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Obama to screen ‘Mandela’ at White House; Hillary Clinton to host Kennedy Center showing

NEW YORK — The Nelson Mandela biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” will get an audience from President Barack Obama, as well as a screening at the Kennedy Center hosted by Hillary Clinton.The Weinstein Co. tells The Associated Press that Obama will screen the film Thursday at the White House. Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenani Mandela will join, as will the film’s stars, Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.

The film will also screen Nov. 20 at the Kennedy Center, with Clinton hosting the gala.

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Various and sundry have garnered big bucks over the years writing books about Hillary Clinton, and there are,  assuredly,  more in the pipeline, so it is no surprise that the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of campaign gossip are releasing a sequel to Game Change, their autopsy of the 2008 campaign.   In anticipation of  Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s Double Down: Game Change 2012, content leaks are few but explosive.

CNN is busily trumpeting the news that a tiny but mighty group within the White House examined the effect of replacing Joe Biden on the 2012 ticket with Hillary Clinton. What is interesting in their presentation are the key questions:  Did President Obama know?  (Strong probability.)  Did VP Biden know? (Probably not.  Their ticker reads that he dodged a bullet he did not see coming.)

Absent among the questions is whether Hillary knew.  We do not know the answer.   The question, apparently,  is not considered relevant.   That alone is telling.  Hillary Clinton is not a game piece.   Like the rest of us, she is flesh, blood, bone, and brain (a lot more brain than the other 99% and I am not talking financial assets).  Her knowledge of and stance on the switch-off Halperin and Heilmann refer to certainly deserves some discussion.

Anita Finlay reminds us that women are not cardboard cutouts.  That includes Hillary Clinton who is not Betsey McCall or a piece of illegal ivory on a chess board.   Surely one of the people whose life would have been most heavily impacted  merits some consideration by pundits so concerned about whether the two top guys knew about Bill Daley’s focus groups.  (Obama appears to know very little about what goes on in the whirlwind around him – but that is not the point,)

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The story CNN and its pundits ignored, emanating from a second book due out soon, is that following the election Obama tried, perhaps more than once, to convince Hillary to remain for another year as Secretary of State and that she declined stating that it was time for her to leave public office.

Make of it what you will.  As stated above, these new publications join a library of gossip surrounding Hillary Clinton who is, after all, a human being whose feelings, opinions, and considerations on these issues that would have hugely impacted her life should be taken into account.

Personal take:

1) Hillary had mapped out a four-year plan of action as Secretary of State.  She had accomplished what she set out to do and never intended to remain with the administration longer than she did.

2)  I am sick of Hillary Clinton being used as a political football.  She is sweet and kind and has her own true concerns and issues that supersede those of this or any administration.  She is addressing those effectively in her current role as private citizen and that is worth watching.

3) Hillary Clinton, after 40 years of public service, deserves the kind of private life most of us consider our due.

4)  What Anita said.

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Hillary Clinton and Chelsea represented the Clinton Foundation at the Wildlife Trafficking Forum at the White House today.  It has been reported that she met with President Obama prior to the event.  She was scheduled to make some comments on Syria before today’s developments which included Secretary of State John Kerry remarking that one option for a solution would be that Syria turn over its chemical weapons to an international body.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, shortly afterward, made that formal suggestion to Syria.  Hillary included these developments in her remarks.

It is always helpful to have a written transcripts of remarks like these, so I hope they will become available.  I will add them here if they do.  Meanwhile here is a video of Hillary Clinton’s comments from today as former Secretary of State on Syria as as representative of the Clinton Foundation on wildlife trafficking.

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Bill & Chelsea are back from a great BH&CCF trip to Africa, just in time for Bill’s big news from POTUS:

President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

2013 Marks 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s Establishment of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama named sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House later this year.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the first ceremony bestowing the honor on an inaugural class of 31 recipients.  Since that time, more than 500 exceptional individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”

The following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Ernie Banks

Known to many as “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.  During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit over 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.

Ben Bradlee

Ben Bradlee is one of the most respected newsmen of his generation.  During his tenure as executive editor of The Washington Post, Mr. Bradlee oversaw coverage of the Watergate scandal, successfully challenged the Federal Government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers, and guided the newspaper through some of its most challenging moments.  He also served in the Navy during World War II.

Bill Clinton

President Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States.  Before taking office, he served as Governor and Attorney General of the State of Arkansas.  Following his second term, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.  He also formed the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund with President George W. Bush in 2010.

Daniel Inouye (posthumous)

Daniel Inouye was a lifelong public servant.  As a young man, he fought in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for which he received the Medal of Honor.  He was later elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.  Senator Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union.

