The President wrapped up yesterday's nuclear security summit with a very ambitious goal: with each of the 47 nations attending promising to lock down hundreds of thousands of tons of weapons-usable nuclear fuel by 2014.
But the promises are non-binding, with leaders saying only that they'll work together "as appropriate" to secure nuclear material, or to convert reactors that use highly enriched uranium to less-dangerous fuel "where technically and economically feasible," according to the summit's final communique.
Still the summit - the largest gathering hosted by a U.S. President since Harry Truman hosted the 1945 founding of the United Nations - succeeded in one critical area. It raised public awareness of a very critical issue - one that undeniably poses a grave and ongoing threat to the security of the American people.
"We have seized this opportunity," Mr. Obama said, "and because of steps we've taken, the American people will be safer, and the world will be more secure."
The White House says the summit also advanced U.S. efforts to get Russia and China on board with U.S. sanctions against Iran. But while agreeing that both the U.S. and China should work together on the sanctions issue, Chinese President Hu Jintao was noticeably circumspect on the issue - what kind of sanctions, how tough and so forth. While Hu was in town, the Chinese Foreign Ministry back in Beijing said "Sanctions and pressure cannot fundamentally resolve the issues.”
A followup meeting to strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is set for next month in New York. South Korea has agreed to host the next nuclear security summit in 2012.
Today the President moves on to a very different threat: a financial industry that he says needs to be regulated more to prevent the kind of collapse that recently brought the U.S. economy to its knees.
He and Vice President Biden meet with bipartisan Congressional leaders to discuss financial regulatory reform. Scheduled to attend: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In-Town Travel Pool
Wires: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: FOX
Print: New York Times
9:30AM Pool Call Time
9:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Economic Daily Briefing
10:45AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with bipartisan Congressional leadership to discuss financial reform
Pool spray at the top (Gather time 10:40AM – Briefing Room)
12:30PM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
4:15PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of State Clinton
2:00PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
On This Day
1865 - President Abraham Lincoln was shot as he attended a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came just five days after the end of the Civil War. Mr. Lincoln, widely regarded as America's greatest President, died the next morning.
1986 - President Reagan ordered U.S. air strikes on Libya. The attack was ordered after a bomb - linked to Libyan agents - exploded in a West Berlin nightclub, killing an American soldier. Reagan said: “Self-defense is not only our right, it is our duty."
"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln