Any topic is pretty much fair game at the White House and today was proof of that fact. But the fallout from the recent Secret Service scandal was the dominant concern in the White House press room.
As the investigation into whether Secret Service members hosted prostitutes during a recent presidential visit to Columbia continues, several agents have left the job. But according to White House Spokesman Jay Carney, the president is withholding comments for now. He said, “The president made clear that if the allegations that surfaced in the media were true he’d be angry. His views are quite clear. We are not offering you day by day commentary about new actions. It’s not helpful to the process.”
Carney was also asked about new rhetoric from the president’s opponents who are using the scandal to criticize the president’s management abilities. “That sounds like someone trying to politicize something that is not political,” said Carney.
Obama’s hectic campaign travel schedule has also come under scrutiny. Reporters wondered whether the president’s recent appearances in battleground states blurs the line between the typical political trip and what amounts to a campaign stop. But the White House was adamant that the correct protocol is being followed. Carney quipped, “So you’re saying he can’t make official trips to half the country because you’ve declared them battleground states? He’s president of all of the people.”
The Obama Administration has announced a number of new measures during what is turning out to be a busy spring. The president is pushing efforts to help combat and prevent domestic violence in the federal workplace. He signed a memo that requires federal agencies to develop policies to address the effects of domestic violence and provide assistance like counseling services to employees.
There’s also a move underway to help protect minorities who are in need of loans. The Obama administration has announced a new crackdown on lenders that discriminate against minorities and women. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in a letter to lenders that it will strictly enforce laws against discriminatory lending practices.
And unless you were living under a rock back in 2004, you probably remember Janet's Jackson's infamous nipple slip during the Super Bowl. The matter is getting new attention from the White House as the administration calls for a Supreme Court review of the $550,000 fine CBS was required to pay. At issue is whether the fine was arbitrary.
The world of sports and politics also came together today as the White House played host to the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning their 14th NCAA national championship; their second in three years. The president congratulated them on their win saying, “And what’s even more impressive is that these young men showed that success isn’t about the individual — it’s about the ability to work as a team.” That sounds like a model that many in Washington can learn to follow.
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(Photo Alex Wong/Getty Images)