and Sylvia, and their families, for agreeing to take on these big roles.”
USA Today pointed out the obvious announcement:”In introducing his new budget director, Burwell, Obama cited her biggest immediate challenge: the sequester, $85 billion in automatic budget cuts over the next seven months that began over the weekend.”
The three will have to go through the Senate, but two of the nominees–per Politico–are bringing the conversation back to the sequester and environment. But that’ll be yet another issue in the coming weeks as the country learns exactly how the sequester will effect the country.
One of the worst parts about the ins and outs of D.C. is the commute, especially if you’re a biker. Unfortunately that’s exactly what Obama’s new Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is about to face with his new role. Announced last week in the Times, among other things a foreign policy expert, McDonough is well known for being cycled through the District on his bike.
Except not for much longer, as DCist found. McDonough’s preferred method of transportation isn’t an option once he’s formally accepted. USA Today found the line from the president that “Dad will probably have to stop riding his bike to work as chief of staff…I don’t think that’s allowed.”
So what’s a jilted cycling machine like McDonough to do? Inspire a hashtag on Twitter! The League of American Cyclists’ Andy Clarke created #letdenisride over at the LAC’s blog. He’s already come up with five reasons to keep McDonough in a bike seat over the Metro or an Uber car including “he’ll never get stuck in traffic in times of emergency.”
To be fair, riding your bike around the White House is not only dangerous but near suicidal. Even with bike lanes, anything on two wheels seems to be prey to buses, speeding cars or the legion of Circulators that loop around the Hay-Adams. No matter what reason folks find to #letdenisride we’re siding with the president when it comes to keeping McDonough in a car, waiting in traffic like the rest of us commuting back and forth through the District. Then again, it’s not like biking from Maryland into D.C. is faster than Metro.
The 113th United States Congress was sworn into office Thursday with the traditional smooth moves of Vice President Biden.
CNN frames the 113th by the numbers while Buzzfeed keeps running with them into the 11 Surprisingly Endearing Pictures of Congressmen Getting Sworn In. MSNBC breaks down the race and sexuality of the new congress–also by the numbers–while the National Journal completes its own link dump.
Which is why we come back to the Veep video. You can break down Congress all you want with your lists of numbers, numbered lists and numerals followed by links. At the end of the work day all hardworking people care about is how smooth is that man that made it cool to commute from Delaware to D.C. While the actual staffers are fretting about upcoming legislation or freaking out about jobs numbers. Stop. Relax.
And then sign this petition to have an official reality show about Biden:
Vice President Joe Biden has a demonstrated ability to bring people together, whether at the negotiating table or at the neighborhood diner. We, therefore, urge the Obama Administration to authorize the production of a recurring C-SPAN television program featuring the daily activities and interactions of the Vice President with elected officials, foreign dignitaries and everyday American families. Such a program would educate the American public about the duties and responsibilities of their Vice President, while providing a glimpse of the lighthearted side of politics even in the midst of contentious and divisive national debates.
We’ve got until February 3rd.
Christmas comes early for Senator Kerry with this nomination for secretary of state. Let’s run down what we’re all saying about the expected nomination from President Obama at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon:
WaPo: “Kerry has long sought the post as America’s top diplomat, but appeared to be Obama’s second choice after U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice. Rice withdrew her name from consideration earlier this month because of Republican opposition based on her role as administration spokeswoman in the fatal Sept. 11 attack on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya.”
CNN: “It’s ironic that several prominent Republicans are rallying behind Kerry, just eight years after their party demonized him during his failed 2004 presidential campaign against President George W. Bush.”
Los Angeles Times:”Kerry, 69, has chaired the Senate Foreign Relatons Committee since 2009. His selection gives the White House a veteran foreign policy hand who has demonstrated his willingness to work with Obama’s inner circle of advisors over the last four years.”
Politico: “Kerry’s Republican colleagues have indicated that the confirmation process will be a smooth one — far easier than the one United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice would have faced had Obama nominated her. Rice withdrew her name from contention last week.”
Politico also reports that current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not attend while still recovering from a slight concussion. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor will for who’ll be gunning for his seat. The Atlantic Wire toplines a scruffy Ben Affleck, Scott Brown, Ed “Ted” Kennedy, Jr. while The Hill likes Rep. Ed Markey.
Slate wishes there was a special election because why not make 2013 more than just a regular ol’ “election year.” But maybe being will help?
The overall message from President Obama about the fate of his cabinet in the new term? Thanks.
Giving a few words prior to their meeting on-air, President Obama was thankful for the service of his current cabinet after a tough campaign.
Earlier today on Morning Joe, David Axelrod came calling after last week’s on-air bet when the senior adviser to Obama’s reelection campaign put up his prized flavor saver if the president lost Pennslvania, Michigan or Minnesota. But Scarborough would have to grow his own ‘stache if the president swept all three and took North Carolina or Florida.
