A flop trip to Denmark. Allegations of ghost written best-sellers. And now my man is refusing to see the Dalai Lama in Washington. Eish!
The Timesonline says that Obama has been “accused of bowing to Chinese pressure and snubbing the Dalai Lama as he prepares for a Sino-US summit in Beijing next month.
Tibet’s spiritual leader arrived in Washington yesterday on his first visit since Mr Obama’s inauguration. For the first time since 1991 he will not be received at the White House. The Dalai Lama will eventually meet Mr Obama, but not until the US President returns from the Beijing meeting.
The New York Times reports that in June the White House informed the “Dalai Lama that President Obama was committed to meeting him, but not until after he visits Beijing in November”. Quoting a senior official apparently greeting the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing condemns as a separatist, weeks before Obama’s first presidential trip to China could be “substantially damaging to the relationship.”
Here, though, he seems to be putting his best foot forward:
AP picture of firefighters battling a fire in the cock loft at Holy Name Cathedral on State Street Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, in Chicago. Flames were shooting through the church’s roof for about an hour before they were replaced by plumes of white smoke as firefighters doused it with water. There were no injuries.
Malia and Sasha Obama didn’t go to school today. It was too cold in DC apparently.
Obama was in a meeting with business leaders this morning when he spoke about the weather.
‘As my children pointed out, in Chicago where it gets colder than in DC school was never canceled,’ said the President. He added that he’d have ‘to instil some flinty Chicago toughness into Washingtonians…When it comes to weather folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things.’
AP Picture: Ice on a Holly bush in Washington DC today.
Obama and his family at a food bank at a church in Chicago, yesterday.
Sapa reports that:
Dressed casually in a leather jacket and black scarf on Wednesday, Obama handed out food to the needy at a Chicago church with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, shaking hands and jovially telling people “you can call me Barack.” He followed that with a quick visit to a school next door, where he asked the excited kids, “Who’s going to have turkey?” “Who’s going to have green beans?” “Who’s going to have sweet potato pie?” Obama has shown a knack for symbolism, in this case following the Thanksgiving tradition of helping the poor, said David Greenberg, a Rutgers University historian who is working on a history of political spin.
Just in from the president-elect’s office: “Tomorrow morning, President-Elect Barack Obama will make an economic announcement at a press conference in Chicago”. This will be the third this week. I suspect there will be more.
I fear announcement fatigue coming along.
John McCain is meeting ‘that one’ in Chicago today to discuss ways that he could help the new administration. Not suprisingly it’s the first time they meet since the election.
Here’s the Sapa report:
Obama, who resigned his Senate seat on Sunday, has been interviewing some of his one-time political opponents to help him run the country, but advisers to the former candidates have said they don’t expect Obama to consider McCain for an administration job.
The two will be joined by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a McCain confidant, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat Obama has chosen as his White House chief of staff.
Emanuel and Graham have worked together before on issues on Capitol Hill, and Graham jumped to Emanuel’s defense when Republicans criticized his appointment as Obama’s chief of staff.
In announcing the meeting on Friday, Obama’s transition office said the president-elect and McCain “share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality.”
I love this bit of news. Barack Obama has apparently asked his mother-in-law, Marain Robinson, to move in to the White House with him, Michelle and her granddaughters.
The Daily Mail says that:
Michelle Obama’s mother has reluctantly agreed to move from Chicago to Washington to take care of her granddaughters as they adjust to their new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Marian Robinson, 71, was an indispensable part of the Obama campaign as babysitter for Malia, ten, and seven-year-old Sasha.
The move could signal the first time in living memory that three generations of a family have moved into the White House.
But the fiercely independent Mrs Robinson has suggested she could take a flat nearby because she doesn’t want to ‘intrude.’
Michelle, 44, has insisted that with 132 rooms, there will be no shortage of space.
The music for Obama’s victory party in Grant Park was composed by South African born Trevor Rabin. The score was initially composed for “Remember the Titans,” Jerry Bruckheimer’s film starring Denzel Washington as a tough-minded coach of a newly integrated high school football team.
The LA Times wrote that:
Hearing his music accompany Obama’s victory celebration was especially moving for Rabin, who was born in South Africa and whose family has a long involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. His cousin, Donald Woods, was a newspaper editor who spoke out against apartheid and fled the country after the death of his friend, Steve Biko, who was immortalized in Peter Gabriel’s song, “Biko,” as well as in the film “Cry Freedom,” where Woods is played by Kevin Kline. Sydney Kentridge, another one of Rabin’s cousins, prosecuted the South African government on behalf of the Biko family. Read More…
Last night, Barack and Michelle Obama were out for dinner. They were snapped leaving the restaurant, Spiaggia, in Chicago.
Picture credit: AP
Part 2: Read More…