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President Barack Obama

The Takeaway

President to Congress: Give Me the Dang Ball

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last night in front of a rare joint session of Congress, President Obama addressed the issue that has been on everyone's minds: health care reform. His speech was to-the-point, tackling issues such as insurance reforms, pre-existing conditions, malpractice insurance reform, and calling to task members of Congress for their failure to move more quickly. The president seemed to endorse much of the latest draft of a health care reform bill, one being circulated by Sen. Max Baucus, but hinted that he may be willing to pass the bill without bi-partisan support. For more we talk to our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich as well as David Herszenhorn, the congressional correspondent for the New York Times, who was live blogging the speech.

In case you missed the presidential address, here it is in its entirety:

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The Takeaway

The President Talks to Congress, America

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tonight, the president will appear before a joint session of Congress—perhaps the grandest setting for such an event—and deliver a speech on the need for health care reform. Among those watching will be Congressmen and Senators, but far beyond the halls of Congress, he will also be addressing Brad Bynum in Oklahoma and Faith Dow in California. As Americans who are still unconvinced on health care reform, they are who President Obama really needs to convince in his speech.

We also talk to New York Times White House correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg about what might be in the president's speech tonight.

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The Takeaway

Always Be Closing: Obama to Pitch to Congress, U.S.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

President Obama is addressing a joint session of Congress tonight. His mission? To sell health care reform. In what may be the pitch of his presidency, President Obama hopes to jumpstart the debate that has stalled over the summer while critics of his health proposals dominated many public forums and his approval ratings dropped. To help President Obama get in touch with his inner Willie Loman and sell health care reform to a seemingly skeptical audience, we have gathered a roundtable of experts: Ted Widmer is a former speechwriter for Bill Clinton; Lisa Schiffren is a former speechwriter for Vice President Dan Quayle; and Cindy Gallop, an advertising consultant and former chair of ad agency BBH.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda With Marcus Mabry and Jill McGivering

Monday, September 07, 2009

For this week's agenda, we look ahead to President Obama's upcoming speech to school children across the country, the week on Wall Street after the long holiday weekend, and the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Joining us today is Marcus Mabry, international business editor for The New York Times. And from Bush House in London Jill McGivering, Asia editor for the BBC World Service.

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The Takeaway

Egyptian President to White House Today

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

President Obama is set to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today. The meeting is likely to be tense, as Obama is expected to push Egypt to make small – but important – concessions towards Israel. The Middle East peace process has been stalled for some time; if President Obama convinces Egypt to work with Israel, will this be the catalyst to once again restart progress in the Middle East? Michael Slackman, the Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times, joins us from Cairo with the Egyptian reaction to the two presidents' meeting.

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The Takeaway

Vacationland: The Obamas Head West

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tomorrow, in the midst of a string of health care town halls, President Obama is squeezing in a family trip with Michelle and his daughters. The Obamas will visit the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. The former mayor of West Yellowstone, Montana, Jerry Johnson, tells us how the locals are responding to the impending presidential visit.

We are also joined by historian Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, with a look at the nation's national park system and the ecological streak that makes up President Teddy Roosevelt's lasting legacy.

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The Takeaway

President Obama and the Clintons: Frenemies?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Michael Crowley, a senior editor of The New Republic, joins The Takeaway with a look at the recent adventures of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The couple are dominating the headlines this week with Bill Clinton's coup in North Korea and Hillary Clinton's lengthy trip to Africa. Has the president decided to bring the Clintons' back into the fold for their expertise? Or is he following the cautionary phrase, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer"?

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The Takeaway

How Bill Clinton Did It: A Guessing Game

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Yesterday former President Bill Clinton embarked on a surprise mission to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists imprisoned there. Less than 24 hours later he is returning victorious, with the two women safely aboard his plane. How did he do it? Was the deal pre-cooked? Why did Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, specifically state that Clinton did not carry a private message to Kim il Jong from President Obama? To help us unravel the mystery, The Takeaway talks to New York Times reporter David Sanger.

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The Takeaway

President Obama's Six Month Scorecard

Monday, August 03, 2009

President Barack Obama officially hit his half-year mark this weekend. As the airways are flooded with pundits, policy wonks and politicos, The Takeaway turns to the public to see how they think the president is measuring up. Joining our roundtable of voters — including some we spoke to during the election season — are Tracey Rousey from Alberton, Georgia, Alice Craft-Kerney of New Orleans, Louisiana, Brian Hinkle, from Chicago, and Pat Gallagher, in Louisville, Kentucky.

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The Takeaway

The Weekly Wrap-Up: Beer and Health Care

Friday, July 31, 2009

For The Takeaway's weekly wrap-up we talk about two stories that dominated the headlines all week—health care and beer. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden sat down with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley for a beer at the White House to try and settle their differences. And a new health care deal got closer to passing through Congress this week, but it won’t happen before the recess as the president had hoped. Here to analyze the week’s events is The Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich, and Callie Crossley, media analyst at Harvard University and media critic for Meet The Press on WGBH Boston.

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The Takeaway

The Audacity of Hops

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As the president prepares to host a kegger to smooth the feathers ruffled over the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, the nation's beer drinkers are paying close attention. The Takeaway's Femi Oke has hit the bars (for research, naturally) to find out whether conflict is best resolved over a beer. Then Brooklyn Brewery's Beer Master, Garrett Oliver, adds his thoughts on the president's beer selection: Budweiser, Blue Moon, and Red Stripe. No Brooklyn Lager, Mr. President?

