Posted by: Audiegrl
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, third from right, meets with Haiti's President Rene Preval, third from left, to discuss conditions in the country
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Saturday with Haitian President Rene Preval and promised that U.S. quake relief efforts would be closely coordinated with local officials.
Clinton’s remarks appeared designed to counter any notion of a too-intrusive American involvement in the aftermath of the quake, while also assuring Haitians the humanitarian mission would continue as long as it’s needed.
“We are here at the invitation of your government to help you,” she said at a news conference at the Port-au-Prince airport. “As President Obama has said, we will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead. And speaking personally, I know of the great resilience and strength of the Haitian people. You have been severely tested. But I believe that Haiti can come back even stronger and better in the future.”
Haiti's President Rene Preval, right, answers questions from the press as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, looks on in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010
Clinton, the highest-ranking Obama administration official to visit since the magnitude-7.0 quake struck Tuesday, arrived in a Coast Guard C-130 transport that carried bottled water, packaged food, soap and other supplies. She was accompanied by Rajiv Shah, the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator who is acting as the top U.S. relief coordinator.
Clinton also met with U.N. officials and U.S. civilians and military personnel working on the relief effort. She said she and Preval discussed his government’s priorities: restoring communications, electricity and transportation.
“And we agreed that we will be coordinating closely together to achieve these goals,” she said, adding that she and Preval would issue a communique on Sunday outlining cooperation between the two countries.
Preval said he was encouraged to see former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush together with President Barack Obama at the White House earlier Saturday in a joint plea for international assistance to Haiti.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to Haiti President Rene Preval during her visit
He noted that U.S. aid has already arrived, and he told reporters he met a survivor who was pulled from the rubble Saturday and receiving care from American medical teams. He thanked Clinton for her visit and for Obama’s continued support of Haiti.
“Mrs. Clinton’s visit really warms our heart today,” he said.
During the news conference, officials noted the clatter of military helicopters landing and taking off nearby.
“That’s a good sound,” Clinton said. “That means that good things are going to the people of Haiti.”
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“We had a very good meeting about all of the priorities of the Haitian government and the Haitian people,” Clinton said after a brief news conference following the meetings.
She said air efforts are focused on providing water, food and medical help. She also stressed the importance of restoring the country’s communications networks, electricity and transportation.
A man carries an elderly woman who needs medical attention in Port Au Prince
“We agreed that we will be coordinating closely together to achieve these goals
In an interview with CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, Clinton said “every day we are making progress and I expect that to continue.”
In addition to the immediate needs, Clinton said the focus will switch next week to long-term recovery and reconstruction, telling Gupta she believed that Haiti, with the help of the international community, could be a better place than it was before Tuesday’s quake.
Helicopters fly over the heavily damaged Port-au-Prince Cathedral
The U.S. Coast Guard plane she arrived on was carrying 100 cases of water, 100 cases of meals-ready-to-eat, and food and toiletries for about 140 U.S. Embassy staff members. Fifty Americans, who have been waiting to be evacuated, will fly back to the United States when Clinton departs.
Clinton landed hours after President Obama announced Saturday that former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush have agreed to lead an effort to raise funds for Haiti.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks to CNN’s Sanjay Gupta in Haiti about the relief efforts.
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Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Charity, Children, Cities, Countries, Culture, Democrats, Disaster, Earthquake, Government, Haiti, Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sec of State), Military, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Port au Prince, Presidents, Uncategorized, United Nations, United States, Video/YouTube, Volunteerism, Women's Issues, World
Posted by: Audiegrl
In two new interviews, Barack and Michelle Obama reflect on their first year at the White House and reveal that they still make time to check out indie films and keep up with tabloid gossip.