While the votes are still being sorted in Florida, it was looking likely that Scarborough would have a warm upper lip. As he got a few pop culture examples (the Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, the Borat, the Dali), Axelrod offered to let the MSNBC morning host off the hook by donating to CURE Epilepsy’s new campaign: Slash the ‘Stache. Within seconds, Mika and Joe offered $10,000 for the cause, which you can donate here.
In honor of National Epilepsy Awareness Month, David Axelrod will follow through with the original bet and shave the mustache that he’s had for the last 40 years–but only if donations reach $1 million. Slash the ‘Stache will culminate with CURE’s Boston event on the 28th, where we’ll find out if Joe and Mika get the first attempt at shaving off the greatest mustache in modern politics–and help Susan Axelrod see her husband sans ‘stache.
See the original announcement from Morning Joe:
Vivek Kundra was America’s first Chief Information Officer assigned by President Obama to help the White House look forward and integrate new technologies for government. He reviewed government agencies and saved billions of dollars for the government and now he is taking all that knowledge to work globally at Salesforce. Here is what the New York Times Quentin Hardy wrote:
Salesforce.com, best know for its sales, customer service and collaboration software for business, is raising its ambitions by aiming at the international businesses and sales to foreign governments that have been the mainstays of companies like I.B.M.
On Monday, the company named Vivek Kundra its executive vice president of emerging markets. Mr. Kundra was the country’s first chief information officer from March 2009 until August 2011. His job was to move the government’s computer infrastructure spending — $80 billion a year — toward cloud computing. Mr. Kundra has extensive experience in technology at several levels of government, and has been a frequent visitor to the technology industry’s conferences.
Mr. Kundra said in an interview that his work would consist of showing “how Salesforce can close the technology gap” between traditional business and the faster-moving industry typified by consumer applications like Facebook andTwitter. Governments, and many overseas businesses, he said, “are still focused on the old model.”
At present, nearly 68 percent of Salesforce’s revenue is from the United States and Canada. Another 18 percent is from Europe and the remaining 14 percent is from the Asia-Pacific region. Africa and the Middle East are not broken out as separate regions. I.B.M., by comparison, has selected Africa as one of its top growth markets.
Though his title indicates he will oversee development and sales in places Salesforce barely reaches, Mr. Kundra indicated he would use his experience and connections to reach out to governments everywhere.
“The developed nations are all facing challenges in terms of their financial health,” Mr. Kundra said. “They can look at their operating expenses and see Salesforce as a disruptor.” He said that Salesforce would present itself to developing nations as a provider of “new services,” like health care delivered over mobile networks. The overall strategy will be developed over the next few months, he said.
The main benefit of Mr. Kundra’s experience may be in cost savings, as well as project implementation. “When I was in the public sector, $26 billion of that $80 billion was in projects years behind schedule or not working,” Mr. Kundra said. “The cloud can save money. I’ve seen it first hand, whether in D.C. or in the federal government.”
Given his relatively short tenure in the federal government, the cost savings produced during his time there was not clear. Mr. Kundra has also worked in similar jobs for the State of Virginia and the District of Columbia, where the installation ofGoogle Apps, instead of traditional office productivity software, was said to have saved about 87 percent.
Mr. Kundra has also been an outspoken advocate of sharing government data with the public as a means of creating low-cost information and business software applications.
For the first time the anchors of television news were not the most exciting to watch at this year’s White House Holiday party for television journalists; it was all the children of television’s best.
The “Today Show” sent a battalion of talent both on-air and off, beginning with Matt Lauer and his daughter; Ann Curry; Washington favorite Savannah Guthrie; and top producer Don Nash and his wife, Geylan.
Chuck Todd’s mom gave Gene Sperling a frontline small business pool report, while Bloomberg’s new TV Chief Andrew Morse caught up with ABC colleagues Ann Compton who brought her newly engaged daughter Annie Hughes, Robin Sproul and daughter, and Kate O’Brien and daughter. Terry Moran, Rick Klein, and Jake Tapper brought their better halves, too. Polson Kanneth brought young brother, James, before they jet off to India.
NBC News President Steve Capus with Elena Nachmanoff, and CBS’s Bob Schieffer and his daughter. Meet the Press EP Betsy Fischer brought fiancee Jonathan Martin, and MTP host David Gregory brought his wife, Beth Wilkinson.
All the president’s men attended in force from Jay Carney, Jon Favreau and Cody Keenan to Ben Rhodes. Marvin Nicholson stood tall in his new role as the president’s body man, and Sam Tubman lead the parade of media for the grip and grin photos.
The new webified David Chalian brought his step father while C-SPAN’s Steve Scully brought a priest.
No one looked happier then the man who issues the invites, White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard. He knows the joy the holidays bring.