Barack Obama

Monday, January 6, 2014

Obama endorses Mitch Landrieu for mayor

Posted By on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM


The Mitch Landrieu campaign announced this morning that the mayor has received the endorsement of President Barack Obama as Landrieu seeks re-election. 

"New Orleans has always been a city of bold, resilient forward-looking people who believe in a brighter future and are committed to doing their part to shape it," Obama was quoted as saying in a statement. "Over the last four years, no one has embodied those values better than Mayor Mitch Landrieu."

"It is an honor to receive President Obama's endorsement," Landrieu said. "Through thick and thin, he has been a true friend to the people of New Orleans."

While most Louisiana politicians would likely avoid an Obama endorsement, the president remains remarkably popular in New Orleans. In the 2012 presidential election, Obama received 80.3 percent of the votes in Orleans Parish — a higher percentage of the vote even than that in quintessentially liberal areas like Multnomah County, Ore. (Portland), which went for Obama with 75.6 percent of the vote; and King County, Wash. (Seattle) which managed 68.5 percent for Obama.

In recent mayoral elections, Obama endorsed Bill De Blasio of New York and Annise Parker of Houston, both of whom won.

The municipal election is Feb. 1 — just a little more than three weeks away.

Under the jump: full statements by Obama and Landrieu.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Louisiana enrollment in the Affordable Care Act: fewer than 400 in first month

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

President Barack Obama greets supporters at an appearance at the Port of New Orleans Nov. 8. During his speech, he expressed dismay at the glitches involved with the online enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. Figures released today show that only 387 Louisianans completed the process and selected a health care plan within the first month of open enrollment. - JEANIE RIESS
  • President Barack Obama greets supporters at an appearance at the Port of New Orleans Nov. 8. During his speech, he expressed dismay at the glitches involved with the online enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. Figures released today show that only 387 Louisianans completed the process and selected a health care plan within the first month of open enrollment.

In the first month of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), only 387 Louisianans completed the process and selected a health care plan, according to figures released this afternoon by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. A little over 7,700 people completed the online application at but have not selected a health plan.

Louisiana is one of 36 states which used the federal website rather than set up a program of state health exchanges. In those 36 states, 26,794 people have now set up plans. The number of total plan selections among people in all 50 states is 106,185.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Obama pushes infrastructure, jobs at Port of New Orleans appearance

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

President Barack Obama used the Port of New Orleans as a backdrop today to push for more spending on infrastructure and to create more American jobs.

By closing useless tax loopholes, the President said, and by investing that money in infrastructure like transportation, the country will be able to create more jobs and increase exports, helping achieve a goal the president outlined in 2010: to double U.S. exports in five years.

With the expansion of the Panama Canal scheduled for completion in 2015, Obama said he wants to make sure the Port of New Orleans and other U.S. export hubs are prepared for the new burdens the waterway will impose, including bigger supertankers that will be able to hold three times the cargo they can today. “Why wouldn’t we put people to work upgrading them?" Obama asked of the ports.

Dan Packer, Chairman of the Commission of the Port of New Orleans, told Gambit he was pleased with the President’s remarks, though he would have liked federal funding for projects like expanding the New Orleans container port to be more secure. “I know they’re working on it,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve come to a conclusion on that yet.”

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bobby Jindal on government shutdown: "We are no longer going to outsource the Republican brand to the folks in Washington"

Posted By on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in 2011. - GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in 2011.

Louisiana Gov. (and frequent editorialist) Bobby Jindal is also chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and in a commentary posted this morning on The Daily Caller, he sought to put plenty of air between GOP governors and the fiscal battles that have resulted in a partial shutdown of the U.S. government — particularly on the Republican side:

With all this dysfunction, Republican governors are not going to take a back seat to anyone in Washington anymore.

Up until now, we have just lived with the brand that Washington gave us. Republican governors don’t just talk about conservative ideas, we put them into action. The answers aren’t coming from Washington. Republican governors are driving the American comeback.

We are no longer going to outsource the Republican brand to the folks in Washington.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Video: Jindal on Meet the Press

Posted By on Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on Meet the Press this morning to discuss "The American Dream" (and get in a plug for his Louisiana education plan). The Washington Post seemed to find the most notable part of the appearance was Jindal's rejection of impeachment for President Barack Obama.

But what will undoubtedly get more attention in days and weeks to come is his most recent essay for Politico, which also appeared this morning — "The End of Race."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New poll finds many Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for botched response to Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM

It's been a busy week for Louisiana polls and pollsters, and this morning Talking Points Memo provided a sneak look at a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of 274 Louisiana Republican primary voters, taken Aug. 16-19.

The poll's top line regarded preferences for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and it pitted Gov. Bobby Jindal against a wide field of Republican leaders: former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez, Ky. Sen. Rand Paul, Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisc. Rep. Paul Ryan and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum. (Jindal scored 10 percent support among Louisiana Republicans, putting him in the middle of the pack, but behind "Someone else/not sure.")