The Obamas gave People magazine their first interview of 2010 (and apparently felt totally comfortable nuzzling in front of People photographer Martin Schoeller). The President said he’s proud of getting the health care bill through the House and the Senate this year and Michelle talked more about her White House garden, but both said they’re proudest of how their girls have adjusted to living at the White House. Michelle explained:
We’ve tried to keep their day-to-day life pretty ordinary, so they seem like the kids that we’ve always known. But we talked about how fun it was just watching as they met the Pope. I think the girls were much more poised and calm in front of the Pope than Grandma and Mama Kaye [their godmother]. It was interesting, the pictures of the Pope and Malia and Sasha standing there exchanging conversation: “How’s school?” “It’s fine.”
Though Barack was questioned about terrorism and Afghanistan, People had a much more intimate question for Michelle: As a woman under 50, would she stop getting annual mammograms in light of the controversial new guidelines on breast cancer? She replied:
I do [get annual mammograms], and I’m not going to change. I tend to err on the side of caution in every aspect of my health. The broader message to women is that we have to own our health. Listen to advice, but ultimately we’ve got to take care of ourselves.
Rest assured, the President himself is giving a lot of thought to Americans’ biggest domestic concerns: Can Tiger Woods be rehabilitated? He says:
Absolutely. I don’t want to comment on his personal relationship with his wife and family, but I’m a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them. I’m sure he feels terrible about what happened, and I suspect that he will try to put his life back together again.
It seems the President has put some serious consideration into what Tiger may be thinking and feeling right now. (Come to think of it, no one would ever look for Tiger at Camp David.) If you’re thinking of holing up in an undisclosed location yourself, the Obamas offer these suggestions for your Netflix queue:
Mrs. Obama: I liked An Education. And The Hurt Locker was powerful. It sticks in my head. I know what your favorite movie is — Avatar.
The President: Avatar was very good. And that movie with Maya Rudolph…
Mrs. Obama: Away We Go.
As for what to put on your iPod, Michelle recommends Ledisi because she’s “got a really pretty voice” and “some Motown remix, going back to the roots.” The President says he doesn’t have that much time to update his iPod and he’s afraid to let Reggie Love do it because “… then all I get is Jay-Z, and I love Jay-Z, but once in a while I might want some Yo-Yo Ma or something.”
Earlier this afternoon, Michelle sat down in the old family dining room with seven print reporters who seemed less interested in the First Family’s favorite music and movies than People (and frankly, us.) According to The Washington Post, when asked if she’s unnerved by the security breach at the White House State Dinner she said:
The state dinner was an outstanding success. It’s just the follow-up after it. I look at the reporting on the state dinner and go, ‘Is that all that happened? Really. Because I sat in a phenomenal dinner where the prime minister and his wife were, felt, so connected to the United States and they were so proud to be there. And the evening was so wonderful and it was so well orchestrated,” she said. ‘For me the other stuff that everyone is talking about is a footnote to what the state dinner actually was. So I wouldn’t do that over.
As for Senator Harry Reid’s comments about candidate Obama having a good shot at the presidency because he’s a “light-skinned” African American who had “no Negro dialect,” Michelle refused to add to the controversy, saying:
Harry Reid had no need to apologize to me. Because I know Harry Reid. I measure people more so on what they do, rather than the things that they say.
She elaborated that though she doesn’t hold a grudge against Reid, the nation still faces big challenges when it comes to race relations. While having a smart, stylish woman who actually knows how to operate an iPod in the White House for the last year has certainly been fun, Michelle isn’t letting anybody forget the significance of her being First Lady :
Civil rights, the movement, happened in my lifetime. It feels like it’s been a long time but it hasn’t. My great-great-great-grandmother was actually a slave. We’re still very connected to slavery in a way that’s very powerful… That’s my grandfather’s grandmother. That’s not very far away. I could have known that woman. We need to keep having conversations until we get it right.
Copyright Jezebel.com. The full interview can be read in the latest issue of People.
Filed under African-Americans, Barack Obama, Change, Children, Culture, Entertainment, First Daughters, First Lady Michelle Obama, Holidays, Magazines, Media and Entertainment, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Uncategorized, Women's Issues