Category Archives: Dr. Jill Biden

West Wing Week ~ It’s Alive! ~ December 3 – December 10, 2010

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama gets a hug as he shakes hands with the U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, Dec. 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk step by step with the President as he visits Afghanistan to celebrate the holidays with our men and women in uniform, announces a free trade agreement with South Korea, attends a series of meetings at the White House and holds a press conference to answer questions about the tax cut compromise, signs the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, and more…

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West Wing Week ~ OCONUS ~ November 5 – November 11, 2010

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Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. On a special edition for the trip to Asia this week, walk step by step with the President as he meets with students, citizens, business leaders, and government officials in India, travels to Indonesia to extend a hand of friendship to the Indonesian people, attends the G-20 in Seoul, South Korea, and much more…

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A Veterans Day Message from First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Dr. Jill Biden


On the eve of Veteran’s Day, I wanted to write today with a simple message to our nation’s veterans: thank you. Over the past two years, I have joined with our First Lady to explore the issues faced by our service members and their families – while they are deployed and once they return home. In my work and travels, I am always inspired by the commitment of our military service members and truly grateful for all they do for our country. This Administration is working hard to care for our service members and veterans – making historic investments in health, family support, education, and economic opportunity for our veterans – but there is a role for every one of us in showing support.

The First Lady and I recently taped the following public service announcement together to honor our Veterans on November 11, 2010 and encourage you to visit Veterans.com and Serve.gov. On Veteran’s Day and every day, it’s our sacred duty to honor the service of those who sacrifice for our country – and we all can play a role. Through groups like MissionServe and opportunities at www.Serve.gov, Americans can find a way to help in their own communities. Please join me in this effort.

Thanks,
Jill

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Filed under Change, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Military, Uncategorized, Veterans, Veterans Day

You’re Invited “Inside The White House

Posted by: Audiegrl
Posted by Kori Schulman


Thousands of visitors tour the White House each day. It’s been a long time in the making and today, we’re pleased to invite you on our new interactive White House tour.

With some incredible behind-the-scenes photos from the Photo Office and our best “Inside the White House” videos, you’re invited to do everything from cook with the New Orleans Saints in the White House kitchen, to peek inside the Situation Room, to watch the Jonas Brothers perform in the East Room and tour the first ever beehive on White House grounds with beekeeper Charlie Brandt — plus a lot more. What are you waiting for? Welcome to the White House.

Launch the Tour

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Change, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden

Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference 2010

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Tina Tchen

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will speak at the California Women’s Conference 2010, hosted by California First Lady Maria Shriver and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The annual Women’s Conference inspires, empowers and educates women to be Architects of Change in their own lives and in the lives of others.

Last year, I was honored to attend the event where Valerie Jarrett participated in parts of the Conference’s A Woman’s Nation: The Status of the American Woman panel. There she represented the Council on Women and Girls and discussed our efforts to improve workplace flexibility both in the federal government and the private sector.

We are excited that the Administration can be a part of this important event again and we encourage you to participate as well!

You can learn more by reading First Lady Michelle Obama’s remarks as well as Dr. Jill Biden’s remarks.

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***Photos include attendees, performers and speakers: Dr. Jill Biden, Jane Goodall, Oprah Winfrey, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Former First Lady of the US Laura Bush, Diane Swayer, Former Associate Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor, Sister Terry Dodge, Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayer, Tennis player Billie Jean King, Associate Justice Elena Kaegan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown, Anne Sweeney, Victoria Beckham, Recording artist Mary J. Blige, Author Deepak Chopra, Recording artist Sarah MacLachlan, Brian Williams, Phil Knight, Poet Mary Oliver, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Nick Kristof, Suze Orman, Howard Schultz, and Oral Lee Brown.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under California, Change, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Women's Issues

A Battle that Takes Place Every Day

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Dr. Jill Biden

Lorene Nelson, Dr. Biden, Joy Foster and Tina Tchen after the call in Dr. Bidens office October 15, 2010. (by Chris Smith - HHS)

Today I had the pleasure of co-hosting a conference call with Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to emphasize the importance of early detection and regular screenings.

We were joined on the call by breast cancer survivors, advocates, and various women’s group from across the country. I was especially honored to have two breast cancer survivors, Joy Veronica Foster and Lorene Nelson, join me in my office so they could share their personal stories on the call. Listening to these women, and knowing we were joined by many others on the line was truly inspirational and heartwarming.

Chances are that anyone reading this post has been touched by breast cancer –

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but the battle against breast cancer takes place every day, every hour, every 69 seconds as someone’s mother, sister, daughter, and friend loses her life to breast cancer. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but today’s conference call gave me hope. With the ongoing commitment of the Obama-Biden Administration to ensure that affordable and accessible preventive care is a reality, and the many breast cancer advocates, and survivors like Lorene and Joy who are changing lives with their work every day – I know we are moving closer to a breast cancer-free world.

