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Dec 10, 2013

Obama’s handshake with Cuba’s Castro unplanned: White House aide

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday played down President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial in South Africa, saying it went no further than pleasantries and does not signal a policy change.

“Nothing was planned in terms of the president’s role other than his remarks,” the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters traveling with Obama. “He really didn’t do more than exchange greetings with (dignitaries on the podium) on his way to speak, it wasn’t a substantive discussion.”

Dec 10, 2013

Obama, halfway around the world, has message for Washington

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – President Barack Obama traveled halfway around the world on Tuesday to deliver a message he hoped would be heard by his political opponents back home, and some U.S. rivals abroad.

Obama’s speech at a rain-soaked soccer stadium in Johannesburg was perhaps the most electrifying moment of a day of remembrances about the life of Nelson Mandela, who died last Thursday at age 95.

Dec 10, 2013

Obama, Castro shake hands as world says farewell to peacemaker Mandela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba’s Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of the ideologically opposed nations that reflected the anti-apartheid hero’s spirit of reconciliation.

Castro smiled as Obama moved to shake his hand on the way to the podium before making a rousing speech in memory of the former South African president, one of the world’s great peacemakers, who died on Thursday aged 95.

Dec 9, 2013

Obama, Bush and big contingent head for Mandela memorial together

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and their wives shared Air Force One on Monday on a flight to South Africa, where they will be joined by two other former presidents at a memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela.

The rare gathering is a sign of the respect Mandela – who died on Thursday at age 95 – held among both political parties in the United States.

Dec 9, 2013

Obama, Bush embark for Mandela memorial in South Africa

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – President Barack Obama embarked on a three-day trip on Monday with former President George W. Bush, leading a U.S. contingent to attend a memorial service in South Africa for the late Nelson Mandela.

On board Air Force One for a flight estimated at 16 hours were Obama and his wife, Michelle, Bush and his wife, Laura, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Dec 7, 2013

Obama takes up new agenda item after battering on healthcare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, battered by weeks of turmoil over the malfunctioning HealthCare.Gov website, turned to a fresh item on his agenda on Saturday as he pressured Republicans in Congress to extend benefits for jobless Americans.

It was a sign Obama may be slowly turning the corner from one of the worst crises of his five years in office, emerging bruised and weakened from the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law, even as big challenges remain.

Dec 6, 2013

Obama, Bush, Clinton going to South Africa next week for Mandela memorial

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his two immediate predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will all travel to South Africa to attend memorial events for Nelson Mandela, the former South African leader who died on Thursday.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, will be joined on Air Force One by Bush and his wife, Laura, on the trip to South Africa next week.

Dec 6, 2013

Mandela’s struggle was personal inspiration for me: Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s first black president, Barack Obama, hailed Nelson Mandela on Thursday as a source of personal inspiration whose struggle against racism in South Africa jump=started his own involvement in politics.

Speaking in the White House press room shortly after the announcement of Mandela’s death, a somber-looking Obama said the 95-year-old leader left a legacy of freedom and peace.

Dec 6, 2013

Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden? Obama says won’t choose between them for 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama says both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden would make outstanding presidents. And beyond that, he’s staying out of the debate about who should succeed him in 2016.

That was the message Obama laid down in an interview on Thursday with MSNBC’s “Hardball” program when host Chris Matthews asked him to compare and contrast the two.

Dec 4, 2013

More Obamacare enrollees in two days than all of October: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More people signed up on the government’s new health insurance website on the first two days of December than in the entire first month of the launch of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, sources familiar with the numbers said on Wednesday.

The sources said about 29,000 people enrolled on Sunday and Monday, surpassing nearly 27,000 for all of October when the opening of the HealthCare.gov website was beset by glitches that led to a public apology by the president and a retooling of the portal.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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