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President Barack Obama

The Takeaway

Libya: 'This is Going to Define the Administration'

Monday, March 28, 2011

President Obama will address the nation Monday night about U.S. involvement in Libya in a speech that will likely be one of the most important on foreign policy so far. It is a chance for the president to explain why we're in Libya and to demonstrate that he has a plan for U.S. involvement in the conflict. Bruce Jentleson, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, and former State Department senior adviser says that this will be a defining moment for Obama's presidency.

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The Takeaway

Congress Reacts: US Military Intervention in Libya

Monday, March 21, 2011

Over the last few days, the U.S. moved very quickly from a U.N. resolution authorizing military intervention in Libya to missiles and bombs actually striking the country. In many ways, members of Congress are still catching up with the news from the White House and they have been reacting both with support and anger. Who's in charge of the no-fly zone: Britain, France or the U.S.? Who exactly are the Libyan rebels we're supporting? And why didn't President Obama consult Congress before authorizing military intervention?

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The Takeaway

Barack Obama's African Family Tree

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A new book traces Barack Obama's Kenyan family back twenty-three generations, or roughly half a millennium. Peter Firstbrook was a documentary filmmaker for our partner, the BBC, for 25 years, is the author of “The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family.”  Using oral testimony from family and historical documents, Firstbrook uncovered some fascinating details of the president's family, including questions about how President Obama's father died.

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The Takeaway

'Not Every Regulation is Bad,' Obama Tells Business Leaders

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Republicans are planning to undo as many of the Obama administration's regulations as they can. This includes regulations on Wall Street, health care and the EPA and greenhouse gasses. Republicans are calling these regulations "burdensome" and are creating a bill that will strip the EPA of any power to regulate greenhouse gasses or climate change.

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The Takeaway

2011 State of the Union: Assessing the Language

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

After President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address author Stanley Fish responded this way to Barack Obama’s performance:

It’s as if the speech, rather than being a sustained performance with a cumulative power, was a framework on which a succession of verbal ornaments was hung, and we were invited not to move forward but to stop and ponder the significances only hinted at.”

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The Takeaway

The Anatomy of a Great Presidential Speech

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

As we anticipate President Obama’s second State of the Union Address, we’re reminiscing about our favorite presidential speeches — and thinking about what makes a speech great. Michael Waldman joins us. He’s a former Clinton speechwriter and the author of "My Fellow Americans: The Most Important Speeches of America's Presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush."

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The Takeaway

Jonathan Alter: Obama Needs to Innovate

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Next week, President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address. We can expect to hear him lay out his roadmap for the next two years. Leading up to his address, we’re talking with some key political observers about the direction in which the president should and must move in his remaining time in office.

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The Takeaway

Can US and China Share Military Goals?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On the heels of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit to China last week, President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao will discuss the evolving relationship between each country's military this weeek. Gates urged the need for both countries to strengthen their military ties and keep one another informed about all their military capabilities. However, historically, China's military has been reluctant to take part in meetings with their U.S. counterparts.

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The Takeaway

During President's Visit, Tucson Begins Healing Process

Thursday, January 13, 2011

After a shooting spree over the weekend that left six people dead and a U.S. Congresswoman in critical condition, President Barack Obama flew to Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday to offer his condolences to the community. Obama spoke last night at service titled, "Together We Thrive: Tucson and America." Despite the occasion for grief, many at the rally seemed energized, in part by the news that during the president's visit to her hospital bed, Rep. Giffords (D-Ariz.) opened her eyes for the first time since the attack. It was estimated that more than 14,000 people were in attendance. 

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The Takeaway

Roger Hodge: Obama Should Commit to Liberal Agenda in 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

At the end of the month, President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address. At that time, we can expect to hear him lay out his roadmap for the next two years. In the weeks leading up to his address, we'll talk with some key political observers about direction the president should and must move in while he's still in office. Today we speak with Roger Hodge, author of "The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism." Hodge is a fierce liberal critic of the president, and says Obama must focus on economic stimulus and job creation and end policies that kill jobs and attack our civil liberties.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: The New Congress, Health Care, Unemployment

Monday, January 03, 2011

The 112th Congress begins this week, and with the House under Republican control while Democrats still hold a slim majority in the Senate, many are expecting gridlock for the next two years. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, look at what's in store for Congress in the upcoming days, weeks, and even years. They also discuss the obstacles President Obama's health care plan may face this year: Will the plan as implemented look the same in 2012 as it does today?

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The Takeaway

Looking Ahead from President to Candidate Obama

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How well do we really know our president? All week we’ll be looking at the President Obama that has emerged over the past two years, and what that portends about Barack Obama’s future plans as he seeks re-election in 2012. David Bromowich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University, says that when the nation elected Barack Obama, they actually got two presidents, not one.  

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The Takeaway

Pentagon to Release Review of War Effort in Afghanistan

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Pentagon will release its highly awaited review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan today. Early leaks from the report indicate that some progress has been made in President Obama's stated goal of defeating al-Qaida in Afghanistan. But The Washington Post reports a high-level U.S. official says Pakistan is failing to pursue insurgents who cross the border into Afghanistan and then retreat into Pakistani territory. We talk to Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the former Pakistani ambassador to the U.K., for more on the story. 

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The Takeaway

Morning Wrap: Democratic Insurrection

Friday, December 10, 2010

Are we seeing the start of a Democratic insurrection? Our conversation this morning with Oregon Democrat Rep. Peter DeFazio suggests we are. Here's how he responded to John's question this morning about whether he'd support a Democratic challenge to Obama in 2012: "I'm going to withhold my support until I see who's on the ballot."

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The Takeaway

Dem Rep. Peter DeFazio: Against Tax Cut Deal, Undecided on Obama in 2012

Friday, December 10, 2010

House Democrats rebelled Thursday against President Barack Obama's tax cut deal with Republicans, threatening to keep it off the floor. This comes after the House Democratic Caucus met yesterday and approved a motion to reject the provisions of the compromises — most notably the provisions related to the estate tax. Currently the deal struck between the President and Republicans would extend Bush-era tax cuts for the super-rich, and drastically ease the estate tax burden. We speak with the man leading the charge in the House Democratic caucus, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). He also weighs in on whether President Obama can count on his support in 2012. 

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The Takeaway

Rep. Van Hollen, Lead Dems' Deficit Negotiator, Unhappy with Tax Deal

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In a press conference yesterday, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the current deal on tax cuts that has been reached between the White House and Republicans in Congress. If passed, the compromise would extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years, including those for the wealthiest households. It would also extend unemployment benefits for 13 more months and give businesses a major tax break. Economists say the deal would add $900 billion to the deficit over the next two years.

President Obama has already received strong opposition from members of his own party who believe the President is compromising too easily with Republicans. We talk with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Democratic leadership who has come out in opposition to the deal.

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The Takeaway

WikiLeaks Exposes Attempted Deals to Transfer Inmates Out of Gitmo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

While President Obama has received much criticism for failing to close the Guantánamo Bay prison camp in the first year of his presidency, new classified documents released by WikiLeaks reveal the attempted dealings between the administration and other governments to try and move detainees out of the detention center. In an article in The New York Times, reporter Charlie Savage details attempted deals with Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lithuania and Albania, among other countries.

Currently 174 inmates remain at the facility: a third of them are from Yemen.

While President Barack Obama has received much criticism for failing to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in the first year of his presidency, new classified documents obtained by WikiLeaks reveal the backroom dealings between the administration and other governments to try and move detainees out of the detention center. In an article in The New York Times, reporter Charlie Savage reports on attempted deals with Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lithuania and Albania, among other countries.

Currently 174 inmates remain at the facility, and a third of them are from Yemen.

We talk with Savage about the findings in the WikiLeaks documents. And Jonathan Mahler explains why it's been so difficult for the United States to transfer the detainees and move forward with closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

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The Washington Report

WQXR's The Washington Report

Monday, November 15, 2010

NYT's David Sanger discusses Obama's troubling time at the G-20 Summit.

The Takeaway

President Obama's Jakarta Speech: Reactions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

President Obama continues his Asia trip this week with a stop in Indonesia, to emphasize American ties with the Muslim country. In a speech to Indonesians last night, the President sought to highlight those bonds; he did so by recalling his time growing up in Jakarta. Did Obama succeed in reaching out to Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world?

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The Takeaway

Obama Speaks to Two Muslim Worlds from Indonesia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As a part of his 10-day tour in Asia, President Barack Obama delivered a very personal speech at the University of Indonesia Wednesday morning. Echoing some of themes he raised in his famous speech in Cairo in 2009, Obama spoke about the need for mutual respect among Muslims and the importance of a joint effort to combat extremism. Indonesia is home to the largest population of Muslims in the world, and Muslims in Southeast Asia tend to practice a more moderate form of Islam than those farther west. Did President Obama navigate those differences in his speech? 

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