-Jill

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Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Dr. Jill Biden, Health, Kathleen Sebelius (Sec of HHS), Women's Issues

West Wing Week ~ A Farewell to Rahm ~ October 2 – October 9, 2010

Posted by: Audiegrl

White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, center, leads students from River Terrace Elementary School in Washington, D.C., on a tour of the South Grounds of the White House, Oct. 7, 2010. The group toured the White House Kitchen Garden as a part of a program available to local elementary, middle, and high school students. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk step by step with the President as he bids farewell to his outgoing Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, and appoints Pete Rouse the new Interim Chief of Staff, holds the first ever Community College Summit at the White House alongside Dr. Biden, signs the bill granting the Congressional Gold Medal to Japanese-American World War II vets – the Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, awards the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller,and much more…

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President Barack Obama meets with interim Chief of Staff Pete Rouse in the Oval Office, Oct. 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Change, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden, West Wing Week

Community Colleges: “America’s Best Kept Secret

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Katelyn Sabochik

President Barack Obama and Dr. Jill Biden take part in the White House Summit on Community Colleges, highlighting the critical role that community colleges play in developing America’s workforce and reaching our educational goals, in the East Room of the White House, October 5, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, Dr. Jill Biden hosted the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges.  The summit brought together community colleges, business, philanthropy, federal and state policy leaders, faculty and students to discuss how community colleges can help meet the job training and education needs of the nation’s evolving workforce, as well as the critical role these institutions play in achieving the President’s goal to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.

As Dr. Biden said in her remarks earlier today, community colleges are “one of America’s best-kept secrets,” providing affordable, quality higher education to millions of Americans each year and preparing them for the jobs of the 21st century:

Getting Americans back to work is America’s great challenge.  And community colleges are critically important to preparing graduates for those jobs.  We are here today because community colleges are entering a new day in America, and here’s why:  For more and more people, community colleges are the way to the future.  They’re giving real opportunity to students who otherwise wouldn’t have it.  They’re giving hope to families who thought the American Dream was slipping away.  They are equipping Americans with the skills and expertise that are relevant to the emerging jobs of the future.  They’re opening doors for the middle class at a time when the middle class has seen so many doors close to them.

In his remarks at the opening session of the summit, President Obama emphasized the importance of providing all students with access to higher education to meet his goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.

That’s why last year I launched the American Graduation Initiative.  I promised that we would end wasteful subsidies to big banks for student loans, and instead use that money to make college more affordable, and to make a historic investment in community colleges.  And after a tough fight, we passed those reforms, and today we’re using this money towards the interest of higher education in America.

And this is helping us modernize community colleges at a critical time -– because many of these schools are under pressure to cut costs and to cap enrollments and scrap courses even as demand has soared.  It’s going to make it possible for colleges to better harness technology in the classroom and beyond.  And it’s going to promote reform, as colleges compete for funding by improving graduation rates, and matching courses to the needs of local businesses, and making sure that when a graduate is handed a diploma it means that she or he are ready for a career.

We’re also helping students succeed by making college more affordable.  So we’ve increased student aid by thousands of dollars.  We’ve simplified the loan application process.  And we’re making it easier for students to pay back their loans by limiting payments to 10 percent of their income.  But reaching the 2020 goal that I’ve set is not just going to depend on government.  It also depends on educators and students doing their part.  And it depends on businesses and non-for-profits working with colleges to connect students with jobs.

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The President also reiterated the importance of investing in education as a means of growing our economy even in tough economic times – a point he made yesterday when he announced the Skills for America program.

That’s why I so strongly disagree with the economic plan that was released last week by the Republican leaders in Congress, which would actually cut education by 20 percent.  It would reduce or eliminate financial aid for 8 million college students.  And it would leave community colleges without the resources they need to meet the goals we’ve talked about today.

Instead, this money would help pay for a $700 billion tax cut that only 2 percent of the wealthiest Americans would ever see –- an average of $100,000 for every millionaire and billionaire in the country.  And that just doesn’t make sense -– not for students, not for our economy.

Think about it.  China isn’t slashing education by 20 percent right now.  India is not slashing education by 20 percent.  We are in a fight for the future -– a fight that depends on education.  And cutting aid for 8 million students, or scaling back our community — our commitment to community colleges, that’s like unilaterally disarming our troops right as they head to the frontlines.

To learn more about the White House Summit on Community Colleges, visit WhiteHouse.gov/CommunityCollege.

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The First Lady, The President, The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden Serve on 9/11

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

On September 11, 2010, the First Lady, the President, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden engaged in service activities to support our veterans, troops and military families, following remarks. Watch a video that takes you to service projects in McLean, VA, Washington, DC and New York City on the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The National Day of Service and Remembrance was developed by 9/11 families and established into law by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which President Obama signed in April 2009. Visit Serve.gov to find volunteer opportunities in your community.

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Filed under Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Obama Administration, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden, Volunteerism

The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and Dr. Biden: A Day of Service and Remembrance

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Jesse Lee

President Barack Obama pauses during a moment of silence in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House at 8:46AM, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, in remembrance of the time that the first plane hit the World Trade Center in 2001. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The President was joined by Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon Memorial.  Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were at Zuccotti Park in New York City.  And the First Lady was with Mrs. Laura Bush at the memorial ceremony in honor of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

All of them took part in service projects afterwards, and Serve.gov is helping Americans across the country take part in this Day of Service and Remembrance.  Excerpts of their remarks below.