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The Takeaway

The Gates Controversy: A Question of Race -- and Beer

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The nation is still buzzing over the arrest of eminent African American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home in Cambridge, Mass., two weeks ago. Today the president will sit down with Professor Gates and the arresting officer Sergeant James Crowley for a conciliatory beer. Essence Senior Editor Patrik Henry Bass has his own opinion on who "acted stupidly." He joins The Takeaway with his thoughts on race, beer, and the president.

But is sitting down for a beer the best way to resolve conflict? Sheila Heen, author of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most joins, with her take on conflict resolution, negotiations, and whether beer can fix anything. Or everything.

For more on the Henry Louis Gates, Jr., listen to The Takeaway's stories, America, Still Not 'Post-Racial', Call the Police: Racial Profiling and the Law, and read Takeaway Contributor David Wall Rice's essay, Professor Gates Arrested? No Surprise.

Click through for a transcript of this conversation.

Here are the President's initial comments on the Gates arrest:

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The Takeaway

Anatomy of a News Conference

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last night President Obama addressed the nation during a primetime news conference. The number one item on the president's agenda was health care reform, but other issues popped up, too. The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich was there for it all and he joins the show with his analysis. Also joining the roundtable conversation are Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard, and David Wall Rice, a professor of psychology at Morehouse college and author of Balance: Advancing Identity Theory by Engaging the Black Male Adolescent.

"The standard insurance product that most people have is an umbrella full of holes. That is, if you have a really serious illness you'll still be bankrupted, even if you keep the standard insurance policy."
—Dr. Steffie Woolhandler on health care

Here the president addresses concerns about Medicare in the health care debate:

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The Takeaway

The President's Prescription for Health Care

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Obama is hitting the airways tonight to sell his health care reform plan. The Takaway's man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, gives us the behind the scenes report. We then turn to Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public policy at Princeton, to explain the history of presidential attempts to change the American health care system. Mr. Starr was a senior health policy adviser in the Clinton White House and is author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning book The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry.

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The Takeaway

Helping Hand: President Obama in New Jersey

Friday, July 17, 2009

President Obama campaigned in New Jersey yesterday, but not for himself. He was out supporting New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who faces a tough re-election bid. Come November, Corzine will be the only incumbent Democratic governor in the nation to face voters and the results could be a barometer of the nation's approval of the president. WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly was there in New Jersey.

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The Takeaway

The Legacy: Reactions to Obama's NAACP Speech

Friday, July 17, 2009

As the NAACP wrapped up the celebration of its 100-year history, President Barack Obama stopped by to address the crowd. Joining us with their reactions to the president's speech and the legacy of the NAACP are Geraldine Sam, the first African-American female mayor of LaMarque, Texas, Reihan Salam, a fellow at the New American Foundation, and Farai Chideya, friend of The Takeaway.

 

"This is exactly what he's going to be remembered for in 20 or 30 years: His ability to communicate with his community in a very frank and open and tough-minded way."
—Reihan Salam on Barack Obama's speech to the NAACP

If you missed President Obama's speech, you can watch it in its entirety below.

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The Takeaway

President Obama Addresses the NAACP

Friday, July 17, 2009

Last night the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama, addressed the NAACP convention. His speech was a poignant capstone for the organization's hundred-year history. Farai Chideya, guest host of The Takeaway, hosted a special broadcast from the anniversary. She was joined by Patrik Henry Bass, Takeaway contributor and editor at Essence magazine, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, an associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University, and Michael Meyers the president and executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition.

(Click through for the full advance transcript of President Obama's speech

 

 

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The Takeaway

Analyzing Obama's Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, June 25, 2009

While lawmakers debate a health care plan on the Hill, President Obama is taking his case to the public. Last night he held a nationally televised town hall-style meeting. For a post mortem on Obama’s plan, we have assembled a roundtable of physicians and citizens who are paying close attention to the issue. Joining the conversation is Dr. Peter Ubel, physician and a behavioral scientist. His latest book is Free Market Madness: Why Human Nature is at Odds with Economics--and Why it Matters . Also joining us is Dr. Moitri Savard, a family physician with a private practice in Queens, New York, Precious Lowe, a self-insured Atlanta resident, and Noreen Thompsen. She and her husband run a small hotel on Cape Cod in Eastham, Mass.

Watch UPI's report to see how other people around the country are reacting to President Obama's proposed health care reform:

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The Takeaway

The Willpower Debate: Why Can't Obama Quit Smoking?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

President Obama's press conference covered a lot of topics yesterday—including, unexpectedly, his continuing struggle to quit smoking. To help us understand just how hard it is for some people to break their nicotine addiction, we turn to Dr. Richard Hurt, Director of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center.

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The Takeaway

President Obama's Tougher Talk on Iran

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In his speech yesterday, President Obama condemned what he called the Iranian authorities' “unjust suppression” of protests against the contested election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's to power. President Obama added that the world had been appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings and imprisonments, and mourned the loss of innocent lives. It was the strongest statement the president has made on the crisis in Iran; there hasn't been an official Iranian reaction yet. For more, we turn to Baqer Moin, the former head of the BBC's Persian service, and author of Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah.

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