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Returning from Hawaii. (Photo/WWR)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

West Wing Report: May 25, 2010

BP may be driving the White House crazy. But there’s little that anyone can really do, it seems.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is so "frustrated" and "angry" with BP that he’d like to "push them out of the way." Tough talk, but outgoing Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, who’s been dealing around the clock with BP since this nightmare began five weeks ago, asks simply:

ALLEN: “To push BP out of the way would raise the question: ‘Replace them with what?’”

Not that BP is the expert here:

ALLEN: “I think it’s further away from their central business competency. These guys are drilling for oil. This is an oil spill response.”

If that’s the case – if BP isn’t competent at plugging a leak - then why NOT let the Feds take over? The White House has said that the government ALSO lacks the expertise and equipment. This is – if you’ll pardon the pun – uncharted waters.

And that, Admiral Allen says, is why this is taking so long:

ALLEN: It’s very difficult, it’s five-thousand feet below the surface and it’s never been done before.


U.S. Ups the Stakes with North Korea

The Pentagon will conduct naval exercises with South Korea in response to the sinking of a South Korean patrol ship by North Korea. Washington says it stands firm with South Korea and is fully committed to its defense. In Beijing, Secretary of State Clinton calls the situation "highly precarious;" she's urging Pyongyang not to escalate the crisis.

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" Compromise

President Obama and lawmakers have reached a compromise that could pave the way for repealing the military's policy of banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.


The Schedule

After his usual staff meetings, Obama hosts a group of small business owners from around the country in the Rose Garden. Then it's off to Capitol Hill and into the lion's den: the Senate Republican Caucus, where the President will discuss his legislative agenda.

Back at the White House, Obama meets Italian President Napolitano, who surely must be related to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet.

Obama then heads to San Francisco for fundraisers. Tonight's recipients: Sen. Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Obama will spend the night in San Francisco.


10:00AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:15AM THE PRESIDENT hosts award-winning small business owners from around the country; delivers remarks on small business jobs proposals
Rose Garden
Open Press (Pre-set 10:15AM – Final Gather 10:45AM – North Doors of the Palm Room)

12:05PM THE PRESIDENT addresses the Senate Republican Caucus
U.S. Capitol
Closed Press

2:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with President Napolitano of Italy
Oval Office
Closed Press


6:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Fairmont Hotel
Travel Pool Coverage

6:30PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Fairmont Hotel
Travel Pool Coverage

7:50PM THE PRESIDENT attends a reception for Senator Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Private Residence
Closed Press


Odds & Ends

...Obama will talk about the BP with reporters on Thursday.
...The First Family will spend Memorial Day weekend in Chicago.
...Paul McCartney - winner of the Gershwin Prize - will be honored June 2.

On This Day

1961: President Kennedy to work toward putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade. The speech, coming just weeks after the Soviet Union launched the first man into orbit, had a sense of urgency. Kennedy tied the space program to the political and economic battle between democracy and communism, saying America should "go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share."

Presidential Quote

"Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day."
- Harry S Truman

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