President Barack Obama participates in a service project at Ronald H Brown Middle School September 11 2010 in the Washington, DC. Obama attended an 9/11 anniversary memorial at the Pentagon earlier in the day. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images North America)

The President:

Nine years have now passed.  In that time, you have shed more tears than we will ever know.  And though it must seem some days as though the world has moved on to other things, I say to you today that your loved ones endure in the heart of our nation, now and forever.

Our remembrance today also requires a certain reflection.  As a nation, and as individuals, we must ask ourselves how best to honor them — those who died, those who sacrificed.  How do we preserve their legacy — not just on this day, but every day?

We need not look far for our answer.  The perpetrators of this evil act didn’t simply attack America; they attacked the very idea of America itself — all that we stand for and represent in the world.  And so the highest honor we can pay those we lost, indeed our greatest weapon in this ongoing war, is to do what our adversaries fear the most — to stay true to who we are, as Americans; to renew our sense of common purpose; to say that we define the character of our country, and we will not let the acts of some small band of murderers who slaughter the innocent and cower in caves distort who we are.

They doubted our will, but as Americans we persevere.  Today, in Afghanistan and beyond, we have gone on the offensive and struck major blows against al Qaeda and its allies.  We will do what is necessary to protect our country, and we honor all those who serve to keep us safe.

They may seek to strike fear in us, but they are no match for our resilience.  We do not succumb to fear, nor will we squander the optimism that has always defined us as a people.  On a day when others sought to destroy, we have chosen to build, with a National Day of Service and Remembrance that summons the inherent goodness of the American people.

They may seek to exploit our freedoms, but we will not sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust.  They may wish to drive us apart, but we will not give in to their hatred and prejudice.  For Scripture teaches us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

They may seek to spark conflict between different faiths, but as Americans we are not — and never will be — at war with Islam.  It was not a religion that attacked us that September day — it was al Qaeda, a sorry band of men which perverts religion.  And just as we condemn intolerance and extremism abroad, so will we stay true to our traditions here at home as a diverse and tolerant nation.  We champion the rights of every American, including the right to worship as one chooses — as service members and civilians from many faiths do just steps from here, at the very spot where the terrorists struck this building.

Those who attacked us sought to demoralize us, divide us, to deprive us of the very unity, the very ideals, that make America America — those qualities that have made us a beacon of freedom and hope to billions around the world.  Today we declare once more we will never hand them that victory.  As Americans, we will keep alive the virtues and values that make us who we are and who we must always be.

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The First Lady:

(L-R) Gordon W.Felt, president of Families of Flight 93 and Joanne Hanley Superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial show U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush the future site of the memorial that's under construction during a 9/11 Flight 93 commemoration September 11, 2010 in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. People gathered to honor the 40 victims of Flight 93 on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Photo by Archie Carpenter/Getty Images North America)

The men and women of Flight 93 were college students and grandparents.  They were businessmen, pilots, and flight attendants.  There was a writer, an antique dealer, a lawyer, an engineer.

They came from all different backgrounds and all walks of life, and they all took a different path to that September morning.

But in that awful moment when the facts became clear, and they were called to make an impossible choice, they all found the same resolve.

They agreed to the same bold plan.

They called the people they loved –- many of them giving comfort instead of seeking it, explaining they were taking action, and that everything would be okay.

And then they rose as one, they acted as one, and together, they changed history’s course.

And in the days that followed, when we learned about the heroes of Flight 93 and what they had done, we were proud, we were awed, we were inspired, but I don’t think any of us were really surprised, because it was clear that these 40 individuals were no strangers to service and to sacrifice.  For them, putting others before themselves was nothing new because they were veterans, and coaches, and volunteers of all sorts of causes.

There was the disability rights advocate who carried a miniature copy of the Constitution everywhere she went.

There was the Census director who used to return to the homes she’d canvassed to drop off clothing and food for families in need.

There was the couple who quietly used their wealth to make interest-free loans to struggling families.

And to this day, they remind us -– not just by how they gave their lives, but by how they lived their lives -– that being a hero is not just a matter of fate, it’s a matter of choice.

I think that Jack Grandcolas put it best –- his wife, Lauren, was one of the passengers on the flight — and he said: “They were ordinary citizens thrown into a combat situation.  No one was a general or a dictator.  Their first thought was to be selfless.  They knew ‘There was a 98 percent chance we’re not going to make it, but let’s save others’.”

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Vice President Joe Biden (L)) and his wife Jill Biden (R) delivesr remarks during the annual 9/11 memorial service September 11, 2010 in New York City. People gathered at the World Trade Center site to mark the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images North America)

Vice President Biden gave a reading of The Builders by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.

For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.

Truly shape and fashion these;
Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.

In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.

Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.

Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.

Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.

Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.


(L to R) New York Governor David Patterson, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Dr Jill Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are relected in the reflecting pool at Ground Zero during the annual memorial service for September 11, 2010 in New York City. People gathered at the World Trade Center site to mark the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images North America)


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Filed under 9/11, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden