Good morning from the White House press room on what looks to be another hot sticky week in Washington. Bring on Autumn!
Here's what's in store for President Obama this week:
Today: the Wikileaks bombshell...92,000 pages of what is literally a blow-by-blow account of the Afghan war, covering Jan. 2004 to Dec. 2009. The White House is outraged, Congress is asking questions and the early take on all this is that it could change - or shortchange - America's nearly decade-long involvement in Afghanistan -Pakistan. There is a national security team meeting in the Situation Room on Thursday and this is sure to be a part of it. In a statement released yesterday, National Security advisor James Jones could barely contain his anger:
"The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents – the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people."
How did Wikileaks obtain nearly 92,000 pages of documents anyway? It has, not surprisingly, declined to say. Its founder, Julian Assange has said the names of leakers are generally unknown, even to the organization.
Wednesday: Obama will hold a jobs/economy event in New Jersey, and attend two fundraisers in Manhattan. One's at the home of fashion diva Anna Wintour, the other at The Four Seasons. The president will also make an appearance on the ABC talk show "The View," which will air on Thursday - an attempt to reach out to the show's female viewers.
Thursday: After last week's racially-charged Shirley Sherrod matter, Obama speaks to the National Urban League Convention here in Washington. It'll be his first public comments on the incident - if he addresses it. Also the afore-mentioned national security team meeting in the Situation Room on Afghanistan-Pakistan.
Friday: Obama visits General Motors and Chrysler plants in Michigan. The automakers were bailed out in 2008-09 and are now doing better, in some cases hiring again. Next week, Obama also visits a Ford plant - Ford was the only one of the so-called "Big Three" that did not dip into the bailout trough.
Saturday: The White House denies it, but the President may attend Chelsea Clinton's wedding.
...it looks like BP's CEO Tony Hayward will get his life back. White House sources say he'll be given the boot today by the company's board.
...Vice President Biden has a god assignment: he's visiting the Grand Canyon today and Yellowstone tomorrow, to highlight $25 million in stimulus projects that are sprucing up the iconic National Parks. Biden's office says over 1,000 workers are involved.
- Paul Brandus at the White House