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is a pioneering scholar of psychology.  After escaping Nazi occupation in World War II, Dr. Kahneman immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces and trained as a psychologist.  Alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for a new field of research and earning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He is currently a professor at Princeton University.

Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 30 years.  An internationally respected statesman, he is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.  Prior to serving in Congress, Senator Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975.  He currently serves as President of the Lugar Center.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. Raised in rural Kentucky, she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists in the early 1960s, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men.  Ms. Lynn’s numerous accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Mario Molina

Mario Molina is a visionary chemist and environmental scientist.  Born in Mexico, Dr. Molina came to America to pursue his graduate degree.  He later earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how chlorofluorocarbons deplete the ozone layer.  Dr. Molina is a professor at the University of California, San Diego; Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment; and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Sally Ride (posthumous)

Sally Ride was the first American female astronaut to travel to space.  As a role model to generations of young women, she advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom, and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.  Dr. Ride also served in several administrations as an advisor on space exploration.

Bayard Rustin (posthumous)

Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all.  An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad.  As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval is a celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer.  Born outside Havana, he became a protégé of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and gained international acclaim as a dynamic performer.  He defected to the United States in 1990 and later became an American citizen.  He has been awarded nine Grammy Awards and is widely considered one of the greatest living jazz artists.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith was head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team from 1961 to 1997.  In those 36 years, he earned 2 national championships, was named National Coach of the Year multiple times, and retired as the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history.  Ninety-six percent of his players graduated from college.  Mr. Smith has also remained a dedicated civil rights advocate throughout his career.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality.  She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights.  Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.

Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian

C.T. Vivian is a distinguished minister, author, and organizer.  A leader in the Civil Rights Movement and friend to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across our country.  Dr. Vivian also helped found numerous civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal.  In 2012, he returned to serve as interim President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Patricia Wald

Patricia Wald is one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation.  After graduating as 1 of only 11 women in her Yale University Law School class, she became the first woman appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and served as Chief Judge from 1986-1991.  She later served on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.  Ms. Wald currently serves on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s most successful broadcast journalists.  She is best known for creating The Oprah Winfrey Show, which became the highest rated talk show in America for 25 years. Ms. Winfrey has long been active in philanthropic causes and expanding opportunities for young women.  She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2002 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

CONGRATULATIONS, MR. PRESIDENT!

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The D.C. stories of the day were the start up of Mid-East peace talks and the return to the White House of former resident and many hope future President, Hillary Rodham Clinton,  looking very business-like and every bit as  lovely as always.

The former Secretary of State arrived around 1 p.m.  The private luncheon was closed to the press, and no one knows what they discussed, but Kristen Welker of MSNBC reported that they ate outdoors.

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WH: Obama-Clinton lunch more personal than political

by David Jackson, USA TODAY

The most interesting lunch in the political world took place Monday at the White House, and officials said the chat between President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton was more personal that professional.

“It’s largely friendship that’s on the agenda today,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Obama invited the former rival-turned-secretary-of-State to a private lunch at the dining room just off the Oval Office, Earnest said.

Given their respective backgrounds, it wouldn’t be surprising if Obama and Clinton also talked about the Middle East or other foreign policy issues during lunch, Earnest said.

And the 2016 presidential election? Who knows?

Earnest declined to provide details, save for the lunch itself: grilled chicken, pasta jambalaya and salad.

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There is a video here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Think he misses her at the State Department much?

Obama to host Hillary Clinton at White House lunch

By Philip Rucker, Published: July 28

President Obama will host Hillary Rodham Clinton, his one-time campaign foe who later served as his secretary of state, at lunch Monday at the White House.

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FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2013 file image taken from video and provided by CBS, President Obama, center, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak with ”60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft, left. (AP Photo/CBS, File)

Obama and Clinton will meet for a lunch in the president’s private dining room, the White House announced Sunday. Their meeting will be closed to the press.

Clinton stepped down on as secretary of state on Feb. 1, after serving for four years as the nation’s top diplomat. In the weeks following her departure from the State Department, Obama hosted Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at a private dinner at the White House.

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Statement by President and Secretary Clinton on the passing of Helen Thomas

Jul 20, 2013 | President Clinton and Secretary Clinton | New York, NY  | Statement

Hillary and I were saddened to hear of Helen Thomas’ passing today. Helen was a pioneering journalist who, while adding more than her share of cracks to the glass ceiling, never failed to bring intensity and tenacity to her White House beat. Throughout her career she covered the issues and events that shaped the course of our world with perseverance and a tough-minded dedication. Her work was extraordinary because of her intelligence, her lively spirit and great sense of humor, and most importantly her commitment to the role of a strong press in a healthy democracy.

 

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