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from Tales from the Trail:

Gaffes and protocol slips in the Obama/”Buden” White House

It's May 4th, but the White House decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) a day early.
    That's not exactly a breach of protocol, but introducing the Mexican ambassador and then not letting him speak kind of is.
USA/OBAMA    That's what President Barack Obama did on Monday at a White House ceremony to highlight the Mexican holiday.
    "Welcome to Cinco de Cuatro -- Cinco de Mayo at the White House," Obama told a group of mostly Hispanic guests at the executive mansion. "We are a day early, but we always like to get a head start here at the Obama White House."
    After making brief remarks Obama introduced the Mexican ambassador, Arturo Sarukhan, and his wife, Valencia.
    But as Sarukhan made his way to the podium, the president and first lady Michelle Obama made their way into the crowd and started shaking hands.
    As crowds go, shaking hands with Barack Obama has a way of trumping speeches from Mexican ambassadors, so the noise level in the White House's Grand Foyer rose and the ambassador looked like he wasn't going to get to that speech.
    Whoops. The president realized his mistake, stopped shaking hands, and came back to the podium to urge quiet.
    "In an incredible breach of protocol, I introduced my good friend, the Ambassador, but he has greetings from the people of Mexico," Obama said. "So I take complete responsibility for that.  I apologize.  Will everybody please settle down, and let's hear from our Ambassador from Mexico."
    Applause, applause, and all was well. Sarukhan delivered his remarks and the crowd went back to partying.
    The gaffe was not the only one to come out of the White House on Monday. Earlier in the day Vice President Biden's office sent out a statement that it had to correct minutes later. The mistake? The boss's name was misspelled.
    "Vice President Buden Kicks Off $32 million Renovation and Restoration of Wilimington Train Station" the announcement read.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama with Sarukhan)

from Funds Hub:

A loud and clear call

rtr1y8m4It may not have been a massive surprise, but ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet had an unwelcome message for hedge fund managers today.

The current crisis is, apparently, "a loud and clear call" to roll out regulation to all important market players, "notably hedge funds and credit rating agencies".

from Photographers' Blog:

Bush years: Defining his presidency

As I take my last pictures of George W. Bush as President just days before Barack Obama’s inauguration, I reflect on what it was like to cover the 43rd President of the United States for the past six years.

I would characterize President Bush as a person of single-minded determination, a man guided by a moral compass to protect the nation, all the while bringing a style of Texas swagger into the oval office. We shared a passion of mountain biking and on several occasions I was fortunate enough to ride on his ranch in Texas where, away from the prying eyes of the press, I witnessed a man who loved the sport, always rode fast at the front of the pack and showed genuine interest in those around him.

from Photographers' Blog:

Bush years: Impressions of the man in office

Bush has faced many battles in his tenure. Record low approval ratings, a failing economy, the September 11 attacks, a war with no near end in sight, and for the last year, most of the world was looking more to his successor, than to the sitting President himself.

But when I look back over my three years here in Washington, I come away with two impressions of the man in the office.

from Photographers' Blog:

Bush years: Good, bad and ugly

Reuters Washington staff photographer Kevin Lamarque made the move to White House coverage in 1999. Before that, he was covering London politics spanning the end of Margaret Thatcher, the John Major years, and the beginning of the Tony Blair era.  Washington proved to be an interesting contrast.  He has covered the final two years of the President Bill Clinton, and all eight years of President George W. Bush.

As one of only two Reuters photographers covering the entire eight years of President Bush’s term, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately, most of his time was defined by the latter two.

from Photographers' Blog:

Bush years: First-time history

Larry Downing is a Reuters senior staff photographer assigned to the White House. He shares that duty with three other staff photographers. He has lived in Washington since 1977 and has been assigned to cover the White House since 1978. He worked for United Press International and Newsweek Magazine before joining Reuters as a stringer in 1997 and then as staff in 1999.

As the final moments of President Bush’s administration wind down, I look forward to Barack Obama’s historic inauguration. Having grown up in America as a child of the 50’s, I found the odds impossible that he, or any other African American, would ever win the presidency in my lifetime.

from Summit Notebook:

AUDIO – The costs of war

Wars have numerous costs and most of those are unimaginable for most of us not in the middle of one.

But, aside from the tragic cost of death or injury, wars also cost a lot of money to finance and President-elect Barack Obama will be facing some of those costs (as well as a whole mess of other stuff) when he takes office in January.

from Summit Notebook:

AUDIO – Teddy Roosevelt had it right

The world is a more dangerous place because of the global economic meltdown, according to Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Ronald Sugar, whose company provides specialized aircraft, radar and other electronics to meet that threat.

Sugar was the kick-off speaker at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit on Monday in Washington, D.C.

from MediaFile:

SanFran gives five-year plan in 6-hour YouTube videos

At least San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has the good grace to look a little bit sheepish when he offers San Franciscans the opportunity to watch him talk city politics for SIX HOURS on YouTube video.

The mayor of the liberal, tech-friendly California city has broken the 'state of the city' speech into a handful of roughly 40-minute YouTube video segments which offers "the opportunity for you to spend one minute with me, one hour -- as much as five or six hours if you choose," he says in the intro.

from Photographers' Blog:

Riding with Obama – Bill Clinton

Reuters Washington staff photographer Jason Reed is traveling with the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama through election day.

Bill Clinton finally stands on the same stage with and endorses Barack Obama in the flesh - just days before election day.

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