But it was the answer to this question that raised eyebrows:

Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?

George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Not sure

A statistically insignificant difference, to be sure. Of course, Bush was president at the time and Obama was a freshman Illinois senator in his first year of office. (In the crosstabs, older people were more likely to blame Obama, while younger voters were likely to be not sure.)

But it raises a further question: Why was it asked in the first place? PPP, which largely conducts polling for Democratic and liberal groups, is fond of throwing curveballs. In 2011, PPP asked GOP voters whether they thought either Obama or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be Raptured into heaven (19 percent thought Obama would; 51 percent thought Palin would). Three months ago, PPP conducted a poll about Americans' attitude toward "hipsters," which included a question about whether hipsters just “soullessly appropriate cultural tropes from the past for their own ironic amusement.”  It also asked respondents to rate the palatability of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. 

Whatever the motivation behind the Katrina question, it's sure to be used as ammo against Louisiana Republicans' brain power (and ammo against Louisianans as a whole), while it also will give conservatives a chance to squawk they were set up.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Gridiron shows: Bobby Jindal and Stacy Head

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal's performance at Saturday night's Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C. went over well — at least with President Barack Obama, who praised Jindal's material and delivery at the logrolling annual chance for politicians and the D.C. press corps to share a laugh:

"I have to say, I thought Bobby (Jindal) was incredibly funny this evening. I thought he was terrific," Obama said last night at the high-profile Gridiron Dinner, in his remarks after Jindal made a highly impressive speech full of fun and jokes, wiping out his 2009 lacklustre speech which was in response to the first State of the Union Address by Obama.

Jindal's entire speech has been posted online by The Washington Post. Here's one for Louisianans:

[N]ow some people have asked me if I intend to run for President in 2016?

And the answer is that I have no plans to run. I’ve made that clear, over and over again…in Iowa…in New Hampshire…and in South Carolina.

And for those who want a local take on politicos and press rubbing elbows, tickets are now on sale for the Press Club of New Orleans' annual Gridiron Dinner, which takes place March 19 at Walk-On's. The headliner is New Orleans City Council president Stacy Head; tickets are $40 and are available here.

More Jindal under the cut. (Lots of Indian jokes!)

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Y@ Speak: Lent edition

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM

With Mardi Gras, and the horrifying Carnival/Super Bowl mashup known as "SuperGras," now over, it's time to scale back on breakfast king cake, daydrinking and other vices for the Lenten season. What are you giving up? It looks like pope gave up being the pope, and a lot of locals gave up on watching the State of the Union Address. Others resolved to do things, like investigate Lenten options at a technologically impaired fast food chain or to finally see what this "Harlem Shake" craze is all about. Best of luck on whatever it is you're giving up or pledging to do, and remember we have festival season to gloriously relapse.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Y@ Speak!

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:18 AM

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Y@ Speak, in which we capture notable 140-character bon mots, newsworthy items, gaffes by Saints players and local politicians and whatever else pops up on the New Orleans Twittersphere. To celebrate this occasion, I've rounded up some of my favorite or most memorable tweets — like a multi-layered digital birthday cake of sorts — and divided them by categories: we got NFL players saying dumb stuff, #neworleansproblems, anguish over the Saints' challenging year, reactions to the Times-Picayune cutbacks, interesting celebrity encounters, deep thoughts from Ray Nagin and so much more. Get your retweet/favorite fingers ready for this massive retrospective.

NFL Players Say the Darndest Things

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Demographics and destiny

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

The annual Bipartisan Policy Summit at Tulane University on Thursday (Nov. 15) drew its largest crowd ever. The summit, presided over by James Carville and Mary Matalin, brings together the nation’s best political minds from both parties after Election Day to discuss whether America’s elected leaders can get past partisan bickering and get to work on America’s problems. It remains an open question.

The gathering began with an analysis of how President Obama won re-election. Republican pollster Whit Ayres and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg agreed generally with the notion that demographics is destiny. This is not good news for the GOP, the party led mostly by old white men.

Ayers didn’t sugarcoat his party’s loss. Democrats, he said, had “a far superior ground game” — identifying and turning out their voters. Other factors that helped Obama, Ayers said, were the “slowly improving economy that was improving just enough to get Barack Obama’s approval rating up high enough to win.” The President’s approval rating just before Election Day was 51 percent — exactly his share of the vote.

Ayers also noted “some amazingly bad comments by some Republican candidates” that hurt the party’s cause nationwide. In particular, comments from GOP Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana helped solidify Obama’s lead among women voters.

All of those factors contributed to the President’s win, Greenberg agreed, but he added that Democrats also won because they recognized the diversity and character of the American electorate — and because of the “brand position” of the two parties.

“We represent the rising American electorate,” Greenberg said of Democrats. “This isn’t just targeting groups that get something from government. We’re in a country in which the majority of households are not married. The majority of births are non-white. The white working class also is attending church less. … All of these are long-term trends that will have enormous impacts on politics, and all of these groups voted 2-to-1 for Obama.”

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